Mar 07, 2016

Shooting with the Sony RX1R seems impossibly good – too good

I have always been a DSLR shooter, ever since I picked up the Canon 450D with it’s quirky kit lens I have enjoyed the thrill of changing lenses to suit my photography needs and to experiment with all the kit, this is what professional photographers do – right? – well since that day I have been all around the world taking images with my trusty Canon cameras, kit bag, lenses, tripods and all the equipment one needs to take a photo. It has been fun.

There comes a point though when for one reason or another lugging all this kit around becomes a huge chore. Family and personal photography are a big part of my life and when stopping every 5 minutes to set up a picture becomes tedious then you know something is wrong.

So my research into a new camera began. The market is flooded with cameras these days, compact, bridge, interchangeable lens, you name it there is something for everyone at any ability. The trouble is there is nothing that really beats the trusty old DSLR for quality, speed and sharpness of images.

Well that all changed when I discovered mirrorless compact cameras, whilst researching these cameras I became excited, the thrill of fabulous quality in a hand held with the ability to change lenses, wow a game changer I thought.

Interestingly though the more I read the more I discovered about them and the more flaws came out, not only are they expensive but the lenses are very very expensive. It seemed that if you wanted the best mirrorless camera on the market you needed to spend a fortune on a Leica.

But then purely by accident I stumbled across the Sony RX1, this little beauty is a full frame, fixed 35mm lens camera, with style and simple old fashioned controls. The more I read and viewed images the more I fell in love with this camera, the problem though was the price I simply could not afford it at over £2500.

It was just impossible to justify spending the money even if I had it…

So it was back to the drawing board looking for a cheaper model. Unfortunately to make matters worse my trusty Canon 7D was playing up and I knew I had to change cameras pretty soon.

Sony had also just realised a new version of the RX1 called the RX1R which essentially was the same camera but with the removal of the anti-alias filter which increases the sharpness of images.


I was determined to find a way to afford this little beauty, I had fallen in love with it, the results from this this little camera were stunning, the depth of field, the sharpness, the colour rendition, the small form factor, the fixed 35mm lens, everything about it was perfect for my needs I needed to have this camera.

I decided to scour the second hand market as this was the only way I could afford to get one, the only compromise which I accepted was that it was going to be used and have a few scratches, wears and tears, but hey it would be worth it.

Weeks went by and nothing came up, then I struck gold, an advert on Gumtree came up offering the newer RX1R version with accessories, used but no wear and tear and at a fraction of the cost of a new one.

It was strange as you always think these adverts are to good to be true but I had a good feeling on this and phoned the classified up. Low and behold it was genuine and I arranged to go and see it.

Road Trip

My wife came home from work and I announced – do you fancy a trip to go and see a camera? So off we went, 6 hours later we had viewed the camera, I had parted with the money and I had the Sony RX1R with viewfinder, and accessories in my hand. Little did I know though until I registered it with Sony that this camera wasn’t really 2nd hand at all, it had never been used, well part from some test shots, I had hit the jackpot here.

Never look back.

2 years on and writing this I have never looked back, and the only time I will get all the DSLR gear out again now is for professional staged photography, for all essential purposes the Sony RX1R is the best camera I have ever owned, it’s small, easy to use, takes amazing images and I mean impossibly amazing images and totally ticks every box I need it to.

There is a new version and a new Leica Q which are slightly better quality and have a few extra features, but until my little RX1R decides to give up the ghost I won’t be parting with my hard earned cash for either, that being said the prices of these new cameras are off the planet.

A lot of the latest images I have taken on this website have all come from this little powerhouse, I hope you enjoy them and comment on them. Forgive me though I am a little obsessed by this camera and a little obsessed by depth of field images, mainly because it’s so good at them and I love isolating images.


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