Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10 Review

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10 Compact Digital Camera

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10 Compact Digital Camera 20.2 Mega Pixel RX Series 8.3x Optical Zoom Cyber-shot

To numerous photographers — novices and experts alike — digital SLRs signify quality. The fact that you can detach the lens and exchange it for an alternative is irrelevant to those who will never purchase a second optic, and it’s that particular section of the marketplace that Sony’s concentrating on with its Cyber-shot RX10. Everything about the Cyber-shot RX10 is DSLR-like — its form factor, integrated EVF, focusing performance and picture quality are all on par with numerous higher end SLRs — but its awesome 24-200mm lens is permanently affixed. By opting with this relatively rigid design, Sony’s able to produce a constant f/2.8 aperture and extremely high-quality optics in a comfortable package, at a price tag considerably under what a comparable detachable lens would command, were it to really exist to start with. The end result, quite simply, is incredible, however as the price is at the upper end of even deep-pocketed consumers’ budgets, you will want to catch our complete review prior to making any purchase.

Visually, the Cyber-shot RX10 is much like a digital SLR in virtually every way. You will find a noticable grip, a top-mounted monochrome LCD, a pop-up flash, a hot shoe (in this instance, Sony’s Multi Interface Shoe), dedicated mode and exposure-compensation dials, an XGA OLED viewfinder, a 3-inch 1.23M-dot Liquid Crystal Display that tilts upwards 84 degrees and downward 43 degrees and a reasonably large SLR-like lens up front. From the inside, however, the Cyber-shot RX10 is very similar to its compact counterparts, the RX1 and RX100 Mark II. As a matter of fact, the 10 features exactly the same 20.2-megapixel 1-inch BSI CMOS sensor as that latter model, which, although nonetheless quite large, is smaller than the APS-C and 35mm sensors in traditional DSLRs. What’s more, it contains Sony’s potent new BIONZ X processor, which is also located in the Alpha 7 and 7R, along side Sony’s freshly launched A5000.

But back again to that lens. The 24-200mm Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T* optic is unquestionably the celebrity of the show, thanks in no small part to its constant f/2.8 aperture. What makes that significant, you may well ask? The majority of zoom lenses, particularly those permanently connected to a camera, incorporate variable aperture lenses. Although some may perhaps allow you to capture at f/2.8 from the widest focal length (24mm in this instance), you simply will not discover many point-and-shoots boasting of that equivalent aperture at the tele end at the same time. Commonly, a lower-end lens allows apertures no greater than f/5.6 or even f/6.3 at 200mm, and having f/2.8 available instead, you can actually take significantly crisper photos in lower light, or images with velvety bokeh (shallow depth of field) during the daytime. You have still got f/5.6 (right up to f/16) for your use, needless to say, immediately available utilizing the dedicated ring dial round the base of the lens, in case you are after different imaging effects, alternatively.

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10 Top View

You can still find a great deal more hardware components to discover, too. Sony’s placed loads of emphasis on connectivity with the Cyber-shot RX10. On the sound front, you can find headphone and microphone jacks, stereo microphones up top as well as being compatible with Sony’s advanced audio accessories utilizing the accessory port which is also a hot shoe — for mounting wireless receivers as well as shotgun mics. You will find an HDMI interface with clean, uncompressed output, a micro-USB interface for data transfers and charging the camera’s 1,080mAh battery (exactly the same unit included in NEX cameras as well as select current Alphas), a dual Memory Stick/SDXC flash card slot and a tripod socket at the base. The camera is rather comfortable to hold on to, and even though it is weightier than you would anticipate, it will not weigh you down whilst it dangles from the neck strap.

