A day in the city with the RX1

Discussion in 'Open Gear Talk' started by Ray Sachs, Mar 28, 2013.

  1. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs SC Legend

    Sep 21, 2010
    Not too far from Philly
    you should be able to figure it out...
    As noted in my Nikon Coolpix A thread yesterday, I took both the Nikon and the Sony RX1 into Philadelphia for the day yesterday. It was my first time really shooting with the Nikon but I've taken the RX1 out a few times in various different contexts. Yesterday didn't really introduce any new challenges that I haven't tried before, but I did do some street shooting with it, which I was curious about. And I just found further confirmation that with this good a sensor, its awfully nice to just set the camera to auto-ISO and shoot away in aperture priority or manual mode, depending on what you're trying to do. Since the minimum shutter speed this camera will go to in Aperture priority mode is only 1/80 of a second (and its not user configurable - something Sony should address in firmware), I usually find myself just using manual mode, so I can set the minimum (and maximum) shutter speed myself as the situation dictates, and let the ISO float. I change the max ISO depending on the task - for street shooting I'll let it go to 12,800, for most other uses, 6400. The files are so good at 6400 there's not much reason to set it lower. But its easy enough to switch the maximum (or minimum) ISO, which is a submenu under "auto" ISO in the ISO menu which I can get to from the (c) button on the top of the camera. So the camera basically couldn't be easier to configure for whatever kind of shooting you're going to do with it and the sensor is so good its up for almost anything.

    Here are some images from the day:

    The commuter train pulls into Malvern under a full moon:


    Sony RX1 - Philly by ramboorider1, on Flickr

    Arriving in Philly:


    Sony RX1 - Philly by ramboorider1, on Flickr

    Still sort of dark upon arrival in Philly, although this shot is doctored to look darker than it was:

    [​IMG]
    Sony RX1 - Philly by ramboorider1, on Flickr

    Some street shooting. I would not choose this camera if I was intent on going out and just doing a lot of street shooting - I'd take something wider with a smaller sensor that its easier to get more DOF out of, even in low-ish light. But this camera certainly does the job in good light and I know that if some street opportunities present themselves, the camera isn't gonna be the reason I don't get the shot. In really bright light, I was shooting at f16 or f22 with focus set to 2-3 meters. In lower light I was generally taking my chances with auto-focus. The screen is visible enough even from an angle to hold the camera fairly low and just slightly in front of my chest or belly and still see when its locked focus, so this is pretty workable when zone focus just isn't an option. And zone focus isn't really an option in low light with this camera.


    Sony RX1 - Philly by ramboorider1, on Flickr


    Sony RX1 - Philly by ramboorider1, on Flickr


    Sony RX1 - Philly by ramboorider1, on Flickr


    Sony RX1 - Philly by ramboorider1, on Flickr

    I'm gonna keep playing with narrow DOF even though I haven't found an organic use for it outside of portraits - this is a fence you don't want to sit on!


    Sony RX1 - Philly by ramboorider1, on Flickr

    This one I took as a small gift from (enter your deity of choice here) - I'm walking through one of the parks near Independence Hall on a beautiful sunny morning and suddenly I feel rain on my head. I looked up in time to catch this quick rainbow in the trees. It was breezy and all I can guess is there was some moisture in the upper reaches of the trees that got shaken loose by the breeze. Landed on my head and left a rainbow for me when I looked up...


    Sony RX1 - Philly by ramboorider1, on Flickr

    And finally a few lower light shots in the Reading Terminal Market, all auto-focus:

    This file didn't look like much when I opened it up, but it was ALL there when I started processing it.
    8595626599_fdd9c267fb_b.
    Sony RX1 - Philly by ramboorider1, on Flickr


    Sony RX1 - Philly by ramboorider1, on Flickr


    Sony RX1 - Philly by ramboorider1, on Flickr

    As alluded to a couple of shots back, while the shooting is a real pleasure with the RX1, the processing is equally great. The files are just incredible to work with. When you think a shot is recoverable, its probably a whole lot more and when you don't think there's anything there, you're probably wrong.

    -Ray
     
  2. Luke

    Luke Super Moderator

    Nov 11, 2011
    Milwaukee, WI USA
    Luke
    Great shots as always, Ray. Sometimes I think these nice cameras are wasted on you. You'd get great shots with a disposable film camera.
     
  3. entropic remnants

    entropic remnants SC All-Pro

    Mar 3, 2013
    John Griggs
    Outstanding, Ray. I'd love to see the two cameras (RX1 and A) tomorrow if you can bring them. That RX1 is just the bomb for low light street photography.
     
