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Old June 6th, 2014, 03:45 PM   #106
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Re: Sony RX10 user experience thread

Jeff, DPREVIEW, arguably one of the most credible photography web sites out there if not the most credible, gave the RX10 a Gold award and they don't hand out Golds willy nilly. Read the review.

As I read this thread again the thing I find somewhat odd is that you say 'Not a fan of the photos coming from the camera at all. Very disappointing.' That is quite strong language especially the 'very disappointing' phrase, and very specific. Seems to me you haven't got a good word to say about the photographs you shoot with the RX10 which I find a bit strange and based on many reviews I have read and the comments here.

I don't single you out as such but rather your comments do that in that they are singularly negative about the photographs. And that's fair enough in that it is your experience with the camera. It is also fair enough to point out that your experience, very disappointing photographs, is far from the norm.

Your praise of the video capability of the RX10 is indeed par for the course so that more or less rules out the possibility that you have a bad copy.
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Old June 6th, 2014, 04:56 PM   #107
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Re: Sony RX10 user experience thread

@ Jeff -

Can't remember offhand which photo site has the "comparison" setup where you can pick your cameras you want to compare, and review their studio test shots and such, but with that you should be able to pull up both cameras (presuming the RX has been tested), adjust ISO, and see how things look. As with all test sites, you have to take things with a grain of salt, but it's worth doing some homework "pre shoot"!

As far as the actual shoot, I'd take your camera of choice, pop off a couple shots with both, and let the customer decide whether a several year aged Canon will be a match for a current model... I think I know the results, but hey, I can be wrong sometimes! Maybe he wants the shots to download right away, in which case I'd just take an unused card and hand it off at the end, asking for it back when he gets the chance (if it even matters, 8G cards are nearly obsolete and cheap)


Depending on the lighting conditions, the "no flash" may be risky, but I'd at least give it a try with the superior auto mode (The yellow camera symbol, or at least the green "intelligent auto" one - you may want to try both, as they work differently, and sometimes you'll get better results out of one than the other - it's easy to switch from the "fn" menu - the RX10 puts them both under the "auto" position of the rotating selector - IIRC "superior" is sort of hidden in the "fn" menu). Let the camera work every electronic trick in the book on your behalf (it'll outshoot most users trying to match the results in manual, and do it faster).

In that shooting situation, the RX10 would be my first choice over say an A57, A65, A77. I've watched the RX10 and RX100 "develop" (processing.....) shots that would have been otherwise impossible to get usable - sometimes you just have to trust the "Genie"!

You mentioned you prefer not to use the VF (usually desirable for a third contact point), I'd suggest using some sort of additional support to help keep the camera steady - with the "auto" modes, it can help improve the multiple shots the camera uses to composite the final result - the less movement the better! Maybe a monopod, either to your pocket or belt, or floor if necessary? You never realize how much you wobble till you try to take "long" or multiple exposure shots in low light! Even using the old "take a breath, hold and squeeze the shutter" trick, I'm still positively unstable!

It's also a situation where a diffused flash may be more desirable than a "direct" blinding flash (likely the reason for "no flash"). Of course the customer is always "right" but if he's wrong, you as a pro should show him how your technique is superior and will give better results by using your equipment and proper methodology.


@ Bruce -
At 200mm, the long end is obviously shorter than say the HX300... BUT, both cameras also have clear and digital zoom ranges... I've shot the RX100 at full digital and still gotten shots at silly distances!

Here's the "rub" - the CZ lens and 1" sensor are a "tad" better than the "G" glass and 1/3" sensor, a tad being a rather significant boost in "real world" conditions! I'm not afraid to shoot in the CIZ range, meaning that you can squeeze "400mm" equivalent out of the camera, maybe even a little more with some "acceptable" image degradation.

I know shooting sports is sort of specialized, usually involving honkin' huge fast lenses, but I just shot some at Sea World a few weeks ago... I'd post the shots, but I'm doing "file management", so everything's a bit scrambled until I get that done! I did just review those shots in glorious 4K..., with "perfect" freeze frames of dolphins, whales, and birds in "midair"... not "sports", but I'd certainly be willing to "try" a sports shoot with the RX10. I'll try to put some samples on my list to post (I owe Noa some "rig" shots! And pix of the DIY AX100 shoe adapter!), but again, there's a reason the RX10 has pretty much replaced most of the rest of my "toys"... er... tools! After looking at the shots on a 4K monitor, I really couldn't find much "fault", and some of the shots were actually pretty "good" <wink>! I think I may have nearly shed a tear at the quality...


