Sony Cyber-shot RX1R Preview
Look familiar? The Sony Cyber-shot RX1R doesn't replace its near-clone the RX1, but sits alongside it at the top of Sony's Cyber-shot lineup. The only difference between this camera and its cousin (brother?) is that the RX1R lacks an anti-aliasing filter on its 24MP CMOS sensor. Removing AA filters seems to be very fashionable at present. Nikon has done it in the D800E and D7100, let's not forget the Pentax K-5 IIs, and, of course, Fujifilm's X-Pro1, X-E1, X100S and X-M1 all share an X-TRANS sensor that never had an AA filter in the first place.
So why did Sony do this? Let's start by looking at what AA (anti-aliasing) filters are designed to do - namely, reduce aliasing, which most commonly takes the form of rainbow-like moiré patterning in areas of very fine detail. Very simply, this is created when the frequency of the subject approaches the frequency of the photodiodes on the camera's sensor. Most digital cameras' sensors are fitted with AA filters which reduce the effect by very slightly blurring the image before it hits the light-gathering photodiodes. Broadly speaking, most of the time AA filters are a good thing, but removing them does provide the potential for slightly higher detail resolution, although with the risk of increased moiré in areas of fine detail.
If you're curious to learn more about all this, check out our review of the Nikon D800 and D800E, published last year.
Sony DSC-RX1R specification highlights
- 24MP full-frame (24x36mm) CMOS sensor (without AA filter)
- 35mm F2 lens
- ISO 100-25600
- Focus range switch for focus down to 0.2m (14cm from the front of the lens)
- Dedicated aperture ring
- Five user-customizable buttons
- Multi interface hotshoe (combines ISO 518 standard contacts and proprietary connector)
- 1.23M dot RGBW 'WhiteMagic' LCD
- 1080p60 HD movies in AVCHD (50p on PAL region models)
- Bulb mode and threaded cable release socket in shutter button
When Sony showed us the RX1 last year, we called it 'arguably the most serious compact camera we've ever seen'. Featuring a full-frame 24MP sensor and a fixed 35mm F2 lens, the RX1 was very clearly aimed at serious photographers, and in our testing we found that it was capable of delivering stunning images, as well as being a very enjoyable camera to use. What's not to like about a near-silent shutter, fast lens and excellent image quality?
|Spot the difference: The Sony Cyber-shot RX1R is on the right, the original RX1 is on the left. What separates them is the sensor, which in the RX1R, comes without an AA filter for superior detail resolution (in theory).|
Really, apart from slightly sub-par AF performance in low light, just about the only thing preventing the RX1 from becoming an instant classic was its decidedly steep list price of $2800 - a little more than twice the price of Fujifilm's very well-liked APS-C format X100S, which also offers a 35mm equivalent, F2 lens, but with a built-in hybrid optical/electronic finder. The good news about the RX1R (sort of) is that it won't cost any more than the 'stock' RX1. The bad news is it won't be any cheaper either - both cameras will retail at a recommended $2800. If you recently purchased an RX1 but fancy the idea of the RX1R's modified sensor, we can imagine you might be somewhat annoyed by this.
Speaking of spending large amounts of money, a range of accessories is available for the RX1R (note, the functionally-identical RX1 is our model in the images below). This includes the optical viewfinder FDA-V1K, electronic viewfinder FDA-EV1MK, lens hood LHP-1, and thumb grip TGA-1. The viewfinders and the thumb grip slot into the camera's hotshoe and the latter has a hinge, so you can flip it back and still press the play button which is hidden underneath it.
|The thumb-grip connects to the camera's hotshoe and it's hinged to give access to the play button. The thumb-grip also comes with an integrated shoe, so you can combine it with the optical viewfinder if you wish.|
At around $249 the thumb grip isn't cheap, although it does improve the camera's handling. Likewise, at $599 for the optical viewfinder and $179 for the lens hood, the mark-up on these items appears to be rather excessive, to say the least. The electronic viewfinder will set you back $449.99 - $100 more than the equivalent unit for the NEX series of cameras.
Fujifilm X100S users can sit smug in the knowledge that their camera offers both optical and electronic finders built-in, at a total cost only slightly higher than the combined total of Sony's two optional finders for the RX1R.
|The FDA-EV1MK electronic viewfinder uses the same excellent 2.4m dot OLED display as Sony's high-end SLT models. However, the huge rubber eye-cup makes it difficult to get your eye near the screen - all the more so if you wear glasses.|
The FDA-V1K optical viewfinder will, no doubt, appeal to some retro-fetishists, but the FDA-EV1MK is the more practical option, since it's cheaper and shows the camera's settings. Furthermore, it allows you to make proper use of the Quick Navi menu (since you can set the viewfinder and rear display to offer different display modes). Sadly the cost and an enormous eye-cup which makes it difficult for wearers of glasses to use, rather takes the edge of its appeal for us.
|_MG_5100 by tim and jan|
from Welcome to the Saloon!
|The Grimm 11 year old by Ryan Gardner|
from Trick or Treat
|Heron with fish by APenza|
from A Big Year - birds
See some of the most iconic black-and-white photographs throughout history brought to life by a community of colorization enthusiasts and professional retouchers in the new book Retrographic.
