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Peter Jordan

RX10 - Dust Spots

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I shot some images yesterday, you all know the one - bright blue sky over a yellow field of oil seed rape.

 

In the blue sky area I found a couple of dust spots.   In successive images they were in different places on the frame.

 

In ten years of using Olympus interchangeable lens digital cameras I have never had a dust spot, so I am none too pleased with the Sony sealed water and dust proof camera having them after only three months use...

 

Sealing is good if you seal the dust out, but not if you seal it in.

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Peter, I already have post traumatic stress disorder . . . I don't need this kind of added pressure regarding my RX10. Have you had an eye exam lately? Have you been smoking any semi-illegal substances? Have you been spending a little too much time at your local? These are real dust spots? Or are we dealing with dust-spot paranoia? 

 

I remember when I was in the Nikonians Forum and half the members were complaining about dust spots on their new cameras. My workflow includes looking at every inch of an image at 100% . . . and I've never had a dust spot. (At least not any I'm willing to admit to.) 

 

Yesterday we were talking about noise at low ISOs, and I mentioned "noise" in a bright blue sky. Yellow rape? Blue sky? Do you remember back in film days when we used to have something called color vibrations? 

Edited by Ed Rooney

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Edo,

 

You are right to question this, and I must admit to having doubts myself.  With careful examination of the skies I did find many spots, some had hard edges and wing shapes - we have high flying birds here.   But others were of indeterminate shape and had softer edges, and two or three had soft edges and speckled appearance.  These could be clouds if insects, but I think not, it is still too cold for them here.

 

Another odd thing was that I shot five frames and all had spots, but in different places, so if it is dust it is moving around rather than stuck in one place.

 

Paranoia undoubtedly played a part.   I was on the look out for this as David Kilpatrick, in one of his magazines just published, (I can't remember if it was Cameracraft or f2) sings the praises of the RX10, the all singing all dancing camera of the future, but does mention that theirs has a dust spot.   He would know about these things after his Nikon D600 experience.

 

Sorry if I spooked you, my reason for starting this thread was to get other people checking to see if they have the same problem.

 

If it does settle down to some fixed spots, I will send it back to Sony to get it fixed.   Experience with a warranty repair on my RX100 was very good, they were helpful, polite, apologetic and the camera was returned in just nine days.

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This isn't related to the RX10, but I just had a QC failure -- and spent over a month in the bin -- because of dust spots. I must have checked this particular image a dozen times before submitting, but I still missed them (time for new glasses/specs, I guess). Couldn't believe it when I turned out the lights and squinted at the screen. QC was right. There they were, almost transparent mini-blobs on the upper edge of the frame. This particular photo was taken with a NEX-6, which has an effective sensor cleaning setup. I had been changing lenses quite a bit that day, so no doubt that was the problem. I had a small blower brush in my camera bag but didn't use it. A cautionary tale.

Edited by John Mitchell

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John,

 

That's tough, I hope you don't have another 28 day wait!   In my experience, when you get a QC failure, QC is always right, I think if there is doubt they give you the benefit of it.

 

I wore glasses for a number of years, but I had cataract surgery a year ago.   No glasses now, not even for reading, and the colours still look brilliant compared with what the were before the op.   I was worried that maybe all my Alamy images would look wrong after the op, but in fact the looked OK.

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John,

 

That's tough, I hope you don't have another 28 day wait!   In my experience, when you get a QC failure, QC is always right, I think if there is doubt they give you the benefit of it.

 

I wore glasses for a number of years, but I had cataract surgery a year ago.   No glasses now, not even for reading, and the colours still look brilliant compared with what the were before the op.   I was worried that maybe all my Alamy images would look wrong after the op, but in fact the looked OK.

Thanks, unfortunately I'm now an official member of the 28+ day club. It's a bit like the infamous Roach Motel -- you can check in, but you can never leave. Oh well.

 

No cataracts yet, but new glasses definitely in order. Can't believe that I'm still missing dust spots after all these years.

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Another odd thing was that I shot five frames and all had spots, but in different places, so if it is dust it is moving around rather than stuck in one place.

 

 

 

Peter, I had a similar thing a while ago when using my Canon 5 mkII.  It transpired that when I had been shooting there were lots of small airborne flying insects about and this was the cause of "dust spots" appearing on the images in different places.

 

At first I was concerned as I did not know what the "dust spots" were then I remembered that when I was taking the photos, late afternoon near water on a warm day, Iwas having to swat the odd little blighter away from my face.

