I have long dreamt of the ability to video-blog my life in a cinematic yet low-profile way. To me, this means the ability to attain shallow depth-of-field, clean low light performance, and full manual controls. And everything has to be able to disappear into my pockets so I can look cool in clubs and avoid the Asian Tourist Effect (ATE).
Sony has recently dropped a bombshell on the point-and-shoot camera world with the DSC-RX100. Ideally, I would love to carry two of these at all times and be able to record spontaneous conversations cinematically. Imagine the documentary possibilities.
Here’s why it’s special:
Tiny Size – Like, really small. It will easily fit in a jeans pocket, which to me often means the difference between bringing a camera or leaving it at home. Competitors like the Nikon J1 and Canon G1x are not easily jeans-pocketable.
The RX100 goes well with great hair.
Larger Image Sensor – This is the first point-and-shoot cam with a 1″ sensor, which is about 4x larger than your typical point-and-shoot CMOS chip. Bigger sensor means excellent pics/videos in low light and attractively defocused backgrounds (bokeh). While the effect is most obvious in macro shots, here is a shot that represents more “normal” cinematic shooting conditions:
Any other p&s camera would give you a sharp background.
Full Manual Control in Video Mode – Until now, almost all point-and-shoot cameras were crippled in their video abilities due to a lack of manual controls. Now you can use aperture priority mode to keep the aperture open and background soft. To keep the shutter speed at a cinematic 1/50 sec in bright light, however, you’ll need an ND filter. This camera doesn’t take filters yet, but the folks at cheesycam are working on an aftermarket solution.
Slow Motion – This camera only shoots at 60fps, so in editing you can choose to either throw away the extra frames and create normal 24p or 30p, or you can make any shot into smooth slow motion.
Image Stabilization – While I have heard the stabilization in this camera isn’t as effective as that in their other offerings such as the HX9v, it nonetheless is an indispensable tool when shooting with such a small camera.
There is no mic input, so you’ll still have to post-sync your sound.
For a full review of the RX100’s cinematic capabilities, go here: