Cyber shot sony


Sony h400 Camera with 35x Optical Zoom

Sensor

Sensor Type0.31 in type (7.76 mm) Super HAD CCDNumber of Pixels (Effective)20.1MP

Lens

Lens typeSony LensF-number (Maximum Aperture)F3.0 (W) – 5.9 (T)Focal length (f=)f = 4.5-157.5 mmANGLE OF VIEW (35 MM FORMAT EQUIVALENT)82deg.-2deg.50min. (25–875 mm)Focus Range (From the Front of the Lens)1 cm – Infinity (W), 1.5 m – Infinity (T)Optical Zoom35xDigital Zoom (Still Image)Up to 280x (VGA)Digital Zoom (Movie)Approx. 70x

Screen

Screen Type2.95 in (3.0 type) (4:3) / 460,800 dots / Xtra Fine / TFT LCDBrightness Control5 (Bright) / 4 / 3 / 2 / 1 (Dark)

Camera

Image Processing EngineYesSTEADYSHOT (STILL IMAGE)OpticalLight Metering ModeMulti Pattern, Center Weighted, SpotExposure Compensation+/- 2.0 EV, 1/3 EV stepISO Sensitivity (Still Image)(Recommended Exposure Index)ISO 80–3200ISO Sensitivity (Movie)Auto: (ISO200-ISO1600 Level)White Balance ModesAuto, Daylight, Cloudy, Fluorescent White Balance 1, Fluorescent White Balance 2, Fluorescent White Balance 3, Incandescent, Flash, One Push, One Push SetShutter SpeediAuto (2–1/1500) / Program Auto (1–1/1500) / Manual (30–1/1500)Shooting ModeIntelligent Auto, Easy Shooting, Program Auto, Movie Mode, Panorama, Manual Exposure, Scene Selection, Picture EffectScene SelectionHigh Sensitivity, Night Scene, Night Portrait, Landscape, Soft Snap, Soft Skin, Beach, Snow, Fireworks, Gourmet, Pet ModeContinuous Shooting Speed (maximum) (with max. recording pixels)0.80 fps (for up to 100 shots)Self-TimerOff / 10 sec. / 2 sec. / portrait 1 / portrait 2Panorama (Shooting)360 Sweep PanoramaPicture EffectToy camera, Pop Color, Partial Color, Soft High-keyAuto Image RotationYesMetering ModeMulti Pattern, Center Weighted, SpotMinimum IlluminationAuto:28lux (Shutter Speed 1/30)Built-in Flash Red-Eye CorrectionAuto / On / Off

Flash

Flash ModeAuto / Flash On / Slow Synchro / Flash Off / Advanced FlashFlash TypeSorry, this data is not availableAF IlluminatorAuto / OffExternal Flash ModeAuto / Flash On / Slow Synchro / Flash Off / Advanced FlashFlash RangeISO Auto: Approx. 1.3 ft to 22.3 ft (0.4 m to 6.8 m) (W) / Approx. 4.9 ft to 11.8 ft (1.5 m to 3.6 m) (T), ISO3200: up to approx. 44.9 ft (13.7 m) (W) / approx. 23.6 ft (7.2 m) (T)

Recording

Compatible Recording MediaMemory Stick Duo, Memory Stick PRO Duo, Memory Stick PRO Duo (High Speed), Memory Stick PROHG Duo, Memory Stick Micro*10 , Memory Stick Micro (Mark2)*10 , Memory Stick XC-HG Duo, SD Memory Card, SDHC Memory Card, SDXC Memory Card, microSD Memory Card*10 , microSDHC Memory Card*10 , microSDXC Memory Card*10Recording FormatStill Images: JPEG (DCF, Exif, MPF Baseline) compliant, DPOF compatibleMovie Recording Mode (NTSC)VGA (640 x 480/30 fps)Still Image Resolution4:3 mode: 20 M (5152 x 3864) / 10 M (3648 x 2736) / 5 M (2592 x 1944) / VGA / 16:9 mode:15 M (5152 x 2896) / 2 M (1920 x 1080)Panorama (Recording)360° (11520×1080) / Wide (7152 x 1080 / 4912 x 1920) / Standard (4912 x 1080 / 3424 x 1920)Movie Resolution1280 x 720 (Fine) (1280 × 720 / 30 fps) / 1280 x 720 (Standard) (1280 × 720 / 30 fps) / VGA (640 × 480 / 30 fps)Internal MemoryApprox.55 MB

Interface

Input and Output TerminalsHi-Speed USB (USB 2.0), Multi (AV/USB)

Power

Power Consumption (Camera Mode)Approx.1.6 WBATTERY LIFE(STILL IMAGES)(CIPA) Up to 350 shots / 175 minutesSupplied BatteryAA battery

Others

Shooting FunctionsFace Detection, Smile Shutter, Grid LinePlayback FunctionsBeauty Effect, Date view, Slideshow with MusicIndex Playback16 / 25 imagesPlayback Zoom8x

Size & Weight

DIMENSIONS (W X H X D) (APPROX.)5.02 x 3.50 x 3.61 inWEIGHT (CIPA COMPLIANT)17.46 oz (body only), 20.81 oz (with battery and media)

External Flash

External Flash RangeISO Auto: Approx. 1.3 ft to 22.3 ft (0.4 m to 6.8 m) (W) / Approx. 4.9 ft to 11.8 ft (1.5 m to 3.6 m) (T), ISO3200: up to approx. 44.9 ft (13.7 m) (W) / approx. 23.6 ft (7.2 m) (T)

What's In The Box

  • AA battery
  • Shoulder Strap
  • Lens Cap

  • Lens Strap
  • Multi USB cable
  • Instruction Manual

Picture of h400 Camera with 35x Optical Zoom

With the built-in 35x optical zoom—one of the most powerful zoom lenses for Cybershot—no image will ever be out of reach. You’ll be able to get close to the action with ease, shooting brilliantly detailed images across the full focal length.

See the true detail in every image, thanks to a 20.1 MP Super HAD CCD sensor. You’ll be able to capture rich, detailed, colorful images that maintain their high quality even when reproduced as A4 prints or bigger.

Picture of h400 Camera with 35x Optical Zoom

Get the full picture with 360˚ Sweep Panorama. Simply press the dedicated button, sweep the camera from side to side and then watch as it automatically stitches the frames together to create one full panoramic image.

Picture of h400 Camera with 35x Optical Zoom

Most on-body flashes still struggle to deliver balanced, noise-free images in low-light conditions. That’s where Advanced Flash differs — it automatically boosts the camera’s sensitivity settings, so you’ll be able to take brighter, clearer pictures with the same amount of light.

SteadyShot technology keeps your image stable even when your hands aren’t. By compensating for the minor hand motions that can cause blurring and distortion, SteadyShot ensures brilliant photographic results even in challenging low-light conditions. Switch to SteadyShot Active mode for sharp, blur-free movie shooting.

The built-in Picture Effect technology—including four still effects, three panoramic effects and four movie effects—lets you breathe new life into every shot. You can preview each effect in real-time before you finalize your latest work of art.

With a Super HAD CCD sensor, you’ll be able to shoot high-quality HD movies (720p) with minimal noise distortion even in darker environments. Just point the camera at your subject and start filming.

www.sony.com

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX99

The pocketable point-and-shoot camera is a dying breed, but not one that's met extinction. Smartphones have all but taken over as the take-anywhere cameras of today. But even multi-lens models lack real zoom power, and when Sony announced it was brining a new 30x pocketable model to market, we had high hopes. Sony has led the way in premium, large sensor point-and-shoots, which typically deliver best-in-class image and video quality. Its latest superzoom, the Cyber-shot DSC-HX99 ($449.99), is a misfire, with a lens that is prone to show flare, underwhelming low-light imaging, and shaky handheld video.

Big Zoom, Small Camera

The HX99 follows Sony's well-established Cyber-shot design paradigm to a tee. The pocket-friendly superzoom is housed in a metal body, measures 2.3 by 4.0 by 1.4 inches (HWD), and weighs about 8.5 ounces. The camera doesn't have any sort of weather protection, but does include a pop-up electronic viewfinder (EVF).

View All 23 Photos in Gallery

The lens is the marquee feature. It's a 24-720mm (full-frame equivalent) zoom with an f/3.5-6.4 aperture range. It's backed by a 1/2.3-inch image sensor, the same size you find in most smartphones. The HX99 promises big zoom power—and delivers—but it comes at a cost. If you have a recent Apple iPhone, Samsung Galaxy, or Google Pixel phone, you'll find that its bright, wide-angle lens does a better job capturing indoor snapshots than the HX99. If you're looking at the HX99 as an upgrade over your smartphone, understand where the Sony will deliver better results and where your phone will.

There are better cameras out there if you're looking for something that will improve upon your phone in more situations, but you'll sacrifice zoom power to get there. Cameras like the Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark II and Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 III are more usable in dim light. If you want long zoom and stronger image quality in dim light, think about the Panasonic FZ1000 or the more recent FZ1000 Mark II, both of which sport a 1-inch class sensor and 25-400mm zoom range, but aren't at all pocketable.

The HX99's slim body features a handgrip on its face. It's a bit bigger than the modest bumps we're used to seeing on pocketable cameras, but doesn't extend past the lens, even when it's retracted. Sony includes a programmable control ring around the lens itself, which you can set to adjust the ISO, shutter speed, zoom, or the like.

The On/Off button, zoom rocker, shutter release, and Mode dial are all located on the top, bunched together on the right side. The pop-up flash occupies the middle, along with a switch to pop it up, and the retractable EVF is all the way on the left. You'll almost certainly want to use the flash for photos captured in dim light, but be aware its output can be a little harsh. Its power is adjustable, via a Flash Exposure Compensation function, and I'd recommend knocking it down by two-thirds or one full stop for the best results.

Rear controls are squeezed into the area not occupied by the LCD, which dominates the backside. The Movie button is at the top, just to the right of the textured thumb rest, and there are Fn, Menu, Play, and C/Delete buttons below it. At their center is a rear control wheel, supplementing the one around the lens, which features four directional presses (Display, Flash, EV, Drive) and the unmarked OK/Enter button in the middle.

There are two ways to frame and review images—the 3-inch, 921k-dot LCD and the small OLED EVF. I find the LCD to be much more useful—it's bright enough for outdoor use on a winter afternoon, sensitive to touch, and tilts up for low-angle and selfie shots.

The EVF is a nice addition, if a little too small. It hides in the body when not in use, popping up via a release switch at its left side. You'll need to pull the eyecup toward you and lock it in place before using the EVF. If you don't, the picture will appear blurry. (If it's still blurry once locked, you can adjust the diopter to match your vision.)

My only real complaint with the EVF is the size. Its 0.5x magnification is noticeably smaller than the 0.59x OLED EVF included with Sony's premium RX100 VI and the 0.53x LCD used by the Panasonic ZS200.

