Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10 Review

November 22, 2013 | Mark Goldstein | Rating star Rating star Rating star Rating star Half rating star


The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10 is a premium bridge compact camera aimed at the keen enthusiast photographer. The RX10 offers an integrated 8.3x, 24-200mm Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T* zoom lens with a fast maximum aperture of f/2.8 throughout the entire focal range, a 20.2 megapixel 1.0-type Exmor back-illuminated CMOS image sensor, New BIONZ X processor and Full HD 60p/50p/25p/24p high-definition video recording with stereo sound and full manual control. The Sony RX10 also boasts built-in wi-fi and NFC connectivity, an OLED Tru-Finder with 1440k dots, a tiltable 3 inch LCD screen, Multi Interface Shoe and Multi Terminal accessory connections, continuous shooting at up to 10fps at full resolution, high-speed autofocus, built-in pop-up flash, dust- and moisture-resistant design, support for the Raw format and full manual controls. The Sony Cyber-shot RX10 is available now for around $1299 / £1049 in the USA and UK respectively.

Ease of Use

The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10 builds on the runaway success of its little brother, the RX100, by pairing the same 20.2 megapixel 1.0-type image sensor and premium look and feel with a longer, faster lens and a built-in viewfinder. Taking on the likes of the Panasonic DMC-FZ200 and the Olympus Stylus 1, the RX10 is Sony's serious take on the bridge camera category, with an equally serious price-tag to match.

The Sony RX10 offers a relatively large 13.2 x 8.8mm CMOS sensor, which is the same size as that used in the Nikon 1 series compact system cameras and 4x as big as a typical compact sensor, a fast f/2.8 lens throughout the 8.3x zoom range, a large and high-resolution LCD screen that can be tilted up and down, an electronic viewfinder, speedy auto-focusing system plus manual focusing too (complete with focus peaking), full control over exposure and Raw file format support. The Multi Interface Shoe allows a number of accessories to be fitted, with an external flash, stereo microphone, LED video light and shutter-release remote controller all available.

Amazingly the Sony DSC-RX10 has a fast maximum aperture of f/2.8 all the way through from the wide-angle 24mm setting to the full 200mm telephoto focal length. The combination of the fast lens with a seven-bladed circular aperture and the big sensor is a real joy to use, allowing you to easily create defocused depth-of-field effects that you simply can't achieve with most other pocket cameras. If you've been searching for an all-in-one fixed-lens camera that will give you DSLR-like bokeh, then look no further than the RX10 - check out our Sample Images page to see just want you can achieve. The combination of the f/2.8 aperture, effective built-in image stabilizer and maximum ISO speed of 25600 also makes this camera well suited to hand-held low-light photography.

The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10's lens loses the RX100's innovative control ring, but gains an aperture ring and a zoom ring instead. Disappointingly there's no dedicated manual focus ring, but the zoom ring does automatically becomes the focusing ring in Manual Focus mode. Zooming the RX10 from 24mm to 200mm takes around three full turns of the zoom ring, a rather slow and awkward process. Alternatively you can also use the finger-operated switch on top of the camera, which takes a slightly quicker 5 seconds to progress through the full range. The aperture dial is a very welcome feature that makes it quick and easy to set this key photographic control, although we didn't particularly like the Click switch on the bottom of the lens barrel. This switch changes the aperture ring's mechanism from one with a positive click to one with a smooth transition, which is quieter and better suited to movie shooting. Our main criticism is that the Click switch is too easily moved, so much so that we invariably moved it accidentally whenever we used the zoom ring. Sony should really have added a locking mechanism.

Despite its large image sensor and correspondingly physically big zoom lens that dominates the front of the camera, plus the inclusion of a tilting LCD screen, electronic viewfinder and Multi Interface Shoe, the Sony RX10 is still manageably compact, measuring 10.2cms in depth, 8.1cms in height and 13cms in width. It is heavy, though, weighing 813g with the battery and a memory card fitted.

On the back there's a large 3-inch, 1228k-dot resolution LCD screen which can be tilted up to 45° downwards to shoot over crowds or up to 84° upwards. Sony's WhiteMagic technology results in a a very high contrast screen that can be comfortably used outdoors even in harsh sunlight. In addition the RX10 has an excellent OLED Tru-Finder 0.39-type electronic viewfinder with 1440k dots, complete with eye-sensor control for easy switching between the EVF and LCD and diopter control for glasses-wearers. The electronic viewfinder is easily good enough for constant use if you prefer that method of composition, with the advantage over a traditional optical viewfinder being that the EVF shows lots of shooting information and a live preview, just like the LCD screen.

