729 of 757 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing little being(Update Aug-28)July 19, 2012
Z. Wu "Z. Wu" (Sunnyvale, CA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Sony DSC-RX100 20.2 MP Exmor CMOS Sensor Digital Camera with 3.6x Zoom (Electronics)
I have NEX-7 and E-M5, I want to write some comparison notes here.
RX100 is from Sony which have more similarity with NEX than E-M5, so this list is mostly compare the RX100 to the NEX-7, the NEX-7 have a wonderful hardware and bad implemented software really pi-ss me off.
On contrary, this RX100 is an almost excellent camera both in hardware and software.

1. Size of s100 with 1' sony sensor, the auto-focus is super fast and very accurate, much better than NEX-7, better than E-M5 with some lens but fail to match in the tele side.
2. It charges with USB, I can attach it to my car charger or remote battery for my mobile phone in emergency.
3. It unlike Olympus xz-1,Fujifilm x10, Panasonic lx5/lx7, Canon g1x, it has build-in lens cap, which makes it smaller and a LOT more convenient than those in real life shooting.
4. ISO can be as low as 80, compensate some margin for the 1/2000s shutter speed(E-M5's 200 base iso is a horrible decision from Olympus)
5. The software(operation system) is derived from Sony Alpha DSLR, unlike the NEX's bad UI implement from Sony P&S digital camera. It gives you 3 custom profiles, with their own iso range setting. different picture quality setting etc.
6. The face detection can be set on for ALL light metering and focus mode. this is a big evolution from NEX(which can only used with matrix metering and multi-focus).
7. 20m pixels is very good with pixel peeping or cropping, thanks to it's large sensor and quality lens, lots of details with base iso.
8. It still keep the Sony camera's features:
Sony's color profile. I really like this kind of realistic color rendering. Way better than Panasonic's wash-out plain dirty image and Olympus bluish white, more graduation than too much contrast Nikon, and less pink from Canon.
Portrait mode have more dynamic range boost.(good trick from NEX)
AF-illuminate light is useless.(turn it off immediately when you received your camera, good trick from NEX)
Alpha DSLR's multi frame noise reduction is great for iso 3200 and up
Manual focus with focus peaking and zoom-in
Lot's filter effects can be applied to video and photo, HDR, Pano, Hand held twilight mode, they are still there.
Exposure compensation and white balance you see on screen is identical to the actual shots.
9. leaf shutter is almost silent. lower latency compare to NEX-7, super fast, that can sync flash with 1/2000s
10. 10fps shutter stream with live view, this is a huge plus from NEX, and the buffer flush is very quick compare to NEX-7 with sandisk ush-i 45mb SD
11. almost no screen lag between shots-to-shots(after you turn off the quick review, another trick from NEX/Alpha)
12. dual dials control is very good, comparable to NEX-7 and E-M5(NEX-7's tri-dial is a totally hoax, most of the time, 2 of the dials are redundant with same function. )
13. lens is exceptional, f1.8 can be used but there maybe some halos in daylight, starts from f2.8 is razor sharp. Macro shoot is amazing(see my photos uploaded to the product gallery)
14. photo replay can be zoomed-in and then roll-over each photos to compare the zoomed parts. (NEX-7's tri-dial is useless here, all of them have the same function of roll-over to next photos)
15. lots of customization with buttons.better than NEX-5n and comparable to NEX-7
17. Video function is better than NEX-7, it have more control, and concave dedicate movie button, which in comparison, NEX-7 have a protrude button, can be easily pressed by accident and record unnecessary movie.(Shame on you! Sony, 8 months w/o firmware fix for this!)
18. Video active stabilization is effective, panning and zooming is butter smooth.
19. dedicate modal dial, with memory recall and movie mode. memory recall can set up to 3 memories for the most distinguish settings, such as 1 for portrait(low iso base range, med shutter speed, portrait color rending, face detection ), 2 for landscape (80 iso, vivid color rending, small aperture), 3 for in-door flash portrait. You can alway record video in any mode with press the movie button, but in dedicate movie mode, you can set to automatic or manual, or Av, Sv and filters for your fine tune of movie style.
20. flash can be set to bounce with your fingers, produce nice in-door photos. (good trick from NEX-7)
21. white magic rgbw screen is very good, more vivid and bright than NEX-7 outdoor.
22. battery is generally good in this category , I shoot 700 photos for half a day, So prepare 2 spare battery for a night and day shoot session.
23. Since Adobe released Lightroom 4.2 RC, Raw file can extract more details for high ISO setting, but jpeg out of camera is better than what I expected as well as the vignetting, distortion, purple fringe compensation.

