Nov 162012
 

New Camera Friday! Sony RX1 arrives!

The Sony RX1 has arrived to me today, and I am excited about this one. It has been a few weeks since I shot with it at the Sony event and when I opened the box today I was reminded why I fell for it in the 1st place. SIZE and BUILD and QUALITY! I plan on a huge review for this camera but it just arrived so I will need some time with it before I can do that. For now I made a new video below showing some size comparisons with the RX1 alongside the OM-D, D-Lux 6, NEX-6 and the Leica Monochrom. You can hopefully get an idea of how small it is. I also gave a quick example of the AF in my living room. It is quick as in faster than the Fuji X cameras. About on par with the NEX-6, etc.

Watch the video below…just press play :)

I also took it outside to test the crop feature with a quick and dirty test shot because that is one of the most asked questions I have been getting about the RX1. 

The crop mode is basically a crop mode. You do lose resolution and size but quality stays. Also, this is only available to use in JPEG mode. I have an example below of a quick test shot showing what to expect with the crop modes. Basically the camera has a built in 35 f2 Zeiss lens. With a press of a button you can switch to a 50mm crop mode. One more press and you are in a 75mm crop mode. This can come in handy if you are shooting JPEG and you want more reach.

But you do lose resolution as it is like cropping the photo yourself though Sony does some kind of processing in camera to keep the IQ up there which I can say it does very well.

 

1st shot is the native 35mm shot, then the 50mm crop, then th e75mm crop – straight from camera JPEG.

 

So look for a full review of the RX1 soon along with reviews of the Sony NEX-6, Olympus 60 Macro and a quick review of the NEX-5R with it’s new features. You can pre-order the RX1 at Amazon HERE if you like.

Just a few of the RX1 images I may or may not have posted previously…

ISO 2000, JPEG

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ISO 8000 at night with 100% crop (click image)

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Speaking of the new Olympus 60mm Macro..WOW!!!

This lens is the best Macro I have ever shot with, hands down. Now, I have not shot with them all, nor am I some Macro guru, not even close. BUT I do know quality when I see it and this Olympus 60 2.8 is razors sharp even wide open, getting surgical when you stop down. One sample before my review…click it for latger. BTW, this was handheld at f/2.8. The 5-Axis IS works well with this lens. You can order this one at B&H Photo or Amazon.

So stay tuned everyone for much more on these cameras and lenses! Have a GREAT weekend, I will be out shooting!

One more from the Leica Monochrom and Zeiss 50 Sonnar, which is gorgeous on the MM!

My soon to be Stepdaughter. She had a clay mask on and still let me snap a pic :) 50 Sonnar wide open at 1.5

  79 Responses to “New Camera Friday! Sony RX1 arrives! Olympus 60 Macro review soon! More…”

  1. Great to see the camera arriving for your review! I don’t think that I would ever pay such an amount of money for the RX-1 but the results look really impressing.
    Cheers, Martin

  2. Thank God the RX-1 doesn’t have a built in EVF! Otherwise, I’d be scheming on how to raise the funds for it!

  3. Steve, is the body about the same size as the RX100? It indeed looks very similar. Of course that nice 35 f2 is a bit more bulbous, but that is to be expected.

  4. Yes, Steve, the Sony with Zeiss looks nice, but I’m really interested in your upcoming review of the Oly 60 Macro on the OM-D!! If it’s indeed as sharp as you think it is, you’ll have convinced me that the OM-D is the way to go! Thanks.

  5. The crop function of the RX 1 seems to be interesting. Does it work with video or only in photo mode?
    greetings
    Ralf

  6. Steve,

    I’m really jealous. I can’t wait to get my RX-1! Looks very good and the AF you demoed didn’t appear as bad as the other people are saying. Just out of curiosity what is the firmware version number?

  7. Have you gotten the xe1 yet? Love to see your review on it

  8. Just got the x-e1 instead and yes, low light focus is not exactly awesome but the image quality!! Wow. I can’t wait for a comparison between the image quality of the sony and fuji Steve!! Plz, :-)

    • That RX1 looks promising, indeed. But my travel bag contains the XE1 with the 18, 35 and 60mm, and the Sigma DP2M for Foveon rendering and utomst IQ. For my needs, a dream team and difficult to beat, even by FF.

