Apr 082014
 

Sony RX100: The Ultimate Everyday Family Camera

By Jonathan Acierto

Hello Steve, I’m a hobbyist photographer, DSLR owner, and a father of 2 toddlers. Ever since 2008, when I got my first DSLR (Canon Rebel XT), I’ve been looking for a pocket camera that would be a good everyday camera to substitute for the DSLR. Call me lazy, but I just don’t want to lug around the DSLR all the time with a bunch of lenses just to take photos of the kids. Since I have a Canon DSLR, I have owned various Canon compact cameras over the years: Powershot A540, A590IS, SX110IS, SX200IS, G9, and S95. I enjoyed using each one for a time, but was always missing the image quality, low light performance, and operational speed of my DSLR. Sure, my iPhone 4S takes fantastic photos too and I still take a lot of photos with it, but I still find I need a real camera for capturing photos of the kids in demanding situations (ie. low light).

Mirrorless camera systems and the Fuji X100S are excellent options available now, but I did not want to buy into another whole camera system (having kids really drains the wallet!) and the Fuji X100S was still a little bigger than what I wanted for a compact camera. If I was going to carry a camera on my shoulder, I might as well just bring the DSLR (I currently own a Canon 6D). The Ricoh GR looked really tempting with such a small package and APS-C sensor, but the lens was fixed and a little wider than I would like. The Fuji X20 at least had a zoom lens, but the sensor still seemed a little small and the camera itself wasn’t that small. I also love shooting analog. I have a Canon QL17 GIII rangefinder that I love to use and it’s fairly compact, but still requires a shoulder strap and requires money to be spent on film and developing. With that much expense, my wife would kill me if I shot analog all the time!

Then the Sony RX100 was release in 2012 and ever since then, I have been seeing nothing but praise for the camera. After reading a lot of reviews (including Steve’s), looking at a lot of sample photos, and waiting for a used RX100 in excellent condition to become available on KEH, I finally was able to buy one in January of this year.

The camera has not disappointed me. Image quality from such a small camera is excellent, light years ahead compared to my previous compact cameras, but excellent IQ seems to be a given nowadays from any camera with a 1″ or bigger sensor. What really impresses me about the Sony RX100 is the operational speed. With a DSLR, there is hardly any shutter lag and almost no waiting on the camera between shots. With all the Canon compact cameras I used, shutterlag was not a problem, but it seemed like I waited forever for the photos to be written to the card before I could take another shot. With fast-moving toddlers, this could get frustrating. With the Sony RX100, shutterlag is non-existent and I no longer have that waiting time for the photos to be saved to the card. The camera is ready for the next shot as soon as I left my finger off the shutter button. I can just keep snapping photos of the kids and the camera keeps up. Finally, a fast operating pocket camera that actually fits in my pocket!

Steve has written the RX100 is the best pocket digital compact camera ever, and speaking as a parent who needs a fast performing camera to capture toddlers, I wholeheartedly agree. The pocket camera segment is disappearing because of smartphones, but I truly think if the camera companies would get their act together and make pocket cameras as good as the Sony RX100, then regular people with families would want to buy compact cameras again. I know parents who have bought mirrorless system cameras or DSLR’s, but they only use the kit lens and haven’t bought any more lenses. Believe me, I have tried to convince them they need to get better glass! Honestly, why do they need a mirrorless system or DSLR camera when they aren’t going to upgrade the glass? Speaking as a parent, I think most parents would be better served getting a Sony RX100, or maybe the new Sony RX10 if they wanted more focal length.

Please enjoy the photos of the my kids! I may be biased, but they’re the cutest subjects in the world.

To see more of my photography, please visit my Flickr page: http://www.flickr.com/photos/samuraislice/sets/

Jonathan V. Acierto

My daughter’s hands as she plays with her camera.

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The kids eating cupcakes, I wouldn’t have been able to grab this moment with a slower camera.

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My wife holding my son

Sophia and Petey at Window

My son zoning out a little bit, love his hands in this photo
Peteys Hands

My kids riding off into the sunset

Kids Riding into the Sunset

 

Jan 272014
 

Hi Brandon & Steve!

