The Sony RX100 Shoots Seal in Concert! By Barry Burris

The Sony RX100 Shoots Seal in Concert! By Barry Burris


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.


Barry Burris


  1. I recently commented that the SONY DSCHX10V 18.2 and that it was the choice when factoring in price compared to the RX100. Just to be sure i bought an RX100 and found it goes a little deeper than that. The DSC is still a great camera but the RX100 is beyond comprehension. It boils down to control. The ability of this camera and quality blew me away, If you are looking for a grab n go, stick to the DSCHX10V 18.2 because it puts out pretty great pictures but if you re serious about buying thee camera to have… the RX100 is by far worth ever dime. Of all the SLR’s and Point and Shoots this is my favorite, It is one of those cameras where you just don’t want to put it down and look forward to using it every time. Thanks to Steve for the info on it. It had some weight on me buying the RX. I also ordered the hand grip from Richard Freniec. He makes awesome products and delivery is amazingly quick. Sold out at the moment but Richard told me via email he is working day and night to keep up. This camera has raised the bar very high and the big boys have had their bell rung. I like Olympus as well. As with Sony, another under-rated company but in need of some serious branding like Sony. Make no mistake though. Sony has arrived. Canon and Nikon have done a brilliant job at branding however you don’t buy branding, you buy the camera.

  2. Thanks Steve. Based on tour ate and comments. I just ordered one for a great price of 550.00. Also have dsc10v. Another great camera of you don’t want to pay the RX price. Got lucky finding mine at a deal but it took some work. Also have epm1, G10 and a Sony point and shoot that cast under 200.00 that takes great landscape shots. Is the landscape finally changing? Are we greeting away fom the over hyped Canon and Niiikon market? It is about time!

  3. Really impressive can’t What. For m43 system whit built in 24-100mm 1.4-2.8 zoom Lens. My dream camera…

  4. Barry i love your work and even though i own the X100 i would still say that the Sony pics are better than the X100.

    You got a great many ‘keepers’ and should feel pleased with yourself. Stage lighting can be very tricky with many sudden changes in light levels which mess exposure up.

    Question???? What did you use both cameras in?

    Manual or a Auto setting of some kind?

    Do you use the X100 with Auto ISO or manually set it at a fixed setting?

    You made some excellent quality images and the camera used is really just a secondary thing IMO.

    Great stuff and thanks for submitting to Steve’s excellent site.

    Thumbs UP- Rich.

    • Aperture Priority, Auto ISO. I shot the X100 the same way only with the wide angle adaptor. The X100 shots never quite hit the exposure just right. It is still a great camera and one of the best street cameras. Just not up to the frenetic changes of a concert.

  5. Very impressive indeed!
    Now I’m a bit confused…
    Given my budget, I don’t know whether I should buy a Nikkor 24-70 (I own a D7000) or this fantastic compact camera plus a sigma 24-70 for my DSLR…

  6. I have posted several images from the Tulsa concert on my wordpress blog. All shot with the Fuji x100.

    Let me apologize for the fact that wordpress is not the ideal images sharing site (their process of “crunching” the image is less than ideal).

    as for the Fuji x100 shots I got several I really like but they required more post processing effort than those from the Sony and again the Sony images are jpgs out of the camera, the X100 are post processed Raw files.

    Hindsite being 20/20 I would have just shot with the Sony RX100 and it will be the go every where camera for quite a while. It will not replace any of my other cameras.

    If I had to pinpoint down the differences between the Fuji and the Sony, it would be that the Fuji is a more deliberate camera. It requires a little more patience and manipulation. There is nothing wrong with that, patience and deliberation are some of the joys of photographer. Unfortuanately a live concert is not the ideal location for patience and deliberation. Especially when you are singing along.

    Now am about to head out to shoot some bridal photos (no I am not what I would normally consider a wedding photographer) with a different set of cameras and the Sony will be one of them, because it will be right there with me.

    Barry Burris

  7. I also think that these shots are fantastic! Imagine someone told you five years ago, that you will be able to shoot high quality images (images look like they are from a 1D) on a concert with something as small as an IXUS cam. I just love our times! And now i will go out and shoot with my X100 😀

    • I spent a whole day going around with the RX100 in my pocket and no bother. My iPhone weighs almost the same. Great shots and thank you for sharing. Now I have to sell my nex-7. As they say, the best camera is one that can be with you all the time.

