Live from the Sony Event..more samples from RX1, NEX-6 and A99!

Live from the Sony Event..more samples from RX1, NEX-6 and A99!

Hello again! I am still here with the Sony event in California and today we rode the bus in to Carmel, CA and I am sitting here in one of the nicest hotel rooms I have ever stayed in at Carmel Valley Ranch. Amazing location and the room is mine for the next three cozy comfy and nice. Doesnt feel like fact, I feel guilty!

But the days have been long and packed full of fun, adventure and excitement because those of us lucky enough to be here have been enjoying all kinds of shooting events and it is only getting better tomorrow and Thursday.

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Today I shot with ALL of the new Sony still cameras. The NEX-6, A99 and more RX1 of course! You have seen my last two posts I am sure so you know I am really digging the RX1. It is like a Fuji X100 but much faster, a sharper lens, a full frame sensor and insane high ISO capability that really does defeat any camera made today. Any that I have seen anyway. Here is a bit more on the RX1 and I am proud to say that I have been providing the most RX1 coverage anywhere in the world and I thank you all for stopping by.

The RX1 – NOTE: ALL photos here are JPEG RAW converter yet.

The RX1 is FANTASTIC and the results I have been getting from it have been nothing short of mind-boggling when you consider how small it really is. The RX1 has been getting loads of attention and with that attention comes those who understand what it is and those who DO NOT understand what it is. There are those who think it is overpriced and those who understand that it is priced where it is due to the fact there is NOTHING out there that can do what this camera does, especially in this size. I swear I am getting better results with this RX1 than I am with the A99 and premo lenses.

When I started shooting with this camera is when I understood what it is all about. Sure, I would have loved a built in VF..that would have been the icing on the cake. But these camera companies NEVER give us everything we want now do they? All I ask is a camera be fun to use, a joy to use, be of quality build and feel and have some bit of magic, mojo or soul. The RX1 has it all. More so than the Leica X2, more so than the Fuji X100, moreso than the Fuji X-Pro 1 and 35 1.4  (much more IMO), much more than any NEX or really…any camera I have used next to my Leica M’s.

Remember, I said Fun to use, Build, Feel, Magic, Mojo and Soul. The RX1 really delivers in all of these areas and I am technically using pre-production firmware and only shooting JPEG! Imagine what will happen with RAW and final firmware.

Overall though it is a superb tool and using the LCD in daylight is NO problem due to the white magic LCD. I have tried it with the new external EVF and OVF and prefer the EVF (which is BETTER than the NEX-7 EVF) in use and looks. Putting the RX1 to my eye was a treat and felt natural and I always prefer a VF to holding out my arms.

The RX1 at f/2 – some color tweaks – JPEG

So far I have realized the RX1 is high on my checklist of PROS and very low on the CONS. It is fast, it is silent, it has steady shot IS, it has a wonderful Zeiss 35 f/2 lens, it has a little bit of magic and soul and the ISO capability is the best on the market. It shoots great quality HD video as well. I have shot all major cameras that are out now and I have never seen ISO performance like what I see on the Sony RX1 and in fact I have been getting better results ISO wise than the A99. Not sure why.

Next two shots ISO 12,800 at f/2 – OOC JPEG – click for larger!

To those who have nothing but bad to say about the RX1…well, to be blunt…you have no clue about this camera. You have not held one, shot with one and have not seen what it can do in your own hands. It is a huge improvement over a NEX-7, NEX-6, etc. It is a full frame camera with what appears to be a truly amazing sensor. In fact Sony is one of the few companies pushing boundaries and I have much more respect for Sony than I do Canon or Nikon who are doing NOTHING revolutionary.

Sony also knows how to hold an event. I was told this would be Epic and so far am not let down. Sony knows what they are doing no doubt.

The RX1 is a finely built camera that is not going to be for everyone but the capabilities of this little guy are huge. BTW, for street it is quite the camera.

RX1 at f/2 – OOC JPEG

Testing out the Selective Color mode – JPEG OOC

and without… JPEG

I am hoping to make a video on the Rx1 with all accessories tomorrow but A: I need to find the time and B: I need to be able to swindle this RX1 for one more day. There are only 11 in the world right now and only 4 of them are at this event. Sony has been kind enough to let me hang on to it for a while so if I still have it tomorrow look for a full video showing it off as well as the menus.

NOTE: By default the RX1 has the Lens Distortion Correction turned OFF. My 1st samples showed some distortion due to this. I now have it turned on which eliminates all distortion. Also, these have all been JPEG’s and I expect the quality to get even better when I can process RAW files and have final firmware.



Tomorrow we will be racing cars, flying in helicopters, photographing bees (and we may have to wear bee suits) as well as eating dinner at an aquarium while we shoot jellyfish. Can not wait!

The NEX-6

I have had a NEX-6 for the past couple of days as well but admit I have not shot it as much as the RX1 but can say that I like it better than my NEX-7. Why? Well, it is faster. Faster to AF..and dare I say it feels VERY snappy and instant. It looks like a NEX-7 and feels a little better due to the new finish. The camera lost the tri-navi but the way it is set up is not a problem.It has the new AF system wich has contrast and phase detect and this is a huge deal for the NEX camera system. It also has Wi-fi and apps and so far I have had no issues shooting video like I did with the 7.

