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This is quite a long review because this is a serious camera and I imagine now that it has dropped dramatically in price, many potential buyers are considering it. If you want the quick lowdown on it, skip through to the end section entitled "THE LOWDOWN". Thanks !

MARK 1 VERSUS MARK 2:
Well, the price of the RX100 has fallen to under £400 brand new, which is much, much cheaper than it originally sold for. Of course, the reason for this is straightforward enough - Sony has recently (July 2013) released the mark 2 version (which sells for a fair amount more money). Let's get the issue of mark 1 versus mark 2 out of the way right now - the mark 2 has a tilting LCD, a hot shoe on which can be added a rather expensive EVF or flash units, wi-fi, a few other smaller additions, and a new backlit sensor that supposedly has slightly improved high ISO. On the minus side, some early adopters are reporting that out of camera JPEGs are a bit softer on the mark 2 compared to the mark 1. I haven't heard any complaints about raw though. Which should you go for? Well, I went for the RX100 mark 1 due to the massive price drop compared to its original retail price, and the fact that I do not feel the current launch price of the RX100 mark 2 in the UK necessarily makes it a good buy, given the competition from the likes of the Ricoh GR and mirrorless cameras.

WHAT IS THE RX100 ALL ABOUT ?
OK, so I am writing this review from the perspective of a part-time pro photographer and very keen amateur. I shoot Sony DSLRs as well as micro four thirds. For quite a few years my `take anywhere' camera was my trusty Panasonic LX3, which served well but is ready for retirement. What attracted me to the RX100 was its form factor - the holy grail idea of a `take anywhere', pocketable camera that produces `near DSLR' quality, even in low light. This is not a replacement to a DSLR for me, nor does it replace micro four thirds in my arsenal, BUT, there is now no excuse not to have a camera with me at all times, and if I feel like a `travel nice and light' vacation, work trip or weekend away, this camera comes into its own. However, I do know of some users who have indeed sold mirrorless or even DSLR systems and moved to the RX100. I can understand why, but that route is not for me.

STILL IMAGE QUALITY
The 1 inch, 20.2 MP sensor in the RX100 is larger than other compacts, but smaller than that inside most mirrorless cameras or the sensors in DSLRs. What this means is that the RX100 stands head and shoulders above other compacts in terms of IQ, especially in low light, high ISO conditions. It smokes the Canon G15, for example, Canon S110 and from ISO 400+ leaves the Panasonic LX7 in the dust in terms of noise performance. The lens on the RX100, a Carl Zeiss T* branded 28mm-100mm equivalent, is very good indeed, producing sharp, contrasty images throughout its focal length range and often doing justice to the excellent 20.2MP sensor. At the wide end there is some corner softness but this is common on almost every wide angle lens, from those featured on compacts to £1000+ lenses used on DSLRs. As a comparison, the corner softness is no worse than that I experience with my Sony 16-50 2.8 SSM lens (on my a77 SLT) at the wide end. Sony work some magic on the JPEGs to correct severe distortions (as do Panasonic and others in their cameras) at the wide end, and the JPEG engine does a good job here. Similar distortion correction can be done on raws using ACR or Lightroom for example, though I prefer the job DXO Optics Pro does with RX100 raws (more on this later). One big feature of the marketing is the f1.8 at the wide end. This means the lens is `fast' at the wide end, and this facilitates low light shooting (you are less likely to need to bump up the ISO very high), and in theory, differential focus techniques featuring that `sharp target, blurred background' look that many people associate with professional DSLR images. In practice the latter kind of shot is only really possible on fairly close subjects, such as macro shots, though it can be achieved to an extent at the 100mm setting as well given the right conditions, but you have to accept that this is not going to give you portraits with buttery smooth blurred backgrounds like an 85mm 1.4 lens would give you on a DSLR. One of the issues is that as soon as you go just one mm over the 18mm wide end, the fastest aperture drops and you lose the f1.8. Some moan about this but it seems an unavoidable consequence of keeping the form factor so small - to keep the lens 1.8 through its aperture range would have essentially meant quite a larger lens, and hence a larger camera, defeating the purpose of the RX100. Overall image quality is stunning - the sensor and lens working together deliver more IQ than you thought was possible from a compact camera, and in the right hands images from the RX100 are good enough for pro use, no question. The JPEG engine is one of Sony's better ones, and one advantage of using it is that you get to use all the funky picture styles on offer, as well as the very useful HDR and MFNR (multi frame noise reduction) modes which are otherwise not available to raw shooters. If you want the ultimate image quality, shoot raw and process in Capture One or DXO Optics Pro 8 - I use the latter, and the raws can be pulled around to a surprising degree, while the NR and distortion correction are superb. Some moan about the rather neutral colours spat out by the RX100 in JPEG or raw - I think this is a bonus - it means you can tweak away and fine tune the final image, either in post processing if shooting raw, or in camera if shooting JPEG, by dialling in white balance, contrast and saturation boosts to suit.

