New camera….. hopefully

Sony RX10 II 9
Sony RX10 II shoots in 4K and has a constant f2.8 aperture.

Lately I’ve been thinking more and more about creating my own videography kit; I’ve been using the cameras they provide at work and while those cameras are excellent, it’d be nice to have my own gear to use.

Admittedly I don’t know a whole lot about still cameras (I’m more of a video camera guy obviously) and what limited knowledge I do have is based purely on photography websites and youtube videos. I know enough to understand the basic terminology like shutter speed, aperture and ISO and how they work to create great image quality. My video editing and shooting skills are much better thanks to my major in college, but I was using high end dedicated camcorders, not DSLRs. But I figure what I do know would at least be enough to get me started in the right direction.

So, after many weeks of looking at different cameras — both camcorders and stills —  within my somewhat decent price range, I came across the Sony RX10.

Sony RX10

I was immediately drawn to it because a) it was a bridge camera that covered a 25-200 mm zoom range at a constant f2.8 aperture, which meant that I didn’t have to spend a ridiculous amount buying more lenses, b) it shot in 1080 60p, and c) it came with headphones and microphone jack!

Here’s a review of the Sony RX10 ny the people at The Camera Store:

On paper, this was my dream camera. The only downside I could find was its price. Currently, a new Sony RX10 cost roughly under $1000 (yikes!).

What makes the RX10 awesome?

Now obviously being a bridge camera, the RX10 has a 1-inch CMOS sensor, much smaller than other sensors found in DSLRs and mirrorless cameras. This means that the image quality won’t be nearly as high-end as say a Canon 5D. But from the picture samples I have seen, the RX10 takes amazing stills! Maybe it’s because I’m more of a video person than a stills person but  I couldn’t really tell the difference in picture quality.

Video quality however is apparently where this camera shines. Shooting at 1080 60p along with its constant f2.8 aperture, the RX10 supposedly produces superior quality video compared to other bridge cameras on the market. The only other camera comparable is the Panasonic FZ1000 (another bridge camera I was strongly considering) which shoots in 4K, has a much longer zoom range and cost roughly $400 cheaper. But it doesn’t have a constant f2.8 aperture and NO headphone jack to monitor audio.

Panasonic FZ1000

Needless to say, choosing between the two was extremely difficult.

Enter the Sony RX10 II

First announced near the end of May, the RX10 II will have all the features of the RX10 with most of the changes being made under the hood, and will have the ability to shoot in 4K! Apparently it will also have a one of a kind 1-inch stacked CMOS sensor with DRAM chip, which (I think) means that the sensor will be able to process information at a faster rate. (Don’t quote me on that).

The camera won’t come out until either July or August 2015 so it’s unclear what the specs are really like. But from what I’ve seen on youtube and based on previews and first impressions, the RX10 II will be a videographer’s dream. Once again, though, the price will be an issue: $1300! (ouch).

To be fair though, the RX10 cost that much when it first came out in 2013.

What now?

So now comes the big question: Is the RX10 II worth the high price point? To be honest, I don’t know. I’ve never spent such a high amount of money on anything and if I were to do it, it would have to be for an extremely good reason. Not to mention the accessories I’d have to get including a wireless lav mic, external audio recorder and shotgun mic. I make a decent living but is it enough to justify buying such an expensive camera and gear?

On the other hand, this camera is everything I need to create great video and pictures and I consider it more of an investment in my future as a videographer than simply a camera to keep around. Plus, I don’t want to have to rely on my work camera so often.

I know, I know. The camera doesn’t make videographer and it’s only as good as the person wielding it. That being said, the specs on this camera are hard to ignore. (Seriously, 4K!)

What is clear though is that the RX10 II will definitely be a game-changer in the bridge camera market. Will it be as great as a DSLR? Probably not, but for what I’m getting, it seems like it’s a great value! (No more buying lenses!)

I guess for now I’ll wait until the camera comes out and then decide if it’s worth a buy. Who knows? Maybe it’ll be a worthwhile investment.


Published by stonthat

Video Reporter and videographer at the Honolulu Star-Advertiser. Lover of comics, beginning photographer, master foodie.

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