Jul 242014
 

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The Sony RX100 III Review. The best pocket camera ever?

You can buy the RX100 III at B&H Photo HERE or Amazon HERE.

Man oh man oh man! Sony is on fire and hotter than ever (Sony A7s just recently and now this) and while the RX100 III is sort of older news already, as in, it has been released and in the hands of many shooters for a while now it is just now that I have been able to sit down, relax, and write down my thoughts about it after using it for 2-3 weeks. As many of you know, the RX100 III is the latest and greatest version of the Sony RX100, a true pocket rocket of a camera. In my review of the original RX100, I praised it up and down for what it was, what it could do and how it could do it, all while fitting in a front pocket. You can read that review here and to be honest, the original is still a damn fine camera today and can be had at a much better price than when it was launched.

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After the original RX100 came the RX100 II and after I had one for 2-3 weeks I found it was NOT enough of an upgrade to the 1st version to warrant the expense. With version II Sony added the capability to use an external EVF and improved the sensor slightly, but for me, I preferred the original sensor. Odd huh? Because of this, I never really reviewed it. Instead I took a quick look at it HERE. 

Now with version III Sony has given us a pop up EVF which is absolute GENIUS! It stays hidden until you want to use it, and then you flick it up with a switch on the side. It pops up just like a pop up flash would and then you pull it out to use it. It is a very welcome addition to the camera and for me, makes the upgrade worth it right there! But Sony did not stop there as they also changed out the lens, which is now a 24-70 equivalent ranging from f/1.8 to f/2.8. Even at 70mm you can stay at f/2.8, which will allow more light to come in. Faster is always a good thing when it comes to aperture. So while we lose some of the reach of the Version I and II RX100, we gain speed and IMO some slight improvements to the lens quality.

We still have the same RX100 size, tilt LCD, selfie mode, and all of the usual Sony features and gimmicks. The lens barrel rotates and can control just about anything you want it to. I have it set to aperture but you can also set it to control color mode, or even ISO. The camera is a VERY polished and “finished” type of design. Smooth jpeg files as well with plenty of pop for a small sensor camera, and do remember that this is a small 1″ sensor camera that is not meant to replace a larger sensor mirrorless or DSLR as it does have limitations when compared to its larger cousins.

One of the 1st shots I snapped in JPEG with the RX100 III. Our new puppy “Olive” – Was in some weird mode so high contrast..

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One in High Contrast B&W Mode (JPEG) – click for larger. Focus was on the hair (of the wig) in front of his eye. Even with the small sensor you get some shallow DOF at the widest 24mm setting.

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Since the RX100 III is basically an RX100 with an improved sensor, new lens and new EVF it is still at its heart, an RX100. Same idea, same body, same concept, same shooting experience. So to read about all of that, click here to read what I said about the original in regards to all of that. In use, the new III is not only just as fun, fast and slick to use as the I and II, but even more so. While it may be small for some hands, there are a few grip options out there including Sony’s own grip made for the camera. There are also cases, and my fave is the one made by Gariz, which you can see below and order HERE. It’s really an attractive and useful accessory for the RX100 III and makes the camera look “luxury”. Much like a Leica ;) If it had a red dot…Hmmmm.

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Out of the Box impressions

The RX100 III arrived in a TINY cute Sony box and when I opened it I was welcomed by a familiar shape and design. As I stated before, the RX100 III is the same shape and design as the original, but in its III form it is like a “Super RX100″. In fact, I will call it the “Super 100″ from here on out as I feel it is so jam-packed with features that PHOTOGRAPHERS want. Nice fast Zeiss zoom, pop up EVF, swivel screen, fast and accurate AF, slim design, high quality video, etc. After taking it from the box I charged inserted a battery (I have six of them from my previous RX100) and popped the camera in my pocket. I shot a couple of frames at a KISS concert (though had seats off to the side) and around town during  my day-to-day errands. I shot JPEG 100% of the time.

For me, a camera like this should be able to do JPEG well, and the RX100 does indeed do it well. For me it offers a fun factor and stress free experience, which is good. While it does not compete with a DSLR or one of the larger sensor mirrorless cameras it does blow away any other point and shoot style camera out of the water. Forget Canon, forget Nikon and yes, this one even smokes any Olympus compact I have tried. This “Super 100″ is on another level from any other P&S and is still the best there is in this area. It has class, style, grace and it performs without breaking a sweat. The build feels solid and nothing about it feels cheap or hollow. I like this.

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Using the selfie mode, the LCD flips up so you can see it and  then the camera counts down  - 3-2-1 on the screen. This is a useful little mode that sounds silly to some, but I used it 4 times in my 2 weeks with the camera. 

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Did a similar shot in my review of the RX100 I so I figured I would do the same here, why not? Excuse the dirty mirror.

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This “Super 100″ (RX100 III) is perfect for an EVERY DAY camera. Phone? Naaaaaaa.

Do you want something of high quality, something that is small and hassle free to carry yet offers you a huge improvement over your cel phone for images? You want ease of use, HD video, a fast lens and great low light performance? Look no further my friends as the RX100 III can do it all, and it does it so much better than your phone. While the most popular camera today is the iPhone, there are still those out there that care about quality, and I am one of them. There are those who want a viewfinder, who want the experience that once upon a time came with photography. A phone does not give you that experience and while it may be capable and easy, it is not like using a real camera.

For me, memories are meant to be captured and preserved. Not everyone wants to carry a large DSLR or mirrorless but something like this RX100 III takes all of those issues away. It can take nice quality photos, without using a flash, in almost any light. While it will not be an “in the dark” shooter, it will give you so much better results than your phone in 99% of situations.

BTW, Every image in this review was shot as an OOC JPEG.

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The image below was shot by Bill Goodman, a local Phx photographer who was checking out the RX100 III when I brought it to Az Hi Fi 

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The color, the smooth files and the dynamic range are fantastic for what this little guy is. I was finding that the “clear” JPEG setting was giving me rich and punchy results that I liked. The way the RX100 III handles light and shadows can indeed be dramatic and very pleasing to the eye…it’s funny but there are times when the images I took with the RX100 III looked better in the final file over my Leica M 240 for resized web images! The color and smooth look is a signature of the RX100 series. With only a 1″ sensor it punches well above its weight class, for sure. When compared to a Nikon V1 or V2 or V3, the RX100 series presents images in a smoother way, reminding me of a larger sensor without the grit.

Dramatic color and tones…JPEG

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Shot in CLEAR JPEG mode..which is what gives it the look you see…

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TECH SPECS

Below are the tech specs of the RX100 III, or the Super RX100 :) I highlighted in BOLD the features that are worth mentioning and remembering as to me, these are what make the camera.

20.1MP 1″ Exmor R BSI CMOS Sensor and BIONZ X Image Processor
The large 20.1 megapixel 1″ Exmor R CMOS sensor features backside-illuminated technology to enhance its low-light capabilities to a native ISO 12800 while still retaining vivid clarity. Using Sony’s Column A/D Conversion and area-specified noise reduction, images are rendered with impressive quality and smooth gradations between tones and colors due to the marked, intelligent reduction in apparent noise. Further enhancing imaging quality, detail reproduction technology works to increase the fine detail rendering capabilities for a more three-dimensional, realistic image quality while diffraction-reducing technology helps to enhance the optical qualities of the lens by suppressing diffraction that is common when working at smaller apertures. Additionally, aiding working in difficult lighting conditions, the sensitivity can be extended to an effective ISO 25600 when using Multi-Frame NR, which records and composites sequential images in order to attain high sensitivity with minimal noise.

