Following my blog posting to say that I am upgrading my LX5 to a Sony RX100 someone asked the perhaps obvious question why I had picked the Sony. There are so many high quality compacts now coming onto the market, why this one. In answering the question, I couldn’t provide one overriding reason so thought it best to respond fully in this post.
The first and probably most important thing that I want to highlight is that not everyone has the same demands of a camera or places the same value on its functions and specification. If we did all think the same we would all be buying the same camera.
In deciding to switch to the RX100 as my compact camera I had a number of criteria that I weighed up. These included:
- Size of the camera. It needs to fit in my pocket easily. This wasn’t something I could do with the LX5 once the filter adapter tube was attached. Surprisingly the RX100 is smaller than the LX5 and is much easier “carry anywhere”.
- The camera must be able to shoot RAW and the RAW files work with my converters. With some of new cameras I would need to wait until support is added to my converters or use the manufacturers’ software. Manufacturers’ software usually falls well short of the likes of Lightroom.
- It must be possible to attach a filter adapter so I can use P sized filters. As I shoot mainly Landscapes this is essential. The LX5 used a bulky adapter tube but for the RX100 I have ordered a rather small neat solution from Lensmate which attaches to the front of the camera and isn’t bulky. I also noticed that some cameras just don’t have the ability to accept filters and there are no third party solutions.
- Resolution was important to me. Whilst I thought the LX5 was (and is) an amazing camera, I wanted more resolution, ideally a minimum of 14Mpixels. This was very important to me as I want the option of producing very large and detailed prints. I know I can resize the LX5 to 24 inches and perhaps 30 inches with some images but I don’t always want to be resizing images. The RX100 produces +18 inch prints at 300dpi out of the camera.
- Low light capability. The RX100 is superb in this respect. Probably due to its 1” sensor that isn’t too much smaller than the Micro 43 sensors.
- Image quality and detail. For this I simply downloaded sample RAW files from the internet. I was impressed by some cameras in terms of colour and lens sharpness but the Sony just blew me away.
- Ability to throw the background out of focus. This is better than the LX5 and many other cameras due to the larger sensor.
- Macro capability. The RX100 isn’t that great hear but it’s much better than the Canon G1X which was another camera I considered. I also have the option of fitting a close up lens (52mm screw in) which I already own from years ago.
My suggestion if you are thinking of changing your camera is to work out the features that are essential to you and place them in order of priority. You can then rank the various cameras against these.
There were some aspects of the RX100 that I wasn’t happy with and perhaps I will have to learn to tolerate:
- Because of its small size and shape it isn’t as easy to grip with 1 hand as the LX5. I think however that a leather half case will resolve this if I can manage to take out a second mortgage to pay the inflated price of the Sony case (but it’s really nice).
- The wide angle 28mm is limiting. I would have liked the zoon range to be 24mm – 120mm.
And if you are wondering, no I’m not selling the LX5, at least not for a while yet as it’s still a great camera and there is just something about it that I can’t put my finger on.