Nov 112013
 

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The Sony RX10 Review – One amazing Superzoom!

NOTE: All images shown here are JPEGS! RAW will be in a future review update.

Yes indeed! The Sony RX10 has been in my hands for review and while I have only had it for a little while it is proving to be quite the versatile camera. When Sony announced the RX10 it was kind of hidden and clouded due to the BIG Sony wham bam announcement, the Sony A7 and A7r full frame cameras. When the A7 was announced and Sony gave many of us exactly what we have been waiting for there was excitement and craziness going around for a while. Those little A7 cameras meant that there was finally a pair of  full frame mirrorless cameras that were not only close to medium format in quality, but also much lower in price than we thought.

Leica lenses, Canon lenses, Nikon lenses and of course Sony lenses..will all work with the A7 and A7r (though some ultra wides will have flaws) via adapters and the EVF is big and beautiful and easy to use and focus with.

So with all of this nuttiness going on, the poor little (or not so little) RX10 got lost in the mix for most media sites and blogs. Until Now :)

First, take a look at my 1st look video for the RX10..in my hands, in my house and ready to rock and roll:

What is the RX10?

The RX10 is a 20 Megapixel 1″ sensor camera that will appeal to many but sadly, also be dismissed by many. It is a perfect choice for the newbie masses who go to stores like Best Buy to pick up a Canon Rebel and cheap kit zoom because it will not only be easier for them to use, it will give them better range in the lens department with a 24-200  f/2.8 constant aperture zoom that even has optical steady shot to eliminate the shakes. What does this mean? It means that shooting in low light will be possible with a super zoom 1″ sensor camera and that most who buy this guy will really want for nothing more.

The camera is full of technology and here at the end of 2013, it has to be. In basic terms, it is a higher end digital super zoom 24-200mm one lens camera with a superb lens and fantastic versatility. 

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While this camera can not compete with the image quality of a full frame camera or even a Micro 4/3 with certain lenses, it does offer one thing that the others can not. ONE BODY..ONE LENS..and no need for anything else to shoot just about anything you need. Most of you here know that I love and adore my fast prime lenses to go with my cameras. I just love shooting an image with a 3 Dimensional pop.

This camera, much like a Nikon V1 or V2, will not really give you that POP but it will give you more realism..more grit..more of what your eye actually sees. Even at f/2.8, it is not really fast enough with this lens to give you those creamy shallow DOF moments.

At 200mm and  f/2.8 you can get a little creaminess but this is not a camera meant for that kind of use. Much like the Sony masterpiece from last year, the RX100 and the RX100II, the RX10 is set and ready to deliver the same image quality performance as it uses the same sensor as the RX100II. To see my review of the small RX100, click HERE. I named it the best pocket camera EVER for a reason :)

The RX10 adds a Zeiss 24-200 super zoom, constant f/2.8 aperture though out the zoom range, fast AF, superb video and audio and a fantastic EVF built-in.

Click ALL images for larger size!

Sony RX10 – ISO 1600

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Sony RX10 – ISO 320 at 2.8

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Yes, the Sony RX10 uses a smaller 20 megapixel 1″ sensor much like the sensor in the Nikon V1 and V2 and Sony’s own RX100. As already stated, the RX100 is a powerhouse pocket cam and the RX10 is what the RX100 would be if it took a weekly dose of steroids for a few months. It is larger, though not too large. It is built nicer, though not fully “pro level” (as in NIkon D4 territory). It is weather sealed and has a built-in ND filter as well that will automatically activate when needed. The sensor in the RX10, while being 1″ in size absolutely gives superb image quality for a camera in this sensor size class. This is a great sensor that beats the Nikon V1 sensor in many areas including low light.

Sony RX10 – ISO 1000

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ISO 500

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When I first reviewed the Nikon V1 I was all set to trash it, dismiss it, and forget about it but that little camera surprised the hell out of me and I ended up owning two of them for nearly two years along with some of the great primes offered with the system. I found it offered great film like sharpness and rendering as well as super fast AF speed and JOY OF USE. So how does the RX10 compare to one of my favorite cameras of all time, the little V1?

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The fact is that the sensor in the RX10 is better, and the RX10 is more advanced and offers an all in one convenience. It may not focus any faster but it is equal to the V1 in this area. For sharpness, detail and color..the RX10 wins it for me though I do prefer the size of the little Nikon V1. 

Color POP! RX10 OOC JPEG – ISO 125

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ISO 500

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The Build of the RX10..it’s a serious weather sealed machine!

The RX10 is solid. It has weather and rain resistance and can be shot out in adverse conditions. It feels great in the hand and while I normally hate DSLR styled designs, this one feels great because the Zeiss Vario Sonnar T* lens on this guy is on the FAT side of lens design, so the camera NEEDS the grip that it has. It’s stout and the grip on the body feels great when in the hand. The battery door feels good as does the side SD card slot door. Not heavy-duty but not cheap either.

Truth be told, it feels better than most starter DSLR’s. It is a serious camera and Sony did not create and build this one to be a quick and easy cheap zoom. They built it very well and intended on this being in the top of its class.

“Take Me Home” – indoor, low light, ISO 1600 – RX10 – JPEG

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At The Zoo

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In other words, it does not feel like a cheap $400 DSLR, it feels like a well thought out and clean design. I like the fact that it has an exposure comp dial on top as well as a top LCD display that lights up when needed. The lens is a thing of beauty, especially if you LOVE your zoom lenses. 24-200 – from wide to telephoto, all while keeping a 2.8 aperture if you desire. The way you control that aperture is with a physical aperture dial on the lens! HOW COOL IS THAT? Much like the RX1, the RX10 keeps that tradition. I wish the A7 lenses were made the same way, would have made much more sense with the camera and would have given a feeling of control. Manual aperture dials are always good!

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It also has a switch under the lens that when activated allows you to turn the aperture dial from a clicked design to click less so if you want to physically change aperture during video shooting, you can do so in silence.

So the build is fantastic as is the user experience with the lens.

The RX10 makes for a cool low light B&W shooter as well. Here is one at ISO 1600.

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So in other words, I really like the build, feel and lens design of the RX10 and if I can be honest, I was really afraid I would hate the camera and not even want to review it. Instead, the opposite has happened! I have been enjoying the hell out of this thing.

I even heard that a certain Sony employee had a tear in his eye when he first held this RX10..he knew it was something special. True story!

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The AF, Usability and overall Feel when shooting the RX10

A camera could have all of the features in the world along with a great build and feel but if it fails in the usability department then it is a big fail in my opinion. By now, Sony knows how to make a great camera and the RX10 ranks high on the usability scale for me.

When using it at night I had no trouble focusing and it always locked on to the correct subject..what I was pointing at with my center point focus box. Even when zooming in or shooting video, the RX10 did very well with focus. It really is no faster than the Nikon V1 or V2 but it is about the same, and that is a good thing as this camera is pretty quick to AF in mostly all situations I have used it in.

So overall the camera was easy to use, fun to use, and quite responsive, even at night! It is also SILENT! Once you turn off the fake shutter sounds (which I think all camera companies should THROW OUT and never use again) the RX10 is silent and stealth.

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The Video performance.. Any good?

Take a look at the video below that I shot at the AZ State Fair. The footage looks great for being shot at night, and AF was quick and fast. 

I loved the quick video footage that came out of the RX10 when I tested it at the fair, at night. I have tested and messed with video from mostly all cameras that offer it. If you go back and look at my past reviews of the NEX-7, Olympus E-P3, Olympus E-M5 and others you will see quick real world video tests. Many times we have the rolling shutter issue and other times we have focus issues. With the RX10 it did amazingly well in all areas, INCLUDING the built-in mic, which is one of the best I have heard built into any $1300-$2000 camera.

Nice full sound comes from the built-in mics in this camera. Much better than the tinny mics of some higher end DSLR’s even. 

Take a look at the video above and you will see some footage I shot at the state fair at night. It did well. The optical steady shot kept things steady and the color stayed rich as well. I could see me using this as my main go to video camera for shooting my new format YouTube videos that will start in 2014.

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Low light and high ISO..how far can you go?

We all crave low light performance in a camera for some reason yet many of us never even need to or dare to use it. Catching a moment using only natural light is a magical thing, especially when it is captured in low but magical light, where many cameras fail. Actually, most cameras today do just fine in low light but it was not always like this. The RX10 does as good as one can expect in low light considering the 1″ sensor, even better than some may think. The days of excessive noise at higher ISO is gone and mostly all cameras today do very good in low light. NO flash required (I never ever use flash and have not done so in 10+ years).

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The RX10 is decent at high ISO. These were shot in my house with indoor light. 

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BELOW: A quick ISO 3200 comparison to the E-M1 at f/2.8, ISO 3200, 1/100s

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Wide to Zoom, all in one killer lens. Do not underestimate it!

I will state right now that I AM NOT a zoom guy. I love my 28, 35 and 50mm 1.4 prime lenses. With that said, the versatility a 24-200 all in one offers is tremendous. NO, it is not a 24-600 but the key with the RX10 is that the quality is stellar at 24 as well as at 200mm. No compromise. The Zeiss Vario Sonnar T* lens is a good one here folks, no question.

24mm

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200mm

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Shallow Depth of Field. Is it possible?

So how creamy can you get? Do not expect full frame or APS-C performance when it comes to shallow DOF. Even the Nikon V1 can get you closer to that 3D pop when using certain lenses like the 32 1.2 or 18.5 1.8. The RX10 is f/2.8 all the way so while you do not get subject isolation and 3D pop, you do get sharpness and clear results. You will never have to worry about getting what you need to be in focus..IN FOCUS.

Having a large DOF has its advantages, that is for sure. If you need some shallow DOF, just go to 200mm and stick to f/2.8.

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Full Size Image Evaluation…

Having a 1″ sensor, the RX10 will not give you that rich and thick image quality that many are used to with APS-C DSLR’s but it will give you performance and files that will easily beat any point and shoot and print very well. Below is a full size image right from the camera (JPEG) shot at ISO 125 and f/2.8. Click it for full size, or see the 100% crop below the image.

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Who should buy the Sony RX10?