Also benefitting the image quality, as well as overall camera performance, is the BIONZ X image processor, which provides continuous shooting up to 10 fps in Speed Priority Mode, 2.9 fps shooting with single-shot AF, a shutter lag time of just 0.008 sec., and a start-up time of 1.6 sec.

Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T* Lens
The built-in Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T* lens provides a 35mm-equivalent focal length range of 24-70mm, covering wide-angle to portrait length perspectives to suit working in a wide variety of shooting conditions. An f/1.8-2.8 maximum aperture benefits working in difficult lighting conditions throughout the entire zoom range and also enables greater control over focus placement for shallow depth of field imagery, which is further accentuated by a seven-blade diaphragm to produce a smooth out-of-focus quality. Nine aspherical elements, including two cemented AA (advanced aspherical) elements, are incorporated into the lens design to minimize chromatic aberrations throughout the zoom range to benefit creating sharp, clear imagery. The lens also features a Zeiss T* anti-reflective multi-layered coating to help minimize lens flare and ghosting in order to produce imagery with rich contrast and color neutrality.

Benefitting the 2.9x reach of this lens, as well as supporting working in difficult lighting conditions and with longer shutter speeds, is Optical SteadyShot image stabilization, which helps to offset the effects of camera shake. When recording movies, the image stabilization utilizes an Intelligent Active Mode, which also uses electronic image stabilization to compensate for both camera shake and rolling shutter effects.

Additionally, a neutral density 0.9 filter is incorporated into the camera’s design, which provides a reduction of three stops in exposure to enable working in bright conditions with wider aperture settings and for greater control over how subject movement is rendered.

Direct OOC color from the RX100 III JPEG – this one was shot in VIVID mode.

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Camera Design
Within the compact design of the RX100 III is both a high-resolution electronic viewfinder and a large rear LCD monitor. The 0.39″ 1,440k-dot SVGA OLED Tru-Finder EVF provides a bright, clear means for eye-level monitoring, which is well-suited to critical compositions and working in bright conditions. It features 100% frame coverage, a unique pop-up mechanism, and a Zeiss T* coating on the optics to reduce surface reflections and flare for enhanced visibility. Alternatively, a 3.0″ 1,229k-dot Xtra Fine LCD screen is also available and features a tilting design (180° up, 45° down) to benefit working from high, low, and front-facing angles. WhiteMagic technology has been applied to the LCD’s design, too, to increase effective brightness for easier viewing in bright lighting. When working with both viewing means, an integrated eye sensor automatically switches between both the EVF and LCD. Additionally, the camera can be turned on simply by popping the EVF into place.

For intuitive, SLR-like adjustments over a variety of camera settings, a manual control ring surrounds the lens and features a smooth, click-less design for quick and quiet changing of settings. The ring can be assigned to control a variety of features, at different values, such as zoom, aperture, and Picture Effects. A step-zoom feature can be utilized, too, to allow instant switching between commonly used focal lengths.

Full HD Video Recording
Full HD 1920 x 1080 movies can be recorded in the high-quality XAVC S format, which uses a Long GOP (Group of Pictures) structure, MPEG-4 AVC/H.264 video compression, and linear PCM audio compression, and saves within the MP4 container format. These compressed files permit recording times up to 29 minutes while allowing 50 Mbps video recording at 1080/60p, 1080/30p, 1080/24p, and 720/120p frame rates. Full-pixel readout helps to minimize any artifacts in recordings due to the ability to utilize data from the entire image sensor, which ultimately results in smooth, high-resolution recordings. Movies can also be recorded in the AVCHD format, which is ideal for HDTV playback and Blu-ray disc burning, and the MP4 format, which is ideal for uploading online. Additionally, when shooting for two purposes in mind, dual recording is possible in different formats-XAVC S and MP4 or AVCHD and MP4-for the ability to instantly share footage while also having a higher quality version for subsequent editing.

Benefitting advanced video applications, the RX100 III also supports clean HDMI output for recording uncompressed video via an optional external recorder and for real-time viewing on an accessory monitor. Recording frame rates include 24p, 60p, and 60i, and the shooting info display can be turned off during recording for a cleaner view when utilizing an external monitor.

Built-In Wi-Fi Connectivity with NFC
Built-in Wi-Fi connectivity enables instant transferring of imagery to mobile devices for direct sharing online to social networking, via email, and to cloud storage sites. NFC (Near Field Communication) is also supported, which allows for one-touch connection between the camera and compatible mobile devices, with no complex set-up required. Once connected, the linked mobile device can also display a live view image on its screen and, using Smart Remote Control, remotely control the camera’s shutter release.

Additionally, PlayMemories Camera Apps are also supported via the built-in Wi-Fi connection, and allow you to personalize the camera’s features depending on specific shooting styles. Apps are available to suit creating portraits, detailed close-ups, sports, time lapse, motion shot, and other specific types of imagery.

Other Camera Features
A contrast-detection autofocus system works to acquire precise focus using single-shot or continuous AF modes. When working with moving subjects, Lock-on AF, with wide, center, and flexible spots, adjusts the target frame size as the subject moves throughout the image frame. Face detection and face registration technologies can be used to base focus on recognized faces and Eye AF is also available, which is a detail-oriented focusing function that prioritizes and dedicates focusing performance on a subject’s pupil for sharply-rendered portraits.
For manual focus control, DMF (Direct Manual Focus) and standard manual focus options are available. Benefitting precise manual focus, focus peaking can be used, which highlights edges of contrast within the frame for a more objective means of determining critical sharpness, or MF Assist is available, which enlarges the image for a better view of important details.

A zebra function can be used for easier detection of exposure clipping to prevent overexposure.

A dedicated Custom button permits assigning of one of 42 possible functions for instant, one-touch access to a chosen control.

A digital level gauge detects pitch and roll types of movement and helps to produce even, consistent horizons and plumb verticals.

Smile Shutter technology enables the camera to automatically release the shutter when a subject’s smile is detected

Multi Frame NR records consecutive images at a reduced ISO sensitivity and then composites them into a single image to realize higher effective sensitivity (up to an equivalent ISO 25600) with minimal image noise. Standard image compositing is comprised of four exposures and High image compositing utilizes 12 distinct exposures.

Dynamic Range Optimizer (DRO) works to improve images featuring backlit subjects or scenes with high contrast where details can be lost in the shadows or highlights. This mode can be controlled automatically or fine-tuned using five settings.

Picture Effect modes allow you to apply creative settings and emphasize certain facets of individual images for a richer, more aesthetic picture quality. Posterization (Color/B&W), Pop Color, Retro Photo, Partial Color (R/G/B/Y), High Contrast Monochrome, Toy Camera, Soft High-Key, Soft Focus, HDR Painting, Rich-Tone Monochrome, Miniature, Watercolor, and Illustration modes are available.

Creative Style settings provide control over how the camera processes images based on different predetermined styles: Standard, Vivid, Neutral, Clear, Deep, Light, Portrait, Landscape, Sunset, Night Scene, Autumn Leaves, Black & White, Sepia, and Style Box. Within these settings, contrast, saturation, and sharpness can also be adjusted depending on personal preference.

