Sony RX10 Review

Sony RX10 review: Large sensor, high light intensity and large zoom

With the Cyber-shot DSC-RX10, Sony announces an unrivalled premium bridge camera with a large 1-inch sensor and continuous F2.8 speed zoom with a frame equivalent focal length of 24 to 200 millimetres. The RX10 wants to be a true all-rounder and comes with a splash-proof housing with ergonomic handle, high-resolution viewfinder as well as NFC and WLAN.

Brief assessment

Pros

  • Very good video function with many accessories and setting options
  • Practically complete equipment with universal, macro and fast lens
  • Up to ISO 400 excellent and up to ISO 1,600 very good image quality
  • Outstanding, high-resolution electronic viewfinder, which, however, shades when wearing glasses

Cons

  • Upper thumbwheel looks cheap and gives a poor haptic feedback
  • Zoom works at highest speed too slow
  • Due to the lack of rubber seals on the lens and protective flaps, the splash water protection should be used with caution
  • No light metering scale on the status display

 

A true bridge camera, the Sony DSC-RX10 has a distinctive grip and a dominant lens. The splash-proof housing is unique in this class. [Photo: Sony]

With the RX100, Sony redefined the premium compact camera and advanced into image quality spheres that were more reserved for system cameras. With the RX10, Sony is planting the 1″ sensor in a bridge camera in SLR design, which shines with a continuous F2.8 light-strong 8.3x zoom of the equivalent of 24-200 millimetres. The photo functions are complemented by an excellent video mode with everything the heart of the video filmmaker desires.

With the DSC-RX10, Sony pairs a 1″ format BSI CMOS sensor with a continuous F2.8 aperture lens that has a frame equivalent focal length of 24-200 millimetres. [Photo: Sony]

The Sony DSC-RX10 not only has a 7.5 cm folding screen, but also a 1.4 million pixel OLED viewfinder. [Photo: Sony]

On the top, the Sony DSC-RX10 has a status display that informs about all important recording parameters. [Photo: Sony]

The customer has to put 200 dollars on the table for these technical fireworks, which is  available since November 2013. For the money, however, he gets real premium quality, in the form the RX10, similar to its more compact sister RX100, is unrivalled. The BSI CMOS sensor in the 1-inch format measures 13.2 x 8.8 millimetres and is thus a good four times larger than conventional compact camera sensors, according to Sony. It has a resolution of around 20 megapixels, whereby the individual pixels are particularly sensitive to light thanks to back-illuminated technology (BSI). When I tested the Sony RX100 II, which has the same sensor, I concluded: “In absolute terms, its image quality is very high up to ISO 3,200 and practically on a DSLR level; for a compact camera, it is outstanding“. This should also apply to the new RX10 in terms of sensor characteristics. However, it has a different concept than the RX100, which aims to be particularly compact and can therefore be called a premium compact camera. The RX10, on the other hand, is also quite compact, but has a larger body with a pronounced handle for good handling and an electronic viewfinder.

But the distinctive lens is also responsible for the increase in size. It has a high continuous luminous intensity of F2.8 with a small image equivalent focal length range of 24 to 200 millimetres, which should cover practically all everyday photo situations. The lens has an aperture ring, a motorized zoom and an adjustment ring, for example for manual focusing. In addition, Sony has equipped the lens with an optical image stabilizer as well as an almost circular aperture, the former ensuring blur-free shots, the latter for a pleasant bokeh. The Carl Zeiss Vario Sonnar T* label is intended to stand for particularly high optical quality. In addition, the filter thread with a diameter of 62 millimetres provides for the possibility of connecting optical filters.

The new Bionz X processor is designed to provide fast autofocus and high-quality image processing. It processes data three times faster than its predecessor model. Moreover, the autofocus even detects eyes and can focus precisely on them. Tracking objects with focus tracking is also no problem for the RX10. Macro shots are possible from a distance of just three centimetres, whereby the spot autofocus with a three-step selectable size is a useful tool especially for macro shots. Videos can be recorded in Full HD resolution at up to 50 frames per second. The audio level can be controlled directly in the camera, external microphones can be connected as an alternative to the built-in microphone, and Sony even offers an XLR adapter in its range of accessories. The headphone output allows direct sound control. The RX10 also allows direct video signal output via HDMI for external recording. The RX10 even transfers photos at four times Full HD resolution, provided you have a compatible TV with around eight megapixels of resolution.

