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Sony RX100 Comparison Review

The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 is a fixed lens compact camera that was officially introduced in June 2012 and is equipped with an one-inch sensor. It offers a resolution of 20 megapixel.

camera

The Sony RX100 has a Camera Elo of 1698. This rating puts the RX100 below average of all travel zoom compact cameras. In terms of its sensor size category (one inch cameras), the RX100 also falls below average. – Well, the Sony RX100 is more than 6 years old, and there have been many other good digital cameras released since 2012.

Headline Specifications
Sony RX100
Fixed lens compact camera
28-100mm f/1.8-4.9
20 MP, 1" Sensor
1080/60p Video
ISO 100-6400 (100-25600)
No viewfinder, LCD framing
3.0" LCD, 1229k dots
Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)
10 shutter flaps per second
330 shots per battery charge
102 x 58 x 36 mm, 240 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 RX100 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 RX100 vs credit card front
RX100 versus credit card top view
RX100 and credit card rear side

The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the Sony RX100 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.

Camera Body Specifications
  Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life
(CIPA)
Weather
Sealing
(yes/no)
Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Camera
Model
 
Sony RX100 4.0 in 2.3 in 1.4 in 8.5 oz 330 n Jun 2012 649- i Sony RX100
 
Canon G9 X Mark II« » 3.9 in 2.3 in 1.2 in 7.3 oz 235 n Jan 2017 529 i i Canon G9 X Mark II
 
Canon G9 X« » 3.9 in 2.3 in 1.2 in 7.4 oz 220 n Oct 2015 529- i Canon G9 X
 
Sony RX100 V« » 4.0 in 2.3 in 1.6 in 10.5 oz 220 n Oct 2016 999 i i Sony RX100 V
 
Sony A5100« » 4.3 in 2.5 in 1.4 in 10.0 oz 400 n Aug 2014 549 i i Sony A5100
 
Sony RX100 III« » 4.0 in 2.3 in 1.6 in 10.2 oz 320 n May 2014 799- i Sony RX100 III
 
Sony RX10« » 5.1 in 3.5 in 4.0 in 28.7 oz 420 Y Oct 2013 1,299- i Sony RX10
 
Sony RX100 II« » 4.0 in 2.3 in 1.5 in 9.9 oz 350 n Jun 2013 749- i Sony RX100 II
 
Sony NEX-5R« » 4.4 in 2.3 in 1.5 in 9.7 oz 330 n Aug 2012 749- i Sony NEX-5R
 
Sony NEX-5N« » 4.4 in 2.3 in 1.5 in 9.5 oz 460 n Aug 2011 699- i Sony NEX-5N
 
Sony NEX-C3« » 4.3 in 2.4 in 1.3 in 7.9 oz 400 n Jun 2011 599- i Sony NEX-C3

The listed prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The Sony RX100 was launched in the US market at a price of $649. 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 RX100:
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 RX100 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 RX100 among the medium-sized sensor cameras that aim to strike a balance between image quality and portability.

Sony RX100 sensor measures

For most cameras, data on sensor performance has been reported by DXO Mark. This service is based on lab testing and assigns an overall score to each camera sensor, as well as ratings for dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), color depth ("DXO Portrait"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"). The adjacent table reports on the physical sensor characteristics and the outcomes of the DXO sensor quality tests for a sample of comparator-cameras.

Sensor Characteristics
  Camera
Model
Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
Camera
Model
 
Sony RX100 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p22.612.439066Sony RX100
 
Canon G9 X Mark II« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p21.912.552265Canon G9 X Mark II
 
Canon G9 X« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p21.512.349563Canon G9 X
 
Sony RX100 V« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p22.812.458670Sony RX100 V
 
Sony A5100« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p23.812.7134780Sony A5100
 
Sony RX100 III« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p22.412.349567Sony RX100 III
 
Sony RX10« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p22.912.647469Sony RX10
 
Sony RX100 II« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p22.512.448367Sony RX100 II
 
Sony NEX-5R« » APS-C 16.0 4912 32641080/60i23.713.191078Sony NEX-5R
 
Sony NEX-5N« » APS-C 16.0 4912 32641080/60i23.612.7107977Sony NEX-5N
 
Sony NEX-C3« » APS-C 16.0 4912 3264720/30p22.712.2108373Sony NEX-C3

Many modern cameras cannot only take still pictures, but also record videos. The RX100 indeed provides movie recording capabilities. The highest resolution format that the RX100 can use is 1080/60p.

Feature comparison

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The following tables report on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Sony RX100 and comparable cameras.

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)
Shutter
speed
(1/sec)
Shutter
flaps
(1/sec)
Built-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Built-in
Image
Stab
Camera
Model
 
Sony RX100- n 3.0 1229 fixed n 2000 10.0 Y Y Sony RX100
 
Canon G9 X Mark II« »- n 3.0 1040 fixed Y 2000 8.2 Y Y Canon G9 X Mark II
 
Canon G9 X« »- n 3.0 1040 fixed Y 2000 6.0 Y Y Canon G9 X
 
Sony RX100 V« »2359 n 3.0 1229 tilting n 2000 24.0 Y Y Sony RX100 V
 
Sony A5100« »- n 3.0 922 tilting Y 4000 6.0 Y n Sony A5100
 
Sony RX100 III« »1440 n 3.0 1229 tilting n 2000 10.0 Y Y Sony RX100 III
 
Sony RX10« »1440 Y 3.0 1229 tilting n 3200 10.0 Y Y Sony RX10
 
Sony RX100 II« »- n 3.0 1229 tilting n 2000 10.0 Y Y Sony RX100 II
 
Sony NEX-5R« »- n 3.0 920 tilting Y 4000 10.0 n n Sony NEX-5R
 
Sony NEX-5N« »- n 3.0 920 tilting Y 4000 10.0 n n Sony NEX-5N
 
Sony NEX-C3« »- n 3.0 920 tilting n 4000 5.5 n n Sony NEX-C3

One convenient feature of the RX100 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-RX100 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.