I will have a full review of the NEX-6 soon. I am still testing it out here and will shoot more with it tomorrow.

The Sony A99 DSLR

The Sony A99 is the new top flagship DSLR for Sony and it shares the same sensor as the RX1. Anyone who knows me knows I am NOT a DSLR guy but since Sony gave me one in a bag for the week I figure “why not try it”. Well, I have shot with it a bit today and it’s a lovely DSLR that gives up NOTHING to the Nikon and Canon big guns. At all. Even most the Sony glass is spectacular. Just because it does not have a N or C in the name doesn’t mean it is not just as capable, if not more than the other guys flagships.

The A99 with a 24-70 is LARGE. Well, I think so because I am used to my Leica and small mirrorless cameras but the this is a PRO BEAST of a camera. The video capabilities of the A99 are special as well and the samples I have seen knocked my socks off. I admit that over the past two days the A99 has not gotten much of my attention but from my limited use it has been blazing fast with beautiful JPEG’s out of the camera.

In fact, if I were buying a new DSLR for some reason I would have a HARD time choosing between the Nikon D800 and the Sony A99. The sensor in this camera is absolutely BEAUTIFUL and it is no wonder I also love my Olympus OM-D because Sony also makes the sensor for that camera. Sony sensor technology is getting so good that many will never realize they have outpaced the competition. So many close off the possibility of a Sony DSLR just because it has the name Sony.

But I have to say with 100% conviction that this is a serious pro tool and like I said before, it gives up nothing to the big guns from Canon and Nikon. While shooting it I had ZERO missed focus shots and ZERO problems. All of my shots were sharp and in focus. Low light and high ISO rocked and the detail and DR from what I have seen so far are on par with the best.

The only niggle I have with the A99 is that when I first grabbed it I was confused with all of the buttons and controls. I am used to and prefer “simple” and the A99 seems to have everything but the kitchen sink included so if you are a newbie to Sony or pro DSLR’s a quick manual read will benefit you.

Just a few JPEGS I snapped with the A99… – low ISO to high..EXIF is embedded in each photo. You can click any to see a larger and better version.

More to come this week! Tomorrow I will be shooting ALL COLOR with the Sony cams and we have quite a few things to shoot tomorrow. I will also be testing out the new ultra wide NEX mount lens and the 35 1.8 with more NEX-6 shooting.

These posts this week are on the short side due to me getting no sleep and being short on time so stick with me through Friday! I will also be posting a guest article or two this week sometime as well as some Leica Monochrom updates. I will also try to do the crazy comparison between the Monochrom and RX1 in B&W mode. Should be fun. 🙂

If you missed my 1st two Sony RX1 reports check them out HERE and HERE!


  1. Man, the black haired model is so pretty and alluring.. she’s almost a distraction to objectivity. Steve Huff, your spirit of ‘real world’ photography and pragmatism in this shoot is a blessing and a curse. What’s the fun of those sterile bland ‘photo test’ images when you can photograph a smokin’ hot beauty? On the other hand the bokeh shot of the fence is kind of nice for this study because it allows you to step away and see the image for its pixels. The other shots… the hell with photo reviews, “Hey baby, whassup?”

    All the best to you nevertheless.

  2. One thing I’ve recently noticed about the pre-order specifications… there is no charger cradle in the box, apparently. You need to purchase an optional charger or Cyber-shot accessory kit (cradle, USB cable, battery).

    Surely I’m not the only one with an RX1 on order who finds this penny wise pound foolish. With a camera like this I’ll have three or four battery packs on the go and want to be able to use the camera while one pack is on a charger.

    • Yeah Mike I agree. In fact my order for the bundled charger/battery/cable arrives this week. Not a bad deal considering the charger alone is $49 while the bundle is $69.00. I wanted to get a jump on accessories while I wait for the RX1 arrives in December.

    • The RX100 has the same issue. Since I purchased an RX100, I found very inexpensive cradle and additional batteries on Amazon. The batteries are shared with the RX1.

      Still a bonehead thing to do with a $600 camera. Inexcusable for for a $2800 device.

      • Yep, Sony certainly wants to follow Leica’s price-points with this new entry.

        I remain a bit skittish’ of being an early adopter and it’s a huge gamble considering the cost with what I consider to be required accessories. At a bare minimum I’ll need the screen protector, lens hood and thumb grip at 470-bucks! In fact, I’m gently shaking my head as I type this.

  3. Hai Steve, great review! I want to know, are the first 4 picture of red-dress-girl model above taken with Lens Distortion Correction turned OFF?

    • A 36 MP sensor would be a huge mistake..would make me say no go. IC lenses also would give the RX1 lesser IQ. The IQ is so good because the lens is perfectly mated with the sensor. I am sure they will eventually go that route with a larger body in 2-3 years but for now the RX1 is great for what it is offering the max IQ in a small package with pro build. It is not meant to replace a DSLR shooters DSLR but rather be a camera for the huge and growing market of those who are sick of DSLR’s and want small but very high quality. Next to a Leica system this is about as good as it gets in that dept.

