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SONY DSC-RX100 Usability Issues


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#1 Interceptor121

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Posted 26 October 2012 - 02:06 AM

I have sent this today to Sony customer service in UK. I am surprised that all the raving reviews of the 'experts' have not noted those issues.

Hi there
I just bought this camera to replace my Sanyo Xacti. I am surprised that some basic features are lacking or are excluded from Movie mode:
1. Autofocus lock. This is an important movie feature when shooting on a tripod. As is the camera tries to focus on whatever is passing by. The only alternative is manual focus. This is really poor.
2. Exposure Lock. There is no exposure lock in movie mode in P,A or S more the camera changes shutter speed and aperture whilst shooting. This is terrible for movies. You can lock an exposure in movie mode using M but that is a lot of work
3. Custom White balance set not present in Movie mode. So I need to put the camera in camera more to set the custom white balance and then change to video to recall it. This is awful ergonomics
4. Only tracking focus available in video mode. Why????

I used my Xacti for underwater videos and I am now concerned using this Sony. The continuous auto focus makes it sometimes unusable underwater. The lack of easy white balance makes it difficult to use. And without exposure lock the camera changes brightness of the footage.

Those are basic features that any camera worth £100 has. Why on earth this camera that costs nearly £500 does not have those????


Edited by Interceptor121, 27 October 2012 - 01:26 AM.

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#2 SPP

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Posted 26 October 2012 - 03:45 AM

Set the middle TriNav as MANUAL focus. So focus lock is one button away. At the same time activate the peaking if you want, automatically chosen when in MANUAL FOCUS. As long as 1 button press is the mode to choose MANUAL focus, its as good as focus lock.

Exposure lock, I can't help you but I would think spot metering can replace exposure mode, to some extend.

Custom WB in Movie Mode, see attached, it exist in all 4 movie modes.

Perhaps you lock out some WB features no ?


Have fun..............

Attached Images

  • Movie Mode Custom WB.JPG


#3 Interceptor121

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Posted 26 October 2012 - 05:34 AM

Oh dear. I did not actually ask for workarounds. They indeed exist for all the issues however they involve at least 3 clicks and even mode dial changes for something any other camera does in one click. Besides in Movie mode with program shutter or aperture the front ring and the shutter are not used so plenty of option to implement at least focus lock

For what concerns custom white balance that setting that you are showing here is TO RECALL a custom white balance you have already set in camera mode. So to set custom white balance you need to go into camera mode fn dial set custom white balance then move to video mode and select fn custom white balance to use it. What a waste of time.
Oh before you come with the idea of shooting movies in camera mode, the camera behaves differently if you shoot a movie from camera manual mode or if you shoot from movie mode manual. If you do it in camera Manual Mode (Dial setting M) it actually change shutter speed and aperture to its liking...!

There are plenty of unused buttons in Movie mode I am sure with a firmware update most issues can be fixed:
1. Add single AF mode
2. Add SET custom white balance to all menus
3. Implement focus lock on the shutter button

Exposure lock is more tricky but can actually be done in Movie Mode Shutter/Aperture submode which is acceptable

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#4 SPP

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Posted 26 October 2012 - 07:00 AM

Aha I see, got what u mean on the Custom White Balance to choose as you wish based on 1 special button.
Since the deeper you go the custom white balance value will change, what good a dedicated custom WB button if only with 1 memory space?
Will be nice if we have say 3 custom setting and can name them say 10 - 15 - 25 meters........he he he.
The RX100 has memory mode MR, cant you use that for your Custom WB , yep before recording start.

By having MANUAL VIDEO mode and MANUAL PHOTO mode, that is good thing since each mode control different camera designation/function.
I don't know much about Sanyo Xacti, when they were 1st introduce it is more of a video camera than a still camera. Perhaps today it has expanded much. RX100 is opposite, it is a still camera with great video capability, that u got to keep in mind.

Focus lock or better MANUAL FOCUS dedicated button is available on NEX7 but since I program my RX100 middle Tri-Nav as MANUAL FOCUS, its very fast to use and its within Tri-Nav navigation buttons, so me thumb need not go anywhere else.

