Sep 112012
 

The new Sony RX1 – Full frame compact with gorgeous 35 f/2 Zeiss lens – 1st look report!

UPDATE! PRE-ORDER THE RX1 NOW AT AMAZON!

PRE-ORDER THE RX1 at B&H PHOTO

I am aware that this camera has leaked over the past few days but I was not allowed to write about it until just now at 9PM, Sept. 11th because this is the official date and time of announcement. Last week I was visited by Sony and they brought along most of their new products. I held the RX1  in my hand but only snapped a few shots in my living room to test AF speed on a pre-production unit (and it was quick). I did not get a review unit yet, just a “hands on” for about 40 minutes but I should be shooting with one in about 2 weeks. Below are my first “hands on” thoughts on this new RX1 from Sony. Enjoy!

Can I get a huge HALLELUJAH? Finally….finally! A camera company has listened to the wants, the needs and the ever so lusted after desires of photographers, enthusiasts and even advanced hobbyists. Yes indeed there is a camera that has just been OFFICIALLY announced by Sony called the “RX1″ that is indeed a GAME CHANGER in our little world of camera seeking. I handled it..I shot with it (but only in my living room) and I fondled it for about 40 minutes while Sony was at my house last week giving me demos and the low down on all of their new products. I was not able to take any images to share here but can tell you that the focus was pretty quick, the feel and build was superb, and I am not excited about any other camera release at Photokina this year more than I am this one (ones that I have heard about so far that is). Mark my words…This camera may just be “the” camera of the year. Shipping in November, just two short months away.

Why am I so excited? THE SENSOR and THE LENS. BTW, This is NOT the D800 sensor..it is even better (according to Sony). This RX1 is the bad ass father of the RX100, and we all know how awesome that little powerhouse is :)

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First things first…what is the Sony RX1 and why is it so special?

As I already stated, I am aware that the RX1 leaked out on to the rumor sites over the past few days but I could not write my thoughts until Sony officially announced this camera. Some may be disappointed that this is not a full frame NEX, but not me! I am happy about this one as a FF NEX, much like the new A900 camcorder using a full frame sensor and E mount would require a thick adapter to use full frame lenses. E mount lenses would be cropped meaning…no full frame qualities. So I would rather have a camera like the RX1 which is built from the ground up for IQ and performance than a half baked FF NEX that required an adapter to use a full frame lens and all of the sensor. No contest. Remember, E-Mount lenses are NOT full frame lenses so they can not be used on a full frame sensor without being cropped much like Nikons DX lenses do on a D800.

THE RX1 is a FULL FRAME 14 bit 24 Megapixel camera with an all new designed from the ground up sensor (this sensor is NOT in any other camera besides the new full frame Alpha A99 and it is NOT the sensor in the D800, in fact, according to Sony it is even better..hmm..wonder if it is M10 worthy?) that literally goes toe to toe with cameras like the Nikon D800 and Canon 5DII and not only meets them… but from what I have heard and seen…it may just pass them in overall IQ, Dynamic Range and high ISO noise levels. The sensor in this camera is amazingly special and is the latest and greatest in tech and quality that is available anywhere. The key is..IT IS FULL FRAME 35mm so we get the depth of field, the dynamic range, the amazing high ISO capability and the deep color and quality that comes from a quality sensor. The sensor is the HEART of any camera and from what I have seen and heard…this one is pretty special and may just be the best full frame sensor created to date.

The RX1 has native ISO up to 25,600 and can go all the way up to 102,400 ISO using multi frame. The high ISO performance is astounding on the RX100..at least that is the promise Sony is giving and I believe it. They are using the A99 sensor here folks and this is good because this sensor is EXCLUSIVE to these new full frame Sony cameras. I could tell the Sony guys were truly excited about this camera and they knew I was :)

The RX1 has a FIXED 35mm f/2 Carl Zeiss lens. Yes this is a FIXED lens camera not the full frame NEX that has been reported about in recent weeks (there is NOT going to be a FF NEX camera anytime soon due to the reasons I mentioned) and the lens is very beautiful and even has the capability to focus down to .3 meters. Aperture is controlled ON THE LENS!!! Yes, like I said…many thought this would be a full frame NEX system camera. Sony could have done this but they would have had to add a large adapter to the body to take full frame lenses as current E mount lenses are not large enough to cover full frame. So the RX1 was built from the ground up to have the perfect sensor and the high quality fast prime lens to match. Much like a Leica X2 or Fuji X100 but so much better. This is a real Zeiss 35 f/2 lens and when paired with this body and sensor we will not have to worry about different lenses not working well with the body. The RX1 is built to perform as it is and it can fit in a jacket pocket.

35 f/2 Zeiss

The Sony RX1 has a magnesium allow body and it felt like it. It has a professional build so it is made to last. Good stuff.

The Sony RX1 is not much larger than the pocket rocket RX100! This is pretty incredible… The RX1 is small but it oozes quality. I only saw a prototype/pre-production unit but am told the final version (which is going to start shipping this NOVEMBER) will be of even better build, feel, finish and quality. THIS is the most significant camera release for Sony…EVER. What company has even come close to delivering something like this in this price bracket? NONE. You can see the image below with the RX1 next to the RX100. Not too much larger but I can tell you that it feels GREAT in the hand. Very solid and pro build here. It will also have a brand new all black EVF available as well as a “thumbs up” type of grip. With these two accessories the RX1 will be one hell of a street shooter. Imagine ISO 6400 or higher, black and white, full frame, 35mm f/2 with a slick EVF shooting at night. Not a problem for the RX1.

 The new Full Frame Sony RX1 on the left and the small pocket RX100 on the right – shot with the new 10-18 E Mount ultra wide lens (which is a beauty)

The Sony RX1 offers what the Leica X2, Fuji X100 and other fixed lens cameras never did. The RX1 is not only coming in at about the same size as a Leica X2 (maybe a tad larger) and X100 (tad smaller) but it gives us the full frame sensor, it gives us the amazing high ISO capability (up to 102,000), it gives us the ZEISS 35mm f/2 lens that is a real 35mm f/2 (think of a Leica 35 summicron lens..it cost over $3000 just for the lens), it gives us amazing HD video quality using AVCHD 2.0 and the ability to shoot with shallow DOF, it gives us fast AF and speed (though it only uses contrast detect focus) and it seems almost as speedy as the RX100 though not quite as fast. It gives us the ability to attach the all new Sony OLED EVF that is now all black and has a new connection to the camera through the shoe so it will look stealth and have the best EVF on the market to go with it. It gives us total silence when shooting because it uses a leaf shutter and finally it gives us everything else we love. A high res 3″ LCD, great all new designed menu similar to the RX100 menu and above all the SIMPLICITY of one lens and one camera with a better than Leica M9 sensor. WOW. No other camera company is offering anything like this. Say what you while about “I wish this was an interchangeable lens system”…the fact is that is Sony made it with interchangeable lenses then there would have been maybe one great lens to start with anyway. My guess is that if this is successful by next Photokina Sony will release an IC (interchangeable lens) version.

I have written many articles about the one camera/one lens experience and I always said a Leica M9 and 35 Summicron or Summilux is the perfect combo and all one really would ever need. Well..at about $7300 cheaper you can have this combo of a full frame sensor and fast 35mm f/2 glass that will fit in your coat pocket. It also gives nothing up in the build quality to any other camera manufacturer. So $2700, while expensive is priced about right IMO. I would have preferred $2499 but think about it..you can not get a digital camera like  this ANYWHERE else when it comes to size, features, quality of sensor and lens, build and lust factor. :)

If you get the sense I am excited you are correct as no other camera release this year..none..has excited me more than this one. Sony did this to push the envelope..to give us what WE want and to show the other camera companies that yes..it is possible to make a full frame sensor high quality fixed lens compact. They did it because it was the right thing to do and so many have been asking for this for the past few years, myself included. Think about it..when the Leica X1 came out what did we hear? “Why didn’t Leica make it full frame with an f/2 lens..I would have paid $3500 for that”. The “experts” said it couldn’t be done because the lens would be huge at f/2..they said a FF sensor would not fit. Well, Sony has done it and they did it very well for their 1st attempt.

The attached Zeiss 35 f/2 Sonnar is a beauty. You can even set the distance and get as close as 0.2 meters – the image below is of a pre-production model RX1.

As I watched the presentation from Sony in my living room about this new camera and all of the others they are announcing like the A99 (which looks amazing BTW) I got the sense that Sony has gotten “it”. They know what we want and they are not afraid to take the chance to give it to us.

The RX1, while not perfect is pretty close to what I would have done. What would I have changed in this camera?

I would have preferred a built in OLED EVF and a $2499 price point but really, that is about it. The fact that it is a full frame with a 35 f/2 attached cinches the deal for me. It is also not cheap coming it at $700 more than a Leica X2 but let us look at the facts. The X2 is an APS-C camera with a fixed f/2.8 lens. It is still slower in operation than the competition and has an old low res LCD. The EVF is an extra $500+ and the camera, while gorgeous, is not even in the same ballpark as the RX1 when it comes to high ISO capability, DOF capability, DR capability, etc. We have yet to see the IQ of the RX1 but from what I was shown by Sony I have no doubt it is the real deal.

It’s on: Sony vs Leica vs Nikon vs Canon vs EVERYONE

With the slow selling Leica X2 sitting on shelves Leica has to come out with something groundbreaking this year at Photokina. While I have heard rumblings of the M10 as well as the LEICA “ME” I have no idea what they really have in store for us but here is Sony that just released a kick ass product that has a full frame sensor, Zeiss 35 f/2 lens, amazingly crazy high ISO capability and the best Dynamic Range of any full frame sensor to date. All in a small jacket pocket pro built camera body at $2799. If Leica releases the “ME” which many say is a dumbed down M9 (whatever that means) it will surely be around the $4500-5000 mark without a lens. If they release a new mirrorless it will most likely NOT be full frame and will probably come in at $3500 without a lens. I think Sony has a winner here and while it may not do massively huge in sales just due to the cost I think it will gain a reputation for being a damn good camera. Again, I have not taken it out to shoot with it yet but from what I have seen and from what I have been told it is supposed to be pretty special.

As for Nikon and Canon..for $2700 you can not buy a D800 or 5DII and the RX1 will offer the same quality but with less versatility due to the single lens. But this is not a DSLR, it is a take anywhere camera of extremely high quality and capabilities. For those who do not fear the 35mm focal length, and do not want to shell out $10,000 for a Leica M9 and 35 Cron or even $8000 for an M9 and Zeiss 35 Biogon, the $2799 RX1 may be just what you have been looking for.

As of today, there is nothing like the Sony RX1 and I think it will be one lusted after and highly back ordered camera. Even at $2700 it is pretty expensive but those who have been waiting for Leica or Nikon or Canon to release something like this will flock to this. Sony is really pushing the envelope and I am now an even bigger Sony fan than I already was. They are on the right track..the NEX5n, the NEX-7 and now the NEX-5R, NEX-6 (which is also delicious), A99 and new camcorders tell me that Sony is the only company today really pushing things and showing no fear when it comes to putting out cameras for enthusiasts and photographers. Hell, I almost want to say they are like the new Leica..doing things Leica used to do by making real tools for real photographers. Wow. Did I just say that? Yea, I did.

Kudos again to Sony. Last year they grew some balls with the 5n and this year they grew an even larger set to overtake the big guns at Photokina. I have no clue what Canon or Nikon has in store for us but I imagine the RX1 to be the big hit at this Photokina. My pre-order is in.

PRE-ORDER THE RX1 NOW AT AMAZON!

PRE-ORDER THE RX1 at B&H PHOTO

How about the new NEX-6 and Alpha A-99? New E Mount lenses?

The NEX-6

The NEX-6 on the right and the 7 on the left. The 7 has the 16mm pancake and the 6 has the new 16-50 OSS power zoom attached (as well as the new hot shoe)

After handling and looking over the NEX-6 I found it a no brainer for those seeking a new NEX camera to go for this OVER a NEX-7. To me it felt the same in the hand, was a bit more attractive with a nicer matte finish and has what is in my opinion a better sensor. Better high ISO, faster contrast and phase detect focus, better video, WiFi capability and apps (which I admit look super cool), and much cheaper. Coming it at $999 with a kit 18-55 this camera is a no brainer if you want the best NEX camera to date (Megapixels are NOT everything). You get the same OLED EVF that we get in the NEX-7 and while you lose the Tri-Navi controls the camera still has dials to use so it is just as easier to shoot with. To me it feels amazing in the hand and at $999 this will sell like hotcakes. What you see below is the NEX-6 with the new 16-50 OSS lens attached. This lens is about the same size as the 16mm pancake but of better quality with a powered zoom. It looks larger than it really is in the photo below because I was shooting with a NEX-7 and new 10-18 ultra wide E-Mount which exaggerated the lens size :) I would trade my 7 for the new 6, end of story.

Pre-Order the NEX-6 and 16-50 Kit Zoom from Amazon!

The NEX-6 with 16-50 Power Zoom

The A99

The new Alpha A99 DSLR looked insane! The presentation Sony gave me on it made me want it right then and there and I am not a DSLR kind of guy! I am telling you that the Sensor in the new A99 and RX1 seems to be pretty damn special. From IQ to Video this is one serious as hell DSLR and I plan on shooting it in a couple weeks along with all of the new Sony stuff at the Sony media event in San Francisco. There I will get to try the RX1, the NEX-6, the A99 and all of the new lenses including the 35 1.8 which I shot a few frames with already (and again, a must own lens for NEX users). So look to this blog over the next few weeks for a slew of things about the new Sony cameras and lenses as well as anything else worth reporting about from the Photokina show. I will not be there as I could not attend due to the Photo Cruise I have going on next week but I will be updating from the ship with the news and articles! Am hoping to get a hold of a review RX1 camera to put it through its paces! I also want to thank Sony for coming to my house with all of this new gear. I loved handling it all and seeing the new goodies! More images below!

The new E mount 10-18 Ultra wide Zoom – This guy is SHARP!

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The new 16-50 Power Zoom E Mount lens

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The new fast 35 1.8 prime for E mount!

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Stock pics of the RX1

PRESS RELEASE ON THE RX1:

Sony Introduces the World’s First Full-Frame Compact Digital Camera

New Compact Cyber-shot® RX1 Camera features 35mm full-frame image sensor and wide aperture f/2 lens

SAN DIEGO, Sept 12, 2012 – For the first time, all the benefits of full-frame digital photography are available in a palm-sized compact camera.

The extraordinary new Sony Cyber-shot® DSC-RX1 digital camera packs an advanced 35mm full-frame 24.3 MP Exmor® CMOS sensor and exceptionally Carl Zeiss T*t 35mm f/2.0 fixed lens into a highly portable, lightweight camera body. Measuring approximately 4.5 inches wide by 3 inches tall and weighing just over a pound, it’s significantly smaller and lighter than any full-frame DSLR yet sacrifices nothing in terms of image quality, HD video quality or manual control.