  4. ” insane high ISO capability that really does defeat any camera made today”

    Nikon D4 is ISO 204k. Nuff said.

  5. Would not throw away my SLR right now. The problem with the RX/NEX is the same as buying an Apple laptop. You just know you’re gonna end up feeling like you should have waited a few weeks or a couple months at most since now there is one with the feature(s) you really wanted. By Spring, your $2700 bucks will get you more camera. One might argue that innovation is good, but c’mon, they already have a successor. This is Marketing Cynicism at it’s finest. I will admit to having an RX-100 and love it. But would not trade my SLR gear for it.

    I do appreciate that Steve is being honest about the “circumstances” that Sony is providing. But…

    BTW, you folks do know that the XPRO is fully supported by LR4, right?

    • I know several people who think like you do, and they end up waiting and waiting and waiting, because, yes, we all know there’ll be something great/better round the corner. Problem is, when you do actually commit? My personal philosophy is that when a product suits me, I commit, even though I know there’ll be a newer product in 6/12/18 months.

  6. Just tell me what do you do with the fine lens when the sensor becomes super seeded. It is a great camera for Donald Trumpt. The best point and shoot ever. The RX2. Lens change, a real viewer and maybe a sutter speed dial. Then it would be a real photographic tool. Contax made a great point and shoot film camera, I owned one. It was not a photographic tool. I took nice pictures. But it had many limits in handling and control.

  7. Spare us the thumbs stuck on capitals and exclamation marks approach. We’re not absolute beginners. The image quality is great, which speaks volumes for the sensor, which makes an appearance in a few other tools, an slr in particular. Exchangeable lenses anyone. Viewfinder? Cost?

    Photographing as an arm’s length occupation? I don’t think so.

  8. Before I read this article, I am pretty much set about replacing my nex5n with the nex6…
    Now, Im not that sure…Damn! RX1 is my new wishlist…if only I can find the extra usd2000…

  9. This is amazing stuff, but I’d be shocked if you couldn’t get the same results from a Nikon D3200 and a 35mm f1.8. That kit is about a fourth of the price, and is very small and light, and has the EVF you all crave.

    Let’s be real for a second: It’s never about the camera. A camera can inspire, but at the end of the day, it’s a tool. Steve’s gifts are is his eye, which allows him to see an compose interesting, stirring images, and his technical ability, which allows him to get the shot he wants/sees/foresees. I doubt these would be much different camera to camera. Yes, the sensor is pretty amazing, but the full-stop advantage it seems to give you on high ISOs can easily be compensated by using a prime that’s a full stop faster on a portable-sized SLR. This still gets you in way cheaper.

    The RX1 is a beaut for sure! It’s just that the pricing is absurd, and it’s a bit sad that it seems you all think you couldn’t get the same images on a different camera.

    • well, yes that’s true. you could get comparable for cheaper, but at what tradeoff? how large and heavy is that setup vs something you can dump in a small waistpouch or large pocket? the question is, how much is it worth to pros and hardcore amateur prosumers having something that small and light with iq rivalling a setup 2 to 3 times bigger and heavier?

      this is definitely a niche camera. if i wasnt married, i would replace my nex 7 + cz 24 with this camera in a heartbeat. i never change lense anyway. just shooting primarily in 35 and i am a rank amateur. this thing has value for ppl exactly like this.

      • You are correct Nick. But I think the main theme here is about the size and mobility as Wanai mentions. Actually wanting to take the camera with you and take more photos.

        Since having an x100 I know grab every time i leave the house on the weekends and throw it in the centre consol of the car. I got sick of taking my DSLR even with one lense.

      • I sold all my SLR gear just for this exact reason. Mobility and practicality is very important for me, combined with the high IQ of RX1? Now that is a perfect solution!

      • Of course, small size + full frame is clearly the draw of the RX1. I would never argue anything else!

        Most people will take size (or form factor in general) as well as price into consideration when choosing a new camera, and there has to be a point where the extra portability advantage begins to pale in comparison to the pain of the extra bucks you have to fork over. So, what I’m saying is, in this case, it seems that you’re paying a hell of a lot just for a bit of extra portability. The X100 is a great example of something that’s considerably less than half the price and will give you superb results.

        The D3200 is also quite portable, I’d like to point out.

    • people pay a huge amount of money for portability. Take a look at the macbook air when it was first released. it was a 2000 dollar net book. You pretty much couldn’t do anything on it besides things that require low processing. Yet people flocked to it, the rx1 give you both quality and portability. You get a full frame camera + a zeiss lens that is on par or better than the current zeiss 35mm and you think its overpriced? I’m sure R&D for this camera was not cheap either. And no your d3200 couldn’t do the same things as a full camera would be able to. low light + FF dof.

  10. Hi Steve,

    Do you find the AF accurate? when you get AF lock do you find that the focus is spot on? This seems to be my dream camera!