1.front dial is smooth, the smooth dial is excellent for manual focus, but I prefer tick dial to adjust values.
2.modal dial is a little tighten to turn. dedicate on/off button for flash. it can only be triggered with menu option to use flash.
5.Lens zoom out/in speed is not very fast, if you drop the camera, it may not survive...
6. aperture decay fast compare to the focal length, hopefully it can provide 28-35mm with f2.8
7. no grip, even its small but you'd better have the wrist strap.
8. no external battery charger for spare battery.
9. no sd card buffering write indicator nor any sign of indication on screen.
10. photos and movies in separate replay menu, Sony's old problem though...
11. manual can only be downloaded from Sony support website. (No CD manual or Raw converter for a enthusiast camera? )

Things I really expected:
1. ND filter for landscape under bright sunlight.
2. Smart terminal from NEX, So I can hook up EVF or external flash, it's a bad dicision for a camera without articulate screen.
3. Trade some aperture range for a little extra on wide lens, such as 24mm f2
4. Filter thread
5. Wifi/GPS
6. Dedicate Flash on/off switch
7. Traditional focal range display battery provide precise battery level( % battery display like NEX)
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356 of 368 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars State of the art pocket cameraJuly 19, 2012
Michael McKee "mystic cowboy" (Port Townsend, WA United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Sony DSC-RX100 20.2 MP Exmor CMOS Sensor Digital Camera with 3.6x Zoom (Electronics)
I ordered this from B&H the morning it was announced. Having it for a day and about 500 photos, I'm glad I bought it. After some very late night prints, I'm thrilled. Bottom line: the photo quality is great.


Quick to focus and quick between shots
Excellent lens with decent zoom range
Good JPEGS and very good RAW files
Nice controls and the front adjustment ring helps
Well built
Excellent manual controls
The first pocket camera with good manual focus


Sony's menu's are a bit confusing
Somewhat limited battery life, though par for the category
No manual
Slow aperture at full zoom
No external batter charger

Make no mistake, this is as good as current technology allows for a pocketable camera. It's about the same sizes as my Canon S95. It has a similar design, but IMO looks classier. Sony has made good use of the 20 megapixels. Low ISO files are excellent and as good as recent generation DSLRs. The larger sensor does make a difference.

Is this worth the extra $200 over a S100 or LX7? That depends. If you print your photos larger than 11x14, the answer is an unqualified yes. Photos show more detail and better sharpness. If you mostly post your photos online, then the advantage lessens, especially if you shoot JPEG. What's the advantage of having 20 MP if your photo is displayed at 2 MP? Yes, the Canon and Panasonic cameras will output RAW files, but in practice, there is little advantage from doing so. You gain little if any dynamic range and all three cameras do a good job with white balance in most cases.

If you shoot RAW, the RX-100 is the first pocketable camera that gives you a real advantage with RAW. There is a noticeable difference in dynamic range. Use RAW and there's more highlight headroom and you can pull more details out of the shadows. The bad news here is that Sony's RAW converter program is a bear to use. When Adobe comes out with support for this camera in the next month or so.

Sony has copied Canon's front control ring, which is a great thing. It doesn't have the click stops that Canon's does. It has electronic clicks, which do nothing for me. Those can be turned off. Using the ring for exposure compensation, the lack of felt clicks is a negative. Using the ring for manual focus, it's a plus. Call it a draw. It's the manual focus feature that has me excited. Simply put, manual focus on other pocket point and shoots is marginal at best. With the focus peaking that Sony has included along with the front control ring, manual focus is precise and accurate.

Some of Sony's extra shooting modes are very useful. This carries over the handheld twilight, in-camera HDR and sweep panorama features that I learned to like in my NEX-5n. There are plenty of other options, that somebody will like. Those are the ones I like. Photos at 100-200 ISO are terrific, and good up to 800. Above that, image quality drops off quickly. Compared to my Canon S95, there's not that much difference in quality with JPEGS. Shooting RAW then working the files a bit in PHotoshop, I'd say the there's a good stop to stop and a half advantage to the RX-100 Did I mention that the lens is very good?