“The new Cyber-shot RX1 is truly ‘one of a kind’, offering a unique combination of size and performance that’s never before been realized in the world of digital cameras,” said Yosuke Tomoda, director of the Cyber-shot camera business at Sony Electronics. “With its highly advanced sensor and fast 35mm f/2.0 lens packed into a small, portable camera body, professionals, enthusiasts and advanced hobbyists can experience the world of full-frame imaging in new and different ways than they ever thought possible.”

The new camera’s unified lens and body design allows performance that few interchangeable lenses can match. The Carl Zeiss lens not only delivers spectacular image quality all the way to the edges of each frame, it incorporates a near-silent in-lens shutter and is far more compact than comparable lenses of interchangeable design. The camera also features full manual control options and an intuitive user interface, making it easy for photographers to adjust all settings quickly and easily.

The 35mm full-frame sensor inside the RX1 camera more than doubles the area of APS-C sensors commonly found in much bulkier DSLR cameras, allowing it to take in significantly more light while capturing content. With an effective resolution of 24.3 megapixels, it’s capable of resolving the finest image details and most subtle textures for rich color reproduction and an impressively broad dynamic range.

The large sensor size also boosts the camera’s sensitivity range to a generous ISO 100 – 25600, with the option to shoot as low as ISO 50 in expanded sensitivity mode. Similarly, ISO settings as high as 102400 can be achieved using Multi Frame Noise Reduction. This allows the camera to capture natural, low noise handheld images in near-dark conditions without needing flash.

The fast, bright Carl Zeiss Sonnar T* 35mm lens is a versatile choice for portraits, street photography and everyday shooting. This premium lens features newly designed optics including an Advanced Aspherical (AA) glass element, which contributes to the camera’s extremely compact dimensions without sacrificing optical performance.

The lens’ wide F2 maximum, 9-bladed circular aperture enable beautiful background defocus (‘bokeh’) effects to rival or exceed professional-class DSLR camera lenses. Additionally, it features a macro switching ring on the lens barrel which instantly shortens the minimum focusing distance to approximately 20cm (from image plane), allowing the camera to capture small, close-up subjects with exquisite detail.

The Cyber-shot RX1 camera also features an enhanced BIONZ® processing engine that rapidly handles data from the Exmor® CMOS sensor and also powers full-resolution burst shooting at up to five frames per second. The powerful processor can output image data in 14-bit RAW format, giving advanced users total freedom to express their creative vision throughout the shooting and post-production processes.

Despite the camera’s extraordinarily compact dimensions, the new Cyber-shot RX1 model offers a full range of manual control modes on par with typical high-end full-frame DSLR cameras. Dedicated lens rings allow for fingertip control of focus and aperture, while a DSLR-style Focus mode dial on the front of the camera enables easy switching between focus modes. Top-mounted exposure compensation and mode dials are strategically placed for simple access and operation, while custom function and AEL buttons on the back panel are also easily accessible.

The new camera features a Quick Navi mode that allows fast, intuitive adjustment of camera settings. This is especially useful when using the camera with an optional viewfinder (sold separately). A memory recall (MR) mode is accessible via the mode dial so photographers can store and instantly recall up to three sets of camera settings.

Other refinements include a MF Assist function that magnifies a portion of the image while framing to simplify fine focus adjustments, as well as a Peaking function that highlights sharply-focused areas of the image on screen.

Additionally, the RX1 camera features By Pixel Super Resolution digital zoom technology, which allows for magnification of image size without sacrificing pixel count. This results in far higher quality results than are achievable with conventional digital zoom.

A Smart Teleconverter function crops a central portion of the image sensor, boosting effective magnification by 1.4x or 2x realizing an effective 49mm or 70mm focal length. With the extremely high pixel count of the full-frame image sensor, even zoomed and cropped images maintain generous amounts of fine detail when blown up for large print sizes.

In addition to beautiful still images, the Cyber-shot RX1 compact camera can capture high-quality, low-noise Full HD movie footage in all lighting conditions at a choice of 60p or 24p (progressive) frame rates. There’s a full complement of P/A/S/M exposure modes during video shooting for creative flexibility.

The new camera also features 13 different Creative Styles for fine-tuning images, plus a wide range of Picture Effect treatments. Further, it has Auto HDR and D-Range Optimizer, bracket shooting (Exposure, DRO or White Balance) and Auto HDR shooting modes, and there’s a Digital Level Gauge that indicates camera pitch and camera roll on the LCD screen for straight, even landscape and architectural shots.

New Accessories for Cyber-shot RX1

Shooting possibilities for stills and video are broadened by the camera’s Multi Interface Shoe that accepts a growing range of accessories. Options include a high-quality OLED XGA OLED Tru-Finder™ EVF (model FDA-EV1MK) which allows for even greater manual focusing precision as well as an external optical viewfinder featuring Carl Zeiss optics (model FDA-V1K).

Also available are a thumb grip (model TGA-1) for sure, comfortable handling as well as a lens hood (model LHP-1) and jacket case (model LCJ-RXB).

Sony PlayMemories Services

The Cyber-shot RX1 comes preinstalled with PlayMemories Home™ (Lite Edition) software, allowing easy image transfers to a PC for managing, editing and printing. Available for free download, a full version of PlayMemories Home software adds movie editing and disc burning.

Also available for download, PlayMemories Studio™ allows game-like editing of photos and videos on PlayStation®3 systems. Images can be shared easily via PlayMemories Online™ service, the cloud-based sharing service from Sony that simplifies ‘any time, any place’ viewing on a wide range of connected devices.

Pricing and Availability

The Cyber-shot RX1 compact, fixed lens camera will be available this November for about $2800.

The FDA-EV1K electric viewfinder and FDA-V1K optical viewfinder will each be available at launch for about $600 and $450, respectively.

The thumb grip, lens hood and jacket case will also be available at launch for about $250, $180 and $250, respectively.

The new camera and all compatible accessories will be sold at Sony retail stores (www.store.sony.com) and other authorized dealers nationwide.

Please visit blog.sony.com/rx1 for a full video preview of the new Cyber-shot RX1 compact camera and follow #SonyCamera on twitter for the latest camera news.

  324 Responses to “The Sony RX1 Preview – Full frame compact with 35 f/2 Zeiss lens – 1st look hands on report!”

  1. Can I just say that outside of the realm of the Advanced Enthusiast Semipro (Technophile) market … $2799 for the camera alone seems INSANE!?!!

    Yet, it looks every bit as ‘drool worthy’ as a piece of technology could possibly be.

    • Cheaper than any full frame camera with a fast prime lens designed for the camera, small and jacket pocketable, best FF sensor on the market. Price isn’t really so insane for what it is but it is expensive.

      • Eagerly awaiting your review! As you mentioned before, this just might be Sony’s Photokina!
        Interesting how Fuji and Sony have decided to release their products before the show itself… Very exciting few days ahead!

        • This will be a camera to consider now that we have the Sigma DP1 Merrill and DP2 Merrill. Both of those are very close to the promised image quality of the Sony RX1.

          The Sigmas have significant advantage in price, and probably also in higher lens quality. It will be interesting to see if Sony’s choice of a fixed lens will give us better image quality like the Sigma DP series. If so, then the RX1 will be worth considering even for Sigma lovers.

          Maybe – just maybe – the RX1 can replace one or both Sigma DP1M and DP2M cameras. We know Sony can make a great sensor, but can they match the quality of the DPxM Merrill lenses?

      • Too true, I just rang the local shop, they’re happy to take the RX100 back for about 80% of the retail to go towards my RX1 deposit!

      • I’m pretty sure a 5D classic with 35mm f/2 lens can be had for $1000 or less.

        This camera will make th D600 and 6D look incredibly cheap.

        • Not sure the Canon 35/2 is equivalent to the Zeiss. The Canon is a decent lens for the price but any Zeiss lens will better it. You could arguably get a used 5Dmk2 and a used 35L for roughly the same money. That said, if somebody was married to the 35mm focal length and wanted something small, the sony looks like a great option.

      • I would have to agree with Steve. I own 10k worth of Nikon FF lenses for my D700 and really only use the D700 with the 35mm 2.0 and 50mm 1.4 primes. I say 80% of my photos are from the 35mm because of its size.

        Do I use my 14-24, 24-70, 28-300, 85 1.4? Nope it just sits in a cabinet. It’s so nice to see a company design a FF with great AF it a compact size.

        Honestly $2800 for a compact FF is a pretty good deal. Purchasing a D600 and a decent prime will cost you about the same and it still won’t be as compact as the RX1.

        I can’t wait for my preorder to go through.

      • Steve,
        I became sold on the Nex 7 and bought it with a Novoflex adapter for my 6 Leica Summicron lenses. Should I sell the body and adapter and buy the RX1? My main camera is an M9 P, A900 and A77. Thanks

    • I agree, $2799 is totally insane for a fixed lens, no VF camera. This is a great product development break through, and I applaud Sony for disrupting the market, but this camera does not make sense to actually purchase. And this statement comes from a person with a major GAS problem.

      In a year they will release an interchangeable lens version and the fixed lens camera value will TANK. Yes, we saw this movie before w/ the x-100 to X1-Pro. The marketing guys explain why it makes sense to NOT have interchangeable lenses, they get people to buy the fixed lens camera, and the go and deliver interchangeable lenses.

      Of course anyone spending $2799 on a camera will want to shoot more than one focal length. So that means a fixed focal length camera is a part of a system including another body. With the X100 this strategy made sense as a cheap compliment to an M9 or 5D, etc. But a $2799 camera as a 2nd body? No way. Wait 12 months and buy the interchangeable lens version or buy this camera in a yr for $1300.

      • This is not meant to be a 2nd body. Many will buy this as their one and only (like me) if the IQ lives up to the talk. Those who hate DSLR’s for the size but want the full frame look and quality (that no APS-C can do) this will be a godsend. Best low light performance yet with amazing DR and file quality. It will do well.

        • LOL – well, if this is not meant to be a 2nd body, I guess Sony is banking on lots of 1st time buyers. Or lots of DSLR shooters selling off their gear to buy this one camera.

          I just don’t see serious enthusiast like those on this blog dumping everything for this. And this is certainly not going to be a hot selling camera for 1st time buyers. So my $$ is on ppl using this as a 2nd body.

          It is easy for you to say “this will be my one and only” but are you really going to not have any other cameras? And if not, can you explain what your strategy will be when the interchangeable lens version comes out in a yr?

          • Steve already said that a FF Nex isn’t coming anytime soon, and, when it does, the lenses will be huge. I own an X100 and would never buy the much larger X-Pro1, since I prefer shooting a single prime. You loose things like leaf shutters and compact size.

            • I think that FF NEX is just round the corner, look at VG900 video camera with E mount and FF sensor ;) Zeiss also announced their commitment to mirrorless AF lenses – coincidence?

              • No it’s not. That’s why Sony made the Rx-1. It’s Sonys way of saying, ok guys, we’ve given up on ever making good lenses for the NEx cause we effed up in the body desgin. This is our attempted to get some of the x100 xpro 1 market. And if we do, say goodbye to the NEX someday.

              • They are releasing many new NEX lenses starting with the three at Photokina. The 35 1.8, the 10-18 ultra wide and the 16-50 Power Zoom. The 35 1.8 seems fantastic BTW.

          • Hey it’s a camera, if it’s too expensive then so be it. I for one think that it is a bargain for a camera like that. Can I afford it? No, but why would someone buy it?

            Because it is as small as a Leica, I shoot with 35mm on the streets + the smart tele gives extra zoom anyways. 70mm crop is more than enough MP for most people (Facebook / web use).

            All for what 2.8k? That’s 1/2 the price of a Leica m9 and you get quality zeiss lens + an epic sensor and excellent build quality.

            Pitty there is no evf :(

          • I use film cameras and while I was about to get the Oly OMD, I might go for this instead as my “one and only” digital camera. Steve is right!

      • Unlikely. They’ll likely use the existing emount system if they want to make a compact interchangeable ff camera.

        Fuji didn’t have an existing system, so of course they created one.

      • I think you’re wrong about the X100. It seems to be selling pretty well and prices have held. Also, it has some advantages over the XPRO1 like the leaf shutter, flash, size, etc and is a great camera in its own right.

        • Brudy – When you say FH is wrong about the X100, where is he wrong? If you read his post all he said was that the X100 was hyped by Fuji as not needing interchangeable lenses, and then Fuji delivered interchangeable lenses. This is true. The only other thing he said about the X100 was that it made sense as a compliment to an M9 or 5D. Do yo disagree with this? Most do not.

          Damon – you are proving FH’s point. You describe yourself as a film shooter who has not converted to digital happy to shoot 1 camera and 1 focal length. You are the very narrow demographic that FH says will rightly appreciate this camera.

          FH is right – this is awesome news, but does not make financial sense for the vast majority of shooters. Putting big $$ into expensive lenses that are fixed to rapidly depreciating bodies is a losing proposition.

          Compare 3 YR purchase price minus depreciation of premium interchangeable lenses to vs the anticipated 3 yr purchase price minus depreciation of this fixed lens. From my perspective, this looks like a VERY expensive lens.

          “Spend your $$ on glass” is a tried and true photography principle based largely on the slower depreciation of glass vs bodies. This rule goes out the window when the glass is fixed to a body, thus many shrewd folks steer clear of expensive fixed lens cameras. This is certainly a reasonable approach.

    • As far as the RX1 is concerned…I think I share Steve’s enthusiasm here. As soon as I saw the leak, the photos, the lens, the info about sensor size, I, well to be honest, became quite aroused!)) I was thinking that this is the ONE, the fast prime, small body, full frame beauty I’ve been looking for, and yes I will shell out the appropriate amount of semolians to have in my hands the camera, EFV and the OVF, the lens shade, and that aught to do it.! I’m going out to shoot me some street in Black and White..Leica, Fuji, eat your hearts out!

  2. Yay!!!!!! Exciting times for photography indeed!!!! I’m still gonna wait for the perfect Fuji X camera with weather sealing and super fast AF.

    • You’re waiting for a Fuji camera with super fast AF?

      Here have a chair, you’ll need one.

      • LOL nice one. A year of Fuji AF and i surrendered, the X100 is with a happier owner now (I hope)

      • +2,000,000

      • have a look at FW v2.00 from Fuji and you might sit on that chair and watch ;)

      • Well, to my defense, I will say that two years ago we didn’t have any of this. Look how far we have come. There is a ton of progress in the world of photography because camera makers realized there is a market for this. Sure, it might be another 2 years before we see anything like a super fast, weather sealed Fuji X camera, but that’s ok. I can wait. What’s more important is that the chair I’m waiting in better be effin comfortable. ;)

  3. It looks very nice. Great pictures! I don’t see myself running out and replacing my RX100 but when I do it will likely be with another Sony. Canon, Nikon and a few others must be worried. Sony is destined for stardom and like with any company, you can only rule for so long. Sony is a force to be dealt with. What a turnaround.

  4. Okay, I was going to fight it, but I’m in. Can’t wait till you get to spend more time with the RX1 Steve.

  5. Yes first comment’s mine… Looks just incredible! 2800 is actually pretty well priced, I can see how this little thing becomes an explosion in the industry! So excited for the news… Thank you Steve, looking forward to read the full review!