The Cyber-shot has three displays. The largest of these measures 7.5 centimetres diagonally and is hinged at the back. The smallest display, an OLED, is located in the electronic viewfinder, which also has the highest resolution of 1.4 million pixels. The RX10 also has a status display on the top of the camera that provides classic information about shooting parameters and camera settings without wasting a lot of power. Another practical feature is the possibility of connecting a smartphone or tablet to the RX10 via WLAN. Thanks to NFC, this should be particularly easy with compatible devices. With the corresponding app, the live image can be transmitted and the camera can be controlled remotely. Of course, photos and videos can also be transferred wirelessly from the camera to another device via WLAN.

Ergonomics and Workmanship

The first thing you notice about the Sony Cyber-shot DSC RX10 is the huge lens with a continuous speed of F2.8. Like the top of the body and front panel, the fixed part of the lens is made of magnesium alloy, while Sony uses high-quality plastic on the back and bottom. Overall, the RX10 makes a very high-quality impression, and nothing gives way when it comes to a firm grip. The high quality is underlined by the full weight of just over 800 grams ready for operation. The handle, on the other hand, is relatively small, and in view of the bulky lens, it would have liked to have had more grip volume so that it could be gripped even better by men’s larger hands. Generous applications of grained rubber increase the grip so that the camera does not slip out of your hand.

At first glance, the Sony may look like a small DSLR, but it is a thorough bred bridge camera that is unrivalled with its fast lens and 13.2 x 8.8 millimetre 1″ sensor. The SLR-typical flash and viewfinder hump literally crouches on the lens of the RX10, but when folded out the small flash jumps up quite high. The viewfinder is electronic and has a resolution of 1.44 million pixels. Although this is not the highest resolution currently available in electronic viewfinders, it is quite sufficient to work with and in my opinion it is fine.

The pleasantly large viewfinder image gives the impression of looking through the viewfinder of a full-frame DSLR; at 0.7x magnification, the RX10’s EVF, for example, is larger than that of conventional DSLRs with an APS-C sensor. However, those who wear glasses have to live with slight shading on the left and right side, i.e. for those who wear glasses the exit pupil might be a little larger. After all, the dioptre correction covers a wide range from -4 to +3 dioptres. Thanks to automatic switching, the electronic viewfinder is activated as soon as you take the camera to your eye.

The rear screen with its 1.229 million pixels is also impressive. It can be folded up about 90 degrees upwards and about 45 degrees downwards, very practical for overhead or ground level shots, but also for a classic position at chest or stomach height in the tradition of a light well viewfinder, the screen can be used. Thanks to its white pixels, it shines very well even in bright ambient light, but finds its limits in direct sunlight in particularly bright environments, for example on a mountain peak in the snow or on the beach. Because the screen has a 4:3 aspect ratio, while the image sensor has the classic 3:2 aspect ratio, a black bar is displayed at the bottom of the live image, which Sony uses to indicate exposure time, aperture, exposure correction and ISO sensitivity. The same applies to the electronic viewfinder, where instead of the simple exposure value an exposure balance enriches the viewfinder image. Numerous other displays inform the photographer about other important shooting settings.

In addition, a 3D spirit level, a live histogram and grid lines can be displayed. Like the live histogram, the image brightness is also adjusted to the selected exposure in the sense of an exposure preview. Very practical: As soon as you fold out the flash, the viewfinder image remains bright enough to see the subject. By the way, the live image is very direct, without any big trailing or streaking effects. Thanks to the “global shutter” (the sensor is read out in one piece), there is not even the notorious jelly effect when panning back and forth as it is known from the “rolling shutter” (reading out the sensor line by line). The menus are extensive, but well divided, so that vertical scrolling is not necessary when searching.

