The Sony RX100 at Dublin Zoo [USER REVIEW] - Digital Photography School
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The Sony RX100 at Dublin Zoo [USER REVIEW]

by Sarah Hipwell

It’s been about four years since my last visit to the zoo. Last week my two girls had a break from school so I decided to take them along with my Mum for a day out to visit the animals at Dublin Zoo. I brought my trusty new Sony RX100 and as a backup I brought my Nikon D300 DSLR. In the end the D300 camera didn’t come out of my bag!

Sony rx100

I really wanted to test out the RX100 and see how well this compact camera performed in the wild!

Actually, I had been interested in purchasing a compact camera for a while now. My husband has taken some great shots with his Retina iPhone. But I don’t have an iPhone nor do I particularly like smartphones per se.

With any camera that you choose, there will always be trade-offs. I find the D300 to be a little cumbersome not to mention heavy. There are just times when a handy compact is all you want, but you still want quality shots. Enter the Sony RX100. It was launched last year and has received glowing reviews.

And rightfully so!

The price did seem a little steep but the more I read about this camera, the more I wanted it! So I decided to trade in my Nikkor 28mm lens against the purchase of the camera. I also have a 18-200mm lens so it wasn’t any hardship to lose the 20mm.

The moment we got to the zoo I put my RX100 on my sling strap. This was ideal. I haven’t enjoyed taking photos in this way for such a long time. It was pure point and shoot from the word go. I did decide to leave it on Manual mode for most of the time. I like to be able to adjust Aperture/Shutter speed/ISO quickly and the RX100 has a Function button which provides easy access to ISO settings when needed.

I had previously seen a wonderful photo of Asian lion, a recent addition to the Dublin Zoo. I was looking forward to taking a few shots of him but somehow I managed to miss my opportunity. However, I get a few nice shots of this magnificent Tiger shown below.

NewImage

The seals were a treat to watch too. Their keeper explained a bit about these creatures and how they train them. I wanted to test the HD video quality and I was blown away by the quality, here is a screengrab that I took as a still.

NewImage

The zoom feature on the RX100 was a real surprise. I wasn’t expecting much but it turned out to be quite impressive. Here’s a couple of shots that I took of the giraffes, standing from the same spot. See below.

NewImage

Next were the Gorillas. Every time I see these primates, I’m in awe. I think it’s because we, as in humans, look so similar. I just love the expression on this gorilla’s face. See below.

NewImage

My favorite feature so far on the RX100 is the macro ability, especially as it can open to f1.8

Here is an example of a close up of this snake in the reptile house at f2.5. See below.

NewImage

The camera also packs a 1 inch large sensor with 20 million effective pixels.

I’m still getting use to this camera but it is my go to camera for the moment. All in all, the Sony RX100 is a very nice, light and powerful compact camera.

Get a price on the Sony RX100 at Amazon.

Learn more about this camera with our previous full review of the Sony RX100.

See more of Sarah Hipwell’s work at her website – SarahHipwell.com

Summary
Reviewer
Sarah Hipwell
Review Date
Reviewed Item
The Sony RX100
Author Rating
5

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  • Jack Clarfelt

    I too have a Sony RX100 and am also impressed with the quality of the photos. I took it with me on a holiday to Florida to visit nature reserves earlier this month. Previously I have taken my Nikon D90, the difference of not having to lug around a heavy DSLR and lens was considerable but the difference in the photos was infinitesimal. I mixed this years and last years photos on the computer and no one was able to guess correctly which were Nikon and which were Sony. My Nikon is heading for Ebay!

  • Daniel

    Firstly thank you for your article, I love Dublin Zoo :)

    In regards to the camera however – there is some serious edges fringing in the picture with a seal – I am assuming it’s result of a zoom, but if it’s visible on such a small picture, I can’t imagine what it’s like full screen!

    Secondary, the colours seem quite washed-out for my liking, even without any postprocessing I’d expect nicer result. My old Panasonic TZ-20 with much smaller sensor creates pictures with much more “pop”.

    Finally, I believe Zoo is the place that really belongs to a long lens, that let you capture close and personal with animals. Vibrant, complementing colours & action. Maybe not the best place for a compact ?

    Wicklow mountains – would probably be more fair for a little Sony :)

  • http://www.sarahhipwell.com Sarah Hipwell

    Hi Daniel,

    You are quite correct about ‘edge fringing’ in the picture of the seal. I did zoom but the quality of the video on the Sony surpasses the video quality on my previous compact. As I live near the Wicklow mountains, I may test out my Sony on my next trip! :-)

    Regards,
    Sarah

  • Carlos Comesañas

    What is an “edge fringing“? I am reading this in my note and I can’t find a thing.

  • http://www.sarahhipwell.com Sarah Hipwell

    Hi Carlos,

    Otherwise known as chromatic aberration(colored-edge fringe), where a subject is photographed against a lighter background(high contrast). This can result in a halo effect or fringe around the edges of the subject.