Power and Connectivity

The HX99 can wirelessly transfer photos to your smartphone. It has both Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, which means connection is easier than with older cameras that only had Wi-Fi, and works with both Android and iOS handsets. You'll need to download the free Sony PlayMemories Mobile app to make it work, but once it's set up you can transfer files and use your phone as a remote control.

Power is provided by a removable NP-BX1 battery. Spares cost about $40, though third-party options can be had for half of that. You may not need to buy one—CIPA rates the battery for 370 images in standard mode or 460 shots with power-saving features turned on. Using the EVF will cut into battery life—the HX99 is rated for 300 shots with it turned on.

In the past, we've recommended vacationers invest in an extra battery. That's a little less necessary thanks to the ready availability of USB power banks{{/zifarticle}}. The HX99 has a standard micro USB port for data transfer and charging, so you can top off the battery with a USB battery just as you would your mobile phone.

There is also a micro HDMI port, located on the bottom, in the event you want to connect the HX99 to your TV. The battery compartment is also on the bottom, and it houses the memory card slot. It supports a variety of formats, including microSD, microSDHC, microSDXC, and Sony's own Memory Stick Micro.

You shouldn't use Sony's weird memory card format—the HX99 is limited to the outdated AVCHD video format. To get the most out of the camera, you'll need a U3 microSDHC or microSDXC card—the type with a second row of data contacts. It's needed to recorded 100Mbps video. If you have a more common Class 10 microSDHC/XC card you'll still be able to record in 4K, but only at 60Mbps.

Responsive Autofocus

The HX99 is an overall quick performer. It starts, focuses, and fires in about 2.3 seconds—pretty standard for this style camera, as the lens has to extend from the body before it can snap a shot. Autofocus itself is speedy—the HX99 locks on almost instantly at its widest angle and notches a respectable 0.1-second focus lock at its maximum zoom setting. Low light will hamper speed—expect an average 0.3-second delay in dim light.

Burst shooting is an option as well. The HX99 can fire off Raw or Raw+JPG images at 7.3fps, and its speed increases to 10fps if you use JPG format only. The duration is limited—you get about 54 Raw+JPG, 59 Raw, or 136 JPGs before the buffer fills up. It takes a long time for all of those images to write to memory—about a minute for Raw+JPG, 30 seconds for Raw, and 45 seconds with JPG images. During that duration the HX99 is partially unresponsive; you can take more photos, but you can't change menu settings or start a video until all images are written to the card.

You can keep write times under control by carefully capturing shorter bursts of images. Or you can opt to switch the camera to its slower drive mode, about 2.5fps, where the buffer doesn't fill up nearly as quickly.

A Lens With Lots of Flare

Small cameras with big zooms are nothing new. We've seen plenty of 30x lenses, like the 24-720mm zoom used by the HX99, in pocket-friendly form factors. The lenses typically have one big drawback—a narrow f-stop that makes them less appealing for use in dim light.

The HX99 isn't immune. It's rated at f/3.5 at the wide end, but quickly loses light as it zooms in. It's an f/6.3 through most of its zoom range—everything beyond 250mm—which limits its use, from a practical perspective, to brightly lit outdoor scenes.

I checked lens sharpness with Imatest software. It's not a game changer, notching an average 1,883 lines across the 18MP frame. That's a good result for an 18MP sensor—just a little bit better than the 1,800 lines we want to see in an image from this type of sensor.

Image quality drops as you move away from the center of the frame. The central area bridges on excellent quality (2,400 lines), but as you move toward the mid parts the average drops to about 1,678 lines—just a little soft—and the edges of photos are very soft (1,144 lines).

With interchangeable lenses, photographers are taught to narrow the f-stop to improve sharpness. Compacts don't always work that way, as the small, pixel-dense sensors are prone to showing the effects of diffraction. Light entering through a very small iris scatters, blurring details. Because of this, the HX99's images suffer at f-stops smaller than f/4.

That's a problem with the HX99 as its f-stop is smaller than f/4 through most of its zoom range. At about the 4x setting (100mm) the lens has already dropped to f/5 and the average has dropped to 1,655 lines. At 225mm the f-stop is close to its smallest, and at f/6.3 the lens shows just 1,364 lines.

If questionable resolution at maximum zoom was the HX99's only problem it would be in very good company with most of its competition. Other cameras with 30x zoom lenses and pocketable designs are not immune. But the lens has a bad problem with backlit subjects. It shows an excessive amount of flare when there's a strong source of lighting coming into the lens. It's an ugly type of flare, with big blobs of purplish light showing up in images—not the aesthetically pleasing type that some vintage lenses produce.

Bright Light Required

We've touched on the HX99's struggles in dim light. Its sensor is an Exmor R design, which is Sony's branding for images with backside illuminated (BSI) designs. It can be set as low as ISO 80 and ranges up through ISO 6400 in either JPG or Raw format.

If you work with JPGs you'll enjoy the best quality photos at ISO 200 and below. Images at ISO 400 show a very slight loss of detail, and while the ISO 800 output is definitely softer than lower settings, it's not quite what I'd call blurry. The blur sets in at ISO 1600 and gets worse as the sensitivity to light ranges higher.

It can be hard to keep the ISO low though. I took the camera out for some backyard bird photography on a gray winter day and found it was regularly pushing to ISO 800 when photographing subjects at a short shutter speed (1/250-second).

Photographers serious enough to think about Raw capture have the option. The HX99's images hold up a bit better at high ISO when working in Raw format. The advantages aren't apparent at lower ISO, but you can eke a little bit more detail out of shots at ISO 800 through 3200. Photos shot at ISO 6400 show heavy grain and we'd recommend avoiding it.

Shaky Video

The HX99 records MP4 video with XAVC compression at 1080p or 4K quality—as long as you have a speedy microSDXC U3 card. Otherwise, you're limited to AVCHD recording at 1080p.

I tried out the 4K video at 24fps—you can also shoot at 25 or 30fps, and 1080p goes as high as 60fps. But the stabilization system is disappointing. Handheld video shot at the wide 24mm angle is noticeably shaky, and the jittery look just gets worse when you zoom in.

Not Worth the Price

I was excited to see what Sony, which has established itself as an industry leader in imaging, would bring to the table with the HX99. It's been a few years since we looked at a model of this type—the last being the HX90V, which we liked at the time, but was held back by a lack of Raw capture support. The HX90V is still on sale, for just a few dollars less than the HX99, and remains a solid alternative if you don't mind missing out on Raw capture. It's also sold as the HX80, which is the same camera as the HX90V, minus a built-in GPS, and sells for about $370.

Our most recent Editors' Choice for a camera of this type is an older model, the Panasonic ZS50, but still on sale for around $280. It uses a 12MP sensor, which is slightly less prone to showing the effects of diffraction. It's from 2015, though, and while it remains a stronger overall performer, I wouldn't rate it quite as highly in today's market as I did a few years ago.

There are better ways to spend $450 than the HX99. If you're absolutely sold on a pocketable camera with a 30x lens, I'd push you toward the ZS50 or HX80; the former offers Raw capture. If you're not so married to the idea of a long lens, consider getting a pocket camera with a brighter, shorter zoom and 1-inch image sensor. The Canon G7 X Mark II is a more expensive prospect, but a more useful photographic tool in more situations.

If you want the type of telephoto reach required for songbirds, raptors, deer, bears, soccer, baseball, and other subjects you tend to capture from a great distance, but don't want to deal with interchangable lenses, consider a bridge camera instead. It won't fit into your pocket, but larger lenses and sensors make for better quality photos. The best deal out there at press time is the Panasonic FZ1000, which gets you a sensor with four times the surface area as the HX99 and an ample 25-400mm f/2.8-4 zoom lens, all for $500.

www.pcmag.com

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 VI

The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 VI ($1,199.99) is essentially the RX10, but smaller. It covers the same zoom range as Sony's first 1-inch bridge camera, and while its lens isn't as bright when zoomed in, it fits into your pocket. It doesn't come cheap, however: At $1,200, it's the most expensive pocket camera we've seen that doesn't boast a Hasselblad or Leica badge. Its image quality and build are top notch, helping to justify the price tag and earn our Editors' Choice recommendation. If you like the idea of the camera, but struggle to justify its cost, the $800 Panasonic ZS200 is a good, more affordable alternative—but aside from its longer zoom range, it's not quite the equal of the RX100 VI.

Design: Big Zoom, Small Body

The original version of the RX100 was a groundbreaking camera at the time of its 2012 release. Its 1-inch image sensor ran circles around competing point-and-shoot cameras—the sensor format is about four times as large as image sensors found in typical point-and-shoot models. And while its 28-100mm f/1.8-4.9 lens was dim on the long end, it didn't take long for Sony to rectify that. It's continued to iterate on the design, adding a wider aperture (but shorter) zoom lens starting with the RX100 III, which remains our Editors' Choice for premium pocket cameras.

View All 30 Photos in Gallery

Before I dive into the RX100 VI, let's look at its place in the market. It does not replace any previous RX100 model. To date, the only RX100 camera to be discontinued and replaced is the RX100 V, which was replaced by the RX100 VA shortly after Sony unveiled the RX100 VI. There is an absurd amount of alphabet soup to keep clear in your head, and now that Sony has broken from strict Roman numerals in naming, the waters are muddied further. The RX100 VI's long lens makes it different enough from the others in the series that I really wish that Sony had simply called it the RX200.

The III/IV/V/VA lens design, a 24-70mm f/1.8-2.8, is a short zoom built for shallow depth of field and low-light shooting. The RX100 VI sports a (full-frame equivalent) 24-200mm zoom, but with a narrower f/2.8-4.5 aperture range. It's more similar to it larger cousins, the RX10 and RX10 II bridge models in coverage, although both of those 1-inch sensor shooters use a 24-200mm f/2.8 lens with superior macro capability. The RX100 VI matches neither its bridge siblings nor the RX100 models with the 24-70mm lens in macro capability. It can focus to 3.2 inches at the wide end, compared with the 2-inch focus available in previous models. At the telephoto end, the VI needs at least 3.3 feet between the camera and the subject to focus.

It's not the first time we've seen a long zoom 1-inch sensor camera in a pocketable form factor. Panasonic started the trend with its disappointing ZS100 and has continued with its sequel, the ZS200, which sells for $800. It doesn't have the fit or finish of the RX100 VI, and while we're still in the process of testing the ZS200, we'll talk about the differences in the quality of its 24-360mm lens and the RX100 VI's 24-200mm zoom later on.

Despite having a longer zoom range, the RX100 VI is only larger by a factor of millimeters when compared with the cameras that have come before it. It measures 2.3 by 4.0 by 1.7 inches (HWD) and weighs 10.6 ounces. It's smaller and lighter than the ZS200, which comes in at 2.6 by 4.4 by 1.8 inches and 12 ounces.

