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Old April 21st, 2014, 06:11 AM   #1
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Sony RX10 for assistant camera

Hi All - maybe not for this season but for the next I'm thinking of a fetch and carry assistant, but also someone who has a good eye that I can let loose with a camera to get some additional footage. I was toying with another Sony CX730 but then noticed the RX10 that has been discussed on here when it was launched, but I'm wondering what all of you who bought it now think of it.

Constant f2.8 24-200 Zeiss has got to be good - especially in low light - also auto focus/flip out screen and all for 879 - too good to be true?

Pete
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Old April 21st, 2014, 08:51 AM   #2
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Re: Sony RX10 for assistant camera

When I shoot wide with my cx730 and when the iris is wide open and the camera at 21db of gain and 1/50th of a shutter I need to have between 8000 to 10.000 iso on my rx10 to match the exposure, at those values the rx10 is a little noisier then my cx730.

Only once I start zooming in the cx730 ramps quickly which is where the rx10 has the clear advantage, if you don't mind the horrible slow zoomspeed while recording this camera is close in functionality what you would expect of a real videocamera.
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Old April 21st, 2014, 12:04 PM   #3
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Re: Sony RX10 for assistant camera

I love the RX10, though I shoot a lot of STILLS with it... it's about the best hybrid camera you can imagine, and performs well in auto, making It good for an "assistant" with limited skills, plus has all the manual functions if you care to use them.

I still wish it had 4K video ala the AX100 (almost guaranteed the "Mk2" will add it in), but other than that, it's the one camera I'd grab if I need to shoot something - was shooting some stills the other night, and suddenly a fireworks show started... I was able to hit record and catch the whole show without skipping a beat....

Most reviewers mention the relatively high price, but I got mine on "open box" pricing, and would not think twice to buy it again.

I've been debating whether the PJ760 (pretty similar to the CX730, just the US model, with projector) will stay in the "fleet" - hard to beat the magic eyeball stabilization, yet I think an AX100 alongside the RX10 will cover so much ground that other cams will just collect dust for me!
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Old April 21st, 2014, 01:07 PM   #4
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Re: Sony RX10 for assistant camera

No doubt, it's a capable little camera, just don't expect it to act like your camcorder, because it is still distinctly a photo camera first. example being the zoom action, if power zooming from a tripod mostly head on, works quite well, but on mine at least if i try a zoom on an off angle like pointing high or low, there are bumps in the zoom, presumably due to the barrel extension being a bit loose.

Noa, are you shooting flat or baked in with those high isos? things start to get pretty muddy above 3200, though certainly looks better than the 5d2 past there, just not crispy.
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Old April 21st, 2014, 01:09 PM   #5
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Re: Sony RX10 for assistant camera

Pete just get the 70d!! Awesome for weddings with the c100 and 6d
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Old April 22nd, 2014, 10:24 AM   #6
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Re: Sony RX10 for assistant camera

Thought about that Steve as I use a 5D for evening receptions but.... I personally really like 50p as opposed to 25 (also gives scope for slowing it down) and the 70D has no focus peaking. As this camera may be in the hands of a novice then a good auto focus (I believe the 70D has a 'touch to focus' setup) or at least focus peaking is important. I'm happy to be convinced otherwise though :)
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Old April 22nd, 2014, 08:57 PM   #7
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Re: Sony RX10 for assistant camera

Hi Pete

Think long and hard about whether you REALLY need an assistant... sure some weddings can be a pain and you have to run like the wind to get stuff but you just MIGHT be introducing more hassles with an assistant???

Think about ... "George? where is my digital recorder? it was on the Church lectern .. what do you mean you didn't get it? " If you place gear yourself then you have a better chance of remembering what is in the Church than a "gopher" who will just grab what they see.
I tried a few assistants over 2012/13 and the footage really was worse than useless!! We are talking about people graduated from a 4 year film/television Uni degree with, one would think, reasonable camera skills and then we end up with footage of the couple shot directly in line with a big open Church window so they are completely under-exposed.

I know I have to work a bit harder but at least I know that if I shoot it, I'll make sure it's done correctly AND I'm not paying a chunk of my profit for even more hassles!!!

Sorry for the post hi-jack but I would make sure I had someone who was worthy of buying a camera for first!

Chris
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Old April 23rd, 2014, 02:55 AM   #8
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Re: Sony RX10 for assistant camera

You're right Chris that's why I'm thinking about this not for this year but for the next - I like working alone as it allows me to be less intrusive on the day and keeps my prices down. I do however occasionally have to have help, it just can't be avoided. This week for example where there a 3 locations - church/city centre park photoshoot/reception where it's straight into speeches - this is a major task for a single person as I've done it in the past alone it's really stressful. Also where bridal prep is in a different location from the ceremony as I would miss the last hour or so of prep to get to the church.

