Sony’s RX100 MK II has become recognized by many as the best compact camera on the market. This is largely due to its powerful 1-Inch 20.2 MP Exmor R sensor. This sensor allows the camera to produce amazing shots, in a small body. The sensor also performs exceptionally well in low light conditions. Then, in an interesting move, Sony recently announced the RX10, which uses the same sensor found in the RX100 MK II, but this camera ups the ante by packing in a F2.8 28-200mm lens.
And despite sharing the same sensor with the RX100 MK II, the RX10 is hardly compact. Instead its body alone weighs 1lb. Furthermore, the magnesium alloy top and front casings make the RX10 feel super solid and very similar in look and feeling to a DSLR. However, this extra heft allows the camera to pack in a pretty sweet Zeiss Vario-Sonnar zoom lens. Just don’t let its looks fool you, because while the RX10 might resemble a DSLR, its lens is actually fixed.
We tested the RX10 around Nashville, Tennesse and like with the RX100 MK II, we came away impressed with the photo quality that this camera produces and its fast shots. We were also impressed with the great video it produces. This camera especially excels indoors, and in low light conditions. While so many cameras struggle in low lighting conditions, this is a camera that can handle concerts, and nightshots with aplomb. We also appreciated its fast auto focus, its 3 inch tiltable LCD display, and the inclusion of NFC and Wi-Fi
But we were left wondering about who this camera is for? More advanced prosumers and professionals would likely opt for the Sony A7 or A7r, while more mainstream consumers will likely gravitate to Sony’s popular NEX series. Both cameras from Sony also offer the flexibility of swapping out lenses.
At the end of the day, the RX10 really is a high-end do-it-all convenience camera. It’s designed for someone who wants great image quality, and capable zoom, but they simply don’t care about being able to swap out lenses. That might seem silly to some photographers, but we suspect that plenty of folks end up buying a NEX mirror-less camera or a DSLR with its kit lens, and that they never end up buying additional lenses. So when you put that kind of customer in to perspective, the market for the RX10 actually makes sense. All in all, the RX10 is for someone serious enough about photography to appreciate the convenience of having a great sensor, Carl Zeiss optics, and a decent amount of zoom, but all without much fuss, and without going too broke.
The Sony RX10 retails for $1299 and it will go on sale on December 1st.