Sony RX10

Friday Image No.133

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View from the Marsden Moors Estate. Sony RX10, f/6.3, 1/200″ at ISO80.

I captured this image last weekend whilst out for a walk on the moors near home. I was using the recently repaired Sony RX10, giving a real test. Looking at the images on the Mac screen at 200%, the results are superb. The camera is producing images that are way beyond the quality it previously did. I also note the front lens doesn’t have any play in it where it used to move slightly before – interesting.

I decided to shoot this scene because I liked the shape of the path and how it created a nice perspective with the distant path. Unfortunately, the continuation of the path into the distance doesn’t come through in the image. The other aspect of the scene that I liked was the strong sky.

My intention at the time was to process the image into black and white. Now that I have converted the RAW file and can see the lovely natural colours, I’m quite happy to keep the colour version.

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

Checking my RX10

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Derwent Valley, The Peak District. Sony RX10 with 0.6 ND Graduated Filter

A few weeks back I wrote about my Sony RX10 and how it had to be repaired. The front element had a problem with mould growing on the inside and given the front element is part of a sealed unit ,the entire unit had to be replaced. Rather than use a Sony repair centre I opted to use The Real Camera Company in Manchester. These guys really know their stuff; I purchased my Bronica SQAi kit from them about a year ago.

Having received my repaired RX10, I have been unable to test it properly due to a combination of the weather, a trip to Madeira and having too much work on. At the weekend though I decided to take a walk in the Peak District and took the RX10 along in the hope of giving it a try. As it turned out, the weather wasn’t that good, clouding over quite heavily, and I didn’t shoot any great images. The image at the top of this page is probably the best.

What the trip did allow me to do was evaluate the replaced lens. In short, I’m very pleased. It’s as sharp as my previous lens and I’m confident that the results are much better. The corners are still a little soft, but the central part of the image appears excellent. The other point that I noticed is that more distant detail is now being retained better than with the old lens. Previously, you could see the finer details such as grass and rock turn soft. Now this isn’t noticeable.

I’m feeling very happy about my decision to have the camera repaired – it was certainly cheaper than replacing it. Could I do without the RX10? Yes. Do I want to? No way, it’s a brilliant camera and perfect for a walk in the countryside.

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.