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10 Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10
Front Rear

As well as being able to see the camera's key settings via the LCD and EVF, Sony have added a third way - the top-panel monochrome LCD display, which even comes complete with a light. Reminiscent of more advanced DSLR cameras, this panel displays the shutter speed, aperture, white balance, exposure compensation, ISO speed, battery life, burst mode and remaining frames, amongst other settings. Used in conjunction with the EVF, you could conceivably turn off the LCD screen and still be able to shoot with the RX10.

On the front of the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10 is a chunky handgrip with enough room for three fingers, the massive lens and already mentioned zoom and aperture rings and the Click switch, a porthole on the left for the self-timer/AF illuminator, and a handy switch at the bottom-right for selecting the auto-focus mode.

There's a clever fold-out pop-up flash unit on top of the camera which is manually raised via a small button to the right and then pushed back into place., and behind that is the Multi Interface Shoe flanked by the stereo speakers. To the left is a traditional round shooting mode dial with a knurled edge and positive action which lets you quickly switch between the various shooting modes that are on offer.

Sony has included Intelligent Auto scene recognition, which works in virtually identical fashion to the intelligent auto modes of Panasonic's and Canon's compact ranges. Simply point the RX10 at a scene or subject and the camera analyses it and automatically chooses one of 11 pre-optimised settings to best suit. There's also the Superior Auto mode, which places greater emphasis on reducing blur and noise and increasing the dynamic range.

Adding to the RX10's snapshot simplicity, these features accompany face recognition and smile shutter functionality on board, the former mode biasing human faces in the frame and the latter mode firing the shutter when it detects a smiling subject. The Face Detection system automatically adjusts the focus, exposure and white balance for people in the frame, and can even be set to distinguish between children and adults. Smile Detection offers three self-explanatory options, Big, Normal and Slight. Used in conjunction, the Face and Smile Detection systems do result in more hits than misses, especially in contrasty lighting conditions, although all those smiling faces could ultimately freak you out a little! The self-portrait options in the self-timer menu work by automatically taking the shot with a two second delay after either one or two people have entered the frame.

In addition to the regular Program mode, which provides the full range of camera options and additionally allows you to change settings like the ISO speed and metering, is the welcome inclusion of Aperture-priority, Shutter-priority and fully Manual modes which let you independently set the aperture and shutter speed, making the RX10 instantly appeal to the more experienced photographer. The range of apertures on offer is extensive for a compact camera, ranging from F2.8-F16, and the ability to choose from 30 - 1/3200th second shutter speeds opens up a lot of creative potential. There's also very welcome support for the RAW file format, which is really the icing on the cake for serious photographers looking for a backup-pocket camera to their DSLR.

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10 Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10
Front Side

The proven Sweep Panorama mode lets you capture a panoramic image very easily without the use of a tripod. All you need to decide is whether you would like to start from left or right, top or bottom. Then press and hold down the shutter release while doing a "sweep" with the camera in hand. Exposure compensation is available before you start the sweep, but the exposure is fixed once you depress the shutter button. After you are done with the sweeping, the camera does all the processing required, and presents you with a finished panoramic image. There are two modes, Standard and Wide. Note that if you do the sweeping too slowly, or you let go of the shutter release button too early, the panorama will be truncated.

In the Hand-held Twilight and Anti Motion Blur scene modes, the DSC-RX10 takes six shots in a rapid sequence, typically at a high sensitivity setting and a (relatively) fast shutter speed, and then combines them into a single image that has somewhat less noise than a single shot taken at the same ISO and exposure settings. In our experience, the difference between the two modes is that in Anti Motion Blur mode, the camera is more willing to pick a really high ISO setting like ISO 1600 to maintain a fast shutter speed, whereas in Hand-held Twilight mode, it will only go as high as absolutely necessary to avoid camera shake at the chosen focal length. If light levels are truly low, however, the RX10 will pick a high ISO speed even in this mode.

The Clear Zoom function effectively digitally doubles the zoom range to 16.6x, using Sony's new Pixel Super Resolution Technology to increase the magnification. The Auto Portrait Framing mode uses face detection and the rule of thirds to automatically crop and create tightly framed portrait shots. The same Pixel Super Resolution Technology ensures that the resulting image is still a full 20 megapixels in size, and the original uncropped image is also saved for easy comparison.

Sony's long-standing D-Range Optimizer and HDR functions are present to help even out tricky exposures, for example where a bright background would normally throw the foreground into deep shadow. You can see from the examples on the Image Quality page that these features produce a photo with noticeably more dynamic range than one taken using one of the standard shooting modes, but at the same time without replicating the often "false" look of many HDR programs, and both offer a wide degree of customisation that's previously only been seen on Sony's DSLR/SLT range.