  8. steve please take daytime and night-time shots of the same subject with the Sony RX100 and the Fuji X100 and see the outcome.
    i find it akward as you said you did not like the Canon Powershot S100 i have a S95 and i love it.
    hope can brings a Powershot S110 with a F1.8 L Lens and a 1inch sensor … u think .. wishing … oh yes please canon i want a Manual Pop up Flash like the type in the Pana Lx5 and the Crappy Oly XZ-1.

  9. Great captures…really amazing for this tiny camera…You were close ;)…

    The lighting set up looks similar to what was used when Steve shot Seal, so these images compare favorably. The pulled away shots in particular blow my mind. The close up portrait shows the limits of the camera, not you as a photographer…great stuff!

  10. Wow… just incredible for such a small camera. And you have a great eye for shots. Very well done, love the third one expecially.

    Though I wish the RX100 was a bit cheaper (because I can’t afford one) it certainly seems to be great value for it’s price.

    – Mathias

  11. Nice shots light looks really even and allot of detail impressive Sony
    Is really making some great product which ones are Sony and fuji?

  12. Really great pictures. All of them. Strong compositions: so many concert photos look the same, but here, the attention to framing and positioning is really nice.

    Re the kit… These days I’m leaving my m8 at home for this kind of thing. I can’t focus it (I’m a 20 year m user, but the eyes and expectations change), and noise is a problem (not just at concerts, but in many shots even at iso320 if I end up post processing a lot from raw/dng, and I nearly always post process:-) So the Nikon d700 keeps getting used.usually with a 50mm to keep weight down. It just nails focus, exposure etc…. But its still not exactly compact, nor inconspicuous. That’s why these new cameras like the rx100 are going to be so interesting: low noise, fast af, yet small and light. Thanks again for the great fotos.

    @steve: great site, I visit it every day from my flipboard, for a couple of years now. This is my first post though!

  13. great great pics, you think seal is seeing these pics!! he would be happy to.. i reckon…
    nice guy….great artist….
    take care
    pete in barceloan

    • Take it from me who owns both, and I am sure Steve will confirm this; there is no comparison. Heck in pure IQ the one year old Nex 5n will still wallop the RX100, however when it comes to prints as they are appreciated by 99% of people the RX100 delivers like no pocket cam before. I take it EVERYWHERE, its mantra truly is there is no excuse anymore to leave quality capture behind; and I adhere to it.

      • I have a NEX 5N also, and while it is a fine camera, I like the RX100 better.
        The 5N is sharper edge to edge but the RX100 beats it in color saturation and dynamic range (shooting B&W)…I am only comparing jpegs at this time since Camera Raw has not been updated. And only using Sony lenses on the 5N.

        Having very large hands neither camera is exactly agile for button selection.

        That all being said, the 5N is not a pocketable camera. I have started carrying the RX100 everywhere. During the day it is in my suit coat pocket, or in my jeans on the weekend. I carry it and treat it no different than my iPhone.

  14. Spectacular shots! So I just go buy the same camera as you and I too can have pictures like this? 😉

    Just kidding; I can tell that you are a gifted photographer who is able to use the tools to the fullest. Between you and Steve, you may have to convinced me that I need to hit some concerts soon with my “OMG” LOL.

  15. Thanks for the great comments and thank you Steve for posting the images. Judging from the hits on my blog your huge in Sri Lanka.

    I still have not yet opened the Fuji X100 files. The entire experience was transcendent. I am literally trying to prolong the experience. I have been a Seal fan since the first time I saw the Crazy video on MTV. Back when they played music videos. I live in OKC and drove to Tulsa blasting the set list of songs that I had cobbled together from the months previous shows. So I was primed and ready.

    Regarding settings on the Sony RX100. Aperture Priority with most of the pics shot between 2.0 and 4.0 . This adjustment is perhaps the easiest on the camera when shooting at an even like this. Raw / JPG….remember what you are seeing is out of the camera JPG’s with a few adjustments in PS CS5. I can only hope RAW will pull out more detail. Almost all the shots were at the widest angle possible, the close up above is zoomed in. Standard Creative mode, Single Shot AF , Flexible Spot, Multi zone metering, Auto White Balance, High ISO Noise low, and Auto ISO (this worked flawlessly). Again my only issue was no view finder. And of course a Gordy strap. I had the camera less than a week before the show and had only shot a few hundred frames. And I have never looked at the manual.

