Gift Guide: Sony Cyber-Shot RX100 Compact Camera

Short Version

Sony’s compact camera with pro features including manual focusing and RAW support comes with a hefty price tag, but it costs that much for a reason: This is simply the best camera currently available for shooters who want something that fits in a front pocket but still delivers image quality so breathtaking, your friends will think you’ve been toting around a DSLR.

Long Version


  • Large, 1-inch sensor (allows for amazing depth-of-field composition)
  • Bright, fast  F1.8-4.9 lens
  • Incredibly fast autofocus in a range of lighting conditions


  • 20.2 effective megapixel sensor
  • 3.6x zoom
  • Availability: Ships Dec. 4 from Sony
  • MSRP: $649
  • Product page

The Sony RX100 is…

… a compact camera that proves good things do come in small packages. The bokeh (background blur) you can achieve with this camera is astounding, given its size. It’s also an extremely capable low-light shooter compared to others in this category, and has AF capabilities that are actually so fast they’ll take some getting used to if you’re coming from some recent mirrorless interchangeable lens systems, like the Canon EOS M.

But the Sony RX100 for…

… the photo enthusiast in your circle who stopped taking pictures because they got tired of lugging around heavy equipment. That applies to DSLR shooters, as well as compact system camera users who were just tired of keeping track of different lenses, or who felt almost, but not quite unburdened by things like the Olympus PEN series that still aren’t quite pocketable.


… the problem with the eternal struggle between image quality and portability in cameras is that you always end up making more compromises than you’re probably comfortable with. The RX100 is different, in that it’s a compact camera with an attached lens that will leave you thinking “This is good,” instead of just “This is good enough.” Check out the gallery of unedited photos straight from the camera below for a small sample of what the RX100 is capable of.

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