One of the rare non-Apple laptops seen in an otherwise cool park full of cool people

A few nice best way to increase internet speed images I found:

One of the rare non-Apple laptops seen in an otherwise cool park full of cool people
best way to increase internet speed
Image by Ed Yourdon
Late in the afternoon on the last day in March 2009, I walked into Bryant Park, which is located behind the New York Public Library, between 41st and 42nd Street, facing Avenue of the Americas. There were several people reading and basking in the sun, a couple people typing on their laptop computers, and one chess game underway. I spent about half an hour wandering around to see what looked photo-worthy, and then wandered off to get some dinner…

This woman was typing away on a laptop computer … alas, it was not an Apple Powerbook. But maybe she doesn’t know any better. Just think: if she had been typing on a Mac, her photo probably would have been published a thousand times by now!

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Even though this photo was taken in March 2009, Karen Bryan claims to have published it in a Nov 13, 2008 blog titled “‘The Future of the Travel Blog’ Presentation, Travel Blog Camp, London 11 November 2008." Back in the "real world," the photo was also published in an Apr 22, 2009 blog entitled "Greenify Your PC!." And it was published in a May 1, 2009 blog titled "Our New Toolbar Helps You Go Green." Then it was published in a Jul 8, 2009 blog titled "Five ways to maximize freelance writing income." And it was published in a Jul 16, 2009 blog titled "Facebook Your Way to Universal Healthcare in The Atlantic. More recently, it was published in an Aug 6, 2009 blog titled "Loudoun County Puts Development Applications Online, Earns National Accolades." And it was published in an Aug 17, 2009 Lifehacker blog titled "What Email Service Do You Use?" It was also published in a Sep 4, 2009 blog titled "http://humantrafficking.change.org/blog/view/want_to_blog_for_changeorg"

It was published in an undated (Oct 2009) blog titled "How to Fix Common Laptop Problems." And it was published in an Oct 21, 2009 Brazilian blog title " Custo é o diferencial na hora de escolher uma plataforma de blog." It was also published in a Nov 3, 2009 blog titled "What Do You Want Students To Do?" And it was published in an undated (Nov 2009) blog titled "Sedentary Runners." It was also published in a Nov 9, 2009 blog titled "Keep Your Health Club Members Coming Back By Allowing Them to Book Appointments Online." And it was published in a Nov 27, 2009 blog titled "Degrees of Presence IV: My experience." It was also published in a Dec 2, 2009 blog titled "Internet Linked to Intellect."

It was published again in a Dec 13, 2009 blog titled "Las ciudades del mundo más conectadas con Internet." It was also published in a Dec 14, 2009 German blog titled "Modisch immer Online auf MySpace Fashion." And it was published in a Dec 18, 2009 blog titled La primera red 4G del mundo se estrena en Suecia, whose URL Flickr is not allowing me to embed — but it’s www dot tuexperto dot com slash 2009/12/18/la-primera-red-4g-del-mundo-se-estrena-en-suecia/

Moving into 2010, the photo has been published in a Jan 5, 2010 Fast Company blog titled "What Women Want: Facebook Ads!", www-dot-fastcompany-dot-com/blog/maccabee-montandon/upswing/rise-fan-girls. And it was published in a Jan 11, 2010 blog titled "Caen las disqueras, sube la música." It was also published in a Jan 15, 2010 blog titled "School Lunches and ‘Home’ Work: Friday Finds." And it was published in a Jan 20, 2010 blog titled "Welcome to Mobility Hacks." It was also published in a Feb 2, 2010 blog titled "Thanks for Visiting." A week later, it was published in a Feb 9, 2010 blog titled "Większość polskich internautów korzysta z internetowych multimediów."

