watch in full HD 1080p
Unlike the storm we had a couple of years ago when I wasn’t so sure that my Canon 7D would survive, the arrival of winter this year wasn’t quite as dramatic. However, wind chill pushed temperatures
well below zero and I headed to CP dressed in snowboard gear, the Sony RX10 a lightweight Sirui and a short Konova K2 slider.
It was the coldest day of the year so far and since cold days reduce atmospheric dust concentration the sky was bluer then usual. How did the RX10 hold up in these conditions?
more after the break
Wind gusts dusted the camera with snow a few times during this 3 hour walk without effect. It took two fully charged batteries, the second one down to 17% by the time I couldn’t press buttons any longer.
Due to the tight button layout it was impossible to change settings with regular gloves, knowing this, I packed a thin pair of running gloves and even with those it wasn’t easy and I had to pull one glove off to change settings.
Everything was shot in full manual mode at 1080/60p at ISO 125.
All handheld clips where shot with active image stabilization on ( one clip shot with clear image zoom on, fully extended, easy to spot) and clips from the tripod and slider with standard stabilization or stabilization turned off.
I ran a few tests before heading to CP knowing that there wont be time to experiment and decided to go with the neutral setting at -3 contrast, -3 saturation and +1 sharpening.
The H264 codec really limits your grading options and therefore it is imperative to get as close to the final look as possible with the correct choice of creative style and WB settings, I did a few exposure tests and set the WB manually, always reviewing the clip after each take and re-shot if necessary with a different exposure setting.
Changing the aperture was a joy and changing the zoom range was ok, no complains here.
Below is the summary of my impressions from this shoot.
Incredible video quality at low ISO, rivaling much higher priced pro cams and surpassing some older models costing thousands of dollars
Optically, the incredible Zeiss lens shines at any focal length,
constant 2.8, almost perfect focal range.
optical steady shot
active steady shot with almost invisible quality loss at low ISO
clear image zoom works well in video mode, visible quality loss
but gets you twice as close (400mm equiv)
Stepless aperture control
great af performance
mf focus peaking, selectable colors
very easy to manual focus in the normal to tele range
very slow fly by wire zoom during recording – suits my shooting style
assign custom functions to main dial and buttons
All dials felt super solid and there were no signs this camera was affected by the extreme low temperature except for the short battery life.
effective weather sealing
High quality ND filter, no color shift
High quality EVF, great in such bright conditions where you simply can’t see sh*t on your LCD, no matter how good it is
THE NOT SO GOOD
unfortunate placing of the record button, really awkward to reach when using the EVF, handheld or on tripod
protruding EVF eyepiece, limits viewing angles with articulated LCD (which I rarely used during this shoot)
fast battery drainage (had 6 in my pocket, not a big deal)
fly by wire manual focus or zoom, can’t have both
zoom speed limitations, very slow during recording, not everyone’s cup of tea,
I wish Sony would release zoom speed options via firmware, giving us a choice of slow, medium, fast.
only 4x magnification for mf
blackout during audio level adjustments (obviously, not a problem during this shoot)
That’s it for now guys, if you have questions, don’t hesitate to ask, so far I am very impressed with this little camera and ready to overlook the few shortcomings, the RX10 rocks, however, I will say this again, it is imperative to get as close to the final look as possible with your choice of creative style, WB settings, and sharpening. Yes, sharpening, after numerous tests I found no matter what I tried during grading, unsharp masking with different strength and radius levels and any other post sharpening method, it can’t rival in camera sharpening, experiment, it depends on your subjects and the desired effect, on a model shoot for instance, I would turn sharpening all the way down, the closer you can get to the final look your envision for your project the happier you will be with the clips from this camera. If you like what you hear, Bonobo, Silver
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