Sony week wrap up and more thoughts on the Sony RX1

Sony week Wrap Up and more thoughts on the Sony RX1

So here I am in my hotel room at the Carmel Valley Ranch on my last day with the Sony team and I have to say that this week has been incredible. When Matt from Sony told me it would be “EPIC” he was not kidding. Sony knows how to launch new cameras and they do it with style and substance like no other but how others should.

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This was considered a “press event” so there were about 15 or so of the top Journalists in America here for this week where we all raced cars, flew in helicopters, at lunch at vineyards, photographed kite surfers at Waddell Beach, and hiked around Big Sur. Some of us also put on bee suits and worked with bees. We also drove down the coast to see some amazing sights as well as made many new friends and had some great times. Sony even had a contest at the end of the week and I won the “best photo” category with the following RX1 JPEG shot which was shot a f/2:

The whole purpose of this trip of course was so that Sony could “officially” launch their new cameras and letting all of us try them out all week shooting what we wanted and when we wanted. We chose what we wanted to shoot with and we did not have any restrictions or instructions. All Sony asked was for us to share our honest opinions, good and bad. This was very refreshing because some companies do NOT want you to share the bad, and when you do they start to snub you. I could name names but won’t. 🙂

I had a great time with some of the guys here including Chris Gampat from The Phoblographer, Photo John from Photography Review and Amadou Diallo from DPreview.

Chris Gampant from The Phoblographer as we were testing the Sony 500mm on the NEX-6 – shot with the 10-16 on the NEX-6

So let me say it was great to meet ALL of the guys who attended this event and if I head to Photo Plus in a couple of weeks I look forward to chatting more.

The RX1 – Final Thoughts on my 1st Look 

As for me, I am happy I came as I had quality time with the hot camera of the week, the Sony RX1. In fact, it was extra special because there are only 11 RX1’s in the world and only 4 of them were here. I want to thank Sony for letting me use one for a few days to put it through it’s paces. I made a video with it in my room even though I had bad lighting and I added some video samples in the video as well (taken with the RX1).

I found that during my time with the RX1 I really liked the size, the build, the lens spec, the QUALITY of the lens which is sharp corner to corner and the ISO performance in low light, which is the true test of ISO performance. Sony is climbing a little but of an uphill battle with the RX1 due to the cost of the camera because the “masses” are not into a fixed focal length lens. Many enthusiasts are, and these are the ones Sony made this camera for.

I know many who shoot with a Leica M9 and 35 Summicron. Just from the little I have seen I have no doubt that this RX1 can exceed the Leica M9 and 35 cron in quality, low light and even detail once I can process RAW files. The quality is there and it even hadles B&W conversions amazingly well. Below you can see a 100% UN scientific comparisons of simple JPEGS between the two, same focal length and same aperture.

The Sony RX1 at 2.8 – converted to B&W

Below, the Leica Monochrom with 35 1.4 at 2.8

Sony puled out the stops on the RX1 with superb quality video as well. When shooting video it has rich color and a 3D pop if you shoot wide open. I am hoping  to explore the video side more when I get a review unit with final firmware. I am also excited to process the RAW files as all I have seen are JPEGS. The RX1 is an exciting camera and in regards to quality of build and files it is top notch. $2799 is pricey sure but so is a full frame Canon 5DIII (which I would take an RX1 anyday over a 5DII or Nikon D800..more on this below) or Nikon D800 or Sony A99!

The RX1 can not be compared to a DSLR in any other way except amazing full frame image quality and in fact the results I was getting from the RX1 beat the A99 in overall IQ because you do not have  to depend on the lenses and hope they are sharp. The 35mm f/2 built into the RX1 is perfectly mated with the sensor and it shows. I am not writing hype, I am writing fact as I always do. When a $2799 coat pocket full frame camera can match any of the big guns, for me, that is pretty special.

If someone offered me a FREE 5DII, Nikon D800E or RX1 and said I had to pick one..for me it would be the RX1 simply due  to the fact that I personally can not stand huge heavy cameras and lenses! The fact that the RX1 is up there in quality of these two with their best 35mm lenses means no contest for me. Those who say “you can get a 5DII for that money” really has no clue what they are saying as this camera is not for someone who wants a DSLR. It is for those who DO NOT want a DSLR but want kick ass DSLR full frame quality that is small and light.

Remember that to see the images the way they should be seen you have to click on the image below. It will open up a larger version. The shot below is just a snap of all of us hanging out while waiting for the rain to pass.

The RX1 is not an action camera though. If you shoot action or wildlife then go to the DSLR. The RX1 is for those who want high quality anywhere they go. Portraits, street shooting, candids, landscape, etc. This camera excels in any of  those situations much like a Leica does. In fact it even has some soul much like Leica and makes many other cameras (including the NEX series) seem flat and lifeless when looking side by side.

The RX1 is a serious tool and it does have a shutter speed dial on the back (seems to have been some confusion with this) by your thumb next to the playback button at the top. It has a dedicated EV dial, aperture dial on the lens, can focus as close as .2 meters and the detail, color and DR of the sensor is at the top of the heap.

Manual Focus and shooting in 50mm with the Sony RX1

BTW, Manual focus also works GREAT with this camera. Was a joy to MF using focus peaking and never had an OOF shot using it . The RX1 also has more tricks up its sleeve with its focal length multiplier. With the press of a button you can shoot in a 50mm focal length (cropped) and the samples look good and sharp in my quick JPEG tests. This is not just a simple “digital zoom” but instead the camera actually crops the photo and re processed the file to make sure it is nice and detailed.

A quick JPEG at f/2 in standard mode using the 35mm lens as it should 35mm – ISO 800 as it was actually dark out though it appears to be light in the image. I am ONLY demonstrating the crop feature here, not IQ.

and with a press of a button I turn on a 1.4 multiplier and get a 50mm equivilant

and if you want to go to around 75mm press it again and get it

So while you have a native 35mm lens on board you can shoot in 50 or 75 equivalent modes without losing much of anything.  I will test this with portraits when I get the camera again (which I hope is soon)!


With a fast f/2 Zeiss lens there will be Bokeh to be found but remember this is a 35mm lens, not a 50 or 90 so the out of focus backgrounds will not be extreme like you get with a 50 Summilux Leica. You will get full frame depth of field with the RX1 though and the Zeiss Sonnar f/2 does a great job IMO.

35mm, f/2 ISO 2500 – taken to show Bokeh and DOF of the 35mm lens on the full frame sensor

ISO 800 to show DOF and Bokeh – YOU MUST click the image to see the image how it is meant to be seen

ISO 1000 at f/2

What I do NOT like about the RX1

Well, Sony asked me to be honest and of course the RX1 is NOT perfect. I wish they would have included a built in EVF and even added a tilt LCD.  I also wish it had a built in ND filter like the Sony X100 did as the max shutter speed at f/2 is 1/2000s. It is not a real issue as you can get an ND filter for $50-$70 and be done with it but would have been nice to have one built in. The price is a bit high but Sony has spent an incredible sum to develop this camera and it shows. If you want the quality of a full frame DSLR with an amazing fast lens and incredible quality sensor that will fit in your coat pocket and go with you anywhere then this is the ONLY game in town

I am sad to leave the RX1 but hope to see one soon for full review. When I do get one expect some crazy comparisons and full testing of the camera. I have a feeling the one I pre ordered will remain pre-ordered because once I test the RAW performance  this could very well be my one color camera while I hang on to my Leica monochrom for my serious B&W work. (though the RX1 is pretty damn good at this as well).

You can Pre-Order the RX1 at B&H Photo HERE

You can Pre-Order the Sony RX1 at Amazon HERE

BTW, I was told the RX1 will start to ship 1st week of December but they are making sure to get them out BEFORE Christmas 🙂

PS: I will be heading home this weekend so the site schedule will go back to normal with guest posts, daily inspirations, and the next installment in my Leica Monochrom review as well as an Olympus 75 1.8 review. STAY TUNED and as always thank you for reading my site. I appreciate each and every one of you who do.


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  2. Steve,

    Do you know if the RX1 can be used with the EVF and the Thumb-grip at the same time?

    Thanks, Michael

    • Michael – no, the thumb-grip cannot be used with the EVF as it lacks the necessary electrical contacts.

      Third parties such as Really Right Stuff or Richard Franiec will likely come out with grips or thumb rests, assuming there are RX1 owners willing to loosen their grip on the camera long enough for a design to be made and tested…

  3. Steve seems really enthusiastic about this camera, and he likes high quality equipment. I want to buy this camera. A great big sensor. A great lens. In my opinion this camera will never be obsolete.This camera will take me to the grave. In my opinion 24Mp are more than enough for any of my uses. It’s closed system means that you don’t have to worry about a dirty sensor. I was a little worried by the fact that it was a 35mm lens. I was afraid I would yearn for a 50mm. Then I saw that it supports a 50mm crop with an 18 MP file. That’s all I need for my go-to camera which will live around my neck for the next 20 years (hopefully). If I can’t adapt to LCD only shooting, then I’ll have to fork up another $600 for EVF. I’ll never need a better lens nor more MP. The low-light capacity is great. What more could I want? I’ll keep my DSRL for pro gigs.

  4. Steve,
    The Photoblographer just posted a preliminary review of the RX-1 (from the same event) and he states that the AF was slow, on par with the X100 after the firmware update. You made it sound like it was close to the OM-D. Which is it? If it’s that slow, does Sony plan to address it before release? I think it needs to be pretty close to the OM-D in today’s world. The other question I have has to do with whether it does the aperture dance like the X100 or operates like the LEica X1/2 or the Fuji XE-1/XPRO-1 after the update?

    • I was the one at that even with the most use of the RX1. I shot it in full sun, low light and darkness. The only time I had a couple focus misses was in the dark. I stated previously it is not as fast as the OM-D but on par with the NEX-5n. It is much quicker than the Fuji X100 or X-Pro 1. No contest. The aperture doesnt “dance” as it is mechanically fixed at the lens using the dial. WHen open it stays open, when closed it stays closed.

      Have no fear, I should be one of the very 1st with a final review sample as what we had there was not final FW. When I get one for long term review (which should be soon) I will show the AF in operation. But it is quicker than any Fuji X100 or X-Pro.

      • Thanks for the quick response and feedback. I am anxious to read and see your full review. Glad to hear it doesn’t do the aperture dance as that makes MF very difficult in bright light and it would effect AF by introducing unneeded lag.

      • Really looking forward to that review Steve. I have got the opportunity to buy a second hand M9 with 50 lux for $7500 here in Australia. Was about to do it and news and images started coming out for the Rx1!!!! Talk about throwing a spanner in the works of my decision making!

  5. Oh well… I’m not sure which is more useless, a $250 thumb rest without a hot-shoe integration or a $600 OVF that can’t see what the camera is focused on.

  6. Steve,
    Were you able to use the OVF and if so, how did it work for you? Since it doesn’t reflect the focus in the viewfinder I fail to understand its value aside from initial framing. At $600 it would appear to be an absolute waste so I hope I’m missing something here. Still, I prefer an OVF vs. the EVF but in this case, and with the camera, it seems the EVF is the only ‘viable’ option.

  7. Steve,

    You had the opportunity to test the camera and several others. I am really curious as to how the image compared to the Sigma DP2M that seems to have a sensor that produces incredibly sharp images and an equally good lens. Since the RX-1 has an AA filter is it precluded from achieving the same level of sharpness at base ISO?

    • The DP2M is different. Sharp as can be across the frame with a medium format feel and look but different. Overall though the RX1 is so much more usable. The DP2M has great IQ as long as you stay at base ISO but it is so slow to operate, no way of using an EVF at all and it is just a turtle that is good for static only shots at base ISO. That base ISO IQ is beautiful and addictive but very limited. The RX1 has beautiful IQ as well that is VERY sharp at the focus point and with the full frame sensor it is very versatile – low light, high ISO or base ISO in good light.

