Sony Checking out an RX1Rm2

Ray Sachs

Legend
Sep 21, 2010
123
Not too far from Philly
I recently came to the conclusion that as much as I love my Nikon DF, and I love it a LOT, I have a handful of pretty damn nice lenses that I don't use. Particularly some of my nice longer AF primes, 58mm and up. I started thinking that if I sell these and a few lesser used MF lenses, I could probably scrape together enough $$ to more or less pay for a used RX1Rm2 or maybe even Leica Q. As much as I'd love some of the controls on the Q, though, the sensor still isn't up to the standards I'd want in such an expensive camera, and it's not a particularly small camera either, so not that much of an easier carry than the DF with a small prime.

So I got a bit more serious about looking into the RX1Rm2. I don't like the 35mm focal length as much as 28mm from the "Q", but the Zeiss in the RX1 is actually closer to 32mm and that makes a notable difference and is probably why I bonded so well with the original RX1. I loved the original RX1 quite a lot, partly because it was so damn good and partly because it was my first full frame camera. The new model is better in a number of ways that matter to me a lot (great auto ISO setup) and a little (built in EVF and flip screen and faster AF). My biggest concern was dealing with files from a 42mp sensor - I'd have really preferred they just stay with the awesome 24mp sensor from the original, but the new one is technically better by basically every metric. And you can shoot uncompressed raw files with it now too, which you couldn't with the original.

But the files are HUGE. An uncompressed raw file from this camera is north of 80 mb - compressed raw are about half that size. The TIF files the Nik plug-ins create to work with are over 250 mb each! And when you save all of that down to a jpeg, they're still about 25mb. Disk space is getting really cheap, so that didn't concern me, but I don't have any desire to upgrade my Mac anytime soon, so I had to check out how it would do with these big-ass files. So I downloaded a bunch of raw files from Imaging Resources and started playing with them and, to my surprise, they didn't choke my computer. A little slower to import the raw files, but not as much as I'd have thought, and really not much different during processing except when saving one of the TIF files from Nik.

So, I decided to rent one with the thought that if I liked it enough, I'd buy the rental, which after deducting the sunk cost of renting (which they take out of the price if you buy it), I'd be down to about the price of the original RX1 when it was new, well below the current high price of a new copy of the new model. And so far so good. I've shot with it for a couple of days and my Mac locked up once coming out of a bunch of Nik edits, but for the most part is handling the files without a problem.

I like the feel and the customizability of this little camera just as much as I did the first one. And that brilliant little Zeiss Sonnar 35 f2.0 seems up to the task of handling all the resolution that sensor needs. I'm gonna head into the city and try it on the streets soon, but I know it'll do well in that context because the first one did OK and the auto ISO setup on the new one is MUCH MUCH MUCH better for my street shooting technique.

To manage the file sizes, I'll probably shoot my street stuff in compressed raw and any landscapes and extreme low light stuff in uncompressed, just to get the max flexibility in processing. And, BTW, these files are just ridiculous to work with. The files from the original were a revelation to me and these are that much better, which so much elasticity and DR for processing it's just not funny. And it's a really different look from the DF. On balance I prefer the look of the DF files, but not by a lot and it's nice to have the variety available.

Anyway, a few first shots of no particular note:

Stroud RX1-10-Edit by Ray, on Flickr

Stroud RX1-12-Edit by Ray, on Flickr

Stroud RX1-8-Edit by Ray, on Flickr

Stroud RX1-32-Edit by Ray, on Flickr

I always seem to like shooting our kitchen faucet for demonstrating bokeh. It's a willing subject I guess, even when you get right up close to it... ;)

RX1R II-9-Edit by Ray, on Flickr

-Ray
 

kyteflyer

~@¿@~
Jan 31, 2011
164
Newcastle, Australia
I love the kitchen faucet! I want one, mine is so boring. On the matter of the RX1, seems to me that the resulting shots are always stunning. There's something about them that screams full frame, for some reason. Colour is lovely, the shots are sharp, and I love that little sunburst through the brances of the tree. Nicely done, Ray :). Now I have GAS again.
 

Ray Sachs

Legend
Sep 21, 2010
123
Not too far from Philly
With your DF, Coolpix A and now RX1II, that's an impressive setup of tools you've got there Ray.
I have two copies of the Coolpix and I wonder how much of a role they'll have if I keep the RX1 II. Before I had the DF, I used to go out with the old RX1 and the Coolpix A, shoot street with the Coolpix and everything else with the RX1. Now that the RX1 has the same setup for handling ISO and shutter speeds, it should be just as good a street camera as the Coolpix, so I'd probably leave the Coolpix at home except for those rare occasions where I really did just stick the Coolpix A in a pocket. But that didn't happen a lot. I'm sure I'll keep one of them, but it's role is likely to be pretty limited...

