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Monday, 30 July 2012

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Holy cow.

"Further, in fact, I captured most of these images by letting the camera run its settings via its Advanced (+) Intelligent Auto mode!"

I'm impressed. For a while I've been thinking that the guys who write the software that controls our cameras must know a thing or two. Sometimes it's good to let the camera decide on all the routine bits and get down to seeing a few pictures.

We learn at least that Ken is still a decent photographer :-)

I find judging premium compacts hard. On one hand, a lot of people say that the image quality of the RX100 is stunning and it's a highly usable camera and I don't doubt that. On the other, a different crowd marvels at the qualities of the Nikon D800 (and similar). And somewhere between these there is a middle ground too, but for the photographer not spending time reviewing equipment it gets really hard to say what are the real benefits/tradeoffs with cameras such as iPhone, Rx100 or Eos 5d Mark III.

Just saying... I don't need another camera, but the Rx100 is interesting for the gearhead in me, although I know that I really wouldn't use it much. Is this a common sentiment?

I really like the canoes.

Oskar, if I may, it's a common sentiment for those who have the money to spend on replacing cameras of every known sensor size every three years for no other purpose than the very fact that they can- or for those who like to daydream that they can. Those of us with much more modest budgets make sure to get what we actually Need with the little we have. That said, it's often a fine line between daydream and "research."

Holy cow, holy s--t! Me want.

@Oskar ("the Rx100 is interesting for the gearhead in me, although I know that I really wouldn't use it much. Is this a common sentiment?")

Not at all! I love my compact Lx3, and would use the RX100 A LOT if I ever got the chance to get one.

Photos look nice but then again so do most pics that small on a screen. Too small to make any judgements about the camera I'd say.

They are very impressive indeed, as is your photography, Ken. I have made up my mind to get a carry around camera and this is one of two I am considering. Interesting that my second consideration is a Nikon with the exact same Sony sensor. What to do...

Oskar said..

"Just saying... I don't need another camera, but the Rx100 is interesting for the gearhead in me, although I know that I really wouldn't use it much. Is this a common sentiment?"

Spot on - I have all the cameras I could ever need (in fact selling one off). Still, a good camera. Would recommend for someone looking for a lightweight "only" camera.

That was a really nice series. Hard to notice the equipment when the images themselves are so good. Particularly liked the shoes.

The concert shots (ISO3200!!) are really impressive, and what noise there is appears quite pleasantly grain-like.

However I find some others, the beach shots for instance, to be a little too saturated and contrasty (heavy on the blacks). Is this due to the camera or simply the style of the photographer?

I am amazed at how people get exited about a camera based on screen-samples. Maybe they see something that I don't?!

Ken,

Did you sharpen the images in PP. Some of them look too sharp.

Jay

Thanks for sharing your images, Ken.

Is it too early to say:

"Hello Sony RX100, Good bye Canon S95"

I recall you used the S95 for a while. How would you compare the two? I'm keen to read a photographer's viewpoint, as I have an S95 as well (and it's my only camera).

@ Richard K: "However I find some others, the beach shots for instance, to be a little too saturated and contrasty (heavy on the blacks). Is this due to the camera or simply the style of the photographer?"

A little of each, plus other factors, Richard. All camera JPGs (that I've seen) have a bit of a default bias toward the punchy direction. It tends to be a crowd-pleaser for the general public (witness Velvia film). (Sony does let you season to taste, to a degree, via its dynamic range adjustment.) But in fact I actually nudged those images a bit towards a visual goal of my own.

For comparison I've added the original, un-touched version of one beach image to the set. I have also added a crop detail from that un-touched image so you can see that the camera's lens and 20mp sensor are, in fact, capturing a tremendous amount of excellent detail. (Remember, this is from a large/fine jpg.)

I have added a few additional (un-touched) images to give readers a further sense of the camera's nature. By popular request I have also added exposure information in the captions of the night images.

And, yes, all images were captured hand-held.

While I am an enthusiastic camera buff I am far more enthusiastic for the broader context of photographic pursuits and results. To that end I vigorously endorse sticking with a camera you like using and that you've mastered. In my own case I might still be using the Canon S90/S95 (my pocket cams for 4 years) if the RX100 didn't have such stellar shot-to-shot single frame times, a trait that propelled it beyond the Canon and further out of my way.

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p.s. As you review these images do be sure to click them to make them as large as possible. I've uploaded 1200px frames so you should be able to fill a notebook browser window nicely.

For Ed,

I agree it's difficult to judge cameras by small pics on the screen, but you might find these high res shots and 100% crops helpful:

http://sonyalphalab.com/2012/07/sony-rx100-high-res-sample-photos-w-100-crops-now-up/

Jeff

"Did you sharpen the images in PP. Some of them look too sharp."

No.

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