Sony's growing its successful RX Cyber-shot lineup with an entirely new type of camera. The RX10 packs the same 20.2-megapixel 1-inch BSI CMOS sensor as the RX100 Mark II, and based on our experience shooting with that model, it wouldn't be unreasonable to expect excellent image quality with this cam as well. What makes this model unique, however, is the 24-200mm Zeiss lens, which offers a constant f/2.8 aperture, enabling identical exposures at both ends of the zoom spectrum. It also includes the same BIONZ X processor as the Alpha 7 and 7R, which aids in autofocus, noise reduction and detail reproduction.
The RX10 is being positioned as a step-up camera for point-and-shoot users and even some DSLR owners. The camera is priced at $1,300 -- considering that you'll often spend that much for an f/2.8 zoom lens alone, it'll likely appeal to a variety of photographers. Sony's also targeting video shooters here; like the new Alphas announced today, the RX10 shoots 1080p video at 60 or 24 frames per second with full manual control, and offers uncompressed output through the HDMI port. There's also an adjustable audio level meter, a headphone and mic jack, and compatibility with the XLR-K1M adapter for even more sound input options.
You can share video and still images with the built-in WiFi, which you can also use for remote shooting with Sony's Android and iOS apps. Unfortunately you're stuck with just contrast-detect AF on board, but the camera still focused quickly enough during our test. You can shoot an unlimited number of consecutive frames at 10 fps with continuous autofocus, and the three-axis image stabilization should aid in keeping shots steady. You can frame shots using the built-in OLED EVF or the 1.23M-dot 3-inch White Magic LCD, which tilts up 84 degrees or down 43 degrees for shooting at odd angles. There's a magnesium-alloy body, so it's dust and moisture-resistant as well. The Sony RX10 is expected to hit stores next month for $1,300.
Update: And here are some hands-on photos from an earlier event in Hong Kong.
Sony RX10 hands-on
Sony Adds High-Performance Zoom Camera to Acclaimed Cyber-shot® RX Line
New RX10 Model Combines Versatile 24-200mm (35mm equivalent) F2.8 Lens with Legendary RX Series Image Quality
SAN DIEGO, October 15, 2013 – Sony's new Cyber-shot RX10 camera adds a high-zoom model to its premium line of Cyber-shot RX series cameras.
The new camera features a 1.0-type, 20.2 effective megapixel back-illuminated CMOS sensor combined with an impressive 24-200mm (35mm equivalent) F2.8 Carl Zeiss® Vario Sonnar T* zoom lens to deliver the ultimate combination of performance and versatility in a high-zoom camera, giving photographers the ability to shoot impressive high-resolution still images and crisp, clear full HD videos with ease.
This unique pairing of large, high-resolution sensor and premium zoom lens is complemented by an advanced BIONZTM X processing engine and AF system, ensuring that all content shot with the new RX10 camera – still images and full HD videos alike – is richly detailed, crisp, and continually in focus.
"The innovative new RX10 high-zoom camera is a natural extension to our popular RX family of products, carrying on its legacy of balancing compact size and high- performance imaging in the ultimate package," said Patrick Huang, director of the Cyber-shot camera business at Sony Electronics. "It's an unparalleled all-around performer that will leave enthusiasts, hobbyists and even professionals reaching for their DSLRs less and less."Sensor and Lens
The new RX10 camera shares the same high-resolution, 1.0-type 20.2 megapixel Exmor ® R CMOS sensor used in Sony's popular RX100 II compact camera. About 4x the size of a standard compact camera sensor, it excels in producing high quality images in all types of lighting conditions. The BIONZ X processor is about 3x faster in processing speed compared to previous BIONZ predecessors, and reinforces the impressive image quality of the sensor by applying new detail reproduction technology and area-specific noise reduction.
It also utilizes diffraction-reducing technologies, which compensates for the lens diffraction at smaller apertures.
