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Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10 review

Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £949
inc VAT

Outstanding photos and videos and a pleasure to use: the RX10 is a class act


13.2×8.8mm 20.0-megapixel sensor, 8.3x zoom (24-200mm equivalent), 834g

There are more goodies tucked away inside the camera. A three-stop neutral density (ND) filter reduces incoming light by a factor of eight, facilitating slower shutter speeds for creative effect. It also compensates for the relatively slow 1/1,600s maximum shutter speed at f/2.8, although this halves to a more rapid 1/3,200s at f/8 and above.

Wi-Fi is built in, complete with NFC for easy connection to compatible Android devices. It supports wireless transfers and remote shooting with iOS and Android devices. The ability to use a tablet as a remote monitor while recording video is particularly welcome, but this is only possible in fully automatic recording mode – the camera’s exposure controls are disabled.


The video mode is otherwise extremely well specified, with 1080-25p, 1080-50i and 1080-50p recording in AVCHD format at up to 28Mbit/s. Our test footage looked phenomenal, with exceptionally sharp, smooth fine details and that matched the best 1080p cameras we’ve seen, such as the Panasonic GH3. ISO 3200 clips were just as detailed and only displayed a light fizz of noise in darker parts of the frame.

There’s full control over exposure settings, with priority and manual modes and live adjustment while recording. There’s even a switch on the lens barrel to change the aperture ring from stepped to smooth – and silent – adjustment. The HDMI socket transmits a clean, uncompressed output for monitoring on and recording to external devices. The microphone input gets a significant boost by the inclusion of a headphone output, so you can actually hear what you’re recording.

Sony RX-10
There’s all the ports that videographers could want and expect

The autofocus responded smoothly and decisively while recording, but it’s disappointing that the selected autofocus area was ignored as soon as recording commenced. Face detection continued to work, though. For precise control over focus, it’s best to switch to manual control – the large lens ring, focus peaking display (which highlights sharply focused parts of the frame) and high-resolution viewfinder make this one of the easiest cameras to focus manually with.

Autofocus performed well for photos, too, and helped the camera to capture a frame every half a second in normal use. That’s significantly quicker than the RX100 II, which only managed 0.9 seconds between frames. Continuous performance was blisteringly fast, delivering 25 shots at 10fps before settling into a 2.8fps canter. It performed well for RAW capture, too, capturing 10 frames at 6.5fps, slowing to 1.6fps. The only disappointing result was for continuous shooting with updated autofocus between each shot, which trundled along at 1.3fps – the single drive mode gave better results.

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Basic Specifications

CCD effective megapixels20.0 megapixels
CCD size13.2×8.8mm
Viewfinderelectronic (2,400,000 pixels)
Viewfinder magnification, coverage100%
LCD screen size3.0in
LCD screen resolution1,288,000 pixels
Articulated screenYes
Live viewYes
Optical zoom8.3x
Zoom 35mm equivalent24-200mm
Image stabilisationoptical, lens based
Maximum image resolution5,472×3,648
File formatsJPEG, RAW; AVCHD, MP4 (AVC)


Memory slotSDXC, Memory Stick Pro HG Duo
Mermory suppliednone
Battery typeLi-ion
Battery Life (tested)420 shots
ConnectivityUSB, micro HDMI, microphone in, headphone out, Wi-Fi, NFC
Body materialMagnesium alloy
Lens mountN/A
Focal length multiplierN/A
Kit lens model nameN/A
AccessoriesUSB cable, neck strap

Buying Information

Warrantyone year RTB

Camera Controls

Exposure modesprogram, shutter priority, aperture priority, manual
Shutter speed30 to 1/3,200 seconds
Aperture rangef/2.8-16
ISO range (at full resolution)80 to 12800
Exposure compensation+/-3 EV
White balanceauto, 9 presets with fine tuning, manual, Kelvin
Additional image controlscontrast, saturation, sharpness, noise reduction, dynamic range optimisation, colour space
Manual focusYes
Closest macro focus3cm
Auto-focus modesmulti, centre, flexible spot, face detect, tracking
Metering modesmulti, centre-weighted, centre, face detect
Flashauto, forced, suppressed, slow synchro, rear curtain, red-eye reduction
Drive modessingle, continuous, self-timer, AE bracket, WB bracket, dynamic range bracket, panorama, HDR

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