      • Thanks, Steve,
        I knew it was slow and ISO limited but given those facts and limited versatility I was wondering how the actual images compared. I have seen some incredibly sharp images on the DPR Sigma forum but without a comparable shot side-by-side it is hard to tell if one is more pleasing than the other. I figured the next best thing was to hear from somene that has actually shot both and seen the output first hand.

  8. The detachable EVF is very nice. I bought one for my 5N. It can tilt the angle. So you can shoot the sky(birds) without bending your neck.

  9. I’ve had the RX1 preordered since the day prior to annoucement, but the two things niggling at me are the fact that there is no tiltable LCD and no built in EVF… I can’t help but wonder how it might neuter the experience.

    Steve if you ever get the chance, I would like to see a few examples of the NEX7 w/24mm Zeiss compared to the RX1… I just can’t figure out if the RX1 is worth the cost for me. Especially when its lacking in the tiltable LCD and EVF. I will admit right now sharpness and IQ is not my highest priority… Bokeh and Dynamic Range are.

    Don’t suppose you have any gut feelings on this so far?

    • Bokeh and DR go with RX1 hands down, no contest. IQ is good on both or course in regards to detail and sharpness (though I find the Zeiss 24 to not be teh sharpest lens in the stable) but shooting the RX1 with EVF was a more pleasing experience to me than the NEX-7. The RX1 is 100% silent and stealthy and very well made – solid. IN regards to color, DOF, DR, Bokeh…RX1 for me. That is not fluff, it is fact. Then again, if cost is a factor the RX1 and EVF is much more expensive than the NEX-7 (though the 6 is a better camera, and cheaper still).

      • Thanks for the input Steve.

        I already own the NEX7 and 24mm Zeiss, and am fairly happy with it. I dislike the fly-by-wire feel when manual focusing with that Combo, and suspect the RX1 isn’t too dissimilar, otherwise I really like that arrangement. However I have always wanted a wanted a FF compact, and really this is the main reason for me eyeing up the RX1.

        The price doesn’t bother me as long as I know its gonna fulfill my needs. But I already know that without a EVF built in it, it probably wont. I wish I could get a chance to handle it before my preorder arrives, but I highly doubt thats gonna happen. I will hold my nerve and watch out for the in depth reviews before I cancel my order.

        I feel sony really missed a trick not including the EVF in body. Oh well.

      • I guess with Sony selling out via pre-orders, despite the rumoured very high price of the EVF (until I see it on an order form it’s a rumour!), they may not feel motivated to bring the Zeiss optical and Sony electronic finder prices down to earth and by down to earth I mean roughly competitive with existing Zeiss optical finders and Sony’s own external EVFs. Add a 50$ premium to that if they must.

        Like I said I doubt they feel the need but given the grumbling out there, I hope they do as it would be a huge win in public relations for them and would really get RX1 off to a completely glowing start.

        • I had seen $399 for the EVF and $599 for the OVF… but that was early on, and heresay. I’m yet to see it available anywhere at all.

          • I have heard now it may be $450 for the EVF and $600 for the Zeiss. Numbers keep changing but in the initial Sony press release it said $600 or $650

          • From the original Japanese press release I calculated USD using the exchange rate at the time and came up with numbers a little more than 500 and 600 for the EVF and OVF, so it seems very possible based on those numbers the pieces could come in at 499 and 599 respectively.

            Compared to the existing EVF and other Zeiss OVF’s that still gouging somewhat. $400 – $450 sounds more palatable and more in line with the existing EVF. Chances are they’ll sell one go most RX1 buyers and one supposes to some newer EVF-less NEX camera users too.

          • It currently shows $450 on the Sony store web site. Hopefully it will either come down further or better yet get included with the camera as it should have been for a camera in this price category. By including it with the camera they would probably ensure that they will be sold out for some time and that always creates buzz and helps to open the market. Then, if I were them, I would go to something different in their ILC. I would offer leaf shutter lenses (all Zeiss, at least to start because Sony lenses on the NEX series have given them a bad reputation on lenses). A 24mm, a 35mm, a 50mm and a 75 or 85mm, all f2 or faster or conversely, a high quality zoom covering the range from 24mm to 85mm with a leaf shutter as the initial lens. Body like RX-1 but add an EVF with fast 240fps refresh and IS.

            Oh well…I guess we can dream…

          • A lot of people are giving the EVF (or lack of it built in) a hard time. But I think it will offer opportunity for people to take advantage of shooting differently (angles, with LCD, etc).

            When we use a built in EVF all the time you can tend to get stuck in an “accepted” way of seeing things….i.e. only through the VF.

            The OMD LCD screen is a great example of what I’m trying to say. The touch focus ability gets you thinking and brings awareness of potentially what else is in a prospective image.

            But yeah it’s expensive still!!

  10. So, to sum it up. A small camera, great (by the looks of it) image quality, fixed 35mm lens (a limitation, but a challenge more than a problem), no viewfinder, huge price tag. Mmm…

  11. OK, this question is not for the pros since they wouldn’t care if they had to lug a suitcase behind them… 🙂 What camera do you take with you when you go out with friends to dinner and or for cocktails?

    With most cameras other than a P&S like the RX100 it is always a challenge, even with the EM-5 as to a) whether to take a camera, and b) what to do with it and where to put it when you aren’t taking pictures. If it is big enough to require a camera bag what do you do? Do you put it under your chair where the waiter will give it a good kick or on the table leaving no room for drinks and food or hanging from a chair where someone can take it when you aren’t paying any attention? Most people place a P&S either on the table or in their wife’s purse or a pocket if it will fit. Because the RX-1 has a flat footprint not much larger than the RX100 it could be laid on the table. The EM-5 is too large for that and so was the Fuji X100. I find this to be one of the big challenges and that any camera requiring a camera bag (if you have more than one lens you just can’t leave them behind even if you only use them 2% of the time) or much larger than a P&S just gets left at home. I will be interested to hear if people have come up with ways to do this that aren’t awkward or clumsy or that don’t risk damaging or losing the camera.

    • Hah! Easy answer. I have a little (very un camera bag looking) Zing pouch that I leave in any car I’m in until I need it. Than I very unceremoniously take the pouch or just the EM-5 out with the 12mm f:2 with me. Morton’s, Ruth’s Chris or anywhere. No one cares as they’ve got their iPhones anyway. And if they ask it simply is to talk about the funny looking little camera. And to offer to shoot with it!
      Great fun. And no one usually asks if I’m a “professional” since I never wear a vest or cheap hat or t shirt. Yes I have hoodies. But not being Bob Dylan it looks kinda retarded on a old guy like me.
      Enjoy the moment. Have a camera with you!

    • I take my iPhone, it’s more than good enough for snaps at a restaurant or a bar. Then again, I don’t ever go out with friends to bars or restaurants or parties with the intention of being a photographer!
      To be honest, I did take along my XZ1 last year to a party, it never left my jacket pocket, the iPhone was more than enough.

    • I think the problem with taking a larger camera to a social function is that you are then the “photographer”, and feel obligated to take pictures of the event, and as you so rightly mention you have the additional problem of what to do with the camera (and bag usually) when you want to join in and mingle.

      Whenever I am invited to a party or social event I am usually asked, by friends, to bring my camera. In this situation I usually pop my Ricoh GRD 4 in my pocket, and this leaves me the choice to either take some photographs, or not, as the mood dictates.

      Following on from the main theme of this thread there are many advantages to a small high quality compact camera, and I can imagine that the RX1 will take these cameras to a whole new level – Sony and Fuji seem to be the innovators in camera design and technology these days. Well done Sony!

    • MMM, i think the x100 is great for this. Went out for breakfast this morning and took it along.

      It is a really good question/point you raise. If you don’t have a camera with you then you are not taking photos (professional work aside).

      • Andrew, I think you get my point. I want to have a camera with me that will give me the quality image I want. My friends may have their P&S with them but I am not satisfied with the quality of image those produce when I send out my images I want them to be a little more. The problem is size. I live in Southern California in a beach community. Dinning is tight and tables are small, the atmosphere is intimate. Tonight is a perfect example, we were out with two other couples to a great little wine & cheese restaurant with a piano bar and our table was a high table and pretty tight for 6. No place to put a camera that didn’t put it in danger when it was not in use. Very low lighting so good low light ability is a must and I didn’t want to be firing off a flash in everyone’s face and disturbing other guests having a good time. It is for occasions like this that I think the RX-1 may be ideal and while it has professional capabilities, you can set it to auto to hand off to friends to take a picture and they will feel right at home with it. Try that with a big SLR and your friends that are not into photography will not want to touch it for fear they will look stupid because they don’t know what to do with it. Yes, you can use your iPhone, i have the iPhone 5 but it will not handle the low light and difficult WB situation and because you have no RAW you can’t easily fix it later.

    • Good question John. Taking my D700 with either the 2.0/28 or 1.4/35 might not be appropriate in the circumstances you describe. I (not possessing a compact digital camera) would be tempted to take one of my smaller slr’s (Nikon FM2n, Contax 139Q) with a fast 35 0r 24, a roll of Tri-X, push it to 800 or 1600 ISO. I’d take the “Oh, that’s a cute camera” route!

  12. Is it just me, or does the noise have a really nice aesthetic quality in these OOC JPEGs. I really don’t mind noise when it looks nice, and the super high ISO B&W’s from a previous post looked lovely too.

  13. Not too long ago, I was taking lessons from a professonal photographer I greatly admire, Jeffrey Harmon. I said to him, “I do not use flash. I only photograph with natural light”. In response he said, ” When people say this to me, what I hear is that they do not know how to control light”. Boy, was this a punch in the stomach. Mind you, I took photography courses in art school and I learned how to use plenty of artificial light (studio lighting, umbrellas, even car headlights) but those where the days of film and I never heard the word, “speedlight”, before. When I jumped into the world of digital photography, I despised the external flash on my cameras so much, I just never used it. I just used natural daylight and indoor lighting to control my photos. Yet, when I was learning how to use the Nikon D800, Jeffrey introduced me to the SB-900 speedlight and to a whole new world of speedlight photography. Together with Pocketwizard’s, I was convinced of the superiority of DSLR’s as professional photographic tools. Taking it down a notch, what I love about my Fuji X100 is that I can add an external speedlight (via cord) and have a small versatile system that will mimic the big boys and be useable for street photography. Photography is light and the lighting side of photography is often a neglected topic. I just hope that with the revolutionary new RX1, that Sony and Fuji will start to integrate wireless speedlights and flash triggers into their arsenal. These lighting tools are just as important as interchangeable lenses and I would like to see more discussion about this and inspire manufactueres to make these items for these cameras here.

    • fair point Dave. I do not know enough about using artificial light but someone who does, and they do it well can craft some great work.

      However, apart from not been skilled in this area (even after some low level study in the area) I have not been inclined to learn about. It’s like carrying another lense around.

      Fixed lense, high ISO capabilitly, cracking performance from the lense, strong in both AF and MF capability, strong WB and DR attributes and smaller size are the most important thing to me.

      • … until these smaller cameras support speedlights and triggers, DSLR’s will always be the choice for professioanl photograhers.

  14. Steve. I do notice how many of the most “knowledgable” and prolific posters are anonymous. What’s with that?! I guess they know what their opinion is worth.
    Great fun to follow as I’ve never spent this much time on a thread before!
    Carry on. And keep shooting. As that is the interest here, really, right?

    • Yeah, it’s fun, isn’t it? I’ve been enjoying myself too with this thread. Especially, now that I have to prove I’m a professional photographer and give the link to my URL. Really entertaining. Now, I’m back to my armchair.

