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Gear Rumors

Could The Next RX100 Have a Larger Sensor?

By Anthony Thurston on April 18th 2015

The Sony RX100 series has long been a popular option for those looking to get the most out of a pocketable camera. If the new rumors are true, those days may be numbered for the RX100.


According to a new rumor over on Mirrorless Rumors, the RX100 M4 may come with a larger sensor. The benefits of this would be better low light performance and a more shallow depth of field when shooting wide open. The big disadvantage would be the likely size increase needed to fit a larger sensor in there.

[REWIND: RX100 M3 Review]

As I mentioned in the intro, a big reason for the RX100‘s success has been the power it packs in such a small body. If you change that mixture and make the body larger, then you lose that advantage, and it completely changes the game.

Personally, I think the RX100 series is best left where it is, with a 1-inch sensor and some of the best pocket-sized performance out there. There are other ways that the camera could be upgraded (in my mind) that would not have the side effect of forcing the size of the camera to change.

What are your thoughts on the RX100 series? Do you think it could benefit from a larger sized sensor, or would you prefer it to stay where it is? Leave a comment below!

[via Mirrorless Rumors]

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Anthony Thurston is a photographer based in the Salem, Oregon area specializing in Boudoir. He recently started a new project, Fiercely Boudoir to help support the growing boudoir community. Find him over on Instagram. You may also connect with him via Email.

Q&A Discussions

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  3. Kristopher Galuska

    Sounds awesome to me! Look at what sony did with the rx1. And thats a full frame. And we already almost have the tech in products already. Take the size of the Panasonic gm1 and attach the amazing folding lens of the panasonic lx100 and you wouldn’t be far off. They could also shotent the zoom focal length to keep it small. I’d be happy with a 28-50mm equivalent as long as it was still a fast lens at the long end. In fact, build this with a 20mp backside iluminated sensor, and I’d be tempted to trade in my micro 4/3ds kit.

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  4. Steven Lam

    A larger sensor would require a larger lens to create a larger image circle, ergo a larger body. Like many posters have already said, the appeal of this camera is it’s perfect balance between body size and image quality, so I don’t think too many existing users would feel the urge to upgrade (we would have gotten the LX100 if we wanted a small-ish M4/3 camera).

    On the plus side, I hope this drives down the price of the Mk3, because mine recently died from water damage and I’ll probably need to get a replacement ;)

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  5. David Blanchard

    I have an RX100M3. I bought it specifically because it is tiny. The imagery is great, so unless you want to shoot in the dark you will not be disappointed. Want a bigger sensor, get a NEX? of your wallet’s choice.

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  6. adam sanford

    Larger sensor fixed lens cameras scream ‘lux’ / premium / why?! to me — consider the RX1, the X100, some Leica models, etc. They are not bad cameras by any stretch, but for that money, you could also get a decent rig that allows you to change lenses.

    So I see the RX line, the Canon G1X II, etc. as fitting in the “it had better be really small” or “security had better let me take this into the concert” or it may not succeed commercially.

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    • Dave Haynie

      There is definitely a market for a small camera with good sensor. But also, check on the venue’s rules. I go to a number of shows a year that say “no professional cameras”, then define that as interchangeable lens models. So anything else goes, but unless it’s a very small venue, I get more mileage out of a better quality bridge camera (the one going to Firefly this year is my Fujifilm X-S1, which is more DSLR looking than most of my m43 cameras) than anything pocketable for this kind of event. Other times, it’s the actual pocketability that matters, which doesn’t rule out small mirrorless ILS models.

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    • Dave Haynie

      I think they mat go to a micro four-thirds sensor. Sony doesn’t want to raise the camera to a different price tier I imagine. But they did pretty much create this niche, and cameras like the not-at-all-competitively-named LX-100 are offering better results without being much larger. Sony makes a boatload of m43 sensors for Olympus these days, so it might make sense for their next-gen m43 chip to be used here, too.

      Sure, the LX-100 is a bit larger, but for 50% more sensor area, not that much. My Olympus E-PM1 is only slightly larger than the RX-100, while the Panasonic GM1 is smaller. The GM5 is smallertoo, yith a viewfinder! So that suggests an m43 version doesn’t have to be larger.

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    • Dustin Baugh

      I went to a rodeo where they didn’t let anybody in that had interchangeable lenses. They didn’t know the difference between DSLR and mirrorless, only that the “lens came off” so they told people they had to leave them in the car.

      The dim light and fast moving broncos meant the ISO had to be jacked up or just shoot for artistically blurred shots. I would have loved a big sensor with better sensitivity on a fixed lens camera.

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  7. Paddy McDougall

    I haven’t owned any of the RX series however I have toyed with the idea of upgrading my s100 as although I use canon dslrs I like a pocketable premium compact when I am out at night, going to a gig, guest at wedding. So maybe I am one of the target market? I would love a bigger sensor and would even sacrifice all the bells and whistles like wifi etc however if I can’t fit it in an inside jacket pocket without it looking like I have small brick there then I ain’t parting with my money.

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    • Dustin Baugh

      I’m in the same boat. I love the powershots for being a good pocket camera to have when I”m out on my own, just in case anything comes along. It’s done great candid shots and clubs, events, and concerts. But better low light peformance with a bigger sensor would be great.

      It’s more for personal use than professional but it’s always good for a photographer to always have a good camera on them.

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  8. Barry Cunningham

    I got my RX100 precisely because it was pocketable and shot RAW without a fuss.
    I have been tempted to upgrade to the Mark III, but would not consider upgrading to any newer model, no matter how wonderful, that was not pocketable. There may be a market for such an upgrade, but I am not currently part of it.

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