Is the camera worth $650? That's a tougher question. Sony sells more capable NEX cameras for $50 more and less. As light and compact as the NEX cameras are, they don't fit in a pocket. This camera will even fit in a shirt pocket, if you don't mind your shirt sagging. It's great for pants pockets or a jacket. While the camera has good manual controls it won't give the same versatility as a NEX or Micro 4/3 camera, let alone a DSLR, which you can get in the same price range. If you want to get serious about photography, I'd recommend getting one of those instead of the RX-100. Panasonic has announced the LX7 which has an insanely fast lens, that should make low light photos easier. Again, if I mostly posted photos online, I'd consider the less expensive but still very good alternatives to the Sony.

If you want the best current small camera, especially as a second camera then the RX-100 is as good as it gets.
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189 of 204 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The BEST compact camera I've had to dateJuly 22, 2012
MyKeyReviews (Hampshire, UK.) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Sony DSC-RX100 20.2 MP Exmor CMOS Sensor Digital Camera with 3.6x Zoom (Electronics)
As soon as I saw information released about this camera, I knew instantly I wanted to get my hands on it; it looked awesome and the specifications mentioned seemed incredibly impressive for a camera it's size, so when I finally got it(which of course made a big hole in my credit card), I was super excited to play around with the features and see what it could actually do and if it would live up to the expectations Sony had created about this camera.

First impressions were definitely positive, it looks remarkably suave and holding the camera itself I found it to be really comfortable even though it only has one grip which is located precisely for your thumb. I personally think they got a good balance between grip and style, because if they had added any more grip it would have ruined that nice sleek design it has, for example if you take a look at the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX20V, you will see it has a huge grip which whilst gives maximum grip it does overwhelm the side of the camera.

Included in the box are the following:
Camera | AC adapter | Battery pack | Micro USB cable | Wrist strap | Two shoulder strap adapters | Manual.

Things you NEED:
SDHC Card (You can choose a different brand/memory capacity, though do remember as this is a 20MP camera, files sizes average around 5MB if your using Jpeg in fine detail, or is around 20MB if using the RAW format (RAW image has a '.ARW' file extension)).

Camera Case (LCJ-RXA) | USB SDHC Card Reader | Spare Battery NP-BX1 | HDMI - Micro HDMI Cable | Anti-reflective Screen Protector

- - -

The main thing I love about this camera is it has modes which are great for people who don't have a lot of knowledge about cameras and just want to point and shoot whilst getting great results, and there are modes for those who know more about cameras and want to go more in-depth with the settings.

The modes which I personally think are great for those with limited camera knowledge, I would suggest using the mode dial located on top of the camera to choose one of the following:

1) Superior Auto; "This device beautifully shoots automatically while reducing blurring and noise".

My opinion: I've always had great results with this mode, on most occasions it takes the picture I want it to, though sometimes you may want select a mode in the scene setting to get a little bit extra.

- - -

2) Intelligent Auto; "Automatically identifies the scene's characteristics and shoots a photo".

My opinion: Pretty much the same scenario with the superior auto, it takes fantastic shots most of the time, though I haven't really noticed the difference between both of them, this may be because I haven't had the chance to test them in many varied locations.

- - -

3) Scene Selection; Here you can select different pre-setting modes to get the most out of certain scenarios:
- Portrait; "Emphasizes subject by blurring away background. Reproduces soft skin tone".
- Anti Motion Blur; "Reduces blur indoors with poor lighting or for telephoto shooting to obtain clear images".
- Sports Action; "Shoots fast motion at higher shutter speeds".
- Pet; "Shoots pets and other subjects in movement to reduce blur".
- Gourmet; "Shoots food to look delicious".
- Macro; "This mode is best suited for shooting close-ups of small subjects such as flowers and food in clear and sharp focus".
- Landscape; "Shoots the entire range of scenery in a sharp focus with vivid colours".
- Sunset; "Vividly expresses and dramatically captures the redness of dusk and dawn".
- Night Scene; "Shoots night scenes clearly. Recommend using tripod".
- Hand-held Twilight; "Suitable for shooting a night scene without using a tripod".
- Night Portrait; "Automatically fires the flash to illuminate foreground subjects and engages slow shutter to capture background night scenes".
- Fireworks; "Shoots beautiful fireworks without flash".
- High Sensitivity; "Reduces blur even without using flash".

You can select different scene modes by twisting the mode dial back and forth, twist the control ring(my favourite and the easiest way), or go to photo tab 5 which is located within the menu.

My opinion: You have such a good amount of different options to choose from. Not only does the camera explain the best situation to use such scenes, but also shows a picture to give you a better idea of what scene they should be used in.

I've had some great shots with the hand-held twilight setting, whilst I don't get perfect shots all the time, it has produced better results than all my previous cyber-shot cameras combined!

