Camera – Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100

[Camera]

In my line of work which involves blogging on a regular basis, good photos are integral to my blog posts. I used to lug around a DSLR a couple of years back but it just got impractical as I would have to bring it around with me after events as I didn’t want to leave it in the car as cases of theft become more and more rampant.

Therefore after a couple of years I decided because I couldn’t take it anymore in the interest of practicality to sell off my DSLR and bought a prosumer camera to replace it. While this was definitely more portable and offered acceptable photo quality there were times when I wished that I had a pocket-sized compact camera that I could simply just put in my pocket or hook it to my belt. Compacts are definitely less obvious to thieves and more convenient to carry. However compacts available in the market simply didn’t have the photo quality that I needed so I stuck to my prosumer.

Last month I heard Sony managed to develop a Cyber-shot that had the capabilities of a prosumer but in the size of a compact so I jumped at the chance to attend the launch at ecoba in Damansara Perdana and get my paws on it. I was extremely lucky that MHB member Jennifer Foh was also free to attend the event with me and you will find out why I said so further down my post…

Shot this with my own camera while waiting to try out the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 test unit

Here’s a closer look at the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100. It has sleek dimensions of 101.6 x 58.1 x 35.9mm (WxHxD) and weighs approximately 240g with battery and memory card,

The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 offers a whole bunch of very impressive features. Here are some of the more outstanding features:

• 1.0-type (13.2 x 8.8mm) approximately 20.2 effective megapixel Exmor™ CMOS sensor and F1.8 Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T* 3.6x optical zoom lens for super crisp and bright photos even in low light

• Low-noise handheld shots in low light with high sensitivity up to ISO 25600 (for when you must take shots in really dark environments with no lighting ie. night landscape)

• Intuitive operation with Control Ring for creative photo shooting (you can set the ring to control different functions but my fav setting is for it to control the depth of field enabling you to produce DSLR ‘bokeh’ effects, with subjects in sharp focus against a smoothly-blurred background)

• Powerful features packaged into sleek, compact styling in an aluminium body, thanks to newly developed AA (Advanced Aspherical) lens

• Full HD movies with extremely low noise and full creative control

• Auto Portrait Framing, Creative Style and Picture Effect modes

Now let’s have a look at how this baby performs…

I believe Sony Malaysia choose ecoba for it’s dim and uneven lighting which puts the F1.8 lens to the test!

And the F1.8 lens performs flawlessly as seen in this photo. No flash at all. Another benefit of the lens is that I got to control the DOF and blurred out the background. I also love the colour reproduction!

This was shot on auto mode as I wanted to see whether it was intuitive enough. I was not disappointed!

Good thing I brought Miss Chinese Cosmos International 1st Runner Up, and Malaysia’s Hottest Bloggers member Jennifer Foh along with me to be my model! Used the control ring to adjust the DOF and used the lighting from the display case on the wall to highlight her face. No flash used. Being able to shoot such photos using a compact but incredibly powerful, versatile, and feature rich camera really demonstrates that some of the best things in life come in small packages! Power in your pocket clearly epitomized by the Cyber-shot™ RX100 .

Portrait mode – F1.8, shutter speed 1/30 sec, ISO-800 (same settings for the photo above)

Auto mode – F1.8, shutter speed 1/50 sec, ISE-3200

Jennifer loves being in front of the camera!

Portrait mode – F1.8, shutter speed 1/20 sec, ISO-800

Auto mode – F1.8, shutter speed 1/25 sec, ISO-800. I think the camera captured the lighting very well thanks to it’s 1.0-type Exmor CMOS sensor and ultra-bright Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T* lens

It comes with a pop-up flash while the screen is a bright, high contrast 7.5cm (3″) Xtra Fine LCD enabling you to see subtle details and tones. The screen has an extremely high 1229k dot resolution, and debuts the new WhiteMagic™ technology that uses white pixels in addition to RGB to boost screen brightness.

