The Shape of the Future
4 months ago
I've been shooting with the RX1 for about two weeks now and have gotten to know it well enough to share my thoughts. First it's a remarkable achievement and my hat's off to Sony for having the vision to produce this camera. Yes, it is expensive but so is true R&D. It is less expensive than a Leica lens and, as the owner of an M9-P with a 35mm f2 Summicron, I can attest to the fact that the image quality is superior.
But it's the wonderful EVF and professional handling that is the big win and what really separates this camera from the pack. I don't think that this has received enough attention. As a professional photographer handling is the number one thing for me. I shoot weddings with a 5D3, in full manual and use back-button AF. This is fast and sure. But the 5D3 is a beast to carry. I've owned several of the smaller mirrorless cams such as the Fuji X100 and Fuji X Pro1(yes, with current firmware) which have fine image quality but are exceedingly frustrating to shoot. Several pro friends have confirmed my experience - that they are very nice pocket cams but they would hesitate do a paying job with them as results are a bit hit and miss.
Enter the RX1. Throw the EVF in the hot shoe, turn the image preview off, set a custom function for the AEL button to toggle between MF and AF, and last but most importantly, turn the Focus Mode switch on the front of the cam to MF and bingo - you have back button focusing and a tiny monster of an imaging machine that handles just like a mini 5D3!! True, the AF is not as fast as the 5D3 but here is where the brilliant EVF levels the playing field and allows for fast, sure and professional results in full manual mode. With the OVF in the 5D3 I always refer to the meter in the finder and shoot a throwaway image or two and check it on the LCD screen to confirm exposure as I walk into a position. With the EVF in the RX1, as long as the ISO is in a reasonable range, I only need to hit the back-button focus, recompose and roll the little thumb dial until I like what I see. The EVF completely frees me from needing to consult the metering. THIS is fast and sure.
I'm fully convinced that as auto-focusing in the mirrorless camera segment catches up with that of
DSLRs that it's allowance of live view and the EVF will render the DSLR obsolete. Bravo Sony!