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Sony RX100: Instant love

Discussion in 'Other Systems' started by Art, Sep 7, 2012.

  1. Art

    Art Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 13, 2011
    San Francisco, CA
    Finally got my RX100. I typically don't believe the hype surrounding many new camera releases. Sony and Olympus seem to be especially prone to that, so I really didn’t expect much from RX100. I was shooting with it all evening and I just could not believe the results. Truly, jaw dropping sharpness even in low light. The resolution seems to exceed my E-PM1+Panny 20mm quite handily probably due to 20MP sensor. The video quality in 60p mode is insanely good (basically broadcast HDTV quality) even if shot in complete darkness with very good sound quality. I will be shooting with this camera the entire weekend and will try to post some pictures soon.

    Observations so far:

    - sharpnes/resolution exceeds E-PM1 (or E-PL2) coupled wither either Panny 14 or Panny 20mm.

    - AF is much faster than Panny 20mm and similar to Panny 14 yet much better during video especially in low light (even in near total darkness).

    - AWB under incandescent light is not as good as E-PM1 but better than E-PL2, Canon S90/100 and much better than any Panasonic cameras I tried. Incandescent preset works VERY well.

    - Jpeg color is VERY nice, skin tones are fantastic. Those who like Olympus colors (myself included) should like RX100 colors. This is a big surprise to me as I used to own a couple of Sony compacts in the past and always thought they were horrible (too processed).

    - ISO noise is MUCH better than E-PM1 or E-PL2. There is no visible shadow noise at base ISO at all. ISO1600 looks great as viewed ~30% (still a large picture, damn 20MP). ISO3200 is surprisingly usable too. I am not talking about pixel level sharpness of course, who needs full 20MP.

    - In-camera HDR mode is very useful and effective even in low light

    - Flash is surprisingly nice. Set ISO to 400 or 800, tilt it up and you can illuminate the entire room.

    - For all intents and purposes the camera is same size as Canon S90 I used to own so it easily fits in my jeans pocket.

    I think RX100 is a serious competitor to both DSLRs and mirrorless cameras as it can produce better or similar results unless those bodies are coupled with more expensive lenses. And even then, Sony may be easier to use and produce better video (with smoother AF). Basically for all non-enthusiasts RX100 may work just fine. Of course, no real shallow DoF or serious telephoto. For those purposes I will still keep my m43 kit. But for 90% of all photo shooting, RX100 is just right and fun to use. Imagine if many more cameras of this quality and size are to come out in the coming years….
     
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  2. Bhupinder2002

    Bhupinder2002 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    This is a bit overenthusiasm and over statement .Under no circumstances RX100 can surpass EPM1+ Panny 20 mm or EPL2 20mm combo . Show us the samples please.
    Cheers
     
  3. twokatmew

    twokatmew Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 1, 2012
    Lansing, MI, US
    Margaret
    Thx for dousing the GAS flames Art's post ignited. :wink:

    Sent from my phone, pardon my brevity.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  4. krugorg

    krugorg Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jul 18, 2011
    Minnesota USA
    Art was talking specifically about sharpness and resolution. I could see where the extra megapickels could allow the RX100 to perform better here (maybe not across the entire frame) at base ISO.
     
  5. kwalsh

    kwalsh Mu-43 Top Veteran

    775
    Mar 3, 2012
    Baltimore, MD
    Umm, he doesn't have to as DPR already did:

    Sony Cyber-Shot DSC-RX100 In-Depth Review: Digital Photography Review

    Select EPM1 from the pull down there and you'll see the RX100 handily out resolving the EPM1. In this case the EPM1 is using the 50/2 which actually outresolves the 20/1.7.

    The RX100 has an excellent lens and a great 20MP imager.

    The 20/1.7 is an excellent prime, but when you put it on a 12MP imager the imager is limiting.

    Ken
     
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  6. WT21

    WT21 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 19, 2010
    Boston
    My enthusiasm is in-line with Arts.

    DOF is of course much shallower, but there is a SIGNIFICANT difference between the RX100 output and any other 1/1.6" and smaller output. With compacts this size, I have always been able to quickly tell "oh, that's a compact camera." Not so with the RX100. My latest guess is that it's color gradation and sharpness that is matching m43 and even APS-C.

