Conclusion: The more we mull it over, “suiting your vision” is an apt description for the RX1. This Cyber-shot is a wonderful photography tool and if you can imagine the shot, the camera will deliver it – within reason, of course. At this price, the RX1 is clearly for a very affluent shutterbug and perhaps our biggest complaint is the fact it’s so darn expensive. Yet Lamborghinis will always cost more than BMWs, and people will always want the best.
Summary: Full-frame cameras are trending lately but Sony took the photographic world by surprise when they introduced the RX1–the first compact camera with a full-frame sensor. The camera’s $2800 price tag may be out of reach for many people but even so, it’s not so easy to dismiss the RX1 either for price or its fixed 35mm lens.
Pros: excellent image quality and lens sharpness, solid feature set, manual aperture ring
Cons: LCD difficult to use in bright light, movie record button awkwardly placed, autofocus somewhat sluggish in low light, relatively short battery life, expensive, fussy manual focus
Sony Cyber-shot RX1 – hands-down the most serious compact camera on the market
23 April 2013
Conclusion: The Cybershot RX1 went on sale a while ago, but even for what it offers, it’s quite expensive at $2800 (and 2800 pounds in the UK). The full frame sensor is great, but even with a high quality fixed lens, the options are really limited when you think about it. If this was an ILC, it would be a game changer, but as it is, it’s a compact camera for a limited number of professionals who can afford it.
Excerpt: Near-breathless anticipation is pretty much how you’d describe the mood when Sony announced plans for what, on paper, looked to be the most advanced compact camera
Pros: Sharp, beautiful still images. Gorgeous bokeh. Solid build. External f-stop ring on lens. Crisp and bright LCD. Very low noise at high ISOs. Shoots RAW, RAW + JPEG and JPEG.
Cons: Slowish focus performance, especially in low light. Detachable electronic viewfinder is mostly unnecessary. Disappointing video performance. A fixed lens is “a fixed” lens and offers few options. Average output from pop-up flash.
Summary: The RX1 isn’t perfect: it’s exorbitantly expensive for most people; it’s limited to one, fixed lens; it requires a knowledge and understanding of basic photographic principles to really get the most out of it; its battery life sucks; and its autofocus system falls short. But if you’re prepared to work around its limitations and have the deep pockets required to play in this game, the RX1 can pay back in dividends.
Camera Test: Sony Cyber-shot RX1 Full-Frame Advanced Compact
19 February 2013
Summary: It’s hard to compare the Sony RX1 to other cameras because it really is unique. As such, it carries a hefty price tag. For significantly less money, you could opt for the Sony Alpha NEX-7 ($1,198, street, body only) paired with the new E-mount 35mm f/1.8 OSS lens ($448, street). You’d end up with the same pixel count (though notably less measured resolution in our tests), better noise performance, and better color accuracy.
Excerpt: The Sony Cyber-shot RX1 is the world's first compact camera with a fixed lens and full-frame sensor. Announced in September 2012, it brings the low light, high dynamic range and shallow depth of field benefits of a full-frame camera to a much smaller form factor than DSLRs like the Canon 5D Mark III and Nikon D800. And while Leica has long offered its relatively compact full-frame M9 system with removable lenses to boot, the Sony RX1 is smaller and more affordable.
Summary: In our new Sony RX1 review video, Amy Davies of our testing team asks whether Sony has changed the landscape of the ultra-premium compact camera market. With its 35mm full frame sensor and fixed-length 35mm f/2.0 Carl Zeiss T* coated lens, the Sony RX1 has caused a stir of excitement among photographers at its potential for superior image quality.