    • AF has been accurate in good light. When I shot at night on the street without any lights it hunted and missed a couple times. BUT this is still not final firmware so they are constantly tweaking and making things better. Even with that said, the AF was as good as any other modern camera. No worries. Much quicker and better than any Fuji X series, the NEX-7, etc.

  11. Some of your best work yet Steve. You must be really inspired to shoot with these new cameras. Sometimes though the images are too sharp eg the leaf shot. Noticed this on another site with their RX1 shots.
    PS: Watched the movie Moneyball with Brad Pitt last night. Not my usual choice but was recommended. All the while I was watching I couldn’t help but think it could have been shot by you. It had a grittiness, strong contrast, shallow depth of field and dirty colours. Looked great – not at all Hollywood. Excellent movie. True story. Who would have thought. Pitt can act – in a nuanced way too.

  12. I have been waiting for a long time for an NEX 6 review and image samples. So far it has been very difficult and I do not understand why not many image samples could be seen as part of the NEX 6. I hope to see your review soon.

  13. Hi Steve

    if you could only pick one camera (system) for life, would it be OMD with the existing M43 prime lenses (12mm, 17mm f/1.8, 45mm) or the Sony RX1?

    thank you!

  14. Steve, can you figure out if the pop up flash on the rx1 can act as a wireless commander? The specs seem to say this but I’ve read it only works with an attached Sony flash, which is really pointless on such a small camera.

  15. i must confess that i used to be skeptical about sony’s cameras … but after trying one only for a short while, i bought the little rx100 as my carry around camera (when i do not want to or cannot take my leicas+lenses).

    i have to say that it has not ceased to amaze me yet, unbelievable output from such a small device, truly amazing (the only BIG problem is the lack of viewfinder, i positively HATE having to use the lcd!).

    so, when i saw the news on the rx1, i was a bit on the fence; i was very attracted by the FF sensor (if the one of the rx100 is any indication, this one must be phenomenal!), and the excellent lens+small camera combination; i did not balk at the price, i think it is more than fair – to me, it is like paying for a 35/2 zeiss and getting a free camera attached to it.

    the more examples i see coming out of it, the more i am convinced, this IS my next camera; i will have to put the M8 + lenses up for sale to pay for it, but so be it.
    the rx1, combined with the little rx100, will cover all my photography needs (and i will still have film rf cameras for when i feel nostalgic!!).

    oh, yes, this one lacks the VF as well, BUT at least it has a fixed 35 lens, so all i need is an optical VF and i am set.

    i look forward to getting one come december !

    p.s.: i concur with other comments about the brunette model, she is as outstanding as the camera 🙂
    p.p.s.: i could not care less about the video features in either one of the 2, but from what i have seen so far this one should satisfy video lovers as much as still shooters.

  16. great job steve and great job sony!
    looks like an amazing event. the a99 also looks very promising, now i just have to work out what’s best for me, rx1 or a99 😉

  17. Steve your excitement towards photography and positive outlook towards all things life is inspiring. The RX1 images look incredible, some of the best I have seen. It would be near perfection if it had a built in EVF. I would buy this camera in a second based on your quick remarks and images alone. Your word is gold. You are honest, nonbias and accomplish your reviews without rudeness and pretencious arrogance. However, I love shooting sports and dance competitions. The fixed 35 is not my primary focal point. I hope to hear a little more on your testing and thoughts with the 99. What is your thoughts on low light focusing and high iso images.

  18. I hope we will read your review of the Nex 6 very soon 🙂
    And I’d wish to see some real picture took with this camera at full resolution, at low (100-200), and high (3200) ISO.
    And one question: is the IQ of the Nex 6 at least as good as the one of Nex 5n? I own the 5n, so I know very well its IQ.

  19. Hi Steve. Looking forward to you ultrawide nex lens test, but I think it will be to late to buy for my Patagonia Trip in December. Enjoy your California Trip hope to see you again for a cruise or a photowalk.

  20. Hey Steve
    Picked up a D90 about a yr ago and am just starting to learn to use it. I have been subscribing to your emails about 2 months now and am arealdy wishing I had bought compact mirrorless. Upon reading your article on the RX 1, I am amazed at the clarity of the Hi ISO photos. I am so ready to buy one. If only my bank account would cooperate. Thanks for your hard work.

  21. Damn it.

    Never thought I would be interested in Sony Camera again. Could be a nice contender beside my Leica M9P, but as its lacks Zoom so I’m staying with the OM-D …..and Its to expensive, would invest that amount as a prepayment more likely in a M Monochrom 🙂


    PS. Now even ROCO can be found here. Great!!

  22. These RX1 images truly look absolutely gorgeous.
    Now please Sony, pull yourself together and do it as did Fuji. i.e. When the hype about the RX1 is cooled off, pull an interchangeable system with an evf or hybrid vf and the same sensor out of your sleeve.
    And then finally, Leica will have a competitor.

  23. “There are those who think it is overpriced and those who understand that it is priced where it is due to the fact there is NOTHING out there that can do what this camera does”

    Just because there is no true competitor to the RX1 doesn’t mean that it isn’t overpriced.