That said...
No camera is "perfect"...

We know that the RX10 zoom defaults to "slow" while recording (doesn't bother me, drives others a bit crazy)... I tested my other Cybershots, they behave EXACTLY the same way. No big deal. IF I were on the Sony testing/development team, I'd add an advanced menu option... but I'm not.

Battery life is not as good due to the FW50 battery (lousy choice by Sony IMO), but I've got a stack of "backups", not just for the RX10, but for EVERY camera! I won't walk out with ANY less that 3, 1 in cam and 2 fully charged in the bag. Battery change should be no longer than a mag change for a trained soldier... yeah, I can handle it.

People used to a mechanically coupled focus ring will find "fly by wire" to be less desirable due to the lack of sensory feedback... People used to the BOSS "magic eyeball" will not be as happy with the IS, but these are simple necessities of the design, which gives so many other BENEFITS that the few downsides are just not worth quibbling over... noting, yes... but it's such a darn fine camera to shoot with that I'd rather shoot than worry about the few weaknesses. I've said I had to go dig out my old "rigs" for stabilizing, and I may or may not need to use them, but they worked way back when before BOSS... dust 'em off, no big deal.

The fact that the camera COULD have been the first with 4K... or at a minimum the new high bitrate XAVC S, yeah, I'll continue to spit nails about THAT "marketing decision", and probably pick up a "MK2" if they don't update the firmware (which I believe is technically feasible, and would give Sony "goodwill" points out the wazoo!!)
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Old June 8th, 2014, 03:16 PM   #108
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Re: Sony RX10 user experience thread

I have used the rx10 yesterday much more extensively then other weddings, actually all through the day until I emptied 2 batteries.

When reviewing the footage I have to say this camera is starting to grow on me, I used a b-grip belt camera holder to have the camera on me all day, what I find easy in this way is that I can use my steadicam or slider with the gh3 or g6 and if something comes up I can place the steadicam down and quickly use the rx10 if needed, in the past I would have to leave my nex-ea50 on a tripod or in the bag while I was using a slider or steadicam and if something happened I was stuck with what I had. The b-grip is comfortable enough to carry the rx10 for a long time.

I also switched from active to standard stabilisation again, even in active there was still microvibration and sometimes still had to stabilise in post, so I lost in image quality because active stabilisation crops in the image and I had another hit in post, most of the shots in standard is good enough but some zoomed in shots can use some stabilisation in post, especially if you like me shoot handheld without any extra rig for stabilisation. Even after stabilisation the footage is still sharp enough.

I used it now for most run and gun stuff but also beauty shots, all handheld during bride prep, during the ceremony, talking heads at reception and during the evening part and the camera performed very well, I really like the sharp colorful images, the internal sound is also very good, I picked up everything that was said during bride prep, big difference compared to the gh3 which sounds like inside a tin can. Just being able to take the camera from my belt and start shooting if I saw something interesting actually gave me more variety in footage.

Allthough the slow zoom can be very challenging and at times very frustrating the camera does give me a large range without having to switch lenses and it's constant f2.8 can give some nice looking bokeh if you zoom in enough, then it matches my gh3/6 nicely and it gives that dslr kind of look. But here, Sony, give us zoomspeeds to choose from!!! The zoomspeed I get in standby mode would do fine.

All my shots look well exposed, you do get a what you see is what you get look on screen but the histogram and zebras are invaluable in dialing in the right exposure.

the batterylife is a problem but it depends, I was looking all the time at how much was left and it was distracting, it seems to go down pretty quickly if you use it on and off for short periods but I had several longer continuous recording periods yesterday and 2 batteries gave me 2 hours and 25 minutes which actually doesn't look that bad but I also have emptied the battery once in 45 minutes.

It was very hot yesterday and during the ceremony I got an indicator on screen that the camera was overheating, my cx730's don't even twitch an eye under these circumstances but the rx10 seems to be more sensitive, it didn't shut down but it wasn't continuously recording, I used it more for b-roll and longest recording was maybe 20 minutes. I do wonder if it eventually will switch down when it gets too hot.