The Sony RX10 is aimed at those who want a step up from point and shoots and do not want to mess with DSLR’s and their large, slow, average quality kit lenses. It is for those who love to shoot images AND video and also for those that love versatility. Those who want an all in one zoom to take with them on vacation or business trips or social events.

The RX10 is an all in one powerhouse. Shoot wide, shoot medium or shoot telephoto. No need for lens swaps, dust on the sensor or worrying about focus speed. The camera is also great for Photojournalists who want easy, speed and results. Video and Photo in one.

This camera can do quite a bit and while I usually would have dismissed it due to the built-in zoom and design (DSLR), I am happy to have had a chance to shoot with it as I realized that this camera can indeed serve as a take anywhere camera that will offer great results.

If you have been looking for something like this and want the best in class, the RX10 needs a long hard look. At $1299 it is NOT cheap, especially when you have the new Olympus Stylus 1 at half the price. Will it or can it deliver the performance of the Sony? Not sure, but my guess is the Sony will be the winner for all around quality as well as video AND audio.

It is always all about the lens quality, and this Zeiss is fantastic.

The Pros and Cons of the Sony RX10

Pros

  1. Versatile – 24-200 2.8 all in one slick package
  2. IQ is great for the sensor size and colors are rich, even in low light
  3. Optical Steady Shot
  4. Video quality is fantastic
  5. On board mics sound VERY good..better than any standard camera I have ever tested for audio.
  6. Weather sealed and solid build and feel – Magnesium Alloy
  7. EV dial on top
  8. Very easy menu system
  9. Fast AF, and accurate
  10. EVF is large and easy to use
  11. Area Specific Noise Reduction only applies it where it needs it. 
  12. Macro feature is fantastic to have. 
  13. Built in ND filter activates when needed.

Cons

  1. No real shallow DOF opportunities
  2. Images can get grainy at 100% view due to small sensor
  3. $1300 is a bit steep for an all in one, Olympus Stylus 1 is half the cost
  4. Dynamic Range lacks a little compared to larger sensor cameras

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For $1299, how about the Olympus E-M1 instead? Or the Stylus 1 for 50% of the cost?

Many have stated that one could buy the Olympus E-M1 for $1399 and it would be a better choice than the RX10. While I would say that I prefer the E-M1 over the RX10, the cost of the E-M1 is $100 more, WITHOUT a lens. If you added the two pro zooms to the E-M1 (Oly 12-40 and Panasonic 35-100) the total cost would be nearly $3500, a difference of over $2200. That is quite a bit of cashola!

So let us talk about the Stylus 1 from Olympus…

Many will say that the Olympus Stylus 1 is a better buy but I am going to sat now that the Sony is the better camera all the way around for IQ and VIDEO and BUILD. It is setting the superzoom standard for quality in all areas. The Olympus has a SMALLER P&S sized sensor, a larger zoom that will not be as stellar as the RX10 Zeiss and it will be more of a pocket super zoom with good quality, but not TOP quality. The Olympus has a standard P&S sensor size, so the images will have a P&S signature. The Sony will have better IQ, better video, better low light, better build and weather sealed.

BUT the Olympus, it is half the price and packs a 28-300 f/2.8 lens and to some of you, that is all that matters. Olympus almost seemed to know that the RX10 was coming and countered with their own smaller mini powerhouse zoom. But me, if going with one of these as an all around general use and every use camera, it would be the Sony for the serious IQ capabilities.

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The final word on the Sony RX10

Sometimes with new cameras my reviews can get long. I have had requests to shorten them up a little so this one comes in at less than 3900 words total. Not bad for me :) For a quick comparison, my Leica M 240 review came in at 15,000 words.

In any case, the Sony RX10 came in as a real surprise to me and I suppose it will be to many others as well. Like I said in the beginning of this review, I think much of the thunder was taken away from the RX10 with the huge news of the Sony full frame A7 cameras.

It’s a funny thing but the “MASSES”..as in the general public who buy cameras will be MUCH more attracted to the RX10 than they will the A7 but in internet land where our passions can sometimes take over, the A7 stole the show. The bottom line though is that the Sony RX10 is fantastic if you are into one camera, one lens and simple versatility. The sensor in this camera has already proven itself with the amazing RX100 and RX100II, both which were huge hits for Sony even at the premium $650 price. Why? Because they were amazingly good for the size.

As for the RX10, you can take this ONE camera with you ANYWHERE and never have an issue with any photo you want to take (unless you want really shallow DOF). It even has a great Macro feature that can get you super close up and personal. So Macro, wide-angle, long, photo, video, panorama..you name it, the RX10 will give it to you.

Me, I am more of a fan of fast prime lenses so the RX10 will not be my daily go to camera but I will most certainly use it for video and I can see my son Brandon LOVING it as he is into simplicity and versatility, and he likes having a zoom. I also wish the camera were less DSLR shaped and a little smaller but also understand that to have a lens like the Zeiss 24-200 f/2.8, there needs to be some size and heft to the camera.

There is nothing wrong with this camera as long as you do not expect full frame or APS-C “smooth” file quality. The files at 100% will have some noise and the dynamic range will not be as huge as those from the larger sensor cameras. Only you can decide if the $1299 asking price is worth it for great usability, fantastic build, fast AF and superb colors and IQ. In fact, many prefer the output of 1″ sensors to any other sensor size for  the “realness” they portray.

Sony made the RX10 in a well thought out way and there is really not much that this little dynamo can not do. I have not been able to even hold an Olympus Stylus 1 yet, so have no idea how it compares but I think the Sony is the creme of the crop of all in one cameras just due to the Zeiss lens and the superb photo, video and AF performance.

Sony just keeps on pumping out the quality products!

Where to Buy the Sony RX10?

You can buy the Sony RX10 at B&H Photo HERE or Amazon HERE. Using the links here to do so will help this website to continue on so I thank anyone who uses my links! The Sony RX10 is scheduled to ship on December 1st 2013.

More samples below! Remember, these are all from JPEG so I have yet to even tap the quality of RAW. I will do so in a future update : )

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  172 Responses to “The Sony RX10 Review – One amazing Superzoom!”

  1. Great review as always. I just sold off my Nikon V1 system and I was planning on replacing my OMD E-M5 with an E-M1 and using just the 17mm and 45mm lenses. My wife though commented on how we need to take more video of our 21mo daughter. Perhaps this would be the video solution that would make the most sense. Aside from the lens differences Steve, how much better is the RX10 for video than the OMD E-M1?

    Thanks!

    • Actually for video i would have thought the V1 would have made more sense, but anyway, if I could afford the Sony I’d be taking a serious look

  2. Inspiring review and saw some really nice shots

    kees

  3. A truly well-rounded superzoom that yearns to be brought out for business indeed, with the combo of 1″ sensor and environmental sealing. Yes, the DOF control is limited, but with the proper expectations, this may not be a problem. That _is_ my personal pet peeve though, as well as its slow electronic zoom. I think I’d rather go with a budget friendly micro 4/3 body with a normal and tele zoom if I wanted to keep things simple, yet flexible, although there is something to be said for a all-in-one solution. These cameras offer a kind of peace of mind.

  4. Hi Steve

    How’s the image quality compare to Nikon V1 and the 10-100mm zoom? Assuming same sensor size and similar high ISO performance. Which is more film like based on your experience with both camera?

    Thanks

  5. Thanks for review but…

    without numerical ranking of IQ
    I have no way of knowing if RX10
    is step up, step sideways, or step
    down from my Canon 7D + 17-55mm IS f2.8…

    • It won’t match the 7D in low light but it will surprise you. It will produce better video, no question, just with more depth of field due to the aperture ratio to sensor size. It is as well built and better sealed than the 7D… and the lens is of very high quality throughout the range at a third the weight. Wifi and NFC, pano, hdr, high iso noise image stacking, movable screen, 1440k OLED finder…. it’s a much more versatile tool, oddly enough.

    • If you cannot discern the differences between this camera and a Canon 7D and whether it’s a step up or down for you, I’m sorry to say that no numerical ranking can help you. All the best.

    • It’s probably a better camera for travel stock, especially for someone as prolific as you, Jeff.

  6. How does the video quality compare to the NEX’s or the RX100?

    • Well, take a look at the videos from each and see (i have tested motley all of them). I find the AF faster on the RX10 than any NEX and the built in Audio is much better on the RX10 as well. Sony usually does good video on all of their cameras but depending on your needs will determine what is good enough for you. If you are filming a TV show..stay away from all of these kinds of cameras. If you are shooting your kids of family, ANY camera will do. I use my E-M1 which many trash for video but for me, it works perfect for ANY and ALL of my video needs. Would i use it to film a TV show or documentary? NO, but I also wouldn’t use a Sony for this :)

      • Thanks, Steve. What I do is somewhere in between. I do Vimeo-style travel videos (and also slide shows) that I shoot while I am on vacation. Here’s an example of one I did on my most recent trip with my NEX-5N just before it died:

        https://vimeo.com/71180055

        By comparison, here’s one I shot with my RX-100 (to which I resorted after my NEX-5N died):

        https://vimeo.com/70661095

        I’m hoping that the RX10, because of its lack of line skipping, will be a step up in terms of video, without being a significant step down from the NEX-5 series (I managed to buy a 5T while I was still on vacation) for pictures. I’m torn between going for the RX-10, or getting the A7R or A7, which, I assume, will have significant better potential for pictures, but will be worse for video than the RX10 (except for the shallow DOF).

        • I think you would LOVE the RX10 for your style of video. It would be perfect IMO.

          • Great! Thanks.

            (By the way, I meant to say that I had picked up the 5R, not the 5T, while on vacation.)

            • The full sensor readout alone makes the RX10 the best video product in a fixed lens system at or under $2k. And I am including the Canon XA10 and XA20 in that crowd. Add to the fact that the RX10 is fully compatible with the video remote cable and the XLR adapter setup, and it really spells the death knell for higher end Handycam… And I may even go so far as to include the AX2000 in this, despite the AX and it’s abilities at 20x optical… I’m speaking in terms of pure video quality.

  7. Every HCBresson had lots of depth of field.
    1″ for me is ideal for capturing clearly simultanously foregorund middelground background in low light good light average light.
    Preferable to 1/2.3″ , 1/1.7″, 2/3″.