MOVIE QUALITY - superb ! 1080p 28MPS AVCHD at 60 frames per second anyone?! Stills during video recording? Yep, no problem. The EOSHD web site contains a review - take a look - the owner posted a review stating he felt he could interweave footage from the RX100 with that shot with expensive full frame Canon DSLRs. Once again, the RX100 punches well above its weight - look up RX100 on Vimeo or YouTube and see for yourself the pro quality movies people have put together with this amazing little camera. At its highest AVCHD setting you still retain full manual control if required. OK, it's not a GH3 or a 5DMkIII but it is superb!

ERGONOMICS
This is where the camera becomes a `marmite' camera - you will love, hate or choose to put up with the ergonomics. The camera has an aluminium case (with a plastic bottom so it doesn't get scratched). This means it is quite slippy to hold. Some swear by after market grips by Gariz, Franiec and the like. Others just always use the supplied wrist strap or, like me, use the Sony custom leatherette (i.e. Chinese fake leather) case (Amazon may still have a free offer on this if you buy the RX100), which adds a grip to the RX100 making it feel safer in the hand. Two other issues - it is so small that you have to get used to pressing the shutter button at speeds of around 1/30 very lightly so as not to create camera shake; and, of course, there is no EVF (whereas the new mark 2 RX100 has the option to add one). The lack of an EVF may or may not be an issue for you, but hear me out on this one - I used to be an OVF/EVF devotee - I would, as a matter of principle, not consider a camera without an EVF or OVF. The RX100 changed my attitude on this - I normally hate holding a camera out at arms length and composing and shooting that way. It just doesn't feel like what someone serious about photography should be doing. But then I began to buy into the whole pocket rocket philosophy of the RX100 - for serious sports, action and similar work I would choose my DSLRs with OVFs and EVFs, sure, but on trips, walks, vacation, at work, in the back garden, why be snooty about this? If they had added an EVF it would no longer be a pocket camera. It was a necessary evil, and besides, look at the shoddy OVF on the likes of the Canon G15 - it's tiny and not representative of the final image - what's the point? The LCD on the RX100 is very sharp and viewable in bright sunlight if you turn on the sunlight setting in the menus. Another prejudice I had to overcome was my love of external controls Sure, the Canon G line is nice because of all those external dials, but again, you just can't do this on a pocket camera like the RX100 - Sony's solution is to use small buttons, the rear dial/wheel, and a neat control dial around the diameter of the lens just like Canon do in their S series. The result is that you can set up this camera however you want, within reason, but sure, it takes a little getting used to, though if you already own Sony NEX or DSLRs you will be right at home with the familiar menu layouts. A big plus of the RX100 form factor is that it is not perceived as a pro camera - thus, you should have no trouble getting it into live music events, sports events, shooting on the street, and so on, all the time in the smug knowledge that you can take near pro quality HD video and brilliant DSLR-like stills There are plenty of great concert shots out there in the forums to prove this (check out the Digital Photography Review Sony cybershot forum for examples).

