Friday, March 21, 2014

Sony QX100 review (firmware update 2.0)

Sony released a firmware update for it's lens-cameras, the QX10 and the QX100.

Sony QX100

For my initial thoughts on this camera (the QX100 in my case) check out my original review about it.
Following I will just concentrate on the changes by this firmware update.

Firmware update 2.0

The update can be found on Sony's webpage in the support section (make sure to download the version fitting to your operating system, in my case that's windows 7 64-bit). In order to install the update you will have to download the file, connect your camera to the PC by USB and execute the exe file. Detailed instructions can be found on the same webpage as well. Also in order to do so the camera needs to be charged to some degree. 
After the firmware update has been completed you will get access to some new features and enhancements. Just keep in mind that some of this features might only be available on the QX100, not to the QX10.


ISO now can be controlled manually. You can choose between full automatic or a value between 160 and 12800. This gives a lot more flexibility for creating photos the way you want to. Of course, the higher you set the ISO to the more likely the picture is going to become noisy.

ISO selection.

Shutter Speed Priority Shooting

The other new feature is a shutter mode. Before the update along with Intelligent Auto, Superior Auto and Program Auto only Aperture Priority Shooting has been available, which allows to pick the aperture and the camera would care about the rest. Now with the Shutter Speed Priority Shooting you can pick a shutter speed while the camera will calculate the rest. This opens up nice options to capture dynamic pictures.
The shutter speed can be set from 30 seconds to 1/2000 second.

Shutter Speed Priority Shooting.

Selecting a shutter speed.


It is not listed in the update description but the stability of the connection between the camera and the smartphone has been increased a lot. In fact, on a three hours photo walk I only had connection issues once or twice while I was used to have problems about every five minutes. Also establishing a connection between smartphone and camera is a lot faster than it has been before be update. All in all a huge increase in the only real concern I had with this camera so far.

My workflow and Google Photos 

On a side note I just wanted to give a short impression on my current picture process with the QX100. 
As a amateur photographer I was used to take pictures with my DSLR, import them to my PC, manage and post process them in Photoshop Lightroom and finally export and upload them to the web.

Nowadays I can't spent so much time on my former hobby anymore so I wanted to optimize my workflow a bit, reducing the time I have to spend. Of course this will also reduce the quality in total but I have found a way that works faster for me with less efforts in managing and handling the pictures and also leads to results that I am satisfied with.

I take the pictures with the Sony QX100 (most of the time with Sony's PlayMemories app), connected to my smartphone (Nexus 5). The pictures are transferred to my smartphone automatically and uploaded to my Google Drive when I connect to a WiFi network automatically.
For the post processing I use the options given by Google Photos (Google offers lots of options here for the picture editing) and publish the pictures in my Google Photos Albums afterwards.

For the pictures in this album I used this process and I am very happy with the results.

Picture editing in Google Photos.


This firmware update adds in some nice features that where missing and fixes some connection issues. In fact, the connection issues where the main improvement to me in this update but also the other changes are great. 
I like the QX100 a lot and take it with me more and more often, enjoying the light weight of this camera compared to my DSLR and also the huge amount of creative options available with it, especially the way to use the remote control by the smartphone to take interesting angles and perspectives, sometimes even include my self in the pictures.