-Ray
 
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Ray Sachs

Legend
Sep 21, 2010
123
Not too far from Philly
Grabbed a few practice street shots walking up to the bank this morning, just to see how the camera handles this type of shooting. Really well, actually, and the DR is highly useful when you don't get the exposure just exactly right on the fly... It's feeling like this is probably gonna be a keeper...

RX1 street test-1 by Ray, on Flickr

RX1 street test-19-Edit by Ray, on Flickr

RX1 street test-24-Edit by Ray, on Flickr

-Ray
 

rayvonn

All-Pro
Jan 19, 2015
124
With the 42 biggiepixles available, the ability to crop deeply, yet still come up with a clear defined image must make this a real winner for street shooting. It'll be interesting to see how you approach using it, specifically, does one act like one would with a Coolpix A/ GR and be able to shoot instantly, or is it more akin to using a Leica/ Fuji, with more preparation prior to the shot.
 
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Ray Sachs

Legend
Sep 21, 2010
123
Not too far from Philly
With the 42 biggiepixles available, the ability to crop deeply, yet still come up with a clear defined image must make this a real winner for street shooting. It'll be interesting to see how you approach using it, specifically, does one act like one would with a Coolpix A/ GR and be able to shoot instantly, or is it more akin to using a Leica/ Fuji, with more preparation prior to the shot.
About 95% of my street shooting (maybe more) is of the "shoot instantly" type. Only very occasionally do I deliberately frame a composition and then patiently wait for the right set of characters to move through the frame. I could do that more deliberate type of shorting with pretty much any camera (and have!). But for most of the more spontaneous shooting I do, I seem to have become dependent on two things - a usable setup for zone focus and a good auto-ISO setup. Most Fujis and Leicas and Nikons have this and now the newer Sonys do too. The auto ISO setup was frankly the biggest thing missing from the first RX1 - if they'd added that in firmware (as Fuji has done with some of their older models), I'd have been fine with that and would never have sold that camera... Obviously we all shot for years (hell, decades) without such features, but once you've tasted something THAT good, it's hard to go back. And the flip screen and built in EVF in the new model are nice too and I'm sure I'll learn to love the 42mp sensor, despite my seemingly innate preference for 16mp sensors... ;)

First world "problems", to be sure...

-Ray
 
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Nice to hear from you, Ray. Like you, I'm tempted by the auto ISO and AF of the Mark II. And is the start-up faster with the Mark II? The crippled auto ISO and slow start-up of the original are the two flaws that keep nagging at me, although they haven't tormented me enough to cause me to upgrade. How's the EVF on the Mark II?
 

Ray Sachs

Legend
Sep 21, 2010
123
Not too far from Philly
Nice to hear from you, Ray. Like you, I'm tempted by the auto ISO and AF of the Mark II. And is the start-up faster with the Mark II? The crippled auto ISO and slow start-up of the original are the two flaws that keep nagging at me, although they haven't tormented me enough to cause me to upgrade. How's the EVF on the Mark II?
Hi Chris - long time!

The only thing the minimum SS in the auto-ISO setup really matters to me for is street shooting. I was more than fine with the original for everything else. It just meant I usually took a second camera (Coolpix A, mostly) out with me for a day of shooting and had to switch cameras a lot. So with the current setup, I can easily live with only the RX1 as an all-day walk around camera.

As for the startup time, I never really found the original to be a problem in that regard, so I haven't noticed if the new one is better or worse - since it's been a non-issue for me, I haven't noticed if it's relatively more or less of a non-issue with the new one.

The EVF is great - the quality is very good (probably better than the clip on from the first RX1, but at least as good). And being able to pop it up at a moment's notice is great. I usually left the accessory EVF on the original RX1, but with the new one, there's no usually - sometimes I pop it up and shoot with it for a while, sometimes I leave it pushed down. The eye-cup is a bit of a pain to put on and take off, so I mostly don't use it - not sure when or if I would to be honest, but under most circumstances it's not needed... I love the flip up screen too - always have liked that feature in any number of cameras...

The battery life sucks, but it did in the first one too and I don't notice it being notably worse in this one, although I've been assured it is. I just carry a few extra batteries. With the old camera, on my biggest shooting days, I might kill two batteries and be into the third. Maybe now I'll occasionally kill three and be into the fourth? Then again, I don't shoot anything like the kind of volume I used to so likely not an issue one way or another...

