RX100 - CAN next generation have better apertures at long zoom?

Started Jul 22, 2012 | Discussions
MT Senior Member • Posts: 1,934
RX100 - CAN next generation have better apertures at long zoom?

The RX100 checks all the boxes that I'd like for a small pocket digicam to complement my mirrorless system except for one thing - the long end of the zoom at 4.9 is too small.

For those of you pros who know the physics, is it possible for Sony (or anyone else) to design the next generation lens with a significantly better aperture - say 1.8 to 2.8 and keep the same form factor except for perhaps a larger lens diameter?

Thanks,
MTMT

The Skipper Contributing Member • Posts: 872
Re: RX100 - CAN next generation have better apertures at long zoom?

MT wrote:

The RX100 checks all the boxes that I'd like for a small pocket digicam to complement my mirrorless system except for one thing - the long end of the zoom at 4.9 is too small.

In a way, you already have it. You can shoot at 28mm to benefit from the f1.8, and then crop. From an angle of view perspective, the result will be exactly identical to as if you had zoomed, but with the benefit of the wider aperture.

That is why I am not complaining about the 20 megapixels.

radiokid2 Junior Member • Posts: 26
Re: RX100 - CAN next generation have better apertures at long zoom?

It would be nice not to need a zoom lens!
Unfortunately we're not there yet.

Here's an rx100 example that debunks that "just crop" idea.

Also note, the zoom-crop image was shot 9 feet away,
iso 400 - f4.9 - 1/10 sec. (tripod)

rk

(unknown member) Veteran Member • Posts: 6,192
Re: RX100 - CAN next generation have better apertures at long zoom?

Surely cropping will not avoid the problem of forelengthening and distortion in such a wide angle lens. If you have a near subject in the centre of the picture and a background feature behind and beside the subject is thrown into the distance this effect will still be there.

The Skipper wrote:

MT wrote:

The RX100 checks all the boxes that I'd like for a small pocket digicam to complement my mirrorless system except for one thing - the long end of the zoom at 4.9 is too small.

In a way, you already have it. You can shoot at 28mm to benefit from the f1.8, and then crop. From an angle of view perspective, the result will be exactly identical to as if you had zoomed, but with the benefit of the wider aperture.

That is why I am not complaining about the 20 megapixels.

jdrx2012
jdrx2012 Regular Member • Posts: 164
Re: RX100 - CAN next generation have better apertures at long zoom?

maybe you send Sony a letter. I am sure they would love to hear from you.

MT wrote:

The RX100 checks all the boxes that I'd like for a small pocket digicam to complement my mirrorless system except for one thing - the long end of the zoom at 4.9 is too small.

For those of you pros who know the physics, is it possible for Sony (or anyone else) to design the next generation lens with a significantly better aperture - say 1.8 to 2.8 and keep the same form factor except for perhaps a larger lens diameter?

Thanks,
MTMT

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Joe D.

adhemar Regular Member • Posts: 204
Re: RX100 - CAN next generation have better apertures at long zoom?

MT wrote:

For those of you pros who know the physics, is it possible for Sony (or anyone else) to design the next generation lens with a significantly better aperture - say 1.8 to 2.8 and keep the same form factor except for perhaps a larger lens diameter?

This is a very good question and I would be really interested in the answer. As far as I am concerned, the sony lens is a 4.9 one and it's pity. F1.8 at wide angle is an overkill; I don't need it there because I can use slower shutter speeds. At the long end of the zoom, I need the brightest lens I can get.

Panasonic just came out with a 24X superzoom with a constant f2.8 aperture! I thought it was technically impossible.

Could Sony make a constant f2.8 lens in the same form factor?

pricklypear Regular Member • Posts: 113
How does it compare to Nikon N1 10-30 & 30-110?

I've seen some remarkable stuff from that camera.

MT wrote:

The RX100 checks all the boxes that I'd like for a small pocket digicam to complement my mirrorless system except for one thing - the long end of the zoom at 4.9 is too small.

