When you first hear the $649 price tag for the Sony Cyber-shot RX100, $649 might seem over the top for a compact digicam. After all, for $649 you can get an entry level DSLR, or a neat interchangeable lens camera like the NEX-5N. But the Sony RX100 shouldn’t be confused with your average compact digital camera, instead this is a compact camera that is in league with an entry level DSLR, and even the NEX-7.
20.2 megapixels, large 1″ Exmor CMOS sensor, F1.8 Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T* lens with control ring, 3.6x zoom, P/A/S/M modes, JPEG and RAW image capture, Full HD 1080/60p video with manual control.
I own both a Sony NEX-5N and a NEX-7. Before being won over by the NEX series, I owned a myriad of Canon and Nikon DSLRs. With that said, I’m hardly a professional photographer, but I am someone who values getting the best photos possible out of my camera, without breaking my back – or my brains.
So why is the RX100 my latest favorite? I wouldn’t trade in the NEX-7 for the world, but while the NEX-7 is a lot smaller than your typical DSLR, it’s still got significant heft. That is where the RX100 comes in, it offers amazing picture quality and features, but in a compact and lightweight body. And yet despite its diminutive proportions, it doesn’t feel chintzy like so many compact cameras do, nor does it look like some teeny-bopper would be touting it around (our apologies to any teeny-boppers we may have just offended).
Gallery: Sample Photos Taken with the Sony RX100
So who is the Sony RX100 suitable for? This is the ultimate compact for a DSLR user with money to burn, for when they aren’t in the mood to lug around their hefty DSLR.
Who it’s not for? First of all, don’t mistake this for a serious DSLR replacement. If being able to switch out the lens is important to you, than obviously the RX100 will fall short. On the other hand, if you’re looking for a serious step up from a compact camera, and you are ready to take things to the next level – then go for the NEX-5N instead. For nearly the same price, the NEX-5N is best for the consumer who is moving up from a compact point and shoot, but is still learning, and doesn’t want a bulky DSLR.
With all of that being said, we’ll get right to the point. Whether you’re an amateur, or a pro, the RX100 doesn’t disappoint. You’re going to take seriously beautiful photos with this compact that would impress even professional photographers. The Sony Cyber-shot RX100 is available for $648 at Amazon.
The Good: Pretty much the best compact digicam ever (at least under $1k), Carl Zeiss optics, handsome retro-tastic design and great build-quality, excellent photo and video chops
The Bad: Pricey, battery life could be better, we had an “incident” where the humid weather created condensation in the lens and temporarily resulted in blurry photos, no interchangeable lens system