Three quick shots from the Sony RX10

Three quick shots from the Sony RX10


Ahhh, the Sony RX10! I am now back home from Nashville TN after a week of testing the Sony A7 and was a great time. Because I was so into testing the A7 series and had such little time to do much of anything besides shoot them I did not get to use the RX10 while there. Luckily, Sony handed me one to take home with me so I could get to know it better and review this little beast. I will have a first look next week with video and 1st thoughts but for now, on this Saturday night, I want to post three quick samples that I shot a couple of hours ago at the AZ State Fair. It was dark so the camera was at high ISO but the AF was fast, no hunting at all. The 24-200 f/2.8 Zeiss lens is actually a knockout. The constant f/2.8 REALLY helps when shooting at 200mm.

Anyway, I did not want to leave this new guy out in the cold so wanted you all to know I am now shooting with it and will be reviewing it soon.

Have a great weekend!

PS – I had Noise Reduction set to OFF. Click images for larger. These are JPEGs.

You can pre-order the RX10 at B&H Photo HERE.

f/2.8 – ISO 1250 – 1/30th – 24mm


f/2.8 – 50mm – ISO 1250 – 1/60th


200mm – f/2.8 – ISO 200 – 1/250


Sony RX10 Specs:

20.2MP 1″ Exmor R CMOS Sensor

The large, 20.2 megapixel, 1″ Exmor R, CMOS sensor features backside-illuminated technology to enhance its low-light capabilities to an expanded ISO 12800 while still retaining vivid clarity. Using Sony’s Column A/D Conversion, images are rendered with impressive image quality and smooth gradations between tones and colors due to the marked reduction in apparent noise.

New BIONZ X Image Processor

Also benefitting the image quality, as well as overall camera performance, is the new BIONZ X image processor. It faithfully reproduces details and rich tones with lower image noise than was previously possible. Performance speed is also impressive including full-resolution continuous shooting up to 10 fps, high-speed auto focusing and Full HD 1080i/p video recording. Still images can be recorded in JPEG or RAW file formats or both simultaneously.

Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T* 8.3x Optical Zoom Lens

The built-in Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T* lens provides a 35mm-equivalent focal length range of 24-200mm, covering wide-angle to full telephoto perspectives to suit working in a wide variety of situations. The fast constant f/2.8 maximum aperture enables enhanced low-light capabilities as well as greater control over focus placement for selective focus imagery. The lens also features 7 aspheric elements for reduced aberrations and a Carl Zeiss T* anti-reflective coating to help minimize lens flare and ghosting in order to produce imagery with rich contrast and clarity.

Built-In Wireless and NFC Connectivity

Built-in wireless connectivity enables the RX10 to instantly transfer imagery to mobile devices for direct sharing with social networking sites, via email, and to cloud storage sites. NFC (Near Field Communication) is also supported, which allows for one-touch connection between the camera and compatible Android mobile devices; no complex set-up is required. This technology when used with the free Sony PlayMemories Mobile app also provides the ability to use Smart Remote Control, which provides for remote shutter release that is controlled by a smart device.

Full HD 1080p Video Recording with Stereo Sound

Full HD 1920 x 1080 video recording is supported in multiple frames rates, including 60p, 60i, and 24p. When recording in Full HD, the AVCHD Ver. 2.0 codec is used for highly detailed image quality that translates well to editing and sharing on HDTVs. Recording in the Internet-friendly MP4 format is also supported in 1440 x 1080 and 640 x 480 sizes at 30 fps. Manual exposure control is available in video mode. Sound is recorded during filming using the built-in stereo microphone, or additionally, an external microphone can be used in conjunction with the multi interface shoe. A headphone jack allows you to monitor sound directly from the camera and a built-in HDMI output terminal provides direct connection to your HDTV, computer, or external recorder for real-time uncompressed video recording.

High-Resolution LCD Monitor

For live view monitoring, image playback and review, and menu navigation, a 3.0″ 1228K-dot LCD monitor is integrated into the camera body and features a tilting design to promote easier use from high and low angles. The screen can tilt approximately 84° up and 45° down, giving a wide range of viewing angles. The LCD also employs WhiteMagic technology, which enhances the brightness of the display for easier use in bright conditions. Real-time image adjustment can be seen on the monitor and Grid Display and Peaking can be customized for better image control.

