Selecting the most effective journey digital camera means considering very fastidiously about what you wish to {photograph}, to not point out the place you’re going and the way a lot you’re prepared to hold. Some journeys have very particular necessities, like a protracted lens vary for a safari or a rugged physique for taking pictures round sand, snow or water. Some journeys can – or have to – accommodate a full system with a bunch of lenses, whereas others demand one thing smaller and extra discreet, in some circumstances even ready to slot in a pocket. Within the case of the latter, there’s additionally the query of whether or not your cellphone may the truth is suffice.

Certainly the most recent smartphones have killed a lot of the compact point-and-shoot digital camera market with the one fashions surviving having to supply one thing most telephones can’t but do: typically both packing a protracted optical zoom vary to succeed in distant topics or boasting a bigger sensor with respectable stabilisation to ship higher picture high quality, particularly in low gentle. For 5 generations, Sony’s RX100 collection have provided a mixture of a 1in sensor that’s roughly 4 instances bigger than most cellphone sensors, a general-purpose lens zoom, tilting display screen, respectable handbook controls and within the case of more moderen fashions, a popup viewfinder, 4k video, highly effective autofocus and sluggish movement films. With the sixth technology Sony RX100 VI although, Sony significantly prolonged the vary from 24-70mm equal to 24-200mm equal. Whereas this in flip meant utilizing a dimmer lens aperture and dropping the built-in impartial density filter beloved by vloggers and videographers, it did make the digital camera extra versatile and fascinating total – particularly to journey photographers.

To learn how sensible the digital camera could be in apply, I took it away on a 5 week, 5000 mile European journey the place I drove from Brighton within the UK to Tallinn in Estonia, earlier than boarding a ferry to Helsinki in Finland, then on one other to St Petersburg in Russia – ten nations in all, then doing your complete route in reverse to get dwelling once more. Throughout this journey it wasn’t my solely digital camera – I additionally carried a Panasonic Lumix G9 with three Leica zooms – however I used to be eager to find how a lot I may obtain with the RX100 VI alone. May this pocket digital camera actually cowl most – and even all – eventualities of a typical journey? Learn on to search out out! PS – if you happen to’re searching for an in depth report on the digital camera itself with high quality assessments, try my Sony RX100 VI evaluate.

Test costs on the Sony RX100 VI at Amazon, B&H, Adorama, or Wex. Alternatively get your self a duplicate of my In Digicam e-book or deal with me to a espresso! Thanks!


Sony RX100 VI overview

Earlier than kicking-off with my journey images, I’ll begin with my fast overview video which describes and demonstrates the important thing options of the Sony RX100 VI.





Travelling with the Sony RX100 VI


Above: The important thing promoting level of the RX100 VI is having an extended zoom vary than its predecessors with out the same old compromises of packing a giant lens right into a small physique. Many rivals sport related and even longer zooms, however their apertures are dimmer, forcing them to extend their ISO sensitivity and lose high quality. In distinction, the Sony lens, stays brighter than its long-zoom rivals and crucially delivers sharper and better distinction outcomes on the telephoto finish. It got here into its personal when visiting the zoo in Poznan, Poland, permitting me to fill the body with numerous residents.



Above: two uncropped photographs of birds at Poznan Zoo the place the 200mm attain allowed me to get a lot nearer than the 70mm of earlier fashions. On this instance, in addition to these above and under, you’re trying on the lens aperture wide-open so every provides an concept of the depth-of-field you may obtain. Like most compacts, there’s not quite a lot of blurring within the background except you get very near your topic, however it’s par for the course.



Above: the closest focusing distance of 8cm at huge or 1m at telephoto isn’t as shut as rivals with shorter ranges, however 1m at 200mm equal can nonetheless make decent-sized reproductions of small topics. I photographed this butterfly from 1m on the longest zoom and flipped the display screen as much as extra simply compose at a low top. The nearer focusing distance additionally allowed for better blurring within the background.



Above: Gdansk port photographed from atop the superb museum of Solidarity. Each photographs are from the identical place, left at 24mm and proper at 200mm, illustrating the vary at your disposal. Once more there are fashions which zoom additional nonetheless, however I discovered 200mm ample for grabbing distant particulars with out compromising the standard. Certainly I used to be very impressed by the sharpness and distinction of the lens all through its vary.



Above: Wanting down the Tramwaj Wodny from the Zielony Most, or Inexperienced Bridge in Gdansk’s previous city. This was a handheld shot in full Auto with the RX100 VI choosing a sensitivity of 6400 ISO. Inevitably there’s some softness at excessive sensitivities, however I used to be nonetheless impressed by the quantity of element current within the picture and the very fact you might so simply snap this handheld in Auto.