For those of you pros who know the physics, is it possible for Sony (or anyone else) to design the next generation lens with a significantly better aperture - say 1.8 to 2.8 and keep the same form factor except for perhaps a larger lens diameter?

Thanks,
MTMT

notime Contributing Member • Posts: 927
Re: RX100 - CAN next generation have better apertures at long zoom?

adhemar wrote:

MT wrote:

For those of you pros who know the physics, is it possible for Sony (or anyone else) to design the next generation lens with a significantly better aperture - say 1.8 to 2.8 and keep the same form factor except for perhaps a larger lens diameter?

This is a very good question and I would be really interested in the answer. As far as I am concerned, the sony lens is a 4.9 one and it's pity. F1.8 at wide angle is an overkill; I don't need it there because I can use slower shutter speeds. At the long end of the zoom, I need the brightest lens I can get.

Panasonic just came out with a 24X superzoom with a constant f2.8 aperture! I thought it was technically impossible.

Could Sony make a constant f2.8 lens in the same form factor?

No I do not think a comparable super zoom is possible with the Sony 1" sensor.

Because of the smaller sensor the FZ200 only has a 5-90mm lens that gives it the up to 600 mm equivalent zoom.

As you know the RX-100 has an appx 10-37mm lens that gives it the 28-100 mm equivalent

An RX based super zoom would need a lens up to 225 mm.  No one makes a constant aperture zoom lens for the Nikon 1. The closest I can find is in the micro 4/3 world, the Olympus 90-250mm f/2.8. It's only 10.9" long, weighs 7.21 lb, and goes for $5,999.

The Skipper Contributing Member • Posts: 872
Re: RX100 - CAN next generation have better apertures at long zoom?

No it won't. From an angle-of-view perspective, there is absolutely no difference between cropping vs using a telephone lens, as long as both are taken from the same spot. Try it & you will see.

Greynerd wrote:

Surely cropping will not avoid the problem of forelengthening and distortion in such a wide angle lens. If you have a near subject in the centre of the picture and a background feature behind and beside the subject is thrown into the distance this effect will still be there.

The Skipper Contributing Member • Posts: 872
Re: RX100 - CAN next generation have better apertures at long zoom?

radiokid2 wrote:

It would be nice not to need a zoom lens!
Unfortunately we're not there yet.

Here's an rx100 example that debunks that "just crop" idea.

Also note, the zoom-crop image was shot 9 feet away,
iso 400 - f4.9 - 1/10 sec. (tripod)

Actually, you made my argument for me.

When shooting under low light conditions, your first priority is to up the shutter speed, because a blurry photo cannot be rescued in PP. In your example, you were able to shoot at 1/100 second because of the cropping, whereas without cropping you had to use 1/10 second. It didn't matter only because you used a tripod.

adhemar Regular Member • Posts: 204
Re: RX100 - CAN next generation have better apertures at long zoom?

notime wrote:

adhemar wrote:

Panasonic just came out with a 24X superzoom with a constant f2.8 aperture! I thought it was technically impossible.

Could Sony make a constant f2.8 lens in the same form factor?

No I do not think a comparable super zoom is possible with the Sony 1" sensor.

Because of the smaller sensor the FZ200 only has a 5-90mm lens that gives it the up to 600 mm equivalent zoom.

As you know the RX-100 has an appx 10-37mm lens that gives it the 28-100 mm equivalent

An RX based super zoom would need a lens up to 225 mm.  No one makes a constant aperture zoom lens for the Nikon 1. The closest I can find is in the micro 4/3 world, the Olympus 90-250mm f/2.8. It's only 10.9" long, weighs 7.21 lb, and goes for $5,999.

I didn't quite mean it this way. Panasonic has been able to replace a 4.5-108mm/F2.8-F5.2 lens (FZ150) by a 4.5-108mm/F2.8 constant lens (F200). And they did without any significant impact on the lens and camera size.

My question is: could Sony replace the existing lens by, say, a 5-90mm/F2.8, i.e., same range but constant aperture and similar size.

OP MT Senior Member • Posts: 1,934
Re: RX100 - CAN next generation have better apertures at long zoom?