  4. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs SC Legend

    Sep 21, 2010
    Not too far from Philly
    you should be able to figure it out...
    Kind of you to say Luke. I think its true that we bring our same eyes and instincts to any camera, but I think there's a big difference in the keeper rate from a cheap camera with limited capabilities and a camera with seemingly limitless capabilities. Whether its an interface that allows you to make changes more quickly and easily on the fly, or faster AF, or a better sensor that's got tons more latitude, these technical improvements just add to the percentage of shots that work really well and those that work well enough to turn into something useful in post processing. When I was new to street shooting I'd go out with the Olympus EP2 with incredibly slow AF, tons of shutter lag, no good way to zone focus, and a sensor that couldn't do very much beyond ISO 800-1600 and if I was lucky I'd come back with a couple of serviceable photos, but tons of great moments that I just missed or were OOF or with files that couldn't be rescued. For sure, I've gotten better at that particular discipline since then but a not-small part of that was finding the right tools that worked with how I was trying to use the camera and that just flat helped me get a much higher percentage of the shots I was going for. The RX1 raises the bar another step. Although less for street shooting than for the other stuff I also like to do.

    -Ray
     
  5. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs SC Legend

    Sep 21, 2010
    Not too far from Philly
    you should be able to figure it out...
    Thanks John. Was planning to bring them both, and the X-Pro if you have any interest in seeing that too. Was planning on leaving my m43 gear and LX7 at home, since you're at least as well versed with those as I am... :wink:

    -Ray
     
  6. Briar

    Briar SC All-Pro

    Oct 27, 2010
    Scotland
    Karen
    Ray, when are you coming to Scotland? You are doing the world tour, right? :biggrin:
     
  7. Azon

    Azon SC Regular

    46
    Mar 15, 2013
    Don't care about the camera much but the pictures... Thanks for a pleasure!
     
  8. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs SC Legend

    Sep 21, 2010
    Not too far from Philly
    you should be able to figure it out...
    No tour Karen - John lives right down the road from me so we thought we should have lunch. But if I ever do go on tour, I'll be insisting on a private dressing room and all of the red M&M's will have to be removed! I'll send you my newsletter. :biggrin:

    -Ray
     
  9. entropic remnants

    entropic remnants SC All-Pro

    Mar 3, 2013
    John Griggs
    Definitely like to see the Fuji. Doubt I have anything of interest to bring but I will have gear anyway, lol. See you then and thanks.
     
  10. ajramirez

    ajramirez SC All-Pro

    Jul 9, 2010
    Caguas, Puerto Rico
    Antonio
    Fantastic set of shots, Ray!
     
  11. xdayv

    xdayv SC Veteran

    257
    Mar 22, 2013
    Tacloban City, Philippines
    Dave
    Ray thanks for sharing. Looks like the RX1 is keeping you busy lately.
     
  12. christilou

    christilou SC Hall of Famer

    Jul 13, 2010
    Sunny Frimley
    Wow, I can see that you're getting the best out of the RX1. I've seen some fantastic pics from it but equally if I look on the RX1 group on Flickr, there are some truly dreadful shots. I just can't make up my mind if this might be for me or not. I still wonder whether or not the focus speed would be fast enough.
     
  13. Gubrz

    Gubrz O.* Gonzo's & Bentley's Dad

    979
    Jun 5, 2012
    Austin, TX
    Eliot
    same with the leicas
    they CAN be amazing
    and they CAN prove some people have far more money than skill, hehehe

    the af speed was my biggest issue with it(and an ADDON evf...)
    and it IS slow feeling, to me, but ive had more WOW feelings looking thru photos in a week than i had in a long time preFF
     
  14. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs SC Legend

    Sep 21, 2010
    Not too far from Philly
    you should be able to figure it out...
    Well, some folks are capable of making truly dreadful shots with pretty much any camera. I'm often enough one of them myself! :cool: As for the AF, I was VERY pleasantly surprised by it. Its not blazingly, DSLR / OMD fast, but its by no means slow, and its about as reliable to lock on as about anything I've used. In any sort of light. The caveat being in low light you need to remember to open the aperture up yourself because it tries focussing at whatever aperture its set to up to f8, at which point it will just focus at f8, not smaller. But you don't want to try focussing with the camera at f8 in low light, on the off chance you'd want to be shooting at that aperture in the first place. It would be nice if you could find a place with them in stock and have a few minutes to check one out for yourself. To me, that's a not issue. The bigger issue would be if you just have to have an EVF but don't like removable EVFs. I'm OK shooting this camera with or without, so the removable EVF is fine for me, but for folks who would leave it on 100% of the time, I think it would be a bit of a drag. Otherwise, the camera is better than I could have imagined...

    -Ray
     
  15. christilou

    christilou SC Hall of Famer

    Jul 13, 2010
    Sunny Frimley
    Ray, I managed to actually touch one in the airport shop but it was security tagged to an alarm and so I only managed to try it by standing in front of it and pressing the shutter :rolleyes:
     
  16. ReD

    ReD SC Hall of Famer

    Mar 27, 2013
    My choice is the second one - draughtsman lines & perspective
     
  17. okinana

    okinana New to SC

    8
    Apr 9, 2013
    Near Kelly Drive, Philadelphia
    Gat Andres Bonifacio
    Great set Ray!

    I am still waiting for my RX1.
     
  18. Vidar

    Vidar SC Veteran

    223
    Oct 25, 2010
    Bergen, Norway
    Vidar
    Great shots Ray. Maybe I one day will get the RX1.. Looks good.