  9. Though the RX 1 looks tiny with great results, I feel that features like EVF / OVF, interchangeable lens options are essential. But I guess this is the first step towards compact FF cameras from Sony. Might be next year Sony brings in that magic with the NEX FF camera. Until then it will be my NEX 6.

    • Agreed. It’s not really serious as a primary camera (but a very nice extra for the man who has several) until it gets a lens mount and a viewfinder.

      Hopefully, a step on the road to a sort of full frame NEX-6, with FF + EVF + lens mount + PDAF, in a much smaller package than a DSLR.

      • When Sony would come with a FF camera (something like the RX1 + EVF / OVF hybrid, interchangeable lens and many more niceties), I’m sure that they would price it heavily. My guess would be in the range of Leica M, perhaps 1 to 1.5 k lesser. But that is quite a bit money and if it delivers for its price, I will sell my NEX 6 for that imaginary camera.

      • Everybody’s different, of course, but for me, with no viewfinder at the price, it’s not even a candidate for secondary camera.
        I could live with the fixed lens, making it a kind of full-frame X100.
        The add-on viewfinders, at $500+ apiece, are kludgey and overpriced, and don’t help at all.

      • Not serious? Ever heard of guys like Cartier Bresson? Their best work was done on a fixed lens compact camera.

  10. ISO 8000 and zero noice reduction, is there anybody who doesn’t think that this IQ is simply in-cre-di-ble?!
    I know… I know that the fixed Zeiss improves the IQ. But Sony WILL come with an IC camera, where I can put my Zeiss ZM lenses on, as well as my other M-mounts. A camera that uses this same sensor and includes an EVF. And then I WILL buy one! I guess that will be my ultimate camera.

    • That would surely be a dream come true for many owners of legacy lenses, me included. But I wouldn’t have such high hopes that wide-angle rangefinder lenses would work well on such a camera if it uses the same standard sensor as in RX1 and A99.
      The reason the lens in RX1 performs such well in the corners despite being such close to the sensor is because it (like the Fuji X lenses!) has a very large back element eliminating the problem of light reaching the sensor in a too steep angle at the sides and in the corners.
      For M-lenses Leica will continue be the superior for at least a few years more. Older SLR lenses, like Canon FD would however be as useful optically as the lenses for the current DSLRs.

      • I don’t know the technology in every detail, but I use M-mounts on my NEX-7 now. M-mount wide angles give problems at large apertures (except for the Voigtlander 35mm Nokton). But I use 24, 20 and 17mm FDs without any problem. So I’m not too worried.

        • I’m giving up waiting for some company other than Leica to produce a full frame, compact, M mount compatible camera that fully supports all M glass.

          If someone does it, it won’t be Sony. The NEX-5, 6, 7 support M glass only by the happy accident principle – the Sony E mount has a short back focal distance which allows adapter makers to produce inexpensive physical mounts. But don’t forget, these are full frame M lenses on smaller APS-C camera – the image circle is *much* smaller so in effect the more problematic symmetrical wide angle lens designs (all of the Zeiss Biogons to some degree) get a free ride on the NEX cameras.

          That free ride goes away on a full frame E mount compact, if that ever happens. Instead of supporting M glass by happy accident, a maker would have to tune the camera for such lenses, and they’d only do that if that tuning happened to coincide with what they need to do to support their own native glass. The chances of those two things neatly aligning are probably close to zero, especially for companies like Sony which have their own lens line-ups.

          The one company that *might* pull all this off would be Ricoh. They already have the engineering expertise as they are the only producer of a current digital M mount camera other than Leica, and the GXR/M does very well indeed. But… it too, so far, is APS-C only so Ricoh would need to cross some hurdles if they even decide to go down that road.

          It may just be that the RX1 stands alone for a couple years or more in this particular niche.