Thanks to numerous buttons and wheels, the RX10 is very easy to use and also offers many customization options. For example, important recording parameters can be set using the Fn menu without having to go through the main menu. The user himself decides which parameters these should be. In addition, the program selector wheel offers two user memory locations and a C-key allows direct access to a preferred function. In addition to the program selector wheel, which clicks comfortably into place, there are five other control wheels. Two of them are located on the lens. The aperture ring also has the feature of either locking, which is very practical for photographers, or quiet operation without locking. The wide ring at the front of the lens controls either the zoom or manual focus (see the “Lens” section for more information). An exposure-compensation wheel on the top of the camera allows a direct influence on the image brightness. This ring also snaps comfortably tight, it should hardly be able to adjust itself accidentally. However, this wheel is accompanied by a small faux pas. The RX10 has an illuminated LC display on the top side, which allows you to view important parameters. Unfortunately, the exposure balance is missing here, which could be very useful with manual exposure, because the exposure correction wheel is meaningless here. There are two thumbwheels on the back of the camera: one is connected to the four-weigher, the other is further up, within perfect reach of the thumb. This can be used to control the exposure time, for example. But Sony saved money on the wrong end of the scale with this bike. It is too stiff and does not have a good grip, and the clicks can hardly be felt. Sony has done much better in other cameras. However, the release with its long stroke to the first pressure point is well done. The release button has a screw thread for a classic wire remote release.

The memory card compartment is located at the handle side, so that one can also get very easily to the SD card and/or the memory stick on the tripod. The battery compartment on the bottom of the camera houses the well-known NP-FW50, which powers the camera for a solid 420 shots. Alternatively, an external power supply can be connected here using a battery dummy. The battery is charged via USB in the camera, an external charging cradle is only optionally available as an accessory. Sony uses the Micro-USB standard, so you can use the same charging cable as for example in a smartphone. By the way, the battery can also be removed with the tripod exchange plate attached. The metal tripod thread is correctly positioned in the optical axis. There are a total of four interfaces on the left side: Micro-HDMI, Micro-USB, headphone output as well as microphone input – all equipped with standard jacks, so no special cables are needed!

By the way, Sony promises a splash water protection for the RX10. However, we could not find any seals on the flaps or on the lens barrel and would therefore not expose the camera to heavy rain or spray, as water can only penetrate the camera too quickly. It’s a pity that Sony doesn’t implement this properly.

 

Equipment

The Sony accommodates practically all functions that are needed in everyday photography. Starting with fully automatic and scene modes, to manual exposure control and of course semi-automatic. The sensitivity can be adjusted from ISO 125 to 12,800, and the upper and lower limits of the automatic mode can be freely assigned. Expanded, even ISO 80 and 100 are available, and ISO 25,600 is achieved by the RX10 through effective multiple exposure, which is very fast at ten frames per second. Even with manual exposure, the photographer can activate ISO auto, handy if you want to specify aperture and shutter speed but need an automatically correct exposure.

The RX10 tames high dynamic range with DRO, which darkens highlights and lightens shadows, or HDR, which allows the user to control the exposure distance of the three shots up to 6EV or leave it to an automatic. The bracketing functions can also be seen with up to five images at 0.7 EV exposure distance or three images at up to 3 EV exposure distance, but this is not enough for extreme HDR shots. In addition, the RX10 allows you to shoot in series with alternating white balance and DRO settings. But if you shoot in raw, you can save this and set the white balance later. Sony, on the other hand, doesn’t offer image editing functions, which is unfortunately already a tradition with this company. Not even raw data images can be developed in the camera, so if you need additional JPEGs, you should take them directly with you, the RX10 has a corresponding setting.

For continuous shooting, the RX10 achieves a fast ten frames per second and holds up for 23 shots at JPEG Extrafine. After that it continues somewhat irregularly at 1.8 frames per second. In raw format, on the other hand, the RX10 only reaches 6.4 frames per second and after just ten shots, the speed drops to around 1.6 frames per second with a slightly irregular release. However, a slower continuous shooting speed can also be set, at which the autofocus is also adjusted. Even with the internal flash you can take serial pictures – slowed down of course.

The RX10 was not only praised in advance as a universally usable photo camera, but as a video hybrid it also received a lot of attention in the camcorder community. The Cyber-shot films in full HD resolution at up to 50p (PAL) or optionally 60p (NTSC), whereby switching the video norm causes the camera to reboot. In addition, there is the non-existent rolling shutter effect, the large image sensor with the universal zoom, the optical and electronic hybrid image stabilisation, an audio level display with manual level control, the microphone input and the headphone output, etc. The multi-interface shoe even allows XLR connections to be retrofitted. Especially worth mentioning is the practical zebra function, which displays image brightnesses from a given value (70 to 100+ in steps of five) striped – very helpful to avoid overexposure. This function can also be useful when taking pictures. During movie recording, the optical zoom can be used at a slow speed, but it will start and stop with a jerk, and it might like to have a slower speed as well. You should not use the zoom ring, however, if you turn it unevenly, the zoom drive jerks. The autofocus is gently but smoothly and accurately tracked. Even objects that appear in the foreground do not confuse the autofocus, as if nailed down it hangs exactly on the focus point. Focus peaking and the gridless aperture ring are also video-friendly.