To extend the effective reach of the optical zoom lens, Clear Image digital zoom can be used to intelligently magnify scenes up to 5.8x at full-resolution. This digital zoom technology uses an intelligent interpolation process to minimize the amount of image degradation in order to produce realistic, high-quality images.

In-camera creation of 4K slide shows is possible for rich playback to ultra high definition televisions. An HDMI port is incorporated into the camera’s design, too, to enable direct connection to HDTVs.

TRILUMINOS Color support is supported to produce rich, natural colors when imagery is viewed on a TRILUMINOS Display.

I enjoyed having 24mm for the wide end…

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For me, the new EVF rocks..though it is SMALL

As soon as I saw that Sony included a new pop up EVF in this model I was instantly attracted to the camera. If this one feature was NOT put in then the RX100 III would not have generated as much attention as it has and the camera would not be worthy of the III name, it would be more like an RX100 II. The new pop up EVF if really an awesome and fantastic addition to an already great camera model. The coolest part is that if you do not want to use it then it stays hidden. There are no humps, no evidence it is even in the camera. Without using it no one would even know it was there but flick a switch located on the left side and BAM! There you have it, instant EVF. Now you can put it up to your eye and frame with a viewfinder. The EVF is very small but much better than something you will see in a Leica C for example.

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The color is good, the clarity is good and i used the EVF quite often..and I can prove it! See my reflections in the window shots below? Look how small and compact the RX100 III is here! It is small but feels nice and weighty in the hand. The lens offers great clarity and snap and the EVF takes this model over the top.

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Is this camera for you? Answer these questions to find out!

The RX100 III is not a cheap camera, in build or design or in cost. It will cost you about $799 to purchase the greatest Point and Shoot of all time, but to see if this is worth it to you, answer the following questions, if you answer yes to ALL then you would benefit from an RX100 III.

1. Do you want a pocket-size travel type of camera to take anywhere?

2. Do you dislike larger and heavier cameras?

3. Do you value QUALITY when it comes to images? As in, IMAGE QUALITY?

4. Do you like having a convenient and fast zoom?

5. Do you like to shoot hassle free, and even shoot JPEG?

6. Do you often want the “best” you can get to avoid making mistakes in purchases?

7. Do you value having an electronic viewfinder to frame with?

If you answered YES to ALL of the questions then you would not be sorry with the RX100 III. In fact, I guarantee it!

Again, to get what the RX100 III is all about, read my RX100 review. Most of the camera is the same in regards to what it is, what it does and why it is so awesome :) This is a “light” review going over the new features only!

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The Pros and Cons of the RX100 III

Pros

  • It is small and fits in a front pocket
  • Pop Up EVF addition is AWESOME!
  • Camera AF is fast and accurate
  • Tilt LCD is very useful, even selfie mode
  • Build quality is good
  • Lens 24-70 1.8-2.8..nice
  • pop up flash if needed/wanted!
  • HD video is nice with optical steady shot!
  • WiFi built in, works well
  • Camera apps can be downloaded and used
  • Built in ND filter for when the sun gets bright, automatic
  • Smooth control dial on lens will control almost anything you desire
  • Many cases and grips made by third parties
  • Batteries are small, and cheap (third party sellers)
  • Best in class image quality and color

cons

  • Price of $798 is a little high for a P&S
  • Small sensor cannot compete with larger sensors for DR or ISO NOISE
  • Not the best for really low light, NR gets aggressive
  • Can be too small for some with large hands
  • Does not come with dedicated charger

 

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My final conclusion on the RX100 III

The newest RX100, or what I call it,  “the Super 100″ (RX100 III) is a genuine masterpiece of a point and shoot. It does NOT get better than this in a pocket P&S camera, period. From the design, the build, the EVF, the swivel LCD to the fast lens and punchy color and pop from the files, the RX100 III is the real deal. Once again Sony hits it out of the park here, as they have been doing for 2-3 years now. Sony is surpassing companies like Nikon, Canon, Leica in many areas with some of their recent cameras and they are showing no signs of slowing down or stopping and I think…yes I think..they are just getting started. Call it intuition but I have a feeling something ver special is coming in the high-end arena from Sony..very soon.

Keep in mind, the RX100 III will not and can not replace an APS-C or full frame camera (get the same results) as you just do not get the dynamic range, ISO performance or depth of field possibilities with the smaller sensor RX100 III. What you do get is a camera that is perfect for family use, vacations, world travel, and every day shooting. I have seen images from the RX100 (original) that blew away images I have seen from large DSLR’s, but that was from a VERY talented photographer. It seems that if you really know what you are doing then the RX100 III will reward you with its capabilities. I have noticed the DR is not up there with larger sensors as highlights can get blown, but it is not a big deal or deal breaker. The files from the RX100III are sublime and as good as you can get from a camera of this size.

The lens is fast with a versatile and normal 24-70mm range. With an aperture starting at f/1.8 and slowing down to only 2.8, the camera is highly capable even in low light. The EVF works great and stays out-of-the-way until you need it. It is not the largest thing ever but it works and works well. The design is genius! The RX100 III also has a built in ND filter which will automatically activate when needed. You have all of the Sony usual tricks here as well like panorama, color modes, art modes and intelligent auto modes. This camera can be used by amateur and pro alike. In other words, Sony makes it easy to either pick up and shoot in full auto or delve into the camera and use manual features.

All in all, this is indeed the best pocket camera ever made in the digital world. The price is steep at $798, but if you want the best P&S available and do not want to mess with lens swapping and larger bodies, this is one way to go that will leave you satisfied.

You can buy the RX100 III at B&H Photo HERE or Amazon HERE.

The Sony RX100 III gets my highest recommendation for this class of camera. Way to go Sony!

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PLEASE! I NEED YOUR HELP TO KEEP THIS WEBSITE RUNNING, IT IS SO EASY AND FREEE for you to HELP OUT!

Hello to all! For the past 5 years I have been running this website and it has grown to beyond my wildest dreams. Some days this very website has over 200,000 visitors and because of this I need and use superfast web servers to host the site. Running this site costs quite a bit of cash every single month and on top of that, I work full-time 60+ hours a week on it each and every single day of the week (I received 200-300 emails a DAY). Because of this, I need YOUR help to cover my costs for this free information that is provided on a daily basis.

To help out it is simple. 

If you ever decide to make a purchase from B&H Photo or Amazon, for ANYTHING, even diapers..you can help me without spending a penny to do so. If you use my links to make your purchase (when you click a link here and it takes you to B&H or Amazon, that is using my links as once there you can buy anything and I will get a teeny small credit) you will in turn be helping this site to keep on going and keep on growing.

Not only do I spend money on fast hosting but I also spend it on cameras to buy to review, lenses to review, bags to review, gas and travel, and a slew of other things. You would be amazed at what it costs me just to maintain this website. Many times I give away these items in contests to help give back you all of YOU.

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Aug 172012
 

Video: The Sony RX100 Protective Case, OM-D With Leica Summilux and SLR Magic’s Bokehmorphic!

Hello to all! Welcome and happy Friday! Yep, it’s Friday already…damn! This week has flown by!! Today I put up a video showing the new Sony RX100 Protective case, the one from Sony, and it is a beautiful case that protects the camera well, is made for a perfect glove like fit and does not hamper on the use of the camera like some cases do. This is NOT a leather case and comes in at $89, which is a bit on the high side but there is no mistake that this is a gorgeous case for your RX100. I leave mine in it at all times and when I take it with me now I just sling it around my shoulder. Perfect vacation camera and case!

