The battery life on the Sony RX100 III is OK. The battery life is rated at 320 photographs, but drops at to a dismal 230 photographs when using the pop up viewfinder. I would suggest purchasing at least one backup battery with an external charger. The camera comes with a USB charger that charges the battery while in the camera. I prefer an external battery charger so I can use the camera while another battery is charging. In practice, I was able to get by on most days with a single battery, but there were a some days in which I used two.
The 24-70 mm focal length is a versatile range for a travel lens and was fine for most of my photographic needs in Istanbul, Turkey. I mostly used the 24 mm wide angle focal length but there were a few times I did wish for a longer focal length of 80 mm, 90 mm, or even 100 mm to better isolate architectural subjects. However, with practice, one learns to mentally compose photographs within a given focal length.
This Sony comes with a popup viewfinder which is an unique feature for pocketable point and shoot cameras. Although the viewfinder is not on par and much smaller than other electronic viewfinders of the larger micro four third cameras, the viewfinder is still useful when composing photographs in bright sunlight. I found the viewfinder especially useful when photographing into the bright sun to compose photographs incorporating flare. I really like using flare and if used properly can create some unique, signature photographs. Some of my strongest photographs in my book, Sinai: Landscape and Nature in Egypt's Wilderness and calendar, Sinai, incorporate flare as part of the composition.
Istanbul, Turkey is an amazing place to visit with its world class museums and attractions, history, good food, and hospitable people. If a pocket-sized point and shoot camera with a fast 24-70 mm f1.8 - 2.8 lens and high image quality in low light is important, then the high market price of just under $800 and around $600 used/refurbished camera may be justified.
History becomes alive when visiting the Aya Sofia, one of Turkey’s artistic, historic and architectural wonders and considered to be one of the most beautiful buildings in the world. I wanted a photograph that told the story of Hagia Sophia’s transitional history by including symbols of its changing history, from its origins as a church and center of the Byzantine empire, then a mosque under the Ottoman empire, and finally a museum under the modern Turkish republic.
In order to focus on the composition, while photographing the outside perimeters and dimly lit interior, I set the camera to AV mode at F2.8 and Auto ISO, minimum ISO of 125 and maximum ISO of 3200. After experimenting with different ISOs the previous days and examining the image quality at 50 % and 100 % magnification, I was really impressed with the high ISO image quality and noise. I felt comfortable using this camera regularly up to ISO 1600 and ISO 3200 when needed, which is impressive for a point and shoot.
After spending more time with the camera, I also started feeling more familiar with the menu system and finally figured out how to customize the button functions. I also found that the accessory hand grip, which does not change the profile of the camera is a must for handholding the camera with one hand, and should have been included, given the high price of the camera.
Although the Aya Sofia's interior is dimly lit, the natural framing elements and different shades of light make the Aya Sofia a must for any photographer to visit.
The first blog post is about my book, "Sinai:Landscape and Nature in Egypt's Wilderness".
How can anyone not fall in love with Sinai? Its allure is legendary because of Sinai's spectacular landscapes, elusive wildlife, amazing people, and unique geopolitical history, and religious significance. I fell in love with Sinai's deserts during my first visit at around the age of 16.
After I graduated from college, I figured out that the best way to spend extended time in Sinai's desert, was to go to graduate school. I initially pursued a Master's degree in Ecology, but I enjoyed the desert so much, graduate school turned into a PhD. I lived in Sinai for over a year, which was some of the best years of my life. It was during this time that I started taking photography seriously. I started my mornings off by hiking and taking photographs, similar to people who start their mornings off by jogging.
My background as a scientist, allowed me to have an unique insight into the ecological processes, fauna, and flora of Sinai. Photography in turn made me a better scientist by allowing me to see the desert in abstract terms and communicate my love of Sinai and its vulnerability to a broader audience.
The book was the product of over 13 years of visits in the sand dunes of North Sinai and the mountains of South Sinai. Some of the photographs were taken on field trips, backpacking trips as long as 170 km and camping trips consisting of several weeks to seek out and photograph rare wildlife, storms, and amazing sunsets. As the publisher says "Sinai: Landscape and Nature in Egypt's Wilderness transports us to the haunting grandeur of this peninsula with 150 breathtaking full-color photographs."
The book is available from major online sellers such as Barnes and Noble and Amazon and available in Egypt from the AUC Press bookstore and Diwan.
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