Sony RX1--full frame fixed lens compact
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Rick Dreher
(halfturbo) - MLife

Locale: Northernish California
Sony RX1--full frame fixed lens compact on 09/11/2012 22:38:34 MDT Print View

So, this happened. Sony will sell a one-pound; 35/2.0, 6,000x4,000 pixel; ISO 25,600 [native]; $2,800 camera, starting this year. Most folks will say, "wha?" and for $2,800 who can blame them? But, there's never been anything like it in the digital age. The closest approximation would be a Leica M9 and 35 Summicron for, oh, about ten grand, and forget autofocus or pretty much anything else automatic with the red dot.

http://www.dpreview.com/previews/sony-cybershot-dsc-rx1

Does this make the Sigma DP Merrills a bargain?

Fun times.

Rick

[edit: make that $2,800.]

Edited by halfturbo on 09/12/2012 10:42:28 MDT.

Rog Tallbloke
(tallbloke) - F

Locale: DON'T LOOK DOWN!!
Re: Sony RX1--full frame fixed lens compact on 09/15/2012 01:36:08 MDT Print View

My Ricoh GXR with the APS-C 28mm module weighs less and takes very nice photos in low light at high ISO's. One of these combos went in the US on ebay for $386 the other day, an absolute bargain. OK, it won't quite keep up with this Sony camera, but it's a lot less than eight times worse image quality for eight times less money.

.firelight

Jacob D
(JacobD) - F

Locale: North Bay
Re: Sony RX1--full frame fixed lens compact on 09/15/2012 08:55:46 MDT Print View

Rog, I think Sony set out to make a statement with the RX1. "Our sensors are dominating the competition (what little of it there is left) and by the way, look what we can do!"

It's a very niche camera.

An M9 + ZM 35/2 would run about $7000 new, and I think the RX1 will out perform that combination, but I doubt anyone from the Leica camp will be seriously interested... although, they would certainly be the type of people to drop that kind of coin on a point and shoot. It's a conundrum :)

Eugene Smith
(Eugeneius) - MLife

Locale: Nuevo Mexico
Re: Re: Sony RX1--full frame fixed lens compact on 09/15/2012 09:04:33 MDT Print View

The RX1 looks like a dream.

Being the owner of a fixed shooter (X100), the RX1 and its full frame sensor is definitely calling my name.

Jacob D
(JacobD) - F

Locale: North Bay
Re: Re: Re: Sony RX1--full frame fixed lens compact on 09/15/2012 09:29:31 MDT Print View

That's cool Eugene. Other than the X100 and RX1 both being fixed lens, they don't seem to have much in common though. Would you add on the OVF, or shoot like a P&S?

I deal with the 5N sort of like a TLR, shoot at the waist with the screen up. If the RX1 would have had a flip touch screen like my NEX (or a built in EVF) I would already be thinking about how to break the news to my wife.

Rick Dreher
(halfturbo) - MLife

Locale: Northernish California
Re: Sony RX1--full frame fixed lens compact on 09/15/2012 10:11:50 MDT Print View

In a sense the RX1 is a descendant of my favorite film compact, the Contax T3 ("full frame," fixed Zeiss 35mm lens, highly automated with manual overrides, unrestrained high quality components). It's a breakout product in many ways for those seeking the full-frame experience in a portable form factor. In addition to the above-mentioned M9 ($7k body only, but discounted at present as Leica readies the M10) one can only choose a full-frame dslr. These are becoming pretty affordable but the form factor ensures they'll remain huge--ditto most of the lenses.

Sony is also strutting their sensor technology here. In addition to themselves they also supply Nikon and now, Olympus. They've taken a clear industry lead.

There will be direct competitors, eventually. Lacking any actual tests, I'm assuming the camera will perform well and predict it will sell like relative hotcakes (camera geeks are beside themselves at the possibility). Like the crazy Sigma DPs, it will offer a unique image look and for those seeking it, at an unimaginable size and weight.

Cheers,

Rick

Jacob D
(JacobD) - F

Locale: North Bay
Re: Sony RX1--full frame fixed lens compact on 09/15/2012 12:41:49 MDT Print View

Rick, you think it will sell that well?

