August 5th, 2012, 09:15 PM
I too have been using the RX100 now for a few days and I have to say I agree with you. I would have come up with different tradeoffs but overall, this camera is a real winner and I can only hope that Ricoh does something with this sensor for the GRD5 next year. All of the reviews that I have read are pretty much spot on. . . this is the best compact camera yet for enthusiasts and maybe even for professionals who need a small backup camera. A couple things that bug me about the RX100 are:
- No distance scale. It is impossible to pre-focus based on distance (a real mark against the camera mostly because I am so used to the Ricoh and snap focusing). Still, this is something that could be fixed in a firmware upgrade.
- The camera does not remember the last focal length used (you always start back at 28mm) between power ups/downs.
- The lens barrel is a bit long when fully extended. Probably can't be helped given the f-stop range, glass quality, etc.
- I find the camera a bit hard to hold on to. The grip for the thumb on the back of the camera is great but I miss something on the front. Luckily there are 3rd party options for adding a front grip.
Anyway, if I'm missing some feature that would resolve items one and two, please let me know but I think I have exhausted the menus at this point.
I see the RX100 fitting into my photographic life, strangely enough, as a backup to my Ricoh GRD4. In the past I've used the GRD for almost all of my photography. This includes family snaps, walk-about photos (eg vacations), and most situations where I just want a camera with me. The GRD has always performed admirably in this regard but I sometimes find the 28mm focal length problematic (it isn't great as an all around focal length; portraits come to mind as a problem for the GRD as well as situations where you just simply ca not get closer). The RX100 however would be able to do most things quite well for these kind of photos due to its expanded focal length coverage, small size, quick focus, etc. In general, I see myself using the RX100 now as my go to camera for these kinds of photos.
I also use my GRD for my documentary work and in this regard, it works great. I can see myself though having the RX100 with me for those shots where the GRD just won't work quite well (particularly when I need more reach and just can't get close enough). The GRD though still has advantages over the RX100 including snap focus and the GRD interface which greatly aids me in this kind of photo work (I'm much more fluid with the GRD than the RX100 would ever be for me).
The bottom line is that there is room for both cameras in my life (at least for now).
Anyway, I have an unrelated question, where did you get the straps that are on the GRD and RX100 cameras in the photo that you posted? Just curious. They look great.
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August 5th, 2012, 10:21 PM
Originally Posted by Paul Giguere
MR mode remembers the focal length that you save to each spot (3) and returns to it when you select this mode.
August 5th, 2012, 10:26 PM
those might be Gordy's straps, but they look pretty fine. I'm a Gordy's strap fan. I like when they're new and rough and I like when they're soft and broken in. Leather straps are for me.
addicted to NIK control points
August 6th, 2012, 09:34 AM
Hi Paul - I missed this last night but I share some of the same issues.
Originally Posted by Paul Giguere
The BIG BIG BIG one for me is the lack of ANY sort of distance scale. Even a really crummy one like on the S90/95 would help. As is, to set up for zone focus shooting, I've just created a workaround. I designated the center button on the rear controller as a toggle between auto focus and manual focus. I have three primary combinations of focus distance and aperture that I use, depending on light levels. In good light, my focus distance is 4 feet and this is pretty easy - I just stick the camera down by my breas bone and use AF to focus on my toes. Once focus locks, I hit the center button to switch to manual focus and, assuming I have the aperture set, I'm good to go. A bit more of a hassle in lower light, though because my focal distances are 6 feet and 8 feet and I can't see the camera to focus on my toes, so I have to just approximate a point on the ground far enough in front of me to hit something like the right distance. Unfortunately, this is a VERY rough approximation and with larger apertures and less DOF in lower light, the initial measurement is more critical - but its tougher to make it accurately. A distance scale should be a very easy firmware fix, but I think Sony figured that one type of manual focus aid (peaking) was the direction they wanted to go and I don't think we'll be seeing a distance scale.
Remembering the last focal length is OK for me - I shoot the vast majority of the time at 28mm, do all of my street shooting there, and just almost always find the camera where I want it when I power it up. I like having the zoom for the occasional shot, but I never seem to stay at any other focal length for very long.
The lens barrel doesn't bother me - they have to handle that range in such a small body SOMEHOW! And I have a Franiac grip on order - his grips are pretty much a given for me on any camera with a flat front like this - I've already used them on an S90 and an EPL3 and they transformed both cameras...
The one other thing that really bugs me is the lack of a direct exposure compensation control when you're in manual focus mode. In other modes, I can (and have) set the front ring up for exposure compensation and its always armed and ready. I'd love to be able to put the aperture on the front ring and put exposure comp on the little ring in back but that doesn't seem to be possible. But putting aperture on the rear ring and exposure comp on the front is workable - no problem there. But as soon as you switch to manual focus, the lens ring switches to the manual focus control. Which makes perfect sense as a default, but it would be nice if there were options. And you can't designate the rear ring for exposure comp - if I'm in aperture priority, it controls the aperture. Which also makes sense as a default. But when I'm using zone focus, I don't change my aperture much at all - its usually a set and forget until there's a big change in light level. But I use exposure compensation extensively as I move in and out of shadows, shoot away from the sun and then toward it, etc, etc. And on every other camera I own, I have some sort of direct way to adjust exposure comp on the fly, without having to arm it each time. On the GRD3, I have a rocker always assigned to exposure comp. On the OMD, its the rear dial. And the X-Pro has an exposure comp dial on the top of the camera. But the Sony requires that I arm the rear dial every time I want to use it for exposure comp. Which isn't a huge issue or problem, but its just one more little thing I have to remember to do while I'm in the process and flow of shooting. Its not a huge thing, but its an inconvenience for sure.
I remember when I had a Canon S90, I thought it felt like a really nice little point and shoot that happens to take really fine photographs, but I never got fully comfortable with it. Then I tried and bought an LX5 and it always felt more to me like a CAMERA that just happened to be pretty damn small and compact. And later had the same reaction to the GRD3. My reaction to the Sony is similar to the S90 - not surprising given how much Sony modelled this camera after the S90-95-100 - its a point and shoot with AMAZING image quality for such a small piece. But what I'm really waiting for is the LX?? or GRD?? that uses this sensor and is perhaps slightly larger than the RX100, but that feels like a real CAMERA in my hands, even if still a very small one. Probably within another year or two Ricoh and/or Panasonic and/or Olympus and/or Fuji will come up with a similar camera that will hit on all cylinders for my purposes. But for a year or two or however long it takes, the RX100 is a great little pocket camera that far exceeds any expectations I ever had for such a camera.
Oh, those straps are Luigi straps from Italy. I have a couple of his larger wrist straps with the rings on the end that work with cameras with more typical strap lugs. But he also makes these little guys and they're perfect for little cameras like these. His straps are just incredibly soft and supple, but plenty strong. I have a neck strap from Luigi too and I like it, but not really more than a few other neck straps. But for wrist straps, I don't think I'll ever use anything else. I have a couple of Gordy's straps too and they're incredibly strong and they wear in to be pretty comfortable, but they've been sitting on a shelf since I got my first Luigi strap. As Don Springer used to say, "they're like buttah"!
Last edited by Ray Sachs; August 6th, 2012 at 09:38 AM.
August 6th, 2012, 04:23 PM
Thanks for the pointers regarding working around some of the limitations of the RX100. I too also work primarily at 28mm so this is less of an issue for me (maybe more so for others). The exposure control is problematic in manual focus mode but I agree, it just takes some practice/patience to work out a solution that works. Thanks also for the tip on the hand straps (I've already placed my order).
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