WHY NOT GO MIRRORLESS OR DSLR INSTEAD ?
I am a big fan of mirrorless cameras and DSLRs - Sony's NEX mirrorless line is great (particularly the NEX 7), and I have shot micro four thirds for a few years now, and Sony DSLRs and SLTs. The RX100 is different though - you can't get any mirrorless camera or DSLR as small as the RX100, especially with a 28-100mm equivalent lens attached. Sure, the very best mirrorless cameras (e.g the Olympus E-P5, or OM-D), attached to the best lenses (e.g. Panasonic 12-35, Olympus 75mm 1,8), will give you better resolution, better high ISO, faster focus, but all will be bigger and considerably more expensive - you are buying into a whole world of changing lenses and a bottomless pit of spend, spend, spend with mirrorless (trust me I have been there). The RX100 gives mirrorless cameras a run for their money in terms of IQ - resolution and low light performance, especially when those cameras are just armed with their kit lenses. The RX100 comes close to that of a DSLR with a kit lens, though can't match the versatility of a DSLR or the focus speed and tracking abilities for sports and action shooting. Bottom line - there is room for the RX100 in a DSLR or mirrorless shooters arsenal - because it is the camera you carry everywhere, always - can you honestly say you do that with your NEX or DSLR?

THE LOWDOWN:

+s of this camera:

As of August 2013 it is under £400 - what competition is there at this price? None!

Full manual control

Shoots raw or JPEG

Superb resolution from a sharp Carl Zeiss T* lens (CZ lenses are renonwned just like Leica ones) and a very competent 20.2 MP sensor - 100% crops are exquisite

The lens is sharp and fast (1.8) at the wide end, especially if you process raws in DXO Optics or Capture One

JPEG engine is good and strikes a decent balance between noise reduction and detail retention at higher ISOs

Lots of scene modes and special effects for JPEG shooters, including some very good ones like Multi Frame Noise Reduction and HDR mode.

AVCHD HD video has been lauded by video experts (see EOSHD.com) as unbelievably good

No fiddly lens cap, and lens collapses into camera body for compactness

It's very customisable and uses a variant of Sony's existing DSLR menus.

Fast AF (not as fast as micro four thirds, but almost) and there is focus peaking

It's a zoom ! The focal length range of 28mm to 100mm equivalent goes from wide angle to short telephoto. Many competitors are fixed focal length.

The 1 inch sensor (+ f1.8 at the wide end) means it is better in low light than pretty much any other compact, pocketable camera. You CAN get good results at ISO 3200 !

-s of this camera

Missing features: GPS, wi-fi, EVF or OVF, hot shoe

Macro capability slightly limited by need to use 28mm wide end

No filter thread on lens (but after market solutions available from Lensmate, Magfilter and others)

No built in ND filter (offered by some of the competition)

Lens has some corner softness at wide end

The paint scratches easily (my first scratch came on day 1 of ownership)

Some owners report dust spots trapped inside lens or on sensor - this is relatively common in compacts with telescoping lenses (like the Canon G series) but an annoyance. The only way to avoid it is to buy a camera with a fixed focal length lens like the Fuji X100(s).

It costs as much as a low-end mirrorless camera or a low end DSLR with kit lens (but it can compete with them in terms of IQ)

No manual supplied, not even on a CD !! You should buy Gary Friedman's e-book if you buy this camera !

