The good news is that you can now download, free, the Release Candidate versions (expire October 31st) of Adobe’s Lightroom 4.2 and Camera Raw 7.2, as well as DNG Converter 7.2, which will give you raw conversions for the Sony Cyber-shot DSC RX-100.
The bad news is that no camera lens profile is included, and until someone creates one, the distortions and CA of the RX-100 lens are not corrected by these programs. Also, we can confirm that no further highlight recovery is possible, beyond that already enabled in Sony Image Data Converter. This has not always been the case with ACR/LR. They have often enabled clipped highlights to be recovered with useful detail from KM and Sony raw files. The RX-100 raw files are right on the edge of overexposure and you just can’t pull burned out highlights back in.
But against this, the high ISO performance of the RX-100 is superior to, for example, the NEX-5n. That’s surprising and worrying, as the 5n is better than the NEX-7. ISO 3200 images from the RX-100, processed through ACR 7.2RC, are about as good as any APS-C camera currently manages and not far off what can be expected from a full framer.
Shot at f/1.8 on the RX-100, 1/30th, ISO 3200 – about as dark as it gets for hand held shots.
100% ACR 7.2 clip with NO noise reduction at all and no sharpening
On the Canon 5D MkIII, 1/3oth at f/2.8 using the 40mm pancake lens – twice as much light as the pub scene above, gold Olympic letterbox in Edinburgh seen by night time street lighting
Sure, at 100% under the same process conditions it is better – but once you apply NR to the Sony image, the difference is levelled considerably. And this is the world’s best full framer for low light, right now, over 20 megapixels.
Here is your download link for Adobe Lightroom ACR 4.2 RC:
And here is your link for ACR and DNG Converter:
The results at speeds from ISO 80 to 400 are a match for any DSLR, with the exception of the issue of dynamic range above highlight clipping. There is no significant margin for highlight recovery. This is a marked contrast to the early KM Sony sensor such as the 8 megapixel used in the Dimage A2, which had almost two stops of clipping-free highlight recovery using the metered exposure in high contrast situations.