Although the RX10 has a dedicated video recording button that is easy to reach with your thumb, and the Sony also records video with it at any time without having to switch to video mode, there is no preview for the image detail. Especially in the active mode of the image stabilizer, where the optical and electronic image stabilizer work together, the image section is narrowed down considerably. It is therefore better to switch to video mode first. Due to the narrower image section, the zoom corresponds to a focal length of 30 to 245 millimetres equivalent to a small image, but only with an optical image stabiliser does one retain the good wide angle of 25 to 210 millimetres. By the way, the AVCHD format is the first choice for the RX10, as Sony incomprehensibly switches to 4:3 and thus 1,440 x 1,080 pixels at MP4. 720p as a good compromise between resolution and file size is unfortunately missing completely, you can only switch down to the VGA resolution, which is low for current conditions, at MP4.

The small pop-up flash of the Sony RX10 has to be extended manually at the touch of a button, but then it offers an automatic, long-time synchronization, an ignition at the end of the exposure and flash exposure correction. With a guide number of 5.8, the flash is not particularly powerful, but the central shutter allows flash to be used at very fast shutter speeds. If the small flash is too weak for you, you can connect Sony system flashes via the hot shoe, wireless flash control is also possible.

Lens

The RX10’s large lens is a major part of its beefy look. 8.3x from 8.8 to 73.3 millimetres, it zooms from 8.8 to 73.3 millimetres at a continuous speed of F2.8, which is equivalent to a 35 mm equivalent of 24 to 200 millimetres – a very practical and universal zoom range. In addition, the high light intensity together with the 1″ sensor allows a certain amount of freedom, but also sufficient depth of field for macro and landscape shots without having to stop down too much. A pleasant compromise for creative everyday photography. The lens allows a minimum focus distance of three centimetres in the wide-angle position, and 30 centimetres in the telephoto position. The latter allows a full format shot of a subject measuring approximately 9 x 6 cm at a sufficient distance to illuminate the subject properly. So the telemacro is built into the RX10, which is unfortunately missing on many competitors. Although you can still shoot slightly (but not much) smaller motifs at a distance of three centimeters in wide-angle, you will inevitably shade them. Of course the zoom has an optical image stabilizer, the Zeiss label with the Vario-Sonnar lettering and the T* coating are also included. Even a sun visor is included with the camera.

The zoom is electronically controlled either by the lens ring or the zoom rocker located around the shutter release. The zoom rocker allows two speeds, whereby even the faster speed is rather leisurely. It takes a whole 3.4 seconds to move through the entire zoom range. The electronic zoom is certainly a tribute to the videographers. Due to the slow maximum zoom speed, the lens ring does not feel like controlling a manual zoom because the motor cannot follow the fast movements; on the slower ones, however, it works well and practically without delay. You can put a step zoom function on the zoom ring (the zoom lever, however, still controls the zoom very finely for the intermediate steps), then the lens moves to the next step with each turn. 24, 35, 50, 70, 100, 135 and 200 millimeters. Unfortunately the classic focal lengths of 28 and 85 millimetres are missing here. It is precisely these focal length numbers that are printed on the plastic lens barrel, which at 200 millimetres (KB) extends a good six centimetres out of the camera. Practically, the focal length is also shown on the screen or in the viewfinder when zooming, so you can control it almost to the millimeter. The extended tube has some play, it even rattles a bit when shaking the camera, but should still be stable enough considering the diameter. Optical filters can be connected via the 62 millimetre filter thread, whereby the RX10 has a swivel-in grey filter with three f-stops. Practical for long exposures in broad daylight or the possibility to use the open aperture for creative free aperture effects even in bright ambient light.

