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Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX1 preview extended

By dpreview staff on Nov 28, 2012 at 02:19 GMT
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Just Posted: an extensive update to our Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX1 preview. We've been working away towards a review of the RX1 that we received recently. With its full frame sensor and 35mm F2 lens, it's a camera that's generated a lot of excitement amongst photographers, so we wanted to publish more detail of its performance and behavior. We've added eight pages to the preview, including more detail about its handling and interface as well as our studio test shots, a sample gallery from the production camera and our first impressions of shooting with it.

This will be the last update before the full review is published, but we thought it gave a better insight into the camera than we were able to offer in our original preview.

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Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX1

Comments

Total comments: 282
12
hiplnsdrftr
By hiplnsdrftr (Nov 28, 2012)

I am a professional photographer that has been begging for almost exactly this kind of camera...

The RX1 appears to be an awesome accomplishment. I love the simplicity and focus in it's design. I am relieved that Sony resisted any temptation to include a flip screen. Furthermore, I am fine with the lack of a viewfinder. Honestly, I have used enough digital P&S cameras over the last 7 years that I am just as comfortable shooting with a screen as I am a viewfinder. The inclusion of a pop up flash makes this camera nearly perfect. (I can't believe Canon left it out of the EOS-M!)

Not so sure about the price though. Probably worth it, but to many other things I can get for my $2,800.

1 upvote
Cy Cheze
By Cy Cheze (Nov 28, 2012)

A professional photographer ought to be a person who selects equipment based on its contribution to revenue relative to cost. Exactly how would the RX1 meet that hurdle? Wouldn't it be more profitable to use a FF DSLR one already has? What revenues or contracts would the RX1 fetch that another camera could not?

2 upvotes
Nikonworks
By Nikonworks (Nov 28, 2012)

A flip screen would make it more useful for a Pro.

They should have included off camera flash control as per the compact
Nikon P7700.

0 upvotes
WolfyWho
By WolfyWho (Nov 28, 2012)

Can't a professional photographer have a fun "after work" camera to carry around? It doesn't have to contribute to their bottom line. But, one need it could fulfill for "working" would be to shoot near silently (no loud shutter) in a situation that requires it.

4 upvotes
Nikonworks
By Nikonworks (Nov 28, 2012)

Forgot to mention relying on contrast AD is not yet a thing most Pros do.

0 upvotes
AbrasiveReducer
By AbrasiveReducer (Nov 28, 2012)

With no disrespect to a fine profession, is there anyone who is not a professional photographer? I used to work photo shows and they couldn't find a hall big enough to hold all the professionals. Diid training on color management and would ask for a show of hands from the pros. 98% of the hands went up. Every time.

1 upvote
Rage Joe
By Rage Joe (Nov 28, 2012)

"A professional photographer ought to be a person who selects equipment based on its contribution to revenue relative to cost."

Not really, not at all. All the best photographers are in love with their job and not counting the revenue all the time. They don't need to. They enjoy what they are doing and this camera looks like a real treat. Lovely.

0 upvotes
Peiasdf
By Peiasdf (Nov 28, 2012)

Please indicate where new contents are added. It feels like rereading stuff sometimes. Thanks.

1 upvote
zinedi
By zinedi (Nov 28, 2012)

Tell me why some manufacturers are competing in biggest/smallest item horse-race? Max. Mpix number (with IQ trade-off), smallest design (with handling trade-off), etc. Why they simply don't listen to our needs, wishes?
Fuji is trying and showing the way - thank you Fuji, Sony - you are wrong - my opinion only.

1 upvote
Jim Radcliffe
By Jim Radcliffe (Nov 28, 2012)

I agree with you on Fuji. I have the X-Pro1 and a full compliment of lenses and enjoy using it much more than I did my Leica M8.. or any rangefinder.
I hope that Fuji will one day produce a full frame version of the X-Pro line... even if it means a bit larger camera and lenses.

3 upvotes
hiplnsdrftr
By hiplnsdrftr (Nov 28, 2012)

There are plenty of big cameras to chose from already. The RX1 is about having compact quality.

I love my 1DS3 but not always so keen on carrying it around.

4 upvotes
rpm40
By rpm40 (Nov 28, 2012)

Because if nobody pushed the limits of the technology, it would stagnate. Plus, everyone has a different opinion of what is too big, too many, too few. Even if they could agree, ifmanufacturers didn't put out models that were "too big/too small", "too many megapixels/too few", etc., everything would be middle of the road boring. I like choices.

Personally, I don't see the huge appeal of this camera's size. I look at it practically. If I can't stick it in a pocket, it doesn't bother me if it is a little bigger. That's the appeal of the rx100- just small enough to fit in a pants pocket, so it totally changes how I can leave the house if I want to take photos.

3 upvotes
tkbslc
By tkbslc (Nov 28, 2012)

Every group of consumers have differing needs and wishes. Each manufacturer tries to target different group. Fuji may be what you perceive as filling a general need, but they too are trying to fill more a smaller niche. Sony tried to blanket the market hitting as many groups with as many products as possible, hoping some of them turn out to be big hits. Others (like Fuji) just go after a smaller market they can focus on. Neither are right or wrong, just different tactics for different companies.