    RX10 clearly aimed at photgraphers who know the value of F2.8 in low light.
    Yet I cant help feel this benefit will pass by the “everyday consumer”,
    who will look at RX10 size and say I can get 24-1200mm (eg canon SX50HS) in the same body,
    not caring about 1/2.3″ F6.5.

    Sony should be commended for taking this bold move.
    It seems clear Sony are segmenting their A7, A7r, RX series for those who know about cameras and want certain features.

  8. Makes a perfect family camera for ballet recitals, soccer games and vacations. I see why Sony introduced the RX10 with the A7- pair these two in your camera bag, and you’re covered!

  9. I have never owned a Sony camera, but right now, this is the company that seems to be doing everything right. As soon as I saw the specs for the RX10 I suspected it would be a winner and seeing your review (and photos) seems to confirm that. This could very well be all the camera many people need. Is a fixed lens a problem? Not when it’s 2.8 all the way and at 24-200 I’m guessing it covers the focal lengths in which 90% of photos are taken. And the body looks purposeful and uncluttered – that top plate with one control dial and exposure comp dial is perfect. Looks more like ‘Pure Photography’ to me than a certain other recently released camera. Oh Nikon, Nikon, where did it all go wrong…?

  10. Thanks for rushing out an insightful review on the RX10. This clearly appears to be the leading super-zoom on the market. I really appreciate the “extras” that Sony built in like weather sealing, constant-aperture across the zoom range, an aperture ring on the lens, high quality audio for video use, an exposure comp dial, silent modes for both shutter and aperture ring, etc. This could be a great camera for street and event photography. Well done, Sony!

  11. I think this camera is damn impressive, regardless of the strong competition from the Stylus 1 which might well be the more sensible option. It’s high-quality, fully-featured, and offers great ergonomics and image quality. This is the superzoom to rule them all!

    As an MFT user I’m really envious of the f/2.8 zoom: Factoring in the 2.7x crop factor, it’s equivalent to an f/3.5 zoom lens on MFT. This would give comparable DOF, but also – in a theoretical world with identical sensor technology – a comparable low-light performance! My EM5 cost as much as the RX10 in 2012, but the kit-zoom only starts at f/3.5 and then quickly goes down to dim f/6.3. This combination is much less usable than the RX10 in low-light! Yes, I’m often using excellent primes, but on vacations I find zoom lenses hard to beat. And if I want a fast zoom lens for MFT I need to shell out 1000€ – almost as much as the whole RX10! – to get a narrower focal length range. Granted, both Panasonic and Olympus offerings are said to have terrific quality; still, I’m missing a more affordable compromise, like f/2.8–4 or Sigma’s fast 2x zoom lens. As much as I love MFT: for people who always want a zoom lens, the RX10 seems to be the ideal solution.

  12. While I’m sure this camera has the best 1″ sensor to date, and can deliver great IQ, coming from a background of both the RX100 and several Nikon One cameras, f2.8 really is a bit of a weak spot for me as far as the lens goes. Its a useful range, 24-200 equiv. (Not a true 200mm lens as many folks seem to think which makes them then believe this gives nearly 600mm equiv like most superzooms) but these smaller sensor cameras really need ultra fast apertures to really come into their own.

    The V1 for example didn’t really do anything for me with the 10mm f2.8, or the slower 10-30/30-110 zooms. Optically very good, but it was only when I got the 18mm f1.8 and especially the 32mm f1.2 that suddenly that little camera could start producing a unique look and some subject isolation. Same thing goes for if you stick a Nikon 85mm f1.8 or 50mm f1.4 on it with the FT-1.

    Compact, sharp, and ultra fast glass, taking advantage of the reduced 1″ sensors image circle is where its at for this format if you ask me. Not only does the huge aperture help in low light, but it gives some pretty pleasing bokeh quality and a nice rendering with pretty good isolation abilities. Not total destroy the background into creaminess like a FF, but enough to make the subject pop still.

    The Nikon 32mm is simply brilliant and I’d be there in money in hand, first in line, if they announced some more fast primes like a 9mm f1.4 ultra fast wide angle prime. about 24mm equiv with some fantastic light gathering ability for getting higher shutter speeds in low light ? That would be a fantastic “street” lens

    RX10 does have a lot of nice features for sure, but a 24-200 equiv f2.8 zoom just doesn’t seem that exciting. I mean, if Nikon made one for the System One I don’t think I’d buy it, still kind of slow, and yet not cheap nor compact.

    RX10 perhaps leaves a window up for NIkon though to put the same updated 1″ sensor into a V3 camera, giving us the great sensor performance that we can pair with some lenses like the 32mm f1.2 and 6.7-13 VR ultra wide zoom.

    That would be a system that could start giving m4/3 and even APS-C a run for its money in regards to the size/performance envelope as long as you stuck with ultra fast glass. People can write off a 1″ sensor as too small, and to a degree they may be right…BUT….start pairing a slightly smaller sensor with a much faster than average prime lens and it gets interesting

    • I think you are missing the point of the RX10.
      It is an all in one and capable camera for those who wish to travel light and not think about equipment. Your suggestions offer alternative options to a question not really being asked by the RX10′s intended market, and at a even higher price.

      • Agreed. The target market, while varied, even includes the Pro shooter seeking that second camera that requires zero extra glass while still not compromising in image quality. The RX10 sample prints being shown next to cameras like the EOS 70D will not just surprise you but stop you in your tracks… There are three legs to any camera dog: lens, sensor, processor.. Most cameras run on one, maybe two… Interchangeable lens cameras allow someone to control one of those factors but not all of them have the other two well in hand. The RX series win battles and dominate awards ceremonies because they take full advantage of the fact that the lens will never be removed… and Sony therefore makes damn certain the sensor and the lens are perfectly mated and then run the CPU like it’s just another part of the organism. The RX10′s fixed lens is actually one of its best assets, both in build, and in the guaranteed overall picture quality, transcending anything Nikon has done with the CX sensor to date.

  13. Great review, very insightful. I think for a great majority of non-photognuts that buy DSLRS, this would be a MUCH better choice. And it will be a great 1 camera solution when us photognuts want to travel a bit lighter as well. I love my rx100 and the sensor has never let me down in normal shooting conditions. Another kudos to Sony for innovation and practicality, the price seems high, but with a constant aperture zoom, its reasonable.

  14. Hello,
    Does the RX10 have the option of using auto iso in Manual mode, or the option of using the aperture ring while in shutter priority mode?
    Thank you.

  15. I am not a DSLR guy and i like prime lenses and yet i must admit i liked your pics.
    I liked the ISO results
    It really looks a nice camera

  16. Thanks! I’ve been looking forward to this review! I think the length is just about right :-) I love my X100 and it’s been my daily camera for the past 2 years (since Nov 2011), I love it. However, I’ve been looking for something like this since leaving DSLR-land (covered 2001) behind for the past 4-5 years (been to m4/3, etc. as well since then).

    This could be a good solution for me #1 for video and #2 for those times I want more reach than 35mm in an all in one design. I’ve been pondering a return to m4/3 with the EM-5, but that kit with f/2.8 lenses is pricey. I just can’t stand slow-a** zooms! Why make them?!?!? Seriously, that kit zoom with OM-D’s at 3.5-6.3 is worthless except in glaring sunlight. Argh…I just don’t get it. I’d love it if they would just do f/2.8-4 (or f/2.8-3.5) and be happy as a compromise like they did with the 14-54 and 16-40 and 50-200 on 4/3.

    QUESTION: weather-seals. I saw a very small image on the Sony site showing the seals. There were not many shown. Really none around the buttons at all. You can view it here (http://store.sony.com/dsc-rx10-digital-still-camera-zid27-DSCRX10/B/cat-27-catid-All-Cyber-shot-Cameras) under “Strong and Light…” section. When you spent time with Sony, did they mention anything about this? That image makes me thinks its not sealed that well. I felt confident with the OM-D I used to have and previous E-1, E-3′s in the rain/snow. If there is anyway you could get more info on this from your Sony contacts it would be great :-)

    Thanks for a wonderful review!!

  17. I don´t think this is a superzoom in bridge world.
    The panasonic FZ200 at 1/3 of the price has a 25-600 mm Leica lens with constant f/2.8, but I am sure, with weaker IQ

  18. Steve, How would you compare RX10 video with Canon G30 or Panasonic 9XX series?

  19. One thing totally kills this camera for me – the frustratingly slow zoom. I wish they had ‘borrowed’ Olympus’ very underrated zoom feature on its 12-50 lens. That lens has both full manual zoom plus a variable speed power zoom. Best of both worlds, depending on whether you are shooting images or video. And much, much faster than what I see with this camera. Too bad, because otherwise the camera looks great, though expensive. As for the Stylus 1, it will depend on the lens quality – we know Olympus CAN do it, but can they do it for that price is another question.

  20. I am a Softball Sports Photographer for the DIXIE Softball Teams from Montgomery American League who incidentally won the Dixie Softball World Series at Alexander LA this year. I have been using the Sony NEX 7 for most of the photography….Question is, can this RX10 do a better job at Up Close and Personal Sports Photography both Photo and Video? Thanks for any replies. Kerry

    • Hmmm. Well, hard to say. I would rent one from lensrentals.com and give it a go. (when they are available). I have never shot sports with either so can not say though I would think you would be happy with the RX10 for this application. VERY versatile, all in one, awesome video, great IS, great lens, etc.

  21. I don’t understand why the X-Vario is not mentioned once.
    Aren’t they basically the same ?
    What do you think of the RX10 in comparison ?

    • The X Vario is totally different. 1st, it is an APS-C sensor camera, much larger sensor, much nicer image quality. MUCH slower auto focus. The X-Vario is $2,850 and has a Zoom lens that is a 28-70, FAR from a 24-200. It also is a slow zoom with a slow aperture. The RX10 has a f/2.8 constant aperture. The X Vario is f/6.4 by the time it hits 70mm. Ouch.

      The X Vario is larger, and more awkward to hold due to NO grip. The grip is an extra $200+ .

