Recently, my family and I took a one-month vacation to Asia, visiting regions in Nepal, Hong Kong and Taiwan. This wasn’t purely a “photography trip”, per se, but let’s not kid ourselves here…I planned to take a ton of pictures. Long ago I mentally transitioned from someone who takes pictures while traveling to someone who travels to take pictures.
Phewa Lake, Pokhara, Nepal. Sony RX10 IV at 24mm. 1/100-sec., f/4, ISO 125
Because of space limitations, I couldn’t carry my typical Sony Alpha interchangeable lens gear. Instead, I took the Sony RX10 IV with me. The camera has some features that make it an especially good traveling companion. It starts with the lens which is a mind-boggling Zeiss 24-600mm (full-frame equivalent) f/2.4 – 4.0 zoom. With that huge range, you can cover just about any situation that might arise. Beyond the lens, the RX10 IV has a high–res, 20 megapixel, 1” sensor with awesome dynamic range. Its phase-detect AF system is lightning fast and it shoots both still and video.
I truly appreciated the RX10 IV’s huge 24-600mm zoom range when I visited Sarangkot in Pokhara, Nepal. Watching the first rays of light hit the tallest peaks of the Himalayas was truly a spiritual experience. The 24mm end of the focal range allowed me to capture a beautiful environmental portrait of a person paying homage to the rising sun.
Sarangkot, Nepal. Sony RX10 IV at 24mm. 1/60-sec., f/5.6, ISO 125
I then zoomed in to compress the landscape and record the breath-taking layers of the foot-hills and mountains under a glowing, red orb.
Sarangkot, Nepal. Sony RX10 IV at 115mm. 1/250-sec., f/4.5, ISO 125
The RX10 Mk IV was a versatile hiking companion around Nepal and Hong Kong. Being able to carry just the one camera slung over my shoulder was liberating. The RX10 IV was designed to be a one-body solution and when I was hiking with it, I didn’t feel like I was limited.
Pokhara, Nepal. Sony RX10 IV at 400mm. 1/250-sec., f/5.6, ISO 125
Pokhara, Nepal. Sony RX10 IV at 200mm. 1/100-sec., f/4, ISO 125
Pokhara, Nepal. Sony RX10 IV at 120mm. 1/100-sec., f/4, ISO 125
Dragon’s Back Hike, Hong Kong. Sony RX10 IV at 300mm. 1/250-sec., f/4, ISO 125
Sarangkot, Nepal. Sony RX10 IV at 300mm. 1/100-sec., f/4, ISO 125
Sarangkot, Nepal. Sony RX10 IV at 250mm. 1/500-sec., f/5.6, ISO 125
The RX10 IV’s lens is remarkable. The 24-600mm optical zoom range truly is amazing and incredibly versatile. It has a 72mm filter thread which enabled me to attach my 5-Stop ND filter for long-exposure images like this one (below).
Pokhara, Nepal. Sony RX10 IV at 35mm. 15-seconds, f/8, ISO 125, 5-stop ND filter
The RX10 IV might be the best camera made for travel. It’s not the smallest option, but the tradeoff off for its size is the mind-blowing Zeiss 24-600mm lens. When traveling, one never knows what photo opportunities will pop up and having that zoom made me feel like I wouldn’t miss any of them.
Mahesh Thapa is a member of the Alpha Imaging Collective. You can follow him on Instagram @starvingphotographer.