In contrast to the leisurely zoom, the autofocus works blazingly fast – and whisper-quiet and extremely precise. In the test lab, it took him only 0.16 seconds to focus from infinity to two meters in the wide angle; in the telephoto position, the autofocus is slightly slower at 0.34 seconds, but still fast. This already includes the ultra short shutter release delay of 0.01 seconds. The Sony is especially pre-focused and absolutely suitable for snapshots, as no DSLR is available thanks to the central shutter. Closing the iris also has no negative effect on the shutter release delay. Despite the fast autofocus, it is recommended that you activate pre-AF in the menu (this is already the case at the factory), then the RX10 will not only be even faster, but the viewfinder image will always be sharp. By the way, the shutter is practically inaudible; in quiet environments, at best a very quiet click can be heard. This makes the RX10 also very suitable for inconspicuous photography in museums, churches or theaters. If, on the other hand, you want to hear a focus confirmation but not an artificial triggering sound, you have a problem, because the signal tones can only be switched on or off completely, but not individually.

At the front, next to the lens, the RX10 offers a selector switch that allows you to switch between single-auto focus, continuous auto focus (tracking auto focus), DMF (direct manual focus) and manual focus (MF). The DMF mode is useful for those who want to correct the autofocus a bit more. The autofocus works in automatic mode with nine measuring fields, but it can also be switched to spot autofocus or a flexible autofocus point to focus on a specific detail of the subject. Unfortunately, the RX10 doesn’t have a touchscreen, so you’ll have to move the point with the four-way weight. Object tracking and face recognition are also part of the equipment. When switching to manual focus, the zoom ring becomes the focus ring. With the help of the focus magnifier and optionally switchable focus peaking, it is possible to focus very sensitively and precisely when practising. Peaking is more suitable for coarser focusing where the last bit of sharpness is not important, as the contrast edges are emphasized over a wide range of sharpness even at the lowest level. The focus magnifier sometimes starts up a little sluggishly or switches off too soon, even though you turn the ring. Too slow movements are apparently not registered so well. In fact, the autofocus is often even more precise than the manual focusing, but this is something that one does not notice until one takes a tripod and later on compares a manually and an automatically focused image, the latter often has a touch more sharpness. Additionally, when focusing manually, a bar scale informs about the approximate shooting distance, unfortunately there is no millimetre-exact indication as with the focal length.

Image quality

The 20 megapixel resolution, 1″ (13.2 x 8.8 mm) BSI CMOS sensor of the Sony RX10 has already proven its excellent image quality in the RX100 II, and has high expectations of the RX10.

The fast lens with its Zeiss label also arouses high expectations in terms of optical quality. Those who are satisfied with pictures measuring 30 x 20 centimetres will get sharp pictures right into the corners at all focal lengths and apertures, so it’s easy for the lens to play. If you look at the resolution in detail at 50 percent edge contrast, the lens achieves the highest resolution at 24 millimeters in the image center, but also shows a significant edge drop of about one third. At medium and long focal lengths, on the other hand, the resolution is very uniform, although lower than at the center at wide angle, but higher than at the edge of the image at wide angle. At F4, the lens reaches its highest resolution at wide angle and medium focal length, the overall slightly lower telephoto focal length must be stopped down to F5.6 where it reaches its resolution peak. But even with an open aperture, wide-angle (only in the center) and medium focal length with over 40 line pairs per millimeter can be impressive. In telescopic position the 40 mark is only cracked at F5,6 and F8. From F11 on the diffraction becomes slowly noticeable at all focal lengths, at F16 it becomes stronger. The latter corresponds to a depth of field at 35mm format at aperture F43, so normally you don’t have to stop down that far.

The distortion is almost completely corrected digitally, the edge darkening is minimal. Colour fringes, on the other hand, occur slightly on average, but usually remain below the visibility limit. They are highest at the telephoto position and can be more noticeable at maximum deflection towards the edge of the image. As the RX10 is rather crisply tuned in JPEG, slight overshoots of the sharpening can be seen on hard contrast edges. If you want to rework the pictures, you should rather use the raw format, so that you can sharpen the source material according to your own needs.

The RX10 does not expose itself to noise. It is almost in a league with the larger APS-C and Four Thirds sensors. Up to ISO 400, the signal-to-noise ratio is a good 40 dB; only at the highest sensitivity of ISO 12,800 does the signal-to-noise ratio fall below the critical 35 dB mark, so that fine image details threaten to be lost in noise. With a grain size of less than two pixels, the image noise remains very fine, neither luminance nor color noise is measurable. Although the texture sharpness curve shows that the noise reduction starts to work above the basic sensitivity of ISO 125, the RX10 has excellent detail reproduction up to and including ISO 800, which is not limited by the noise reduction. You have to increase the sensitivity to ISO 3,200 and above to soften the images. The input dynamic range is a good 9.5 to 10 f-stops even across all sensitivity levels. The visual impression also confirms the excellent work of the internal image processing. Up to ISO 400, the image quality is excellent and even up to ISO 1,600, it is still very good. Only from ISO 3.200 onwards, a slight loss of image quality becomes noticeable, well noticed in the 100 percent view. Scaled to screen size (Full-HD at 60 centimeters diagonal), the images are still very good even at ISO 6.400.