      So while the X Vario will deliver better IQ in most situations, it will also miss shots in low light where the RX10 will not. The X Vario is MUCH more expensive, has a much shorter zoom range, a much slower lens, no image stabilization, average video, and the Sony is much more versatile. But if all out IQ is your thing, the Vario wins.

      Different cameras. Different target audience. Different capabilities. Different Zoom. MUCH different price range.

  22. Than you for your review of the RX10 Steve. Just as I was hoping you have confirmed my positive thoughts about this all in one stills/video family shooter. Excellent news.

    For its intended remit I can live with the limitations of the sensor size given the great versatility and high build quality/specs etc. The price, which some complain about,is a little high but will no doubt settle lower post Xmas.

    The X10 appears a very competent, substantial and well thought out machine for both stills and video, and in my case it will primarily replace an ancient family video camera.The rest is gravy .

  23. Thanks for the review, Steve- I’ve been neurotically checking your site every day waiting for this review to pop up. It is, I believe, the first solid critical review of this fascinating camera that I’ve seen yet. My finger is itching to click on it for a purchase- would probably replace an entire bag of gear.

  24. Thanks Steve :) The RX10 looks brilliant and although not cheap when one considers it is a one-stop shop the price starts to look attractive. Many people have a “snob” approach to “bridge” type cameras but this one could make many change their minds. As mentioned before I too wish it had a quick manual zoom option but other than that it looks perfect for the job it was intended for. Cheers Paul

  25. Looks like a nice camera but the “normal” photographers I know- people who document their lives and who don’t read photography web sites and could care less about all the technical stuff – seem to be totally happy with the camera on their iphones. If anything, they might be interested in a very cheap, very small all-auto P&S. If I suggested that they buy a $1300 camera they would look at me like I had two heads. It will be interesting to see how this sells at this price outside of the world of camera enthusiasts.

    • I agree. I think is aimed squarely at the enthusiast market like me who have gravitated towards cameras like the Fuji X100 and don’t really want to get into another full blown system. I’m glad to be out of DSLR-land. I may go back if the need arises. I’m much more likely to stick to my X100 and / or smaller systems with primes. I’m not much a zoom guy, but this fulfills my needs quite well for that. PLUS it blows away Fuji video and I’d like to do a lot more video work.

      • Sure, I could go back to m4/3 with the OM line. But like Steve pointed out, unless I want to settle for VERY slow zooms, I’d be look at a 35-100 f/2.8 from Panasonic that is the price of the RX10 alone…plus I’d need to add the 12-35 f/2.8 and lug it all around and swap lenses again. No thanks. I’ll take my X100 and maybe a small system with primes + an RX10 type camera.

  26. Well, firstly Steve is unlikely to have access to a 7d, and that (very large) 17-55. Both a DSLR and a Zoom, not his favourite 2 things. Did an excellent review of the 6D with a couple of primes a while back but he wasn’t prepared to keep up the weight training.

    Secondly he doesn’t do numerical rankings, and not many who read here would want him to. If you read the text he makes comaprisons with APSC sensor output on a couple of occasions, and there are many images to have a look at to judge the output.

    Thirdly those sites that do numerical rankings seem to combine one not entirely representative empirical measure with an indeterminate amount of subjectivity. They are a vague guide at best, and utterly misleading at worst. I understand, for example, that DXO mark has the EM1′s lowlight performance below the EM5, when anyone who has used the two will feel the absolute opposite is true, when taking pictures in the real world. When they rate a whole camera they will do so even more subjectively and generally they will be comparing it to it’s peers. So the score for a high end APSC camera (albeit a 3 yr old design) like the 7d, will not relate in any way to whatever category they shove this one into and you will still be none the wiser. Still want numbers?, go for weight, dimensions, and price – they’ll at least be accurate.

    Finally you are comparing 2 completely different cameras/lenses with differnet zoom ranges, no site is going to compare those 2 directly, so what is it you actually want to do? No score can tell you that. You have to think about what you use it for, read the review and look at the images. I used to own the 7d, good camera, great for kids sports (with a longer lens than the one you own), I own an Rx100 as a pocketable camera I can take out when bigger ones are inconvenient or not allowed. The IQ from the 7D will be much better for large prints from images taken in medium to good light, it will produce shallw DoF with a 2.8 if your background is somewhat separated from the subject. In low light the 7d might be getting a bit shaky compared to a modern sensor. But if you are finding it isnt the right camera for you to walk around with I’m afraid no site is going to give you a score to tell you what to do next. I’d say go to a store and try out some options, or read a reviewer you trust.

    • “…you are comparing 2 completely different cameras/lenses with differnet zoom ranges, no site is going to compare those 2 directly…”

      But they COULD via a growing library of test images:
      (specifically, 7D+lens vs. RX10 system)
      a. lenses: zoom ranges overlap
      b. cameras: settings overlap
      c. how to directly compare:
      shoot exact same composition, exact same lens-camera settings
      d. inspect resulting images at 100%, compare

      And yes that’s exactly what I want to do,
      but nearest camera store says they won’t
      have floor model — they want to sell all
      their stock as new-untouched in box…

    • “no site is going to compare those 2 directly”: The IR “comparometer” makes a vey good go of direct image comparison. A very helpful site, especially used in conjunction with Steve’s.

  27. Steve,
    You mentioned the AF is about the same as the V1, if that is true then it is pretty awesome since I consider the AF of V1 excellent because of the PDAF sensors. Can you comment on the AF speed vs. the A7 + the new Zeiss lenses?

  28. That was actually a response to JG at #5, not sure how it ended up down here..

  29. I’m glad they make this sort of thing.

    But I question that they are targeting the user who wants to move up from a compact camera. Since nobody is buying compact cameras, I question if there is such a user, or how long until that person is extinct.

    And there are those who are moving down from compact cameras, relying more and more on smartphones.

    And a user who is moving up is probably much more likely to buy something like a Canon Rebel with kit zoom at less than 1/3 the price. Maybe add a longer cheap zoom. That mythical user will save money and arguably not suffer a bit in print quality- likely the contrary.

    I next question the concept of it as a travel camera, simply because there is so much competition, either cheaper or more versatile, or even both if we look at the family of compact superzooms and even the FZ-200 class of zooms. For those really interested in travel + quality, they have a lot of other choices, including interchangeable lenses, that can yield similar or higher quality in likely a lighter weight package, including from Sony itself..

    I do applaud their stepping out on a limb and releasing such a product.

    • Their mindshare and even market share of the RX1 and RX100 would disagree with you. At this point, Sony has the most compelling lineup of high-end CSC’s ever. The market share for this product would be for anyone who wants a competent second camera, a perfect travel camera, or want to step up to a CSC from a P&S. Shoot, this has me tempted to drop my A-Mount for everything (not a pro, only a very enthusiastic amatuer).

      • Please explain how the “mindshare and market share” of two high end point and shoots disagree with my suspicion that most P&S users (if there are any left) will want nothing to do with an even more expensive P&S like this wonderful RX10, and would if anything opt for something like a Canon Rebel.

        I’ll support my point. Buy a newspaper the day after US Thanksgiving. Look at the retailer ads featuring cameras above P&S. They will be along the lines of said Rebel, and similar competitive products. You will not see any sort of preponderance of the RX10- happy even if it gets a mention.

        Retailers are in business. They know their customers. They know what the step up buyers will buy. They sell these or they die. They will not waste precious ad space on an RX10 that appeals to a more sophisticated user.

        Really, every expensive camera released in the two years claims it wants to appeal to the step up buyer from the P&S user, as well as claims to be retro. A mad scramble for a segment that barely exists, and if it does is not interested in suddenly springing for a couple thousand more than his P&S cost.

    • “I next question the concept of it as a travel camera…For those really interested in travel + quality, they have a lot of other choices”

      Why don’t you do me — full time travel shooter — a favor & list all
      the better choices. And make sure they are:

      a. as lightweight or lighter than RX10 system
      b. as fast as f2.8 throughout 24-200mm equivalent zoom range
      c. always ready-to-shoot without camera bag & lens fiddling
      (my ~4-yr old Canon 7D::17-55mm f2.8 has never seen inside of camera bag)
      d. same or better IQ than RX10 when enlarged to 2′ by 3′ while satisfying a-b-c

      • Nice how you selectively edit my text to make it say what you want to say.

        But don’t look at me, I’m not the one that claimed that people like you- who travel 8 hours a day taking pictures 365 days a year- will turn to this. I’m sure there are millions of people just like you who are “full time travel shooters” and most of them will buy this.

        Because no one will buy compact super zooms, or bridge super zooms, or small interchangeable lens cameras. Items of varying quality and price compared to your camera. You know, discussion points you left out of your quote.

        Honestly, speculating about the assertions a commercial manufacturer makes about a consumer product, and these people come out like you’re insulting their children.

  30. That’s one great big help of a review, Steve. Thanks. And your low-light high ISO balls of wool are perhhas the most convincing bit of the whole review. I’m no fan of lens-changing, but I do like quality in my images: RX10 seems to tick all the right boxes. If I want more zoom, I’ll be happy to fall back on my Leica V-lux 1 (2006 !) which has a larger sensor than its succesors and keeps its zoom within the barrel. And if I want APS-C once in a while, I’ll hang on to my Nex C3 and 30mm Sigma lens. Would just like to know whether the weather-sealing also makes it possible to go below freezing-point – not a deal-breaker, but would be good to know.

  31. Thanks for the review. Nice shallow depth of field really gives images a professional quality to them, and this camera seems to be missing that – but it’s made for a different purpose. Good all-in-one kit, but it’s far from a 24-200 2.8 – it’s an 8.8-73.3. Worth mentioning somewhere in here. At 8.8, everything will be in focus, like on a smartphone camera (which is a 4mm lens thereabouts).

  32. Steve , could we please have a picture comparing size with say V1 , E-M1 , Leica M ?

    • Hi Chris!

