Official Sony DSC-RX100 Thread - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 24 Old 11-06-2012, 12:17 PM - Thread Starter
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I post here frequently but don't start many threads. 6 months ago I started one on the Sony RX100. It faded pretty quickly, but you can read it here: Sony DSC-RX100: New and maybe interesting reading

Around that time, David Pogue at the New York Times called it "the best pocket camera ever made."

This week Time Magazine put it on their list of the 50 best inventions in 2012. See: Time Magazine RX100

In between, I bought one and have been learning to use it taking both photos and videos.

My recent camera purchases have been a Panasonic SDT750 (similar to the TM900) and a Sony HX9V because it was regarded as highly capable for HD video. Using them as my first ever video cameras, I tended to use the Sony more than the Panasonic because it was easier to have with me, it did not intimidate the target and video quality seemed indistinguishable from the bigger camera.

I was considering a Sony GW77 because of size, ruggedness and rain worthiness. (I continue to follow that thread closely.)

Instead I took a tangent. Between a friend with a Nikon and two granddaughters,I renewed an old interest in photography. The current necessary concept in photography is a format called RAW. It is kind of like shooting video in 1080p, or better. The camera captures all the detail possible under the laws of physics and files are big. And, like video, the RAW job is not complete without editing.

I did not want a big DSLR just to learn about RAW.

I realized I wanted a camera small enough to fit a pocket, capable of good 1080p video and the ability to also do very high quality photos, including the RAW format. Until Sony made this camera, nothing else qualified.

This camera is not for everybody. It is Sony's attempt to put everything video and photo in one small package, so compromises are included. Overall, Sony seems to be successful.

It is a fascinating piece of equipment. It has a large 1" sensor and Carl Zeiss lens. It has more features and tools per cubic centimeter than anything else available. It is complicated and the menus are long. Two authors have written books of a few hundred pages each to help explain what it does.

I took the camera on a three week trip out of the country and have not yet edited much. I'm far from being a skilled videographer, but have plenty of footage to share.

In short, many have reviewed this camera as creating an new market category that might be called "tiny hybrid". And, for now, may be the only camera in that catagory.

If there is any interest at all in a non-traditional camera/camcorder that tries to puts it all in one package, I'll post some examples over the next days and weeks of what I could get it to do. (If there is no interest, this thread will die like my last one!)

Bill
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post #2 of 24 Old 11-06-2012, 01:00 PM - Thread Starter
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The RX100 has some unusual to me features. It will take B&W video and can do it with a color filter.

Here is a short clip that might be pretty dull as a regular color clip because of the light. But, the only color recorded is the yellow. So as part of a travel video the effect might be useful to peak up viewer interest a interest.

You can see the effect best at 1080p

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zmp38bllEBI&list

Bill
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post #3 of 24 Old 11-07-2012, 08:27 AM
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I agree that the "trick" makes it more interesting, and I like this kind of effect from time to time. One question is whether this can be done with any video with video editors so it is not necessary to have this option in the camera. Obviously almost any editor can make a color video b&w or add a tint.
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post #4 of 24 Old 11-07-2012, 09:07 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by markr041 View Post

....One question is whether this can be done with any video with video editors so it is not necessary to have this option in the camera. Obviously almost any editor can make a color video b&w or add a tint.
I've been reading about third party plug ins and effects for both Photoshop and Premier Elements. There are a lot of them, so I'm pretty sure it can be done in post processing, but don't know what the specific piece is -- yet.

I've read where I can put a clip back into the RX-100 with PlayMemories, apply the effect and keep a copy. I haven't tried it -- yet.

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post #5 of 24 Old 11-07-2012, 09:45 AM - Thread Starter
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My plan for today was to upload and post a link to a clip showing some low light video performance of my RX100 today.

Instead, I tripped over some work done by someone else that shows the effective use of a RX100 for video. I like the technique: look for the shot, compose the clip, don't move, don't zoom and let the action speak for itself. In one or two clips he uses the single color in a B&W trick.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lMU89ViKIcw&feature=youtu.be&hd=1
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post #6 of 24 Old 11-07-2012, 12:11 PM
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This is a very nice video. But as you say, it is all set-up shots - set tripod, wait for the right light. This is also where the DSLRs shine, and it is obvious that the RX100 can compete with them for this type of video.

