Low Light

topgazza

Distinguished Member
Bit of a ramble....

Had a a great day yesterday in the V&A and took loads of decent pics with my TZ10. Wish I had taken my A580 now because pretty much all the exhibits were is very low light and in cabinets. This has made me think a bit more about a second camera to the DSLR. I have been looking at cameras that offer good zoom but pretty much all my pictures were in the 28-75 range.

What became obvious was that good low light performance as well as RAW is more important...to me. To be fair the TZ10 coped great but did struggle and without manual controls I would have had a bad day I think. Kind of gets me back to my search. I think the X10 would have done superbly but I wonder if I should consider two cameras. Still one as a high level alternative to my A580, such as X10, Sony RX100 are kind of a given for me

....and another TZ alternative...not a TZ30/HX20 but maybe a S100, G12, LX7 type of camera. But are they too close to the "high end compacts" anyway and I should just stick to the X10/RX100 type decision

I accept the TZ10 will always be a P&S to a degree and I love it to bits for most use but I think I am more convinced that a decent fast lens, good sensor, RAW are more important and I do need that high end compact
 

topgazza

Distinguished Member
I'm refining my requirements... I'm not Jim you know.... :eek:

If I had bought a 35mm 1.8 prime I might have taken my A580..."IF" and maybes. It just highlighted for me the benefit of a fast lens and decent sized sensor...not including top notch electronics and processing in a compact. That seems easy but its not IMO. The RX100 has thrown a spanner in the works as I was settled on another X10 but will it do an all round job as in a mini DSLR ? I need a big pointy finger from the Gods.....pointing at the Amazon website..."buy this one" :suicide:
 

topgazza

Distinguished Member
Good find Faldrax.

Not over the top, critical where he see's the need. Quite a good balanced review. I think there is an issue with price even at £516 from Amazon. Its a serous amount of money for a compact and you should expect the proverbial dogs dangly bits for that. Is it that much better than say, the X10, to justify an extra £200 ?

As an owner of an extremely high quality camera would you pay £516 for a compact sized backup like the RX100 ? If you were in the market for such a beast of course.... and would you consider it to be "worthy" so to speak....

I can't see many Ixus owners stepping up to that so it has to be aimed at the pro/enthusiast market ?
 

Faldrax

Well-known Member
As an owner of an extremely high quality camera would you pay £516 for a compact sized backup like the RX100 ? If you were in the market for such a beast of course.... and would you consider it to be "worthy" so to speak....

Well, If I was wanting a compact as an option when the A900 was too bulky to cart about, the RX100 looks a good option.

But, if I had another £500 to spend on camera gear I'd be using it to buy more glass (I need a 70-400G you see, and a 70-200 f/2.8, and maybe a 35 f/1.4, and... :blush:)
 

Johnmcl7

Distinguished Member
Good find Faldrax.

Not over the top, critical where he see's the need. Quite a good balanced review. I think there is an issue with price even at £516 from Amazon. Its a serous amount of money for a compact and you should expect the proverbial dogs dangly bits for that. Is it that much better than say, the X10, to justify an extra £200 ?

That will be up to the individual whether it is worth the money, for me I think it is as the RX100 is physically smaller making it more compact for carrying around (one of my main reasons for wanting the camera), the RX100's sensor is quite a bit bigger and the RX100 seems more polished overall. It is the complete opposite of the retro nostalgia the X10 offers though and while its lens is faster at the wide end, it very quickly loses speed to a much slower F4.9 at the long end. The dynamic range doesn't look great from what I've seen either so may not fare well against the extended DR modes on the X10.

At least price is 'fixable' - it can come down in time or more money can be saved up while many other aspects are not. Even at the price I'm quite amazed what Sony have been able to do with the RX100, I remember a few years back being impressed at Panasonic fitting a bright F2 24-60mm lens in the LX3 so for Sony to produce a camera that is physically smaller, faster at the wide end quite a bit longer up to 100mm and with a substantially larger sensor is amazing. Sony have done a much better job with this sensor size than Nikon have, the V1/J1 seemed capable of pretty good output from their same sized sensor but the benefits of the smaller sensor seemed wasted as the body/lens packages were not much smaller than existing mirrorless systems and lacked fast lenses.

As an owner of an extremely high quality camera would you pay £516 for a compact sized backup like the RX100 ? If you were in the market for such a beast of course.... and would you consider it to be "worthy" so to speak....

The D700 of course sets an impossibly high standard for compact cameras to live up to, it's left me unsure about the micro 4/3 cameras. I had initially liked the GH1 and bought the GH2 when it came out but after buying the 28-300mm for the D700 which gave it a relatively lightweight walkaround option (in comparison the 24-70/70-200mm combination) that pretty much buried the GH2. I went more with the compact micro 4/3 cameras first the GF1 and then the smaller GF3, with the release of the power zoom lens combined with the 20mm F1.7mm pancake it seemed the best pocket combination as Sony and Nikon don't offer such a compact wide aperture lens on their mirrorless systems. However over the last year I don't seem to have taken many pictures with it and like the GH2 I seem to have used it more for video which is something the D700 obviously cannot do. Before the GF1, the LX3 did not badly as a compact camera but it didn't get used after the GF1 with the 20mm F1.7 was able to offer much better low light image quality and I'm not a fan of compact superzooms, I have the Fuji F70EXR and Casio EX-FH100 but neither get used for photos, the Casio just for its slow motion capability.