XGA OLED Viewfinder

See spectacular clarity, contrast, and detail in every scene, regardless of conditions, on the built-in, bright, high-resolution OLED Tru-Finder electronic viewfinder. Four dual-sided aspherical lenses provide a big, 33º view angle and maintain excellent edge-to-edge visibility of the electronic viewfinder. An eye-sensor on the viewfinder senses when your eye is at the finder and illuminates it while simultaneously turning off the LCD monitor.

Smooth High Speed Autofocus

Aided by the rapid throughput of the BIONZ X image processor, auto focusing on the RX10 is fast and accurate. The Direct Drive SSM (Super Sonic Wave AF Motor) provides fast and smooth autofocus action, and Flexible Spot frames enable versatility and precision when choosing your focus spots.

Precise Autofocus Tracking and New Eye EF Function

Lock-on Autofocus precisely focuses on moving subjects by continuously adjusting target frame size based on its recognition of subject characteristics. Even when a subject goes out of frame temporarily, tracking resumes at the moment that it is recaptured after re-entering the frame. Advanced Eye Detection technology creates Eye AF Function which detects and focuses on the subject’s eye even if the head is turned slightly.

Close-up Focusing

Close-up shooting is seamless and no switching to macro mode is needed. The minimum focus distance for the RX10 is a constant 11″.

Optical SteadyShot Image Stabilization

Optical SteadyShot image stabilization works to minimize the appearance of camera shake when working in low-light conditions or with greater zoom magnifications. The system can counter the effects of both vertical and horizontal movements, and, furthermore, Active 3-Way stabilization adds digital rolling control that balances both clockwise and counter-clockwise movements while recording videos.

Diffraction-Reducing Technology

This maintains outstanding clarity by applying aperture-appropriate filter processing to suppress and compensate for diffraction – a phenomenon that can otherwise limit photographic resolution and cause points of light to appear blurred, especially in images that have been shot using a small aperture (large f-number) setting.

Detail Reproduction Technology

By minimizing digital artifacts that tend to overemphasize hard outlines and rough edges when pictures are reproduced, detail reproduction technology makes images noticeably more natural-looking in detail, texture, and dimension.

Area-specific Noise Reduction

Noise reduction, even in images shot in low light, is individually adjusted based on imaging pattern variations for superior clarity and finer details.

Built-In Flash and Multi-Interface Shoe

A convenient pop-up flash with several flash modes is provided but the RX10 features the advanced Multi-Interface Shoe that dramatically expands compatibility with Sony digital imaging accessories such as flash units and microphones, thus increasing the potential of your photo and movie shooting.

Selectable Click/Click-Less Manual Control Ring

The manual ring gives you direct control of certain settings, zooming, and focusing, according to the focus mode in use. In addition, before turning the aperture ring to set f-stop, you can turn Aperture Click Switch on for clicked aperture adjustment or off for a quiet, smooth feel when setting the aperture. A display panel on top lets you see key settings without moving the camera as you look through the viewfinder.

Multi-Compatibility Memory Slot

The one memory card slot on the RX10 is compatible with Memory Stick PRO Duo, Memory Stick PRO-HG Duo, Memory Stick XC-HG Duo, Memory Stick Micro, Memory Stick Micro Mark 2, SD, SDHC, SDXC, microSD, microSDHC, and microSDXC memory cards.

Rugged Design

Magnesium alloy top and front casings make the RX10 light, solid, and robust enough for long, rigorous use by advanced photographers and videographers. The camera’s dust and moisture resistant design even allows shooting in rugged outdoor environments.

Advanced Interface and Customizable Buttons

A new, improved graphical user interface makes access to frequently used functions easier, just press the Fn button to display a list of them. In addition, seven control buttons can be customized to adjust up to 40 function types for faster, personalized access to camera controls

TRILUMINOS and 4K Compatibility

The RX10 supports Sony TRILUMINOS Color for exceptionally rich, natural colors when viewing images on a TRILUMINOS display. Also, photos can be viewed on a 4K television via HDMI or wireless output.


  1. Why RX10 over Nex + 2 lenses? Sometimes you just want to grab and go, immune to the weather (RX10 compared to Nex), not wanting to change lenses (or risk the sensor dust); maybe you want to enjoy the almost infinite lenses in the 24-200 range on this primo Zeiss lens. Mayb your desire of the day is a powerful camcorder hiding in the guise of a camera!

