Sony Cyber-shot DSC-R1 Review
The DSC-R1 provides a very Sony-typical (and honestly disappointing) three level adjustment for color saturation, contrast and sharpness. Come on Sony this isn't a consumer-grade camera, to be taken seriously at this price level potential buyers expect more control over image parameters than this.
Image parameter adjustments
- Saturation: -1, 0, +1
- Contrast: -1, 0, +1, AGCS
- Sharpness: -1, 0, +1
Sony's AGCS (Advanced Gradation Control System) is (according to their PR) supposed to, "optimizes image contrast, in order to avoid “blown out” highlights in high-contrast scenes and “crushed” blacks in low-contrast ones. AGCS evaluates the distribution of brightness and then automatically applies the appropriate gamma curve to achieve better pictures."
Looking at the example shown on sony.co.jp we assumed that this was intended as some kind of digital fill-flash feature as executed in different forms by other manufacturers (HP and Nikon come to mind). However we couldn't achieve anything like the example shown on sony.co.jp or anything which even demonstrated improved gradation or image brightness in a backlight situation.
Indeed while AGCS does deliver a slightly different result than using the -1 contrast setting it's so subtle as to be hardly noticed. As you can see from the example below Photoshop's Shadow/ Highlight adjustment feature does a much better job.
|Contrast: Normal||Contrast: -1|
|Contrast: AGCS||Photoshop Shadow/Highlight adjustment|
Adjusting the tone alters the shape of the 'S curve' used to map the linear image data captured by the sensor into the correct gamma. As you can see the DSC-R1's one level adjustment is so subtle as to be pretty much pointless, this much adjustment will make almost no difference in your everyday shots.
Color saturation adjustment
Saturation adjustment allows you to control the strength of color in the final image. As you can see from the crops below the latitude of adjustment is quite strong. I'll have to admit that I was quite surprised that Sony has chosen a 'consumer like' default saturation level, which can sometimes lead to oversaturated colors (especially strong reds; as below). A camera of this type and targetted at this kind of buyer should really have a more conservative color response. Again, not enough adjustment levels and not enough latitude of adjustment.
The DSC-R1's default sharpening level is about right in terms of the amount of sharpness it brings to detail but is noticeably unsophisticated compared to the kind of sharpening normally employed on digital SLR's. As you can see it leads to halos around black detail, you can avoid these buy setting sharpness to -1 but then you will have to post-process each and every image. Here the latitude of adjustment is fine but the number of steps insufficient (it would be nice to have this amount of adjustment on a -2 to +2 scale).
|Sharpness: 0 (default)|
|Brussels' lights by Litho|
from Your City - Queue
|Sunset in The Grand Tetons by ed rader|
from My Best Photo of the Week
|Oil, water & paint by timbazi|
|1939 Ford Coupe by WordyDave|
from Car Shows 2018
The importance of APS-C, a future a7S model in development and why customers want two card slots – read our full interview with Sony's Kenji Tanaka.
Google's Super Res Zoom technology uses pixel-shifting methods to achieve zoom results comparable to some optical solutions. Google has published an in-depth explanation on its AI blog.
CyberLink has release the latest version of its photo editing and design program PhotoDirector.
Toy manufacturer Tomy has launched a no-battery-required smartphone printer that is remarkably like the one Holga has been promoting via a Kickstarter campaign but which is already available for $40/£39.
A handful of Sony users have noticed a particular model of SanDisk SD cards is showing errors when used with Sony a7 III camera.
The Fujifilm X-T3's 4K video more than lives up to its impressive specification, making it one of the most capable video cameras we've ever tested.
VSCO has made it easier to find the right presets for your photos with a few interface changes to its smartphone app.
TinyMOS is back with NANO1, an all-new astrophotography camera that's one-third the size of the TINY1 it announced three years ago.
Huawei's latest flagship device comes with the widest range of focal lengths of all current smartphones.
After shaking up the Lightroom ecosystem with Lightroom CC last year, Adobe has released version 2.0 of the cloud-centric photo organizer and editor. We look at new features like People View, how far Lightroom CC has come in its first year, and where Lightroom is headed.
Today, at Adobe MAX 2018, Adobe previewed Photoshop CC on iPad, a full-featured, desktop-class version of Photoshop for iOS.
The weather and has most definitely taken a turn toward fall here, and our shooting opportunities have followed suit. We brought the Canon RF 35mm F1.8 along to a harvest festival of sorts and a few of our usual haunts.
Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf has signed House Bill 1346 into effect, which imposes a fine upwards of $300 to drone operators who invade the privacy or harm the physical wellbeing of citizens.
Sigma is a company in flux, but CEO Kazuto Yamaki is undaunted by the upcoming prospect of developing lenses for eight lens mounts. The challenge will be keeping the company's identity along the way.
If you've been meaning to convert all of your old photos, video, and audio to digital formats, but simply lack the time or willpower to get through it all, a new service from Kodak will help you get the job done.
Almost all new cameras include impressive video features, but for the best results you'll often need an off-camera recorder. Chris and Jordan take a look at the brand new Ninja V from Atomos, and explain why it might just be one of the most useful tools you can add to your camera.
Collect allows you to transform 360-degree into a more easily digestible format by transforming it into directed traditional videos.
Sick of using your plain ol' keyboard to edit your photos in Lightroom and Photoshop? TourBox is hoping to expedite your post-production workflow using a clever combination of dials, buttons, and knobs.
Bag and accessory manufacturer Hex has launched two bags as part of its latest collection: the Clamshell Backpack and DSLR Sling.
Crank out instant photos with Holga Digital's new analog printer, currently being funded on Kickstarter.
We got some hands-on time with Leica's new S3 medium format camera, which boasts a new higher-res sensor as well as other improvements.
Luna Display started its life as a crowdfunding project on Kickstarter. Now, it's available to purchase directly online.
We sat down with the Google Pixel camera team to learn about key new camera features on the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL, and an explanation of the sophisticated software advancements that power them.
A lawsuit filed on Tuesday claims the cameras in Apple's iPhone 7 Plus and newer dual-camera models infringe on a patent that was granted in 2003.
Nikon's Coolpix P1000 has moved the zoom needle from 'absurd' to 'ludicrous,' with an equivalent focal length of 24-3000mm. So far, it's a fun camera to shoot with – if a bit over the top.
Like the LG V40 ThinQ the A9 combines a super-wide-angle, regular wide-angle and tele camera, but adds a depth-sensor to the mix as well.
The FAA has issued a warning to drone pilots in anticipation of disaster response following Hurricane Michael, noting that fines for interfering with emergency operations can exceed $20,000.
According to a report from Fortune, Apple acquired Danish masking technology startup Spektral in December 2017 for "more than $30 million."
Insta360's latest model comes with a range of features that allow for the creation of unique action cam footage.