The camera is housed in a metal exterior, finished in matte black without too many adornments. The Sony logo is at the top corner in white, with the Zeiss badge in blue at the bottom corner—the lens features Zeiss branding as well. While it does collapse into the body when you power the camera down, the lens doesn't sit completely flush. The space isn't left unused—there's a programmable control ring surrounding it. By default, it adjusts shutter or aperture based on shooting mode, but you can change it to act as a zoom control, adjust the ISO, set exposure compensation (EV), or perform another sundry function. I set it to adjust EV, as the camera doesn't have a dedicated dial adjustment for that function.

The pop-up EVF and flash both retract into the top plate when not in use, and are raised up with a mechanical switch. The EVF is slightly different from previous ones in that you don't need to pull the eyepiece toward you to get it properly focused. The downside is that you need to be careful when using it—press the viewfinder up against your glasses and the eyepiece may give in, throwing the OLED panel out of focus.

But having to take a bit of care in use is worth it when you consider the size and quality of the EVF. It's significantly larger to the eye than what you get with the competing Panasonic ZS200—0.39 inches measured diagonally—and extremely sharp at 2,359k dots. There is a diopter adjustment available to adjust the EVF to match your eyesight.

Top controls aren't extensive. It has the On/Off button, a zoom rocker and shutter release, and the Mode dial. Rear controls are all located to the right of the LCD, which takes up the bulk of the available space. The Record button is nestled into the right side of the rear thumb rest. Below it, you'll find Fn and Menu buttons, the rear control wheel, and Delete and Play.

The rear wheel is used for aperture and shutter control, depending on the mode, and has directional presses to adjust the Drive mode, flash output, EV, and amount of information shown on the LCD or EVF. Its center button activates EyeAF by default (most of the buttons are programmable), a very useful feature for snapping portraits. Ergonomically it's a little awkward to hold the rear button in and press the shutter while using the EVF, but it's a bit easier to manage when framing shots using the LCD.

The Fn button launches an on-screen settings menu for quick access to additional options. It's not touch-sensitive—none of the menus are—which is an odd decision. The menu system is a bit dense, with dozens of options spread across multiple pages. It's a testament to how much the camera can do, but can be daunting to navigate. It's best to spend an hour or two with the camera in order to set it up to your liking when you first unbox it, so you don't have to navigate through menus when you should be out capturing images.

Touch does work for other things, though. You can tap the rear LCD to set a focus point when shooting stills or video, and while you can't pinch to zoom or swipe through shots in playback, you can swipe to move around an image when reviewing a magnified version. The display quality is premium, 3 inches in size with 921k dots of resolution and a hinged design. It can flip all the way forward for selfie shots or video, and also angles down to 90 degrees, sitting flush with the bottom of the camera.

Connectivity: Beam Images to Your Phone

The RX100 VI's lens makes it an ideal camera for travel, as it can handle a lot of different situations, and its size means it's a no-brainer to pack. If you want to Instagram from the road, the camera includes Bluetooth and Wi-Fi so you can beam images and videos wirelessly to your Android or iOS device using the free Sony PlayMemories Mobile app.

There is a single micro USB port, used for data transfer and charging. Sony includes a micro USB cable and AC adapter in the box, but not an external charger. You can expect to shoot about 240 images on a fully charged battery (according to CIPA standards) using the LCD. Sony states that you can extend it to 310 by enabling power saving, but the EVF uses more power so the camera is only rated for 220 shots when using it.

Those numbers are good guidelines, but can vary greatly depending on how you use the camera. Shooting huge bursts of images will net more, and recording standard or slow-motion video and transferring photos over Wi-Fi will eat into battery life. You can recharge on the go via a USB battery, and the camera will work while charging. But for travel, I'd recommend picking up a spare battery as well as an external charger.

In addition to the micro USB connector, there is a micro HDMI port. But there's no way to connect or mount an external microphone—you'll want to move up to the larger RX10 series if that's a priority.

The battery and memory card slot are accessible via the bottom plate. The RX100 VI supports UHS-I SD cards and Memory Stick Duo media, but doesn't support the fastest UHS-II cards.

Performance: Go Speed Racer

The RX100 V was the first pocket camera with on-sensor phase detection autofocus, and the feature continues with the VI. Phase detection, combined with a sensor with a design that allows for extremely quick data processing delivers shooting at up to 24fps with subject tracking, even in Raw format. Shooting that quickly is overkill for most scenarios, but having it as an option is certainly a benefit. You can also set the camera to shoot at a speedy, but more reasonable 10fps.

See How We Test Digital Cameras

The camera buffer can handle about 106 Raw+JPG, 108 Raw, or 231 JPG shots before it fills up. But writing all of those photos to a memory card takes a long time—90 seconds for Raw+JPG, 62 seconds for Raw, or 80 seconds for JPG. You can continue to capture images as the buffer clears, but you won't be able to start a video until the images are committed to memory, which can be frustrating.

In other regards, the camera's speed leaves nothing to be desired. It starts, focuses, and fires in about 1.8 seconds, locks focus in almost no time in bright light, and in about 0.4-second in very dim conditions.

Image Quality: Best You Can Get in Your Pocket

The RX100 VI's lens doesn't have as much reach as the Panasonic ZS200, but our tests show that it's sharper, and the f-stop tells us it captures more light. At 24mm f/2.8 the Sony scores 2,477 lines on Imatest's standard center-weighted sharpness test. Image quality is strong through most of the frame, but the edges are a bit soft, at 1,331 lines. That's less resolution than I want to see at a minimum from a 20MP sensor, 1,800 lines.

Resolution holds steady at f/4 and f/5.6. There's a slight drop in average sharpness at f/8 (2,263 lines), but edges are stronger, 1,554 lines. You can shoot at f/11, but you shouldn't—it drops image quality, lowering the score all the way down to 1,713 lines.

Some edge softness at 24mm isn't unheard of in a compact, and it's really the only bad thing there is to say about the RX100 VI's lens. At 50mm the maximum aperture has dropped to f/4, but overall image quality is strong. We see 2,341 lines on average, and while the edges aren't as sharp as the center, they're quite crisp at 2,045 lines. Image quality jumps at f/5.6 (2,897 lines), with edges that are just about 200 lines behind the average score. We see 2,549 lines at f/8 and 1,918 lines at f/11.

At the 100mm setting the maximum aperture is still f/4. The lens shows 2,838 lines here, with edges that touch 2,700 lines—it's not dead even performance across the frame, but it's close. We see 2,863 lines at f/5.6, 2,571 lines at f/8, and 1,865 lines at f/11.

Image quality holds up at 200mm. At f/4.5 we see 2,462 lines on average, and while the edges aren't that sharp, they're still acceptable at 1,843 lines. At f/5.6 there is 2,630 lines, with edges that show about 2,000 lines, and there's a slight drop to the average at f/8 (2,457 lines) and a more noticeable one at f/11 (1,615 lines).

The lens on the competing Panasonic ZS200 has a longer zoom range, but it isn't as sharp. At its best it shows about 2,300 lines (at the 50mm setting) and its edge performance is very weak at 24mm and significantly softer than the RX100 VI through the rest of its zoom range.

One of the advantages of a 1-inch sensor over the 1/2.3-inch designs you usually find in point-and-shoots and flagship smartphones is image quality at the higher ISO settings used when shooting in dim light.

When shooting JPGs at default settings, the RX100 VI keeps noise less than 1.5 percent through ISO 3200, two stops below its top ISO 12800 setting. Of course, it gets there by applying some noise reduction to images. There's no noticeable degradation in image quality from the base setting of ISO 125 through ISO 800. At ISO 1600 there is a very slight step back, but one that you'll only notice when printing large or cropping heavily. Details are more noticeably smudged at ISO 3200. Image quality suffers much more noticeably at the top ISO 6400 and 12800 settings.

I converted Raw images using a beta version of Adobe's DNG Converter and processed our lab test images using Lightroom Classic CC with default develop settings applied. When working in Raw mode you can capture crisp images with little evidence of noise through ISO 800. There's a bit of grain at ISO 1600 and 3200, but it doesn't detract from detail. Push the camera to ISO 6400 and the top ISO 12800 setting and you'll be greeted with very rough results, even when shooting in Raw format.

Video: 4K and Slow Motion

Despite not supporting an external microphone, which limits the camera's use for very serious video work, the RX100 VI has some excellent capabilities to record moving images. It can record 4K video at 24 or 30fps at your choice of 60 or 100Mbps, and 1080p is also available at up to 120fps.

There is a very slight crop applied to 4K video—it's not really noticeable unless you're working from a tripod and switching between still and video capture. Footage is very sharp, and the camera smoothly racks focus on demand and tracks moving subjects with aplomb. Proxy recording is supported—it's a feature that records both 4K and a lower-resolution file at the same time, so you can easily edit the lower resolution footage and then apply the edits to the 4K clip, without putting too much strain on your workstation.

If shooting at 120fps isn't good enough, you can move the Mode dial to the HFR position for High Frame Rate capture. You have the option of shooting at 240, 480, or 960fps in this mode, rendered out to a file that plays back at 24, 30, or 60fps. It's a little tricky to use—you need to prefocus and frame a shot and start a buffer before you can start recording. And it takes a long time to render out the video. It's done in real time, so if you record a couple of seconds of footage it can take a minute or two to render out, during which time you can't use the camera for anything else.

The quality of the slow-motion video varies based on the capture rate. The 240fps footage looks the best, because its capture resolution isn't that far behind 1080p and the shutter can fire at 1/240-second, so the ISO doesn't need to be pushed as high. I tend to shoot at 480fps, as it's a good compromise in quality and speed. The 960fps video is cropped, seriously upscaled, and the shutter needs to fire at 1/960-second to capture each frame—it's best reserved for use in very bright light.

An Ideal Travel Companion

The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 VI is priced at a premium, but sets itself apart from the lesser-priced competition. Its lens doesn't zoom as far as the less expensive Panasonic ZS200, but what it lacks in telephoto reach it makes up for in brightness and sharpness. Fit and finish are also noticeably better—the Sony has a larger EVF, a tilting touch LCD, and a smaller, lighter design than the ZS200.

Which is not to say the ZS200 is a bad camera—it's just not as good as polished as the Sony, but it's also $400 less. The ZS200's longer zoom is certainly more enticing on paper, but unless you're going on safari you'll find a 24-200mm range will cover most of the images you want. If anything I wish the lens had a bit more wide-angle coverage, but 24mm is the widest angle that you'll find in a pocket camera.

We're naming the RX100 VI as our Editors' Choice. It doesn't oust the RX100 III, which also earns that distinction. Despite being part of the same family, the RX100 III's shorter, brighter zoom makes it a distinctly different camera. Whether you prefer its 24-70mm f/1.8-2.8 or the VI's 24-200mm f/2.8-4.5 is greatly dependent on the type of images you want to make. If you're more keen on capturing images in dim interiors or on city streets at night the III, IV, or VA are all better fits, depending on your budget and wants in terms of video and burst shooting rate.

There are other pocket-friendly cameras with 1-inch sensors to choose from. Canon has a few, including the excellent G7 X Mark II, and Panasonic has its LX10, but neither model has a viewfinder, and both have shorter zoom ranges than the RX100 VI.