 

Midges etc don't usually bother me but they were pretty abundant that day.

 

A close look at a higher magnification confirmed the insects were present.

 

Allan

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Another odd thing was that I shot five frames and all had spots, but in different places, so if it is dust it is moving around rather than stuck in one place.

 

 

 

Peter, I had a similar thing a while ago when using my Canon 5 mkII.  It transpired that when I had been shooting there were lots of small airborne flying insects about and this was the cause of "dust spots" appearing on the images in different places.

 

At first I was concerned as I did not know what the "dust spots" were then I remembered that when I was taking the photos, late afternoon near water on a warm day, Iwas having to swat the odd little blighter away from my face.

 

Midges etc don't usually bother me but they were pretty abundant that day.

 

A close look at a higher magnification confirmed the insects were present.

 

Allan

 

 

Allan,

 

I think my spots could be the same thing, not because I think my lens can resolve distant flies, but because I have not managed to get spots in the same place twice.

 

I did a shot of a pale grey sky yesterday on which I was able to detect two possible spots.   I have marked them with a circle round on a jpeg,and will try repeating the exercise tomorrow.

 

After I had cleaned up the original shot I decided not to submit it just in case some of my cloning was visible in the sky - better safe than sorry.

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...

 

After I had cleaned up the original shot I decided not to submit it just in case some of my cloning was visible in the sky - better safe than sorry.

 

 

I have never had  a QC failure due to cleaning dust spots (not cleaning, oh yes). At various times I have used LR, PS and Capture 1 to get rid of dust spots or even hairs.

 

It is not a new problem, I had a Sony DSC-R1 (sealed) which briefly had a BIG black blob shortly after it was new. I thought I was going to have to send it back but it soon disappeared and never reappeared.

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Usually bees over oilseed rape, the horrible stuff that it is. I panicked once for the same reason. It's also worth noting that several Sony lens designs, including the RX10, can image marks on a filter or the front element sharply enough to look like dust spots.

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Usually bees over oilseed rape, the horrible stuff that it is. I panicked once for the same reason. It's also worth noting that several Sony lens designs, including the RX10, can image marks on a filter or the front element sharply enough to look like dust spots.

 

David,

 

I saw your comment in Cameracraft that yours has a dust spot.   Have you changed your mind about this now?

 

I have now done a more rigorous test shooting a number of images of the sky at f11 comparing them with each other and with the one I took 4 days ago.  Now satisfied that I do not have dust spots.

 

I just wonder though, if I had uploaded those images they would have failed QC or not.

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These two things happened while using my RX10 last week.

 

> I turned my RX10 on AUTO to see what that was like, having not tried that setting before. I found myself on a crosstown side street with a view of the Empire State Building, other buildings in the view, and a clear blue sky. Click click click and I went about my day. (While shooting I'd forgotten I had the setting on AUTO.)

 

> The next day I was downtown, with the RX10 set on Aperture at 5.6 and ISO 400 RAW, and I shot the almost-finished new Freedom Tower (with a few clouds in the blue sky). 

 

When I looked at both of these sets in Post, the AUTO pics sky was perfect with no problems, no noise. The blue sky in the pics done at ISO 400 with A had that slightly textured look (noise?). 

 

I've deleted the World Trade Center images, and I'm unable to post the others here at the moment. I posted this story not as a request for help . . . but simply as a head-ups. 

Edited by Ed Rooney

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Back when the RX100 was news, some said that they used it in iauto all the time with excellent results.   I tried it with good results, but I just felt uneasy about it.   It seemed as though Sony were doing everything except framing the picture.  Maybe if I stayed in auto, they would figure out how to do that next.

 

Same with the RX10 auto works well, but I do not like using it.

 

I have not had any issues with noise at ISO400,  did you try cleaning it up in PP?

 

Last Friday I shot some RX10 pics at ISO1250  in a dark museum.  I have them ready to upload, subject to having one more close look before doing so.    

 

If your skies are a bit gritty, you could put them on FAA....

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"I have not had any issues with noise at ISO400, did you try cleaning it up in PP?" -- Peter

 

Of course (LR5). But I want to do some more shooting at some different settings before I offer any opinions. Right now I would just be guessing. Pointless. Blue skies (with the RX10?) seem to be a special case. (And there I go guessing!)   :rolleyes: 

 

My standards are for me, not for FAA or Alamy. 

