Review

The Sony RX10 could be the best all in one camera ever made and in this review I will cover everything you need to know in detail! I have lots tons of sample photos, sample video, and hands-on experience to share. I also have a Sony RX10 video review if you don’t feel like reading all the text, just scroll down a bit for that.

Sony RX10

Sony RX10

 

So What Exactly Does the Sony RX10 Offer and Why the Hype?

Key Features:

  • 20.2MP 1″ Exmor R Sensor we know and love
  • BIONZ X Image Processor
  • A constant f/2.8 Carl Zeiss® Vario-Sonnar T* 24-200mm lens (8.3x)
  • Strong and rigid Magnesium alloy chassis
  • 3″ 1228K-Dot Tilting Xtra Fine LCD
  • XGA OLED Electronic Viewfinder
  • Click-less aperture toggle switch
  • Built in ND Filter
  • Multi Interface Shoe and on camera flash
  • Zoom toggle or lens control ring zooming
  • Audio In/Out ports, HDMI and USB
  • Lots of manual buttons and a exposure comp dial
  • Super Sonicwave Motor for Fast Autofocus
  • Pro style menu system
  • Full HD 1080i/p Video at 60 and 24 fps
  • Active Steadyshot for video = extra smooth
  • ISO 125 – 12800
  • Uncompressed HDMI Out
  • Buttons are highly customizable
  • Fn Menu – Quick access to your 12 most important features
  • excellent ergonomics and design
  • Illuminated LCD panel on the top of camera
  • Built-In Wireless and NFC Connectivity
  • Incredible versatile and easy to use
  • All in One point and shoot convenience
  • Expand camera options w/ PlayMemories Apps

All this for ~$1300 US @ BHPhotoVideo (Click Here)

 

Best All In One Camera Ever Made?

I know that is a crazy bold statement, but the Sony RX10 really is that good in my opinion! After using it for about two weeks, not only do I want the camera for myself, but it is the best point and shoot style camera I ever used to date! The RX100 was the previous best point and shoot camera I ever used. The RX100 II fell a little short, and the full frame RX1 is just to limiting with the prime lens in my opinion. Don’t get me wrong, they are great cameras also, but not in the same league as far as Best All in One Camera. It really needs to be able to do everything and do it well!

How many people do you know that want the best camera possible, but have no idea what to get? Well the Sony RX10 is the best camera you can get if you don’t want a DSLR, but want all the power and flexibility of one. I’ll show you first hand what I mean in the video review and sample photos below.

Traditional all in one cameras have to sacrifice something. Usually a smaller sensor for mega zoom, and a larger sensor will have a small zoom or prime lens. A compromise is always going to be happen, and the engineers have to decide what to slash and what to keep. This has basically lead to manufactures going for the super zoom bridge style point and shoot cameras, the ultra compact style, and the range finder style.  The bridge camera traditionally has a small sensor, and the ultra compact usually has a small sensor and small body. The newer range finder style point and shoots tend to have lager sensors, but the lens is either a fixed prime, or a small range zoom.

This left void in the market that was thought to be impossible to fill. Sony engineers are amazing and they saw something that nobody else did and jumped all over it with the RX10. This camera can do it all, and do it well!

An engineering marvel of a camera and Sony should really be extra proud of this amazing all in one camera. If I could give it higher than 5 stars I would. I honestly have not been so excited using a camera since when I first got my Nex-6 and when I first got the RX100. The Nex-6 was exciting because it was mine mostly, but the RX100 was just an amazing camera on every level. The RX10 is the same way for me, but on another level. It’s a much more versatile camera than the RX100 II, and the separation you can get from the backgrounds makes all the difference in the world for portrait type shots. I’m a huge fan of zooming in on stuff just to see the out of focus areas. It’s like a drug… Bokeh addiction I guess it would be called 😉

Sony RX10

Sony RX10

At $1300 US your money is not being wasted on gimicks, but actual quality hardware, optics, and engineering design! Sony really created another masterpiece with the RX1o if you ask me and payed attention to all the details that we have complained about over the years. Did I mention uncompressed HDMI Output and a constant f/2.8 24-200mm OSS Powerzoom lens? I know I did, but you really need to consider what that would cost in the interchangeable lens camera world? Several thousand dollars basically!

Sony RX10

Sony RX10 @ 200mm

Sony RX10

Sony RX10

 

Build Quality and Ergonomics

The RX1o is very well made and offers weather sealing for those harsher environments that you might not otherwise want to use your camera in. Light rain for example and really damp fog. The RX10 is not waterproof, but the extra protection is welcomed by me for sure.

Sony RX10 Review

Sony RX10 Review

The grip is very large and fits well in my hands. The Shutter button is in the more comfortable forward position on top of the grip, unlike the Sony A7 which has the shutter button on the very op like the RX1. I just reviewed the Sony A7 (Click Here), so it was fresh in my mind and I do like the button more forward like on my Nex-6 and the Sony Rx10. Personal preference to some degree, but it also seems to feel more natural to the hand.

Sony RX10

Sony RX10

The bottoms are plentiful and highly customizable! The wheel on the back can be all set up, the Function Menu is totally customizable, and the RX10 has two memory slots on the mode dial. Great for having camera preset settings such as one for sports, and another for portraits. That is how I used it anyway 😉  Sports covers anything fast moving like the dogs, or kids playing, and I usually use shutter priority mode for that, continuous AF mode, multi-shot mode, center focus area, and usually average metering. For the portrait preset I use aperture priority mode, single shot AF, flexible spot focus area, and center weight metering.

Sony RX10

Sony RX10

The RX10 also features a built a illuminated LCD display on the top which is nice for seeing camera settings quick, especially in the dark! It also helps save battery life and keeps you from standing out like a spot light when using the camera in the dark with the large rear screen. I used this feature a lot while reviewing the RX10, because my Canon 5D Mark II has a similar LCD panel and I love using it, although rarely these days..

The video record button is completely surrounded by a raised bevel, so no accidental presses reported while reviewing the camera. I wish I could say the same for the Sony A7 video record button, which I did hit that a few times by mistake.

