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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.

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Is the Sony RX10 a good camera? The RX10 has a Camera Elo of 1919. 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 comparators. If you want to review a camera pair side-by-side, just select a right-side comparator from among the camera models in the table. Alternatively, you can also 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 1
Weather
Sealing
Camera
Launch 2
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
 
Sony RX10 5.1 in 3.5 in 4.0 in 28.7 oz 420 Y Oct 2013 1,299i
 
Canon G3 X 4.8 in 3.0 in 4.1 in 25.9 oz 300 Y Jun 2015 999 i
 
Canon 70D 5.5 in 4.1 in 3.1 in 26.6 oz 920 Y Jul 2013 1,199i
 
Leica V-LUX Typ 114 5.4 in 3.9 in 5.2 in 29.3 oz 360 n Sep 2014 1,349i
 
Nikon D7100 5.4 in 4.2 in 3.0 in 27.0 oz 950 Y Feb 2013 1,199i
 
Panasonic FZ1000 5.4 in 3.9 in 5.2 in 29.3 oz 360 n Jun 2014 899i
 
Sony RX10 III 5.2 in 3.7 in 5.0 in 37.1 oz 420 Y Mar 2016 1,499 i
 
Sony RX10 II 5.1 in 3.5 in 4.0 in 28.7 oz 400 Y Jun 2015 1,299i
 
Sony RX100 III 4.0 in 2.3 in 1.6 in 10.2 oz 320 n May 2014 799i
 
Sony RX100 II 4.0 in 2.3 in 1.5 in 9.9 oz 350 n Jun 2013 749i
 
Sony RX100 4.0 in 2.3 in 1.4 in 8.5 oz 330 n Jun 2012 649i
Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.
(1) Number of images that can be taken on a full battery charge according to the CIPA-standard; (2) Official announcement.

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 comparators.

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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
 
Sony RX10 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p22.912.647469
 
Canon G3 X 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p21.412.352163
 
Canon 70D APS-C 20.0 5472 36481080/30p22.511.692668
 
Leica V-LUX Typ 114 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p........
 
Nikon D7100 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.213.7125683
 
Panasonic FZ1000 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p22.111.751764
 
Sony RX10 III 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p23.112.647270
 
Sony RX10 II 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p23.012.653170
 
Sony RX100 III 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p22.412.349567
 
Sony RX100 II 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p22.512.448367
 
Sony RX100 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p22.612.439066

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
Size
(inch)
LCD
Resolution
(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
 
Sony RX101440 Y 3.0 1229 tilting n 1/3200s 10.0 Y Y
 
Canon G3 Xoptional n 3.2 1620 tilting Y 1/2000s 5.9 Y Y
 
Canon 70Doptical Y 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/8000s 7.0 Y n
 
Leica V-LUX Typ 1142359 n 3.0 921 swivel n 1/4000s 12.0 Y Y
 
Nikon D7100optical Y 3.2 1229 fixed n 1/8000s 6.0 Y n
 
Panasonic FZ10002359 n 3.0 921 swivel n 1/4000s 12.0 Y Y
 
Sony RX10 III2359 Y 3.0 1229 tilting n 1/2000s 14.0 Y Y
 
Sony RX10 II2359 Y 3.0 1229 tilting n 1/3200s 14.0 Y Y
 
Sony RX100 III1440 n 3.0 1229 tilting n 1/2000s 10.0 Y Y
 
Sony RX100 IIoptional n 3.0 1229 tilting n 1/2000s 10.0 Y Y
 
Sony RX100none n 3.0 1229 fixed n 1/2000s 10.0 Y Y

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
Microphone
Internal
Speaker
Microphone
Port
Headphone
Port
HDMI
Port
USB
Port
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
 
Sony RX10YstereomonoYYmicro2.0YY-
 
Canon G3 XYstereomonoYYmini2.0YY-
 
Canon 70DYstereomonoY-mini2.0Y--
 
Leica V-LUX Typ 114YstereomonoY-micro2.0YY-
 
Nikon D7100YstereomonoYYmini2.0---
 
Panasonic FZ1000YstereomonoY-micro2.0YY-
 
Sony RX10 IIIYstereomonoYYmicro2.0YY-
 
Sony RX10 IIYstereomonoYYmicro2.0YY-
 
Sony RX100 III-stereomono--micro2.0YY-
 
Sony RX100 IIYstereomono--micro2.0YY-
 
Sony RX100-stereomono--micro2.0---

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 (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, photographyblog).

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Review Scores
  Camera
Model
camera
  labs  
dp
review  
ephoto
  zine  
imaging
resource
photography
  blog  
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
 
Sony RX10+80/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Oct 2013 1,299i
 
Canon G3 X+..4.5/53.5/54/5 Jun 2015 999 i
 
Canon 70D+ +83/1004.5/54.5/55/5 Jul 2013 1,199i
 
Leica V-LUX Typ 114........5/5 Sep 2014 1,349i
 
Nikon D7100+ +85/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Feb 2013 1,199i
 
Panasonic FZ1000+ +82/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Jun 2014 899i
 
Sony RX10 III+84/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Mar 2016 1,499 i
 
Sony RX10 II+ +82/1004.5/54.5/54/5 Jun 2015 1,299i
 
Sony RX100 III+ +82/1004.5/54.5/55/5 May 2014 799i
 
Sony RX100 II+ +79/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Jun 2013 749i
 
Sony RX100+ +78/1004/55/55/5 Jun 2012 649i
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 1229k dots
    LCD Attachment Tilting screen
    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 Build-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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