Sony has been putting some fantastic cameras on the shelves lately. I’ve mentioned the NEX6 already, and the latest Camera Lust instalment is yet another Sony – the RX10. In some ways it’s an odd camera. Very much a niche model. It’s the size of a superzoom and looks every bit like one of the latest models with a monstrous lens capable of bringing flies in the next field into sharp focus. But superzoom it is not. It’s focal range is just 24mm to 200mm.
So why the bulky body? That will be the large 1″ sensor. As with the Fuji and its XS-1, Sony have sacrificed the range of its lens to fit the camera with a much larger sensor than you’d normally find in this sort of camera. It’s gone a lot further than Fuji though, with a sensor that isn’t far off the Micro Four Thirds sensors. And of course, less zoom.
I’ve ‘gone off’ these sort of cameras. I don;t see the point, when for the same amount of money, you could buy a decent Compact System Camera which fits in a pocket, with the ability to add a longer lens when the occasion demands. But still, there’s a lot to like about this Sony and the format, and I’m sure there are photographers out there who would find the RX10 fits their needs perfectly.
Who are they? That’s the million dollar question, and I hope Sony have the answer. At a guess, I am picturing a gent near or past retirement age, reasonably affluent, a fan of technology although not quite able to keep up with all these advances. He wants something good, with a few tricks up its sleeve but it must do well in auto too. And he’d like the camera in one handy package – no need for changeable lenses. He doesn’t use the camera that often either, so the bulk isn’t an issue.
He’ll like the lens, no doubt. It’s a sharp beast, with a max aperature of 2.8 throughout the entire focal range. That will help produce some pretty decent low light photos, even if he does need to zoom in a bit. I have to say, I’m not that gent. I’m not nearing retirement yet, I don’t have £1,000 burning in my pocket, I do want a smaller camera that fits in my pocket. So I’m not a potential customer. And yet, I’d still love to take this out and about for a few days!
There are quite a few good reviews out already – Photography Blog, Camera Labs, Pocket Lint, TechRadar, Amateur Photographer and ePhotoZine. All of whom have a lot of good things to say about the camera. I’ve created a gallery on Flickr, although because this is a new camera there aren’t a great selection of snaps to choose from. But there were quite a few low light shots that looked pretty impressive. Although the best photo I came across was, not entirely surprisingly, on 500px.