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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