Sony wasn't the first to market with a pocketable compact with a big zoom range and 1-inch sensor—that honor goes to Panasonic. But the RX100 VI is a better camera than either the Panasonic ZS100 or ZS200, despite having a lens that's not quite as ambitious in terms of telephoto reach. It's also more expensive, but it's simply a case of getting what you pay for.

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Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10 IV

Sony's RX10 series has delivered premium image quality in a fixed-lens, bridge camera design since its introduction. The fourth edition, the RX10 IV ($1,699.99), upgrades the image sensor to include phase detection focus, so it can shoot at up to 24fps while tracking subjects. That's a big plus for sports and wildlife photographers who want to pack light—the camera has 600mm reach. It delivers image quality that's better than superzooms with small sensors, and also offers best in class capture speed and autofocus. Not everyone needs this type of power, however, and you can save a few hundred dollars without sacrificing image quality by opting for our Editors' Choice RX10 III. But if you don't mind paying some extra money for additional speed, the RX10 IV is worth the premium.

Design

The RX10 IV is nearly physically identical to the RX10 III. It's designed in a bridge style—the body is similar in size and shape to an SLR, but the lens is integral to the design rather than interchangeable. It measures 3.7 by 5.2 by 5.7 inches and weighs 2.4 pounds. The body is black, with a mixed polycarbonate, rubber, and metal exterior and an internal magnesium alloy chassis. It's a weather-sealed design, with enough protection to use in rainy or dusty environments without worry.

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The fixed lens is the same 8.8-220mm (24-600mm equivalent) f/2.4-4 design used by the RX10 III. It's tied for the longest in the class—the RX10 III uses the same one, and the Canon PowerShot G3 X sports a 24-600mm f/2.8-5.6 zoom, dimmer and slower to focus than the RX10 IV. To get an idea of the range of the 24-600mm zoom, take a look at the image below: the left half is 24mm and the right half is 600mm, a tight shot of the full moon.

Other superzooms have longer designs, like the 65x Canon PowerShot SX60 HS. But they use smaller image sensors and narrower apertures. The RX10 IV uses a 1-inch sensor design with a surface area that's four times that of the 1/2.3-inch designs used in more affordable bridge models.

In addition to the 25x zoom ratio, the lens doubles as a capable macro. It focuses to 1.2 inches at the wide angle and to 2.4 feet when zoomed all the way in, good enough for 1:2 magnification. There's a focus limiter switch on the barrel; when turned on it disables macro capture, only focusing on subjects farther than 10 feet (3 meters) away. It speeds focus when photographing distant subjects.

Optical stabilization is rated to 4.5 stops by CIPA and I found it to work a little bit better than that. I was able to capture consistently crisp images at 1/13-second when shooting at 600mm, better than 5 stops of compensation. The lens doesn't have an integrated neutral density filter (included in the shorter zooming RX10 and RX10 II). If you're a fan of long exposure photography, or want to keep your video shutter speed lower to maintain a traditional shutter angle, you'll want to invest in a set of 72mm ND filters to attach to the front of the lens when needed.

In addition to the limiter switch, the barrel has a focus hold button; when held in it prevents autofocus from activating. The lens itself has a physical aperture ring; it can be set from f/2.4 through f/16 in third-stop increments or to turn freely without detents. Knurled metal zoom and manual focus rings are also on the barrel. The zoom ring can be set to make minor adjustments or step zoom to the 24, 28, 35, 50, 70, 85, 100, 135, 200, 300, 400, 500, and 600mm positions.

The focus adjustment toggle rounds out the front controls. It can be set to AF-S (Single), AF-A (Auto), AF-C (Continuous), or DMF (Direct Manual Focus) modes. AF-A switches between single and continuous focus based on the scene, and DMF allows you to override autofocus at any time using the manual focus ring.

Up top, starting at the left, is the Mode dial. It turns freely, without any sort of locking mechanism. The hot shoe is centered behind the lens and pop-up flash; you'll want to remove the lens hood when shooting at 35mm or wider with the flash, as the hood can create a shadow at the bottom of your image.

The mechanical flash release is just to the right, in a row of buttons that also includes the top LCD backlight control, and the programmable C1 and C2 buttons. Behind the row you'll find the monochrome information LCD and a dedicated EV adjustment dial with third-stop adjustments from -3 to +3 EV. The shutter release (threaded so you can use a mechanical release cable), zoom rocker, and On/Off switch are at the top of the handgrip.

The Menu button is at the top left corner of the rear plate, to the left of the EVF eyecup. Record and the rear control wheel are to the right of the EVF. The AE-L and Fn buttons are just below the wheel, in between the LCD and thumb rest, and there's a flat command dial with a center button and four directional press controls below the two buttons. Play and Delete/C3 buttons round out the rear controls, below the flat dial.

All of the C buttons are programmable, as are the right, down, and left directional presses on the flat command dial. Pressing Fn launches an on-screen overlay menu, also customizable, with additional control options. Sony's menu system is quite extensive, and not perfectly organized, so it is worth it to spend some time setting up the camera to customize its controls and Fn menu to suit your needs. There's also a customizable My Menu page, a good place to put commonly used functions so you don't have to scroll through dozens of menu pages to find the one you want to adjust.

The LCD is a 3-inch, 1,440k-dot panel with touch support. It's bright and sharp, and tilts up or down, but it doesn't swing out from the body or face all the way forward. That's a shame when you consider how good of a video camera the RX10 IV is.

Touch functionality is also limited. You can tap to set a focus point, but you can't navigate menus via touch. Sony does include Touch Pad focus adjustment. When the camera is to your eye you can slide your finger across the LCD to move the active focus point. It works, but not as well as a dedicated focus control.

The electronic viewfinder is big, bright, and sharp. It boasts a 0.7x magnification factor, an OLED design, and a 2,359k-dot resolution. There's an eye sensor, so it turns on and off automatically as you bring the camera to your eye, and Sony has eliminated the sensitivity issue that plagued the first two RX10 models; it's difficult to accidentally trigger the eye sensor with your body, and it doesn't work at all when the screen is tilted out.

Connectivity and Power

The RX10 IV includes Bluetooth, NFC, and Wi-Fi. It can pair with Android and iOS devices in order to transfer images or videos or for remote control. Image transfers are quick—the camera resizes images to 2MP to speed things up—but video transfer, especially if you're shooting at 4K, can take a while, even when using a top-end smartphone.

Physical connections include the multi-interface hot shoe, which can accommodate an external flash or Sony's XLR audio adapter, 3.5mm headphone and microphone jacks, micro HDMI, and micro USB. The battery charges in-camera via USB; Sony doesn't include an external charger with the RX10, just a cable and a USB-to-AC adapter. The included battery is good for about 400 shots using the rear LCD, 370 shots with the EVF, or up to 75 minutes of video per CIPA standards, which should get you through a full day of shooting. But if you want to invest in a spare battery, it's wise to buy an external charger at the same time—that way you can use the RX10 IV as you recharge the spare battery, or charge one in-camera and one out of camera at the same time.

The memory card slot is on the right side, separate from the bottom-accessible battery compartment. It's a single slot with support for SD, SDHC, SDXC, and Memory Stick Duo formats. Its speed rating tops out at UHS-I, so you can't take advantage of the speed offered by the latest ultra-fast UHS-II SD cards.

Performance and Autofocus

Because its lens has to extend to start shooting, the RX10 IV is a little slow to power on, focus, and capture an image—it takes about 2.3 seconds to do so. That's par for the course for a superzoom camera. But its autofocus system is very speedy, locking on almost instantly when shooting in bright light, and managing a 0.4-second focus lock in very dim conditions.

And it's the autofocus system, and burst rate, that really set the IV apart from the RX10 III. While you can shoot JPGs at 14fps and Raw images at 8fps with the III, the IV ups the burst rate to a staggering 24fps, even in Raw format, and adds on-sensor phase detection for better subject tracking.

See How We Test Digital Cameras

Shooting fast-moving action—a soccer match for example—is something you can do more effectively with the RX10 IV than with the III, even if shooting at 24fps is an overkill for many subjects—and can fill up your memory card more quickly. You can still take advantage of the faster focus system when dialing the burst rate down to a more reasonable 10fps by setting it to medium instead of high.

The shooting buffer is large enough to hold 105 Raw+JPG, 106 Raw, or 228 JPG shots when shooting at 24fps. Clearing it to a memory card does take some time—70, 50, and 75 seconds respectively, when paired with the fastest UHS-I card we had, rated at 95MBps. I wish the slot was UHS-II, which could cut buffer clear times by a third, as you can't start recording a video if there are any images left in the still buffer.

You have some different options in terms of focus area. The default setting is Wide, which covers about 65 percent of the sensor with phase and contrast detection points. You can couple this with EyeAF (you'll need to turn it on in the menu; I mapped it to the rear center button to match the operation of Sony's a7 and a9 mirrorless camera family) for the best results when photographing people. It will try and detect and focus on your subject's eyes, and falls back to standard face detection if it can't identify an eye.

You can override the Wide area by tapping on the rear screen; it changes the focus mode to Flexible Spot, which only looks for focus in a small area of the frame. You can also set the camera to use the Flexible Spot at all times (with Small, Medium, and Large options available for the spot size), Center point only focus, or Lock On Flexible Spot. The latter is only available in Continuous focus mode; it identifies the subject under the spot you select and tracks it as it moves through the frame. In any focus mode, small green dots dance in the viewfinder to let you know what the camera is focusing on.

I tend to use the Wide focus area when shooting with the RX10 IV, in combination with EyeAF when photographing people. The camera does a good job picking the focus point, but of course there are times when you want to control it completely. Using the Touch Pad AF function to move the focus area around works, but I don't think it's as responsive as it should be. It can take a few swipes to move the point from the right to left side of the frame. You can opt to set it Absolute positioning, which means that tapping to the left of the touch area (configurable via the menu) moves the point to the left immediately, but I found that even more frustrating to use than the default Relative mode.

I'd love to see Sony add a dedicated focus joystick control to the body, as it has with its latest full-frame mirrorless cameras. It would go a long way to improving this one aspect of operation. Perhaps we'll see it in the inevitable RX10 V.

There's also a bit of a drawback for dedicated sports shooters, depending on which sport you cover. Basketball photographers, for example, will likely find the power zoom lens to be a bit of a downer. Even when set to its faster operation mode, it takes much longer to adjust than you would with a mechanical zoom SLR lens. If you're sitting under the net and a player is driving toward you for a layup or dunk, it's harder to keep them tightly framed than it would be with an SLR lens—you're better off shooting a bit wide and cropping later if you want the whole sequence. Keep this in mind if you need to change the focal length quickly and regularly when capturing sports or similar action.

Image Quality

The 20MP 1-inch image sensor is about four times the physical size of the sensors used by most superzoom cameras. It measures 13.2 by 8.8mm, for a surface area of 116mm2. To put it in more perspective, that's about a third of the size of the APS-C sensor you find in consumer SLRs.

