Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 insides

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 insides

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 insides Carl Zeiss Lens

Shooting for the enthusiasts

The RX100’s user interface makes very clear that Sony has concentrated on making a camera that enthusiasts will be happy with. The difference between this and the Nikon 1 models (and the Sony NEX cameras when they were first launched), with their beginner-focused interfaces, couldn’t be more stark. The RX100 doesn’t go overboard with manual controls but the now commonplace lens-encircling control dial is key to its usability. It also has a customizable function menu – allowing you to specify which settings you want quick access to, and in which order. This is similar to the customization options added to NEX cameras but is also reminiscent of the Ricoh control interface (still probably our favorite on high-end compact).

And these differences from the entry-level mirrorless cameras are telling. Clearly Sony believes there is a photographically-savvy audience out there that wants a second camera with good image quality but without having to battle against a simplistic user interface or invest in what is probably a second lens system. It’s pretty clear it also hopes that some buyers wanting to move up from conventional compacts will prefer something small and will recognise themselves as part of a majority who wouldn’t buy other lenses even if they bought an interchangeable lens camera.