I also really like the portrait mode.

There is one option not on the list from previous models and that is the "Picture Effect" mode, this has been moved into the menu or can be selected via the function button (if selected), I would have preferred it to be in the scene selection, but that may be because I'm used to it being there.

- - -

4) Sweep shooting; "Creates a panoramic image while you move the camera left/right or up and down at a fixed speed".

You can adjust the settings by going into the menu on photo tab 1.

My opinion: This is one of my favourite features on the camera that produces truly amazing panoramic results.

- - -

5) Movie; Choose from the following movie modes:
- Program Auto; "Auto movie shooting where aperture and shutter speeds are automatic, and other features can be set as desired".
- Aperture Priority; "Adjusts aperture to change focus range and background defocus".
- Shutter Priority; "Manually adjusts speed to control how moving subjects are captured".
- Manual Exposure; "Adjusts aperture and shutter speed manually".

You do have the ability to duel record (take pictures whilst recording) however it's important to note that it's disabled whilst recording in AVCHD format '60p 28M(PS)', so if you do want to take full advantage of this feature, make sure your on '60i 24M(FX)', '60i 17M(FH)' or are recording through the MP4 format. When taking pictures whilst recording, you will NOT hear the shutter sound, instead you till see a message on the screen stating "captured", this is to ensure the shutter noise is not recorded.

Also note that you don't have to be in the movie mode to start recording, you can start recording on most modes/settings by clicking the record button as you would do normally.

My opinion: When recording in the best quality the output is phenomenal, the video is so smooth and it focuses on things very well. To be honest if it wasn't for the fact that my camcorder has so much more zoom than this camera, I would use this camera instead and scrap my camcorder!

- - -

For those who understand a bit more about camera settings, you will be pleased to have several modes available for you to use:

1) Program Auto; "Automatically sets aperture and shutter speed. Other settings can be set as desired".

2) Aperture Priority; "Adjusts aperture to change the range in focus and amount of background blur. Small value blurs front and back, large value makes even background in focus".

3) Shutter Priority; "Adjusts shutter speed manually for different effects of moving subjects. Faster speeds to appear stopped momentarily. Slower speed to capture traces of movement".

4) Manual Exposure; "Adjusts aperture and shutter speed manually".

5) Memory recall; This setting lets you go in-depth with pretty much every setting, you can save up to three profiles which you can quickly select for later usage. This will be a favourite for a lot of people so they don't have to manually set everything all over again.

My opinion: I wouldn't classify myself as someone who knows a lot about in-depth camera settings, but thanks to the camera guide which you can pop-up by clicking the "?" button, it's given me some really good simple yet detailed tips to get me started. I still think it will be awhile before I understand these settings fully, however I'm certain I will get there at some point, it just takes persistence.

- - -

The menu system is a lot different from the previous cyber-shot cameras I've owned, previously when you click "Menu", you get a quick menu system on the left hand side to where you can fiddle around with the settings quickly or choose to go into the proper settings menu, however with this camera it goes straight into one menu where you can browse everything. This for me is something I had to get used to as it is different, however they do have pictured tabs which make it easy to navigate.

Another feature which is new to me is the function button labelled "Fn", this button lets you navigate through 7 different options that can be changed to your liking via the menu system.
Quick options you can select are: Exposure Comp | Focus Mode | Autofocus Area | ISO | Drive Mode | Metering Mode | Flash Mode | Flash Comp | White Balance | DRO/Auto HDR | Creative Style | Picture Effect | Soft Skin Effect | Quality | Image Size | Smile/Face Detect | Aspect Ratio | Not Set.

On the front of the camera, there is a ridged ring called the "control ring", depending on what you select it to do, it can be used to quickly change the aperture or shutter levels, zoom or even navigate through different modes. Personally, I welcomed this new feature and have found it to be very helpful at times.

The flash is also really good, it pops out automatically when needed, however you will have to manually push it down when you're not going to use it as it's on a springy device.

- - -

*Helpful information:

When transferring files, if you're using the USB lead provided, make sure when it's connected you turn the camera on, otherwise it wont recognise the camera is connected.

Personally I would recommend getting an USB SDHC Card Reader, it's so much faster to navigate through files and delete the ones not needed, you can then copy and paste the desired photos onto your computer within seconds.

Pictures are located in the "DCIM" folder.

Videos can be found by going through folders; "PRIVATE" - "AVCHD" - "BDMV" - "STREAM".

