Sony RX10: A Very Cool Camera

I had the pleasure of borrowing the Sony RX10 camera from Kayla Lindquist at Sony Artisans of Imagery recently, and in this blog I’ll show you some images and review my experiences with it.

I used the RX10 at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, especially the Carnival, in March:

Close Up, Carnival Horse. Sony RX10, ISO 640, Builtin Flash, f5.6 at 1/125

Close Up, Carnival Horse. Sony RX10, ISO 640, Built in Flash, f5.6 at 1/125

The camera and its built in flash were perfect for all of this, I used Manual Focus, Auto Focus and DFM, Manual Exposure and Aperture Priority, all with pleasing results. The viewfinder worked well for me in all lighting situations, I was at the Rodeo from daylight to night, inside and out. I have pretty lousy eyes so that’s saying alot.

I shot closeups of individual Carousel horses as well as overviews of the carousel in motion using Manual and Autofocus, the RX10’s quick Autofocus in poor lighting really impressed me.

Its probably hard to tell from a JPEG but the RAW images are pretty great, clear and sharp and brilliant. See the second moving carousel image below.

This camera has a Zeiss lens with a constant aperture of f2.8 throughout the zoom range of 35mm equivalent 24mm-200mm , and basically it weights and costs less than the lens on its own. Its a Sony 1″ sensor, if the sensor were any larger the thing would be a monster and not the very adept travel companion it is.  It also is pretty amazing for video, but unfortunately I didn’t shoot any-still         the Luddite its hard to believe I even trusted the auto features at all-but I did, and it responded beautifully. Sony and Zeiss are a pretty fine team, since Zeiss has been battling Leica since the microscope days you have to give a lot of credit to that lens. Gibson or Fender? Sorta the same thing!

The third image is a live shot of the extraordinarily talented singer, guitarist and songwriter Ian Moore at the Continental Club in Houston.  I had a little trouble here trying to manual focus but it was right before new glasses: mea culpa.

This is a very sophisticated camera, you can see in it in all of the menu options among other small but not inconsequential  things such as the ISO choices: more to choose. Wow, 320, 500 and 640 ISO-thank you Sony. No big gaps as in the NEX-7, which I own and really like but c’mon. Zebra for video, Wifi and much more.

Next up an image of Azaleas: nice close focusing, too. Yes I intensified the color in Lightroom 5. But this IS Zeiss glass with T* coating so not too much.

With the band  image,  I have some criticism. The RX10 supposedly has a universal hot shoe, but I tried several Sunpack and Vivitar flashes and much to my disappointment, not one of them worked on the camera. I guess Sony wants us to use proprietary accessories only? The small built in flash struggled here, and unfortunately my shots show it. However with the proper flash I’m sure they would have been more than up to my standards. BTW the band pictured, Los Lonely Boys, rocks!

To sum things up, as a Pro I would buy this camera as a travel tool, video camera, and great backup to an interchangeable lens Sony with a full frame sensor, and I would recommend it to an enthusiast or amateur as a main camera. The many menu settings make it an easy camera to learn photography from, too. Its high quality and versatility more than justify the price. And if you see the price of the new mirrorless Leica, this camera is a real bargain. I had a blast with the RX10, and hated giving it back. Please see more of my images at http://www.theheightsgallery.com

 

 

Sony RX10, 100mm, ISO 640 f3.5 at 1/40

Sony RX10, 100mm, ISO 640 f3.5 at 1/40

Sony RX10, 81mm, ISO 250, f2.8 at 1/80

Sony RX10, 81mm, ISO 250, f2.8 at 1/80

Sony RX10, 50mm, ISO500, f8 at 1/4

Sony RX10, 50mm, ISO500, f8 at 1/4

RX10 at 24mm, ISO 640, f5.6 at 1/25

RX10 at 24mm, ISO 640, f5.6 at 1/25

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