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Peter Jordan

RX100 - experience six months on....

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I have now had my RX100 for six months so I now have an informed opinion of it to share:

  1. It is a very small and inconspicuous camera easy to carry everywhere all the time.
  2. In the six months I have uploaded 696 images to Alamy of which 454 or 65% were taken using the RX100. They say the best camera is the one you have with you.
  3. I took some time to decide to buy the camera as I had never before had one without any kind of eye level VF and found rear screens unusable in any kind of bright light.  In fact the RX100  screen has been clearly visible in all weather conditions. 
  4. I was initially very unhappy with the IQ with edge and corner softness all round but much more so at the right hand side of the image.   This was corrected by Sony under warranty repair and is now much better.   The sensor is evidently much more capable than the lens.
  5. Sony warranty repair service was excellent fast and courteous.
  6. I shoot aperture priority usually at f5.6 with RAW+J with Jpeg set to “Vivid”.  In the good weather we have had recently the jpegs are usable for Alamy, with good colour, and sharper than I can get from RAW.
  7. The biggest cause of failed images is camera shake so I use Auto ISO set at 200-1600 to keep shutter speed up.
  8. The power zoom is too fast for accurate framing and I have the front ring set as zoom control, or often shoot wider than needed and crop.

Experience so far is very good.   I will have to learn how to deal with the darker weather to come..

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Have you got image stabilisation turned off? The RX100 has it, plus a very shake-free shutter, and I've never had any issues with shake.

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David,

 

Yes, I do have the stabilisation switched on (I just checked!).    Whilst camera shake was an occasional cause of failure, it certainly did not happen very often and with min ISO at 200 it is almost never.    Using ISO 200 rrather than 125 does not noticably degrade the image.

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I do have several tripods, some small although not that small, but I am not very compatible with them!  

 

The problem I mentioned was in conditions bright enough for the camera to pick ISO 125 when I really did not expect any problem. 

In dim condtions when I know there is going to be a camera shake problem, I usually manage to prop camera or my hand against somethig solid.

 

The only scene mode I have tried is Hand Held Twilight.  This seems to be a good low light solution, subject to subject movement.   So far though I have never taken anything with it that I felt would get through QC so none on Alamy yet.   Will try it more now the evenings are closing in...

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I haven't tried it out in the world yet but I think I have found a "viewfinder" for the original RX100. I have this Hoodman loupe for chimping in bright sunlight on my DSLR. 

 

http://www.hoodmanusa.com/prodinfo.asp?number=H%2DLPP3

 

I got the "cinema strap" to hold it to the back of the camera but found that awkward to use on my DSLR. It fits easily on the RX100 and the loupe has a diopter adjustment so it makes a swell viewfinder. There is another thing to carry, of course, but it is light. The cost is $100 for the loupe and $25 for the strap so not cheap but better than the expensive one for the RX100 II.

 

Paulette

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Paulette,

 

I have no need for one of these as the LCD is visible in whatever light comes.     One day all LCD's will be like this....

 

Concerned about possible damage, I did buy a Sony PCK-LM12 screen protector, but soon took it off as it was so reflective it made the screen as usless as on any ordinary camera.

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Peter,

I've had my RX100 for about five months now, overall i'm very pleased with the camera. No problems with QC, 7 sales reported and a couple of Live News images and images i've found still to be reported. My only gripe with the camera is edge/
corner softness. Images are big enough to crop, so not a huge problem, but would be nice not to have to think about cropping when composing.

I believe you had a similar problem with your RX100. Did you see a big difference
following the repair by Sony?

Joe
 

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Paulette,

 

I have no need for one of these as the LCD is visible in whatever light comes.     One day all LCD's will be like this....

 

Concerned about possible damage, I did buy a Sony PCK-LM12 screen protector, but soon took it off as it was so reflective it made the screen as usless as on any ordinary camera.

 

I found the plastic Sony screen protector for my Sony NEX to be useless. I replaced it with a clip-on glass composite one made by GGS, which was much better but still caused reflections. I now use a folding LCD hood instead (see link below). I don't know if there is one made for the RX100. The hood is a bit flimsy, and I have to use some Scotch tape (works fine) to keep it from following off. However, it works quite well, and I keep it on my camera all the time.