-Ray
 

m.davidtaub

Regular
Sep 20, 2013
33
Montpellier, France
Dear Ray, I've seen your images from the cameras you talk about. I think you also used m4/3 tools too.

Honest. I don't see any difference. That's a compliment.

It is your eye/brain/hand and what, intuition?, that always comes across. Here, on my screen, all speak the same language, issue the same quality.

I guess in print they would be different in terms of sharpness, color, acuity, etc...even that depends on your pp work, print size, what kind of print, etc.

Long story short, use what makes you happy. So many variables to image making.

Wishing you, as well as all the other photographers here on serious compacts, a great 2017.

Morris
 

Ray Sachs

Legend
Sep 21, 2010
123
Not too far from Philly
Dear Ray, I've seen your images from the cameras you talk about. I think you also used m4/3 tools too.

Honest. I don't see any difference. That's a compliment.

It is your eye/brain/hand and what, intuition?, that always comes across. Here, on my screen, all speak the same language, issue the same quality.

I guess in print they would be different in terms of sharpness, color, acuity, etc...even that depends on your pp work, print size, what kind of print, etc.

Long story short, use what makes you happy. So many variables to image making.

Wishing you, as well as all the other photographers here on serious compacts, a great 2017.

Morris
Morris,

Thanks very much for the kind words. I don't think some of the technical aspects of the cameras are all that important in terms of the finished products you actually see - I wouldn't expect you to see a big difference in my (or anyone's) best shots from m43 or APS or full frame. There are differences and you'd see them if you looked closely enough, but I'm never gonna publicly present anything that I'm not reasonably satisfied with, regardless of what I'm shooting with.

To me the primary benefit is that some gear increases my chances for getting a workable or better shot in various different challenging circumstances. For example, I might have a shot you'd like from my DF or RX1 that was taken in conditions (I'm thinking of low light, but it might be a high DR situation too) that it would have been much more difficult, if even possible, to get a workable shot from some of the other gear I've used. Similarly for street shooting, I've used a variety of different equipment for street shooting (going back to a Pentax K1000 and Tri-X in the 1970s) and had shots I've liked from all of it, but I have very specific preferences for features and technical standards that greatly (VASTLY!) increase my number of keepers when I'm out shooting. I'd never show you a terrible shot from my m43 gear, so you'd rightly say that my m43 stuff looks fine, but I might have a LOT of shots, particularly from the street, that I'd get with a Coolpix A or now with the new RX1 that I simply wouldn't have gotten with my EM5 in 2012, let alone my EP2 in 2010 or my K1000 in 1976.

To me there's a big difference and a meaningful difference between different bits of gear for different types of shooting. I'll never show you my worst work, so you could assume there's not that much difference in the finished product. But rest assured I'm getting more good results in more difficult circumstances with some of the higher end gear than I did with some of the lesser gear I've used.

-Ray
 

Ray Sachs

Legend
Sep 21, 2010
123
Not too far from Philly
Today was sort of the embodiment of why I've always wanted a single small camera like this that I could carry on a day in the city and have it meet so many needs so well. I've been using the Nikon Coolpix A in this role, and it handles it really well. But the RX1RM2 is just a few cuts above in any number of ways. Today my wife and I walked around Wilmington, North Carolina (where my daughter lives) and I had the RX1 with me. Shooting wasn't the order of the day, but I did some anyway - a mixture of scenics, architecture, and street shots. And the camera handled everything really well, as I knew it would.

I'm likely to use this camera so much over the next month or two that I was almost tempted to join in the SIJ festivities, despite my general distaste for "pic a day" types of endeavors. I know I won't shoot anywhere near everyday and I know I'll be grabbing my Nikon gear when the situation calls for it, so no SIJ for me, but rest assured, the RX1 is very likely to get the vast majority of the work I do this next month or two...

