Sony RX100: pocket, meet camera

Photography is an interesting thing – many interesting things. Take cameras, for example. For some people, cameras and lenses appear to mean perhaps more than the actual photographs they are supposed to use those equipment for. The global growth of revenue from digital camera industry continues its upwards trend, and by some estimates is expected to reach $46 billion by 2017. There are cameras for multiple uses, and the strengths of one system in one context turn into weaknesses in another. Compare DSLR “systems camera” to a cameraphone (or smartphone), for example: the versatility provided by multiple, interchangeable lenses combined to large image sensor and powerful image processing is unbeatable when the pure technical side of photography as a form of expression is being considered. On the other hand, in everyday daily lives, few people go about hauling their professional DSLR system everywhere. Having a good camera integrated into the mobile phone is your best bet to have camera at hand when the spontaneus opportunity for an interesting photo presents itself. Though, the limitations of small lens and small image sensor inevitably set its limits to what one can achieve with a smartphone camera.

I am going to experiment next by acquiring a compact, “pocket camera” that hopefully would be small enough to actually be feasible to carry around daily in my overcoat pocket, while also having better optics and more versatile feature set than a smartphone camera.

My choice (balancing budget and wish list) concluded into Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 model. This is a compact camera that was introduced already in summer 2012, and there are already several more feature-rich, upgraded versions of RX100 available (Mark II, III, and now also IV, released in summer 2015). My priority here though was to focus on the essential aspects of solid optics combined with decent image sensor and build quality, and the original RX100 ranks high in that department, and the price is pretty competitive by now.

There are few things that smartphone cameras do really well, and extensive app ecosystem, strong computing power in compact form factor and excellent touch screen interfaces are among the key such elements. If the lens and sensor are priority in a compact camera, to get that high quality shot, and you are carrying a powerful smartphone also with you everywhere, it does not make sense to try to duplicate smartphone functions in the camera itself. It is enough to be able to get the photo from camera to the smartphone, and then do the post-processing and possible social media sharing, or archiving from there (or, via a cloud service and/or a PC, for that matter). RX100 does not have a built-in WiFi or other wireless functions, so I have now equipped my new Sony with the Eye-Fi Mobi Pro 32 GB SD memory card, which has the WiFi, and can connect to e.g. iPhone Eye-Fi Mobi app, where from you can take the editing and sharing business as far as you want.

I also invested to some other small add-ons: the official camera LCD screen protector (PCK-LM15) and the Sony AG-R2 Attachment Grip. The latter affects the slim, flat design of RX100 a bit, but is really good for getting reliable hold of the camera so that you can confidently work through multiple positions, without fear of dropping the camera.

RX100 is one of the most popular cameras in the relatively new “enthusiast compact” category, that I guess emerged out of Darwinian adaptation process, where mobile phones took over most of the “snapshot” market, and the compact camera manufacturers were forced to evolve and differentiate their offerings from the most basic and casual photography needs. The manual of RX100 is a rather thick volume, so it has fair number of various options and functions, and this camera has also a rather large, one-inch image sensor (of 20 megapixels), a Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T lens (28-100mm equiv., f/1.8-4.9), image stabilization, automatic face recognition, customizable controls and the ability to shoot recording RAW images – something that the more professional (or nerdy) photo tweakers can value.

It is still too early to say whether the idea of having a daily pocket camera available actually makes any real sense, so that the extra 240 grams of weight in my jacket pocket really pays off. But I guess that in those conference trip breaks this would allow one to jump on and off the “tourist mode” with a bit more expressive range available than just a mobile phone camera would allow. We will see.

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Please spread the word:

CFP DiGRA/FDG 2016 – 1st Joint International Conference of DiGRA and FDG

For the first time, the Digital Games Research Association (DiGRA) and the Foundation of Digital Games (FDG) will partner in an unprecedented gathering of games researchers. We invite researchers and educators within game research, broadly construed, to submit their work.

For more information, please visit the conference’s website:


DiGRA/FDG aims at being a venue for game research from all research disciplines. In line with this, it accepts and encourages submissions in the following six tracks, on a wide range of subjects including, but not limited to:

  • Game design: Design techniques, practices, methods, post mortems, etc.
  • Game criticism and analysis: Close readings, ontologies and frameworks, historical studies, philosophical explorations, and other humanities-informed approaches
  • Play studies + Interaction and player experience: studies of play, observations and interviews of players, and research based on other methods from the social sciences; game interfaces, player metrics, modeling player experience
  • Artificial intelligence: agents, motion/camera planning, navigation, adaptivity, procedural content generation, dialog, authoring tools, general game playing
  • Game technology: engines, frameworks, graphics, networking, animation
  • Game production: studies of game production processes, studio studies, software studies, platform studies and software engineering

Due to the interdisciplinary nature of the DiGRA/FDG conference, authors and reviewers alike will be required to describe their research background and field of study as part of the submission process. The intention for this is to help reviewers be conscious of when they are reviewing work outside their own field as well as making clear the proportions of contributing fields.

Submission categories

DiGRA/FDG 2016 supports two different categories for submitting research:

  • Full Papers (no more than 16 pages)
  • Extended Abstracts with a maximum length of 2-pages

This structure reflects the cross-disciplinary nature and different conference traditions of the conference attendants. A full paper submission is recommended for completed research work, in particular empirical or technical work. The extended abstract format is suitable for discussion topics and ideas. Both full papers and abstracts are subject to a double-blind review process. These two categories are the only ones that will be published in DiGRA’s digital library.

Deadlines full papers and extended abstracts

Submission deadline

  • January 29 2016 (hard deadline)

Acceptance/rejection notification

  • March 21 2016


  • March 25 2016

Notification of final decisions

  • March 31 2016

Camera ready

  • April 29 2016

In addition to this, DiGRA/FDG 2016 accepts submissions for:

  • Events with a maximum length of 2-page abstract
  • Panels with a maximum length of 2-page abstract

These are curated by the local organizers and do not go through an anonymized process.

Deadlines panels and events

Submission deadline

  • January 29 2016 (hard deadline)

Acceptance/rejection notification

  • March 21 2016

Camera ready

  • April 29 2016

Some work does not fit as paper presentations due to its nature or research maturity. For this, DiGRA/FDG 2016 is open to submission to the following categories:

  • Posters with a maximum length of 2-page abstract
  • Demos with a maximum length of 2-page abstract

These categories have late deadlines to allow the most recent research and results to be submitted.

Deadlines posters and demos

Submission deadline

  • April 8 2016 (hard deadline)

Acceptance/rejection notification

  • May 9 2016

Camera ready

  • May 23 2016

DiGRA/FDG 2016 provides a doctoral consortium for PhD students. Those interested in attending this should submit a position paper in the extended abstract format with a maximum length of 2 pages.

Deadlines doctoral consortium

Submission deadline

  • April 22 2016 (hard deadline)

Acceptance/rejection notification

  • May 9 2016

DiGRA/FDG 2016 also welcomes submissions to arrange workshops. These have an earlier deadline than other submission to support workshops that wish to have their own peer reviewing process for submissions. These should be submitted as extended abstracts with a maximum length of 2 pages. Please submit workshop proposals by email to the three program chairs, and place “[FDG/DiGRA 2016 Workshop Submission]” in the subject line.

Deadlines workshops

Submission deadlines

  • November 16 2015 (hard deadline)

Acceptance/rejection notification

  • December 11 2015

Location & Date

  • August 1-6 2016
  • The School of Arts, Media and Computer Games, Abertay University
  • Dundee, Scotland, UK

For more information see:

Program Chairs


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Skene: loppuseminaari

[I will be speaking in the final seminar of Skene r&d-program about the basic research and innovations in games tomorrow in Helsinki] Huomenna on Helsingissä Tekesin pelialan Skene-ohjelman päätösseminaari. Oma alustukseni on otsikoltaan “Pelitutkimus: yhteistyöllä innovaatioita ja tieteen huippuja”. Tapahtumassa on mukana vahva kattaus pelialan osaamista ja toimijoita – tapahtuman ohjelma löytyy täältä:

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CFP: Fanitutkimuksen konferenssi “Nörttikulttuurin nousu” (3.-4.3.2016)

Levittäkää sanaa: Esitelmäkutsu/CFP:

Kuudes valtakunnallinen fandom-tutkimuksen konferenssi

Jyväskylän yliopiston Taiteiden ja kulttuurin tutkimuksen laitoksella

Ketä voi haukkua nörtiksi – ja kuka puolestaan on “todellinen nörtti”?
Haittaako, että yhä useampi vastaantulija tuntee nettislangia ja
kulttifiktion sankareita? Entä onko tytöillä mitään asiaa videopeli-
ja sarjakuvakulttuureiden maskuliinisina pidettyihin maailmoihin?

