Although Sony has already made the fourth iteration of its RX100 camera, sadly, I have not had a chance to test and review any of the earlier models. After the Sony RX100 IV was announced, I told myself that I had to give this camera a try. Partly because our readers have been asking about it and partly because it looked like a killer camera based on its long list of features. Right before my trip to Death Valley, I was able to obtain this little monster of a camera for a real field test. I am really glad I did, because I have been really impressed by the Sony RX100 IV – it turned out to be the best pocket-friendly point and shoot camera I have used to date. Let’s take a look at this camera in more detail and see what it has to offer in its tiny body.
It is interesting how just a few years back, one way to spark a debate was to talk about Nikon vs Canon. Websites and forums would be filled with endless discussions when someone would dare to post something like “I dumped my Nikon gear and switched to Canon” (and God forbid if you said anything against Pentax, it would be a quick shortcut to get death threats). Today, it seems like the gears have changed – people are much less enthusiastic about talking about DSLR brand differences. The much bigger war it seems like is now between DSLR vs mirrorless. On one side of the fence, we’ve got DSLR shooters who defend their choice with statements like “you will only be able to take my DSLR when you pry it from my cold, dead hands” and on the other side of the fence, we now have people who say things like “mirrorless is the future, it is time for flapping mirrors to go”. Both sides have their points and arguments that make sense, but once mixed with emotions, such discussions often end up being inconclusive and meaningless. And now we have manufacturers engaging in direct attacks against each other. Sony, Fuji and a few others often compare their systems to DSLRs as part of their marketing campaigns, indicating weight / size and other advantages, whereas DSLR manufacturers keep recycling the same AF speed, reliability and system advantages. But one thing for sure – DSLRs are losing market share and interest in mirrorless technology is steadily growing. Let’s revisit the topic of DSLR vs mirrorless one more time and analyze a few more important factors.
Since the original release of the Sony RX100 back in 2012, the company has been pushing updates to the camera and releasing one new iteration every year. Which means that as of today, we have had a total of 4 such releases: RX100, RX100 II, RX100 III and RX100 IV. Sporting a 1″ sensor and superb optics from Zeiss, these point and shoot cameras have been widely popular among photographers. And thanks to their compact size and low weight, the RX100 series cameras have been highly regarded as very capable, and yet pocket-able cameras that are perfect for such needs as travel photography. Unfortunately, due to the number of the RX100 series cameras, their differences in pricing and features, it has become increasingly difficult for potential buyers to understand the main differences between these cameras. In this article, I will be comparing the key features and specifications of the RX100-series cameras, which will hopefully make it easier to see what has changed between all the releases we have seen so far.
Our good friends at LibRaw let me know today that they have a special sale for Photography Life readers – until March 15 of 2016, they are giving us a PL exclusive 25% off discount for both FastRawViewer and RawDigger software. The discount applies to all editions of the software and you can download both PC and Mac versions (32-bit or 64-bit). To get this discount, use the coupon code LIBR-GERP-PHLF at checkout. Please note that Photography Life is not in any way affiliated with LibRaw – we do not receive any proceedings from potential sales. I personally do actively promote FastRawViwer to our readers, because the software saves me hours of work and is now an integral part of my workflow.
When the world saw the very first photographs, the idea of being able to capture the world as we see it took off rapidly. In a relatively short period of time, film photography evolved from black and white to color photography. From there, it made motion pictures possible, allowing us to see the world from our couches at home. When the first digital camera was invented, little did the inventors know that it would later revolutionize the world of photography and media in general. Today, billions of images are captured and shared between people and the number of image recording devices is growing at a rapid, unstoppable rate. There are cameras literally everywhere – in our mobile phones, homes, computers, cars and even in wearables like eyeglasses and watches. We trust these devices to give us a glimpse of reality, documented moments of time that we can go back to and review. And yet with the fast growth, ease of access and use of image and video manipulation tools, we have been seeing more footage that can twist reality: whether we are looking at popular magazine covers, Internet sites or news media, the imagery we see is getting harder and harder to trust, since it is being altered, faked or staged. Media turned out to be a powerful tool to influence and manipulate people, which brings up the question and the importance of ethics in photography. Should photography only be allowed to display reality, or is it acceptable to alter images for presentation purposes? And if manipulation is acceptable, what are its limits, if any? These are very hard questions to answer, but with some common sense, we can create a set of ethical rules and guidelines that should help photographers in determining what’s acceptable and what’s not.