The photo was published in a Feb 17, 2010 blog titled "What does Matador mean to you?," as well as a Feb 17, 2010 Polish blog titled "Informacja stanie się walutą." On Feb 18, 2010 it was published in a blog titled "School uses laptop webcams to spy on students." And I discovered that it was published in an undated (Mar 2010) German blog titled "Einführung," which seems to provide an online service for Germans who want to learn to speak Italian. It was also published in a Mar 24, 2010 Mexican blog titled "Uso de software ilegal en el mundo." And it was published in an Apr 14, 2010 Italian blog titled "Le donne sfruttano il lato oscuro di Facebook," as well as an Apr 14, 2010 blog titled "10 Ways To Make The Most Of Your Laptop." About a week later, I found it on an undated (Apr 22, 2010?) blog titled "Ask the Readers: Your Favorite Online Resources." It was also published in an Apr 22, 2010 blog titled "The Evolution of a Blog." And it was published in an undated (Apr 2010) Mahalo-dot-com blog titled "Ask any question, any time." It was also published as an illustration in a May 12, 2010 Romanian(?) Gadgets blog, with the same title as the caption that I put on this Flickr page; and it was also published on May 12, 2010 in a blog titled "Definition of a Truly Mobile Job."

On May 17, 2010 the photo was published without any title or description on a Technologeek site. And on May 26, 2010, the photo was published in a Spanish blog titled "Buscar Pareja," and also a Norwegian blog titled "Her handler du best på nett." On May 30, 2010, it was published in a blog titled "What is the best laptop?." And on Jun 2, 2010 it was published in what appears to be a Polish blog, titled "Yahoo! grozi lokalnym mediom. Będzie walka o reklamodawców." It was also published in a Jun 10, 2010 Rent Laptop Computer blog, with a title that was a slightly bizarre variation on the caption that I used for this Flickr page: "ONE OF A SINGULAR NON-APPLE LAPTOPS SEEN IN AN DIFFERENTLY COLD PLAY GROUND FULL OF COLD PEOPLE."

On Jun 12, 2010, the photo was published in an Italian blog titled "Libri di donne: scarichiamoli gratis dalla rete." And on Jun 16, 2010 a cropped version of the photo was published in a Spanish blog titled "Encuentros en Sevilla: los mejores sitios para ligar." It was also published in a Jun 21,2010 FixALaptop blog titled "Where can I download a new free camera software for toshiba vista laptop?" And it was published in a Jun 23, 2010 blog titled " per unit community college fee gets some support." It was also published in two Jun 28, 2010 blogs" "Where to Write Out of the House," and "Why It’s So Easy to Spend Too Much Online." And it was published in a Jun 29, 2010 blog titled "What Women Want … Online."

The photo was also published in a Nov 26, 2010 blog titled "Going Internet-Lite." And it was also published in a Nov 26, 2010 blog titled アメリカ旅行でも仕事環境を準備するお話。at linker.in/journal/2010/11/mobile-trip.php. It was also published as an illustration in an undated (late Nov 2010) Writer’s World blog.

The photo was also published in a Dec 8, 2010 blog titled "The Brief History of Apple Laptops." It was also published in a Dec 9, 2010 blog titled "A Guide To Online Dating In New York City." And it was published in a Dec 10, 2010 Smookey blog with the same title and detailed notes that I had written on this Flickr page. It was also published in a Dec 15, 2010 Dutch "Joop" blog titled "EU-surfer beter beschermd tegen ongewenste reclame." And it was published in a Dec 16, 2010 blog titled "mi date un sito per comprare online?" It was also published in a Dec 17, 2010 blog titled "Ma con POSTEPAY posso comprare nei negozi? o posso solo comprare su internet?" as well as another Dec 17, 2010 blog titled "What are tips on how to avoid players with online dating? What should I look for in the profile?" and yet another Dec 17, 2010 blog titled "Pranzare di fronte al computer fa mangiare di più." It was also published in an undated (late Dec 2010) blog titled "Q&A: mi potete cosigliare un sito per comprare trucchi, pennelli ecc online?" It was also published in a Dec 26, 2010 New Home Businesses blog, with the same title as the caption that I put on this Flickr page. And it was published in a Dec 29, 2010 blog titled "How An Entrepreneur Create New Products At Lightning Speed."