1 upvote
Vidar NM
By Vidar NM (Nov 28, 2012)

Talking about max mpix number, there is more room for the 24 megapixels on the Sony full frame than for the 16,3 MP on the Fuji X-pro 1.
35,1 square mm per MP on the Sony vs 22,6 on the Fuji.

2 upvotes
Jim Radcliffe
By Jim Radcliffe (Nov 28, 2012)

@Vidar.... it's not just about megapixels..more does not always equate to better as all of us should know by now.

1 upvote
mick232
By mick232 (Nov 28, 2012)

If they would listen to your wishes now, you would get a camera according to your wishes in 2 years. But in 2 years, your wishes will probably be totally different.

0 upvotes
Vidar NM
By Vidar NM (Nov 28, 2012)

Absolutely. My point: If the poster wants to discuss the issue of cramming too many pixels on a sensor, the RX1 is not a very good example :)

1 upvote
Clint Dunn
By Clint Dunn (Nov 28, 2012)

Vidar: The RX1 is only 24Mp....certainly not 'cramming ' MP onto a full;frame sensor in my opinion....at least not in this day and age. The D800 has 36mp...

0 upvotes
Vidar NM
By Vidar NM (Nov 28, 2012)

Exactly my point, Clint. Read my message one more time ;-)

0 upvotes
Clint Dunn
By Clint Dunn (Nov 29, 2012)

Vidar: Yes, I missread your post:)

0 upvotes
S.A.
By S.A. (Nov 28, 2012)

Would buy an RX1 if there was a built in viewfinder included at this price. I am not into carrying around a geeky DSLR anymore, so I absolutely love the concept of a high quality FF sensor and 35mm lens in such a small package.

4 upvotes
fierlingd
By fierlingd (Nov 28, 2012)

I mean a full frame package like that is pretty appealing, but wonder how well it will sell or appeal to the leica crowd.

(They should have ditched the "cyber shot" naming though lol! no need to mention specific comments on that naming choice..)

Comment edited 30 seconds after posting
1 upvote
Jim Radcliffe
By Jim Radcliffe (Nov 28, 2012)

I doubt it will appeal to the Leica crowd unless it is made by Leica. There is a reason they chose Leica in the first place. That's not to say some won't buy the RX1 but let's face it, it will not live up to Leica standards. I agree.. "cyber shot" was a mistake.

4 upvotes
Clint Dunn
By Clint Dunn (Nov 28, 2012)

Agreed, there is nothing 'high end' or 'prestigious' about the CyberShot moniker. The RX1 will definitely not hurt Leica sales...on new cameras at least. With that said, there are probably a lot of people who would normally buy into the used M9 market that may opt for the RX1 instead (myself being one of them:)

1 upvote
rusticus
By rusticus (Nov 28, 2012)

a "Cyber-shot", that nobody needs really -
much for eur and ugly with the viewfinder

2 upvotes
zinedi
By zinedi (Nov 28, 2012)

Leica has 100 years of history in making photo-cameras and optics. That's why Leica cameras look like excellent cameras and are appreciated as excellent cameras. Sony has 50 years history in electronic, audio, TV-set market. That's probably why they don't understand that cyber-shot is good name for a sci-fi film title, but not for serious camera .. .

1 upvote
zoranT
By zoranT (Nov 28, 2012)

I feel sorry for you guys.

4 upvotes
MarkInSF
By MarkInSF (Nov 29, 2012)

So do I, Zoran. A photographer shoots with a camera, not a name plate. Sony has been making interesting cameras lately, and if you insist in trotting out ancient history, Minolta made some very nice stuff in decades past. Leica is an important company in the history of photography, but has done nothing groundbreaking lately. Unlike Sony.

I think the RX1 is aimed more at the Asian market than the US. The Japanese admire miniaturization and this camera packs a lot in a small shell. Like many I'd have preferred an EVF built in, but they may have thought that looked too much like an NEX-6, even if they are completely different. Wouldn't want people opting for a much cheaper model (as I probably would.)

1 upvote
Pat Cullinan Jr
By Pat Cullinan Jr (Nov 29, 2012)

Back in 1961, I made the decision to go with Nikon rather than Leica because (1) Nikon's line was daring, (2) and of fine quality, (3) Leica was overpriced, and (4) I didn't have the money to buy Leica gear anyway. Mutatis mutandis, this holds true today. (Bill Buckley was forever saying "mutatis mutandis" in those days. No one knew what in hell he was talking about.)

0 upvotes
Lightpath48
By Lightpath48 (Nov 29, 2012)

Pat, you are a very funny guy!

0 upvotes
Danel
By Danel (Nov 28, 2012)

I'm sure the camera will produce excellent image quality, but its really a camera that will only appeal to a small niche market. I don't understand why Sony went through the R&D to make this camera unless they somehow though it might embellish the Sony brand in the camera world.

0 upvotes
Clint Dunn
By Clint Dunn (Nov 28, 2012)

Define niche market.....I think they will sell a good number of these. Really, how many do they need to sell given the $3k price tag?? Much of the engineering that went into the RX1 will carry over to other cameras/models.

0 upvotes
Danel
By Danel (Nov 28, 2012)

A small subset of the overall market for cameras, in this case, a very small subset IMHO. Much smaller than the number of people who would buy a DSLR, or even a full frame DSLR. I have no idea how many they would have to sell to turn a profit on this camera but I'm very sure the sales will constitute a small single digit percentage of overall digital camera sales. Define "a good number".

