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Friday, July 20, 2012

Sony RX100 - More Sample Photos

Here are more photos taken with the Sony RX100. So far I am very impressed with this tiny camera.  All the photos are straight out of camera JPG.

Nice Colours

Flare Control is great!



Taken using the Clear Image Zoom and Digital Zoom

ISO2000 shot, very clean.  I have the High ISO NR set to LOW

Original Scene

Using HDR with 6.0EV brings out the details in the shadow

RX100 Sweep Panorama




Sunday, July 15, 2012

Sony RX100 - Part 3 (Sample Photos - Portrait)

Photos are taken using JPG as Lightroom 4.1 still cannot read the RX100 RAW files.  Creative Style set to "Standard" and Aperture Priority-Mode.
No enhancement done except cropping and watermarked.

The RX100's shallow DOF allows you to take great portrait pictures and apply effects on it.  Most cameras would only allow you to do this with Mirrorless Interchangeable Lenses or a DSLR.

1/30 @ f/1.8, ISO800
The RX100 allows you to edit your photos in-camera.  At the moment there are only two options available, Watercolor and Illustration (Low,Mid,High).  I wish future firmware updates would add a B&W option.

The Watercolor Effect, the RX100 does a superb job on applying this effect especially that there is a face involved.  I can't wait to try this on a Landscape photo with plenty of colours.

Watercolor Effect

100% crop

The Illustration Effect, you actually have 3 options when applying this effect.  The highest option shows good constraint on the RX100 side as it didn't turn the whole photo into a comic-like drawing.


1/30 @ f/1.8, ISO640

Illustration Effect : High

Friday, July 13, 2012

Minolta 58 vs Voigtlander 58

I recently got a Voigtlander SLII 58/1.4 Nikon mount but converted to A-Mount using Leitax adapters. The Voigtlander lens retails around $499.00 USD (Nikon Mount) and instead of modifying the mount, you can just buy a direct Nikon-to-NEX adapter.  The only reason I went with a chipped mount was so that the aperture value will be recorded on the EXIF but it doesn't on the LA-EA2 adapter.

Here's what it looks like on the NEX-7 with the LA-EA2 adapter



Both are manual focus lenses and require an  adapter.  The MD-NEX adapter were used on the Minolta MD 58/1.4 and the LA-EA2 adapter on the Voigtlander 58/1.4.  Photos were lighted using 2 x 125W on both sides.  No post processing was done except cropping.

And since I already have a Minolta 58/1.4, might as well see how this two lens compare.

Camera settings used were JPG - Standard, Neutral Picture Style, ISO100.

DISCLAIMER:
  1. This is not a scientific test and is purely based on what I personally look for in a lens. The other reason I am doing this test is to see which one has to go.
  2. And since its been cold and wet the past few weeks, the shots were taken indoors. Will be doing an outside shoot for comparison
  3. The reason for different field of view is because both lenses are focus using their MFD (Minimum Focusing Distance)




Minolta MD 58 @ f1.4
Voigtlander 58 @ f1.4


Minolta MD 58 @ f2.8

Voigtlander 58 @ f2.8


The bokeh is clearly 'creamier' on the Voigtlander. The Minolta MD 58/1.4 can still hold its own despite the fact that its a 20+ year old lens with no special coating that are used on newer lenses.

Overall I am happy with the Voigtlander output but I will soon change it back to it's native mount and use a Nikon-to-NEX adapter instead as the LA-EA2 adapter makes it a bulky combination.  How I wish I didn't sell my LA-EA1 adapter.

Using the NEX-7 with either lens really shows the resolving power of the 24mp CMOS sensor that Sony incorporated on the camera.

If you are looking for a f/1.4 lens, I would recommend the Voigtlander if you are after the creamier bokeh, the price is a bit on the high-end. If you already own a Minolta 50/1.4 AF or the Sony 50/1.4 then these two lenses would be more useful with the LA-EA2 as they both auto-focuses and render almost similar bokeh.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Sony Cybershot RX100 - Part 2 (Initial Impression)

I've only had the camera for about 10-hours and shot with it about 2-hours today. I will be using the camera extensively this weekend and will post the pics taken afterwards.

Handling

Being used to holding the NEX-7 with its grip has me fumbling around on how to steadily hold the RX100. Basically you support the camera around the lens (where you have the function ring).  That's the way I do it as I find it hard to shoot using one hand only.

If you place your left index finger on the left side of the camera you end up holding down the flash. This is the same 'issue' as with the HX20 and other high-end Cybershot cameras.

Pressing the 'Playback' button on the camera (while it is off), turns on the camera but not for shooting but only for viewing photos / videos recorded. But the only way to turn the camera off is to press the On/Off switch twice!

Menu System

The menu is very similar to any Alpha SLT/SLR or NEX cameras, user-friendly and intuitive.  Although there are some settings that I wish are also on the NEX-7. I will only list the setting that I think should be on the NEX as well. The rest are pretty standard settings.

  1. Aspect Ratio. The RX100 allows you to choose up to 4 aspect ratio. They are 3:2, 4:3, 16:9 and 1:1.  
  2. Auto ISO, you can set the lower limit to ISO125 and the upper limit to ISO6400
  3. ISO AUTO uses the Multi Frame Noise Reduction algorithm of the camera where it takes multiple shots (around 4-shots) and then gives you a 'cleaner image'. ONLY WORKS IN JPEG.
  4. Memory Recall. This allows you to save up to 3 user defined settings that you can easily access without having to go through the menu system and setup each setting. The newer Cybershots have this functionality and yet even the high-end NEX camera doesn't have it. 
  5. Steadyshot. These setting can be found on both the Still section and the Movie Setting section of the menu.  On the Movie section, you have 3 options; Active, Standard or Off.  On the Still section, you only have On and Off.
  6. Drop Sensor. This function has been carried over from the Handycam where the camera detects if it is falling to protect the internal harddrive, maybe it also locks the OSS / lens retract to its housing as well.
the annoying stuff...
  1. The Audio Signals setting, well what it does is it turns AF confirmation sound
  2. Picture Effect. Found on two sections of the Menu, one on the Still Shooting Menu and the other on the Playback Menu. The difference between the two is that on the Still Shooting Menu, it gives you the normal Toy, Rich B&W, Miniature, etc setting while the one on the Playback Menu allows you to apply either ILLUSTRATION or WATERCOLOR Effect on any photos taken (JPG ONLY).

Sony Cybershot RX100 - Part 1

Being a long time NEX-7 user, one of its (personally) disadvantage is that it is not pocket-able, I've decided that I need a P&S camera that I can bring with me any-time and anywhere. After much debate on whether to get the new Sony Cybershot HX20, I've opted to go with the recently announced Sony RX100. The 1-inch sensor and the shallow DOF are the main reason why I chose the RX100.

The RX100 is a whole new line of Cybershot cameras and it fills the gap between the Cybershot and the NEX cameras.  

Here is the NEX-7 and the RX100 camera side-by-side for comparison.





What's IN THE BOX:  The box does not include any CD, PlayMemories Home is on the camera (which installs on your PC once you plug it in). PlayMemories Home is not compatible with MAC. I hope Sony will address this issue.




Contents: 1 x Power Adapter, 1 x Cord plug (depending on your country), 2 x small lanyard (to connect it to a neck strap (not included)), 1 x wrist strap, 1 x USB cable (to be used for charging either direct on PC or using the Power Adapter).




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