Moving into 2011, the photo was published in a Jan 2, 2011 blog titled "Q&A: how could i make money online free?", as well as a Jan 2, 2011 blog titled "How to know which SEO software suits your search engine optimization needs?" It was also published in a Jan 4, 2011 blog titled "Online Degrees: A More Affordable And Flexible Higher." And it was published in a Jan 5, 2011 blog titled "Legitimate Paid Surveys – How to Earn Money Online from Home Starting Today ." It was also published in a Jan 9, 2011 blog titled "ciao raga ho un amica che vorrebbe comprare un cell su e bay, sevondo voi e sicuro?" And it was published in an undated (Jan 2011) "Forward SIngles" blog, titled "Медиите за Forward Singles (3)." It was also published in a Jan 19, 2011 blog titled "Getting A Degree In Sports Marketing." And it was published in a Jan 21, 2011 blog titled " Evoquer publiquement sa réussite, ses revenus internet, ou pas…" It was also published in a Jan 27, 2011 blog titled "http://interaktywnie.com/biznes/newsy/domeny/home-pl-tworzy-gielde-domen-18993." And it was published in a Jan 30, 2011 blog titled "Q&A: do I have an eating disorder?"

The photo was also published in a Feb 3, 2011 blog titled "AWP 2011 Panel Post: How To Get Beyond “Using Social Media” & Become A Social Artist Instead." And it was published in a Feb 4, 2011 blog titled "Thanks for Visiting." It was also published in a Feb 7, 2011 blog titled "Consommation et Affirmation de soi : quand le numérique détrône l’automobile." And it was published in a Feb 8, 2011 blog titled "Zoosk To Lead Online Dating Space." It was also published in a Feb 15,2011 blog titled "Unable to meet enrollment goals, CSU may have to return state funds." And it was published in a Feb 18, 2011 blog titled "Google’s travel deal faces regulatory turbulence." It was also published in a Feb 19, 2011 blog titled "MIT Entrepreneurship Review: Designing Customer Surveys That Work: Focus On Value," with the same caption and detailed notes that I had written on this Flickr page. It was also published in a Feb 23, 2011 blog titled "Digitale bouwstenen." And it was published in a Feb 27, 2011 Eliminate Debt Working from Home blog, with the same caption and detailed notes that I had written on this Flickr page. And it was published in an Apr 23, 2011 blog titled Laptop Reviews – Best Mini Laptop 2011

The photo was also published in a Mar 4, 2011 Chilean blog titled "10 formas de organizar mejor tu tiempo." And it was published in a Mar 5, 2011 blog titled "Local High School Uses Digital Textbooks." It was also published in a Mar 7, 2011 blog titled "La crisis dispara la tasa de ocupación de la mujer mayor de 45 años." And it was published in a Mar 11, 2011 blog titled "Une table ronde autour des tendances du eCommerce." It was also published in a Mar 14, 2011 PC Gadgiator blog, with the same caption and detailed notes that I had written on this Flickr page. And it was published in a Mar 15, 2011 blog titled "New Cyberbullying Study Reveals that Students Bullying Are More Likely Insecure, Negative Towards Teachers." It was also published in a Mar 22, 2011 blog titled "How to Speak in German: 3 Unusual Facts for Beginners." And it was published in a Mar 24, 2011 blog titled "Cum abordezi o tipa pe Facebook."

The photo was also published in an Apr 7, 2011 blog titled "Download Sucker Punch Movie-The Story of A Young Courageous Girl." It was also published in an Apr 17, 2011 blog titled "Keeping JSP Development Alive." It was also published in an Apr 19, 2011 "Moscow News" article titled "Попались в женские сети." And it was published in an Apr 23, 2011 blog titled "Laptop Reviews – Best Mini Laptop 2011." It was also published in an Apr 27, 2011 blog titled "Planning For Content Delivery, Consumption and Context." And it was published in an Apr 28, 2011 blog titled "¿Eres una mujer PANK?" It was also published in a Jun 6, 2011 blog titled "This question is for bloggers who make money blogging?" And it was published in a Jun 9, 2011 blog titled "New York City Adds Free AT&T Wi-Fi to Public Parks."

