Sony RX100

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 front
  • 20MP - 1" Sensor
  • 3" Fixed Display
  • ISO 100 - 25600
  • Optical Image Stabilization
  • 1920 x 1080 video
  • 28-100mm (F1.8-4.9) lens
  • 240g - 102 x 58 x 36mm
  • Revealed August 2012
  • Refreshed by Sony RX100 II
  • Read full specs
  • Alternatives
  • Size Comparison
  • FAQ

Sony RX100 overview

Sony RX100 is Sony's Large Sensor Compact camera originally introduced on August of 2012. It uses a 20 MegaPixel, CMOS 1" size sensor with a peak resolution of 5472 x 3648.

Sony introduced the newer Sony RX100 II (Read Full Comparison) in an effort to upgrade this camera.

The RX100 stands at #43 out of 65 in Large Sensor Compact cameras and all round #351 out of 1465 for cameras in our database. You can check our Advanced camera finder to get camera ratings based on your personalized factors.

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Below is a chart of specific criteria used in the scoring system.

Sony RX100 family

The Sony RX100 comes with a history of related cameras. Listed below, you can take a look at all past and newer models as well as important features.

ModelVisualizeLensResolutionSensor SizeReleased
Sony-Cyber-shot-DSC-RX100-VII front thumbnailSony RX100 VII
RX100 vs RX100 VII
Sony-Cyber-shot-DSC-RX100-V(A) front thumbnailSony RX100 VA
RX100 vs RX100 VA
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Sony-Cyber-shot-DSC-RX100-VI front thumbnailSony RX100 VI
RX100 vs RX100 VI
Sony-Cyber-shot-DSC-RX100-V front thumbnailSony RX100 V
RX100 vs RX100 V
Sony-Cyber-shot-DSC-RX100-IV front thumbnailSony RX100 IV
RX100 vs RX100 IV
Sony-Cyber-shot-DSC-RX100-III front thumbnailSony RX100 III
RX100 vs RX100 III
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Sony-Cyber-shot-DSC-RX100-II front thumbnailSony RX100 II
RX100 vs RX100 II
Sony-Cyber-shot-DSC-RX100 front thumbnailSony RX10028-100mm

Sony RX100 Pros and Cons

Here is a checklist of pros and cons of the Sony RX100 based on things which are often seen as necessary in a camera.

built-in flash
exports RAW files
features face detection focus
features tracking autofocus
good sized screen (3 inch)
good zoom range (28-100mm 3.6 x zoom)
great video quality (1920 x 1080 resolution)
high flash sync (1/2,000 seconds)
image stabilization (Optical)
includes HDMI port
lighter than competition (240g)
manual focus
megapixel count good (20MP)
NFC connectivity
nice clear screen (1,229 thousand dot)
quite wide (28mm)
sensor size is decent (1")
very good ISO range (25,600)
very good max aperture (f1.8)
very good min ISO (100)
can't use external flash
doesn't have selfie friendly display
fixed lens (fixed lens mount)
lack of external microphone port
lack of headphone port
lacks phase detect auto focus
no moving screen
sluggish at long end (f4.9)
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Sony RX100 Sensor features

The sensor measurement in the Sony RX100 is 13.2mm x 8.8mm (1"). The 116 mm² sensor is able to resolve 5472 x 3648 pixels using aspect ratios of 1:1, 4:3, 3:2 and 16:9. The camera includes Image Stabilization (Optical). Optical stabilization is more desirable than digital stabilization as the latter may cause cropping.

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The CMOS sensor boasts 20MP and supports a native ISO range of 100 - 25600. RAW files are supported therefore the user has more margin for error.

The graphic underneath displays the RX100's sensor size in comparison to other common sizes. The RX100 sensor comes with a crop factor of 2.7 and is showcased in green.

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 sensor size Meta to Introduce 'AI-Generated' Labels for Media starting next month

To get an understanding of various aspect ratios, you should refer to the visual below.

Camera sensor aspect ratios

Sony RX100 dimensions

Sony RX100 weighs around 0.53 lb (240g / 8.47 oz) and the physical size of the camera is 102mm x 58mm x 36mm (4.0" x 2.3" x 1.4"). The weight of general Large Sensor Compact camera is 396g so the Sony RX100 is lighter as compared with other competitors.