  11. The Fuji XE-1 does not incorporate an AA filter-I believe I read where the Sony is still considered a consumer camera and thus uses a AA filter but didn’t read if it was a weak one-the images look great but at twice the price of the Fuji and no interchangeable capability. I’m very excited to see Sony has the testicular fortitude to produce a camera such as the RX1-will keep watching for comparisons between the two cameras. I have held the Fuji-man so nice!! Hope the Sony makes its way to a camera store close to me soon!!
    Steve has the best site-thanks man for all your effort!!

  12. Is there a wide angle adapter for it ?

  13. Hi Steve,

    In your night shot of the street and building, the street light poles and electricity poles appear wavy.
    Am I correct to assume this is due to lens curvature of RX-1 and not how these poles are in reality?
    If so, I wonder how easily distortion like this could be fixed in post processing?

    Looking forward to your upcoming review while waiting for my RX-1 pre-order from Amazon.

  14. The RX1 is sexy! Unfortunately, I won’t have the cash to buy one. I’ll wait to see what happens with the pricing, say, six months from now.

  15. Congrats on your new lens sounds a lot like the another superb super sharp Olympus lens the 50mm 2.0 macro that goes on my wonderful E5. Happy photography

  16. Steve,

    Really keen to see more samples of the crop mode in the RX1 Steve. I would have expected all 3 images to look pretty much identical, but at 100% the 75mm has considerably more detail than the 35mm, perhaps the focus was slightly different? The 50mm and the 75mm look pretty similar. Interesting to find out if they are doing more in camera than you could do in post?

  17. Steve did you end up getting the EVF arrive with your camera or is this still on order? Struggling a little with my order to track it down!

  18. Steve,

    Time for the crazy comparison between the RX1 and Monochrome!

    Now you can compare full frame against full frame, 35mm F2 against 35mm F2, high iso against high iso, raw against raw.

    Please do it because this RX1 has the newest and best sensor made and may just be the giant killer.

  19. I still think it is worthy, but lots of CA/Fringing from the RX-1 f2 shots.

  20. Steve, I watched your video of the Sony RX1. I have a concern that I hope you can address. It is a concern I’ve mentioned elsewhere. That is; photography is light. That’s all. Now how can a photographer control light to make excellent photographs? One way is to use natural light but the other way is to use artificial light. It is this second kind of light that is addressed with DSLR’s, namely with external speedlights and wireless flash triggers. Yes, like many people here, I wish the RX1 had a built-in viewfinder but, just as importantly, what support system does the Sony RX1 have for external speedlights and wireless flash triggers such as Pocket Wizards? I really believe that this is an important subject with contemporary photography and I hope you can address this. Thanks.

  21. Lifes’s hard man, life’s hard…

  22. hey Steve,

    would u buy ZD 60 if u owned 75/1.8
    Macro capability aside

  23. Steve, what a hard life!

  24. And when Zeiss produce a 60 macro for the NEX as good as the Olympus, then we’ll be in clover! It’s fascinating and highly educative to follow your site, Steve. Thanks.

  25. Am looking forward to a real thorough “steve huff “style review which believe it or not I really enjoy,with the addition of a few direct comparison shots taken at more or less the same time between the sony(stating if possible how the black and white conversion was done)and the monochrom.If there was a way to download the pair at full resolution that would be great.

    • Forgot to add the most important part of the request,….to include in the comparison a tri-x image shot with the same lens,subject and conditions as the monochrom,that’d be just a puzzle solver.

      • Also is there a focus confirmation light,as on the sigma dp2m,that could easily be seen when using the optical finder.I’ve not been able to see one in the photos seen so far of the pre-production camera.

  26. I saw the RX-1 yesterday at the Sony store in Ginza.I was given limited access to it (tethered to the display table). Also the menus were in Japanese so I was unable to try out any other settings.
    With those limitations in mind, I was very impressed with it. The RX-1 feels well made. In the store, focus seemed quick and responsive. Compared to my former Leica X1, the RX-1 is a much better camera. The Leica had too many limitations- for me it was unusable. The RX-1 will be a joy to shoot. I have one on preorder and anxiously await it arrival.

  27. I’m dying to see more images from the rx1 — especially something other than f2. Any chance you’ll post more this weekend?