The RX100 AF is great, as good as NEX7 if not better due to brighter kit lens.
I don't know how Sanyo X focus performance is.
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#5 kc_moses

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Posted 26 October 2012 - 12:44 PM

Hmm.... I haven't play around with RX100 since none of the store here carry it and I can only order online. I do plan to visit New York next month so may be I can stop by B&H or Adorama to play with the RX100

But I have the HX30V. The custom white balance setting is not that hard. For that camera, the dial has to be in Video mode first, then using the custom button, I can bring up the white balance menu. The video mode should always be in "ISO" mode, so from the white balance menu, I can use the "Set" feature. All in all, it's a two click for me. (Custom button + Set).

Outside of Video mode, if I'm in P, A, or M, there is no way to set the video setting. If I press the red Record button, it just start recording movie. I think best way is to always keep the camera in video/movie mode, then when you see something interesting, set your white balance, begin record. As the creature get more interesting, just press the shutter to take a picture while the movie is in recording. Now I'm just speaking for the HX30v. I'm not sure if you can take a RAW picture while you're in the middle of recording video.

As far as auto tracking, I can press the "set" button to set auto tracking on and off. So technically, you can start the recording, once the subject is focus, you can press the set button to turn off auto tracking and as long as you're not moving around, your subject should still be in focus. I really with I can get my hand on a RX100 to play with. They don't have online usual manual for the RX100 right?

Like SPP said, the RX100 is camera first, video second. The Sanya is still the best when come to video usability especially consider it's a 5 years old video cam. The menu system in Sanyo is straight forward. If it's not because the Sanyo has bad IS and lousy photo quality, I wouldn't upgrade especially the Sanyo can do 1080p at 60fps.

#6 Interceptor121

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Posted 26 October 2012 - 01:11 PM

The memory mode is a combination of modes you could use the various settings to jump from one to another keeping at least the mode dial still is painful

Setting the custom white balance in video mode is not possible on the RX100 you need to go to a camera mode and come back to use it

In general those basic features AF lock, exposure lock, custom white balance are easy to access on cameras worth 150$. It is a shame that in video mode program shutter or aperture mode the RX100 does not use either the front ring or the shutter to bring those functions easily to life

The excuse this is more a camera are poor, camcorders are disappearing, compact camera eat into that segment and sony knows it otherwise would have not come up with all the other features for video

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#7 kkfok

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Posted 26 October 2012 - 02:09 PM

Sony alpha series cameras have the same restriction in setting custom white balance in movie mode. I think the problem may be caused by RX100 is using almost the same menu as alpha cameras.

#8 SPP

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Posted 26 October 2012 - 06:26 PM

I was playing with exposure lock because 121 mentioned it.
The middle of Tri-Nav control can be set to AE lock, AF/MF and 2 more features. I choose AF/MF. It is after all a Function button and can be set to suit one's need.
My use for RX100 is UW video, so AE lock I will not bother.
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#9 Interceptor121

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Posted 27 October 2012 - 01:01 AM

Good tip the AEL

For UW video you exactly need exposure lock...


I was playing with exposure lock because 121 mentioned it.
The middle of Tri-Nav control can be set to AE lock, AF/MF and 2 more features. I choose AF/MF. It is after all a Function button and can be set to suit one's need.
My use for RX100 is UW video, so AE lock I will not bother.
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Edited by Interceptor121, 27 October 2012 - 01:17 AM.

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#10 SPP

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Posted 27 October 2012 - 10:58 PM

Nope, I don't want AE lock and get disgusting sun ball when I shoot come-what-may-unplanned. I make personal video for fun and not staged shots.
I have faith in RX100 MULTI area metering system, I know its area of weakness. You try it and tell me what u think. RX100 shares near the same as NEX7 AE and its great.
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#11 kc_moses

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Posted 28 October 2012 - 07:45 AM

Hmm.... I'm still learning the capability of the RX100, not having one in the store for me to play with is really hard to tell if it would suit my need. At the mean time, I'm can see many of the advantage that the HX30V have over the RX100, for it being more user friendly, allowing me focus on the dive and looking for marine creature rather than finding my way in the camera while diving.

Here is an example of the Tracking lock feature in the HX30v when shooting video:


Let me know if you're interested in its custom white balance ease of setting while shooting video. This camera however do not offer offer shutter speed control in video mode. But it offer a fast motion and normal motion mode.

Also, I just found this as I was looking for "HX30V vs RX100" in video comparison:

The HX30v is improvement over HX9V. I was shock at the image stabilization of the HX is better then the RX, as if it's on the fly came. If you're Video first then Photo second (like I do), I think the HX30v may be a better solution.

I don't think Sony will ever make the video mode more user friendly in the higher end model camera as they won't want their own camera produce compete with their video camera product.