0 upvotes
zinedi
By zinedi (Nov 28, 2012)

Such tiny size of camera in semi-pro category is a big obstacle for handling not any advantage.

0 upvotes
kadardr
By kadardr (Nov 28, 2012)

Absolutely agreed.
The real problem with this camera is that it is TOO SMALL for a great grip.
The other problem is the non-articulated LCD.
Unfortunately, marketing department defines the technological development based on achievable claims and not based on market needs. ("The world's ...est "anything")

1 upvote
Nishi Drew
By Nishi Drew (Nov 28, 2012)

I found the RX1 handled at a shop to be just fine, the body and lens are well balanced and there's enough space to hold and shoot.
If you want grip then get out of the compact category?
Exact reason for DSLRs to be the way they are

3 upvotes
Reg Ister
By Reg Ister (Nov 28, 2012)

I would prefer a tiny lcd on the top, and the rest of the layout similar to the old days tiny rolei 35 mm cameras: by moving the lcd to the top(like sony R1), there would be place left for an opical viewfinder, and if there is no electronics behind the sensor, the sensor can be placed deeper, making the camera pocketable.

I will wait for compact FF cameras. (meanwhile, my nex7 with 35 mm F1.4 leica summilux pre-asph works fine, and it is smaller)

1 upvote
zinedi
By zinedi (Nov 28, 2012)

To make a camera of this price level without built-in viewfinder is a crime.

3 upvotes
oselimg
By oselimg (Nov 28, 2012)

By the way results are best looking jpegs by Sony and even better raw IMHO so far. But isn't the price very silly for a camera and one lens forever? Maybe it's primarily produced for boosting the brands image. Who knows...

0 upvotes
oselimg
By oselimg (Nov 28, 2012)

Where is that professional photographer/teacher from Finland. Please tell us whether the camera is held correctly or not in the picture above. We need your invaluable opinion to brighten up the day.

2 upvotes
JackM
By JackM (Nov 28, 2012)

Sure it is - he's adjusting the aperture ring.

0 upvotes
zodiacfml
By zodiacfml (Nov 29, 2012)

lol. i saw that guy with that post.

0 upvotes
JackM
By JackM (Nov 28, 2012)

"The RX1 is smaller than the Fuji X100"... on opposite day.

0 upvotes
Revenant
By Revenant (Nov 28, 2012)

http://camerasize.com/compare/#133,376

RX1 has a larger lens though, but that's not what they meant.

0 upvotes
JackM
By JackM (Nov 29, 2012)

X100 is more pocketable due to the slimmer overall profile, and that is all that matters.

0 upvotes
Revenant
By Revenant (Nov 29, 2012)

I think it was more a reference to the engineering feat of managing to put a significantly larger sensor into a smaller body. But taking the third dimension into consideration, you're absolutely correct.

0 upvotes
pca7070
By pca7070 (Nov 28, 2012)

I'm curious to see how it compares with Sigma DP2M.

7 upvotes
pixelsoup
By pixelsoup (Nov 28, 2012)

Would also like to see the Sigma DP2M tested here.

5 upvotes
AmaturFotografer
By AmaturFotografer (Nov 30, 2012)

At what ISO?

0 upvotes
MrTritium
By MrTritium (Nov 28, 2012)

My god, for a much lower price you can buy a Fuji X-E1 with the 23/1.4 lens!

Same equivalent focal length, same amount of light on the sensor, interchangeable lens, a viewfinder and more controls… I wonder who will be stupid enough to buy the RX1.

Comparing the RX1 with full frame DSLRs doesn’t make sense. Completely different size, weight, and features.

The RX1 should be compared to other big sensor mirrorless cameras. And in my opinion, the Fuji X-E1 is vastly superior.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
1 upvote
topstuff
By topstuff (Nov 28, 2012)

To have such a strong opinion I must assume that you have great experience of both the Fuji XE1 and the Sony RX1.

And as far as the price is concerned, I don't think the Sony is expensive. It is a FF camera with a decent Zeiss lens.

The Fuji is, if anything, too cheap. It is very good value for money, for sure.

10 upvotes
brunomo
By brunomo (Nov 28, 2012)

This Sony camera does not have a Zeiss lens, just as described on the Sony website as " designed and PRODUCED in close collaboration between the 2 companies" Sony use the franchised name and they or some other t/p company make the lens to Zeiss design specs., [ it's still a good lens ] in the same way Panasonics 'Leica' lenses are not made by Leica.

This camera is much dearer than the Leica X2 and I don't believe there will be any real world difference in picture quality despite the larger sensor. Of course it has auto focus and other benefits but if only it had been an interchangeable lens camera with I/S then some of the hype would have been justified.

As they say "we shall see" ?

1 upvote
Pat Cullinan Jr
By Pat Cullinan Jr (Nov 29, 2012)

>The Fuji is, if anything, too cheap.

Argh. A camera just can't win around here.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Nikonworks
By Nikonworks (Nov 28, 2012)

Seems priced based on Sony's desire not to canabilize its DSLR sales.

Let's see, No Mirror Box alone should make it cheaper than a DSLR.

I do get very good performance out of my Nikon P7700 with the Topaz Noise Reduction Plug-in, that for my purposes matches my D700, for people photography.

$520 total vs $2700, no thank you Sony.