    Art -- if you are interested in a belt case, I followed this thread, and have been very pleased. http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/read.asp?forum=1009&message=42240988 This camera is on my belt 100% of the time now. Mainly on the belt, because I don't want it hanging in my pockets with my keys, etc. It's no bigger than a cell phone holder on a belt.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  7. Dangermouse1968

    Dangermouse1968 Mu-43 Regular

    169
    May 26, 2011
    This looks like a really exciting camera. I've heard great things about it, for example from David over at the SoundImagePlus blog. One thing that you don't mention ...... how much did you pay for it? My recollection is that is very expensive!!!
     
  8. WT21

    WT21 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 19, 2010
    Boston
    It lists at US$650 in the states, though Sony ran an excellent promotion that gave you a FREE 3 year warranty with even accidental damage covered, but I had purchased mine before then.
     
  9. Dangermouse1968

    Dangermouse1968 Mu-43 Regular

    169
    May 26, 2011
    yep best price I can find is £471 in the uk.

    It does sound like an awesome camera but I can get a used GF1 with P14 for around £200!!
     
  10. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs Super Moderator

    Apr 17, 2010
    Near Philadephila
    Right its not a budget camera. But, frankly the RX100 at a 28mm equivalent at f1.8 blows the doors off of the GF1 (or the other first generation m43 sensor bodies) with the Pany 14 at f2.5. I was never comfortable shooting the GF1 at more than about ISO 800. The RX100 handles ISO 3200 really well and its actually pretty useable at 6400. So it lets more light in through the lens to a far more sensitive sensor. This is a modern sensor with the qualities of Sony's other new sensors, like the one in the OMD. Its really kind of amazingly good. If you're not blown away by it the first few times you use it, you just haven't been paying attention to compact cameras up to now....

    I wouldn't recommend it over the modern m43 cameras with the new 16mp sensors for people who want or need the variety of lenses. But for the many people out there who tend to buy a camera with a kit lens and NEVER use another lens, I'd strongly recommend looking at an all-in-one like the RX100 (if you're looking for pocket size) or the Canon G1X if you'd rather a larger cameras with more accessible controls. They're really getting to be incredibly capable.

    -Ray
     
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  11. Art

    Art Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 13, 2011
    San Francisco, CA
    Thanks for pointing it out. I didn't see those samples, the results were too obvious on my monitor. I do realize I'm on m43 forum:)
    I also want to point out that for most people RX100 might be better in low light than DSLRs cause at f1.8 it provides sufficient DoF for most indoor shots. With APS-C one will be looking at much smaller aperture and much higher ISO (more than two stops difference) and likely getting worse results even if coupled with expensive lens (unless flash is used). I consider deep DoF is an important advantage of RX100 (it still can give you shallow DoF w/nice bokeh for close ups)
     
  12. Biro

    Biro Mu-43 All-Pro

    May 8, 2011
    Jersey Shore
    Steve
    Art... The lack of an viewfinder of any kind on the RX100 is the only thing that makes me hesitate to buy one. But if the "White Magic" technology used in the rear LCD really works as advertised, perhaps the lack of a viewfinder doesn't matter. How well can you see the LCD out doors in bright sunlight?
     
  13. dwkdnvr

    dwkdnvr Mu-43 Regular

    77
    Aug 8, 2012
    Denver
    This is a bit interesting in light of how I got into m43. We had an old Canon 10d which we dragged out when the photo bug re-presented itself. We immediately knew that it was too big to haul around, so I started doing some research on smaller options.
    The NEX was the first thing I found, followed by the RX100. My wife immediately decided on the spot that we were getting the RX100, and for her the issue was settled.
    I knew that the 'mess around with stuff' inclination would never be satisfied with the RX100, and so picked up a PM1 refurb to try out M43 as an adjunct to the RX100 - small enough to be portable but capable of doing things the RX100 can't.
    So, my perspective right from the start was the the RX100 would handle the bulk of the 'normal' shots, and I've been looking at M43 for the 'other stuff' - wide, long, macro etc. It's still early, but I think I'm pretty happy with where things are going.
     
