Summary: Camera design is all about compromise. Great pictures ideally need large sensors and fast lenses, but this usually means a heavier burden on your camera bag or wallet. Mirrorless cameras try to strike a middle ground by helping you capture DSLR-style images in a smaller, often less expensive package, but they're not truly portable. What about dedicated DSLR shooters who want something fun to throw in their pocket on the weekend?
Pros: Astonishing image quality for the size, Solid, pocketable design, Excellent interface
Cons: Unimpressive video performance and usability, Expensive
Excerpt: Saying you’ve found “the best point-and-shoot camera” is like saying you’ve got “the best kind of toe fungus.” It’s something hardly anybody wants. We’re all carrying around perfectly capable cameras on our smartphones, so if you’re going to recommend adding the bulk and expense of a compact camera without an interchangeable lens, it’d better be truly exemplary. This is the camera that turned me around: The Sony Cybershot RX100 , a $650 point-and-shoot.
Excerpt: The Sony Cyber-Shot DSC-RX100, at first sight, might look like just another point and shoot. But with a newly designed sensor that boasts a robust 20.2 million pixels the RX100 is out to prove it can makes its way to the top of the charts. Add to those stats a Carl Zeiss lens with superior auto focus capabilities, the only thing standing in the way is the $650 price tag.
Summary: For serious DSLR owners, a high-quality pocket-sized compact is often high on their wish list. We've seen some strong contenders in recent years, but nothing that offers quite the complete package that the Sony Cyber-shot RX100 provides. Its an almost perfect blend of size, performance and image quality, and is a camera that will allow you to leave your DSLR behind without fear of serious compromise.
Conclusion: The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 packs a relatively huge 1-inch image sensor into a point-and-shoot body, delivering close-to-SLR-quality images from a camera you can fit in your back pocket. It's expensive, but worth it.
Pros: Large image sensor. Superb image quality, even at high ISOs. Fast lens. Customizable controls. Large, extra-sharp LCD. Virtually no shutter lag. Raw shooting support.
Cons: As expensive as some D-SLRs. No EVF option, GPS, or Wi-Fi. Limited zoom range. In-camera battery charging only.
Conclusion: Shaking up the premium pocket camera market, the Sony Cyber-shot RX100 made quite an impact here at Imaging-Resource.com. Not only did it make a lot of big claims, the Sony RX100 actually lived up to most of them, packing an astonishing amount of imaging power into a small package. It couldn't possibly escape us that they were aiming squarely at Canon's successful S-series of pocket cameras in their design, but it also seemed like a wise move.
Pros: Smart controls in a compact body, Excellent implementation of Program Shift with front ring, Exposure preview as you make adjustments, Very high resolution, Bright f/1.8 maximum aperture for shallow depth of field and good night shooting, Very fast AF performance, Very good low-light AF capability (down to less than 1/16 foot-candle), Excellent high-ISO performance for such a compact model, Surprisingly good dynamic range, especially from raw files, Crazy-fast shutter...
Cons: Smart controls in a compact body, Excellent implementation of Program Shift with front ring, Exposure preview as you make adjustments, Very high resolution, Bright f/1.8 maximum aperture for shallow depth of field and good night shooting, Very fast AF performance, Very good low-light AF capability (down to less than 1/16 foot-candle), Excellent high-ISO performance for such a compact model, Surprisingly good dynamic range, especially from raw files, Crazy-fast shutter...
Summary: The Sony Cyber-shot RX100 is one of the most exciting compacts to appear for some time. Until now the Canon PowerShot S and Panasonic LX series have been the compacts of choice for enthusiast photographers looking for the elusive balance of quality and control in a pocketable format. But for all of their sophistication the PowerShot S and Lumix LX series use a 1/1.7in sensor - only marginally larger than the 1/2.3in sensor found in most consumer compacts.
Pros: Big sensor, pocketable compact form factor., Programmable lens control ring., 10fps full-resolution burst shooting., Shallow depth of field., Raft of stacking modes.
Cons: Rear control wheel not customisable., Digital zoom can't be disabled in movie mode., No built-in memory and lack of 'No card' warning.
Summary: There is much to like about the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100, not least the premium build quality and excellent handling, including the lens ring control, extensive menu and customisation options.
The camera is intuitive to use, and will please both those accustomed to a camera and those new to photography. The lack of a viewfinder need not be feared because the LCD screen is very bright and contrasty.