Yesterday I compared the Sony RX100 to the Nikon J1 and J2. Both cameras have a 1 inch sensor and even though the Sony is a point and shoot, it compares very favorably against the Nikon 1 series. And as good as the Sony seems to be there are several things that give me pause. One feature might even be a deal breaker for me. Your requirements may vary but here are 3 things that are the negatives for me for an otherwise very promising camera.
1. I really wish Sony used a 12MP or 16MP sensor instead of the 20MP. On a per pixel basis, generally the more megapixels the more noise, especially at higher ISOs. However, higher resolutions do tend to have finer textured noise so at least the noise is less noticeable when viewed at normal sizes. There are other downsides to more megapixels too. The photographs need more storage space and require more post-processing computing power.
2. The images from camera companies do differ, even when taken under identical conditions. There are many reasons such as the lens coatings, the sensor and the all important image processor. Of course, the look you like is personal. I tend to like warm images, the kind that I see in Canon and Olympus. I find the Sony has a cooler look. On my Sony NEX-5, the color seems to be a bit greenish to my eyes. My Sony TX5 also seems to have cooler bluish color. For this reason, I’m a bit wary about the RX100 color. The online image samples also do seem to exhibit this cooler look. I do shoot in RAW and can tweak the color in post but at times I find it challenging to get the exact color that I like. Post-processing is great but the less I need to do the better. The color you like is personal preference so you may prefer the Sony color so this may not be a negative for you.
3. The biggest issue for me, the potential deal killer, is the battery charger or rather the lack of a separate charger. The battery is charged inside the camera so there is no way to externally charge a second or third battery while you are using the camera. Battery life is rated at 330 shots but if you use the flash or take some movies, this number can go down dramatically. I shoot a lot of photographs and can easily take several hundred photographs per day. If I run out of power, there is no way to switch batteries in the field. Also when I’m using the camera, I can not charge another battery. For a $649 camera, I think there is no excuse for Sony to cheapen out and not supply a separate battery charger. There are now some third-party external chargers that may work in a pinch. I still prefer an official charger from Sony. I find that the third-party batteries just don’t seem to work as well as the OEM batteries.