Edited by Ed Rooney

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"I have not had any issues with noise at ISO400, did you try cleaning it up in PP?" -- Peter

 

Of course (LR5). But I want to do some more shooting at some different settings before I offer any opinions. Right now I would just be guessing. Pointless. Blue skies (with the RX10?) seem to be a special case. (And there I go guessing!)   :rolleyes: 

 

My standards are for me, not for FAA or Alamy. 

 

I have not had any problems with noise in blue skies with thw RX10,  but when I have blue sky I am usually at ISO 200 or 125.

 

Noise is usually a probem in dark areas at high ISO.    I decided not to upload my museum images shot at ISO 1250,  they cleaned up quite well, but for deciding on submissions I work on the principle of "If in doubt - don't"

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I don't spend much time complaining about camera equipment. I do a fair amount of research before buying, and then I do the adjusting to the new equipment. But if I had been shooting with my Nikon D700 or even the D90 at ISO 800, the sky would have been totally smooth. Even at ISO 1,600 the sky would have been smooth enough. At ISO 400 with the RX10 the sky was NOT smooth. And when I did some retouching in the sky on two RX10 images in CS5 the results were not good. I would not have sent these images to Alamy QC. I went down to the same viewpoint of the Freedom Tower today and reshot. But we did not have the clear blue the weatherman promised and there were two other problems with details. I'll try it again, soon. 

 

I've calmed down now. This is not a deal breaker for me and my RX10. Blue skies are not my main subject here in the city. (And gray skies can cause problems too.) In the future I will use a more conservative setting, ISO 100 or 125. Hell, I might even dust off a tripod.  :o  But it was a shock to see that lousy sky at only ISO 400. I understand how to deal with shadow noise. "If in doubt -- don't" is good for me too. 

 

By the way, One World Trade Center is in fact not finished yet. There seems to be the one view possible.  :(

Edited by Ed Rooney

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"I don't spend much time complaining about camera equipment. I do a fair amount of research before buying, and then I do the adjusting to the new equipment." - Ed Rooney

 

No, neither do I,  but having used the RX10 almost exclusively since I got it in January, I took my Olympus OM-D E-M5 out yesterday in rather poor weather  and was struck by the IQ when I looked at the results.    The images are sharp into the corners (which the RX10 images are not) and the high ISOs have much less noise.  Having a mechanical zoom is very nice too.

 

But the RX10 remains a very compact, and fairly competent, package with that 24-200 f2.8 lens.

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I'm only now discovering these RX10 issues, because although I owned the RX10 over the past winter, I did little shooting with it. My time was almost totally consumed by non-photography things. 

 

I have resigned from the System of the Month Club (They should make these new cameras out of cardboard and sell them for $49.99 for all the use we get out of them before it's time to upgrade again.) 

 

As I said, the sky problem will be solved by using a lower ISO. (Corner-to-corner sharpness is too far off topic to get into here, and most lenses have that problem to some degree.) I have three possible paths to follow:

 

1. Keep the RX10, the NEX-6 and NEX-3, the NEX 24 f/1.8, 50 f/1.8 . . . sell-off the NEX-7 and all other NEX lenses . . . and everything else (Nikon and Leica).

2. Keep NEX-6, NEX-7 and NEX-3 and a few more NEX lenses plus one or two ai Nikons for the NEX cameras. Sell the RX10 and everything else. (I might buy the NEX 10-18.) 

3. Keep my Nikon D700 and D90 with 24-120 f/4, 60 macro, 20 f/2.8 and the NEX-6 with 24 and 50. Sell everything else.

 

One mental block I've found hard to overcome is that I tend to choose equipment based on the days of my full-time pro assignments, 1960 - 1992. I'm retired now. I don't and can't spend 8 to 10 hours a day, day after day, lugging around heavy cameras. But . . . I can manage the Nikons okay for a couple of hours in the city. I don't plan to travel anymore. 

 

It is a puzzlement.  

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I'm only now discovering these RX10 issues, because although I owned the RX10 over the past winter, I did little shooting with it. My time was almost totally consumed by non-photography things. 

 

I have resigned from the System of the Month Club (They should make these new cameras out of cardboard and sell them for $49.99 for all the use we get out of them before it's time to upgrade again.) 

 

As I said, the sky problem will be solved by using a lower ISO. (Corner-to-corner sharpness is too far off topic to get into here, and most lenses have that problem to some degree.) I have three possible paths to follow:

 

1. Keep the RX10, the NEX-6 and NEX-3, the NEX 24 f/1.8, 50 f/1.8 . . . sell-off the NEX-7 and all other NEX lenses . . . and everything else (Nikon and Leica).