      • Ron! If you’ve made your living shooting landscapes (or anything well, really) for tantrum years I respect that! I’ve been at it longer and with a much higher overhead which just proves I’m probably far crazier. That said I just love new stuff and while I’ve even recommended the new smaller Sony I’ve only gifted one once. Michael Reichmann loves (as best he loves any small camera) NEX 7 and I’ve played with sone last year but otherwise stay within the systems we use. The exception is my never ending search for a little carry around. For me that’s been the OMD for the past half year or so.
        So while we’re all pretty anonymous here it’s also a great source of lively back and forth with strangers. Better then my two ASMP Chapters or the AIGA or APA! No ones actually a paranoid or otherwise competitor.
        So thanks (to everyone) for your involvement here. And now I’ll knock off tapping on this iPhone 5.

        • “tantrum” years???!!! WTF?! Damn iPhone.

          I think I meant twenty years. And I hope Ron actually said that number. It’s hard to follow well on this little phone. Geez.

      • See Ron. Any pro photographer would feel privileged to show his work. Guess this proves my point.

  15. OK 35mm was never about shallow dof (RX1 need to get 20cm close to a subject)
    That’s why there are dedicated portrait lenses.

    Why have a RX1 ?
    imo : high iso, fashion, street, photojournalism, reportage

    If these are not a photographers requirement & we can get past the OMG its FF in a small cam
    X2, X100, DP2M will do plenty fine.
    (DP2M has the sharpest lens corner to corner from wide open f2.8,
    best pixel level detail, none of the aliasing & smearing of RX1, X2, X100,
    and on occasion where the 3 layer comes into its own a level or rendering Bayer sensors can currently only dream of).

    • But the DP2M is slow as molasses, horrible at high ISO and can NOT be used as a street camera due to its horrible low light performance. The RX1 lens is sharp corner to corner as well. You do not get the “look” of the foven sensor but then again that foveon sensor is only good in daylight/good light. It is also not a full frame sensor.

    • true to a point; i have had the dp1, dp2 and the sd1 (plus the sd10 previously), and i am a strong supporter of the foveon technology (in my dreams, leica would have been the one to pick up the sensor and use it in their cameras, combined with their glass it is a killer).
      unfortunately, as great as the images are, there are so many limitations to the actual use of the camera taht they cannot be considered serious daily tools.
      it is unfortunate, but as of now that is their position, the way i see it.

      i have also owned the leica x1 and the fuji x100, both absolutely excellent; i have a feeling though that this RX1 will be in a league of its own, and i cannot wait to get my hands on one!

      • STEFANO, you sound like a gear buyer/seller, not like a person that actually takes pictures.

        • and you sound like a sour grape, who really has nothing better to do then go and criticize other posts. suit yourself, i will not be wasting any more of my time responding to you, sir.

  16. Very ugly camera, P&S on steroids, but with a better B&W output than the elegant and well designed Leica MM. SH’s LeicaMM shots were full of burnt highlights, lack of contrast and weird visual effects. RX1 ones’ look more balanced and correct even if are jpeg’s. Still, no clear reason to go (seriously) digital, I’ll stick to my M· and cx503.

  17. Does the leaf shutter in the rx1 mean flash sync speeds above 1/200? Another reason to upgrade from my nex7.

  18. This comment is for Ron

    I have read thru all these comments and to be honest you sound like a typical Internet arm chair photographer who is full of half baked blind opinions. You claim to be an expert in everything and know all about what everyone wants and that your opinion is fact.

    You claim to be a professional photographer but your writing sounds like an amateur. One thing I have never liked about these anonymous comments is that people hide behind them.

    Ron if you are a professional photographer can you please send a link to your website? That way your biased comments will have a bit of gravity. If you are too afraid to do this then I and everyone else here can dismiss your silly comments as someone who has nothing better to do then rant.

    • i could not agree more, and thank you for saying that!

      it always amazes me how many geniuses are out there, who can assess/judge and dismiss a camera without even picking it up! they must have some kind of special gift or superior talent.

      too bad for us mere mortals, who actually have to go through the hassle of getting the camera, testing it for a while and making our own decision before we can commit to it!

      i have tried/tested/bought and resold most of the recent new cameras in the last few years, fro olympus to leica to nikon to sigma, etc., (have been doing photography for MANY years, have come to the conclusion that DSLR is NOT for me; i LOVE rangefinders and smaller, more practical cameras), and i have to say that i cannot wait to get my hands on the RX1.

      i confess that i WAS skeptical about sony as a real player in the camera world, but after having bought and used the RX100 for a while i must say that they have surpassed all my expectations.

      we need to keep an open mind, IF we are serious about getting superb image quality, and we definitely do not need to listen to these self appointed ‘experts’!

    • Gav, I think you’re being a bit unfair, Ron may be opinionated, but he does make some valid points. Heck, we’re all opinionated, I am, Steve is, you are, Chillax man!

  19. Hello Steve,
    This article again brings some new and very interesting info on the RX1. Thanks a lot for that! But I have some pertinent questions/requests.
    First: about your B&W comparison with the Monochrom. I’d say the RX1 makes excellent images, but the Monochrom is amazing. I can understand why you love the MM that much. Its greys are clearly more subtle. Nevertheless, those are unprosessed images, so I’d like you very much to bring us, in a future review, some shots that you processed to the best of your abilities, using different filter types (maybe even on the same image). I really wonder, looking at the B&W RX1 shot, how much info its files really have. And of course, a comparison with the new M and ME would be even more relevant.
    Second: in your video, you explain how the lens is partly built in the body (for about 2/3). Now I’m not a technician. So I wonder if this really improves the IQ, or if it’s just to make the camera more compact. Or both. There is a very good reason for my question. My plan was to wait for an IC version, but if that would implicate a lower IQ, well, I might be waiting for something disappointing. The bigger size, on the other hand, wouldn’t bother me that much. It would still be a pretty compact camera.
    Third: I didn’t know of the multiplier yet. Must have missed it somewhere… 🙂 Maybe this makes this camera a lot more interesting for me. But I need to know a few things. I’d also want to shoot products with it and I always do this with 50mm because of the natural perspective. BTW that’s one of the reasons why I wanted to wait for an IC version. I guess the 50mm equivalent (with the 1.4 multiplier), still maintains the perspective of a 35mm lens? Otherwise the DOF also should have gotten shallower in 50 and even more in 75 mode, I guess. I also guess that one really doesn’t get more detail from the same object, shot from the same distance, when multiplying. Some 100% crops would be very wellcome to illustrate that.
    I finish with thanking you again and congratulating you with the way you run this site. It’s a so much better approach than anything else I know, because I can absolutely connect to it for how I really use my cameras.

  20. When Prince’s Most Beautiful Girl in the World sing was released the video had all these models prancing around
    Immediately i though noooo duuumaasss the most beautiful girl is some Mom working three jobs just to put on the table for her kids & give them an education, a lil girl with serious illness smiling through it all, an elderly woman who has seen so much loss and so forth.

  21. Hello Steve
    thank you for another great review. It’s a shame that i couldn’t sell my M9 to Jean-Francois on the Cruise 😉 Wondering if you also checked out some more of the new nex-lenses? Congrats for the “Winnerphoto”.

    • Hey Peter! I used the 35 1.8 10-18 and 16-50 for the NEX and all were very good. I did not do any serious testing yet but I was impressed with everything I saw.

  22. Superior IQ in a jacket pocket size format = Sigma DP2M for USD 1k, quirks and warts included. Granted, the RX1 will run circles around it at high iso. But for high iso and versatility you can put a Fuji XE1 into your bag next to the Sigma and will still have change left for a plane ticket. Sony has to be applauded to push technical boundaries with its products. But no matter how good some of their cameras and the files they can produce have become somehow they lack “soul”, unlike some of the Fujis or Leica Ms. And the extreme short product cycles will not make their products classics, ever. Following their NEX strategy (who remembers the first generation NEX5 which was released around the same time as Fuji’s cult X100), a RX2 with EVF and interchangeable lenses will be around the corner in 9 months. So Steve should plan ahead and earmark some time in his 2013 planner for a “nex(t)” Sony event invitation. NEX(T) please:).

    • my own curiosity as a beginner…


      what is that “soul” you have in the product ?

      just my curiousity.. I always thought that soul comes from the vision of the man behind the camera and lens… not from the A B C D product

      It must be Leica or Fuji that have soul ?


      • You are absolutely right William, but people try to add imaginary properties to things/products and they often do it if they payed a lot of money for this thing/product.

        At other times they believe that the camera is superior because of some feature and can produce fantastic images by itself just because of this feature.

        But as you say it is always the person behind the camera and lens and nothing else.

          • Good shots but they all have the phone look. Not everyone likes to have the low res phone look to their photos. When using the phone I prefer to just use instagram. Quick and easy and trouble free.

          • I disagree with you Steve, I don’t see a phone look to them. Thy’re very good, they’ve been post processed a bit but I honest to God can’t give them a ‘phone’ tag, I mean how does one figure that out? Was it a compact digital? or an X100? They’re good photo’s.

          • If by phone look you mean the processing? Hipstamatic is my favourite iPhone camera app – I suppose if you look at it in that way, iPhone-ish, yes.
            I get what you mean Steve

          • Steve I take that back, Agree with you, definitely Phone-ish – i know what you mean! 😛

    • Soul is in the subject being photographed and in the vision of the photographer.
      Spirit of creativity … aye some cameras do inspire .

  23. Steve, thanks for getting so much information up so quickly. As with many people here, I am trying to make purchase/selling decisions based on available information. The RX-1 (as I expected) seems to be capable of some amazing picture quality… What I would love to know is how did it “feel” to take pictures with? Did you get the same satisfaction as with a Leica or NEX or…?

    On a separate note, I recognized most of the places in your photos. It’s a beautiful part of the country, where I was lucky enough to live for a few years. Was the race track the one in Sonoma? If so I took a great race car driving class there.

    Thanks again.

  24. Pics look okay congrats on your portrait at the piano it is really nice but I personally think my M9 with a1960
    8 element cron with googles is much better cleaner and has a better vibe also c’mon the d800 kicks it all over the field this is a jacked up point and shoot and definitely not worth the price at 1200 okay maybe?cause in 2 years that will be the price for a new version of this and it’s the glass that counts cause the sensor will constantly change unfortunately I’m kinda getting sick of the tech cycle merry round and the leica M and D800 will be my last digital cameras

    • It’s true, Summo. The price of the RX is $ 2800. Yes, $2800 for a Sony full frame camera for… who? Enthusiasts? Leica lovers? Did it ever occur to anyone that the only purpose of the RX1 is street photography? For landscapes, you need wider lenses. For portraits, you need 85-110mm. So what’s the big deal here? The new big thing for a few months? Just because it’s full frame? Please, readers… be sensible. I have nothing against Sony or any other camera manufacturer, but this doesn’t make sense. Undoubtedly, there will be people who will say: “It’s the first ever pocketable full frame sensor camera with a great Zeiss lens, unbelievable IQ and low light capabilities”, but that doesn’t justify the price considering the limitations. Unless you compare it to a Leica M with the really expensive Leica lenses. Then, of course, everything is justified. But that is an unfair comparison. Get a D600 for about $ 800 less and live with the extra weight. Far more sensible.

      • YOu can easily shoot a landscape with a 35mm or even 50mm. Portraits? Not a problem with this 35mm just like the Leicas 35mm. This is a more versatile camera than you are giving credit for. A D600 is not even close to being the same kind of camera and someone who wants a DSRL will not want an RX1. Someone who wants an RX1 will NOT want a DSLR. Id take a RX1 over a D800 any day of the week because I do not like or enjoy DSLR’s and I find the RX1 puts out equal or better quality. You would need an expensive lens for that D600 to match the RX1 and you would be weighed down with a fat plastic body.

        • Ron hasn’t figured out that not everyone on the planet wants or needs to shoot a DSLR, and the right camera for everyone or for every purpose isn’t necessarily an interchangeable lens camera. He just doesn’t get it and his every post is some flavour of “small cameras bad because another one is coming soon”, “RX1 will bomb”, or “it’ll be worthless in 22 months”.