Since yesterday was a success in using it more then just during photoshoot alone I will extent that use over the next wedding, it will become a more prominent camera in use as I slowly learn to operate it faster and having it on me all the time like a gun in a holster helps in gettng my footage, it compensates a bit in the footage I loose because I can't zoom out quickly enough, do you hear me Sony?!. :) .

I have to make a trailer of this one, if I am allowed to shown it online I will post it here as it does contain a fair amount of rx10 footage.
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Old June 8th, 2014, 03:48 PM   #109
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Re: Sony RX10 user experience thread

Just saw your post, Dave, thanks for your tips, missed them before the shoot.

I was there primarily to videotape the speeches so that was the priority. I just told the customer I would use my camera for photos as I was more comfortable that way.

Camera did fine. I adjusted ISO manually using the wheel as I went shot to shot. This was to keep shutter speed fast enough to take clear pictures but as low as possible to avoid unnecessary grain. Seemed to work pretty well.

I ran auto for a bit but stuck with using shutter priority, results were good.

Overall it was a fun shoot and I do feel better about the camera. Fine tuning manually seemed to really help minimized grain because it was a bit dark in the room.

For the money it is a very nice camera. I think if I shot more photos I would get better with it and like it more.
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Old June 8th, 2014, 04:04 PM   #110
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Re: Sony RX10 user experience thread

Noa, thanks for sharing the details of your experience with the camera. I do like the camera very much for video as you do, but I strongly prefer operating my CX900 most the time.

I think the AX100 will be my primary camera, I just like the form factor much better.

I have achieved some nice bokeh with the CX900 also, by the way.

For me it's becoming about consistency and not needing to switch cameras any more than necessary. The RX10 is handy in those instances where I need to grab something quick. As a B cam it's perfect except for the recording limit.
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Old June 8th, 2014, 04:43 PM   #111
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Re: Sony RX10 user experience thread

I believe the cx900 or ax100 has the same sensor size as the rx10? Then the bokeh should be the same I guess, my cx730 will have to serve me at least one more season, not wanting to have the latest when it comes out always means getting serious price reductions, that's how I saved about 600 euro on the cx730 and gh3 because that's how much they together got cheaper after a year, look at what happened to the nex-ea50 after 1,5 year, it dropped 900 euros in price and the same will happen to the ax100 and cx900 if you can wait that long, wouldn't be surprised if both decrease about 300 euro's in prize, next year probably we"ll be seeing 4k 50p and once that happens then they will have my attention. :)

the rx10 won't be replacing my handicams, it has a specific purpose and I"m glad can finally give it it's place because otherwise it would have been a waste of money.
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Old June 8th, 2014, 05:05 PM   #112
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Re: Sony RX10 user experience thread

Noa, I do not know the technical side of things, but isn't is likely that DOF potential would be more so with the RX10 with the constant F/2.8 lens? Of course with the longer zoom on the CX900/AX100 it might make up for things so on a 10X or 12X zoom shot you might have an advantage but one might lose some of the advantage due to the fact you'd be at a smaller aperture (4.5 or wherever it tops out at).

I think it's probably close, anyway. I have both so I might set them up and see what I can learn.
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Old June 10th, 2014, 04:20 AM   #113
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Re: Sony RX10 user experience thread

This is a trailer of the wedding I shot last Saturday, like I said before much more Sony rx10 footage now so I thought I'd share it here. I still have not had the time to test the presets on all my different camera's as I use sony cx730's and a pana gh3 and g6 but I used standard presets on all of them and dialed the contrast a bit down. Everything you see is straight from the cameras with no CC and for me all match closely enough now. I am not so into colorcorrecting my footage, I have too much editing work and always try to get it "right" in camera, saves me a lot of time and gives me a private life as well :).

The only thing I changed is to use the gh3 instead of the g6 on the steadicam, the g6 is softer in 50p compared to my gh3 but it does have a very sharp 25p so I used the g6 more for static talking heads and closeup beautyshots with a fast prime and in 25p, for steadicam I need 50p to be able to slow down my footage for my trailers.

