Sony has just rolled out an impressive new compact camera called the Cyber-Shot RX-100, which features a large 20.2 megapixel sensor and a fast F1.8 lens with 3.6x zoom. The sensor is much bigger physically than those typically found in point-and-shoot cameras: it measures 1 inch across the diagonal, while other point-and-shoot sensors are normally in the 1/2-1/8th inch range. The sensor is in fact almost as large as APS-C. Its larger size means that it will deliver clearer photos with less noise (it can also go up to ISO 6400), and this also allows the sensor to have an increased resolution. On top of all this, the RX-100 will be able to shoot full-HD video clips at 60FPS, and it has a clear 3-inch LCD on the back with 1,229 thousand dots (about 25% more pixels than VGA). To finish things off, the camera has a metal body and the latest in Sony's in-camera functionality. Sony boasts AF speeds as low as 0.13 seconds and burst shooting as high as 10FPS.
As great as these specifications may seem, that makes this camera a gem is the degree of manual control that it will offer. It features the 4 basic shooting modes (P/A/S/M) in addition to your typical scene modes, allowing you to manually control any aspect of the exposure if you so desire. This level of flexibility is rare in cameras this small, but it makes them an even bigger pleasure to use!
Everything comes at a price, though, and this camera is no different. The RX-100 will be launching at a massive price tag of $649- which is just $150 lower than Canon's G1X that we recently reviewed. It seems that Sony is focusing more and more on the high-end point-and-shoot market. With the prominence of cell phone cameras, it could be the case that they want to slowly shift away from the intro-level market and instead focus on high-performance cameras.
The RX-100 will start shipping in July and you can already pre-order it in the US.
Below are some more photos of the RX-100. We hope to review it for you once it comes out!