  6. any photo of the back of the rx1

  7. I know I’m insane, but I preordered the RX1 just an hour ago on the sony site. Currently they list 12/19 for expected delivery, not November so I have time to change my mind depending on what we see at Photokina.

  8. Wow, truly impressive how Sony is shaking up the industry. Your pictures show how small the RX1 is. I’m sure its IQ will be class leading with this sensor and lens combo and if it is a decent performer, I will be a buyer. I can’t wait to read your first hands on impressions. The ultra wide and the power zoom for the NEX look mighty interesting as well.

  9. Oh my…… i am so tempted now….. I want the RX1…. Thanks Steve…. As always, your articles are fun to read.

  10. Steve, how does the physical size compare to the RX100, specifically the depth from rear of camera to front of lens, this will be the most important measurement for pocketability.

  11. WHY! WHY! There is always something missing…. add an OVF/EVF to that sweet RX1 and would be the camera of my dreams!

    • ‘HALLELUJAH’ : well, no not from me. Look, take away the snappy autofocus ; I can live with manual focus. Take away the fancy shooting modes (including the panoramic mode) ; I shoot 99.999 % of the time in manual mode. Take away the video mode ; I can live without it. Take away the light meter ; I always use a hand-held meter. Take away super ISO sensitivity; I can live with a modest range if the quality is there… But gentlemen… PLEASE, don’t take away the viewfinder. Without a decent viewfinder, I am blind. Even if Sony sold this camera at half the the proposed price, I’d still be looking at the competition that do offer a viewfinder.

  12. Fantastic. I wondered who would be first to challenge Leica in the full-frame, compact camera arena. I have a 5n, so I expect the iq to be top notch. If I only had some money laying around…

  13. Helloooo Sony RX1…looks real nice and I like the copper colored ‘accent ring’. The digital format has finally come of age. Micro 4/3 (i love you Olympus) and now the Sony RX1 (goodbye Medium Format)! What more could a person ask for?!

  14. does it have focus peak? apart from having a mode dial, i think sony nailed it this time!

  15. A great idea, but I don’t know….
    If you want a viewfinder, (and who doesn’t?), a thumb grip and a lens hood, you’re in for over $3,800, with a fixed lens. A sort of point and shoot, with what will probably be almost 30 meg RAW files? For $1,000 you get a smallish X100, with an excellent fixed 35mm, a viewfinder, (actually, two), and excellent IQ. Is the full frame really worth another $2,800 and computer-plugging file sizes?
    Not to me.

    • FF is FF. And just $1K more.

      • $3,400, (with a viewfinder), minus $1,00 equals $1,000 more? I think it might be $2,400.

        • The Vf will NOT be $700 guys..its basically a black version of the EVF they have now…at least that was the impression I got from Sony.

          • Well, on dpreview (but maybe they’re wrong) the EVF is announced at $700… I understand your enthusiasm Steve, I would probably have felt the same. However, let alone the high price, this EVF thing makes me really angry.
            We have to throw in an additional $ 700 to get a usable camera, while they could have replaced the built-in flash with an EVF and nobody would have complained…
            In my opinion, this single point really shows that Sony did NOT have users in mind when designing the camera: they just aimed for the technological challenge of making a full-frame point and shoot. Well, they did it, but I for one do resent their neglecting what photogtaphers really need.
            At least, they should have thrown in a VF in the initial bundle for almost no extra cost, if they really were so eager to stick to a P&S form factor… Come on, $2700 for a camera, and it’s not even complete without adding another $700? That’s not serious.

            • If the EVF is indeed $700 then my enthusiasm will drop. That is simply too high for an EVF unless it is some kind of magical EVF. I can not see the EVF being anywhere near that as Leica charges $500+ for their X2 EVF and that is insane. Let us wait and see what the EVF will sell for as they have not given me a price at all yet.

        • Oh sorry I meant my black limited edition Fuji x100. Sure one can get x100 for $800 at the moment. The price of the limited edition one is not going down as I can see. Not gonna sell it though :)

    • Wont be $3800 to add an EVF and Grip…

  16. Need the crazy comparison of the 24mm FF RX1 vs the 20meg CX RX100 now! lol

  17. Me like. The more FF cameras on the market the better.

  18. A full frame sensor in such a small body is quite amazing and we have to praise Sony for doing this. With this said, a slightly bigger body and a smaller lens would have produced a better looking camera IMHO. And would have allowed for a built-in OVF/EVF which I think should be a must in cameras like this. I do not mind at all the fixed lens (I am enjoying immensely my X100) but the lack of a built-in viewfinder makes this camera just an expensive (yet excellent) point and shoot. Great pre-review, Steve!

  19. I’m a little puzzled, though, by the mode dial being located where the shutter speed dial should be. I also wish Sony had brought it in at that price with an integrated electronic viewfinder. Why do their viewfinders have to be so bloody expensive? (let the whining begin’)

  20. Steve I was getting interested in this article until “Fixed Lens” was mentioned, then everything went out the window for me. Correct me if i am wrong, but in saying that you mean that the lens is NOT interchangeable with other focal lengths. To me that is to much of a constraint for a camera that will cost $2800. Now if it has the ability to interchange with other focal length lenses, then it sounds like a pretty worthwhile proposition.

    • Just a follow on prom my comment, If they can make it so lenses are interchangeable, ie able to mount the Zeiss and Leica lenses on it, then we are really talking, I think leica would be a little worried.

      • Why are so many people pre-occupied with “Leica should be worried” whenever these new cameras are released.

        • Because they should be…..think about it, I’m sure you can figure it out.

        • If nothing else, but this should kill X2 sales. Not their prestige model, but I’m sure the profits are decent.
          Vs. the M9, it’s more complex, but it’s easy to say the RX1 offers many things the Leica does not, like af and excellent video, compactness, a much better lcd, and a better sensor, last and most important. With Leica you are paying four times as much (with comparable lens) and still won’t have as capable a camera.
          The only major advantage is the ability to change lenses, but when the lenses run thousands each, only the deeply committed have more than a few. The Sony lens is perfectly chosen, decently fast and highly versatile. For red dot enthusiasts there is only Leica, but for most others, the Sony might be all they need. Leica’s response will be interesting.

  21. I’ll remember today as the day Sony finally regained my faith after a dark decade of half-assed attempts. Great job Sony!

    • I would definitely not call the a65/a77 and NEX line of cameras half assed. I was pretty skeptical, but stick your eye up to the EVF in one of these and your mind will be changed. I bought the a65 earlier this year, and am duly impressed. HUGE DIFFERENCE. There is a learning curve I did not anticipate, as I grew up in the digital camera age in the Canon line, but I’m getting more comfortable with it.

      To each their own.

  22. Wow NEX 6 is looking good. I would not spring for the RX1 as my RX100 is pretty decent for everyday compact there is always room for RX10 lol. Sony A99 on other hand is looking good. I was fortunate enough to use the A900 3 years ago for over 3 months and it was one incredible tool and I mean it did not get in a way of a photographer it just worked as long as you don’t jack your ISO up above 800.

  23. BTW, some sites are posting a carousel shot saying it is the 1st shot from the RX1..but the only problem is that is a shot from the RX100, NOT the RX1. Sony screwed up in their media package with that one and told me there are no sample shots as of yet with the RX1 so if you see that carousel shot it was taken with an RX100 not RX1!

  24. Good on Sony! However I think it is not quite there without a built in OVF or EVF. Will it be that much better than my X100 at 2.7 x the cost? Be interesting to see.

  25. i love that you included pics of the RX1 in hand, and next to other cameras! it gives us a much better idea of its actual size (smaller than i was thinking.)
    but why no build in view finder :(
    i suppose if you can afford the camera, you’ll be able to afford the view finder… but then its also using up the hotshoe. :/

    • The good thing about a separate EVF is that, because EVF tech is improving at a more rapid rate than sensors are, your RX1 won’t have a dated EVF in a few years, and Sony can release improved versions.

  26. Would you be doing a NEX-6 review in the next couple days? I’m upgrading from a P&S and I see the NEX-6 option interesting buy for me. I will just wait for your review and base my purchase decision on that.

  27. Will they update the firmware on this new one, like they didn’t with the NEX 7?

  28. Sony also introduced NEX-VG900 Full-Frame Interchangeable Lens Camcorder and proved that it is possible to have FF sensor on an E-mount body. Go this far and stop short of introducing a FF Nex-9 with this sensor!!. It would give Sony the advantage similar to what Apple has with the iPad 3 against the competition and it would have been one Photokina ahead of its rivals in the interchangeable market.

    • THanks a lot for the hands on review, stevee huff!! :D i love this stuff, really can’t wait with your full review about this camera n stuff!! :D thanks

    • FF on the camcorder is a little different as I guess they use a 16/9 ratio. So, they might be able tot use the E-mount lenses as the sensor is in fact cropped: 20×36 instead of 24×36. This small different might be enough to keep using the same lenses designed for the APS-C size

      • NEX lenses would be cropped the same on a FF NEX body. Would need adapter and FF lenses (which are HUGE) to use all of the sensor. The size of the adapter and Alpha lenses would throw the whole purpose of the NEX series out of the window.

        • Steve, the size of Leica M lenses with the Novoflex adapter would be fine as Leica’s M lenses are designed to work closer to the sensor which makes the required adapter quite slim. I would like to try this on the new NEX-VG900 when it comes to the stores with the Super Elmar-M 21mm to check the sensor glass issue (like the NEX-7 has) as the ray angles from WA lenses will be even more acute for a FF sensor.

        • Steve, the VG900 has a 3:2 FF sensor and can capture FF photos.
          The E-mount is therefore perfeclty able to accommodate FF lenses, and I bet you a beer we will see high-end FF NEX cameras and compact FF E-mount lenses in the future.

          • You are INCORRECT! To use full frame lenses you MUST USE the Sony adapter which is thick and huge. You can NOT just slap a Novoflex adapter on and use an M lens as you will not be using the whole lens surface. It will be cropped. Same as with E mount glass, it will be cropped. This is fact and told to me by Sony. I had the VG900 here and saw how it worked. It can only capture FF photos with the huge Sony adapter using Alpha full frame glass.

            • That’s interesting, because one of the hands on previews of the camera mentions using a Leica lens with no issue.

              • Sure you can mount a Leica lens with Novoflex adapter but you will not be seeing a full frame image but a cropped one. There will be a crop with anything other than the Sony alpha adapter and sony full frame glass. Will another company come out with an adapter that will allow M lenses to be used full frame? Probably will but will be thick and as it is right now using them on the camera means there will be a crop. At least that is what I was told directly by Sony.

            • There is a difference between what a random Sony guy says and actual facts. The Novoflex works on a crop sensor, so it means the image from the M-lens is projected to the sensor plane using the correct Leica-M flange focal distance (FFD). This distance is much smaller than the alpha adapter FFD (a mirror is in between), so the rays from the last lens element to the sensors will be more inclined and less prone to hit any obstacle between the lens and the sensor.
              The alpha lenses are not cropped, therefore the M lenses are not cropped (unless Sony has software issues).

              Now where is my beer ? ;)

            • I think you might be mistaken Steve. I found the review where it was tested with Leica glass:

              http://www.thephoblographer.com/2012/09/12/first-impressions-sony-nex-vg-900/

              • As I said, I just went by what Sony has told me. I never said you could not put on a Leica M lens with a normal adapter. I said it would not use the full surface area of the lens. I have yet to try it so I am just relaying information more than anything. But the sensor is close to the mount and appears larger than the mount circle. Won’t know for sure until I can try it but again, going by what Sony has told me. If they could put a FF sensor in a NEX body it would have to be quite a but thicker than the NEX-5 or 6 or 7. Otherwise it would not work.

              • The sensor is indeed larger than the mount circle, but this is not a problem.

                Just check the last element of – say – a Voigtlander Heliar 15mm (or any other M ultrawides). Notice how its circle is so much smaller than even a crop sensor !

                How could this possibly work ? Well, it works because the rays are projected into the sensor must be very inclined so that the image is magnified while traversing the FFD.

                It’s a trick of the light, and works fine.
                …well, actually not so fine in extreme cases such as the Heliar on digital sensors, as the more inclined the rays, the more cyan/magenta color shift you will see in the periphery of the image circle. But this issue is not related to mounts and adapters, and can be compensated with nice software such as CornerFix (waiting for Lightroom to catch up, I really love my Heliar).

              • If Leica M lenses were to work in crop mode only with NEX-VG900, as you are implying, Steve, it would be because of software limitation, not physical ones.

                Indeed the inner diameter of Leica thread mount (the screw mount of Leica bodies and lenses before the M bayonet) is smaller than the one of the E mount (you can verify that if you own LTM lenses) and yet LTM lenses work perfectly on a Leica M9 with the proper LTM –> M adapter (which is all but thick).

                But it seems not to be the case: The Photoblographer reports that a Leica Summcron 35mm f2 works perfectly, in 24×36 mode, on NEX-VG900

                http://www.thephoblographer.com/2012/09/12/first-impressions-sony-nex-vg-900/

  29. For $3k, a stupid bulky external viewfinder is annoying to say the least. But what bothers me more is this:

    ” I was not able to take any images to share here but can tell you that the focus was pretty quick”
    Pretty quick, Steve? I want to hear things like: “deadly fast” “speed demon like focusing” etc.. So what puzzles me here is that with the NEX 6 costing only $1K, how is it that the $3K NX-1 doesn’t offer phase detection AF as well? Seriously, wha?

    Doug

  30. Steve, please, please get on the the phone with Sony immediately! Sony has the technology. Don’t let them release the RX1 without the OLED VF! Why oh why would Sony have an OLED VF in their bag of tricks and not use it? Also, I have to agree with others here, an interchangeable lens camera would have been the smack down that would have brought all other camera makers to their knees. Despite this, Sony is releasing an OMG camera! Didn’t see it coming. Stunning. Can’t wait for the reviews. Leica? Check…

  31. I so want this bad boy, although at $2800, I will have to seriously rethink this through… Why can’t Sony make affordable full frame that’s more geared towards prosumers?

    Has anybody seen any picture of the back of this camera? Seems like there are only images of the front and top of the camera? I want to know if they have corrected the awesomely placed HDMI port on the RX100?

  32. I think the interchangeable lens version is not too far away…..
    This year maybe a full-frame year to come…

  33. I can understand 2800$ is hell out of money for some people just to buy A Compact P&S Camera, But I believe this camera will be much more appreciates by people who Owned Fuji X100,consider its a FF camera and F2/35mm Zeiss lens.

    If the DR as good as D800 or maybe much better just as the high ISO, [I'm on it,].of course we can not hope the AF will match D4 or D1x Canon ,.the 35mm is really sweet as my favorite FL.