But let’s get back to the hard facts of measurement in the laboratory. As already mentioned, the RX10 has a quite offensive image processing, where you practically don’t have to optimize the JPEG-recordings further on the PC. The tone curve is steep and provides crisp contrasts especially in the mid tones, while shadows and highlights are softer. Up to and including ISO 1.600, the initial tonal range is a very good 192 of 256 possible gradations, only at ISO 6.400 and 12.800 does the range fall below the limit of a good 160 steps, but without falling into critical ranges. The actual color depth is even up to ISO 3,200 with over four million of 16.7 million possible colors, even at the highest sensitivity over two million colors are still nuanced, also a good value, even very good for the sensitivity. The manual white balance is extremely accurate in terms of measurement, and the automatic white balance is equally accurate in purely visual terms. In the case of colour reproduction, on the other hand, the subjectively pleasing preparation in the laboratory can be demonstrated. In particular, the RX10 reproduces warm tones with a higher saturation, while more pronounced color shifts are found almost exclusively in cyan (light sky blue), which is shifted towards a stronger, deeper blue. This also looks rather pleasing in landscape photography, for example, because the sky looks bluer and not so pale.

Conclusion

The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10 in a sentence. Its large, fast zoom, high-resolution sensor, the range of features and also the operation and speed are convincing. This is especially true for the image quality. The RX10 is a camera full of good compromises that make it the ideal everyday companion for those who like to carry such a large camera. However, for the proud price of 1,200 euro Sony makes the odd faux pas that shouldn’t have been necessary at this price, such as the poor splash water protection or the inferior upper thumbwheel. Most importantly, the RX10 has excellent image quality, mainly up to ISO 400, but even up to ISO 1600, the camera is very good and doesn’t need to hide behind system cameras and small DSLRs. Those who like to take good videos in addition to taking pictures are also well advised to use the RX10. Above all, its universal suitability, without having to sacrifice image quality as with other bridge cameras, makes the Sony RX10 a currently unique digital camera.

Profile

Profile
Manufacturer Sony
Model DSC-RX10
Price approx. 1150 dollars at market launch
Sensor Resolution 20.2 megapixels
Max. Image resolution 5.472 x 3.648
(aspect ratio) (3:2)
Lens F2.8/24-200mm
Filter thread 62 mm
Viewfinder electronically
Enlargement 0,7-fold
Resolution 1.440.000
Dioptre correction -4 to +3 dpt.
LCD monitor 3″
Resolution 1.229.000
rotatable
swiveling yes
as viewfinder yes
Video output HDMI
as viewfinder yes
Automatic programming yes
Automatic aperture control yes
Automatic timer yes
manual exposure yes
BULB long time exposure yes
Scene modes
Portrait yes
Children/baby
Landscape yes
Macro yes
Sports/action yes
More 6 additional scene modes found
Exposure metering Multi-field, center-weighted Integral, Spot
Flash yes
Guide number 5.8 (measurement)
Flash connection Multi-Interface accessory shoe
Remote release Wire
Interval recording
Storage medium SD/SDHC/SDXC or MemoryStick Pro Duo
Video mode
Format AVCHD or MP4
Codec H.264/AVC
Resolution (max.) 1.920 x 1.080
at frame rate 50p (PAL
)60p (NTSC)
Sensitivity
automatically ISO 125-12.800
(lower and upper limit adjustable)
extended ISO 25.600 (with Multishot-NR)
manually ISO 80-12.800 (ISO 25.600 with Multishot-NR)
White balance
Automatic yes
Sun yes
Clouds yes
Fluorescent lamp yes
Incandescent lamp yes
Miscellaneous Shadow, flash, manual selection of color temperature, fine correction
Manually yes
Autofocus
Number of measurement fields 9
AF auxiliary light Red-orange
Speed 0,2-0,3 s
Languages English
More 15 other languages
Switch-on time 1,7 s
One-hand operation
(zoom and shutter release)
yes
Weight
(ready for operation)
812 g
Continuous shooting function*
Number of serial images
23 (JPEG)
10 (RAW)
Frequency
(frames/s
)
10 (JPEG)
6.4 (RAW)
Continuous run
(images/s)
1.8 (JPEG)
1.6 (RAW)
with flash yes
Zoom
Zoom adjustment motorized via ring rocker or zoom ring
Zoom levels infinitely variable, optional 7
Time WW to Tele 3,4 s
Memory speeds*
JPEG 2.0 s (10.8 MByte)
RAW 2.1 s (19.9 MByte)
Trip during
.Saving possible.
yes
Battery life about 420 pictures (according to CIPA)
– = “not applicable” or “not available
“* with 8 GByte Sony Class 10 SDHC memory card