One other important bit of information I need to share is for those wanting to use the RAW files this camera produces, you will need to download a special piece of software, just google "Image Data Converter Ver4.1 Download for DSC-RX100", and it should be one of the first results, you then get a choice to download it for Windows or Mac.

- - -

So far I've had nothing but good experiences with this camera, the size is decent, it's comfortable to hold and it performs very well. It produces photos with amazing depths of field without the need of using a background defocus mode, which can be found on previous models.

Another important factor is it's user friendly to both beginner and more experienced photographers.

For what this camera lacks in zoom, it makes up in picture quality and although it is available with a premium price tag, your not going to find another camera available of such size and cost that delivers such outstanding results, so for that reason I would highly recommend this camera.
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96 of 101 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The 2nd to last camera I will ever buyJuly 24, 2012
Ted Shafer (La Jolla, CA) - See all my reviews
Amazon Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Sony DSC-RX100 20.2 MP Exmor CMOS Sensor Digital Camera with 3.6x Zoom (Electronics)
I've been on a 12-year search to find the best pocketable digital camera. After getting an early Canon DSLR, and trading it in because it was too clunky, I've had a succession of better and better semi-pocketable cameras starting with the Olympus 3030, cycling through Olympus, Canon, Nikon and Sony and Panasonic cameras at the rate of about 1 a year (I find that after about 1 year or 10,000 pictures something tends to break) and finally ending with the excellent Panasonic GX1 mirrorless - which despite pancake lenses and my best efforts, didn't really fit in my pocket and thus didn't leave the house with me nearly as often as I hoped.

This is what I have been looking for:
* Sensor: I've come to the conclusion that above ~8MP, megapixels don't matter anymore - 99% of my pictures will only be seen on my ~2MP computer screen, so even with lots of cropping the extra megapixels in today's cameras are overkill. What is more important in the sensor is its size, which is critical to fast shutter speeds and low light photography
* Optics: I prefer wide angle and lens speed vs long zooms.
* Electronics: faster is better - faster focus, more clicks per second.
* Pocketable - I love my Panasonic LX5 and it is just about the max you can comfortably put in a pants pocket. The LX5 is an excellent camera in every way but the larger sensor size of the RX100 was too compelling to not upgrade.

The RX100 perfectly fits my above criteria and is really incredible - overall a great camera that somehow manages to cram a fast, wide-angle lens and a huge sensor into a tiny body.
No point in my reiterating what is on dozens of other blogs/reviews on the overall quality of the camera, suffice it to say that it is fast and responsive and takes great pictures of fast-moving kids even in low light conditions.

I see the blogs are divided about the in-camera charging, but I am a big fan - one less thing to carry (but the little flap to the USB port is really flimsy - see below). I already carry identical USB chargers and cables for my Blackberry so I don't need to carry anything extra for the camera. So the entire camera and accessories (zero) still easily fits in my pocket.

I can't give this camera 5 stars however: the build quality is shockingly bad on the USB door, the battery/SD card door, and the really flimsy flash unit. I constantly feel like unless I am really careful, I am going to break off something. Really unacceptable for a $650 camera.

2 other problems that smashed together have a perfect solution: no grip makes this little thing hard to hold, and the battery life is mediocre.
Why not add a grip and cram a much bigger battery inside it? Something the size of the 3rd party Richard Franiec grip (I have on order) would be perfect - enough to hold onto, but not so much that it extends further out than the lens.

For my next, hopefully last, camera I'd like something similar to the RX100 but modified as follows:
* Wider angle (24mm maybe). 100mm is fine for the long end but I could compromise there to get wider at the short end
* F1.8 or even faster at the short end, with less drop-off at the long
* Equal or larger sensor
* Note: I could accept a larger camera to get the above lens and sensor specs - as much as 15% larger in every dimension would still let the camera (just) fit in my pocket
* Better build quality
* Grip + large battery

PS another tip for pocketability is the excellent GorillaPod Micro 250 tripod, which I have permanently attached to my camera. Using this, your entire camera kit including all accessories still fits in your pocket.

UPDATE: The included manual is pathetic. There is a useful website, but it is interactive, you can't print it out. Some helpful users have made a PDF of it and posted in the comments.
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85 of 89 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The first pocket camera that feels like a "real" cameraAugust 1, 2012
Nathan D Jedinak (Columbus, OH United States) - See all my reviews
Amazon Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Sony DSC-RX100 20.2 MP Exmor CMOS Sensor Digital Camera with 3.6x Zoom (Electronics)
Hype surrounding the new Sony RX100 has been immense, with one famous reviewer commenting that the RX100 is the "best pocket camera ever." As a longtime film and digital SLR and rangefinder shooter, I have pretty high expectations, and pocket cameras have never really met those expectations; but I persist in keeping them around because I can't put a rangefinder in my pocket, and having one on the shelf at home obviously limits opportunities to ply the craft.