It's position in the market is unique - a fixed lens, P&S form, FF sensor and FF price tag. I get the feeling that it will be more of a cult camera that will mostly appeal to the enthusiast audience. I guess time will tell.

Jacob D
(JacobD) - F

Locale: North Bay
Re: Re: Sony RX1--full frame fixed lens compact on 09/15/2012 12:43:31 MDT Print View

By the way, I think the M9 price is only going to go down from here, but that's still a huge jump... and that is some old tech nowadays.

Rick Dreher
(halfturbo) - MLife

Locale: Northernish California
Re: Sony RX1--full frame fixed lens compact on 09/15/2012 13:49:01 MDT Print View

Hi Jacob,

I do, within the framework of "sells well for a nearly $3k camera." The (insert name of cheapest CanIkon dslr) will outsell it severalfold, but for a specialty prestige compact, likely handbuilt in limited quantities, it will be a hit. It's also a halo camera for Sony, the company that has taken huge chunks out of CanIkon's hides since entering the dslr market a few years ago, and probably a nice little profit center compared to the thin margins for mass-market cameras. Neither Nikon nor Canon has anything like this, nor the NEX series.

Can't justify it, personally, but as a backpacker and camera buff I welcome it with open arms. It will be great for us because of what it portends as other companies respond.

A comparison of the RX1 and A99 can be seen here.
http://www.engadget.com/2012/09/14/amazon-selling-sony-rx1-nex-6-and-alpha-a99/

That they can be considered rivals is pretty astonishing.

Cheers,

Rick

Jacob D
(JacobD) - F

Locale: North Bay
Re: Re: Sony RX1--full frame fixed lens compact on 09/17/2012 12:07:00 MDT Print View

For sure I can see it being popular within its audience. Compared to the RX100 I think sales will be small. I can imagine conversations at the camera shop "whadda ya mean it doesn't zoom?" :)

I can't justify it either, but like you I'm happy to see Sony pushing the envelope. Canon is so far behind in the game right now. It seems like they're playing catchup at every turn.

I'm not really surprised that the A99 and RX1 have similar IQ. Same sensor, plus a high quality prime designed specifically for that sensor should lead nowhere but high quality images. I'm actually considering replacing my 5D with an A99. Of course, this would require jumping ship, so still pondering it. I do like where Sony is heading though.

If Eugene snags an RX1 I'll live vicariously through him :)

Rog Tallbloke
(tallbloke) - F

Locale: DON'T LOOK DOWN!!
Re: Re: Sony RX1--full frame fixed lens compact on 09/23/2012 05:28:19 MDT Print View

Jacob says:
Rog, I think Sony set out to make a statement with the RX1. "Our sensors are dominating the competition


The Ricoh GXR system uses Sony APS-C size sensors. The 12MP in the 28mm and 50mm equivalent primes and the premium 16MP sensor in the 24-85 zoom. I have the 28mm and the Zoom units.

The 16MP sensor is a revelation. Just fantastic.

Jacob D
(JacobD) - F

Locale: North Bay
Re: Re: Re: Sony RX1--full frame fixed lens compact on 09/23/2012 11:31:24 MDT Print View

Rog, You're preaching to the choir. I own a 5N which has that same 16MP sensor, I believe Ricoh is using the 16MP Sony sensor anyway maybe different sensor topping as it handles M lenses even better than the 5N. It's a great sensor.

Although I'm sure the RX1 will be a stunner, I don't think there's any way to rationalize the cost difference. You either want that camera enough or you don't. I think Sony is just flaunting what they're able to do. It is a pretty impressive package after all. The race is on to see who'll release the first full frame mirrorless interchangeable lens body.

Rog Tallbloke
(tallbloke) - F

Locale: DON'T LOOK DOWN!!
Re: Re: Re: Re: Sony RX1--full frame fixed lens compact on 09/25/2012 17:07:04 MDT Print View

Jacob,
Ricoh dispensed with the anti-aliasing filter. I was tempted by the M unit but can't afford the glass to match it's capability. I was lucky enough to pick up a 2 week old A16 zoom for half price and it give me some versatility in a single unit, plus I already have the A12 28mm prime for low light work.

