Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 review

Wednesday, September 05, 2012

Camera Review
Introduction | Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 Sensor Performance | Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 versus competition | Conclusion
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100

With an overall DxOMark Score of 66, the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 comes in at 54th place among all cameras tested on DxOMark, and takes first place among conventional digital compacts equipped with a zoom lens. Only the Fujifilm X100 with its APS-C sensor does better.

With a DxOMark Portrait Score of 22.6 bits, the RX100 places 54th in terms of color depth among all cameras tested, and likewise is at the head of the pack of all conventional compacts tested (beaten only by the Fujifilm X100).

With a DxOMark Landscape score of 12.4EV, the 1" CMOS sensor offers a high dynamic range for a digital compact. It ranks 32nd in the standings, tied with the APS-C sensor of the X100, and even surpasses several older-generation full-format reflexes such as the Nikon D700 and D3, and the Sony Alpha 850. By way of comparison, the Canon EOS 5D Mark II measured 11.9EV.

Low-light sensitivity: no miracles here with this 1-inch sensor, large and small at the same time, that fits in between the 1/1.7-inch sensors of the usual expert compacts and APS-C or 4:3 sensors of the hybrids and entry-level reflex cameras. Achieving 390 ISO and ranked 137th for this criterion, the Sony RX100 remains the most sensitive of the small-sized expert compact digital cameras, second only to the very bulky Canon Powershot G1 X. The RX100 gains 1 stop with respect to the scores for the more conventional compact sensors, a gain directly tied to the sensor surface area.

The strengths of the Sony RX100 sensor

  • The best color depth of all expert compacts with a zoom lens
  • The largest dynamic range of all expert compacts with a zoom lens
  • Significant progress relative to the 2011-generation 1-inch Nikon 1 sensors
  • Sensitivity equivalent to the Nikon 1 despite 8 additional megapixels on the same sensor

The weakness of the Sony RX100 sensor

  • A slight retreat in sensitivity with respect to micro 4:3 hybrid compacts and the Canon Powershot G1 X because of a smaller sensitive surface area.