 

http://www.rainbowimaging.biz/shop/product.php?id_product=414

Edited by John Mitchell
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Paulette,

 

I have no need for one of these as the LCD is visible in whatever light comes.     One day all LCD's will be like this....

 

Concerned about possible damage, I did buy a Sony PCK-LM12 screen protector, but soon took it off as it was so reflective it made the screen as usless as on any ordinary camera.

 

I picked up the anti reflective screen protector for the RX100, it has a matte finish. Remains easy to see in bright light while protecting the screen.

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Peter,

 

I've had my RX100 for about five months now, overall i'm very pleased with the camera. No problems with QC, 7 sales reported and a couple of Live News images and images i've found still to be reported. My only gripe with the camera is edge/

corner softness. Images are big enough to crop, so not a huge problem, but would be nice not to have to think about cropping when composing.

 

I believe you had a similar problem with your RX100. Did you see a big difference

following the repair by Sony?

 

Joe

 

 

Yes the repair did make a difference.  The lens must have been decentred because the edge/corner softness was worse on the right hand side of the frame and extended further in.   After the repair the softness was balanced equally all round.   I routinely downsize full frame images to 5175 x 3450 and stuff taken in bad conditions to 3840 x 2560. Maybe unnecessary, but I like to play safe...

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Paulette,

Not sure if you know, but you can adjust the screen brightness. Go into the menu and look for screen >> select bright sunshine (or something like that, dunno the exact name cause I have the Dutch version). Works amazingly well. Far better than the lcd on my Nikon D700.

 

Cheers,

Philippe

Philippe,

 

The English version is "Sunny Weather" I use that when the weather is sunny.   Otherwise I use "Manual" set at +2

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Paulette,

Not sure if you know, but you can adjust the screen brightness. Go into the menu and look for screen >> select bright sunshine (or something like that, dunno the exact name cause I have the Dutch version). Works amazingly well. Far better than the lcd on my Nikon D700.

 

Cheers,

Philippe

 

Thank you. Still haven't mastered all the MANY choices on this teensy camera.

 

Paulette

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I've been using my RX100 for some months now.  All cleared QC with many hundreds uploaded. 

 

I always leave it on full auto as it's so reliable in that setting.  I can then just concentrate on composition etc.  

 

In normal conditions it usually opts for f5.6 which appears to be the sweet spot for the lens.

 

I agree it can be a bit soft on the edges but it's pin sharp where it counts.  Results always appear nice and punchy and have a very specific feel to them.

 

The only  way I have yet to see how it performs is 'table top' studio type use.  I'm sure it will be fine for stock but I've yet to hear from anyone else using it this way.

 

I actually have two RX100's and my wife uses the second one also on auto.  I do all the post work if required and the uploading with hers having their own pseudonym.

 

John

Edited by John Walker
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Take a look at this neat little tripod.

Cheers, Philippe

Thank you Philippe! Went out and bought one. For Eu 12.99 no RX100 should be without this gadget ;-)

It's only 25gr! (0.88 ounces)

I haven't tried it out in the world yet but I think I have found a "viewfinder" for the original RX100. I have this Hoodman loupe for chimping in bright sunlight on my DSLR.

http://www.hoodmanusa.com/prodinfo.asp?number=H-LPP3

Paulette

Some people use their old Hasselblad waist level viewfinder hood. Here's a holder for that on Ebay.

Looks a bit bulky; $55 for a piece of plastic is expensive, but if you have an old Hasselblad somewhere, it's even cheaper than the Hoodman.

Of course any stamp collector's loupe, or plastic slide viewer even, will do the job just as well. The shade can be a simple piece of folded black card.

 

I have diy-ed a 52mm adapter, so it can hold this lens shade: $T2eC16N,%21wsE9suw%29j4ZBR3PboNGzQ~~60_

That one was inspired by David I think.

Now I can mount a whole bunch of close-up lenses as well. Which is useful because out of the box the RX100 is not very good at close-ups especially at the long end of the zoom lens. The shortest distance is 45cm or so.

To mount those I have to use a variety of step down adapters.

 

As a strap I use a longer lanyard style strap that goes around my neck, with the camera in my shirt pocket , but without the lens shade. The tiny Gorillapod micro that Philippe recommended can stay on.

The strap has no brand name on it, and it has served me since the 2.1 Megapixel Elph/Ixus through every upgrade.