  2. What it forgot to say in the above post is. – guys this is a video optimized camera with superb still capacity. the advantages of it over interchangable lens DSLRs in the same price range appears only whe you see how the sensor capture is optimized for video.

  3. Very one is totally missing the point of this camera, like the expensive Canon Cinema EOS series it reads an over sampled image 4K or better and then reduces it to HD. The Canons also do chroma Channel splitting, and it seems as if the RX10 does BT, but still the results the same – the RX10 will giv sig if angle greater detail since the over sampling reduces the image smearing and lack of resolution inherent in debayering an image from a HD sensor or a sensor that does not read a much larger image and then reduce it. I am sure that Sony will soon introduce a PRO like using this señor and over sampling combination.

  4. Nikon have small size 1″ interchangeable covered (with a small 10-100mm f4-f5.6)
    Sony have small size 1″ pocketable covered.

    Thus Sony could only have gone one way with a bridge to make it different (Unique Selling Point)
    and that’s what we got = fast fixed lens.

    Although f2.8 200mm covers many bases as seen by the excellent low light shots
    a Rangefinder style body would have made it a USP even more than a wannabe dslr body
    also more discreet.

    • The RX10 body appears to be similar in shape, handling and size to an APS-C DSLR (or SLT), for which we can choose from a wide range of kit and travel zooms, starting at 16mm and up to 200mm at the long end. The RX10 lens, when retracted, is similar in length to the typical the 18-55/3.5-5.6 kit lens, and perhaps 5cm shorter than a travel zoom. I am not sure whether this makes a significant difference when carrying the camera on a strap or in a bag.

      Image quality between the RX10 with 1″ sensor and “Zeiss” lens or an APS-C sensor with kit or travel zoom (incl. low cost offerings from Sigma, Tamron) is to compared side by side.

      After returning from hiking or street shooting with travel zoom during daylight to your hotel or home, you can put a fast 35mm prime on the DSLR to shoot indoor or nightlife, and still remain in within the budget for an RX10.

  5. Nice shots Steve. Impressive video you posted on YouTube at the State Fair too. Looks really good, and I’m looking forward to your review. I’ve been reading up everything I can on this camera since it’s announcement as it seems about perfect for what I want from a camera these days. My biggest concern from what I’ve seen is that grass and leaves look mushy on most pictures. I don’t know whether it is a lens problem or a jpeg engine problem. If it is a lens problem then it will still be present in the RAW images, if jpeg, then not. I’m hoping you’ll be able to address this in your review.

  6. and the reason this is sooo much better than the RX100 II is…???

    Sony needs to make an RX-2 with a 75-85 mm fixed 2.0 \. Just a “long” version of the RX-1. Same FF sensor as teh RX-1

    That combination would be near-impossible to beat for all but the most professional of situations… In fact the reason they won’t do it may be because they would lose a lot of their NEX and A7 consumers.

    • Well, 1st of all it has a 24-200mm f/2.8 constant aperture Zeiss lens that is of higher quality than the RX100 lens. The lens on the RX10 is a pro quality zoom. The RX100 has a 28-100 coverage zoom. The RX10 has better audio capabilities as well as better video quality and low light performance. RX10 has faster processing, newest processer, built in very nice EVF, WiFi and NFC built in, and a manual aperture dial on the lens which can be clicked or clickless. Has a display up top that lights up as well as a great tilt LCD on the back. It’s more camera than an RX100 with better lens, longer range, better video, built in EVF, and better control for about the same cost as an RX100II and EVF.

      • Oh, Steve, I know that’s all true. But I’ll wait till one of your crazy comparos to judge how much better it really is. I know you’ll tell us

        Hey don’t blame me for holding the RX-1 as The Standard of what Sony can do (or anyone for that matter). I didn’t want to like it so much. In fact, at first I thought the roll-out (Quail Lodge in Carmel IIRC) influenced you judgement. Then I took some shots with one… case closed…

  7. LOVE those 1″ sensors in B&W. Looks like someone finally came up with a great all-in-one camera in the digital age. Olympus had a few gems back in the film days.

