Last week I finally received my Sony RX1R. My logic surrounding this purchase was that I too often leave the house without my camera, a 5d + 35mm. I would regularly kick myself as I walked around and saw great little moments and had nothing except a smart phone to use. For me this purchase was aiming to find a camera that fits somewhere in between my 5d & a smart pone.
Below are a number of pictures taken over the weekend with this Sony R1XR. First, a little PROS & CONS list. Before the list, a little disclaimer. I need to acknowledge that I am in no way a deeply technical or gear focused photographer, so my capacity to talk about this camera is purely experiential. Prior to this Sony I have used more or less the same combination for nearly all my shooting over the past 7 years.
Size and weight: This little bad boy easily fits into one hand and its weight is barely noticeable. I could easily wear this around my neck all day, it is about 1/4 of the weight of my 5d + 35mm. Its small size means I feel I shoot much more casually, it definitely gathers much less attention then a DSLR.
Sound: This camera can have the shutter turned off and shooting in silent mode is great.
Autofocus: This was killing me when I was out shooting. The auto focus wasn’t quick enough for me to shoot like it was my normal camera. Sure I could set zone focus at F8 And shoot street scenes but that isn’t the way I shoot or want to shoot a large amount of time. In terms of shooting like a DSLR, it was almost impossible having it stopped down to F2 or 2.5 trying to catch a moment amongst movement.
Files: From looking at the files this morning, they are good but I wouldnt say they are mind blowing. At high ISO of 3200 they do look good but still I wouldn’t put them equal with my 5DmkIII, they are still a decent drop down. I noticed on Saturday night during a light show at a street festival that this camera seriously struggled to capture any detail in the bright colours illuminating the streets. Finally the quality of detail in highlights and shadows wasn’t comparable to my usual gear.
Battery: These suck. I know they are super small so one can’t expect them to go forever, but the 3 of these I have 2 ran out within two hours. This forced me to stop shooting with the electric viewfinder and go back to shooting with the screen.
No built in viewfinder: While the attached electronic one is not too bad, it sucks the batteries dry incredibly quick.
Perhaps I need to spend some more time with the camera before truly falling in love with it. At present I feel my $2500 would’ve been better spent on a smaller walk around lens for my 5D and saving the rest for the next upgrade. I have committed to giving this another week or two to see if it can grow on me. If I don’t post again about this camera you know it hasn’t stuck around.
Earlier this week I returned to a small bakery in the western Sydney suburb of Fairfield. I went to Habib’s bakery for a trade we had agreed on earlier, I would send him some photos I took in the bakery and he would teach me how to make Afghan and Middle Eastern bread.
Habib and his team of workers work hard at the bakery which is surprisingly hot thanks to the many open tandoor ovens. The day starts with the first few people arriving early morning to prepare dough. Around 10am Habib and others arrive to bake bread throughout the day until a new crew that takes over for a further evening shift. The hundreds of pieces of bread are baked fresh daily to supply local residents and other shops in Sydney’s west.
Habib, an Ethnic Hazara from Afghanistan, came to Australia 10 years ago. While living in Afghanistan Habib learnt how to bake bread and it was those skills he put to work here in Australia. Habib has worked hard to establish his bakery which has a commercial oven for Middle Eastern breads as well as traditional tandoor ovens to cook Afghan ‘barbari’ bread as well as another common bread ‘tuftoon’ which is eaten throughout the region including neighbouring Iran.
I thoroughly enjoyed learning to prepare the bread, needing, palming and then patterning the bread before it heads into the oven. I look forward to learning more about the craft of making bread and maybe after a few more sessions back with Habib I will master the art.
Recently I was exporting some photographs from an assignment in Bougainville, Papua New Guinea, when I had a number of exported web res files being corrupted. It is the first this has happened, and only did happen during the web res export and not when exported at high resolution. I have no idea why this happened, but in a weird way I actually really like what has happened.