Sony RX10 – Is now the time to buy

The sea in Cornwall has a wonderul colour and the Sony RX10 captures this perfectly.
The sea in Cornwall has a wonderul colour and the Sony RX10 captures this perfectly.

I just received an email from WEX Photographic saying that I can pre-order the RX10 MKII. Whilst they don’t list the release date, it must be soon. The price is just short of £1,200 and browsing the spec, the thing that hits me is that it seems quite similar to the current RX10 model. Sure it shoots 4K video but I suspect the image quality is similar to the RX10 and that, as a landscape photographer is what I’m interested in.

I love the RX10 but I won’t be trading it for the MKII. In fact checking the prices on Amazon I can see that I can pick up the current model for just under £600 which is a 50% reduction on the new release. If all your interested in is still photography and you have been thinking about buying an RX10, now might be the time to keep an eye open for a great deal. I’m even tempted to buy a second one and convert it to Infrared.

12 thoughts on “Sony RX10 – Is now the time to buy

  1. Was very tempted to trade the RX100 mk3 for something with a better range and had a look at the RX10 and DMC-FZ1000.. I think the 200mm of the Sony is all I would ever require plus I never seem to video anything so 4k would never be any use to me. I’ve been interested in the GX7 and also the a6000. Both have good and bad points and at the moment I can’t decide what I want… To many reviews on YouTube ain’t helped me out Robin… I just love walking the amazing mountains of my native South Wales enjoying the amazing beauty and remoteness of it regardless of the weather and want something that can give me more……

    1. You need to make a list of the things that you find most important in priority order. Is it weight, size, not needing to change lens, having one camera and nothing else (other than batteries and filters) to carry. If you can make such as list and say which are most important it will probably help you. Then see if you can try out the cameras. I probably wouldn’t have entertained the RX10 due to its size had I not previously owned the Sony R1. As soon as I saw the RX10 I knew that I wanted one and it’s been a great camera to use when out walking.

  2. This is absolutely one of your best photos I have ever seen n your blog. The simplicity is absolutely stunning!

    1. Thank you. Its great to hear that someone appreciates this image as much as I do. It was raining and we had taken shelter in the Tate gallery in St Ives. When we walked out I just saw this scene across the road. There were still a few people on the beach but I just zeroed in on this. I am very happy with it.

    1. You need to decide what are the most important features for you. Both cameras have excellent features and image quality and both are very similar in spec. Best advice I can give is to find somewhere where you can try out both. Pick them up and check the menu system. Which camera feels most natural to use.

  3. Thanks for the reply Robin…. I’m popping into Cardiff this weekend so I’ll have a nose in Jessop…. Been looking at some good deals on line with the RX10. I really do believe this could be the right one for me… I’m not really one for carrying a camera around every place I go (but the camera will be with me everyday in my works van as that’s where it will be kept) so it’s at my disposal when I need it and then walks on the weekend I use a rucksack on the mountain…. So everything in one good package. Can I ask how you find the quality of the lens? Any issues with picture quality? I like to ask as every review on any other mirror less type of camera lense they always have something negative to say about it. On the other hand all the reviews on the RX10 are positive 😀

    1. I find the image quality on the Sony very good across the entire zoom range and also wide open. I rarely stop down further than f/5.6 and the sharpest aperture seems to be around f/4.5. The corners are pretty good but not perfect. I haven’t found any problems with the Sony lens on my camera but I wouldn’t say that it’s as sharp as my EM5 with the 12-40 lens or the primes. When I am heading off for a day in the hills it’s a great one for just popping in my backpack. Just have to remember spare batteries (although thats not really that important as the battery life is great) and ND Grads. As an aside, if you are seeing negative reviews about Micro 43 lens quality I would suggest the people making the comments haven’t tried the good lenses in the range. They are super, right into the corners. Final point I would make about the Sony RX10 is that the colours are simply stunning. You will know what I mean when you try it (in RAW format). I will be interested to hear what you go for.

  4. Hi Robin,
    Excellent timing with this post 🙂 I’ve been researching compact cameras specifically for landscape and nature photography. Unsurprisingly, the options quickly boiled down to the RX10 and the FZ-1000, and of those two my research puts the RX10 well on top for the following reasons (I suspect/hope the below will be useful to some other readers):
    – Has a built in ND filter
    – Has a better build quality and weather sealing
    – Exposure compensation dial is nice
    – LCD readout is handy
    – Smaller size for similar weight
    – While the FZ has a longer zoom the aperture drops off as soon as you start to zoom in (one of the reviews I read has a nice graph). The Sony’s lens will work better in low light (important for landscapes!) due to constant f/2.8.
    – Tripod thread is better located; more stable and can change battery/card with tripod in use

    Also, not that it’s relevant to photography, the Sony’s XAVC-S support, silent zoom and external mic are likely way more useful than the 4k resolution offered by the Panasonic.