I used Imatest to analyze its performance when capturing images at various ISO settings. The RX10 IV has a native range of ISO 100 through 12800, with low extended settings available at ISO 64 and 80. ISO 25600 is supported, but only when using Multi-Frame capture and blending.

When shooting JPGs at default settings the camera keeps noise under 1.5 percent through ISO 3200, about what we expect from this sensor type—the 20MP 1-inch design is used in many premium compact models, including competing options from Canon and Panasonic. But only Sony has this stacked design with on-sensor phase detection.

There is certainly some noise reduction going on to net these results. To my eye, images shot through ISO 800 are perfectly crisp, with no evidence of noise reduction or grain. At ISO 1600 the very tiniest details of our test image lose some crispness, but are still distinct. There's some visible smudging at ISO 3200, so these lines start to run together a bit. The smudge effect is more pronounced at ISO 6400, but still fine for web resolution and smaller prints. It gives way to a more blurred look at the top standard setting, ISO 12800.

If you opt to shoot in Raw format you can get squeeze more clarity out of photos at higher ISOs. There's more grain in shots captured at ISO 1600 than with a JPG, but details are clearer. That holds true as speed ramps up; details are notably crisper in the ISO 3200 Raw image. Noise cuts into image quality at ISO 6400, so you get a grainier image with a little bit more detail than the JPG, as is the case at ISO 12800.

The RX10 IV has a brighter lens than many other supezooms. It captures more light at every equivalent angle of view when compared with the Canon G3 X (f/2.8-5.6) and small sensor SX60 HS (f/3.4-6.5). But the lens isn't just bright, it's also really sharp.

At 24mm f/2.4 it scores 2,362 lines per picture height on a center-weighted sharpness test. Most of the frame meets or exceeds the average score, although edges (1,809 lines) fall behind. They still match the 1,800 lines we want to see at a minimum from a 20MP camera, however. Narrowing the aperture improves edge quality—they show 1,986 lines at f/2.8 and 2,345 lines at f/4. The average also improves—2,601 lines at f/2.8, 2,925 lines at f/4, and 2,856 lines at f/5.6. After that diffraction sets in and limits image quality; you should avoid shooting at f/11 (1,852 lines) and f/16 (1,215 lines) when possible.

At 50mm the maximum aperture has narrowed to f/3.2. Sharpness is strong, 2,803 lines, with edges that aren't far behind (2,559 lines). You get a bit more resolution at f/4 (2,912 lines) and f/5.6 (2,836 lines). Image quality drops at f/8 (2,502 lines), f/11, (1,809 lines), and f/16 (1,206 lines).

By 100mm the lens has narrowed to f/4, but image quality doesn't take a step back. We see 2,839 lines on average, with excellent performance from center to edge (2,632 lines). There's not much change at f/5.6 (2,843 lines) or f/8 (2,573 lines), but we see a big drop at f/11 (1,768 lines) and f/16 (1,203 lines).

We see very similar performance at 200mm and 300mm. At f/4 and f/5.6 the lens resolves about 2,800 lines on average with strong quality from edge to edge. Narrowing to f/8 drops the resolution to about 2,500 lines, and we see just 1,750 at f/11 and 1,200 at f/16.

There's a dip in edge performance at 400mm f/4 (1,618 lines), but the average remains very good (2,390 lines). Stopping down to f/5.6 improves the overall score to 2,589 lines, and you still get good results at f/8 (2,334 lines). Skip f/11 (1,682 lines) and f/16 (1,174 lines).

Results aren't that far off at 500mm. At f/4 the average score is 2,433 lines, with better edge quality (1,828 lines) than at 400mm. The story is about the same at f/5.6. At f/8 we get better edges (2,037 lines) and a strong average (2,356 lines), before diffraction kills clarity at f/11 (1,710 lines) and f/16 (1,145 lines).

Zooming all the way in to 600mm does take its toll. At f/4 the lens scores 2,121 lines on average, but edges are weak (1,480 lines). Stopping down to f/5.6 improves the periphery (1,861 lines) and average (2,405 lines). Edges are better at f/8 (1,931 lines), but there's a hit on the average score (2,241 lines) as center resolution drops a bit. Again, f/11 (1,549 lines) and f/16 (1,082 lines) are best forgotten about.

You don't have to worry about distortion or darkened corners. The RX10 IV applies corrections to both Raw and JPG images to remove both. Most Raw converters will recognize the corrections, although you may be forced to make them yourself if you stray too far from Lightroom or Capture One.

Overall the lens is an excellent performer, better than one with a bright design and 25x zoom power has any right to be. But that's what you expect from a camera that costs this much. You can get the Canon G3 X for a lot less money, but its lens doesn't hold up as well when zoomed all the way in, nor does it capture as much light. (And the G3 X is plagued by slower autofocus, making action shots difficult.)

Video

The RX10 series has always been capable for video, even with the first model that was released in the 1080p era. Every iteration since then has supported 4K capture. The IV captures 4K footage at 24 or 30fps, with your choice of 60 or 100Mbps XAVC S compression. If you're happy with 1080p you can capture video at 24, 30, 60, or 120fps at bit rates ranging from 16Mbps (to save space on the card) through 100Mbps (for best quality), also in XAVC S. There are also AVCHD options available, even though the format isn't widely used in 2018.

It's not just about resolution. The RX10 IV adds SLog3 to its laundry list of picture profiles (the RX10 III supports SLog2). Shooting in a log format reduces contrast, so more dynamic range is preserved in your video. But it requires you to apply a color grade using software to make the footage look good—if you're a pro who knows how to color correct, you're familiar with the process.

In addition to pro-level video profiles, the RX10 IV supports an external microphone. Vloggers and travel videographers will be happy with an on-camera shotgun microphone connected via 3.5mm. But for more serious work you can buy Sony's $499 XLR add-on and connect a balanced microphone.

The camera can also go beyond 120fps if you need slower slow-motion. It has an HFR setting on the Mode dial—High Frame Rate. You can set it to record footage at 240, 480, or 960fps and to play back at 24, 30, or 60fps, giving you a varying range of slow down. I'm a big fan of 240fps at 24fps, a 10x effect. There are a bevy of options for HFR, including when to start the clip and the quality of the capture—the high quality mode captures four seconds of real life, and the lower quality option extends that to seven seconds.

All HFR is output at 1080p quality, but not all 1080p is created equal. The 240fps looks the sharpest, and the 960fps is a bit soft and also cropped. You also need a ton of light to shoot at 960fps—the camera needs to use at least a 1/960-second exposure for each frame in order to reach that speed.

There are a couple of caveats for using HFR. One, the camera needs to buffer footage before it can start recording. You can start the buffering process well in advance of starting the video, but focus and zoom are locked once the buffering starts. Second, and most annoying, is the amount of time that it takes to render the video. If you are shooting at 240fps and playing back at 24fps, a full clip is about 45 seconds—which is how long it takes to save the movie file to the card.

The biggest downside to HFR is the amount of time it takes to render out a video. After you've captured your slow seconds of video you need to wait a full 45 seconds while the camera renders the footage. If you're shooting at 960fps you can wait for more than two and a half minutes for the video to be ready when shooting in high quality mode. When it's processing you can't use the camera for anything else, although you can cancel at any time.

But, for the right scene, the effect is worth the wait. And you can always shoot at 120fps 1080p in standard mode for a more modest slow-motion effect without the stringent requirements of HFR capture.

Conclusions

The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10 IV is the most feature-filled, and most expensive, variation of the camera yet. It keeps the same 24-600mm f/2.4-4 lens as the RX10 III (now priced around $1,400), but adds on-sensor phase detection for quicker focus and a staggering 24fps burst capture rate, even in Raw mode. It goes beyond what other bridge cameras can do, delivering a zoom range that covers all but extreme telephoto shooting, 20MP of resolution, and the image quality of a 1-inch sensor, which is beyond what smaller sensor cameras can deliver.

It wraps it all up in a tough, weather-sealed body, with a crisp EVF and tilting touch LCD. Video features are also strong, with both crisp 4K capture and extreme slow-motion at 1080p available. The RX10 IV is the finest bridge camera money can buy.

But it takes a lot of money to buy it. There's no doubt it is more fully featured than the RX10 III, but it doesn't replace it in Sony's lineup. We continue to recommend the RX10 III to most photographers searching for a high-end bridge model. It is more than enough camera for most purposes, and costs $300 less. But if you're not as sensitive to price, or shoot subjects where an improved burst rate and focus system will come in handy—typically sports and wildlife—spend the extra money on the RX10 IV.

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Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX100V -

The Sony Cyber-shot HX100V is a 16.2 Megapixel super-zoom camera with a 30x stabilized lens and a flip-up 3 inch LCD screen. Released concurrently with the Cyber-shot HX9V pocket super-zoom in February 2011, the HX100V shares the same Exmor-R back-illuminated CMOS sensor in a larger SLR-styled body with a much longer zoom range.

With a sensor in common, the HX100V shares many of the HX9V’s features, including 1080p50/60 HD video, 10fps burst shooting, 3D and sweep panorama modes, along with a built-in GPS receiver. The Cyber-shot HX100V also includes the composite Hand-held Twilight and Anti Motion Blur modes in addition to new Backlight Correction HDR and Background Defocus modes.

The Cyber-shot HX100V is Sony’s first DSLR-styled super-zoom model since the Cyber-shot HX1 back in 2009. Since then Canon and Panasonic have established a strong position in this market with the PowerShot SX30 IS, and the Lumix FZ100 and FZ45 / 40 (not to mention the latest FZ47 / FZ48). Does the Cyber-shot HX100V have what it takes to re-establish Sony in the Super-zoom market, or has two years out of the game given the competition too much of a lead for Sony to regain? Let’s find out in our full review of the Sony Cyber-shot HX100V.

   
 

Sony Cyber-shot HX100V Design and controls

The Cyber-shot HX100V looks good and feels comfortable to hold. With what’s become classic super-zoom styling it closely resembles a mini DSLR. At 122x87x93mm and weighing 577g including card and battery, it’s a little smaller and lighter than the Canon PowerShot SX30 IS. To provide a little more context, that’s around fifty grams lighter and broadly the same dimensions as Sony’s SLT-A35. These super-zooms are designed to go on a strap around your neck or in a bag, so if you’re looking for something more pocketable check out our Sony Cyber-shot HX9V review.

 
 
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The HX100V’s plastic body has a matt speckled finish which looks good and provides a tactile grip. There’s room for three fingers on the grip with your right index finger resting comfortably on the shutter release and your left hand supporting the camera, SLR-style, beneath the lens. In the end, it’s a personal choice, but I really liked the way the HX100V felt and handled.

