A few assorted musings from my photographic life.
A midwinter snowpack blankets the northeastern Pennsylvania landscape, which enables me to indulge in some skiing and snowshoeing. It also revives photographic prospects, which have been slim, given the bitter cold and the spotty snow cover of earlier weeks.
First, on the RX 100
I have been using this camera a lot recently, and have a few more observations:
I have noticed that the auto focus can struggle with low contrast objects. I tried taking some pictures of a black bodied camera for E bay but couldn’t get focus lock. My X100s on the other hand was successful at this. For most subjects however, this is not an issue. In good light focus lock comes quickly.
I have been impressed with this camera’s capability as a low-light shooter. The wide end of the zoom has a field of view equal to 28mm on a full frame camera, which is pretty useful for street and social shooting, particularly as it seems pretty sharp at f1.8. I’ve set mine on auto ISO with a max ISO of 1600, which can yield useable images (think 8”x 10” prints).
This image was rather underexposed when shot. I was able to push up the exposure without an unreasonable amount of noise resulting, which is amazing for such a small (but relatively large for a compact camera) imager.
This is the first truly pocketable camera that I’ve encountered that can deal with tavern/restaurant-type lighting without a flash.
Out of curiosity, I shot some landscape images while also shooting the X Pro 1 and the 23mm f1.4. Did I mention what a wonderful body/lens combination that is? It is amazing, with great handling and lovely 3 dimensional imaging. Close down the aperture blades a bit and it is sharp edge to edge For the little RX 100, this is very tough competition.
Anyway, comparing the same scene shot with roughly analogous settings on the cameras, the differences are real, and obviously favor the Fuji. The center image resolution for instance, is roughly the same at base ISO. It is in the periphery of the image where the Sony shows its limitations, but this is in a comparison with camera body/ lens combination worth many multiples of the the RX. Nonetheless, the differences are also surprisingly small. One old problem that I’ve not had to deal with recently is chromatic aberration or “fringing”. In the image below , you can see some magenta fringing not usually seen with higher end Fuji or Nikon gear. I was able to easily remove it using both Capture 1 and Adobe Camera Raw.
For serious landscape shooting, I would still want to use the Fuji, but on an 11”x 14” print you really can’t tell much difference between their images (at least at a normal viewing distance). In some ways, it is the awkward handling of a viewfinder-less camera that is the RX 100’s biggest liability in the comparison (the RX 100 II has an available but expensive accessory electronic viewfinder available).
BTW, I developed all of the images on Capture One. I think it has advantages when compared to Photoshop ACR for both the raw files of the Sony, and even more for those of the Fuji. I still see a lot of noise-like artifact on the Fuji/ACR files that I don’t see on C1.
I have opined about the new Photoshop subscription policy in previous articles. I did ultimately purchase Photoshop CC (which is bundled with Lightroom) when the price dropped to roughly $10 per month. I do hear that a future version of Photoshop’s Raw development software Adobe Camera Raw will enable the Velvia and Provia film simulations that are available in the clunky Fuji Silkypix software that comes with the X series cameras. Please Fuji and Adobe, put your heads together and work harder on the development algorithms. This would greatly simplify my current workflow.
So there should be wonderful shooting in my corner of the world, hopefully till mid March, when the spring melt begins, and the landscape returns to brown. Until then, I plan to get a lot of use out of my skis, snowshoes – oh and of course and my camera gear.
Life is good.