It was also published in a Jul 29, 2011 blog titled "Travel Blogger, una nuova professione?" And it was published in an Aug 10, 2011 blog titled "Russian Storybooks Good for Beginners Learning the Language?" It was also published in an Aug 11, 2011 blog titled "Study Reports More Girls than Boys Cyberbullied." And it was published in an Aug 26, 2011 blog titled "Social networking helps students perform better, professor says," as well as an Aug 26, 2011 blog titled "Los amores en tiempos de internet." And it was published in a Sep 17, 2011 blog titled "La etopeya personal." It was also published in an Oct 3, 2011 Cool Best New Technology Gadgets images blog, with the same caption and detailed notes that I had written on this Flickr page. And it was published in an Oct 15, 2011 "Surviving College" blog titled "PROPERLY COMMUNICATING WITH YOUR PROFESSOR." It was also published in an Oct 21, 2011 blog titled "Disruptive News 21 Oktober 2011," and an Oct 21, 2011 blog titled "UC online instruction pilot sparks excitement, controversy." And it was published in a Nov 2, 2011 blog titled "Going Pro, at BlogWorld Expo 2011." It was also published in a Nov 22, 2011 blog titled "Virtuelle Adventskalender." And it was published in a Dec 9, 2011 blog titled "Es viernes ¿cuánto tiempo pasas conectado?

Moving into 2012, the photo was published in a Jan 2, 2012 blog titled "What would be the job title or the industry for these computer skills? , as well as a Jan 3, 2012 blog titled "looking for a part time job in west philadelphia pa?" It was also published in a Jan 9, 2012 blog titled "Personality Types and Blogging: How Personality May Affect Your Writing, as well as a Jan 12, 2012 blog titled "single mens in chicago, il? gonna moves there to start dating?" And it was published in a Feb 10, 2012 blog titled "Sleep Disorders News : 1800 – 2000 words regarding sleep disorders on insomnia. HUGE TASK ASSIGNMENT. HELP HELP!?

It was also published in a Feb 21, 2012 blog titled "If You Give a Gen-Y a Computer…" And it was published in a Mar 12, 2012 Fast Company blog titled "5 Tips To Retaining Star Gen Y Talent," at www-dot-fastcompany-dot-com/1823890/5-tips-to-retaining-star-gen-y-talent, as well as a Mar 20, 2012 blog titled "Le recrutement via les réseaux sociaux sera la tendance 2012 (étude Viadeo)." It was also published in an Apr 10, 2012 blog titled "The One Where I Turn Writer." And it was published in an Apr 14, 2012 blog titled "Are You Old Enough for Facebook?" It was also published in an Apr 27, 2012 blog titled "Nude Photo of Female Agoura High School Staffer Ends Up On Facebook." And it was published in a May 10, 2012 blog titled "Quiero ser Freelance ¿cómo empiezo?" It was also published in a May 17, 2012 blog titled "What Facebook Teaches Us About Time," as well as a May 30, 2012 blog titled "9 Studies That Show Women Rule Social Media." And it was published in a Jun 10, 2012 blog titled "Women’s Studies Should Include High-Tech Mastery," as well as an undated (late Jun 2012) blog titled "La netiqueta."

In the final month of 2012, the photo was published in a blog titled "Does Twitter Improve Education?" And it was published in a Dec 6, 2012 blog titled "Single To SoulMate." It was also published in a Dec 7, 2012 blog titled "Do You Belong to an Online Community?" And it was published in a Dec 11, 2012 blog titled "漂流する彼女。 ," as well as a Dec 11, 2012 blog titled "Calling all Delaney cousins! It was also published in a Dec 12, 2012 blog titled "Status Changing Strain," as well as a Dec 12, 2012 blog titled "Sabies que… pots estudiar de franc a la Universitat de Harvard?", and also a Dec 12, 2012 blog titled "Buscar trabajo fuera de España como alternativa." And it was published in a Dec 24, 2012 blog titled "Las mujeres y nuestra arma demográfica." It was also published in a Dec 26, 2012 blog titled "Sabies que… pots estudiar de franc a la Universitat de Harvard?"

