Is the RX1 the Most Misunderstood Camera of 2012?

Started Dec 28, 2012 | Discussions thread
lloyd007 Senior Member • Posts: 1,354
Re: Is the RX1 the Most Misunderstood Camera of 2012?

The major issue with the RX-1 is that it is a truly revolutionary camera, and so people don't know exactly how to quantify it since it really doesn't fit all that comfortably in any one box. It's very much a 'Sony' camera, which means that if Sony was a smaller company it would be viewed as a quirky idiot savant type thing like the Sigma DP series and probably have issues on 'core' things out of the gate because of funding/R&D compromises. Instead we have a piece of kit that is brilliant on everything Sony wanted it to be but has the usual Sony style of being 'It doesn't have this feature at all because we were so focused on what we wanted the camera to be.' When it comes to their cameras, Sony takes the viewpoint of 'If you build it, they will buy' as opposed to finding a niche and playing to make that niche bigger or doing lots of marketing research and then putting out a product rich with mass market features which will by necessity compromise design aesthetics.

It's an expensive camera, the most expensive of any 'P&S style' camera yet and well made to be sure, but it's not just the branding that puts it off from being a 'premium' camera like the Leica X and Fujifilm are aiming for, it doesn't have value adds that premium buyers kinda expect no brainer like a built in ovf/evf, and it doesn't have a tilting screen that or some 'killer app' extra that P&S buyers would take into consideration if they wanted extra convincing to pay more money. Sony went all in on making the camera as small as possible with a Zeiss lens and FF sensor with no compromises to that aesthetic. Having handled the RX-1 at a camera show if they made it any smaller it would be uncomfortable to hold or the buttons would be fiddly, but while handling it it struck me that the camera was already too large for shirt or pants pocket and if they had given it an EVF or tilting screen it would still be jacket pocketable.

The Luminous Landscape review compares it to the Leica CL, but I'd say Sony was thinking less Leica and more Olympus Trip 35 / Stylus, this isn't a knock on the RX-1's build quality, more that Sony put out a product that had no 'natural' market beforehand. It's like if Ford made a $150k 'sporty' car and instead of aiming for Porsche, Audi, BMW, and etc. and putting in stuff that those buyers most want and expect, they instead decided to make a $150k version of the Mustang and didn't deviate from that aesthetic, so instead of sumptuous opulence like real wood inlays and calf skin leather seats and etc that is luxurious and functional you get the best damn muscle car ever made complete with a solid rear axle and interior that is muscle car luxurious, not sporty luxury car luxurious.

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