      • Well if you compare it tot he 6d and d600 which gives you a OVF for free than the RX1 is over priced. But whether it truly is over or under priced, sony can’t be having a model that costs more than a similar Canon or Nikon. Sony needs to persuade potential customers totally… heart , soul and wallet. Oh why couldnt sony have made a FF NEx instead of wasting valuble time and resources to close ended camera. Minolta i hate you! LOL

      • Thats right. Factor in the R & D and the cost of manufacture of what will be a low volume high quality product. This might well cost Sony twice as much to build as an X100. Add all the markups for shipping, distribution and retail and it explains the price. We could all get by very well with a Honda Accord but if you want top quality (Say Jaguar XF) you pay a lot more. Same with anything. You could probably use a Canon 7D professionally for 95% of your work but to get the extra edge from using a 1Dx you will pay 5 times the price.

      • Yes, but one example of it being overpriced is Europe. I don’t know mainland Europe yet, but the list price in Finland will be 4,000 usd. That’s massively over the top for any kind of compact camera.. especially when list price in US would be 2800usd. For the price difference I can spend a brief vacation in the US, buy the camera and document the vacation. Only problem is that I’d lose warranty in Europe.. But all in all, these price uplifts for different regions are insane.

        • In Denmark the RX1 is $3540 and we have a sales tax of 25%, so I guess that accounts for the difference.

          The $2800 is also the price in the US without tax. The B&H price is $3,042.83 if shipped to New York.

          I’m also quite sure the price will drop a little after hitting the shops.

  24. Steve. Please give an opinion on the Nex 6’s capability with wide angle RF glass. Better, same or worse than 5n. Thanks so much!

  25. I love the concept of the RX1, and I’d buy one today if it had a built-in EVF, or maybe just a tilt LCD, like the NEX cameras. Without it, I’m unfortunately not interested.

  26. For most coming to this site Nex 6 & RX1 are important. Sony cameras have this reputation as being the best in Low Light/ High ISO performance.Hope they will always keep up with that.

    Please Compare Low Light / High ISO performance, Color reproduction and image Sharpness of Nex 6 with Nex 5n.

    In there previous batch Nex 5n was the best with very good Low light, good color, sharp image performance. Only problem was slow auto focus, with this new auto focus every one feels like jumping to 6 or 5r only if the sensor can perform as good or better then 5N in low light.

    So please take lots of Low Light/High ISO pictures and comment on Color accuracy and 3D pop.

    No features can sell the camera if the image quality is bad. I am hoping Sony will keep up with image quality and and make it even better and not compromise image quality for some fancy feature or higher megapixel.

    Steve, like you once said 16 megapixel is the perfect number for image quality, Low light performance, right File size for our memory cards, laptops, hard drives. Time it takes to read,write, transfer and edit. Any thing higher is not good for us.

  27. Hey Steve,

    Thanks for all the info about the RX1. You say it is fast, but you said that about other cameras too, and it’s not really that easy to know what is “fast”. Can you come with an example or just a comparison? Is focus faster than NEX-7?

    • Its fast enough for just about anything you would shoot with a 35mm. Faster than the Leica X2, faster than any Fuji X series (by quite a bit), faster than the NEX-7..not as quick as the NEX-6 with certain lenses but it is very fast. Not OM-D fast but not Fuji or Leica X slow. I had no problems with focus speed.

  28. Steve – great series of shots, again, from you and the RX1! I’m really digging the black and white high ISO capabilities of this little marvel. Pre-ordered mine on Sept 15 – I’ve seen nothing which causes me pause and it’s only going to get better once firmware updates hit and raw developers are updated to cover the RX1.

    Can you speak to “fast”? Sounds like you are very happy with the autofocus system (and none are perfect) in this camera. If it can handle street, it can handle everything else I do too. How is the autofocus system in terms of noise? With a nice silent leaf shutter I’m hoping that Zeiss 35/2 moves fairly quietly too.

  29. Dang! The photos you have been sharing are very encouraging and I’m looking forward to the cameras’ arrival. Your unbiased and honest reporting and the diversity with the samples you have posted, clearly exceeds anything else on the web. Sony should offer you a Project Management position on the RX1 project.

  30. Great review as always, Steve. I need to try to forget the RX1, though, I as ponder whether my M8 should “become” an ME 😉

    • I’m just curious because I see quite a few folks interested in the ME…why not a used M9? Price wise you might get lucky on Ebay.

  31. First, the RX1 looks amazing.. I was all hooked on getting the X2, but damn you for all these samples! 🙂

    Second, I almost forgot to look at the cameras you were presenting.. I don’t know where you found her, but the dark haired lady that keeps popping in your images is outrageously beautiful.. just up my alley!

  32. RE: Rx1: I am definitely tempted but I have to think logically before purchasing this camera for no other reason than its price tag. $2800 is a LOT to swallow. I’m sure this will come down soon enough once the “newness” factor settles down and other companies (Nikon, Pentax, Canon, Fuji) starts manufacturing a similar offering (however long that will take them). No doubt though that Sony is shaking up the field and photographers are taking notice! Beautiful samples BTW – though I wished that OOC jpeg (without heavy conversion) are added to the post.

