Summary: If you don't anticipate a need for multiple lenses--which many users won't, given the crisp 24mm-to-120mm-equivalent lens with a maximum aperture of f/2.8--the Sony Cyber Shot DSC-R1 makes a worthy competitor to the dSLRs in its price range. It's a handy, versatile camera with excellent image quality.
Pros: Excellent image quality; an impressively flexible LCD screen that's viewable from many angles; a sharp Zeiss lens; effective white-balancing features; a wide range of ISO sensitivity; quick performance.
Cons: With most heavy components on the left side, the chunky body is somewhat off-balance; can't shoot raw in burst mode; the in-camera review function magnifies to only 5X.
Conclusion: I'll start as I shall no doubt finish this little piece of editorial, the lens is worth the price of the DSC-R1 alone. That fact is not to be underestimated, it's a great lens which provides you with a very useful 24 - 120 mm zoom range (which will be sufficient for the majority of users). Doing the math it's pretty clear that you have to spend a fairly considerable sum on lenses for a D-SLR to get close to this range and the quality of the DSC-R1's lens.
Pros: Superb 24 - 120 mm F2.8 - F4.8 lens is worth the $999 alone, Good resolution, a slight advantage over the EOS 350D (not as much as we would like), Vivid, 'pleasing' color response, although may not be to everyone's taste, Low noise levels up to ISO 400, usable but NR affected ISO 800, noisy ISO 1600, Simple, easy to learn control system (hold button & turn dial, options displayed on screen), Unique APS-C size sensor in a fixed lens digital camera, Magnified manual foc...
Cons: In-camera image processor not making most of captured data (demosaicing, sharpening), Odd LCD location either difficult to get used to or a serious limitation (user dependent), Electronic Viewfinder is no substitute for an optical TTL viewfinder, Ridiculous maximum 3 frame buffer for continuous JPEG and no continuous RAW, Excessively large RAW files (20 MB, 9 sec write to CF), Below average write speeds to Compact Flash, Limited range of image parameter adjustments, L...
Conclusion: Sony Cybershot DSC R1 - Extraordinary digital camera Let it be clear that the Sony Cybershot DSC-R1 is an extraordinary camera indeed. This doesn't just limit itself to the design, but also covers the optics. The fact that the Sony R1 is equipped with a Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T* lens greatly attributes to the test results. The Cybershot R1 really is a digital camera that awakens one's enthusiasm.
Conclusion: The DSC-R1 took great photos–as a $999 10-megapixel camera should. I highly recommend it for anyone who doesn’t want to spend a small fortune on lenses or doesn’t have any to begin with. The camera isn’t perfect but none are–it is heavy and a wider focal length would be a nice bonus. It’s also not as fast as a D-SLR with slower frames-per-second rate and response time. Still it is an excellent camera–and one of the best that arrived in 2005.
Summary: In use the R1 certainly feels like it's delivering the goods, starting quickly
and feeling responsive under general conditions. The build quality and ergonomics
are of a very high standard and the camera feels comfortable to hold.
Then there's all the benefits of a live view system: composition using a flip-out
screen and real-time feedback including histograms and an optional grid to aid
Pros: Excellent quality lens with useful range, Large sensor for all-in-one body, High resolution beats 6 and 8 Mpixel D-SLRs, Flexible 2in display
Cons: Noise not as low as we hoped above 400 ISO, Harder to manually focus than D-SLRs, Tiny three frame buffer, No movie mode
Excerpt: The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-R1 ($999) is arguably one of the biggest revolutions in consumer digital photography in recent years. While most companies continue to pile more and more pixels into small sensors (Sony has been guilty of this too), the DSC-R1 uses a new CMOS sensor that is dramatically larger than what most cameras offer. How much larger?
Pros: Stunning image quality; high ISO performance rivals D-SLRs, High quality 24 - 120 mm lens, Very good performance (though see issues below), Large, rotating LCD (though see issues below), Full manual controls; shutter speeds as slow as 8 minutes, Manual zoom and focus rings, RAW image format supported; good RAW software included, Low redeye levels, Dual memory card slots, Support for conversion lenses, external flash, and wired remote, Very good battery life, USB 2.0 H...
Cons: Pricey (though getting an equivalent lens on the SLR side will cost thousands), Unusual design: top-mounted LCD is awkward, button layout is cluttered, command dial needs a lock, Disappointing burst mode (only three shots in a row, RAW not usable), Buffer fills quickly when shooting in RAW mode, Hologram AF system from F828 is missed, No movie mode, Weak software bundle, aside from RAW software, An optical viewfinder would've been really nice
Summary: Sony's latest top of the line Cyber-shot camera, the R1 is encased in a black, body, and is the first to use Sony's new 10.3-megapixel CMOS imager. Its also the first "APS-C imager" digital camera to offer live preview. The R1 features a Carl Zeiss T* 5x wide angle zoom that is matched to the imager and covers a 35mm equivalent focal length of 24mm to 120mm and has both a manual zoom and focus ring on the lens barrel.
Sony’s Cyber-shot DSC-R1; 10-Megapixel Digicam First With APS-C Sensor—Is This A Trend?
1 May 2001
Excerpt: The first digicam with built-in lens to employ an APS-C size sensor, the 10-megapixel Cyber-shot DSC-R1 received a great deal of attention when it was first announced. News sites around the world emphasized Sony's claims of substantially wider dynamic range and much higher sensitivity vs. cameras like the Cyber-shot DSC-F828 with its up until now standard digicam sensor...
Excerpt: $1800 4.8 stars The is a 10.3 megapixel all-in-one digital camera with a Zeiss 5X zoom lens (24–120mm film equivalent). Quality of design and construction is superb. The has an electronic viewfinder and a swivelling LCD screen that sits flat on the top of the camera when it is docked. The EVF is acceptable and the LCD screen is exceptionally good. It is small but has excellent display characteristics. The Zeiss lens does not pretend to be a “super” zoom.
Pros: Price: $1800 Rating: 4.8 stars The low-down: The Sony Cybershot DSC–R1 is a 10.3 megapixel all-in-one digital camera with a Zeiss 5X zoom lens (24–120mm film equivalent). Quality of design and construction is superb. The R1 has an electronic viewfinder and a swivelling LCD screen that sits flat on the top of the camera when it is docked. The EVF is acceptable and the LCD screen is exceptionally good. It is small but has excellent display characteristics. The Zeiss len...
Cons: Price: $1800 Rating: 4.8 stars The low-down: The Sony Cybershot DSC–R1 is a 10.3 megapixel all-in-one digital camera with a Zeiss 5X zoom lens (24–120mm film equivalent). Quality of design and construction is superb. The R1 has an electronic viewfinder and a swivelling LCD screen that sits flat on the top of the camera when it is docked. The EVF is acceptable and the LCD screen is exceptionally good. It is small but has excellent display characteristics. The Zeiss len...