Wednesday, October 3, 2018

The Best Camera for Street Photography

Just came from New York City, where I wanted to travel light and didn't want to be a target by carrying an expensive-looking camera around.  Guess what camera I used?  (As always, click on any picture to make it larger.)

The 1964 World Fair was held in Corona Park, New York. Many of the major construction projects, like this observation tower and the New York pavilion next to it, still stand but are in decay.

People of NYC speak every language on the planet, and cook up every type of food imaginable.

An inconspicuous camera for street photography.

1/8th of a second, ISO 100, handheld.  (Tripods are SO overrated...)  Colors enhanced slightly using Lightroom's Vibrance slider to make it look like it did to my eye.

Paul Simon's very last concert on his very last tour.  This will probably be the last time Paul Simon sings this song in public.

What camera did I use?  The RX100 VI - a point-and-shoot with a 24-200mm lens and the famous 1"-type sensor that's winning over travel photographers everywhere.  This camera is so inconspicuous that your chances of getting noticed are significantly reduced.

Seminar Update

Frustrated trying to get better pictures by trying to understand all of the features of your camera?  I can tell you there's a better way.  That's why the Friedman Archives Seminars were created.  The next ones will be held at:

Boulder (actually, Broomfield) Colorado (Hurry!  2 weeks left to sign up!) -  October 20-21, 2018
Scottsdale, Arizona - November 10-11, 2018
Copenhagen - Spring 2019
Las Vegas - Spring, 2019

(Email me if you're interested in learning about the last two when enrollment opens)

There's also the Home Study course for those who don't want to wait for the seminar to come to your town. :-)

In the Pipeline

Ebooks are in the works for the new Fujifilm X-T3 by Tony Phillips, and a Spanish translation of the A7 III ebook.  Please send an email to Gary at Friedman Archives dot com if you'd like to be notified when they're ready!

Vietnam Update

A photographer can take beautiful pictures all day long, but at the end of the day what good is it doing?  And so I'm taking a journey to make a difference with my photography, and I'm volunteering to work with Photographers Without Borders to help document an NGO's work in a poor part of Vietnam still affected by the war.

Currently there are 3 months to go and I'm 30% of the way toward my fundraising goal.  Please make a contribution to help make a difference!

World Trade Center

One of the New York stops we made was at the memorial of the World Trade Center, the site of the 9/11 bombings.  They're in the process of constructing 4 buildings on the site to replace the two that were destroyed.
That white building there?  It's designed to look like a dove's wing.  But it's not a memorial; it's the entrance to a shopping mall.

Close-up of the same.

World Trade Center memorial, molested somewhat by Landscape Pro.  But it's slightly more interesting than the blah photo I took on an overcast day.

The memorial is a giant hole in the ground, into which water continuously pours.  Then it goes into a black hole (actually a big drain) into the center.  This whole thing reminded me of this different picture that I took in China back in 2003:

It is a statuette showing the World Trade Center twin towers with an airplane lodged at the top of one tower.  Osama bin Laden's figure graces the statue.  I found this at a huge bazaar around the corner from the big tourist hotel, which draws people from all over the world. This surprised me for a brief moment, but then I remembered that not everyone likes the U.S. and I'm sure some people applauded this terrorist act against the infidels.

The best analogy to this I can think of is that people in the U.S. are like Microsoft employees.  If you work there, you take pride in building the best software in the world, enabling everyone to be productive and creative and connected.  But people outside of Microsoft know them only as that evil company that squashes their competitors and made billions writing buggy software.  

Similarly, people in the U.S. may think they live in the greatest country in the world (and in many ways they're right), but all the rest of the world usually sees is gluttony, arrogance, and hubris.  (And Mickey Mouse.)

(Cue the hate mail in 3...2...1...)

Until next time...
Yours Truly, Gary Friedman

Had a meal at Friedman's restaurant.  How can it be bad?


  1. Hi Gary,
    Unfortunately, I'm gonna have to disagree with you about your choice of the best camera for street photography. It was when I got my first RX100 that my street photography began to ground to a halt. It is a nice size, so I have it with me all the time, but the process of taking a picture - lining yourself up behind the lens and then shooting - is so different from that of shooting with a (D)SLR that I've found it very difficult to revive my street shooting with the small camera.
    There is no argument here about the high quality of the series - I love it! I've got the Mark 3 (RX100 and A7) and think Sony is staying well ahead of the curve with its products. I'd like to hear what other street photographers have to say about this!

    1. No bad opinions here. But I am confused about your complaint - newer RX-100 models have a flip out screen which means you DON'T have to align your eye to the lens on order to frame you picture properly (whereas on a DSLR you don't have much choice)

    2. I agree with Gary. I have the Mark IV and while it does not have the 24-200 zoom, I can live with the 24-70 zoom. If cost is not an object go with the Mark VI otherwise the Mark IV is just an amazing camera. My Sony r7 and a6300 (which I purchased because DSLRs were just too bulky to take overseas and the Canon G9 just a bit dated) are gathering dust as this is now my preferred camera for traveling. I am now a committed Sony enthusiast.

    3. I don't understand references to Mark IV or VI, are they RX models?

    4. Sorry about the mixed-up syntax. What I meant was that with a big camera, you usually have to or want to look through the viewfinder before and during the shot. I don't really use the viewfinder on the RX100iii because it feels a bit silly holding that little camera up to my eye. Yes, you can take pictures with the small ones without others noticing, but I'm not out there to spy on people. If I were, I'd use the mobile phone remote with the A7iii.

    5. I'm old school and like looking through the viewfinder.

  2. Hi

    I find my A5000 is my camera that I use for my small street camera. I do use my A6000 with the 18105G also.

    My wife uses my RX100V1 and likes the small form factor. She has taken it on 2 overseas holidays.


  3. I agree wholeheartedly with your analogy about the sculpture from China. Cannot add to "best street photography camera" discussion because I don't shoot strict "street photography" which I consider to be of people because I find it obtrusive (and I thought you didn't do street photography either?). I do however shoot city scenic photography of buildings and other interesting structures typically without people or at least without people as the subject, unless I'm on vacation or visiting with friends and family.

    1. I don't generally do street photography, but I wanted to shoot an example for this blog. So I made an exception. :-)

  4. Sorry to say I have a RX100 and agree with Jim. Can you give some specific tips on using the RX100 series for street photography? Or should I use it as an excuse to upgrade to the III or VI? Ha!
    BTW the 1964 World's Fair was held at Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, commonly referred to as Flushing Meadows Park or simply Flushing Meadows. Thanks!

  5. Awesome article!! It’s a big step starting from nothing. What are your thoughts on mirrorless cameras?