  8. Personally, I’ve had one on pre-order since about 12 hours after the announcement. This looks great in a lot of ways. I love my Fuji’s (X100, X10 and XS-1) and I see this as a replacement for both the X10 and XS-1…especially with a larger sensor and the constant f/2.8. I left DSLR’s quite a while back and moved to m4/3 and then got tired of changing less as well…I love the X100 🙂 This gives some reach in good and and looks like a fun camera. I can’t wait to see your review!

  9. > slow and cumbersome Sony software

    Compared to what? Canon DPP?
    What are Sony specific software problems?
    Regardless of speed, what are RAW converter
    results vs. others converting same Sony RAWs?

  10. Would like to hear your impressions of the AF speed, and tracking capability (or the lack of it).
    It seems promising, as a do-it-all (90% of the time) type camera most people.

  11. Sweet! This should be much bigger news for the average Joe than the A7(r). A general purpose camera that will deliver in almost every way. Great for family, events, vacations, and budding documentary film makers. I’m stoked.

  12. I may be more impressed with the image quality from the RX10! I expected the A7 Series image quality to be great but had less expectations for this camera. Looks pretty darn good so far.

  13. Thanks for finally getting to this camera, Steve. Looks promising so far. I’m waiting for your longer review and more images this week before making my SONY purchase decisions. I’m looking for a second camera to complement my Leica M, and am retiring my heavy DSLR system. While this is clearly a “trade-off” decision (can one really compare a full-frame sensor on the A7’s to the 1″ sensor on the RX10, fixed vs. interchangeable lenses, etc.?), I would NOT want to goof with the RX10 if the sharpness and IQ were just not there. Help!!! As always, we appreciate your tenacity!

    • The RX10 is VERY sharp when shooting with decent shutter speeds 🙂 Sharper than the Nikon V1, and that says alot. Also KEEP IN MIND these are JPEGS! RAW files can not be read yet by anything but the slow and cumbersome Sony software.

      • Thanks for the quick reply on a Sunday morning, Steve. I’m not a “technical” guy (just a doctor…), so when you say “decent” shutter speed, given the image stabilization of the RX10 (and accounting for ISO, etc.), was there a problem? Was it “normal” noise from higher ISO at slower speeds that rendered the images less sharp? Not sure I get why this would not apply to any camera at slow speeds and you call it out with the RX10? Help…again…please!

      • Hi Steve – just to clarify… are you meaning the RX10 is sharper than the V1 with the 10-30mm kit lens?

        I only ask because, while these images look great, the don’t look any where near as sharp to my eyes as those from the V1 with the Nikkor 32mm f1.2 or or 18mm 1.8 for example.

        • That is because these are HIGH iso, JPEGS (not raw) and shot at night at low shutter speeds. The V1 would not be any better in these situations..i know as I have shot it in these situations many times.

          I have seen insanely sharp results from this camera..wait for the review and RAW file conversions.

  14. I have looked closely at many samples and will withhold my opinion until real testing of this super zoom is available. The pictures that I have seen, seem flat and empty, and none of them in very sharp focus. The size is very big and heavy. I am interested in the upcoming Olympus Stylus which is more portable with a better compromise between sensor size and lens. The tests will come, it will be a great battle!

    • Sad to say, I agree so far. I just don’t like the look of the pictures out of this, there’s something icky about them. The tone/contrast is a bit weird, the noise is good for a small sensor but not *good*, and the bokeh has too mang rings and not enough balls. Of course, a lot of that could improve with proper raw processing.

      I was really interested in this — one of these, plus my NEX-6 and 35/1.8 OSS for low light, share the same flash and batteries, and I never miss a shot changing lenses again. Ah well, here’s hoping it’ll change my mind.

      • Nah. You don’t get the image quality of the A7 with a small DSLR, it’s unlikely the 18-BIG lens would have decent constant aperture at any reasonable price, and you don’t get the practicality of a sealed body with no need to change lenses (the RX10) or the convenience of a small body for street shooting (the A7).

  15. It´s really impressive how little noise this small sensor exhibits. It´s alsmost as if the technology of these Exmore sensors is superior to what we see from larger sensors. Sonsy should make larger Exmore sensors for all the other formats.

  16. Steve…I think you misquoted. The lens spec…it is 24-200mm equiv.
    (Just trying to be helpful…)
    The shot of the fella in the green shirt is fantastic!