Bolstered by last year's surprisingly good HX9V, I took the leap of faith and purchased the RX100. I've shot about 750 frames with the RX100, and I'm absolutely blown away by how much I enjoy it. This is serious image quality, folks. Outdoors, in good light, the RX100 captures MORE detail than my Fuji X-Pro 1, with good dynamic range and excellent color. The fuji has an edge as light levels decrease, but honestly--the RX100 is as good as the best 400 speed films of today, and I've shot those all over the world, in all sorts of light. With the bright f1.8 lens and image stabilization the RX100 could take you all over the world and reward you with excellent quality. Additionally, the Carl Zeiss lens renders in a unique, characterful way--I'd take it over any DSLR kit lens made. It's that good.

Autofocus is BLAZING fast, tremendously accurate, and totally reliable. Face detection isn't quite as fast as I've seen (the HX9V was quicker to acquire a face) but the AF will lock on to your target quickly enough even without "detecting the face" that it's rarely a problem. This camera easily keeps up with my highly active 4 year old, and that's an impressive feat. The user interface is customizable enough that I can put the creative controls I desire at my fingertips, and although Sony's still feel a little like computers to me vs. traditional cameras, it's all very useable for a traditional photographer, and you can work your traditional exposure magic without feeling like the camera is fighting you every step of the way.

Negatives? Well, that lovely lens is only really fast at 28mm, quickly dropping to f2.8 max aperture by 35mm, and dropping from there to a pretty slow f4 at 70mm f4.9 at 100mm. I'd also really like some sort of front grip on the camera, as the smooth finish looks sleek, but isn't very easy to hold. It would be nice if Sony allowed the choice to use less-aggressive noise reduction; at a pixel level, there's some heavy processing going on, and it's quite noticeable. You won't see this unless you print huge prints at high ISOs, though, and if you prefer this camera does shoot RAW so you have the option of processing yourself.

Should you buy this camera? Yes--the initial reviews weren't just hype. It's so good it has me thinking "why have anything else?" It really is that good. It won't do everything (super wide angle or super telephoto), but if I'm honest with myself, the 28-100mm range is a real sweet spot for travel, art, documentary, and family photography, and the photos I've made with the RX100 are completely and totally rewarding.
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70 of 73 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Camera careful with the flash unit....July 20, 2012
This review is from: Sony DSC-RX100 20.2 MP Exmor CMOS Sensor Digital Camera with 3.6x Zoom (Electronics)
Having had a multitude of digital cameras over the years from SLR to pocket sized point and shoot this is the best I've encountered. No doubt it will be a big seller. I bought it purely based on Pogue's review in the NY Times.

I ordered it directly from the SONY site because I wanted it for a business trip immediately.

So far very impressed with all the features, the user dials and interface are not confusing, the manual is built into the camera for easy reference, and there are plenty of helpful shooting guides to remind you of what to do under different shooting situations.

This camera's BIG shortcoming is in the delicate flash that pops up under low light conditions. Any casual observer will see that the likelihood of the flash having issues with use is very high. That very thought went through my head upon opening the packaging... In an era of high risk with consumer product launches, it's hard to believe that there wasn't a discussion on the design team about how the camera would be carried (pocket sized!) or with a delicate moving part having issues under even nominally normal conditions (meaning not encased in bubble wrap at all times).....

Went to my business meeting, took some great photos under low light conditions, packed the camera in my luggage as I would any pocket camera, upon unpacking guess what.....the flash had popped up in my luggage and was damaged and would no longer close or open.

I called Sony and without any hassle are exchanging the camera (2 weeks of use!).....but even if you treat this like a precious jewel, the odds are 12-18 months from now you'll see many RX100 owners walking around with flashes they manually open and close.....
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79 of 84 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pocket PowerhouseJuly 31, 2012
Amazon Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Sony DSC-RX100 20.2 MP Exmor CMOS Sensor Digital Camera with 3.6x Zoom (Electronics)
Finally a pocketable camera worthy of being called a DSLR companion. What's surprising is that it's from Sony, essentially their first attempt at high-end compact segment, and they got most things right.

I'm a Nikon D700 user spoiled by its speed, accuracy, and clean full frame sensor output with f2.8 zooms. Always been searching for that take-anywhere camera that fits in my pocket yet able to capture good images.