Brief assessment

Pros

  • Very good video function with many accessories and setting options
  • Practically complete equipment with universal, macro and fast lens
  • Up to ISO 400 excellent and up to ISO 1,600 very good image quality
  • Outstanding, high-resolution electronic viewfinder, which, however, shades when wearing glasses

Cons

  • Upper thumbwheel looks cheap and gives a poor haptic feedback
  • Zoom works at highest speed too slow
  • Due to the lack of rubber seals on the lens and protective flaps, the splash water protection should be used with caution
  • No light metering scale on the status display

Firmware update 2.00 for the Sony Cybert-shot DSC-RX10: Now with XAVC-S format with 120 fps and 50 Mbit

Sony has released new firmware version 2.00 for the Cyber-shot DSC-RX10. This teaches the camera the XAVC S recording format, which allows a higher data rate of 50 Mbps, thus increasing the image quality of videos. Also new is the frame rate of 100 fps for PAL and 120 fps for NTSC, allowing smooth 4x slow motion. The update can be downloaded from the Sony website and installed by the user himself. For more details, please visit the Sony support website.

Sony DSC-RX10 [Photo: Sony]

Sony RX10 Datasheet

Electronics

Sensor CMOS sensor 1″ 13.2 x 8.8 mm (crop factor 2.7
)20.9 megapixels (physical), 20.2 megapixels (effective)
Pixelpitch 2.4 µm
Photo resolution
5.472 x 3.648 pixels (3:2)
5.472 x 3.080 pixels (16:9)
4.864 x 3.080 pixels
3.888 x 2.592 pixels (3:2)
3.648 x 3.648 pixels (1:1)
3.648 x 2.736 pixels (4:3)
3.648 x 2.056 pixels (16:9)
2.736 x 1.824 pixels (3:2)
2.720 x 1.528 pixels (16:9)
2.592 x 1.944 pixels (4:3)
2.544 x 2.544 pixels (1:1)
1.920 x 1.920 pixels (1:1)
Image formats JPG, RAW
Color depth 24 bits (8 bits per color channel)
Metadata Exif (version 2.3), DCF standard
Video resolution
1.920 x 1.080 (16:9) 50 p
1.920 x 1.080 (16:9) 50 i
1.920 x 1.080 (16:9) 25 p
1.440 x 1.080 (4:3) 25 p
1.280 x 720 (16:9) 100 p
640 x 480 (4:3) 25 p
Video format
MPG4 (Codec H.264)
AVCHD (Codec H.264)

Lens

Focal length 24 to 200 mm (35mm equivalent
)8.3x zoom8
.8 to 73.3 mm (physical)
digital zoom 16.6x
Sharpness range 3 cm to infinity (wide angle) 30 cm to infinity (telephoto)
Aperture F2.8 (wide angle ) F2.8 (telephoto)
ND filter ND filter
Autofocus yes
Autofocus mode Contrast autofocus with 25 measuring fields
Autofocus functions Single AF, Continuous AF, Tracking AF, Manual, AF Assist Light, Focus Peaking, Focus Magnifier
Filter thread 62 mm

Viewfinder and monitor

Monitor 3.0″ TFT LCD monitor with 1,228,800 pixels, brightness adjustable, tiltable 90° up to 45° down
Video finder Video viewfinder available, dioptre compensation (-4.0 to 3.0 dpt)

