Some of you may know that I love my 9-year-old Canon 5D II. I even call it My Precious. But last year while in Japan the size and weight of My Precious wore me down. It felt akin to dragging a ball and chain around everywhere with me. I vowed to look for a small travel camera to take on the next trip. There are quite a few small-sized cameras out there that appealed to me. Only thing . . . the ones with features to my liking cost big $$$$, and every single one of them had at least one flaw that prevented me from taking the plunge. Long story, not too short, this past weekend, on yet another trip to Best Buy . . . to look and touch and ponder . . . I met salesperson Maki. Maki himself had gotten the newest model (IV) of the Sony RX100 to take with him to Japan last year and he had loved it. He said that if I wasn't interested in the video aspect, then the Mark III (cheaper) version was just as good. Several factors came into play in my decision to buy this particular camera. (1) Maki himself bought it to take on his trip to Japan, (2) my trip is 1 1/2 weeks away, and I do not want to be lugging 5 pounds of camera gear into the bathroom stalls with me again, and (3) finally and maybe most importantly the camera is on sale right now for $100 less than usual.
One of the things that people grumble online about Sony cameras is its menu system. They say that it is absolutely horrendous to maneuver through. And it turned out to be true. But that's because there are so many tweak-able options for you to choose from. Once you get used to it, maneuvering is not too bad. I've even been able to change functions on the control dial in the back of the camera to my liking . . . now I just press it right to change ISO, down to change shutter and down again to change aperture. I've assigned exposure compensation to the lens ring. There is also a programmable Function button where you can quickly access your choice of features. Ironically, the hardest thing for me to get used to is the camera's small size. I've had to learn to hold it differently or my hands will cramp up. Also, I find myself not using the awesome electronic viewfinder which I actually love. The viewfinder is positioned on the left side of the camera, but because I'm left-eye dominant my face gets in the way of the control buttons. A right-eyed person wouldn't have that problem. Maybe I can teach myself to use my right eye . . . we'll see. Luckily, I can use the screen in the back of the camera to view instead. I don't have any software to process RAW images from this camera right now, so I'll be shooting only JPG for now. If the photos end up turning out okay though, I'll probably not even bother shooting RAW with it. Here are my first test shots. 1/80, f4.0, 125 ISO, 62mm, Program mode
1/80, f4.0, 320 ISO, 70mm, Manual mode
1/80, f4.0, 320 ISO, 24mm, Manual mode
1/160, f2.8, 160 ISO, 40mm, Manual mode
1/80, f2.8, 1600 ISO, 24mm, Manual mode
1/60, f1.8, 1600 ISO, 24mm, Manual mode
1/80, f3.5, 1600 ISO, 33mm, Manual mode
1/25 (!!!!), f2.8, 800 ISO, 70mm, Auto mode
1/80, f3.5, 1600 ISO, 70mm, Manual mode, (do you know what movie?)
I paid $750 for the camera . . . LOTS. Hopefully, it'll be worth it. Getting excited!!