I continue to be impressed with this little guy – the speed, the IQ, the color, the video..all great and I find it easily beats ANY of the Canon S series compacts. Easily.

Take a look at the video below where you can see the case with the camera in it. I also added some other things such as the OM-D with that beautiful 50 Summilux lens and the SLR Magic Bokehmorphic lens on the NEX-7. I will be reviewing this lens soon!!

You can buy this case at Amazon HERE

B&H Photo also sells it HERE

Aug 082012
 

The Sony RX100 Shoots Seal in Concert! By Barry Burris

Steve,

I finally got a chance to catch Seal in concert on August 1st, in Tulsa, Oklahoma at The Brady Theater. I have been a fan for two decades and this is his first time performing in Oklahoma.

What an amazing show.

I knew I would be close, just not how close and was blown away to find myself just to the left of the riser with the 4 seats directly in front of the riser empty (due to “restricted view” , no so when you are 6’3”). I took two cameras with me, the new Sony RX100 and the now year old Fuji X100 with the new wide angle adaptor. So far I have only processed the Sony images and thus far have been blown away. I am saving the Fuji images until I have more time but expect even more great images.

The four images I have included are pretty much straight out of the camera with the exception of two being converted to B&W and one toned. And these are jpgs, RAW conversion yet to come. My personal preference is B&W (lusting for an Leica Monochrom) but needless to say the concert lends itself to color.

Both cameras performed admirably but habit has me leaning towards the Fuji, I have just never gotten the hang of composing a shot by not holding the camera to my eye via a view finder. Seems to eliminate an important physical connection. I will keep the Sony as there is nothing currently close to its image quality that can fit in a pocket.

I am hoping for another tour next year or two and I plan on taking the time to go to multiple shows. I have seen hundreds of shows and this was easily in my top five.

Will be publishing more images to my site in the coming week and the four I have included look great printed.

Best

Barry Burris

www.bberburb.wordpress.com

Aug 062012
 

Add some grippage to your Sony RX100! The Richard Franiec RX100 Grip is here!

Last week I received a package in the mail from Mr. Richard Franiec, the guy who makes all of the cool grips for the smaller cameras out there today. He makes them for the Nikon 1 series, Olympus EM1 and others. When I found out he had one for the new RX100 I told him to send one my way! It arrived and in my opinion it is a must have accessory for any RX100 user. It is made of metal and of super quality. It is easy to apply and takes less than a minute while adding a great grip to the camera so it is much more comfortable to hold. The good thing is that it does not make the camera big and bulky like some of the grips sold today. It’s sleek and slim.

The grip sells for $34.95 on Richards website so you can buy direct from him HERE.

I made a quick YouTube video showing how it looks on the camera so take a look below! Thanks!

Jul 262012
 

The Sony RX100 Digital Camera Review – The best pocket digital compact of the year…actually…EVER!

Holy Pocket Rocket! That is what I said when I shot this camera and brought it back home to take a look at the files. The Sony RX100 is a SMALL pocketable camera, as in front pocket camera, and it packs a mean punch though I guess it should for its $650 price tag. I was a little underwhelmed with the latest NEX-F3 basically because it is more of the same old same old. Don’t get me wrong,  it’s a great camera but to me just a slight upgrade to the NEX-3 and C3. But what I never expected was for Sony to release this RX100 and have it be as good as it is for being so small. Yes my fellow photo enthusiasts, it really is that good and after this and the Nikon V1 I will never again doubt a small sensor camera, ever.

Before I get to the nitty gritty and let you know about my time with the RX100 here is the first look video I made as soon as the RX100 arrived to me:

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You know me..I am not a fan of cameras without an EVF or some type of built in VF. I just feel a VF makes a camera more “complete” and more usable and sometimes, even more fun. I hate holding cameras out at arms length for various reasons but mainly it just seems “anti” photographer not to mention that the LCD screens are usually washed out by the daylight sun.

I had this washed out issue with the Pentax K-01 rendering the camera useless to me in the bright AZ sunlight. I loved the IQ from that Pentax and applaud them for being different with the design but if it had a built in EVF I may have bought one for myself. I am also not a fan of zoom lenses (due to them usually being so slow) and this RX100 seemed (at first) like a dumbed down Nikon V1 without the EVF. Why? Well, because it houses the same size sensor as the Nikon 1 series sensor, which is a 1″ sensor (don’t get me started on sensor “actual” sizes, this is what Sony and Nikon call it, so this is how I am referring to it). This sensor is larger than point and shoot sensors but smaller than even Micro 4/3 or APS-C sensors. The good news is that the sensor in this camera ROCKS and ROCKS hard and I have never seen a small camera such as this deliver this quality in not only photo but video as well.

The good news is that the RX100 doesn’t have an issue with using the LCD in bright light as Sony uses their new “White Magic” technology that keeps the LCD viewable in even this harsh AZ sunlight I live with every day :)

IMPORTANT! WITH all of my reviews and this one as well you must CLICK THE IMAGES to see them larger and in the quality they are meant to be seen in. If you do not do this they will not look as good as they could. 

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The Zoom lens in the Rx100 – Zeiss quality and rendering is here!

I stated that I was not a fan of zoom lenses in most compact or P&S (point and shoot) cameras but the lens in the RX100 is different. It starts out with a fast f/1.8 aperture and offers a 28-100mm zoom range. While the lens doesn’t stay at f/1.8 for long (as soon as you zoom from 28mm it goes to f/2 and then slows down from there) it offers really good quality in “real world” situations. You know, what a camera is built to be used for…photos. I have shot the RX100 in all kinds of situations. Low light, good light, harsh light and at all focal lengths and apertures. Never once did it disappoint me. Shooting at 28 at 1.8 is nice as you get that fast aperture so you can keep ISO’s lower (as low as ISO 80) or jack it up if you need to to shoot in low light.

RX100 – f/2.2 – 30mm – ISO 1000 – JPEG

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The RX100 at 28mm wide open at 1.8. You can get shallow Depth Of Field if you stay close to your subject.

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Another wide open at 1.8 and 28mm – this camera also happens to be SILENT in addition to crazy small. It’s the same shutter sound as the uber quiet Leica X2 and Nikon V1 when using the electronic shutter.

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So I was not disappointed with the lens at all. I found it sharp even wide open. I found the color to be some of the richest I have seen from Sony without the usual color wonkiness the NEX series gives you at times. It’s got a Zeiss feel about it and is smooth with great color pop and contrast. Me like.

Click images below to see full 100% crops embedded in the larger versions!

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The Features of the Sony RX100 – Lots of tech here

This little guy may appear to be just a compact P&S but it is much more than that. I am not going to bullshit here or beat around the bush. THIS my friends is the compact you have been wanting since digital photography started. If the RX100 launched in 1998 people would have been dumbfounded and shocked beyond belief. There are loads of things here that the Sony gives us..