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Underneath is a picture of the Sony RX100 alongside a soft drink so you can have a sense of its size.

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 dimensions scale

The top view under will show the button design on the RX100.

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 topview buttons dials

Sony RX100 Lens features

The RX100 offers a built-in lens having a focal range of 28-100mm making it a 3.6 x zoom which is not significant however it will definitely be convenient in certain scenarios.

At it's widest 28mm, the lens offers an aperture of f1.8 which is perfect in low light events and capturing good bokeh. It will also enable you to go with a much lower ISO in order to get crisper pictures. At the long end, 100mm comes at f4.9 which is pretty slow and you will have to use slow shutter speeds.

Photography Glossary

Sony RX100 Connectivity

The RX100 has the following connectivity:

  • USB Yes
  • Wireless Yes
  • NFC Yes
  • HDMI Yes

Cameras that contain NFC and / or Bluetooth connectivity can be used wirelessly by smartphones. You are able to send pictures and usually alter settings without connecting physically with the camera.

Certain apps also stream a Liveview and press the shutter in case you aren't near the camera. If the camera provides a HDMI out, it can be attached to an external screen. Many cameras enable you to recharge the battery through the USB socket.

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Sony RX100 Video features

The highest video resolution in the Sony RX100 is 1920 x 1080 and it can record in MPEG-4 and AVCHD format. 1080p resolution will provide a decent balance between quality versus file size but FULL HD is not going to leave you with much room to downsample. The body doesn't include a mic and / or headphone socket which means that you have absolutely no control over your audio. It is perhaps best to take a look at another model in case you want decent audio in your video clips.

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Sony RX100 Weather Sealing

There is no weather sealing for the Sony RX100 so you have to be cautious in wet or dusty situations.

Sony RX100 Display and Viewfinder

The Sony RX100 houses a 3 inch fixed display screen having a resolution of 1,229 thousand dots.

Unfortunately the display screen is not a touch screen.

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 screen and viewfinder Samsung Releases Faster Versions of EVO MicroSD Cards

The View Finder details regarding Sony RX100 are below:

  • ViewFinder None

In those sunny outdoor situations that make the camera screens washed out and difficult to view, viewfinders are quite helpful.

Sony RX100 Shutter features

Sony RX100 continuous shooting rate is 10.0 fps. The max shutter speed is 1/2000 sec.

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Sony RX100 Flash and Hot shoe features

Sony RX100 includes just inbuilt flash lacking external flash ability. The max flash sync is 1/2000 sec.

Sony RX100 Autofocusing features

Sony RX100 includes only Contrast Detect AF and does not have Phase Detect AF. Phase Detection focusing is a lot quicker & exact as compared with Contrast Detect focusing. The camera boasts Face detect making it useful for taking photos of people.

The AF system boasts 25 focus points to choose from. It also includes Tracking AF for subjects on the move. Sony RX100 boasts manual focus when required during low light conditions or you want to have more exact control on focus.

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Sony RX100 Battery life

The battery power (NP-BX1) for the Sony RX100 is built to last for 330 images as per the CIPA specifications making it about the same as its rivals. The typical Large Sensor Compact camera battery life is 301. Leica X-U features the highest (450) battery life within this range of cameras.

Listed below is a list of Large Sensor Compact cameras that have the strongest battery life:

Sony RX100 for varying types of photography

The following graph displays a summation of the Sony RX100 for varying types of photography. To view more, visit the specific paragraph underneath.

Sony RX100 Portrait photography advice

The Sony RX100 receives a score of 64 which is very good, and means the camera is a fine pick to use for portrait photography. Taking portraits favors greatly towards sensor resolution, support for RAW files and flexibility to utilize off-camera lighting.

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you can focus manually
above average flash sync speed (1/2,000s)
decent sensor resolution (20MP)
decent sensor size (1")
includes face detect focusing
delivers RAW files
external flash not possible

Street photography with Sony RX100

Getting a exceptional score of 79, the Sony RX100 is a wonderful pick for street photography. A good street photography camera has a good balance of image quality plus portability.

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image stabilization (Optical)
sensor size is decent (1")
exports RAW files
lighter than competition (240 grams)
great ISO range (25,600)
no moving screen

Sony RX100 as a Sports photography camera

A nice sports photography score of 65 suggests the Sony RX100 is a respectable pick for photographing sports. A camera must have good focusing and fast continuous shooting for sports photography.