Moving into 2013, the photo was published in a Jan 10, 2013 blog titled "A List of IT Jobs Will Make Obsolete." And it was published in a Jan 25, 2013 Scientific American blog "How Much Control Will We Have Over Our Personal Data?" It was also published in a Jan 29, 2013 bog titled "Nice Best Laptop Photos." And it was published in a Feb 4, 2013 blog titled "Building a Consistent Blog Readership," as well as a Feb 28, 2013 blog titled "Why Wont He Make It “Facebook Official” – Daily Dilemma?" and a Mar 1, 2013 blog titled "Ligar por internet: ¿Una necesidad o una nueva moda?" It was also published in a Mar 8, 2013 blog titled "How to Earn a Side Income as a College Student." And it was published in a Mar 14, 2013 blog titled "The post-job interview assignment: troubling trend?" It was also published in an Apr 12, 2013 blog titled "Can Online Learning Replace Traditional Educations? Exploring the Future of Education in America." And it was published in a May 8, 2013 blog titled "Freelance Writing Jobs for May 8, 2013." And it was published in a Jul 22, 2013 blog titled "New Coursesmart Survey Shows Increased Digital Textbook Adoption, But Not Increased Sales."

Moving into 2014, the photo was published in a Jan 8, 2014 blog titled "How to Find a Job in 2014."

Sony RX1, A User Report
best way to increase internet speed
Image by kern.justin
Sony RX1 User Report.

I hesitate to write about gear. Tools are tools and the bitter truth is that a great craftsman rises above his tools to create a masterpiece whereas most of us try to improve our abominations by buying better or faster hammers to hit the same nails at the same awkward angles.

The internet is fairly flooded with reviews of this tiny marvel, and it isn’t my intention to compete with those articles. If you’re looking for a full-scale review of every feature or a down-to-Earth accounting of the RX1’s strengths and weaknesses, I recommend starting here.

Instead, I’d like to provide you with a flavor of how I’ve used the camera over the last six months. In short, this is a user report. To save yourself a few thousand words: I love the thing. As we go through this article, you’ll see this is a purpose built camera. The RX1 is not for everyone, but we will get to that and on the way, I’ll share a handful of images that I made with the camera.

It should be obvious to anyone reading this that I write this independently and have absolutely no relationship with Sony (other than having exchanged a large pile of cash for this camera at a retail outlet).

Before we get to anything else, I want to clear the air about two things: Price and Features

The Price

First things first: the price. The 00+ cost of this camera is the elephant in the room and, given I purchased the thing, you may consider me a poor critic. That in mind, I want to offer you three thoughts:

Consumer goods cost what they cost, in the absence of a competitor (the Fuji X100s being the only one worth mention) there is no comparison and you simply have to decide for yourself if you are willing to pay or not.
Normalize the price per sensor area for all 35mm f/2 lens and camera alternatives and you’ll find the RX1 is an amazing value.
You are paying for the ability to take photographs, plain and simple. Ask yourself, “what are these photographs worth to me?”

In my case, #3 is very important. I have used the RX1 to take hundreds of photographs of my family that are immensely important to me. Moreover, I have made photographs (many appearing on this page) that are moving or beautiful and only happened because I had the RX1 in my bag or my pocket. Yes, of course I could have made these or very similar photographs with another camera, but that is immaterial.

35mm by 24mm by 35mm f/2

The killer feature of this camera is simple: it is a wafer of silicon 35mm by 24mm paired to a brilliantly, ridiculously, undeniably sharp, contrasty and bokehlicious 35mm f/2 Carl Zeiss lens. Image quality is king here and all other things take a back seat. This means the following: image quality is as good or better than your DSLR, but battery life, focus speed, and responsiveness are likely not as good as your DSLR. I say likely because, if you have an entry-level DSLR, the RX1 is comparable on these dimensions. If you want to change lenses, if you want an integrated viewfinder, if you want blindingly fast phase-detect autofocus then shoot with a DSLR. If you want the absolute best image quality in the smallest size possible, you’ve got it in the RX1.