0 upvotes
Shamael
By Shamael (Nov 28, 2012)

Topaz is not bad, but not in all situations. Compared to Imagenomic noiseware, i must say that I prefer that one to Topaz. Imagenomic reduces noise almost invisible with not too much loss in detail. Topaz is often somewhat grainy, looks a bit like little scrolls or chromatic noise on the end. In reduced size view, you do not notice that too much, only on full sized pictures.

http://www.pbase.com/lou_giroud/image/143702497

get an idea about NR softies on that page

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 3 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Nikonworks
By Nikonworks (Nov 28, 2012)

I tried them all, for people pics, Topaz works the best for me.

By the way, some of your night shots indicate that you do not use a lens hood.
Am I correct?

Thanks for your reply.

Comment edited 7 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Shamael
By Shamael (Nov 28, 2012)

yep, i seldom use lens hoods, and, the 28 mm Minolta has a small one you barely see. When I am in sunlight, i use my hat to keep the sunrays out of the lens. On heavy lenses, like the 12-24 or Beercan, I use sunshades.

0 upvotes
actaswu
By actaswu (Nov 28, 2012)

And what tool would you use to render the shallow depth of field - separate the subject from the background?

0 upvotes
intensity studios
By intensity studios (Nov 28, 2012)

dude, you are comparing 2 completely different product lines on completely opposite ends of the spectrum.

If you are shooting with a coolpix, which is completely fine, you are definitely not the target market for this sony camera

0 upvotes
topstuff
By topstuff (Nov 28, 2012)

I'm really liking this camera. Kudos for Sony now that they are really pushing hard with new products. I have recently got an RX100 - and I'm so impressed with it it making me look harder at other Sony gear too.

I would love to see Sony offer some high quality ultra-wide and telephoto adaptors to screw onto the fixed lens. Make them high quality. They could fit in a pocket and then you'd have a three lens outfit of exceptional quality to take anywhere.

10 upvotes
SeeRoy
By SeeRoy (Nov 28, 2012)

Fun-ny!

1 upvote
topstuff
By topstuff (Nov 28, 2012)

Why?

0 upvotes
zinedi
By zinedi (Nov 28, 2012)

For instance because:
"I would love to see Sony offer some high quality ultra-wide and telephoto adaptors to screw onto the fixed lens. Make them high quality. They could fit in a pocket.."

0 upvotes
Pat Cullinan Jr
By Pat Cullinan Jr (Nov 29, 2012)

@zinedi
Ha ha! You gave me a chuckle there.

0 upvotes
garyknrd
By garyknrd (Nov 28, 2012)

All I want is an upgrade to the Canon 7D. Sony if you read this can you please help Canon with your sensor technology and engineering savvy. I would very much appreciate it.

2 upvotes
balios
By balios (Nov 28, 2012)

I you want a Sony-engineered Sony-sensored camera, then buy a Sony camera...?

4 upvotes
bobbarber
By bobbarber (Nov 28, 2012)

It looks nice, but I'm just window shopping. This camera is WAY out of my price range, as I suspect it is for a lot of other people. I'll try to soldier on with what I've got.

Comment edited 3 minutes after posting
1 upvote
Auke B van der Weide
By Auke B van der Weide (Nov 28, 2012)

"I'll try to soldier on with what I've got."

the very essence of photography!

1 upvote
Pat Cullinan Jr
By Pat Cullinan Jr (Nov 29, 2012)

Yes, a healthy attitude.

0 upvotes
tungchihyu
By tungchihyu (Nov 28, 2012)

Great sample images. Some photos are nice to look at. Very subtle colors too. Much sharper than RX100.

I am sold if focusing is at the same level as DSLRs.

3 upvotes
iRadio07
By iRadio07 (Nov 28, 2012)

Look at the image DSC00057 (train) at full size and see at the building roof
over the first train wagon

the CHROMATIC ABERRATION, my Fuji X100 has NO !

0 upvotes
Andy Westlake
By Andy Westlake (Nov 28, 2012)

Technically that's moire, not chromatic aberration. Prettyy well any Bayer-sensor camera, including the X100, can show it at times.

8 upvotes
Shamael
By Shamael (Nov 28, 2012)

If you compare all cameras to your X100, many have things you don't and you have some they don't. Do you have F2 on your X100? do you have FF sensor? do you have 24 mpix?.
Now, on DSC00057, I can not see any aberration, at least not on the full sized view in DPR Browser page. I will down the picture in original size and check this closer.

If your intention is not to buy or ow one, just say it, no need to find little faults and major defaults to justify this. Some people might not buy it cause no founds, it is expensive toy, some will not buy it because fits in no way their needs or what they expect from a camera. Some too will not buy one because they are not interested in FF, like me. I might buy one, just to ow one and play with it, but this is a question of mood and that can change from an hour to another. I like it, I must say, i had one in my hands too, I wait to shoot with one, then I see further.

2 upvotes
Shamael
By Shamael (Nov 28, 2012)

I have downed the picture in full size. There is no aberration on it, but, there is a solid moiré zebra stripe pattern in that carved roof edge, the right corner being blurred by the heat of the exhaust from the pulling machine. This proves that they use no AA filter, same as the NEX-7 who does this occasionally too, but, not so much in colored zebra stripes, but more in stepped straight lines. This colored zebra stripe pattern is common to many cameras, look in the DPR test setup at the coin with the Greek god, just over Pluto, Mickeys dog's head. There you can see it and here, D800E, Pentax K5-2, NEX series, Canon 5mk3, are champions to create this zebra Pattern. RX1 does as well and I found many moiré pattern in the first test shots we have seen weeks ago from this camera. That is a disadvantage of all Bayer sensors, and, using them without AA filters lets you play with the risk to see those pattern.

