New article on the RX10 on Luminous Landscape - check it out.
Quite positive, and they plan more evaluation.
Very strange review.
Early on, he says:
I also was a bit disappointed in the cameras image quality, especially out of camera JPGs, which look over-processed, and higher ISOs which start to become problematic at ISO 1600 and above.
But at the end, he says:
The image quality from the RX10 is quite good. At ISOs from 80 to 400 excellent in fact.
... The camera is what it is, and so long as ones low light performance expectations are reasonable, it won't disappoint.
I have not done formal resolution tests, but it looks excellent. A couple of resources that I've read have done such tests, and the sensor seems to rate right up there with current MFT cameras in terms of resolution and noise, at least at lower ISOs.
So is it just a jpeg problem and the raws perform well? Did he change his mind later in the review and not really explain himself? Mr. Reichmann could use a good editor.
I think it was the fly-by-wire zooming.
He compliments the camera, hints that it's a game-changer (with which I somewhat agree) and then seems to nitpick at the end. Even the title is messed up - "Excellent" and "Disappointing" ? Huh? A better title might have been something like: "A step in the right direction." I will be interested to read what he thinks of the video abilities of the camera, which he stated he would report on later.
Anyway, I started the thread so those who are interested in the new camera could read more about it. The review on Imaging Resource is probably the most comprehensive review so far that I've seen.
I kindly disagree that he his remark about the poor zoom control mechanism as nitpick. The RX10's zoom operations are far from ideal, and the zoom ring/toggle are probably the most used controls on a bridge camera like the RX10.
I would say the majority of us don't buy camera like the RX10 to earn a living. We buy enthusiast camera like the RX10 mostly for fun. If a camera is not fun to handle, then for some people, like the tester at Luminous Landscape, it takes much of the joy when using a camera.
The RX10 feels like a Porche Boxter that comes with an unengaging CVT(Continuously variable transmission). Everything about the car works and looks great, but just not much fun to drive for a enthusiast driver.
When I referred to nitpicking, it was regarding the video-centric nature of the camera. I think the slower, deliberate zooming is actually good for videoing; anyone wanting to manually focus and zoom when videoing is probably going to buy a GH3, or other camera, and we all know that focusing too fast when videoing brings brings up other problems, depending on the frame rate, etc. Proper recording doesn't involve quickly zooming in and out. And I don't see people mostly interested in stills shooting to be getting this $1,200 camera with a 1" sensor. The zooming reminds me of the power zoom feature of some of the Pany m4/3 lenses, which were also designed with video in mind. However, they do have faster manual zooming available. When videoing with my GH3, I also make use of that zoom technique, when shooting stills, I don't. However, I didn't buy either camera with stills in mind. Overall, I think the camera is pretty good, hardware and desgn-wise; I just wish they had used better implementation of their AVCHD codec, or better yet, .mov, such as used by the GH3. A couple of interviews I read recently seemed to indicate that they used the codec (which they revised) due to sensor output and processor (Bionz) reasons. I'm hoping they improve it with FW upgrades. That's my nitpick.
For what kind of shooting did you buy it and, besides the zoom issue, what are your impressions?
When I referred to nitpicking, it was regarding the video-centric nature of the camera. I think the slower, deliberate zooming is actually good for videoing
I tried an RX10 in the store and one thing I liked about the zoom is that when you're shooting video it ramps into and out of the zoom without a sudden start or stop like every other camera I've used. That's a very nice feature, IMHO.
That having been said, in stills mode or when simply using the zoom to frame a video before starting to record it feels a lot slower than zooms on other cameras, so I can see how it could be frustrating to use.
I had the feeling that the LL reviewer was looking at the camera from the standpoint of a stills priority, which may not have been where Sony was heading in its design. After all, they said that they were aiming it at journalists who didn't want to be carrying camcorders around in addition to their dSLRs. I can see that. Good videoing, which could be uploaded and viewed without editing, and stills good enough for print, broadcast, and online. Makes sense to me. In no way do I think that this falls into the traditional "bridge" category. The mere fact that it offers RAW output to a recorder like the Ninja indicates we're in a different world here. Even the LL reviewer indicated that adding a better focusing ring to the lens would make the camera larger. I'm sure Sony took all of this into consideration; their history with video-related products is pretty good. I was one of the first buyers of an A33 in my area and I've been loyal since, although the GH3 pretty-much blows everyone out of the water here. The RX10 is for those of us who need a run&gun video option (no carrying or changing of lenses in a watersealed body with a constant 2.8 zoom of the length most video shooters need) that can take a decent still when needed.
