Is One Inch Enough?

Damaged beauty in bed... ;)

Damaged beauty in bed… 😉


Got myself a Sony RX100 Mark 3 compact digital camera. Read all about it here. It is compact enough to stick into a jacket pocket while motorcycling. Still, it has many advanced features. First to mention among them is the pop-up EVF (electronic viewfinder) that allows proper framing, not this holding-at-arms-length nonsense. They found place for a little (minuscule, actually) pop-up flash on the upper deck, too, that is good for fill-in. It does RAW as well as JPEGs, and the color space can be set to Adobe RGB. It has a 24-70 equivalent mm Carl Zeiss designed zoom lens (a feature I’m missing with the Ricoh GR) that deploys in a PG18-rated fashion from a pancake size.
So far, so good. But it has a one inch sensor. See if you can spot the results in the following screenshots from the RAWs being developed in Apple Aperture. We start with the lead photo. As always, pictures are clickable for full-size.
Fill-in flash at 800 ISO. With a beauty like that, you don't look for eyelash sharpness, but for string sharpness (focus lies between the two pickups). It is there, in a good compromise with shadow noise.

Fill-in flash at 800 ISO. With a beauty like that, you don’t look for eyelash sharpness, but for string sharpness (focus lies between the two pickups). It is there, in a good compromise with shadow noise.


And a photo 100 ISO lower:
"Glass of wine, bottle of red"... Yeah, Billy Joel...

“Glass of wine, bottle of red”… Yeah, Billy Joel…


At 400 ISO, not bad, but not devoid of shadow noise, either.

At 400 ISO, not bad, but not devoid of shadow noise, either.


ISO 200 works fine, ISO 125 and 80 show compression artifacts, take my word for it. I’ve excluded the latter two settings from the Auto-ISO range. What about high ISO?
This crab-like object is my motorbike at night on a thoroughfare.

This crab-like object is my motorbike at night on a thoroughfare.


That's actually not bad for a 6400 ISO night shot from a 1" sensor!

That’s actually not bad for a 6400 ISO night shot from a 1″ sensor!


So, the verdict: The Sony RX100 Mark 3 is surprisingly useable for a lot of subjects, brilliant at high ISO and good enough “in between” if you’re not viewing everything at 100% and counting ants.

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