Check out the RX10 port side including a headphone out jack, Audio in jack, HDMI, and USB. I’m not sure what those

Sony RX10 Ports

Sony RX10 Ports

 

Sony RX10 Top
 

Sony RX10 – Full Specs and Features

Sony RX10 Full Specifications

Lens Compatibility Fixed lens
Imaging Sensor Exmor R 1.0″ CMOS sensor (13.2 X 8.8mm) (3:2 aspect ratio)
Processor BIONZ X image processor
Pixel Gross 20.9M pixels (approx.)
Effective Picture Resolution 20.2M pixels (approx.)
Color Filter System RGB primary color filters
Media Type Memory Stick Duo, Memory Stick PRO Duo, Memory Stick PRO Duo (High Speed), Memory Stick PRO-HG Duo, Memory Stick XC-HG Duo, Memory Stick Micro, Memory Stick Micro (Mark2), SD Memory Card, SDHC Memory Card (UHS-I), SDXC Memory Card (UHS-I), microSD Memory Card, microSDHC Memory Card, microSDXC Memory Card
Color Space sRGB, AdobeRGB, xvYCC standard (x.v.Color when connected via HDMI cable) compatible with TRILUMINOS color
Still Image Mode JPEG (Standard, Fine), RAW, RAW+JPEG
Still Image Max Effective Resolution 20.2 Megapixels
Still Image Size 16:9 L:17M (5472 x 3080) / M: 7.5M (3648 x 2056) / S: 4.2M (2720 x 1528)
Still Image Size 1:1 L: 13M (3648x 3648) / M: 6.5M (2544 x 2544) / S: 3.7M (1920 x 1920)
Still Image Size 3:2 L: 20M (5472 x 3648) / M: 10M (3888 x 2592) / S: 5.0M (2736 x 1824)
Still Image Size 4:3 L: 18M (4864 x 3648) / M: 10M (3648 x 2736) / S: 5.0M (2592 x 1944) / VGA
Panorama Still Image Size Horizontal wide (12416 x 1856 / 5536 x 2160), Horizontal standard (8192 x 1856 / 3872 x 2160)
Video Format AVCHD Ver. 2.0 / MP4 (MPEG-4 AVC (H.264))
Video Mode AVCHD:
28M PS (1920 x 1080, 60p)
24M FX (1920 x 1080, 60i)
17M FH (1920 x 1080, 60i)
24M FX (1920 x 1080, 24p)
17M FH (1920 x 1080, 24p)
MP4:
12M (1440 x 1080, 30 fps)
3M VGA (640 x 480, 30 fps)
Video Signal NTSC color, EIA standards
Audio Format Dolby Digital (AC-3) / MPEG-4 AAC-LC
Microphone/Speaker Built-in stereo microphone or ECM-CG50 / XLR-K1M (sold separately)/ Built-in monaural speaker
Still Image Size(Photo Mode) JPEG (DCF Ver. 2.0, Exif Ver.2.3, MPF Baseline compliant), RAW (Sony ARW 2.3format)
Lens Type Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T, 14 elements in 11 groups (including 7 aspheric elements)
Aperture F2.8 constant
Optical Zoom 8.3x (Optical Zoom during movie recording)
Digital Zoom 20M approx. 33x/10M approx.46x/5M approx.66x/VGA approx. 125x
Focal Length (35mm equivalent) [Still Image 3:2] f = 24-200mm [Still Image 16:9] f = 25-213mm [Still Image 4:3] f= 26-220mm
[Still Image 1:1] f = 31-259mm
[Movie 16:9] f = 26-212mm (SteadyShot Standard), f = 29-315mm (SteadyShot Active Mode)
[Movie 4:3] f = 31-259mm
(SteadyShot Standard), f = 35-386mm (SteadyShot Active Mode)
Aperture Blade Iris diaphragm (7 blades)
Clear Image Zoom 16.6x (including Optical Zoom)
LCD Type 3.0″ (7.5cm) (4:3) / 1,228,000 dots / Xtra Fine / TFT LCD / Tiltable (up approx. 84 deg., down approx. 43 deg.)
Angle Adjustment Tilt angle: Up: Approx. 84 degrees; Down: Approx. 43 degrees
Brightness Control Auto / Manual (5 steps) / Sunny Weather mode
Coverage 100% Field of View
Live View Continuous Live View
Real-time image adjustment display Yes (On/Off)
Histogram Yes (On/off)
Peaking Yes
Level setting: High/Mid/Low/Off
Color: White/Red/Yellow
Grid Display Yes (Rule of Thirds, 4×6 Square, Diagonal 4×6 Square Grids, Off)
Customization Grid, Histogram display, Digital Level Gauge, Grid Line, Magnified display for playback
Focus System Contrast-detect AF
Focus Points 25 points
AF Modes Single-shot AF (AF-S) / Continuous AF (AF-C) / Direct Manual Focus (DMF) / Manual Focus
Focus Area Multi point AF (25 points) / Center weighted AF / Flexible spot / Flexible spot (tracking focus) / Flexible spot (face tracking)
Metering Modes Multi-segment, Center-weighted, Spot
Exposure Compensation +/- 3.0 EV, 1/3 EV step
Exposure Settings [Still]
Program Auto (Program shift available), Aperture Priority, Shutter Speed Priority, Manual Exposure, MR (Memory Recall)1, MR2
[Movie]
Movie Mode (Program Auto, Aperture Priority, Shutter Speed Priority, Manual
Exposure)
[Panorama]
Scene Selection, AUTO (Intelligent Auto/Superior Auto)
Scene Mode(s) Portrait, Anti Motion Blur, Sports Action, Macro, Landscape, Sunset, Night Scene, Hand-held Twilight, Night Portrait
D-Range Optimizer Off, Dynamic Range Optimizer (Auto / Level), Auto High Dynamic Range: Off, Auto exposure difference, Exposure difference level (1.0 – 6.0 EV, 1.0 EV step)
Auto Exposure Lock Yes (AE Lock button). Can be disabled from menu