The reason that I bought this camera was that I had an experience last summer when I had a completely unexpected opportunity to film a military parade in Pyongyang. We just more or less stumbled upon it. I had my new GH3 with a couple of prime lenses - we were able to get so close, within touching distance of the tanks, that my lenses were totally unsuitable, my 45-175 zoom was locked in a car, but it wouldn't have worked either. I also forget to change the white balance from the night before, but that is a different issue. Anyway, since the lighting was perfect, the Sony RX10 would have been really suitable; my video would have been far better and, since I was standing in the same spot and could see who was coming and how far away, the slow zooming wouldn't have been a problem for stills, but it would have really helped with the video. Perfect journalist situation. The camera would have been perfect, considering its zoom range - with my GH3, I would have needed two lenses to cover it. I put the video on YouTube anyway, with apologies for the recording, and it quickly got 25,000 hits, but only because of the content. The video itself was probably one of my worst efforts; my cocker spaniel could have done better.
"Knowledge is good." Emil Faber
I am not interest in videos, so cannot comment much on that. From a still perspective, the RX10 is the perfect walk around camera for me. I mostly do day light landscape, so the RX10's 20MP along with the Zeiss lens has everything I wanted. I would venture to say that the RX10 can out resolve any M4/3 gear out there right now at low ISO, and on-par with 24MP APS-Cs. I say it again, only at low ISO, but that is what I want as a walk-around cam.
Power zoom is great for video. Like many review pointed out, the slow power zoom is let down for still shooter. I might still get one once the price falls to sub 1K level.
The RX10 is an interesting proposition. What I'm picking up from the reviews so far is that if you are interested primarily in stills there are better tools for the job. And there are better solutions for video if that's where your interest lies. But if you're looking for a single device - a hybrid video/stills camera with a single lens - it probably can be considered a class leader.
In this regard I can understand the different perspectives of the different review's we have seen. We've seen still-oriented reviews from Serious Compacts and Luminous Landscape express a little disappointment on what it offers as a still camera, and EOSHD and Cinema5D a bit disappointed on its performance in video.
At the same time though, if you view it at an ultimate bridge camera rather than a compromised video or stills camera - as Imaging Resource did - you can come away mightily impressed.
Personally, I'm undecided at present. I have an RX100M2 at the moment and some days the longer and wider lens, faster tele end, ND filter, EVF, weather sealing and constant aperture of the RX10 has me sold on it. Other days I think it is a lot of money to pay and I'd miss the f/1.8 and compactness of my RX100M2 and the ability to bounce the flash.
also had a read on the LL article and slow zoom was one of my main concerns when I learned some weeks back that operation is by wire. For me it's still no deal breaker - but an annoyance. And I was wondering to which amount this could be fixable via FW update? There may exist electromechanical constraints like transmission rate. But if the powering could be changed... who knows.. Really cool would be an "intelligent" actuation which changes zooming speed according to the twist speed, so fast change for a fast twist and fine adjustment when ring is twisted slower.
I am your multi-use (still + video) enthusiast. After having used the RX10 for about a week and a half, I already noticed a notch up in improvement of my videos precisely because of the way the zoom works a little more slowly and with a ramping up feature. I now know that what has been a cause of concern in the threads (slow zoom) simply will not present an issue for me. I honestly like what I am getting.
It's obvious that this is a video-centric camera (designed with journalists in mind) and the last thing you want is to have videos done on run that end up with jerky, quick zooming. I think that people who are really interested mostly in stills aren't going to get this camera, anyway, despite the fact the sensor does pretty well in that regard and you have an ergonomic weathersealed body with a sharp, constant 2.8 lens. Some people who don't understand video, and the super video capabilities of this camera (including the audio arrangement), will probably wonder why the price is high, although, actually, it's not high. In fact, I think it's very, very reasonable, especially when comparing one of the newer Pany or Oly 2.8 zooms to a GH3.
"Knowledge is good." Emil Faber