RoadRUNNER Digital Rider

Sony RX10: Could This Be the Perfect Motorcycle Travel Camera?

Nov 27, 2013 View Comments by

Sony RX10: Could This Be the Perfect Motorcycle Travel Camera?Sony has recently introduced the DSC-RX10, a super zoom camera that may well be the perfect motorcycle travel camera. Just what does it take to be the ideal image- capturing device for motorcycle touring?

  1. Excellent image quality during the day. Very good performance when the sun starts going down.
  2. A nice lens that is wide enough to capture vistas and long enough to capture details and for creative compositions.
  3. Tough construction for the inevitable bumps and bruises. Wallflowers need not apply.

The RX10 appears to tick all the boxes that need to be ticked. Wrapped within its magnesium alloy weather sealed body is a high quality, image stabilized Carl Zeiss 24-200mm, constant f2.8 aperture zoom lens aimed straight at a one-inch, 20.2 megapixel back-illuminated sensor. An electronic viewfinder is paired with a three-inch tilting LCD screen to help a photographer shoot in bright light or catch those artistic low angles without aggravating their sciatica.

Now the RX10 is not pocket-sized; a pocket-sized camera will not have a lens as good and versatile as the one built into the RX10. The body itself is about the size of a small DSLR, but the lens is where the magic happens. A DSLR or CSC (Compact System Camera) would typically require two lenses, each bigger than a Coke can, to match the lens of the RX10. It’s this combination of size and capability that makes the RX10 a compelling option for motorcycle travelers serious about their photography.

But wait, there’s more! The RX10 incorporates some pretty good video recording abilities as well, including a built-in ND filter, audio monitoring, and frame rates as high as 60fps at 1080p.

Are there any downsides? Well, the one-inch sensor is smaller than those in a DSLR, so there will be situations when a DSLR is still better (i.e., photographing a canary in a coal mine). And it will be harder to create those cool photos where one thing is in focus and the rest of the photo is a colorful blur (aka, bokeh). However, those who have used this sensor have been pleasantly surprised by the photos. And the most common downfall of these types of cameras is their inability to focus on and track a moving motorcycle. DSLRs are still the king of that game, but they are big.

The RX10 isn’t going to fit into your jacket pocket, but it should fit into a corner of your tankbag or pannier quite easily. The price? A bit steep at a penny under $1,300, but there really isn’t anything else on the market quite like it.

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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.