Flower; in DSC-R1.

Started 3 months ago | Photos thread
Dak on cam
Dak on cam Senior Member • Posts: 5,224
Re: Flower; in DSC-R1.

Jerry R wrote:

Very nice, don't know why Sony discontinued the R1line.

Because it would have made no marketing sense.  They were late to the game with interchangeable lens cameras, just having taken over Minolta.  The DSC-R1 was a "stay-with-Sony" compact intended to keep people from buying other people's interchangeable lens cameras.

They needed something in the prosumer compact segment to follow the DSC-F828.  The DSC-F828 had been a failed color experiment with its RGBE Bayer filter matrix.  It had a 2/3" CCD sensor.  Sony wanted to move to CMOS (but their first Sony Alpha model still had a CCD sensor), but CMOS was not yet backside illuminated and had rather moderate light yield.  The DSC-R1 has very nice color, but that kind of color selectivity requires somewhat narrow filter ranges that reduce the available luminosity, making for worse sensititity (today's Bayer filters are optimised more for ISO than color separation, in contrast).  To offset the light loss due to several technology changes and get to test-drive CMOS sensor use, they went whole-hog with a sensor in APS-C size range.  Compared to the kind of ISO sensitivities of APS-C range sensors today, the camera is ridiculously insensitive.

They had to reduce reach (the F828 goes to 28mm–200mm equiv rather than the DSC-R1's 24mm–120mm), the sensor size meant that they had to give up on the detachable-lens design started with the DSC-F505(?) and it would have become impractical to find the space for folding the IR filter in and out in order to provide night framing and night vision.

The design is hobbled down in a few manners: the data transfer rates are ridiculous (particularly with CF), the LCD screen is rather limited in size at 2" (but placed very nicely), the autofocus is not all that great, they did not even bother with video, and the built-in image/JPEG processing is not at the same level as that of ILC cameras of the time.

The lens is way above in quality to what kit lenses at the time were.  With the good image quality but lots of oddities, it kept people on the brand while preparing them to move to Sony ILC cameras once they got around.

As the trends in color filters enabled higher ISO and BSI CMOS sensors also moved to higher ISO, it just made no sense to continue a "compact" prosumer line with a full-size APS-C sensor any more.  So the RX1 went back to 1".

Now the nostalgia buffs would eat up a DSC-R2 with the same lens but a modern sensor and processing hardware and media and screen/finder resolutions (even while keeping the same size) and video, but new users would seriously question the point of a large thing like that without interchangeable lenses.

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