In this article I’m going to go over my first impressions of the Sony DSC-RX1. I have some initial camera body impressions, thoughts on image quality, and some sample photos with 100% crops to show you.
The original Sony DSC-RX1 just arrived at the Lab and the New RX1R has been tested on a number of websites.
I bring up the RX1R, because I had a look at the raw image quality side by side comparisons @ dpreview >> and they are barely noticeable at 100% on the regular photos. However, on the resolution chart tests (click Here), the RX1R sharpness advantage and Moire’ dis-advantage is very clear!
What should Sony Do?
After seeing that, I think Sony will have to drop the price on the original RX1 at least a little. Sharpness is very important and unless the Morie’ proves horrible in some future tests real world tests, why would anybody get the RX1 for the same price? I would go with the extra sharpness over the slight morie’ based on the tests I’ve seen so far.
The Sony RX1R can be Pre-Ordered @ BHPhoto >> and Amazon >> for $2798 US, and will be released on July 26th.
Moving back to the original Sony DSC-RX1 , that can be ordered @ BHPhoto >> and Amazon >>; I managed to the product photography for the RX1 done and while doing that I got a really close look a thre build quality and design of the camera. It;s really well made I must say!
Take a look at the quality of the manual control knobs on the top of the RX1 and you will see what I’m talking about. The silver stainless steel looking shutter release button has the threaded hole in it for optional accessories. Notice how the edges all have nice quality machined bevels that are hard to see in the normal product shots. The exposure comp knob is easy to turn with your thumb, but clicks firmly enough that you don’t roll through adjustments to easily. The Mode knob to the left is much firmer than the exp/comp know, and requires two fingers for me to turn from one mode to another. I like this because accidentally changes modes is not a good thing. The lowest knob to the right of the play button, is the easiest to turn and when in manual mode controls the shutter speed with the default settings. When in Aperture priority mode it doesn’t do anything with the default settings, but it does help you navigate through the pro style menu system much faster.
The lowest control wheel, you can see in the image below, is used mostly for mostly for navigation purposes in the menu as far as rotation is concerned, but you can press in on the circle as a 4-way button array as well. The top is the DISP button and it cycles through the different LCD screen preset layouts. I use this button constantly on my Nex-6 in order to see the histogram view in playback mode and while taking photos. The other three directions of the pad can be custom programed to all the major buttons you would imagine.
Sony RX1 Sample Photos
My first impression of the image quality on the Sony RX1 is WOW! It’s absolutely incredible from what I’ve seen so far. The Zeiss is razor sharp and the full frame sensor quality looks to be better than my Pro Grade Canon 5d Mark II. I only took a few snapshots so far, but when I looked at the images in Lightroom at 100% my jaw opened slowly, and then proceeded to stay open as I went from image to image. Lets take a lok shall we 😉
I was stuck inside at work, but I took advantage of my break time and took a few snapshots around the place. Check out some of the equipment I’m responsible for and get to work on through the eye of the RX1. My practically bomb proof totally overkill locker locker with a few photos from home on it.
Be sure to Click on these Photo for the High Res ~1200px 100% Crop Version!
Check out this STS1 Multiplexer 😉 The leds were the main attraction for this image.
This is a more modern piece of equipment that is using GigE technology via fiber optics. Pretty killer circular bokeh rendering on the LED’s @ f/2.
Some old wire down blocks and pins.
Another snapshot showing off the circular specular highlights from the various LED’s in the distance.
Here’s a photo from outside on the deck that turned out pretty good considering the poor lighting and weather.
Here is one more image of Abby chewing on her rope. The 100% Crop shows the fur detail so crisp it’s amazing.
As you can see from these snapshots, the Sony RX1 has some killer image quality, sharpness, and bokeh renderings! Clearly I have lots of testing still to do, but so far I am very impressed with the photos, but the ergonomics are a bit awkward. It’s not as heavy as I was expecting, but with only the small thumb protrusion for leverage, it reminds me of the Nex-3n I Just reviewed Here>>
I really like the grip on my Nex-6 and wish the RX1 had more of a grip on it out of the factory. Sony does offer accessories to address this issue, but they are expensive, and I will cover them in the full review or another article. So your forced to squeeze the camera and/or put your right ring finger and pinky finger under the camera for leverage. I had to do this with the Nex-3n as well. It’s not awful by any means, but like I said above, I much prefer the confidence and leverage of the built in Nex-6 style grip. It really wouldn’t make the RX1 that much larger overall foot print wise to incorporate a grip.
That is about it for now, but I hope you liked the few sample photos and brief impressions of this really high quality point and shoot style camera from Sony 😉 As always, please feel free to ask questions or comment below. Jay