The Insidious RX1

Started Sep 13, 2012 | Discussions thread
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caterpillar
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The Insidious RX1
Sep 13, 2012

For many more weeks, many will be debating the RX1 as a viable product. Will it succeed considering the price point? Is it too limited for that cost? Is it really mistake to release a fixed lens 35FF body?

To me, the RX1 are at least 2-3 things.

1. It is a dress rehearsal of the future 35FF MILC. It will test in the real world the technologies they brought to bear to it. It will test how the market responds to it. Sony will know if the market is ready for a MILC version of it. By the same token, by introducing the RX1, it will give them time to perfect their other technologies (e.g. hybrid AF), catch up in other areas (lens miniturization with improve motors, optics), etc. In short, the RX1 will be learning experience for Sony, while at the same time, it gives them time to refine and catch up with the other key pieces of tech they need when the MILC version comes out.

2. It is a complete product by itself. I remember my father's rangefinder camera of old. It has a fixed 35mm lens (f2.8 I think). It's a complete camera by itself. So, why should people judge the RX1 as if it is less than what it is? It is not a MILC, true, but then again, not everybody wants a MILC. What they want is a simple camera that you worry only about composition and exposure, not having to think about FL.

3. Finally, the RX1 is an insidious product. It is a booby trap. It is a trojan horse. Whether Sony is aware of this or not on the onset, as part of a devious plan, it will likely achieve the goal to subvert other brand users. Why is that you ask?

Let's say you own a D1x or D3/D4, you are doing well with your job and you take a look at this RX1. Hmmm. It would be nice to have a small backup that is responsive, small, light, and optically superior with a fast lens and a good sensor. It's not a threat because the lens is fixed. If you own these large and heavy DSLRs, no big deal to try it out.

So, you use an RX1, get blown by its IQ, and performance. You marvel at the size and weight. In time, you start using it more and more, and just wish you can just change lenses. Of course you can't. But that's ok, it's just a backup. But you start using it more and more for your own personal shoots. You start loving photography again, or at least, it brings a smile in your face when you use it.

After 6 months, you start asking why your brand does not have something like it? You start complaining a bit. Another 4-6 months, eventually, your brand makes a similar type of camera. But by that time, Sony comes out with their MILC. The target has moved.

In short, the RX1 will give the user an experience to use a small 35FF camera and soon they will realize that many of the things a dslr can do, it can do. Not everything, but enough to start questioning how you are doing things now. If the RX1 can do at least 30%, what you can do with a big camera, no doubt, the seeds of discontent are already sown. In time, when the AF and framerates go up, the discontent grows.

In time, the discontent grows into annoyance especially if your brand does not seem to address the issue of a 35FF MILC. Now, whether this will lead to switching, I will no longer go into that. What is likely is, Sony will proceed with its plan to ween itself off the DSLR/SLT world gradually. It will do that in its own appointed time.

So, the RX1 is a subversive product. It will undermine one's belief of what or how a 35FF camera should be. Even worse, if one's own brand will not make something like it, the discontent will grow. Even those who cannot afford it, will get to know the RX1 with the images posted from it. More importantly, the impressions and reviews of those who have/own it. In truth, the great revolutions don't release start out with a bang. They simmer slowly and quietly in the background, till they explode.

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  • Caterpillar

'Always in the process of changing, growing, and transforming.'

Nikon D1X Nikon D3 Sony RX1
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