Hi all, thanks to CS and Ed, I've been able to test a Sony DSC-RX100 for almost 2 weeks now. This is a camera that's been making a LOT of noise online for being possible the best point-and-shoot out there at the moment, rivalling some mirrorless ILC cameras for image quality, all in a format that you can fit in your pocket and won't give concert security staff a heart attack.
It uses a large, 1" sensor, the same sensor size used in the Nikon 1 series. At 20.2MP, that's tons of resolution too.
Sony's Cybershots have usually been very full-featured compact cameras, but on the high end they're been losing out to the (excellent) Canon S90, S95 and S100 - Cameras that also "felt" more premium thanks to the use of aluminum. By contrast, Sonys previous top-end compact cameras, like the HX9V, were plasticky. They also had excellent features and image quality, but just felt cheap (even though they weren't). Sony also had no answer to the Canon G series. They used to have the V1 and V3, which were stunningly full-featured cameras that even had nightshot mode, etc. But then Sony dropped that line (much to the disappointment of many). Then Canon announced the G1X, which was bulky, huge, heavy, but has tons of controls and a huge, nearly APS-C sized sensor. And I was really tempted to get it, except that it has basically no macro capability (can't focus close enough) and the Af itself is incredibly slow and hunts a lot. But still, very very tempting. So now Sony answered the demands for a real "premium" compact camera with the RX100, and they certainly got a lot right.
At first I was going to post an initial review and first impressions last week Friday already, but then I changed my mind - sure, I could post a list of low light shots at various ISOs for the pixel peepers and thus give a very boring, straight-up technical review, but with the number of sites out there already doing that, I decided to use the camera for these past 1.5 weeks as my only camera, and see how well it can be used in day-to-day use and for travel.
I will still post some of the low ISO testing tonight (because I know there will still be people who will want to pixel peep), but I will be focusing on the actual usability of this camera. Of course, if you have specific questions about the RX100, feel free to ask and I'll answer.
FYI, there is a thread for owners of the RX100 to post their shots... If you're interested, do take a look: