SONY RX1 In Depth Review with Sample Shots

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ePhotozine posted the latest in depth review of the Sony RX1, which is touted as the “world’s smallest full frame digital camera.”  With the RX1, Sony have have matched up a top quality 35mm sensor with a versatile 35mm Carl Zeiss Lens that’s tailor made for it.  But have Sony succeeded in packing a lot of imaging technology into a small package?

Here’s ePhotozine’s Sony Cyber-shot RX1 Verdict

The Sony Cyber-shot RX1 is currently unique in being the only compact camera with fixed lens and full-frame sensor. Due to the expense of developing a camera like this, it’s likely to be unique in its field for a long time to come, with APS-C sized sensor (or smaller) compact cameras being developed in greater numbers. The only other option is to invest in a full-frame Digital SLR and equivalent lens, with the added bulk, or look at a digital rangefinder, albeit with much higher costs involved.

The Sony RX1 is clearly capable of delivering extremely high image quality with a sharp Carl Zeiss 35mm f/2.0 lens on the front. The camera is roughly the size of a medium sized mirrorless camera with a compact fixed lens on the front, but with a full-frame sensor its noise performance is excellent, and for those who are looking for the highest quality in the smallest package available, the Sony Cyber-shot RX1 is an excellent camera, particularly if you have the money to afford it.

With a premium camera you would expect to have an external charger so that if you invested in a second battery, which is recommended due to the short battery life, you would be able to charge the battery while still using the camera, but unfortunately as charging is performed in the camera with a USB charger you will have to stop shooting. Although if you have the money to buy the camera, then buying the additional batteries, charger and accessories may not be too much of an issue. (Read full review and see sample images on ePhotozine)

Sony Cyber-shot RX1 Pros

Smallest full-frame camera available
Low noise at high ISO settings
Sharp Carl Zeiss Sonnar T* f/2.0 Lens
Excellent image quality
Extremely quiet shutter
Very good build quality
5fps continuous shooting
Built in HDR / Panoramic shooting

Sony Cyber-shot RX1 Cons

High Price / Price of accessories
RAW + JPEG option reduces JPEG image quality (to JPEG Fine)
RAW shooting not available with HDR / Creative Effects
Battery charger not included (internal charging)
Short battery life


My 2 Cents

There’s no question that the Sony RX1 delivers great results (we named the RX1 Best Compact of 2012), but with a price tag of $2,800 USD it’s aimed squarely at the pro photographer or serious enthusiast with deep pockets who wants a “go anywhere” camera system without a lot of fuss. Sony got a lot right with this camera, from the quality of the materials that went into it to the quality of the images that come out of it. It is the most expensive compact on the market, and even more so when you consider the a ‘la carte options like an Electronic Viewfinder ($449.99), Metal Lens Hood ($179.99) or the thumb grip ($249.99), but by packing that much pixel power into a compact body, Sony have a great achievement on their hands, and I can’t help but wonder if an interchangeable lens version is that far off… — SG

Check out the Sony RX1 Here. If it’s not in the budget, you might want to consider the Sony RX100 or Panasonic Lumix LX7 (tied for second best compacts of 2012).


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