Where it falls down (somewhat) is run and gun stuff - following kids around, people, anything needing *appropriate* zooming, etc. All of the DSLR videos that people were impressed with are like this one - excellent editing and setup shots. But for most real-life use of video cameras by people documenting their family or life, it is not as well-suited. And no finger-push focus shift or articulating lcd.
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post #7 of 24 Old 11-08-2012, 10:00 AM - Thread Starter
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..... But for most real-life use of video cameras by people documenting their family or life, it is not as well-suited. And no finger-push focus shift or articulating lcd.
The RX-100 has a lens ring that can be used for focus shift.

Here are a few very short, unedited 'run and gun' 1080p60 stabilized clips from San Francisco and one from the Panama Canal. I am using the RX100 to document my life as my wife's companion on a cruise ship trip. She loves cruise ship trips and is nice enough to take me with her. (Her chosen camera is the 1080p60 capable Panasonic FZ-150, but she refuses to push the video button!)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zhnq5MP90LA

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FCQ9bLcbVg0

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5BcUTiEWBzU

My point with this thread is *not* to convince anybody that the RX100 should be a first choice as a video camera. My point *is* that it might be a good choice for someone that wants a high quality, pocket sized camera that is exceptionally good at photos and can still do a credible job with video. Photo folks are posting reviews and opinions everywhere about the RX100 that are over the top. Some claim to be selling their bulkier DSLRs and lenses. I've only found one videographer who claims to use it on client shoots and says it is good for 'run and gun' to go with his 'serious' stuff.

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post #8 of 24 Old 11-08-2012, 10:42 AM
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Originally Posted by bsprague View Post

(Her chosen camera is the 1080p60 capable Panasonic FZ-150, but she refuses to push the video button!)
Bill
How would you compare video quality Panasonic FZ-150/sony RX100?
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post #9 of 24 Old 11-08-2012, 12:21 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by bobk77 View Post

How would you compare video quality Panasonic FZ-150/sony RX100?
I hate to admit it, but between my wife and I we have four 1080p60 capable cameras. I own three and she owns one. Hers is the FZ-150 and, even though I bought it for her, I never touch it. As far as I know, the video button has never been pressed. She loves the photos.

What I think I've learned with the three I own is that 1080p60 levels the playing field. I spent 10 days in Hawaii a year ago with an Sony that was priced at a third of a Panasonic camcorder. I shot everything twice so I could compare the difference. By the time I got home and played them on my big screen TV, I could not tell the difference with standard, calibrated human eyeballs.

My more recent experience with the RX100 supports the same conclusion.

The other half of video is audio. The FZ-150 allows you to use an external mic so you might get better audio results. However, I don;t own and external mic and am not at all unhappy with the RX100 audio.

Some have phrases in their signatures. I think I'm going to start adding, "It is not about the camera, it is about who is holding it."

Bill
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post #10 of 24 Old 11-08-2012, 12:35 PM
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Thank you Bill, I am pretty much at the same conclusion smile.gif
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post #11 of 24 Old 11-08-2012, 01:06 PM
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Bill, while I agree with you that the operator by far is the most important element for making a good video, as this is not a forum about videography but one on equipment, constantly reminding people of this is not helpful, unlike your posts!

And, I do not have sympathy with the view that one might take away from anyone's harping on shooting technique, as important as it is, that equipment does not matter, or matter much:

1. Better equipment gives you more scope for creativity - e.g., manual settings, or a longer telephoto length, or finger-push rack focus that assure proper focus every time (as opposed to turning a ring). You can be creative with a cell phone camera. But there are simply things you cannot do well. And if you cannot defeat auto leveling in audio (agc) you will never have good audio, period - it will enhance noise in quiet moments, and destroy dynamics. It is NOT like auto exposure, which tries to get an accurately exposed shot; rather it actually eliminates a natural part of audio. The RX100 has non-defeatable agc. It's audio is worse than you get on mid-level camcorders because of this (probably same microphone and pre-amp).