YOU SHOULD ALSO CONSIDER

Sony RX100 mark II (but it costs a lot more)- adds Wi-Fi, tilt LCD, optional EVF via new hot shoe, better sensor (? yet to be reviewed)

Ricoh GR digital - good but less versatile

Sigma DP Merril series - amazing IQ from the Foveon sensor but fixed focal length lenses and slow AF

Canon G1X (an APS-C semi-compact with better high ISO performance but a lot bigger)

Sony RX1 (if money is no object - a full frame, fixed focal length marvel)

Panasonic LX7 - you've got to like a zoom that starts at 24mm and the fact that the excellent LVF-2 clip-on EVF can be used with the LX7, but the sensor is a lot smaller than that of the RX100 and ultimately it can not compete with the IQ of the RX100. It's also larger and less pocketable. It's a good camera but I believe it's trumped by the RX100.

QUICK TIPS
1 The camera tends to set a shutter speed of 1/30s in P mode in low light when auto ISO is selected, and in A mode under the same conditions. This can be too slow if people are going to be in the image. There are two workarounds - manually change the lower ISO limit of the AUTO ISO so it is higher than it is currently set at; or else use S mode instead (or M of course, but there's no auto ISO in M mode)
2 Buy a spare battery and a wall charger - I suggest a genuine Sony battery but third party chargers seem OK - Amazon sell a cheap charger called a Lemix and it has good reviews. The official Sony wall charger is over £50 and hard to find in the UK.
3. Not mentioned in the manual, but you can hold the built-in flash upwards to get bounce flash - works very nicely if indoors and rhere is a white ceiling.
4. If you are buying this close to going on a vacation where you plan to use it, spend some time practicing with it - there are LOTS of features and you won't get the best out of it unless you practice with it. This is especially true of the Panorama mode (see the forums and you will find out why !)
5. Use a fast SD card if you plan on shooting max quality HD video a lot.
6. Watch out regarding the Amazon UK pricing on this - from one day to the next it is changing - it varied between about £356 one day and £385 the next - no idea why ! (updated Dec 2013)
7. When shooting in low light try to keep the lens at its widest focal length setting (28mm) and just move closer to your subject if needed - that way you will retain the widest aperture of f1.8 which will mean that the camera may not need to use very high ISO settings.
8. if you are a raw shooter, try DXO Labs' raw developer called DXO Optics Pro version 9 (a free trial is available) with the RX100 - this raw developer automatically corrects for noise, chromatic abberation and lens distortion and does a GREAT job with raw files from the RX100 - I like it better than ACR or Lightroom for RX100 raws.
9. If you put this in your Amazon basket, do check who the supplier is listed as - if it is "Amazon EU SARL" then you know you are getting one direct from Amazon, and this will be a UK model - the charger will have a UK wall plug and you will get a full UK warranty. If, on the other hand, supplier is not Amazon, you have no guarantee you are getting UK stock and you could, further down the line, have issues getting Sony to honour any in-warranty repairs.
10. UPDATE - The RX100 Mark 3 has been announced (May 2014) - Sony have addressed many concerns and it sounds like a superb upgrade - the lens will start at 24mm, it will be f1.8 -f2.8 throughout the range and there is a pop-up EVF built in. The downside is it will stop at 70mm. Sounds great but there are no reviews yet. Of course the price will be, most likely, double what the original RX100 is selling for - I imagine at least £600. Still, if you have money to burn you should perhaps wait until the Mk3 is reviewed before choosing the Mk1 or Mk2.
1818 comments|393 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 12 August 2012
I bought the RX100 just before my summer holiday in Greece and took to it at once. 4 weeks on I continue to be really happy with it. This is a personal thing but my main reasons are:

1) Capable of delivering wonderfully detailed images with the 20M pixel sensor and Zeiss Lens
2) Genuinely pocketable, this camera goes everywhere with me now
3) Very fast to use, from power-on it is ready to go and the focus never leaves me waiting
4) LCD display is excellent even in the Mediterranean sun, at no point did I wish I had a viewfinder
5) (Almost) silent shutter means that your photography is discrete when necessary
6) It can be used just like a 'point & shoot' - a friend or passing waiter can use it without any instruction
7) The menu system and customisation is clear and very comprehensive - I don't have a DSLR but I doubt there is much in the way of DSLR options missing from this camera.
8) Built-in flash works well for fill-in and has exposure compensation to -2EV; for me that is exactly what I want
9) Build quality is great - it is a pleasure to hold and when others pick it up they instantly realise it is a quality camera

