- White Magic boosts screen brightness
- F1.8 aperture lets in additional light
- Sensitivity extended to ISO 25600
Sony’s new compact camera, the Cyber-shot DSC-RX100, has a 1.0 inch sensor – the biggest ever for a ‘pocketable’ zoom camera, claims Sony. The company also says it delivers beautiful still images, crisp full HD videos and a level of manual control and creativity unmatched by any other camera of its size.
At the heart of the Cyber-shot RX100 is the world’s first 1.0-inch type Exmor CMOS sensor with a resolution of 20.2 effective megapixels. Specially developed by Sony, the sensor has an area that’s approximately four times larger than the 1/2.3-type sensors in traditional point-and-shoot cameras. The sensor’s larger area takes in more light, resulting in beautiful, detail-packed images and Full HD movie clips with very low noise, says Sony.
The larger sensor is partnered with a bright Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T fixed lens with 3.6x optical zoom range. In contrast to standard point-and-shoot cameras, it has a wide F1.8 maximum aperture to let in additional light and complement the resolving power of the larger sensor.
Its lens features seven-bladed circular aperture. This is said to make it easy to produce images with subjects in sharp focus against a smoothly-blurred, beautifully defocused background. The lens also features an Advanced Aspherical (AA) lens element that contributes to the camera’s compact dimensions.
The camera’s BIONZ image processor maximises shooting response times while giving clean, natural images. It also extends sensitivity right up to ISO 25600 (using Multi Frame Noise Reduction), allowing for clear handheld images in low light conditions. To capture fast-moving subjects, the camera can also shoot at up to 10 frames per second (in full resolution) and has high-speed autofocus that locks onto a subject in as quickly as 0.13 seconds (depends on scene and lighting conditions).
There is a high-resolution 3-inch 1,229k dot Xtra Fine LCD and also adds a new feature called WhiteMagic technology. This uses additional white pixels to boost screen brightness, allowing users to see subtle details and tones on the screen in all types of shooting environments, including outdoors in bright sunlight.
For making manual adjustments while shooting both still images and movies, it has a control ring around the lens body, which can be used to alter exposure, zoom, creative picture effects and a variety of other customisable functions. Additionally, frequently used functions can be assigned to the Fn (function) button for instant access, and the Memory Recall feature can store up to three groups of customised shooting settings based on user preference.
Similar to a DSLR-style interface, there’s a choice of auto and manual focus modes on the unit for enhanced image control. For those that prefer focusing manually, MF Assist magnifies images to simplify fine adjustments, and there’s also a pro-style peaking function that highlights sharply-focused areas of the image on screen.
The RX100 camera offers a generous choice of artistic options to expand creative shooting possibilities. It includes the option for six different creative styles and a variety of popular picture effects including Toy Camera, Partial Colour, HDR Painting and several others, most of which can be previewed directly on screen before shooting.
The new Cyber-shot features Auto Portrait Framing, which is said to make it easy to create sharp, framed portraits. This feature automatically detects faces in a scene, crops the picture accordingly creates a tighter, pro-style composition at full resolution. Both the original and cropped photo are saved for review.
New accessories include a spare battery, dedicated carrying case and a battery charger designed to complement to the new camera.