          For sure the RX1 isn’t for everyone but for some it’s a great fit. For me it’ll replace $2,400 worth of APS-C compact camera and Zeiss 25/2.8 lens and in exchange I get…
          * a sensor that is miles more advanced,
          * double the resolution,
          * all the technical and drawing advantages of the larger sensor,
          * more control over depth of field,
          * when it matters, can stop down farther before diffraction limits degrade image quality,
          * actually usable higher sensitivity where today I’m limited to 400 and below depending on subject matter even in decently lit situations and forget about detail preservation at 1600 let alone 3200,
          * flash sync at any speed,
          * a silent shutter that is vibration free compared to a focal plane shutter,
          * much improved shot to shot speed and buffering
          * much better EVF which is really important to me as I rely on it a great deal
          * the same Zeiss look I like from a lens that is much more than just another optic with a Zeiss (or Leica) name on it, and, let’s not forget,
          * auto focus, something I’ve never had in a compact high IQ camera except from the often frustrating X100, plus apparently decent manual focus too /and/ I get to keep focus peaking which I have come to rely on.

          All that (and more) in a compact camera size smaller and somewhat lighter than what I currently carry. The price delta between the two configurations makes buying a RX1 a no brainer for me given I spend most of my time in 35mm equivalent focal length on APS-C and 100% of my time with 35mm focal length on 35mm film.

          Now if Sony does the smart thing and reprices the EVF to some sane level, that would obliterate what appears to be one of the major points of objection many fans and buyers of the camera share.

          • Despite the for and against comments this camera has generated huge interest judging by this forum.
            Sony should be pleased. The main complaint seems to be the lack on built in EVF. If you can already afford the camera maybe the add on EVF is not too much of a stretch. Also as EVF tech improves it will be possible to upgrade.
            By the way Steve it might be a good idea to have a word limit on the forum posts. Some posts are way to long.

          • Oh, I am actually in favor of XE-1, Mike, so I’m not just for DSLR’s. And isn’t it the point to “get in the discussion” as it says here? There are no rights or wrongs. I’m just giving my personal opinion.

        • Wow, after 20+ years of shooting landscapes professionally Steve tells me I can shoot landscapes with a 35mm lens. Like I didn’t know. It’s not about what you can do with the RX1, it’s about the price and the limitations. Like you would only need a 35mm lens to do landscapes. I unfortunately have to bring heavy lenses and loads of accessories after I’ve researched a location for quite some time to make notes of the best spots to take photos and which lenses I need. So just a 35 won’t do, Steve. Unless you’re a casual photographer, of course. And, Steve: The day Nikon and/or Canon start inviting you to their weekends to test their new cameras you’ll be loving those plastic bodies and you know it.

          • Ron if Canon and Nikon get decent smaller mirror less systems happening I am sure Steve would love to go along. But if its just to shoot SLRs there are other people more interested …..just a hunch!

            And you’d be the first person, from your arm chair, looking for his opinion on those cameras by following Steve’s site.

          • You don’t know me. I wouldn’t. I now spent enough time here trying to just give my point of view. All the Steve worshippers here (and I know there are many) can go ahead here without me. Have fun!

    • “the leica M and D800 will be my last digital cameras”

      I bet there are a lot of people who have said that before!

      But both of those are killers and i’d be pretty content as well. In a perfect world I think the M, when it come out with the glass will be awesome IF you are happy using a rangefinder AND you’re happy to pay up!

      For me at $3400 (include EVF) this is good value but appreciate that that Leica feel in a photo is hard to beat IMO.

      • “The Leica feel” is more a mind thing than something important. 99,9% of people you would show your photos wouldn’t see or bother. Your way of photographing (angles, lighting) is far more important than “the Leica look”.

        • I agree with your last sentence……100%. But for many professionals out there results from a ‘rangefinder’ method and lux/cron lenses are special. I am not a professional, have not and 99% sure i will never own a Leica but they have a distinct character to them. I can only assume it’s a combination of sensor, glass and what ever else.

          And the “mind” thing….well thats where thoughts are provoked and that is what photography is all about!

          But that’s my opinion. Gee i own an x100 and happy with it but it’s AF and shutter lag quirks i do find annoying. But I still love the camera.

          • I have owned the M8 and several lenses and frankly if it weren’t for the lenses its images were nothing special. In fact, there were numerous threads (and I think there still are some) on the Leica forum on how to correct for skin tones. They never looked quite right to me no matter how much tweaking in LR or trying different profiles. With the M9 and wider lens you had to also deal with cyan shift. Maybe landscapes were OK but human skin was always a challenge to get right. I know I am being lazy but I don’t want to work that hard to get the color right and that was from RAW. Forget their JPGs as they were considered horrible even by die hard Leica fans.

            Both the color and B&W renditions I am seeing from Steve and Imaging Resources look very good and that is from the JPGs. I would expect RAW to take it up a notch.

          • Barjohn1 you will be much qualified than me given your history with a Leica set up. I have taken the M9 with 50 lux for a test drive. But that is all. The iq was outstanding and level of detail in the file incredible compared to the x100, IMO. I own an x100.

            I am not comparing at all to DSLRS.

            I don’t think a rangefinder is for me at that price. I really appreciate though why people do love it and their Leicas. Good luck to everyone on that note whatever camera, system or otherwise they love shooting with.

          • The M9 is FF and the M8 is APS-H and the pixel count is much higher. In my opinion, Leica still has quite a ways to catch up with other camera makers in the digital world. Their lenses are superb by any measure and when it comes to mechanical aspects of cameras they are top tier although I think their QA could be improved. based on my ownership and observations over several years (I am only referring to their digital cameras).

            Their JPG engine needs substantial work so it isn’t a camera for someone that does not want to work with RAW files. They have a unique color rendition that some people like and some don’t. I was one of those that was never happy with skin tones and I have multiple profiles that I use to try and find one that pleased me and I thought looked natural. While there has been a substantial improvement in their ability to develop firmware since the M8 early days, they are still behind the technical leaders and they are slow to produce firmware revisions to address problems.

            I think my biggest gripe would be the fact that they use very dated technology (think of their LCD and processor) but charge premium prices. If their technology was state of the art I could understand it better. Further, the difference in cost relative to the sales price of the camera to use more modern components is pretty small so why shortchange your customer. Look at how slow image review and write times are for the camera. Why not use a faster more current processor? Yet the ME will cost you $4500. There might be $50-100 difference in the cost of their slow processor versus a newer faster one.

            Lastly, and this is a personal thing, you only have manual focus and in low light or with longer lenses it can be very challenging if you are over 40 and have presbyopia. For me, I want MF that is more vision friendly and I prefer AF for most situations. One other point, Customer Service can very substantially from country to country and in the USA, if it has to go to Germany you may be without the camera for a long time.

            I hope this helps you.

        • Andrew, you have to remember that rangefinders are different from slrs in that the distance from the back lens element is shorter than slr’s. Rangefinder pics will be sharper more easily than slr’s. My old zorki with a jupiter lens used to make fantastic sharp photos. but slrs are more versaitle and parralax is always the biggest problem with rangefinders. The rangefinder market died over 50 years ago and there’sa good reason for it. The times are diffrent today, back then, not many folks could afford to buy a good camera and printing was expensive too. today, everyone has a camera, form phones to PS to CSC’s to pro stuff. image quality isnt a big issue anymore, and even if a lens is 8% better than the next it’s real world significance is next to none. They say that over 100mm, canon eos L lenses are something quite special. Ziess and Leica may make sharper lenses from 100mm down but those lenses from all manfactureres are so damn good it’s really not significant unless you’re doing a photo autopsy. Sure Ziess and Leica lenses are better but at how much %? Is it 5%? Is it 8%? I sure as heck dont think its 100%. So the question is is the small amout worth a few extra thousand? If i’s all about making the hsarpest lenses I’m sure Canon has the resources to make 50 thousand dollar prime lenses and if that happens, what’s to be of Leica? Would Leica users stop using Leica cause someone else makes sharper lenses? It’s the like Harley fans who keep throwing out the “harleys make the best bikes cause its chrome and it’s espensive and all that.” Do we all want Honda to now start making 70 thousand dollar classic chromed bikes to shut Harley Davidson fans up? The point i’m trying to make is there is a fine line with what can be made and what should be made.The best products are the ones the most folks can afford use, not neccessarily the most high spec’d or most expensive, even if they are technically better. Leica can make great expensive lenses but yet they cant make one decent mid range camera that the masses can and will buy.

          • Fair point Dylan. I agree. To be honest though I don’t mind what people shoot with, as long as it inspires me and we know it’s not about the camera.

      • I just think the iQ of the Leica M and D 800 are about as good as will get in other words we
        Have arrived at a plateau on digital cameras and there is a Leica feel I own several cameras and it is 99% evident that it exists on paper not in the mind it’s the lenses if you read my comment correctly and boy to they have feel lol

  25. I’m sure that in the next 12-18 months someone will offer a FF with built in EVF and IC. However, I also expect that like the X100 it will not have dropped in price enough to make my use for that period a huge loss. On the X100 when I sold it recently for $900 and after I paid the full retail price, because I had it and used it for 18 months my monthly rental cost came out to around $32. I consider that a reasonable monthly cost to enjoy my hobby. I would expect this camera may drop to $2100 during that period so a monthly rental from $58 to $39 for my enjoyment. Not too bad, less than going out to lunch on a weekend where I live.

    On the other hand if you purchased a Leica M9 12 months ago and paid nearly $8k and went to sell it now and could get $4.5K that would be a $291/mo rental for your hobby assuming you already owned the lenses. If you bought it 3 years ago you would be a little better off but you wouldn’t get $4.5K for the camera in that case, probably more like $3.8K

    The bottom line is that this camera appears to be worth the price and likely to not cost more per month than anyone is likely to find reasonable assuming you can afford the cost of entry.

    • The price of the X100 will plunge once the X-E1 is available. Your calculations, on the other hand, are right on the mark and make sense. This is how you should think! Your hobby was relatively cheap or, better, affordable and if it gave you pleasure, then no big deal…. it was worth it. Hallelujah! The if’s in your posting, however, are no definitives. There are people out there who are willing to pay a lot for an old (read: M9(-P) ) camera. 🙂

        • Old enough in these ever-changing times where people who run blogs get invited by camera manufacturers to write about their “great, new product(s)”.

      • Totally agree with your summary barjohn. I have just pre-ordered the RX1 and going to sell my x100. I will lose money but it’s relative and afforable as you’ve outlined.

        Ron I’m not so sure the X100 will drop too much. It’s size (in regards to the lense coming out) makes it such a great camera to throw in the car without little worry at all in terms knocking the lense, damaging it, etc. I think that aspect of it will hold it in fairly good stead.

        But….time will tell.

        • Andrew,

          I agree with you on the X100. In fact if Fuji provides a firmware upgrade that resolves the remaining few quirks like MF, the Q menu system, and the aperture dance the camera will go on being an excellent camera and a classic for some time. The IQ and color are excellent and the size is really good. In my own case, i wanted faster more responsive operation and there is a limit to what they can do with firmware for that and even better low light ability. I’m willing to pay for what a FF sensor can give me that an APS-C can’t. If the FF sensor didn’t offer more than an APS-C the D800 and other FF cameras would not be selling.

  26. If a few thousand dollars was just pocket change for me (Nice dream!) I still wouldn’t buy the RX1 or for that matter the RX100. If however RX1 looked more like NEX-6 (but with about the same controls, menu system etcetera) with a built in viewfinder and a nice and good grip I would pick it up in the first shop where I could find it.

    While no built in EVF for such an expensive camera is appaling the small, bad grip that have less space than most cheap compacts is the real deal-breaker.

    For me the Fujifilm X-100, or rather the updated X-200 that will propably be introduced within the coming half year, is a much more sensible and smaller choice for a single focal length lens compact.

    However I propably rather would choose the NEX-6 or Fujifilm X-E1 with the option to change lenses. Especially the former is almost same size as the RX1 body, although the very good Sony Zeiss 24 mm/1.8 make the whole package clearly bigger. With NEX-7 one even get 24 MP. Wonder how that combo would compare to RX1?