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built in image stabilization (Optical)
sensor resolution is decent (20MP)
sensor size is decent (1")
offers tracking focus
doesn't have phase detect autofocus

Sony RX100 Travel photography information

Portability is extremely important when buying a camera for travel. All things considered, the Sony RX100 gets a fantastic 79 as a travel camera which is a fantastic fit to buy for your holidays.

Photography Glossary
lighter than competition in class (240g)
megapixel count good (20MP)
flash built-in
decently wide (28mm)
fast max aperture (f1.8)
display isn't selfie friendly

Sony RX100 as a Landscape photography camera

In case you're looking to purchase a digital camera for landscape photos, the most significant factor will be image quality. The Sony RX100 and it's very good grade of 74 as a landscape camera is a fine choice in the current marketplace.

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has manual focus
really wide (28mm)
fast maximum aperture (f1.8)
screen is a decent size (3")
has image stabilization (Optical)
MP count decent (20MP)
decent sensor size (1")
above average high ISO (25,600)
delivers RAW formats
lens is fixed (fixed lens mount)

Sony RX100 Vlogging advice

A vlogging camera really should posses a moving screen, microphone input and if possible IBIS. Taking everything in to account, the Sony RX100 is not acceptable as a vlog camera as it delivers a horrible rating of 38.

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pretty wide (28mm)
great maximum aperture (f1.8)
image stabilization (Optical)
offers face detect autofocus
high quality video (1920 x 1080 pixels)
lighter than average (240 grams)
does not offer selfie friendly screen
no mic support

Sony RX100 Alternatives

If you are in the market for replacements to the RX100, below is a number of the top placed cameras that fall within the category of Large Sensor Compact.

The line chart listed below will give you a bird's eye view of the RX100 compared to it's top ranked rivals mentioned previously.

Following are several cameras you may check out as alternative options. To read a complete comparison, visit the "compare" link.

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General Information
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100
Large Sensor Compact
Body design
Large Sensor Compact
Sensor Information
Sensor type
Sensor size
Sensor measurements
13.2 x 8.8mm
Sensor area
Sensor resolution
20 megapixels
Anti aliasing filter
Aspect ratio
1:1, 4:3, 3:2 and 16:9
Maximum resolution
5472 x 3648
RAW data
Maximum native ISO
Min native ISO
Manual focus
Autofocus touch
Autofocus continuous
Autofocus single
Autofocus tracking
Selective autofocus
Center weighted autofocus
Multi area autofocus
Autofocus live view
Face detect autofocus
Contract detect autofocus
Phase detect autofocus
Number of focus points
Lens mount
fixed lens
Lens focal range
28-100mm (3.6x)
Max aperture
Macro focus distance
Focal length multiplier
Display type
Fixed Type
Display size
3 inch
Resolution of display
1,229 thousand dot
Selfie friendly
Touch display
Display tech
WhiteMagic TFT LCD
Viewfinder Information
DXO scores
DXO All around score
DXO Color Depth score
DXO Dynamic range score
DXO Low light score
Lowest shutter speed
Highest shutter speed
Continuous shooting speed
Shutter priority
Aperture priority
Expose Manually
Exposure compensation
Change white balance
Image stabilization
Integrated flash
Flash options
Auto, On, Off, Slow Sync
Hot shoe
AE bracketing
White balance bracketing
Highest flash sync
AF area
Center weighted
Video features
Supported video resolutions
1920 x 1080 (60 fps), 1440 x 1080 (30 fps), 1280 x 720 (30 fps), 640 x 480 (30 fps)
Maximum video resolution
Video file format
Microphone jack
Headphone jack
Eye-Fi Connected
USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)
Environmental seal
Water proof
Dust proof
Shock proof
Crush proof
Freeze proof
240g (0.53 lb)
102 x 58 x 36mm (4.0" x 2.3" x 1.4")
Battery life
330 pictures
Battery form
Battery Pack
Battery model
Self timer
Yes (2 or 10 sec, Portrait 1/2)
Time lapse shooting
With downloadable app
Storage media
SD/SDHC/SDXC, Memory Stick Duo/Pro Duo/Pro-HG Duo
Storage slots
Retail price