Sony RX100 M5A low light auto-magic not good

Started 2 months ago | Discussions
BuckyE New Member • Posts: 3
Sony RX100 M5A low light auto-magic not good

Dear Friends,

I'm an old-time 35mm Kodachrome guy trying to operate a digital pocket camera that is WAY BEYOND my muddled brains' ability to comprehend. After experimenting with several pocket/travel cameras over the last couple decades, I finally broke down and--for me--splurged on the M5A, mainly because the reviews all praised its "low light" capabilities.

Background:
1. I'm now way too old and feeble to carry around the immense kit I used to back in the '90s. No more Bogen tripod, no more cable release, no more lens mounted filters, etc. etc. etc.
2. I'm now mostly interested in what I'm going to call "documentation" of our travels. That includes everything from
2a. carefully composed-by-eye views of the castle to the
2b. cats sitting in the window to
2c. plates we're served at the four-hour tasting lunch at the winery to
2d. our friends in the café to
2e. the close-ups of the carving on the pews in the little church to
2f. the mosaics in the dimly-lit Roman villa to the
2g. artifacts in the dark rooms of the museum to the
2h. occasional night-time street scene.

Daylight pictures (2a-2b) on the Program mode in my M5A are fine. I have it set to record highest level of pixels, and save both JPEG and Raw. I can use Adobe DNG Converter to create a DNG that I can open in my ancient Photoshop CS5 and do some basic adjustments to white balance and other stuff to correct most photos to my satisfaction.

But, I had hoped that the M5A would be able to pick ISO and shutter speeds to somehow auto-magically adjust ISO-and shutter speed to make 2c-2h come out to something close to what my eyes/brain were experiencing. Alas. My experience is that it has been randomly all over the place. In some instances, it does pretty well. In others, the pictures are blurred (slow shutter speed, I don't know). I bought Andrew White's book under the false impression it would provide guidance for different situations. Turns out it's mostly just an expanded version of the Sony manual: choose this Menu item to set this.

There are too many Menu items for me to understand the camera's system. There are too many Scene modes, etc. I am hoping someone here who has experience with the RX100 M5A in particular can help me set some parameters that will somehow force the camera to not use an ISO that allows noise; that will force the camera to use a shutter speed that will allow me to hand-hold it without blurring, etc.

Any advice any of you experts can give will be greatly appreciated!

Yours truly,
Bucky Edgett

Sony RX100
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sybersitizen Forum Pro • Posts: 19,925
Re: Sony RX100 M5A low light auto-magic not good

BuckyE wrote:

... I am hoping someone here who has experience with the RX100 M5A in particular can help me set some parameters that will somehow force the camera to not use an ISO that allows noise; that will force the camera to use a shutter speed that will allow me to hand-hold it without blurring, etc.

You must realize that something's gotta give when light is low. There's at least one way to fairly easily optimize your low light shooting: use M mode with the lens wide open and the shutter speed set to what you've established for yourself as the lower limit of what's reliably hand-holdable. Set ISO to Auto. If there's objectionable noise in the results under those conditions, it can't be avoided. In that case, use state-of-the-art noise reduction on RAW files.

Digital Nigel Forum Pro • Posts: 13,893
Re: Sony RX100 M5A low light auto-magic not good

I suggest:

P mode

ISO AUTO Min. SS on Fast

Auto ISO

Shoot raw

 Digital Nigel's gear list:Digital Nigel's gear list
Panasonic FZ1000 Canon PowerShot G7 X Nikon Coolpix P900 Panasonic ZS100 Sony RX10 III +19 more
Alocen New Member • Posts: 17
Re: Sony RX100 M5A low light auto-magic not good

BuckyE wrote:

Dear Friends,

I'm an old-time 35mm Kodachrome guy trying to operate a digital pocket camera that is WAY BEYOND my muddled brains' ability to comprehend. After experimenting with several pocket/travel cameras over the last couple decades, I finally broke down and--for me--splurged on the M5A, mainly because the reviews all praised its "low light" capabilities.

Background:
1. I'm now way too old and feeble to carry around the immense kit I used to back in the '90s. No more Bogen tripod, no more cable release, no more lens mounted filters, etc. etc. etc.
2. I'm now mostly interested in what I'm going to call "documentation" of our travels. That includes everything from
2a. carefully composed-by-eye views of the castle to the
2b. cats sitting in the window to
2c. plates we're served at the four-hour tasting lunch at the winery to
2d. our friends in the café to
2e. the close-ups of the carving on the pews in the little church to
2f. the mosaics in the dimly-lit Roman villa to the
2g. artifacts in the dark rooms of the museum to the
2h. occasional night-time street scene.

Daylight pictures (2a-2b) on the Program mode in my M5A are fine. I have it set to record highest level of pixels, and save both JPEG and Raw. I can use Adobe DNG Converter to create a DNG that I can open in my ancient Photoshop CS5 and do some basic adjustments to white balance and other stuff to correct most photos to my satisfaction.

But, I had hoped that the M5A would be able to pick ISO and shutter speeds to somehow auto-magically adjust ISO-and shutter speed to make 2c-2h come out to something close to what my eyes/brain were experiencing. Alas. My experience is that it has been randomly all over the place. In some instances, it does pretty well. In others, the pictures are blurred (slow shutter speed, I don't know). I bought Andrew White's book under the false impression it would provide guidance for different situations. Turns out it's mostly just an expanded version of the Sony manual: choose this Menu item to set this.

There are too many Menu items for me to understand the camera's system. There are too many Scene modes, etc. I am hoping someone here who has experience with the RX100 M5A in particular can help me set some parameters that will somehow force the camera to not use an ISO that allows noise; that will force the camera to use a shutter speed that will allow me to hand-hold it without blurring, etc.

Any advice any of you experts can give will be greatly appreciated!

Yours truly,
Bucky Edgett

It's been a pleasure reading your post, Bucky. i identify 100% with you because I also used to lug around a ton of equipment on my shoulder decades ago and now I'm bewildered by my M6...

Alocen New Member • Posts: 17
Re: Sony RX100 M5A low light auto-magic not good

sybersitizen wrote:

BuckyE wrote:

... I am hoping someone here who has experience with the RX100 M5A in particular can help me set some parameters that will somehow force the camera to not use an ISO that allows noise; that will force the camera to use a shutter speed that will allow me to hand-hold it without blurring, etc.

You must realize that something's gotta give when light is low. There's at least one way to fairly easily optimize your low light shooting: use M mode with the lens wide open and the shutter speed set to what you've established for yourself as the lower limit of what's reliably hand-holdable. Set ISO to Auto. If there's objectionable noise in the results under those conditions, it can't be avoided. In that case, use state-of-the-art noise reduction on RAW files.

Or use the A mode, set a wide aperture and let the camera choose the right ISO; to this end, you have previously gone to MENU/Camera Settings1/Exposure1/ISO/ISO AUTO, and then, pressing the right side of the control wheel, choose 125 for ISO MINIMUM and, 6400 for ISO MAXIMUM. This way, your camera will choose the best possible speed for the available light.

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