Sony Cyber-shot DSC-R1 Review
In August 2003 Sony revealed the latest in a long line of split body swivel design prosumer digital cameras, the eight megapixel DSC-F828. Two long years have passed and it's time for the new Sony prosumer digital camera; the unique and radical Cyber-shot DSC-R1. The R1 drops the split body design of its predecessors in favor of an SLR-like fixed body which is remarkably similar to that of the then ground-breaking and some consider legendary DSC-D700.
However it's not the body design which makes this camera unique (many have copied the DSC-D700), it is the camera's sensor and lens. This is the first all-in-one digital camera to utilize a large (APS size) sensor, to be precise a 10.3 megapixel CMOS unit measuring 21.5 x 14.4 mm which is essentially a slightly smaller version of the sensor used in the Nikon D2X. It's also the first APS size sensor to provide full time live preview to the camera's LCD monitor or EVF (electronic viewfinder). This means that there's no mirror box or prism making the camera more compact and allowing the lens to be positioned much closer to the sensor. Equally as important and interesting is the lens which provides a 24 - 120 mm (equivalent) five times zoom with a maximum aperture of F2.8 - F4.8.
What makes the DSC-R1 unique
- First non-SLR (fixed lens digital) camera to feature a large format sensor (APS-C size)
- First use of a CMOS sensor in a non-removable-lens digital camera
- First large format sensor to provide full-time live preview
- Widest range of ISO sensitivity for a non-SLR camera; ISO 160 - 3200
- First digital camera to provide a top-mounted LCD screen
- First Sony digital camera to support Adobe RGB
- First implementation of 'Auto Gamma Control' on a Sony digital camera
Sony's "flagship" prosumer line
As I've already mentioned the DSC-R1's body design is very reminiscent of the DSC-D700, a 1.5 megapixel SLR-like digital camera introduced in May 1999. Around six years ago the DSC-D700 would have cost you $1,699, today Sony are pitching the DSC-R1 at the $999 price point.
- Sony DSC-D700: July 1998
- Sony DSC-D770: June 1999
- Sony DSC-F505: August 1999
- Sony DSC-F505V: April 2000
- Sony DSC-F707: August 2001
- Sony DSC-F717: September 2002
- Sony DSC-F828: August 2003
- Sony DSC-R1: September 2005
Advantages of a larger sensor
As noted above the DSC-R1 utilizes an APS size CMOS sensor which is considerably larger than that used in previous compact / prosumer digital cameras. The DSC-F828 for example had a 2/3" CCD which had effective capture area of 8.8 x 6.6 mm, the DSC-R1's sensor is approximately 2.4x wider and 2.2x taller. This larger sensor facilitates larger photosite's, the F828 had a 2.7 µm pixel pitch, the DSC-R1 has a 5.49 µm pixel pitch (and hence has lower lens resolution requirements).