After owning S90, LX5, XZ1, and S100, search continued. Problem with all small cameras is their speed. It's slow. Slow focus, shutter lag, shot to shot time, and buffer causes missed shots, blurry shots. Another problem with compacts is that images look flat, due to small sensor and large depth of field. Faster lens help, but only so much. After a while I just started using my smartphone to take pictures because it was faster, and left the compact at home.

RX100 is a game-changer in that sensor 3 to 4 times the size of competitor is stuffed inside a body that's only slightly thicker than Canon S90/95/100. Combined with larger aperture on wide-end, captured images have 3 dimensional look characterized by larger sensors. It's also much faster. Focus and shutter lag is DSLR level, and overall operation is quick.

Other features I really like about the RX100:
* Function button allows quick adjustment of common settings
* Lens ring control dial
* Tiltable flash
* Full manual controls during video
* No annoying lens cap
Only thing that I wish it had was lens starting at 24mm and faster aperture on long end, but I understand that size is more important, so I'm ok with 28mm and slower aperture when zoomed. Do not care for viewfinder, tilting screen, or hotshoe, those only add to bulk and complexity, negating the whole purpose of camera like this.

With the RX100, most of lower end mirrorless cameras with kit zoom lens such as Nikon J1, Panasonic GF3 and GX1, Olympus PEN, Sony NEX3 or even 5, are relegated useless. RX100 is just as quick, produces images and video that are just as, or even better than any of them, and most of all, it's way smaller, truly pocketable. When you compare the RX100 to these cameras, it's not overpriced, and in fact, offers value.

Note: Don't cheap out and buy slow memory cards, at minimum class 10 or 200x or faster, get the fastest you can afford to support the speed of the camera. Personally I went with the Sandisk Extreme series with up to 45MB/s read/write speeds.
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125 of 141 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Best compact camera ever, but...December 12, 2012
Momojojo (Santa Clara, CA United States) - See all my reviews
Amazon Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Sony DSC-RX100 20.2 MP Exmor CMOS Sensor Digital Camera with 3.6x Zoom (Electronics)
I sold my NEX-5N 3 month ago after hearing rumors and seeing per-production photos of NEX6. I loved the NEX5N output but hated the menu system and lack of physical controls, the 6 appeared to be my holy grail. Anyhow, in the meantime I wanted a compact none interchangeable lens camera to fill my camera needs. I gave the RX100 a shot after all the rave reviews. After using it for 2 month here is my opinion:

1. Image quality is the best out of all compact cameras I've used in recent years. Recent compacts I've used: Panasonic LX5, Olympus XZ1, Canon S100, Sony HX9V.
2. Image quality is almost on par with micro43 + kit lens and very close to the NEX5N jpg output. Recent m43 I've used: OMD e-M5, EP3 and GX1.
3. Focus speed - almost no shutter lag or focus hunting unlike compact P&S. The overall speed is on par with mirrorless cameras.

So what didn't I like?

1. Image stabilization doesn't work well under indoor light which result in slightly blurred photos. The flash also takes roughly 3-4 seconds to recharge which is a bit frustration for me when taking bounced flash indoor photos of a people in slight motion. Without flash any slight moving of the model or your hands will cause blurry photo. I felt compact camera were a lot more responsive taking indoor flash photos than the RX100.

2. The size - it is really compact considering the image quality it packs, but it is a tad too big to fit in a jean pocket comfortably. It does fit, but extremely snug and will require some effort to dig out. I'm always afraid of accidentally hitting the power button causing the lens to extend and break in my pocket. So the camera is pocket-able but I wouldn't recommend putting it in your pants pocket (i put it in my pants because I don't carry any bags/man-purse when I go out). You can also put it in your jacket, but it's weight will make your jacket slant to one side. To safely carry this camera you will probably put it on a neck strap or put it in a bag of some sort, so technically portability is no longer in it favor when compared to other mirrorless solutions in this price range that provide better image quality that are only slight bigger in size/weight.

3. Form factor - the camera is built like a compact point and shoot, and I feel like I'm shooting with one. I don't know how to explain it but psychologically i put a lot more thoughts in composing my shots using a mirrorless IL form factor compared to point and shoot. I find the photo I took with RX100 to be more casual and less interesting than the ones I took with a mirrorless. I guess I was more careless and didn't enjoy shooting with RX100 as much as a mirrorless.

