We’ve known how awesome the Sony RX100 was for quite some time. However, when TIME called it one of the 25 Best Inventions of the Year 2012, I decided to take another look at it myself.
It’s hard to know what to call the RX100. Sure, it’s a point-and-shoot, but that name doesn’t suit what the RX100 can do, or the quality of image the camera makes. It has the trademarks of a P&S—the small body size, the zoom lens, the lack of a viewfinder—but it has many of the capabilities of a DSLR, including full manual mode and, oh yeah, the fact that it takes 20-megapixel photos.
The first thing that I noticed when looking at the camera is the “Carl Zeiss” printed on the lens. Immediately I knew I was going to be able to get crisp photos. This Zeiss zoom lens has a f/1.8 aperture, f/4.9 at its full 3.6X zoom. That shallow of a depth of field is unprecedented in the world of “pocket” cameras.
The other star of the RX100 is the 1-in. 20-MP sensor. Compared to other point-and-shoot models in the same price range, whose sensors usually fall in the 12-14-megapixel range, this camera has the highest quality sensor.
The small size of the camera means precious few buttons. Most of the settings are therefore changed through a combination of two or three buttons and the wheel. For instance, pressing on the bottom of the settings dial switches between setting your aperture and shutter speed, and then turning the dial depending on which setting is highlighted. The ISO, WB, and special shooting modes are changed by pressing the Fn button and turning the dial, and so on. It took me a few minutes to get a handle on the settings, but once I did changing the settings became second nature.
I know the biggest question most of our customers have, especially with a price tag of $650, is “Who is this camera for?” The answer is, well, pretty much everybody. For pros who already have a trusty DSLR, this is a great pocketable backup camera. For newer photographers who might feel intimidated by the bulk and buttons of a DSLR but still want to take amazingly pro-quality photos, this is a great first camera. Some might say, “With that price tag, why not just buy a DSLR?” The truth is you probably can’t find a DSLR for $650 that takes photos (and video!) this nice.
There are also some cool shooting modes in the RX100, such as miniature, B&W, soft focus, “toy camera,” and “cartoon.” Plus, you can HDR in camera. It’s not the best HDR, obviously, but it is fun to play with.
Best of all, there’s panorama.
The Sony RX100 is a camera in a class of its own. Call the store at 866-940-3686 to place your order today.