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Sony RX10 Comparison Review

The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10 is a fixed lens compact camera that was officially introduced in October 2013 and is equipped with an one-inch sensor. It offers a resolution of 20 megapixel.

camera

Is the Sony RX10 a good camera? The RX10 has a Camera Elo of 2077. This rating puts the RX10 among the top 50 percent of all travel zoom compact cameras. In terms of its sensor size category (one inch cameras), the RX10 ranks below average. Based on its within category standings, the camera earns a 3-star performance rating.

Headline Specifications
Sony RX10
Fixed lens compact camera
24-200mm f/2.8
20 MP, 1" Sensor
1080/60p Video
ISO 125 - 12 800 (80 - 25 600)
Electronic viewfinder (1440k dots)
3.0 LCD, 1229k dots
Tilting screen (no touchscreen)
10 shutter flaps per second
Weathersealed body
420 shots per battery charge
129 x 88 x 102 mm, 813 g


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Read on to find out more about the camera's size, sensor, features, reception by expert reviewers, and how it compares to other digital cameras.

Body comparison with a credit card

An illustration of the physical dimensions of the Sony RX10 vis-à-vis a credit card is provided in the side-by-side display below. Three successive views from the front, the top, and the rear are shown. All width, height and depth dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

Sony RX10 vs credit card front
RX10 versus credit card top view
RX10 and credit card rear side

The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the Sony RX10 alongside a set of similar cameras. If you want to review a particular camera pair side-by-side, just move across to the CAM-parator tool and choose from the broad selection of possible comparisons there.

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Body Specifications
    Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life
Weather
Sealing
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
1.
 
Sony RX10 129 mm 88 mm 102 mm 813 g 420 Y Oct 2013 1,299i
2.
 
Canon 80D 139 mm 105 mm 79 mm 730 g 960 Y Feb 2016 1,199i
3.
 
Canon G3 X 123 mm 77 mm 105 mm 733 g 300 Y Jun 2015 999 i
4.
 
Canon 7D II 149 mm 112 mm 78 mm 910 g 670 Y Sep 2014 1,799 i
5.
 
Canon 70D 139 mm 104 mm 79 mm 755 g 920 Y Jul 2013 1,199i
6.
 
Leica V-LUX Typ 114 137 mm 99 mm 131 mm 830 g 360 n Sep 2014 1,349i
7.
 
Nikon D7100 136 mm 107 mm 76 mm 765 g 950 Y Feb 2013 1,199i
8.
 
Panasonic FZ1000 137 mm 99 mm 131 mm 831 g 360 n Jun 2014 899i
9.
 
Sony RX10 III 133 mm 94 mm 127 mm 1051 g 420 Y Mar 2016 1,499 i
10.
 
Sony RX10 II 129 mm 88 mm 102 mm 813 g 400 Y Jun 2015 1,299i
11.
 
Sony RX100 III 102 mm 58 mm 41 mm 290 g 320 n May 2014 799i
Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.

The listed prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The Sony RX10 was launched in the US market at a price of $1,299. Usually, retail prices stay at first close to the launch price, but after several months, discounts become available. Later in the product cycle and, in particular, when the replacement model is about to appear, further discounting and stock clearance sales often push the camera price considerably down. Then, after the new model is out, very good deals can frequently be found on the pre-owned market.

Sony RX10:
Check Ebay offers

Sensor comparison with a 35mm slide

The size of the imaging sensor is a crucial determinant of image quality. A large sensor will tend to have larger individual pixels that provide better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and richer color-depth than smaller pixel-units in a sensor of the same technological generation. Further, a large sensor camera will give the photographer additional creative options when using shallow depth-of-field to isolate a subject from its background. On the downside, larger sensors tend to be associated with larger, more expensive camera bodies and lenses.

The Sony RX10 features an one-inch sensor and has a format factor (sometimes also referred to as "crop factor") of 2.7. Within the spectrum of camera sensors, this places the Sony RX10 among the medium-sized sensor cameras that aim to strike a balance between image quality and portability.

Sony RX10 sensor measures

For most cameras, data on sensor performance has been reported by DXO Mark. This service determines an overall sensor rating, as well as sub-scores for low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and color depth ("DXO Portrait"). The following table provides an overview of the physical sensor characteristics, as well as the sensor quality measurements for a selection of alternatives.

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Sensor Characteristics
    Camera
Model
Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
1.
 
Sony RX10 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p22.912.647469
2.
 
Canon 80D APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p23.613.2113579
3.
 
Canon G3 X 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p21.412.352163
4.
 
Canon 7D II APS-C 20.0 5472 36481080/60p22.411.8108270
5.
 
Canon 70D APS-C 20.0 5472 36481080/30p22.511.692668
6.
 
Leica V-LUX Typ 114 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p........
7.
 
Nikon D7100 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.213.7125683
8.
 
Panasonic FZ1000 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p22.111.751764
9.
 
Sony RX10 III 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p23.112.647270
10.
 
Sony RX10 II 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p23.012.653170
11.
 