I will see how the RX100 does although initial impressions are good even for simple parts like getting the camera out of my pocket. The GF3 with its power zoom lens was pocket sized but only just making it a bit of a squeeze getting it in and out of the pocket and Panasonic rather daftly did not fit a zoom control round the shutter despite planning to release the power zoom lenses alongside the GF3. I realise it would have confused users with normal lenses but it would have meant the GF3 could be used one handed. As it stands you need a second hand to get the lens cap off and to operate the power zoom lever on the lens. The RX100 has an automatic lens cap and zoom control round the shutter release making it much easier to get out and shoot one handed aside from the lack of a grip which is a poor oversight.

I can't see many Ixus owners stepping up to that so it has to be aimed at the pro/enthusiast market ?

Sony seem to be trying to go for both I'd say. The camera's options pages are extensive with considerable flexibility and the interface I believe is lifted from the Alpha cameras, not the NEX or compacts which suggests they are partially aiming this at DSLR users wanting a pocket camera.

However they clearly also want to try and get some point and shoot users, Sony clearly know the big sensor is a tough sell as many general consumers aren't going to see the RX100 as any different to other compacts aside from the high price and limited zoom. So the box mentions the sensor size, the Amazon page makes the larger sensor very clear (it's the first thing they list with pictures to show the difference) and attached the camera when you take it out of the box is a little tag boasting about the bigger sensor. They're quite right to do so of course and the camera has a lot of help tips telling you what each mode does and it has the usual scene modes and similar.

I'm not going to claim the RX100 is a perfect camera although I am very impressed or more accurately surprised at how much Sony have been able to pack into such a small body.

John
 

topgazza

Distinguished Member
More glass indeed Faldrax...the never ending quest.... :facepalm:

Thanks for that John. Some good insights there and the sort of thought process I am interested in. A few people have mentioned that they take most of their pictures around the 50mm mark... as much by the type of picture they take as by design. This interested me and I have been looking at the sort of shots I take and apart from the few shots that demand I stand a distance away mine tend to be the same.

At the V&A on Friday this was the case. OK determined by the portrait nature of most shots but even on others I didn't use the extended zoom of my TZ10. Which made me think more about a decent 3.5 -5x zoom camera of high quality. And with that low f number for low light which is a weakness of most compacts. So the RX100 is of particular interest. The X10 to be fair produced excellent low light shots and superb detailed shots in general without breaking sweat but if the RX100 does the same and given all the extra features and size then it would leap to the top of the list for me.
 

topgazza

Distinguished Member

Strobe

Well-known Member
The RX100 does look good, Nikon 1 series sized sensor but with non-removable zoom lens. Seems to tick a lot of the right boxes. The table showing equivalent aperture range on the DPR website is also interesting. People have been bemoaning the max F4.9 at the long end, but in reality, taking account the sensor size it doesn't fare too badly and at the wide end fares surprisingly well. Had I not already purchased the GX1, the RX100 would be getting my serious consideration. Now that we have a 1" sensor (Sony/Nikon) in a compact format, I think the days of the original serious compacts with titchy sensors (S100/LX5 et al) are gonna be numbered.
 
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Johnmcl7

Distinguished Member
It is quite a drop in aperture as you zoom which you need to be aware of but as you say I think it's fair enough for the sensor size and I'm pleased they managed to get such a fast wide end.

I agree with you about the S100/LX5 type cameras, I know the RX100 is pricey but I think it's still better value for money than the LX7's RRP of £450. It also makes the Nikon 1 series cameras look too big and with lenses that have fairly slow apertures, I wonder where Nikon are going to go next with them. I am disappointed the RX100 doesn't have any super high speed modes or slow motion but that would be a nice extra admittedly rather than a necessary core feature.

John
 

loz

Distinguished Member
Or the Canon G1 X, which might stretch the meaning of 'compact' but has a bigger sensor than all the aformentioned cameras.
 

Johnmcl7

Distinguished Member
I wouldn't really class it as a compact at all, the G12 wasn't that small and the G1X is quite a bit bigger as you'd expect with having a bigger sensor.

John
 

topgazza

Distinguished Member
From what I've read and your comments John it looks like the RX100 is a good low light performer. In fact covers all the bases ?
 

loz

Distinguished Member
I wouldn't really class it as a compact at all, the G12 wasn't that small and the G1X is quite a bit bigger as you'd expect with having a bigger sensor.

John

Well AIUI, the OP wasn't just looking at compacts. Compact or not, the G1X is still more compact than a DSLR.
 

topgazza

Distinguished Member
Well AIUI, the OP wasn't just looking at compacts. Compact or not, the G1X is still more compact than a DSLR.

Its true I never really considered that a compact would have pretty much all that I wanted. But the more I hear about the RX100 its becoming a compelling argument to get one. Although the G1X handles superbly IMO...felt much like the X10 and the weight and size is something that gives a camera a confidence to use. Even if it doesn't fit in a shirt pocket as such. Its price counts a bit against it though.....

I need to have a play with an RX100 but I wouldn't have ruled out the G1X and definitely the X10 as well for their size. But the Sony fascinates me as I didn't feel at all that I was imposing myself with the discreet TZ10 so the small size is fine.
 
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topgazza

Distinguished Member
Nice one PP.... interesting stuff
 

topgazza

Distinguished Member
Yeah...but what about over bright light...I feel another thread coming on :facepalm:
 

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