ISO [Still Image] Auto (ISO 125 – 12800, selectable with upper / lower limit) (Expandable to ISO 80 / 100)
Multi Frame NR: Auto (ISO 125 – 25600), 200 / 400 / 800 / 1600 / 3200 / 6400 / 12800 / 25600
[Movie] Auto (ISO 125 – 6400 equivalent)
Creative Style Standard, Vivid, Neutral, Clear, Deep, Light, Portrait, Landscape, Sunset, Night Scene, Autumn Leaves, Black White, Sepia, Style Box(Contrast (-3 to +3steps), Saturation(-3 to +3steps), Sharpness(-3 to +3steps)
White Balance Mode Auto / Daylight / Shade / Cloudy / Incandescent / Fluor (Warm White) / Fluor (Cool White) / Fluor (Day White) / Fluor (Daylight) / Flash / C. Temp., Filter / Custom
Color Temperature 2500 – 9900K with 15-step each Magenta/Green compensation (G7 to M7), Amber/Blue (A7 to B7), Custom
Exposure Bracketing 3 continuous or single shots in 1/3 or 2/3 EV steps
Picture Effect(s) [Still Image]
Toy Camera, Pop Color, Posterization, Retro Photo, Soft High- key, Partial Color, High Contrast Monochrome, Soft Focus, HDR Painting, Rich-tone Monochrome, Miniature, Watercolor, Illustration
[Movie]
Toy Camera, Pop Color, Posterization, Retro Photo, Soft High-key, Partial Color, High Contrast Monochrome
Drive Mode Single-shot, Continuous, Speed Priority Continuous, Self-timer (10/2 sec. delay), Self-timer (Cont.), Self-portrait One-person, Self-portrait Two-person, Bracketing
Continuous Shooting Speed Approx. 10 fps
Self-timer 10 sec. / 2 sec. / Self-portrait One-person/ Self-portrait Two-person/ Self timer Continuous (3 or 5 shots)
Shutter Speeds Program Auto (1 – 1/32005) / Aperture Priority (8 – 1/32005) / Shutter Priority (30 – 1/32005) / Manual Exposure (Bulb, 30 – 1/32004) / iAuto (4 – 1/32005)
Flash Type Built-in, Pop-up Auto
Flash Metering System Pre-flash TTL
Flash Modes Flash Mode: Auto / Fill-flash / Slow Sync / Rear Sync / Off
Flash Compensation ±2.0 EV (switchable between 1/3 EV steps)
Flash Coverage ISO Auto: 3′ 3-3/16″ to 33′ 5″ (1.0m to 10.2m)
ISO 12800: Up to 66′ 11″ (Up to 20.4m)
Recycling Time Approx. 3 sec.
Flash Bracketing ±2.0 EV
Media/Battery Indicator Yes
View Index Single (with or without shooting information), RGB histogram and highlight/shadow warning,
4/9-frame index view, Enlarged display mode (L: 13.6x, M: 9.9x, S: 6.8x), Auto Review (10/5/2
sec, Off), Image orientation (On/Off), Slideshow, Panorama scrolling, Folder selection (still),
Forward/Rewind (movie), Delete, Protect
Auto High Dynamic Range Yes, (Auto Exposure Difference, Exposure difference Level (1-6 EV at 1.0 EV step), off)
Sweep Panorama Horizontal (Wide/Standard), Vertical (Wide/Standard)
Face Detection On, Off, Face Registration, Face Selection; maximum eight faces detected
Smile Shutter technology Smile shutter (selectable from 3 steps)
Image Stabilization [Still Image]
Optical
[Movie]
Active Mode, Optical type with electronic compensation (Anti-rolling)
Priority Setting (for Face Detection) Yes (eight faces max)
Memory Card Slot Dual compatibility slot: Memory Stick PRO Duo/Pro-HG Duo/PRO-HG HX Duo media – SD, SDHC and SDXC memory cards
NFC Yes (NFC Forum Type 3 Tag compatible, One-touch remote, One-touch sharing)
Wi-Fi Yes
HD Output HDMI (Type D micro)
USB Port(s) USB 2.0 Hi-speed (mass-storage, MTP)
BRAVIA Sync Yes, via HDMI with compatible BRAVIA HDTV (link menu)
PhotoTV HD Yes, with BRAVIA Sync enabled HDTV and HDMI cable
Microphone Input Yes, via MI Shoe + Optional ECM-XYST1M or ECM-CG50
Accessory Shoe Multi Interface Shoe
Tripod Mount Yes, 1/4″ (20 thread count)
Battery Type InfoLITHIUM NP-FW50 (7.7V)
Battery Capacity 1080 mAh
Number of Still Images Approx. 420 images with LCD monitor (CIPA standard)
Power Consumption (in Operation) Approx. 1.5W
Supplied Software Supplied Software: PlayMemories Home, Image Data Converter Version 4
Operating System Compatibility 1 Image Data Converter 4.0:
Microsoft Windows Vista SP2, Windows 7 SP1, Windows 8 (Pentium 4 or faster)
Mac OS X (10.6-10.8) (Intel Core Solo/Core Duo/Core 2 Duo or faster)
PlayMemories Home:
Operating System Compatibility 2 Microsoft Windows Vista SP2, Windows 7 SP1, Windows 8 (Pentium III 800 MHz or faster; for playing/editing HD movies: Intel Core Duo 1.66 GHz or faster/Intel Core 2 Duo 1.66 GHz or faster, Intel Core 2 Duo 2.26 GHz or faster (AVC HD (FX/FH))
Mac OS X (10.6-10.8) (Intel Core Solo/Core Duo/Core 2 Duo or faster)
Dimensions 5.12 x 3.5 x 4.12″ / 13.00 x 8.89 x 10.46 cm
Weight With battery and Memory Stick PRO Duo Approx. 1 lb. 12.7oz / 0.81 kg
1 lb. 10.6oz / 0.75 kg