2 upvotes
Richard Butler
By Richard Butler (Nov 28, 2012)

It doesn't /prove/ there's no AA filter - it's more likely to mean the AA filter is a little weak. D600 and A99 show moire in the same point of the scene and nobody suggests they don't have AA filters.

3 upvotes
iRadio07
By iRadio07 (Nov 28, 2012)

CHROMATIC ABERRATION, you can see it here :

https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-7myWFUlFNkM/ULai1rl_PgI/AAAAAAAAEj4/ncEGGngcl-I/s1123/big.jpg

0 upvotes
Richard Butler
By Richard Butler (Nov 29, 2012)

As Andy explained 13 hours ago, that isn't chromatic aberration, it's moiré.

Please stop shouting.

0 upvotes
Pat Cullinan Jr
By Pat Cullinan Jr (Nov 29, 2012)

IT SURE LOOKS LIKE MOIRÉ TO ME!!!!!

0 upvotes
iRadio07
By iRadio07 (Nov 29, 2012)

Well then, make the picture 3x4 time bigger and see ...

0 upvotes
Pat Cullinan Jr
By Pat Cullinan Jr (Nov 29, 2012)

Sorry about the shouting, iRadio07. That's not really like me.

0 upvotes
wyoming
By wyoming (Nov 28, 2012)

i really like this camera, it remembers the old beirette i started with. it was a cheap soviet camera with a fixed lens and took great pics.
what disappoints me is the by-wyre MF connection, sorry but for this price it's not excusable, the manual ring should be alwais connected. from what we can read the af isn't top fast, so with the by-wire connection probably the camera will strugle in the situations in wich a AF-tracking is required.
i would ditch the macro ring in order to have a better MF ring.
i liked the 6400iso samples and wait to see a comparison with the nex6.

0 upvotes
Hugo808
By Hugo808 (Nov 28, 2012)

What a great way to create a new market segment. The technology has always been here to make FF compacts but they held off and sold APSC and smaller for years.

Now they have improved those all they can we get pushed a new range of cameras at great expense, that people will queue round the block for, because of the hype about full frame being so much better than what we've all been using for years.

These pics are nice but are they really worth chucking out your old stuff and buying something else? It doesn't look night and day to me, more like 4pm and 4.45pm.

Digital cameras are a marketing departments wet dream, they can keep dreaming up new useless features that no-one will use and they know people will be studying every pixel in case one is "noisier" at 50,000 ISO than another. As if that will suddenly make them good photographers.

Keep up the good work.

13 upvotes
zinedi
By zinedi (Nov 28, 2012)

For this price I would expect:
- build-in hybrid viewfinder
- much better AF
- better sharpness - X-trans without AA filter beat this even in APS-C
- better ISO performance - X-trans beat it even in APS-C
- leaf shutter - it's a one way to future problems

Sony - you should drop the price 3x to even start to think of this product - thanks.

1 upvote
iudex
By iudex (Nov 28, 2012)

If you were the one in SOny deciding on price of the new RX1, where would you put it, taking the price of "competitors" into account?
Fuji X100: 1200 $
Fuji X-Pro1: 1400 $ body, 2000 $ with 35 mm lens,
Nikon D600: 2000 $ body, 3500 $ with 35 mm lens
Sony A99: 2800 $ body.
So would you really decide to sell a full frame camera for 900 $? ;-)

6 upvotes
Andy Crowe
By Andy Crowe (Nov 28, 2012)

What future problems would the leaf shutter cause? That doesn't make any sense.

2 upvotes
Shamael
By Shamael (Nov 28, 2012)

wait, man. A lens, Zeiss 35 - 1.8 for a Leica is in a price range that is around the same than the whole camera here, with the lens. Now, you buy here a top notch lens, you get a complete camera for nuts. For sure, the way Sony did this is a joke in some way, it is a challenge they wanted to make and they did. Now, you can buy a VF to put on the flash shoe. The camera is not pocketable, it is too big for that, so the VF can be used when you need it. Now, 2800$ is a high price to pay, but, look at others, 2100$ a D600, no lens. 2800$ a A99, no lens. Any FF body costs around 2000$ up to more than 10000$. So what is here too expensive. The only question is; do you need that, or, do you want that? No other question is open.

6 upvotes
Shamael
By Shamael (Nov 28, 2012)

If I had to answer this now, i would say NO, i do not need this, YES, i want this, just to ow it, since it is something unique and special and able to compete with any 8500$ body from Leica anyway. To get the same specs and IQ at Leica, you spend 13000$.

Now, I ask you the same question than iudex, would you expect to get such a camera for 900$. For me, a 2000$ bill would fit me more, but if you look what you get, take it once, in your hands if you see it in real, it is a brick, rock solid, no kinky plastic, all metal, the same stuff you found in the 40es.

You never had it in your hands, get one, try it, then you will change your mind.