2. Keep NEX-6, NEX-7 and NEX-3 and a few more NEX lenses plus one or two ai Nikons for the NEX cameras. Sell the RX10 and everything else. (I might buy the NEX 10-18.) 

3. Keep my Nikon D700 and D90 with 24-120 f/4, 60 macro, 20 f/2.8 and the NEX-6 with 24 and 50. Sell everything else.

 

One mental block I've found hard to overcome is that I tend to choose equipment based on the days of my full-time pro assignments, 1960 - 1992. I'm retired now. I don't and can't spend 8 to 10 hours a day, day after day, lugging around heavy cameras. But . . . I can manage the Nikons okay for a couple of hours in the city. I don't plan to travel anymore. 

 

It is a puzzlement.  

With RM images going for $40 a pop, who the heck can afford the system of the month? It's tough to justify getting in debt over camera equipment these days. I just try to do the best with what I have and what I can afford.

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I don't spend much time complaining about camera equipment. I do a fair amount of research before buying, and then I do the adjusting to the new equipment. But if I had been shooting with my Nikon D700 or even the D90 at ISO 800, the sky would have been totally smooth. Even at ISO 1,600 the sky would have been smooth enough. At ISO 400 with the RX10 the sky was NOT smooth. And when I did some retouching in the sky on two RX10 images in CS5 the results were not good. I would not have sent these images to Alamy QC. I went down to the same viewpoint of the Freedom Tower today and reshot. But we did not have the clear blue the weatherman promised and there were two other problems with details. I'll try it again, soon. 

 

I've calmed down now. This is not a deal breaker for me and my RX10. Blue skies are not my main subject here in the city. (And gray skies can cause problems too.) In the future I will use a more conservative setting, ISO 100 or 125. Hell, I might even dust off a tripod.  :o  But it was a shock to see that lousy sky at only ISO 400. I understand how to deal with shadow noise. "If in doubt -- don't" is good for me too. 

 

By the way, One World Trade Center is in fact not finished yet. There seems to be the one view possible.  :(

 

Ed,

 

I can certainly understand your attachment to the Nikon kit, it somehow seems to feel more professional than the NEX cameras and the RX10 although in reality the other cameras can do most things pretty well.  

 

For most of us, even if we do not like to admit it, there is more to cameras than just being an image making tool.   They also give pleasure and pride in ownership and use.  You maybe do not really need the Nikons but you do still want them.

 

There are reasons for getting rid of equipment:

  1. You need the money.
  2. You need the storage space.
  3. You are sure you will not need them anymore, either because new kit has made them obsolete, or because you do not have a studio for indoor work and they are too heavy for you to carry.

If none of those reasons are compelling, you may as well keep them and use them from time to time. 

 

I decided that I had reached (3) back in January, and sold my last DSLR body and several heavy lenses and bought the RX10.   As I said recently if I had had the RX10 from when I joined Alamy, I would have been able to make most, maybe all of my collection with it.  

 

But I still have interchangeable lens cameras as there are things I like to try from time to time for which the RX10 is not well suited (e.g. macro, wildlife)

 

As for your shock at finding the noise in sky at ISO400, it is all part of learning a new camera, they all have their quirks for which you have to find a work around.

 

Too early to condemn it yet.

 

We have some blue skies forecast for tomorrow.   I will try shooting them at ISO400 – ISO800 (The ND filter will be handy).   I will let you know the results.

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There are reasons for getting rid of equipment:


  1. You need the money.

  2. You need the storage space.

  3. You are sure you will not need them anymore, either because new kit has made them obsolete, or because you do not have a studio for indoor work and they are too heavy for you to carry.

One and two are surely true . . . three, we shall see.  :)


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I don't spend much time complaining about camera equipment. I do a fair amount of research before buying, and then I do the adjusting to the new equipment. But if I had been shooting with my Nikon D700 or even the D90 at ISO 800, the sky would have been totally smooth. Even at ISO 1,600 the sky would have been smooth enough. At ISO 400 with the RX10 the sky was NOT smooth. And when I did some retouching in the sky on two RX10 images in CS5 the results were not good. I would not have sent these images to Alamy QC. I went down to the same viewpoint of the Freedom Tower today and reshot. But we did not have the clear blue the weatherman promised and there were two other problems with details. I'll try it again, soon. 

