Boring but useful

I am talking about Sony RX100. I am quite bored with it every time I take it in my hands. Nothing special in it. Why am I then keeping it?

There are few assets it has. First one is the small size. Because it fits so nicely in a jacket pocket it is the camera I’ll take with me if I do not care to take any camera bag with me. Another big asset is that it provides 28mm wide angle. Very useful especially in limited indoor spaces. Also nice to shoot some close-ups with wide angle end. And of course RX100 has f/1.8 at 28mm. Would be much nicer to have little bit wider apertures throughout the whole zoom range. Now RX100 has f/4.9 in tele end.

Then something about the minus side. Yes, the camera is very small. I would say too small even if I have quite small hands. It really is pain to use with any kind of gloves. You will push many of those small buttons simultaneously. Even when carrying the camera in your hand you’ll notice wen you start to shoot that you have pushed some buttons unintentionally and the camera is not anymore having those shooting parameters selected you wanted to. The metal surface of the RX100 is very slippery too. You can easily drop it. I feel quite unsure when I’m holding it.

The image quality is very good if the exposure is spot on. If not and you have to push or pull the exposure (not even much) in post-processing you’ll got remarkable amount of noise in the shot. And this is true even if you have used ISO 200. I am not happy about this at all.

For me the RX100 is not on par of all hype it has got. It still is useful for me as a snapshot camera but it is not giving any special feeling to me when I’m using it. It is a boring camera but it does its snapshot job reasonably well.

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8 comments

  1. Wow, I’m surprised you use the word “boring” but hey, that’s what blogs are for. I too have complained about the RX100’s ergonomics but the IQ is far superior to anything else I’ve used at this size. I agree, it’s too small and flush mounted controls are terrible for gloved hands (use glove liners, they work) but again, the IQ is worth the ergonomic pain until someone else comes out with a camera that does as well.

    It seems from your search process that you really like more complex cameras that have more controls and more options. The entire idea of a point and shoot camera is to point and shoot and not get hung up in adjustments although they are there when needed. If you want more and easier adjustability I think you have to go with a bigger camera. That said, I find it amazing that you like Fuji ergonomics compared with Sony. To each his own but I find Fuji’s ergonomics awful. I’m in a minority no doubt but I don’t really care. So, different stokes…

    I’d dump the RX100 and consider a Panasonic LX7, not as large a sensor but lots more control and a faster lens.

  2. Thanks, Richard. I feel that Fuji ergonomics is much better than Sony’s. E.g. the Q menu is very nice and brings all needed adjustments at your fingertips. I am not sure what happens concerning my RX100 relationship. It does not feel a real camera. It is like some kind of a photographic gadget for me. Hard to explain…

  3. This is the reason I didn’t go for NEX-7 earlier this year. Too small and uninspiring in my hand. Also the UI didn’t feel intuitive and purposeful. I’m not skilled enough to take good images with gear that doesn’t give me the inspiration to reach for the limits.

    Small cameras have their benefits, and I can honestly say that without my ex D-lux4 I would have missed some great scenes and images. Have you had a look at Ricoh Digital GR-series? Many people have positive experiences on them.

  4. Jesse, I agree with you, inspiring gear is what I need. I know GR-series and about a year ago I was almost buying one. I think I wanted a bigger sensor at that time and didn’t go the GR-way.

  5. Yes, the new Ricoh looks like a real winner and the price is right too. I just tried the Nikon Coolpix A (similar) and didn’t like it at all. One thing you should know about these cameras Jonne is that they are extremely light weight, something that I think might annoy you (me too). Cameras with no viewfinder need a bit of heft for ballast when holding and focusing them. Too light and at least for me, I can’t hold it still. The RX1 is quite good in this regard as it has a solid feel.

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