0 upvotes
Dennis
By Dennis (Nov 28, 2012)

You mean they should drop the price 3x (whatever that means) for *YOU* to start to think of this product. At Photoplus Expo in October, I saw people literally rushing to the Sony booth the see this camera, and the counter with the RX1 on display was busy all day. It doesn't matter whether it's affordable to you, me, or anyone else on the board so long as it sells in sufficient numbers to make it worthwhile to Sony, and right now, my guess is it will.

2 upvotes
Paul_B Midlands UK
By Paul_B Midlands UK (Nov 28, 2012)

For this price level I'd want a camera with no bugs like the focussing debacle. I'll stick to me trusty NEX5N thanks. Some of its operations are a bit of a faff, could be better but I will wait for the RX2 or whatever comes with less glitches. Love the concept, not the execution given all the neg comments.

0 upvotes
BobYIL
By BobYIL (Nov 28, 2012)

Dear Sony,

1. Work on AF, for a street camera it needs to be fast; like a pro-DSLR.

2. Replace the LCD with a tiltable one.

3. Get rid of the AA-filter to add a little crispness.

0 upvotes
photo nuts
By photo nuts (Nov 28, 2012)

I think it's the lens and not the AA filter

0 upvotes
Shamael
By Shamael (Nov 28, 2012)

it has no AA filter

0 upvotes
Richard Butler
By Richard Butler (Nov 28, 2012)

Shamael - do you have a source for that?

0 upvotes
gl2k
By gl2k (Nov 28, 2012)

A €3000 pro body : cite "Autofocus begins to fall over in moderate-to-low light - focus speed drops and the likelihood of it achieving focus plummets."

In bright light the RX1 user has to shell out another €600 for a VF & hood and in low light one gets a sluggish AF.

Congrats Sony. Well done.

2 upvotes
plevyadophy
By plevyadophy (Nov 28, 2012)

It seems as though it's history repeating itself. I still have the Sony DSC-R1, which like this camera was/is ground breaking (it was the first, and to this day only I think, APS-C sized sensor in a fixed zoom lens camera). And that camera also suffered from very poor autofocus when light levels dropped. I really don't understand why after all these years (the DSC-R1 was introduced around 2005) Sony hasn't sorted out the autofocus issue.

I also think it's a bit daft for them to claim that this camera is aimed at pros and then force buyers to use the cam like a soccer mum (arms extended out in front of you whilst you use the rear LCD to frame your picture; and for the people most likely to be able to afford this camera, those in their 40s, they will definitely have to have their arms out in front of them due to the onset of presbyopia i.e. long sightedness, the inability of the eyes to focus well on things at close proximity). Sony should've included an accessory vf in the box.

1 upvote
olivier_777
By olivier_777 (Nov 28, 2012)

I had a chance to try the RX1 with an EVF and I feel it's a must, I strongly suggest that you include the EVF in your review.

3 upvotes
pepelegal
By pepelegal (Nov 28, 2012)

Most shoppers, er photographers around here must be really disappointed by the lack of interchangeable lenses.

I mean once you got the camera what else is there to buy? only the next camera :((

Comment edited 23 seconds after posting
3 upvotes
gl2k
By gl2k (Nov 28, 2012)

Obviously you missed something from the article. VF + hood + grip sum up to a value comparable to a mid level DSLR. Not to mention a Gucci, Prada or Louis Vuitton camera bag with an appropriate price tag.

1 upvote
Najinsky
By Najinsky (Nov 28, 2012)

They lost me. Focus peaking's raison d'etre is quickly judging manual focus within your composition. If you have to go to magnified view, it's near pointless.

The most likely reason is there are too many megapixels for the processor to deal with in real time, perhaps a consequence of the small size and underpowered battery.

With a large sensor and wide aperture, focus is critical, and I just don't see how to quickly focus different parts of the frame from shot to shot, without FP. So it will be centre point for focus, recompose and fire (with the errors that brings), or manually set the focus area for each shot, which is slow (by comparison).

I'll guess I'll have to wait for some real world shooting feedback, but the development is a big dissapointment and moves me from buy to wait.

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
2 upvotes
ksgant
By ksgant (Nov 28, 2012)

This may be the case, but I can't believe that a brand new camera would with current processors would have a problem with keeping up with focus peaking.

I mean, the 3rd-party firmware MagicLantern that you can hack various Canon SLR's with has a focus peaking mode, and it keeps up with a 4 year old 5DmkII rather well.

Also, their explanation for this kind of makes sense: "the VGA screen on the RX1 doesn't allow precise enough rendering of focus peaking to ensure accurate focus with the F2 lens' shallow depth-of-field, so focus peaking is only available in magnified focus."

Comment edited 3 minutes after posting
2 upvotes
Najinsky
By Najinsky (Nov 28, 2012)

Probably, but they could have used a retina screen, had 4 times the resolution and rendered the peaking from that. But that would be 4 times the pixels to process (4 times longer). Or even just a memory based larger rendering for the peaking and then overlay it on the live view image, but again, the processor is then seeing much more action.

At a price like this, I'd really expect them to pull out all the stops, not provide a heavily compromised and near useless solution, where's the pride in that?

Obviously we all can get by without it, my OM-D doesn't have it (unfortunately), but it's frustrating to get missed focus shots, and doubly so when you know there is an available technology that can help to reduce or eliminate them.

0 upvotes
Edmond Leung
By Edmond Leung (Nov 28, 2012)

Great camera!
Excellent image quality!
Must buy!