  33. Steve: I would love to see an early test of the NEX-6 with wide angle M-mount lenses. Does the NEX-6 have the color shifts that disappointed so many with the NEX-7? Does it have the good color performance of the NEX-5n?

  34. The images of the model at the piano are stunning and, of course, so is she. 🙂 I like the people shots since I mostly use my cameras to shoot people with some scenic shots mixed in and some street shots. I pre-ordered this camera (RX-1) throuhg your site after reading your first hand-on comments on the hunch that this one would be this years Funji X100 only much better in performance. I’m disappointed in the lack of an internal VF and more so that no VF is included at this price but everything else seems right.

    Can you get more details on US availability? It seems that November is stated for Asia and December for USA. Why not November for USA too? How fast is AF? How about write to card? Do you have to wait on writes to shoot new shots or make changes to settings? How quickly can you review an image? Naturally, we all want to see some comparison shots (wild and crazY) like between Leica MM and D800E, and Fuji XPRO-1 to name a few.

    • US availability should be 1st week of December. This is what I was told yesterday. The AF is faster than NEX-7, Fuji X100, X-Pro 1, Leica X2… card write times are very fast, had zero issues with write times unlike Sigma DP2 M, lol. Images pop up near instantly and I have a Leica Monochrom vs RX1 crazy comparison coming!!

      • Hi Steve. This seems like a great camera and results look fantastic. The big question for me (and assume a few others) is shutter lag performance. AF sounds fine (maybe not an OM-D speed) but as you say faster than others.

        What about the lag? ………It’s the one major quirk in the X100 (I own one….and from reports the X Pro1) that lets it down.

      • Hey Steve,
        that comparison isn’t crazy at all!! Although I expect the Monochrom to be unbeatable – as it should be! But still, I’d like to see those pics, OOC, but also after you give them your best processing-shot (what to me makes the most sence). I hope you can integrate some real world pictures in this comparison. After all, that’s exactly one of the main reasons why we all love this site so much!

  35. Really nice shots. Congratulations on getting a scoop on the RX1. Sony is positioned well with their great sensors and fast autofocus. Still looking forward to continued viewfinder improvement. Oh yes, I want an RX1.

  36. These shots look great. It is such a shame that Sony dropped the ball on the design of this camera. Lack of viewfinder (#1) and fixed lens (#2) are just deal breakers. It just makes this camera an expensive point-and-shoot camera. Kind of in the same realm as the Leica X2, impractical toy for people with lots of $$$.

    I am hoping that this is Sony’s X-100 (the concept camera) and their X-pro-1 will follow shortly with the above issues fixed.

    Also, I really really would like to see some high ISO images for the new Lieca M. Hopefully they can compare. If they can’t then I think Leica is going to start loosing some users. I don’t think that I can justify 7k for another two years of two year old tech. Got to keep up with the Joneses.

  37. Really cool…

    Love the silky smooth look (yet sharp) look that RX1 camera outputs. I’m not spending that kind of money on equipment but I’d definitely rent one.

    Can’t wait to see samples from the E 35mm 1.8.

  38. Hey Steve,
    Thanks for your fast reports on the RX1, the camera that I’ve been following from day to day now. I’m looking forward for more in depth reviewing in the very near future.
    IMO the IQ of your pictures is outright stunning. I’m really excited to see comparisons with the Leica Ms and read about experiences of some more pro-photographers, that you regularly have as guest editors on your site. This is everything I’ve been looking out for the last couple of years – since the lauching of the M9 as a matter of fact.
    But it’s price range is for me at the top of what I want to spend for a camera. And I’m not nitpicking about a few hundred dollars more or less here, because I believe this is a justified price range – consequently it’s not within the reach of everybody. So that’s why I simply need to wait for an IC version, with built-in EVF. For me, when I spend this kind of money, it has to be just right. So this RX1 is unfortunately too expensive (for me!) to buy as an intermediate camera or another extra camera. And that’s the only reason why I didn’t place my order at the first day I read about it. I have so many prime lenses, and love to shoot with them so much, that, within this price range, I only wanna buy a camera with which I can use those lenses. And I’m sure Sony (preferably!!) or another brand will offer such a camera in the pretty near future. The market is simply screaming for it right now!! (IMO)
    Further, I’m thrilled beyond believe about this RX1. I have a feeling like “it’s finally done!”. You know I’m a Sony fan (and an even much longer Zeiss fan), so I’m loudly applauding them for daring it and DOING it! I’m expecting nothing less than this camera to acquire Sony a rightful place between the big brands.
    Now, for me, it’s just a little more patience for Sony to add the IC and the EVF… I can’t wait!!!

  39. Great reviews and example photos, can’t believe the ISO quality…. Looking toward to the Nex6 review and photos, hoping they will be as good as I think they should be, it’s the Nex Series that moved me away from Canon and so far it’s the best decision I have made in photography. Nex is harvesting and converting more Canon and Nikon users to Sony than any other model so far and with the nex 6 features and new lenses I think this trend will accelerate.

      • It looks like there are three varieties of stabilization, only two of which are applicable to stills, which requires moving either the optical elements or the sensor during exposure. The stabilization in the RX1 possibly only compensates by computing the offset of the image rectangle to use for each frame of video.