I am coming to the conclusion that this is a camera with at least two personalities. On the one hand the RX100 is an excellent conventional compact camera which allows the photographer to think like a photographer considering ISO, speed, aperture and focus to produce the image seen in your mind's eye. On the other hand having used a range of the advanced features, especially the HDR options and the low-light features I have been absolutely amazed at the situations where this camera is able to grab an attractive picture. My results are maybe a little less predictable but the best are very good.

There have been some critical comments about flare in the lens but I have only one picture so far where I consider the flare is disfiguring. It was shot directly into the morning sun. I have many other successful pictures with the sun in shot and so I was not that upset by this one failure.

In-camera charging from USB has been a boon for me. Laptop or phone charger in car, boat or hotel room. It all works. And the RX100 only needed 3 charges in 2 weeks on holiday so I stopped worrying about battery life quite quickly. However, for those that can't afford the risk of a flat battery I see there is an affordable option (Sony NP-BX1 Charger)from "nikon-olympus-battery.co.uk"

The item I do think is missing from the box is an in-depth user guide/manual. However, a quick search on the internet led me to the US site "esupport.sony.com" followed by a search under Manuals for DSC-RX100 and that has answered most of my questions.
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on 27 August 2012
Although Sony haven't actually broken the laws of physics with this product, they seem to have bent them a teeny bit. Quite simply, this is the first pocketable camera I have found that is capable of approaching the image quality of a decent DSLR; moreover, it's the first I have come across - and I have tried more than a few! - that can meet the quality requirements for image submission to professional image libraries. In short, it's a bit of a breakthrough. Overnight, it has made the Canon S series, Panasonic LXs and Olympus ZXs (the previous serious pocket-rocket leaders) obsolete.

As a professional scientist and photographer, I have been all over the world with my full-frame (EOS 5DII and analogue Olympus OM4Ti) and micro 4/3 (Olympus OM-D E5) systems. Very nice, but the Canon FF kit with L-series lenses weighs 8 kilos, the OM-D plus cool primes less than 3. Since the era of digital imaging dawned, I have always been on the lookout for a genuinely pocketable camera that 1) not only meets professional and environmental stock image library QA/QC standards and 2) but also doesn't fall apart at anything above base ISO.

Well, the RX100 passes both criteria. That's why it will always now be in my pocket or bags from now on. And it has some clever new tricks up its sleeve as well, such as very usable panoramic (to jpeg only, regretfully) and low-light stacking modes. Is it perfect? - no, of course not. As a perfectionist and inveterate pixel peeper, as I have to be in my line of business, I can report that 1) edge and corner performance is slightly weak; 2) It's a bit prone to burning out highlights - inescapable with a sensor of this size 3) the manual is a joke and 4) the RAW decoder, which has to be downloaded from Sony, is dire. Fortunately, Adobe has just released Camera RAW 7.2 for Photoshop, which includes the RX100; however, for earlier Photoshop versions you will have to workaround using the latest Adobe DNG converter 7.2, in batch mode.

I would also offer some ergonomic/control improvements: 1) The control ring around the lens assembly is very vague in feel. It badly needs some click stop/detents, as in the Canon S95/100. 2) The rear control dial should be independently assignable - this could easily be implemented with a firmware update, I expect. 3) Why no filter thread? I shouldn't have to get a sticky-tape third-party solution for something as basic as this!

Could it be substantially improved? Yep, lower the pixel count to get some more headroom and better high ISO performance. Seriously, who needs 20Mp? That's just Sony sensor designers showing off... And something wider than 28mm equivalent at the wide end would sure be nice. But that's about it.