I'd be happy with just a 24-90mm equivalent lens at wider aperture - not even a super zoom....:)

MTMT

notime Contributing Member • Posts: 927
Re: RX100 - CAN next generation have better apertures at long zoom?

Yes it would seem more possible to create a 10-37 mm constant  f/2.8 for the existing range or possibly creating a bridge sized camera with a 10-90mm constant f/2.8.

With the next generation of clear image zoom they might be OK marketing the 250mm equivalent of the real 90mm as a decent 500mm reach.

And of course it would be possible to make years HX-200 with the same constant f/2.8 as Panasonic just showed, but I would guess Sony would rather market a f/2-f/4 zoom just to beat Panasonic at the low end.

nosnoop Senior Member • Posts: 1,694
Re: RX100 - CAN next generation have better apertures at long zoom?

adhemar wrote:

This is a very good question and I would be really interested in the answer. As far as I am concerned, the sony lens is a 4.9 one and it's pity. F1.8 at wide angle is an overkill; I don't need it there because I can use slower shutter speeds. At the long end of the zoom, I need the brightest lens I can get.

Panasonic just came out with a 24X superzoom with a constant f2.8 aperture! I thought it was technically impossible.

It is much easier to make "fast" lens for small sensors.

But don't let the f/2.8 number mislead you into thinking that it is better than Sony's f/4.9.

Actually, it is not necessary the case. For example, FZ200's sensor is 1/2.33", much smaller than RX100. So if you take the sensor area into account, FZ200's f/2.8 would be equivalent to f/5.6 for RX100's 1" sensor. So in another word, the total amount of light gathered by the RX100's 1" sensor at f/4.9 is actually more than that gathered by FZ200's 1/2.33" sensor at f/2.8!

The implication is that you can increase the RX100's ISO for the smaller aperture, and you are still ahead of the FZ200 at lower ISO. Obviously, FZ200 has a much larger zoom. I am just discussing the misconception that Sony f/4.9 is "slow" as compared with a constant f/2.8 lens.

voz Regular Member • Posts: 372
Re: RX100 - CAN next generation have better apertures at long zoom?

MT wrote:

I'd be happy with just a 24-90mm equivalent lens at wider aperture - not even a super zoom....:)

The the Panasonic LX7 is for you. 'Cause one way to fit a faster lens on a compact camera is to use a smaller sensor. Panasonic LX7 gives you f2.3 at 90mm eq.

nosnoop Senior Member • Posts: 1,694
Re: RX100 - CAN next generation have better apertures at long zoom?

voz wrote:

MT wrote:

I'd be happy with just a 24-90mm equivalent lens at wider aperture - not even a super zoom....:)

The the Panasonic LX7 is for you. 'Cause one way to fit a faster lens on a compact camera is to use a smaller sensor. Panasonic LX7 gives you f2.3 at 90mm eq.

But there is little advantage of the faster lens though. LX7's f/2.3 is very close to RX100's f/4.5 at 90mm because of LX7's smaller sensor. OTOH, RX100's f/1.8 at the wide end is actually 1 1/2 stop better than LX7's f/1.4. You can check out dpreview's aperture equivalent table to give you some idea of how the different cameras compare.

How "fast" the lens is may not mean much if you don't take the sensor size into account. The only time that this matters is in DSLR where the AF sensor depends on minimal wide aperture number to work. In case of compact camera, no such restriction exists.

ChristianHass Senior Member • Posts: 2,786
Re: RX100 - CAN next generation have better apertures at long zoom?

The Skipper wrote:

radiokid2 wrote:

It would be nice not to need a zoom lens!
Unfortunately we're not there yet.

Here's an rx100 example that debunks that "just crop" idea.

Also note, the zoom-crop image was shot 9 feet away,
iso 400 - f4.9 - 1/10 sec. (tripod)

Actually, you made my argument for me.

When shooting under low light conditions, your first priority is to up the shutter speed, because a blurry photo cannot be rescued in PP. In your example, you were able to shoot at 1/100 second because of the cropping, whereas without cropping you had to use 1/10 second. It didn't matter only because you used a tripod.