Sony RX10 Features Breakdown

  • A large F2.8 maximum aperture throughout an expansive 24-200mm (35mm equivalent) zoom range gives you ample opportunity to express your vision. Make a subject stand out – manipulate depth of field to defocus backgrounds for creative effect, as great photographers do
  • Close-up shooting is seamless. No switching to macro mode is needed. Zoom in all the way up to extreme telephoto on a subject as near as 11-inches (30cm) away. The built-in lens makes it more convenient for you to take impressive shots throughout a big range
  • An advanced aspherical lens (AA lens) reduces diameter and length and maintains high resolution even at image edges. A new Direct Drive SSM (Super Sonicwave Motor) stops lens movement with spot-on precision. Far-reaching optical flexibility minimizes mechanical dimensions
  • The groundbreaking new BIONZ X image processing engine not only maximizes picture quality in ways that only a seamlessly unified body and lens design can realize – it also faithfully reproduces textures and details in real time, as seen by the naked eye, with peerless high-speed processing
  • By minimizing digital artifacts that tend to overemphasize hard outlines and rough edges when pictures are reproduced, detail reproduction technology makes images noticeably more lifelike, clean and natural-looking in every detail, texture and dimension
  • Now, noise reduction is individually adjusted based on imaging pattern variations, for superior clarity and finer details throughout even images shot in low light
  • High-speed AF is remarkably smooth thanks to the Direct Drive SSM (Super Sonicwave Motor) with precision-engineered focusing stop positions designed to minimize focusing lens travel distance, which shortens focusing time
  • Choose among three concentric Flexible Spot frames for greater focusing versatility and precision than other cameras’ fixed-focus spot frame systems can provide
  • Just press the shutter button halfway to activate Lock-on AF. It precisely focuses even on moving subjects by continuously adjusting target frame size based on its recognition of subject characteristics
  • Applying advanced detection technology, this new Eye AF function detects and focuses on a subject’s eye, even if the subject is facing or looking slightly away from the camera
  • An abundance of powerful higher-performance functions and options are invaluable for capturing moving images of superior resolution and stunning clarity with minimal noise, even while zooming on the action
  • As Full High Definition (Full HD) movie recording has become a standard of high-performance video recording and playback, Sony advances better ways to take advantage of its potential
  • Clear, uncompressed digital movie signal output can be transferred to an external monitor/recorder (connected via the HDMI terminal) simultaneously in real time from the RX10. The shooting info display can be turned off for even cleaner views of such movies on an external monitor/recorder
  • See spectacular clarity, contrast and detail in every scene, regardless of conditions, on the built-in, bright, high-resolution OLED Tru-Finder. Four dual-sided aspherical lenses provide a big, approx. 33-degree view angle and maintain excellent edge-to-edge visibility of the electronic viewfinder
  • For faster, more intuitive camera operation, you can customize a total of seven buttons by assigning up to 40 types of functions among them. As a result, you will gain more convenient access to your selection of frequently used functions, right at your fingertips
  • Magnesium alloy top and front casings make the RX10 light, solid and robust enough for long, rigorous use by advanced photographers and videographers. The camera’s dust- and moisture-resistant design even allows shooting in rugged outdoor environments
  • A new, improved graphical user interface makes access to frequently used functions absolutely effortless. Just press the Fn button to display a list of them
  • An approximately 1,229K-dot tiltable 3.0-inch White Magic LCD lets you shoot comfortably from various positions. The display has the flexibility to be tilted within a range of angles extending from about 84 degrees upward to about 45 degrees downward
  • Just download the free PlayMemories Mobile app, then instantly connect via Wi-Fi or NFC (near field communication) by touching a compatible Android smartphone or tablet to the camera
  • This free, easy-to-use image management software can be installed onto Windows and Mac computers, for downloading photos and movies which can then be viewed, organized, edited, retouched, printed, burned to disk, shared or uploaded to social networking websites
  • Virtually relive moments when you witnessed such nuances as the shades of a shimmering blue sky or a rosy complexion. The RX10 supports Sony TRILUMINOS Color for viewing photos in rich, natural colors on a TRILUMINOS Display
 

Sony RX10 User Manual

 

Rx10 – Hands-On Video Overview

A hands-on overview, quick low light focus test, plus some sample video…

Be sure to select the HD quality once the video starts!



 

Sony RX10 Video Review

I really went all out for this Sony RX10 review. It took me days to produce, but was worth the effort I feel 😉  I tried to be as detailed as possible without going into snore fest category! I hope you like it, and your questions/ feedback is always welcomed…. The initial overview above covers most of the basics, so I dive into lightroom 5 to show off some sample photos. After that the review goes into  real world sample video under a variety of conditions!

Be sure to select the HD quality once the video starts!



 

Image Quality

The Sony RX10 image quality is very good, and scores a 69 according to the DXOMark sensor scores. That is excellent considering the significantly larger APS-C sized sensor packing Nex-5T scored a 78.

DXOMark Sensor Score:

DXOMark.com has some of the best equipment on the market for testing sensors and lenses. The numbers produced in their tests really can’t be disputed and it’s a great place to get an idea of how well your camera sensor performs compared to other cameras.

RX1 vs RX10 VS Nex-5T

rx10-a7-nex-5t

Sony RX10 vs Sony a7 vs Sony Nex-5T

As you can see, the RX10 sensor does not perform at the same level of the larger APS-C and full frame sensor, as you would expect, but it still performs incredible well overall.

The Sony RX10 is not in the same image quality league as the larger sensor Sony cameras, but the versatility and quality in one package is unmatched by any other camera to date despite the raw numbers. That is why I firmly believe the RX10 is the Best All In One Camera Ever Made to Date!

 

Sony RX10 Video Quality

The video on the Sony RX10 is excellent and offers much more than previous RX-Series cameras. In particular, the uncompressed HDMI output is killer and usually only a pro feature! The video is also sampled from the entire sensor as apposed to a cropped in portion normally used for video. This results in a much cleaner output with less visible flaws normally attributed to video from a camera like this. The included zebra stripes option is also powerful for checking your exposure levels with ease.

The RX10 also has Active steadyshot for video and what this does is zoom in a bit more. Then the camera uses the extra crop room to stabilize the footage frame by frame on the fly. It’s pretty amazing for hand holding purposes and helps a lot to smooth things out. In the real word it does cost a little in quality from being zoomed in that extra bit. I honestly can’t really tell. The less shake made more of a difference than any quality loss I could see. If you have the active mode set to standard, the RX10 only uses the optical steadyshot and you will use the full sensor. I tried both and when hand holding I preferred have active on. When using a tri-pod I turned all the steadyshot features OFF and recommend you do the same.

Built in Microphone and Audio

Very sensitive and much higher quality than the standard camera mic.  Perfect, because most people looking for the best all in one camera want better audio than the current horrible standard photography based cameras have. My Nex-6 mic totally sucks if your more than 3 feet away for example.