Above: Onto the Lithuanian coast to go to previous Russian forts which have tumbled onto the seaside and into the Sea. This entire stretch of coast is a good place for City Exploration. I took this tunnel picture from a low angle with the display screen flipped out for simpler composition. The excessive distinction between gentle and darkish here’s a wrestle for the 1in sensor in all cameras of this class, and there’s no approach I’m retrieving any element in that white sky portion. However to be honest, there’s nonetheless far more tonal element than the smaller sensor in a cellphone may seize and also you’d want a a lot bigger digital camera with a much bigger sensor to do any higher.



Above: Latvia’s capital, Riga, is known for its Artwork Nouveau structure and right here’s one other instance of the RX100 VI’s full optical zoom vary taken from the identical place. I liked having the ability to zoom-into smaller particulars that are merely out of attain to cameras with shorter zooms.



Above: One other element in Riga, once more at 200mm. As I discussed earlier than, many lenses grow to be softer at their longest telephoto, however the RX100 VI impressively manages to remain crisp and contrasty all through its vary. This shot is filled with element proper into the corners.



Above: The keyboard on an previous Monotype printing machine on the fascinating Printing and Paper Museum in Tartu, Estonia. Right here I centered shut with the RX100 VI with its aperture open to f2.Eight to attempt to blur the keys a bit of within the distance. As talked about earlier, you’re by no means going to realize quite a lot of blurring with this kind of lens and digital camera, even on the closest focusing distances,, however the fall-off continues to be efficient right here.



Above: Door knocker in Tallinn, Estonia. Strolling across the previous city of Tallinn, I liked the pliability of switching between huge photographs, distant zooms and close-ups to seize the texture of town.



Above: With my automotive parked in Tallinn for just a few days, I set off by ferry to Helsinki, Finland, solely 2.5 to four hours away. I discussed beforehand the dynamic vary of the 1in sensor gained’t match that of a bigger sensor, however the RX100 VI does an excellent job with what it has, recording good sky particulars right here.



Above: Dinner at Mates & Brgrs in Helsinki, a small chain that serves a fairly respectable burger. Right here I zoomed huge, opened the aperture to f2.Eight and centered as shut as potential to the sandwich. This represents near the utmost potential for a shallow depth-of-field on the RX100 VI, and you’ll there’s some blurring within the background with the lights was small bokeh blobs. The impact isn’t as nice as 1in rivals with f1.Eight lenses and nearer focusing distances – like Sony’s personal RX100 V – however it might be ample on your wants.



Above: Two of Helsinki’s best-known buildings, each photographed from a ferry with the RX100 VI at its longest 200mm focal size; I used the viewfinder to compose these extra simply. Capturing these from a distance with a protracted lens avoids any distortion and allows you to respect the true side-on form of the buildings, whereas with shorter lenses, you’d have to get nearer and inevitably start to level the digital camera upwards. I loved having the ability to seize these views.



Above: Departing for St Petersburg from Helsinki. Sadly this isn’t my boat, mine was a lot older and extra fundamental! However I’ve included this right here once more for the element you may file at 200mm. There’s a fellow on his balcony right here taking a photograph along with his iPad in my path, however he gained’t be getting the identical element!



Above: On our first evening in St Petersburg, Russia, we have been handled to a stunning sundown behind the Peter and Paul Fortress. Like all my images right here, it’s an uncropped JPEG out of digital camera in semi-auto or full auto. Once more this was at 200mm.



Above: Right here’s one other illustration of the zoom vary at your disposal and the way it doesn’t at all times have for use outside. Each photographs above have been taken from the identical place within the Church of the Saviour of Spilled Blood, the place nearly each inch of wall, column and ceiling is embellished by lovely mosaic illustrations. At 24mm on the left you see the grandeur of the constructing, and at 200mm on the best, you see the element within the mosaics.



Above: St Petersburg and my route via the Baltic nations main as much as it appeared bereft of any rainbow flags – in some distinction to stumbling throughout Berlin Satisfaction solely a few weeks earlier. So this beer label felt pleasingly subversive, served in Khachapuri I Vino, a fairly good Georgian restaurant in St Petersburg’s centre. This was one in all a choice of wonderful beers from Georgian craft brewer Argo Beer, and for any Queen followers on the market who recognise the track pictured right here, it has further poignancy. Or perhaps I’m studying an excessive amount of into it. This was with the RX100 VI at its closest focusing distance at 24mm f2.8, once more illustrating the potential for blurring within the background.