So, all in all, once you used this camera you will never be able to accept the photos quality and speed of a compact point and shoot again. It is a great step up from a P&S if you have the $ to spare. As a secondary camera to your mirrorless or DSLR this is a great compact choice. However, at this price range I would not recommend this as a primary camera as there are a lot of options that offer more flexibility and better image quality.
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The BEST yet !!!August 6, 2012
This review is from: Sony DSC-RX100 20.2 MP Exmor CMOS Sensor Digital Camera with 3.6x Zoom (Electronics)
I've had this camera for a few weeks now and it has become my go-to camera, even though I have three DSLRs, four video cameras, and a bunch of lenses. Why? The answer is simple. It takes great photos and video, has every kind of manual setting you can think of, in both photo and video mode (except maybe audio level in video), a fast 1.8 carl zeiss lens (and not just any zeiss lens, it's a sonnar with a t* coating), and is pocketable. For most pics and video the quality might be marginally better but not really noticeable, so why lug around my large DSLR and lens combo? After reading other reviews here are some quick points about this camera:

PRICE - look, a Carl Zeiss vario-sonnar t* with a maximum aperture of 1.8 would cost more than the entire price of this camera, so no it is not over-priced.

DOCUMENTATION - yes, it should come with a manual or CD but if you're in the market for a camera like this you must know something about photography so using it for a couple of days should make you familiar with all the features

RAW - support is coming, so no worries here

CANON EOS-M - oh wait, it's coming soon so should I wait? Probably not. The reason: It will be thicker with the pancake lens on it, so not great in the pocket. The Canon pancake lens is not close to the quality of the Zeiss Sonnar t* but the sensor (APS-C) is a lot larger on the canon and will make up for the diminished quality. Can't zoom with the pancake. If you want to zoom you have to buy an adapter to use other Canon lenses or buy the one they made for this camera which is about $300, oh btw that makes the cost of the camera over $1,000 and no way can you then put in your pocket, might as well use your DSLR right?

One final thing. No one is really talking about the snapshot mode during video, whereby you press the shutter while recording video and it records a photo. Well, when I purchased the camera, Sony promo said that you can take 17mp stills during video. Yes, you can but at much lower quality. I should have realized that basically the camera is just doing a capture (freezing a moment of the video). So I was a little disappointed with this feature, however in average light the stills are pretty good, unless you super magnify them. They look great when printed 4x6 and very good on a big screen TV. It's a neat feature if you're having a family event and want both stills and video and have just one person to do it. Most camcorders and some cameras (including most Sony compacts) have this feature but the quality of the stills is usually not good so it's almost a useless feature on those other cameras.

Bottom line - Great Quality Photos and Videos, Full Manual and Auto Controls, Super Versatility, a feature set a pro would be proud of but a novice could use.
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stunning photosOctober 24, 2012
Amazon Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Sony DSC-RX100 20.2 MP Exmor CMOS Sensor Digital Camera with 3.6x Zoom (Electronics)
I've had this camera since mid-August. I would estimate I have taken several thousand photos with it. I gave it 5 stars when I first started using it. I give it 5 stars today. I've had more fun with this camera, and captured a higher percentage of great shots, than with any camera I've ever owned.

Just to establish my bona fides, I'll tell you that I have been an avid photographer for 40 years. I have considerable experience with fine cameras and good photography.I still use professional-grade Nikon film cameras, Canon DSLRs, and Mamiya medium format cameras. I also have used a number of higher quality Canon and Panasonic pocket digitals.

The Sony RX100 EASILY blows away any pocket camera I've ever used, and in some cases it outperforms even my best 'professional' equipment.

It's embarrassing to admit that most of my best photos from the past two months were shot, not with my digital DSLRs, but with my Sony RX100. How come? You've heard "the best camera is the one you have with you." The RX100 is the first camera that's so good, and so small, that I take it with me almost everywhere I go. I'm capturing more great images than ever because I finally have a near-professional quality camera with me nearly all the time.

Make no mistake, this is a complex camera with a bewildering array of features. While it captures great images on full automatic, it will deliver its best results in the hands of advanced enthusiasts who understand, say, the relationship between aperture and shutter speed. The RX100's advanced capabilities will largely be wasted on duffers who never take their cameras off automatic. But if you are an experienced photographer, believe me: this camera will dazzle you with what it can do.

The Sony RX100 is not a replacement for a DSLR in the hands of a highly skilled professional or advanced amateur. But if you're like me, you may find it's the first GREAT camera you can actually USE to shoot great pictures you would have missed because you didn't want to bother with taking a 'real' camera with you.
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