Ciao Italy with RX1 by Nguyen Phan

Ciao Italy with RX1 by Nguyen Phan

Hello Steve,

How are you doing? I’m Nguyen from Viet Nam. First of all, I want to say thank you so much, after watching your Sony RX1 review, I decided to sell my Canon 5D Mark 3 and bought a Sony RX1 which is just awesome and I took it with my Leica M7 to Italy one week ago, I can say I’m addicted to RX1 because of the color rendering its self, fast focusing, friendly looking and the sharpness of the photo result.

I traveled in Italy for 9 days and I found out that Italians are so fun and cute. I went to Roma, Florence, and Venice, the people from these cities are quite different from each others. Here are some photos that I want to show you.


“All roads lead to Rome”, and yes, Rome was my first destination.

I met a lot of Italians in here. Although I’m not a native English speaker but Italians were so cute with their “broken-English”. I found a Roman woman in a colorful dress on the way to Termini station, when I asked for a couple of photos she said she doesn’t speak English much, so I asked her with a slow and simple English accent and I also used my body language. She smiled and agreed. Later I met a huge group of people who were demonstrating near the Termini Station. I joined them and asked some people what their demonstration was about, and didn’t forget to ask them for some portrait photos. They found out that I was interested in taking photo so they happily let me take a couple of photos. When they explained something to me, they tried to explain it in a funny way and it was so funny. I’m addicted to Italian accent.


I stayed Rome for 3 nights before moving to Florence, and hell Florence is awesome, the city is noted for its history, culture, and it also contains numerous museums and art galleries. I went out on the street from early morning, met a sleep-walking old man, street cleaning staffs, oh, these guys saw me when I was taking photo of some mannequins, and they ask and grinned:

“Are-rr you ta-king phodo?”

“Yes, Can I take a couple of photos of you guys?” – Asked me and pointed my camera at them


They look so happy and let me took some wonderful photos with their vehicles, I strongly like these photos.


I stopped at Venice and spent 3 nights there, I lived in a hotel near Ve Mestre. This station is about 20-minute away from Venice by train, but I went to Venice twice a day, and got lost many times in Venice. I met an Italian man on the water bus, first he found out I was interested with my camera and he asked: “Ciao, Photographer?”

He looked older than 35

I said: “Buongiorno Ciao, No no Photo-shooter”

“Film ca-me-rar?” – Said him

I like the way Italians speak English. It’s simple, honest and they aren’t embarrassed. – LIKE ME LOL, just make it simple.

And he met a friend of him was driving a GONDOLA, he said sorry to me, then called his friend for 3 times before his friend recognize him and they spoke loudly some Italian which I didn’t understand.

“Italians are so fun” – Said me

“Yeah i see” – an UK woman said

“Sorry, meet friend, so happy” – Said him

“It’s ok, I understand” ” Are you married?” – Asked me

“No no, Im girl” – he answered

“What? What do you mean “Im girl”?, you mean you love guys”? – Asked me again

“Yes, I don’t love girl” he answered

“But you can marry a girl and have children, kids are really cute” – Said me

“But I don’t like girl, I cannot marry, I’m stupid” – Said him

“Common, its ok. It’s fine. – I said

“You so nice, your eyes are nice too, I like your eyes” – Said him

“Really? Thank you but I don’t think it’s that nice” – Answered me

“It’s nice” – Said him

He was a really cute guy.



I took a lot of photos in Venice by RX1 and also M7, but I’m still waiting for the film development and I will update film photos as soon as possible on my blog.

You can see my blog here:

My flickr:

My Facebook:

Btw, I’m waiting for your Sony RX1R review.

Best Regards,



  1. So a guy tells he’s gay and your first comment is..lout you can’t hav kids.

    Adoption existed a long time ago. Is probably a language barrier thing but I find that whole recount of the conversation to be distasteful and the conversation itself ridiculous.

    I do like your photos. Good travel snaps, but not shots I feel makes this camera shine.

    Well we’re all drawn to different things. In photography and bed

  2. I got lost a few times reading your story; it’s quite confusing? My Italian boyfriend said he was quite offended when I showed him this though…with all the broken English and gay stuff you mentioned. I had a nice laugh since I’m not Italian… so..yeah….

  3. frank foster must be a professional since he can see a hat in the photo of a woman and all I can see is an umbrella…

  4. As a full time college teacher of photography, this work at best has several issues. The contrast needs to be lowered in the shot of the woman (her hand) with the hat. The man crossing in from of the arched doors blends in to it and is too dark. There are also compositional problems in several images such as the Coke sign coming out of the head of the male subject. It is interesting how many comments compliment this work. I would suggest a course in beginning photography if you have not taken it already

    • Thanks Frank for your suggestion. I will remember your words. Yes, I don’t good at photography and I look at everything through the eyes of a tourist not a teacher of photography like you. I’m taking photos of whom I feel something inside them, we had a lot of fun while talking to each others, with my camera I make friends. I don’t want to be serious. Break the rule and enjoy it Dr. Frank.

  5. Hey Johnny, I love the way you compose your shots.

    Just asking, I have a 5D Mark II and I’m considering giving it up for something of the likes of the RX1.

    Did you have any problems being restricted by the fixed 35 mm? Would you have wanted to go wider/closer in some situations in your travel?


    • Hi Dwayne

      The RX1 is small but awesome, I have no problem while using it. When I need wider/closer view, all i have to do is moving my legs. Conpact size, zeiss lens, ISO performance, color rendering, all of these made RX1 become my fav camera for street photos

  6. Doesn’t really capture the Italy that I had in mind. The photos seem to be plain and lifeless. But then again, I could be very wrong. Nice job.

  7. The photos are ok. But man let the pictures speak next time and skip the “story-telling”. I don`t want to be rude, but I assume you can take a little criticism.

    • Hey I don’t know, I quite enjoyed the rambling and slightly chaotic narrative, as well as the pictures. I’m holidaying in Italy at the moment and I think he has captured some of the pleasant disconnect of travelling in a foreign country.

      • So why not stop all these excuses with poor or ‘broken’ English nonsense as long all people here understand what’s all about; camera and picture issues?

        • Some of us who have not a full grasp of a foreign language just enjoy the funny conversations we can have with similarly skilled people, knowing full well that if we would have been fluent, the outcome would have been very different. Chill!

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