1. Reminder: Please use our affiliate links for holiday shopping!

back from trip and innitial RX1 feedback...

Discussion in 'Sony RX1 Forum' started by oliveview, Feb 16, 2014.

  1. oliveview

    oliveview SC Regular

    45
    Dec 9, 2013
    Thought I'd add a quick update, seeing as I posted a variety of last-minute questions about the camera before I left. I have several thousand new images to slowly sort through, and then import into LightRoom. So, depending on how many are great keepers, my final opinion of the camera may change wildly...

    - Overall, it was an extreme pleasure traveling and shooting with the camera. A true "trial by fire" - but the more I used the RX1, the more I appreciated it's level of photographic control.

    - I had never previously owned a camera with a direct exposure compensation dial before. I've got shortcuts on my Nikon DSLR bodies, but no dials. So, I was pleasantly surprised at how often I used that quick feature when out shooting with the Sony. Especially, when in broad daylight, I would cover myself when shooting certain broad landscape shots with lots of potentially washed-out hazy sky, by dropping down a stop, or even two at times. As normal in post-processing, much better to try and retrieve a little more data from the dark, than the light.

    - In context, the size is awesome. Considering the lens / sensor / IQ is only matched by other FF cameras, it was amazing that I could most often just spend the day with the camera in my coat pocket. Or, occasionally, from a neck-strap worn underneath the jacket.
    However, that context is VERY important. I had to permanently remove the notion that the RX1 was or is ever going to fully replace a true compact "pocket" camera. It simply is too large and heavy for that role. In the winter conditions where I traveled, that was okay because (as mentioned) I was always wearing a jacket. However, the real test will be in my daily life where the weather is sunny and warm for most of the year. Not sure how things will go in that sense, and that's really going to be a major indicator for how well this camera works for me for the coming year or two.

    - Batteries. I bought two extra, plus a cheap wall-charger. That was perfect. Even on the longest daily excursion, with hundreds of images and more than a few takes of video, I only just barely dipped into the third battery. On every other day, with sizable amounts of shooting, I never even depleted the second battery. So, that was a great relief. I never felt hindered or worried that I'd be left for dead when out and about.

    - The one real concern I had, was the weather. It snowed a few times, and there was light rain some other times. I simply have no idea what the threshold is on the RX1 for even the slightest water intrusion. So, it is no minor point that if I were to travel to more locations with guaranteed bad weather, I would seriously think twice about bringing the RX1 as my main camera. That's no knock against the Sony, per se, but for a camera which I consider to be my new "go to" for the coming year or two, that's a little disconcerting. But as far as I know, there are no other HQ compacts with even the slightest weather sealing, let alone full weather proofing.

    That's it for now. Like I said, I have yet to even process one single frame. So, all my opinions may be moot if I only come back with a small percentage of keepers. But, I'm doubting that will be the case...
     
    • Like Like x 7
  2. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs SC Legend

    Sep 21, 2010
    Not too far from Philly
    you should be able to figure it out...
    I found the same thing with the batteries - I'd very very rarely need more than two for a day of shooting, but would go through one and need a second almost any day. So I'd always take two extras and I never needed more. And, yeah, I don't know that I'll ever shoot a camera again that doesn't have a very easily available exposure comp dial - it doesn't have to be dedicated to this, but it needs to be useable without having to push buttons to arm it.

    Although don't be too quick to dial down the exposure with the RX1 - it holds more information in the highlights than you can believe. I've recently done some sunny snowscapes and I was testing a a variety of apertures. Including wide open at f2.0, which the camera interpreted as over-exposed by almost two full stops. I took 'em that way anyway and, as expected, the files looked blown out beyond any recognition. But to my surprise, once I reduced the exposure down to what looked right (over-exposing a bit from the metering to account for all of the white snow), NOTHING was actually blown out. A real testament to the whole ETTR philosophy, which I've never really intentionally used. But I'm a believer now. All of which argues against there really being all that much actual need for an exposure comp dial these days with modern sensors, but I like having it available anyway. :wink:

    I like the size, but always found it to carry a little larger than it looked. That's probably because I pretty much always had the EVF mounted on it and usually either a half-case or an extra grip to improve the holding/shooting part. And always some kind of a lens hood - either a JJC knock-off of the Sony hood or a "hoocap" that's a little bulkier (but shorter when closed) that does double duty as a lens cap and hood. But by the time I had all of that on it and took it out to shoot with on a sling strap, it felt like a larger camera than it is. Pretty similar to the EM1 with a prime lens and not as much smaller than the Nikon Df I've been shooting with as I'd have expected. To me, the quality of the camera, the controls, the lens and sensor were exceptional, but the small size ended up being less of a determining factor than I'd expected when I first took just the plain body out of the box.

    True, it's not a weather sealed camera but I'm not sure how well sealed a lot of them are. I'll take my EM1 with the 12-40 zoom out in ANY conditions, and maybe with the 35-100 as well. But I'm not sure about any of my other gear. I've just now sold the RX1 and anticipate buying a Df (after my loaner period is over) and the Df is said to be weather sealed, but I don't think ANY of the lenses I'm gonna be using with it are, so probably not much use in that sense.

