Sony is expanding its RX series of large-sensor fixed-lens cameras with the addition of the Cyber-shot DSC-RX10, which features a one-inch (13.2 x 8.8 mm) Exmor R CMOS sensor with 20.2 megapixels (effective) plus a non-interchangeable f2.8 24-200mm (8.3x) optical zoom lens.
The RX10 features ‘bridge camera’ styling and sports a Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T* 8.8-73.3mm f2.8 lens; 24-200mm in 35mm format for 3:2 aspect ratio or 29-315mm for HD movies (16:9 aspect ratio) with SteadyShot Active Mode. Its f2.8 maximum aperture remains constant throughout the zoom range and Optical Steady Shot stabilisation is provided to allow users to take advantage of up to 2x Clear Image Zoom in addition or a total of 66x digital zooming. The optical construction of the lens includes 14 elements in 11 groups, with seven aspherical elements, including an AA lens.
A new BIONZ X image processing engine provides high image quality with faithful reproduction of textures and details and support for high-speed shooting. It features detail reproduction technology and diffraction-reducing technology, which ensure image details are recorded faithfully. New noise-reduction processing adjusts images based upon imaging pattern variations to provide greater clarity, particularly at high ISO settings.
The new camera offers up to 10 frames/second continuous shooting as well as Sweep Panorama capture in Standard and Wide formats. Movie modes are in line with other Sony cameras, with AVCHD and MP4 formats supported, the first with five quality settings. MP4 movies can be recorded at 1440×1080 pixels (12M) or 640×480 pixels. Soundtracks are recorded in stereo and the camera has interface terminals for an external microphone and headphones to monitor audio quality.
Autofocusing is driven by a Direct Drive Super Sonic wave Motor (SSM) which is fast and quiet. Precise focus stop positions have been set up to minimise focusing time while zooming. Users can choose from three concentric Flexible Spot focusing frames for greater flexibility and precision. A new Eye AF setting locks focus onto subjects’ eyes for more attractive portraits.
A range of compatible accessories will be released with the RX10, including the LCJ-RXE premium jacket case, ECM-XYST1M Stereo Microphone, which clips onto the camera’s Multi Interface Shoe, the HVL-F43M flash and the battery-powered HVL-LEIR1 Video IR light.
Sony’s Cyber-shot RX10 digital camera is available for pre-order from October 17 via www.sony.com.au, and will be available in-store from November 2013 at $1499.
– Margaret Brown, Photo Review