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Customer Review

1,064 of 1,114 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing little being(Update Aug-28), July 19, 2012
By 
This review is from: Sony DSC-RX100/B 20.2 MP Exmor CMOS Sensor Digital Camera with 3.6x Zoom (Electronics)
I have NEX-7 and E-M5, I want to write some comparison notes here.
RX100 is from Sony which have more similarity with NEX than E-M5, so this list is mostly compare the RX100 to the NEX-7, the NEX-7 have a wonderful hardware and bad implemented software really pi-ss me off.
On contrary, this RX100 is an almost excellent camera both in hardware and software.

Pros:
1. Size of s100 with 1' sony sensor, the auto-focus is super fast and very accurate, much better than NEX-7, better than E-M5 with some lens but fail to match in the tele side.
2. It charges with USB, I can attach it to my car charger or remote battery for my mobile phone in emergency.
3. It unlike Olympus xz-1,Fujifilm x10, Panasonic lx5/lx7, Canon g1x, it has build-in lens cap, which makes it smaller and a LOT more convenient than those in real life shooting.
4. ISO can be as low as 80, compensate some margin for the 1/2000s shutter speed(E-M5's 200 base iso is a horrible decision from Olympus)
5. The software(operation system) is derived from Sony Alpha DSLR, unlike the NEX's bad UI implement from Sony P&S digital camera. It gives you 3 custom profiles, with their own iso range setting. different picture quality setting etc.
6. The face detection can be set on for ALL light metering and focus mode. this is a big evolution from NEX(which can only used with matrix metering and multi-focus).
7. 20m pixels is very good with pixel peeping or cropping, thanks to it's large sensor and quality lens, lots of details with base iso.
8. It still keep the Sony camera's features:
Sony's color profile. I really like this kind of realistic color rendering. Way better than Panasonic's wash-out plain dirty image and Olympus bluish white, more graduation than too much contrast Nikon, and less pink from Canon.
Portrait mode have more dynamic range boost.(good trick from NEX)
AF-illuminate light is useless.(turn it off immediately when you received your camera, good trick from NEX)
Alpha DSLR's multi frame noise reduction is great for iso 3200 and up
Manual focus with focus peaking and zoom-in
Lot's filter effects can be applied to video and photo, HDR, Pano, Hand held twilight mode, they are still there.
Exposure compensation and white balance you see on screen is identical to the actual shots.
9. leaf shutter is almost silent. lower latency compare to NEX-7, super fast, that can sync flash with 1/2000s
10. 10fps shutter stream with live view, this is a huge plus from NEX, and the buffer flush is very quick compare to NEX-7 with sandisk ush-i 45mb SD
11. almost no screen lag between shots-to-shots(after you turn off the quick review, another trick from NEX/Alpha)
12. dual dials control is very good, comparable to NEX-7 and E-M5(NEX-7's tri-dial is a totally hoax, most of the time, 2 of the dials are redundant with same function. )
13. lens is exceptional, f1.8 can be used but there maybe some halos in daylight, starts from f2.8 is razor sharp. Macro shoot is amazing(see my photos uploaded to the product gallery)
14. photo replay can be zoomed-in and then roll-over each photos to compare the zoomed parts. (NEX-7's tri-dial is useless here, all of them have the same function of roll-over to next photos)
15. lots of customization with buttons.better than NEX-5n and comparable to NEX-7
17. Video function is better than NEX-7, it have more control, and concave dedicate movie button, which in comparison, NEX-7 have a protrude button, can be easily pressed by accident and record unnecessary movie.(Shame on you! Sony, 8 months w/o firmware fix for this!)
18. Video active stabilization is effective, panning and zooming is butter smooth.
19. dedicate modal dial, with memory recall and movie mode. memory recall can set up to 3 memories for the most distinguish settings, such as 1 for portrait(low iso base range, med shutter speed, portrait color rending, face detection ), 2 for landscape (80 iso, vivid color rending, small aperture), 3 for in-door flash portrait. You can alway record video in any mode with press the movie button, but in dedicate movie mode, you can set to automatic or manual, or Av, Sv and filters for your fine tune of movie style.
20. flash can be set to bounce with your fingers, produce nice in-door photos. (good trick from NEX-7)
21. white magic rgbw screen is very good, more vivid and bright than NEX-7 outdoor.
22. battery is generally good in this category , I shoot 700 photos for half a day, So prepare 2 spare battery for a night and day shoot session.
23. Since Adobe released Lightroom 4.2 RC, Raw file can extract more details for high ISO setting, but jpeg out of camera is better than what I expected as well as the vignetting, distortion, purple fringe compensation.