Exposure

Exposure metering Center-weighted integral measurement, matrix/multi-field measurement, spot measurement
Exposure times 1/3,200 to 1 s (Automatic
)1/3,200 to 30 s (Manual)Bulb function
Exposure control Fully automatic, Program automatic (with program shift), Shutter automatic, Aperture automatic, Manual
Exposure bracketing function Exposure bracketing function with a maximum of 3 shots, step size from 0.3 to 0.7 EV, HDR function
Exposure Compensation -3.0 to +3.0 EV with step size of 1/3 EV
Photosensitivity ISO 125 to ISO 12,800 (automatic
)ISO 100 to ISO 25,600 (manual)
Remote access Remote control via smartphone/tablet
Scene modes Twilight, landscape, macro, night scene, night portrait, sunset, sports/action, 2 additional scene mode programs
Picture effects HDR effects, High Key, High Contrast Monochrome, Miniature Effect, Monochrome, Retro, Selective Color, Toy Camera, Soft Focus, Watercolor, Auto Framing, Color Key, High Contrast Monochrome, High Key, Photo Creativity, 6 more image effects
White balance Auto, Cloudy, Sunny, White balance bracket, Fine tuning, Flash, Fluorescent lamp with 1 preset, Tungsten light, Manual
Continuous shooting 10 frames/s at highest resolution
Self-timer Self-timer with 2 s interval, special features: or 10 s (optional)
Recording functions Live histogram

Flashgun

Flash built-in flash (flip up
)Flash shoe: Sony Multi Interface, standard center contact
Flash range 1.0 to 10.2 m at wide-angle flash range
with ISO auto
Flash functions Auto, fill-flash, flash on, flash off, long flash sync, flash on second shutter curtain, red-eye reduction, master function

Equipment

Image stabilizer optical image stabilizer
Memory
Memory Stick (Duo Pro)
SD (SDHC, SDXC)
Microphone Stereo
Power supply unit Power supply connectionUSB charging function
Power supply 1 x Sony NP-FW50 (lithium-ion (Li-Ion), 7.2 V, 1,240 mAh
)350 images according to CIPA standard
Playback functions Red eye retouching, cropping, image rotation, image protection, highlight / shadow warning, playback histogram, playback magnifier, image index, slide show function with music, zoom out
Face recognition Face recognition, smile recognition
Image parameters Sharpness, contrast, color saturation
Grille can be faded in during recording yes
Special functions Electronic spirit level
Connections Data interfaces: USBUSB type
: USB 2.0 High SpeedWLAN
: availableNFC
: availableAudio output
: yes (3.5 mm jack (stereo, 3-pin))
Audio input: yes (3.5 mm jack (stereo, 3-pin))
Video output: yes (HDMI output Micro (Type D))
Supported direct printing methods PictBridge
Tripod thread 1/4″
Special features and miscellaneous (HD) SmartZoom digital zoom (magnification factor depends on resolution setting
)Eye-AFMultiframe noise reduction
at ISO 12,800 and 25,600Dynamic
Range Optimizer 1-6 EV in 1 EV incrementsDRObracketingBIONZ signal processing processorBIONZ signal processorShake warning indicatorPlayback zoomBuilt-instereo microphoneAudio level indicator

Size and weight

Weight 813 g (ready for operation)
Dimensions W x H x D 129 x 88 x 102 mm

Miscellaneous

standard accessory Sony AC-UD10 AC AdapterSony
NP-FW50 Special Battery Power SupplyUSB Connection CableStrapBeltCamera SoftwarePicture Motion Browser 4.2.02 for Windows (2000/Me/XP)
Camera Software Picture Package Music TransferSPVD-010
USB Device Driver for Windows and Macintosh
additional accessories Sony HVL-F20M attachable flash with swivel reflectorSony
HVL-F32M attachable flash with swivel reflectorSony
HVL-F43M attachable flash with swivel reflectorSony
HVL-F45RM attachable flash with swivel reflectorSony
HVL-F60M Flash with Swivel ReflectorSony
HVL-F60RM Flash with Swivel ReflectorSony
NP-FW50 Special Battery Removable Memory CardCamera BagCase

LCJ-RXCB

USB
USB 2.0 High Speed
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Peter Dench
I am Peter Dench. Digital Photographer, born in London 1972, currently living in Deerfield, near Chicago. I have numerous photography expositions and also working in model photography. In this website, PhotoPoint, I usually review cameras provided by local dealers in Illinois and by the manufacturers. Sometimes I, Peter Dench, review lenses too, but only when I have a suitable camera for them. Please let me know in the comments if I can improve any of these articles.