Pimp My RX1-R

October 03, 2013  •  Leave a Comment

The Sony RX1 and RX1-R are little cameras, considering the punch they pack - true full frame sensor and a fantastic 35mm f/2 Zeiss lens, all in a little package that is pocketable if you have some good size-jacket pockets, and definitely much more portable than a DSLR.

However, the stock body is missing a few things. I have the EVF on order - despite the price I feel like it's necessary for me to get the most out of the camera, but it is on backorder right now. But I'm declining to buy any of the other ridiculously priced Sony accessories for the camera (especially the $200 thumb grip).

Instead, I've pimped out my little camera with a few things that have tremendously improved the handling of the camera. Specifically:

1) I use a soft shutter release - I love that these bodies have threaded shutter releases because I really like the feel of a soft shutter release, and the way it helps minimize camera movement when I (gently, rollingly) press down on the shutter

2) I purchased a UV lens (a must, in my opinion, for a fixed lens camera that would quickly turn into a brick if the front lens element gets damaged). In this case I tried an ultra-slim 49mm from B+W that came with it's own friction-on cap; I don't think it was really necessary to get a slim filter, in retrospect (could have gotten a regular thickness filter from B+W instead), but it has been working so far and doesn't contribute at all to vignetting

3) I'm using a wrist strap from OpTek with a soft neoprene strap - cheap and it works

4) The main "pimping" of the camera: I bought a Fotodiox grip (screws into the tripod connector on the base of the camera, and has a tripod hole of it's own, along with gaps for the battery/SD card slot). You can also buy a more expensive one from Really Right Stuff, but the Fotodiox has worked great for me so far. However, I added to it: I used five pieces (slices? chunks?) of Sugru molding magic-stuff and created a custom hang-grip based on my own fingers. Mold it together like putty, let it sit for 24 hours, and you have yourself a hell of a nice grip. I've used the same stuff on my D800E as well - it really makes the handling of the camera that much nicer.

Altogether I now feel like the camera slots right into my (large) hands. It no longer feels like a dangerously expensive toy that might slip out of my hand at any time. The soft shutter button does come un-screwed sometimes, but not annoyingly often (and action of turning the camera on can be used to secure the button into the threads).


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