So, in the here and now, this is the best pocketable camera your hard-earned money can buy. Yes, it's pricey at the moment, but I am sure this will come down over the coming months. Its competitors are scratching their heads as we speak, in full catch-up mode....
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on 24 March 2013
Undoubtedly this is a great camera. And I'm not going to go crazy talking about the features and technicalities - there's lots of people done an outstanding job of that already.

I just wanted to make a note about using this camera for landscape photography. If you're going to be out on the hills, in the middle of nowhere taking lots of cracking vistas in wide open spaces then this camera may not be the best choice.

It's not particularly wide-angled (perhaps not possible to do with such a fast lens on a compact) and doesn't have a particularly powerful zoom (again, swings and roundabouts).

Also it seems to battle with exposing clouds correctly when contrasted against land. Clouds and mountains seem to lose a bit of their texture. The shot loses its grandeur. You might think that most compacts in auto-mode would struggle with this. Not so actually.

The other thing it lacks is a mode for facilitating the stitching of photos (where it holds the exposure and focus across shots and gives you a little marker on the screen for the next shot). Yes, I know you can do this by fiddling the settings to make the centre button hold the exposure across multiple shots and then using the camera in Program mode . But it takes some fiddling and is not the same (for example it refocuses). Where a native mode for doing this would make life much easier. Yes, it does do sweep panorama's. But that doesn't allow a small number of shots - you have to take a pretty wide sweep. It's a shame this stitching facility is missing as it would make up for the fact that it's not particularly wide-angled camera.

Another thing is that if I use the auto function and the exposure it automatically chooses is (surprisingly) a bit slow. If it's windy, your pics come up a bit blurry. So the auto function is generally very poor for this. So you have to spend time trial-and-erroring the manual settings trying to get the shot. Or taking the same shot several times. hoping the camera eventually gets it right. However you get round this, it's not always convenient if you're on a massive hike and have a lot of distance to cover, not an awful lot of time to take the shot and windy conditions. I've lost a lot of good shots because of this issue.

I bought this camera to replace my Lumix TZ-7. I'm not saying my TZ-7 is better. Far from it. The TZ-7 is poor in bad light (particularly indoors). Th RX100 excels at that low-light indoors.

However for outdoor landscapes in wide open spaces, with masses of good light, I get consistently better results from my TZ-7. And I still think that my TZ-7 is the best camera I've had for that purpose, particularly given that you stitch 2 or 3 shots together when you get home. For all the hikes I've been on with this camera in the hopes of getting it right with practise with the camera, the results haven't been as good. Now, I regret having taken this camera as I've missed out on some cracking results I would have got with my TZ-7.

Don't get me wrong, in most respects, this is a great camera and most of the time, you'll love it. Particularly in low-light and indoors. The fast lens and functionality (particularly the HDR-style noise reduction) make this camera a winner in this regard. However, if you're primarily a landscape photographer, you could be a bit disappointed (specially if you go by all the rave reviews about this camera). If I'm going walking in the windy hills with lots of natural light, I leave this one on the shelf and take my TZ-7. Otherwise, if I'm with friends and family or having a night out, this camera stays in my pocket.

I don't mean to be down on this camera not at all - that's not my point in writing this review. You won't be disappointed with this camera. Unless you're big into landscapes in which case you might. That's simply what I'm saying.