    The XE-1 body is a bit bigger. But the Fujinon 23/1.4 planned for next year may actually be shorter than the Sony Zeiss 24 mm lens. These together would also be intersting for a comparision.

  27. “Just from the little I have seen I have no doubt that this RX1 can exceed the Leica M9 and 35 cron in quality, low light and even detail once I can process RAW files…” Thanks steve. I believe in you 😉

    • Belief is important. But it’s still an overpriced little camera that will be obsolete, like all other small, handy, fits in your pocket, cameras in less than two years. My First Sony? I don’t think so.

      • Speaking to Ron’s utter hogwash above:

        Is the Leica M9, introduced three years ago, obsolete? Are worthy images incapable of being registered on that old CCD sensor that doesn’t even support live view? Are all Nikon D700’s already put out to pasture by the D600 or the D800? Of course not.

        The RX1 is an advanced camera that has the current state of the art full frame sensor. New generations of “FX” sensors are not born every day or every year. Nikon and Sony will be selling D600’s and A99’s and RX1s for years. All three cameras will be useful for years longer once production stops.

        If anything paying up for the current state of the art buys you even more lifespan out of any of these three cameras, not less.

        • True. Still get knockout results from my groundbreaking (in 2005) Canon 5D Mk1 and surprise, surprise still getting excellent images from my X100 – 18 months on from purchase (and expect many more). I still wish I had my Fuji S2 Pro I bought at the end of 2003. Such great tonality.

        • Mike: I guess you pre-ordered the RX1 and got worried by my posting… 🙂 No worries. You’ll be able to use it for 22 months until the RX2 – yes, with interchangeable lenses – is out and you’ll only get $ 1000 for the RX on eBay. Look: I’m a professional photographer and a marketing manager. I know how business works. Companies plan years ahead. Sony, Nikon, Canon et al already know what they’ll be doing four years from now. Believe me: The RX1 is this month’s fashion and next month’s golden oldie. I used my D700 for four years until the D800E became available, so… yes, you’ll be able to use a DSLR for a pretty long time. But not a pocketable camera. They just come and go. X this, X that. Just think of the XPRO-1. Not even a year after its release, we have the X-E1 (same sensor, smaller, lighter, faster). Don’t fall for the traps of most camera manufacturers. Nikon first released the D4 (the most expensive), then the D800 and D800E (less expensive) and then the D600 (a “cheap”, but also great, option). This is what they do. They need sales. I will happily use my D800E for the next four years and wait to see what Nikon comes up with then.

          • Ron, I’d never have known how business worked, thanks ever so much for the tip because all this stuff just flies over my head despite a long career spanning decades in high tech product sales and marketing.

            /sarcasm off/

            Sony like any other such company can have multiple objectives for the introduction of a particular product. For all we know Sony is dipping their toe in a particular pool to see how many ripples they cause. Depending on how that goes, they may activate certain plans or destroy others.

            At the same time I refuse to give these companies too much credit for planning “years ahead”. The popularity of NEX among advanced enthusiasts caught Sony off guard but to their credit they responded rapidly and have through the second iteration at the high end made a good product compelling in the NEX-6. Nikon might prefer to redo the “Nikon 1” saga all over again knowing what they know now, and while I bet they turn that story around eventually, that product certainly hasn’t been the success they’d wished for. How about the Marc Newson designed Pentax K-01? Brilliant long term planning Pentax, bravo! Or there’s still laughter haunting ears over in Germany at Hasselbling – talk about planning, how do you turn your decades old well respected brand into the laughing stock of the industry *in a single day*! That takes serious brain power.

            All joking aside, at this point the simple explanation is the best one to go with and Sony provides the tune themselves: Sony saw an opportunity to design a new classic (check, it certainly is a classic); add street cred to their brand in the eyes of pros and those otherwise willing to drop bucks on the RX1 (check, this worked); and set the bar high (check).

            They don’t actually need to follow up with a quick encore in the RX series of cameras in order for RX1 to be successful. In a real sense the camera is already a success and has added to Sony’s credibility as a serious player in every single segment of this industry from the sensor on up to the high end.

            As an aside, what Sony has done specifically with the RX1 is chip away at the luxury market without having to compete directly on Leica’s turf and without having to support Leica’s prize jewels – high end M mount lenses made by Leica and others. The RX1 is like a crossover vehicle, combining aspects of a luxury but relatively simple digital camera, the digital Ms, with traits of advanced live view compacts. With top specs and great performance, autofocus alone will tempt some Leica owners and would be owners into sampling the RX1 experience. What other camera does that? Chalk up another win for Sony.

            But all this talk is irrelevant. The RX1 will be a terrific shooting machine the day it ships and four years from now – that’s the very simple point I called you out as dishing B.S. on.

            Lets revisit this equation in 22 months and see how things have played out.

          • Good idea. We’ll just have to see what happens. The RX1 is, of course, not – as you write – the best one to go with at the moment. And it’s certainly not a classic. The RX1 will be forgotten quickly. Hey, it’s a Sony.

          • One thing is sure. The RX1, or any other digital camera for that matter, will not be worth more in 30 years time than it is now. A Nikon FM2n body (NOS) is offered around here for 800 Euros. I paid 1100 guilders for mine in 1989. Go figure out what real quality means.

          • I think Leicas’ turf, an ultra high end rangefinder market, is the market no other camera maker has a desire to compete in. I’m sure fuji and Sony is content in letting Leica deal with trying to sell 5-7 thousand dollar digital rangefinders. |If the RX1 is forgotten, it’s sonys fault for making it a fixed lens camera. fixed lens cameras always end up being replaced by more versatile cameras.

        • ron does have a good point. The RX1 is the kind of camera that has no expansion. Upgrades will have to be an RX2 or nothing at all. Zoom lenses are the norm for many now, and many are fans of primes, but they can at least chose what primes to buy for a IL system. You are stuck with one focal length for the RX1. Some folks will say that the 35mm foocal length is enough for them but many others wo ill say i’t’s not and vote by simply not buying one. Sony would have hit more bases if they could at leadt have put in a fixed zeiss zoom of maybe 35mm to 75mm with a constant f4. It would’nt have been that hard. The fixed 35 isn’t small ebnough anyways to be pocketable, unless your wearing a big fur coat. I still don;t knwow hat lucrative market Sony is trying to capture with the RX1…and if it is not lucrative , why then waste so much resources to build something such as this. It would have been so much better to build a FF NEX camera to please an exisiting fan base. How many customers does sony think they have out their? They got a PS line, an NEX line, an Alpha line, and now they want to milk the FF compact market? Since Sony boguht Minolta, it’s been about trying to reinvent the wheel ,. People just want better camera upgrades that are affordable, not one of products designed for the 1%. I’m sure the RX1 is a good camera, maybe great, but what good is it if the pros stick to dlsrs and the middle class ca’;t afford it? We already have a niche market camera maker, they’re called Leica, and look how many times that company’s almost gone under? LOL

          • Yes, the RX1 will bomb. Most people who want full frame, will want a system and not just a pocketable camera with a Zeiss 35mm F/2 lens. This is a strange attempt to attract Leica lovers who, by the way, will never switch to Sony because they want and need the Leica logo on their chests. Sony’s effort, how admirable it is, will not work. $ 2800 for the RX1 or $ 2100 for a D600? A no-brainer. Nikon wins. As does Canon with their full frame DSLR’s. Nothing comes even close to the latest Nikon and Canon DSLR’s. At least, for me as professional. With the RX1, Sony is doing what Leica has already been doing for a long, long time: Trying to attract people who have too much money to spend or who have an M9(-P) they can sell/trade in for the latest fad.

          • I can’t speak for others but in my own case if I wanted a DSLR I would buy one. I don’t want to lug a big camera and a bag of lenses around when I am out with my wife for a walk or out with friends. Even the EM-5 is too much stuff to carry because the moment you can change lenses you think you have to have a suite of lenses never mind that most of them sit in the bag 90% of the time. I guess it is good for exercise. I am not in the business so it is for PLEASURE and a hobby. If I was doing it professionally, I would have a suite of cameras because like any profession, you need to have a selection of tools in your tool box so that you have the right tool for the particular task in order to be efficient and being efficient in business is the difference between making money and not.

          • Well, it is a business..maybe not for camera fans but it is for the companies that make them. All the successful cameras in history have had sales success. Cameras, as good or bad as they may be, don’t last long if they don’t sell well. adn nothing is more annoying than having a camera that’s a part of a dead system. Sony also made another Minolta mistake by making the a99 3k as apposed to the 2k FF cameras from Canon and nikon. that just means no new customers going to an A99 and more defections to Canon and Nikon from whatever Maxxum fan base is left.
            I don’t know whether Sony has a hard time making cameras and lenses when it comes to finances but if they’re charging prices that exceed the two camera leaders, they not only will go no where but potentially could alienate Sony fans or annoy them to jump ship altogether. Unless Sony cameras are a head and shoulders above their rivals equivalents, and they are not, they cant be charging big two prices. And this is not a shot about the quality of sony cameras as I don’t use dslr’s anymore, but heck, a good camera’s no good if no one can afford to buy one. i read somehwere long ago that Nikon used to sell the Nikon F’s at even or near loss because they were trying to establish a brand and camera superiority…and the F was superior camera indeed.

            Sony HAS to understand that to create a strong camera brand, you got to have the cream of the crop cameras, they do not. If Sony wanted to gain more market share , they have to charge lesser prices, but they don’t. How do you ask consumers to pay for leader prices when you are not the leader? They would have a more larger NEX user fanbase if they didn’t charge so much.What, is having more customers such a bad thing? and yes, the NEX cameras are expensive. It’s hard to tell a consumer to pay for a camera that has no EVF or OVF for the same price as a dslr. Smaller size is not the end all be all for customers, it’s price and function. People will carry a FF camera around their necks the size of a cantalope if it was just 800 dollars. Like it or not, most folks see cameras compared with what they can get for that price. The RX1 is about 3k…that’s like 3, 50 inch flat screen TV’s. If sony were to make Niche cameras, they should start making cameras they and Minolta never made before, which is a true pro camera. That would be a more useful investment than making a camera that’s never going to be seen on the street, let alone the pro circuit. It’s hard to make a name for yourself if no one is seen using your product.

          • This whole thread is the last thing Sony probably wanted but it’s just a great read! We use 5D mk IIs and llls plus 1Ds mk llls and Hassie H series. My little fun EM-5s are the bomb but my colleagues tease me way too much. “It’s a toy”. “It’s too little”. It’s always something except professional. But the images are fine for many of my uses. And the old gunslinger rule totally applies to all these little cameras being discussed. “The first rule of a gunfight is to have a gun”!

          • Thom,

            I don’t think your rationale holds up to scrutiny. The one thing Sony has done that no one else has been able to do is to make very small cameras with large and now larger sensors. They can charge a premium for that over the big two because the big two haven’t been able to do the same. The Canon mirror-less was a surprising disappointment given how long they had to come up with something. If that was the best they could do Sony has nothing to worry about. Both Canon and Nikon remind me of the old computer days when the battle was between mainframes and mini computers and later between mini computers and micro computers. The company’s did not want to build a product that would take away business from their mainframes or later mini-computers. As a result upstarts grabbed those markets and now most of the mainframe computer companies are gone. The moment that you are more worried about protecting your market rather than adapting and adjusting to the market conditions is the moment you seal your fate. The simple fact is that even today, a laptop costs more than a desktop for equivalent or even inferior performance and relative to capability, a note pad computer costs more than a laptop. The smaller and lower weight while still maintaing human ergonomics the more you can charge and it is where the market is heading. In every case, Sony is offering more technology in a smaller package throughout the product range and the performance difference gap is rapidly closing. Suppose you could take one of the older Nikon SLRs and put the RX-1 sensor and electronics in it. Now try and compete with the current crop of SLRs with that SLR. The smaller more compact size will rapidly take the market and they will start encroaching onto the medium format cameras next. How a camera’s price compares to a TV is really not relevant. You might pay as much for a full HD resolution EVF as for a 30 inch desktop monitor. If you buy an iPhone at full price you will pay as much as for a 45″ LCD TV. So what? They are different and for different purposes. You can watch TV on both and there is no question but that the 45″ TV is a more pleasant way to watch TV but you can’t so easily carry one with you or use it on an airplane to watch a movie. This is why I say your rationale really doesn’t fit the market or marketing in high tech as I know it.