Input-Output Connections
  Camera
Model
Hotshoe
Port
Internal
Microphone
Internal
Speaker
Microphone
Port
Headphone
Port
HDMI
Port
USB
Type
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
Camera
Model
 
Sony RX100-stereomono--micro2.0---Sony RX100
 
Canon G9 X Mark II« »-stereomono--micro2.0YYYCanon G9 X Mark II
 
Canon G9 X« »-stereomono--micro2.0YY-Canon G9 X
 
Sony RX100 V« »-stereomono--micro2.0YY-Sony RX100 V
 
Sony A5100« »-stereomono--micro2.0YY-Sony A5100
 
Sony RX100 III« »-stereomono--micro2.0YY-Sony RX100 III
 
Sony RX10« »YstereomonoYYmicro2.0YY-Sony RX10
 
Sony RX100 II« »Ystereomono--micro2.0YY-Sony RX100 II
 
Sony NEX-5R« »Ystereomono--mini2.0Y--Sony NEX-5R
 
Sony NEX-5N« »Ystereomono--mini2.0---Sony NEX-5N
 
Sony NEX-C3« »Ystereomono--mini2.0---Sony NEX-C3
 

The RX100 has a zoom lens built in (10.4-37.1mm f/1.8-4.9), which, in full frame equivalent terms, provides a focal length range from 28 to 100mm. 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 specs-based evaluation of cameras is instructive in revealing their potential as photographic tools, it says nothing about, for example, the handling, responsiveness, and overall imaging quality of the RX100 in practical situations. 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).

Review Scores
  Camera
Model
cameralabs dpreview ephotozine imaging-resource photographyblog Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Camera
Model
 
Sony RX100++78/1004/55/55/5 Jun 2012 649- i Sony RX100
 
Canon G9 X Mark II« »-75/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Jan 2017 529 i i Canon G9 X Mark II
 
Canon G9 X« »++-4.5/54/54.5/5 Oct 2015 529- i Canon G9 X
 
Sony RX100 V« »++83/1004/55/54.5/5 Oct 2016 999 i i Sony RX100 V
 
Sony A5100« »+-4.5/54.5/55/5 Aug 2014 549 i i Sony A5100
 
Sony RX100 III« »++82/1004.5/54.5/55/5 May 2014 799- i Sony RX100 III
 
Sony RX10« »+80/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Oct 2013 1,299- i Sony RX10
 
Sony RX100 II« »++79/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Jun 2013 749- i Sony RX100 II
 
Sony NEX-5R« »--4.5/5-4.5/5 Aug 2012 749- i Sony NEX-5R
 
Sony NEX-5N« »++79/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Aug 2011 699- i Sony NEX-5N
 
Sony NEX-C3« »++74/1004.5/54.5/54/5 Jun 2011 599- i Sony NEX-C3
Notes: ++) highly recommended; +) recommended; o) reviewed; -) not available.

The review scores listed above should be treated with care, though. The ratings are only valid when referring to cameras in the same category and of the same age. Thus, a score needs to be put into the context of the launch date and the launch price of the camera, and comparing ratings of very distinct cameras or ones that are far apart in terms of their release date have little meaning. It should also be noted that some of the review sites have over time altered the way they render their verdicts.

Sony RX100 FAQ

Below are some additional questions and answers concerning some particular features of the RX100.

What type of imaging sensor is used in the RX100?

The camera is build around a CMOS (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 RX100 with the BIONZ X image processor.

What is the ISO sensitivity range of the RX100?

The camera has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 6400.

Does the Sony RX100 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.

Which battery does the RX100 use?

The camera gets its power from the NP-BX1 (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 your choice using the following search menu. Alternatively, you can follow any of the listed hyperlinks for comparisons that others found interesting.

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    Specifications Summary
    Camera Model Sony RX100
    Camera Type Fixed lens compact camera
    Camera Lens 28-100mm f/1.8-4.9
    Launch Date June 2012
    Launch Price USD 649
    Sensor Specs
    Sensor Technology CMOS
    Sensor Format 1" Sensor
    Sensor Size 13.2 x 8.8 mm
    Sensor Area 116.16 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 15.9 mm
    Crop Factor 2.7x
    Sensor Resolution 20 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 5472 x 3648 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 2.41 μm
    Pixel Density 17.18 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability 1080/60p Video
    ISO Setting 100-6400 ISO
    ISO Boost 100-25600 ISO
    Image Processor BIONZ X
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) 66
    DXO Color Depth (bits) 22.6
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) 12.4
    DXO Low Light (ISO) 390
    Screen Specs
    Viewfinder Type No viewfinder
    LCD Framing Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.0 inch
    LCD Resolution 1229k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen
    Shooting Specs
    Autofocus System Contrast-detect AF
    Maximum Shutter Speed 1/2000s
    Continuous Shooting 10 shutter flaps/s
    Fill Flash Build-in Flash
    Storage Medium MS or SDXC cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot
    UHS card support no
    Connectivity Specs
    External Flash no Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 2.0
    HDMI Port micro HDMI
    Wifi Support no Wifi
    Body Specs
    Battery Type NP-BX1 power pack
    Battery Life (CIPA)330 shots per charge
    In-Camera Charging USB charging
    Body Dimensions 102 x 58 x 36 mm
    (4.0 x 2.3 x 1.4 in)
    Camera Weight 240 g (8.5 oz)

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