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Sony Introduces New Cyber-shot RX100 Advanced Compact Digital Camera

The RX100 is the world’s first compact camera with a 1.0 inch type Exmor® CMOS Sensor featuring a resolution of 20.2 effective megapixels

Sony Cyver-Shot DSC-RX100 Digital Camera

The high-end compact digital camera market has become extremely popular, and Sony looks to add to this market with the new Cyber-shot RX100.

In talking about high-end compacts, you have to think about Canon. The Canon Powershot G series has always been a popular line, but many customers complain of the size. Although relatively compact to a digital SLR, the Canon Powershot G series has always been on the bulky side. Bulky enough to keep G cameras out of pants pockets. Helping to alleviate that glut, Canon introduced the Powershot S90, and a high-end "pocketable" craze was born/reborn. In addition to the small size, a huge draw was to the high-quality, fast aperture f/2 lens the S90 offered. Since then we have seen the Olympus XZ-1, Canon S95 and S100, the Nikon P300 and P310, among others. These cameras lack something, however; and that's a larger sized image sensor.

A trend we have been seeing for a while now is trying to get a larger sensor in a more compact body. m4/3 (micro four-thirds) cameras, Sony NEX, and Nikon 1 cameras do a pretty good job of this, especially when taking into consideration the ability of these cameras to interchange lenses. Still, these cameras are nowhere near "pocketable", and not everyone wants them to be.

Canon hit the industry with a fixed lens camera, the G1 x, that has a larger image sensor and is more compact, but still, like the other G series cameras, is not going to fit in any pants (unless they're cargoes).

Today, Sony announces the introduction of a new camera that is a first of its kind, so far. The Cyber-shot RX100 features a larger 1" image sensor, and it will fit in your pants pocket. It is also a very high-resolution camera for a compact, and features 20.2 effective megapixels. In addition, the RX100 features a fast f/1.8 aperture Carl Zeiss lens with Zeiss T* coatings. If the quality of this lens lives up to the Zeiss name, that in itself will make the camera worth the $650 price tag.

Why a large image sensor? Many may wonder why worry about a large image sensor in the first place. A big reason, at least for me, is being able to achieve a shallower depth of field. With a larger image sensor, a longer focal length lens can be used to achieve the same effective focal length, which will translate into a shallower depth of field at the same aperture value. Also, many will argue image quality can, and usually does, go up with physically larger image sensors.

Here's a video Sony put together on the new RX100. Check it out. We should have the RX100 in late July.

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