Follow Spike’s Photos
Support Spike’s Photos
Category Archives: Sony
Standing guard in front of Tai Om Village, much like the Colossus of Rhodes, no? Except probably unlike the Colossus of Rhodes, a minute after I took this photo all the village dogs came over and took turns peeing on it.
Here’s a crop that shows how well the sensor from the Sony RX100 performs.
All of the RX100 photos I’ve been posting have been from RAW – though honestly, to my eyes at least, I’m not seeing a huge difference between the JPGs and the RAW files.
I think the only reason I left the house today was because I pushed myself to do it so I’d get outside and get to know the RX100 a little bit better. The result – bought 1 of the 2 things I needed to buy and somehow ended up buying shoes that might be too small. Anyway …. outside, the RX100 really shines (pardon the pun). This first photo more for the textures and the detail rather than anything else:
And here’s a crop from the above.
Is it as sharp as my D800? No, of course not. But it’s certainly good enough. And since I do crop a lot, having a 20 mega pixel sensor certainly doesn’t hurt.
Maybe some time I should do a post on how horrible it is to have to shoot when you only have an LCD screen and not a viewfinder. Exact framing is all but impossible, especially in bright light. I wish there was an accessory viewfinder available for this, but without a hot shoe I suppose there’s no way to mount one.
And you lose the stability one gets when one holds a camera with two hands, elbows bent, up against your face. Fortunately Sony’s image stabilization works pretty well to compensate for that.
Now with some cropping and a few other minor adjustments:
As you should be able to see, the detail is fine enough to clearly make out the two characters on those red signs on the door.
I love wandering around in Hong Kong and coming across classic shops like this one:
I suppose this sort of image cries out for a black and white treatment, huh?
Always something interesting to see along Sai Yeung Choi South Street on a Saturday.
A bit further down the street.
Doesn’t really look much like RDJ, does it?
Well, as I said in the subject for this post, random shots.
But overall, yes, the Sony RX100 is so small and light that one can easily bring it along for the day without having to think twice. And you can pull it out of your pocket, turn it on and grab a photo (or, ahem, snap a shot) with one hand, which is nice. The small size will definitely be an advantage for remaining inconspicuous or looking like a tourist when shooting crowded streets.
I’m not finding the Sony menus as annoying as I was anticipating. But I’m still not really familiar with the controls – it’s not like a Fuji X camera where everything is right there on dials in front of you. I need to get a bit more used to the controls and start getting the hell out of “P” mode.
I spent days, if not weeks, thinking about the choice of a second, “every day” camera and couldn’t reach a decision. Finally decision time was upon me when my Olympus OM-D was sold.
Checking the photos that were on the memory card in the Olympus, I noted that it was almost two months since I’d last shot with it. Let’s face it, as wonderful a camera as it is – and it is indeed wonderful – once a lens was on it, it was almost as big as my regular DSLR so I’d end up just going out with the D800 with a 50mm or 35mm on it instead. When the guy I was selling it to was checking it out, I realized as he was checking to make sure the touch screen worked that I had forgotten it even had a touch screen!
Some people told me to consider the Panasonic LX7 (or the Leica D-Lux 6, essentially the same camera). The smaller sensor put me off. Then for awhile I was considering the new Fuji X100s, which is getting some really strong reviews. I love the ergonomics and control on the Fuji, not to mention the hybrid viewfinder, but finally the combination of single fixed focal length lens and the price put me off.
So then I thought, what about the Fuji X20? “Over 50 improvements over the X10″ goes the hype, and most of the reviews I’ve read on it said to believe the hype. Again, great controls. Optical viewfinder now with some actual useful information displayed in the viewfinder. No anti-aliasing filter. And a zoom lens that is at F2.8 at the telephoto end. I’d had the X10 for a brief period and ended up really disliking it. Of course a big part of the dislike at the time was the inability of Adobe products to properly handle the RAW files, something that has finally been resolved.
But in the end I came back to the Sony RX100. The major deciding factors for me were the larger sensor and the fact that it is small enough to fit into pants pockets. And I admit I was swayed by the Sony’s 20 megapixel sensor vs. the Fuji’s 12 megapixels, even though I know that the two sensors are technologically quite different. Last was the fact that I was able to get a good price on it. The list is, if I recall correctly, HK$5390. One shop offered it to me at HK$4980 and I almost said yes. Then I went to a shop where they know me and managed to get it – full box set and Sony warranty – for HK$4450. (At the moment the asking price for used ones on DCFever is HK$4200, so I think I came out okay here.)