Sony hasn’t modified its UI a great deal since the NEX series’ creation in 2010, but just like the other RX products as well as current Alphas, the Cyber-shot RX10 incorporates a tab-based user interface that many of us significantly prefer. Settings are really simple to find along with every thing displayed in a linear format, it’s simple to hop from category to category to generate each of the modifications you require without first going back to your home screen. Capturing choices like file size, ISO and SteadyShot are displayed in the first tab; customizable key modifications and display alternatives are within the next tab, accompanied by wireless-connectivity features, then playback; and then finally general settings like sound levels and display monitor brightness can be found in the 5th tab.

Additionally, there are a great deal of dedicated controls around the camera, and so you will not absolutely need to spend much time in the main menu whatsoever. A function button off to the right of the LCD launches a quick-adjust setting, with direct access to drive mode, flash options, ISO, white balance, metering, et cetera. A display button cycles through a variety of display modes, such as a full-screen real time feed, an advanced settings panel with histogram and physical alignment indicators and an image preview screen with a thorough settings readout placed at the border. Also there is a specific video capture button, an alternative settings dial and a control ring on the back. Up top, you will find there’s backlight switch for lighting the grayscale LCD, a flash release button, a user-configurable button, an exposure-compensation dial and a zoom toggle switch around the shutter release. Additionally there is a focus-mode selector switch along the front side of the camera, right below the lens.

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10 Back

Incorporating WiFi, it’s also possible to control the camera utilizing a smartphone or even tablet running Sony’s PlayMemories Mobile app. After establishing a connection to the camera’s wi-fi hotspot, you’re able to only shoot in auto mode with the app — as soon as you connect, auto will override all of the existing camera settings. Photos are sent to the connected device right after capture. Although this is an excellent solution for group self-portraits as well as other tripod photos, as a result of the diminished control options, we would advocate capturing directly on the camera and then transferring pictures to the app from either the camera’s playback mode or perhaps the live gallery viewer within the application. Wi-fi connectivity helps make sharing pictures on the internet a piece of cake, nevertheless — your Instagram account will certainly benefit enormously from the Cyber-shot RX10‘s huge sensor and mighty lens.

At release, Sony’s RX100 arrived with an ambitious price tag, which was a significant sum for a point-&-shoot, especially one which did not appear a great deal different from a model one half its price to the inexperienced eye. Then again extraordinary performance — for any digital camera, actually; not only a pocket-size compact — established this the essential everyday camera of 2012. You can actually make the identical argument here. The Cyber-shot RX10 delivers that level of performance to a considerably larger, although a lot more versatile form factor. Shutter lag is just about nonexistent and also camera’s speed overall is practically flawless. Even wi-fi transfers are far more seamless than we have experienced with a lot of other digital cameras, including previous models from Sony.

The camera can power on and capture its first shot in just over 1.5 seconds. When shifting the frame between a subject 2 meters in the distance and another centimeters from the lens, the Cyber-shot RX10 managed to expose and refocus in approximately 0.25 second. Meanwhile, in the speed-priority continuous setting, we managed to capture 20 successive JPEGs at 9 fps, as opposed to the “approximately ten frames per second” which Sony estimates within the standards. When it comes to transporting pictures wirelessly, it took us 17 seconds from choosing a picture on the camera to receiving a 2-megapixel image on this smart phone, which includes the amount of time needed for this smart phone to connect with the Cyber-shot RX10‘s Wi-fi. Transfers ended up being a great deal faster when choosing pictures on this smart phone instead, because the couple were already paired. A 2-megapixel picture took roughly one second to transfer, whilst a full-resolution photo took only five seconds.

Battery life, as you would probably expect from a camera this large, is superb. The Cyber-shot RX10 utilizes the identical battery as each and every previous NEX digital camera along with the latest Alpha mirrorless cams, and that means you may perhaps already have spare NP-FW50 1,080mAh packs laying about. If you are planning to be away from an electric socket for several days, it would not hurt to take a spare. Nonetheless, we succeeded in making it through every complete day’s shooting with a great deal of juice to spare. We devoted 2 days photographing without recharging the battery pack. The capacity meter reflected a 31 % charge remaining following taking over 700 pictures as well as 5 mins of 720p video, together with a number of Wi-fi transfers as well as some on-camera picture reviews.

