I am amateur photographer and I have Sony DSC-RX100. The photos it gives have great quality in terms of resolution, sharpness and crispness, but they have some "dark", "sad", "depressive" unnatural color. It's hard to explain what is wrong technically, perhaps the white balance or, maybe, the saturation. I tried to adjust the settings, but nothing have noticeably changed. Even when the weather is super bright outside and I expect the photos to be super cheerful, the described above effect is anyway present.

Sample image

This photo was taken under extremely bright sun. Do you see any sun here? Or does it seem that it's going to rain?

This is not a problem of a single shot. Basically any photo from RX100 I saw had this effect. The sample images from this Photography Blog Review have this dull impression. You can blame me in some misunderstanding, but why should all photos from this camera be so different from the real-life picture?

How can I solve this problem? Or is it unsolvable for this camera?

Please check also this dpreview thread.

  • 3
    It would be easier to explain if you included a sample image. (You might need a little more reputation for that, but you can always include a link to a sample image and I'm sure someone will edit it into your question for you.)
    – Caleb
    Feb 7 '17 at 17:20
  • What settings did you adjust? What did you adjust them to?
    – mattdm
    Feb 7 '17 at 17:26
  • 1
    Sample photos please. Also, are you sure it's not the monitor that is sad? Have you taken care to calibrate it lately?
    – Itai
    Feb 7 '17 at 19:09
  • 1
    Real life picture is nonsense. Eyes, CMOS, CCD and films are completely different things. You cannot shoot what you can see and "live" and you cannot see "live" what you have shot.
    – Crowley
    Feb 7 '17 at 19:39
  • 3
    Sorry, but I'm not downloading a link to a photo that won't let me view it in a browser.
    – Michael C
    Feb 7 '17 at 21:21

I see no problem at all with any of the images you linked to.

I suspect the actual problem is how your display is adjusted.

I'd suggest you try this page and see how that works.

The sample you posted looks bright and well lit with good contrast. A glance at some of the other images (which are in reviews) gives me the same conclusion.

The fountain image you posted and described as "looking like it might rain" looks exactly how I'd expect a sunny day photo to look.

The default contrast level might be a tad strong (which will slightly lower the brightness of tones), but I'd be unable to interpret that shot as anything but a bright shot of a fountain.

You are free to adjust the overall tone of an image if you like. You can try raising shadows using the tone curve in GIMP or photoshop or similar. But I'd try the display test first, as many people set displays way off what they need to be for photographic display.


I have noticed a similar effect. I have both RX100 IV and V models and the difference in the colours between cameras is quite striking, particularly unwanted magenta tones in the model V. I've tried to counter that by resetting the White Balance. I bumped up the temperature to 6000K via Menu > Camera > 5 > White Balance > C.Temp/Filter. In the same menu structure there's also an AWB setting which I've nudged into the top right quadrant so that A-B is set to A1, and G-M is set to G1. It takes some fiddling around but this might help you to "brighten up" as magenta can make colours look more muddy than usual. Also, is it possible you've bumped the Exposure Comp. setting - this is easy to do. I wondered if it has dropped down to a sub-zero setting??? That would darken your photos by applying underexposure. To check this, put your camera in A mode and click the rotor control at the 6 o'clock position. By default this should be set to zero.

  1. Provide us sample images and as much information as possible (apperture, shutter, ISO, EV compensation). Maybe add "light", "cheerful", "optimistic" images of same scene taken by your smartphone.

  2. Use RAW format.

  3. If you are using P-mode, Apperture priority, ShuTter priority or Manual, try to set EV compensation to higher values.

  4. Try to postprocess the images using RAW files and adjustiong color balance, EV compensation, colour curves etc.

  5. And provide us sample images you have taken. Without them it is like a fortelling from crystal ball.

  • Please check this link: dpreview.com/forums/thread/4114828#forum-post-59090191. There is a sample image with all the EXIF information. I'll try to make an RX100/smartphone comparison, it's a good idea. thank you
    – vstepaniuk
    Feb 7 '17 at 18:53
  • @stepaniuk Can you post them here? The first one seems good to me, you can slightly increase colour saturation if you wish. The secod one is underexposed because of bright sky, try to adjust +1/3 or +2/3 EV and slightly change the white balance or slightly increase saturation.
    – Crowley
    Feb 7 '17 at 19:07
  • Sample image
    – vstepaniuk
    Feb 7 '17 at 19:35
  • You can share images here directly.
    – Crowley
    Feb 7 '17 at 19:41

Bright, noonday sun often makes for terrible picture taking; Overhead sun tends to flatten dimensions and bleach out many colors. In fact, many serious landscape photographers will go so far as to put away their cameras between 9AM and 5PM because of the flat light. A featureless, cloudless sky compounds the problem by providing a large source of blue light.

One potential solution may be closer focusing on specific subjects followed with post processing to lighten shadows. You could also concentrate on the interplay of shadows in this kind of light. Either way, you'd have to switch off the "Landscape Mode" in your brain to find the more interesting compositions of your scenes. You can always switch it back on after 5PM!


The image you posted looks like mid-day sun and not gloomy at all. The RX100 does a respectable job in my experience. You may have bad monitor calibration. A properly calibrated monitor should be able to see both the 4 and 251 swatches (with a bit of straining with the 4 swatch) in the image below, however, 8 and 247 is still OK.

enter image description here

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