Behind the shutter release is a custom button to which you can assign various functions and another for changing the focus mode. Behind those on the right side of the top panel are the mode dial, on/off button and an override button for manually switching between the electronic viewfinder and LCD screen. Ordinarily the HX100V uses a sensor to switch to the EVF when you put your eye to it. The EVF is bright, but visibly pixellated and I preferred to use the 3 inch screen, but it is a useful alternative for sunny conditions and has the added advantage of dioptre adjustment for those who wear glasses.

The 3 inch LCD screen is articulated and can be folded out and up or down for waist or overhead viewing, though unlike the PowerShot SX30 IS it can’t be folded in to protect itself or face the front. The 920k pixel screen is detailed, bright and reasonably contrasty but looks less vibrant and punchy than the smaller 2.7 inch screen on the PowerShot SX30 IS. Using the four-way controller you can select one of three information overlays including a live histogram view.

 
 

The Cyber-shot HX100V has a built-in flash that pops up when required i.e if the flash is forced on or set to auto mode and the light conditions require it. It also has Slow Synchro and rear curtain modes. The flash has a quoted auto ISO range of 12.7 metres, which sounds impressive, but more useful is the Guide number – 18 Metres at 3200 ISO which equates to 3 metres at 100 ISO. In practice the Cyber-shot HX100V provided bright even illumination and recycled between shots in a couple of seconds.

Sony Cyber-shot HX100V lens and stabilisation

The Cyber-shot HX100V’s Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar 30x zoom lens has a range of 27-810mm (equivalent) with a maximum aperture of f2.8-5.6. That’s such an impressive range that it seems bad-form to criticise, but the truth is that, even with a massive zoom range, the maximum wide angle view is an important factor. It’s worth noting its rivals from Canon and Panasonic zoom out a little wider to deliver greater coverage, while the Canon also actually out-reaches it a little at the telephoto end too, with 840mm vs 810mm. That said, there’s very little in terms of subject matter that the Cyber-shot HX100V can’t cover.

Sony Cyber-shot HX100V coverage wide Sony Cyber-shot HX100V coverage tele
4.8 – 144 mm at 4.8mm (27mm equivalent)   4.8 – 144mm at 144mm (810mm equivalent)

The Cyber-shot HX100V has Optical SteadyShot lens-shift image stabilization which is activated by default, can’t be turned off and has no optional settings other than for movie shooting (see the movie section below). In place of our usual before and after shots then, the below crops are from shots taken at the same time with the lens at its maximum zoom extension of 810mm equivalent. The crop on the left was taken in Manual exposure mode at 1/20 of a second and the one on the right in Anti Motion Blur mode.

Sony Cyber-shot HX100V, Optical SteadyShot / Anti Motion Blur
100% crop, 4.8 – 144mm at 144mm, 200 ISO 1/20th, Manual exposure mode (with Optical SteadyShot).   100% crop, 4.8 – 144mm at 144mm, 2000 ISO 1/250th, Anti Motion Blur mode.

Sony Cyber-shot HX100V shooting modes

A glance at the mode dial provides a quick overview of the Cyber-shot HX100V’s available shooting modes. Starting with the PASM Program, semi-auto and manual modes followed by a Memory recall mode for one of three custom setups. Then there’s the iSweep panorama position. In addition to the Standard and Wide panorama modes available on earlier Sony compacts, HX100V has a new HR mode which produces truly stunning high resolution panoramas measuring 10480 x 4096 pixels – see a sample of the standard 4912×1920 mode below.

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Skipping past the Movie mode position for now, next up is the 3D position which provides, appropriately enough, three options; 3D still image and 3D Sweep Panorama produce 3D images that can be viewed on a 3D TV, Sweep Multi Angle produces a 3D image that you can view by tilting the camera screen. Though surprisingly effective, I doubt most people will use the last one more than once or twice as the novelty of viewing a 3D image on a 3 inch screen quickly fades.

The Cyber-shot HX100V has 16 scene modes, the most notable of which are the composite options that shoot a burst of images and combine them to produce a better result than would be possible with a single exposure. Hand-held Twilight and Anti Motion Blur will be familiar to owners of recent Sony compacts with the Exmor-R CMOS sensor that makes these modes possible. Backlight Correction HDR shoots three frames to capture detail in the shadow, mid-tone and highlight areas of a scene with a wide tonal range and Background defocus uses two exposures to simulate shallow depth of field.

You can of course use the HX100V in fully automatic mode, and there are in fact two automatic point-and shoot options. Intelligent Auto employs scene recognition to identify the subject and set an appropriate scene mode. The HX100V can tell if the camera is on a tripod allowing longer exposure times or if there’s motion in the frame in which case it will increase the ISO sensitivity and use a faster shutter speed to arrest the movement. In Advanced mode scene recognition takes two shots using different setting so you can choose the best result. For Backlit portraits for example, one shot is made using the flash and a second with the brightness and contrast of the face and background adjusted.

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX100V iSweep HR panorama
Click image to access original at Flickr

A new position on the mode dial, Superior Auto, combines scene recognition and multi-shot compositing to produce a superior result. Superior Auto is designed to get better results in low-light conditions and effectively automatically activates Hand-held Twilight, Anti Motion Blur or Backlight Correction HDR modes. Each of those modes can of course be selected manually with the mode dial in the SCN position, but incorporating them into a new auto position on the mode dial makes them more accessible to novices who might not otherwise bother with them.

Sony Cyber-shot HX100V movie modes

The Cyber-shot HX100V’s best quality video mode is 1080p at either 50 or 60 fps depending on region. This is encoded in AVCHD format at one of two rates: 28 and 24 Mbps. There are also two interlaced (60/50i) AVCHD options encoded at 17 and 9Mbps. Switch to MPEG4 encoding and you have the option of 1080p at 12Mbps, 720p at 6Mbps or VGA (640 x 480) at 3Mbps. Continuous shooting in any mode is limited to 29 minutes and, at the highest quality 1080p setting you’ll fit around 35 minutes of footage on an 8GB card.

The Cyber-shot HX100V’s Optical SteadyShot stabilisation works very well for movie recording and there’s an ‘extra strength’ Active SteadyShot setting which damps damps down camera movement even more. The zoom motor has a single speed setting when recording movies and is virtually silent. The HX100V has a dedicated movie record button and pressing the shutter release while recording captures 16:9 still images at 2304 x 1296 pixels in all but the highest quality video mode. It will also capture still shots using smile shutter during movie recording which is a nice touch.

Sony Cyber-shot HX100V sample video 1: outdoors, sunny, handheld pan with optical zoom
Download the original file (Registered members of Vimeo only)

For this hand-held panning and zooming shot I activated the ‘industrial strength’ ACT SteadyShot mode which manages to keep things pretty steady even at 30x. The zoom is silent and focus remains spot on throughout the zoom range.

Sony Cyber-shot HX100V sample video 2: outdoors, sunny, tripod pan with optical zoom
Download the original file (Registered members of Vimeo only)

Like its compact counterpart the HX9V, the Cyber-shot HX100V’s best 1080p50 video mode is hard to fault. Once again the focus remains rock solid throughout the zoom.

Sony Cyber-shot HX100V sample video 3: indoors, low-light, handheld pan
Download the original file (Registered members of Vimeo only)

Good results from the Cyber-shot HX100V indoors. You can set intelligent Auto or scene modes for movie shooting and use the thumb whwwl to adjust exposure compensation, but you can’t lock off the exposure.

Sony Cyber-shot HX100V handling

My biggest handling gripe with the Cyber-shot HX100V is the lens cap: it attaches to the non-extending outer barrel and pops off every time you press the on button without removing it first which, if you’re me, is every time you press the on button. On one occasion the cap got wedged in one side of the lens, preventing it from extending but fortunately no permanent damage was done. The HX100V also lacks a hotshoe which may or may not be important to you, but if it is both the PowerShot SX30 IS and Finepix HS20 EXR have one.

     
     

The camera takes about two and a half seconds to ready itself which is sluggish, but makes up for it with very swift autofocus that’s almost instantaneous in good light. The HX100V has face detection AF and in the absence of faces defaults to a nine-area AF system. Alternatively there’s Centre AF and Flexible spot AF with fifteen areas to choose from. The focus mode is chosen using a dedicated button on the hand grip behind the shutter release which means if the current mode isn’t doing the job you can quickly change it without having to hunt through menu. Or, you can switch to manual using the sliding switch on the lens mount and use the focussing ring on the lens. This is the HX100V’s secret weapon, it’s something none of the competition has and I very quickly grew to love it.

Although the focus ring works very well to manually focus in conjunction with the focus button which provides a magnified view of the subject, it’s when the focus is set to one of the auto modes that it comes into its own, switching its function to a manual zoom ring. Control isn’t direct, but when you twist the ring the zoom motor activates, smoothly zooming in or out while you continue to turn. And while we’re on the subject of physical controls another one that makes the HX100V much easier to handle, particularly for manual exposure modes is the thumbwheel.

It will come as no surprise then that a physical button – the nine o’clock position on the control pad – is used to select bracketing and continuous shooting modes. The HX100V has two burst shooing modes; 10fps and 2fps. In testing both shot their 10-frame burst in precisely the specified times: 5 seconds and 1 second respectively.

The HX100V has a 16.2 megapixel CMOS sensor which produces images with a maximum size of 4608 x 3456 pixels at a single jpeg compression setting that results in files between 3 and 5MB in size. It has an sensitivity range of 100-3200 ISO and a shutter speed range of 30 – 1/4000.

To see how the quality of the Sony Cyber-shot HX100V measures-up in practice, take a look at our real-life resolution and high ISO noise results pages, browse the sample images gallery, or skip to the chase and head straight for our verdict.

Page 2

Sony Cyber-shot HX100V vs Fujifilm FinePix HS20 EXR vs Canon PowerShot SX30 IS Resolution

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To compare real-life performance when zoomed-out, we shot this scene with the Sony Cyber-shot HX100V, the Fujifilm FinePix HS20 EXR and the Canon PowerShot SX30 IS within a few moments of each other using their best quality JPEG settings.

The lenses on each camera were set to approximately the same field of view and all three cameras were set to Aperture priority mode.

The ISO sensitivity was manually set to the lowest available setting 100 ISO – on the Cyber-shot HX100V and FinePix HS20 EXR and 80 ISO on the PowerShot SX30 IS.

The image above was taken with the Sony Cyber-shot HX100V with its lens at its maximum wide angle setting of 4.8mm (27mm equivalent). In Program auto mode the camera metered 1/2000th at f3.5, however, because the aperture settings of the three cameras on test varied I used Aperture priority exposure mode so as to be able to compare results shot at the same aperture. In Aperture priority mode I chose f4 (to avoid diffraction and maximise detail), for which the Cyber-shot HX100V metered a shutter speed of 1/1600. The original image file was 4.96MB. The crops are taken from the areas marked with red rectangles and presented here at 100%.

