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Sony Cyber-shot RX100 Digital Camera Review$649.99
Color accuracy was a disappointment for this camera. Colors aren't terrible, but accuracy is a little bit below average. We recorded an error value of 3.18, and we know Sony can do better than that. Strangely, most of the gamut is actually pretty spot-on, however reds and blues are both completely inaccurate, ruining the overall average. Saturation is also over by about 20%, and that's way too high. More on how we test color.
NOTE: Because of the way computer monitors reproduce colors, the images above do not exactly match the originals found on the chart or in the captured images. The chart should be used to judge the relative color shift, not the absolute captured colors.
Unfortunately, many different models in this area of the market seem to be stricken with mediocre color reproduction. Therefore the RX100 is at least average amongst its peers. The Canon G1 X lags behind by about two points.
Standard is the most accurate color most and all the rest should be avoided except for deliberate artistic purposes. The Vivid mode, for example, causes the error value to increase to a whopping 5.13, while saturation spikes up to 142%.
Although the RX100's menu houses a variety of white balance settings (we'll get to those in a second), white balance performance is only average. As in often the case, automatic white balancing functions worst under incandescent light. Here we recorded errors of almost 1500 K on average. Fluorescent and daylight were both better, but still not the best we've seen, they were off by about 300 K and 90 K respectively.
Custom white balance isn't necessarily a better option. Using this technique, the error average under incandescent light is reduced to around 285 K. However we observed only a marginal improvement under fluorescent, and daylight was actually less accurate with custom white balance.
White Balance Options
Nine white balance presets are available, including no less than four separate fluorescent options, as well as a setting for use with the built-in flash. Direct color temperature entry is supported and, like other high-end Sony models, the custom white balance feature actually reads out the temperature detected. Very cool.