An Ode to Compactness

January 6, 2022



My complete photo-making equipment that I carry in my person.

For as long as I know, even as a child, I always loved compact things: toys that fit in my palm, a library of games (Nokia N-Gage, Sony PSP, Nintendo DS) and books (Amazon Kindle) that I can take with me, and so on.

And having been robbed three times in my 35-year-long life (very long story), I want to be able to keep my primary tools for image creation in my person; I don’t own a PC for this very reason.

Everything I care about (some of them were not included in this list: an SSD, my medications, etc) can fit in a Moleskine shoulder bag, also not pictured.

Here’s the list of equipment I use to make and realise my pictures:

  • Sony RX100 V: Sony’s last compact camera with a 24-70mm f/1.8-2.8 lens.
  • Apple iPhone 8 Plus: A four-year-old iPhone with battery health of 79% that still lasts for 1.5 days and runs Adobe Lightroom without hiccups. I can store (iCloud Drive), edit, publish, and print only using this device.
  • Lume Cube 1.0: Powerful, portable LED light with built-in lithium battery. It lasts for 90 minutes at maximum power; practically a pocket Sun.
  • Apple Lightning to SD Card Adapter: This allows me to transfer my raw images to my phone quickly.
  • Sandisk 64 GB SD Card: It’s one of those fast ones.
  • Camera Batteries: RX100M5’s battery life is atrocious (rated 220 pictures per full charge by CIPA). Thankfully, the batteries are quite small.
  • Peak Design Leash Strap: The most comfortable strap I have ever used.
  • Eastpak Mini Springer Bag: This bag houses 3, 4, and 6.
  • Adobe Lightroom (not Classic): My primary ‘digital darkroom’ and secondary cloud storage.

So, there you have it. You don’t need much to create visuals these days, and I certainly quite enjoy not owning many things; I believe good electronics don’t get in the way of your process. I feel lucky to have found my sweet spot in terms of gear that I carry with me.