Tested: Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 Compact Camera

An advanced compact proves powerful, in spite of its size

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While most DSLRs can capture full 1080p video only at up to 30 frames per sec, the RX100, due to its adherence to the new AVCHD version 2 spec, captures 1080p video at up to 60 fps.
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We took Sony's new large-sensor compact, the RX100, out for a spin around the Big City and found its prospects of being a strong competitor in the pocketable "street machine" category quite promising. The one-inch 20.2MP sensor is obviously this little camera's biggest selling point, but one shouldn't gloss over the full-time manual controls, which we found to be both intuitive and snappy to click through, especially on the fly. At its widest, the RX100 is an equivalent of 28mm, perfect for shooting from the hip. There are a solid handful of images in this gallery shot in such a way. All of the photos that follow are completely unprocessed, other than a conversion to sRGB. Tech Specs: ISO 6400, 1/30 sec, f/10 (camera was balanced on a table).
Focal Length: 48mm equivalent
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Dan Bracaglia
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Despite mixed indoor lighting, the RX100 was able to keep the color tempurature in check on Auto White Balance mode. Tech Specs: ISO 1600, 1/100 sec, f/1.8
Focal Length: 28mm equivalent
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Dan Bracaglia
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This image was shot in bright mid-day sun on Aperture Priority mode. The RX100 seemed to do a good job exposing for both the highlights and shadows in the frame. Tech Specs: ISO 400, 1/2000 sec, f/1.8
Focal Length: 28mm equivalent
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Dan Bracaglia
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We're were impressed with both the close-focus capabilities of the RX100, as well as its shallow depth of field at f/1.8. Tech Specs: ISO 3200, 1/320 sec, f/1.8
Focal Length: 28mm equivalent
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Dan Bracaglia
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The RX100 seemed to hold its own at ISO 3200 in this mixed lighting situation Tech Specs: ISO 3200, 1/2000 sec, f/2.8
Focal Length: 28mm equivalent
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Dan Bracaglia
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Things certainly start to look a bit wonky on the left side of this image at the RX100's highest native ISO of 6400. Tech Specs: ISO 6400, 1/1250 sec, f/4.9
Focal Length: 100mm equivalent
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Dan Bracaglia
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I ended up shooting this image in Manual mode because in Aperture Priority mode this scene kept fooling the RX100 into underexposing. Tech Specs: ISO 6400, 1/400 sec, f/6.3
Focal Length: 70mm equivalent
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Dan Bracaglia
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Another high ISO, low-light image. Again the left side of the photo looks a bit wonky, especially viewed at 100%. Tech Specs: ISO 6400, 1/60 sec, f/2.5
Focal Length: 28mm equivalent
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Dan Bracaglia
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Tech Specs: ISO 100, 1/500 sec, f/2.8
Focal Length: 28mm equivalent
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Dan Bracaglia
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Street photographers take note: The 28mm equivalent lens and small profile of this camera make it great for shooting from the hip. Tech Specs: ISO 1600, 1/320 sec, f/5.6
Focal Length: 28mm equivalent
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Dan Bracaglia
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Tech Specs: ISO 1600, 1/200 sec, f/5.6
Focal Length: 58mm equivalent
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Dan Bracaglia
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While this image is a bit dark, especially in the construction worker's face, RAW capture on the RX100 means that the shadow detail is retained. Tech Specs: ISO 1600, 1/2000 sec, f/4
Focal Length: 28mm equivalent
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Dan Bracaglia
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Tech Specs: ISO 1600, 1/800 sec, f/4
Focal Length: 28mm equivalent
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Dan Bracaglia
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Tech Specs: ISO 800, 1/250 sec, f/2.8
Focal Length: 28mm equivalent
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Dan Bracaglia
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Another mixed-light photo. Again the colors look spot on. Tech Specs: ISO 1600, 1/400 sec, f/1.8
Focal Length: 28mm equivalent
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Dan Bracaglia
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The following three images are meant to display the full zoom range of the RX100. Tech Specs: ISO 125, 1/2000 sec, f/2.8
Focal Length: 28mm equivalent
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Dan Bracaglia
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Tech Specs: ISO 125, 1/2000 sec, f/3.2
Focal Length: 50mm equivalent
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Dan Bracaglia
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Even with its zoomed maxed out to a 100mm equivalent, the RX100 still sports a maximum aperture of f/4.9 and f/2.8 at 50mm. Tech Specs: ISO 125, 1/1000 sec, f/4.9
Focal Length: 100mm equivalent
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Dan Bracaglia