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is the sony rx100 worth it?
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Jennifer Mitol
(Jenmitol) - M

Locale: In my dreams....
is the sony rx100 worth it? on 05/24/2014 17:30:59 MDT Print View

I have a decent Nikon coolpix P7000 (similar to the Canon G series) that takes really good pictures. The video isn't the best, RAW is VERY slow. And I mean S L O W... unusably slow, actually. And it's rather large with a bulky case that I can't seem to find a better alternative to.

It takes GREAT pictures...and honestly I like it a lot. Although the bulkiness of it has been starting to get on my nerves.

I think I'm infatuated with the Sony RX100...and now version iii looks fantastic with the new 24mm lens!!

But oh for the love of all that is holy - is it really worth $800???

I consider myself an amateur photographer wanna-be, but I never made the leap to a DSLR (took me forever to give up my awesome old school Pentax 35mm film camera). The Nikon was a good higher-end point and shoot with lots of manual options, but the sensor size was such that I really, really missed playing with DOF (impossible with smaller sensors).

Now it looks like you can do that with the Sony.
And it seems to have a manual focus ring?????? Even if it's pretend, at least the movement is the same?? Maybe??

So for backpacking, and not wanting to schlep a DSLR, would the Sony investment be worth it, or should I just keep schlepping around my Nikon for a few more years?

Wow that's a lot of cash. But my b-day is coming up....
It would knock about half a pound off my JMT gear, too.........

J Mag
Re: is the sony rx100 worth it? on 05/24/2014 20:04:19 MDT Print View

I keep JUST missing out on the refurbished rx100's on sony's outlet site. They are the first version, but go for only $250 there.

In the meantime I picked up a refurbished J1 with TWO lenses and a case for $200 and I LOVE it so far. Highly recommend BuyDig, everything looked brand new.

I know that is unrelated just thought I would share :)

I think the RX100 is basically the perfect backpacking camera.

Peter James
(pbjames) - F

Locale: High Sierra
YES! on 05/25/2014 12:22:04 MDT Print View

I don't own an RX100, but my dad picked one up last year before doing the Camino, rather than hauling his Canon DSLR rig, or being stuck with crappy iPhone shots. It was a great solution, and he brought back plenty of images that wouldn't have been taken otherwise, or likely would have been ugly low quality on a small-sensor camera or phone. For what you can get the original model for these days, I'd say it's definitely worthwhile, as picture quality to size ratio doesn't get much better.

Whether the new model is worth the MSRP, is another matter. If the lens is as good as claimed, if the viewfinder is usable, and if you'd use other new features like the flip-screen and wifi, then I can definitely see the new model being a winner. One thing I never much liked about the first two models was being limited to 28mm for wide-angle. If the lens is significantly improved from the 28-105, in terms of corner-to-corner sharpness, I could see it being a great hiking camera for folks who don't need ultra-wide or telephoto lenses.

Jacob D
(JacobD) - F

Locale: North Bay
Re: is the sony rx100 worth it? on 06/02/2014 17:18:53 MDT Print View


I'd say the RX100 is worth it with a caveat or two. If you expect it to replace your DSLR it really depends on you and your skills. If you're capable with the SLR and know how to do things like use the histogram to get an ideal balance between shadows and highlights, if you've moved beyond the kit lens to better lenses, or if you use any "fast" lenses then the RX100 is going to feel like you're giving up a bit in return for a camera that fits in your pocket and takes lbs out of your pack... which is of course, the payoff. On the other hand if you mostly shoot on auto and use the kit lens the RX100 will probably feel like an old friend :)

A good middle grounds is something like micro 4/3 such as Olympus or Fuji. My preference is a compact APS-C camera like the Sony a6000 (formerly NEX). Smaller and lighter than DSLR but with the same (or better) quality sensor and lenses that you're accustomed to.

There are few reasons why anyone would need to carry a DSLR any more. Telephoto lenses and advanced autofocus systems (such as the ones in the "pro" series cameras) are pretty much it. Perhaps weather sealing if you're going to a rainforest.