As if you didn’t already have enough to anticipate having with the Cyber-shot RX10… Picture quality, no real shock, is incredible. Truly, with this selling price, we would not put up with anything less. No matter whether you want to shoot in bright sunlight or a evening street scene illuminated by a solitary dim light, photos are crisp and free from noise, even at ISO 6400. Video looks phenomenal likewise, even if caught at night.

The Cyber-shot RX10‘s quick power-on and focus times make it quite easy to acquire the photo. In an exposure which includes a fast paced subject, and following a rapid adjustment on the setting dial, pictures can be clicked straight away. The exposure and color balance are precise, plus details are really sharp, regardless of whether the subject is going along very fast.

The tilt-up screen and 24-200mm lens present you with a massive amount of versatility. For street photographers, this really is a necessity.

The Cyber-shot RX10‘s aperture ring, mounted around the lens, allows you to access specific f-stops directly.

The Cyber-shot RX10 is a master of focus and exposure when you take close-up photos. Elements across the foreground are exceedingly razor-sharp, even with comparatively high ISO, while the background is properly blurred, as you would anticipate by having an f/2.8 aperture.

Video quality is every bit as remarkable. The Cyber-shot RX10 has the ability to record at resolutions as high as 1080/60p with AVCHD encoding. Exposures were spot-on universally, and also videos recorded at high sensitivities (ISO 12,800) appeared much better than predicted.

As it is with Sony’s QX10 and QX100 lens cameras, the full-frame Alpha 7 and 7R and even the RX100 Mark II and RX1, the Cyber-shot RX10 lacks competition from other brands, especially if you are looking for virtually identical specifications and performance. Which is not to state you do not possess other choices, nevertheless, if an integrated, fixed-aperture, telephoto zoom lens combined with a 1-inch sensor are the thing that you’re after, there exists ultimately not anywhere else to look. You’re able to, obviously, go for a conventional digital SLR, and of course, if you already possess an assortment of lenses (or you are intending to develop one), an interchangeable-lens camera is definitely your best option.

Canon’s 70D along with the D5300 from Nikon each offer serious still picture and video chops, and they also incorporate built in Wi-fi, as well. You will need to bring your own lens into the mix, including the body-only for the Canon along with the Nikon, in addition to the price of lenses, you are going to considerably surpass the Cyber-shot RX10‘s selling price once you have included the required optics. When it comes to superzooms, Panasonic’s Lumix FZ200 also contains a lens with a constant f/2.8 aperture, which includes a massive 25-600mm focal length, even so the 1/2.3-inch 12.1-megapixel sensor is considerably less proficient compared to what you will get using the Sony. The FZ200 is equipped with affordability on its side, though.

Ultimately, we really love the Sony Cyber-shot RX10. In reality, we battled to fill the negatives segment with anything apart from a high price tag. However your money goes an incredibly long way here, and if you need to record razor-sharp pictures and full-HD movies in just about any lighting condition, with a substantial focal range, you will be challenged to identify a more suitable shooter. This is actually the very best fixed-lens digital camera we have ever used, and we would not be astounded if the RX10 Mark II, when ever it shows up, would be the sole equivalent model worthwhile considering.

Pros

Wonderful Constant f/2.8-aperture 24-200mm lens

Phenomenal image and video quality in all lighting conditions

Excellent performance and battery life

Dedicated exposure-compensation dial

WiFi with NFC

Cons

Expensive

Conclusion

Sony’s Cyber-shot RX10 may perhaps be expensive, but this camera’s a must-buy if you’ve got the money to invest.

Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 24-85mm f/3.5-4.5G ED Review

July 14th, 2012 118 Comments   Posted in SLR Lenses

Developed to be especially compact for an FX-format zoom lens, this 24-85mm NIKKOR is ideal for people who want a walkabout lens that offers the freedom to shoot a wide variety of day-to-day moments and subjects. The versatile 24-85mm range covers most commonly used focal lengths with ease: from landscapes to portraits, you can go fairly wide or zoom into distant objects without needing to change lenses.