The 5N or the newer body with built in EVF plus the new Sony compact zoom looks like a great option for lightweight IQ. Full frame has got to have bigger heavier glass unless they are going to correct distortion in software.

Rick Dreher
(halfturbo) - MLife

Locale: Northernish California
Re: Sony RX1--full frame fixed lens compact on 10/08/2012 21:22:11 MDT Print View

DPR has a few prototype jpegs posted. A wide open sample is at this link. Click to embiggen to 100% after the image loads.

http://masters.galleries.dpreview.com.s3.amazonaws.com/2258294.jpg?AWSAccessKeyId=14Y3MT0G2J4Y72K3ZXR2&Expires=1349752775&Signature=nLICAifvo3amlbyJEfqAriyhEGM%3d

6kx4k are big images; RAW files are going to be huge. I guess that's why they're making 128 and 256GB SD cards.

Cheers,

Rick

p.s. And, an ISO 25.6k sample jpeg.

http://www.stevehuffphoto.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/DSC00203.jpg

Edited by halfturbo on 10/10/2012 00:37:24 MDT.

Brian Austin
(footeab) - F

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Sony RX1--full frame fixed lens compact on 10/12/2012 21:46:21 MDT Print View

This is a glorified trophy cam. OOOO SHINY! Lookie what I got.

Now maybe, its dynamic range and color space are spectacular. Though I doubt it is barely any better than the Pentax K5/Nikon d7000. After all the Nikon D600 who uses a FF Sony sensor, if not the exact same sensor, is barely any better according to DXOmark. That right there is the nail in this piece of gold's coffin.

Heck Sony's own camera easily competes way better in its 24Mpix APS-C form factor in the NEX-7! Its lighter/Cheaper to boot along with being an interchangeable lens cam!

You won't see me buy it. Has nothing to do with the price either. It has everything to do with the fact its a FF sensor camera.

VERY few people want shallow depth of field. Is there a single backpacking shot you want with a shallow DOF? NO! Flower shot requires a DEEP field. Landscape? Deep Field. One is always fighting to get a deeper field for Landscape as invariably the darned perfect framed shot has bushes/flowers/branches that are too close and therefore OOF!!! FF sensor can give you neither of these unless one operates at F-22 or greater. Something this fixed lens cam certainly Cannot do. Even then one has serious diffraction problems creeping in...

On top of this. This is a fixed lens cam. You had better like its number of, ut oh mind blank, leafs on the shutter. It has NO zoom ability, so flower shots will be impossible unless severe cropping even from a tripod and on top of that it will have a super shallow DoF meaning 75% of the flower will be OOF and you the photog will be PO'd as only one petal will be in focus and everything else will be goobers.

The ONLY folks who want a shallow DoF are portrait photog or a videographer who wants only a single subject/object highlighted.

Woo, Hoo, I get 1 more stop maybe 2 of iso range... You still need the tripod for said sunset/sunrise as you want a long exposure generally so to spread the pinks/reds/oranges etc around. So, instead of simply being able to shoot video in the twilight like all APS-C and m4/3 can do currently, you can now shoot pictures/video in a cave.

It will be a great cam for spelunkers. Assuming they don't want any macro capability.

PS. If this cam came out before m4/3, before APS-C shrinkage, it might actually have an audience 8 years ago. Today? Highly doubtful.

Edited by footeab on 10/12/2012 21:48:30 MDT.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
re Shiney on 10/13/2012 01:44:43 MDT Print View

Hey Brian, you are not singing the company anthem. Wrong song book!

$2,800? Fixed lens & no zoom?
Not me mate.

Cheers

Franco Darioli
(Franco) - M

Locale: Melbourne
Sony RX1--full frame fixed lens compact on 10/13/2012 03:32:24 MDT Print View

Brian,
Clearly this is not the camera for you , however ....
VERY few people want shallow depth of field

maybe somewhat true for happy snappy type shooters, however keen amateurs and pros do...

Heck Sony's own camera easily competes way better in its 24Mpix APS-C form factor in the NEX-7!
well you can't compare the form factor of a camera with one that has a 60% larger sensor...


It has NO zoom ability, so flower shots will be impossible unless severe cropping even from a tripod and on top of that it will have a super shallow DoF meaning 75% of the flower will be OOF and you the photog will be PO'd as only one petal will be in focus and everything else will be goobers.