2. Differences in sheer video quality, after all the creativity, also are clearly visible: For example, I downloaded the *original* of that impressive and wonderfully skilled RX100 video you posted. I played it on my usual 1080p monitor. It is very soft, much softer than many mid-level camcorders (as is consistent with resolution test results). Now, I do have a thing about resolution, but still, the softness made it look on the big screen, well, amateurish. This is a comment I got on one of my videos posted on Youtube from the GW77: "Excellent video, image quality absolutely mind blowing for a compact camera...." The guy is commenting on the video quality, not my skill. Each scene is visually stunning because the colors are right and the resolution is high - nothing gets in the way of the feeling of being there. And this has nothing to do with me or my technique (other than holding the camera still). That was the original intent of HD. And the GW77 is just a mid-level camcorder. The sheer realism you get from high resolution does indeed blow people away; it's visceral. The RX100 videos do not have that quality. This may not be important to many. But it is a difference that no skill can completely overcome.

So, let's not go too far down the road that excessively belittles equipment quality or features. The RX100 takes amazing video for its size, and has manual features only top camcorders have (but is missing some too) - it's a real bonus to the great still capability in a tiny package. It is not clear, however, that the sheer video quality in normal light is better than the Hx9v or the Z150, which with their small sensors do not have rolling shutter or moire issues, and they may be sharper *in video*.

We want camcorders that are capable, like good stereo equipment, of capturing life (sound, picture) as realistically as possible. Then, we use our technique and creativity to *choose* to alter that reality, maybe even lowering resolution for an effect. That should be a creative choice, however, not an equipment constraint.

Right now, to me, the biggest equipment constraint of camcorders is (video) dynamic range. Large sensors have larger dynamic range, but up to now cameras with them like the RX100 sacrifice resolution and have artifacts in video . The RX100 probably has higher dynamic range than P&S cameras and mid-level camcorders. Is that something you have noticed?
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post #12 of 24 Old 11-09-2012, 10:10 AM - Thread Starter
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Mark,

I agree with most of what you are saying.

"1. Better equipment gives you more scope for creativity..."

No question. But as you have made clear in your travels, small can be useful because it is more convenient and likely to be with you. You've also pointed out that small does not intimidate the subjects as much as big camcorders dripping with mics, lights and stabilizers.

"2. Differences in sheer video quality, after all the creativity, also are clearly visible: For example, I downloaded the *original* ...

That guy's video was edited in something and then uploaded. Is it not possible to have the softness come from his editing, chosen uploading method and (maybe) YouTube's processing?

Would you consider downloading the originals of one or two of my 15 second clips (above) and see what they look like on your calibrated monitor. The clips have no post processing and were uploaded with PMH. I only use a laptop and it is not calibrated. Nor do I have much video equipment to make my own comparison shots. It is also true that I might not spot typical video flaws with my inexperienced eye.

"....this is not a forum about videography but one on equipment..."

Agreed, I got off track a little. Trying to get back on track, Google has a service where you can put in a short subject and it will send you daily alerts of news, blogs, etc. I've done it for both the RX100 and GW77. There are lots of people going nuts over the RX100 and little on the GW77. Clearly, I think the GW77 is a better pocket sized camcorder and may yet get one. Frequently, it is suggested by photographers that the RX100 is terrific for video. As you would agree, that is probably misleading. If you have the time and can stand the fanboy mindset, scan the CyberShot forum section at dpreview.com.

People reading the New York Times or Time Magazine may Google their way around and find this "equipment" forum, where there was nearly nothing on the RX100. After soaking up so much here about (new to me) video, I felt an obligation to pay it back a little by starting a thread on a camera I own and have learned a little.

Back to where I started. If someone is looking for a pocket sized camera that many think is an amazing piece of equipment for photos and also want to use that equipment to do video, let me try to show you what I've learned about the RX100. It might work for you and it might not.