From Dubai in the United Arab Emirates. My name is Brendan Jack. I’m a long time reader but first time poster to your site (which is a daily addiction!!)

My wife & I relocated to Dubai seven years ago from our home in the Blue Mountains, outside of Sydney, Australia. It was our first time living outside of our Blue Mountains home, surrounded by our World Heritage National Park, and our first time living in a big city. Culture shock was an understatement but we have grown to love Dubai and it’s exotic ways and now call it home.

For the first time in our seven-year sojourn, we spent Christmas here in Dubai, flying our 2 boys and one of their families in from Oz to Dubai, to share Christmas and New Year. Having had a late night getting home from the New Year’s Eve world record fireworks show, we headed off around midday to the camel races about 25kms out of town. It was on our list to go & we had tried once before earlier in the year but the races weren’t on then……they are a winter activity. Winter here is a great time, with temperatures in the mid-twenties centigrade & mostly blue skies. Think high contrast desert shooting conditions.

Camel racing is something to behold, if you ever get a chance. It is a big money sport over here in terms of prize money & value of the steeds, with prize camels being traded for hundreds of thousands of dollars. Being a Muslim country, there is no gambling, of course, just the pride of the win, but make no mistake, it is a serious business for those owners and trainers. Jockeys, on the other hand are totally ambivalent, being small remote-controlled robots!! Not long before we arrived seven years ago, after several bad accidents, they changed from child jockeys over to these small but robust little machines. They come complete with rotating whips that can be controlled by the owners, who all race along beside the pack of camels in their Toyota Landcruiser 4×4’s, yelling encouragement to their charges, abuse at the other owners & drivers, and punching buttons & wiggling the joysticks on their jockey remote controls. Semi-controlled, high adrenaline, chaos. A great spectacle.

I have submitted a bunch of photos, that I hope give a bit of a feel for the day. The officials were really friendly & helpful, letting us behind the scenes & into the staging areas. The folks over here mostly don’t mind having their photo taken, providing you have the courtesy to ask first.

In terms of my photography experience, I bought my very first camera, a Nikon D300 DSLR, in 2008 a year after arriving here, and I still use it in situations such as the camel races, where versatility is the order of the day, fitted with a Nikon 18 – 200mm (27 – 300mm equivalent with 1.5x APS-C crop) travel zoom. Not the sharpest tool in the shed to be sure, but in Dubai’s harsh desert conditions, where there is sand in the air constantly, you don’t want to change lenses a whole lot. So, don’t expect any great photographic heights from these shots, they are more photojournalism-ish snaps than anything else. I have shot a lot of travel snaps with this combo & it has stood me in good stead. The 1.5kg weight is getting to me though, as my 50+ body is not getting any younger and I bought a Sony RX-100 (the first version) last year to travel to China. I’m thinking of now trading the Nikon in for a Sony A7, which should be up to the harsh conditions here & make for a lighter travelling kit, not to mention, a quantum leap in IQ & some FF goodness to boot. Processing was all done with LR4 & Nik’s Silver EFX 2.

I don’t have a website or any public photo display…..my photos have mainly been for selfish pleasure & frustration in fairly equal measure. Like most first timers, it is a bit of a leap of faith to put yourself out there. Hope you like them.

Cheers

Brendan

Home Straight (B&W), Camel Races, Dubai - New Year's Day Jan  2014

Mounted & Waiting (B&W), Camel Races, Dubai - New Year's Day Jan  2014

Winner (B&W), Camel Races, Dubai - New Year's Day Jan 2014

Racing Fans, (B&W), Camel Races, Dubai - New Year's Day Jan 2014

A Day At The Races (B&W), Camel Races, Dubai - New Year's Day Jan  2014

Eyes Right (B&W), Camel Races, Dubai - New Year's Day Jan 2014

Larry, Curly & Moe B&W), Camel Races, Dubai - New Year's Day Jan  2014

Watching (B&W), Camel Races, Dubai - New Year's Day Jan 2014

Wrangler 1 (B&W), Camel Races, Dubai - New Year's Day Jan 2014

Wrangler 2 (B&W), Camel Races, Dubai - New Year's Day Jan 2014

Sep 262013
 

Head hunting on the Bonneville Salt Flats with the Sony RX100

By Terry Bell

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Hi Steve;

Hoping life is being kind to you. Your site has become my go to photo blog each morning.