 

It was hard to resist the strong urge to put Leica style leatherette on it ;-) In stead I used black masking tape (PH neutral of course), because I am used to jam my camera's into brick walls and rusty poles to steady my shot. Well occasionally.

I did buy a proper battery charger for it, with a spare battery. With video they last about an hour, which is a bit short.

 

As an Arca compatible quick release plate I use a Sirui C-10 that I already used for the Nex. The newer ones have rubber on top. (Not sure if that's a good idea.) Mine weighs 17gr including the screw, which is the lightest I've seen so far. It's not compatible with the Gorillapod of course, but the good thing is, that they can both be mounted using the same coin. For the Gorillapod, I just use the friction to mount and unmount it.

 

The built in flash is shaded off by the filter adapter quite badly in the lower right hand corner. The quickest way to remedy that is to hold an old Fuji 35mm film canister straight forward in front of the flash, bottom towards the subject. Those used to be free of course.

To check something Jeff asked in another thread I have experimented with an improvised small softbox 10x10cm and 5cm deep (4x4x2") which improves every image except some close up portraits with glasses under a certain angle (they turn white opaque).

 

The problem with everything you put on the camera is, that it makes one conspicuous. Even taping the Sony and Zeiss badges. It all shouts: look I'm not just a happy snapper; I know what I m doing; in fact I am A Photographer.

 

wim

 

edit:

I have used the Gorillapod micro the whole evening for 2 concerts. And I have tried to mount the RX100 as a dashcam with it, but that requires better clamping: the camera got launched at the first speed bump. (Of which we have a lot.)

Edited by wiskerke
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Wim,

 

Very interesting, you  certainly have made many interesting modifications..

 

I accept the RX100 as it is and for any work requiring any kind of lens attachment I stick with my M4/3 cameras as all the lenses have a filter screw thread.

 

I have sworn never to buy another tripod ( I have 6, one dating back to 1966) and rarely use any of them except for studio work.  I might just be tempted to get that little Gorilla pod - lightest and cheapest yet.

 

I do not put the camera unprotected in a pocket.  I have a Lowepro belt case which is OK on a belt in hot weather but too bulky to wear under a coat.   I recently bought a cheap copy of the Sony every ready case (cost £16 rather thab £59+ for Sony version).   This seems to work very well hanging round my neck and inside my jacket.  Could be a good solution for the winter unless it is too warm and damp in there.  If so I will carry it on the outside.

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Paulette,

Not sure if you know, but you can adjust the screen brightness. Go into the menu and look for screen >> select bright sunshine (or something like that, dunno the exact name cause I have the Dutch version). Works amazingly well. Far better than the lcd on my Nikon D700.

 

Cheers,

Philippe

 

Thank you. Still haven't mastered all the MANY choices on this teensy camera.

 

Paulette

Paulette,

 

Did you find out how to do it? 

 

If not, Press Menu/ go to Spanner page 1/  3rd item down is LCD Brightness. 

 

Go to LCD Brightness and press centre button twice.

 

This gives you a menu offering Auto/ Manual/ Sunny Weather.

 

Default setting is Auto which I found to be useless.

 

In Manual you can set the brightness, I have mine at +2.   Use that most of the time but change to Sunny Weather when needed.

 

If you were stuck in Auto, I can well understand why you were trying to use a loupe.....

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Thank you. Very clear. I bought my RX100 right before the new one came out and I was upset about that but after what David has said about the image quality and the fact that a viewfinder is not as useful as I had thought it would be I feel just fine about having the old one. The tilting screen would be nice but who knows if I would even use it.

 

Paulette

Edited by NYCat

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Have you got image stabilisation turned off? The RX100 has it, plus a very shake-free shutter, and I've never had any issues with shake.

 

Stabilisation = Steadyshot in the menu. There are two to turn on or off - one for stills and another for video. The video steadyshot also has a third option.

 

Allan

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The built in flash is shaded off by the filter adapter quite badly in the lower right hand corner. The quickest way to remedy that is to hold an old Fuji 35mm film canister straight forward in front of the flash, bottom towards the subject. Those used to be free of course.

To check something Jeff asked in another thread I have experimented with an improvised small softbox 10x10cm and 5cm deep (4x4x2") which improves every image except some close up portraits with glasses under a certain angle (they turn white opaque).

 

wim

 

 

Don't know if anyone knows this but you can use bounce flash by putting your thumb/finger on top of the flash when it has popped up and gently pull back and down thus tipping the flash to point upwards at various angles.