Anyway, I got home late, it’s crappy weather, and after I charged up the battery just fired off a few random test shots in P mode with auto ISO.
This shot is ISO 320, 1/30th of a second, f1.8.
And here’s Bogey ….
This is 800 ISO, f1.8, 1/30th of a second. To be honest, I did do a bit of processing in Lightroom to this. Here’s a crop:
I think the sharpness is there though there’s a bit more noise at ISO 800 than I expected.
Well, the weekend is here and hopefully I’ll get out of the house a little so I’ll try to find something interesting to shoot over the next couple of days.
I’m selling off my Olympus OM-D tomorrow. Now I have to think about a replacement.
I know that some people think I’m crazy for selling off the Olympus. It’s a wonderful camera. But my financial situation changed soon after buying it (used) and I am not going to be buying a series of Micro Four Thirds lenses, especially when I already own around 10 Nikon lenses. The other reason is the size. Yes, the body is a lot smaller than your standard DSLR. Even so, once you slap a lens onto it, it’s big enough. And by that I mean big enough that I needed a camera bag to carry it around, rather than slip it into a coat pocket. It got to the point where I started leaving it home and going out with my D800 with a 35mm or 50mm lens on. And that meant it got to the point where I was leaving it home and not using it.
So as wonderful as it is, it just doesn’t make sense for me to own a camera that I don’t use.
So the question is, what next? There are two cameras that I’m looking at, and they’re very different from each other.
The first is Sony’s RX100. It’s a true pocket-sized camera with a large sensor and a decent zoom lens. There’s no optical viewfinder and the maximum aperture on the zoom lens goes down to F4.9 once you’ve zoomed in a bit. The control layout is a bit odd, I have never liked Sony’s menu system, and you have the charge the battery in the camera.
The second is Fuji’s X100s. It’s twice the price of the Sony. And it has a single fixed focal length lens. I loved shooting with the X100 but was frustrated by the slow auto-focus and by Adobe’s inability to deal properly with the RAW files. All of that is said to be fixed now. And it has the same APS-C sensor as the X-Pro1 now. But double the price. And jacket pocket sized rather than pants pocket sized.
Right now I really don’t know.
Some have suggested the Panasonic LX7 (or the equivalent Leica D-Lux6) and I know the Nikon Coolpix A is getting some good reviews but so far neither of those seem that appealing to me. I’ll try to take a closer look at them.
I know some of you have commented on this recently. Any newer thoughts?
Just a random thought. The Olympus OMD is very nice indeed but I’m not going to invest money in buying lenses for a second camera system. Also, with most of the available lenses attached, it’s not even a little bit pocket friendly.
The Sony RX-1, on the other hand …. Full frame sensor. 35mm fixed lens. Would fit in a jacket pocket with ease. At HK$24,000, it’s not even remotely cheap.
One might look at it by comparing it to the Nikon D600, which in all probability has the same sensor inside. The Nikon costs around US$2,000 with no lens. Add in the cost of a lens and then shrink it down so it’s pocket-sized and you’d get to that same price point.
That being said, the Sony has its flaws. The 35mm lens is just F2.0 and for that price and for a fixed lens one would think they could have done F1.4. That’s negligible.
The lack of a true EVF, the fact that you have to do all your framing and focusing on the rear LCD, really cripples the camera. You can buy a bolt-on EVF but it’s expensive and increases the camera size. Actually, I think that it was DigLloyd who decided that the true cost of the RX1 is closer to US$4,000 once one buys an EVF, a spare battery and some other accessories.
Still, a pocket-sized camera with a full frame sensor would work well for me.
I find the Sony RX100, with its APS-C sized senor, a bit quirky, based on what I’ve read. It’s possible to pick one up used in HK for just a few thousand bucks. I’m curious what Sony will change or improve with the RX200 or RX101 or whatever they choose to call the next model. And curious about the RX2, whenever that’s going to happen.
For the time being, buying a new camera isn’t going to happen. But I can still fantasize.