Sony RX100 III 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p22.412.349567

Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but also of capturing video footage. The RX10 indeed provides movie recording capabilities. The highest resolution format that the RX10 can use is 1080/60p.

Feature comparison

Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the RX10 has an electronic viewfinder with a resolution of 1440k dots. The viewfinder offers a field of view of 100% and a magnification of 0.70x. The adjacent tables list some of the other core features of the Sony RX10 along with similar information for a selection of comparators.

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Core Features
    Camera
Model
Viewfinder
(Type or
000 dots)
Control
Panel
(yes/no)
LCD
Specifications
(inch/000 dots)
LCD
Attach-
ment
Touch
Screen
(yes/no)
Mech
Shutter
Speed
Shutter
Flaps
(1/sec)
Built-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Built-in
Image
Stab
1.
 
Sony RX101440 Y3.0 / 1229 tilting n 1/3200s 10.0 Y Y
2.
 
Canon 80Doptical Y3.0 / 1040 swivel Y 1/8000s 7.0 Y n
3.
 
Canon G3 Xoptional n3.2 / 1620 tilting Y 1/2000s 5.9 Y Y
4.
 
Canon 7D IIoptical Y3.0 / 1040 fixed n 1/8000s 10.0 Y n
5.
 
Canon 70Doptical Y3.0 / 1040 swivel Y 1/8000s 7.0 Y n
6.
 
Leica V-LUX Typ 1142359 n3.0 / 921 swivel n 1/4000s 12.0 Y Y
7.
 
Nikon D7100optical Y3.2 / 1229 fixed n 1/8000s 6.0 Y n
8.
 
Panasonic FZ10002359 n3.0 / 921 swivel n 1/4000s 12.0 Y Y
9.
 
Sony RX10 III2359 Y3.0 / 1229 tilting n 1/2000s 14.0 Y Y
10.
 
Sony RX10 II2359 Y3.0 / 1229 tilting n 1/3200s 14.0 Y Y
11.
 
Sony RX100 III1440 n3.0 / 1229 tilting n 1/2000s 10.0 Y Y

The LCD screen on the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10 is flexibly attached to the body. In particular, the LCD can be tilted vertically to facilitate odd-angle shots in landscape orientation. This tilting design is often preferred, for example, by street photographers to a fully articulated, swivel type of LCD attachment, as it is more unobtrusive during shooting than a screen that flips out to the side.

articulated screen
Flexible screen on the RX10

One convenient feature of the RX10 is the presence of an on-board flash. While this built-in flash is not very powerful, it can at times be useful as a fill-in light to brighten deep shadow areas.

Connection comparison

For some imaging applications, the extent to which a camera can communicate with its environment can be an important aspect in the camera decision process. The table below provides an overview of the connectivity of the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.

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Input-Output Connections
    Camera
Model
Hotshoe
Port
Internal
Mic / Speaker
Microphone
Port
Headphone
Port
HDMI
Port
USB
Port
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
1.
 
Sony RX10Ystereo / monoYYmicro2.0YY-
2.
 
Canon 80DYstereo / monoYYmini2.0YY-
3.
 
Canon G3 XYstereo / monoYYmini2.0YY-
4.
 
Canon 7D IIYstereo / monoYYmini3.0---
5.
 
Canon 70DYstereo / monoY-mini2.0Y--
6.
 
Leica V-LUX Typ 114Ystereo / monoY-micro2.0YY-
7.
 
Nikon D7100Ystereo / monoYYmini2.0---
8.
 
Panasonic FZ1000Ystereo / monoY-micro2.0YY-
9.
 
Sony RX10 IIIYstereo / monoYYmicro2.0YY-
10.
 
Sony RX10 IIYstereo / monoYYmicro2.0YY-
11.
 
Sony RX100 III-stereo / mono--micro2.0YY-

It is notable that the RX10 has a microphone port. Such an external microphone input can help to substantially improve the quality of audio recordings when a good external microphone is used.

The RX10 has a zoom lens built in (8.8-73.3mm f/2.8-2.8), which, in full frame equivalent terms, provides a focal length range from 24 to 200mm. The camera is, hence, ready to shoot, while remaining more compact in size than an interchangeable lens camera with an optic that offers similar focal length and aperture specifications.

Expert reviews

While the comparison of the spec-sheets of cameras can offer a general idea of their imaging potential, it remains incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the RX10 handle or perform in practice. User reviews that are available, for instance, at amazon can sometimes shed light on these issues, but such feedback is all too often partial, inconsistent, and inaccurate. This is where reviews by experts come in. The table below summarizes the assessments of some of the best known camera review sites (amateurphotographer [AP], cameralabs [CL], digitalcameraworld [DCW], dpreview [DPR], ephotozine [EPZ], photographyblog [PB]).

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Review Scores
     Camera 
 Model 
 AP 
 score 
 CL 
 score 
 DCW 
 score 
 DPR 
 score 
 EPZ 
 score 
 PB 
 score 
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
1.
 
Sony RX105/5+..80/1004.5/54.5/5 Oct 2013 1,299i
2.
 
