First couple days with RX-100

Started Jul 29, 2012 | Discussions thread
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(unknown member) Veteran Member • Posts: 4,734
First couple days with RX-100

I swore I'd never buy another compact camera again, after being unhappy with one after another. I'd resigned myself to using micro 4/3 as my "always have it" camera. (My main kit is Nikon DSLR gear, along with large format film.) I sell a lot of my work as large fine art prints, and shoot events and portraits for customers from time to time. I've long wanted a compact that would produce images good enough to print and sell at least at 12x18 inch image size.

A lot of people whose work I love have been raving about the RX-100. Decided to buy it, and if it was a bust, I'd have my daughter's Christmas gift...

I'm very, very impressed. The weather conditions have been hideous, and this weekend is a weekend of printing images I have to ship, and going to the opening of a gallery show in Brooklyn where I've got two images in the show. So, I got really good tests of high ISO; subject tracking as I worked with my dogs, who drive a huge plastic ball around our yard through obstacles and into goals; grey mid-day light; morning in the garden images.

If Adobe had their raw converter, I'm convinced that ISO 3200 would be very usable up to letter size prints, and 800 up to 12x18. Its tracking works very nicely - not perfect, but much better than my micro 4/3 gear. It's just as badly fooled by back lighting as any camera other than my DSLRs... but nearly as recoverable. Lovely color. Really like how the camera senses I want to shoot images pretty fast, so it ditches the 2 second review as soon as I half-press the shutter. That's such a little easy thing, why doesn't everyone have it? Good job, Sony. The stabilization is good. The lens is pretty good (the corners aren't so good wide open, but better than many kit lenses for DSLRs.)

My disappointments so far are very specific to the "fiddling around in the yard" photos that I do many days - macros. I'm made hugely aware of the lack of an articulating screen, having to lay down in the mud for some shots. The camera seems to only do ultra-close-ups on the widest setting. Not butterfly friendly. I wish it was wider on the wide end.

But that weird herky jerky back and forth motion on the LCD when you're set to continuous AF... it's gonna make me motion sick. Have NEVER seen anything like this.

But... It's DEFINITELY a keeper. I need another idea for my daughter's Christmas gift...

A few examples.

ISO 400 is excellent - low noise, good color. There's a reason that most professional shooters, if limited to one body, would gravitate to the ISO 400 films in black and white, and 160 to 200 in color... Fast enough to stop normal motion in decent light. I could very well set it to ISO 400 and hardly ever change it.

ISO 3200. Godawful raw processor from Sony. It hasn't seen a pixel it didn't want to smear, the noise reduction is a very blunt instrument. But still... it's good enough for me to see that with good conversion (hurry, Adobe) this'll be good.

Two shots of the jazz combo performing at the gallery. I purposely located to shoot into the window light to see how the lens handled it, and how much fringing I got. I'm very impressed. No work at all on defringing, and the flare is excellent given the torture that a shot like this represents.

Outdoors in the rain. Auto-ISO seems to like ISO 125.

Out walking around in the yard this morning, shots here and there. Nice color, nice sharpness, good metering.

What's with the time stamps here... four hours off, consistently... Accurate in my system.

Anyway - the camera deserves all the rave reviews its getting. Going to do some studio shots with it later today, and crank out some large prints to see how the 20mp holds up.

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