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Sony RX100 4 Years Later: Image Quality and Fill Flash Still Impress

I first reviewed the Sony RX100 in August 2012. At the time, its image quality impressed (see the examples), and its built-in fill flash was found to have an outstanding ability to improve outdoor portraits (dial in -1 2/3 to -2 stops flash compensation).

Four years later, the Sony RX10 III and the RX100 IV have improved sensors of the same size and resolution, but 2012 images from the diminutive RX100 still impress with outstanding image quality when given a fresh lookover here four years later in 2016—impressive and yet disappointing in a way: what a pity that after four years a full frame 148-megapixel full-frame DSLR has not appeared (that’s what the RX100 sensor density would mean on full frame).

A full resolution image is on the Image Quality 4 Years Later (Selfie, Full Res) page.

Update: I’ve added a second full-res example at ISO 125 that uses a +1 stop push, as well as RawDigger histograms for both.

All four generations of the Sony RX100 are still for sale: $498 RX100, $648 RX100 II, $798 RX100 III, $948 RX100 IV. I still like the original, as it is the lightest and most compact model (v4 goes from 240g to 298g, which is definitely noticeable). But the RX100 III and RX100 IV have a built-in EVF, which is a big plus. Any of them fit into a cycling jersey pocket, but +58 grams can be felt in many types of pockets.

Self Portrait at 11,500', White Mountain Road
f5.6 @ 1/1000 sec, ISO 125; 2012-08-14 10:19:34
DSC-RX100 + 28-100mm F1.8-4.9 @ 28mm equiv (10.4mm)

[low-res image for bot]
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