The Sony RX10 can shoot full-resolution 20 megapixel pictures at up to 10fps, a very fast rate for a compact camera. To achieve the full 10fps you need to set the drive mode to the Speed Priority Continuous option, which locks the focus and the exposure at the first frame. The RX10 can shoot up to 13 Fine JPEGs or 10 Raw files at 10fps, with the regular continuous burst shooting changing the focus and exposure between frames but providing a much slower rate of 2.5fps.

Present and correct is the ability to shoot full 1080p High Definition video clips with stereo sound. The various options are 1920x1080 60p/50p at 28Mbps, 1920x1080 60i/50i at 24Mbps, and 1920x1080 60i/50i at 17Mbps, all in the AVCHD format. There are also 1920x1080 25p/24p at 24Mbps or 17Mbps, 1440x1080 30fps Fine at 12Mbps, and 640x480 30p/25p at 3Mbps options available, all in the MP4 format.

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10 Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10
Pop-up Flash Tilting LCD Screen

There is full use of the 8.3x optical zoom during recording plus the ability to change the EV level, white balance, and metering options and turn on either standard SteadyShot or the Active Mode mode, which provides up to 10x more anti-shake effectiveness with no side-effects. If you set the shooting mode dial to Movie, you can also choose from Program, Aperture or Shutter priority and Manual modes, giving you full control over exposure for both stills and movies. The stereo sound can be tweaked with an audio level meter and adjustable levels, while the microphone jack and headphone output allow for more accurate level monitoring.

There's also a direct "clear" HDMI output from the camera, useful for playing back your footage on a HDTV set or recorded to a separate storage device, although sadly there's no HDMI cable supplied in the box. The dedicated Movie button on the rear of the DSC-RX10 allows you to start recording a movie with a single push of a button, and then stop recording by pressing the same button - a lot more intuitive than having to select the movie mode then press the shutter button, as on most compacts. You can also activate the movie mode via the Shooting Mode dial.

Slide the On/Off switch on the top plate and the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10 quickly readies itself for action in a just over a second. The adequately sized shutter-release button has a definite halfway point, quickly determining focus and exposure with a bleep of affirmation even in low-light, focus points highlighted as green rectangles on the LCD. The shutter-release button has a threaded insert that accepts a traditional mechanical remote release. When you manually focus, MF Assist automatically magnifies the image to help you get sharp results, and there's also the same convenient Peaking function from Sony's DSLRs that highlights sharply-focused areas of the image on the LCD screen. Go on to take the shot and JPEG or Raw images are quickly committed to memory in a single second, the screen momentarily blanking out and then displaying the captured image before the user can go on to take a second shot.

The shutter release button is encircled by a responsive forefinger-operated push/pull rocker zoom lever, with the RX10 taking around five seconds to zoom from wide-angle to full telephoto. Sony have added a clever step zoom function which lets you quickly choose from a range of popular focal lengths using the zoom ring - 24mm, 35mm, 50mm, 70mm, 100mm, 135mm or 200mm. Completing the top of the RX10 is a user-configurable Custom button, which defaults to ISO speed, and a traditional Exposure Compensation dial (+-3EV), which has a knurled edge and positive action.

The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10 is wi-fi capable and the functions can be adjusted in the Settings main menu. You can WPS Push to force locate a hot spot, access settings, edit the device name, display the MAC address or format all settings if you wish. More “on the spot” wi-fi functionality is done in the quick menu. Choosing where to transmit the images to (either smartphone or computer) is done in the Playback menu when you're looking at the pictures you've taken. One cool feature of the wi-fi is being able to link the camera to your smart phone using the PlayMemories Mobile app. You can then use the phone as a remote so those outstretched arm 'selfies' will be a thing of the past. The RX10 is also the latest Sony camera to feature NFC (Near Field Communication) technology (the same technology that's used for mobile payments), which allows you to connect it to a compatible internet enabled device or another NFC-enabled camera by simply tapping them together.

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10 Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10
Memory Card Slot Battery Compartment

The rear of the DSC-RX10 is dominated by the large 3 inch LCD screen, with the resolution a pleasingly high 1228k dots. As already mentioned, the screen can be usefully tilted up and down. Top-left of the screen is the Menu button - press this and a number of shooting and setup folders appear on screen, with white text on a black background aiding visibility. The five shooting folders allow users to select image size, ratio and quality and - if JPEG (RAW and RAW+JPEG also available) - compression rates too, plus features like SteadyShot, long exposure and high ISO noise reduction - all in fact activated as a default. The Movie folder contains the video quality and audio options, while the Settings folder allows you to tweak the RX10 to your way of working. The other three folders contain the various Wi-fi, Playback, and Setup options.