That weddingday was like running a marathon, I was totally drained by the end of the day and needed 2 days to recover but in the end it was worth it, the ceremony was difficult, I used my 2cx730's as main cams in front and my rx10 for some b-roll, the problem was with the weather at that moment, it was very hot and the sun was glaring with very harsh contrasts but during the ceremony clouds started to appear and the light intensity would constantly change so I had to leave one cx730 on full auto and the other one I operated manually unless I was going around with my rx10 so I had both camera's shoot unattended in full auto, I would be totally lost without those little handicams as they did a great job.

My rx10 did show something that looked like a overheat symbol at the end of the ceremony, the camera continue to run though but it is a bit worrying if you would have to rely on 2 of those camera's for a longer continuous shoot in very warm conditions.

When I compare my rx10 with my gh3 they are both a very good match, both do sharp and colorful 1080p and while I know 4k downsized to 1080p looks even more sharp when I view my film on a large screen it looks really great, otoh I do see my cx730 starting to struggle to keep up imagewise, they do have that bit more "video" look to it and are not as detailed so I need to sharpen a bit in post but that is something only I do notice.

Soundpurists would not agree but I do find the internal mike on the rx10 very good for capturing ambient sound and also voices, most of what I shot was just handholding the camera with no additional rig and if I didn't need it just lock it on my belt, what a relief having had the nex-ea50 to drag around for over a year. The nex-ea50 is a better camera when it comes to functionality but it's a big beast while the rx10 does a very good effort making a bridge between a dslr and a videocamera.

Here you can find the times when the rx10 was used:
from 00:00 to 00:25, from 00: 33 to 00:44, from 01:09 to 01:22, from 01:39 to 01:48 and from 01:57 to 02:11.
There are a few more rx10 shots inbetween but those I mentioned give a good impression how it performs.

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Old June 10th, 2014, 09:59 AM   #114
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Re: Sony RX10 user experience thread

Gorgeous footage Noa. Absolutely gorgeous.
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Old June 10th, 2014, 10:54 AM   #115
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Re: Sony RX10 user experience thread

Thx Jeff :) The location did help as well, a beautiful setting and great weather, there where a few clouds during the ceremony but in general a quite hot day (28deg celcius) day, very lucky as well because we have had some severe hailstorms the past days.
I feel more confident now using the rx10 more throughout the day, I"ll order myself another battery so with 3 I should have enough, I only wished the batteryloading time was not so ridiculously long with the camera. Does anyone know if there is a sony loader for this battery and if it loads much faster?
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Old June 10th, 2014, 05:23 PM   #116
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Re: Sony RX10 user experience thread

As far as we know, the sensors on the RX10/100M2/100M3 are the same as the one in the AX100 - the 100M2 has an earlier Bionz, but otherwise they share processors as well. Minor differences in the lenses, and of course different firware, but generally all in the same ballpark at least! I think the AX100 can gain up a bit more than the RX10 in low light, not a huge thing, and you pay for gain with grain/noise!


@Noa - I finally got around to taking a couple pix for you - a couple of the Stratos FBX folding bracket I use to make the small camera format more stable (particularly if you're using the LCD for monitoring rather than VF) - it's small and light when folded, doesn't look like much, but adds a lot to stability for such a silly little thing - it's like a mini fig rig! They can be had in several colors, and are cheap enough to be worth a try - I've used other brackets, but like the folding aspect and a true vertical grip - those weird angled ones don't work as well for me!

I'll guess you're asking about chargers? I'll sometimes let a camera charge up after a download, but generally in camera is pretty slow, you could probably speed it up with a beefier USB wall wart (I've noticed that tablets have faster charges than phones...).

Sony has three chargers for the FW50 battery that I know of:

BC VW1 is the charger that shipped "stock" with NEX series cams, very basic with a flip out plug (at least here in the US - the HK/China ones seem to use a short cable matched to the locale (and may well be knockoffs?!).

There's a BC TRW that is pretty much like the tiny TRV (for FV series), I think that one has the multi stage LED indicator, and is "supposed" to charge faster.

Then there's the relatively new BC-QM1 - it charges FM, FP/FH/FV, and the FW50, one at a time with three different "bays" and terminal sets overlaid in a single charger - again, has the multi-stage LED charge indicator, and supposed to charge faster. It's a bit bulky... I took a couple shots of the VW1 and the QM1 I've got, to give you some idea of the sizes.