While we are on the subject of interchangeable lenses and viewfinders…

I have an interchangeable lens DSLR and I love the thing. It’s basically a medium format camera in a 35mm camera body. It’s a powerhouse and it is the first camera I reach for when the goal is photography. For a long time, however, I’ve found myself in situations where photography was not the first goal, but where I nevertheless wanted to have a camera. I’m around the table with friends or at the park with my son and the DSLR is too big, too bulky, too intimidating. It comes between you and life. In this realm, mirrorless, interchangeable lens cameras seem to be king, but they have a major flaw: they are, for all intents and purposes, just little DSLRs.

As I mentioned above, I have an interchangeable lens system, why would I want another, smaller one? Clearly, I am not alone in feeling this way, as the market has produced a number of what I would call “professional point and shoots.” Here we are talking about the Fuji X100/X100s, Sigma DPm-series and the RX100 and RX1.

Design is about making choices

When the Fuji X100 came out, I was intrigued. Here was a cheap(er), baby Leica M. Quiet, small, unobtrusive. Had I waited to buy until the X100s had come out, perhaps this would be a different report. Perhaps, but probably not. I remember thinking to myself as I was looking at the X100, “I wish there was a digital Rollei 35, something with a fixed 28mm or 35mm lens that would fit in a coat pocket or a small bag.” Now of course, there is.

So, for those of you who said, “I would buy the RX1 if it had interchangeable lenses or an integrated viewfinder or faster autofocus,” I say the following: This is a purpose built camera. You would not want it as an interchangeable system, it can’t compete with DSLR speed. A viewfinder would make the thing bigger and ruin the magic ratio of body to sensor size—further, there is a 3-inch LCD viewfinder on the back! Autofocus is super fast, you just don’t realize it because the bar has been raised impossibly high by ultra-sonic magnet focusing rings on professional DSLR lenses. There’s a fantastic balance at work here between image quality and size—great tools are about the total experience, not about one or the other specification.

In short, design is about making choices. I think Sony has made some good ones with the RX1.

In use

So I’ve just written 1,000 words of a user report without, you know, reporting on use. In many ways the images on the page are my user report. These photographs, more than my words, should give you a flavor of what the RX1 is about. But, for the sake of variety, I intend to tell you a bit about the how and the why of shooting with the RX1.

Snapshots

As a beginning enthusiast, I often sneered at the idea of a snapshot. As I’ve matured, I’ve come to appreciate what a pocket camera and a snapshot can offer. The RX1 is the ultimate photographer’s snapshot camera.

I’ll pause here to properly define snapshot as a photograph taken quickly with a handheld camera.

To quote Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.” So it is with photography. Beautiful photographs happen at the decisive moment—and to paraphrase Henri Cartier-Bresson further—the world is newly made and falling to pieces every instant. I think it is no coincidence that each revolution in the steady march of photography from the tortuously slow chemistry of tin-type and daguerreotype through 120 and 35mm formats to the hyper-sensitive CMOS of today has engendered new categories and concepts of photography.

Photography is a reflexive, reactionary activity. I see beautiful light or the unusual in an every day event and my reaction is a desire to make a photograph. It’s a bit like breathing and has been since I was a kid.

Rather than sneer at snapshots, nowadays I seek them out; and when I seek them out, I do so with the Sony RX1 in my hand.

How I shoot with the RX1

Despite much bluster from commenters on other reviews as to the price point and the purpose-built nature of this camera (see above), the RX1 is incredibly flexible. Have a peek at some of the linked reviews and you’ll see handheld portraits, long exposures, images taken with off-camera flash, etc.

Yet, I mentioned earlier that I reach for the D800 when photography is the primary goal and so the RX1 has become for me a handheld camera—something I use almost exclusively at f/2 (people, objects, shallow DoF) or f/8 (landscapes in abundant light, abstracts). The Auto-ISO setting allows the camera to choose in the range from ISO 50 and 6400 to reach a proper exposure at a given aperture with a 1/80 s shutter speed. I have found this shutter speed ensures a sharp image every time (although photographers with more jittery grips may wish there was the ability to select a different default shutter speed). This strategy works because the RX1 has a delightfully clicky exposure compensation dial just under your right thumb—allowing for fine adjustment to the camera’s metering decision.