To the right of the screen is the one-touch movie record button next to the thumb-operated control dial and the rubberised thumb-rest. Underneath is the AEL button and the Function button, which accesses up to 12 customisable options that appear on the LCD screen as two rows of icons. The Function menu proves to be a very handy way to quickly change the RX10's key settings and one of the main ways of setting the camera to suit your shooting style.

The traditional round navigation pad can be used to navigate through menus and options, in conjunction with the small button in the middle which activates whatever it is you've chosen. The Up direction on the navigation pad provides a quick way of setting the Display, while the other three direction can be configured as you wish (they do nothing by default). The navigation pad also doubles up as a control ring that's used to set the shutter speed in the creative shooting modes, amongst other things. The ring is a little small, but it's not too over-sensitive and the ability to take full control of the RX10 in conjunction with the rear control dial is very welcome.

Underneath the navigation pad are buttons for playing back and deleting your images. Users have the ability to dip in and out of created folders of images or the calendar view, view thumbnails, select slideshows and choose transitional effects and accompanying music, or delete shots. Press the shutter button halfway and you're helpfully catapulted back into capture mode. And that's basically it. With a press of the Menu button in playback, users have access to a few in-camera retouching effects, including the ability to crop and sharpen an image and apply red-eye correction.

The bottom of the Sony RX10 features a standard metal screw thread for attaching it to a tripod. A lockable plastic cover protects the lithium-ion battery, good for 420 shots or 210 mins AVCHD video. Note that the camera battery is charged via the USB port, rather than a more convenient separate charger, so it's a good idea to invest in an extra battery or two for a full day's shooting. The removable memory card is housed in a compartment on the camera's right-hand flank, with the RX10 supporting the SD / SDHC / SDXC format in addition to Sony's own proprietary Pro Duo Memory Stick format. The Multi Terminal, HDMI, headphone and microphone ports are located on the left underneath sturdy plastic covers.

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.


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.


ISO 80 (100% Crop)

ISO 80 (100% Crop)

iso80.jpg iso80raw.jpg

ISO 100 (100% Crop)

ISO 100 (100% Crop)

iso100.jpg iso100raw.jpg

ISO 200 (100% Crop)

ISO 200 (100% Crop)

iso200.jpg iso200raw.jpg

ISO 400 (100% Crop)

ISO 400 (100% Crop)

iso400.jpg iso400raw.jpg

ISO 800 (100% Crop)

ISO 800 (100% Crop)

iso800.jpg iso800raw.jpg

ISO 1600 (100% Crop)

ISO 1600 (100% Crop)

iso1600.jpg iso1600raw.jpg

ISO 3200 (100% Crop)

ISO 3200 (100% Crop)

iso3200.jpg iso3200raw.jpg

ISO 6400 (100% Crop)

ISO 6400 (100% Crop)

iso6400.jpg iso6400raw.jpg

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:



focal_range1.jpg focal_range2.jpg


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)

sharpen1.jpg sharpen1a.jpg
sharpen2.jpg sharpen2a.jpg

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)
quality_extra_fine.jpg quality_fine.jpg
Standard (4.24Mb) (100% Crop) RAW (20Mb) (100% Crop)
quality_standard.jpg quality_raw.jpg

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)

chromatic1.jpg chromatic2.jpg


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 (100% Crop)

macro1.jpg macro1a.jpg


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)
flash_on.jpg flash_on1.jpg

Red-eye Reduction

Red-eye Reduction (100% Crop)

flash_redeye.jpg flash_redeye1.jpg


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 (100% Crop)

night1.jpg night1a.jpg


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 antishake1.jpg antishake1a.jpg
1/20th / 100mm antishake2.jpg antishake2a.jpg

Dynamic Range Optimizer

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


dro_01.jpg dro_02.jpg
dro_03.jpg dro_04.jpg


dro_05.jpg dro_06.jpg

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.



hdr_01.jpg hdr_02.jpg



hdr_03.jpg hdr_04.jpg



hdr_05.jpg hdr_06.jpg



Creative Styles

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



creative_style_01.jpg creative_style_02.jpg



creative_style_03.jpg creative_style_04.jpg



creative_style_05.jpg creative_style_06.jpg



creative_style_07.jpg creative_style_08.jpg


Night Scene

creative_style_09.jpg creative_style_10.jpg

Autumn Leaves

Black and White

creative_style_11.jpg creative_style_12.jpg



Picture Effects

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


Toy Camera

picture_effect_01.jpg picture_effect_02.jpg

Pop Color


picture_effect_03.jpg picture_effect_04.jpg


Soft High-key

picture_effect_05.jpg picture_effect_06.jpg

Partial Color (Red)

