My final review of the Sony RX-10 after dragging it from Miami to Ibiza...
Was it the "ultimate Journalist's Camera" as Sony promised? Well,
I may not be the ultimate journalist but the camera sure worked great for me.
This is a review intended for non-enthusiasts, strictly from the standpoint of a journalist who needs something that will get the job done and deliver publishable pics, but without distracting me from the job of actual reporting.
DOES IT DELIVER?
Yes. The image quality is pretty jaw-dropping all around. But the main reason this camera delivers is because it let me get a lot of pictures that I might've missed without it. For example, chasing a McLaren at 130mph through France, I was able to get this perfectly focused shot of the McLaren's license plate:
I was the only person shooting with an RX-10 on the Gumball 3000. There were a ton of 5D's, some Sony A7r's and RX100 mk 2's. But EVERYONE I showed this to was impressed. As soon as I started scrolling through the pictures, they were sold. And to get that response shooting JPEGs on automatic, I was pretty happy with my choice to bring along the RX-10 over any other option.
My only con is that the write speeds for Superior Auto are too long. Normal auto was fine, but for some reason, Superior Auto took long enough to where I missed some subsequent shots waiting for the camera.
In low light, using the 2.8, 24-200mm equivalent zoom, I was shooting this thing on automatic, jpegs to conserve space and make wifi transfers easy, and I was blown away by what the RX10 could do.
For fast, spontaneous shooting in low light, rivaled (if not beat) my friends 5D mark 2. On focusing, it seemed to out-perform a Fuji EX-2 a pro photog on the rally was using.
To be honest, I'm not a great videographer. But with the RX-10, all I did was keep it on auto and everything that came out of the camera looked pretty amazing. I'm sure if I had time to shoot manual video it would be a lot better, but on the fly, with no fuss, I don't think it gets better than this in 2014 for Video.
The only con I'd have is that the click on/off switch for the f stops on the bottom of the lens was too easy to change accidentally, and if you were changing it while shooting, you might end up hearing an unintended click in the playback.
Driving through Europe at triple-digit speeds with only an iPhone, a Jackery charger and the RX-10, I was able to upload from the road very easily with the Sony PlayMemories App for the iPhone. I could go three days without an outlet with that Trinity: RX-10, Jackery, and iPhone.
Price: Can be found around $1k online. This was a loaner that I have to return. At full retail, I would need to spend the money elsewhere, but if I could get it for $900, I'd buy it in an instant.
Please check out @Stinsoncarter on Instagram for more sample shots from the Sony RX-10