    Regards,
    Sarah

  • http://jimmartinphotoblog.blogspot.de/ Jim

    Thank you for your report. The RX100 is indeed quite a camera.
    I also tested it against (or with) the Sony A77 at the zoo recently and published this report: http://jimmartinphotoblog.blogspot.de/2013/03/testing-sony-rx100-at-zoo.html
    The CAs can be corrected with one click in Lightroom 4 (or 5). Good thing, because it is a problem with that camera – and with most lenses on SLTs or DSLRs if the aperture is too wide open. Stop it down a bit (to f5.6 or more) to help rid you of the fringing.

  • Susanta Lahiry

    I like to have comparison SONY RX 100 with NIKON COOLPIX S6500. Further any software is there to edit AUDIO content of Digital photography.Thank you for detailing review of SONY RX100.

    SUSANTA LAHIRY

  • http://sony-cyber-shot-dsc-rx100-camera.blogspot.com/ Matt Raimy

    I bought this SONY RX-100 camera and It’s really awesome, I found a cheaper price here:
    It has also a real world review and sample images & features comparison!

    http://j.gs/2082006/sony-rx100

  • http://vraagisprijs.nl/ Truck Refinance

    I’m a writer from Besan?on, France just forwarded this onto a coworker who was running a little research on this. And she in fact bought me lunch simply because I stumbled upon it for her… lol. So allow me to reword this…. Thanks for the food… But yeah, thanx for spending some time to talk about this subject here on your web site.

Some older comments

  • Truck Refinance

    June 20, 2013 07:29 pm

    I'm a writer from Besan?on, France just forwarded this onto a coworker who was running a little research on this. And she in fact bought me lunch simply because I stumbled upon it for her... lol. So allow me to reword this.... Thanks for the food... But yeah, thanx for spending some time to talk about this subject here on your web site.

  • Matt Raimy

    June 16, 2013 07:25 pm

    I bought this SONY RX-100 camera and It's really awesome, I found a cheaper price here:
    It has also a real world review and sample images & features comparison!

    http://j.gs/2082006/sony-rx100

  • Susanta Lahiry

    May 31, 2013 11:00 pm

    I like to have comparison SONY RX 100 with NIKON COOLPIX S6500. Further any software is there to edit AUDIO content of Digital photography.Thank you for detailing review of SONY RX100.

    SUSANTA LAHIRY

  • Jim

    May 31, 2013 06:43 am

    Thank you for your report. The RX100 is indeed quite a camera.
    I also tested it against (or with) the Sony A77 at the zoo recently and published this report: http://jimmartinphotoblog.blogspot.de/2013/03/testing-sony-rx100-at-zoo.html
    The CAs can be corrected with one click in Lightroom 4 (or 5). Good thing, because it is a problem with that camera - and with most lenses on SLTs or DSLRs if the aperture is too wide open. Stop it down a bit (to f5.6 or more) to help rid you of the fringing.

  • Sarah Hipwell

    May 31, 2013 02:32 am

    Hi Carlos,

    Otherwise known as chromatic aberration(colored-edge fringe), where a subject is photographed against a lighter background(high contrast). This can result in a halo effect or fringe around the edges of the subject.

    Regards,
    Sarah

  • Carlos Comesañas

    May 31, 2013 01:40 am

    What is an "edge fringing“? I am reading this in my note and I can't find a thing.

  • Sarah Hipwell

    May 28, 2013 10:05 pm

    Hi Daniel,

    You are quite correct about 'edge fringing' in the picture of the seal. I did zoom but the quality of the video on the Sony surpasses the video quality on my previous compact. As I live near the Wicklow mountains, I may test out my Sony on my next trip! :-)

    Regards,
    Sarah

  • Daniel

    May 24, 2013 09:29 pm

    Firstly thank you for your article, I love Dublin Zoo :)

    In regards to the camera however - there is some serious edges fringing in the picture with a seal - I am assuming it's result of a zoom, but if it's visible on such a small picture, I can't imagine what it's like full screen!

    Secondary, the colours seem quite washed-out for my liking, even without any postprocessing I'd expect nicer result. My old Panasonic TZ-20 with much smaller sensor creates pictures with much more "pop".

    Finally, I believe Zoo is the place that really belongs to a long lens, that let you capture close and personal with animals. Vibrant, complementing colours & action. Maybe not the best place for a compact ?

    Wicklow mountains - would probably be more fair for a little Sony :)

  • Jack Clarfelt

    May 24, 2013 06:06 pm

    I too have a Sony RX100 and am also impressed with the quality of the photos. I took it with me on a holiday to Florida to visit nature reserves earlier this month. Previously I have taken my Nikon D90, the difference of not having to lug around a heavy DSLR and lens was considerable but the difference in the photos was infinitesimal. I mixed this years and last years photos on the computer and no one was able to guess correctly which were Nikon and which were Sony. My Nikon is heading for Ebay!

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