Canon 80D4/5+ +4.5/584/1004.5/54.5/5 Feb 2016 1,199i
3.
 
Canon G3 X3.5/5+....4.5/54/5 Jun 2015 999 i
4.
 
Canon 7D II4.5/5+3.5/584/1004/54.5/5 Sep 2014 1,799 i
5.
 
Canon 70D5/5+ +..83/1004.5/55/5 Jul 2013 1,199i
6.
 
Leica V-LUX Typ 114..........5/5 Sep 2014 1,349i
7.
 
Nikon D71005/5+ +..85/1004.5/54.5/5 Feb 2013 1,199i
8.
 
Panasonic FZ10004/5+ +..82/1004.5/54.5/5 Jun 2014 899i
9.
 
Sony RX10 III5/5+..84/1004.5/54.5/5 Mar 2016 1,499 i
10.
 
Sony RX10 II5/5+ +..82/1004.5/54/5 Jun 2015 1,299i
11.
 
Sony RX100 III5/5+ +..82/1004.5/55/5 May 2014 799i
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.

The above review scores should be interpreted with care, though. The ratings were established in reference to similarly priced cameras that were available in the market at the time of the review. Hence, a score should always be seen in the context of the camera's market launch date and its price, and comparisons of ratings among very different cameras or across long time periods have little meaning. Also, please note that some of the review sites have changed their methodology and reporting over time.

Sony RX10 FAQ

Below are some additional questions and answers concerning some particular features of the RX10.

What is the technology behind the imaging sensor in the RX10?

The camera features a BSI-CMOS (Backside Illuminated Complementary Metal–Oxide–Semiconductor) sensor.

Which image processing chip is used to convert the raw signal into an image file and perform noise reduction and image sharpening?

Sony equipped the RX10 with the BIONZ X image processor.

What is the ISO sensitivity range of the RX10?

The camera has a native sensitivity range from ISO 125 to ISO 12800, which can be extended to ISO 80-25600.

Is it difficult to use manual focus lenses with the Sony RX10?

The RX10 offers focus peaking as a manual focus aid. This feature works by placing a colored highlight on in-focus zones within the image.

Does the Sony RX10 feature an autofocus assist light?

Yes, the camera has a lamp built-in that can illuminate the subject and improve autofocus in low-light settings.

Does the Sony RX10 support the Ultra High Speed (UHS) bus interface for SD cards?

Yes, the camera can indeed use UHS-I cards (data transfer speed of up to 104 MB/s).

Which battery does the RX10 use?

The camera gets its power from the NP-FW50 (here at amazon), which is a rechargeable Lithium-Ion power pack.

Camera to camera comparisons

In case you would like to check on the differences and similarities with other camera models, just make a corresponding selection in the search boxes below. There is also a set of direct links to comparison reviews that other users of the CAM-parator app explored.

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    Specifications Summary
    Camera Model Sony RX10
    Camera Type Fixed lens compact camera
    Camera Lens 24-200mm f/2.8
    Launch Date October 2013
    Launch Price USD 1 299
    Sensor Specs
    Sensor Technology BSI-CMOS
    Sensor Format 1" Sensor
    Sensor Size 13.2 x 8.8 mm
    Sensor Area 116 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 15.9 mm
    Crop Factor 2.7x
    Sensor Resolution 20 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 5 472 x 3 648 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 2.41 μm
    Pixel Density 17.18 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability 1080/60p Video
    ISO Setting 125 - 12 800 ISO
    ISO Boost 80 - 25 600 ISO
    Image Processor BIONZ X
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) 69
    DXO Color Depth (bits) 22.9
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) 12.6
    DXO Low Light (ISO) 474
    Screen Specs
    Viewfinder Type Electronic viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 100%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.70x
    Viewfinder Resolution 1440k dots
    Top-Level Screen Control Panel
    LCD Framing Live View
    LCD Size 3.0 inch
    LCD Resolution 1229k dots
    LCD Attachment Tilting screen
    V-logging Friendliness No front-flip
    Touch Input No touchscreen
    Shooting Specs
    Focus System Contrast-detect AF
    Manual Focusing AidFocus Peaking
    Maximum Shutter Speed 1/3200s
    Continuous Shooting 10 shutter flaps/s
    Silent Shootingno E-Shutter
    Time Lapse Photographyno Intervalometer
    Fill Flash Built-in Flash
    Storage Medium MS or SDXC cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot
    UHS card support UHS-I
    Connectivity Specs
    External Flash Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 2.0
    HDMI Port micro HDMI
    Microphone Port External MIC port
    Headphone Socket Headphone port
    Wifi Support Wifi built-in
    Near-Field Communication NFC built-in
    Body Specs
    Environmental SealingWeathersealed body
    Battery Type NP-FW50 power pack
    Battery Life (CIPA)420 shots per charge
    In-Camera Charging USB charging
    Body Dimensions 129 x 88 x 102 mm
    (5.1 x 3.5 x 4.0 in)
    Camera Weight 813 g (28.7 oz)

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