  • Focus Peaking for Manual Focus and using MF with the ring dial is easy.
  • Live out HDMI. You can connect a mini HDMI display if you like and shoot with it in this way.
  • Control Dial on the lens barrel. Not a 1st but it is well implemented as you can program its function quickly.
  • Large sensor quality in a jeans front pocket camera. Wow!
  • “White Magic” LCD screen so you can view and compose in bright light. Works great in sunny harsh AZ so will work wherever you are!
  • Silent as can be shutter. This is a leaf shutter much like what is in the Leica X2. No one would ever know you snapped a shot off.
  • The lens extracts quickly upon power up and closes in at shutdown in a fast motion. When sucked in the body the lens has a built in cap that closes to protect your lens. No more lost lens caps. Also, the camera is very slim with lens retracted.
  • Much improved menus and control over the NEX series.
  • Full manual video! You can set the aperture, shutter speed, etc. No more dumbed down video.
  • Beautiful metal build in an all stealthy and gorgeous BLACK.
  • SteadyShot works great, as always.
  • Close focus abilities when at 28mm, something the Leica X2 can only dream about.
  • Has all of the usual Sony features like Sweep Pano, Color filters, Night modes, and even the new “Superior Auto” mode  that helps you take great pics even if you have no idea what you are doing.
  • AF is fast, almost instant. I have shot in low light, no light and good light. The camera had a hard time in NO light of course but I had no issues in low light, AT ALL. Focus always locked and never gave me a false lock (like the NEX does at times).
  • Built in flash is tillable for bounce.
  • Unique self portrait mode where the camera waits until it sees your face in the frame before it fires. It then takes a shot every three seconds until you move out of  the frame!
  • Zoom is slow and steady for video use.
  • Fast burst mode with 10 frames per second capability.
  • ALL of this in a tiny shirt pocket design. Oh, and it is made in Japan. It reeks of quality inside and out.
RX100 – f/4 – ISO 100 – 28mm

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RX100 – f/1.8 – 1/30 – -0.7 – ISO 125

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After shooting this cam for a few days I found I preferred it to something like a NEX-5 just due to the IQ, size, design and speed. The 1″ sensor must have some kind of special properties as the Nikon V1 also had these qualities but this RX100 is much smaller than even the Nikon V1 and IMO gives a little but better quality and much better high ISO quality. The RX100 literally squashes any previous P&S or pocket camera. The new upcoming Leica D-Lux 6 better have something special inside because it may be tough to beat the RX100. Seriously.

RX100 and Nikon V1 – The V1 is much thicker and larger but is also an interchangeable lens camera, which ultimately will give more versatility. The RX100 is a “super” compact meant to fit in a shirt pocket or pants pocket or purse. Literally TAKE ANYWHERE. Now there are no excuses.

Low Light and High ISO

One issue with most compacts is that they may give you nice output most of the time but to me they have always appeared digital and hard in the way they rendered the photos coming out of them. The old Canon S100, IMO, was a prime example of this. It was very digital, kind of “hard”, built a bit flimsy and had horrible low light performance with awful grain at ISO 800 even. Oh how times have changed..you have no idea!

Shooting the RX100 up to ISO 1600 is not a problem. Keep in mind that EVERY IMAGE in this review was shot as JPEG as at this time there is no Adobe support for the RX100 RAW files. So what you see in this review is the WORST this camera will deliver as it only gets better when shooting RAW. With RAW you can control the amount of Noise Reduction and therefore avoid smearing. You can control color, white balance, exposure AFTER the fact. I always shoot RAW but I have been very impressed with JPEGS coming from the Sony as is. This RX100 has better Auto White Balance and color than my NEX-7.

As for low light and high ISO I have been amazed at what I have seen. I turned the Noise Reduction to “LOW” and I shot a few images at various higher ISO’s in various light conditions:

RX100 – JPEG  - ISO 3200 – f/4.9 – 95mm

I shot the above image as a JPEG, Vivid mode I believe. It was around 8PM and I was at the Wildlife World Zoo here in Phx, AZ. The camera was on Auto ISO and it picked 3200 for this exposure. I zoomed in and fired. This is what came out. I have not added any Noise Reduction, I have not added any filters or effects. I simply resized this image to include in the review and adjusted contrast and levels. For a shirt pocket camera I have never seen anything close to this performance at ISO 3200, and this was at night!

I also did a long exposure around 8:45 PM in the same spot:

This is a 5 second exposure, ISO 80 at f/1.8. I set the camera on a ledge as i did not have a tripod with me.

A few more high ISO examples including 6400 ISO:

RX100 – ISO 1250 with 100% crop embedded when you click the image!

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How about another ISO 3200?

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or ISO 6400?

So why did I shoot the 6400 examples in B&W? I do not know really but if I were to shoot at this ISO it probably would be in B&W. I can not wait to see RAW results without the NR and noise smearing. I have a feeling ISO 6400 and B&W will be reminiscent of film with a tight grain, much like the Nikon V1 does at 1600 and 3200 with B&W. I have no complaints with the RX100 high ISO capabilities.

Why would I spend $650 on this over a DSLR? 

Man, you can go buy a full blown Sony A57 for about the cost of this little teeny pocket rocket. Why on earth would someone buy THIS RX100 over a DSLR? Some of you have already asked me this. I am one of those in the camp that feels the cost of the RX100 is NOT overpriced. For me, an RX100 brings me much more joy than lugging a DSLR anywhere. A DSLR and huge lenses have their place but they are not small or pocketable and I never would bring one everywhere with me.

This Sony RX100 has all of the features, and even more, than a huge DSLR. The image quality makes no apologies to it’s bigger DSLR brothers. Sure, you can go buy a DSLR and pro lens and get sharper images and make huge ass prints but you can also do this with the RX100. You lose some versatility as you are stuck with the zoom lens but man I would personally spend my hard earned cash on this over any DSLR in this price range any day. If it came down to a RX100 or Nikon starter DSLR it would be this one because it fits in my pocket and gives me 85-90% of the larger cameras quality. It’s nice to have this in addition to your workhorse or something like an M9, D800, 5D, etc.

Add to all of this the  panorama capabilities, HDR capabilities, color filters, a Zeiss lens, zoom versatility, great HD video, and some unique Sony only modes that you won’t find on other brands. Built in steady shot, made in Japan heritage. I mean, this little guy means business and I am not hyping here. Just writing what I feel, as I have done for years.

When I write reviews I may be enthusiastic but one thing I am not is dry and dull. When my excitement is there it shines through these pages and extrudes out to you. That is when you know I feel a camera is REALLY exceptional. The RX100 is exceptional for what it is. It is not an M9, it is not a OM-D, it is not a DSLR. It is a camera that many will buy in addition to their DSLR or larger kit. $650 is a bargain for what you get here as this is a camera  that will get massive amounts of use, at least for me it will. I bought my copy. :)

Motivation. I love being motivated to shoot and even though it’s the middle of summer here in AZ, a time when I am NOT motivated to go out and shoot..the RX100 did in fact get me out to shoot. I had no massive projects underway but I shoot just like most of you. My everyday life. My son, my friends, my girlfriend, my dog and things I see and do. It’s real world as it gets and the RX100 is a camera made for ANYONE and EVERYONE. That is what is so cool about it. It does what it does and does it well with little in the way of compromise.

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Speaking of compromise, what is wrong with the RX100?

With all of this gushing over the RX100 there has to be something wrong with it, right? Well if I could redesign a thing or two I would try to add a swivel LCD as I think this would be really useful and add versatility allowing you to shoot in creative angles. I would try to add a VF of some kind, inside. Even an optical to keep size down if need be. The camera is so small and slick, there really is not much of a grip so a grip could be nice. A constant 2.8 aperture would also be amazing. BUT if you add all of the things I am suggesting it would make the camera quite a bit larger, taking away from what it is meant to be, which is a high quality take anywhere pocket camera.