Key technical advantages of the large CMOS sensor (supplied by Sony)
- Five times the sensitivity compared to the DSC-F828
- 2.5 times the dynamic range compared to the DSC-F828
- No smear effect
- Simpler imaging system for live view
- Lower power consumption (200 mW vs. 750 mW)
Sony DSC-R1 vs. DSC-F828 specification differences
|Sensor||• 21.5 x 14.4 mm CMOS
• 10.3 million effective pixels
• RGB color filter array
• 5.49 µm pixel pitch
• 3:2 aspect ratio
|• 2/3" type (8.8 x 6.6 mm) CCD
• 8.0 million effective pixels
• RGBE color filter array
• 2.7 µm pixel pitch
• 4:3 aspect ratio
|Lens||• 24 - 120 mm equiv. (5x zoom)
• F2.8 - F4.8
• Carl Zeiss T*
• Mechanical linked zoom
• 67 mm thread
|• 28 - 200 mm equiv. (7x zoom)
• F2.0 - F2.8
• Carl Zeiss T*
• Mechanical linked zoom
• 58 mm thread
|Image sizes||• 3888 x 2592
• 3264 x 2176
• 2748 x 1856
• 2160 x 1440
• 1296 x 864
|• 3264 x 2448 (plus a 3:2 setting)
• 2592 x 1944
• 2048 x 1536
• 1280 x 960
• 640 x 480
|Image formats||• RAW (.SR2)
|• RAW (.SRF)
|AF Illumination||Orange lamp||Hologram AF (laser pattern)|
• Auto ISO
|• Auto ISO
• ISO 64
• ISO 100
• ISO 200
• ISO 400
• ISO 800
|Aperture range||• Wide: F2.8 - F16
• Tele: F4.8 - F16
|• Wide: F2.0 - F8
• Tele: F2.8 - F8
|Continuous||3 fps, up to 3 images||2.5 fps, up to 7 images|
|Color space||• sRGB
• Adobe RGB
|Image parameters||• Color mode: Std, Vivid, Adobe RGB
• Saturation: -, 0, +
• Contrast: -, 0, +, AGCS
• Sharpness: -, 0, +
|• Color mode: Real, Standard
• Saturation: -, 0, +
• Contrast: -, 0, +
• Sharpness: -, 0, +
|WB Fine Tune||Yes, +/-3 levels||No|
|Movies||None||640 x 480, 30 fps, no limit *
640 x 480, 16 fps, no limit
160 x 112, 8 fps, no limit
* Can only be used with MS Pro
|Flash compensation|| +/- 2 EV
0.3 EV steps
|Flash sync|| Front
|Electronic viewfinder||235,000 pixels||235,000 pixels|
|LCD monitor||• 2.0"
• ???,000 pixels
• Top mounted, flip-up and twist
• 134,000 pixels
• Rear mounted, fixed
|Grid line display||Yes (option)||No|
|Zebra display||Yes (option)||No|
|Weight (inc. batt)||995 g (2.2 lb)||906 g (2.0 lb)|
|Dimensions||139 x 168 x 97 mm
(5.5 x 6.6 x 3.8 in)
|134 x 156 x 91 mm
(5.3 x 6.1 x 3.6 in)
|Play mode||Shooting priority via button||On mode dial and 'Image Review'|
|Control dials||• Thumb dial
• Rear control wheel
|ISO button||Top of camera||None|
|WB button||Left of camera||Top of camera|
|Power save option||Yes||No|
Dec 6, 2005
Sep 8, 2005
Dec 2, 2008
Dec 2, 2008
|It's good to be at home by Nightcrawler12|
from Best photo of the week...
|Tiny tree by Kaappo|
This year, plenty of amazing cameras, lenses, accessories and other products came through our doors. As 2017 winds down, we're highlighting some of our standout products of the year. Check out the winners of the 2017 DPReview Awards!
Maybe you want better photos in low light. Maybe you're tired of digital zoom. Whatever the reason, if you're looking for a capable, beginner-friendly camera to grow and learn with, we've got you covered.
The Olympus 17mm F1.2 promises to open up new possibilities for Micro Four Thirds shooters seeking razor-thin depth-of-field and smooth, 'feathered' bokeh. Take a peek at our extensive sample gallery.
Are you a speed freak? Hungry to photograph anything that goes 'zoom'? Or perhaps you just want to get Sports Illustrated-level shots of your child's soccer game. Keep reading to find out which cameras we think are best for sports and action shooting.
Still yearning for an Aperture replacement? Here's a quick overview of RAW Power, a Raw image editor for iOS that pairs with the Mac application introduced in 2016. Take a look at some of its capabilities.
Video features have become an important factor to many photographers when choosing a new camera. Read on to find out which cameras we think are best for the videophile.
Tech lover Albert Lee was one of the first to pre-order the intriguing 16-camera module Light L16. Two months in, here's what he has to say about using this not-so-little computational camera.
The public art installation featured blurred portraits, ostensibly captured by the artist under that same underpass... except they weren't. They were actually portraits of comedians, pulled from the 2015 Edinburgh Fringe Festival program.
