Sony DSC-RX1 Brief Review


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  • 24.3 megapixel full-frame CMOS sensor
  • 35mm f2 Carl Zeiss lens
  • 1080/60p HD video recording with stereo sound
  • 3-inch LCD screen with 1.229 million dots
  • 5fps continuous burst
  • RAW Capture
  • Manual Modes
  • Lithium-ion battery
  • Release Date: 2012-11-10
  • Final Grade: 87 4.35 Star Rating: Recommended

Sony DSC-RX1
24.3 megapixel full-frame CMOS sensor; 35mm f2 Carl Zeiss lens; 1080/60p HD video recording with stereo sound; 3-inch LCD screen with 1.229 million dots; 5fps continuous burst; RAW Capture; Manual Modes; Lithium-ion battery
By , Last updated on: 5/18/2014

The RX1 is essentially an RX100 on steroids, a rangefinder-esque camera without the rangefinder. Sony has managed to squeeze a full-frame 24 megapixel sensor into a body no larger than the recently announced NEX-6 with kit zoom. The caveat here, and indeed it's a big one, is that the camera uses a fixed 35mm f2 lens that cannot be switched out. The feature set and small size are undoubtedly impressive, but we have a feeling Sony will have a difficult time making sales. The high-end market is used to using a viewfinder (which the RX1 doesn't have), and there are other APS-C options, like Fujifilm's X100 or Leica's X2, that are functionally similar and at least $1000 cheaper. Expect the RX1's image quality to be stellar, autofocus to be snappy, and overall usability to be quite good, but we're still left scratching our heads: who's been asking for this?

In 2013, Sony introduced the RX1R, which isn't a full update, as both models will continued to be produced. The difference is that the RX1R removes the optical low pass filter, which results in a bit higher resolution and even more detail to the images.

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Sony Reviews

Sony has been at the forefront of the market for consumer electronics for the past 30 years by offering innovative imaging products in response to changes in the market. Sony has made cameras that are ideal for casual users, hobbyists, and professional photographers through their dedication to implementing the most current technology with a sleek and minimal style, resulting in an end result of the highest quality.

Sony was the first to put a full-frame sensor inside of a mirrorless camera, the A7 and A7R, and a little later, the A7S. While the first-of-its-kind cameras aren't without flaws, Sony executed their ideas fairly well and made some pretty solid cameras to start the new line.

Speaking of first-of-its kind, Sony also designed a “camera-without-a-camera,” the QX10 and QX100. These cameras have a sensor and lens, but no operating system—instead, consumers use their smartphone via wi-fi or NFC to operate the camera. While the cameras certainly have flaws (mainly in the slow response due to operating through wi-fi), we still have to applaud Sony for the way they've responded to the rise in smartphone photography (plus the cameras have actually sold remarkably well).

Sony has also been highly successful with the RX compact camera line that began with the RX100, a compact camera with a 1” sensor, excellent image quality and full manual modes. The camera has since seen some solid updates, and remains a good option. Sony also added the RX10, a camera with a 1” sensor but instead of focusing on compact size, adds a much bigger zoom.

While their focus is on more advanced models, it’s usually a pretty safe bet to pick up a Sony compact, even a budget priced one, and still get a lot of bang for your buck. We're also big fans of Sony's designs, making their cameras easy to use and adjust, like the HX400 that has an automatic sensor on the electronic viewfinder as well as a control ring around the lens.

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