High Contrast Mono

picture_effect_07.jpg picture_effect_08.jpg

Soft Focus

HDR Painting

picture_effect_09.jpg picture_effect_10.jpg

Rich-tone Mono


picture_effect_11.jpg picture_effect_12.jpg



picture_effect_13.jpg picture_effect_14.jpg

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.


Sample Images

This is a selection of sample images from the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10 camera, which were all taken using the 20 megapixel Fine JPEG setting. The thumbnails below link to the full-sized versions, which have not been altered in any way.

Sample RAW Images

The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10 enables users to capture RAW and JPEG format files. We've provided some Sony RAW (ARW) samples for you to download (thumbnail images shown below are not 100% representative).

Sample Movie & Video

This is a sample video from the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10 camera at the highest quality setting of 1920x1080 pixels at 50 frames per second. Please note that this 21 second movie is 65.3Mb in size.

Product Images

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10

Front of the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10

Front of the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10 / Lens Extended

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10

Front of the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10 / Flash Raised

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10

Side of the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10

Side of the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10

Side of the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10

Side of the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10

Rear of the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10

Rear of the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10 / Image Displayed


Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10

Rear of the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10 / Turned On

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10

Rear of the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10 / Function Menu

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10

Rear of the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10 / Main Menu

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10

Rear of the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10 / Custom Menu

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10

Rear of the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10 / Tilting LCD Screen

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10

Rear of the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10 / Tilting LCD Screen

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10

Rear of the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10 / Tilting LCD Screen

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10

Top of the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10

Bottom of the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10

Side of the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10

Side of the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10

Side of the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10

Front of the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10

Front of the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10

Memory Card Slot

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10

Battery Compartment


The new Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10 is a bridge-style compact camera with all of its settings proverbially pushed up to MAX. Sony have truly gone to town and created the most full-featured, best-performing super-zoom that we've ever reviewed, and importantly one that delivers the best image quality too. That does come at a literal price, though, with the eye-watering $1299 / £1049 cost of entry sure to put off most casual users. Still, if you want an all-in-one camera that can almost handle anything that you can throw at it, the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10 is definitely worth a look.

The 20.2 megapixel sensor in the DSC-RX10 provides fantastic results from ISO 100-3200, with only the faster settings of 6400, 12800 and especially 25600 suffering from too much noise and smearing of fine detail. Chromatic aberrations are very well controlled and colours accurate, and the fast 8.3x lens is great for achieving that shallow DSLR-like depth-of-field and using the camera in low-light conditions. The headline grabbing f/2.8 constant maximum aperture makes it easy to throw the background out of focus throughout the range, especially at the telephoto focal lengths, although it can't quite achieve DSLR-like levels of bokeh.

The RX10 is quite a big and heavy camera, a natural result of the 1-inch sensor and fast lens combination and the stellar build quality, although it's still more compact than a CSC or DSLR with comparable lenses. The inclusion of the multi interface shoe, multi terminal and built-in wi-fi/NFC make this one of the best connected and most versatile Sony cameras to date, making it straight-forward to share your photos and remotely control the camera itself, while the veritable wealth of videographer-friendly features add to the camera's versatility. The tiltable LCD screen is a nice feature, as is the excellent EVF which is good enough to use in place of the LCD screen if you so wish. The only major feature that we expected to see included on this new model is a touchscreen interface - maybe next time - while the zoom mechanism takes a while to go through the full range, and the Click switch on the bottom of the lens barrel proved far too easy to accidentally move.

Offering excellent image quality, great build, speedy performance, and slick ease-of-use, the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10 is the best super-zoom camera currently on the market. Only you can decide if all of that is worth the the admittedly substantial investment - we'd strongly suggest that it is...

4.5 stars

Ratings (out of 5)
Design 4
Features 5
Ease-of-use 4.5
Image quality 5
Value for money 4

Main Rivals

Listed below are some of the rivals of the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10.

BenQ GH700

The BenQ GH700 is a super-zoom camera on a budget, offering a 21x zoom lens, full HD1080p video and a 3-inch LCD screen. How does the GH700 compare to its main bridge camera rivals? Read our BenQ GH700 review to find out...