  40. Before anyone yells at me after reading this, just remember I’m a total amateur so I have no idea probably what I’m saying but…

    Ok image quality looks amazing, but isn’t this because of sony’s sensor. Won’t other manufacturers adopt it as well a year from now. I really like the fuji x trans blah sensor so if they adopt this new sony sensor and apply their special filter array then wouldn’t this look even better?

    Also Steve, love the blog but I reckon for a $2800 there should be some sought of evf or ovf. I hate using the back screen like a point and shoot because it is awkward to hold and use. That’s why I love the fuji x100 because of its hybrid view finder.

    Also correct me anyone if I’m wrong but the rx1 doesn’t seem to have a shutter dial. I find this takes away some of the manual control which the fuji x100 gives. Also it looks really big, partially because of the body thickness but also because of the huge lens!

    Ok I’ll admit, I don’t own a fuji x100 – only a 550D – so probably talking crap right now but I want to get a fuji x100 since beginning of the year. If anything most of the wow factor is because of the sensor. If fuji took it, applied some of the X-DNA and mojo, then that would be an amazing camera (Er…if they could get it right first go). Still gotta love what sony have done with the rx1. At least they had the gall to try something new! Canon and Nikon just keep pushing the same old, same old. Urgh…Canon EOS M!

    • For what it’s worth, this article has helped me put all this supposed X-Trans sensor goodnes a little bit into perspective.

      “So my conclusion is, sorry to say, that the Fuji X-Pro1 X-Trans sensor doesn’t deliver the Fuji promise of outperforming similarly sized sensors. In fact, it underperforms similar DX sensored cameras – with the official SILKPIX raw developer, the underperformance is too slight to be noticeable under normal circumstances, but is still there if you look closely.

      This is not to say that the Fuji X-Pro1 is a bad camera – far from it – the camera has great lenses, a really attractive viewfinder and design, and in many ways the sensor is great, with low noise and clean data, in the class of the recent Sony and Nikon sensors. If you use it with the official raw converter, it’s within a whisker of the competition. But in my opinion, it would have been a better camera with a conventional two-by-two sensor layout.”

      • I think you are missing the point. Fuji did not make the new sensor out do all sensors, no matter what MP or size of sensor. The patttern is to make up for no AA filter. A little sharpness will be lost with these filters the Nikon D800 and D800E proves this. The X-Pro 1 is 16MP APS not full frame, not 24MP. It is the X-Pro 1. There will be a two or ? I read the other day that Fuji’s X lens have the Focus Cir. for full frame. Try this, from a 24MP file. Using a top of the line inkjet printer to print the file, at full size. See how many gallons of ink is used. In any system there is always tomarrow for cameras, only lens are forever and like Leica, Fuji lens are some of the best. The Sony cameras are fine. So are other makers. In this test try a Canon 5D III, it will do just fine. As far as I think, buy a camera that will hold up to test of being a good all around camera, a minium of five years.

          • Still holds, Fuji did create the pattern to be different. It still is to make up for no AA filter and it works. One English camera magazine that gave it a 20/20 for it’s sensor. Others have said, even if you do like the camera, it takes great pics.. What is the bases for they made a misstake, that raw files for now are hard to work with.

  41. Hi Steve, I know it’s not your “schtick”, but how about a little bit of a review and maybe view of the video aspects of these cameras shot in your style. I think that is what Sony is really noted for and it might be interesting.

  42. Wow, haha, of all the photos (although all of them good) I like the results of the RX1 way better. I think Sony nailed it besides its quirks. Love the bokeh it renders.

  43. Steve, could you specify what you meant by “…it has steady shot IS…”? Optical, digital, for stills, video or both? As far as I know there is an opinion that there’s no optical IS.

    • I think there’s IS for the body but not optical lens based IS. My guess is it’s probably similar to the IS built-in into the RX-100. Most likely the IS works both stills and video.

  44. Wait, why do you have to shoot JPEG? I thought this camera could shoot RAW out the box and you didnt need a converter

    • All cameras shoot RAW out of the box and all RAW files need processing. The RX1 is not released yet and therefore has no RAW support. I have shot RAW but there is nothing I can do with the files on my macbook air..or at home.

  45. That no1 pic from RX1… Steve, hope you will make a review comparison between IQ from this little beast and Leica MM…

  46. Thanks for the great reviews and I agree Sony is really making some great cameras with top clas sensors these days.

    Maybe Nikon is more evolutionary than revolutionary, but still the D800 is really a master piece that just works extremely well and is able to produce top class output.

    I also doubt that the AF on the A99 is as good as Nikons top DSLRs or that the high ISO output and DR is quite on part (but let’s see DxO measures later).

    And who cares anyway, the output looks exquisite from the RX1 and A99.

    Great to see that Sony is back in the top league with the RX100, RX1, A99 and a couple more.

  47. Yes I agree Alexander, very good news, it concerns me that the 30mm macro lens is not on your brochure snippet…I’d like to know how the NEX-6 and 16-50 also deals with moving macro subjects please Steve, as this may save me buying the 30mm

  48. Thanks so much Steve…of course i already pre-ordered the RX1 thru your site! Your piano shots are just beyond beautiful!!! You must feel a bit that you are in HEAVEN…have fun.