Cons:
1.front dial is smooth, the smooth dial is excellent for manual focus, but I prefer tick dial to adjust values.
2.modal dial is a little tighten to turn.
4.no dedicate on/off button for flash. it can only be triggered with menu option to use flash.
5.Lens zoom out/in speed is not very fast, if you drop the camera, it may not survive...
6. aperture decay fast compare to the focal length, hopefully it can provide 28-35mm with f2.8
7. no grip, even its small but you'd better have the wrist strap.
8. no external battery charger for spare battery.
9. no sd card buffering write indicator nor any sign of indication on screen.
10. photos and movies in separate replay menu, Sony's old problem though...
11. manual can only be downloaded from Sony support website. (No CD manual or Raw converter for a enthusiast camera? )

Things I really expected:
1. ND filter for landscape under bright sunlight.
2. Smart terminal from NEX, So I can hook up EVF or external flash, it's a bad dicision for a camera without articulate screen.
3. Trade some aperture range for a little extra on wide lens, such as 24mm f2
4. Filter thread
5. Wifi/GPS
6. Dedicate Flash on/off switch
7. Traditional focal range display
8.info battery provide precise battery level( % battery display like NEX)
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Comments

Tracked by 10 customers

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Showing 1-10 of 70 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jul 19, 2012 11:57:51 PM PDT
loph says:
I have the camera and was about to wright my own review,then I read yours...you said all what I wanted to say.Saved me the time o write one.
Agree 100%.
Thank you.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 20, 2012 12:14:47 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jul 23, 2012 1:00:02 AM PDT
Z. Wu says:
Thanks for your reply, I want to share more photos, sadly, amazon won't let me link to flickr.
This little gem have lot's of potential, really like Sony to be the game changer for enthusiast camera market.
here is my rx100 photos on flickr:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/30580799@N04/sets/72157630582786654/

Posted on Jul 22, 2012 1:52:49 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jul 25, 2012 7:03:08 PM PDT
I read the manual and it talked about noise reduction, but not multi-frame noise reduction. I love the multi-frame noise reduction (MFNR) on the A77, which is very effective (as long as you're shooting a static scene). Does the RX100 really have multi-frame NR? I thought you indicated that this model did, but I wasn't sure. The manual is not specific about the noise reduction modes. If it has MFNR (which allows you to back off ISO), it probably does have the handheld twilight (which doesn't allow ISO adjustment and is designed for more automatic operation). If the RX100 does have MFNR, I'm concerned that there's no way to turn it on/off without going into a menu. Maybe you can do it with a custom preset. You said there can be three of those, but the manual doesn't mention that there are three. I have three questions: (1) Are you sure it has MFNR? (2) Does it really have 3 presets? (3) What kind of noise do you see at ISO above 400 when you look closely in the shadows? Thanks for the review. You've done a far better job than Sony at covering the camera's features. I hope you can answer my questions. I thought it was interesting that the only way to figure out the zoom limits was to read the manual. I guess they don't want to talk about 28-100, given the typical numbers for compacts these days. 28-100 is a good, practical zoom range. 28 is marginal for me, but 100 is perfect for portraits and good enough for my typical applications.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 22, 2012 5:27:36 PM PDT
Z. Wu says:
1) Yes, same as A77
2) Yes, same as A77
3) According to my NEX-7 experience, I don't think the 20mega pixels is a disadvantage for using Lightroom noise reduction tool, although we can not compare it to Fullframe camera noise capability.This sensor's noisy pattern is very Sony's like, with high dynamic range and color depth. you can find more about it in imaging-resource review and samples.
Personally, a 24mm wide angle with f1.8 on this size of camera will result in a lens like Olympus 12-50mm or more. I'd rather sacrifice the extra width to a pocketable size, For serious portraits and landscape, I choose dedicate lens and cameras. This one is more focus as a walking around camera with great image quality.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 22, 2012 5:28:21 PM PDT
[Deleted by the author on Jul 22, 2012 7:16:47 PM PDT]

