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Sony RX10, 1" sensor, big F2.8 constant zoom, video oriented machine
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    We've come a long way since the Sony Cyber-shot R1 was released in 2005, and while the R1 may seem quite dated compared to the RX10, lacking even a video mode, it is still possible to get good results from the older camera. Thanks to advances made in RAW image processing, you can even use it at its highest ISO setting of ISO3200.

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  • I was really looking forward to this camera but having used one over the christmas period it pains me to say its good but not great. Certainly nowhere near worth the price its currently at. So back to Amazon it goes.

  • @Mimirsan

    Would you care to elaborate? Your review is not very helpful.

  • I felt the same as you Mimirsan initially. Something about the indoor colours really bothered me. Discovering Neutral -3 -3 -3 saved the camera for me, but then I am no(where near a) pro like some here :D

    Anyway, auto WB indoors does still suck, choosing kelvin works fine.

    And for stills, the high speed continuous shooting mode is really fun.

  • I had one, returned it. Indoor WB is useless. Poor low light. Does not handle mixed color temperature sources well. Video gets very soft under less than ideal conditions. Mid shadows get murky very fast, poor handling of available DR. Usual highlight falloff, but mid shadows, or even low shadows experience color shift that makes images discontinuous.

    Indoor and low light much better on our NX30, as well as OIS, and that includes the same XLRs that cost $800 for the RX10.

    I got shouted down by RX10 camera lovers on another forum, but their tests were under ideal conditions that made the camera shine. And under those limited conditions it can be good, and Samuel H's measurement of rolling shutter was impressive.

    The tragedy is that the potential resolution of the full 5k sensor readout reduced to 1080p is really good, but visible only with external recorder since codec cannot really handle detail, and yes I did that test.

    This AVCHD implementation is horrible, and I am not a AVCHD codec hater since I liked it on the FS100 we had, and I love it on our team's C100. It is better on the two year old NX30 than on the RX10.

    Still tests seem to show still resolution and low light perfmance was better on the RX100ii with the same sensor, but I did not do that test.

    So a $700 Ninja, plus a $800 XLR adapter, plus $1300 cost equals a $2800 ensemble that cannot be carried as a single assembly without a rig. No the XLR does not mount without a rig, and I tried it since I have the XLRs. So, it is really a three thousand dollar setup to maximize results, and there are other choices at that price range, like a used FS100.

    The sensor and lens deserve better, and I suspect that they will find their way into a higher priced 4k setup that will have a better codec implementation. TO me this is like the VG series that had good specs delebrately crippled by a poor codec. Perhaps it is the same codec, who knows?

    if you want a combined still/video compact shooter for vacations it might be worthwhile, but as a serious video camera it leaves a lot to be desired. I look only at video. The many returned cameras for sale as used at BHPhoto show others also returned their RX10s.

  • philiplipetz, thank you for that review and comparison with the NX30. I had narrowed my choice of 1st camera down to the RX10 and NX30 and I think I'll go with the NX30 based on your feedback.

  • @babypanda I wanted to replace the NX30 with the RX10 but now happily stayed with the NX30. Under ideal conditions the RX10 can have more resolution but most conditions are not ideal. Would rather get the shot as often as possible, and have that peace of mind.

  • And cost is a major factor for me as well. I didn't realize the XLRs cost 800$ for the RX10. That's 2/3 the price of the camera.

  • I second philiplipetz...except on the VG aspect as the codec on the RX10 is worse than on my VG20/CX730. The codec on the RX10 can break up randomly (?!) and I was using 24p. Balled dropped somewhere at Sony.

    Its being stated as a camcorder killer but there is so many aspects wrong for video use with the RX10. I also own a FZ200 and to be honest the RX10 has the same issues the FZ200 has (Like many bridge cameras do).

    Decent lens? Crippled by painfully slow and noisy zoom thats a pain to use for either photo or video (fz200 is faster) the mic picks this up.

    Clickless aperture that has two small thumbgrips that you have to fumble about for as its too close to the body...the mic picks this up. So silent aperture bit pointless.

    Nice large evf that gets a minus as it is oddly less res than the 2 year old Nex's

    I couldn't seem to find any way to lock focus in video mode (all goes c-af when hitting record) and the autofocus had a habit of focusing on the background rather than the subject. FZ200 has several ways to control AF...better usability for video. Basically the FZ200 is better for video use..ergonomics wise for sure.

    Fly by wire manual focusing (with peaking) utterly useless...think the 20mm f1.7 but slower.

