Sony’s RX100 has been getting a lot of attention recently and deservedly so. A pocket-sized camera with a sensor similar to that found in Nikon’s J1 and V1 cameras, not to mention a Carl Zeiss zoom lens that opens to F1.8 at the widest focal length. The images coming from the camera look amazing.
Of all the reviews I’ve read so far, Ming Thein’s is the most interesting, detailed and even-handed.
On the whole, two things left their mark on me during this review and while using the camera – firstly, I was constantly surprised by just how good the image quality was. I expected compact camera level, I was given constantly CSC-level, though not quite as good as the latest generation of M4/3 bodies like the OM-D. In many ways, it felt like an entry level DSLR crammed into a compact body. It’s incredibly fast and responsive, and shunts around large RAW files at 10fps without a hiccup. The lens is definitely an excellent performer, and a notch above the kit zooms; not to mention being faster at both ends and having a bit more reach. The second, less positive impression felt as though some useability had been sacrificed for size, usually unnecessarily – there’s no reason why we can’t have detents on the lens ring, an external charger, or even a printed manual (especially important given the complexity of the controls). There are ways to adjust things from both menu and shortcuts, but seemingly odd inflexibilities like the useless ‘?’ button and lack of an AF-point reset key (you have to move it back to the center with the D-pad). In some ways, the camera does feel like an experiment; which is surprising given the maturity of compact camera designs these days.
This image from his post was shot at ISO 3200, seriously impressive for a camera that can slip into your jeans pocket:
After finishing his review, I’m impressed by the camera but I’m still sticking with my (much larger) Fuji X-Pro1 for now. Next year will be interesting.