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Mike Kobal

January 22, 2014

The Sony RX10 in the snow, field report

Filed under: City Life,City Life Portraits,Gear Reviews,Street Photography — Tags: , , , , , , — mike.kobal @ 7:43 pm

Another snow storm in the city, another opportunity to test the Sony RX10 in bad weather conditions
more after the break

Rest assured guys, this camera is weather resistant. It was wet to the bone after about 10 min and kept on working. Once back home, I extended the zoom barrel, dried it thoroughly and found no issues.
The main problem was battery life and pressing buttons with gloves.

Shot neutral -3-1+1 at 1080/60p, then slowed to 50% in post. Minor level tweaks only, no post sharpening.
ISO setting: 125
Active image stabilization enabled.

Most shots where handheld, a few from a steady bag.

The constant aperture zoom was fantastic as it allowed me to follow the messenger as he tried to get going.
The RX10′s greatest asset is the lens, excellent image quality wide open at any focal length.

Aperture range 2.8 to 5.6. Shallow depth of field shots towards the long end of the zoom at 2.8.
Truly liberating to be able to shoot without a tripod, with a proper EVF and articulated screen, without fiddly attachments.
The RX10 is now my tool of choice for run&gun and city street video shooting, footage is very clean, it can hold its own against bigger sensors and looks like a tourist’s camera :)
Although I haven’t had time to properly test this camera shooting stills, to answer the question I get most, is it as good for photos as it is for video?
As of this writing I find the RX10 performs better in video mode.
Still image quality is very good up to ISO 800, some might say only up to ISO 400.
I have no problems using it up to ISO 1600 for general shooting and would set my upper limit at 3200, in the studio however, I wouldn’t go beyond ISO 640.
Another aspect I will talk about soon, the ability to shoot high speed flash sync up to 1/1600 without problems.
A rare feature and unique for a zoom, this might just be the edge when shooting stills against the fierce competition, stay tuned :)

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18 Comments »

  1. Very nice Mike. Now, how about one in contrasty sunshine on the Highline? I love your run and guns in NY as well as Andrew Reid’s in Berlin.

    Did you use any post processing stabilization or is this all the in-camera ” active” stabilization? Does active hurt the video if you are using 24p?

    Comment by Robert Payne — January 23, 2014 @ 8:59 am

  2. Thank you, Robert! Definitely, love the Highline. No post stabilization, all in camera, I found 60p produces much better results then 24p.
    I had similar results when stabilizing footage in post from the 5D3 and D800E, much better at 30fps then 24fps.

    Comment by mike.kobal — January 23, 2014 @ 9:46 am

  3. Mike–

    Thanks for the stabilizing info. I will be using mine on documenting a group walking
    the Camino de Santiago this summer. I need to travel light and like what you are saying about the stability.

    I will not have a lost of time to grade the footage so the OOB footage needs to look its best. Have you used it enough to form an opinion on the overall look ( natural, deep) and sharpness, contrast and saturation settings?

    Now, please go to the Highline and film with the RX10!!!

    Comment by Robert Payne — January 24, 2014 @ 7:23 pm

  4. Should be a great walk, I have a few friends who have done it, my favorite setting is neutral -3-1+1, needs minor grading and I am waiting for better weather to try deep, -3-1+1 this might be the setting to go for on overcast days.

    Comment by mike.kobal — January 25, 2014 @ 7:51 pm

  5. Great video Mike. I was wondering what software you used to process the RX10 video? Thanks, Dennis

    Comment by Dennis — January 27, 2014 @ 3:54 pm

  6. Thanks Dennis, premiere pro, a very straight forward edit, you could do this with any video editor.

    Comment by mike.kobal — January 27, 2014 @ 3:56 pm

  7. MIke: Lovely piece, so evocative! I’m having fun with my RX10 on this trip (currently in Samoa). Still learning my way around it, but running into a few minor issues (like getting the auto-leveling indicator when I’m in a User Mode (1 or 2). It just doesn’t seem to want to display that.

    But otherwise, most impressed. Not missing the snow you guys are having. Quite happy to view it in one of your beautiful videos!

    cheers, Bob

    Comment by Bob Krist — January 28, 2014 @ 3:58 pm

  8. Thanks Bob! First the snow and now extreme freeze! Glad to hear it is working for you, I still haven’t had a chance to use it as much as I would like to. I just tried memory 1 and 2, set up in movie mode M, 1 at 1080/60p, 2 in 1080/24p and the level display works just like in any other mode. I wish Sony would release a firmware for the level display to show up on the LCD though. Enjoy the beautiful weather.

    Comment by mike.kobal — January 28, 2014 @ 8:36 pm

  9. Monday, February 3, 2014
    Snow In The City – very beautiful. Lovely. Thank you Mike Kobal, you just get better and better with your style of video photographs. I admire your work. Pizzolog

    Comment by pizzolog — February 3, 2014 @ 9:54 am

  10. thanks pizzolog, glad you liked it :)

    Comment by mike.kobal — February 3, 2014 @ 9:57 am

  11. Hi Mike. Lovely photos on your blog, congratulations.
    And I love the mood on this video. What song is this?

    Comment by Miguel — February 4, 2014 @ 11:57 am

  12. thanks Miguel, click through to youtube, the link to the song is below the video

    Comment by mike.kobal — February 4, 2014 @ 11:59 am

  13. Hi again. Not to be pushy, but the only link I can find on youtube is to this post…

    Comment by Miguel — February 6, 2014 @ 1:25 pm

  14. Hello.
    Thanks for your test. I am a caver and a owner of a GH3, but I am very disappointed about the lens H-H12035. In fact there is too much flares and ghosting. You can see a test that I made here:
    http://youtu.be/_4xHR_ypCns
    Could you please, ma a similar test with the RX10? It could be very useful for me, because I need a free flare camera for the caves.
    Thank you

    Comment by Sirio — March 31, 2014 @ 12:08 pm

  15. Hi Sirio,
    the RX10 is a little better for sure, I find the flares in your video extreme, remove the UV filter and try again

    Comment by mike.kobal — April 1, 2014 @ 1:07 pm

  16. Hi Mike and thank you for your interesting.
    There is no UV filter or any protection filters. The lens is naked.
    Here others examples in still pictures and video:
    https://www.dropbox.com/sh/lmw2o7yc4u67e0l/-Y6CpQAuxA
    So you can see the dramatic situation :)

    Have a nice day

    Comment by Sirio — April 3, 2014 @ 10:10 am

  17. Nice video. Like another person said, evocative. I’ve shot a city scene in downtown Sacramento, but it was plagued by noise because I had to shoot at >3200 on a Canon EOS M w/22mm F/2.0 lens. The video is located here: http://youtu.be/POyNn7B4ZjQ

    With stablization, slow zoom capability and 60p, I’m hoping for better results with my RX10.

    Did you use the “step” feature of the RX10?

    Comment by Thomas — April 28, 2014 @ 8:46 pm

  18. Thanks Thomas. The sensor on the RX10 is much smaller, you won’t get better results in low light, only in good light, the RX10 really shines at low ISO. I use the step feature for photos, for video I prefer continuous.

    Comment by mike.kobal — April 29, 2014 @ 11:25 am

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