Product Specifications

Model DSC-RX100 digital still camera
Image Sensor 1.0 type (13.2 x 8.8mm) “Exmor” CMOS sensor, aspect ratio 3:2

(Effective resolution) Approx. 20.2 megapixels

(Gross resolution) Approx. 20.9 megapixels

Lens Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T*, with 7 elements in 6 groups (4 aspheric elements including AA lens); F1.8 (Wide) – 4.9 (Tele); focal length = 10.4-37.1mm; 35mm effective focal length (Still Image 3:2) = 28-100mm
Zoom range Optical: 3.6x; Clear Image Zoom 7.2x
Screen 7.5cm (3.0type) (4:3) / 1,229,000 dots / Xtra Fine / TruBlack / TFT LCD
Image stabilisation (Still image) Optical SteadyShot

(Movie) Optical SteadyShot Active Mode with electronic compensation (anti-rolling)

Focus modes Single-shot AF (AF-S) / Continuous AF (AF-C) / Direct Manual Focus (DMF) / Manual Focus
Focus area Multi point AF (25 points) / Centre weighted AF / Flexible spot / Flexible spot (tracking focus) / Flexible spot (face tracking) Digital Zoom: approx. 4x (still images / movies)
Sensitivity (still image) Auto(ISO125-6400, selectable with upper/lower limit), 125/200/400/800/1600/3200/6400 (Expandable to ISO 80/100) Multi Frame NR: Auto (ISO125-25600) equivalent, 200/400/800/1600/3200/

6400/12800/25600 equivalent

NB: ISO 12800 and higher settings are achieved through combining Multi Frame Noise Reduction and By Pixel Super Resolution technology.

Continuous shooting Speed Priority Continuous Mode: Approx.10 fps

Continuous mode: 2.5 fps (AF-S)

Shooting modes Superior Auto, Intelligent Auto, Program Auto (Program shift available), Shutter Priority, Aperture Priority, Manual, Scene Selection, Movie, Sweep shooting
Picture Effect modes Toy Camera, Pop Colour, Posterisation, Retro Photo, Soft High-key, Partial Colour, High Contrast Monochrome, Soft Focus, HDR Painting, Rich-tone Monochrome, Miniature, Watercolour, Illustration
Other Shooting functions Face Detection, Face Registration, Smile Shutter, Dual Rec, Grid Line, Digital Level Gauge (pitch and roll), MR (memory recall), Exposure Bracketing, White Balance Bracketing, Peaking, MF Assist, Auto Portrait Framing, Photo Creativity, Shooting Tips
Movie record AVCHD: 28M PS (1920×1080, 50p) / 24M FX (1920×1080, 50i ) / 17M FH (1920×1080, 50i)

MP4: 12M (1440×1080, 25 fps) / 3M VGA (640×480 25 fps)

Battery life (Still Image) Approx. 330 / Approx. 165 min. (CIPA standard)

(Movie) Approx. 80 min.( AVCHD, MP4, shooting in factory preset mode)

Dimensions (WxHxD) Approx. 101.6 x 58.1 x 35.9mm  (CIPA compliant)
Weight Approx. 213g (body only)

Approx. 240g (with battery and Memory Stick Duo)

Supplied accessories Rechargeable Battery Pack NP-BX1, AC Adaptor AC-UD10, Micro USB cable, Wrist Strap, Shoulder Strap Adaptor, Instruction Manual

Wishing I could take the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 home with me. Photo shot with my own camera.

Other notable features:

For those of you who like to edit your photos in the camera itself there’s a generous choice of artistic options to expand shooting possibilities for enthusiasts and novice photographers alike. You can fine tune your image with a choice of six Creative Styles to suit the scene or your personal preference. Picture Effect offers a bunch of ‘in camera’ effects that can be previewed on the LCD screen, including Toy Camera, Partial Colour, Pop Colour, HDR Painting, Miniature, Illustration, Watercolour and others which I suspect will be used mostly by the fairer sex as most guys I know aim to achieve the 4Cs of photography – content, composition, colour, and contrast (and some say crisp ie. focus as well but I regard that as a prerequisite for all photos).

The DSC-RX100, comes with a NP-BX1 Type X rechargeable battery that features a slim, energy-efficient design that allows up to 330 still shots or 80 mins AVCHD video shooting per charge. An accessory exclusively designed to match the camera, the LCJ-RXA is a stylish ‘jacket style’ carry case with a leather-look textured finish and supplied shoulder strap. Attaching securely to the camera, the case opens to allow easy shooting while protecting your camera when you’re on the move.

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Price – The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 is already on sale in Malaysia with a recommended retail price of RM2,499.00

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My conclusion?

This little baby utilises it’s multitude of features, big sensor and bright F1.8 lens for some really awesome pictures in a pocket-sized body. What a fantastic package. Definitely on my wish list!

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Remarks: Only minor editing (lighting, contrast, cropping) was done to the photos shot with the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100. Photos were then uploaded to Facebook and downloaded and included into this post. Standard operating procedure for all my blog posts to maintain the blog’s photo parameters so that I could see the difference between my existing camera and the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100.

More info at http://www.sony.com.my

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