— BryanDRoth (@BryanDRoth) February 22, 2013
I get pretty wordy when I talk about camera equipment so I figured it’d be easier to post this here. I haven’t added an equipment page since moving my blog to WordPress from Tumblr, but since I’ve cut down my equipment drastically it’s probably not as necessary.
When I first started this blog, I shot with a prosumer point and shoot, the Panasonic DMC-LX3, then I switched to a big ass Nikon D80, and now I’m back to a prosumer P&S, the Sony RX100. The Panasonic was nice and let me dip my toes into photography but honestly 99% of the time it was in Program mode, set to F/2.0 to get that shallow depth of field we all love and that’s about it; I didn’t really learn much about photography itself other maybe some composure techniques.
When I switched to the Nikon, it was a big step up. I had several lenses, a couple of different flashes, a battery grip and tons of other accessories. It was nice, made me think about shots a little more. I used a prime lens for just about everything, which meant actually moving my ass to get the right shot. It produced some nice pictures, but even with the 50mm F/1.8 lens it struggled in the locations where I took pictures the most: crappily lit restaurants and bars. I knew that had more to do with how old the camera body was than anything, so it was time to upgrade to something from this decade.
While I loved having the massive DSLR setup, which actually helped me get into press areas in beer events that I wouldn’t normally get into, it really made no sense to drag that big ass thing around when I was out getting drunk in a bar or something. I wanted to go smaller, and I looked at smaller interchangable lens cameras like the Panasonic GX1, Sony NEX-series, even the sexy, but massive Olympus OMD. I liked these cameras a lot, but even with the smaller prime lenses they weren’t really that much smaller than the D80 setup. Much lighter for sure but swinging around any kind of lens sticking out was still going to be an issue.
I started looking at prosumer cameras again, like the Panasonic LX7, the Canon S110, and finally the Sony Rx100. The first two were nice, but they really didn’t wow me the way the Sony did. It seemed to just generate light even in the worst situations. I was fucking amazed when I started shooting with it. It was pocketable if it needed to be, although I keep it hanging from my neckstrap most of the time. I have a cheap Manfrotto tripod for when I absolutely need it to be stable but I hand hold it 99% of the time, it’s just that good.
There are still some times when it struggles, like shooting moving people in low light like this homebrew competition at The Ruck. I just really, really hate shooting with a flash and it’s something I’m just going to have to get over in those types of situations, maybe even pick up an off camera slave flash to shoot at the ceiling or something. For stills, supported on a table, chair or tripod, I can shoot in just about complete darkness and it will still take a decent shot. The only real downside to the RX100 is that it is definitely not cheap. It’s one of the most expensive point and shoots on the market, honestly, but I can’t recommend it enough.
Hope that answers your question, Bryan!