 

I've calmed down now. This is not a deal breaker for me and my RX10. Blue skies are not my main subject here in the city. (And gray skies can cause problems too.) In the future I will use a more conservative setting, ISO 100 or 125. Hell, I might even dust off a tripod.  :o  But it was a shock to see that lousy sky at only ISO 400. I understand how to deal with shadow noise. "If in doubt -- don't" is good for me too. 

 

By the way, One World Trade Center is in fact not finished yet. There seems to be the one view possible.  :(

 

Ed,

 

I can certainly understand your attachment to the Nikon kit, it somehow seems to feel more professional than the NEX cameras and the RX10 although in reality the other cameras can do most things pretty well.  

 

For most of us, even if we do not like to admit it, there is more to cameras than just being an image making tool.   They also give pleasure and pride in ownership and use.  You maybe do not really need the Nikons but you do still want them.

 

There are reasons for getting rid of equipment:

  1. You need the money.
  2. You need the storage space.
  3. You are sure you will not need them anymore, either because new kit has made them obsolete, or because you do not have a studio for indoor work and they are too heavy for you to carry.

If none of those reasons are compelling, you may as well keep them and use them from time to time. 

 

I decided that I had reached (3) back in January, and sold my last DSLR body and several heavy lenses and bought the RX10.   As I said recently if I had had the RX10 from when I joined Alamy, I would have been able to make most, maybe all of my collection with it.  

 

But I still have interchangeable lens cameras as there are things I like to try from time to time for which the RX10 is not well suited (e.g. macro, wildlife)

 

As for your shock at finding the noise in sky at ISO400, it is all part of learning a new camera, they all have their quirks for which you have to find a work around.

 

Too early to condemn it yet.

 

We have some blue skies forecast for tomorrow.   I will try shooting them at ISO400 – ISO800 (The ND filter will be handy).   I will let you know the results.

 

 

Ed,

 

As promised I tried shooting the RX10 at ISO 400, 800 and 1000.

Focused on a cloud and had adjacent blue sky to examine.

 

Jpg’s in every case showed no noticeable noise.

 

In RAW there was a lot of luminance noise at 400 increasing somewhat at 800 and 1000.

 

Applying my standard LR preset:

Sharpening:

Amount 15

Radius 0.5

Detail 25

Noise Reduction:

Luminance 35

Detail 50

Contrast 0

Color 50

Detail 50

Smoothness 50

 

Cleaned all of them up well, to my eye they looked as good as the jpgs.  I would have no hesitation in submitting them to Alamy.   Of course I am only looking at the sky, you would also have to consider the rest of the image…..

 

Results with the Olympus OM-D E-M5 were similar except that the initial noise levels were less, as one might expect with the larger sensor

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Thank you for doing that, Peter. Interesting. I assume you are/were shooting the RAW-jpeg combo? I was just shooting RAW, as I normally do. 

 

However . . . there is a very fast, simple solution to this large-blue-sky problem: use a lower ISO. And this solution is right there at my finger tips. Also, here in the city, I don't shoot large expanses of blue sky that often . . . but if you're subject is the tallest building in North American, captured from ground level, you will get a lot of sky. Other than these images of the Freedom Tower, I've noticed no big problems with highish ISOs (800-1,600) on the RX10. 

 

Peter, I'm wondering what your go-to Spot Healing Brush settings are?

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Thank you for doing that, Peter. Interesting. I assume you are/were shooting the RAW-jpeg combo? I was just shooting RAW, as I normally do. 

 

However . . . there is a very fast, simple solution to this large-blue-sky problem: use a lower ISO. And this solution is right there at my finger tips. Also, here in the city, I don't shoot large expanses of blue sky that often . . . but if you're subject is the tallest building in North American, captured from ground level, you will get a lot of sky. Other than these images of the Freedom Tower, I've noticed no big problems with highish ISOs (800-1,600) on the RX10. 

 

Peter, I'm wondering what your go-to Spot Healing Brush settings are?

 

Ed,

 

Yes I shoot RAW+J by default.  I have a 32GB card, so I will have had enough long before it gets full.

 

In good conditions, I sometimes use the jpg for Alamy.   It has taken me a while to be able to develop RAW without it ending up worse than the in camera jpg.  Usually though I have to reduce highlights and increase shadows.

 

I have not learned how to use the spot healing brush in LR5.4, remiss of me I know as it is lauded as being a useful feature.   

 

If I have to clean anything up, I use the spot healing brush tool on the 16bit TIFF in CS2.  

 

I will tackle learning the spot healing tool and the radial filter in LR5.4 next time I find myself with nothing more interesting to do.

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