This means that maybe Sony can work on a RX10 or RX1000 – a bit larger, 2.8 aperture throughout, grip, swivel LCD and EVF. Then again, this sounds like a NEX-7. Now that I think about it Sony nailed it with this. It falls in between their DSLR and NEX series and provides one more way for us photo nuts to get our fix.

Now that I think a bit more I would also like to see the shutter speed increased to 1/4000s as 1/2000ths is what it tops out at now and shooting in sunlight is tough at 1.8 if you want a creamier looking background. Also after some use by me I noticed the finish on one side scratched a little so there is already black finish that has come off on my body. It may have scraped up against another camera so my fault, but it will scratch if you are not careful! The battery door and USB door could also be a little more sturdy.

Where f/1.8 can come in handy! Low light, 1/30s, f/1.8, ISO 160

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ISO 1600, B&W, 1/40s, f/2.2

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ISO 640 – f/1.8 – 1/30s

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Concerts? No problem. The RX100 Shoots Seal!

This little dynamo can also shoot grain free concert performances it seems. Check out these shots of Seal taken with the RX100 but know that these were not shot by me, but reader Barry Burris in Tulsa OK! Thanks Barry! I love the way the RX100 rendered these challenging shots as no other pocketable compact made to date could tackle this and give such great performance. Amazing. For comparison, you can see my live shots of Seal all shot with Leica gear HERE.

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So this camera even does HD video? YES it does! 1080P

The RX100 also shoot HD video and you have options here. You can shoot in AVCHD or MP4. Tou can choose your recording settings such as 60i or 60p and the cool thing is you have full manual control if you desire when shooting video. You can also let the camera take over and choose settings. I like shooting in Aperture priority mode so I can choose the Aperture. There is also a wind noise reduction setting because this camera will pick up wind noise, no doubt. The RX100 will not give you video as rich as the NEX-5n or NEX-7 or even Olympus OM-D with a nice lens BUT it will give you perfectly acceptable video that is rich and with great IS. Below is a video sample I made with the camera. BTW, you can NOT add an external mic to the camera, which would have been cool so you are stuck with the internal microphone.

RX100 Sony Features – Panorama, Picture Effects, etc

For JPEG shooters who want simplicity and some cool out of camera effects Sony has included their Picture Effects and Sweep Panorama modes just as they do in all of their cameras. You get Toy Camera, POP Color, Posterization Effect, Retro, Soft High Key, Partial Color, High Contrast Monochrome, Soft Focus, HDR Painting, Rich Tone B&W, Miniature, Watercolor Effect and the Illustration effect which makes your subject look like it was drawn.

Most of these are garbage, I admit that. I do like the High Contrast Monochrome though as it gives a nice contrasty B&W result. I would throw away most of the others :)

High Contrast B&W

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Illustration Mode 

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Watercolor Effect

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Sweep Panorama Mode

So the RX100 keeps the effects we know from previous Sony digital cameras. They are there if you want them, and if you do not then you can ignore them. The camera also focuses very close at 28mm. While not a true macro performance the camera can get VERY close at 1.97″ away from your subject. In comparison, the $2000 Leica X2 will get you 11.81 inches away at its closest focus. One weakness of the X2 I would love to see improved in an X3.

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Compared to the Nikon V1, Olympus OM-D and Leica X2

So how would this little Sony RX100 Dynamo do against the Nikon V1? The V1 has the same sensor size but is 10Mp where the Sony is 20MP, twice the megapixel count of the Nikon V1. This should spell disaster for Sony but the results may surprise you. I am a Nikon V1 fan but have to give credit where credit is due. Take a look for yourself and be sure to click on the images for the full size files to see them in better quality! I also added comparison with the Olympus OM-D and 12-50 Zoom and the Leica X2!

You can see how much smaller the RX100 is to the fatter Leica X2. The RX100 is truly a pocket camera.

These are all OOC JPEGS using the same aperture. I let camera choose exposure. To me, it appears that the X100 and X2 gave me the best exposure. Click the images to see larger size and 100% crops to see how each camera delivered. Keep in mind the Olympus had the 12-50 kit zoom and the V1 used the 10-30 Kit zoom. I have to say the most accurate color wise, and I looked at this dumpster for a few minutes to embed it in my memory…comes from the Sony RX100.

Sony RX100 with Crop:

Nikon V1 with crop:

Olympus OM-D with crop:

Leica X2 with crop:

So as you can see there are differences in exposure and how each camera exposes the scene. This was full sun at 2pm and the sun was BRIGHT. The X2 pumped up the contrast and color a tad and the RX100 exposed it pretty spot on. The Sony has a smooth character with pleasing colors that are quite a bit different than the NEX series look and color. I

Pros and Cons of the Sony RX100

Pros

  • Small size, HIGH quality
  • Superb and shockingly good high ISO performance
  • JPEG or RAW or BOTH
  • HD 1080 Video in 60i or 60p
  • Zeiss Zoom lens is fantastic. Rich, smooth, great color and pop
  • Camera is fast to AF, and locks on quickly and accurately
  • Control dial can be customized to your preferences
  • Much better menu system than the NEX series
  • WhiteMagic technology  LCD allows use in bright light. LCD is 3″ and very good quality.
  • The image quality is the best I have seen of any pocket compact made to date, ever (not counting Leica X2, which isn’t a “pocket camera”
  • Blows away cameras like S100, G12, and even the D-Lux and Lumix compacts
  • Made in Japan and quality is high – build and feel is very nice
  • All of the filters and gimmicks of the NEX and Alpha series is here
  • Fits in my shirt or pants pocket and beats phone images, even the Nokia 808
  • Great for any photo situation
  • All in one piece of camera dynamite!

Cons

  • It may be TOO small for many
  • No swivel LCD
  • No EVF or VF at all!
  • 1/2000th second top shutter speed
  • Lens slows down as soon as you start to zoom so 1.8 is only good at 28mm, the widest setting
  • Can scratch easily
  • No real super shallow DOF but it is possible with 1.8 aperture at wide setting up close
  • Doesn’t come with a proper battery charger which seems to be the new thing with Sony. You get an AC wall wart with a USB cable and must charge the battery while it is in the camera.
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My bottom line final word conclusion on the Sony RX100

As you can tell, I really fell for the RX100. I did not think I would as I saw it as just another average quality Sony compact. The RX100 is a different breed of Sony compact though and it’s quite remarkable in its capabilities for its size and sensor size. If a 1″ sensor can do this good imagine what is to come with APS-C or full frame sensors in the near future. The RX100 must have other manufacturers freaking out a bit. Here we have a small P&S size compact, Zeiss lens, superb ISO performance, Fast AF, 1080 HD video, quiet leaf shutter, discreet and beautiful design, made in Japan quality and IQ that sets it apart from any other compact to date.