    Steve do you think Sony will also release An extended Lens like Fuji did on their X100 to make it 28mm FoV,.

    if Sony can do that , it will be awesome,.

    thx steve

  34. This is a great camera. But, to my opinion Sony missed something important with a such product. They should have placed an optical or electronic viewfinder in the body and by the way they can remove the flash !
    Why a flash on a such kind of camera !!! full frame sensor with very fast lens … who needs a flash with that !!! This space should be used for a VF.
    For a such price, I really want a VF in the body. Just to be able to use it like my DSLR or my Leica M
    (and please, I don’t want these external ugly VF)
    I’m pretty sure this will be the big disappointment. (could be the reason why Sony don’t show so much photos from the back of the camera)
    All the rest is perfect !! (on paper at least, so far)
    Please do the same with an integrated VF (even with a slightly bigger body) and I will even pay USD 3000/3200

    • >>Why a flash on a such kind of camera !!! full frame sensor with very fast lens … who needs a flash with that !<<

      Someone shooting where the light isn't doing what they want. A lot of us use flash to take better photos than can be taken without it in some situations. I think the built in flash is not that useful, but there are plenty of reasons to use a flash.

  35. I hate you Steve you gave me such a bad case of GAS! :)

  36. I just do not understand why Leica wants to make toys like the X1, and now the X2, just to be hammered by the Japanese giants. This Sony RX1 is a perfect example, a better camera that beats the Leica X2 in every angle. If Leica can spend their time and resources with the serious equipment that they are famous for, we may have had a true “R” solution 2 years ago.

  37. A dangerous idea just popped in my head: what if I sell my 35′Cron and replace it with this RX1? Hmm… I’m eagerly awaiting the review of the lens and sensor.

    • I had that idea too but then thought:
      value of 35 ‘cron in 5 years–> same or more
      value of RX1 in 5 years–>reduced by 75%

      • More like;

        value of RX1 in 5 yrs – $100

        • Nah, look at the used prices of the orig. 5D. I would guess used RX1 prices in a year will be 2k, but like the 5D, will likely hit a floor and then slowly descend over a longer period of time.

      • >>value of 35 ‘cron in 5 years<<

        If you buy photographic equipment for its resale value, there are better places to put your money. If you buy equipment simply as a way to take photos, then resale value is irrelevant. Some of us are actually photographers and don't buy for resale value.

        • Some of us are photographers who understand that resale value is relevant precisely because paying attention to it frees up cash flow to buy more gear.

          These “throw the baby out with the bath water” high end lenses fixed to digital bodies are lame.

          Lots of folks say “Zeiss 35 2 is all I need”. Great. At some point down the road, be it 1 yr or 10, this body will be do for an upgrade. What do you do then? You will have to junk the Zeiss 35 with the body, and re-buy the Zeiss 35 again. That is really a dumb way to handle obsolescence of the body. Fortunately, there is a way to hand this (interchangeable lens cameras).

          • Not everyone wants or needs an IC camera though. Look at the success of the Fuji X100! it is even today a beautiful camera that will still be so in 15 years (as long as it is working). Not everyone needs or wants other lenses. A 35 or 50 is all I ever use, ever. So there are many out there who could care less about IC cameras because that just means more lenses to buy and carry. 95% of photos can be taken with a 35mm lens and in many ways it will open up your mind to be more creative in the way you shoot.

  38. I gave up my Leica X1 for one reason; it did not have a built-in viewfinder. I love my Fuji X100 so much because it has a built-in viewfinder. Sure the Sony is better in every way but how can I take a step backwards in the VF department? Also, with a VF attached to the Sony RX1, how am I supposed to use external speedlights? Can the built-in flash of the RX1 be used as a trigger?

    • Leica made the biggest mistake IMO by launching the X2 with 2.8 instead of 1.4, with the improved MP-count and AF they could have competed to some extent in today’s market. I loved the X1 and was so so looking forward to the X2 as my D2D camera of choice. It was just one big disappointment and I ended up selling my X1 and M9-P and 35 1.4 because of it. Now that I read about the M-E and M I made the right choice. These people don’t seem to get it. Love the RX1, indeed also wished for the EVF. Does Leica understand that for the new gen consumers the whole nostalga thing is not a USP anymore, its only a matter of time. Hope some one takes over this company and steers it in the right direction.

  39. Built in OVF maaan they missed this : body would been just 3cm longer and still jacket pocketable.

    EVF smart to have it as add on : upgrade EVF as tech improves.

    Cost :
    FF Compact body $2000
    Zeiss Sonnar 35/2 $1000

    Wait 6 months $2400

    Use :
    Architecture
    Catalogue
    Fashion
    Jewllery
    Landscape
    Museum archive
    Night
    Reportage
    Still life
    Street

  40. Dear Steve I can understand your excitement. I feel just the same. This camera will change the whole camera industry.
    The only complaint is that Sony should have included a viewfinder like in the NEX 6. The size would be still spectacular and there would be no need for an external one.

    Joachim

  41. RX1 design is technological statement : Not one to stir the spirit.
    (FF & 35/2 stirs the spirit).

    Olympus EP1 may be a technologically backwards camera compared to Nex
    yet EP1 stirs the spirit.

    So we will have to get past the sterile design and go gaga over such a compact body
    with awesome FF 35/2

  42. Because at $2800 with a full frame sensor, small size and Zeiss lens Leica is the only competition….so yes Leica should be worried because on paper this is better than anything Leica has for $2800.

  43. That camera looks really great , especially the lens which I think is the real selling point. Definitely think it is unfortunate for it not to have a built in EVF. You’ve said it yourself Steve many times in the past that in 2012 there should be no excuse for these types of cameras to not have one. Other then that my only other question would be is this going to shoot like a real camera or a computer with a lens attached. I was really turned off by Sony after buying (then selling) the Nex7 but this camera seems like a clean break from that line of cameras.

    • This camera, being fixed lens, will likely have a rather long life cycle with users, and using an external EVF allows EVF upgrades in the future. Evf’s are progressing at a much faster rate than sensors right now, and you won’t be stuck with an ancient EVF tech years down the road, potentially.

  44. Great step for Sony but why a fix lens camera? it is very expensive and remind me the Konica Hexar when it came to the market. I won’t buy it with this price! they better reduce the price to $2000 including the optical view finder.

    • Yes, but the Hexar has become a cult classic. If you look on Photo.net, there’s a thread that’s STILL going on (last post dated 9/2012) from when it started in 1996. For a fixed lens, non-system camera- that’s pretty phenomenal. At the time, it was thought that Hexar was a special project of Konica- sort of outside of the box. Minolta later bought Hexar; then Sony bought M-K. Could this truly be its digital reincarnation?

  45. Can existing Sony flashes be used in this new hotshoe via an adapter or otherwise?

    I think it makes sense for Sony to adopt a standard ISO hotshoe but I’ve a bag full of flashes that may not be compatible on the latest Sony’s.

    No new Alpha Full frame lenses on show?

  46. Fantastic releases by Sony, truly impressive. My first Sony cam is the RX100 which is impressing the hell out of me. I bet the RX1 IQ will be all it promises to be, seems Sony can’t do a thing wrong lately.

  47. Not sure if I can post this link here… but it’s the official Sony video preview of the RX1

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PahYRjX7kLA&feature=channel&list=UL

  48. I keep my M6 and X100… wont even think about this. no OVF, really high price tag for something that digital rot will eat away and it just doesnt have that classical touch that the x100 has…. it looks more strange and wierd with sony just trying to show off and keep it small rather than giving it style… but the thing that just kills it off is no OVF…

  49. What do you think about Canon g1x, this same category?

    • The Canon G1x uses an APS-C sensor and is slow as molasses. Not even close to being the same though it offers great IQ (but so does the slew of other APS-C cameras that do it much faster)

  50. FF is so overrated. Medium format or nothing for me Sony! :-)

  51. HO MY GODDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Already 5 years i am waiting for that!!!! BUT, NO OPTICAL VIEWFINDER….

  52. 2700 then another 650 for the EVF (detached system)….i’ll wait for the fuji FF with inbuilt VF
    lust for material possessions does not rule me :)

  53. Thank goodness! Now, a huge chunk of online crap about how it cannot be done…blah-blah…registration distance…blah-blah…this-and-that…blah-blah has been made laughable at last. As an engineer designer I have been building optical stuff for more than 40 years now, and I very well knew it could be done, but had to put up with that unholy rant every time I went online. Hopefully, not any more!
    Now, about that price tag…

  54. Full frame sensor is a great news (finally!). Let’s hope to see some samples soon. But: the lack of a viewfinder is a great mistake and makes this camera potentially incomplete. Also, why didn’t they make an interchangeable lens camera?

  55. Read two times the post and honestly don’t see howit can bea game changer…
    Perhaps if it was a full-frame EVIL…
    But not in this shape and price, I’m sorry.

  56. Cumon Sony, give us a digital medium format compact lens interchangeable camera with a dishwasher machine built-in for $100 to make all people happy! LOL

    • I would be very happy with the same camera at the same price, but compatible with existing Sony interchangeable lens line. Now that I’ve explained more clearly, are you able to grasp the concept?

  57. Steve, how were 35mm f1.8 and 10-18mm f4.0 Sony Nex lenses? The only comments I see is that the 10-18mm is sharp.

  58. A sort of a n00b question. Speaking of a full-frame sensor advantages, and apart from the enhanced depth of field, image quality, etc., is it at all possible to tell a photograph taken with a FF camera from a photo taken by a smaller sensor camera? Let’s take for instance a Fuji X100 which gets you a 35mm equvalent field of view. Would the RX1 pictures just scream “we’re full frame”?

    I hope someone could clarify that for me, please. Thanks.

    • OK. I try. I’m not an optical expert too but what I can tell from my personal experience is.

      1. f2 on full frame is less than f2.8 ( f3.X ) on APS-C. So this is something you can easily test with the Fuji. Just set aperture to f2.8 or better f3.2 and have a look. DOF is different.

      2. The lens has to be less extreme. The Fuji has a 23mm lens while this is 35mm. To me it seems that there is less distortion in portraits and I do not have to care as much to keep a certain distance when I’m using my 5D+35L. With the Fuji it is best to stay away a little more and crop afterwards.

      The second point is just a personal observation and I hope somebody with better knowledge can give you a better answer.

      • Thank you, Joachim. Actually I do agree with your observation. I did notice the same effect with the X100. I feel there is also a mild distortion visible even in landscape shots, especially when you shoot cities, you can sometimes see the walls “bending in”.

    • “..Would the RX1 pictures just scream “we’re full frame”?..” ..No, they wouldn’t “scream” full frame, but the difference may be visible when comparing so-called like with like: that means that there would be less of a shot in sharp focus (i.e; there’d be a shallower depth-of-field) in a photo taken with a genuine 35mm focal length (RX-1), compared with a Fuji X100′s 23mm-masquerading-as-35mm, at identical apertures.

      That’s because any 23mm lens has inherently deeper depth-of-field (because it has a shorter focal length) than any 35mm lens (no matter what size its sensor is).

      So as Joachim says in his point (2), noses close to the camera in portraits shot with a 23mm (Fuji) look more elongated that when shot with a 35mm ..but I’d choose an 80mm or so anyway for portraits (which can’t be done with the non-interchangeable-lens X100 nor with the RX-1).

      So no pics shot with the RX-1 will “scream” full frame, but the Fuji X100 would have to have an aperture of about f1.2 (with its 23mm lens) to provide similarly shallow depth-of-field to the 35mm f2 of the Sony RX-1.

      So there’ll be a subtle difference, and not a remarkable one.

      • Ooops: I don’t know why I’m shown as ‘Skydiver’ on the post above ..must be some weird memory effect on my Mac. I’m actually DB.

  59. My tuppence worth…

    Impresssed by the potential of another full frame sensor… Big L needs a kick up the proverbial and lots more quality competition, which is good. SInce the M9 they’ve had it far too easy for far too long.

    I’m not bothered about the lack of interchangeble lenses, a 35 is pretty much my favourite.

    But…

    No optical or electronic viewfinder – a must for me on a ‘serious’ camera and therefore for me, bad. Sorry, I just can’t use a camera at arm’s length squinting at a screen in bight sun like a dork.

    Interesting there are no rear views as yet… would this be because Sony don’t want to draw attention to the lack of an inbuilt viewfinder?

    Also, in such a small package battery life maybe an issue. I’d like to know the ‘real-world’ frame count from a full charge.

    I await further developments and your full review, Steve…

    • There’s more…

      Initially I was soooo excited and I wanted to be so positive about the RX-1.

      But…

      The more I think about it the more underwhelmed I am. The negatives are beginning to add up Big Time:

      No inbuilt OVF or EVF.
      No speed dial.
      A 35 mm lens that looks enormous.
      and, the biggest of all for what is it…
      The probable UK price.

      Have Sony bought out Leica’s Accounts Deptartment?

  60. Typical Sony;

    overpriced
    great performance (we hope!)
    pay a bucketload extra for the EVF everybody really wants
    focus on short term profits for the company
    hostile after sales and warranty service

    No wonder the company is in trouble

  61. Steve, what about the lack of a shutter speed dial. Who really wants a program dial on a camera like this?
    It makes me wonder if Sony really has the pedigree needed to create the “perfect camera”… Technology wise sure but..
    I think apart from forcing an external EVF this is the major disappointment.. I’ll likely get one anyway :-) but the speed dial would be so much better from a UX standpoint…

    Did you try the manual focus? Possible?

  62. RX1 – So near, yet so far.

  63. once all the GAS driven purchases dry out, the camera will go for $2200 ;)

  64. I always believed a full frame sensor was able to be put in a small form factor body. This is fantastic news. Don’t get me wrong, I love my Canon D-7, but if there was a FF sensor in a small form factor body I would be all over it like a rash! This is the first step, and it seems a good one.

  65. There is an optical viewfinder but it’s not integrated

  66. Please review the NEX-6!!! I’ve been waiting for the NEX lens to mature, and with the announcement of the 35mm it just seems the right time to buy into NEX. I’m using an E-P3 (after happily selling my Nikon) and is seriously contemplating a switch to the OMD. It’s just gorgeous and the 45mm is superb.

    And now the NEX-6 has appeared to make me review my decision again. It’s the best kind of dilemma!

  67. it looks amazing, well done sony!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  68. You’ve got too much Time and even more Money to think about this.
    This is what’s been expected from the xpro1 initially at 1700.
    And that’s the target price for such a high end 2nd camera, if it doesn’t come from ubermechanicaljewellery of Leica.
    The d600 will be a winner, the rx1 won’t. The Fujitsu e1 is interesting, too. The rx100 as well.
    FF-DSLR for amateurs? D600 or a to be released canon Variation.
    Street? Fuji e1, nex6, used m9
    Compact? Sony nailed that with the rx100, or phone for the real compact photography.

  69. Seems great BUT: mode dial and no speed dial…??? Hum… stupid, isn’t it ? A dial is intended to make quick adjustment that don’t require the screen. I don’t think that changing quickly of mode is more important than changing my speed… Not mentioning that you cannot use it in full manual without the screen, which is IMO a prerequisite for street shooting. Oh and no built§in VF… Sorry but I’m disappointed…

  70. It’s a great step for photography and I hope other brands follow Sony’s footsteps. However for some reason the RX1 does not really get me excited.