 

The flash still fires and this manual intervention does not appear to damage the unit.

 

Allan

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edit:

I have used the Gorillapod micro the whole evening for 2 concerts. And I have tried to mount the RX100 as a dashcam with it, but that requires better clamping: the camera got launched at the first speed bump. (Of which we have a lot.)

 

Wim,

 

This looks like it could be useful in a tripod - challenging situation.

 

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Black-black-strength-adhesive-photographers/dp/B0051BT40K

 

Joe

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edit:

I have used the Gorillapod micro the whole evening for 2 concerts. And I have tried to mount the RX100 as a dashcam with it, but that requires better clamping: the camera got launched at the first speed bump. (Of which we have a lot.)

 

Wim,

 

This looks like it could be useful in a tripod - challenging situation.

 

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Black-black-strength-adhesive-photographers/dp/B0051BT40K

 

Joe

 

I bought one of these tripods 20 years ago and have used it with a variety of cameras. It would probably be perfect for the RX100.

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The trick with the

is that it folds away in line with the camera and adds almost nothing in bulk or width, so it still goes in either my shirt pocket or in one of the pouches I use for various purposes.
 
(This is veering OT a bit here and there:)
From where I sit I can count about a dozen or so tripods and monopods, and I'm pretty sure some more are hidden from sight ;-)
I have owned that mini Slik, but found it too big for the support it promised. The tripod would have been ok-ish, but it's plastic head is inseparable and is total rubbish. (When I sold it, I told the buyer so, but he still wanted it.)
My table tripod for both my Nex as my Canon 1Ds-s is a Bogen Manfrotto 3007.
With an old Bogen 3009 ball head: the small one that had the ball made out of brass. I have a host of newer ones by Manfrotto and Gitzo, but this one is the lightest and the slimmest as well: 78gr.
(My ball heads range from 78gr up to 1950gr.)
The Arca compatible clamp is a Sirui c10 scavenged from a Sirui c10 ball head. With a shaved steel nut it weighs 34gr.
(The small clamps range between 34 and 97gr.)
Total weight is 203gr (11g lighter than the former setup); length is 20.5cm.
With really careful shooting technique it holds my 1Ds body fitted with an RRS L plate + the 70-200mm or 17mm T/S.
You can see where I was coming from, and why I thought the 203gr tripod was overkill for a 240g midget camera ;-)
 
So Philippe's advice was really welcome and I still cannot get my head around why I had overlooked this small gem: only 25g!
Now I've tested this one for the second night, I will buy the slightly larger sibling that is meant for the Nex sized camera's as well (and test it with my monster Canons of course).
 
My regular travel tripod is a modified carbon Sirui T025: I have cut off the complete center column.
The head is a RRS BH 25 now with a Sunwayfoto DDC-26 clamp which is 44g 
(-4g lighter than my Hejnar F60 , which is slightly better made. The RRS clamp is better still, but weighs 69g.)
Total weight of this setup: 689g;
total ready length 38,5cm;
folded length for travel: 30cm! (total length of a 1Ds body with a 70-200mm is 27cm.)
working height: 99cm
 
With my Gitzo G1058 legs, the stability is better:
Total weight of that setup 867g;
total ready length: 50cm
folded length for travel: 45cm.
working height: 115cm
extended height: 139cm
 
Both these tripods are perfect for the RX100. Of course they are a bit of an overkill, but for me there is no lighter and smaller alternative that is as stable as these.
If the RX100 were my only camera, I would use the ball head and clamp from the table tripod setup on my main tripod as well. That would shave off another 34g. (The weight of a 35mm film cartridge in a canister as I seem to remember.)
 
Because I have shooting sticks (in the US sense not the UK version, I see that the Tamrac ZipShot could be an alternative to some as well: 320g for 112cm working height is not bad and it works really quickly; there even is a lower version now. However the least amount of wind will have your camera swaying in the breeze. And there's no versatility there. While my smallest travel tripod makes an excellent table top tripod.

 

wim

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Wim, the Gorillapod micro 800 looks very cool. Think I might get one for my NEX. Thanks for the info.

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Wim,

 

I did not realise the Gorillapod was small enough to stay on the camera, certainly much more portable than my Slik mini.   Maybe I do need yet another tripod after all..

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