RX1 - Samples and Reviews (Part II)

Started Nov 21, 2012 | Discussions thread
OP sroute Senior Member • Posts: 2,497
Re: eeeeeeeeek..

Couldn't agree with you more, we're being ripped off in broad daylight by Sony and I reckon no camera with such a lack of basic stuff should be charging that high!

"We're" being ripped off? Neither you nor Rich are buying the camera.

Do I feel ripped off? No, although I do think they could charge more appropriate prices for the accessories. Examples: $350-$400 for the EVF (more in-line with the NEX-5N viewfinder when it was released), $400 for the OVF (in-line with retail prices for other Zeiss optical finders for the Zeiss Ikon film rangefinder camera), $90 no more for the lens hood (in-line with Zeiss silly-high prices for their hoods for other lenses of similar diameter like the ZM line).

The subject of base camera price has been discussed at length here. No doubt we all look forward to you contributing something new to the discussion instead of merely your outrage over the price.

As for price, I'm personally not surprised to see it priced where it is. Somewhere in my posting history on this or other forums you'll find comments I've made long before the RX1 was introduced expecting a compact full frame mirrorless *interchangeable lens* camera to cost somewhere between $2,000 and $3,000. I'd not expect such a camera to have anywhere near the feature set and capabilities of other 2K - 2.5K - 3K full frame cameras, partly because of size constraints (physical motion damping takes space, tilt screens take space, deep back focal lengths to use SLR/DSLR lenses take space, etc.) and partly because such cameras are aimed at different usage than an enthusiast grade / pro DSLR. Even within full frame DSLRs there are big differences in functionality and price.

For what it is - a full frame camera with a good optic - the price is not outrageous.

Take the most basic full frame DSLR out there and put a good 35/2 lens on the front; it needs to have at least 9 aperture blades, preferably curved, and exhibit roughly similar shooting characteristics - quite sharp indeed wide open, nice out of focus areas, good contrast, etc. Such a combo is already at roughly the same price as the RX1.

That comparison alone for many potential RX1 owners is more than enough to justify a camera purchase, for if size is a major factor in the purchase decision, the RX1 currently is the only game in town that offers just those three features: full frame sensor, lens, and size.

What is so hard to understand about that?

Every else has to do with how a camera will be used and personal taste.

Some will try to downplay the importance of size but I go the other way, it is impossible to overstate the importance of size. Small but highly capable cameras have become a huge part of the industry in a very short period of time.

If size is important, you can't buy the same basic functionality the RX1 offers for less - anywhere. The closest least priced option: A Leica M9 and Zeiss ZM35/2 will run you ~ $5,500 used - roughly $2,250 more than the RX1 equipped with the EVF. However nice the M9-ZM35/2 combo is, you get:

  • a three year old camera with an 18MP CCD sensor that isn't in the same league as the 24MP state of the art Sony sensor, although the camera has no anti-alias filter which certainly does justice to high resolution lenses
  • no close focus ability; the Biogon ZM35/2 (very nice lens, more busy bokeh than the RX1 Sonnar) focuses only to 0.7M vis 0.2M and even with a Leitz OUFRO extension ring which does allow for close focus (I uses this on another camera with the ZM35) you can't close focus the lens on the M9 because the CCD sensor doesn't offer live view.
  • no autofocus

Again looking at the core three features: full frame sensor, lens, and size, the closet camera we can compare the Sony RX1 is the new Leica M "Milestone" which will ship in 2013. That camera offers a modern 24MP full frame CMOS sensor and thus also offers live view; there is an optional electronic finder available for the camera which will allow for the first time on the Leica M platform an eye-level macro/easy telephoto capability.

Still no autofocus - that seems unlikely to change for Leica's digital rangefinder cameras. Cost: $7,000, no lens, $1,100 for the Zeiss ZM35/2. Two key features set the Leica M apart from the RX1: it is an optical rangefinder focus camera, and it supports interchangeable lenses. Price delta: $4,850 dollars. More flexible but also much more costly.

Any other options? I see none at this time, if size is important. If size is unimportant a D600 gives you exactly the same sensor but you'll still be spending up to find a nice autofocus 35mm lens that renders in a way similar to the RX1.

they are way off the mark with this it should have cost 1800 or thereabouts

I'd have said $2400 myself. I do think Sony pushed the price a little because the market can bear it.

What do you think about the Fujifilm X100 retailing for $1,300 at introduction in many areas, as high as $1,600 in some locales? Currently in Canada the X100 still sells new for $1,200.

Where would you price the X100 in early 2011?

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