RX10 | Small Stuff

Started 4 months ago | Discussions thread
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Red5TX
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RX10 | Small Stuff
4 months ago

I few thoughts about the RX10 about the kind of things that are often omitted from review. I hope other owners will add to this list.

The Good

+ The shutter button is excellent. It has firm detents yet requires a very light touch. Helps keep shots nice and stable.

+ The lens cap is brilliant. Every camera maker should adopt this design.

+ The EVF is set back a good 3/4" from the rear of the camera. This means your nose isn't smushing against the LCD the way it does with, say, my Fuji X-E1 (I'm a left-eye shooter).

+ The Quick/Fn menu is very useful and well-designed.

+ The hand grip is scalloped on the inside, which makes the camera even easier to hold than you might think.

+ Multi-shot NR gives really, really nice jpegs at low ISOs (which makes it all the more infuriating that you can't shoot this AND get the individual raw files).

+ The OIS is very good, particularly when used in conjunction with the Multi-shot NR mentioned above.

+ Bracketing is solid. Sony provides a reasonable range of options and the camera shoots the bracketed sequence very quickly.

+ Processing is fast, even with the slowish Class 6 card I've been using.

+ Sony doesn't specify the maximum flash sync, but I've shot up to 1/1000 with no problems.  If anyone figures out a radio trigger set-up for the RX10, this thing could be a demon for Strobist-type work.

The Bad

- You can't use Picture Effects and shoot raw + jpeg. This is unfortunate, since some of the effects (like Watercolor) are surprisingly, er, effective and would be fun to use while keeping the raw file unmolested. Sony claims this camera has a brawny processor, so I'm not sure why many of the Effects can't be shot + raw.

- Sony claims the RX10 is weathersealed, but I'm very skeptical. The memory card door, in particular, seems especially vulnerable to water penetration.

- The top screen doesn't display ISO.

- I don't mind the power zoom, but the droning sound of the zoom is not pleasant. It sounds like an underpowered scooter trying to climb a steep hill and makes the camera feel cheaper than it should.

+ The JPEG engine occasionally misaligns straight horizontal and vertical lines when processing. I suspect this is a result of software distortion correction, but Sony needs to be more watchful of it. It doesn't show up in every shot -- or even in two shots of the same subject -- but it's there sometimes.

- An extra Fn button, or two, would sure be nice.

The Bottom Line

As with the Olympus E-M1, the RX10 really shows off the next-generation of jpeg processing tricks for digital cameras. The multi-area noise reduction seems to work well, and the image stacking Auto ISO NR setting is extremely effective. Sony made a lot of very thoughtful design decisions with the RX10, but then made some real head-scratchers, like the inability to store raw files when using the various Effect and NR modes.

In all, the RX10 does a lot more right than wrong. The trick is to work with the camera, rather than against it. People who like an analog "I'm in control here" feel will probably be left frustrated. People who are willing to bend a little bit to accommodate the camera's design choices will be delighted with the results.

Fujifilm X-E1 Olympus E-M1 Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10
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