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Sony RX10 review

A premium bridge camera with the RX100 II one-inch sensor and f/2.8 constant aperture lens.

Our Verdict

Overall, Sony has brought another interesting concept to the market, expanding its well-respected RX family with this high quality addition.

For

  • Large one-inch sensor
  • f/2.8 constant aperture
  • Tilting screen
  • Excellent viewfinder

Against

  • No touchscreen
  • High price

It's no secret that the compact camera market is declining, but one area which seems to continue to perform reasonably well is the bridge camera market.

Ratings in depth
Design   4 5 out of 5
Features   4 5 out of 5
Performamce   4 5 out of 5
Usability   4 out of 5
Value   3 5 out of 5

Sony has already taken hold of another lucrative area of the market with its RX100 and follow up, the RX100 II, topping the sales charts of the premium compact area.

Now, the company has put that same sensor inside a bridge camera in the shape of the RX10. Not only does it have that excellent sensor, Sony has also designed a new processor, the Bionz X, which promises to deliver processing speeds which are three times faster than the equivalent found in its predecessor.

Other bridge cameras on the market generally feature a standard compact-camera sized sensor at 1/1.7 inches. This should make the RX10 a much better performer, both in terms of low-light shooting and also in helping to create attractive shallow depth of field effects.

Although the 8.3x zoom (24-200mm equivalent) lens doesn't have the mammoth zoom range of cameras such as the Canon PowerShot SX50, it does offer something which most don't; a constant fixed aperture of f/2.8. The only other bridge camera to currently offer that is the Panasonic Lumix FZ200, which includes a 24x optical zoom (25-600mm equivalent), but of course it's worth noting that the sensor size inside the Panasonic is considerably smaller.

Sony RX10 review

On the back of the camera is a screen, which, although isn't touchscreen, is tiltable for those awkward angled shots. Though it's not fully articulated or 180-degree tiltable, making it less useful for self portraits or video work.

Sony RX10 review

There's also a 1.4 million dot EVF. Many will groan at the thought of an electronic viewfinder, but Sony's devices generally are very good, and with a resolution that high, it seems likely that the RX10's device will not disappoint.

Sony RX10 review

As is starting to become standard with cameras now, the RX10 features inbuilt Wi-Fi and NFC connectivity.

Sony RX10 review

This means you can share shots you've taken instantly with your smartphone or tablet, or use one of those devices to control the camera remotely - something which will probably appeal to nature and wildlife photographers.

NFC is still a bit of a technology buzzword and basically means that if you have another device with the technology, you'll get a one-touch connection. Plenty of Android devices are packed with NFC, but Apple users still haven't been treated to the technology.

As well as an inbuilt flash, there's also a hotshoe for attaching other accessories you may want to use, such as a flashgun.

Sony RX10 review

As it stands, it's difficult to find a direct competitor for the RX10. There are no bridge cameras with such a large sensor, but if we're looking at premium cameras in this market, then the Canon PowerShot SX50 and the Fuji HS50 seem like obvious choices. The Leica X Vario is also technically a bridge camera, but it features an even larger, APS-C size camera.

The biggest sticking point for this camera is likely to be the price. It is not cheap, coming in at over £1000/$1000. You could probably get three beginner DSLRs for that price. But that's not the point; to get something which offers this focal length and maximum aperture with a DSLR would cost many thousands, and, what's more, would be many times the size and weight of the RX10.

This camera joins the premium RX family, of which the RX100 II and the RX1 also belong. It's an interesting trio, all of which are unique in the marketplace. Sony is proving to be an innovative manufacturer at the moment.

Tech Specs

Product TypeBridge Camera
Battery Size SupportedProprietary Battery Size
Maximum Video Resolution1920 x 1080
TouchscreenNo
Effective Camera Resolution20.2 Megapixel
GPSNo
USBYes
Wide AngleYes
PictBridgeNo
Product FamilyCyber-shot R
Image StabilizationOptical
ColourBlack
Optical Zoom8.3x
Digital Zoom4x
Brand NameSony
FeaturesContinuous Shooting Mode, Live View, Orientation Sensor, Near Field Communication (NFC), Face Detection, External Flash Shoe, Smile Detection
Screen Size7.6 cm (3")
Video FormatsAVCHD, MP4
Viewfinder TypeElectronic
Weight (Approximate)755 g
Minimum Focus Distance30 mm
Maximum Image Resolution5472 x 3648
Maximum Frame Rate60 fps
Number of Batteries Supported1
Battery Built-inNo
Battery RechargeableYes
Battery IncludedYes
Display Screen TypeLCD
Image Sensor TypeExmor R CMOS
Total Camera Resolution21 Megapixel
HDMIYes
HD Movie ModeYes
Battery Model SupportedNP-FW50
Memory Card SupportedMemory Stick Duo, Memory Stick PRO Duo, Memory Stick PRO High Speed Duo, Memory Stick PRO-HG Duo, Memory Stick Micro, Memory Stick Micro (M2), Memory Stick XC-HG Duo, Secure Digital (SD) Card, Secure Digital Extended Capacity (SDXC), Secure Digital High Capacity (SDHC) Card, microSD Card, microSDHC Card, microSD Extended Capacity (microSDXC), Eye-Fi Card
Height88.1 mm
Width129 mm
Depth102.2 mm
Autofocus Points25
Product SeriesR
Focal Length8.80 mm to 73.30 mm
Image FormatsJPEG, RAW
Focus ModesAuto, Manual
ManufacturerSony Corporation
Product ModelDSC-RX10
Product NameRX10 Digital Compact Camera
Product LineCyber-shot
Aspect Ratio16:9
Manufacturer Part NumberDSCRX10.CEH
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.sony.co.uk
Marketing InformationPerforms in any situation

Leave the DSLR at home. The compact RX10 delivers every time. It has a large 20.2MP 1.0 type back-illuminated Exmor R® CMOS sensor and class-leading Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T* lens with a constant f/2.8 aperture and 24-200mm zoom range. Each click ensures clarity, detail and beauty.

Battery Life420 Shot/3.50 Hour Video
Package Contents
  • RX10 Digital Compact Camera
  • Rechargeable Battery Pack NP-FW50
  • AC Adaptor AC-UB10/UB10B/UB10C/UB10D
  • Micro USB Cable
  • Shoulder Strap
  • Lens Cap
  • Shoe Cap
  • Lens Hood
  • Eyepiece Cup
  • Instruction Manual
  • Software Media
Display Resolution1440000 Pixel
Limited Warranty1 Year
Built-in DevicesSpeaker, Microphone