  17. Steve…I think you misquoted. The lens spec…it is 24-200mm equiv.
    (Just trying to be helpful…)
    The shot of the fella in the green shirt is fantastic!

  18. Of the three cameras introduced by Sony, the RX10 interests me the most as it really can replace my SLR/DSLR and also my micro 4/3 E-P3 without all the bother of changing lenses. The image quality looks great and the specification is impressive. Interestingly Olympus has brought out a similar camera but with a much smaller sensor, the Olympus Stylus 1, this is coming in at virtually half the price of the Sony and in a much smaller package. I hope you are going to test that camera Steve.

    • Amen to above remark and I have a high hope for video image quality both AVCHD and Raw video from RX10. I know he may not have access to RAW video now. but later, May Steve test this as well.

  19. Nice photos, they talk very well of the camera. The old Sony R1 can shot just, I mean the useable way and editing in raw, till 400 iso, and 800 as last resource but doing a perfect white balance and exposure. The jpegs are aged and using a raw converter is mandatory at least to me. These days I am thinking if RX10 could be the natural update but I don’t know if I could live without the perfect placed screen (medium format type and environment protection) and the manual zoom (human precision). Perhaps I am going to buy just a marumi filter to increase the macro range.
    Said that I chosen the old R1 and my other options were the sigmas Merrill (I take photographs to relax so I am not really in a hurry to take photographs in higher isos to compensate but for that same reason I don’t bare the noisy shutters of cameras with interchangeables lenses), the RX10 more than desire to buying it make me feel more respect for the characteristics of R1 (aps/c sensor, wonderful optics, human zoom, etcetera)

  20. This almost looks like a replacement for my Sony R1 (still going strong).

    Just curious though Steve, do you happen to know the maximum magnification factor (1:?)?

  21. Steve —

    How noisy / quiet is the Shutter ? ? ?

    Is this a Leaf Shutter ?

    Thank you for ALL of your time, dedication, and Hard Work !

  22. Do you know what the RX10’s flash sync speed is for any external flash? I was heartened to see that the A7 will sync at up to a 250th of a second, but have seen nothing on the RX10. Not even mentioned in the full blown booklet I got at the recent Photo Plus show in NY.

    • Obviously form does not follow function. Note the fake prism humb above the non-existent focussing screen and reflex mirror box. Why three latest Sony cameras mimic SLRs from the last millenium? I find the shape unpractical.

      • I disagree with you. I prefer the shape of my Nex-6, but I am right eye dominant.

        The “false hump” is practical. I gives a location for the optical path from the panel in the EVF so the diopter adjustment can work. This allows the camera to be more usable for a wider group of users with different vision. The location allows equal access for either the right or left eye. It allows the eye to be in the same center position as the lens. I am sure that position allows some greater ease in manufacture and design… it is above the shutter and sensor.

        I think it is a great example of form following function.

        I think it is too big, compared to the new Olympus Stylus, but it has a larger sensor. I do think it could have been styled smaller, about the size of the A7.

        • A lot of rangefinder shooters are right-eye dominant, and when using an EVF you are looking through the lens regardless where the EVF is situated, in the same centre position as the lens. Not sure what you mean with regards to diopter adjustment, the X-E1 for example has an EVF on the left top corner and it has a diopter correction dial as well. I think the form just follows the norm for many photographers and some will argue that is “function” enough.

          • re: diopter adjustment, the EVF has a specific focal length from the eyepiece to the viewfinder screen. this is similar to the eyepiece to focusing screen distance in a slr. that distance is longer due to the light path through the pentamirror or pentaprism. the diopter adjustment allows some correction for the photographers vision.

            the EVF has specific length that may be longer than the thickness of the body. center position allows some of that length to coincide with the lens and lens mount so the body will be thinner.

      • Isn’t the “SLR-” EVF even worse for left-eye-shooters than the “rangefinder-” EVF? I mean nose and right eye get in the way of the right thumb operating all the dials on the rear-right side if the camera body. And the nose smears the LCD in either case.

        Very obviously the Fuji X bodies and the even thinner NEX-6/7 bodies are thick enough for the EVF, incl. diopter adjustment. The screen within the the EVF is much smaler than even an APS-C focussing screen. Hence a small ocular is sufficient.

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