    I loved RX1 and I blame it for kindling an affair with full frame that resulted in me selling it to expand into a DSLR with a few more focal lengths. I've always resisted going the DSLR route, but the Df is small enough that with a smaller prime lens it's still a very comfortable carry and a few more small primes in a bag don't add much to it. So, my RX1 is gone, but not because it did anything to dis-please me - it pleased me too much if anything and made me want to go full frame for a whole kit of prime lenses, so off it went. But if you're cool with one focal length, and that one in particular, I can't think of a better camera to use as a center-piece of a nice kit. It was overwhelmingly my favorite camera for the year and change I owned it...

    Have fun with yours - post pics when you have 'em....

    Edit - Just for the hell of it, here are the original and adjusted files of one of the shots I was talking about. The first is the extreme over-exposure that happened on a sunny, snowy day at the max shutter speed of 1/2000 at f2.0 at base ISO:


    RX1 at Stroud-33 by ramboorider1, on Flickr

    And with the exposure dialed way down almost two full stops - still all sorts of detail in the snow and clouds - nothing really evidently clipped:


    RX1 at Stroud-33-2 by ramboorider1, on Flickr

    -Ray
     
    • Like Like x 4
  3. oliveview

    oliveview SC Regular

    45
    Dec 9, 2013
    I've actually been surprised at how little (in fact, none) flare I've seen in the initial test photos I took with the RX1, sans-hood. I'll see if any crop up when I finally get to all my trip photos. I also had no add-ons on the body, of any kind. So, despite still being far from sly, it did fit very nicely in the coat pocket. And even from the neck-strap, it was still so much smaller and lighter than my DSLR, that I could carry it discretely (and protected from the weather) under my jacket. Very nice aspect.

    Assuming you get the DF, you'll likely get the 50mm G. I have that for my D300s and it's literally been the only lens I have ever used (even for travel) with that camera. At the 75mm equivalent on my DX body, that lens has performed quite well over the years. A few cautionary words, however. I always keep a clear UV filter on the front, to fully seal the leans from dust or water, and as a result, it is extremely susceptible to all kinds of light reflections. Not sure whether there is a better alternative to what I'm using, but it's worth noting. Other than that, and the fact that the manual focus ring is one of the worst I've used, it does take some great photos. I'm sure in FX it would be just terrific.
     
  4. Luckypenguin

    Luckypenguin SC Hall of Famer

    Dec 24, 2010
    Brisbane, Australia
    Nic
    I think that I would amend this to say that it is safer to underexpose than overexpose because parts of the image that clip to black are more pleasant to look at than those that clip to white, but in terms of absolute image quality you get better results from pulling back an exposure than pushing an exposure. Pulling reduces noise, pushing increases noise. However this is less likely to be an issue on an RX1 if it is indeed producing minimal amounts of noise to begin with.
     
  5. MB17

    MB17 SC Regular

    49
    Jan 17, 2014
    Rio de Janeiro
    Marcos
    From my experience in Cinema, if the need arises, in darker scenes, the DPs normally prefer to risk overexposing a little bit than to have to push from the black in PP. But that's 35 mm, I don't know if digital is different.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  6. MB17

    MB17 SC Regular

    49
    Jan 17, 2014
    Rio de Janeiro
    Marcos
    BTW, Ray's example is impressive.
     
  7. oliveview

    oliveview SC Regular

    45
    Dec 9, 2013
    In the good ol' days, when I used to shoot, process and print my own B&W film, I still found that I tended towards a slightly under-exposed image. But that was purely my own creative preference. My tendencies still hold true in digital.

    Good example, Ray, about how much data is recoverable. The key is that it's nice clean data.
     
  8. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs SC Legend

    Sep 21, 2010
    Not too far from Philly
    you should be able to figure it out...
    Well, it makes sense. The conventional wisdom is that film was more prone to completely blow highlights rather than lose shadows and that digital tends to be the reverse, with more clean detail hiding in the highlights than the shadows. Which is the whole philosophy behind ETTR - the highlights will survive and then the shadows will be a LOT cleaner when you back down to the right amount of detail there than if you try to raise them from black. So it made sense to slightly underexpose in the film days and over-expose with digital. Or at least that was the case in the earlier days of digital with more limited DR. With the DR in today's sensors, particularly full frame, I think there's so damn much latitude in both directions that you can almost always get a pleasing result unless there's simply not enough light (or too much, but if you believe in ND filters, there's really no such thing).

    -Ray
     
  9. ajramirez

    ajramirez SC All-Pro

    Jul 9, 2010
    Caguas, Puerto Rico
    Antonio
    True for slide film. With negative film it's the other way around.