      Here you go! (use the icons to change camera angles for the comparison)

      http://camerasize.com/compact/#489,389,482,123,ha,f

    • If you google “camera size” you should find a website that allows you to compare many cameras + lenses. I did one to compare my V2 with the RX10 and wow, I didn’t realize how big the Sony is! When I carry my full kit of course it’s heavier but I also have a more versatile camera. When I carry just the V2 + the 18.5mm f/1.8 the Sony is double the weight (407g VS 813g)! I could put the 32mm f/1.2 in my pocket which would add 235g (still under the Sony) and have a fast fifty plus an awesome portrait lens. It’s not as functional as having a 24-200mm equivalent zoom and it’s more expensive (only when you add the 32mm).

  33. Steve – Would like to see a comparison of the MFT-sensor equipped Panasonic Lumix GM1 with kit lens ($749) and the Olympus Stylus 1 ($699) with the RX10 ($1,298). Those moving up from cell phone cameras will have to pass by these competitive price points and much smaller/lighter package sizes to get up to an RX10. Quite a leap for non-enthusiasts IMHO.

    • This isn’t aimed at those folks — those are cameras made primarily for people who value small size. The RX10 is more aimed at enthusiasts and regular people looking at a $1200 DSLR + kit lens.

  34. Steve, Thank you so much for the comprehensive review of the RX10. I first became aware of it on the Consumer Reports site. I currently have a Nikon D300 with multiple lenses that I absolutely love. However, the weight has started to take away from the enjoyment of taking photos and there is no video. This appears to be the perfect solution for me to lighten my load but still have great photos and add video.
    I am new to your site and am so glad I found you.

  35. Steve,
    Would you say the dynamic range and image detail of this cameras sensor at iso 3200 would be close to my olympus ep5 at iso 3200?
    Thanks

  36. Hello Steve,
    Thanks for the review.
    Your subsequent requests for additional comments are piling up..
    I own the RX100, and if I have the correct understanding, the RX10 has identical sensor and processor to RX100II.
    Question: If there is any IQ difference between RX100/II and RX10,it must be due to the lens; is the lens quality superior in the RX10??
    Thanks

  37. Steve, why can’t you link amazon.co.uk and other UK sites too? Wouldn’t amazon uk customers buying stuff through the links mean more income for you then?

  38. It looks like Sony finally got around to cleaning up their terrible color rendering with JPEG’s, but the quality of these pictures is nothing to write home about. It looks like they finally got the focussing problems under control as well. Terrible focussing issues with their SLT cameras.

    Still, the results don’t look nearly as nice as what my Fuji X10 can do – and for less than 1/3 the price.

    • What are you talking about with “Terrible focussing issues with their SLT cameras?” First I’ve heard of this.

      • Tyler, Have you picked up any of the Sony SLT cameras and looked at the images taken in moderate light or less? I have. Focus lock confirms but when reviewing the shots, +/- 20% are not in focus. I was just using center focus.

        I’m not the only one to report this problem.

        • 65 is nowhere near your 20% number. It may be 5% and that is in poor light. The a57 does better. And for a very specific situation even 80% is not exactly terrible. Moderate light really hasn’t presented a problem at all. Low light with the tracking focus is awful if the shutter speed is below 1/100 is atrocious, but I simply haven’t experienced anything so bad as you are describing.

          • That was my experience. 20% of shots out of focus with the a65. Medium level light, just slightly above or below indoor light. I only use center focus and I didn’t use continuous focus.

            1 in 5 shots missed in good light is unacceptable, at least for me.

    • Yes, my X10 (X100 & XS-1) all have amazing colors…especially for skin tones. But that is Fuji. The lighting on most of the samples was from low to very low light and of mixed types as well. I’ll hold judgement on color (esp. skin tones) to see examples. I’m glad to see the files are as nice as they are in those conditions from a sub micro 4/3 sized sensor. Impressive what Sony did here with 1″.

  39. Steve, the Sony RX100 has a “clear zoom” that doubles the zoom (such as from 100 to 200 mm) which also reduces the effective pixel size from 20 megapixels to about 8 megapixels. Does the new Sony RX 10 also have a “clear zoom” which may double the zoom (such as from 200 to 400 mm)?

  40. wow, color looks great in these images… Seriously considering this cam.

  41. This is not new. Reminds me of my Canon Powershot pro 1. That’s where I understand the meaning of EVF. Came with L lens 24-210 F2.4-F3.5. One of the most versatile camera I own and refused to change to DSLR for 4 years until it is end of support. Canon killed it because it affected the DSLR sales. This is the kind of camera that Canon should be worry about..

  42. Hi Steve,

    Can you tell me some details about macro with the RX10? At 200mm equiv, what is the closest focusing distance, and what sort of macro magnification are we talking? The larger DOF of the 1 inch sensor would be a big plus for macro work, so I’m interested in this camera as a possible alternative to something like the EM-5 or EM-1 with the 60mm f2.8 Macro.

    I would be especially interested in insect macros, which is why the 200mm (greater working distance) concerns me. The weather sealing is also a big plus for being out in the field.

    Thank you for your great site and info.

  43. What an interesting camera.

    While I think the Nikon1 system may be better suited to me (I sometimes need to shoot wider than 24mm, and longer than 200mm, and faster than f2.8) I would definitely recommend this camera to someone looking to step-up from a point-and-shoot, and not wanting the hassle, weight and gear of a DSLR system.

    I’m a big fan of the 1″ type sensors, and I hope we see them evolve further. I’m glad Sony made this camera.

  44. Thx for the review Steve. I have no doubts about the potential of this camera and I now can say that it is not the successor of the old Sony R1 (I had a superzoom similar in shape to the RX10):

    >R1 has a joystick to set focus and navigate the interface, RX10 has the common and not so comfortable to me wheel.
    >R1 has the screen in the top, it can has rotated to be protected, so it is clean and safe from fingerprints; RX10 has the screen in the common position and it is to me not so ergonomic because I can hold my R1 comfortably, confidently, resting confidently my palm without the worry of be touching the screen with the palm, I dislike nasty screens, and I see in your video that your thumb is limited to the border, I think it has to be a bit tired after a while.
    >The fact that the R1 has the screen in the top also means that the top lcd in RX10 is redundant with the R1 design solution, the screen is reversed and the data, not only the parameters of aperture, shutter, ISO, zebra warnings, histogram, etcetera is displayed but actually the photo, similar to a medium format waist viewfinder.
    >R1 has a manual zoom that allow to use the camera immediately when turn on, and is as fast as someone hand when controlled, it is so precise that I couldn’t go back to an electronic zoom; RX10 has a wired or electronic zoom that, like cheap superzooms, when turn on/off the lens are projecting or retracting like a drunken robot.
    >The main difference is the sensor size. R1 has an aps/c (albeit technically is a bit smaller) sensor, with 2.8 at 24mm eq. that at least I think it is different in dof control than 2.8 in the one inch RX10′s sensor. It is 4.8 at the 120mm end but I think that even there the dof control is bigger than the 2.8 in the eq. focal length.

    With that I don’t want to sound like I am bashing the RX10. I think that the IQ in the RX10 could be better in base ISO, and it is definitively superior in higher isos. R1 is a very, but very, old camera. And for the lens and the features I think the RX10 worths more than the 1300 bucks sony are asking because an interchangeable camera would cost thousands more to pair the zeiss quality ant the silent shutter is priceless. But to me part of the photography is not only the final image quality but also the experience and comfort that provide the design of the camera. I was hoping an update to my camera, but the RX10, a wonderful camera for I see in your photographs, is just another type of camera. I think closer to the R1 would be even a sony A3000 with a Zeiss 16-70mm F4 for nex mount, both would be 1300 dollars, although with much lesser features that the RX10 (and with a noisy shutter unfortunately) it could be a bit closer to the image quality that an updated R1 could do today, but unfortunately again without the great design.

  45. Steve, in your review you say “If you have been looking for something like this and want the best in class, the RX10 needs a long hard look. At $1299 it is NOT cheap, especially when you have the new Olympus Stylus 1 at half the price. Will it or can it deliver the performance of the Sony? Not sure, but my guess is the Sony will be the winner for all around quality as well as video AND audio.” I am not sure what to make of this, dismissing what could be an excellent camera at half the price based on a “guess.” Sorry to say this so bluntly, but is it that you’d like people to go out and buy one right now using a link from your site so you can earn a commission on it, rather than waiting and seeing what the Stylus 1 has to offer? For enthusiasts with deep pockets, the price may not be an issue, but for most people the difference between $1,300 and $750 is huge! If the Olympus Stylus 1 lives up to its tech specs, it could be one very attractive camera. Currently, Olympus is on a roll. They make, by your admission as well, the best micro 4/3 camera on the market, and their 75mm f1.8 lens, also by your admission, is one of the best lens out there. Video aside, where Olympus doesn’t shine, why would you “guess” the Sony should be better for all-around quality” at twice the price? As a disclaimer, I am not an Olympus fan; I don’t own an Olympus camera. I own a Panny G5, as well as a Sony RX100 and a Nikon V1 (both of which you recommended highly). I think people read your blog in order to make informed choices when deciding on camera equipment, and I’d say you’ve done your readers a disservice by off-hand dismissing a possible strong competitor to the Sony RX10 at half the price.

    • It is based more on fact..like the sensor in the Olympus is a P&S sensor that will not and can not compete with the sensor in the RX10. Also, a 28-300 lens will not be as good as a Zeiss 24-200..they never are. I am sure the Olympus will be fantastic, but it will not reach the level of the Sony, mark my words. If $1299 is more than one wants to pay, the Olympus is an option as are MANY other cameras. I love Olympus. My fave camera is the E-M1..who makes it? Olympus. But do not take away the facts, and that is a camera with a P&S sensor and 28-300mm zoom will not be at the level of the RX10 with its 1″ sensor and 24-200 Zeiss Sonnar T* lens. Video..that is a whole other discussion.

  46. Am I mistaken Steve in assuming that you don’t let any comments be published on your blog that are less than 100% complementary of what you write? Or are you just not interested in free debate and dialogue?

    • What are you talking about? EVERY comment goes through as long as it does not contain personal attacks against anyone, or as long as it is not spam. MANY comments are automatically moderated by the system when it see keywords or links, but then I approve them when I log in. But all comments go through. But attack me personally or any of the readers or writers and then it will be deleted. It’s all in the rules that have been posted for years.