Posted on Jul 22, 2012 6:52:42 PM PDT
T. Marshall says:
I downloaded a RAW image converter from the Sony website at URL http://support.d-imaging.sony.co.jp/imsoft/Win/idc/us.html
They have made one available for the Mac, too.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 22, 2012 7:16:21 PM PDT
Z. Wu says:
Thanks! I used this Sony Raw converter before, it can bring more adjustment over Raw, but does not fit my work flow. I think adobe Lightroom will release a update for this in short time.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 23, 2012 5:18:45 PM PDT
Thanks a million. I guess you can't look at a RAW file yet, but when you can, set the camera on ISO 800, take a shot, blow up the RAW file on the computer, and look in the shadows. Ask yourself whether the noise level is bad enough that you can't get real benefit from the pixel resolution at that ISO. BTW, I use Lightroom too, but I tend to work more in Photshop. I use Noise Ninja and NeatImage, which are plug-ins.

I just got back from continuous picture taking with the A77 in the Eastern Mediterranean. Sometimes I was on my own and sometimes on tours. I generally had to leave my tripod in my room. The MFNR feature was a lifesaver. Of course, it doesn't work for moving objects, but neither does a tripod. I got superb results from it. The fact that the RX100 has it just might be enough to push me to buy. On the A77, my presets were for auto HDR, MFNR, and tripod. For each preset, I tuned all variables for typical situations in which you'd expect to use those settings. When I was indoors, I was constantly popping in and out of MFNR using the preset. Outdoors, I was going in and out of auto HDR, set for 3dB swing. It was extremely effective. Having a compact that can do that is a very big deal to me. BTW, MFNR helps reduce noise in long-exposure, tripod shots as well. There's no downside. It's all good, to coin a phrase.

My current compact is a Lumix, which does a very good job for a compact and gives me full control. But the RX100 camera would take compact performance to a whole new level in terms of quality with the added advantages mentioned above plus the ability to shoot RAW simultaneously with jpeg. The only drawback is zoom range. My first really nice compact was a Sony DSC 100. It was that camera and Zeiss that led me to the Sony DSLRs. I'd been a Nikon/Hasselblad film-camera person.

One last question: have you figured out whether you can buy an external battery charger for it? That'd be hard to live without for the long haul.

Thanks again! You've done a great service for a lot of us.

Posted on Jul 24, 2012 4:40:08 PM PDT
I notice that since we've been commenting that Sony has done a bad job of presenting the camera's features, the Amazon listing has been VASTLY improved. It now answers about half of the questions that I had prior to Ryan's excellent review.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 24, 2012 5:23:41 PM PDT
Z. Wu says:
Thanks for you advise, I'll try it when the adobe release its Raw support. I like the Handheld twilight, but it lacks of flexibility, the ISO alway boost to 6400 or 3200, thus the MFNR is more crucial to me, I really miss this function from changing my platform to NEX-7. I like to shoot product review and macro photos, so I find the 24m pixels is very good for cropping. I'll try some night shoot with MFNR on RX-100 and post the results here.
And for your question: I find a description on the product brochure says the charger will be available in future. So I think I'll grab some 3rd party batteries and charger for this.
Thanks for your reply, really appreciate it.
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