When I get to it, I will put up a couple examples of unedited low light stuff and finish with an edited video taken in Categena. Can you suggest clips I should provide that would help observers of this equipment forum?

My dear wife is already working on next year. She is planing on a driving tour through four scenic countries in Europe. As usual, we will not take checked baggage. The graphic equipment choice will be limited and critical!

Bill
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post #13 of 24 Old 11-10-2012, 07:40 AM
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Slashcam.de is the best source for getting objective reviews, with charts you can just see that are particularly useful for gaging sharpness.

Here are the pages with iso charts (the grey ones) that show both the resolution and artifacts produced (or not) by the DSC-Hx9V, HDR GW77 (55 in Europe), the HDR CX760, and last the RX100:


http://www.slashcam.de/artikel/Test/Sony-DSC-HX9V--Optik-Korrektur---Aus-dem-Messlabor---Fazit.html#Optik

http://www.slashcam.de/artikel/Test/Sony-HDR-GW55---Kompakt-Taucher---Aus-dem-Messlabor---Fazit.html#Aus_d

http://www.slashcam.de/artikel/Test/Sony-HDR-CX740-und-HDR-CX730--Keine-manuellen-Weiten
sondern-volle-automatik---Display-und-Sucher---Aus.html#Aus_d

http://www.slashcam.de/artikel/Test/Kompakte-und-guenstige-Super-16-Digitalkamera--Sony-DSC-RX100--Kritikpunkte---Aus-dem-Messlabor.html#Aus_d

It is astonishing how much *worse* the RX100 is than all of the other cameras in these dimensions.

The RX100 sure looked attractive for video in a great compact stills camera, and perhaps its low-light performance and shallow dof and maybe dynamic range offer some advantages, but what I see in real videos is confirmed by the data.


DPReview has a lot of defensive and hostile participants who have little knowledge of or experience with video. To them the RX100 is a step up from their P&S Canon cameras and other brands, but to us its not even a stepup up from the Hx9v, except in low light.
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post #14 of 24 Old 11-10-2012, 09:01 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markr041 View Post

......It is astonishing how much *worse* the RX100 is than all of the other cameras in these dimensions......The RX100 sure looked attractive for video in a great compact stills camera, and perhaps its low-light performance and shallow dof and maybe dynamic range offer some advantages, but what I see in real videos is confirmed by the data.....to us its not even a step up up from the Hx9v......

It's fun to see Google Chrome translate the German to English!

Your remarks pretty much end any need to go further with any sharing of what I've done with the RX100. You have saved me a lot of time that will be better spent learning some new software.

If there is a moderator around, please consider killing this topic.

Bill
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post #15 of 24 Old 11-10-2012, 12:13 PM
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Bill, I would not mind seeing the clips you've shot with the RX100. The video above shot in Japan looks amazing.
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post #16 of 24 Old 11-10-2012, 05:22 PM
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"Your remarks pretty much end any need to go further with any sharing of what I've done with the RX100."

No, no - the RX100 still takes good videos, and the big sensor and perhaps better dynamic range potentially offer some real advantages. While I emphasized resolution, it is NOT the only quality. And compared with camcorders of just few years ago, it is astonishing in a small package.

We are short on good videos here, so I am sure we will all benefit from seeing what you have done - it is still 90% the user!

The NEX-5N performs just as badly on the resolution/artifact test as the RX100, but the videos can be stunning. This video I took with the NEX-5N has over 2,000 plays on Vimeo:


https://vimeo.com/35550839
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post #17 of 24 Old 11-13-2012, 11:10 AM
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Mark, which one of your videos you would recommend, if someone asked you for a video with a story? By story I don't mean acting. I am talking about something that as a whole is bigger than a sequence of individual shots.
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post #19 of 24 Old 11-14-2012, 07:08 PM - Thread Starter
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This thread, that I started, died when there was an immediate direction to "why this is a bad camera". There us no need to post links to a "crummy camera" website with automatic German translations.

This thread is no longer about what a camera can do. Instead, it is about how a technician in Germany can find flaws in his technical evaluation. The New York Times, Time Magazine and so many others think this camera has special qualities.