In both these instances I take my other half as a fetcher and carrier, but I do leave her with a CX730 for the last hour of bridal prep - she's had some coaching and gets on well with people so she's happy to do it and usually there's enough good footage for me to use. The thing is that it's her time/petrol etc she laughed her head off when I suggested that I pay her so I'm not over happy using her this way. It's not like I'm taking advantage but if it were someone else well, they'd get paid. So you see where I'm coming from.

Having an assistant would also allow me time to be a little more creative - I spend so much time setting up and tacking down gear/getting the bread and butter shots that even though I take my Merlin - it rarely gets out of it's case :( Case in point a few weeks ago there was only one and half hours between the church service finishing and the sit down meal with a 30 minute drive to the reception. As soon as I got there I had to set up for the speeches as they were before the meal (hate that) which left scant little time to film - I could have left all the collecting the gear from the church, transporting it to the reception venue and setting it up again to an assistant - lots of freedom for me then to film. I take on board what you say though about trusting them to get it right - dilemma!

I'm not making any decisions at the moment - just sounding out you guys.
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Old April 23rd, 2014, 03:37 AM   #9
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Re: Sony RX10 for assistant camera

Having your wife/girlfriend/mate as your assistant is a far cry from hiring a "2nd shooter"

I would think that family/friends are likely to be more dedicated, but I could be wrong. All assistants I have had never seemed dedicated, they were doing it to earn some money and were happy when they could go home. Maybe I never found the right one??

I do now tend to shy away from having to hire a 2nd shooter ..if I had a really huge event I would rather use my mate Alan who is a video guy and does weddings and cost accordingly.

Chris
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Old April 23rd, 2014, 03:43 AM   #10
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Re: Sony RX10 for assistant camera

I know what you are talking about, have had some weddings and will have some this year where a second shooter would make life so much easier but I am not able to sell it to my clients as they are not willing to pay the extra high price,you could save some by getting someone that's fresh from school but I have noticed that having a degree in media doesn't mean they can shoot a camera right. For good experienced camera operators you pay a high prize and I can't just include that into my prizes.

A cx730 alike camera is much more idiot proof if you are planning to take a second less experienced shooter along, not saying an idiot can operate such a camera (I have 2 of them :)) but they are much more forgiving, even when you shoot handheld. The rx10 will require more understanding of camera functions to get the best results out of it, it is however better equipped then any other small dslr out there, just name one dslr that has a build in nd, zebra's, constant f2.8 zoom, focus peaking, stepless iris ring, stabilized lens, motorized zoom (painfully slow but still motorized), good onboard audio, sharp and usable viewfinder, 1080p 50p, adjustable presets, histogram, audio monotoring for 1100 euro?
I know you can't really compare with a dslr as the lens doesn't come off but it is the best camera available that that bridges the gap between dslr's and fixed lens videocamera's. It does have it's flaws but again name me one dslr in the lower price range that isn't flawed.

If only that zoomspeed was faster during recording, then it would be my main camera for any run and gun throughout the day, in my last film I made with it it shows you can make pretty pictures with it, the larger sensor gives you sufficient shallow dof so you can integrate it better if your gear is dslr only. All below footage is slowed down 50%, a luxury you have when being able to shoot at 50P. Also the build in nd is great, even if it's only 1 value, since I shoot at 50p I leave my shutter at 1/100 which helps in very bright conditions as well.

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Old April 23rd, 2014, 03:56 AM   #11
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Re: Sony RX10 for assistant camera

Nice work as usual Noa - I have to ask - some of your shots seem really high up and smooth - steadicam or Jib? Also how good is the RX10 autofocus - is it continuous?
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Old April 23rd, 2014, 04:06 AM   #12
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Re: Sony RX10 for assistant camera

That was all shot on a simple slider which was attached to a tripod which had a manfrotto 501hdv head , on the slider there was a manfrotto 701rc2 head attached. The autofocus is decent but don't expect miracles from it, in my video the focus was on manual for all shots. Slowing down the footage by 50% also enhances the "smoothness" of the shots.
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Old April 23rd, 2014, 04:12 AM   #13
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Re: Sony RX10 for assistant camera

Check this video out starting from from 01:40 for some autofocus tests

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Old April 23rd, 2014, 04:26 AM   #14
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Re: Sony RX10 for assistant camera

Cheers Noa - I don't use autofocus much but it seems on par, if only a little slower, than my EA50!
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Old April 23rd, 2014, 04:42 AM   #15
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Re: Sony RX10 for assistant camera

Great footage Noa, I also have my eye on the RX10 as a general all round camera.

Coming back to assistants, I have had my fair share over the years all of whom needed careful monitoring and training. One or two turned into very good camera people who I was eventually able to let go solo, however, all the good ones decided that once they had learned from me, they could earn a lot more by getting their own weddings and undercutting my prices. None of them kept it going for more than 3 or 4 months, but it made me give up bothering to waste my time training people.

My wife on the other hand, is an excellent videographer, photographer, editor and sales person, so we can both work solo or together as a team. She is an equal partner in the business, so everything she does is in our joint interest and I can completely rely on her.

The answer of course, could be to train up a superb female assistant, then marry her before she sets up on her own :-)

Roger
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