When more is less


GX1 V's EM5 V's RX10
GX1 V’s EM5 V’s RX10

So, I have done it. I returned the 14-140 lens for a refund and the money has gone against a Sony RX10. My first impressions are that this is quite a large camera. Actually, it’s not a camera at all but a huge lens with a sensor stuck on the back.

You might feel that I am being unkind but this is exactly what I expected and even wanted. It reminds me so much of the beloved R1 that I sold a few years back. This camera oozes quality and the dials and buttons are a joy to use.

In terms of size, it’s larger that my GX1 (which is now Infrared only) and it’s even slightly larger than the EM5 (which I absolutely love). It’s not however as large as either of these cameras plus the three lenses I would need to cover the same focal length as the 24-200mm lens. The lens also seems to produce great image quality across the entire focal and aperture range. It’s early days yet though.

Annoying limitations at the moment are that I don’t yet have a 62mm filter ring so I can’t really shoot good landscapes. Lightroom also doesn’t support the RAW files so I am having to use the dreadful Sony RAW converter (at least until Adobe release an update). I hated this software when I had an NEX5 and I still hate it now.

I’m looking forward to really getting out with the camera. It’s nice that it’s a sealed unit so less chance of dust getting in there. I also don’t need to stop to change lens so I am thinking this is a great hiking camera for the hill and it should make for a great travel outfit also.

I will report back on the image quality when I have been able to put it through its paces properly.

6 thoughts on “When more is less

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  1. Dear Mr. Whalley, I (and my wife…) hate to change lens too. So I thought two body (EM5) was the only choice. Now I have a 14-45 and was going to buy 9-18 (O) and 45-150 ℗ .

    RX10 with 24-200 is wonderful but: 1) quality? from full frame to 1” ? (ok, we are waiting for your test and if it will be good for a pro it will be very good for me too) 2) wider than 24mm? 9-18 the same? 3) longer than 200mm? nothing at all in travel? 4) RX10 or the new EM1 with 24-120 (not m43) and only one brand? (weight and size not much more than Sony) 5) your suggested tripod is good for RX10 too? 6) GND 7,5 filters are good for m43 but for RX10?

    I don’t know if you’ll have time to answer me; anywhere, I thank you very much for the “in field lessons” you give us so often.

    Merry Christmas to you and your family. Sincerly Sergio Vianello

    1. Wow. You don’t make it easy for me do you.

      Good idea with the two EM5’s but I only have room for 1 camera and I am going to be climbing at altitude (6,000m) so I want to minimise the weight. Having said that the RX10 is pretty heavy still.

      So, to the questions:

      1. Sensor size = quality. This is a marketing myth largely. The quality of your lens will be more the limiting factor with todays cameras. A 1″ sensor isn’t much smaller than a micro 43 sensor. It’s also much larger than the LX5 sensor and that camera produces excellent quality.

      2. Wider than 24mm. Yes, there are times when I need to go wider but often getting in close and low gives the impression of a wider lens. The small sensor also help maintain the depth of field. When I look at the catalogue the majority of shots are between 24mm and 35mm.

      3. I seldom shoot longer than 200mm even when I have my 45-200 with me.

      4. EM1 with the 24-120. Good idea but it costs a lot more. It probably produces better quality images true.

      5. The Velbon lightweight tripod has no problems with the RX100. I used to use it with a Canon 5D MKII.

      6. Filters fit fine. There is some slight vignette with the smaller 67mm filters I have started using but the P series don’t have a problem.

      Once there is a Lightroom/RAW converter update out I will assess the image quality of the RX10. It’s a lovely camera to use though.

  2. Hallo Robin,
    haven´t looked at your blog for quite some time, my mind was on other things, but it´s so funny to see that you are still as doubtful as I am, and your interest also seems to go in the same camera direction as mine again:-)
    I sold my Sony NEX 5R pretty soon after I bought it, and went for the Nikon 1. I could grab the two lens combo in red, used like new, on Amazon for an incredible 200 pounds. They would not ship it to here, but they did to Schotland where I have family:-)
    I must say sensor size is not a myth when it comes to noise… the Nikon 1 is still lots of fun, esprecially to shoot my chinchillas that never sit still, and to add long zoom lenses with the adapter, but the noise is pretty bad at low light.
    So I just purchased an Olympus EPM2 and am now interested in exactly the same lenses you seem to be interested in:-) Plus I´m wondering if I should go with the OMD EM5 as well… I can get it for a much lower price from the States now, and a new only 2 ounce grip will be released in december which makes it very interesting….
    http://www.amazon.com/Grip-Base-Olympus-OM-D-E-M5/dp/B009V71HEQ

    But for now I just bought my very first really good prime lens; the Panasonic 20mm 1.7. Btw I just tested my camera out a little yesterday night with the kitlens, very dark room, zoomed to 5.6, RAW and I was very surprised at how clean the files where!
    So what to do… buy the OMD and send the EPM2 back? Or buy both? Keep the EmP2 to carry around in my handbag with the fast prime and the OMD EM5 for ´serious´ work? How do we sleep at night?

    Petra

    1. Hi Petra,
      Lovely to hear from you again. Your comment makes me smile. I may have to confuse you now and say that the EM5 is possibly the best camera I have used. It suites me down to the ground. Coupled with the Panasonic 14-45 it’s superb and much better than the GX1 I was using previously. The RAW files are very clean and the images are so sharp. I also have a 14mm lens that is just as good and only cost £100. I used to have the 20mm Panasonic but I didn’t like it beause the focus was slow.

      Try out the OMD – you will feel even more confused.

  3. Hi.
    Have just discovered an am now following your blog. 🙂

    About that great newSony RX10 not yet being supported by Lightroom. This happened to me with my new Nikon D7000, when I was using an older iteration of Photoshop. To get around the problem, I downloaded and used Adobe’s raw converter to convert the camera files to .dng. Worked like a charm. And…it is free, even better.

    I am not sure what computer you use, but here are the links to both Mac and Windows converters.

    Mac: http://www.adobe.com/support/downloads/detail.jsp?ftpID=5645

    Windows: http://www.adobe.com/support/downloads/product.jsp?product=106&platform=Windows

    Or you can just Google Adobe raw .dng converter. 🙂

    Looking forward to reading back on your blog.

    1. Thanks Alison. Good suggestion and I have done something similar in the past. In this case the problem was that Adobe hadn’t developed a RAW profile for the RX10 so even the DNG converter wouldn’t work. Fortunately they have fixed it. I now just need PhotoNinja to support the RX10 properly as well.

      Hope you enjoy the blog.

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