Overall the Cyber-shot HX9V image looks pretty good. It’s well exposed, with good detail throughout the tonal range and no clipping of the highlights or shadows. The white balance is a little on the cool side for my taste, but well within acceptable limits. Moving on to the crops, the level of detail is generally good, but you don’t have to look all that hard to find evidence of softness and lack of edge definition. In the first crop you can’t quite make out the crosses on the chapel roof and the rocks in the foreground look a little indistinct. In the second crop you can make out the vertical white column of the lighthouse and the island on which it stands but again, it’s a little blurry. The window frames of the houses in the foreground of this crop are quite well defined though.

What’s interesting is that the detail in the next crop, from the edge of the frame looks almost as sharp as the last one from the centre and there’s no evidence of chromatic aberration, on a lens with a 30x optical zoom range that’s impressive, so we suspect some image processing is reducing the effect. Before we go to compare the Cyber-shot HX100V crops with those from the Fujifilm FinePix HS20 EXR and the Canon PowerShot SX30 IS it’s worth noting that these crops don’t look quite as clean and detailed as those from the Cyber-shot HX9V which shares the same 16.2 Megapixel Exmor-R sensor. Nonetheless, an overall excellent result from the Cyber-shot HX100V

Compared with the Fujufilm FinePix HS20, the crops from the Cyber-shot HX100V look quite clearly better. It’s not that apparent in the first crop, though detail in the FinePix HS20 EXR looks a little fuzzier. In the lighthouse crop the Cyber-shot HX100V has captured sharper edge detail in the windows and roofs in the foreground and the same goes for the brick work in the third crop. The final crop makes for an interesting comparison; in this crop from close to the centre of the frame there’s very little in it, if anything, the detail in the FinePix HS20 crop looks a little sharper. This suggests that it’s the lens on the Finepix HS20 EXR that’s the limiting factor rather than the sensor.

Compared with the 14.1 Megapixel Canon PowerShot SX30 IS the Cyber-shot HX100V crops stand up extremely well. In the first three crops fine and edge detail is better resolved on the Cyber-shot HX100V, the crops looks cleaner and sharper and are unaffected by the chromatic aberration that afflicts the PowerShot SX30 IS’s lens at the edges.

Now let’s see how they compare at higher sensitivities in our High ISO Noise results.

 
  Fujifilm Finepix HS20 EXR  
Sony Cyber-shot HX100V results : Real-life resolution / High ISO Noise

Sony Cyber-shot HX100V vs Fujfilm FinePix HS20 EXR vs Canon PowerShot SX30 IS Noise

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To compare noise levels under real-life conditions we shot this scene with the Sony Cyber-shot HX100V, the Fujifilm FinePix HS20 EXR and the Canon PowerShot SX30 IS within a few moments of each other using their best quality JPEG settings at each of their ISO sensitivity settings.

All three cameras were set to Program auto exposure mode and the lenses were set to approximately the same field of view, around 4.8mm to match the widest available focal length on the Cyber-shot HX100V. The ISO sensitivity was set manually.

The above shot was taken with the the Sony Cyber-shot HX100V in Program auto mode. The lens was set to its widest angle focal length of 4.8mm (27mm equivalent), the sensitivity was set to 100 ISO and the exposure was 1/6th of a second at f2.8. The crops are taken from the area marked with the red square and presented below at 100%.

At 100 ISO the Cyber-shot HX100V crop looks good, though it’s by no means perfect. There’s plenty of detail in the the stone column on the left and the wood panelling. There’s a small engraved brass plate on the panelling and you can just about make out the detail here. Generally though, the detail in the crop looks just the tiniest bit smeared. Move up to 200 ISO and things are still looking pretty good, though there’s now a little noise starting to appear in the wood panelling and the detail in the stonework has taken on a slightly blocky appearance.

At 400 ISO, as you’d expect, the noise gets worse and the detail suffers a little as a consequence, however, this is still a relatively clean crop and I’d have no hesitation in using the Cyber-shot HX100V’s 400 ISO sensitivity for everyday shots, we’re not yet in ‘only for special circumstances’ territory. At 800 ISO we have however crossed that boundary, the noise is gaining the upper hand and the edge of the column is no longer an edge. It’s worth bearing in mind though, that although this looks very grainy at 100 percent, at smaller magnifications 800 ISO shots look quite respectable, check out the gallery for a better idea.

At 1600 ISO the noise has obscured all but the crudest details, and while it’s great to have a 3200 ISO option for capturing action, say, under street lighting, image quality is not going to be top of your priority list. An all-round excellent performance from the Cyber-shot HX100V’s new 16.2 Exmor-R sensor.

Compared with the FinePix HS20 EXR the Cyber-shot HX100V crops look even better than when you view them in isolation. Close up, the Finepix HS20 crops hold up well in terms of degradation as the ISO sensitivity increases, but they start well behind the Cyber-shot HX100V crops at the 100 ISO base sensitivity setting. The FinePix HS20 EXR 100 ISO crop looks quite heavily processed, there’s a quite a high degree of pixel clumping visible as well as, despite the processing, noisy pixels. It’s also unusual to see the edge definition of the stone column, which is in focus, fragmenting at such a low ISO sensitivity setting. As the FinePix HS20 EXR progresses up the ISO scale both the processing artefacts and the noise get progressively worse. Once again though, it’s worth stating that these differences, which look huge at 100 percent, are much less relevant at smaller sizes, it’s only if you’re making big prints or cropping that these quality differences will come into play.

Compared with the Canon PowerShot SX30 IS the qaulity margin is much narrower. The 80 ISO PowerShot SX30 IS crop looks to have a little more detail than the 100 ISO crop from the Cyber-shot HX100V and the same goes for the 100 and 200 ISO crops. Compare the detail in the stone column and the brass plate at the top of the wood panelling. From 400 ISO up, though there are qualitative differences in the way both cameras deal with the increasing noise, you’d be hard pressed to say one was better than the other.

Both the Cyber-shot HX100V and FinePix HS20 EXR have low light composite modes which I’ve compared in the final row of the table alongside the PowerShot SX30 IS’s (single shot) Low light scene mode. Though the Cyber-shot HX100V’s Anti Motion Blur doesn’t look as clean as the Fujifilm FinePix HS20 EXR’s Pro Low-light mode, it is at least a full 16 Megapixel shot compared with the Finepix’s 8 Megapixels.

Now head over to our Sony Cyber-shot HX100V sample images to see some more real-life shots in a variety of conditions.

  Fujifilm Finepix HS20 EXR  
Anti Motion Blur 3200 ISO Pro Low-light mode 2500 ISO
Sony Cyber-shot HX100V results : Real-life resolution / High ISO Noise

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Sony Cyber-shot RX1 -

The Sony Cyber-shot RX1 is the world’s first compact camera with a fixed lens and full-frame sensor. Announced in September 2012, it brings the low light, high dynamic range and shallow depth of field benefits of a full-frame camera to a much smaller form factor than DSLRs like the Canon 5D Mark III and Nikon D800. And while Leica has long offered its relatively compact full-frame M9 system with removable lenses to boot, the Sony RX1 is smaller and more affordable.

The RX1’s 35mm sized sensor sports 24.3 Megapixels and is coupled with a 35mm f2.0 lens from Carl Zeiss. This lens is fixed in focal length and physically to the camera, so there’s no chance of fitting anything else. While this may seem restrictive to owners of interchangeable lens cameras and zoom lenses, the 35mm focal length is a classic general-purpose option and Fujifilm’s X100 has already proven there’s a market for a fixed lens camera with the same equivalent coverage.

As you’d expect there’s a wealth of manual control with mode and exposure compensation dials on the top surface, and an aperture ring around the lens. The RX1 also packs in both a popup flash and a standard hotshoe. By default composition is entirely with the screen, although option opticalal and electronic viewfinders can be slotted onto the hotshoe. It’s a very exciting proposition and I’m pleased to share a great selection of Sony RX1 sample images taken by professional photographer and friend Peter Adams.

   
   

SAN DIEGO, Sept 12, 2012 –

 For the first time, all the benefits of full-frame digital photography are available in a palm-sized compact camera. 

The extraordinary new Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX1 digital camera packs an advanced 35mm full-frame 24.3 MP Exmor® CMOS sensor and exceptionally Carl Zeiss T*t 35mm f/2.0 fixed lens into a highly portable, lightweight camera body.  Measuring approximately 4.5 inches wide by 3 inches tall and weighing just over a pound, it-s significantly smaller and lighter than any full-frame DSLR yet sacrifices nothing in terms of image quality, HD video quality or manual control.

“The new Cyber-shot RX1 is truly ‘one of a kind’, offering a unique combination of size and performance that’s never before been realized in the world of digital cameras,” said Yosuke Tomoda, director of the Cyber-shot camera business at Sony Electronics. “With its highly advanced sensor and fast 35mm f/2.0 lens packed into a small, portable camera body, professionals, enthusiasts and advanced hobbyists can experience the world of full-frame imaging in new and different ways than they ever thought possible.”

The new camera’s unified lens and body design allows performance that few interchangeable lenses can match.  The Carl Zeiss lens not only delivers spectacular image quality all the way to the edges of each frame, it incorporates a near-silent in-lens shutter and is far more compact than comparable lenses of interchangeable design. The camera also features full manual control options and an intuitive user interface, making it easy for photographers to adjust all settings quickly and easily.

The 35mm full-frame sensor inside the RX1 camera more than doubles the area of APS-C sensors commonly found in much bulkier DSLR cameras, allowing it to take in significantly more light while capturing content.  With an effective resolution of 24.3 megapixels, it’s capable of resolving the finest image details and most subtle textures for rich color reproduction and an impressively broad dynamic range.

The large sensor size also boosts the camera’s sensitivity range to a generous ISO 100 – 25600, with the option to shoot as low as ISO 50 in expanded sensitivity mode.  Similarly, ISO settings as high as 102400 can be achieved using Multi Frame Noise Reduction. This allows the camera to capture natural, low noise handheld images in near-dark conditions without needing flash.

The fast, bright Carl Zeiss Sonnar T* 35mm lens is a versatile choice for portraits, street photography and everyday shooting.  This premium lens features newly designed optics including an Advanced Aspherical (AA) glass element, which contributes to the camera’s extremely compact dimensions without sacrificing optical performance.

The lens’ wide F2 maximum, 9-bladed circular aperture enable beautiful background defocus (‘bokeh’) effects to rival or exceed professional-class DSLR camera lenses. Additionally, it features a macro switching ring on the lens barrel which instantly shortens the minimum focusing distance to approximately 20cm (from image plane), allowing the camera to capture small, close-up subjects with exquisite detail.

The Cyber-shot RX1 camera also features an enhanced BIONZ processing engine that rapidly handles data from the Exmor CMOS sensor and also powers full-resolution burst shooting at up to five frames per second.  The powerful processor can output image data in 14-bit RAW format, giving advanced users total freedom to express their creative vision throughout the shooting and post-production processes. 