The fixed Carl Zeiss Vario Sonnar T* 24-200mm lens offers superb clarity and resolving power, with a wide F2.8 maximum aperture across the entire zoom range that delivers extra brightness and bolsters low-light capabilities. The wide aperture combined with a seven-bladed iris diaphragm allows for easy creation of professional-looking photos with smooth, defocused backgrounds.
AF System, EVF Viewfinder and LCD
The new Cyber-shot RX10 camera features an extremely speedy and responsive new contrast-detection autofocus system thanks to a new-generation Direct Drive SSM (Super Sonicwave Motor) mechanism that works with the Exmor R CMOS sensor and powerful BIONZ X processor.
Additionally, the camera has lock-on AF that accurately tracks moving subjects, even if they disappear momentarily from the frame. Users also have a choice of three selectable sizes for the spot AF frame, cutting the risk of accidental focus errors with very small subjects. It also has an upgraded 'Eye AF' that ensures crisp portraits focused accurately on the subject's eyes.
The new RX10 high-zoom camera can shoot at up to 10 frames per second with continuous autofocus. This capability combined with the advanced AF and versatile 200mm, constant aperture F2.8 lens makes it an outstanding choice for shooting fast action and sports.
The camera also features a high-contrast OLED Tru-FinderTM that provides crisp edge-to-edge visibility and a wide viewing angle of about 33°, as well as a clear, bright 3.0- type White MagicTM LCD tilts up or down for easy framing for even more compositional freedom.
Impressive Full HD Video Shooting
The Cyber-shot RX10 camera has a host of advanced HD video shooting capabilities,
including the ability to capture full HD video either 60p (AVCHD progressive) or a cinematic 2
24p frame rate, with full control over P/A/S/M exposure modes. Additionally, the camera can read and process data from every one of the large sensor's pixels to create extremely smooth, highly-detailed Full HD videos. It also has a 'clear' HDMI® output which allows footage to be reviewed on an external monitor or recorded to a separate storage device.
The RX10 has an audio level meter with adjustable levels to ensure that movies sound as good as they look and there's a microphone jack and headphone output for accurate level monitoring. Further, the RX10 model is compatible with the XLR-K1M adapter, which takes users into the world of pro-quality sound recording and allows for the addition of an external microphone via a balanced XLR terminal.
Design and Control
Aesthetically, the new Cyber-shot RX10 features a variety of fully customizable controls and settings that offer DSLR-like flexibility for advanced users. The lens itself has a manual control ring that can be used for zoom or focus control, as well as a dedicated aperture ring that can be set to 'stepped' (clicking) or smooth and silent (very useful for movies) when making adjustments.
The camera has six different customizable buttons plus a top-mounted LCD for instant confirmation of exposure and other key settings. The camera has a premium feel thanks to its light, rigid magnesium alloy build, and is also dust- and moisture-resistant for use in outdoor situations.
Wi-Fi and Other Convenient Features
The RX10 model has on-board Wi-Fi for easy connection with any iOS or AndroidTM smartphone, and features NFC (Near Field Communication) one-touch for simple connection to NFC-enabled Android devices. Consumers can share photos wirelessly on a connected mobile device, HD TV or home networked devices. Additionally, a connected phone can be used as a smart remote control to fire the camera's shutter.
The new camera plays back high-resolution still images directly on a connected 4K television, offering four times the detail of Full HD. It also features support for3
TRILUMINOSTM Color, delivering an impressive variety of rich, natural colors when content shot with the camera is played back on a compatible BRAVIATM television with TRILUMINOS Display.
There's a range of compatible accessories for the RX10 camera including the new LCJ-RXE premium jacket case that protects the camera from dust and knocks. Additionally, the ECM-XYST1M Stereo Microphone can be attached via the camera's Multi Interface ShoeTM for crisp dialogue and ambient sounds while shooting HD video, and the HVL-F43M flash and HVL-LEIR1 Video IR light ideal for capturing subjects and taking creative shots in low light.
Pricing and Availability
The Sony Cyber-shot RX10 high-zoom camera will be available for purchase this November for about $1300.
The new camera and all compatible accessories will be available at Sony retail stores (www.store.sony.com) and other authorized dealers nationwide.