Since I've got a varied selection of Sony cameras, I've got various wall chargers for the motley lot of 'em! Fortunately they have a few models that will charge several different battery types in a single unit!
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Old June 11th, 2014, 11:50 AM   #117
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Re: Sony RX10 user experience thread

Thx for the pixs Dave, looks like a great setup and like you said gives you a wider grip for stability, I only need to have my left hand on the lens at all times to control the iris and/or focus so I was looking more for something that I could push against my shoulder as extra contactpoint. Last wedding I just shot a lot handheld and that actually worked out well, as long as I didn't zoom in too much. I"m currenly looking at Edelkrones pocket series, they make awesome small products, their new pocket slider and pocketskater look like interesting products. Their pocket slider I"m going to order as soon as it becomes available, I absolutely hate my slider as it's way to cumbersome to drag around at a wedding, their new slider is not wider then the camera and has 20cm (7,9 incnh) travelwidth and literally fits in your pocket. You could just leave the slider attached to your camera and have it with you whenever you want a gliding shot. Will see how that works out.
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Old June 11th, 2014, 01:51 PM   #118
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Re: Sony RX10 user experience thread

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Blackhurst View Post
...the Stratos FBX folding bracket I use to make the small camera format more stable (particularly if you're using the LCD for monitoring rather than VF) - it's small and light when folded, doesn't look like much, but adds a lot to stability for such a silly little thing - it's like a mini fig rig! They can be had in several colors, and are cheap enough to be worth a try - I've used other brackets, but like the folding aspect and a true vertical grip - those weird angled ones don't work as well for me! ...
I'm glad to see that folding flash bracket / handle Dave! Great find.

I'm using a folding flash bracket (no handle) that I bought for flash... but setting up for some macro work recently I realized this is a great place to mount a monitor. I was always afraid of the weight and leverage of a 7" monitor on a dSLR (canon 60D). Mounting it to a flash bracket like this takes all those worries away. Kind of a mini-cage, but fits in your pocket. Good for all kinds of hot-shoe mounted accessories, and some of them have extra 1/4"-20 holes drilled and tapped in them (or drill/tap your own!) to mount additional accessories.

Somehow I seem to have too many things that want to mount to the cam, and a folding flash bracket is a sturdy mount, sturdier than adding a multi something to the hot shoe...
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Old June 11th, 2014, 04:34 PM   #119
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Re: Sony RX10 user experience thread

@Noa -

Hmmm, the only thing for video is if you're pressing against your shoulder, you can't move around without transmitting it to the camera (resting on the shoulder is another matter, that CAN work - guess I'll have to dig out the prototype folding shoulder rig and put a pic up!)... I've got a couple oddball things in my collection that are probably JUST what you're looking for... IF you could find them (I collect odd bits and pieces that look like they might be useful on eBay!). I've got this one molded/folding Sony shoulder thingy that's the ONLY one I've ever seen...

The FBX bracket is nice for actual "steadicam like" moves - with practice you can get amazingly close if you learn the "steadicam glide" walk... your arms act much like the articulated Steadi arm, and the two point grip is especiallly helpful to stop roll (unless you WANT to "dutch"), as well as prevent the camera from pitch and yaw motion.

Of course my goal is small, light and efficient... less gear the better IF it will do the trick!
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Old June 11th, 2014, 04:53 PM   #120
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Re: Sony RX10 user experience thread

I forgot to mention Noa - your observation on audio quality is correct - MOST still cameras (even expensive ones!) seem to have crap mics added as an afterthought, with varying degrees of body noise thrown in for added good measure of annoyance...

The RX10 in particular, and even the RX100 seem to be FAR more competent at audio capture, to the point where ambient capture is at least potentially useable!

From what I've read, the Sony exec that is managing the group creating these RX cameras is very much of the mind of having one camera to do it all, and do it well. I seem to recall the RX10 nearly moved him to tears...

As much as I'm enjoying the AX100, in no small part because it shares RX DNA, the RX10 the way I have mine kitted out is still the first "weapon of choice" for overall versatility - if it had high bitrate XAVC S and 4K, I would prolly cry tears of joy myself!
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