Sony RX10

Return of the RX10

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La Rochelle, France. This is a 5 image sequence shot on the Sony RX10 and stitched in Lightroom. ISO80, f/5.6, 1/640″. Click the image to view a larger version of the file.

I previously commented on how my beloved RX10 was struck down by mould. This was on the front element of the lens and was inside a (supposedly) sealed unit. Rather than taking this to Sony for a repair I went to The Real Camera Company in Manchester. One of their engineers has now replaced the affected unit and the camera is back with me in a little over a week from my authorising the repair.

Whilst the camera has been away for repair it felt like I had lost something quite major. I had been used to taking the RX10 out on hikes across the moors where I live. The alternative was to take the Fuji X-T2 or Olympus EM5, both of which produce higher quality images than the RX10. Despite this, the inconvenience of never having the right lens on the camera at the point you want to use it, or needing to change lenses and filters frequently in the field was what can only be described as a pain in the butt.

The RX10 produces excellent detail and sharpness in the central area of the frame, but it softens near the edges and distorts a little in the corners (at the wide-angle end of the lens range). I suspect much of this is due to a lot of lens correction being applied in software. Despite this, the camera is a joy to use and produces images which have a lovely feel to them. The convenience of having a 24-200 focal length in a constant f2.8 lens, all bolted onto a 1” sensor is a great combination, especially when out walking.

So far, I have only taken a few test shots in the garden to check the camera functions correctly (it does.) I’m really looking forward to some good weather to put the RX10 through its paces. I would also like to say well done to The Real Camera company for their help and a job well done.

Friday Image No.88

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Sony RX10, ISO80, f/5.6, 1/250".
Sony RX10, ISO80, f/5.6, 1/250″. Click the image to enlarge.

I will start with an apology for having not posted anything over the past week. I was away in the Lake District at the start of the week and then had to get my Lenscraft Newsletter out.

Given I have been in the Lakes, I though it only fitting to share one of the images I shot.

Ordinarily when I visit the Lakes I take either the Olympus EM5 or the Sony A7r. This time I decided to be different and packed the Sony RX10 so that I wasn’t needing to switch lenses all the time. As I can carry this in a small shoulder bag, it also gave me room to fit my Hasselblad XPan + 45mm and 90mm lenses in my bag pack (together with a few rolls of film). In the end I only shot one roll of film with the XPan but managed many more shots with the RX10.

The RX10 really is starting to become my go to camera when I am out walking. I like the quality and look of the images but most of all I like the convenience of a fixed lens camera with a good focal range (24mm-200mm).

I also noticed Sony have released the RX10 MkIII which sports a 24mm-600mm lens. I have some misgivings about this move and worry that they will have made too many compromises. I think I will keep to my MkI for the time being.

Hope you like the image and have a great weekend.

Friday Image No.87

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Sony RX10, ISO80, f/5.6, 1/640". 0.6 ND Grad on the sky
Sony RX10, ISO80, f/5.6, 1/640″. 0.6 ND Grad on the sky

I keep having this odd feeling that I am running out of images (I haven’t been able to shoot much recently). I have this feeling that I don’t really like too much of my recent work and that it won’t endure. But when I go back about a year that I start to find images that I like. Here is one example of yet another moorland scene. This is taken on the descent from Black Hill heading towards the Woodhead Pass. Black Hill can be reached from my home by walking across Saddleworth Moor but you need to be ready for a 35-40km hike (round trip) so it’s not something I do regularly.

This particular shot was taken around this time last year with the Sony RX10. The lighting really appealed to me at the time but then I could never capture the mood in post processing. It’s only now that I seem to be able to accept the very dark tones and gritty feel of the image. I doubt this will appeal to a lot of people but it does sum up the drama of the area well.

Have a great weekend everyone.

Friday Image No. 85

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The view from Blackstone Edge. Sony RX10 3 shot stitch.
The view from Blackstone Edge. Sony RX10 3 shot stitch.

As regular visitors will know, I recently decided to pursue a personal project to document the moorland near to my home and share some of the views from the area. Today’s image is another from the series taken with the Sony RX10 which I am liking more and more these days. It’s right at the limit of the 200mm lens and I was struggling to hold the camera as steady as I would have liked. Despite this the image prints very nicely at A3 and is actually 15” x 37” as it’s a 3 shot stitch.

I hope you like the image and have a great weekend.

Friday Image No. 83

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Sony RX10, ISO80, f/6.3, 1/320"
Sony RX10, ISO80, f/6.3, 1/320″

For this week’s Friday image, I thought that I would share another scene from my recently adopted moorland project. I think I’m going to title the project “Views from the moors”.

I realise this image might not appeal to many people but I like it for a very specific reason. When you are walking on the moors they are largely flat and featureless, but with a sky that can go on for miles. And what I really like about this vast sky feeling is that because of the and their flatness of the moors, you feel very close to the clouds. I hope the image conveys some sense of this feeling to you.

Have a great weekend everyone.

Friday Image No.80

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View from above Ullswater in the Lake District. Captured with a Sony RX10.
View from above Ullswater in the Lake District. Captured with a Sony RX10.

I captured this image in February last year. It was late afternoon and the weather had been dreadful. It had been alternating between rain and snow for much of the day but the poor weather conditions created some wonderful and dramatic light. It was last weekend’s adventure with the heavy rain that made me think of this image.

Hope you like it and have a great weekend.

Sony RX10 Takes on Europe’s Strongest Man

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Eddie Hall World Record Deadlift 463Kg, 11th July 2015. Sony RX10, ISO80, f/4.5, 1/250", 200mm
Eddie Hall World Record Deadlift 463Kg, 11th July 2015. Sony RX10, ISO80, f/4.5, 1/250″, 200mm – clck the image to enlarge

There is a long held Christmas tradition in many UK homes and that is to watch the World’s Strongest Man competition. One of the heats leading up to this annual event is Europe’s Strongest Man, and that’s where I went at the weekend, my daughter having bought me tickets as a birthday present.

The competition was held in Leeds at the Rugby ground and will probably be screened around Christmas in the UK. As it’s recorded I wasn’t sure they would allow cameras into the ground so I took the RX10 along rather than my Olympus EM5. I have known some events to class interchangeable lens cameras as Pro cameras and be banned whilst fixed lenses such as the RX10 are allowed.

As it turned out the organisers were happy for photo’s to be taken in a non-professional capacity. Initially I was kicking myself because the RX10 only has a 200mm lens which as it turns out was a little shortof range. Something like the 40-150mm lens on the EM5 would have taken me much closer to the action.

Then I stopped and asked myself why this was a problem. If the images are only ever to be shared on the Internet why did I need to get closer? The 20Mpixel sensor of the RX10 would allow me to crop in close and will still need to be down sampled. And so it is with the image here. It’s about 3 times the dimensions it needs to be for Internet viewing so has been down sampled to just 1,000 pixels wide. I didn’t need a longer lens or a bigger image. The RX10 was perfect.

In case you are wondering, the picture shows a new world record deadlift at 463Kg (around 1,020 lbs). Congratulations Eddie Hall.