I hope this helps somebody.
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on 8 June 2013
Out of the box looks and feels high quality and solid.
Bought as backup for DSLR which are large and heavy with glass on.
Now being carried everywhere for those critical moment type shots.
Pros: superb hand held indoor low light performance, different class to your average compact. bendy flash for bouncing. raw files (although had to upgrade lightroom to use them). really sharp images (see cons). possibility of some depth of field manipulation which is usually impossible on compacts.
Cons: immense number of settings which are poorly explained in frankly hopeless manual. we had a lot of focussing frustration initially with loads of out of focus shots particularly trying to get it to lock onto nearby small objects in macro mode. fiddling the settings made it worse and got a little confused. however have now settled on fixed centre focus to pick the focal point and then recompose with shutter partially depressed.this works brilliantly and we are now very happy (see pros). in-camera battery charging only is a lazy compromise (and camera can't be used plugged in), so buying a separate charger is essential.
We were flirting with sending camera back due to focussing problems and struggle with using manual focus. however we have absolutely changed our minds and are absolutely delighted with this camera. Now we have set it up to our needs (and this camera is immensely customisable), we are looking forward to years of superb spontaneous shots and hassle free travel photography.
Just be prepared to invest in a few more bits and pieces, and spend some time on setting the camera up according to your needs.
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on 9 August 2013
Best compact camera I have ever owned by far, as a complement to my DSLR. Like others, I found myself using my DSLR less and less, and my Sony more and more. Stunning image quality. Excellent video quality, with amazingly good microphones (except when windy). Lots of options and functionalities. Quality feel to it, a pleasure to handle. Small size, a real pocket camera.

But, in my experience, and after owning two Sony RX100 cameras, this is a camera with a major design flaw (at least some batches of it): it accumulates dust on the sensor with incredible ease. I have kept mine in a good case at all times except when shooting, never carried it in my pocket. I have never shot in particularly dusty environments. Apparently, it has to do with the lens mechanism, which sucks dust in as the lens extends. This is reported by several users, but not by all by any means. I came across this issue twice, after around 3 months of use. As with any other compact camera, you cannot just open it and clean the sensor yourself. Great shame. Not easy to think what to replace this camera with, if looking for similar image quality and size.

Were it not for the sensor dust problem, I would give it 5 stars without any hesitation. It was worth the initial price, and even more now that the price has dropped. However, the dust problem is important for me, for it is very noticeable at high f numbers and when making videos.

Amazon's response in my case could not have been better. Excellent service, as usual.
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on 25 July 2013
I'm really enjoying this little beauty - it has a huge range of options that are normally DSLR territory (full control over ISO, aperture, exposure, takes RAW pictures), excellent stabilisation on the video output, and has a fantastic manual focus function which zooms into the picture to aid focussing, and highlights the areas that are in focus for really easy reference.

The compromise of a great pocketable camera is the quality of the photo, which is not quite up to my comparatively gigantic Canon 450D DSLR. There's a slight softness to these photos. But compared to everything else in the same range, it's right up there at the top.

One huge disappointment for me: I bought this on Amazon via Britain Deals, and the product box arrived with the seal broken and the camera clearly man-handled. And I see from their feedback that other buyers have experience this too. So I returned it to Amazon and got promptly refunded, then bought the camera from John Lewis for a slight premium, but safe in the knowledge that my time wouldn't be wasted again only to receive another used product.
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on 15 August 2014
If you are a photography enthusiast or want to seriously get into photography, I would advise skipping this and just buying a full size DSLR. This isn’t supposed to be a replacement for a DSLR but it certainly nips at the heels of the entry level DSLRs.

However, if you just want to take some of the best photos possible without lugging around a full size DSLR or spending silly money then the RX100 should be on your short list.

Its important to be aware that there are another two more recent models available at the moment. If you are want the latest and greatest feature set then go check them out. If you are content not have some of the new functionality such as wifi or electronic viewfinders that are in the more recent models then the RX100 represents stunning value for money as it is about half its original price.

Many of us occasionally want to play about with exposure, aperture priority iso etc and get decent bokeh, motion blur and the rest of it. This camera gives you the freedom to do that. In fact, with a tripod you can even experiment with night sky photography. Again, if you really want to get into this then think about a DSLR.

The great thing about the RX100 is that you can forget about the manual controls, stick it on intelligent auto and take really good photos as well. This is useful if someone else is taking a photo because they won’t need a photography lesson.