  14. Art

    Art Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 13, 2011
    San Francisco, CA
    It is expensive and perhaps not for budget conscious at this point. It is approximately same cost as E-PM1+ 2 pancakes (Panny 14 and 20) yet it outperforms that combo and fits in jeans pocket. However, I think most people don't fully understand that RX100 is actually very reasonably priced for what it offers (both stills AND video). If Oly or Fuji were to price this gem, we'd be looking at least at $800 and folks would be saying it's a bargain:) I did some search and it looks like Sony does drop their prices quite a bit after a few months. Just imagine what it would do to the camera market if priced at $499.
     
  15. lenshoarder

    lenshoarder Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 7, 2010
    Sony had it for $585 last month with the 2 year accidental coverage.
     
  16. kwalsh

    kwalsh Mu-43 Top Veteran

    775
    Mar 3, 2012
    Baltimore, MD
    I agree the RX100 price is fair for what it does. It is an impressive little camera. I also agree that it is expensive for a "compact" in one sense. Things like the LX7 and S100 are quite a bit cheaper, and something like the LX5 cheaper still. If you don't need the very high resolution, great high ISO performance and excellent base ISO DR then the RX100 is definitely expensive. If you care about those features and still want something that fits in your pocket then it is the only thing on the market and a godsend at any price.

    The other issue with the price is that it is new and there is no "last year's model" to pick up at a discount. As a result you've got the RX100 at $650 and a EPL1+kit zoom for $200 refurbed (EPM1 $250). Arguably those EP kits offer way more "value" and "possibilities". However, they don't offer the possibility of fitting in your pocket.

    So it certainly isn't a camera for everyone and the value proposition really depends on what you are looking for. I do think it is the best direction for Sony to go to try to revitalize the dying compact camera market. Cellphones are displacing all the revenue, and especially the margins and profits, from the $99 special P&S compacts. Where the previous generation of high-end compacts (LX, XZ, S-series) go isn't clear - prices for those have been falling it seems. The RX100 on the other hand is distinct in the market and "revolutionary" which might be just the thing to make it profitable.

    Ken
     
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  17. Art

    Art Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 13, 2011
    San Francisco, CA
    Most amateurs I know always wish for good low light quality. I am not aware of any "non-enthusiast" compact camera with good low light capabilities (especially for moving kids). I'd say non-enthusiasts need high ISO much more than enthusiasts who actually know how to adjust settings.

    Funny thing, RX100 seems fairly priced at $650 yet Canon S100 now looks like a ripoff at $350 (it has horrible video). S90 pics looked nice to me in 2009. When I tried S100 in 2012 I was thoroughly disappointed: noisy, soft pics, poor WB, mediocre colors, very soft zoomed in, unreliable AF, horrid video with poor sound, severe distortion at wide end, etc. IQ was much closer to iphone than slr (iphone has better colors).
     
  18. Dangermouse1968

    Dangermouse1968 Mu-43 Regular

    169
    May 26, 2011
    Ok, so whilst I maintain it is expensive maybe there are good reasons for that.

    According to one thread above, it provides better quality than my GF1 so maybe I should sell that camera, my P14, P20 and Oly45 and just walk / bike around wth an RX100.

    If it taes me a few months then price ight have dropped!!

    I never shoot above 200 ISO though!
     
  19. webmonkey8

    webmonkey8 Mu-43 Regular

    39
    Jan 17, 2012
    I have read extensively about the Sony RX100, as well as tried it in-store and I am very impressed with its quality and performance. I also agree it may not be a :43:killer (as discussed from another forum thread), but what I do like is its compact size and IQ.

    I have an Olympus EPM1 with the Oly 12mm, Panasonic 25mm 1.4f, and Oly 45mm and while these prime lenses are awesome in their own right, I do find myself wanting a more pocketable camera, as the reasons many have echoes here . Am I crazy to sell the Pany 25mm lens for this Sony RX100 for my "general walkabout camera" and have the 12mm and 45mm exclusively for special shots? The thought has crossed my mind many times. Please let me know what your thoughts are.
     
  20. krugorg

    krugorg Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jul 18, 2011
    Minnesota USA
    I am also interested in carrying something smaller, on occasion, but it would seem like you are giving up a lot by selling your fast normal on m4/3? Have you given the Panasonic 20/1.7 a shot on the E-PM1?