Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10 Review

4.5
November 22, 2013 | Mark Goldstein |

Image Quality


All of the sample images in this review were taken using the 20 megapixel JPEG setting, which gives an average image size of around 5Mb.

The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10 produced images of outstanding quality during the review period. This camera handled noise well, not becoming obvious until ISO 3200, and then becoming progressively worse at the faster settings of ISO 6400, 12800 and 25600, an excellent performance for a small image sensor with such a high pixel count.

Chromatic aberrations were in evidence but were very well-controlled, with limited purple fringing effects appearing in high contrast situations. The images were a little soft straight out of the camera at the default setting and require some further sharpening in an application like Adobe Photoshop, or you can increase the in-camera sharpening level.

Macro performance is very good, allowing you to focus as close as 3cms away from the subject. The built-in flash worked well indoors, with no red-eye and good overall exposure. The maximum shutter speed of 30 seconds allows the cameras to capture enough light for most after-dark situations. The Steadyshot anti-shake system works well when hand-holding the camera at slower shutter speeds.

The effective Dynamic Range Optimizer function extracts more detail from the shadow and highlight areas in an image, without introducing any unwanted noise or other artifacts. The High Dynamic Range mode combines two shots taken at different exposures to produce one image with greater dynamic range than a single image would produce. It only works for JPEGs and for still subjects, but does produce some very effective results. Sony's now tried-and-trusted Sweep Panorama is still a joy to use. The Picture Effects quickly produce special looks that would otherwise require you to spend a lot of time in the digital darkroom, while the Creative Styles provide a quick and easy way to tweak the camera's JPEG images.

Noise

There are 10 ISO settings available on the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10. Here are some 100% crops which show the noise levels for each ISO setting for both JPEG and Raw formats.

JPEG Raw

ISO 80 (100% Crop)

ISO 80 (100% Crop)

   

ISO 100 (100% Crop)

ISO 100 (100% Crop)

   

ISO 200 (100% Crop)

ISO 200 (100% Crop)

   

ISO 400 (100% Crop)

ISO 400 (100% Crop)

   

ISO 800 (100% Crop)

ISO 800 (100% Crop)

   

ISO 1600 (100% Crop)

ISO 1600 (100% Crop)

   

ISO 3200 (100% Crop)

ISO 3200 (100% Crop)

   

ISO 6400 (100% Crop)

ISO 6400 (100% Crop)

   

ISO 12800 (100% Crop)

 
 
   

ISO 25600 (100% Crop)

 
 

Focal Range

The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10's 8.3 zoom lens offers a versatile focal range, as illustrated by these examples:

24mm

200mm

Sharpening

Here are two 100% crops which have been Saved as Web - Quality 50 in Photoshop. The right-hand image has had some sharpening applied in Photoshop. The out-of-the camera images are just a little soft and ideally benefit from some further sharpening in a program like Adobe Photoshop. Alternatively you can change the in-camera sharpening level.

Original (100% Crop)

Sharpened (100% Crop)

   

File Quality

The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10 has 3 different image quality settings available, with Extra Fine being the highest quality option. Here are some 100% crops which show the quality of the various options, with the file size shown in brackets.

Extra Fine (11.3Mb) (100% Crop) Fine (6.08Mb) (100% Crop)
   
Standard (4.24Mb) (100% Crop) RAW (20Mb) (100% Crop)

Chromatic Aberrations

The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10 handled chromatic aberrations very well during the review, with just a little purple fringing present around the edges of objects in high-contrast situations, as shown in the examples below.

Chromatic Aberrations 1 (100% Crop)

Chromatic Aberrations 2 (100% Crop)

Macro

The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10 allows you to focus on a subject that is 3cms away from the camera when the lens is set to wide-angle. The first image shows how close you can get to the subject (in this case a compact flash card). The second image is a 100% crop.

Macro

Macro (100% Crop)

Flash

The flash settings on the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10 are Auto, Forced Flash, Slow Syncro, No Flash, with a Red-eye Reduction option in the Main menu. These shots of a white coloured wall were taken at a distance of 1.5m.

Suppressed Flash - Wide Angle (24mm)

Forced Flash - Wide Angle (24mm)

ISO 64 ISO 64
   

Suppressed Flash - Telephoto (200mm)

Forced Flash - Telephoto (200mm)

ISO 64 ISO 64

And here are some portrait shots. As you can see, neither the Forced Flash setting or the Red-Eye Correction option caused any amount of red-eye.

Forced Flash

Forced Flash (100% Crop)
   

Red-eye Reduction

Red-eye Reduction (100% Crop)

Night

The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10's maximum shutter speed is 30 seconds in the Manual and Shutter-speed Priority modes, which is great news if you're seriously interested in night photography. The shot below was taken using a shutter speed of 30 seconds at ISO 125.

Night

Night (100% Crop)

Steadyshot

The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10 has an antishake mechanism which allows you to take sharp photos at slower shutter speeds than other digital cameras. To test this, we took 2 handheld shots of the same subject with the same settings. The first shot was taken with Shake Reduction turned off, the second with it turned on. Here is a 100% crop of the image to show the results. As you can see, with Shake Reduction turned on, the images are sharper than when it's turned off.

Shutter Speed / Focal Length

Shake Reduction Off (100% Crop)

Shake Reduction On (100% Crop)

1/20th / 28mm
     
1/20th / 100mm

Dynamic Range Optimizer

D-Range Optimiser (DRO) is Sony's solution to improve shadow detail in photos taken in contrasty light.

Off

LV1
   
LV2 LV3
   

LV4

LV5

High Dynamic Range

High Dynamic Range Optimiser (HDR) is Sony's solution for capturing more contrast than a single exposure can handle by combining two exposures into one image.

Off

1.0EV

   

2.0EV

3.0EV

   

4.0EV

5.0EV

   

6.0EV

 
 

Creative Styles

There are thirteen Creative Style preset effects that you can use to change the look of your images.

Standard

Vivid

   

Neutral

Clear

   

Deep

Light

   

Portrait

Landscape

   

Sunset

Night Scene

   

Autumn Leaves

Black and White

   

Sepia

 
 

Picture Effects

The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10 offers an extensive range of thirteen creative Picture Effects.

Off

Toy Camera

   

Pop Color

Posterization

   

Retro

Soft High-key

   

Partial Color (Red)

High Contrast Mono

   

Soft Focus

HDR Painting

   

Rich-tone Mono

Miniature

   

Watercolor

Illustration

Sweep Panorama

The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10 allows you to take panoramic images very easily, by 'sweeping' with the camera while keeping the shutter release depressed. The camera does all the processing and stitching and even successfully compensates for moving subjects.

Standard
 
Wide

Entry Tags

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