Sharp and Steady
Complementing the versatile focal range is Nikon’s second-generation Vibration Reduction technology (VRII) — that allows substantially sharper handheld images across the zoom range and dramatically reduces image blur, especially when shooting towards the telephoto end of the range. VRII also enables you to shoot using shutter speeds up to four stops slower, enabling you to shoot more effectively when shooting in low light.

Nikon’s Super Integrated Coating ensures superb color reproduction, while Extra-Low Dispersion (ED) glass and three aspherical lens elements help deliver stunning sharpness and contrast, even at maximum aperture.

Good to Go
Well-balanced in terms of size, weight, price and image quality — and boasting a weather-sealed mount — this lens offers a worthwhile combination of precision NIKKOR optics, broad focal range and lightweight build for people on the go.

FujiFilm FinePix T300 Review

January 15th, 2011 120 Comments   Posted in Digital Compact Cameras

At the heart of the Fujifilm FinePix T300 digital camera sits a 14 megapixel CCD image sensor, which allows capture of not only high-resolution still images, but also of high-definition 720p video at 30 frames per second. The Fuji T300 places its sensor behind a FUJINON-branded 10x optical zoom lens, with actual focal lengths ranging from 5 to 50mm. This equates to the same range as a 35mm camera with a 28mm – 280mm lens, a useful wide angle to a moderate telephoto Maximum aperture ranges from f/3.4 at wide angle to f/5.6 at telephoto. Given the powerful telephoto reach, mechanical image stabilization is obviously a necessity to fight blur from camera shake, and the Fuji FinePix T300 includes sensor shift stabilization.

The Fuji FinePix T300 lacks any form of optical or electronic viewfinder, instead relying on a 3.0-inch LCD display with 230,000 dots of resolution, roughly equivalent to a 320 x 240 pixel array, with each pixel comprising separate red, green, and blue colored dots.
It also includes both smile and blink detection capability, automatic red-eye removal, and a motion panorama mode that stitches up to three separate shots into a single image.

SIGMA AF 70-200/2.8 EX DG OS HSM Lens Review

April 24th, 2010 114 Comments   Posted in SLR Lenses

The Sigma Corporation is pleased to announce the new Sigma APO 70-200 F2.8 EX DG OS HSM.This large aperture telephoto zoom lens incorporates Sigma’s original Optical Stabilizer function.

The lens covers a medium telephoto range of focal lengths from 70mm to 200mm and has a large maximum aperture of F2.8 throughout the entire zoom range. The OS (Optical Stabilizer) function offers the use of shutter speeds approximately 4 stops slower than would otherwise be possible.  For Sony and Pentax mount, the built-in OS function of this lens can be used even if the camera body is equipped with an image sensor shift anti-shake system.

As compensation for camera shake is visible in the view finder, the photographer can easily check for accurate focus and ensure there is no subject movement.  Two FLD (“F” Low Dispersion) glass elements, which have the performance equal to fluorite glass, and three SLD (Special Low Dispersion) glass elements provide excellent correction of color aberration.

High image quality is assured throughout the entire zoom range and an optimum optical power layout provides superior optical quality in all shooting ranges from close-up to infinity. Super Multi-Layer Coating reduces flare and ghost.  This lens incorporates HSM (Hyper Sonic Motor), ensuring a quiet and high speed AF as well as full-time manual focus capability.

The lens has a minimum focusing distance of 140cm (55.1”) throughout the entire zoom range and a maximum magnification ratio of 1:8.  The rounded 9 blade diaphragm creates an attractive blur to the out of focus images.  This lens is equipped with a Petal-type hood.  For digital cameras with an APS-C size image sensor, a dedicated hood adapter, which expands the length of the lens hood, is supplied.