  47. I would prefer any entry level APS-C DSLR or NEX6/7, with a 18-55/105/135 over the RX10. The weight is similar. The 18-105/135 are 5cm longer than the lens on the RX10 which may matter to mountaineers with limited space in their rucksack, but not when carrying the camera on a strap. They are only f5.6 on the long end, but in terms of DOF and light per mm² of sensor area that is the same as f2.8 on 1″. The very question is how image quality compares.

    I don’t have to carry additional lenses or swap them all the time. But keeping a 35/1.8 at home or in my hotel room would neither exceed the budget nor the weight limit for cabin baggage.

    • The value proposition for this camera doesn’t make much sense. If they’re looking for people moving up from their camera phones, they think someone will plunk down $1200+ for this? It’s hard to imagine that happening. When one can buy a small DSLR body and lens for 1/2 the price of this and have a similar size/weight camera, the value proposition isn’t there.

      • You absolutely can NOT buy a DSLR and a Zeiss 24-200 f/2.8 lens for $1299. It would be larger, heavier, much more expensive and probably not as fast to AF, not be weather sealed, have average video, and have a so so EVF or VF.

        • My experience with Zeiss zooms is that while they have a very nice color rendering, they’re not substantively better than a Canon or Nikon zoom. That blue box on the side of a Zeiss zoom lens doesn’t seem to equate to a big IQ jump vis a vis CaNikon.

          In fact, I’d be surprised if the photo quality from a Nikon 3100 or small Canon DSLR isn’t appreciably better than files from this Sony AND at a much smaller price.

          That would be an interesting ‘crazy comparison’.

      • But if you consider that this is not just a camera, but also a camcorder…

    • It is true that both weight and price is similar to a Canon SL1 + 18-135 (a surprisingly decent lens according to Photozone). But what is missing from that setup is not a 35mm, it is something wider. The difference between 28 and 24mm is huge if you limit yourself to traveling light. My present usually-with-me camera is a Pana G5 + 14-140 and I would much rather have a 12-100.

  48. I am a ‘one-camera’ guy. I’ve been using a Fujifilm X-S1, and it was my only choice from the standpoint that the others were all plastic-bodied and just felt like toys. The X-S (like the RX10) is metal-framed, and just feels way more like a camera should to me.

    My only regrets with the X-S is the smaller sensor (2/3″) which can show itself in certain situations. So this could be quite the step up for me. I’m a hobbyist, so I’m willing to make the trade-off for portability and simplicity vs. the better IQ in DX or FX, I’m not earning a living with these tools.

    My traveling rig is the camera, a spare battery and card, and a shoe-mount flash. That’s it. IF I’m going to shoot l-o-n-g shots (600mm) of stuff that doesn’t move, then I’ll take the big tripod and remote release. That’s everything, and I can go from almost touching the lens macro shots to 600mm with a keystroke or two and a twist of the zoom barrel. Amazing . . . .

    In the ‘bridge camera world’, there’s a bit of grousing that this RX doesn’t go to 600 or 1000mm, but the dirty little secret is that most all of them (my X-S included) start losing out in sharpness at those sniper-scope ranges, so this thing topping out at 200mm (a Zeiss lens!) would not be a problem for me.

    And again, yeah, that sounds expensive, until you try and match it in an interchangeable lens setup, not easily done.

    Thanks for the review, Steve !

  49. I love my RX100, but the 200mm F2.8 reach is quite tempting. How big exactly is this camera relative to the RX100 and small MFT cameras? Also, I find that I use the RX100 mostly at the wide end and at F1.8, so it should be able to take in dimmer conditions than the RX10. Also, subjectively, is the RX10 lens any sharper than the RX100 lens?

  50. Please commenting the EVF:
    1. Can you urn off image review? And if you can, how long is the blackout?
    2. Refresh rate and clarity?
    Thanks

  51. Sonay has clearly thought about USP Unique Selling Point of RX10.
    Look at most cameras there is no USP.
    USP is one of the absolute basic fundamentals of good poduct good business :
    which most companies often dont do because they are too dim & too mixed up in their corporate structure.

    USP of RX10 is clear to anyone who understands digital photogrpahy and digital cameras.

    • Fuji s100fs 2/3″ 28-400mm f2.8-f5.6
      Pansonic Fz50 1/8″ 35-420mm f2.8-f3.7
      Two of the most respected bridge camers over the past decade are same size or bigger than X10.

      Olympus Stylus 1/1.7″ 28-300 f2.8 small size shows how far tech has come on since Fuji S100fs Panasonic FZ50

      Yet there is nothing on the market, no bridge, no 24-200mm f2.8 lens to match RX10.
      We have never had such a Zeiss not even from Sony F717 (2/3″ 38-190mm f2-f2.4), Sony F828 (2/3″ 28-200mm f2-f2.8),
      nor 1.4million dot EVF.

  52. Yet another overpriced piece of equipment for the already armoured gear freaks who are willing to swap their camera systems in no time to make even more boring pics and flood the net with “IQ samples”, pixel peeping and the seemingly newest trend: gear measurements for the wimps. I wonder if the much cited HCB would have stood a chance against this quagmire.

  53. Steve don’t cut back on your reviews length. That would be silly! If you have something to say I want to here it. I will find the time to read it all this ain’t readers digest! I would hate to miss some insight you might have because some one else’s eyes get tired!

    • I second that emotion. There may be folk with limited concentration but to my mind your reviews provide a good read something to relish and go over again. Thanks for your work or is it all fun?

      • Steve, I agree with both comments above. Greater word count is absolutely fine by me. Also, I always like reading about the video capabilities of cameras where suitable e.g. RX10, A7 etc.

  54. Wow! Nice detailed review with lots of samples. Looks like a killer camera. One thing I did notice, the 1st sample image was shot at ISO-1250, not ISO-1600 and the 9th sample was shot at ISO-3200, not ISO-1600. Regardless, a great review.

  55. Steve, why have you never done a test of the Leica V-Lux 4? It has been an excellent “carry along” for
    me, fantastic zoom range, sharp lens and good image quality in a small integrated package. You’re
    usually such a huge Leica fan, I’m surprised you’ve overlooked this little gem – and by the way, it’s
    significantly less expensive than this Sony.

  56. I agree; aside from us enthusiasts (read: anyone likely to be reading photography websites!) most 3000/5000 series Nikon cameras or the Canon Rebels never have the kit lens removed from the body!

  57. Thanks to this review, My language is french but i’m pleased with your review. Have a good time Steeve.

  58. I held this in my hands and snap a few shots at Photo Expo in NY…. I gotta say the body and lens feel rock solid… More solid feeling then the A7 actually…. But not sure I like the speed of the electronic zoom … Very laggy feeling…. Still may buy one towards the end of next year when prices drop….

  59. Steve, another great review! One thing, on the video sample I would love it if you didn’t use music under the video. I would prefer to hear what the onboard mic captured so I can judge the sound quality better! Otherwise an interesting little camera, I can’t wait to get my hands on one!

  60. The first sophisticated digital camera I had was a Canon Powershot Pro 1, which was an early 8Mp version of this type of camera. It worked remarkably well for my job, an archiving job now handled to a Nikon D300 and macro lens. Except for resolution in the corners, it was, in some respects, a better camera than the D300. People should give these cameras a chance.

  61. Great review Steve. Really enjoyed it. Hope this will be my take everywhere camera. A quick question if I may? Whilst going through the menus did you happen to see any intervalometer option?
    Thanks Steve
    Charles

  62. Thanks for the detailed review, Steve! Does the RX10 have an interval (timelapse) mode?

    • In that regard, does it have either an IR remote or a wired remote trigger? If not, will it be compatible with the Sony timelapse app?

      • The RX10 supports Sony’s new multi-function micro USB cable release (here’s a product link http://accy.sonydigitalimaging.com/products/model/RM-VPR1), as well as a standard ISO threaded cable release in the shutter button. The RM-VPR1 supports start, stop and zoom during video, as well as AF/shot and zoom for still photography. It does not have an intervalometer. I don’t know if one exists yet for the RX10 but it uses the same cable release format as the A58 and the new A7/A7r… so one can easily assume that if not Sony then a third party will have one available shortly.

        The RM-VPR1 also comes with an adapter so that the older A-mount bodies that were using the Minolta 3-pin remote sync from the late 1980′s will still work.

        • Thanks. Great information. I would (and probably will) get the RM-VPR1 for the ability to remotely control video functions alone.

  63. I have been in the market for a new camera for at least 5 years. I have really struggled with weighing the benefits of a camera with good IQ like a DSLR with ONE fast ZOOM lens against a similar equipped CSC or even a Point and Shoot with a smaller sensor offering OK IQ with a smaller price but with all of the versatility,quality, convenience AND handling I wanted. The very first day I saw the RX-10 I knew this was the camera I have been looking for. It just seemed to exude quality and has been the only camera recently that has done anything to really excite me and get me interested in photography again. Thanks Steve for a great review and confirming what I already knew about the RX-10. Sony has done a great job hitting the nail on the head with this one, meaning it seems they could read my mind. I pre-ordered one the first day……

  64. How heavy/bulky does the RX10 feel in the hand? I have used an NEX-5N with the Sony 18-200mm lens in the past, and that seems to be only slightly heavier than the RX10. However, the weight is distributed toward the end of the lens. I was really hoping for something lighter.

  65. Where is the Rx10 made?

  66. I have substantial experience of the last camera Sony made with the RX10′s profile – I refer of course to the short-lived but wonderful; DSC-R1. One of the online reviewers [DPReview] said at the time of its release…

    I’ll start as I shall no doubt finish this little piece of editorial, the lens is worth
    the price of the DSC-R1 alone. That fact is not to be underestimated, it’s a
    great lens which provides you with a very useful 24 – 120 mm zoom range
    (which will be sufficient for the majority of users). Doing the math it’s pretty
    clear that you have to spend a fairly considerable sum on lenses for a
    D-SLR to get close to this range and the quality of the DSC-R1′s lens.

