RoadRUNNER Digital Rider

The Perfect Motorcycle Touring Camera?

Jul 31, 2012 View Comments by

Sony has recently released upon the world the Cyber-shot RX100, and all other cameras are cowering in the corner muttering, “We are not worthy. We are not worthy.” Ok, that’s a bit much, but David Pogue from the New York Times went so far as to call it “The best pocket camera ever made.” And if you’ve read Pogue, he’s not one to hyperbolize or exaggerate (wink wink).

But seriously, every once in a while a camera comes along that has the key features that Digital Riders are looking for, namely, small and with good image quality. Up until recently, we’ve had to choose. If we wanted good image quality in all light conditions (from early morning to midday to sunset and beyond), we had to lug around a DSLR or one of the smaller, but still too big for a jacket pocket, Compact System Camera. If portability were more important, we’d use a point-and-shoot or a camera phone and accept the fact that image quality in low light would be nothing to Tweet about.

The Sony RX100—I’m going to stop calling it Cyber-shot because I thought that we stopped saying “cyber” ten years ago—promises to change the game. It’s small enough to fit into a jacket pocket and able to take good photos in all lighting conditions. The secret is the sensor, the thing that’s replaced film. In a regular point-and-shoot, the sensor is about the size of your pinky fingernail. The sensor in a DSLR is much bigger, about the size of a commemorative postage stamp and larger. The RX100 is somewhere in-between, giving it some of the benefits of a bigger sensor (better in low light, ability to blur background objects, etc.) while still fitting in a small camera body. Sony manages to fit a 3.6x zoom in the body as well, and the lens is very good in dim light when not zoomed in. Add 1080p HD video and features for advanced photographers (full manual control, JPEG and RAW files, etc.) and you have a camera that is seemingly made for the Digital Rider.

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About the author

You know that little boy who stares at you, mouth agape, as you ride by? That was me, thirty-plus years ago. I merged two of my passions, motorcycles and photography, when I became a contributor to RoadRUNNER.