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Sony RX10 Performance


Timing and Performance

Generally good to excellent performance in our tests.

Startup/Shutdown

Power on
to first shot

~2 seconds

Time it takes to turn on and capture a shot.

Shutdown

~2 seconds

How long it takes camera to turn off before you can remove the memory card.

Buffer clearing time
~18 seconds
(after 21 Large/Extra Fine JPEGs)
Worst case buffer clearing time. -- This is the delay after a set of shots before you can remove the card.
~12 seconds
(after 22 Large Fine or Standard JPEGs)
~7 seconds
(after 10 RAW files)
*Note: Buffer clearing times measured with a SanDisk Extreme Pro 95MB/s UHS-1 SDHC card. Slower cards will produce correspondingly slower clearing times. Slow cards may also limit length of bursts in continuous mode. ISO sensitivity and noise reduction settings can also affect cycle times and burst mode performance.

The Sony RX10 takes about 2 seconds to power on and take a shot. That's slightly faster than average for its class. Shutdown takes about the same at 2 seconds. Buffer clearing times are pretty good for its class, especially considering the buffer depth and its 20-megapixel images.


Mode Switching

Play to Record,
first shot

~0.6 second

Time until first shot is captured.

Record to Play

~2.2 seconds

Time to display a large/fine JPEG file immediately after capture.

Display
recorded image

~0.3 second

Time to display a large/fine JPEG file already on the memory card.

Mode switching performance is pretty good for its class, though Record to Play is a bit sluggish.


Shutter Response (Lag Time)

Full Autofocus,
Wide Angle

0.225 second
Time from fully pressing shutter button to image capture, with the lens already at the proper focal distance setting, at the wide-angle end of the lens' range.
Full Autofocus,
Telephoto
0.227 second
Time from fully pressing shutter button to image capture, with the lens already at the proper focal distance setting, at the telephoto end of the lens' range

Flash
(Full AF, Wide)

0.275 second

Using the flash slows the shutter release because the metering pre-flash has to occur before the shutter opens. Compare this number to the Full AF Wide Angle case above.

Manual Focus
0.136 second
For most cameras, shutter lag is less in manual focus than autofocus, but usually not as fast as when the camera is "prefocused".

Prefocused

0.012 second

Time to capture, after half-pressing and holding shutter button.

Looking at the Sony RX10's ability to determine that it's properly focused when shooting the same target multiple times, full autofocus shutter lag is quite fast at 0.225 second at wide angle, and 0.227 second at telephoto. Enabling the flash raises full autofocus shutter lag to 0.275 second, which is still pretty good. Manual focus lag is a very fast 0.136 second, and prefocused shutter lag is 0.012 second, which is incredibly quick.

Autofocus is as fast as most consumer DSLRs, while prefocused shutter lag is much faster.

To minimize the effect of different lens' focusing speed, we test AF-active shutter lag with the lens already set to the correct focal distance.


Cycle Time (shot to shot)

Single Shot mode
Large/Extra Fine JPEG

0.61 second

Time per shot, averaged over 20+ shots*.

Single Shot mode
RAW

0.63 second

Time per shot, averaged over 20+ shots*.

Single Shot mode
RAW + L/F JPEG
0.87 second

Time per shot, averaged over 20+ shots*.

Early shutter
penalty?

YES

Some cameras don't snap another shot if you release and press the shutter too quickly in Single Shot mode, making "No" the preferred answer.

Continuous mode
Large/Extra Fine JPEG

0.33 second (3.08 frames per second);
30 frames total;
15 seconds to clear*

Time per shot, averaged over 30 shots.

Continuous mode
RAW

0.39 second (2.55 frames per second);
21 frames total;
5 seconds to clear*

Time per shot, averaged over buffer length of 21 frames, then slows to an average of 1.67 fps when buffer is full.

Continuous mode
RAW + L/F JPEG

0.40 second (2.50 frames per second);
13 frames total;
8 seconds to clear*

Time per shot, averaged over buffer length of 13 frames, then slows an average of 1.16 fps when buffer is full.

Speed Priority Continuous mode
Large/Extra Fine JPEG

0.10 second (10.0 frames per second);
21 frames total;
18 seconds to clear*

Time per shot, averaged over 21 shots, then slows to an average 0.93 fps when buffer is full.

Speed Priority Continuous mode
Large/Fine JPEG

0.10 second (10.0 frames per second);
22 frames total;
12 seconds to clear*

Time per shot, averaged over 22 shots, then slows to an average of 1.70 fps when buffer is full.