Nörttikulttuuri (engl. geek culture) on viime vuosina kaapattu
marginaalista valtamedian materiaaliksi: niin sarjakuvat, genrefiktio
kuin video- ja roolipelitkin ovat löytäneet uuden teknologian kautta
uusia yleisöjä ja saattaneet samalla yhteen vanhoja faneja. Tämä yhä
jatkuva kasvu ja monimuotoistuminen on herättänyt monet pohtimaan
“nörttimäisten” harrastustensa motiiveja ja muuttanut nörttiyden
merkitystä. Eri sukupuolet, sukupolvet ja kulttuurit tuntuvat
käsittävän nörttiyden hyvin eri tavoin, mutta tavallisin nörtin
tuntomerkki  on tiedollinen omistautuminen jollekin (arkielämän
kannalta hyödyttömälle) asialle. Juuri perehtyminen tuntuu yhä
erottavan “todelliset” nörtit ja fanit tavallisista kuluttajista ja
satunnaisista harrastajista, mutta eri perehtymisen kohteet ovat
edelleen eri tavoin arvokkaita ja sallittuja eri ryhmille. Tämä on
paljastanut uudella tavalla myös eskapistisina pidettyjen,
nörttimäisten kulttuurimuotojen poliittisuuden.

Vaikka nörttiys on muodostunut keskeiseksi, joko valituksi tai
annetuksi identiteettitekijäksi lukemattomille ihmisille ympäri
maailman, sen muuttuva merkitys on edelleen sumea. Jyväskylän
yliopiston Taiteiden ja kulttuurin tutkimuksen laitoksella
järjestettävässä kaksipäiväisessä kansallisessa konferenssissa
haluamme avata suomalaisen akateemisen keskustelun siitä, mitä
nörttikulttuuri oikeastaan on, miten se on muuttunut ja miten se
vuorovaikuttaa niin sanotun valtavirran kanssa.

Etsimme tapahtumaan esitelmiä tai paneeleja, jotka tarkastelevat
nörttikulttuuria, eli erilaisten (aiemmin) marginaalisena pidettyjen
mediailmiöiden aktiivista ja/tai sosiaalista kuluttamista, minkä
tahansa tieteenalan näkökulmasta. Aiheet voivat liittyä esimerkiksi:

-nörttiyden ja nörttikulttuurin historiaan, määritelmiin ja
murroksiin; eroaako nörttiys tavallisesta faniudesta?
-sarjakuvakulttuuriin ja -markkinoihin, sarjakuvien keräilyyn tai
sarjakuvan transmedialisoitumiseen
– lauta- ja roolipelikulttuurien näkymiseen populaarikulttuurissa
– videopelien harrastajayhteisöihin ja videopelikulttuurin valtavirtaistumiseen
– hakkereihin, verkkoaktivismiin ja internet- ja hakkerikulttuurin
näkymiseen valtavirta- tai populaarikulttuurissa
– japanilaisen otaku-kulttuurin kansainvälisiin ja suomalaisiin
– kirjallisen, audiovisuaalisen ja muunlaisen genrefiktion ympärille
kehittyviin (verkko)keskusteluihin ja fanitoiminnan muotoihin, myös
– fanitapahtumiin eli coneihin, fanituotantoon, cosplayihin tai muihin
nörttikulttuurille leimallisiin harraste- ja fanitoimintoihi
– populaarikulttuurin sukupuolittumiseen ja poliittisuuteen.

Lähetä 200–300 sanan abstrakti n. 20 minuutin esitelmästä pdf-muodossa
10.1.2016 mennessä Jonne Arjorannalle (jonne.arjoranta[ät]
Otamme vastaan ehdotuksia myös paneeleista ja muista laajemmista
esitelmäkokonaisuuksista. Laitathan liitetiedostoon näkyviin nimesi,
sähköpostiosoitteesi ja koti-instituutiosi.

Lisätietoja antaa Katja Kontturi (katja.j.kontturi[ät]
Esitelmäkutsua saa levittää vapaasti.

Fanitutkijoiden tapaamisia on aiemmin järjestetty Tampereen ja
Jyväskylän yliopiston tutkijoiden yhteistyönä vuodesta 2006 lähtien.

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Filed under digital culture, events, game studies

Clash of Realities, keynote

Next week, I will be in Cologne, presenting a keynote in the fascinating Clash of Realities conference. My title is “Playful Culture: Are We Undergoing a Ludic Turn?” Other speakers include e.g. Janet Murray, Jussi Holopainen and Rachel Kowert. More at:

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Filed under events, game studies, travels

DiGRA 2016: joint DiGRA/FDG conference

This actually makes great sense: “For the first time, the Digital Games Research Association (DiGRA) and the Foundation of Digital Games (FDG) will partner in an unprecedented gathering of games researchers. We invite researchers and educators within game research, broadly construed, to submit their work.” More at:

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CEEGS 2015, keynote 

I will be speaking in the CEEGS 2015 conference in Krakow, Poland tomorrow – my keynote is titled “The Identity of Game Studies: The Widening Range of Research in Games and Play;”. You can find the full conference program at:

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