    In money terms the RX10 is cheaper than the R1 was, because 2013 dollars are a lot less valuable than 2006 ones, so, though I’m borderline disappointed that the sensor in the RX10 is not APS-C sized like that in the R1, I’m hopeful that advances in sensor construction since 2005-6 will make up for the decrease in size and that the smaller Zeiss lens is as good as the marvel on my R1. I’m eagerly waiting the opportunity to test the new camera to find out. I love that the quality of construction of the camera has matched or even bettered that of the R1.

    I have never regretted the decision to seek out a second hand example of the R1 after I read the review quoted above; I just don’t seem to be able to take bad photographs with it. Even at only 10Mp the image quality is stellar: pictures glow with an inner light that only extremely high contrast lenses can produce. The availability of very, very high quality tele and wide end auxiliary lenses has also been a big plus for me. I particularly applaud the fact that the lens of this new heir to the R1′s place is f2.8 across its entire zoom range and benefits from the same very short distance between the last object glass and the sensor, a big design advantage not open to cameras that depend on mirrors or most cameras with interchangeable lenses.

    If I buy an RX10, I intend to adapt my current Sony auxiliary lenses and their clever bayonet mount to fit which will give me the 35mm equivalent of 16.8 to 340mm, all at f2.8! It only needs machined collars in the auxiliary lens throats to maintain a narrow clearance to the smaller lens barrel of the RX10 and prevent contrast-sapping light leakage and some careful modification of the cast metal adaptor the auxiliary lenses bayonet onto to preserve alignment and glass-to-glass distances.

    My final decision depends on two factors…

    1. Is the smaller sensor in the RX10 capable of the contrast and noise performance of the R1?
    2. Is the lens of the RX10 as good as the glorious glass on my R1?

    I’d be interested in Steve’s comments.

    Ed Form [Suffolk UK]

    • I had an R1 as well and loved it. I sold it hoping to get a top notch DSLR one day but now with the release of the RX10….. I could only imagine with the advances in sensor technology and image processor speeds etc etc that the RX10 would be a superior performer to the R1….

      • I can confirm today that the extender lenses from a Sony DSC-R1 work beautifully on the DSC-RX10. I bought an RX10 this morning and tested both auxiliary lenses in the store – it was made easy by the fact that the mount ring on the rear of both extender lenses is very similar in diameter to the front barrel of the RX10′s lens, so I was able to simply hold both extenders against the RX10′s lens barrel and fire the camera.

        The camera auto-focussed perfectly through both combinations and gave first rate results.

        The bayonet adaptor that mounts the extender lenses to a DSC-R1 is exactly the right height when held firmly against the base of the RX10, centring the bayonet perfectly round the camera’s lens but it will have to be modified with a new drilling for the tripod mount bolt and new lips to embrace the front and back and of the camera body to set the fore and aft alignment.

        So I’m very encouraged and will be in the metal shop on Monday modifying my adaptor. My DSC-R1 is for eBay as soon as I get a moment.

    • I owned and loved a Sony DSC-R1 I bought after I sold an Olympus E-20 and a minolta Dimage A2!. I enjoyed these cameras I still regret to have sold and I think I took my best shots with them : one camera, one (fast) lens is great. I have since been trying to enjoy DSLRs (K7, D90) but never got the same feeling. Although I am not new to photography -my first SLR in 1976 was a Pentax K2 I still use- I tend to think a simple 1 lens-1 body system helps you focus on photography itself;
      Maybe the RX10 is the one I was waiting for.

  67. Wow what an amazing camera, considering I was thinking of buying an RX100 and a video camera, this camera will do double duty for me for less money. (Although it won’t fit in my pocket).

    I also find it ironic that everyone wants the shallow depth of field of a large sensor. When I used to shoot 35mm film shallow depth of field was a constant problem forcing small apertures and slower shutter speeds. Yes you sometimes want to isolate a subject, but most of the time you want what you shoot to be in focus! So for me a good depth of field and a relatively wide aperture of F2.8 (all the way to 200mm) is a winning combination.

    This will replace my ageing Lumix FZ50, and just in time for Xmas.

  68. Steve, can you check if the HDMI output works with the camera in idle (not recording), this would allow you to do long video recordings (more than the 30 minute cut-off) using the HDMI output. I expect that with its advanced video features it does this also, but it would be nice to know before I buy one.

    Oh I forgot to say thanks for such a great review and overall site.

  69. Concept is fine price is not (far too expensive)
    Buy a budget DSLR and use the spare money to get some decent lenses, you can get a good start up for a lot less than this.

    • IMO, this isn’t for those looking for a start up rig. Budget DSLR’s are budget for a reason, they just aren’t that nice. The features and settings available on the RX10 far exceeds anything on a budget DSLR. If you want quality lenses, it will still cost you more than what the RX10 costs that cover the same range and f stop.

      This is for those who want quality but not want to carry around a giant camera and 5 lenses. It’s truly an all in one camera that is very versatile. I am often times in an environment where I am restricted on how much I can carry (space wise), this will be perfect for those times. Plus, no budget DLSR camera has weather sealing, big plus for me.

      I think you are missing the point of this camera. This camera has a lot of potential. At minimum it’s pushing other companies to come out with something similar and only encourages development of cooler technology. Everyone wins.

    • The price is just fine with me…… for what the RX10 offers in the way of versatility, convenience and quality.

  70. Steve, thanks for the review and test. I’m really in a quandry – I’m a videographer, and need a “with me every day cam” with a low profile, so I’m looking for something in a dslr format that doesn’t scream “video camera” that performs well in a variety of circumstances, particularly low light. I saw an impromptu video test on YouTube from a European photog that had the rx10 performing better than the a7r for video. Other cams I’m considering are the d7100 and the d5200 (I’ve got some vintage nikon glass that I use on my fs100). Since any one of those cams work for size, based on video IQ, DR, and low light, can you offer any guidance

    • Unfortunate that you aren’t looking for a video-cam. I purchased an outstanding Sony Hdr Pj790. I used it to shoot video and photos at a retirement party. The video and photos were beautiful. The DVD was a work of art that also included music. The retiree loved it and I had a ball making it.

  71. The best comparison with this camera, notwithstanding that one has a fixed lens and one is interchangeable, is with the Panasonic G6 with 14/140 lens [28/280 equivalent]. They are about the same size with some of the differences being that the G6 has a bigger sensor while the Sony is weather resistant and has a fixed aperture. Yes, the Sony aperture is fixed at f2.8 but it would be interesting to see what their relative aperture was to their sensor size. In other words, which is really brightest at 200 equiv focal length and which has the best low light performance through the range.

  72. If you really want the shallow depth of field bokeh effect with the RX10 then why not add it in post processing with your editing software? Quite frankly this obsession with bokeh escapes me, but if this is your primary consideration for a camera then buy a 35mm equivalent full frame camera or a medium format camera don’t look for bokeh in a small sensor camera and complain when you don’t find it; this is just physics, it’s not going to be there.

  73. The RX10 is rating very well for image quality on a variety of sites against cameras with bigger MFT and APS-C sensors. Whilst sensor size always wins in the end when you pixel peep, in practical terms the IQ of this camera is phenomenal.

    I think my only disappointment is that Sony did not use the higher resolution EVF from the A7/NEX 6 cameras. This seems like the only area they did not do their very best with this camera.

    • > The RX10 is rating very well for image quality on a variety of sites against cameras with bigger MFT and
      > APS-C sensors

      What sites objectively rate it as good as or better IQ?
      Objectively, as in, side-by-side image comparisons…

  74. Just picked this puppy up and I’m enjoying it. I shot stuff using this hand held, while shooting with my a99 on a tripod. I’d like to access the raw files but adobe’s not up to date yet… I tried searching online but no luck >> is there anyway to convert the raw files on windows 8.1?

  75. I understand the RX10 has a constant f2.8 and that is one of its best features. But what is the minimum aperture?

  76. Having kept my Sony DSC-F717 camera(s), I have been waiting for an innovative camera with a fast lens that can take really sharp .jpeg photos. While the F717 has an unmatched w.a. to tele f-stop range from 2.0 to 2.4, it lacks many of the sophisticated innovations introduced in the last few years.

    Therefore, the DSC-RX10 might be the camera I need to replace my three F-717 cameras. I keep the teleconverter and wideconverter attached to two of the cameras. Talk about weight and bulk to keep all that handy!

    A look at the Sony website shows that the instruction manual for the RX10 is very lacking in details to describe the camera operation. Not much there really. And calling Sony support for any technical answers has always been met by extreme frustration through the years. Mostly, they read the same computer monitor images info that you already looked at before calling them.

    Sony needs to have a complete set of instructions for this very complex camera. Wonder when (or if) that will be?

    Several manufactures have gone down the scale in megapixels, in an effort to increased artifacts of highest megapixel cameras. But would those problems still exist with the larger sensor in the RX10? Or to reduce artifacts, would you want to choose lower megapixel recordings, an option the RX10 permits?

    There are some scary warnings in the online instruction manual for high temperatures, humidity, etc. Keeping it in the car can distort the body, it was stated. Wow, that’s scary! I frequently keep my camera bag concealed in the car. Sometimes, I let the camera cool off to ambient outdoor temperatures. Other times, I grab and use it right away, because some potential photos don’t go into slow-motion stop action waiting for me. Humidity I think was also a caution.

    Well, folks, we live in Corpus Christi, TX, on the Gulf. Should I assume that the RX10 is not the camera for this geography, or did Sony just issue these warnings as a CYA disclaimer? I’ll bet Sony will not answer that question point blank, but it is a critical one for us here, where summer temperatures can exceed 100 degrees in the open shade, plus horribly hot inside a parked car.

    Since I wear rather expensive eyeglasses, I am always concerned about any camera’s rubber eyecup protection on the EVF. I’d appreciate hearing about that on the RX10.

    One YouTube video shows RX10 has video showing 50fps video option visible on the LCD, but several reviews state it’s 60. Which is correct?

    Will the Delkin sunshade fit on the LCD finder without blocking any of it, or is the LCD visibility in sunlight better than most on the RX10?

    As background, I’m a retired commercial photographer, including 10 years employed as fulltime photographer by a major US car maker, and earned MA in Photography. I now take photos just for fun. But as you probably can see from my comments and questions, I’m still picky about equipment and the results I demand.