  28. Hey Steve. I’ve been reading some conflicting reports about this issue. Does the RX1 have image stabilization for stills or not? Sorry if this was already asked previously but I can’t find a straight answer.

    Igy

  29. Steve,

    Can the RX1 use the Olympus viewers, such as the VF-2?

  30. Hi Steve, I always enjoy your blog and look forward to your updates!

    I’ve been looking at the RX-1 in Tokyo and have been trying to decide between it and the Fuji XE-1. Obviously very different cameras. The biggest sticking point on the RX-1 is that I typically shoot with a wider lens (GRDIV 28mm and 21mm) for street photography and architecture/landscapes. I like the size of the RX-1, but for me the ergonomics of the XE-1 are far superior. I’ve been searching online and reading about wide conversion lenses for the RX-1. They seem to be small enough and coming from the GRD series I am used to adding a lens to change focal length. Ricoh implemented this really well, but I worry that it might not be so seamless with a 3rd party on the Sony. What’s your take on this? I also look forward to your comparisons between these two fine cameras. TIA.

  31. Steve,

    RX1 — Clean HDMI Out?

  32. Some test images of the sony RX1, not anything fancy, just regular tests

    http://www.imaging-resource.com/PRODS/sony-rx1/sony-rx1A7.HTM

  33. steve, I really enjoy your site and vids and et al…. but wow you gotta stop saying ” ahh. um. ahhh. ah. ummm. uuuuummm.uuummm. aahh. ahhhh. aaaaaahhhh…”

  34. Steve does the flash tilt in the model you got??

  35. Steve,

    how does the camera perform on natural landscapes? I’ve seen a lot of pretty colors in the pictures on your site, but not much green.

    Thanks,

    Walter

  36. Steve, two quick questions:

    1. Brandon in Japan has received his RX1, and states that, in his (Japanese) version at least, he has found no way to get the peaking function to work without focus magnification enabled, which is contrary to your reported experience. Can you confirm, since receiving a final model, that the peaking works without magnification in your firmware?

    2. The RX100 allows allows enabling only a subset of settings reachable via the Fn button. That seems to be missing from the RX1 menu (according to the published manual), instead I only see menu items that assign individual settings to C and AEL buttons, etc. Can you customize the Fn button on the RX1?

    • I tried a friend’s RX-1 in Tokyo last night. I also had the issue of the focus peaking only working with magnification.

      • Someone attending the Sony presentation at B&H in NYC yesterday asked the rep about this; they called an engineer and learned it was a flaw that was to be corrected before retail shipments hit the U.S.

        I hope this is the case as I find peaking all on its own incredibly useful, not to mention for video users that’s a must.

        It sounds as if a bug snuck in between now and back in October when Steve shot the camera in San Francisco.

        • Yeah, that was me. Conflicting information.

          Supporting correction: the rep calling an engineer who claims an imminent fix.

          Evidence to contrary: shipping Japanese units, the demo units just prior to release, and Brandon on dpreview has an email from Sony saying the feature is implemented as intended!

          Not confidence inspiring.

  37. I handled one for the first time yesterday (just in stock at a major retailer here in Japan). Looks nice, AF wasn’t up to much (but again my main is a D3S, so hardly a fair comparison), picture quality seemed good from what I saw on the rear screen. Stunned that it didn’t have a viewfinder, although I would have noticed if I’d been paying attention. I had a conversation with a (very cute) Sony rep yesterday. She mentioned that a lot of consumers have commented on the lack of a viewfinder. I could never use a camera without one; it feels amateur to shoot using the back screen only. That’s just me though. And 8000 with no NR? Pfft, my D3S can do that :-)

    Like the picture of the pianist in particular btw, very evocative.

    • But Jan your D3s is how much larger and heavier…….? Also you can add a viewfinder (yes costs more but the point is you can)! I know you are referring to built in and it wouldn’t surprise me if this camera is made slightly larger one day to include it and a tilt LCD.

      But for now (and I would say for a long long time to come) Sony will have the smallest FF camera ever made with very strong high ISO capability potentially matching FF SLR cameras. Not the fastest in terms of AF, not the ICL capabilty, etc BUT the smallest.