Canon PowerShot SX50 HS

The Canon PowerShot SX50 HS super-zoom camera has an astonishing 50x lens with a massive focal range of 24-1200mm. The Canon SX50 HS also offers a 12 megapixel back-illuminated CMOS sensor, 2.8 inch vari-angle LCD screen, electronic viewfinder, full manual controls, RAW format support, 10fps burst shooting and full 1080p HD movies. Read our detailed Canon PowerShot SX50 HS review complete with full-size JPEG, RAW and video samples to discover if it's the only camera you'll ever need...

Fujifilm FinePix HS50EXR

The Fujifilm FinePix HS50EXR is a bridge compact camera with a massive 42x, 24-1000mm zoom lens. The HS50 also offers an autofocus lag of just 0.05 seconds, full 1080p movies at 60fps with stereo sound, a 3 inch vari-angle LCD screen, 11ps burst shooting and a 16 megapixel back-illuminated EXR sensor with RAW support. Is this the only camera you'll ever need? Read our Fujifilm FinePix HS50EXR review to find out...

Kodak PixPro AZ521

The new Kodak PixPro AZ521 super-zoom camera features a massive 52x zoom lens with a focal range of 24-1248mm. Other highlights of the affordable Kodak AZ521 include a 3 inch LCD screen, full 1080p HD movies, and a 16 megapixel CMOS sensor. Read our in-depth Kodak PixPro AZ521 review now...

Nikon Coolpix P520

The Nikon Coolpix P520 is a brand new super-zoom camera with an incredible 42x zoom lens. The 18 megapixel Nikon P520 has a back illuminated 18 megapixel CMOS sensor, 3.2-inch 921K-dot vari-angle LCD screen, full 1080p high-definition movies with stereo sound, built-in GPS, an electronic viewfinder and 7fps burst shooting. Priced at £399.99 / $449.95, read our Nikon Coolpix P520 review to find out if that zoom lens is too big for its own good...

Olympus SP-820UZ

The Olympus SP-820UZ is a bridge compact camera that boasts a 40x zoom lens with an incredible focal range of 22.4-896mm. The 14 megapixel Olympus SP-820UZ also offers a 3 inch LCD screen, 1080p movie recording and a Backlight HDR mode. Read our in-depth Olympus SP-820UZ review to find out if this super-zoom is worth the £280 / $330 asking price...

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ200

The Lumix DMC-FZ200 is Panasonic's premium super-zoom compact camera. Stand-out features of the FZ200 include a 24x zoom lens with a constant aperture of f/2.8 throughout the 25-600mm range, 1080p HD movies, a high-resolution LCD and EVF, fast auto-focusing, 12fps burst shooting and a 12 megapixel MOS image sensor. Read our expert Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ200 review now...

Pentax Optio X90

The Pentax Optio X90 is a brand new super-zoom compact camera featuring a 26x image-stabilized zoom lens with a focal range of 26-676mm. Successor to the X70 model, the X90 has a 12 megapixel sensor, 2.7 inch screen, full range of creative shooting modes and can record 720p HD movies. Retailing for £329.99 / $399.95, does the Pentax Optio X90 offer enough to match its super-zoom rivals? Gavin Stoker finds out in our Pentax Optio X90 review.

Samsung WB5000

The WB5000 / HZ25W is Samsung's first entry into the big boy world of all-in-one super-zoom cameras. Offering a 24x zoom lens with 26mm wide-angle setting, the WB5000 literally has most photographic subjects covered, for both 12 megapixel stills and 720p movies. Throw in a range of hand-holding smart modes for beginners and RAW format and Manual mode for advanced users, and Samsung could be onto a winner at their very first attempt. Read our expert Samsung WB5000 / HZ25W review to find out if Panasonic, Olympus et al have anything to fear...

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX50V

The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX50V is a new pocket camera with a massive 30x zoom lens. The HX50V also features built-in wi-fi and GPS tracking, full 1080p high-definition video with stereo sound, a 20 megapixel CMOS sensor, high-resolution 3-inch screen, manual shooting modes, 10fps continuous shooting, 3D photos, ISO range of 100-12800 and fast auto-focusing. Read our in-depth Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX50V review to find out if it's the best travel-zoom camera...

Sony Cybershot DSC-HX100V

The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX100V is a new super-zoom compact camera that seemingly offers all of the latest must-have features. A 30x, 27-810mm lens, built-in GPS tracking, full 1080p high-definition video with stereo sound, a 16 megapixel CMOS sensor, high-resolution tilting 3-inch screen, manual shooting mode, 10fps continuous shooting, 3D photos, and SD memory card support are all present and correct. Read our in-depth Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX100V review to find out if all this adds up to a great camera...



