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Andrew Reid

Exclusive review - Sony RX10

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I think this video highlights the fundamental flaw with the camera...  it looks to me that the too low bitrate cant accommodate the detail the sensor and lens combination is capable of.  Seems the same with my A7R.  up close shots (the ferrari wheel) looks stunning, where the wides looks horrible to my eye.  I am really looking forward to seeing what hdmi external recording does to the overall image.

 

Another issue is that the lens looks too much like a high quality photography lens rather than a cinematography lens.  No amount of profile tweeking or post production can take away the digital feel this lens seems to be imparting on the image.

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I don't think that's the lens personally. I've used Zeiss still lenses on everything from EOS to Epic and they're great. The Nikon ones, for example, have the exact same glass as the compact primes. I trust them to make great glass, and I'd guess the lens makes up a large part of the hefty price tag.

 

It's something on the sensor side that does this to Sony cameras. It's why I sold the RX100, despite all its positive points. It just felt digital when cut with EOS footage, which managed to fool you into thinking it was a bit more organic.

 

Same with the FS series too I think, though a little less. Maybe it's the way the channels read the sensor, or how it's all encoded or processed. Either way, even the high end ones have it to my eyes... It's their look  in a sense. Some like it, some don't.

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Oh, well.  I was so ready to sell one of my Canon lenses and get this camera.  Looks like the t3i and Tragic Lantern are going to be in my bag for awhile.  Man, so close but yet so far.  Very dissappointing.  It was too good to be true.

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On second thought I see pretty much no reason to get an RX10 instead of a GH3 with the panasonic 14-140mm...

 

Really? I can think of lots of reasons.

 

The 14-140mm lens (28-280mm FF equivalent) is a not constant F/2.8 aperture (in fact far from it at F/3.5-F/5.6) nor is it a power zoom. Maybe the new version is par focal but the old one wasn't.

 

The Sony RX10 is a quite a lot cheaper than a GH3 plus 14-140mm combo. Here in the UK it's £999 vs £1299

 

The Sony RX10 has built in ND filters.

 

The Sony RX10 has a step less aperture ring.

 

Of course there are points in favour of the GH3 e.g. larger sensor but it all depends what you are shooting and whether it's your only camera but it's by no means obvious that the GH3 & 14-140mm is a better choice. There are some excellent clips of RX10 video posted over on Vimeo e.g. 

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The 14-140mm lens (28-280mm FF equivalent) is a not constant F/2.8 aperture (in fact far from it at F/3.5-F/5.6) nor is it a power zoom. Maybe the new version is par focal but the old one wasn't.

 

I was going to ignore that but since you brought it up...  Ever since smaller sensor cameras started coming out (micro 4/3) people have been glossing over lens quality and cost.  People say oh look at micro 4/3 mirroless cameras they make so much sense because you remove the stupid mirror and shrink the body.  Well people think smaller is cheaper.  It's not.  The problem with micro 4/3s is to get even a moderate wide angle say 24mm FF you have to design an extra wide lens.  It might be cheaper than an extra wide lens on a FF but that ignores the fact you wouldn't even need an extra wide lens on a full frame to begin with.

 

All the reviews of micro 4/3s lenses I've seen rate them pretty poorly.  If I wanted to get the equivalent of my Canon L glass or my EF-S 17-55mm 2.8 IS I would need to get Panasonic 12-35mm/F2.8.  A nifty fifty for $100?  Forget about it.

 

The Sony RX10 with an eqivalent 24-200mm 2.8 is crazy.  I suspect that one of the reasons things weren't perfect in other areas is the considerable cost that probably went into the lens alone.  This entire camera is less than $200 more than the Panasonic 12-35mm 2.8 lens which covers a fraction of the focal lenght.  To be honest with you I would have been satisfied with a 24-150mm or even less zoom range on the Sony RX10 if it meant more money was put into processing and a better codec.

 

 

 

One problem with that video is a lot of the shots are pretty static.  Andrew mentioned things really fell apart with a lot of motion.  I am glad the guy who did the video used a tripod and other stabilizers unlike a lot of the other clowns Sony got the camera to early, but I still want to see more stress testing of what Andrew spoke about.

 

My faith in the camera's handling of moire and aliasing was restored a lot though after watching that video.  It is clearly better than all the low end Canons.

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Hack this camera and you will get one of the most wonderfull setups. Sony, leak some code or bury it forever!
Nice hardware buried under the pile of mushy pixels.

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Andrew, the video looks great and I was really impressed by most of your footage. But can you explain the over exposed shots? Were the LCD or viewfinder not showing enough detail in the shadows that made it seem like you couldn't under expose anymore, or was it just a case that you were in a hurry to get the shot or were more concerned about getting the framing and focus right, than to be worrying about the exposure?

Just curious, as it seems like a very capable camera otherwise.

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@damphousse All the reviews of 4/3 lenses you've read are terrible?? We must not be reading the same websites, 'cause there are many fine lenses for the format...

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@damphousse All the reviews of 4/3 lenses you've read are terrible?? We must not be reading the same websites, 'cause there are many fine lenses for the format...


Most MTF lenses are designed to use in camera correction of distortion and chromatic aberateration. If you look at them without in camera correction they are not so good, and then they are not well rated. Use them in a MFT system withbin cmera correction then they are great. the Blackmagic MFT cameras do not have in camera correction.

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Like Andrew figured codec quality is an achilles heel of RX10. I have tested with my GH3 differences between 28 Mbs AVCHD and 50Mbs mov and I can say that mov is much cleaner. I think also that GH3 AVCHD is still better than RX10 AVCHD because it has peak bitrate of 31Mbs.

 

Here are enlarged (400%) samples of typical difference.

post-33754-0-19066700-1386064682_thumb.j

post-33754-0-45434300-1386064683_thumb.j

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I just shot this daylight test today with the RX10.  Lots of subject and camera motion, for those who are curious about how well the camera handles that.

 

 

And here's one somebody recorded with a RX10 + Hyperdeck Shuttle 2.  Static, but impressive footage:

 

https://vimeo.com/81727288

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