Edelkrone has upgraded its SliderOne with a SliderOne Pro and introduced a new generation of Wing and Wing Pro models, all while simultaneously improving the app that controls its entirely lineup.
People have waiting a long time for the Canon 85mm F1.4L IS lens, but how does it compare to Canon's 85mm F1.2L and Sigma's 85mm F1.4 Art? Phillip Pettit of Lensrentals took all three lenses for a spin to find out.
Affinity Photo for iPad, one of the first full-featured Raw editors designed specifically for tablet use, has been named Apple's Best iPad App of 2017. And what's more, it's currently 50% off!
VSCO Messages allows VSCO X subscribers and free users alike to share text, images, photo editing 'recipes', VSCO journal entries and more.
Flickr has revealed their top 25 photos of 2017, and there are some truly stunning shots in the mix.
Testing of the Canon G1 X Mark III is well underway, inside of the studio and out. We've just added it to our test scene comparison tool, where you can take a look at its performance side-by-side against peers like the Sony Cyber-shot RX100 V.
Whether it's a trip to the beach for some snorkeling or scrambling up a 10,000 ft volcano, the Olympus Tough TG-5 proved to be a great travel companion for Jeff. That's why it's his 2017 Gear of the Year.
Last year, the DJI Mavic Pro and the Phantom 4 Professional took top honors in our end of year buying guide. Read on to find out who it this year for beginners, consumers, prosumers, and professionals at a price tag less than $2,000.
Meyer Optik Goerlitz is resurrecting yet another classic lens. This time, the company has set its crowdfunding sights on the Primoplan 75mm F1.9, a lens originally manufactured in a run of just 2,000 back in the 1930s.
The folks at Kolari Vision—an infrared camera conversion company based in New Jersey—recently tore down a brand new Sony a7RIII, giving everybody a peek at the camera's much-improved weather sealing.
Resource Travel's Brandon Cunningham recently joined The Giving Lens for a 10-day adventure in India. A trip he won't soon forget, to a country that left him in "sensory and soul overload."
Meet the new Freefly Movi, a handheld gimbal stabilizer designed by cinema stabilization pros for use with the iPhone. Freefly is calling this little beast "the world's most portable, adaptable, and intuitive cinema robot."
Photography portfolio site PhotoShelter is adding their voice to the growing group of online companies that are speaking out in favor of net neutrality, and against the FCC's upcoming vote to kill it.
The Direct app would replace the current Inbox on the Instagram app, doing for Instagram what the Facebook Messenger app did for Facebook on mobile.
Qualcomm's latest high-end mobile chipset offers higher frame rates and a wider color gamut, among other important camera improvements you can expect to see in next year's flagship smartphones.
Photographer Josselin Cornou recently got trapped in a blizzard in the Snowy Mountains of Australia with his Fujifilm GFX 50S and new Tamron 15-30mm F2.8 lens. Find out how they held up to 110km/h winds and -15°C temperatures.
While film nostalgia reaches an all-time high, Seattle-based pro photographer Sofi Lee is turning back to 'digicams' made between 2008 and 2011.
The fixed prime lens camera market may be a bit niche, but it's here that you'll find some of the best cameras you can buy. Sensors ranging from APS-C to full-frame are designed to match their lenses, which cover ranges from 28-75mm equivalent, so image quality is top-notch.
With a capacity of 512GB, Samsung's new UFS chips take built-in storage on smartphones to desktop-PC levels. Will this eliminate the need for microSD slots?
Photographer Josh Rossi decided to go big for this year's Christmas card, so he recreated the Star Wars: The Last Jedi poster using himself, his wife, and their two kids.
In response to a NY Times article about how some traffickers were using Instagram as part of the illicit animal trade, Instagram has added a content advisory screen that pops up to warn users any time they search for hashtags "associated with harmful behavior to animals."
Kodak is expanding its instant photography lineup today with the release of the Kodak Mini Shot Instant 10MP camera. A tiny little digital camera that spits out either 2.1 x 3.4-inch or 2.1 x 2.1-inch prints.