    Cheers,

    Antonio
     
  10. Alea

    Alea New to SC

    3
    Feb 23, 2014
    Hi to everyone, I would like to know what kind of settings do you use for the camera and the evf. A battery usually lasts me about 1 hour and a half. I always have the evf mounted, lcd quality high, power saving start time 1 minute, lcd and viewfinder brightness auto and switching from finder to lcd set to auto too. Many thanks, Andrea
     
  11. rbelyell

    rbelyell SC Top Veteran

    820
    May 14, 2013
    NY Mtns
    it really depends on how you shoot. i hardly ever use lcd, so my settings are lower quality lcd and always on evf, plus unless im in the middle of some action, i shut her off between opportunities. also, if youre in a very cold climate, i noticed they wear out very quickly.. but the more you leave the lcd on, the more you leave the camera on, the less battery life you will get.
     
  12. ccrevasse

    ccrevasse SC Regular

    48
    Nov 20, 2013
    Lookout Mountain, Tennessee
    Chris Crevasse
    I have viewfinder brightness set to auto, and LCD brightness set to manual (+1). LCD quality is standard. My Finder/LCD setting is manual, not auto, and auto review is off. My Leicatime case has a flap that covers the LCD screen. So, I rely on the EVF, which is off until I bring the camera to my eye, when the EVF is triggered by the sensor. If I wish to review images, I open the flap and switch to the LCD, or I can review them through the EVF. But I don't often review images in the field. Perhaps as a result of my practices, I really haven't encountered rapid battery drain.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  13. mattia

    mattia SC Regular

    98
    Dec 20, 2013
    How many shots do you get out of the battery? 'an hour and a half' isn't terribly informative for me. My A7r lasts me about 300-350 shots, with moderate amount of chimping/image reviewing, for example. Whether that's a week or an hour depends on what I'm shooting...
     
  14. rbelyell

    rbelyell SC Top Veteran

    820
    May 14, 2013
    NY Mtns
    i dont get anywhere near 300 w my rx1. maybe 100 or so, never using lcd. in extreme cold, yeah, about an hour before it goes.
     
  15. Alea

    Alea New to SC

    3
    Feb 23, 2014
    60-80 shots :mad:
     
  16. oliveview

    oliveview SC Regular

    45
    Dec 9, 2013
    On my trip, I found that it really seemed to vary, quite a bit. First of all, the temperatures swung wildly. Outside, at times, it was snowing and below freezing. Then right indoors to perfectly warm. So, that undoubtedly created some randomness in my batteries (although I carried the spares right next to my body).
    Shooting even just a little video has a dramatic affect. Some days I would shoot more, some less. Finally, the inevitable chimping. That constant use of the display really hurts. One thing which I realized after the number of weeks on vacation, was that likely one of the biggest drains on the battery was just the actual concepting and viewing possible images to photograph. Unlike a DSLR with an OVF, where you can just bring the camera to your eye whenever you contemplate a shot - with the RX1 (obviously) you need to keep the camera awake, or re-awaken it just to frame up a possible shot, even if you never decide to take the exposure. THAT is a major point, and I'm half-considering buying an optical viewfinder to simply be able to roughly compose my possible shots, without having to run the rear display just to see what I might shoot.

    But as I mentioned at the very beginning of my thread here, it was never a real problem. While I would often need to swap in the second battery when out for the day, I would never need the third, and would often arrive back at the house with plenty of juice left in that second battery to easily shoot some more at dinner.

    Have no misconceptions. This is no DSLR. You do need to take precautions, but don't get hung up on that if you're considering this camera.
     
  17. Gubrz

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

    979
    Jun 5, 2012
    Austin, TX
    Eliot
    a 2nd or 3rd, even oem battery, is cheaper than that ovf!
    and theyre tiny!
     
  18. oliveview

    oliveview SC Regular

    45
    Dec 9, 2013
    Sure. And I certainly wouldn't buy the Sony OVF. The reason why I'm considering one, however, has more to do with comfortable workflow, more than battery life. You can't leave the display on all the time, because it not only kills the battery, but more important, it starts to heat up the sensor. But letting it go to sleep, then waking it when I want to compose starts to take its toll, because that delay adds up over the span of a day.

    So, having a quick aid on top of the camera, where I can instantly get a general idea of how a shot might look, would be potentially be really nice.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  19. ccrevasse

    ccrevasse SC Regular

    48
    Nov 20, 2013
    Lookout Mountain, Tennessee
    Chris Crevasse
    The settings I use (described above) mean the LCD is on only when I deliberately turn it on, the EVF is on only when the EVF is to my eye, and neither is on at the same time. You could combine my settings with a power saving start time of 30 minutes (apparently the maximum allowable) and reduce the chance that you will need to wake up the camera before a shot.

    Also, with continued use of the RX1, I think you will find that you begin to "see" in the 35mm focal length, so the OVF framing assist becomes unnecessary.
     
  20. Alea

    Alea New to SC

    3
    Feb 23, 2014
    So you don't use a neck strap because otherwise the EVF would be always on ... Am I right?