    I laugh at all of you who complain that the RX1 is too expensive. You have to bear in mind that it is the cheapest FF setup on the market. Possibly the 5D MKII with a cheap lens would beat it for value for money.

  71. Way more interested in the Fujifilm X-E1. The Sony just looks so sterile and lack of EVF and shutter speed dial indicates this wasn’t really aimed at enthusiasts. For that price it should have two dials – aperture on the lens, speed on the top. Plus $2700! No thanks.

    • There is a dial on the back to change shutter speed or other settings depending on what you want to change and mode you are in. It is a thumb dial near the top on the back.

  72. Been a GAS guy for >50yrs. But the A77 cured me. First and last serious Sony camera till they stop BS-ing about their camera’s IQ/ISO and stop with the proprietary accessories.

    Steve, you keep talking about IQ and hi-ISO performance, and forgive me for calling anything you say into question, but since you haven’t really used it, how do you know?

    The A77 featured atrocious hi-ISO and a grainy quality even at low ISO. Maybe Sony got it “right” this time, but I’ll wait for the box scores and samples. Until then, Sony CMOS is suspect in my book.

    RX-100 is a real winner, but far different in design and expectations than this

    yawn…

    Oh yeah, $2800???, pass the bong, this thing will be nailed to the shelves.

  73. Steve ,is there any confirmation light telling you its focussed if using an optical finder,if not is it possible theres a light in the finder itself as the finder is somehow active? Thanks.

  74. Steve: Nice write up – thanks! Question: How does manual focusing work? I thought we’d be able to manual focus from the lens and it would have distance markings. It appears that there’s simply a toggle between macro and non-macro. If I’m right, that would be a big drawback for street photography (e.g., setting hyperfocal distance on the fly by adjusting the lens). The other drawback is a separate EVF – perhaps it’s an engineering impossibility to have a built-in EVF (although, look at the NEX 6 and 7!) I assume there’s no image stabilization?

    • You do manual focus from the lens and works great. I tested it for about 5 seconds..literally. I will not know every detail until I get one for a review.

      • Manual focus on this camera is by wire. No direct mechanical connection. In fact, there is also no direct mechanical connection for aperture either.

  75. If the new Sony 24 FF sensor would be the same sensor for the rumored new NIKON D600, I will be standing first in line for the (rumored affordable) FF Nikon !!! Let’s hope so !

  76. What were they thinking put out a camera like this and NO built in view finder….not me

  77. Steve, how did you find the size for handling? I fear that in trying to make it “the worlds smallest FF camera”, Sony may have made it perhaps too small to operate comfortably. If you could compare it to a NEX-7 for example, that would be useful, as I personally found that a little ‘tight’ for operating. Granted, you do you mention a thumb/grip of sorts, which could make the difference.

    • It is a bit small. If you compare it to a Leica M9 or Fuji X-Pro 1 it is much smaller but I would have no issues shooting it. Feels like it needs a grip but the Sony grip will be a “Thumbs Up” style folding thumb grip (at least what I was shown via video) not a bulky body add on.

  78. As opposite to normal here in this blog, this sounded a lot like a paid commercial…sorry. So much repetition and overflowing praises that it does not sound objective anymore. What is the deal between the writer and Sony, if Sony comes to the writers HOME? Hmmm.

    Well I still believe in Steve, and of course this would be certainly a great camera. But it lacks 3 important things to me:
    1) built-in EVF. This really sucks. And how much will the external EVF cost…
    2) only contrast detect focus!? This is really bad. I want to shoot moving objects, and that’s why I love my Nikon 1 V1 even with it’s small sensor. Hybrid focusing system with phase detect focus should be included now days, really. Only contrast detect focus makes it amateurish, not a pro camera.
    3) fixed lens. 35mm is nice, but I’d also like to have macro lenses, true portrait lenses…

    And how fast is it to focus and shoot? No praises from Steve about it makes me wonder…

    So, I will certainly not buy this camera, even if it certainly would be very cool.

    But I might be wrong, yes. Let’s see, it will be interesting to see what happens with all this hype :).

  79. This is insane. Sony does what nobody else dares. Incredible. And the design is modern and much nicer than the old fashioned style of some of the competitors.

    Steve how do you know that the RX1 FF sensor has the highest DR of any other FF sensor – D800 comes in at 14.4 EV – not easy to beat and far from all other competitors.

  80. If you think $2,800 is bad, here in the UK a major online seller (WEX) is quoting a price of 2,600 pounds which is a nosebleed-inducing US$4,100 equivalent. I think I need a lie down…

    • I don’t get UK prices:

      RX1 US price is $2799 and UK price is £2599
      NEX-6 US price is $849 and UK price is £709

      that doesn’t add up, does it? anyway, wouldn’t probably get that RX1 (I own X100 already as a small camera)

      • Hexx,

        On an earlier occasion I explained for the information of our US brothers, UK prices have to be quoted inclusive of our sales tax of 20%. Often, but not always as was pointed out to me, US advertised prices invariably do not include sales tax. So the only true way to compare prices across continents is to determine the landed price of goods. And from this, interestingly, one can see which areas the manufacturers expect to make the most money. Invariably, this is the UK! “Rip off Britain” as we say over here.

        Taking your two examples, and taking £1 = $1.50 for simplicity, if the price of $2799 does not include sales tax, the equivalent UK price would be £1866, which is the directly comparable tax free price, but adding back our 20% tax, this becomes £2239 ($3358) and not even the £2599 ($3898) that that retailer is asking. What this means is the landed cost of the RX1 is higher in the UK to start with, or the dealers have huge mark-ups. The choice is yours.

        Referring to the NEX-6, the direct £ equivalent of $849 is taken as £566; Adding our 20% tax pushes the price to £679, not quite £709, but within the ball park. By the way, the £709 is body only.

        • Hi Terry, and that’s exactly my point. I know US prices don’t include TAX but £679 vs £709 is OK but £2239 vs £2599 is not OK at all. It’s just a rip-off. Also check the UK price of Sony E 35mm f/1.8 lens – £399 – I’d say, good luck with that.

          • Hi, hexx.

            That new E mount f1.8/35mm does look a little on the expensive side when compared to the cracking little f2.8/30mm Sigma I use. The two new zooms look tasty, though, especially the 10-18mm. :-)

      • Nobody gets UK prices (!) Their relationship with prices elsewhere seems to be largely random most of the time.

        Whatever, to me the RX1 looks like a technical exercise so Sony can say “look at us – we were first with a full-frame compact!” and in those bragging/marketing terms it makes sense. As a user, it doesn’t make much sense at all. The idea of it being targeted at ‘pros’ is ludicrous if the definition of a pro is somebody who has to justify each piece of equipment they buy in terms of revenue they can earn from it. By that measure, it wouldn’t remotely make the cut IMHO. Any pro who wanted a small fixed lens, high quality camera would go straight to the X100, knowing that few if any of their clients would recognise (let alone be prepared to pay for) the different look of the full frame RX1.

        • Precisely ;) fully agree. It’s a ‘look what we can do’ kind of thing. And all it needs to be a perfect camera is a bit larger body with better grip, VF (either OVF or EVF), shutter dial and remove all other nonsense. Then, it would be worth the price, even as a fixed lens camera.

        • Colin, I’m inclined to agree. I suspect that for the most part people won’t be able to distinguish images taken with cameras such as the Nex 5N (even when using kit lenses, let alone higher quality optics) and other high quality smaller sensor cameras to a FF model.

          As with all things digital, one needs to know what to look for.

          Don’t know if you are UK based, but “random” is probably the last word I’d use about prices here. How about “deliberate”?

          • I’m just looking forward to the release of the Fuji X-E1- not because I want to buy one but because it will probably push the price of the X100 down even more at which point I will snap one up. At about 650 pounds it will be a quarter of the price of the RX1. I think the Fuji’s EVF/OVF and real shutter speed dial, plus the large wad of cash left over in my pocket, will console me for the fractional difference in picture quality/look from the gap between the Fuji’s APS-C sensor and the Sony’s FF…

            Re: Prices – Yes I am UK based and I was just being kind to the retailers when I used the word “random” (!) I agree that “deliberate” is probably closer to the truth.

  81. Just wait for the obviously forthcoming interchangeable lens version of this one, sitting comfortably at half the price of a Leica. Leica will be dead as a boutique camera manufacturer in 2015. They don’t have the resources to manufacture cameras at Sony’s price point, or develop sensors with their performance (I consider Sony market leaders here).

  82. I wonder if Leica and Sony have a deal, using the same sensor but leaving the integrated viewfinder market to Leica. The Rx1is super impressive and Sony is really pushing the envelope with their camera department. It makes Canon look like the sleepy giant. In addition it puts some pressure on Leica. The market segment of small- full frame is not exclusive anymore. They still own small- full frame- interchangeable but for how much longer. With this camera the X2 has not one good argument left than price. Man, every year new great stuff shows up. Doesn’t make me take better photos but still makes me want to try it out. D!RK

  83. Btw. The 16-50 lens didn’t get much attention. Don’t know how good the quality will be but it sounds like a perfect all-around lens to replace the old kit lens, which struggled a bit on the Nex 7.

    • It is a much better lens than the 18-55 and a better kit lens all the way around. With the NEX-6 at $999 it is a great price for the camera and lens. SO much more compact than the 18-55.

      • Hi, Steve.

        This is good to hear. I mainly use the little Sigma 30mm on my 5N (when I’m not playing with some R lenses) but I do miss at times the quick changing focal length a zoom offers. Even at £309 in the UK, I’d be happy with this if it performs. But I am eyeing up the 10-18mm and looking at my piggy bank!

  84. WHY DOES THIS RX1 CAMERA UNDERWHELM ME?

    Well, let me start by saying that I do have the highest respect for Sony, they keep innovating in every field.
    I was happy when they took over the ailing Konica Minolta (though I lamented the departure of these two great names) I was happy as Sony bought Konica and Minolta’s camera division – not only the technology, but the designs, designers, staff everything – so the new A99 DSLR is an evolution and continuation of Konica Minolta and for that I am happy – a brilliant and worthy DSLR and though I don’t need one, I hope it succeeds.

    BUT Sony also had access to Konica, and their designs and technology rather than Konica-Minolta and Minolta SLR technology.

    This camera OVERWHELMS me in the spec; FF sensor 24MP, superb picture quality, quick, aperture dial on the lens and its size….

    BUT come on Sony! You UNDERWHELM me with the design!

    It’s a premium camera and it has no View Finder!
    You’re hardly going to get point n shooters used to point n shoot compacts holding this at arms length for snaps on the LCD screen!
    Come on Sony, you expect people to pay EXTRA for an EVF slotted onto the top – spoiling the aesthetic lines of the camera?

    Come on Sony, you had access to Konica – you could’ve easily EASILY bought us a Konica Hexar AF with the RF viewfinder (or even a mock Optical one) you could’ve easily done this, but chose not to.
    The Konica Hexar AF-D is what I had hopes for – the original Hexar, no one can doubt is far more aesthetically beautiful than this, finer lines, it has almost the same spec a Hexanon 35mm f2 – (said to be copy of the f2 Summicron – and razor sharp)., but the Hexar has a VIEWFINDER – aarrrrgghhhh!!! I know this will be a success – but it could’ve been a F*c*king HUGE bombastic Leica murderer in every respect! But Nooo….Let’s all hold the camera out at arms length.

  85. ps. I forgot one thing: no weather sealing for this price? Nope, not for me at this price.

    • Ah
      same as M8, M9 no weather sealing
      decent case ?

      Build quality should stand upto reportage.

      If weather sealing added this could been a pro reportage dream.

  86. RX Pro in 2014

    Medium Format in a body the size of Nex7

  87. No viewfinder a fixed lens and a price tag approaching $3000. And it’s not a Leica?

  88. I want to buy the RX1 as I see all the benefits it brings. However the lack of an internal EVF is such a waste. Because of this, it is probably a no go for me.

  89. Wow, so many strong opinions, that IMO means they’ve made one HELL of a camera. Bottom line is that there are hundreds of cameras, and NONE are perfect.

    M9 = manual focus, $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ BOOOOOOOooooooooooooo
    Rx1 = fixed lense, external EVF BOOOOOOOOOOOooooooooo
    D800/5D = Heavy, ugly BOOOOOOOOOOoooooooo
    Nex7 = to many megapixels, to much noise BOOOOOOoooo
    Nex3/5/6/7 = Menu system isn’t what we are used to BOOOooooooooooooooooo
    OM-D = lack of extreme DOF BOOOOOOOOOOooooooooooo

    When you run a camera company, you can make whatever you want.

    IMO, there is no camera company ON THE PLANET that is inovating and producing a greater range of products for everyone than Sony. People hate on Sony, but if you think about it they have been in the buisness of AUDIO/VISUAL reproduction for as long as anyone. They have more engineering prowess than anyone. Don’t believe me, ask Nikon, who use their sensors, etc…

    Without the NEX, do you think Nikon makes the V/J 1?
    Without NEX, do you think Cannon makes the M?
    Who knows what the Rx1 will persuade others to make…..excited to find out

    Probably not.

    Bitch about Sony all you want, don’t buy their non perfect niche products.

    Some might say a $10,000 digital rangefinder is niche….
    Some might say the entire Micro 4/3 is niche…

    The good thing is that we have options….you no longer have to give up something, you can have it all.

    So I say GOOD JOB SONY…..you’ve put people on notice!!! I can’t wait to see what you have up your sleves NEXT!

    • I agree. Sony made a product that in this package is better by a large margin than anything from the competitors just like they did with the RX100.

      The price is a little high, but that is partly due to much higher production cost of FF sensors and also the (hopefully) great Zeiss lens which is included.

      If this sensor is anything close to the D800 it will blow the competition out of the water in IQ with sweet output that cannot be achieved with APS-C and smaller sensors.

  90. If the RX1 has the WhiteMagic LCD tech like the RX100, then the lack of built in EVF isn’t such a big deal for me. I have used the RX100 in bright east coast mid-day sun and was able to manually focus without too much difficulty (and the technology will only get better), so I am starting to see the viewfinder as more of a personal choice depending on your shooting style.

    I was suprised to find that magnifying the image on a 3″ display for manual focus is just as precise (if not more so) than using a rangefinder patch or right sized optical viewfinder with split prism(think 70′s big ass optical finder like Nikon F3 style or such).

    The RX100 made me a Sony fan and if the RX1 is of similar quality than for me it is truly a breakthrough next level – drool worthy – makes me think about selling stuff to buy it – kind of camera. Damn expensive but I’m suprised at how very tempting this is for me even at $2800.

  91. ThisRX1 camera only confirms several things.

    1) Say goodbye to a new FF models for NEX as the Rx1 is just a test diving board to a new FF compact system, just like the Fuji x-100 was for the x1pro.

    2) Say goodbye to better Sony lenses on the nex platform as Sony knows it has botched with the all too thin NEX bodies.

    3) Say goodbye to the NEX system ever getting more serious bodies, as the nex 6 is evidence of the NEX’s regression.

