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.