I can't believe I'm involved in a discussion about equipment. Normally I stay far away from that kind of thing, and with this post I'm at the end of my deviation from normalcy. But for anyone who's shooting landscape or wabi sabi I think it's worth pointing out that there's a new tool worthy of examination.
We aren't discussing equipment, we are discussing tonal reproduction.
I remember very well when the original Canon 5D came out. Its reproduction was so far ahead of anything we had thus far, that both friend and fo have acclaimed its output. It was visible even on measly screensized JPGs. It didn't have particularly more resolution then what was already available, and in my personal opinion its strength was in darktone reproduction. Clearly, the D800 shows any other camera all 4 corners of the room and then some, regarding darktone reproduction so I would have expected to see more impressive results from the D800, and would have thought that the reactions regarding its output would certainly last a little longer than what we see currently.
And similarly, the specs of the Sony RX100 should bode very well for its results, but nothing particularly striking has come along. Which is odd. I find Bernard's images in that regard particularly interesting as he has shown to be well versed with Nikon cameras, and knows how to apply post-processsing, and produces some really nice landscapes at times, but as of yet, his newer images aren't even close to what he has produced in the past.
Again, I'm not trying to downplay the camera, I simply find it odd. For both cameras. Something is going on. I can't quite verbalize what I am seeing, but it is like separate color- and tonal-regions are individually compressed and/or expanded.
I am currently hinging on 2 options, and now I am going to discuss equipment so you're free to leave if you wish:
1. The new Sony sensors have less bit-depth than usual available for color, which compresses the colorreproduction, and possibly they then apply several processing techniques to equalize the colorperception, one of which could be local contrast enhancement on color, which would for example make some of the usual postprocessing significantly more difficult.
2. The colorprofiles for the camera are such that they would inhibit color compression.
I guess it's too early to tell, and certainly I don't have any hands on experience with either camera, so I suppose I should just shut up and move on.