    As for the rx-1, a 3 thousand dollar body without a EVF, a body as small as a pack of cards, Sony, what are you guys smoking these days?

    • 1: There can not be a FF nex without the use of a bulky adapter to shoot full frame glass. NEX lenses are not FF compatible though they could be used in a FF NEX..with a crop factor.
      2: There are many new NEX Lenses on the way starting with the 35 1.8, 10-18 and 16-50
      3: NEX-6 is better than the 7 in almost every single way besides megapixels…same exact build (feels better) and same EVF and imo better sensor.

      • Steve, did the Nex 6 have a touchscreen? I’m getting mixed information if it does have one from different review sites. Thanks

      • Steve. Can you explain this a bit more. It doesn’t seem to jive with my understanding of camera basics. If the flange focal distance is correct and the lens is full frame (like the many Nikkor Ai lenses I’m using now)…and the adapter doesn’t obscure anything, how can this possibly not work? It’s my understanding that a crop lens and a full frame lens has the same focal distance…if it didn’t, you wouldn’t be able to put crop lenses on full frame Canons and Nikon bodies…which in some cases you can! It should work both ways.

        • Dave T,

          I’m a bit late here. The actual back focal, or projection, distance of a lens isn’t the issue. Clearly there has to be sufficient clearance for the reflex mirror box and the flange to film distance was set in the days of film slrs. When we come up to date with dslr’s the likes of Canon and Nikon et al kept the flange distance the same so new digital adoptees could still use their old film lenses.

          However, with cropped sensors, such as APS-C, to be able to maintain the same FOV as 35mm cameras, the actual focal length of the lens has to be less. So, in a kit lens you find 18-55 lenses, which equate to roughly the common short zooms in 35mm cameras of 28-80. But importantly, these shorter focal length lenses designed specifically for APS-C only had to cover the smaller sensor, so they do not cover the full frame. If you mounted a lens designed specifically for smaller sensors on a FF camera, only the area of the small sensor would be rendered sharp and the outlying parts of the FF sensor would be blurred. On FF cameras that can accept these lenses, the camera automatically crops its FF sensor to match.

          If you think about it, you’d never expect a lens designed to cover 35mm film to work on a 6×6 rollfilm camera which produces negatives roughly 56mmx56mm, would you? Well, it is the same with lenses specifically for APS-C and FF sensors.

          To confuse matters somewhat, I understand that Canon and Nikon, for example, market lenses designed to work with FF and cropped sensors. In reality, they are FF lenses with a more telecentric light path which is better for cropped sensors.

          • Terry, you’re preaching to the converted. I’ve been using all sorts of lenses on my Canon and NEX cameras for a while now and I’m fully aware of the limitations when it comes to FOV, DOF, and image circle.

            What I still don’t understand is the logic behind Steve’s statement that non Alpha full frame lenses WON’T work on the VG900 (or similar future cameras).

            He has already stated that this is just what Sony has told him. I can respect that but I’m not convinced without a more detailed explanation…there is no reason for an Alpha FF lens to work but others not with the appropriate adapter. Due to the flange to sensor distances of various lenses, some adapters will be more ‘huge’ than others. Certainly the Alpha will be one of the largest.

            Steve: Anybody coming from a Leica background like yourself would surely see these adaptors and lenses as bulky and ‘huge’. For me, coming from Canon digital DSLRs, see it exactly the opposite way. My NEX-7 with a Nikkor 50mm f/1.4 is still way smaller and way lighter than my 7D with an EF 50mm f/1.4. Same goes for the 135 F2L (the old FD 135 f2 i a fantastic lens easily the equal of the modern equivalent). Sometimes bulky is welcome. I have a very high quality Ai Mount 400mm f/5.6 lens which I bought at a pawn shop for $60. This would NEVER happen with a Canon EF lens and similarly I could never afford the $1400 sticker price. I was recently in Disneyland and I carried my NEX-7 plus 5 lenses (16mm up to a 500mm mirror lens) in a bag smaller than my wife’s purse. Compared to my Canon gear, the words ‘huge’ would have been the last to come out of my mouth. I think we’re getting into a matter of personal preference. Some prefer the Leica feel. I shot with an Minolta SRT-101 for a long time back in the day so this body style with film lenses from the same era feel great to me despite the adapter. One day I may have the chance to try it with Leica glass and I may change my point of view…who knows.

            At the end of the day, this speculation is a bit of a waste of breath. It won’t be long before the major blogs have a VG900 to test and I guarantee these questions will be answered when they try it first hand.

            If it turns out that adapted FF lenses work perfectly, I don’t see any reason why we wouldn’t eventually see a FF NEX camera.

            That said, I’m not married to the Sonys or full frame for that matter…just the concept of a short flange distance wth a dslr quality product. Jumping from Canon to Nikon is a huge deal and done very rarely with professional photographers. With my collection of manual lenses and adapters however, I could buy the new upcoming GH3 or an OM-D and with a small investment in some new adapters, be up and running with a dozen lenses in the amount of time it takes to get new adapters shipped. I could use both or jump to M4/3 completely. To me that’s one of the best reasons to cling to these old manual lenses with mirrorless cameras

            • Hi, Dave. Now I understand. I was a bit fixated on your comment about FF and APS-C lenses having the same back projection distance as being the issue and assumed you’d overlooked the different imaging circles.

              As you, I have a range of manual adaptors to use legacy lenses on my 5N, from Leica L39, M and R, Tamron adaptall, Praktica M42 and bayonet, Fuji AX, and Minolta, Yep I, too, had an SRT 101 and I still have the XD-7.

              I rather suspect that when discussions arise about whether a certain lens will or will not work on a given body, people who use manual adaptors, as we, know we are talking about no functional interchange with, say, our Nex bodies. The adaptor is simply a spacer to allow a non-native E mount lens to be mounted. Now Steve could have been approaching the question from 180 degrees – manual lenses won’t work because they can’t fully couple electronically with the camera. It’s just a thought trying to guess Steve.

              And this is where I am with you re the VG900. There would appear to no physical obstacle to using a simple adaptor, as with the Nex still cameras if it uses a normal E bayonet. So if Sony say other marque lenses still won’t work on this camera, and it proves that they don’t, I would venture that there would have to be something within the camera itself, and which means it doesn’t use its sensor in the same way as a Nex to focus and measure exposure. This would suggest it has to have some electronic feedback from the Sony lens.

              But as you say, the moment the video cameramen get their hands on it, we’ll soon know, and if not, why not?

  92. The recent product announcements say it clearly . . . Sony is BACK

  93. I think this is an exciting camera based on its specification, but flawed. Sony took a bold step in producing a FF sensor camera in a small body, but then has restricted its ultimate usefulness by its having a single focal length permanent lens of modest FOV of a 35mm design. It’s the classic reportage focal length but IMHO is of limited appeal today as it is too close to the 50mm, and where users generally prefer a 28mm, or wider. 35mm isn’t much use in architecture, it isn’t that wide for landscape and it isn’t any good for portraiture unless facial distortion is demanded.

    One has to remember why, historically, the 35mm lens became so popular. It was ideal for grab shots with its wider depth of field than the 50mm, and its smaller image size wasn’t too much of a penalty.

    Not having an interchangeable lens mount, I suspect, will be its Achilles heel, as is the omission of a built in optical finder, which is all a fixed lens, single focal length camera needs. One can only wonder why Sony left it off the body.

    I can, perhaps, understand why Sony didn’t come out with an interchangeable lens mount model, as this would require them to produce a range of lenses for it at a time when they struggle to meet demand for its Nex customer base. But at least here, one has the ability to use a variety of manual lenses. As some others have reported here, I don’t believe it will be long before an interchangeable lens version is released.

    I am not sure how well it will sell or, in the short term satisfy early adopters once they realise the limiting factor of the fixed lens. I was hoping for a FF body so I could use my legacy R lenses at their full FOV, but my hopes have been dashed.

    Still, I see Sony have announced 3 Nex mount lenses, so maybe some consolation for we Nex owners.

    So near, but so far. A great opportunity lost.

    Now will Leica trump Sony, and with a model that will reward R owners for their past loyal support?

    • One camera one lens – High image quality – Job done – Just take photo’s !!! – After all it is what photography is about – Price hmm just a tad to much, but what the heck you only live once.

    • The RX-1 is a stop-gap, a “placeholder”, Terry.

      It allows Sony to claim the ‘first-full-frame-sensor-in-a-small-body’ trophy, and then work fast to produce a successor version with interchangeable lenses ..and to get that on sale while competitors are playing catch-up with their own full-35mm-frame-fixed-lens models.

      This is, if you like, similar to Apple’s strategy: bring out a change-the-game first version (iPod, iPhone, iPad) ..and then bring out a second version – with enhanced features – while the competition’s still trying to get own their first version out of the door.

      It’s like a concept car: it’s here, for sale, but with a high price tag. It’s not intended to be sold in its millions (make the price high, so demand won’t be too high), but it gives Sony a chance to work frantically on getting the interchangeable-lens version (with built-in viewfinder) – and a selection of full-frame lenses! – ready for release in five or six months’ time.

      It’s intended to stop people rushing into buying the upcoming Canon interchangeable-lens APS compact EOS M, and to get them to wait for the upcoming interchangeable-lens full-frame compact Sony instead.

      It’s all a matter of “spoiling the market” ..putting other makers (e.g; Canon’s) offerings on hold for many potential buyers, till the interchangeable-lens version of the RX-1 appears.

      That’s why these various cameras (Canon, Sony, Fuji, etc) have been announced before Photokina officially starts on the 18th ..it’s all about grabbing attention and spoiling or “freezing” the market, so that customers think twice before buying.

      • Hi, David. How are you?

        Absolutely. I have often thought that this is the reason products are announced so far in advance of your actually being able to get your hands on one. I must confess it has a tendency to work with me, and others I suspect. After all, who wants to commit to buying the “here and now” product, when there is a promise, rumour, etc of something better around the corner?

        Perhaps all comments and views about this camera, ought to await Photokina. Then we may all be in for a raft of surprises and see where it fits in. I certainly hope so! :-)

  94. Sony, I hope nobody will give you that amount of money for this camera. It is HUGELY overpriced. If Nikon delivers the D600 at about 1500 US$, Sony should sell this camera for, say, US$999,-.

  95. 2800 for a fixed lens camera is exactly why Sony and companies like it are losing money
    Why would I buy this I can get a nice lens for this money I’m really starting to wonder who these companies
    Are getting feedback from? Full Frame great fixed lens crap sorry but I just woke up am I dreaming 2800 lol

  96. Hype is right, Cathy. These shows tend to generate a euphoria associated with travel, schnapps, patronage and a subsequent obligation to be “positive”, despite the screaming omissions clearly evident in the RX1. Close in some areas, but not within a bull’s roar in others, despite the charge being akin to a wounded bull.

  97. The screen doesn’t tilt up like the nex… useless without a viewfinder. I love the tilt screen on the next for using the camera at waist level.

  98. I have to admit, I was really impressed about this camera at first sight. A full frame sensor in such a tiny and stylish looking compact body. This is the competitor for the Fuji x100, for the Leica X2 and even for some of the mirrorless cameras (PEN, NEX etc.)
    The more I think about the Sony RX 1, the more I get angry about this nice piece of technology with an appendix like rudimentary pop-up flash!

    Lets face the details:
    1. Full-Frame sensor
    2. Fast Prime lens with f2.0!
    3. Compact body

    For what the hell, I need a build-in flash? Guide number for the flash is 6m! Who decided this kind of bull**** in the Sony headquarter?

    If I want to use a viewfinder I have to put an external one into the HOTSHOE FOR THE FLASH!!!

    It would be the same bull****, if Apple would release the iPhone 5 with an additional keyboard behind the small body with touchscreen!

    In Germany you even have to pay 3100€ for this nice little pop-up flash appendicitis. No thanks Sony!
    For that amount of money, I can buy a Leica M8.2 and a Zeiss 35 2.0. Build in viewfinder, no flash!

  99. A Full frame compact with fixed lens is USELESS. I far prefer keep my RX100 making amazing shots. Waiting for the next one with interchangeable lens.

    • Many fixed lens cameras have done very well. X100, X1, etc. This one surpasses them all in quality with better sensor and better lens and kills them in ISO, DR, DOF control, etc. Not useless at all. That is like saying a Leica M9 and 35 Cron are useless when it is about the best one camera one lens combo you can get (IMO). I can’t wait to shoot the RX1 because if it is all it is cracked up to be then it may take the place as my main #1 camera.

      • “That is like saying a Leica M9 and 35 Cron are useless when it is about the best one camera one lens combo you can get (IMO)”

        No it is not like saying that, because leica M9 and 35 cron combo have LEICA LENS. For me Leica 35mm lenses are FAR better than any 35 zeiss lenses.

        I need to put some amazing leica news and old lenses on my next japanese compact full frame. So. All I need is just to wait.

        Anyway, I continue to make A1/A0 prints with the RX100 jpgs, and the result is truly amazing. ;)

      • Steve,

        This isn’t a good corollary, if you think about it. You can change lenses on the M9. Your choice of the 35 Cron is just that, it is your choice.

        Would you have bought an M9 if it came with a permanent, non-interchangeable, 35mm lens? Possibly, if it fitted the bill 100% for your purposes, but then you couldn’t use the super fast lenses you like to use.

  100. Apparently e-mount support native full-frame lenses without adapter Steve. “The lack of full-frame E-mount lenses means the VG900 must be used with an adapter such as the LA-EA3 which allows the use of full-frame A-mount lenses.”

    • You can use full frame lenses on the full frame VG900 but you must use an adapter to do so. It is an E mount camcorder and I held it and saw the sensor. But if you want to use the FF sensor with a FF lens you must use an adapter. Mounting an E mount lens on the VG900 will crop the lens to APS-C size much like a Nikon DX lens does on a D800 or D4. I would not want to have to use a thick adapter just to use full frame lenses on a NEX and besides, the lenses would be monsters (using Alpha FF glass)

  101. Did you have a chance to ask them why they decided to release this and not an interchangeable FF mirrorless?

    • A FF Mirrorless would have been a whole new mount, whole new set of lenses and whole new major commitment. They could have released a FF NEX but who would want to use a thick adapter to use full frame lenses? E mount lenses are not full frame, they are like a Nikon DX lens and would crop the sensor anyway. If they released a FF nex like this I would pass as would many others. My guess is they wanted to see how full frame does and 35mm is the perfect focal length for one camera one lens.

      • Steve, what about all legacy glass, Leica, Contax G, Zeiss ZM? Those are tiny and adapters are available. Do you think they would work? I think that if Sony releases FF NEX that would be absolutely perfect platform for any lens out there. There’s even an adapter for Canon lenses with AF.

        • Again to use FF glass with the FF sensor a huge adapter would be needed to get full coverage of the sensor on the glass. Putting a FF sensor in a NEX would require a thicker and larger body and larger native lenses. An E mount FF NEX would require severe trickery to work correctly and would kill the size and form of the NEX system. A FF NEX, as I reported a year ago can not work. Sony would have to create an all new system.