3 upvotes
dpLarry
By dpLarry (Nov 28, 2012)

Rich man's toy.
It'll be sold out.
All 500 of them.

8 upvotes
hippo84
By hippo84 (Nov 28, 2012)

5D3 will be a toy too in hands of that man.

4 upvotes
photo nuts
By photo nuts (Nov 28, 2012)

@hippo84: But with cameras like 5D3/D800/6D/D600, you can replace lens with another that is more suitable for a different set of shooting condition. IOW, lens can be changed and camera recycled over and over again. With RX1, what to do if owner decides he needs some telephoto shots? Buy another camera?... :)

0 upvotes
ventur
By ventur (Nov 28, 2012)

what to do? when you buy a fixed lens camera you know what you are buying, right? when you buy a Rolleiflex 2.8FX , a Bessa III or a X100 what do you do??

if you buy a fixed lens camera and then want to change the lens.... well... you must be an _________. (fill the blanks)

Comment edited 25 seconds after posting
4 upvotes
tesilab
By tesilab (Nov 28, 2012)

Mr Butler: the extended preview seems indicate that Sony has explicitly stated that the peaking feature was purposely modified to be available only for focus-assist magnified view. Do I read that right?

It seems like a terrible mistake, and the rationale doesn't make sense in my experience using the feature on NEX with truly shallow DOF lenses. Also I asked a Sony rep about this at a B&H event, and he claims an engineer has told him this would be "fixed".

Can you please tell us how you came by this information?

0 upvotes
Richard Butler
By Richard Butler (Nov 28, 2012)

Yes - it was a feature that's been removed since the pre-production models because it's not precise enough. We tested the NEX-7 and, with a wide-aperture lens, it's not reliable.

I asked Sony and believe the answer to have come from Japan.

0 upvotes
Pat Cullinan Jr
By Pat Cullinan Jr (Nov 28, 2012)

Dear R Butler,

Re: "We tested the NEX-7 and, with a wide-aperture lens, it's not reliable."

Are you saying that the NEX-7 has an unreliable focus-peaking featurebug?

0 upvotes
wictred
By wictred (Nov 28, 2012)

that's interesting. what's the difference between the 7 and 5n then when it comes to focus peaking? the 5n peaking works pretty well with my minolta 50mm at f1.4

0 upvotes
Andy Westlake
By Andy Westlake (Nov 28, 2012)

@wictred: To expand on what Richard's said, the point about focus peaking is more complicated than it first appears. Peaking is a display mode - it detects high contrast edges in the live view output and adds an overlay. Its effectiveness as a tool for fine focusing ends up depending very much on the lens in use, and crucially on its wide-open contrast and depth of field characteristics.

The NEX-7 tends to work pretty well with 50mm F1.4s, as they have a combination of shallow depth of field and inherently lower contrast at large apertures that makes the display mode work well. But it's much less accurate using the E 24mm F1.8 - the closest analogue to the RX1's 35mm F2 - and tends to indicate far more is in focus than is really the case. So if you focus using full-screen display on the LCD then zoom in to check, you'll often find it's not quite right. Interestingly the EVF, with its much higher resolution, gives a visibly more-accurate peaking display.

Comment edited 3 minutes after posting
3 upvotes
Shamael
By Shamael (Nov 28, 2012)

the NEX-7 has indeed this bad idea to put too much in focus when you use wide angle lenses. A Tokina 12-24 is the most amazing lens you can use on the NEX-7, since it has sharpness all over and up to 98% down in all corners. On the other side, working with the focus peaking is also the most amazing work and you have to magnify the view in the EVF to select correct peaking where you just want it. Unless you do that, you will never get sharpness where ever you want it, it just shows you too much sharp edges while they are not. Once you know that, you act consequently. It took me a while to know the tricks and troubles with the use of focus peaking and Tokina's 12-24.

http://www.pbase.com/lou_giroud/atx124

you can find full sized samples of Tokina 12-24 shots taken with NEX-7 in that gallery.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 2 minutes after posting
1 upvote
tesilab
By tesilab (Nov 28, 2012)

@Andy Westlake:

Admittedly, wider angle lenses show more peaking effect, all things being equal, to the point of being useless. But it is still useful wide open at 24mm, and equivalents aside, it is better at 35mm due to longer focal length.

I use magnification to confirm critical focus all the time, but for *zone* focusing, taking away peaking robs us of the best tool we have on modern lenses to quickly arrive at the approximate focus. Also it is effective to tweak the jpeg settings (while shooting raw) to minimize activating the effect by lowering contrast, sharpness, and also lowering the peaking level.

Sony ought to make this feature available to those of us who gain a real benefit.

0 upvotes
Airless
By Airless (Nov 28, 2012)

This camera had better get a gold star and at least 85%...OR ELSE!!!!

1 upvote
RStyga
By RStyga (Nov 28, 2012)

It costs an arm and a leg, and then some, and SONY decided to implement a sluggish AF system that cannot even keep up with a bright prime?? Is this a common fallacy with very expensive cameras (see Leica X1 / X2)??

Comment edited 12 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
Richard Butler
By Richard Butler (Nov 28, 2012)

Who says it's sluggish? It isn't. It's not as fast as the OM-D but nor are most DSLRs.