Here's a sampling:

Carolina Beach-5-Edit by Ray, on Flickr

Downtown Wilmington-30-Edit by Ray, on Flickr

Downtown Wilmington-15-Edit by Ray, on Flickr

Downtown Wilmington-34-Edit by Ray, on Flickr

Downtown Wilmington-20-Edit by Ray, on Flickr

Downtown Wilmington-68-Edit by Ray, on Flickr

Downtown Wilmington-60-Edit by Ray, on Flickr

-Ray
 

christilou

Legend
Jul 13, 2010
164
Sunny Frimley
Lovely Ray. I've been sorely tempted to sell off the Leica and get the RX1II as I think I'd use it as a travel cam rather than tote the bagful of stuff I normally do :) I still have the RX1 original and my only couple of gripes are it's focus speed and that wretched EVF that I really need now. There's a tiny delay between switching on and the EVF firing up that drives me mad plus it makes the whole camera that bit more cumbersome when reaching in or putting it back in a bag. You don't make it any easier :daz:
 

Ray Sachs

Legend
Sep 21, 2010
123
Not too far from Philly
Lovely Ray. I've been sorely tempted to sell off the Leica and get the RX1II as I think I'd use it as a travel cam rather than tote the bagful of stuff I normally do :) I still have the RX1 original and my only couple of gripes are it's focus speed and that wretched EVF that I really need now. There's a tiny delay between switching on and the EVF firing up that drives me mad plus it makes the whole camera that bit more cumbersome when reaching in or putting it back in a bag. You don't make it any easier :daz:
I guess it depends on the travel... We're going to Savannah, Georgia for a few days later this month and I'll be happy having just the RX1 along for that. And in NYC later this Spring, in May. But the trip we took to Maine over Thanksgiving I'd absolutely want more focal lengths available and would take the Nikon and a few lenses, as I did. I wouldn't want the RX1 to be my only camera, only lens, but I'm happy for it to be the only camera I carry in many circumstances.

I never had an issue with the speed/responsiveness of the first model, but you're the second person that's mentioned it here, so it was clearly an issue for some. I guess I've read that the new one is a bit faster, but I really can't confirm that one...

One thing I've started doing is shooting everything in compressed raw - the old RX1 didn't have an option for uncompressed and I loved those files and the uncompressed files from the new 42mp sensor are 80+ megabytes in size (my first hard drive was 20 mb total!). And so far, I'm very happy with the compressed files, which are about half the size of the uncompressed. Maybe someday if I ever need to upgrade my Mac I'll turn the compression off, but for now, I'm good with it...

I'm also really glad I've hung onto my SnapR camera case. I have both a skinny one (bought for the X100) and the fatter one (I think I bought it for an m43 camera at one point). I never got much use out of the fat one - even when I had the first RX1 I usually took another camera out with it, like the Coolpix A for street shooting. But this camera is a great solo shooter and it fits perfectly in the case, with plenty of room for the requisite extra batteries in the side pockets. It's a little tight with the regular lens hood, but I'm using a 49-37 step-down ring as a hood and that adds roughly no bulk and the camera just slides right in and out of the case, on the sling strap. Great setup...

-Ray
 
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conyon

Rookie
Sep 3, 2013
3
Philadelphia
Ray,
Very interesting to hear your decision process on getting this camera. As well as seeing your pictures. Given the size of the files do you, or are you interested in, cropping in post to frame your images to your taste?
 

Ray Sachs

Legend
Sep 21, 2010
123
Not too far from Philly
Ray,
Very interesting to hear your decision process on getting this camera. As well as seeing your pictures. Given the size of the files do you, or are you interested in, cropping in post to frame your images to your taste?
I don't shoot with the intent to crop - i.e., I don't shoot a 35 as if it was a 55 thinking about how I'll crop the shot. That said, I often do end up cropping my shots somewhat, particularly my street stuff which I often shoot from belly level, framing on instinct. Sometimes it's as little as just to change the aspect ratio from 3:2 down to 4:3 or 1:1, but sometimes it's more than that if it helps the shot. I do much much less of this with landscape or architectural shots, but I'm not a purist about cropping - I'll do it if it helps the image...

Nice to have another Philly person here - where about? I'm in West Chester, but try to get into the city reasonably often...

-Ray
 

conyon

Rookie
Sep 3, 2013
3
Philadelphia
I don't shoot with the intent to crop - i.e., I don't shoot a 35 as if it was a 55 thinking about how I'll crop the shot. That said, I often do end up cropping my shots somewhat, particularly my street stuff which I often shoot from belly level, framing on instinct. Sometimes it's as little as just to change the aspect ratio from 3:2 down to 4:3 or 1:1, but sometimes it's more than that if it helps the shot. I do much much less of this with landscape or architectural shots, but I'm not a purist about cropping - I'll do it if it helps the image...

Nice to have another Philly person here - where about? I'm in West Chester, but try to get into the city reasonably often...

-Ray
And I bet there is lot of latitude for cropping if you need!

Thanks for asking. I'm in the City.
 

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