The cropped version still looks like crud though.

I'm not impressed with the pixel level quality of the RX100, it looks very nice when downsampled and I think it'll be fine for the print sized I would need, but not if you crop heavily.

If you want to go from just 28mm equivalent to 56mm equivalent you're cropping by 50% on both axis, so you end up with a 5mp crop. If you want even more cropping you very quickly end up with a picture you can't use for anything but Facebook.

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zoranT Contributing Member • Posts: 916
Re: RX100 - CAN next generation have better apertures at long zoom?

The main problem with aperture is that generally it is not small enough, f11 in bright sun light and particularly video recording is problematic and restricts you.

Ray Sachs
Ray Sachs Forum Pro • Posts: 10,580
All small cameras are tradeoffs

For that matter so are all large cameras, but with large cameras often the only real downside is size and weight.

With small cameras you have to balance how important the ultimate in small size is against sensor size and lens range and lens speed and, I guess, lens quality. The RX100, like the S95 and S100 try to get an awful lot into a very small package. The RX100 uses a larger sensor and larger lens (when extended) but still a pretty slow lens as it moves up through the zoom range. To make the lens faster as you move through the zoom range, you either have to make the sensor smaller or the lens larger. Panasonic and Samsung clearly elected to go for faster lenses and smaller sensors. If the sensors are good enough (everyone has a different level of enough ), I like that tradeoff. And those cameras are slightly larger than the RX100 and notably larger than the S100.

To me, the size isn't the most important thing - I had an S90 for awhile and wasn't generally comfortable keeping that in my pants pocket (even THAT was bulkier and heavier than I wanted in a pants pocket all day and its the smallest and lightest of the bunch), so I look at these cameras as coat pocket pocketable and otherwise just like that its a single pretty small camera with one lens that can do most things reasonably well. I don't mind using a very small belt case when its too warm for a coat pocket, so really anything up to about the size of the Fuji X10 is more than fine with me for this class of camera.

Given my preference for a little more size, I'd rather have something closer to the size of an X10 or even X100 with a 1" sensor and a good FAST 24-90 zoom. And, frankly, a better set of controls (better for ME - the RX100 controls are an awful lot like the S90 and I never liked those much). Still a single good camera with a single zoom. I'm intrigued by the RX100 because of the sensor but I can't help think someone else is gonna do it better soon in a slightly larger package, which is a better set of tradeoffs for me. Even the LX7 may end up being a better tradeoff for me - I love the handling of the LX5 and the handling of the LX7 looks greatly improved even from that high bar. So if the sensor is good enough that may be my next small camera. Or not. I'm highly undecided right now. Now that the orb problem is worked out, the X10 might be the sweet spot for me, but I really like a 24mm wide end...

But you can only push the laws of physics so much, so no, I don't think you'll see an RX100 sized package with the same lens but fast apertures throughout the range. Something's gotta give, either camera size, or lens size/speed, or sensor size. You just can't have it all - sorry!

-Ray
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nosnoop Senior Member • Posts: 1,694
Re: All small cameras are tradeoffs

Ray Sachs wrote:

The RX100 uses a larger sensor and larger lens (when extended) but still a pretty slow lens as it moves up through the zoom range. ....Panasonic and Samsung clearly elected to go for faster lenses and smaller sensors. If the sensors are good enough (everyone has a different level of enough ), I like that tradeoff.

Don't let the "faster" f stop number mislead into thinking that it is better.

The matter of the fact is that even though Sony f/4.9 looks slower, it is in fact very close to LX7 f/2.3 when you compare them with aperture equivalence - around 1/8th stop difference between the two.

And this only applies for longer focal length, at wider focal length, and under good light where you don't need to shoot at widest aperture, basically, RX100 has all the advantages.

As far as I can see, this is not a "tradeoff". Sony does not lose out much at the longest focal length (around 1/8th stop), while it holds the advantage in most other area (1 1/2 stop better at wide angle). The only decision is between 24mm vs 28mm, cost, size, hot shoe etc...

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