          • Barjohn, Sony has doen something no one else has done and that is make a large sensor in a compact body? I think you’re confusing a companies “ability to do something with the insansity of doing it” Canon and Nikon has already made FF dlsr cameras, taking the mirro away isn’t a big leap fact Canon and Nikon have been doing that since they started, they were called rangefinders and film PS cameras. Sticking a FF sensor in a compact boys isn’t anything new, and just because the fact that Sony was the first to introduce such a model doesn’t mean it ‘s never been done. I can lamost hear Canon execs laugh at your staement and say to you ” look at our history”.

            Taking the mirror out of a camera is in fact an EASIER thing to do as you have LESS to put into a camera assemsbly. AF is not new, mirrors are not new, rangefinders are not new, FF sensors are not new either. If companies made rangefinder that took 35mm film 6 decades ago they sure as hell can stick a FF sensor in a compact body today. They key is not who comes up with that first but who can make it sell. Canon and Nikon know their business and know what consumers will pay for what.Even if |Canon came up with a RX1 now, they know it still would not sell enough because most modern pros dont use compact cameras and most noobs cant afford pro compacts.The question is not why Canon and Nikon didn;t make an RX1 type camera, the question is why didnt they? It’s not always about making things you can make, it;s about making things you SHOULD make. As i said , we all like gold pens, but are they neccessary and will they sell well?

            You have to also understand that mirrolress cameras are just camera without a mirrorbox. It was what we used to refer to as rangefinders or PS cameras. Do you rememebr the film PS cameras of their day?That’s not new technology, that’s OLD technology.The only difference bewteen film cameras and digital cameras is the sensor and the electronics that power them, that’s all. 3k cameras are in the pro category in terms of pricing and Canon and Nikon know that most pros use drls because they handle better with huge lenses, which pro use and buy as well. about the Canon m, it was made for the noob and female market, a market that probably spends more money than any camera enthusiast here and elsewhere combined. If you as a company dont go after the money base, you mind as well declare bankruptcy. The RX1 is a better camer most likely in everyway than the eos m, but you know what, the eos M will STILL sell better than the RX1. It small, it shoots pics, it does the job and it will sell. There’s no point in making products no one can afford.

            I understand TV’s are for different purposes than cameras..but you have to understand how consumers think. just because you love cameras doesnt mean people are going to spend 50 k on one either.People arent stupid, they can compare, they rationalize what they can afford as apposed to wha they cant afford .3 TVs or a small camera, food for a year for my kids or a camera, my medical bill or a camera. Show me one average person who doesn’t think that way?The money to be made is in the masses, not the 1%.Most people will buy the eos m, shoot pics, enjoy it and thank spend the rest of the 2k on a vacation, who cares if the RX1 is a beter camera? the 1%? 1% of customers means 1% of the market, 1% of the profits, 1% of brand visibility, 1% brand superiority. Canon and nikon already make the best cameras, no? Name me one Sony camera that can top a 1ds m3 or a D3x, name me ONE. When Sony makes and sells the best, they can call themselves the best..until then, another 3rd wheel.

          • Sony Canada pre-orders since the product intro at Photokina were ranging between December 10th and December 19th.

            As of today the Sony Style Canada site now informs that *new* orders of the RX1 have an ETA of February 5, 2013.

            It may just be that Sony Canada has already sold all of their quota of the first batch of RX1 cameras.

            Bomb? I don’t think so.
            Classic? Almost certainly.

          • Yes, Sony told me sales have far exceeded their expectations and it is a success just from pre-orders. As I have said before it is selling very well for them.

          • Thom says: “The RX1 is the kind of camera that has no expansion. Upgrades will have to be an RX2 or nothing at all. ”

            You are missing the point even though you almost touch upon it right there in the quote I pulled from your post.

            Sony doesn’t have to have a follow up camera to the RX1 for the RX1 to be successful.

            They simply have to have other cameras, and they do. Perhaps you’ve heard of them? NEX? Alpha? And don’t forget Cyber-shot which is definitely pulling above its weight class at present with the RX100 and now RX1.

            You’ll get the wrong view if you continue to look at the RX1 through the same prism as you do every other product Sony or other makers produce. Not every product needs or benefits from an eat-your-own-young product refresh cycle. Classic products have staying power and build brand, big.

          • ” Sony doesnt have to have a follow up camera for it to be successful.” Define success? Spending millions to make one million back in profit from one camera model?
            As for you saying they simply have to have anohter camera..they do, you want to know why? Because Minolta and now Sony have NEVER made a tru pro camera. And because of that, they don’t have the pro market pie, and they DON’T have the dslr consumer market pie as well. I’m probably not far off by saying Sony doesn’t have the PS market pie as well.

            I think you’re missing the real world point, which is that Canon and Nikon are the market leader because they have been making state of the art film and digital pro camera for decades. They built their brand from hard work and dedication. If Sony wants to be a champ, they are going to have to beat the champ. Theres no way to tip toe around it. Minolta has been trying for years with the same ” buy minolta cause it just as good yet just as expensive” strategy…it didn’t work then, it won’t work again with Sony. Go on the street and ask ordinary folks what the best camera brand is…they will mostly say Nikon or Canon.
            Perception and Price are EVERYTHING in the camera business.Brand superiority is build on money and hardwork. Canon and nikon built their reputations on cameras like the F’s, the f1s. the eos 1’s, the d1-3’s. What has Minolta and Sony done? Sorry, you gotta beat the man to be the man…otherwise, Sony will always be a 3rd wheeler like Minolta. Just look at how long it took the to get rid of the minolta hotshoe.

            The RX1 can be the best camera ever made , but what good does it do for sony if only rich folks buy them? I think you are confusing a camera quality with the probablity of sales. Just because someone makes the best gold pen in the world, doesn’t neccessarily mean that it will sell…nor does it mean it was even neccessary. The RX1, the Leicas, they’re ALL gold pens…like it or not. Yeah, sure, gold pens are awesome but Bic pens write just the same at a fraction of the cost..literally. Adn you can bet that selling a tonne of plastic BIC pens will alwasy make you more money than 5 gold pens.It’s a business, it’s about money, it’s not about you or me, the more money camera companies make, the more resources they have to make better cameras. The less they make..well…look what happended to Minolta.

          • Fair point Thom. But i don’t care if this camera bombs in commercial terms after a few years……as along as the results are as good as they look and what Steve’s initial thoughts prove to be correct and consistent in firmware terms I’ll be happy!

            Who knows, in the future I may even own one of those “rare RX1s that Sony made but had to discontinue”….. the camera for the owner will still be a gem.

          • Before 43 and m43 and the mirrorless camera segment Canon and Nikon had the vast majority of the market with their SLRs, That market share is steadily eroding and not what it was 3 or 4 years ago. Being a market leader in the world of high tech guarantees you nothing. I once worked for the market leader in super computers (Control Data Corporation) with over 70,000 employees world wide. Guess where they are today. GONE. Some of you may remember the leader in mini computers the PDP series. Guess where that company is today. GONE.

            A company that ignores market shifts is not likely to survive. Sony has nearly complete vertical integration and that is a huge advantage. They make most of the critical components for a camera. Nikon does not. Who is more likely to come out with the next big sensor break through? What if they decide not to offer it to their competitors?

            The packaging needed to put a FF sensor so close to the back of the camera is not trivial technology and I haven’t seen Nikon or Canon doing it yet. Is there a reason to do so? Absolutely. It would allow them to reduce the bulk that adds nothing to the handling or performance of their cameras.

          • John, that’s what the eos m is for.The eos m isn’t even out yet and folks on this site have already ruled it out. You just wait till the eos m hits the stores, the big box stores, the small camera stores in the shopping malls.

            I don’t think Canon or nikon is ignoring market shifts but they are responding to the shifts accordingly. It’s not whether the market is shifting, but rather to where and how far? Let’s look at CSC cameras as a whole. They are NO good past small tele zooms..period. No one is going to invest in big telephoto or big zooms only to stick them on a a non dslr body, that will never change. Do you ever see a sports photographer use a 600mm on a NEX7? For THIS reason alone CSC’s are limited. The GH3 is a perfect example of the end of the rod for a CSC. No one in their right mind is going to get the GH3, a camera that just as expensive as a dslr, has a smaller sensor and is just AS BIG in body size. They are right back at where they left off, the dslr…right back to sqaure one.

            Go around the street of cities and count how many dslrs you see in peoples hands as apposed to CSC’s. The market is not shifting as much as you think. Ordinary folks still think of dslrs as “professional” becuase they are bigger and pros use the top end dslrs. Do you recall the aps film cameras back in the day? They were small, had decent image quality, but inevitably, they died. Why? Because folks had better quaility on PS film cameras than intercahngable lens aps cameras. There was simply not enough room or need for smaller aps film cameras and they died out between PS and slrs.

            Fast forward, with digital sensors being so expensive, there was a gap which had come to light and companies like Olympus and Panasonic now had room and m43 took adavtage of it. Now, here comes the problem, as sensors are getign cheaper and cheaper to make, that gap is starting to close. With cameras like the Canon g1x it’s a sign that digital will shift to where film was at one time. Sooner or later, and it will happen, all PS cameras will have larger and larger sensors until they all have at least a apsc sesnor.When that happens, who will go for a 700 dollar m43 when youc an get a PS camera with a bteter sensor for 400? Who? The fact that aps film cameras has interchangable lens options did not help it survive won’t help m43 or other CSC’s either.MOST ordinary consumers when buying an entry dslr or CSC rarely go on to buy more than one other lens if at all. the sensor gap is closing and its first casualty will be m43.

            You are right, the market is shifting…but it’s going back slowly but surely to a 2 camera type system. Big or small dslrs and PS digital cameras with bigger and bigger sensors. There will be the odd CSC here and there, but the gap that CSC’s have thrived on will have closed up almost entirely.

          • Thom, I agree with you, almost totally.
            Thing is Minolta did make a pro Camera, the Dynax 9 along with the XM – It may not have been successful but it sure as hell was a pro camera.
            But I concur with what you say, The great majority of snapshooters buy p&s and will NEVER spend what Sony charge. The great majority of people who consider themselves enthusiasts or ‘advanced’ or think they are advanced – will almost always buy a Canon or Nikon SLR. And real Pro’s and papz, they use canon SLR’s and sometimes Nikon. The camera here is a niche product, it’s expensive for what it is, and it really doesn’t make much marketing sense considering the competiton – I mean they’re charging another 500 dollars or more for an eVF!

  28. Steve,

    Congrats on claiming the title for best photo, you had several incredible shots of the model. Did you have an opportunity to ask the Sony reps why they opted for no built-in finder on the RX1?

    To introduce groundbreaking technology at that price point, it defies logic that they would exclude what many would consider one of the most important utilities on a higher end camera.

    I have the new Fuji X-E 1 on order, but would have doubled down on the RX1 ($1,400 to $2,800) if it had a viewfinder.

    • I tested the X-E1 at Photokina and it’s a great camera. The EVF is amazing and the new 18-55mm lens is great. It’s all you need. The RX1 is overpriced.

      • This links shows how good the High ISO is on the X-E1 (although I would rather see a real world test -as per Steve’s shots).

        This link shows just how good the new Fuji 18-55 is (FUJINON LENS XF18-55mmF2.8-4 R LM OIS). By the look of these images it creams any other kit zoom lens. Very encouraging.