    JPEGS are very poor...odd considering I've found Sony to have very good jpegs in their recent cams.

    RAW is good but ive found the RX100 to be better for lowlight.

    That 1" sensor NEEDS f1.8 as even indoor photos & video have to have you go into higher isos. Over 800 iso and the colour starts to go. 2.8 unfortunately doesn't cut it for dim conditions with the RX10.

    I could continue but considering my old cx730 does better all round (same sensor as NX30) its not much of a incentive to buy a RX10 over current camcorders for less.

    Heck you can get a current priced G6 +14-140MM + LEICA 25MM F1.4 for less...and it'll probably be lighter to carry.

  • ...and then enclosed manual is nearly useless since it does not even define most functions, much less tell you how to use them.

  • "RAW is good but ive found the RX100 to be better for lowlight."

    Yes, but if you compare every spec on one camera to every other spec on every other camera, you'll end up being disappointed with just about every camera. And that's one thing I've noticed in researching cameras. There is no camera out there that everyone likes. And that's why I may not be so quick to dismiss this one. The RX10 could still be the little engine that could despite it's flaws.

  • "...and then enclosed manual is nearly useless since it does not even define most functions, much less tell you how to use them."

    ask the folks. i'm sure they'll be happy to help out.

    i'm confused about this camera. some people are dumping their BMPCC and GH3s with lenses to get this. and other people think it sucks. Hmmm...

  • @babypanda

    I have forgot to mention the terrible battery life and creaky screen! haha

    You may have no choice but to buy one to try. Its the only way to see if its for you.

    As for it comparing to the has the same sensor. This is why I made comparison. F2.8 isnt enough for the RX10 to do as well as RX100's f1.8 for lowlight and that is obvious. But also as the codec has some sort of issue. Whereas the RX100's seem solid in comparison.

    I should point out...if you're filming in well lit environments or outside with an external recorder it could well be recommended. Also if you just want only the camera to control the AF and trust it when shooting video then it could be recommended. I think many have become seduced by the constant f2.8 Zeiss lens...but if what goes on in body isn't up to snuff that's the problem for some of us.

    It all depends on what you want it for. Also maybe we expected too much from the RX 1" sensor.

    I just found that every great aspect of the camera had something preventing it being great. Like the lens. Awesome glass. Slow noisy zoom.

    I guess Sony had to cut corners to keep the package.

    Its a good camera if cheaper...but at its current retail price there are so many better alternatives as long as you dont want that constant f2.8. That is the only thing going for the RX10.

    If only I could crack it off the RX10 body and put it on a better camera.....:-)

  • "there are so many better alternatives as long as you dont want that constant f2.8. That is the only thing going for the RX10."

    like what alternatives? this camera is in a class by itself.

  • @babypanda "like what alternatives? this camera is in a class by itself." Careful! you could be leading up to really isn't that far off from any other bridge camera on the market.

    If you dont want that f2.8 constant you can get a G6 +14-140MM or Nex 6 body with the new 18-105mm powerzoom constant f4 or a decent camcorder if its only for video. Or a dozen other APSC/M43rd cameras with kitzooms.

    Ive just bought a G6 with the 14-140mm (£475) and oly 12mm f2.0 (£510) for the same cost as the RX10 ive just been refunded (£999). For me better video capability,Better photos,better zoom range,Better screen,better battery life.

    Look I REALLY wanted to like the RX10. I wanted a camera that will enable me to streamline everything down. but it had too much wrong for my uses. Maybe they will fix these for the RX10 mk2.

    Just try the RX10 that is the only way you will know for sure if its right for you. You seem already decided anyway!

  • No, I'm not decided at all. And I'm a newbie so it's a bit confusing. But thanks for those recommendations. Appreciate it.

  • Thanks for your comments and posting the video, Dan. The video looks good to me. Brandon Li is the guy that does the handheld shooting with the RX100. So presumably the stabilization on the RX10 is also fairly good for handheld shooting?

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    Very practical review made shooting from window and bathrooms :-)

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  • I'm pretty happy with my RX10 and find the jpegs to be good -- about as good as DxO Optics Pro 9 does processing RAW files with its default settings. For outdoors I tend to use my FZ200 (600 mm reach), but my RX10 does well indoors and AWB seems better than most cameras I own -- not perfect, but usable. On this trip I left my GH3 and lenses and home and haven't missed it. Using RX10 and FZ200.

    Of course it helps that I got one of the "open box" (so called) Adorama $937 units. At under $1K it is reasonably priced.