Sony Cyber-shot RX100 Digital Camera Review$649.99
If you've ever handled the Nikon J1, or really any of Nikon's 1-series cameras, then you know what to expect from the RX100. The body's top and bottom panels come to corners, but the sides are rounded. The whole chassis is rather slippery, so we do recommend using that wrist strap or, better yet, taking advantage of the two included adapters and investing in a proper neck strap.
The rear panel is home to the RX100's only deliberate ergonomic feature: a rubberized thumb rest that's located in an intuitive and comfortable spot. It's possible to jog the rear rotating dial accidentally during general use, but these occasions are rare and the button layout is painless otherwise.
Buttons & Dials
The button layout is simple and effective. On the rear panel, a typical rotating dial / directional pad has shortcuts at all four positions, and is flanked by four buttons for menus, in-camera help, and playback. Above them all is a hotkey for video recording. The rotating dial is excellent, in fact we used it more than the control ring surrounding the lens barrel. Other buttons are a little small and have minimal stroke, they could use improvement for the next model.
On the top plate, the shutter release's lock stage is soft and imprecise, but not enough to make shooting annoying. The power button is flush with the rest of the body, but still easy to access and press. Maybe a little too easy in fact, we had the camera power on by accident inside a bag once or twice.
In the absence of a viewfinder, images are framed and reviewed on a gorgeous 3-inch LCD monitor, with resolution in excess of 1.2 million dots. Viewing angle is imperfect but adequate for all but the most acute shooting positions. Overhead framing, for example, is manageable; though a tilting panel would've been even better.
Our image stabilization test was inconclusive. We could detect no improvement to image quality with SteadyShot turned on, when the camera was subjected to repetitive horizontal movement. In the crops below, you can see that the wide gray trail is lessened in the "Stabilization On" shot, however the edge itself (the area we test) has actually worsened.