Shopping for a photographer? Whether you are one yourself or not, chances are you could use some ideas. From stocking stuffers on up, we've got some photography gift suggestions for every budget.
We're counting down our top 10 most popular sample galleries of 2017. Drum roll please... the #6 spot belongs to none other than the Sigma 85mm F1.4 DH HSM Art.
Read the story behind this gorgeous wedding photo captured at Trolltunga in Norway by husband and wife duo Priscila Valentina Photography. The 14 hour hike in the rain that preceded this shot was TOTALLY worth it.
Go behind the scenes with filmmaker Nick Arcivos, who recently created a beautiful cinematic short film in Paris using only the iPhone X, a couple of gimbals, and a few lights. The results are very impressive.
A Bay Area startup offering a pay-by-the-photo camera service cleverly addresses the pain points photographers experience when they pick up their first DSLR. But can it survive the smartphone?
It's been a big year for software innovations, dual cameras and huge displays. Take a look at our picks for the top smartphone cameras and why we think they stand out.
We're counting down our top 10 most popular sample galleries of 2017. At the #7 spot is the ready-for-any-weather Olympus Tough TG-5.
By combining his skills as a time-lapse filmmaker and an engineer, Julian Tryba created this out-of-this-world creative 'layer-lapse' of New York City that alternates between night and day in time with the music.
Canon Japan's new lineup of novelty camera-themed gifts was just revealed online, including a lens mug and lens thermos, two retro camera-themed USB drives, and a picnic mat.
The Profoto A1 most certainly isn’t for everyone [...] But for those who are used to using the Profoto systems, and want something that pairs seamlessly with the strobes you already have, there is no better companion.
Fujifilm has asked a US district court to clear it of any wrongdoing, after allegedly being threatened with trademark litigation by Polaroid.
While a couple of our reviewers are out testing the Sony a7R III in Arizona, back in Seattle we slapped the camera in front of our studio scene to get a close look at its image quality. See how it stacks up against the competition.
We're counting down our top 10 most popular sample galleries of 2017, and the #8 ranking belongs to the Nikon D7500.
B+W has announced a new aluminum filter holder that offers three slots so users can use multiple filters at the same time. The holder goes with the 2mm thick 100mm square filters it launched earlier this year.
8K video is coming a lot faster than you think, and Blackmagic is ready for it. Meet the DeckLink 8K Pro, a new high performance PCI-E capture and playback card built to handle 'real time high resolution 8K workflows.'
"Glass is everywhere in photography. From Eugène Atget’s reflective vitrines to Lee Friedlander’s sly self-portraiture, photographers have long been in thrall to the visual complications glass can inject into a composition."
Former Apple Aperture lead developer Nik Bhatt has designed an iOS app called RAW Power that lets you edit raw photos from your professional camera using your phone and tablet.... color us intrigued.
Advertising photographer Blair Bunting got his hands on the new Microsoft Surface Book 2, and it blew him away. Bye bye MacBook Pro...
The OnePlus 5T retains many of the 5's features and specs, but comes with an edge-to-edge display and a dual-camera that is optimized for low light.
Sony's recently announced IMX461 backside illuminated medium format sensor will bring 100MP resolution and almost 2x the speed to the next-gen Fuji GFX and Hasselblad X1D.
With the ‘Rent a Hasselblad’ camera equipment renting program, the camera makers is aiming to give enthusiast and professional photographers easier access to its medium-format photography products.
They say seeing is believing, and that's exactly what happened when one DPR staffer took the Google Pixel 2 out for an afternoon shooting under challenging conditions.
We're counting down our top 10 most popular sample galleries of 2017. At the #9 spot we have the Fujifilm GFX 50S, a medium-format camera that took CP+ 2017 by storm.
Instagram is testing a new feature that lets you follow hashtags in addition to people, making it possible to keep track of your favorite #landscapes or #portraits without leaving your home feed.
Despite the gigantic volume of second hand film bodies in existence, it seems there is still a demand for new 35mm SLRs with a retro feel. The latest is a remake of the Ihagee Elbaflex from the 1960s, but with a Nikon F mount.
The Polaroid Insta-Share Moto Mod straps an instant printer directly to your Moto Z smartphone, so you can print your photos as soon as you've captured them.
The Mitakon Speedmaster 135mm F1.4 lens is being relaunched in 7 different mounts, including: Sony A, Sony E, Canon EF, Nikon F, Fujifilm G, Pentax K, and Leica L. Got an extra three grand lying around?
In January, Kodak announced it would bring back the beloved slide film Ektachrome. The timeline has been pushed back a bit, but Kodak says you can expect to purchase Ektachrome again in 2018.
Instagram popularity is threatening some of the most beautiful landscapes in the US, as hordes of 'nature lovers' trample over the same spots over and over again in search of the same exact shot.