So then, if you find me out with the RX1, you’re likely to see me on aperture priority, f/2 and auto ISO. Indeed, many of the photographs on this page were taken in that mode (including lots of the landscape shots!).

Working within constraints.

The RX1 is a wonderful camera to have when you have to work within constraints. When I say this, I mean it is great for photography within two different classes of constraints: 1) physical constraints of time and space and 2) intellectual/artistic constraints.

To speak to the first, as I said earlier, many of the photographs on this page were made possible by having a camera with me at a time that I otherwise would not have been lugging around a camera. For example, some of the images from the Grand Canyon you see were made in a pinch on my way to a Christmas dinner with my family. I didn’t have the larger camera with me and I just had a minute to make the image. Truth be told, these images could have been made with my cell phone, but that I could wring such great image quality out of something not much larger than my cell phone is just gravy. Be it jacket pocket, small bag, bike bag, saddle bag, even fannie pack—you have space for this camera anywhere you go.

Earlier I alluded to the obtrusiveness of a large camera. If you want to travel lightly and make photographs without announcing your presence, it’s easier to use a smaller camera. Here the RX1 excels. Moreover, the camera’s leaf shutter is virtually silent, so you can snap away without announcing your intention. In every sense, this camera is meant to work within physical constraints.

I cut my photographic teeth on film and I will always have an affection for it. There is a sense that one is playing within the rules when he uses film. That same feeling is here in the RX1. I never thought I’d say this about a camera, but I often like the JPEG images this thing produces more than I like what I can push with a RAW. Don’t get me wrong, for a landscape or a cityscape, the RAW processed carefully is FAR, FAR better than a JPEG.

But when I am taking snapshots or photos of friends and family, I find the JPEGs the camera produces (I’m shooting in RAW + JPEG) so beautiful. The camera’s computer corrects for the lens distortion and provides the perfect balance of contrast and saturation. The JPEG engine can be further tweaked to increase the amount of contrast, saturation or dynamic range optimization (shadow boost) used in writing those files. Add in the ability to rapidly compensate exposure or activate various creative modes and you’ve got this feeling you’re shooting film again. Instant, ultra-sensitive and customizable film.

Pro Tip: Focusing

Almost all cameras come shipped with what I consider to be the worst of the worst focus configurations. Even the Nikon D800 came to my hands set to focus when the shutter button was halfway depressed. This mode will ruin almost any photograph. Why? Because it requires you to perform legerdemain to place the autofocus point, depress the shutter halfway, recompose and press the shutter fully. In addition to the chance of accidentally refocusing after composing or missing the shot—this method absolutely ensures that one must focus before every single photograph. Absolutely impossible for action or portraiture.

Sensibly, most professional or prosumer cameras come with an AF-ON button near where the shooter’s right thumb rests. This separates the task of focusing and exposing, allowing the photographer to quickly focus and to capture the image even if focus is slightly off at the focus point. For portraits, kids, action, etc the camera has to have a hair-trigger. It has to be responsive. Manufacturer’s: stop shipping your cameras with this ham-fisted autofocus arrangement.

Now, the RX1 does not have an AF-ON button, but it does have an AEL button whose function can be changed to “MF/AF Control Hold” in the menu. Further, other buttons on the rear of the camera can also be programmed to toggle between AF and MF modes. What this all means is that you can work around the RX1’s buttons to make it’s focus work like a DSLR’s. (For those of you who are RX1 shooters, set the front switch to MF, the right control wheel button to MF/AF Toggle and the AEL button to MF/AF Control Hold and voila!) The end result is that, when powered on the camera is in manual focus mode, but the autofocus can be activated by pressing AEL, no matter what, however, the shutter is tripped by the shutter release. Want to switch to AF mode? Just push a button and you’re back to the standard modality.

Carrying.

I keep mine in a small, neoprene pouch with a semi-hard LCD cover and a circular polarizing filter on the front—perfect for buttoning up and throwing into a bag on my way out of the house. I have a soft release screwed into the threaded shutter release and a custom, red twill strap to replace the horrible plastic strap Sony provided. I plan to gaffer tape the top and the orange ring around the lens. Who knows, I may find an old Voigtlander optical viewfinder in future as well.

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