    Your comments are most welcome. I’d like to comment that Steve does a superb job with his website and reviews.

  77. I ordered mine today. Thanks Steve! Hopefully this will be my new travel kit, when I’m not doing a specific photo mission.

  78. Thanks for the review Steve! How far behind the OMD EM1 is it in image quality and DR? I’m torn between these two for a low light, landscape, and architectural shooter.

  79. On Nov. 29, I posted comment about the warnings issued by SONY for the RX10 relative to keeping it in your car during the summer. Doesn’t that issue concern anybody else, or do you live in Yankeeland and not use your cameras in the summer?

    When I’m in a restaurant or shopping, etc., I always leave the camera concealed in the car.

    I have never seen this warning about heat distorting the camera body in any other camera manual before. Have you?

    I WANT this camera, but not if it’s going to self-destruct in summer heat.

  80. Just got the RX10 tonight and did some indoor shots in “green” auto mode. It seemed to me that the auto white balance was too warm under incandescent lights (even more than my HX100V). Anyone else notice this in there RX10?

  81. Found that there is a better more complete instruction manual online. Live chat sent me the link as follows:

    http://docs.esupport.sony.com/dvimag/DSCRX10_guide/en/index.html

    Otherwise, if you don’t ask, the English online version is just 40 pages, which is grossly inadequate for this feature-loaded camera.

    ————————————–
    Checked with Costco to see if they would sell the RX10. Answer is a firm NO.

    Apparently, SONY has fixed price policy, even to not allowing the retailer’s opportunity to offer it as a bundle with other equipment, to enhance the value. Not sure that demanding retailers to sell at a fixed price is legal in the USA. Thought that got struck down many years ago in our courts.

    Regardless, folks, looks like the RX10 will remain selling at MSRP price (at least until SONY Japan realizes that consumers in the USA don’t like to pay retail.) However, the good news is that this does open up possibilities of gray market purchases to save money. Let’s see how the price cutters get around this.

    ————————————————

    The RX 10 might not be the camera for many people, due to its construction. Personally, I live in Texas, so I probably cannot buy this camera. Plus, anybody in Southern states also should pay attention to the SONY cautions. People in the Midwest also will need to keep the RX10 out of their cars during summer months.

    More on the climate conditions warnings from SONY for the RX10, quoted as follows from the SONY manual:

    Do not use/store the product in the following places
    · In an extremely hot, cold or humid place
    In places such as in a car parked in the sun, the camera body may become deformed and this may cause a malfunction.
    · Storing under direct sunlight or near a heater
    The camera body may become discolored or deformed, and this may cause a malfunction.
    · In a location subject to rocking vibration
    · Near strong magnetic place
    · In sandy or dusty places
    Be careful not to let sand or dust get into the product. This may cause the product to malfunction, and in some cases this malfunction cannot be repaired.

    On operating temperatures
    Your product is designed for use under the temperatures between 0°C and 40 °C (32 °F and 104 °F). Shooting in extremely cold or hot places that exceed this range is not recommended.

    On moisture condensation
    · If the product is brought directly from a cold to a warm location, moisture may condense inside or outside the product. This moisture condensation may cause a malfunction of the product.
    · If moisture condensation occurs, turn off the product and wait about an hour for the moisture to evaporate. Note that if you attempt to shoot with moisture remaining inside the lens, you will be unable to record clear images.

    • Since the operating temperature range cited in the manual of my son’s Canon 5D is precisely the same as that for the RX10, presumably you wouldn’t advise Texans to buy anything Canon makes?

      From the manual of a Canon 5D

      Min Operating Temperature: 0 °C
      Max Operating Temperature: 40 °C

      Operating Environment

      Working Temperature Range
      32-104°F/0-40°C

      Working Humidity Range
      85% or less

      These are perfectly normal numbers for top quality cameras: all the manufacturers like to have get-out clauses for when they get distorted and fried cameras back that have been left on the back window ledge of a car in Austin or Seoul or Woolagong in high summer.

      On your other subject – the inadequate manual – right on brother! It’s a joke. What’s more I am seriously annoyed about the html only online manual which is not only a pig to use, like all html documents, but is hopelessly badly constructed as well. It has multiple cascaded repeats of each subject title, so that it is at least three clicks to get at any page. Why can we not have a good, straightforward downloadable PDF? I’ve written to Sony about this in pretty strong terms – I just paid a grand [Sterling] for this thing and I want a book.

      Ed Form

      PS. I love it to death!!!!!!

      • Ed, I agree that the statement is most likely a CYA disclaimer. But my other cameras do not have this disclaimer. Therefore, I am reluctant to own a camera in a climate that can be greater than 100 F for nearly two months in the summer. Plus, living on the Gulf of Mexico coastline, it’s humid here. I was pumped up after reading all the glowing previews. All I was waiting for were the lab test reports before I bought one. I was very ready to purchase.

        • Simple Solution:

          Phone Sony Tech Support & ask about it.
          Anyone: do they have US toll free #?
          Thanks!

          • Phoning SONY for tech support always was an exercise in frustration. I’ve been there many times before for other products. They essentially have people who will read you the same text of their monitor, which is identical to what you are looking at. Like, I guess they figure you cannot read but can only listen.

            If you create an absolute terror, you can eventually get transferred to what they refer to as Level III assistance. OK, they know how to read the same screen as all the last guys.

            Cannot recall exact questions from years ago. But one I remember was asking what the flash synch speed was with the DSC-F717 camera. When I used it as fill in daylight or at slow shutter speeds inside, would I get the ghosting. Months later, after repeatedly asking same question, I was told that it was a trade secret and could not be revealed! Yep, that’s what I was told. They would not let me know; however, I am certain that the engineering team knew that answer.

            Now, to be clear, I am not on a soapbox to beat up on SONY. I have enthusiast 5 SONY cameras now with boxes of toys to go with them. I have used SONY cameras, tape recorders, TVs, stereos, etc. for many, many years.

  82. Well I’m sold on it. I’ve been looking for something to replace my Fuji HS20 bridge camera, (which I thought was just great when I first got it). But the limitations of slow AF, average IQ, poor low light/high ISO perforance left me wanting something with better quality. I’m still a noob at photography, but I like travel, concerts, landscapes, architecture and mountain biking. And I enjoy taking pics of all of them. But I don’t want to be lugging a DSLR and multiple lenses around on holidays or biking trips. I’d been considering an OMD EM-5 and the new X-E2. Brilliant IQ and fairly compact.

    But these would have been with 12-60 and a 50-135 sized lenses.

    The RX10 seems just perfect for me. Very close M4/3 and APS-C in terms of image quality – certainly for the types of photography I do. And it’s cheaper, lighter and better specced than both of the above cameras.when you factor in the extra lenses I would need. And video performance surpasses both of the above.

    So, for me, it’s bang on. Think of it as a top end Leatherman or Swiss Army knife. Take it everywhere with you and do tons of stuff with it. It won’t replace a dedicated tool ie for sports or birding. But I’m not interested in either of those..

  83. I just checked out the RX10 at the Sony store. I have to be honest and say I did not like it at all for the following two reasons:

    1/ Lens zooming is really slow. Really slow.
    2/ The EVF in indoor shooting (maybe outside too but I didn’t go outside) smears really badly if you pan or move the camera around.

    I’m surprised this was not mentioned.

    • Thanks for report on smearing, which would make it dizzying to use. Hopefully you handled a defective one. Otherwise, that’s a significant problem that will bury the RX10.

      Others had mentioned slow zoom (a few). That can be a problem when framing a shot, not so much for getting in really superduper, but just in the simple act of using zoom to frame pic. I usually zoom most times for framing, cropping the image to come in tight and cut out needless stuff.

  84. I’m very tempted to buy this. I’m not a photographer, but have a child and need an upgrade from my P&S camera (Canon S100). I had (well, still have the Canon Rebel SLR 6; in my closet…). I used that SLR a lot in my honeymoon and some other events and stopped using it shortly after since a) I wasn’t all that impressed by the images (probably since I had the basic lens and didn’t know all the techniques) , and b) hated carrying that big camera around.

    I understand that the RX10 is a larger camera, like the SLR I had. But the alternative for me and my family would be to buy an equally large SLR camera, PLUS bunch of lenses. Since I don’t care to spend much more $$ to get all the good lenses to get something similar to RX10, I think this is my best bet.

    Plus it seems the video capability of this camera is amazing. Which is another huge reason for us to get this.

    So to the people who question the target audience for this camera, I say this is probably for people like me. We want something better than our P&S cameras, don’t have the time/money to invest to get all the right equipment to make pics that this camera will make from the get go, can zoom in on our kids in their sporting/school events, and will take amazing videos. I’ll try it from Amazon and see how it goes. Hope it’s a keeper (and I suspect it will be.)

    Thank you for your review

    Mazymus

  85. Dear Steve,
    Being an avid camera collector (some 1000 items of all types and ages – I’ll elaborate and send photos, if you wish) as well as a photography enthusiast. I try to read your articles on a regular basis before contemplating the purchase of any photo gear. What I like about your reviews is that they do not dwell on lab numbers or data but rather on the quality of the actual results – which might be subjective I concur. However you always attach sample photos which not only demonstrate your skill but also emphasis the point you relate to. As a result I have purchased a number of items recommended by you, regrettably failing to credit you with your well earned involvement. I have corrected this with my most recent purchase of the Sony RX 10 (at B&H) – which I think will prove to be my favored daily camera. I work as a loss adjuster and surveyor and use cameras on a daily basis. Keep up the excellent and invaluable work you do.

  86. Hi Steve,

    I would have a question or would need a suggestion.

    I have the Oly EM 1 with the 12-40, plus the 45mm and the 35-100. So quite well settled ;)

    When I saw the Stylys 1, I thought it woudl be a good one for walkournd with with the dog, bike & kid etc. or normal weekend walk… So I thought of getting it… now I saw your review and the quality aspect you mentioned…
    When having the above set and I want a more “all in one” solution for a more casual day, what wouid you suggest..the stylus is “pocketable”!
    Thanks
    Rainer

  87. Would you recommend this camera to photograph toddlers? Is the focus quick enough?

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