  49. I would also be interested in this. I got rid of the 18-55 and I have gone Sigma-exclusive with the 19mm and 30mm.
    Lack of Fast Hybrid AF would not be a deal breaker: they are both wide-ish lenses and the Nex F3 focus is fine as it is. But it would be nice to have at some point 🙂

  50. With an SLR/SLT camera you buy into a complete system. So, you look at the camera body but also look at the lenses you need. Camera bodies change, lenses last a LONG time. So, if I were deciding between Sony and CaNikon I’d look at what lenses you want to use. Sony makes the sensor in the D800/E by the way Steve…
    Canon and Nikon’s lens lineup absolutely is much much more comprehensive than Sony’s. Want an 24mm f/1.4? A 200mm f/2? Not going to happen with Sony. Sony’s lenses are very good, just not near as many choices.

      • The name means nothing “AF Zeiss on Nikon or Canon?”. Look at lens tests not names. Sony 135mm is very good. Each manufacturer has some very excellent lenses and there are plenty of Nikons that will beat the Sony in image quality. Personally, I’d buy the Nikon just for the 200mm. Best IQ I have ever seen. My point was not to be a fanboy for a particular brand just to look at the big picture not just a camera body. For some, Sony is better fit. Others Canon or Nikon. Want the best selection of TS/E lenses? Go Canon.

        • I’ll do you one further. Look at the lens samples, not test scores. The Canon 35mm 1.4 is a clinical monster of a lens – near perfect. Sharp and creamy, the whole package. Yet the much maligned Sony 35mm 1.4G has incredible character. So yes, we are in agreement – select your platform based on your lens needs or preferences. Your original comment sounded like quantity was what mattered and that somehow you would be selling yourself short with Sony’s selection. In the end, it comes down to your shooting style and requirements.

    • I think a lot of people forget that you can use the excellent Minolta AF glass with Sony Cameras. 24mm f/1.4? Got it…

      200mm f/2? no, but f/2.8

      I use a Sony DSLR and my 35mm is the Minolta Maxxum 7 and have a great selection of lenses, that hold up to any Nikon or Canon glass…and cost me waaay less.

      Can’t wait to see more about the A99, Steve!

  51. Great to read about the NEX-6’s AF speed.

    What worries me a bit is lens compatibility. From the brochure:

    “From launch, Fast Hybrid AF is supported with these lenses: E 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 OSS; E 55-210mm F4.5-6.3 OSS; E 18-200mm F3.5-6.3 OSS; E 24mm F1.8 ZA Sonnar T*; E PZ 16-50mm F3.5-5.6 OSS. Firmware upgrades will steadily expand the range of lenses offering Fast Hybrid AF support.”

    Of course no mentioning of Sigma lenses, but couldn’t find any info on it elsewhere on the Internet either. Anyone who has news on Sigma support for this new hybrid AF system?

    • Alexander,

      These are lenses that will be able to use the new addition to NEX-6 (On-Sensor PDAF), and when the camera is launched. Eventually, there should be additional firmware updates that will make remaining lenses compatible. However, that may not guarantee inclusion of Sigma lenses as it will be Sigma’s responsibility (and that may also apply to Tamron). You should still be able to use those lenses, however, but the faster AF will be unavailable unless the firmware update exists for the Sigma.

  52. Hi Steve – Great reviews for the RX1 (and a great site, too!) I am actually planning to downsize from my Nikon D3 to this compact size full performer to simplify my life. I really tire of carrying around 4 lenses and constantly changing them on the D3. I will await the RX with a 90mm to complete my ideal kit. Chris S [PS Other reviews – like that from Michael Reichman at Luminous landscape – really liked the A99 too – EXCEPT for the poor EVF when compared to the bright and clear viewfinders in the N and C DSLRs. Pity.]

  53. Thanks Steve ! I suppose I’ll end up buying the RX1, since I trust your views; my bank balance is still recovering from the OMD, which you enjoyed and recommended and which I am enjoying now as well.

  54. THis is the best site to visit to see the soul of the camera. DPreview sample images are lacking artistry and their previews are very technical. Very impressive RX1 by the way. wish i could buy that some day!

    • hear hear! they make way too many iso 100 shots which are all too common and very few high iso shots.. he takes many aimless shots and just throws them in like a sack of dirty laundry… when im researching a camera I’m always heading straight into the hi iso shots and skip the obvious iso 100’s.
      Best advise for them is to take shots of the best low iso before the noise comes in like most cameras start clean iso around 100 – 400 before the noise comes in at the next stop at 800 and so on.. and then 2 shots of best of each stop 800 1600 3200 etc. and each shot will contain daylight shots, night shots, and then a few shots of particular scenes like landscapes, portraits macro etc. I cant understand why they cant be as meticulous with their gallery shot layouts as with their testings. mmm…

  55. Thank you for sharing your experiences with the new Sony gear and staying up late. I m really keen on the rx1 can’t wait to try one

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