So not long after I declared my temporary war on digital SLRs I had a chance to lay my hands on a relatively decent compact camera: Sony RX100.
Since the camera has been out for some year and a half now, I’ll skip the technical details as there are some detailed reviews out there. What I was interested in the most was to see how the camera performs without processing photographs externally, the results are quite spectacular, see below:
Built in processing (‘toy camera’) filters
High tonal range from intelligent HDR
HDR effect – although this is the most dramatic version, middle and low are also applicable
Comparison between a single image and extended tonal range above
The built in panorama mode processes images in less than 30 seconds and 3 out of 5 times my panoramas were correct despite rather dynamic image in front of me (if you zoom in close enough you will see some mild discrepancies but if used for landscapes I am sure this will not be visible).
Compared with processing several 20mb RAW images in Photoshop – pretty good I might say.
Good tonal range (note how the details in the black areas are still visible
Another HDR examples. Although the statue looks like badly overdone Photoshop , I am more than happy with the Marischal college building (this was done using the medium-detailed hdr instead of high).
The image below is an example of the built in filter which attempts to mimic the tilt-shift effect. Far off from the real thing but a good alternative for everyone fond off the Instagram filters.
So picking up where I left previously: this camera would not stand a chance in replacing a dSLR in studio environment, but it’s more than capable of producing decent images on the go: no need for Photoshop.
The current price is somewhere around £350 which might be a little expensive for compact camera but still nowhere close to getting a decent lens with good focal length for a DSLR. More tests to follow.