I must confess. I am not a fan of point and shoot cameras. I think they sacrifice image quality for the sake of a smaller size.
Coming off a Minolta X700 film SLR, the closest thing I have gotten to owning a point and shoot was the Panasonic LX3 back in 2009. The LX3 was a big disappointment particularly with its poor ISO handling. My interest in point and shoot cameras waned soon after.
There was a lot of buzz about the RX100 towards the end of 2012. The internet was full of praises for this rather expensive point and shoot. I would be lying if I said that I was not the wee bit curious about this camera. I had to see for myself what the fuss was all about.
The RX100 came neatly packed in a small square box. Inside we have the camera, battery, wrist strap, micro USB cable, AC adapter and user’s manual.
My first reaction after unboxing was “Where is the charger?” I then rifled through the user’s manual to check the packing list. No charger specified.
After quickly going through the manual, I was disappointed to find out that you charge the battery INSIDE the camera. Just plug in the micro USB cable into the camera and the other end into the AC adapter. There goes the possibility of charging a depleted battery while using a spare battery on the camera. Sure you can buy the Sony BC-TRX charger but that’s another USD50.
My disappointment soon turned into delight when I took the first shot. The image quality was amazing to say the least. Even on default settings, the photos were sharp and the colors were vibrant with surprising depth of field. Right there and then I knew that this was no ordinary point and shoot camera.
The RX100 is clad in sleek black metal with the distinctive Zeiss badge on the lower right side. The controls feel solid, the buttons when pressed provide an assuring tactile feedback. The 3-inch LCD panel is really sharp and bright even outdoors in the sun. All in all a very solidly built device.
What makes the RX100 stand out from the rest is it’s low light capabilities. Even at ISO3200, the images look very good with only a little bit of noise and minimal loss of detail.
Here are the specs/features at a glance:
– 20.2 effective megapixels (approx.) Exmor CMOS sensor for high-quality, high-precision images
– f/1.8 Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T* lens delivers refined defocus images
– BIONZ image processing engine and unified lens-body design
– Comfortable control ring manual operation
– 7.5cm (3″) Xtra Fine LCD with WhiteMagic™ technology
– 1080p Full-HD video recording with stereo audio
– Accepts SD and Memory Stick cards
– 330 shots per battery charge
The Sony RX100 is really a small camera with big features and excellent image quality that will rival entry level DSLRs. It is so good that it revived my faith in the point and shoot camera.
Bright and fast lens at f/1.8
Excellent image quality even in low light
Solid metal body
No external charger included