I will keep this simple. The Sony RX100 is the best compact camera to ever be released in the digital world. Ever. Period. End of story. Will to be the best for long? Who knows but I do know it is not a camera that will hold you back from taking any kind of photos you want. If you have the passion, the creativity and drive you can make amazing photos with the RX100. I highly recommend it. I bought it :)-

Where to buy the RX100

You can buy the X100 at two of my most shopped stores. B&H Photo should have it in stock at all times. Amazon also sells the RX100 and we all know Amazon. I highly recommend both of these dealers for your photo nee

Buy the Sony RX100 at B&H Photo HERE

Buy the Sony RX100 at Amazon HERE

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Jul 242012
 

 

Quick “Just for Fun” Comparisons: Sony RX100, Olympus OM-D and Nikon V1 (With an X2 detail shot thrown in for fun)

Working on the Sony RX100 review but until then check out some quick comparisons I did between it and the Nikon V1 and Olympus OM-D. Since the Nikon and Sony use Zoom lenses, either kit or built-in, I used the 12-50 for the Olympus to be fair. BUT, in a shot or two the Olympus accidentally slipped into P mode from A mode so the test is not a fair one as the Oly lens was stopped down much more than the others in a couple of the test shots.

I will be doing new test shots for the RX100 review that are matched but thought some of you may enjoy seeing these, just for fun. 

I also took a detail shot that you can download in full size from the V1, OM-D, RX100 and Leica X2 and these are at the bottom.  Just for fun of course :)

Finally, these are all OOC JEGS ONLY! There is no RAW support for the RX100 yet from Adobe so to be fair, all were shot JPEG. So this test is a “just for fun” JPEG test :) Again, I will have more detailed tests in my RX100 review soon. For now, enjoy these and be sure to click the images for larger views and to see the true 100% crops!

Thank you!

Click images for large size with 100% crop – 1st shot is from the RX100 at f/4.5 – 2nd shot is form the Nikon V1 at f/4 and third is OM-D 

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Again, RX100, Nikon V1 and then OM-D – CLICK THEM FOR LARGER and 100% Crop! ALL JPEGS! But this one is not fair as the last shot (OM-D) was set to f/11 by accident. Still, you may find it useful for color, etc.

1st – RX100 – 2nd – Nikon V1 – 3rd – OM-D

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one more set – f/4 on all cameras this time! – ALL JPEGS!

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Now some high iso, tripod used, low light – ISO 3200 – JPEG only in this test (No RAW support for RX100 yet)

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and below are full size direct OOC JPEG  files from each camera just to test for detail and what you would get out of camera shooting JPEG. Click them for full size. Each camera was set to “Standard” color mode, same aperture. Camera chose exposure as this is how 95% of people use them. 

Jul 222012
 

The Sony RX100 – My quick real world preview of this ultra sexy pocket rocket!

UPDATE: My final review of the RX100 is no up and it can be found HERE!

YES! Another X! The X1, X1, X100, X-Pro 1 and now the RX100! X must be the magic number, or at least camera manufacturers think so it seems.  I just took delivery of the “New X”, the  Sony RX100. A small pocket rocket powerhouse of a camera that just in a couple days has FAR exceeded my expectations of what can come out of a pocket 1″ sensor camera, all for under $650.

Someone on Google + told me this picture below was taken by an Olympus camera, not the RX100. Well, yes it was! It was a picture taken OF THE RX100 to show how it fits in my jean pocket. Could not have taken it with the RX100 now could I? But yes, it will fit in a front jeans pocket easily. I left it sticking out for illustration purposes :)

It is funny though as this is a camera that is NOT aimed at me because I am not a huge fan of small pocket cameras because the quality usually suffers. I am one of those who never cared for the Canon S100 as I found the quality good but no where near great, especially low light. Anytime I see these small cameras at a camera shop or even a Best Buy store I walk right by them because before now they all had some serious compromises. Well, not anymore. The days of pocket meaning “lesser quality” are over. The Sony RX100 is here and man… it means business. If Sony grew some balls when they released the NEX-7, they just grew bigger here as they are taking on the likes of the Nikon 1 system and possibly even more serious cameras. What? Yep, this little guy packs a serious punch and is versatile as can be.

ISO 1250, OOC JPEG, B&W, Click image for larger

Keep in mind!

This is ONLY my 1st look quick preview (this is NOT the review as the review will be much more detailed) as I have had minimal time with the camera but man, I know when a camera is special right away and when it is not even close to being special, or having magic. The RX100 is a special camera just due to the fact that it is tiny, super fast, has amazing IQ that rivals some DSLR’s, has exceptional quality video and a fast 1.8 aperture lens at the wide end. The lens gives you a 28-100 equivalent and the lens seems to be excellent. ISO performance is the best I have seen for this size of camera and the AF is blazing fast.

1st things 1st! My 1st look video  (specs of this camera can be found at the end of this preview)

My 1st day thoughts on the RX100:

Well, can one be in love after two days? Probably not but it feels like it. This camera opens up some great possibilities. It is tiny, silent and even blazing fast AND gives DSLR quality..well, correction… in some cases BETTER than DSLR quality (depending on DSLR and lens used). It fits in my front jeans pocket and is ready to roll at a moments notice. No, there is no EVF but this is a small camera that is meant for REALLY take anywhere pocket use. The LCD screen is easily visible even in the brutal AZ sun (can’t say the same for other cameras) as it has Sony’s “White Magic” technology that improves visibility in full sun.

It’s a fun camera but what is even more fun is when you look at your files and see how nice they are for coming out of such a small camera! Click on the following images to see larger sizes. The 1st one is ISO 3200 and all are OOC JPEGS.

The fast Zeiss lens helps and you can shoot at 28mm at f/1.8 and get nice results and even some decent Bokeh as well. The image below if of my son at ISO 6400. It is an OOC JPEG so you do see the NR but this is 6400, coming out of a pocket camera! I have not shot RAW yet but I will have RAW results when I post my full review of this camera.

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So this looks like it will be a hit for Sony. I can not wait to shoot it over the next couple of weeks to really put it through its paces and pit it against the Nikon V1 and just for fun, a Leica X2! Should be fun :)  I also was messing around and took some video and it looked beautiful as well. The built-in Steady Shot worked wonders and this Zeiss lens has a Zeiss feel about it, even in the video. I will have full video samples in my full review.

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In my hand the camera feels small but solid with a nice build. If it did have an EVF it would be flat-out my dream pocket cam. Then again, and EVF would have made it larger and that would have made it appeal to a different group of camera enthusiast, and not fit in my pocket! Me, I see this camera being taken with me anywhere and everywhere. Something  that many other cameras can easily achieve with a bag, but now I have that quality in my pocket it seems. I can not give any final evaluation on it until my review of course but so far so good!

The RX100 is in stock at Amazon at the time of this writing and has 14 reviews, all of them 5 star reviews! B&H Photo sold out their 1st shipment in a day but their RX100 page is HERE and you can pre-order from them if you desire. This may be the camera of the summer and I can see many buying it as a 2nd body to a more serious camera or even a camera for the wife, hubby or kids who do not know so much about camera modes, functions and features (because it’s easy to pick up and use). Exciting times!

My full review will be coming soon so keep your eyes peeled!