        Fuji X-E1 with kit lens for half the price of an RX1. With Fujis great lens roadmap I would opt for that over the RX1 but if Santa was feeling generous I am sure I could find a place for the little big Sony.

      • Good to know Ron, thank you. My only concern is the lack of RAW support; I do most of my editing and storing in Aperture 3, and they still don’t support the X-Pro 1. I don’t want to have to change my workflow, and I do not want to compromise image quality by just shooting jpeg.

        Have you heard anything about RAW support for the X-E1?

      • Wow, Ron knows that this or that camera “is all you need”.

        Earth to Ron, what if you *need* a 35mm equivalent lens for your X-E1?

        There’s a problem there… there isn’t one. Yet. This might be something you take into consideration when dispensing your advice given that we are after all discussing a camera with a 35mm lens.

        A little more discussion with less strenuously offered opinion would probably work better.

        • Mike,
          The Fuji 18-55 f2.8-f4 would give 35mm and looking at the images on brandonremler blogspot it is as good as a prime (see my previous post for the link – and some fantastic concert photos). Anyway there is a 35mm equivalent (23mm f1.4) coming in early 2013 according to the Fuji lens roadmap.

          • Mike: The new Fuji 18-55mm lens is perfect. I tested it and the results are great. And there is 35mm somewhere between 18 and 55 as you might know. And, like Dougbm wrote: the 23mm is coming soon as well. So… Earth to Mike, I say.

          • I’m quite aware of the Fujinon 18-55 zoom guys, but I don’t consider that piece of glass to be a replacement for a 35/2 Zeiss prime lens designed for a full frame sensor.

            Even the 23/1.4 when it finally arrives is at a big disadvantage to the 35/2 on full frame when it comes to depth of field. When shot wide open (f/1.4) on APS-C focused on a subject 10 feet away that lens has a range of acceptable sharpness of more than 7 feet. Meanwhile the 35mm/2 on full frame has a much narrower range of acceptable sharpness of just over 3 feet.

            The 35/2 on full frame can be stopped down past f/4 before the Fujinon 18-55 zoom shows a similar range of acceptable sharpness while wide open at f/2.8.

            How is the 18-55 APS-C lens, or even the 23mm f/1.4 (when it arrives) on a X-E1 in any way a drop in replacement for a 35/2 on a full frame sensor? They aren’t.

            A 35mm focal length lens even on full frame isn’t a depth of field or bokeh master at the best of times, but look at what you are asking me to consider – trading off a couple stops of depth of field advantage by going to a slower zoom lens and a smaller APS-C sensor.

            Come on guys, this isn’t rocket science. There are real quantifiable advantage to shooting cameras with larger sensors or film. Please don’t insult our intelligence by suggesting otherwise.

            The real question people need to ask themselves is whether they need those advantages or not. If not, the X-E1 or any number of other APS-C cameras are likely better choices.

  29. Great camera and really a breakthrough as far as a small full frame camera is concerned, but… I’ll pass. It just is too expensive for a camera with a fixed 35mm lens. I just sold my M8 and lenses and bought a Nikon D800E (upgraded from my D700). Yes, it’s heavy. But it kills the RX1 in image quality – for sure. And it’s weather sealed. Oh, yes… it’s also about the same price as the RX1, so if you have Nikon lenses and want to buy something new, get the D800E. The RX1 will be a collector’s item, like Leica cameras, in about a year. The RX1 is a camera for the wealthy or for posers.

    • Or wealthy posers…LOL!
      Actually you are wrong. It is for those (wealthy enough) who need or want the best image quality in the smallest form factor. People like Steve. I think this will be quite a success for Sony. Sure it wont sell in volume like the RX100 (has this already been forgotten?) but I bet they outsell Leica M9 or 10.

      • Nah, that doesn’t make sense. It’s always the next big thing. One day raving about the NEX-7, then the OM-D, then the RX1 and to a lesser extent the NEX-6. It’s all just temporary as far as small cameras go. At least brands like Canon and Nikon update their (semi) professional models once per four years, unlike the other players in the field, who seem to target the Steve Huff audience… “fits in my pocket”, full frame, no sore wrists, etc. Don’t forget that the RX2 will, of course, blow away the RX1 in about 22 months from now and, more importantly, blow away many wallets. I agree it will outsell the Leica M or ME, which is for the truly rich who need something to show off to others (and I know what I’m talking about as an ex-M8 and M9-P user – glad I got rid of both this year), and rightly so. But… If you see, like I did, giant and beautiful prints at Photokina made with an X-PRO1 (yes, old-fashioned APS-C!), you just know you don’t need more than that. Or, in my case, as a professional landscape photographer a D800-E bought for just 2995 euros. But… to each his own. And, yes, what happened to the RX100? A thing from the past already?

        • Ron, like others here, I don’t agree with you but I admire that you stick to your guns. Though not absolute truth there is truth to the angle of your attack. For instance, in 22 months from now (like you said) we will have an RX2 or a Fuji full frame variant with a built-in viewfinder which will kick the RX1 to the curb. On the flip side, I used the D800 to photograph a wedding a few months ago and I hated it. The image quality was superlative but the file sizes were overkill and, yes, it hurt my wrist. For street shooting the D800 would just be a chore to use on a daily basis. With that said, Sony is on the right track here and they are giving other manufacturers cause for concern, even Canon and Nikon. Personally, I wish Sony would’ve included a built-in viewfinder on the RX1 which would’ve freed up the hotshoe for speedlights and wireless flash triggers (after all, photography is light). Add to this interchangeable lenses and I would’ve jumped on board this gravy train. DSLR’s… goodbye.

          • David, If the file sizes were overkill, it just means just need a better (read: faster) computer. That it hurt your wrist is just something you need to get used to. I’ve been using DSLR’s for more than twenty years and I’ve never had any trouble as far as weight is concerned. But I guess that’s personal. Hey, I actually really admire Sony for launching the RX1, but not at this price and with the limitations. DSLR’s, by the way, will always remain popular. When I was at Photokina last month, I saw hundreds (really!) of overweight German men with Canon & Nikon DSLR’s and 70-200mm and even larger lenses on their chest. Big is somehow important for many men. My belief is that Sony did something really groundbreaking with the RX1, and will most definitely cause big problems for Leica (which I actually hope with their “Made in Germany” snobbish attitude), but – like you wrote – it’s still limited because of a number of factors. If you really want another groundbreaking camera as far as size, weight (350 grams), EVF, and IQ is concerned, go for the Fujifilm X-E1. You won’t regret it. I used it for fifteen minutes at Photokina and was blown away. It felt so good in my hand, it was like an orgasm… 🙂

          • Too funny. I own a Fuji X100 and I love it. I have also been thinking about upgrading to the Fuji X-E1. Not sure about the orgasm…

          • It’s all a marketing exercise, and a money making exercise. I’m sure the RX1 has great image quality, but let’s be honest, there are better built, more ergonomic and value for money cameras out there, As Ron said, the next big thing is but 6 months away. I’ve jumped off this bandwagon and dropped out of the rat race, I am not a Pro so don’t need Digital, if I were a Pro I’d get myself a Canon 5D or similar Nikon, and invest in Lenses, If I wanted a nice versatile digital with great IQ I’d get a Fuji X100/ X-Pro or an Olympus EP or OMD, I’m a hobbyist and make photographs for my own pleasure at my own pace and only go out to take photo’s once every couple of months or less, so I shoot film and can chiilax – I still have my “advanced” Contax G2 which I bought 2nd hand in 2005 and it still blows away any of these cameras in terms of aesthetically pleasing and beautiful photographs (extreme high ISO plus extra HUGE resolution doesn’t matter to me), and looking at the prices, it still costs the same – in fact prices are rising, and a Nikon D2x which cost many thousands then costs much less now – Digital Rot.

      • Funny the RX100 is mentioned. Actually that is a pocketable camera unlike the RX1. Also the RX100 is so good that it could cover the need of about 99,9% of all shooters out there.

    • “The RX1 is a camera for the wealthy or for posers.”

      And i think a lot DSLR owners a posers…even more so. They buy it because it is what they see being used by professionals. There is a HUGE % or people who do not even though how use most cameras properly.

      This camera is not for posers as no one will even know what it is. They just see the size of it and think “huh, must be a new type of P&S” or along those lines anyway.

      A serious photographer who wants IQ and portability over all else will take notice. They may not buy it but they will certainly weight it up against the competition.

        • True, Andy. I’ve seen many people owning an advanced or even professional DSLR and using it in automatic mode only. Coupled with, of course, the largest lenses imaginable. To me it’s quite disgusting to see. But a $ 2800 camera with a fixed lens is, of course, also ridiculous. It’s not about what the RX1 can achieve, it’s about being far overpriced for what you get. Wanna use it in the rain? I don’t think so. Wanna put it in your pocket with the EVF attached? Mmmm. I really am not an exception as a serious (read: professional) photographer. All colleagues I spoke to until now agree with me that a fixed lens at this price doesn’t make sense.

  30. Hi Steve

    You are one of the reviewers I trust for honest opinions. I think this is a magnificent camera and from reading this site I am close to placing an order.

    Just be curious on your opinion….of course no camera is going to suit everyone and a lot of people would want this changing or that. But would you prefer compromising a small size increase (and even price ) to have a built in EVF?

    To me this is the main distraction, I can even live with with the fixed lens.

    • Sure I would have preferred a larger size with an EVF built in but sadly it is not. Also, the RX1 is not a model that will be replaced in a year..maybe 2-3 but not a year and even then there would be no guarantee of an EVF built in. They seem pretty stubborn on that fact.

    • I think they already have and I odered one from day one direct from Sony,hoping to get one sooner,early Dec. I have been told.

  31. Hi Steve,

    I have been loving your site for the last 18 months or so and indeed it has been a great time for new cameras with fuji, olympus, leica and sony bringing out some great stuff. I nearly ordered an Nex 7 way back but do you remember my comment to you at the time (would sony put a full frame sensor in a camera like the nex 7) and now they have but in an even smaller camera!! Wow what a great device Sony has built, can’t wait for your further reviews on this ground breaking camera!

  32. Great review thank Steve! You must have been bricking it slightly when you shot the film of it on the edge of your balcony!
    When you get a full review test chance i would love to see a low light test against a OMD with 25mm 1.4f lens.
    Which do you think would win?
    And what things do you see youself using the RX1 for and what things your trusty OMD?

  33. pretty awesome feedback Steve….! so appreciate you objective views…like someone who would say ‘the next one’ when asked what is your favorite camera… you know? you have your favs like we all do but you also can be very objective…. im so looking forward to owning this one // selling some Canon primes and my X100 to justify it… glad that you travel the world shooting, writing eating …drinking /? hell you might be like the Anthony Bourdain of cameras….. cheers !

  34. Awesome, prize-winning shot, Steve. Congratulations!

    You’ve pretty much been in my neck of the woods this past week (I’m in San Jose). Lots of familiar sights in those photos.

    The RX1 looks like the bee’s knees to me. On a climb of Mt. Whitney a couple of weeks ago, I used a borrowed Nikon point-and-shoot almost entirely at 35mm focal-length equivalent and found I rather liked it. I’ve shot 35mm film since 1982 and never really warmed to the 50mm standard focal length. (The 75mm – 80mm standard focal length on 6cm x 6cm was another matter. I really enjoyed the medium format square, and took some of my favorite photos on those).

    I spent a month in Vietnam in 2007, with a Pentax K100D and 16-45mm zoom as my primary lens. Although not a beast of a camera, with my wife and twin daughters in tow (actually, I was in tow; my wife’s from there) I decided I really don’t want to lug that much camera around again for normal, walkabout photography. 35mm – 50mm – 75mm focal lengths cover probably 90% or more of my shooting.

    But for the $600 (!!!) additional cost of the EVF, the issue of accessory vs. integral is a wash for me. The accessory finder gives some options for camera angles that an integral finder doesn’t, versus the more compact form factor of the integral finder. I do consider the finder a necessity: on Whitney, I lost some portraits of other climbers to camera shake because the “stinky diaper hold” didn’t allow enough stability after physical exertion.