So, instead of looking at what it really does from a video point of view, we choose to point at someone in Germany that thinks it is a piece of crap.

Instead, it could be that this forum explores the reality of what it does or does not do. And doing so, it would serve those that find this forum because they are seeking information.

Is this forum about what a popular camera really does or about its technical reviews?

Frankly, after two years of daily participation, I think this forum as lost its way.

Bill
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post #20 of 24 Old 11-14-2012, 08:20 PM
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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wX_lcBgYmjg -- "The RX100 is by far the best compact on the market. The stills and video are both the best in this form factor." - Jordan @ The Camera Store TV

[youtubehd]wX_lcBgYmjg[/youtubehd]
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post #21 of 24 Old 11-14-2012, 08:44 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ungermann View Post

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wX_lcBgYmjg -- "The RX100 is by far the best compact on the market. The stills and video are both the best in this form factor." - Jordan @ The Camera Store TV
[youtubehd]wX_lcBgYmjg[/youtubehd]
The guy doing that video could be accused of being a fan. I confess to being one!

There is a conflict between what you have posted and "It is astonishing how much *worse* the RX100 is than all of the other cameras in these dimensions."

How do we provide information to people that may want to buy small cameras/camcorders that may find their way to this forum?

Even though I started this thread, I wish it would go away. It is pointless in the arena of discussions about equipment necessary to make perfect video.
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post #22 of 24 Old 11-15-2012, 09:38 AM
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How do we provide information to people that may want to buy small cameras/camcorders that may find their way to this forum?
Do you feel yourself responsible for providing such information? Or you are simply sharing your experiences? After all I don't see many participants here doing anything close to strict scientific tests and comparisons. If I want to find resolution numbers I go to Slashcam, CCinfo, ProVideoCoalition or BBC R&D Reports. I see this board as a place to share quirks and tips and anything else that has been missed by bigger guys (like CCinfo used to claim that Canon camcorders had priority modes only, but with some tinkering one could obtain desired shutter speed and aperture). I see this forum as basically "I like it" - "I don't like it" and "this is why".
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post #23 of 24 Old 11-15-2012, 03:30 PM - Thread Starter
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Do you feel yourself responsible for providing such information? Or you are simply sharing your experiences?

No I was taking issue with the statement " this is not a forum about videography but one on equipment" in post #11. Somewhere else it is suggested that inexperienced consumers could wander here and think the RX100 can take good video when factual data proves otherwise.

I've having an argument with myself over whether its worth the trouble to get a better vimeo account and share anything. It might be better to stop typing and spend the time learning better editing.

"I see this board as a place to share quirks and tips and anything else that has been missed by bigger guys..." You are right. I had started to think this was a place about using video tools to make video. It should remain about camcorder specifications, quirk and tips. The focus should be limited to the tools themselves, not how to make anything with them.

The camera specific "tip" with the RX100 is that, although it may be among the best pocket sized photo cameras, it falls embarrassingly short at taking video. If you do try to take video with it you should share it with friends and relatives that don't know it takes bad video.

I have some RX100 travel-log editing to do! I can't wait to watch them on my 55" screen complete with bad resolution and nasty artifacts. (grin)
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post #24 of 24 Old 11-15-2012, 07:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bsprague View Post

"I see this board as a place to share quirks and tips and anything else that has been missed by bigger guys..." You are right. I had started to think this was a place about using video tools to make video. It should remain about camcorder specifications, quirk and tips. The focus should be limited to the tools themselves, not how to make anything with them.
Come on. I meant that I don't see myself setting a strict and reproducible scene for testing resolution or sensitivity, but rather sharing how I use my equipment in real life. Not limited to tools only. You should get thicker skin, you are on an Internet forum. Conversely, you can switch to a forum where they use real names, speak nicely to each other, do not call any equipment crap (even if it has been proven that it is crap), and otherwise play along pretending to be one happy family. Those who speak hard truths though get booted pretty fast. AVS is a good middle ground between a British parliament and a blue collar bar.
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