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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.

The RX10 could be the camera to shake up the bridge camera market.

It's a camera which offers a unique set of features in what is becoming an increasingly packed market. The fact that it uses the same excellent sensor as the RX100 II should make it extra appealing too.

That sensor has already proven its worth before, and here it continues to impress. The new Bionz X processor also plays a part in making this a fantastic all-round camera, which really does a pack a lot into one body, not least by including that f/2.8 constant aperture.

If you are looking for a complete camera, without having to worry about changing lenses or shelling out for expensive specialist lenses, this is the camera that will appeal to you. Sure, it's expensive, but it's still cheaper than buying a beginner-level DSLR and a bunch of heavy lenses that you'll need to lug around to achieve the equivalent focal length and maximum aperture of the RX10.

Sony RX10 review

The addition of Wi-Fi and NFC also makes the RX10 handy for those who want to share images quickly, and for those who want to remote control the camera - nature photographers in particular may find this to be a key selling point.

Creative controls, such as digital filters and panoramic mode, are an added bonus, although we'd like to see more flexibility with raw format shooting. We'd also like to see a touchscreen, especially as setting the autofocus point is more of a pain that it should be.

The design of the camera is reminiscent of a DSLR, and for some that will be another major selling point: you get all the kudos that a 'big' camera brings, without having the bulk, weight, and need to invest in additional lenses.

Sony RX10 review

Sony has once again thought about how enthusiast photographers like to use cameras: making so many of the buttons customisable is a smart move, for instance.

Electronic viewfinders have had a bad reputation for a long time, and in fairness, those that are found on the majority of current bridge cameras are nothing to write home about. Sony has been one pioneer in bringing excellent, usable EVFs to the market, though, and here in the RX10 they've installed another winner - it's not quite as good as using a full-sized optical viewfinder, but it's pretty damn close. And don't forget that using an electronic device does have its advantages, such as displaying a preview of the taken image.

We liked

There's plenty to like about this camera, but the image quality is the thing that should sell it the most.

Beautiful colours, lots of detail and excellent low-light shooting elevate it above other bridge cameras on the market, especially with the f/2.8 constant aperture lens.

We disliked

Some elements of this camera are harder than they should be. In particular, it's disappointing that it's tedious to change the AF point, something which the enthusiast photographer is likely to want to do often. We've said it before, and we'll say it again - a touchscreen would solve this problem pretty easily.

Final verdict

It's difficult to know how well this camera will perform - at the end of the day, there isn't generally a big audience for £1,000+ bridge cameras.

That said, it does offer quite a lot of value for an admittedly high outlay. For the real niche area of the market that this is aimed that, this could be a real winner.

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Image quality is excellent, while handling is solid and reliable, with the customisation giving it a real enthusiast feel. Other touches such as the aperture ring and top plate LED also elevate it beyond the standard bridge camera.

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

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