Optical Zoom 8.3x(Optical Zoom during movie recording)
Clear Image Zoom 20M Approx. 2.0x / 10M Approx. 2.8x / 5M Approx. 4.0x / VGA Approx. 15x
Digital Zoom 20M Approx.4.0x / 10M Approx.5.6x / 5M Approx.8.0x / VGA Approx.15x
F F2.8 constant
Focal Length (f= mm) f=8.8-73.3mm
Focal Length (f=35mm conversion) f=24-200mm
Macro (cm) AF (W:Approx.3cm(1.2"") to infinity, T:Approx.30cm(0.99') to infinity), Focus Range from the image sensor: AF (W:Approx. 13cm(0.44') to infinity, T:Approx. 44cm(1.46') to infinity)
Filter Diameter (mm) 62mm
Conversion Lens compatibility NO
Carl Zeiss® lens YES (Carl Zeiss "Vario-Sonnar T*")
Sony G NO

Image Sensory

Sensor Type Exmor™ R CMOS Sensor
Size (Inches) 1.0type (13.2 x 8.8mm)


Effective Pixels (Mega Pixels) Approx. 20.2
Bionz Processor YES (BIONZ X)
Face Detection YES
Smile Shutter YES
Soft Skin Effect NO
Background Defocus NO
Waterproof NO
Picture Effect Toy camera, Pop Color, Posterization, Retro Photo, Soft High-key, Partial Color, Retro Photo, Soft High-key, Partial Color, High Contrast Mono., Soft Focus, HDR Painting, Richtone Monochrome, Miniature, Watercolor, Illustration
Sweep Panorama NO
Intelligent Sweep Panorama YES
Underwater Sweep Panorama NO
3D Sweep Panorama NO
Auto Focus Area (Multi Point) YES
Auto Focus Area (Centre weighted) YES
Auto Focus Area (Spot) YES
Auto Focus Area (Flexible Spot) YES
Manual Focus YES
Aperture Auto Mode Program Auto(F2.8/F16) /Manual(F2.8/F16) / Shutter Priority(F2.8/F11) / Aperture Priority(F2.8/F16) / iAuto(F2.8/F11)
Aperture Priority Mode F2.8/F11(W)
Aperture Manual Mode F2.8/F16(W)
Shutter Speed Auto Mode (sec) Program Auto(1""-1/3200*sec.) / Aperture Priority(8""-1/3200*sec.) / Shutter Priority(30""-1/3200*sec.) / Manual Exposure(Bulb, 30""-1/3200*sec.) / iAuto(4""-1/3200*sec.) *At F8 or greater aperture value. Fastest limit at F2.8 is 1/1600sec.
NR Slow Shutter NO
Hand Shake Alert NO
Exposure Control ± 3.0EV, 1/3EV step
White Balance Auto, Daylight, Shade, Cloudy, Incandescent, Fluorescent warm white, Fluorescent cool white, Fluorescent day white, Fluorescent daylight, Flash, C.Temp./Filter, Custom
Automatic White Balance YES
Light Metering (Multi Pattern) YES
Light Metering (Centre weighted) YES
Light Metering (Spot) YES
Sharpness Setting YES
Saturation Setting YES
Contrast Setting YES
ISO Sensitivity (REI) Auto(ISO125-12800, selectable with upper / lower limit),125/160/200/250/320/400/500/640/800/1000/1250/1600/2000/2500/3200/4000/5000/6400/8000/10000/12800 (Extendableto ISO80/100),Multi-Frame NR:Auto(ISO125-25600), 200/400/800/1600/3200/6400/12800/25600
Scene Selection Portrait / Anti Motion Blur / Sports Action / Macro / Landscape / Sunset / Night Scene / Handheld Twilight / Night Portrait
NFC NFC forum Type 3 Tag compatible, One-touch remote, One-touch sharing
Eye-Fi YES
Ctrl with Smartphone YES
Send to Smartphone YES


SteadyShot capability NO
Optical SteadyShot capability YES

Auto Focus System

AF Illuminator Auto / Off


Flash Mode Flash Off / Autoflash / Fill-flash / Slow Sync. / Rear Sync. / Wireless (with optional compliant flash)
Red-Eye Correction YES
Auto Daylight Synchronized Flash NO
Distance limitations using Flash (m) ISO Auto: Approx. 1.0m to 10.2m(3.28ft. to 33.46ft.), ISO 12800: up to Approx. 20.4m(66.93ft.)

