“Sony Cyber-Shot RX100 Mark II Review” plus 1 more Digital Photography…

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Sony Cyber-Shot RX100 Mark II Review

Posted: 02 Nov 2013 12:37 PM PDT

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Welcome to Mark II of the Sony Cyber-Shot RX100, a neat, surprising camera that could sit happily alongside an upper level snapper (like a dslr) in the camera bag. Unsurprisingly, it is priced at the upper level of compact digicams.

It has a reasonably fast Carl Zeiss f1.8, 3.6x optical zoom, imaging to a 20.2 million pixel CMOS, enabling the capture of a maximum image size of 5472×3080, leading to a 46x26cm print.

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Video can be captured in AVHCD or MPEG4, up to a Full HD 1920×1080 pixel resolution.

Yes, you can shoot still shots in the middle of a video recording but with a click or two on the audio.

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The body is made from aluminium and has a tiltable (up/down) LCD screen that responds to touch commands as well as tilting up by 84 degrees and down by 45 degrees. There is a (pricey) turret viewfinder to allow clear viewing in bright light that fits into the camera’s hot shoe; this shoe also accepts a clip on LCD screen, external flash or a microphone adaptor.

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Sony Cyber-Shot RX100 Mark II Features

The camera control layout follows the usual Sony pattern: at extreme left is the flash cell; centre of the top surface is the multi interface shoe (or ‘hot shoe’); to the right is the power button, zoom lever and shutter button; nearby is the mode dial with positions for intelligent and superior auto exposure (!), PASM, movie, memory recall, sweep panorama and scene selection (presets for portrait, sports, macro, fireworks etc).

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Rear: the familiar movie record button is on the top right corner; beneath it is a really useful Function button that offers exposure correction, ISO setting, AWB, the D-RANGE Optimiser and access to a wide range of effects … such as posterisation, pop colour, partial colour, retro, toy camera effect (in colorisations such as cool, warm, green, magenta). You could spend days with this item!

The D-Range Optimiser shoots a bracket of three shots with different exposures; the camera then overlays the bright area s of the under exposed image and the dark areas of the over exposed image to create an image with improved gradation. A single image with the ideal range is saved.

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Nearby is the menu button which displays a super wide range of options. Newbies should pay deep attention to this menu … it all happens here! If you find a specific function is not working properly, it’s most likely because a ‘box’ in the menu has not been ticked!

Lower is the control wheel. Here you can select options for flash, self timer, burst shooting and exposure compensation. If your camera happens to be set to auto or intelligent auto you can access a range of picture effects, change image brightness, colour etc.

The central button of the control wheel locks in tracking focus to the subject nearest centre frame.

Lower still is the replay button and one which doubles as the image trash action and gives access to a useful information bank. I guess the latter gives the game away with the RX100: it is really a high priced beginners’ camera! Oh well!

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Sony, IMHO, has by far the best sweep panorama feature of all compact digicams: you can pan right, left, up or down and capture panos in enormous sizes. Like: 12,416×1856 pixels!

NFC

This is also Sony’s first NFC camera. Wassat?

Near Field Communication is designed to enable users to instantly share images with other NFC capable devices, such as Android smartphones, tablets, laptops or even TV.

The company’s strategy behind NFC is to simplify the connection of its RX100 II to smart devices. Once connected, users can remotely control the camera’s shutter release from the mobile device, quickly receive the captured image via WiFi and upload the transferred images straightaway to a social networking site.

But is NFC just Bluetooth or Wifi? Maybe.

Take a look at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Near_field_communication for more info.

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Distortion

No problems at either end of the zoom. A well corrected lens.

Startup

In just a little over two seconds the camera came to life after the power was tapped. Then I was able to fire off a run of shots as fast as I could tap the button.

Sony Cyber-Shot RX100 Mark II Review ISO Tests

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At ISO 1600 sharpness dropped off slightly but noise was low. By ISO 6400 these factors were a little worse. By ISO 12800 sharpness was down further and noise up — but not by a large factor.

Sony Cyber-Shot RX100 Mark II Review Verdict

Quality: just above average.
Why you would buy the Sony Cyber-Shot RX100 Mark II: compact; fast Zeiss lens.
Why you wouldn’t buy the Sony Cyber-Shot RX100 Mark II: limited zoom range for your needs; LCD screen tilts are limited.

A surprising package in such a tiny body.

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I felt the manuals to be inadequate: aside from a 37 page PDF basic guide in English and a Web-based user guide with no search facility, that was all. For a camera at this price level you could at least expect at least a decent searchable PDF manual.

Otherwise, a very good performance.

Sony Cyber-Shot RX100 Mark II Specifications

Image Sensor: 20.2 million effective pixels.
Metering: Multi pattern, centre-weighted, spot.
Exposure Modes: Auto, Program AE, shutter and aperture priority, manual.
Sensor Size: 13.2×8.8mm Exmor R CMOS.
Lens: Carl Zeiss Vario Sonnar T* f1.8-4.9/10.4-37.1mm (28-100mm as 35 SLR equivalent).
Shutter Speed: 30 to 1/2000 second.
Continuous Shooting: 2.5, 10 fps.
Memory: Memory Stick Duo, PRO Duo/PRO-HG Duo/SD/SDHC/SDXC and Micro SD/SDHC cards.
Image Sizes (pixels): 5472×3080 to 2592×1944.
Movies (pixels): 1920×1080, 1440×1080, 640×480.
LCD Screen: 7.6cm LCD (1,229,000 pixels).
Colour Space: sRGB, Adobe RGB.
File Formats: JPEG, RAW, JPEG+RAW, AVCHD, MPEG4.
ISO Sensitivity: Auto, 160 to 25600.
Interface: USB 2.0, micro HDMI, WiFi, DC, remote.
Power: Rechargeable lithium ion battery, DC input.
Dimensions: 102x58x38 WHDmm.
Weight: 281 g (with battery and card).
Price: get your hands on a Sony DSC-RX100M II Cyber-shot at Amazon here.