The best macro lenses are fixed lenses so no zoom. Zoom and macro are not the same thing...
Technically at 20cm (the macro distance) at F16 you have about 2.6 cm in focus. That is enough for some..
Anyway this is a macro shot from the RX1 taken at F2 , just to show that not everyone takes all in focus shots...Sony RX 1 macro shot

Edited by Franco on 10/13/2012 03:34:10 MDT.

Rick Dreher
(halfturbo) - MLife

Locale: Northernish California
Re: Sony RX1--full frame fixed lens compact on 10/13/2012 10:55:09 MDT Print View

Some illustrative history: set the calendar back ten years. The Contax N Digital is released as the world's first full-frame digital slr. 6MP sensor, 3 FPS top shooting speed, so expensive and time-intensive to develop it basically sunk the brand.

Ten years--an eternity in digicam technology advancement; an eyeblink in backpacking technology advancement.

Since, a dozen or more FF dslr models have been rolled out, along with but one FF rangefinder, the Leica M9. I won't go into size, weight and pricing calculus, suffice to say they're all rather dear, heavy and other than the Leica, massive, and yet backpackers, including "lightweight" aficionados who hang here carry them because they offer unique photographic qualities.

The trap is to misinterpret what the RX1 represents. This camera could not have existed two years ago, much less ten. It breaks several molds and gives full-frame results--yes, unique and distinct from smaller formats regardless of whether that look is something your vision desires or requires--at a shocking fraction of the bulk and weight.

At three grand it's not a camera for me (I wish) and perhaps not a camera for you, but it represents a paradigm shift that will be followed. Like the micro-four thirds prototype unveiled a few years ago, it's an entre to an entirely new camera category that has those in the know thrilled with what's to come. Lightweight backpackers are dead-center in that cohort.

Not a zoom? Only a limitation if you allow it to be. For years my backpacking camera was a Contax T3--coincidentally a high-end compact with a fast, sharp 35mm lens the equal of any slr lens. Some of my best backpacking photos were taken with the tiny Contax, and the parallels with the vastly more competent Sony are many. I'd certainly prefer an EVF to an optical framing thingie in the hotshoe. That will come.

Cheers,

Rick

Edited by halfturbo on 10/13/2012 10:56:11 MDT.

Brian Austin
(footeab) - F

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Sony RX1--full frame fixed lens compact on 10/13/2012 16:30:47 MDT Print View

Franco, Box Brownie pictures are called "art" too. Why? Its because that is what they had at the time. Lousy as it may be. The flower shot you showed is yet another case in point. Its ok for a magazine(maybe), but not something you would hang on the wall.

To each their own. =)

I have yet to find a flower that a 35mm or FF sensor can actually take a decent picture of without half of the flower being destroyed. Lets not kid ourselves, its a problem for APS-C as well. And yes, very rarely does one want a super shallow DOF, though buy a low F stop lense solves this.

Ah physics limitations and there is no perfect camera. I can see it now, a VERY dense sensor that bins certain pixels for better noise at times and likewise moves the lense mount forwards and backwards while having a universal lens mount. Of course you would still have to carry a passel of lenses with you for different "sensor size" operations... Hmm aren't we basically almost already there with the D800? Just need that moveable lens mount......

=)

PS. You are talking to a guy who used to routinely carry 4x5 into the mountains... 5x7 on the rare occasion. Even 35mm(FF) film could never match taking pictures of flowers that these new small sensor cameras can do with their far greater range for DOF, now their detail/color/dynamic range can leave a bit to be desired, but some of the new cams, WOW is all I gotta say. They are easily as good as APS-C from a couple years ago, and that in a true pocket cam! True trying to get one with RAW so its not super saturation is a pain... I prefer to use Photoshop to blur the backgroud if I really have to while retaining the flower stamen/petal detail.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Sony RX1--full frame fixed lens compact on 10/13/2012 17:10:12 MDT Print View

> VERY few people want shallow depth of field
> maybe somewhat true for happy snappy type shooters, however keen amateurs and pros do...

I can't say I have ever wanted a shallow DoF. Usually I am trying hard to get more DoF.
Maybe that's just me.

Cheers