Close-up Action Shots of Hornets in Mid-Flight, With Sony RX100

I have had the Sony RX100 for more than a month now. After taking it for a spin at a hornet-infested coconut farm in Borneo, here’s what I can say: “Wow, I never thought this is possible with a point-and-shoot camera.”

But the Sony RX100 is not just any P&S. It’s the undisputed king of compact camera at the moment and probably in the many months to come, perhaps until someone comes up with a a large-sensor compact camera with a faster shutter speed (the RX100′s maximum is “only” 1/2000) and a faster lens (the RX100 has a range of F1.8 to F4.9).

But that is still some time in the future. What we have here is a fixed-lens compact camera with a one-inch sensor and a bright lens at wide end. The combination allows for a shallow depth of field, which many compact cameras are struggling to achieve.

Hornet in Mid-Flight with Sony RX100 (1)

A hornet flies away after taking a pinch of food.

This is not to say that these shots had been easy. They are difficult even when you have dozens of hornets hovering and buzzing around you. This is sort of a hit or miss thing, but with the RX100 firing away at 10fps and at the shutter speed of 1/2000, you can have some in decent focus.

Hornet in Mid-Flight with Sony RX100 (2)


The trick is pre-focusing. Get the camera in macro mode, focus at an object and then point it at the general direction of the wasps and fire away when you feel they are within a striking distance, which is about two to three inches from the lens.

Hornet in Mid-Flight with Sony RX100 (3)

Hornet in mid-flight with Sony RX100

And of course, I had the good light to thank, for had allowed me to shoot at a fast shutter speed.

Hornet in Mid-Flight with Sony RX100 (4)

Mortal enemies … a weaver ant reaches out as a hornet hovers overhead

Weaver ants hauling a dead hornet

And… they manage to pull one down

Hornet in Mid-Flight with Sony RX100 (5)

Hornet in mid-flight

All in all, it was a good experience, one that makes me forgive myself for having spent a good amount of money to acquire it.

  • David Chin

    Very nice series!