Post originally from: digital photography Tips.

Check out our more Photography Tips at Photography Tips for Beginners, Portrait Photography Tips and Wedding Photography Tips.

Sony Cyber-Shot RX100 Mark II Review

The post Sony Cyber-Shot RX100 Mark II Review by Barrie Smith appeared first on Digital Photography School.

Breaking Down the Creative Process

Posted: 02 Nov 2013 08:37 AM PDT

I’ve been thinking quite a bit lately about the creative process. When we talk about “creativity,” people generally end up putting themselves into one of two categories– creative or not creative. I’m always amused– and a bit leery– when people who consider themselves creative say that they have no creative process. That ideas “just come” to them. I’m not buying it. I can’t help but ask if ideas really do just come to them, or have they refined and streamlined their process to the point that they don’t even recognize it as a process? And if there really is a process, can someone who thinks they aren’t creative follow a series of steps that can help them become creative? The truth is, everyone has creative potential.

Graham Wallas (1858-1932) was an English social psychologist and co-founder of the London School of Economics. In Art of Thought – The Model of Creativity, written in 1926, Wallas broke down what we now refer to as the “creative process” into four distinct stages– Preparation, Incubation, Illumination, and Implementation. I’ve seen his approach described in several sources recently and over the years, but few ever seem to give any proper credit to the source material, espousing these thoughts and concepts as if they were original ideas. And so, Graham Wallas– this one’s for you, with my thanks.

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Preparation

It sounds simple, and maybe a bit obvious, but this first step really does lay the foundation for the entire process. Writers write, read, research, and revise. Musicians practice and rehearse. They listen to music– sometimes their own, sometimes that of their influences. Painters experiment with color and visit museums. They sketch. As a photographer, what are you doing to prepare? Do you have influences and inspiration? Do you look to other art forms? How will you nurture an idea once it’s formed? We all draw from different emotional resources, but one thing that every creative has in common at this stage in the process is that the steps can actually be pretty boring. We may enjoy walking through museums or scouting locations, and they may get the creative juices flowing,  but they are not the exciting part of the process. Preparation is, quite simply, evaluating your creative options and beginning to come up with a plan.

Incubation

For me, this is where the fun begins– partially because half the time I don’t even realize it’s happening.  This is the stage where those first hints of a hopefully great idea are bouncing around in my head.  This is when I’m sitting in the car at a red light and happen to notice how the sun is hitting an object.  This is the stage when I’m flipping through a magazine  and an off-handed remark in an article brings the whole project into focus (no pun intended).  During the incubation step your conscious AND subconscious minds are working on the idea.  Wallas talked about the incubation stage being one where no real direct thought was given to the project or idea. Have you ever tried forcing an idea? It doesn’t usually work, right? Just like you sometimes have to take a break and clear your head, diverting your thoughts to other problems or projects– or to nothing at all– during the incubation stage may be just what you need for you to find yourself at…

Illumination

This is the “A-hah!” moment.  When this moment hits, your creative urge is so strong that you just have to get the idea out of your head and into its medium (camera, canvas, paper, etc.)– usually to the point that you have no problem ignoring or losing track of everything else going on around you.  The biggest problem with my illumination moments is that they usually happen at the most inconvenient times (in the shower, driving, middle of the night, etc.). It’s going to happen when it happens. You’ve had all these preparatory elements bouncing around– incubating– inside your head that when they do finally snap into a coherent form, it’s almost like the wheels on a Vegas slot machine coming to rest in perfect alignment.

Implementation

This is where your idea sees the light of day.  You’re taking conscious, positive steps towards executing your idea. Remember, though, that implementation in and of itself does not mean that your idea is going to be a success. This is also the point where a good creative begins to evaluate the idea and determine whether it was a good or bad idea.  Until you have something tangible to show for your idea, it’s almost impossible to decide whether this theoretical notion you’ve been nurturing through the process can be a success.  How many times has the idea or image in your head not matched the photo in your camera?  For every great idea, there are several I wish I’d never had.

Bringing it All Together

Obviously, we’re not talking about flow charts or checklists. Each of these “steps” is really more like part of a gradient– soft edges overlapping as you move from dark to light. As you know from your own experience, sometimes this process runs start-to-finish in the blink of an eye, but it can also take weeks. You just never know. While they may not always be clearly defined as you process each idea or project, it can be extremely helpful knowing what they are and how to identify them. Being able to recognize where you are on a creative journey can often be the confidence boost you need to see something through from preparation to implementation.

Post originally from: Digital Photography Tips.

Check out our more Photography Tips at Photography Tips for Beginners, Portrait Photography Tips and Wedding Photography Tips.

Breaking Down the Creative Process

The post Breaking Down the Creative Process by Jeff Guyer appeared first on Digital Photography School.

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