Stop for a moment and think about the answer to the following question. What is the single best thing to have with you in a desert?
The answer is a Sony RX100.
If there is one subject matter I really love to photograph its sand and where else do you find lots of sand but in the Desert. On my recent visit to Death Valley I therefore headed straight for Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes near to Stovepipe Wells. I have seen many images of the area and whilst they all look a little clichéd, I love them.
The temperature in the dunes was only in the 90’s but having left behind freezing conditions only a couple of days earlier it was a little demanding. This was further amplified by the direct sunshine and the clear sky. This made me happy that the camera I was carrying was the Sony RX100 which is very light and fitted easily in my pocket.
I quickly found that having a small compact camera allowed me to explore different angles and compositions very easily as well as get in very close to the sand. Getting low and close also compensated to some degree for the limited wide angle of 28mm on the Sony. Looking around I could see many of the DSLR users shooting from the usual height whilst stood up. Most looked particularly uncomfortable carrying large camera bags.
The other advantage of the RX100 over my GX1 as I found out later is that the GX1 has dust on the sensor. This is a problem in dusty desert conditions but a well sealed compact camera unit doesn’t succumb to the problem.
And if you do get lost in the Dessert, the battery in the RX100 seems to last all day so you can keep yourself amused whilst waiting to be rescued.