Speed Priority Continuous mode
Large/Standard JPEG

0.10 second (10.0 frames per second);
22 frames total;
12 seconds to clear*

Time per shot, averaged over 22 shots, then slows to an average of 1.65 fps when buffer is full.

Speed Priority Continuous mode
RAW

0.15 second (6.52 frames per second);
10 frames total;
7 seconds to clear*

Time per shot, averaged over 10 shots, then slows to an average of 1.45 fps when buffer is full.

Flash Recycling

3.2 seconds

Flash at maximum output.

*Note: Buffer clearing times measured with a SanDisk Extreme Pro 95MB/s UHS-1. Slower cards will produce correspondingly slower clearing times. Slow cards may also limit length of bursts in continuous mode. ISO sensitivity and noise reduction settings can also affect cycle times and burst mode performance.

Single-shot cycle times are very good for its class, averaging 0.61 second for Large/Extra Fine JPEGs, 0.63 second for RAW and 0.87 second for RAW+ Large/Fine JPEGs.

In standard continuous mode, the RX10 captured 30 Large/Fine JPEG frames at 3.1 frames-per-second, 21 RAW frames at 2.6 fps, and 13 RAW+JPEG frames at 2.5 fps. Continuous AF and AE are available in this mode.

The Sony RX10's Speed Priority continuous mode captures large Standard, Fine or Extra Fine JPEGs at 10.0 fps, though focus is locked at the first frame of a burst in this mode (however exposure is adjusted for each image.) The maximum burst length at that speed was 24 frames for Large/Standard JPEGs, 22 for Large/Fine and 21 for large/Extra Fine JPEGs. Not exactly the unlimited buffer depth we were told at the product briefing with Sony, but still very good. (Note, though, that our target is difficult to compress, so you may be able to shoot longer bursts with typical scenes.) When shooting RAW files, burst speed dropped to 6.52 fps and buffer depth to 10 frames.

Buffer clearing was fast considering buffer depths and resolution, but varied a lot depending on the file type. We measured about 7 seconds after 10 RAW files, 9 seconds after 24 Large/Standard JPEGs, 12 seconds after 22 Large/Fine JPEGs, and 18 seconds after 21 Large/Extra Fine JPEGs. We used a SanDisk 95MB/s UHS-1 flash card and tried a Sony 94MB/s UHS-1 card as well, with no difference in buffer depths and virtually the same clearing times.

The Sony RX10's flash recycles in about 3.2 seconds after a full-power discharge, which is good.


Download Speed

Windows Computer, USB 2.0

24,161 KBytes/sec

Typical Values:
Less than 600=USB 1.1;
600-769=USB 2.0 Low;
Above 770=USB 2.0 High

Connected to a computer via USB 2.0, the Sony RX10's download speeds are very fast. We measured 24,161 KBytes/sec. (Note that this test was performed with a SanDisk Extreme Pro 95MB/s SD card: Slower cards would likely show slower transfer times.)


Bottom line, the Sony RX10's performance is generally excellent for a high-resolution all-in-one camera. Autofocus is on par with consumer DSLRs, prefocused shutter lag is very much in the top tier regardless of camera type, single-shot cycle times are very good, and Speed Priority burst mode is faster than most professional SLRs when shooting JPEGs (though the RX10 won't track focus in that mode). Buffer depths are excellent with JPEGs at over 20 frames, though with RAW files frame rate dropped to 6.5 fps and buffer depth dropped to 10 frames, though that's still very good.

Battery

Battery Life
Good battery life for its class when using the LCD monitor.

Operating Mode Battery Life
Still Capture,
(CIPA standard, LCD monitor)
420 shots
Still Capture,
(CIPA standard, EVF)
340 shots

The Sony RX10 uses a custom rechargeable lithium-ion battery pack for power, and comes with a single battery and AC adapter (charging is in-camera via USB). The battery is CIPA-rated for 420 shots per charge when using the LCD, which includes 50% flash shots. When using the electronic viewfinder, the number of shots per charge drops significantly to 340.

Battery life is respectable, but we do recommend getting a second battery for your RX10 if you plan any extended outings or shoot a lot of video.

The table above shows the number of shots the camera is capable of (on a fully-charged rechargeable battery), based on CIPA battery-life and/or manufacturer standard test conditions.

(Interested readers can find an English translation of the CIPA DC-002 standards document here. (180K PDF document))