I did a writeup on the RX100 not too long ago, forgive the shameless plug :)

By the way, you can't really get very shallow DOF with the RX100. The sensor size is bigger than most compacts, but just not big enough unless you're fairly close to the subject. The mark III has a faster lens, f/1.8 - 2.8, but the FF equivalent of that is like f3.6 - 5.6 (roughly, I don't recall the exact translation). The focus ring is about the same as any of the focus-by-wire lenses that are around these days... using it is a very disconnected experience. Always gives me the feeling of watching a video where the audio is slightly out of sync (obscure reference, I know). It does work though, and can be useful when the AF decides to focus just behind or in front of whatever you wanted it to.

Edited by JacobD on 06/02/2014 17:25:11 MDT.

bayden cline
(pyro_) - F

Locale: Ontario Canada
Look at the previous versions on 06/02/2014 18:27:25 MDT Print View

I just picked up a rx100 II as a complement to my nikon V1 mirrorless camera. It will mostly get used on those trips where I don't think I am going to need a longer zoom. If I think the longer range will be needed I will bring along the nikon at twice the weight of the sony

As long as you are not looking for a specific feature which are only on the newer version either the first or second gen rx100 would do the job just as well for you and you could save a considerable amount of money as people are getting rid of them to pick up the newest ones

christopher smead
(hamsterfish) - MLife

Locale: hamsterfish
Tough question on 06/10/2014 15:39:05 MDT Print View

I recently got an rx100, and so far like it.
I'm no camera expert, but I was able to get some cool night shows, panoramas, and even some milkyway shots with it. It won't compare to a real full frame, but not bad for 9oz.
Also, the video is really nice. The stabilizer makes a big difference.
Bummer is I wish it had a wider view, or the ability to add a wide lens.
Timelapse would be nice too.

I've seen rx100 wide angle lenses out there on amazon...but no reviews, and I have no idea how they attatch....

I'm curious to see how the ricoh gr stacks up...

Jeffrey Wong
(kayak4water) - MLife

Locale: Pacific NW
May be worth it on 06/10/2014 18:07:35 MDT Print View

I have the first rx100. I left my old rebel xti dslr home.

I haven't learned much about mine, but did miss a threaded filter mount, tho one can now buy an adapter with either a polarizer or different thread mounts to use one's old filters.

I do enjoy having the HDR setting for contrasts middle of the day photos.

Sometimes you just don't want to wait for the golden hour

Serge Giachetti
(sgiachetti) - M

Locale: Boulder, CO
absolutely on 06/11/2014 18:39:48 MDT Print View

If photography is important to you, than absolutely its worth it. I learned photography on old dslrs, like the Nikon D70, and I never thought I'd be carrying something as light and small as the RX100 with better image quality. It has better image quality than some of todays DSLR's with kit lenses. IMO its the best balance of UL, IQ and usability out there. I'm even using it to try to build my outdoor/adventure portfolioon when mobility is important, like long mountain runs.

Obviously I'm a fan & I'm still using & loving the original rx100, but if you had asked me what I'd change about the rx100 when I first got it, I would describe exactly what the rx100 III is. Props to Sony for significant improvements to what was already the best compact around. Reviews so far show a lot better IQ than the previous models, which looks to be partly a result of the new lenses. Anyway, enough from me. Consider me envious if you get one, but something tells me I'm going to use & love the rx100 for a long time.

Luke Schmidt
(Cameron) - MLife

Locale: The WOODS
A Cheaper Option on 06/11/2014 21:12:46 MDT Print View

Not sure if its what you want but the Nikon Coolix 310 is cheaper and takes good pictures, noticeably better then other cameras I've used for similar shots.

Yuri R
(Yazon) - F

Absolutely! on 06/20/2014 17:38:56 MDT Print View

Yes, excellent camera totally worth it. Perfect choice for those who dont want to lug DSLR around.

Billy Ray
(rosyfinch) - M

Locale: the mountains
Re: Absolutely! on 06/23/2014 20:26:58 MDT Print View

I like it too... but 800!
I'll wait for the price to drop... maybe next spring.