          • Steve, remember that screw mount Leica lenses work perfectly on M9 and that the Leica thread mount (LTM) has an inner diameter which is smaller than the one of E mount.

            So there is no need for Alpha mount glass and huge LA-EA3 adapter to get full sensor coverage with 24×36 lenses on NEX-VG900, except if there is some software limitation preventing all 24×36 lenses, except Alpha ones, to work in full frame mode.

  102. Certainly much to be impressed by with this release, but many questions also come to mind:

    - $2800 and no EVF/OVF
    - No physical shutter speed button
    - 35mm instead of 50mm on a FF

    Reports say VFs will be available for $450-699, along with grip and hood at equally high prices, but I can’t see professionals going for this without a VF, and with, we are now over the mid $3,000 mark.

    Definitely on the right track Sony, and would have been a slam dunk with the above additions, but I might wait to see where Fuji goes with its next versions of the X100 and X1 Pro before I was over the moon about this one.

  103. Nice camera.

    FF sensor aside I’ll take the canon EOS M and the 22 f2 prime though.
    For me the RX1 is just a bit too heavy and deep for my take everywhere camera compared to the EOS M.
    Ans save $2000

    But of course we have to see the image quality of the new Canon and pancake lens. So far I hear the lens is really sharp. If it pans out :0)

  104. Didn’t anyone ask a SONY rep about a NEX 7 firmware update?!!

  105. Cool Camera Steve! I do wish they would move away from the 35mm lenses though, I think our creativity is being dictated to a significant extent by the camera manufacturers when they release a drawer-full of cameras all with the 35mm focal length….. Where are the 50′s???

  106. This ALMOST gets it right. The lack of an EVF makes this a non-starter for me, especially for the price.

    I’d accept the fixed 35 f/2 at $3k (given that it’s likely to be a very, very good lens), but for that amount, I absolutely want a good quality EVF. An interchangeable lens mount would have been great, too, but not essential.

    We still don’t have a true FF M9/M10 competitor. The X-Pro1 is very close (especially with the 2.0 firmware), but is still APS-C.

    • On the other hand, the NEX-6 looks VERY cool, especially if it plays well with wide angle RF glass. Set the dial to control shutter speed, aperture control on the lens, and you’re in business. THAT might be in my future.

      • Nex6 : Sony omitted touch screen of 5N.

        Manual focusing with focus peaking, MF assist still slowish if having to move the focus point manually.
        (nowhere near as fast for me as focus patch, split screen).

        Touch screen really useful on lcds & legacy glass.

  107. The first thing I thought of was a song by Yello…”Oh Yeah”. Full frame yep, 35mm yep, price not too bad, need for a decent EVF definitely.
    Then I checked the price again. This camera is already listed for pre-order in the UK for £2599 which is over $4000 and that’s without the EVF. No way.

  108. Hi Steve, your site is killing my bank account. :( This camera looks amazing, I can’t wait until it comes out. Does this mean I should sell my beloved OMD to help fund this camera? I wonder what other people will do…..

    • OMD + Zuiko 75/1.8 45/1.8

      Nothing out there are fast to single shot AF with such fine pictures.
      I really really could have done with during Paralympics
      things happening fast, people moving infront of subject all the time,
      subject in constant motion
      me wanting shallow dof.

      For everything else
      Rx1 would been as fine.

      (really for Paralympics 3 cameras are necessary:
      i had J1 for action
      Nex5 & legacy 50/1.8 85/2 for shallow dof would have replaced this with OMD
      would have liked a fixed prime X100, or RX1)

      So the answer to your “I wonder what other people will do”
      depends how you like to photo and what.

    • “..Does this mean I should sell my beloved OMD to help fund this camera?..”

      I’m not Steve, but I say “absolutely not!” ..Would you have bought an OM-D if it had just the one, fixed 35mm equivalent lens?

      The beauty of the OM-D is that – besides being small and light, and with great picture quality, and with excellent picture stabilisation – you can put on it a 7-14mm zoom for extreme wide-angle shots, a 14-150mm zoom for everything else, a wide aperture 20mm (40mm equivalent) f1.7 close-focus lens, a 25mm (50mm equivalent) close focus f1.4 lens, a 45mm (90mm equivalent) close focus f1.8 lens, a 75mm (150mm equivalent) f1.8 lens ..and many, many more.

      You can shoot a whole family, or a wedding party, indoors with a wide-angle; you can shoot distant close-ups, shoot shallow depth-of-field (especially with longer lenses), and you can use almost any manual lens ever made (with a suitable x-to-m4/3 adaptor) – Leica M, Leica R, Leica screw, Olympus OM, Nikon, Canon, etcetera, etcetera).

      The RX-1 has a 14x digital zoom built in, but that’ll never give you a -w-i-d-e-r- view (equivalent to a 28mm, 24mm or wider), only a narrower view, with a corresponding quality loss.

      Why, oh why, would you ever even think of trading in all that the OM-D gives you for a camera which has just one fixed ‘moderate-wide’ lens?

      Those two are nowhere near comparable: the OM-D gives you enormous versatility with terrific quality.

      The RX-1 will give you great quality pictures ..but with content which all looks similar. If you want great quality but “all-looks-similar” pics, buy an obsolete point-&-shoot fixed-lens film camera like a Rollei 35 or a Minox 35 for $100, and then hi-res scan the resultant very high-quality slides or negs.

      But why waste $2000 on a digital point-and-shoot, even if it is a “full frame” point-and-shoot?

      • Exactly, David. A good mini-critique on the RX1′s severe limitations.

        Once people realise just how limiting having a fixed 35mm lens will be, it matters very little how good the image quality is. (I’d like to add the Olympus XA to your point and shoots. Superb 35mm lens and coupled range finder.)

        • Great choice, Terry ..I almost added it myself, but I’d already clicked “Post Comment”!

          ..But I’d like to add the little-known Olympus Écru ..similarly terrific, sharp, Oly 35mm lens, but with instant, reliable autofocus, and runs on two commonly-available AAA cells.

          http://www.olympus-global.com/en/corc/history/camera/popup/zoom_ecru.html

          Looks like a cross-eyed spider, but superb quality pictures:
          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nr7k1P4FwfY

          And available on eBay for about £100 / US $160:
          http://www.ebay.co.uk/sch/i.html?_nkw=Olympus+Ecru

          I’ll use one of these any day rather than a $2000 digital equivalent ..which next year will be worth $400.

          • David, that is some weird camera! I almost take back a comment I made elsewhere likening the Pentax K-01 to Lego bricks and was gently chided, correctly, that I was doing a disservice to Lego.

            But on second thoughts, no, I won’t make the same error of judgement vis a vis the Ecru. Considering the Ecru was launched in 1990, it is a much better design statement! And by all accounts, what a bargain you got. :-)

        • Right, I was thinking “tight package; this looks to be the future”, except it turns out to actually be a step backwards from two of the pitfalls of the camerphone I was trying to get away from by buying a “real camera” in the first place – 1) no interchangeable lenses, and 2) no zoom lens – not to mention the fact that it’s neither mirrorless nor shutterless.

          Seems like pro’s will drop serious money for this “fun walk around FX format” the way I drop a few dollars for a gimmicky lens – which is fine, but not quite as meaningful as if this had been a full-frame interchangeable mirrorless.

          Very nice – and very niche – camera.

  109. Really like what Sony’s done from a conceptual pov. The execution though is a mystery to me.

    Probably worth the $2,800 given what’s in it. Not worth $2,800 for a serious fixed lens camera with no evf or optical, focus by wire and a soccer mom control set. Small is great. Now how many will be able to hold it steady enough to get a sharp shot with a 24mp sensor? Want an efv, another $600. A lens hood, none is included, a mere $180. Case, a mere $250.

    So who buys the rx1? The Leica crowd? A bucket of mass produced components in a Sony badged body would be an ego crisis. Serious photographers who value a fixed normal lens? I’m one of them, an X100 is my main carry, no eye level finder other than an overpriced (not to mention ugly) wort, for $3,500+. Sony’s soccer mom customers, highly doubtful?

    I’d rather give Leica my money. I know I’ll get a good chunk of it back if I sell/trade and, I could actually have different focal lengths, amazing. My suspicion is this will be a very expensive fail for whoever buys one.

  110. The tough thing about the FF Nex video camera and any potential FF nex still camera is that they’ll have to use either DSLR lenses or very large e-mount lenses, because the sensor is so relatively large compared to the mount and also very close to it, which causes clearance issues. There’s a reason why the mounts of m4/3, eos M, Nex, etc. are oversized.

    See here: http://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/topic/1147292/21#10953644

    And here: http://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/topic/1147292/25#10954670

  111. Someone (Zeiss ?) is going bring out a FF MILC just for legacy glass

    They wont bother about making new lenses for it.
    It will have a modular mount.

  112. Anyone remember the price of memory cards in 2001
    Price of digital point n shoots in 2001.

  113. had to chuckle looking at the white ‘Not Final’ sticker on the RX1 at the Dpreview site… wonder if it means there’s more to come… ooo rubbing my hands with glee… ;-) lol

    Come on Fuji (if you’re reading this…) wheres your full frame compacts??? I wanna kick Leica in the junk and blow them a wet raspberry ;-) lol

  114. Looks pretty good on spec and finish seems fine too. Might be much better than previous Sony designs.
    The lens is out of proportion in terms of size to the body though. i have always found that small camera bodies with relatively big lenses doesn’t work for me. Nex suffers from this somewhat. I think Olympus got things just right with the OM-D which is small enough.
    I’m sure the Sony will impress technically though. You can get great pictures with any size sensor if you know how to use a camera.There’s too much tech worship going on.
    Is that a film plane mark I see on the top of the camera? If it takes film as well as digital now that would be interesting!

    • This camera DOES have a built in EVF doesn’t it? Can’t see a rear view for some reason.
      If it doesn’t it IS too expensive and out of the running for me.

      • Well on re-reading seems it doesn’t, Epic fail Sony.
        Actually i have figured out EXACTLY what this is. It’s a digital Contax T2 but BIGGER and WITHOUT a built in viewfinder for $$$$$$ Hmmmm. Contax T2 was FULL FRAME too.
        Cynical but true!

        • More like a Hexar AF without a viewfinder. The Contax T2 had a 38mm f2.8 lens, whereas the RX1 and the Hexar have a 35mm f2 lens. Wider + faster = bigger.

          To be able to make such a small lens of this aperture and focal length that works well with a full frame sensor would have been unheard of a few years ago. Look at the size of the aps-c mirrorless lenses in general and compare those with full frame counterparts.

          I suspect that the RX1′s lens is as small as they could make it without compromising image quality, given current lens and sensor tech, and that if they could have made it like a Contax T, they would have.

  115. Do you think people will slowly evolve to have their arms outstretched permanently ;)

  116. This is definitely an interesting development and I applaud Sony for pushing the envelope a bit here and putting out a product that isn’t just “playing it safe”.

    The price point is unfortunately out of my range for what I use a digital camera for. I typically shoot either medium or large format film on my photographic outings and I like to stick a small-ish digital in my bag for those moments when I need to take a quick shot. For the past year the camera that has fit that bill is the NEX 5n and it has served me quite well. I mentioned in a previous post that I’m thinking about switching to the new Fuji X-E1 because I think the ergonomics will be more to my liking (the NEX feels awkward in my long skinny hands, but I’ve lived with it because it really is a secondary tool for me).

    I’m not going to deny I’m tempted to aim toward the RX1. What makes it a deal breaker is the fact that a viewfinder is not included in the price. I refuse to compose images holding a camera at arms-length and I’m willing to bet the accessory viewfinder is going to add at least $600 (probably more…) to the already high price tag. That will put the price well above the three thousand mark for me. I just can’t justify it for how little I use digital.

    But still, all that being said, kudos to Sony for going forward with this. It’s bold and innovative and I like seeing the envelope get pushed to new horizons.

  117. Steve, How was the focusing speed and accuracy on the NEX6 with the new zoom and the 35mm prime?

  118. Staggering – so much capability I’m sure. Who do they think will buy these? NO VIEWFINDER (!!) and a FIXED LENS – surely a fatal move, especially for the $2800 price. Why do the full frame, high quality lens thing, then forget to include a viewfinder and why not make it for interchangeable lenses too? Talk about shooting yourself in the foot. As I said, staggering …..

  119. Sony Australia today published several pictures of RX1 in Flickr:
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/sonyaustralia/sets/72157631516792142/with/7978634069/

  120. Hi Steve. I’m a spanish fan.

    I have got nex-7 with $igma 30mm and other lenses. I worried because sony forget very soon nex-7 firmware updates…but i love this camera and results.

    I hope see your review soon, but please i want a comparison between nex7 with Zeiss 24mm and RX1. I dont want sell all my equip buyed recently because RX1 like me.

    Regards.w

  121. Dear Steve,

    Thanks for your report on these new Sony Cameras. It’s quite interesting and impressive. At least Sony has perfected the NEX 5 with the 5R. NEX 6 makes it even better. RX1 looks good but with fix lens, no EVF and the price tag(as you mentioned on a later report). None of these had triggered my GAS virus so far. I am still happy with my NEX 5N and Leica R lenses I bought recently.

    I saw some pictures on DPREVIEW.com about the NEX-VG900. It’s a full frame(24.3MP)NEX E mount camcorder. One of the pictures shows NEX-VG900 with LA-EA3 adaptor but no lens. Another picture shows Handycam® NEX-VG30H/VG30 with a new SELP-18200 E PZ 18-200mm F3.5-6.3 Power Zoom lens.

    I am wandering Sony can make NEX FF for camcorder why not NEX FF camera if someone don’t mind the bulky adapter and FF lens? Maybe some MF lens can mate it with smaller size. Or make some limited edition(MF only) like Leica M camera.

  122. Crazy price for the RX1. No sane photog in my opinion will pay this in this segment where the cycle seems to be 3 months. Not sure what they are thinking. I think Sony should stick to one or two formats and concentrate on dominating them rather than trying everything and seeing what sticks.

    I suspect they are trying to take on Leica with an interchangeable lens version of the RX1. Good luck with that – I doubt it will work unless Leica are truly asleep at the wheel. Sony are ingenious but their brand is unlikely to sing with those who are prepared to pay Leica prices.

  123. OH MY GOD OH MY GOD

    SONY YOU HAVE BECOME THE BEST THING IN THE UNIVERSE

    still would have liked ff nex

    BUT EVERYTHING ELSE OMGOMG

  124. I’m an old film shooter, and Leica rangefinder guy… So OVF used to be an absolute necessity. Or so I thought. I have spent serious time this summer with the Sony RX100, and you know what? I find myself shooting my X-Pro 1 using Live View VERY frequently. Could it be I’m adapting?? I guess it just takes some time to get used to shooting with a screen vs a viewfinder. Initially, my composition wasn’t as good using the RX100, and my creative process seemed stilted. But after just a few weeks, I was comfortable again, and my shots look the same, viewfinder or screen.

    I think too much is made of this.

