For the last few years I’ve used a Sony RX100M3 as the camera I could always have with me. It is small and will fit in a trouser pocket at a pinch and easily in a jacket pocket. It has a 1″ sensor and although the image quality it produces is okay, it isn’t great. Compared to the APS-C sensors in my Fuji cameras, it is pretty poor and that has bugged me ever since I got it.
When I made the original purchase, size was the biggest issue. I wanted something to easily carry round and the best I could find was the RX100M3. Size wise, it is just about perfect. But the actual task it is required to perform, is a bit of a let down. I am pretty picky when it comes to photographs, I know the subject and composition are the important aspects, but I also want it to be sharp when needed.
Compared to the Fuji’s which are an absolute joy, this one is unengaging and was just a means to and end; I took no pleasure from using it. However, it did the job in a fashion and I really shouldn’t complain.
For years I’ve hankered after a full frame camera. The size of the sensor is much larger than the Fuji APS-C and as such has some advantages that I really wanted to try out. However, full frame cameras are usually a lot more expensive and I’ve never gone down that route, particularly as Fuji don’t make one and I didn’t want to move away from that brand.
Then one day, Sony announced a new compact interchangeable lens full frame camera that got my attention. Could this be the camera I’ve been waiting for? When I saw the announcement, together with some product photos and specifications, I started to get excited. Full frame – tick. Compact – tick. High end specification – tick. What more could I wish for?
I took the plunge and ordered one. It would be my new carry round camera and one I would use for travel. I ordered it from China and got a big discount but I had to wait nearly two weeks for it to arrive. I was so excited to get it I did something my wife gave me grief for; I made a little paper model of it, life size, that I put on my desk so I could visualise my new toy while it made its way in my direction.
When it did arrive, I realised it certainly isn’t pocketable, except in a jacket. But I forgive it because the picture quality is amazing. It is small for full frame, in fact it is the smallest in the world, and it has all the features I could want. It doesn’t have the analogue dials of the Fuji’s unfortunately, and I miss that a lot, but it is easy to use and I am looking forwards to getting out, after lockdown, and having a play. Better still, I hope we can go on holiday next year (Covid permitting) and use it in earnest.
I sold another camera I wasn’t using to help fund the purchase, but it has wiped me out of spare funds. I’ll recover and at least I have something to show, and be able to take pleasure from, for my money.
As with all new cameras these days, they are so complex and have so many settings options, it took me about eight hours to go through them all in the camera and set it up the way I want. Also to understand what options there are so I can use it to its full extent. There was a time when a new camera came with a 12 page pamphlet, 8 pages of which were instructions about how to take a photograph successfully and the sunny 16 rule. Nowadays, the manual is over 300 pages long and there is no getting away from the need to invest some time to get to know it, particularly if you are unfamiliar with the brand.
I’m now ready and raring to go. No doubt I will update my website with the photos when I have some and look forward to the response.