The RX10 also has a Audio input and monitor out jack which is fantastic for folks who want better audio quality than the camera mic is capable of. And for when monitoring the audio is critical!

As good as the on camera audio is, it’s really only good for reference when it comes to production type work, but the higher the quality the better. Usually the audio is sinked up in post with an alternate audio recording that was taking on scene. This is how I do my videos these days.

Getting Better Quality Video?

I’ll be the first to tell you I’m not a video guy, but I have studied up a bit. What I learned recently called the “180 degree shutter rule”

Basically you take whatever frame rate your recording at and double it. So, if your recording at 1080/24p, you’re going to want a shutter speed of 1/50sec. This will make your video look more natural and have much less jitter. If you just allow the camera to set the shutter speed, it will usually be to fast, and that creates jitter. The camera is freezing the motion to much, and when the video plays, it looks a bit choppy. If your shooting 60p, the shutter speed should be 1/120sec.

I also recommend using the lowest ISO possible! The aperture is up to you, but if you want maximum separation from the background your going to want to zoom in and stay close to your subject and use f/2.8. Sort of like the “Lab” scene above. The built in ND filter will help get the shutter speed exactly where you want it, so don’t worry about that so much.

Rolling shutter is caused by panning to fast. What happens is the camera sensor reads from top to bottom. The time between reading the top and the bottom of the sensor are different. Therefore if your panning fast, elements of the scene may seem to bend in the opposite direction of the panning. To avoid this, pan slowly.

Morie’ is caused by really tight textures or patters. A stripped shirt for example would be bad for video where as a solid shirt would be a much better option. Brick is often a spot where you can notice this easily. Try to avoid those types of textures and patterns as much as possible is a good rule of thumb.

A lot to learn about video, but these few tips should help you out with the very basics 😉 Practice makes perfect, so get out and take some video!

 

Sony RX10 Sample Photos

I too a ton of sample photos for this Sony RX10 review, so strap in and be sure to click on them for the higher resolution version!

Sony RX10 Lab Testing

The Lab is great for comparing one camera to another, but also showing what it can do in the real world. I designed the Lab to exploit the sensor size and lens separation abilities of the camera and lens combo. I also use the lab to test corner sharpness, high ISO testing, and color to a degree. I prefer actual real world photos, but this set-up is really good for showing you what the camera can actually do.

Here is the Lab Scene so you can see what it looks like from a different perspective:

lab-scene-perspective

lab-scene-perspective

 

ISO Testing @ 50mm, f/2.8 – Raw VS Jpeg

Full Scene @ ISO 100, f/2.8, 50mm, Tri-pod, self timer

Sony RX10 - ISO Lab Testing Raw Quality - ISO 100

Sony RX10 – ISO Lab Testing Raw Quality – ISO 100

Raw VS Jpeg – 100% Crops – Click Photos!

Raw Jpeg
ISO 100
Sony RX10 - ISO Lab Testing Raw Quality - ISO 100 Sony RX10 - ISO Lab Testing Jpeg Quality - ISO 100
ISO 200
Sony RX10 - ISO Lab Testing Raw Quality - ISO 200 Sony RX10 - ISO Lab Testing Jpeg Quality - ISO 200
ISO 400
Sony RX10 - ISO Lab Testing Raw Quality - ISO 400 Sony RX10 - ISO Lab Testing Jpeg Quality - ISO 400
ISO 800
Sony RX10 - ISO Lab Testing Raw Quality - ISO 800 Sony RX10 - ISO Lab Testing Jpeg Quality - ISO 800
ISO 1600
Sony RX10 - ISO Lab Testing Raw Quality - ISO 1600 Sony RX10 - ISO Lab Testing Jpeg Quality - ISO 1600
ISO 3200
Sony RX10 - ISO Lab Testing Raw Quality - ISO 3200 Sony RX10 - ISO Lab Testing Jpeg Quality - ISO 3200
ISO 6400
Sony RX10 - ISO Lab Testing Raw Quality - ISO 6400 Sony RX10 - ISO Lab Testing Jpeg Quality - ISO 6400
ISO 12800
Sony RX10 - ISO Lab Testing Raw Quality - ISO 12800 Sony RX10 - ISO Lab Testing Jpeg Quality - ISO 12800
 

Sony RX10 @ 200mm – Raw Quality

At 200mm the background blur is awesome and looks much like a DSLR if you did not know any better. “DSLR like” separation from the background on a point and shoot camera is what you’re seeing here and the Lab helped illustrate.  Note the circular highlights until f/8 where it starts to polygon a bit. Amazing results from a point and shoot style camera to say the least.

Judge for yourself:

f/2.8

Sony RX10 @ f/2.8, 200mm, ISO 100, Raw Quality

Sony RX10 @ f/2.8, 200mm, ISO 100, Raw Quality

f/4

Sony RX10 @ f/4, 200mm, ISO 100, Raw Quality

Sony RX10 @ f/4, 200mm, ISO 100, Raw Quality

f/5.6

Sony RX10 @ f/5.6, 200mm, ISO 100, Raw Quality

Sony RX10 @ f/5.6, 200mm, ISO 100, Raw Quality

f/8

Sony RX10 @ f/8, 200mm, ISO 100, Raw Quality

Sony RX10 @ f/8, 200mm, ISO 100, Raw Quality

100% Crops @ 200mm – Click Photos!

f/2.8
Sony RX10 @ f/2.8, 200mm, ISO 100, Raw Quality Sony RX10 @ f/2.8, 200mm, ISO 100, Raw Quality
f/4
Sony RX10 @ f/4, 200mm, ISO 100, Raw Quality Sony RX10 @ f/4, 200mm, ISO 100, Raw Quality
f/5.6
Sony RX10 @ f/5.6, 200mm, ISO 100, Raw Quality Sony RX10 @ f/5.6, 200mm, ISO 100, Raw Quality
f/8
Sony RX10 @ f/8, 200mm, ISO 100, Raw Quality Sony RX10 @ f/8, 200mm, ISO 100, Raw Quality
 

