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Cyber-shot RX100 Black Digital Camera (20.2 MP, 3.6x Opt, MS/MS Pro Duo/SD/SDHC/SDXC Card Slot)

IntelliRating: 5 stars
Pros: Very large image sensor produces excellent images and video, Allows working with both JPEG and RAW formats
Cons: Price, Features not for entry-level users, Slow flash recycling, Battery can only be charged when inside camera

Review: Touted as one of Sony's best point-and-shoot camera offerings, the Sony Cyber-shot RX100 Digital Camera earns tons of praise as one of the best combinations of style and substance in a point-and-shoot digital camera. This camera may look like an ordinary point-and-shoot, but its hardware and performance will definitely warrant a second look, especially from hobbyists and enthusiasts looking for both image quality and a level of control over their photography. At the core of the RX100 is a huge Exmor CMOS sensor. Measuring an even inch across, the RX100's image sensor dwarfs the sensors of ordinary digital cameras. Of course, more image sensor surface area - 20.2 megapixels, to be exact - means more image quality, something that the RX100 likewise delivers. Pictures come out razor-sharp and filled with exacting amounts of detail that are perfect for both extreme close-ups and wide-angle shots alike. The large image sensor also dramatically improves on the ISO sensitivity of the camera, resulting in impressive low-light capabilities. The RX100 has an F/1.8 28-100mm Carl Zeiss lens with up to 3.6X zoom factor and a special coating that reduces the amount of glare and lens flares from reflected light. Around the base of the lens body, a control ring similar to those found in SLR cameras will impress camera buffs to no end. The lens is framed by a sleek, black, brushed-aluminum shell that doesn't reveal the true size of the image sensor inside, effectively making the Sony RX100 a very powerful compact camera that slips easily into your pocket. A 3-inch LCD display sits at the back, flanked by two control dials and the different function buttons, with a 1229k-dot resolution. Finally, a flash bulb sits on top of the camera body, and retracts flush to the top side when not in use. An interesting fact about the RX100's flash is that it is articulated, meaning you can tilt the head upward to bounce the light instead of having it light the subject dead-on. The high hardware specs of the Cyber-shot RX100 result in some serious performance from this digital camera. As mentioned, pictures come out with spectacular results. In particular, the RX100 is capable of emulating the "depth of field" effect that is seen in photos taken with a DSLR. The RX100 also gives you the ability to automatically save in JPEG as well as in RAW format, if post-processing work is on the order. The Cyber-shot RX100 also shines when used to take videos. The 1080p videos at 50 or 60 frames a second are buttery-smooth and virtually shake-free thanks to the built-in image stabilization system that works with both video and still images. With such prime features, it's easy to understand why the Sony Cyber-shot RX100's main drawback is its price. Admittedly, advanced features won't come cheap, and this camera is no exception. On the more technical aspects, the RX100's wealth of options may intimidate casual users who just want to take a good picture. Also, while the flash on this camera is capable of some pretty impressive things, being quick on the reloading aspect isn't one of them. Lastly, the RX100's battery can only be charged when inside the camera and not when outside. All in all, though, the Sony RX100 is a compact camera that enthusiasts will be more than pleased to try.

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