    As you pointed out, with the release of the RX10 MKII, the original has now dropped in price. Here in Australia, it can be had for a smidge over $1050 – that’s almost half what it cost when released (the MKII will be selling for $1900)!

    With that all said, I was literally about to pull the trigger on an RX10 this evening then get a promo email from the store – Olympus has a significant cash back offer in Australia until the end of August. That brings the cost of an EM5 mkII with the 12-40 PRO lens down to $1500. If I can find an original EM5 second hand I may be able to only buy the lens brand new, and bridge the price gap even more…

    So… I was wondering what you would opt for? I will be traveling to Tasmania, New Zealand, Japan, Nepal and Sri Lanka next year to hike and explore the wilderness and am looking for the best tool for the job. I don’t have any experience with digital cameras – I only know what I’ve read. As far as I can tell, the interface/usability of the Sony may be better but the EM5’s will produce better images once I get past the learning curve…? Also, is the lens I mentioned the one you’d go for?

    Many thanks,

    1. Wow, a lot to think about. If I were in your position I would write down a list of all the things that you find improtant or valuable and try to place them in order. This will then give you a better idea of which camera might be best for you. You might also find that some features make one camera better suited to a certain type of use than the other. For example I would place the image quality of the EM5 above that of the RX10, especially as you move to higher ISO. Image quality is something I find very important on my list. Feel of the camera is also important to me but I like the feel of both of these cameras. I find the RX10 is great for hiking as I don’t need to both changing lens because the zoom range is 24mm – 200mm which would take a couple of lenses with the EM5.

      If I were only going to buy one camera it would be then EM5 providing I could afford a second lens to cover the range of the RX10. The EM5 lenses could also be used on other Micro 43 cameras in the future where the RX10 is just a camera.

      Now a couple of points you raised:
      The EM5 menu system is excellent once you realise there is a super menu screen which contains almost everything you need on a single page at the press of a button. If you start to delve into the main menu system it’s a pain. The RX10 is easier to use in this respect and you can change all the button functions.
      The 12-40 Olympus Pro lens is superb. I have this lens and it’s on my camera 90% of the time. The lens on the RX10 is also very good but I find the images are just not as shar and detailed as the EM5 with the 12-40 lens.

      Hope some of this helps and that I haven’t confused you further. In short though, these are both great cameras.

      1. Thanks for your response, Robin. I really appreciate the advice of someone who primarily shoots landscape and has both cameras! You’ve helped me to make a decision… almost… 😉

        I found a store here in Melbourne that stocks the RX-10, EM5 (“Elite”), EM5 MKII and of course the EM1. All the Olympus models feel very good in my hand, and as you pointed out the super menu screen indeed makes up for the general clunkiness of the menu system – I like it. The Sony felt good too, but it’s bigger. For hiking up big mountains, I actually don’t mind carrying something (slightly) heavier provided the overall package size is smaller. The decision really comes down to how often I might want a lens with zoom larger than 80mm (equiv), and you certainly answered that with your point that the 12-40 Pro lens is on your Olympus 90% of the time. This option will hold its value more than the Sony in the long run, being able to hold on to the lens makes sense too and in terms of price (bang-for-buck). Plus, they take better pictures.

        Now, with the cash back:
        – I can get a brand new EM5 “Elite” with the 12-40 Pro lens for $1135 (so only an extra $80 over the Sony). They’re basically offloading these body’s for $300!
        – I could potentially get the EM1 with the 12-40 Pro lens for $1569 ($400 more).
        (Funnily enough, with cash back the EM5 MKII works out to be more expensive than the EM1, so it’s out of the equation now).

        Have you ever shot with an EM1? Do you think it would be worth the extra $400? From what I’ve read it has a slightly different (and better) chip than the EM5 and might hold its value better…

        Many thanks.

      2. No problem. I haven’t used the EM1 and gave it a miss when it first came out because the spec seemed too similar to the EM5. I can’t imagine the EM1 will be worth the extra expense over the EM5. The EM5 is a great camera and good choice. I’m not sure what else the EM1 would really give.

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