Along with the A6300 mirrorless camera, Sony today also announced three professional-grade lenses for the full-frame FE mount, the Sony FE 85mm f/1.4 GM, Sony FE 24-70mm f/2.8 GM and Sony FE 70-200mm f/2.8 GM OSS and two 1.4x and 2.0x teleconverters. Because of the premium nature of these lenses, Sony gave these lenses a new “G Master” (GM) label; which is basically one step above the current “G Series” lenses. All these lenses are fully designed by Sony engineers, have advanced optical formulas, coating technologies and other advancements that are designed specifically for Sony’s A7-series full-frame cameras, and as a result, also have rather steep price tags. Since many DSLR shooters have been staying away from the Sony full-frame mirrorless line due to the absence of truly professional f/1.4 and f/2.8 lenses, Sony decided to address that gap with the GM-series lenses. Looks like this is the first step and more GM lenses will follow in the future. Let’s take a look at these lenses in more detail and see what they have to offer.
Today is a big day in the world of photography, because Sony announced a camera that might challenge DSLRs in terms of autofocus speed in accuracy. The much-anticipated update to the Sony A6000 we reviewed earlier is finally out and it looks like it was well worth the wait. The Sony A6300 is the first mirrorless camera that is specifically aimed at capturing fast-moving action, thanks to its “4D” autofocus system with a whopping 425 phase-detection autofocus points. The camera breaks the world record in terms of the number and the spread of these autofocus points, reaching all the way to the far end corners of the frame, allowing fast-moving subjects to be tracked and captured at up to 11 frames per second. Although with its 24 MP APS-C sensor the camera probably won’t have the necessary buffer to be able to shoot action for prolonged periods of time like the Nikon D5 or Canon 1DX Mark II can, even shorter bursts with fast and accurate autofocus are going to make a huge difference. Couple all these capabilities with the 4K video capture (up to 100 Mbps) along with its MSRP of $999, and we’ve got one of the most desirably mirrorless cameras on the market.
Now that both the Nikon D5 and the Canon 1D X Mark II flagship DSLRs have been announced, we can compare the specifications of the two and see how they stack up against each other. While both cameras are very capable flagship DSLRs from top camera brands, there are notable differences worth pointing out just by looking at the specifications. Please keep in mind that in this post I won’t be comparing image quality, AF performance, and other performance characteristics between these cameras, since both cameras have not yet been released to the public yet – I will only compare already known specifications from the official press releases and technical information shared by Nikon and Canon.
The Nikon D5 has a 20.8 MP image sensor capable of shooting very high ISOs all the way to ISO 3,280,000. With the Canon 1D X Mark II now finally released, I thought it would be a good idea to post full resolution image samples from both cameras, to see how they compare. You can review the sample images from the Canon 1D X Mark II right here and see how they stack up against the Nikon D5’s. While it is too early to evaluate which one does better in terms of image quality and we are planning to provide a full comparison in our upcoming reviews, since both cameras have practically the same resolution, they are probably going to look very similar at pixel level overall.
Below are full resolution image samples from the newly-announced Canon 1D X Mark II DSLR for those who want to pixel-peep at how the camera renders images at various ISOs. Although most sample images were captured at low ISOs, there are a few images that were shot at high ISOs like 3200, 6400 and even ISO 25600. As expected, images from the 1D X Mark II look phenomenal. I have also provided full resolution sample images from the Nikon D5 right here, if you would like to compare the two. While it is too early to evaluate which one does better in terms of image quality and we are planning to provide a full comparison in our upcoming reviews, since both cameras have practically the same resolution, they are probably going to look very similar at pixel level overall.