A couple of weeks ago, I had the great joy of accompanying a dear friend to the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah, where,he would attempt to gain membership in the 200 mph club, aboard his BMW motorcycle.

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I decided to take two cameras with me on this adventure… My Fujifilm X Pro1 with 18-55 zoom and 14 mm wide-angle, and as back up , my Sony RX100.

After watching the first few timed runs, ( from a considerable distance ) it became clear that i was not going to come close to capturing the speed and excitement that some of these motorcycles generate, with the equipment I had.

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I decided that rather than focus on the motion, I would instead, turn my attention to the community of racers and staff that show up each year to make this event so special.

My go to camera for this project was my Sony RX100. It’s big advantage beyond it’s ability to render incredibly crisp images, is that it is, by and large, totally un-intimidating. I always like to work close when shooting people and I have found that the more serious the equipment, the greater the anxiety of the subject.

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Here on the Salt Flats, I was shooting total strangers and rarely was afforded more than two or three trips of the shutter. The little Sony performed flawlessly and took any hint of seriousness off my picture-taking.

As you can see by a couple of other pics, it did an equally fine job at capturing the beauty of the some of the machines, as well.

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Hope this proves of interest.

Terry Bell

Halifax, Nova Scotia

Canada

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Jul 012013
 

Shooting with the Sony RX100 by Kaushal Parikh

His Blog is HERE and his website is HERE

One of the most frequent questions I get asked is “what camera do you use?” I just realized that I have been through quite a large number of cameras in the last 5 years.  I am not one who believes that a better camera makes for better images, but I definitely believe that having a camera that you love will inspire you to go out and shoot, and the more you shoot the more good images you make – it’s that simple.

In recalling all the cameras I have used over the years and why I gave them up I also realized that I am pretty fickle when it comes to equipment.  In fact I am the kind of guy that gets bored of things very quickly and always find an excuse to move on to something new.  That is clearly the pattern that has played out with my street photography gear.

I started my street photography with a compact Lumix LX3 digital camera.  It is a brilliant camera to use and I shot some of my best images in b&w with this little beauty.  I would pre focus and just shoot away using the LCD to compose.  The tiny sensor ensured that there was sufficient depth of field and hence critical sharpness.  But the high ISO performance was not great.  I then moved on to a 5D but although image quality was amazing I immediately found it too large and heavy to shoot with in the streets.  Followed it up with a Fuji x100 and loved using it but then slowly fell in love with the tones of film.  So then I got myself a Nikon FM2. A great camera and one that made me decide that film was it for me.  I decided to splurge on my dream camera – the Leica M6 with a 35mm cron.  As expected I grew to love this camera and i made some incredible images with it.  But slowly I started to feel that I needed more speed and bought a Ricoh GR1s. A real gem but i quickly found the fixed 28mm lens too limiting and moved to an Olympus 35RC that had shutter priority and is also an amazing range finder with a fast 42mm lens.  Alas I found manual focus was slowing me down a tad and I got myself the amazing Nikon L35 (Nikon’s first autofocus compact camera).  By this time I was often mixing up my camera use with the Olympus and Nikon compact getting a majority of my time.

It was then that my wife gave me the most wonderful gift ever – a beautiful baby boy.

Since then my developing room has been converted into a nursery and developing my film in the spare bathroom was a ‘shitty’ experience.  That’s when I read about the Sony RX100 and thought it would be great to have a digital compact to go with my film cameras.  So I bought myself one and have been shooting with it a bit and think I quite like it.  It has surprisingly snappy auto focus and decent high ISO performance. Using the LCD to compose feels a bit strange but it is so much quicker and more discreet as I can shoot from any angle.  And best of all I look like the quintessential tourist with an amateur point & shoot digicam.  I am reminded of why I fell in love with the freedom and convenience of using a digital compact camera in the first place.  Back full circle!

Here are a few street images I shot with my RX100.

