With the announcement of the a7 and a7r, hopefully the RX10 announcement will not be overshadowed. This is possibly the most high tech Cybershot Sony has yet produced. Sony revived the R “series” (I place series in quotes because until recently there was only the original R1 released in 2005) at just the right time last year with the RX100 and RX1, now they are looking to fill in the line-up. As you may know, the Sony R1 was a legendary camera, the first fixed lens camera with an APSC sensor, giving it incredible performance and capability for its day. I used to own one, and even when compared to my much more modern DSLR’s, it fared quite well and at times I would love to use one again. The new RX10 uses the same 1″ sensor format as the RX100, which has already proven to be quite good, a good compromise between large size sensors while being small enough to allow a much larger zoom range on the fixed lens. The RX10 wields a lens with a 24-200mm equivalent focal and and constant 2.8 aperture. Don’t be fooled when comparing this to other long zoom fix lens cameras with much larger zoom ranges yet the same or similar aperture range. The small sensor on other cameras are what enables the long zoom range, but at the cost of much smaller equivalent apertures, which affects image quality in certain ways significantly. There is one huge drawback to this camera, at a $1299 price tag its hard to think that very many people will be buying one, if Sony can get the price down that story could change.
DP Review has released a nice preview write up on the RX10, its certainly worth reading.