Sony RX10 @ 100mm – Raw Quality

f/2.8

Sony RX10 @ f/2.8, 100mm, ISO 100, Raw Quality

Sony RX10 @ f/2.8, 100mm, ISO 100, Raw Quality

f/4

Sony RX10 @ f/4, 100mm, ISO 100, Raw Quality

Sony RX10 @ f/4, 100mm, ISO 100, Raw Quality

f/5.6

Sony RX10 @ f/5.6, 100mm, ISO 100, Raw Quality

Sony RX10 @ f/5.6, 100mm, ISO 100, Raw Quality

f/8

Sony RX10 @ f/8, 100mm, ISO 100, Raw Quality

Sony RX10 @ f/8, 100mm, ISO 100, Raw Quality

100% Crops @ 100mm – Click Photos

f/2.8
Sony RX10 @ f/2.8, 100mm, ISO 100, Raw Quality Sony RX10 @ f/2.8, 100mm, ISO 100, Raw Quality
f/4
Sony RX10 @ f/4, 100mm, ISO 100, Raw Quality Sony RX10 @ f/4, 100mm, ISO 100, Raw Quality
f/5.6
Sony RX10 @ f/5.6, 100mm, ISO 100, Raw Quality Sony RX10 @ f/5.6, 100mm, ISO 100, Raw Quality
f/8
Sony RX10 @ f/8, 100mm, ISO 100, Raw Quality Sony RX10 @ f/8, 100mm, ISO 100, Raw Quality
 

Sony RX10 @ 50mm – Raw Quality

f/2.8

Sony RX10 @ f/2.8, 50mm, ISO 100, Raw Quality

Sony RX10 @ f/2.8, 50mm, ISO 100, Raw Quality

100% crops @ 50mm – Click Photos!
Center Area Top Right
f/2.8
Sony RX10 @ f/2.8, 50mm, ISO 100, Raw Quality Sony RX10 @ f/2.8, 50mm, ISO 100, Raw Quality
f/4
Sony RX10 @ f/4, 50mm, ISO 100, Raw Quality Sony RX10 @ f/4, 50mm, ISO 100, Raw Quality
f/5.6
Sony RX10 @ f/5.6, 50mm, ISO 100, Raw Quality Sony RX10 @ f/5.6, 50mm, ISO 100, Raw Quality
f/8
Sony RX10 @ f/8, 50mm, ISO 100, Raw Quality Sony RX10 @ f/8, 50mm, ISO 100, Raw Quality
 

Sony RX10 @ 24mm – Raw Quality

f/2.8

Sony RX10 @ f/2.8, 24mm, ISO 100, Raw Quality

Sony RX10 @ f/2.8, 24mm, ISO 100, Raw Quality

100% Crops @ 24mm – Click Photos

Top Left Center Area
f/2.8
Sony RX10 @ f/2.8, 24mm, ISO 100, Raw Quality Sony RX10 @ f/2.8, 24mm, ISO 100, Raw Quality
f/4
Sony RX10 @ f/4, 24mm, ISO 100, Raw Quality Sony RX10 @ f/4, 24mm, ISO 100, Raw Quality
f/5.6
Sony RX10 @ f/5.6, 24mm, ISO 100, Raw Quality Sony RX10 @ f/5.6, 24mm, ISO 100, Raw Quality
f/8
Sony RX10 @ f/8, 24mm, ISO 100, Raw Quality Sony RX10 @ f/8, 24mm, ISO 100, Raw Quality
 

Sony RX10 – Real World Photography – Raw Quality

I also took a bunch of real world sample photos for my Sony RX10 review. Check out this photo I took of a heavy duty cable used for the ski lift.

Be sure to click on the photos for the larger ~1000px versions!

Sony RX10 @ f /4, 200mm, ISO 100, 1/50sec, Raw Quality

Sony RX10 @ f /4, 200mm, ISO 100, 1/50sec, Raw Quality

In Lightroom 5 I increased the shadows and lowered the highlights a touch to illustrate how much information is in the raw file. I would never be able to do an adjustment like this to a jpeg file. The information is compressed out when it’s saved as a jpeg file. I recommend shooting raw if you have the means!

Sony RX10 @ f /4, 200mm, ISO 100, 1/50sec, Raw Quality

Adjusted – Sony RX10 @ f /4, 200mm, ISO 100, 1/50sec, Raw Quality

 

This is my favorite photo from the review and it looks like it was taken with a DSLR if you didn’t know better 😉

Sony RX10 @ f/2.8, 178mm, ISO 640, 1/200sec, Raw Quality

Sony RX10 @ f/2.8, 178mm, ISO 640, 1/200sec, Raw Quality

Sony RX10 @ f/2.8, 178mm, ISO 640, 1/200sec, Raw Quality

100% Crop – Sony RX10 @ f/2.8, 178mm, ISO 640, 1/200sec, Raw Quality

 

Color

Layla got a perfect test subject for Christmas. I added a medium contrast adjustment via the Tone Curve in Lightroom 5, because the raw files lack contrast straight off the camera. If you want to learn how to get the most of your Sony Raw files, check out this Lightroom 5 Video tutorial I posted the other day.

Sony RX10 @ 50mm, f/4, 1/50sec, ISO 3200

Sony RX10 @ 50mm, f/4, 1/50sec, ISO 3200

100% Crops – Click Photos!

Top Left Mddle Bottom Right
Sony RX10 @ 50mm, f/4, 1/50sec, ISO 3200 Sony RX10 @ 50mm, f/4, 1/50sec, ISO 3200 Sony RX10 @ 50mm, f/4, 1/50sec, ISO 3200
 
Sony RX10 @ f/2.8, 200mm, 1/80sec, ISO 3200, Raw Quality

Sony RX10 @ f/2.8, 200mm, 1/80sec, ISO 3200, Raw Quality

Sony RX10 @ f/2.8, 200mm, 1/80sec, ISO 3200, Raw Quality

Sony RX10 @ f/2.8, 200mm, 1/80sec, ISO 3200, Raw Quality

 

Versatility

Layla got a doll house for Christmas and from pretty much the same spot I was able to take both shots below.