Despite the camera’s extraordinarily compact dimensions, the new Cyber-shot RX1 model offers a full range of manual control modes on par with typical high-end full-frame DSLR cameras. Dedicated lens rings allow for fingertip control of focus and aperture, while a DSLR-style Focus mode dial on the front of the camera enables easy switching between focus modes.  Top-mounted exposure compensation and mode dials are strategically placed for simple access and operation, while custom function and AEL buttons on the back panel are also easily accessible. 

The new camera features a Quick Navi mode that allows fast, intuitive adjustment of camera settings.  This is especially useful when using the camera with an optional viewfinder (sold separately).  A memory recall (MR) mode is accessible via the mode dial so photographers can store and instantly recall up to three sets of camera settings.

 Other refinements include a MF Assist function that magnifies a portion of the image while framing to simplify fine focus adjustments, as well as a Peaking function that highlights sharply-focused areas of the image on screen.

Additionally, the RX1 camera features By Pixel Super Resolution digital zoom technology, which allows for magnification of image size without sacrificing pixel count. This results in far higher quality results than are achievable with conventional digital zoom.

A Smart Teleconverter function crops a central portion of the image sensor, boosting effective magnification by 1.4x or 2x realizing an effective 49mm or 70mm focal length.  With the extremely high pixel count of the full-frame image sensor, even zoomed and cropped images maintain generous amounts of fine detail when blown up for large print sizes.

In addition to beautiful still images, the Cyber-shot RX1 compact camera can capture high-quality, low-noise Full HD movie footage in all lighting conditions at a choice of 60p or 24p (progressive) frame rates.  There’s a full complement of P/A/S/M exposure modes during video shooting for creative flexibility.

The new camera also features 13 different Creative Styles for fine-tuning images, plus a wide range of Picture Effect treatments.  Further, it has Auto HDR and D-Range Optimizer, bracket shooting (Exposure, DRO or White Balance) and Auto HDR shooting modes, and there’s a Digital Level Gauge that indicates camera pitch and camera roll on the LCD screen for straight, even landscape and architectural shots.

 

New Accessories for Cyber-shot RX1

Shooting possibilities for stills and video are broadened by the camera’s Multi Interface Shoe that accepts a growing range of accessories. Options include a high-quality OLED XGA OLED Tru-Finder EVF (model FDA-EV1MK) which allows for even greater manual focusing precision as well as an external optical viewfinder featuring Carl Zeiss optics (model FDA-V1K).  Also available are a thumb grip (model TGA-1) for sure, comfortable handling as well as a lens hood (model LHP-1) and jacket case (model LCJ-RXB).

Sony PlayMemories Services

The Cyber-shot RX1 comes preinstalled with PlayMemories Home (Lite Edition) software, allowing easy image transfers to a PC for managing, editing and printing. Available for free download, a full version of PlayMemories Home software adds movie editing and disc burning. Also available for download, PlayMemories Studio allows game-like editing of photos and videos on PlayStation 3 systems. Images can be shared easily via PlayMemories Online service, the cloud-based sharing service from Sony that simplifies ‘any time, any place’ viewing on a wide range of connected devices.

Pricing and Availability

The Cyber-shot RX1 compact, fixed lens camera will be available this November for about $2800.  The FDA-EV1K electric viewfinder and FDA-V1K optical viewfinder will each be available at launch for about $600 and $450, respectively.

 The thumb grip, lens hood and jacket case will also be available at launch for about $250, $180 and $250, respectively.

Page 2

The Sony Cyber-shot RX1 is the world’s first compact camera with a fixed lens and full-frame sensor. Announced in September 2012, it brings the low light, high dynamic range and shallow depth of field benefits of a full-frame camera to a much smaller form factor than DSLRs like the Canon 5D Mark III and Nikon D800. And while Leica has long offered its relatively compact full-frame M9 system with removable lenses to boot, the Sony RX1 is smaller and more affordable.

The RX1’s 35mm sized sensor sports 24.3 Megapixels and is coupled with a 35mm f2.0 lens from Carl Zeiss. This lens is fixed in focal length and physically to the camera, so there’s no chance of fitting anything else. While this may seem restrictive to owners of interchangeable lens cameras and zoom lenses, the 35mm focal length is a classic general-purpose option and Fujifilm’s X100 has already proven there’s a market for a fixed lens camera with the same equivalent coverage.

As you’d expect there’s a wealth of manual control with mode and exposure compensation dials on the top surface, and an aperture ring around the lens. The RX1 also packs in both a popup flash and a standard hotshoe. By default composition is entirely with the screen, although option opticalal and electronic viewfinders can be slotted onto the hotshoe. It’s a very exciting proposition and I’m pleased to share a great selection of Sony RX1 sample images taken by professional photographer and friend Peter Adams.

   
   

SAN DIEGO, Sept 12, 2012 –

 For the first time, all the benefits of full-frame digital photography are available in a palm-sized compact camera. 

The extraordinary new Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX1 digital camera packs an advanced 35mm full-frame 24.3 MP Exmor® CMOS sensor and exceptionally Carl Zeiss T*t 35mm f/2.0 fixed lens into a highly portable, lightweight camera body.  Measuring approximately 4.5 inches wide by 3 inches tall and weighing just over a pound, it-s significantly smaller and lighter than any full-frame DSLR yet sacrifices nothing in terms of image quality, HD video quality or manual control.

“The new Cyber-shot RX1 is truly ‘one of a kind’, offering a unique combination of size and performance that’s never before been realized in the world of digital cameras,” said Yosuke Tomoda, director of the Cyber-shot camera business at Sony Electronics. “With its highly advanced sensor and fast 35mm f/2.0 lens packed into a small, portable camera body, professionals, enthusiasts and advanced hobbyists can experience the world of full-frame imaging in new and different ways than they ever thought possible.”

The new camera’s unified lens and body design allows performance that few interchangeable lenses can match.  The Carl Zeiss lens not only delivers spectacular image quality all the way to the edges of each frame, it incorporates a near-silent in-lens shutter and is far more compact than comparable lenses of interchangeable design. The camera also features full manual control options and an intuitive user interface, making it easy for photographers to adjust all settings quickly and easily.

The 35mm full-frame sensor inside the RX1 camera more than doubles the area of APS-C sensors commonly found in much bulkier DSLR cameras, allowing it to take in significantly more light while capturing content.  With an effective resolution of 24.3 megapixels, it’s capable of resolving the finest image details and most subtle textures for rich color reproduction and an impressively broad dynamic range.

The large sensor size also boosts the camera’s sensitivity range to a generous ISO 100 – 25600, with the option to shoot as low as ISO 50 in expanded sensitivity mode.  Similarly, ISO settings as high as 102400 can be achieved using Multi Frame Noise Reduction. This allows the camera to capture natural, low noise handheld images in near-dark conditions without needing flash.

The fast, bright Carl Zeiss Sonnar T* 35mm lens is a versatile choice for portraits, street photography and everyday shooting.  This premium lens features newly designed optics including an Advanced Aspherical (AA) glass element, which contributes to the camera’s extremely compact dimensions without sacrificing optical performance.

The lens’ wide F2 maximum, 9-bladed circular aperture enable beautiful background defocus (‘bokeh’) effects to rival or exceed professional-class DSLR camera lenses. Additionally, it features a macro switching ring on the lens barrel which instantly shortens the minimum focusing distance to approximately 20cm (from image plane), allowing the camera to capture small, close-up subjects with exquisite detail.

The Cyber-shot RX1 camera also features an enhanced BIONZ processing engine that rapidly handles data from the Exmor CMOS sensor and also powers full-resolution burst shooting at up to five frames per second.  The powerful processor can output image data in 14-bit RAW format, giving advanced users total freedom to express their creative vision throughout the shooting and post-production processes. 

Despite the camera’s extraordinarily compact dimensions, the new Cyber-shot RX1 model offers a full range of manual control modes on par with typical high-end full-frame DSLR cameras. Dedicated lens rings allow for fingertip control of focus and aperture, while a DSLR-style Focus mode dial on the front of the camera enables easy switching between focus modes.  Top-mounted exposure compensation and mode dials are strategically placed for simple access and operation, while custom function and AEL buttons on the back panel are also easily accessible. 

The new camera features a Quick Navi mode that allows fast, intuitive adjustment of camera settings.  This is especially useful when using the camera with an optional viewfinder (sold separately).  A memory recall (MR) mode is accessible via the mode dial so photographers can store and instantly recall up to three sets of camera settings.

 Other refinements include a MF Assist function that magnifies a portion of the image while framing to simplify fine focus adjustments, as well as a Peaking function that highlights sharply-focused areas of the image on screen.

Additionally, the RX1 camera features By Pixel Super Resolution digital zoom technology, which allows for magnification of image size without sacrificing pixel count. This results in far higher quality results than are achievable with conventional digital zoom.

A Smart Teleconverter function crops a central portion of the image sensor, boosting effective magnification by 1.4x or 2x realizing an effective 49mm or 70mm focal length.  With the extremely high pixel count of the full-frame image sensor, even zoomed and cropped images maintain generous amounts of fine detail when blown up for large print sizes.

In addition to beautiful still images, the Cyber-shot RX1 compact camera can capture high-quality, low-noise Full HD movie footage in all lighting conditions at a choice of 60p or 24p (progressive) frame rates.  There’s a full complement of P/A/S/M exposure modes during video shooting for creative flexibility.

The new camera also features 13 different Creative Styles for fine-tuning images, plus a wide range of Picture Effect treatments.  Further, it has Auto HDR and D-Range Optimizer, bracket shooting (Exposure, DRO or White Balance) and Auto HDR shooting modes, and there’s a Digital Level Gauge that indicates camera pitch and camera roll on the LCD screen for straight, even landscape and architectural shots.

 

New Accessories for Cyber-shot RX1

Shooting possibilities for stills and video are broadened by the camera’s Multi Interface Shoe that accepts a growing range of accessories. Options include a high-quality OLED XGA OLED Tru-Finder EVF (model FDA-EV1MK) which allows for even greater manual focusing precision as well as an external optical viewfinder featuring Carl Zeiss optics (model FDA-V1K).  Also available are a thumb grip (model TGA-1) for sure, comfortable handling as well as a lens hood (model LHP-1) and jacket case (model LCJ-RXB).

Sony PlayMemories Services

The Cyber-shot RX1 comes preinstalled with PlayMemories Home (Lite Edition) software, allowing easy image transfers to a PC for managing, editing and printing. Available for free download, a full version of PlayMemories Home software adds movie editing and disc burning. Also available for download, PlayMemories Studio allows game-like editing of photos and videos on PlayStation 3 systems. Images can be shared easily via PlayMemories Online service, the cloud-based sharing service from Sony that simplifies ‘any time, any place’ viewing on a wide range of connected devices.

Pricing and Availability

The Cyber-shot RX1 compact, fixed lens camera will be available this November for about $2800.  The FDA-EV1K electric viewfinder and FDA-V1K optical viewfinder will each be available at launch for about $600 and $450, respectively.

 The thumb grip, lens hood and jacket case will also be available at launch for about $250, $180 and $250, respectively.

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