Above: My first and final view of St Petersburg was the stark design of the Marine Constructing, seen right here once more at 24mm on the left and 200mm on the best, the latter permitting me to seize a pleasant element of the balconies with this fellow having fun with a smoke.



Above: I’d wish to assume the crowds have been there waving us off, however I believe it’s extra seemingly a rave within the port. Nonetheless, pretty element at 200mm and with the low orange daylight.



Above: St Petersburg Port is large and I liked grabbing these views of the business within the foreground and the grand buildings peeking via within the distance. As our ferry left the port on its return to Helsinki, I continuously exploited the complete zoom vary, snapping huge views at 24mm and particulars at 200mm. It’s very versatile and I not often wished for something longer.





sony-rx100-vi-sample-DSC01011Above: Most compact cameras aren’t recognized for his or her autofocus and burst pace, however Sony geared up the RX100 V and VI with an embedded part detect autofocus system and burst taking pictures at as much as 24fps. In brief, you may simply shoot motion, sports activities and wildlife with these cameras. As we approached Tallinn on the ferry from Helsinki, seagulls flew alongside and lots of the passengers tried to {photograph} them. Most muttered disappointedly at their outcomes and turned away, however with the RX100 Vi set to Huge space AF and zoomed to 200mm, I used to be capable of seize plenty of centered photos even with the birds swooping across the body. Admittedly I not often used this functionality on my journey, however it’s one other string to its bow and means it’s best to extra simply seize photographs of energetic children, pets or different transferring topics than with most rival cameras.



sony-rx100-vi-sample-DSC01078Above: I used the RX100 VI’s panorama mode to seize the boardwalk in Estonia’s Lahemaa Nationwide Park.



sony-rx100-vi-sample-DSC01118Above: As we travelled again via Poland, we visited Warsaw, the place once more the lengthy attain of the lens allowed me to crop-into particulars of buildings within the previous city sq..



sony-rx100-vi-sample-DSC01122Above: And at last, the Cultural Centre in Warsaw, trying like an additional from Ghostbusters with the dramatic sky behind it. I set the RX100 VI to its monochrome image fashion for this picture and boosted the distinction by a notch.


Sony RX100 VI journey digital camera verdict

The Sony RX100 VI proved to be a really efficient journey companion, permitting me to seize just about all the pieces I needed from huge views to distant particulars and all the pieces in-between. The flexibility to zoom to an equal of 200mm was invaluable not only for grabbing attention-grabbing particulars round city, but in addition for respectable views of wildlife from swooping seagulls to zoo inhabitants, and within the case of topics in movement, the autofocus and burst capabilities gave it a cushty edge over rivals. The lens might not zoom so far as some rival fashions, however crucially it’s brighter and likewise delivers nice high quality throughout the body and all through the vary – put it this fashion, I not often needed something longer, and I used to be at all times very happy with the outcomes.




Video high quality was additionally superb, particularly filming in 4k and exploiting the zoom vary to ascertain a location. The up to date viewfinder mechanism, which lets you popup the viewfinder or push it down once more in a single movement, means that you can in a short time power-up and shut-down the digital camera making it really feel rather more responsive than its predecessors. Sony additionally makes use of Bluetooth successfully on its newest cameras to robotically seize areas out of your cellphone and embed them in photos with none effort, an awesome characteristic when travelling to recollect precisely the place a photograph was taken.

It’s not excellent after all: the longer zoom vary means the lens is dimmer than rivals with shorter zooms, which in flip means a better reliance on larger ISOs and fewer likelihood for blurring backgrounds. Certainly if you happen to assume you’ll largely use the 24-70mm vary and don’t really want 200mm, then I’d advocate going for the Sony RX100 V or the Panasonic Lumix LX10 / LX15 as a substitute. There’s additionally no denying that the RX100 VI has grow to be fairly an costly digital camera, rivalling a mid-range mirrorless or DSLR system digital camera in worth. However you gained’t be squeezing a mirrorless or DSLR into your pocket as you may with the RX100 VI, even much less so if it has an 8x optical zoom fitted.

That’s the distinctive promoting level of the Sony RX100 VI: packing a protracted and surprisingly good high quality zoom right into a genuinely pocketable physique with respectable stills and video high quality, superb autofocus and burst taking pictures, an honest popup viewfinder, tilting touchscreen and highly effective wi-fi. This one digital camera actually can cowl most conditions and is an ideal companion for nearly any journey. I can extremely advocate it.

Test costs on the Sony RX100 VI at Amazon, B&H, Adorama, or Wex. Alternatively get your self a duplicate of my In Digicam e-book or deal with me to a espresso! Thanks!

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