    Based upon the pretty unbelievable quality of the RX100, I preordered the RX1. I like primes, and can generally enjoy anything in the 28-50 range. I don’t think I’ll replace my X-Pro 1 with it because that camera, after all, has interchangeable lenses. Sometimes I want a wide or short tele, especially. And the X-Pro files are beautiful. Unless I’m traveling, though, I pick a lens, go, and adapt to the FL creatively.. The RX1 would be perfect for that approach.

    I’m a little disappointed in a few aspects, though nothing is perfect: the accessory prices (hood, case, evf) are too high. Just throw the hood in, Sony. I think I saw $150… What?!?. I wish the mode dial were gone and a shutter speed dial was there, instead. Use the “A” for auto approach per Fuji and put pano/etc on a drive setting. No IS gave me pause… But the IS on the RX100 has proven more troublesome to me than no IS on the Fuji, so perhaps this is best for this camera.

    In any case, I’m very interested to pit this against my X-Pro 1.

  125. I still prefer sensor without AA filter. Then the RX1 will be perfect!

  126. I think that the pricing is completely ridiculous. I am crazy photo fan so I have the D800, D5M3, M9 and Nex7. The colors from the nex7 even with a leica lens attached are not as nice as the others. I think that at 1.7-1.8k I would not hesitate buying it, but at 1k more without a VF, it is such badly priced. Same as the sigma Merrill was priced at 10k
    I think it will tank

  127. Probably the most desirable camera i’ve ever seen- an rx1 and evf, just imagine the combo for travel photography! Just amazing, Steve really looking forward to your review and lowering forthcoming car budget by 2000 euro

  128. Steve: I’m waiting for your NEX 6 review. I’ve already pre ordered the NEX 6 with the kit lens. I will finalize my decisions once you offer us a detailed write up. So far what I’ve read from other sites is that the NEX 6 looks interesting. That justifies my pre prder. But the decision to keep it will be based on you experts review and the results you post.

    Waiting to hear from you!

  129. Just sold my 7D and all EF-S lenses and bought my 5D Mk III w 24-105 lens kit … Think I will have to content myself with the RX100. I always liked sony cameras, but when I moved to DSLR sony was not really a contender…

    I am really excited by these new RX cameras from Sony.

    To make thing worse my Fuji X100 started presenting the sticky blades issue…

    Hope sony releases an IC version next year…

  130. This is obviously a great camera and is an excellent example of east west technical co-operation.
    Brilliant western optical designs combined with eastern sensor technology. Maybe the way to go? I am however becoming increasingly jaded by the trophy gear seeking fetish we photographers exhibit.
    Let’s exhibit our photos not our camera gear!

  131. Maybe, just, maybe. Sony is bring out this camera as Fuji brought out the X100. If sells, the maybe, just maybe the RX Pro-1 will come out with interchangable lens and some kind of EVF. Maybe one that fits on/in the flash shoe. Maybe, just maybe. They should have real photographers to help them design cameras, all the brands!

  132. WOW! This camera is causing quite a commotion!…It is the coolest new camera…without a doubt…but for that price I could pick up the new Zeiss 15mm ZE for my 5DIII …… :-)
    I can’t see paying that much for a fixed lens camera in a market with sooooo many great choices right now.
    It is so cool though…I want to hear more about it.

  133. Hi guys, i need your expert opinions.. So i was planning on buying an omd-em5, but then sony announced the nex6. Now im more confused than ever. In your opinion, which do you think should i buy? And if you choose the nex 6, which lens should i buy that is simillar to the leica panasonic 25mm summilux? Thanks!

    • If you get the nex 6, the closest lens with a similar field of view is the 35mm f1.8 OSS. It is still unclear though if the 35mm f1.8 OSS can match PL 25mm f1.4 optically. If you can wait a bit longer, it might be advantageous to see if the autofocus speed on the hybrid AF of the Nex 6 is fast enough as well as see reviews for the 35mm f1.8 OSS.

    • Huge range of lenses for the OM-D.

      Don’t forget that the “leica panasonic 25mm summilux” – although it is an f1.4 lens, and with an equivalent view to a full-frame 50mm lens – does NOT give the same appearance as a full-frame f1.4: it is equivalent to a full-frame 50mm f2.8 for out-of-focus, shallow depth-of-field shots. (However, it focuses much closer than the Leica 50mm Summilux, so you can get shallow d-o-f by shooting closer than you could with the 50mm.)

      Excellent in-body stabilisation in OM-D, giving about 2 stops extra anti-shake ..with every lens.

      OM-D has excellent button-reconfiguration; it can be set up exactly how you like it.

      OM-D rear screen tilts to use as a waist-level finder (for discreet shots) and overhead finder (to shoot over others’ heads in a crowd).

      OM-D and NEX 6 both have 16mpxl sensors

      Both bodies are a similar width, but OM-D is taller, as the EVF stands out above the rest of the body:
      http://camerasize.com/compare/#289,375

      The NEX 6 has built-in WiFi (..why?..) but has no OM-D-like touch-screen for rapid focus-&-shoot. Altogether, the rear screen of the NEX 6 is not as useful as the rear screen of the OM-D.

      I’d buy (I’ve bought) the OM-D, as it’s so very versatile – and if you shoot movies, the stabilisation in the OM-D is like a built-in Steadicam.

      Did I mention the huge range of lenses? ..and if you like wide-open shallow d-o-f, there’s the Cosina/Voigtländer 25mm f0.95 (nearer to the look of the Leica 50mm f1.4) for m4/3, which also gets stabilisation when used on the OM-D.

      I think the American term is “it’s a no-brainer”..

      • ok now i think i’m gonna stay with the OM-D.. but what about the size of the sensor, does the difference between the apsc nex and the micro 4/3 om really noticeable? thank you for the reply.. i’m still a noob in this :))

        • The biggest difference is usually related to depth of field. With APS-C, it is possible to get a more shallow depth of field than with smaller sensors such as m4/3 or a Nikon 1 1″ sensor.

          Do keep in mind, there are also benefits to smaller sensors. Smaller sensors usually allow for lenses to be smaller.

    • Hi

      Im in the city.
      Things happening fast.
      Window of opp minimal.

      (I was at Paralympics
      window of opp even less).

      Fast af & shallow dof, tracking AF, small, light (no neck shoulder strain)
      No one camera does it all.

      OMD + 12/2 25/1.4 45/1.8 75/1.8 14-150
      Would be the overlap :

      If live in the countryside : Fuji Xe1 or Sony Nex6 & legacy glass, or Ricoh GXR M

  134. I would like to see Steve with this Sony cam as the “ONE and ONLY”! :-)

  135. I have a question; does any of you think Sony or some other brand will make a smaller EVF? Because I want this camera so bad, but I wouldn’t want to live without a viewfinder, and I guess a OVF isn’t very useful, as you wouldn’t be able to manually focus or see where you auto focus in it, right? I think the EVF is waaay too big – it ruins the whole idea of the camera to mount that think on top of it :(

  136. Why is an eye level finder or OVF so important, I wonder. On my old Rollei Autocord, there’s a small magnifying lens that flips in front of the waist-level finder for critical focusing. Other than that, one uses the WLF for composing, not too different from using “live view,” which has been the mainstay for d-cameras for over a decade. I.e., not only is there a generation of folks who’ve never shot with film (or played LPs for that matter), they’ve probably all used this 21st c. equivalent of a WLF. All the more so now with smart phones (aren’t the majority of Flickr images made by a smartphone now, or something like that?).

    In the RF world people talk about how great it’s to have a 1.0X finder a la M3 so you can keep both eyes open (if you’re right eye dominant) to see the frame lines “floating” in the scene. Don’t these live view finders help you do the same? For catching the decisive moment, it seems having both eyes and peripheral vision helps, no?

    Just want to question a fundamental assumption about the necessity of an OVF/ELF.

    • TSW,

      For many, it’s all to do with stability. I am sure you appreciate that having to hold the camera at arm’s length to view the screen is not the most stable platform for taking photos, and this assumes you will be able to see it when the sun is shining on it. So it is much better to have the finder so one can hold the camera to the eye in the traditional fashion for the added stability and, incidentally, more accurate framing of the subject. (I have a 3.5f Rolleiflex and an M3, so I fully understand your comments re these lovely cameras.)

    • I agree with Terry regarding the stability reasoning. In fact, I wouldn’t even consider the RX1 without an external viewfinder. I like the option to shoot with or without it mounted and me being me, I would likely end up with both the EVF and the OVF.

  137. This is what a compact digital should always have been. About time.
    Great thing about technology, it gets cheaper as time progresses. Well done Sony. Excellent choice of lenses. Why wasn’t Leica’s X2 full frame?

    I wonder what the marriage of the Sony NEX 7 architecture to a full frame 24 Mp sensor with a Hasselblad badge on it will be like? I was expecting a Fuji X Pro 1 with a full frame sensor & Hasselblad badge on it. The comparison between this camera and the new compact Hasselblad are going to be endless. My money is on Sony to produce the better camera.

    Who makes that lens again? Carl Zeiss or Sony with a little help from Carl Zeiss by supplying the badges? It should be what a compacts were all about. High quality images from a portable camera without the SLR weight and bulk.

  138. Steve, so what you are saying is you like the RX1?

    I am very excited about this as well. It looks like a great camera. The fixed lens does not bother me and actually adds to the appeal. Especially with the leaf shutter. But then I have had a lot of experience with single focal length cameras and do not find them limited at all for the work I do–BTW, stitching makes going wider than the 35mm focal length easy. Not alway practical, but can be use in more situations than most folks realize.

    There is also a myth that a monitor viewfinder camera is less stable. You actually do not hold this camera at arm’s length. I have found that monitor shooting can be just a stable as a camera with an eye-level viewfinder. And for awkward shooting positions, it is actually more stable. As far as optical viewfinders go, there are three choices–Voightlander, Leica X2, and the Sony CZ. So, from $200–$600, you have a choice. I have shot an AF camera with OVFs and it can be very easy to hit focus time after time.

    Well done Sony. The X100, X-Pro1, M9, MM, ME, m4/3s offerings and a bunch of other releases over the years have not gotten me to think about a new camera. This puppy on the other hand has me looking around the house for things to sell. I wonder if the wife would miss the dog?

  139. I walked into a beautiful new dedicated Leica store in London the other day with an M9 owner and indulged in some compelling conversation with the photo enthusiast sales staff about how charismatic cameras and photography used to be during the 35 mm film era. Then I picked up an X2 with an EVF fitted. And fell in love. Fixed 35 mm lens? No zoom? I was reminded that’s the way serious photographers had it before zooms became the norm. My photography has deteriorated since I stopped “trying” for the shot with zooms on my compact Nikon digitals. The individual style and point of view in my images are out of the window. And then there’s this whole Leica culture that’s very appealing. I could perhaps bring the idea of charisma back into my old hobby again. And stop buying replacement digital Nikon compacts every year or two.

    I went back to that store again but decided to first check out the reviews before I shelled out almost £1700. And all this stuff came up about the new Sony RX1………..

    Zeiss glass will always do it for me. Ever since I owned a Contax 35mm with a CZ 85 mm f1.4. Utterly superior IQ to anything I’ve ever seen before or since. In those days that lens was made in Germany whilst other CZ lenses were often made in Japan. Is that still the case? Wonder where the Zeiss lens on the RX1 is manufactured now.

    This camera looks stunning. Almost Contax like from the images on the net. I haven’t held it or seen it in the flesh, but with a high quality full frame sensor, Zeiss glass (German or not), and a real aperture ring on the lens (there still is a God!) and that compact body with the solid quality look, the decision’s made and I’m buying this.

    Just that I won’t be going back to that lovely Leica store again……..Damn!

  140. Steve:

    I’m a little concerned about using the RX1 for zone focusing. The lens barrel does not appear to have DOF markings. Is there an alternate means of finding the DOF? (on the back screen, for example?)

  141. So, $2800 ‘PLUS’ the accessories which depending on an external EVF or OVF adds another 1300-1800 to the base price for a sub-total of about 4100~4400 bucks. May as well add an external flash and a couple of SD cards and you’re easily at $5k+ without a hitch.

  142. more to say…
    Honestly, some of these options are really NOT optional like’ the Lens Hood, SD Cards and given the short battery life, extra batteries will be a must! I have owned a Leica M8 with three Leica primes so it’s still a bargain by comparison. I had easily $20k in my Leica kit before I sold it all for something more usable.

    BTW: I am seriously considering this camera with all of the accessories so by no means am I denigrating this viable option – just pointing out the facts. I doubt anyone who is willing to buy the RX1 will go without most of the add-ons.

    BTW, nice preview ~

    Regards,
    Dan

  143. Steve! I’ll be at that Sony Excursion in San Francisco early October. I’m excited for the A99 and the RX1, too.

    I’ll see you there!

    - Joe Gunawan
    SLRLounge.com Editor

  144. Steve,
    Can you control the shutter speed and ISO without going into the menu with this camera?
    Thanks

  145. This is very interesting and the focal lenght is – for me – just what I want, but I think the price is too high, so it will not be the success they expect, before the price is more “normal”, at least in Europe.

    I think the price in USA is just right.

  146. WOW! These little cameras are getting so powerful now but I am still waiting for the right formula to be released for my style of photography. I like to hike to altitudes at night for nocturnal landscape images and street shooting so the perfect camera would be; compact, bright OVF, full frame, high iso capabilities and detatchable lens mount for a 20mm or wider lens. Please Sony and Fujifilm are you listening? If it wasnt for my recent purchase of an X100, I would be all over this. I think time is getting close to offloading all of my full frame slr gear…

  147. It suits me very well that it is a 35mm, and that it is permanent – it is a very useful focal length for so many things, and so you avoid dust on the sensor.

    It is also OK, that one should buy various things, because it makes it more pocket friendly (and that is the big plus for this camera of course) , that these things have to be retrofitted, so I was with, and ready to buy, although it is disappointing that AF one is not on a par with the Olympus E-M5, and although it is disappointing that there is no in-camera stabilization (and those 2 things should be there for the price) and when I found out, that they have saved everything, too much saving for the high price when

    1) You can not even get 1/8000 sec – it’s not quite so rare that you will be missing it with f 2.0, and maybe you would not want to stop off in bright light
    2) The built-in flash has so low strength – it is for a much cheaper camera.

    So overall, there is spared too many things in my opinion, and the price does not match, so I find it hard to justify to myself to pay the high price you demand, even I have the money ready for it – I think I would feel a bit cheated.

    If you ask about the same price as the Nikon D600 I am with again.

  148. Mmmmm people keep saying the Fuji X100 is holding its value, this is simply not true! The silver version was £1000 in the UK on launch, now you can pick up a new one for under £600 so the 2nd hand values have been hit very hard. The limited edition black set was £1300, now I have just bought a new set from a main dealer for £645! He knows with the X-E1 out he needed to shift all his X100 stock fast! This is just the way it is these days with digital cameras,I’m sure the Sony RX1 will be available for £1799 or so within a year of launch so if money is tight just hang on for a while like I did with the X100 black limited edition set :)

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