Billy Ray
(rosyfinch) - M

Locale: the mountains
Re: Re: Absolutely! on 06/24/2014 08:54:32 MDT Print View

I have not placed my hands on an actual RX100, but from the pics I have seen I would be concerned about all the moving parts for potential failure... There is a pop-up flash and an pop-up electronic view finder and then there is the LED screen that pivots... I would think that all of these things are vulnerable to failure... from getting grit in the mechanisms, from accidental force on the mechanisms, or from not being designed and built strong enough. Would think it would be a good idea to buy the accident protection plan with this particular camera... and, unfortunately that will likely drive the price from 800 to 1,000 + tax...


bayden cline
(pyro_) - F

Locale: Ontario Canada
Re: Re: Re: Absolutely! on 06/24/2014 08:59:05 MDT Print View

One other thing to note now that i have a MK2 in hand and have used it a bit. Make sure that you handle one and it feels right for you. I have found now that i have used it a bit that the RX100 is a bit too small for my liking even with the accessory grip added. Most likely will be getting rid of it by the end of the year once i see what else comes out this summer with similar specs but a bit larger in size. Leaning towards the panasonic LX8 if the rumors on it are true

Ian B.

Locale: PNW
Re: Re: Re: Absolutely! on 06/24/2014 09:21:24 MDT Print View

Costco has an older version of the RX100 if you want to handle one. I found that I liked the zoom on the Lumix they had there better. The fact that it's 1/2 the cost doesn't hurt its sales pitch.

Billy Ray
(rosyfinch) - M

Locale: the mountains
Re: Re: Re: Re: Absolutely! on 06/24/2014 09:23:19 MDT Print View

Yes... beyond the technical specs, price, pic quality, and durability there is the question of ergonomics... for instance... with the view finder popped up at the upper left corner... something you're going to us a lot with bright light outdoor photography... where does your left hand find a grip???? Being able to grip the camera securely is important to photo quality and not dropping this expensive jewel...


Bradford Rogers
(Mocs123) - MLife

Locale: Southeast Tennessee
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Absolutely! on 09/03/2014 08:45:08 MDT Print View

I picked up a used RX100 v1 in July and just got back from a week in the wind river range with it and can't say enough good things about it. I am not a photographer and every single one of my shots turned out great. This is better then my canon S90 was.

One more thing of note, I took 370 pictures and 2 videos and the original battery still showed full charge. I could get ~275 shots per Canon S90 battery.

Mark Verber
(verber) - MLife

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: is the sony rx100 worth it? on 09/03/2014 14:04:29 MDT Print View

Worth it? My short answer is yes.

Why? The RX100 is the only pocket size camera that I have been happy with the image quality of pictures provided I can keep it below ISO 640 or so. Any other small camera I have tried left me feeling disappointed when I saw the images after the trip and regretting that I didn't lug a larger camera.

I have been consistently pleased with the quality of the RX100 images. Landscape or people shots during the day are near or as good as any I have taken with a DSLR. If I need to low light, super wide, or use very long lens then I bring a DSLR or high end mirror less.

For what it's worth, found that the RX100 didn't match some of the better mirror less on the market but I found it superior to some mirrorless cameras including the Nikon and Panasonic GF4.


Gerry Brucia
(taedawood) - MLife

Locale: Louisiana, USA
RX 100 on 09/14/2014 18:20:45 MDT Print View

Do any of you RX100 owners miss having a true zoom (say 20x) function when using the RX100 backpacking? That is the one thing that keeps me from pulling the trigger on one. 3X is simply not much zoom in my opinion and I like to zoom in on things when hiking.

Brendan S
(brendans) - MLife

Locale: Fruita CO
Re: RX 100 on 09/14/2014 18:46:10 MDT Print View

Gerry if you're looking for longer reach than the RX100 but want the benefits of the larger sensor, check out the RX10 or especially the new panasonic FZ1000. Both have a 1" sensor like the RX100 and will give significantly better image quality than most superzooms.

Jeffrey Wong
(kayak4water) - MLife

Locale: Pacific NW
I like my RX100 I on 09/16/2014 00:52:48 MDT Print View

I like my RX100 I. You can find it for under half what I paid. I keep learning more as I use it. I learned about auto ISO and how to turn it off today. The weight severely undercuts my old Rebel xti and with more pixels. I like to use the video but I don't always pan well, etc.

Manual focus is pretty decent. I haven't felt the need to upgrade to the II or III. Certainly, we all like 24 mm equivalent--your decision. Eventually, we'll have full frame compacts, just wait.

I can almost justify bringing a 1.5 lb tripod at its 8 oz weight,.

Only drawback: an enthusiast cam should be filter ready. I expect to make a DIY adapter for use with a polarizer/warming/ND filter.


Edited by kayak4water on 09/16/2014 01:03:19 MDT.