 

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Jun 262013
 

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The new Sony RX1R and RX100 II! The R stands for “Resolution”

Wow, now this is a superb release! We all knew it was coming but now it is official. The new Sony RX1R and the new RX100II. Both will look and feel the same but both will have improvements and the exciting news is that Sony took a cue from Nikon and decided to release a “Special Edition” RX1 that will be without an AA filter for ultimate image sharpness! As if the RX1 was not sharp enough, this one is going to be spectacular.

These are expected to start shipping on July 15th, in just about two weeks.

I will be reviewing the RX1R in a comparison against the original RX1 to see just how much different it is. Stay tuned!

The new RX100II ups the ante on the original with an all new sensor and sensor tech. This will be a camera with the worlds 1st  1.0-type back illuminated sensor. It is approximately 40% more sensitive in dimly lit situations compared to the existing RX100 model. This is good news as the original RX100 was  fantastic so I am looking forward to what this camera can deliver. A review will be coming for this one as well.

Both solid releases from Sony and while nothing really crazy new with the RX1, it will be yet another choice for this camera and to those who want the ultimate in detail. You can read the official details below as provided by Sony.

You can already Pre-Order the new Sony cameras at B&H Photo or Amazon:

PRE-ORDER THE RX1R AT B&H HERE

PRE-ORDER THE RX100 II AT B&H PHOTO HERE

or

The RX1R It is also available for pre-order at Amazon HERE

 

Sony Adds Two New Premium Compact Cameras to Acclaimed Cyber-shot® RX Line

New RX100 II model adds Exmor R™ CMOS sensor and connectivity; New RX1R full frame camera with enhanced resolution and detail

NEW YORK, June 27, 2013 – Building on its lineup of acclaimed compact cameras, Sony is introducing two new additions to the Cyber-shot RX series– the RX100 II and RX1R models.

Based on the same sleek, stylish design as the existing RX100 model, the new RX100 II features a new 1-inch back-illuminated CMOS sensor, enhanced system expandability and adds Wi-Fi® convenience with NFC One-Touch compatibility. With an identical camera body and design as the existing RX1 camera, the new special edition RX1R model has had its optical low pass filter removed for increased resolution and detail.

“Sony continues to redefine the levels of performance for a pocket-sized, fixed lens camera,” said Patrick Huang, director of the Cyber-shot business at Sony Electronics. “Now, with a total of four models in market in our Cyber-shot RX line – each with its own unique value proposition – consumers have more options than ever to experience the ultimate balance of size, imaging performance and imaging power.”

New Cyber-shot RX100 II Camera

Designed to increase sensitivity in low-light conditions and reduce overall picture noise, the new Exmor R sensor in the RX100 II camera is the world’s first 1.0-type back illuminated sensor. It is approximately 40% more sensitive in dimly lit situations compared to the existing RX100 model.

The powerful sensor is paired with an exceptional F1.8 Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T* lens to deliver exceptionally sharp, natural still images and Full HD video in any shooting condition – from bright daytime scenes to night-time landscapes and everything in between.

Additionally, the new RX100 II model is equipped with Wi-Fi capabilities and is also the first ever Sony camera to include NFC (Near Field Communication) technology, giving the extra convenience of instant, one-touch wireless transfer of content between compatible devices. Its Smart Remote Control functionality lets users preview images and control shutter release directly from their connected phones or tablets.

A Multi Interface Shoe on the RX100 II model allows users to add optional accessories including an electronic viewfinder, powerful external flash and clip-on LCD monitor. A Multi Terminal lets users add a shutter-release remote control.

The camera features a bright, detail-packed 3.0-type White Magic™ LCD display that tilts upwards (up to 84 degrees) and downwards (down to 45 degrees), giving shooters greater freedom to compose shots from overhead and low angles.

Additionally, the RX100 II model has expanded Full HD video capabilities with the addition of 24p shooting for cinematically styled movies. Other refinements include a step zoom function that lets users instantly choose any of five popular focal lengths for handy scene framing. Shooters can select 28mm, 35mm, 50mm, 70mm or 100mm focal lengths using the camera’s control ring, giving them an intuitive and fast alternative to zooming in and out.

The new camera is also compatible with Sony’s TRILUMINOS Color technology, ensuring richer, more natural color reproduction when connected to the new BRAVIA televisions featuring TRILUMINOS Display.