Buy the Sigma AF 70-200/2.8 EX

Sony DSC-W370 Cyber-Shot Review

April 17th, 2010 76 Comments   Posted in Digital Compact Cameras

The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-W370 digital camera is based around a 1/2.3″-type 14.1 effective megapixel Sony SuperHAD CCD image sensor with RGB color filter array, coupled to a Sony-branded 7x optical zoom lens. The Sony W370′s lens offers a 35mm-equivalent range from a rather tight 34mm wide angle to a useful 238mm telephoto. The lens has a two-step aperture with ND filter, which offers either F3.6 or F7.1 at wide angle; at telephoto the maximum aperture is F5.6, and the minimum aperture isn’t stated. Autofocusing is possible to a minimum of ten centimeters at wide angle, or 100 centimeters at telephoto. The camera can capture 4:3 aspect ratio images at up to 4,320 x 3,240 pixel resolution, 16:9 aspect ratio images at up to 4,320 x 2,432 pixels, or 30 frames-per-second video at 720p (1,280 x 720 pixel) resolution or below with monaural audio, using MPEG-4 AVC / H.264 compression. In addition, the W370 includes Sony’s Sweep Panorama function for the first time in a CCD-based Cyber-shot camera, allowing automatic creation of a 243-, 167-, 127- or 88-degree panoramas in-camera by simply sweeping the lens across the subject.

On the rear panel of the Sony Cyber-shot W370 is a 2.7-inch TFT Clear Photo LCD panel with 100% coverage, and a resolution of 230,400 dots. This serves as the only method of framing and reviewing images, given that the Sony W370 doesn’t feature an optical viewfinder. The Sony DSC-W370 has a 9-point autofocus system, and does include a face detection and recognition system, capable of detecting up to eight faces in a scene and differentiating between children and adults. This capability is used to provide a Smile Shutter function that automatically triggers the shutter when your subject is smiling, as well as both anti-blink and blink-detection features. The W370 offers three methods for determining exposures – multi-pattern, center-weighted or spot metering. Shutter speeds from 2 to 1/1,600 second are possible under automatic control, and sensitivities ranging from ISO 80 to 3,200 equivalents are on offer, with ISO 80 to 1,600 available under automatic control. 2.0EV of exposure compensation is available, in 1/3 EV steps. The DSC-W370 also offers Sony’s Optical SteadyShot image stabilization, useful for combatting blur caused by camera shake without adversely affecting image quality.

Nine white balance settings are available, including auto and seven presets, plus a manual white balance setting. As well as Intelligent Auto and Program modes, the W370 offers a selection of ten scene modes – High Sensitivity, Twilight, Twilight Portrait, Soft Snap, Landscape, Beach, Snow, Gourmet, Pet, and Sweep Panorama – which offer a modicum of control over the look of images. There’s also an intelligent scene mode which can automatically select from a subset of eight scene modes – twilight, twilight portrait, twilight using a tripod, backlight, backlight portrait, landscape, macro and portrait – as appropriate. The Sony W370 includes a four-mode flash strobe with red-eye reduction capability. Flash range is stated as 0.2 to 5.0 meters at wide angle, or 0.5 to 3.2 meters at telephto, when using automatic ISO sensitivity. A two- or ten-second self timer allows the photographer to get in the picture themselves, or to avoid camera shake caused by pressing the shutter button when shooting on a tripod.

Images and movies can be recorded on Sony’s proprietary Memory Stick Duo, PRO Duo (Mark 2 only), PRO Duo High Speed, or PRO-HG Duo cards, as well as the more common Secure Digital and Secure Digital High Capacity cards. 19MB of internal memory is also available, enough to capturing a few of the most important photos should you forget to bring a flash card along. The Sony W370 includes HDMI high definition and NTSC / PAL standard definition video output connectivity, as well as USB 2.0 High Speed data connectivity. Power comes courtesy of a proprietary NP-BK1 Infolithium battery pack.

Sony DSC-W370 Cyber-Shot