LCD/ Viewfinder

LCD Screen Size (inches) 7.5cm(3type)
LCD Total Dots Number 1.440.000
LCD Monitor Type TFT/ Xtra fine/ Tiltable LCD
Auto Bright Monitoring YES
Optical Viewfinder Optional with MI Shoe accy
Electrical Viewfinder 0.39-type electronic viewfinder(OLED)


Recording Media Memory Stick™ Duo / Memory Stick PRO Duo™ / Memory Stick PRO Duo™ (high speed) / Memory Stick PRO HG Duo™ / Memory Stick Micro* / Memory Stick Micro (mark 2)*/Memory Stick XC-HG Duo
Recording Media II SD Memory Card / SDHC Memory Card / SDXC Memory Card / microSD Memory Card* / microSDHC Memory Card* / microSDXC Memory Card*
Recording Format Still Image:JPEG, RAW, Movie:AVCHD Ver2.0/MP4
DCF (Design rule for Camera File System) YES
DPOF (Digital Print Order Format) YES
Burst Mode (shots) Approx.10 fps
Burst Interval (approximately sec) Approx.0.1 sec.
Still Image size (20M 5472×3648) (3:2 mode) YES
Still Image size (10M 3888×2592) (3:2 mode) YES
Still Image size (5M 2736×1824) (3:2 mode) YES
Still Image size (18M 4864×3648) (4:3 mode) YES
Still Image size (10M 3648×2736) (4:3 mode) YES
Still Image size (5M 2592×1944) (4:3 mode) YES
Still Image size (17M 5472×3080) (16:9 mode) YES
Still Image size (7.5M 3648×2056) (16:9 mode) YES
Still Image size (4.2M 2720×1528) (16:9 mode) YES
Still Image size (VGA, 640 x 480) YES
Still Image size (13M 3648×3648) (1:1 mode) YES
Still Image size (6.5M 2544×2544) (1:1 mode) YES
Still Image size (3.7M 1920×1920) (1:1 mode)  
2D Panorama Wide(12,416×1,856/5,536×2,160)/Standard(8,192×1,856/3,872×2,160)
Moving Image Size (1920x1080 60p/ 50p Approx.28Mbps) (AVCHD) YES
Moving Image Size (1920x1080 60i/ 50i Approx.24Mbps) (AVCHD) YES
Moving Image Size (1920x1080 60i/ 50i Approx.17Mbps) (AVCHD) YES
Moving Image Size (1440x1080 30fps Fine Approx.12Mbps) (MP4) YES
Moving Image Size (640x480 30p/ 25p Approx.3Mbps) (VGA) YES
Moving Image Size (1,920x1,080 25p/ 24p 24Mbps) YES
Moving Image Size (1,920x1,080 25p/24p 17Mbps) (MP4) YES

Playback/ Edit

HD (High Definition) Playback YES (HDMI® out)/ 4K/ Triluminos Output
Slideshow (Playback) YES
Trimming NO
Playback Zoom Depends on image size
Cue & Review (MPEG) YES
Index Playback 9 / 25 images
Image Rotation YES
Auto Image Rotation YES
Auto grouping and & Best Picture Recognition NO


Battery Remaining Indicator NO
Histogram Indicator YES
PTP (Picture Transfer Protocol) NO
Print Image Matching YES
PictBridge NO
Shop Front Mode YES
Start up time (approximately sec) Approx. 1.4 sec
Menu Language English, French, German, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, Dutch, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Finnish, Polish, Czech, Hungarian , Turkish, Greek, Bulgarian, Croatian, Romanian, Russian


Multi use Terminal with HD Multi/Micro USB Terminal*10 , Hi-Speed USB (USB2.0), Micro HDMI,Microphone(3.5 mm Stereo minijack), Multi Interface Shoe, Headphones
Multi use Terminal YES
USB 2.0 Hi-Speed YES

Power/ Others

Battery System Lithium-ion
Supplied Battery NP-FW50
Stamina (battery life) with the supplied battery(s) in normal shooting condition Approx. 420 / Approx. 210min
Battery for Clock NO
Weight (g) Approx. 755g (1lb 10.6oz.)
Weight with Accessories (g) Approx. 813g (1lb 12.7oz.)
Supplied Software PlayMemories Home
Supplied Accessories Rechargeable Battery Pack NP-FW50, AC AdaptorAC-UB10/UB10B/UB10C/UB10D, Micro USB cable, Shoulder strap, Lens cap, Shoe cap, Lens hood, Eyepiece Cup, Instruction Manual


Width (mm) 129
Height (mm) 88.1
Depth (mm) 102.2

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