New Special Edition Cyber-shot RX1R Camera

The new Cyber-shot RX1R full-frame compact camera is designed to satisfy even the most critical photographer’s desire for sharper, more detailed pictures and enhanced resolution. The model’s ‘R’ suffix denotes a further improvement in the pocket-sized camera’s already spectacular resolution.

In common with many digital cameras, the original Cyber-shot RX1 camera features a multi-segment optical low-pass filter (OLPF) in front of the sensor to suppress unwanted moiré and color artifacts. The enthusiast-oriented RX1R model removes this low-pass filter to realize the full resolution potential of the image sensor and bring new levels of realism to landscapes and other finely-detailed subjects.

Additionally, to take advantage of the OLPF removal, the camera’s processing functions have been optimized to maintain image sharpness without compromising lens/sensor performance.

While weight and dimensions remain the same as the ground-breaking DSC-RX1, the special edition RX1R is also now compatible with TRILUMINOS Color technology, allowing for the ultimate image playback experience on compatible BRAVIA televisions.

Pricing and Availability

The new Cyber-shot RX100 II and RX1R models will both be available next month for about $750 and $2800 respectively.

Jan 042013
 

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Quick Tip for Sony RX100 and RX1 Owners: Nice external charger and batteries

Hey hey hey! Happy FRIDAY to all! Just a quick note to let all of you Sony RX1 owners out there know about an AWESOME external charger for your RX1. Since Sony did not include a proper charger with the camera for some reason we have to search for an external if we want one. That means if you want a real charger..as in one that you do not have to plug into the camera itself to charge the battery then we have to find one that works well and is not going to cost an arm and a leg.

I found such a charger and it is superb! I love it. Small and travel/bag friendly and it even has a digital display showing the charge progress. You just slide the battery up inside the unit and it charges it fairly quick. It is nice quality as well. This is the charger I chose for my RX1 batteries (I have 4 batteries total).

You can buy or take a look at the charge here on Amazon, and it is shipped and sold by Amazon (prime eligible) which is a plus. Also, it does in fact work perfect with the RX1 and RX100 batteries. I have charged all of mine up a few times already with this charger.

As for batteries you can buy the Sony branded ones for $33 a piece HERE or if you want to go cheap you can try out these at $5.99 each. I have a couple of these and they also work perfectly fine and give me the same life as the originals.

Just wanted to pass along this tip as I own and enjoy this charger and know a few of you were looking for a good external charger. This one is great and works 100% with the Sony RX100 and RX1 batteries.

SITE UPDATE: The site should be running much faster for everyone now. A few days ago I had some hiccups and the site was down for most of the day but as of today the site should be running VERY fast for everyone that has a high-speed connection. I am currently working on the SLR Magic 35 T 0.95 review and part one should be up by Monday. After that I will have the Fuji X-E1 review up using the 18-55 Kit Zoom and SLR Magic 35 T 1.4. I will also be at CES with Todd Hatakeyama from Tuesday to Thursday and will be doing reports from the show! Can’t wait!

Also, for those who have not checked out the RX1 files for a while, take a look here and see what others have been doing with their RX1!

 

 

Nov 042012
 

Sony RX100 makes Time Magazines “50 Best Inventions of 2012″!

I was sitting in my office last week thinking to myself “what has been my favorite camera release of 2012″? There have been so so many but I whittled the list down to 3 and the RX100 was in that top 3 for me. I have still not decided what camera will make my #1 of 2012 but I thought that Time Magazine was spot on when they put the RX100 in their top 50 Inventions of 2012 article at TIME.COM.

The RX100 is a marvelous piece of equipment. It is small, has a solid nice build, amazing IQ for the small sensor and it is FAST and hassle/fuss free. This has been the hottest seller for Sony in 2012 and I know why..because it is worth it. It beats just about every other compact pocket cam and does so with the same size sensor that is in the Nikon 1 series which they call a 1″ size sensor (though it is a bit smaller in reality).

So congrats to Sony for this one, it is well deserved! BTW, Amazon sells the RX100 and is where I bought mine!

You can read my RX100 review HERE. You can read other mirrorless and compact camera reviews HERE.

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!

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