Sony RX100 VI Review

July 24, 2018 | Mark Goldstein |

Sony RX100 VI Image Quality

All of the sample images in this review were taken using the 20 megapixel Fine JPEG setting, which gives an average image size of around 8Mb.

The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 II produced images of excellent quality. This camera handled noise well, which doesn't obvious until ISO 3200, and then progressively worse at the faster settings of ISO 6400 and 12800, an excellent performance for a small image sensor with such a high pixel count.

Chromatic aberrations were in evidence but were 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 OK, allowing you to focus as close as 8cms 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 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.

Noise

There are 9 ISO settings available on the Sony Cyber-shot RX100 VI. 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)

iso80.jpg iso80raw.jpg

ISO 100 (100% Crop)

ISO 100 (100% Crop)

iso100.jpg iso100raw.jpg

ISO 125 (100% Crop)

ISO 125 (100% Crop)

iso125.jpg iso125raw.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 12800 (100% Crop)

iso12800.jpg iso12800raw.jpg

Focal Range

The Sony Cyber-shot RX100 VI's 8x zoom lens offers a versatile focal range, as illustrated by these examples:

24mm

focal_range1.jpg

200mm

focal_range2.jpg

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)

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

Chromatic Aberrations

The Sony Cyber-shot RX100 VI handled chromatic aberrations very well during the review, with some 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

File Quality

The Sony Cyber-shot RX100 VI 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 (12.4Mb) (100% Crop) Fine (6.86Mb) (100% Crop)
quality_extrafine.jpg quality_fine.jpg
Standard (4.51Mb) (100% Crop) RAW (20Mb) (100% Crop)
quality_standard.jpg quality_raw.jpg

Macro

The Sony Cyber-shot RX100 VI allows you to focus on a subject that is 8cms 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.jpg

Flash

The flash settings on the Sony Cyber-shot RX100 VI 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.

Flash Off

Flash Off (100% Crop)
flash_off.jpg flash_off1.jpg

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

Night

The Sony Cyber-shot RX100 VI's maximum shutter speed is 30 seconds in the Manual mode, which is great news if you're seriously interested in night photography.

Night

night.jpg

Steadyshot

The Sony Cyber-shot RX100 VI has an antishake mechanism which allows you to take sharp photos at slower shutter speeds than other digital cameras. To test this, we took a handheld shot of the same subject with the same settings. The first shot was taken with Shake Reduction turned off, the second with it turned on. 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)

1/6th / 24mm antishake1.jpg antishake1a.jpg

Dynamic Range Optimizer

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

Off

LV1
dro_01.jpg dro_02.jpg
LV2 LV3
dro_03.jpg dro_04.jpg

LV4

LV5
dro_05.jpg dro_06.jpg

HDR

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
hdr_01.jpg hdr_02.jpg
2.0EV 3.0EV
hdr_03.jpg hdr_04.jpg

4.0EV

5.0EV
hdr_05.jpg hdr_06.jpg
5.0EV
hdr_07.jpg

Picture Effects

The Sony Cyber-shot RX100 VI offers an extensive range of thirteen creative Picture Effects.

Off

Toy Camera

picture_effects_01.jpg picture_effects_02.jpg

Pop Color

Posterization

picture_effects_03.jpg picture_effects_04.jpg

Retro

Soft High-key

picture_effects_05.jpg picture_effects_06.jpg

Partial Color (Red)

High Contrast Mono

picture_effects_07.jpg picture_effects_08.jpg

Soft Focus

HDR Painting

picture_effects_09.jpg picture_effects_10.jpg

Rich-tone Mono

Miniature

picture_effects_11.jpg picture_effects_12.jpg

Watercolor

Illustration

picture_effects_13.jpg picture_effects_14.jpg

Sweep Panorama

The Sony Cyber-shot RX100 VI 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
panorama.jpg
Wide
panorama1.jpg