@ 24mm

Sony RX10 @ f/2.8, 24mm, 1/30sec, ISO 1000, Raw Quality

Sony RX10 @ f/2.8, 24mm, 1/30sec, ISO 1000, Raw Quality

@ 124mm

Sony RX10 @ f/2.8, 124mm, 1/100sec, ISO 3200, Raw Quality

Sony RX10 @ f/2.8, 124mm, 1/100sec, ISO 3200, Raw Quality

 

A familiar scene from earlier reviews:

@24mm

Sony RX10 @ f/5.6, 24mm, 1/500sec, ISO 125, Raw Quality

Sony RX10 @ f/5.6, 24mm, 1/500sec, ISO 125, Raw Quality

100% Crops – Click Photos

Sony RX10 @ f/5.6, 24mm, 1/500sec, ISO 125, Raw Quality Sony RX10 @ f/5.6, 24mm, 1/500sec, ISO 125, Raw Quality

Sony RX10 @ f/5.6, 24mm, 1/500sec, ISO 125, Raw Quality

 

@ 200mm

Sony RX10 @ f/5.6, 200mm, 1/400sec, ISO 125, Raw Quality

Sony RX10 @ f/5.6, 200mm, 1/400sec, ISO 125, Raw Quality

100% Crops – Click Photos

Sony RX10 @ f/5.6, 200mm, 1/400sec, ISO 125, Raw Quality Sony RX10 @ f/5.6, 200mm, 1/400sec, ISO 125, Raw Quality
 

A fence really helps show off the ability to separate the background easily.

Sony RX10 @ f/2.8, 24mm, 1/80sec, ISO 125, Raw Quality

Sony RX10 @ f/2.8, 24mm, 1/80sec, ISO 125, Raw Quality

Sony RX10 @ f/2.8, 24mm, 1/80sec, ISO 125, Raw Quality

Sony RX10 @ f/2.8, 24mm, 1/80sec, ISO 125, Raw Quality

 

The old chemical plant is perfect for testing a zoom lens out!

@ 24mm

Sony RX10 @ f/2.8, 24mm, 1/60sec, ISO 125, Raw Quality

Sony RX10 @ f/2.8, 24mm, 1/60sec, ISO 125, Raw Quality

@ 100mm

Sony RX10 @ f/2.8, 100mm, 1/125sec, ISO 400, Raw Quality

Sony RX10 @ f/2.8, 100mm, 1/125sec, ISO 400, Raw Quality

@ 200mm

Sony RX10 @ f/2.8, 200mm, 1/250sec, ISO 800, Raw Quality

Sony RX10 @ f/2.8, 200mm, 1/250sec, ISO 800, Raw Quality

@ 48mm

Sony RX10 @ f/5.6, 48mm, 1/50sec, ISO 320, Raw Quality

Sony RX10 @ f/5.6, 48mm, 1/50sec, ISO 320, Raw Quality

@ 200mm

Sony RX10 @ f/5.6, 200mm, 1/250sec, ISO 1250, Raw Quality

Sony RX10 @ f/5.6, 200mm, 1/250sec, ISO 1250, Raw Quality

 

My buddy Chopper Sandy in the background.

Sony RX10 @ f/3.2, 93mm, 1/250sec, ISO 125, Raw Quality

Sony RX10 @ f/3.2, 93mm, 1/250sec, ISO 125, Raw Quality

Sony RX10 @ f/3.2, 93mm, 1/250sec, ISO 125, Raw Quality

100% Crop – Sony RX10 @ f/3.2, 93mm, 1/250sec, ISO 125, Raw Quality

 

pano-mode

Panorama

Panoramas are fun, lets face it. I took this panoramic photo in wide mode because I wanted to get the road in both directions. In the standard mode I was not able to get all the way. You can change the pano size and direction in the menu when you have the camera set to Pano on the mode dial as you can see to the right. The RX10, like all the other Sony cameras, requires you to use jpeg mode for this feature to work.

Sony RX10 - Panoroamic - Wide Mode

Sony RX10 – Panoramic – Wide Mode

Note that stick in the middle of the pano, because in the next photo I simple walked across the street and got close to it. Again, the versatility of this camera is amazing!

Sony RX10 @ f/4, 200mm, 1/250sec, ISO 125, Raw Quality

Sony RX10 @ f/4, 200mm, 1/250sec, ISO 125, Raw Quality

Here’s a snapshot from the Pano scene:

Sony RX10 @ f/4, 24mm, 1/640sec, ISO 125, Raw Quality

Sony RX10 @ f/4, 24mm, 1/640sec, ISO 125, Raw Quality

Full edited using Silver Efex Pro 2 for the BW conversion.

Edited - Sony RX10 @ f/4, 24mm, 1/640sec, ISO 125, Raw Quality

Edited – Sony RX10 @ f/4, 24mm, 1/640sec, ISO 125, Raw Quality

 

Studio Photography

I also took a few photos in the studio thanks to my Dad and Layla. These first two photos are in Jpeg Quality!

Sony RX10 @ f/5.6, 181mm, 1/160sec, ISO 100, Jpeg Quality

Sony RX10 @ f/5.6, 181mm, 1/160sec, ISO 100, Jpeg Quality

Sony RX10 @ f/5.6, 181mm, 1/160sec, ISO 100, Jpeg Quality

100% Crop – Sony RX10 @ f/5.6, 181mm, 1/160sec, ISO 100, Jpeg Quality

Here is another of My Dad and Layla in Jpeg quality.

Sony RX10 @ f/5.6, 81mm, 1/160sec, ISO 100, Raw Quality

Sony RX10 @ f/5.6, 81mm, 1/160sec, ISO 100, Raw Quality

Sony RX10 @ f/5.6, 81mm, 1/160sec, ISO 100, Raw Quality

Sony RX10 @ f/5.6, 81mm, 1/160sec, ISO 100, Raw Quality

Here is one of Layla from a different day using raw quality.

