My RX1 hands-on report from B&H event

Started Nov 21, 2012 | Discussions thread
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tesilab
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My RX1 hands-on report from B&H event
Nov 21, 2012

So I was at the Sony Event at B&H on Tuesday evening. It was not at all crowded, so I was able to spend a little time with one of 3 RX1's they had on site.


 for a split second coming out of magnification and then disappear.flashJust as Brandon reported from Japan, the firmware in these RX1s did not show any peaking effect with focus-assist magnification disabled. I asked the rep about this who was surprised. He did not have much time to handle the cameras himself prior to the event. He called a Sony engineer on the spot, and tells me that he says this actually will be addressed before units ship to the US. (Kind of hard to believe at this stage. I also objected that the firmware was reading "1.0", but he said not to believe the reported version, it still wasn't final.)   Slight correction: the peaking effect would Focus peaking:
I expected the macro/normal focus distance switch to be a little more definite. I'm concerned I might move it into an intermediate state when focusing manually. I'm sure I'll get the hang of it.

The manual focus feel was smooth, but the focus ring feels a little too narrow to my taste, and way out at the edge of the lens. This causes some hesitance on my part in grabbing the focus ring, since without a hood, it would be easy to accidentally smudge the lens when reaching for the ring.Manual Focus ring:
The weight seems just right to me.  It is substantive, but not really heavy at all. It is well balanced.Weight:
There were no accessories to try. I was really hoping to experience the OVF just one time, since I expect never to buy it.Auto focus:As you have probably already heard, it does hunt. Lighting wasn't that bright at the event. Focus speed I judged to be adequate, that's all.
Lens to sensor distance:I took the sample unattached lens and lined it up over the camera to get a clear idea of just how far into the camera it extends. If you look at an image of the top of the RX1, you see the focal plane mark? Do you also see the pin in the center of the hot shoe? The gap between sensor and lens is the space between the focal plane mark and about the center of that pin. It is a very small gap, and given how much bigger the rear glass is than the sensor, I just don't see how dust can get on there that wasn't put there during the manufacturing process.
"Sealing":The rep claims that there is some weather sealing on the buttons and the lens mount. I don't have much experience with weather sealed parts, but having just experienced the inferior tactile experience of the OM-D EM-5 weather sealed buttons, I'm not sure that's accurate.
Shutter:As you would expect. Silent. In fact there is an audible shutter sound that is enabled by default, and that is quiet enough that I thought that is what the "silent" shutter was supposed to sound like. It sounds exactly the same as the RX100 shutter to my ears, you know, the one that always leaves you wondering whether you actually took a picture at all?
 No hood at the event, but there was an E-mount CZ 24 to look at for comparison. The bayonet mount looks nearly identical. The only difference I could detect was the the 35mm mount was deeper. But it looks likely that the 24mm hood fits! Possible good news for those of us with spare 24mm hoods.Hood:
EVF:I know, there was no EVF for the RX1 at the event. So I did the next best thing. After the event, I browsed at B&H and tried the A99. (I actually also tried on a D800 and D600 for size, and the three of them remind me why I'm never getting another DSLR!) The A99 EVF is supposed to be the same. And I found the image was indeed better and (I think) smoother than the NEX-7 or 5N EVFS.  Now earlier the rep told me that the EVF itself had not improved, and that it was the improved image coming off of the FF sensor that accounts for the quality difference. He said the refresh rate had not changed. But then I felt the EVF really almost fooled me into thinking it was optical. (I know, adding a creative style or something would cure that illusion.)
Recalling memories:I don't know if this was due to lack of programming, or if this is the behavior of the RX1 all the time, but dialing up Memory positions 1,2 or 3 on the mode dial will change the display to the Memory Recall screen, giving you the opportunity to change which memory you *really* want to access! This can be short circuited by just half depressing the shutter. I think it is just designed as a quick visual review of what settings that custom mode has.
Will I keep my order?I don't know whether to believe that firmware which hasn't been fixed yet (for peaking without magnification) really will be fixed anytime soon, or maybe ever. Notwithstanding the rep's phone call to the Sony engineer. I ordered my RX1 from Sony the night the news came out. I'm thinking of canceling the order in the morning and waiting for verification of the peaking fix.
 tesilab's gear list:tesilab's gear list
Sony RX1 Sony Alpha NEX-5 Carl Zeiss Makro-Planar T* 2/100 Sony E 50mm F1.8 OSS Sigma 19mm F2.8 EX DN +11 more
Nikon D600 Nikon D800 Sony Alpha NEX-7 Sony RX1 Sony RX100 Sony SLT-A99
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