      Whether that’s a claim to fame everyone wants to be a part of is NO….but for that part of the market that do look like they have created something special (we’ll know for sure once we see images, IQ and take up).

      • Here’s the deal Andy. Most would like for it to have been marginally bigger to include a built in EVF. Simple as that. It’s trying to be too small.

        • Johnny I agree. But by that very aspect it is now a part of photography history which Sony will own for some time. Which means they will own that niche! I doubt a FF will be made smaller. In the world technology that is potentially gold.

      • Andy

        For sure, the D3S is a monster, and I’m not in the market for anything like the Sony. I think they’re aimed at entirely different kinds of photographer. I do like to see what the hype is about though (and the camera market is no less immune to hype than anywhere else) and while I didn’t play with it for long, it does feel well put together and I’m quite sure that it will produce great pictures when used by competent shooters (and garbage when used by garbage shooters, of course).

        My comment about 8000 ISO was made partly in jest, but the D3S was shooting clean at 8000 three years ago, so it’s not a revolution.

        I’m all about versatility because I shoot just about everything – scenery, sports, “street” (not as in “candid”, but as in “shot in the street”) and urban, portraits, functions, shooting late at night when it’s dark….and the D3S can do them all. The price you pay for that is size and weight, but I’m willing to pay that price.

        I’d find the Sony limiting for the way I shoot, but I’m sure it’s going to find a market…they wouldn’t have released it if they thought it was going to bomb!

      • … and Jan’s D3S retailed for ~ $5K back in the day, plus lenses. Anyway we no doubt agree there’s no point in comparing a full function DSLR with a fixed lens compact – two different cameras.

        Like Jonny, I’d have bought the RX1 even it it was a little larger and had a built in viewfinder.

        But I’ve still ordered one, and I’m at peace with the external viewfinder. My current and prior go-everywhere cameras also have/had external viewfinders.

        Aside from the advantage of being able to tilt an external viewfinder – no small benefit – there’s another plus for left-eyed shooters like me: the viewfinder helps keep your nose away from the back of the LCD screen. Fewer smudges, more smiles.

        I was forever cleaning the back of my X100 and I’m not sure I want to go back there.

  38. after 1 week thinking just pre order it today
    hope can see your review soon

  39. Photogs are so detail oriented that they’re gonna love this tool no matter what. I’m liking all the qualities of this camera and this is really injecting some much needed juice of inspiration to the dwindling SLR domination. Looking at that shot in Chinatown SF- it almost looks like the Nex 5n at 2500 (of course without the Zeiss). But still, the sweet spot now is 16MP in crop and 24MP in full frame. I think we have reached a pinnacle point here until some more technical achievement is made. Even though Sony makes the D800 sensor, they already admit that 24MP full frame is the sweet spot. I’ve seen some very large prints from the D800 and it is not the MPs that make the image, but more the image itself. I remember when Nikon made 30×40 prints using 4MP back in the day and those looked great. I have 10s of shots on the wall from my Canon 5D Mark II printed 30×40 which are no more amazing than the same size prints from a Canon 20D. If you stand closer than 2 feet, you can pick out the detail difference. My Sony Nex 5n which I can use everywhere including Disneyland and impromptu snapshots has even better image quality than any of my previous gear. All I can say now is, “wow!”

  40. Thanks for the review.

  41. Hi Steve, any first, quick, initial thoughts…..

  42. “Ever heard of guys like Cartier Bresson?”

    And if you notice, his work isn’t about technical perfection but rather the Decisive Moment. I imagine he would have missed some of his shots waiting for Auto this and that …

    • There’s nothing stopping one from shooting the RX1 using zone focus or hyperfocal technique. With auto ISO and low & good looking noise, you can turn it into a point and shoot whenever you want. No lag, silent shutter, no downtime loading film. :)

  43. Nice feature that cropping…

  44. The RX1 looks very prommising to me, but I can’t find anything anywhere about diopter correction. Can you tell me if it’s built into the EVF somehow?
    Thanks for your reviews, they’re very informative without all the techno-babble!

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