If you are looking for ground breaking camera with exceptional quality and performance, Sony might be the right choice. The company launches amazing cameras at astonishing prices. The market for DSLR and Point and shoot cameras might be on, but various photographers desire such cameras that provide ultra zoom capabilities without having to shell out more money on the expensive lenses. Sony has a solution for that; the company has launched the RX 10 camera. With many compact cameras rolling out in the market, it does get confusing to figure out the right camera that would serve all your photography and video needs. This review on the RX 10 should probably clear a few of your doubts about this camera and might help you decide if this is the right camera for you.
Let’s take a look.
The Sony RX 10 is a compact camera with 8.5 x zoom that is equivalent to 24-200 mm constant f2.8 aperture supported by a 20 megapixel CMOS sensor. The 24-200 mm lens on this camera is modest for its range and with an 8.5 x zoom ratio along with f 2.8 aperture huge image sensor with an impressive minimal focal distance that goes from 30 cm when you zoom in and 3cm at a wide angle perspective, the shallow depth of field is created by combining them. Users needn’t switch to a dedicated macro focus mode to lock on at close distances and thankfully this camera’s focusing speed does not take a hit from a lack of a dedicated macro range.
At first glance the looks like a typical DSLR-styled bridge / super-zoom. But unlike the 25-600mm range of the FZ200 Sony gave the RX 10 camera a much shorter 24-200mm range on the RX10, the reason is because the RX10, like the RX100 (II) features a 1in sensor that's roughly four times larger than the 1/2.3in sensor in the FZ200, delivering lower noise and higher dynamic range. The RX 10 has built in Wi-Fi connectivity and works with Sony Play Memories Mobile app that is free for Android as well as iOS users, this app enables users to quickly transfer images and video from the camera to phone or tablet. Even if you're shooting raw images, a downsized JPG of the Raw image can be sent over to your smart phone/ tablet, but you'll need to record in the MP4 video format so as to move pictures. It's also possible to send images and video directly to a PC over Wi-Fi, or view images wirelessly on a compatible TV.
The camera can also be used as an access point to connect to your phone or tablet with it either by means of a password or NFC (Near Field Communication) that This allows for easy transfer to your connected device when out and away from the home network, the RX10 can also connect to an existing network and transfer files to another device on the same network. This camera also has a microphone and headphone jacks and Sony's multi-interface shoe which can accommodate accessories including an XLR microphone adapter.
The RX 10 also features an in-lens leaf shutter, so flash sync is possible even at the shortest 1/3,200-second setting. Although you will be limited to shooting at f8 speed, this camera can pace up at f 2.8 with 1/1600 second speed. You might notice that when you shoot further beyond 70 mm, the lens hood on the camera casts a shadow when you use the pop up flash. Although this is not a major issue, you can remove the shadow and use the flash at wider angles. This is a great camera with Sony’s technical capabilities put to best use along with user friendliness.
Design, Display and Handling:
Even though the RX10 is a bit bulky at 90 x 130 x 130 mm (HWD) and heavy at 824 grams and does feel like getting a grip on an actual DSLR with a big lens mounted on it. On this camera, there is a big control ring around the lens that adjusts its zoom when users set the camera to the autofocus mode and becomes a focus control when kept in manual focus mode. Behind this resides an aperture ring that offers third-stop clicks from f/2.8 down to f/16. The zoom ring on the camera can also be set to a step zoom mode that adjusts the lens to a classic focal length such as 24 mm, 35 mm 50 mm, 70 mm 135 mm or 200 mm which is generally used. There is a standard control option too that allows you to set the lens to intermediary lengths; even when step zoom is enabled, the zoom rocker switch can be used for fine adjustments.
As far as the design goes, the camera has a power zoom design and a thick body accommodates plenty of room for controls on the top plate of this device. The camera homes a mode dial on the left, and a hot shoe and pop-up flash in the middle. On the right end corner, there is a standard zoom rocker as well as the power switch and the shutter control that share a clustered space together. There is a customizable ( C ) button as well as an EV compensation dial that goes from -3 to +3 EV in third-stop increments. There is also a monochrome information LCD (with backlight) on the top, a feature that's usually only seen in D-SLRs. Apart from this, the camera also has rear controls that include the standard Menu button (to the left of the EVF), and on the right side a record button for quick video recording, and a control dial. There is an Auto Exposure Lock (AEL) button as well that is found next to the LCD. The Fn button (a control wheel) that has a center button as well as 4 dimensional control points and the playback button are found on the rear side. An advantage is that the controls on this camera are customizable and most of the buttons can be reconfigured according to your needs. The camera’s Body is quite sturdy and dust/moisture sealed too.
The RX10 also sports a large and detailed 1440k dot OLED Tru-finder, 3 inch tilting screen, 1080p movies at 24p /60p (25p or 50p in PAL) with manual exposure control, 10fps continuous shooting. The tilting screen can be tilted up to 45° downwards to shoot over crowds or up to 84° upwards. The camera flaunts Sony’s White Magic Technology that results in a very high resolution, high contrast screen that makes it very easy to use under direct sunlight too. The OLED Tru-Finder 0.39-type electronic viewfinder has 1440k dots and the 3 inch screen has 1,288,000 pixel resolution, the EVF has an eye sensor that manages easy switching between EVF and LCD viewing as well as a diopter control that helps eye glasses wearers.
Performance and Modes:
The RX10 is built to perform. The camera starts and captures in approximately 1.7 seconds, although this is not too fast, it is a decent performer when you consider zoom lens enabled cameras. The good news is that the shutter lag on this camera is almost as good as nil at wide angle and the focus locks on less than ½ a second. The camera has a Speed Priority mode in which you can fire up around 22 Jpeg images with 10 fps speed. The camera shoots high definition videos too. There are various kinds of modes on this device. The Auto focus modes found on the camera are as follows: multi, centre, flexible spot, face detect and tracking mode. The Metering modes are multi, centre-weighted, centre and face detect mode and there are a few drive modes too, that include; single, continuous, self-timer, AE bracket, WB bracket, dynamic range bracket, panorama, HDR shooting and there are a few standard exposure modes such as; program, shutter priority, aperture priority, manual mode.
Sony has included a Lithium Li-ion battery for this camera that shoots around 420 shots in a single go.
The Sony RX 10 is a great camera that is towards the bulky side but nonetheless, it has an amazing technology along with the top notch features with sheer promise to deliver.
Sony Cybershot DSC RX10 Rivals:
Olympus Stylus 1
Panasonic Lumix DMC FZ200