People used to a smart phone camera or a budget point and shoot will be blown away with the photos that this camera can take. Photos are sharp and vibrant with a real professional look to them. You will marvel at your photos and very possibly bore friends and relatives with your new rapidly expanding photo collection.
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on 4 June 2013
I don't really have a huge amount to say like other detailed reviewers, however let me say this - I bought this camera just before my wedding and honeymoon. I set it to auto handed to a friend at the wedding and told him to just shoot whatever he feels like, it's just so simple to use and convenient there were no problems and of course amazing pictures! During my honeymoon I set the mode to superior intelligent auto for the most mind-blowing pictures I have personally ever taken. During super bright sunlight, I could see the ISO, aperture and shutter speed all adjust beautifully to take in just the right amount of light for excellent well balanced pictures. If a particular picture is shot with just too much brightness from the Mediterranean sun, it would automatically take 2-4 shots and combine them for the best exposure and crispness - and let me tell it is really good. Twilight shots in Santorini, no problem, this beast of a point and shoot (in superior intelligent auto) mode handled this extremely well, and night time shots (all with no flash at all) was even more mind-blowing than daytime shots. The colours this thing captures are dramatic and crisp. I highly recommend the RX100 for anyone who wants the convenience of a compact camera that can take incredible shots in virtually any lighting conditions.

Anyway, that was my personal experience so far. I'm sure as I learn to get into the more manual shooting I could get even better results (if that's really even possible).
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on 31 August 2012
I bought this camera because, with the birth of my baby daughter, I wanted a small, pocket camera that is always ready and I can take everywhere, when my big camera feels bulky. If possible, I prefer to shoot RAW, because I generally enhance my photos in Lightroom. And the company I work for provides me with an economic blackberry that has a crappy camera, so I don't have a smartphone that could cover this need.

In that regards, the Sony RX100 brilliantly accomplishes its objective. It's incredibly small for its features. Despite all the functionality it packs, it's very easy to operate (I didn't need to read the manual, unlike that of my Panasonic GH2, which I have to check from time to time). The image quality is amazing due to its sensor size and quality. Despite its 20 megapixel count, noise level at high ISO is incredibly low so, together with its large aperture, you can take more than decent images with available artificial light. The screen is also brilliant (literally).

The finish is so nice that you will want to take it with you everywhere, thus allowing you to take more and better pictures. And I don't understand the complains I read about the charger. Using micro-USB allows for both wall socket or computer charge, and if you already own a smartphone, you will probably share the charger. The only problem could be if you needed a spare battery, but for now I can live without it, as long as I fully charge it if I plan a busy day.

I also bought the official leather case, Sony LCJRXA Camera Case for RX100 Digital Camera - Black. Although it adds a bit to bulkiness, especially at the thick bottom plate, it is so cool that it will make you want to take it with you, even more.

The main caveat, however, is that the maximum aperture drops very fast when you zoom in (the lens is spectacular, but optics have their limits). Therefore, the possibilities for shallow depth-of-field are very limited. Forget about portraits with blurry backgrounds. With f1.8 in close-ups you can get it, but at 28 mm equivalent focal length, if you take a close-up portrait, the face will be distorted (big nose and lips). You will have a blurry background and a ugly, and probably angry, foreground. And at a more flattering focal distance, maximum aperture (around f4.5) is not enough. So don't believe in Sony's promises of blurry background, except for macro (which, by the way, with a minimum distance of 5 cm, is incredible). The f1.8 is great, however, for low-light wide angle (landscape, groups of people) pictures.

The other main concern is the price. It is certainly expensive, but it is unique in its class. You have more economic options, but they are not so good. And there are cameras (DSLR or mirrorless, especially with prime lenses) that, for the same price, will render nicer pictures, but none of them are pocketable. So in the end, the choice is a balance between money availability, size, and image quality, in which you will have to decide what is more important for you.
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