The specs of the RX100

20.2 Megapixel Exmor 1″ CMOS Image Sensor

The massive 20.2MP Exmor 1″ CMOS sensor captures ultra-high definition images that take full advantage of the camera’s sharp Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T lens. The sensor enables advanced column A/D processing that reduces noise levels, resulting in astonishing low light images with incredible smooth and clear details

Bright F1.8 Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T Lens with 3.6x Optical Zoom

This large-diameter F1.8 Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T lens delivers refined background defocusing. It also features a premium multi-layered T coating that dramatically reduces ghost and flare caused by light reflection. Focal length (35mm equivalent) – Still 16:9: 29-105mm; Still 4:3: 30-108mm; Still 3:2: 28-100mm; Still 1:1: 36-127mm; Movie 16:9: 29-105mm (Std), 33-120mm (Active); Movie 4:3: 36-128mm (Std), 41-146mm (Active)

P/A/S/M Modes for Video & Stills

Enjoy a full range of controls for video and still shooting from iAUTO mode to P/A/S/M: Program, Aperture Priority, Shutter Priority and Manual. There are even on-screen prompts which help you refine your skills, build your confidence and exercise greater creative control

Capture JPEG Files, RAW Files, or Both

The RX100 saves pictures as compact JPEG files and/or ultra-high quality RAW files. RAW files save images prior to de-mosaicing, white balance, sharpness and color enhancement. This retains maximum latitude for enhancing the image on your PC

Full HD 1080/60p Video Capture

Record crystal clear movies in Full HD 1080p at 60 fps. This provides stunning, fast motion video with less distortion for playback on your HDTV. Plus, with dual recording for stills and movies, you can shoot both at the same time

Low-Light ISO 6400 Sensitivity

Capture incredibly clear low-light pictures without sacrificing detail, thanks to the low-noise Exmor CMOS image sensor and refined BIONZ image processor

High-Speed Auto Focus

To improve focusing speed and sensitivity, the Exmor CMOS sensor uses its rapid throughput to deliver high-quality image signals to the camera’s BIONZ processor, which provides intelligent response data to a high-speed actuator motor in the lens. The result is fast, DSLR-like focusing speeds even in low light

Up to 10 fps Burst Mode

Capture full 20.2 megapixel resolution images at up to 10 fps, helping to ensure that the decisive moment is captured such as the soccer ball flying into the goal. In addition, a mechanical shutter helps reduce distortion when continuously shooting moving subjects

Large 3″ Xtra Fine LCD Display

The 3″ (1229k dots) Xtra Fine LCD Display makes it easy to scroll through menus and preview pictures. Plus, the large display delivers brilliant-quality still images and movies while enabling easy focusing operation. It also features WhiteMagic technology, which increases visibility in bright daylight

Customizable Function Button

Assign up to seven different functions to the function button, to allow quick access to your most frequently used functions

Optical SteadyShot with Active Mode

Optical SteadyShot with Active Mode enables blur-free movies even while walking. Plus, the camera-shake compensation using Optical SteadyShot/Active Mode has been improved with the addition of electronic image stabilization, which makes it easier to obtain sharp, blur-free movies even when zooming in unsteady situations, such as shooting with one hand while walking

Memory Recall

MR (memory recall) mode can memorize up to three groups of the user’s preferred settings. The settings include zoom magnification, white balance, exposure compensation, date and grid lines. This enables quick switching of settings at the right moment

Sophisticated Design with Pop Up Flash

The sophisticated aluminum body is lightweight, slim and strong. There’s even an integrated pop up flash, which affords the convenience of flash photography everywhere you go

Auto Portrait Framing

Simply photograph a person and Auto Portrait Framing will save an additional, optimally framed image in portrait or landscape orientation. This mode combines Face Detection and By Pixel Super Resolution technologies with rule of thirds to provide beautifully composed and appealingly balanced full resolution portraits

Auto HDR Mode

Using auto HDR mode allows you to capture more scene dynamic range than a single exposure can handle – and more range than photo film. It combines the best highlight detail from one shot, the best mid-tones from a second shot and the best shadow detail from a third shot for one incredible image (up to 6 EV stops). Plus, it works in a split second (recommended for still subjects)

Face Detection / Face Registration

The camera can automatically detect and register up to eight individual faces and adjust focus, exposure, white balance and flash to help deliver crisp, properly lit images of family and friends. You can even prioritize children or adults

Multi-Aspect Ratio Recording for Still Images

Capture still images in any of four aspect ratios – 1:1, 2:3, 4:3, or 16:9 (vertical to horizontal). This provided the freedom to choose a ratio that matches the scene or the specific shooting purpose

3.6x Optical Zoom & 7.2 Digital Zoom

Most digital zooms use electronic cropping to get closer to the subject, resulting in unsharp images. With Clear Image Zoom the powerful processor compares patterns found in adjacent pixels and creates new pixels to match selected patterns, resulting in more realistic, higher-quality images. Clear Image Zoom digitally doubles optical zoom for closer photos

Four Focusing Modes

This camera has two Autofocus modes: Single-shot AF (AF-S) or Continuous AF (AF-C), which tracks moving objects. It also has Manual Focus for manual focusing freedom, and Direct Manual Focus (DMF), that first uses autofocusing to focus on the subject, and then allows fast and easy switching to manual focusing for even more precise adjustment

MF Assist & Peaking

Manual focus becomes much easier because peaking highlights the edges that are in focus in your choice of three colors (white, red, or yellow). This is especially helpful during macro or portrait photography where your focus setting can make or break your shot

Multi-Frame Noise Reduction

In this mode, the camera automatically shoots multiple images and layers them to produce a single noise-free image. This method provides noise reduction equivalent to a 2-stop lower shutter speed while maintaining the same aperture setting. Since the Multi Frame NR mode can be used in combination with P/A/S/M modes, it expands the user’s shooting flexibility

Photo Creativity

The Photo Creativity interface enables you to easily enjoy the creative expression of SLR-quality digital imaging without complex jargon. Changes can be combined, removed and viewed in real time on the LCD display, which makes it a breeze to make adjustments. Choose from several different Photo Creativity functions using the convenient control wheel and center button including: Picture Effect, Background Defocus, Color, Brightness and Vividness

Picture Effect Mode

Picture Effect is a fun and simple way to convert ordinary landscapes and portraits by heightening mood and emphasizing certain attributes. Effects include: Soft Focus, Posterization, Retro Photo, High Contrast Monochrome, Rich-Tone Monochrome, Miniature, Soft High-key, Toy Camera, Pop Color, Partial Color, Watercolor Painting, HDR Painting and Illustration

Creative Style Settings

Control how the camera processes your images with six finishing styles: Standard, Vivid, B&W, Sunset, Portrait and Landscape. You can even fine-tune contrast, saturation and sharpness to your personal taste

Sweep Panorama Mode

Capture expansive landscapes automatically. Press the shutter and sweep vertically or horizontally. The camera does the rest by continuously shooting images and stitching them together

Superior Auto Mode

In order to get cleaner, more dynamic pictures and fewer missed shots, the camera automatically recognizes the correct scene mode, then quickly shoots and combines up to six shots to produce images with greater clarity, optimum dynamic range using Backlight Correction HDR technology, and lower image noise using six shot layering technology. Superior Auto can intelligently detect 33 scenes for still images and movies, making it easy to get the best shot

Intelligent Scene Recognition Mode

Intelligent Scene Recognition (iSCN) automatically detects 33 different types of scenes for photos and 44 scenes for movies, and then selects the appropriate camera settings. In Auto Mode, the camera takes a single shot using the optimal settings. In Advanced Mode, the camera takes a photo with the optimal settings and, if in difficult lighting (low light or back light) immediately takes a second photo with another optimized setting so you can choose which to keep

Digital Level Gauge

The digital level gauge allows for easier leveling of the camera

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