Shooting fashion with a Sony RX100?
NICOVISION | Product Reviews & Previews | Published Jan 15, 2013
Why not? Well if you are a professional like myself or if you just shoot a lot, then you are probably a little top heavy with equipment. When I am not working my biggest dilemma is usually deciding whether to lug my gear to all the places I go or leave it at the studio. The love/hate relationship I have with the heft of the equipment I use daily will often cause me to miss important moments.
|Random moment, Chicago River Cruise, IL - Sony RX100|
For a while I thought the advent of mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras would solve my issues. Upon considering various options and having used a mirrorless system, I quickly learned that it was only a marginally better solution for me rather than lugging around my DSLR. After all it was still a kit, "albeit a somewhat smaller kit," but it was still a body and multiple lenses in a bag that I would have to carry around and fiddle with. What I really wished for was a true compact camera that I could take everywhere while having the performance and image quality that would satisfy me.
|Cloudland Canyon GA - Sony RX100|
Enter the Sony RX100! While I was initially skeptical about this little camera, I did some research and eventually tossed a little cash to the wind to see if lived up to the hype and would fit my needs. Surprisingly enough it did just that and then some!
My initial needs really only extended to shooting non-critical images (family, events etc.) quickly while retaining good image quality. The RX100 does that effortlessly and truthfully since I have had it, I rarely envy not having my DSLR with me.
On a recent trip to the Caribbean I took the RX100 as my only camera. This was a huge break from my usual gear laden travel bag. I will admit that I was nervous but the RX100 performed flawlessly. It exceeded my expectations. It will shoot critical images even at high ISO and when I edit I often forget that I am not editing images from my DSLR.
|St. Marteen - Sony RX100 50% jpeg||St. Thomas - Action - Sony RX100 50% jpeg|
|Disney Cruise - Sony RX100 50% jpeg||St Marteen - Sony RX100 50% jpeg|
|Caribbean Sea - Sony RX100 50% jpeg||St. Marteen - Sony RX100 50% jpeg|
By now you are probably wondering why I mentioned shooting fashion. It is essential that a photographer have a proper system and equipment for shooting fashion and studio photography however, there are a few occasions where the RX100 shines shooting fashion!
The RX100 is a great stealth shooter. By far my favorite aspect of shooting with the RX100 is that you can shoot where you would normally not be allowed to! For a busy fashion photographer sometimes a hassle free shoot is critical to nailing a concept. Usually obtaining permission to shoot on location or in public is a tiresome, expensive, and tedious process. Sometimes it is very helpful to not look "too professional." I call it the "aww cute camera" factor. It is a fact that people just don't bother you when you are shooting with a compact camera. It's as if they can't fathom the idea that you may be shooting serious work with such a tiny camera.
I put my theory and the Sony RX100 to the test at a local grocery store one evening near my studio with a model. Although the model looked far from normal, most people just thought we were a few oddly dressed people having fun. Check out samples from that shoot in my gallery. To illustrate my confidence in this little camera and as a technical note, I always shoot RAW but for this shoot I shot jpeg at high ISO (1600 & 3200) with available light. I typically don't like in-camera picture modes but it is hard not to love Sony's high contrast b/w mode only offered when shooting jpeg. I was very confident with regard to my exposure and overall look of the images so I just went with it and the results were great!
|ISO 1600 fine jpeg F2.8||ISO 1600 fine jpeg F1.8|
|ISO 1600 fine jpeg F1.8||ISO 1600 fine jpeg F1.8|
|ISO 1600 fine jpeg F1.8||ISO 1600 fine jpeg F1.8|
I also enjoy going to events with the RX100. I hate getting the dreaded "Hey, can you take a picture?" As a rule I never carry cameras to events (especially weddings) but recently I have carried my RX100 without a problem. I like to enjoy myself, party, and have a few drinks like everyone else!
Although it is not perfect, the RX100 gets pretty close. Everyone has different needs but for the overall image quality, resolution, speediness, iso performance, and size, it really hits a sweet spot for this working photographer's needs. On the down side, the flash recycle time is a tad slow, also I don't like having to select separate folders for playback of images and video, and I wish the size of the focus point was more adjustable (smaller). But other than those gripes it is a great camera and well worth what I paid for it. It filled a niche for me and I find that I pick it up more often everyday. I will toss up some samples in my gallery and probably a video as well. Did I forgot to mention how great the video is! I will save that for another day. :-) At the time I purchased the RX100 the RX1 was not announced. The RX1 seems like an awesome performer and I am taking a hard look at it but I still think there is a place for my RX100 if only for shear portability and compactness.
Nick Jordan - Nicovision