Large sensors and optimal lenses are integral to producing sharp and vivid photographs. Until a few years ago, DSLR cameras were the only way to capture photographs that were truly “professional.” The professional point and shoot and mirrorless micro four thirds market empowers photographers to take DSLR quality photographs without the heft and bulk of a DSLR camera.
Until just recently, the Canon S100 has been the best compact professional camera. The S100 sports a large 12.1 megapixel CMOS sensor, Canon’s latest DIGIC 5 processor, a super-fast f/2.0-5.9 24-120mm built in lens, ISO up to 6400, and 1920 x 1080p HD video. Despite a spec sheet comparable to most entry-level DSLRs, the S100 is the size of a deck of cards and easily pocketable, making it a professional photographer’s ideal “carry around” camera.
Watch out Canon! It appears the S100 now has a fierce competitor: the Sony RX100. With a larger 1″ 20.2 megapixel CMOS sensor, a Carl Zeiss f/1.8-4.9 28-100mm lens, ISO up to 6400, and 1920 x 1080p HD video, the Sony RX100 outperforms many intro DSLRs. This powerhouse shoots at 10 frames per second (at 20.2 megapixels) and can stitch together a sweep panorama in seconds.
While the RX100′s features match Sony’s mirrorless NEX line, it’s size and pocketability makes it the absolute best anytime compact professional camera. Camera Labs says the “RX100 looks like a winner with a big sensor and bright lens squeezed into a body that’s remarkably close to Canon’s PowerShot S100 in size.” After their hands-on review, the Verge called it the “best all-around compact camera I’ve even seen.”
At a price tag of $649, the RX100 is comparable in price to many intro DSLRs and even Sony’s NEX line. Because the RX100 sacrifices the flexibility of interchangeable lenses for compactness and portability, a new photographer might want to consider a mirrorless camera or a DSLR in that $649 price range if portability is not of utmost importance.
Professional photographers looking for a secondary pocketable camera for when they don’t want to carry their heavy DSLRs should look no further than the Sony RX100.
[Image and info via Sony]