Sony RX10 @ f/3.2, 200mm, 1/160sec, ISO 125, Raw Quality

Sony RX10 @ f/3.2, 200mm, 1/160sec, ISO 125, Raw Quality

Sony RX10 @ f/3.2, 200mm, 1/160sec, ISO 125, Raw Quality

100% Crop – Sony RX10 @ f/3.2, 200mm, 1/160sec, ISO 125, Raw Quality

Chubs was feeling left out and lumbered into the frame at the end –  raw Quality

Sony RX10 @ f/3.2, 200mm, 1/160sec, ISO 125, Raw Quality

Sony RX10 @ f/3.2, 200mm, 1/160sec, ISO 125, Raw Quality

 

Sony RX10 Accessories

Batteries:

Sony NP-FW50 Lithium-Ion Rechargeable BatteryThe RX10 uses the NP-FW50 battery and it’s a good idea to have at least one or two spares. You can expect to get about 350-400 shots on a single charge, so plan accordingly on your outings. No stand alone charger is included with the RX10 and the Sony BC-TRW charger is a bit expensive if you ask me. The after market charger made by Watson (Click Here) is a pretty good deal and gets the job done. The Watson battery also works pretty god, but doesn’t last quite as long. Basically the camera charges the battery while it’s inside. You just plug the usb cable in, and then plug the other side into the included wall plug unit.

A little trick I found by accident with my Nex-6 was simple leaving the camera plugged in to my Mac after I was done importing the photos to Lightroom. Instead of unplugging the usb cable, I just turn the camera off instead. The computer than charges the battery while you play with your photos. A little orange lite illuminates by the usb port to let you know it’s charging. If the camera is left on and plugged in to the computer, it will not charge, but drain instead.

Remote:

RM-VPR1 Remote Control with Multi-terminal Cable for Select Sony CamerasI also recommend considering the RM-VPR1 remote, so you can take photos and video without having to touch the camera. The remote also has a toggle for zooming the lens which is key for avoiding camera shake. Every time you touch the camera while filming it shakes a tiny bit. You can see all those little shakes once the video is loaded on your computer and your checking it out. It’s really hard to tell when viewing on the small camera screen, so you really can’t tell until in post.

Lens Filters:

Polarizing Filter

Polarizing Filter – with/ without

The RX10 has a 62mm lens filter thread. This is pretty large and lens filters can help you in a number of ways. ND filters help slow the shutter speed down, but the RX10 already has one built in. So, you will only need one for really long exposure’s. Basically, if you want those shots where the water looks like fog because the camera exposed for 2 minutes at sunrise? If so your going to want a really dark ND filter. Sony makes a pretty high quality ND filter that goes for $63 (Click Here), but it’s not dark enough in my opinion. The Formatt filters (click Here) are pretty affordable, but they don’t have the same quality multi-coatings as the better B+W filters (Click Here). In the end, like everything else optical, you get what you pay for. The thinner filters are better for ultra wide angle lenses and are much more expensive. You don’t need a thin filter for a telephoto lens though, so save you money when applicable.

I would recommend at least a .9 ND grade of tint for the RX10 considering the built-in ND filter can also be used.

Polarizing filters can help you get sharper shots in hazy conditions. They can also cut glare big time if your shooting water and want to see down to the hvl-f20mbottom for example, or if your shooting a car show and the glare on the chrome is causing issues. The work for jewelry and product photography as well for the same reason. The better filters are physically thinner and have the best multi-coating technology available. The price reflects these actors as you will see if you’re in the market. 62mm Polarizing Filters (Click Here)

Need more flash power?

Check out the HVL-F20M if you’re looking for a really compact flash that packs much more punch than the built-in unit. The larger flash units are even more powerful if you need it, but the compactness and low cost of this particular unit makes it very appealing most common uses.

HDMI Cable:

Sony rx10 case - LCJ-RXEIf you want to hook your camera up to the TV or stand alone capture device, you will need a HDMI cable. The 6 foot HDMI to Micro HDMI Cable with Ethernet from Pearstone (Click Here) won’t set you back a lot of money at $5.89 US, and it does the job fine for regulasr use. If you’re a Pro, go for the pro quality cables as they do offer better build quality, copper purity, anti-interference layers, and more..

Soft case:

Protecting your investment is a good idea, and a bag or case will help with that big time. Sony makes a LCJ-RXE Premium Jacket Case, that goes for $79 US (Click Here) The case is not cheap, but it fits perfect doesn’t make the camera much bigger, plus the quality is very good.

 

Closing Remarks:

If your still not sure how I feel about the Sony RX10, just look at the 5 star rating 😉 If I could give the camera a higher score I would, it’s really that good in my opinion. This is also coming off the full frame Sony A7 I just got done reviewing, so I’m fresh with full frame envy and everything. The 1″ Exmor R sensor and Zeiss lens make a killer combo and when you build an awesome camera body around that base, how could you go wrong?

The ease of use, versatility, and overall quality of the RX10 makes it an exceptional point and shoot style camera that leaves the competition in its wake.

Who is the RX10 for?

If your somebody getting into photography and looking to upgrade from a standard point and shoot to the best all in one style camera, the Sony RX10 should be #1 on your list to check out in my opinion. The price may scare you at first, but take a breath and look at what the lens actually offers. Then look at how much that would cost if you went for an interchangeable lens camera? Well, the f/2.8 aperture will cost you huge money is the bottom line, and no lens covers that range. So you would need at least two f/2.8 lenses to cover the range the RX10 covers. To get the same quality optics, you’re looking at Pro grade lenses and thousands of dollars. Plus, you still won’t have the power zoom and killer video recording abilities in the end.

If you’re a Pro and don’t feel like carrying a 30lb bag of gear, you can just take the RX10 and call it a day.  No, it’s not as good as your full frame Pro gear, but who wants to lug around that on vacation or to family functions anyway? I know I don’t these days 😉 This camera really is perfect for all that type of stuff in my opinion.  Plus the results are excellent and you won’t wish you had your DSLR, like in the past. In fact, you will probably say, why did I ever take my DSLR on family outings?

Film makers on a budget will love the RX10 and its uncompressed HDMI output, Audio in/out, click-less aperture, powerzoom lens, Zebra overlay, and a constant f/2.8 aperture Zeiss lens!

That is about it for my Sony RX10 review. I really hope you got everything you were looking for in this review, and please feel free to comment and let me know if you have any questions!

Jay

Sony DSC-RX10 = $1300 US @ BHPhotoVideo (Click Here)



About the Author

Jay
Hello, I'm the owner and operator of SonyAlphaLab.com. Please check out the About page for a full background on myself and the Lab ;) Google+ | Twitter | RSS-feed | Email Updates!!