    I normally shoot with Canon 5D, and have the a Mark III but I was so close that only my 24mm would have worked for most of the shots. But most of the venues don’t allow “pro” cameras so I felt taking the Sony and the Fuji would cover me. I think the Fuji’s will have better composition but don’t think they will beat the Sony for color or detail. Not worse just not any better.

    Each of the cameras I have excell at different things. The Sony stays with me, I literally carry it in my hand with my iPhone (by the way check out the 645Pro camera app for the iPhone, now the only camera app I use and can save in Tif format).

    I will be posting more Sony and Fuji images on my blog in the coming week, normally I don’t include very many details if any but I will try to do so for those interested.

    Once again thanks to Steve for the exposure and Seal for the depth of field.

    Barry Burris

    • Stunning photos Barry, I too am a big fan of Seal although not as yet been lucky enough to see him in concert. I use a 5dmk2 for my professional work and the X100 for street stuff. Like you just wish the RX100 had a viewfinder as I am ‘old school’ too!

  16. RX100 is going to change the game for those silly “no photography” type shows where they try to stop anyone from bringing in a camera. The rock band Tool often did this.

    Obviously unless they pat each person down they aren’t going to be able to prevent point and shoots or camera phones, but mirrorless CSC’s, DSLR’s etc would be hard to hide if your wearing jeans and a tshirt.

    Cameras like the RX100 though, wow, imagine something fitting into pocket and yet able to deliver this type of IQ.

    Likewise, with a decent seat the little RX100 could produce some exceptional video quality as well, and again, so compact and discrete usually if anyone does see it they just think, oh its a point and shoot, not like anyone can take publishable photos with that.

    Excellent images in this thread prove otherwise

  17. Oh my! I just picked up my RX100 yesterday afternoon and these images pretty much proved it was a great choice. awesome awesome shots.

  18. Great shots Barry. Would you please share how you took these shots? Looks like some great low ISO performance by the RX 100.

    • Aperture Priority, Auto ISO. Most of the shots are 4.0 , 1600 ISO. No flash. Only the last shot was zoomed in. There are several more great shots but I am waiting for a Camera Raw update to look at them closer. I am planning on getting a large silver gelatin print of the first shot above made. 13 by 19 at least.

  19. Seriously impressive images and incredible really for a point and shoot, though you clearly know what you’re doing.

  20. Thanks for sharing. These are incredible shots. I currently have a Fuji X100 also. Been mulling if I should get an OMD or the RX100.

    While the OMD would be fun to play around with, it would be redundant with my X100 due to their similar size/nature.

    The RX100 seems like a more practical second camera (due to its small size and faster focus) considering the fact that I already have the X100.

    Your photos might just convince me to go with the RX100…and either selling off my X100 for an OMG….or keep it…

    • An OMG? Now there’s a Freudian slip. 🙂

      I have both an X100 and an OM-D and don’t consider them to be redundant.

      The X100 has a super quiet shutter and a slightly larger sensor which gives me stealth, great low light performance and amazing OOC JPEGs.

      The OM-D allows me to change lenses and be much more flexible and creative, while still offering a smaller form factor than my DSLR setup.

      What I’ve seen from the RX100 so far looks pretty good, so I’m sure that whatever you choose, you’ll be well satisfied. It’s mostly about ergonomics and whether or not you want the option to use different lenses.

  21. Great photos! And I have the exact same setup; the Sony Cyber-shot RX100 and the Fuji FinePix X100 with the WCL-X100. Looking forward to the X100 shots.

  22. Incredible. No more to say. Are this pictures really out of the RX100? Will sell my X100 to get a RX100 🙂 … no, just a joke (i will never sell my X100)

        • not a joke lol. The X100 is great but it’s focus speed is such a downer. Now a slow AF wouldn’t bother me so much if the manual focus worked. The manual focus control is still not up to par, i’d turn the focus ring and WAITED. I’m sure if your subject was still it would be great but I got tired of doing the focus half press a couple times each time I wanted to take a photo. I would of kept it but for slow photography I just got an M3 to use. For super quality, I have a 5D2 to use.

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