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
12 upvotes
photo nuts
By photo nuts (Nov 28, 2012)

@R Butler:
Sluggish is not the right word. But your response in the preview certainly sounds kind of lukewarm to me. Quote:

"As with all non-SLRs, focus is one of the key factors in the RX1 shooting experience and it's something of a mixed bag in this respect....

Autofocus begins to fall over in moderate-to-low light - focus speed drops and the likelihood of it achieving focus plummets. The AF illuminator helps for close-range work but the camera can still take a couple of attempts to find its subject. It's a problem we've encountered with Sony's NEX cameras, so it's a shame to see it here."
- http://www.dpreview.com/previews/sony-cybershot-dsc-rx1/12

2 upvotes
Richard Butler
By Richard Butler (Nov 28, 2012)

I'd say my experiences have been mixed, rather than lukewarm - the distinction being that it's often good with specific issues, rather than always being underwhelming.

There are a few things I want to play with before drawing final conclusions, based on Andy's experience with the NEX-7.

4 upvotes
RStyga
By RStyga (Nov 28, 2012)

Oh, excuse me all to hell... I stand corrected: It's not sluggish, it's slower than the current m4/3 at bright light, and gets significantly worse at moderate to low light, where, in addition, occasionally somewhat hunts.
Are we serious? What is this, a $200 camera? I'll most definitely wait for the final conclusion.

Comment edited 46 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
inorogNL
By inorogNL (Nov 28, 2012)

@RStyga 2year old GH2 has very good AF indoors in low light wile my x100 drives me nuts in same situation. Think this sony AF behaves something like x100

0 upvotes
RStyga
By RStyga (Nov 28, 2012)

It is unacceptable to sell a modern camera at a very high price with an average if not poor AF system. Full stop.

0 upvotes
Samuli Pulkkinen
By Samuli Pulkkinen (Nov 28, 2012)

@RStyga: Ah, then, Leica must be even more unacceptable by a wide margin? For you, or for all of us?

2 upvotes
RStyga
By RStyga (Nov 28, 2012)

@Samuli - Well, I hope am not losing focus, unlike these cameras...
Leica has produced quirky cameras with certain strong features and other -equally important- weak ones. In my opinion, the weak ones could had been avoided to a very large extend. The same criticism applies for Sony's RX1. There is no excuse for implementing an average AF system on a more-or-less state of the art camera. How many people agree with Sigma's implementations on the DP series, for example? No doubt these are cameras with exceptional IQ; I know, I had one but could not make to work when I needed it. I kept losing shots due to its AF system and high ISO IQ limitations. It did not cost me a small fortune to purchase it and, still, I let it go. Imagine this scenario with a very expensive camera... no thanks.

1 upvote
Horshack
By Horshack (Nov 28, 2012)

The absence of stabilization means the optical viewfinder add-on is a must to avoid camera shake without resorting to high shutter speeds, at least based on my experience with LCD shooting.

Comment edited 25 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
Pat Cullinan Jr
By Pat Cullinan Jr (Nov 28, 2012)

It's a good investment at a paltry 999 krillon dollars.

0 upvotes
earful
By earful (Nov 28, 2012)

the section on menus confused me a bit. all of a sudden it appeared that the a99 was begin discussed.

0 upvotes
Richard Butler
By Richard Butler (Nov 28, 2012)

Sorry about that. You can probably guess which other cameras' menu pages I've been working on.

3 upvotes
Emopunk
By Emopunk (Nov 28, 2012)

Then we hope that the A99 gets the nice review and marks it deserves. :-)

0 upvotes
rfsIII
By rfsIII (Nov 28, 2012)

Why all this concern about shallow depth of field from cameras. As photographer YOU control the background, just as you control every other aspect of the picture, if you don't like what's behind your subject change it, don't expect a piece of glass to bail you out.

1 upvote
Richard Butler
By Richard Butler (Nov 28, 2012)

The desire to control depth-of-field isn't about obliterating the background - it's as much about establishing subject-background separation. It's an aesthetic choice. Those are sometimes relevant in photography.

Comment edited 46 seconds after posting
18 upvotes
maboule123
By maboule123 (Nov 28, 2012)

We used to get it with mirror lenses (remember?) and there was no gaga about it. We didn't call it BOKEH. And while at it, what's the big gaga with manual focus? I guess you guys didn't live with the old timers problem to pre focus or die ranting about: when are they going to invent something that will save me turning the lens barrel 3 times before I get my subject in focus? Before it's gone? What a luxury to see the image on a 3" screen instead of squinting and getting your glasses smeared against the camera?

2 upvotes
Richard Butler
By Richard Butler (Nov 28, 2012)

I think there's a good reason not to discuss the bokeh of mirror lenses.

11 upvotes
wetsleet
By wetsleet (Nov 28, 2012)

"YOU control the background, just as you control every other aspect of the picture, if you don't like what's behind your subject change it"

Yeah, right. I'll pack some gelignite in my camera bag next time, just in case the background needs some, er, controlling.

2 upvotes
Revenant
By Revenant (Nov 28, 2012)

Directing the viewers' eyes to what you want them to see, by means of, for example, subject isolation or perspective, is a fundamental principle of the visual arts.

0 upvotes
Illumina
By Illumina (Nov 28, 2012)

Nice concept camera..
Want one but don't have the dough haha..

3 upvotes
Total comments: 282
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