    No surprise as to the sharpness vs. the A99. The RX1’s Sonnar lens is a non-retrofocus design (sharper, all things being equal), and its low number of air-to-glass interfaces reduces internal flare and improves contrast. Also, I’m sure the pellicle mirror of the A99 robs a bit of sharpness.

    Anyone got an extra $2,800 to spare?

  35. I don’t doubt your skills Steve but that “photo of the week” was certainly helped by that gorgeously stunning model!

  36. It is obvious Steve you are a natural at street, people, fashion.
    This isnt blowing smoke up your bottom as i have said you are not a natural landscape photographer.
    Just that you are super with people.

  37. If only sony could make a little brother RX1 but with an aps-c sensor and Zeiss fixed 45 or 50 for 1100. But I geuss I could wait ten years from now and get the RX1 used for 300.

  38. Hello Steve,
    Any comment on autofocus speed and precision ?
    Compared to – D800, V1, Omd, X100 – how would you rate the rx1 ?
    Thanks !

  39. Great review Steve, especially for the short time you have it.

    I shoot with a M8 thinking about going M9, love the Rangefinder way of shooting but am tempted by the IQ of the RX1, I have no problem with shooting 35mm, what I’m mostly afraid of is the size of the camera as I have fairly sizable hands and of the EVF as I never shot with one, is it really any good?

    I have noticed (correct me if I’m wrong) that your hands aren’t that small either, how was it shooting with the RX1 in that respect?

  40. Steve,
    Thanks for your excellent review! The RX1 seems to perform excellently in every aspect we were unsure with when it was announced (speed, image quality etc.) except for the obvious (no built in EVF). I have to say that with the EVF I’d be on the pre-order list in a heartbeat. As of now, however, I’m hoping that they are adding the EVF version soon. Any indication from Sony if they are working on it?
    What is your conclusion on the usability and ergonomy of the current EVF? Does it get in your way when you carry around the camera, etc?

  41. First off, thank you so much for your time and effort putting together these reviews, especially in the manner you do. They truly are a treat!.
    I am in, this is the digital camera I have been waiting for. Until now, I have resisted (and thereby saved coin) every newcomer that has sauntered along and stubbornly kept with the various 35mm-6X12(120) film&scan setups I have been using. But this!, this is almost too good to be true. I have no qualms finally forking out the dough for what I feel is a camera that; at last has the IQ/$ I am satisfied with, will not leave me wanting if and when the RX(x) version appears and is more than likely to actually be on my person those times when I am not so desperately hunting a moment, and yet another one suddenly appears…
    Arm bands be damned, I’m jumping in.

  42. Love the shot you won the contest with. Also the IQ and the richness of colour in the pic of the guys on the veranda is amazing.

    As always – thanks for sharing

  43. Thanks for the quick review – the camera looks like alot of fun. Do you know if the sensor crop works in video mode also?

  44. That sony EVf resembles the next generation of StarTrek space ships. Is there any camera company that can design a decent looking accessory these days? They did it so much better 50 years ago.

    • Agree with Mark 100%. Sony is a consumer electronics company, so I think their #1 concern is beating others on cutting edge technology and maximising profit out of that instead of throwing a whole bunch of money on esthetics. Hence, they do not spend the R&D money like Fuji in order to recreate that retro look. Well, this creates an opportunity for 3rd party accessory company coz that evf screams NEX and I didn’t touch that camera precisely because it is a consumer electronics design. Looks like something that belongs in a living room beside the DVD player.

  45. Steve, continued real good work and important for those of us who are looking for new equipment and aren’t professionals. Thanks.

  46. Ahhhhhh I really want to get this camera with a thumbgrip and an evf… but i think the evf is more useful. any ideas on a better grip with such a small camera and still using the evf???? i would love to buy it and have a steady hand while shooting it but if i have to sacrifice the evf, forget it

    • yeah i also noticed that in the video. Not ideal given the camera is so small anyway. Bit like the OM-D where it’s grip makes a big difference. The thumb grip on my x100 is gold. Who knows, Tim’s Thumb Grips might come up with a solution!

  47. hi.
    i have a confession to make… i’ve been refreshing your site quite often these days… to see if there is someting new about rx1…
    Could this be the first digital camera that i want? The one i crave for?
    Ok. I’ll cut my personal expressions for now.
    So my big question is, does anyone specially you Steve (as you happend to be in centre of events) when will this big piece of cake be available in europe?
    And especially when it will be in stores… because there is no way for me to buy something so expensive (if i was an orphan this would be the end of the sentence) without trying it (evf , handling and feel and so…).

    I like shooting film. But it would be nice to have something to shoot with in real low light in goood quality. and it would be nice if it is small camera. So I’ve been literary waiting for this one.

    So if any of you guys now something about availability in europe and specially when an ordinary customer will be able to put his hands on one… please let me know!

    And big thanks for reviews and pictures from this camera! Envy is mixing up into my tears of thanks here 🙂

      • hmm..
        well it would certainly be nice to see rx1 in store in miidle of december.
        Actually what I’m most interested to see before buing is viewfinder.
        What camera would you say has most similar electronic viewfinder as rx1?
        I’d go check it out in a store somewhere.
        I have no experience to shoot with electronic viewfinder (just x100 for a fiew seconds…) only optical… And I tink with 35mm lens there are to be some paralax issues…
        Well for me the best way would be finder like on G2 optical but moving to compensate parallax.
        But this one is electronic. So you liked it? It wasnt difficult to focus? eyes didn’t hurt? Sorry if this is stupid question, just direct me to which camera i should try to have a taste od what would rx1 evf be like… 🙂

        so ones again thanks for all informations. i really like your site and enjoys your reviews!
        6 months earlier I bought 35mm 1.2 nokton after reading your amazing review! And it is THE best lens for 35mm film I’ve used or seen. When shooting on plus-x sharpness on 1.4 is sooo terrifying and look and bokeh.
        So finger crossed mabe I’ll see if I identify with your reviews of digital cameras same as with M lenses (btw sorry for another ot but where did 21 summilux review went? I can’t follow the link…)
        have a nice whathewer you having behind a big fen!

  48. Glad you won the contest Steve coz I took a look at all the other sample shots from the other reviewers and nobody came close to making the model look as beautiful as you did. She looks especially stunning on your shots. Thanks for all the reports.

  49. Hi Steve, much as I love your reviews I would have loved to hear the shutter sound and maybe a quick demo of auto focus performance. Also curious to how visible the leaf shutter is (relevant when doing street shots). Again thanks for a great site!

    • Thanks! The shutter is SILENT. Sounds like the Leica X1, X2, Fuji X100 with all artificial sounds disabled. Its silent. AF is faster than the Fuji’s and about on par with the NEX-5n.

      • But not as good as the Olympus E-M 5 ?? ??

        (another tester was not totally happy with the AF and called it “sluggish”)

        • Its more like NEX-5n and OM-D , in between. It is not as fast as an OM-D with 12mm but about as fast as an OM-D with 25 1.4. The OM-D is different with every lens you put on. But the RX1 is not sluggish, in fact it is quite responsive. Shot it for 5 days and got to know it quite well. I will do a thorough test and video comparison as soon as I get the final review sample so you guys can see exactly how it is.

  50. There’s no way the RX1 can match the Leica’s NOT possible! I don’t care what the photos show! LOL

    • Well, what was shown here are simple JPEGS, resized and the Sony has had sharpening applied in camera and went through a quick conversion. NOt a fair or scientific test at all. When I get a review samples I will do a much better comparison.

  51. Undoubtedly great quality, Steve, just too infexible for the money. The “multiplier” lens substitute, is simply, as WOW above suggested, plain old digital zoom, isn’t it?
    If you’ve got the money for this, plus a more flexible system, then fine, but for the average Joe, myself included, this is not a viable only camera.
    It’s billed as an enthusiast camera. I think you’d have to be VERY enthusiastic, to shell out this much for a camera with no EVF or lens flexibility.
    It is an amazing quality coat pocket camera, though, and it’d be nice to have that nifty little 500mm lens in the other pocket 😉

    ps. It’s great when you take the time to set up a well composed and lit shot, Steve, as too much “ordinary” testing doesn’t really give you a feel of what might be achievable with the camera/lens .

  52. Steve – maybe it is too late to check this out, but I thought I saw… somewhere, maybe on a Japanese language site… that the camera could be “pulled” down to ISO 50, 64, 80. If so the max shutter speed of 1/2000 at f/2 would for most situations become a non issue.

    Maybe this wasn’t in today’s firmware but will arrive in subsequent releases? Could Sony comment on this?

    Regardless, this is the camera I’ve been waiting for, EVF/tilt screen missing aside. I shoot 35 on film and 25mm on APS-C and need nor want anything else in a go everywhere camera. The price is reasonable (in the U.S. – what’s with the silly international variations!) for what it is – the only aspect of cost that I disagree with are the finders… those are silly prices and I hope Sony gets more realistic about them when they are officially available for order.

    I think Sony intended to make a statement with this camera and won’t subject it to the annual camera-model upgrade/refresh cycle many other consumer oriented cameras go through, so I’ve no intention to wait on a RX2 that in my estimation won’t ever happen or will be three or four years down the road.

    Thanks for all your commentary on the camera and the tasty inspiring images. While I was next to dead certain Sony pretty much nailed this camera for almost no other reason than the list price at launch, this early experience series certainly has made me feel comfortable leaving my pre-order in place.

  53. Thx Steve for the first look – for me the most important feature missing is the ND-filter.

  54. I would have liked to read some comments as to your opinion with the OVF and EVF so I guess that will come later. Still, it seems pretty darn good for what it is and I’m looking forward to trying it out as well. This would be a great tool for my travel trips to Italy where my full-up A900 w/ZA isn’t very convenient.

  55. Steve are you going to use an EVF with the RX1 when you get one or just use the LCD?

    Also with video is there continuous autofocus or do you have to manually focus the lens during video?

  56. Love your reviews Steve. The RX1 has had me interested since introduced. I currently have an OM-D and have considered the RX1 or NEX-6 with a few lenses. As much as I love Leica cameras, I still don’t see the sense in the Monochrome, especially after seeing what the RX1 is capable of. Seems people are only paying for the Leica handling qualities. A blind comparison test would be very interesting.

  57. Between your reviews and the images taken here and on other sites, I can’t wait to get my hands on this camera. To my eyes, the B&W comparison shot looks better than the one from the MM.

  58. Sorry if this is a newbie question … but when you activate the 1.4 multiplier etc, isnt that the same as just cropping the full picture in photoshop?

    Is it like the other cameras’ digital zoom (as opposed to optical zoom)?

    Or is it really something revolutionary like turning a Full Frame sensor into an APS-C sensor with a flick of a button?

    • No it’s not. It’s basically the same technology that Nokia uses in their 808 pureview camera. Smart pixel binding, which allows almost lossless digital zooming. Very neat stuff.

      • Thanks for the clarification.

        So just to clarify one last time, it does not affect the DOF right? Because it’s just a digital zoom?

        I just got confused because it was mentioned that the “multiplier” changes to a 1.5. I thought they found a way to make the FF sensor act like an APS-C … I think i drank too much kool-aid when I made that post.


        • It is not just a digital zoom. You will still get a full resolution file and the camera will use software inside the camera to add detail to the files when using this feature. What you get, according to Sony, is a file that is just as nice as if you used the native 35mm. Makes it more versatile. I will be testing this in full as soon as I get a review unit (which should be pretty soon). Thanks!

    • after watching the video it seems to be because that lense goes the whole way (almost) back into the camera. It looks like they didn’t have enough room. I personally think they could have made the body slightly bigger to fit this in, but they didn’t!

      Overall it looks like a great piece of gear and I could see this as great addition to a professional photographer as light, small and easy to shoot piece of kit.

      Steve thanks for all the posts on this. Looking forward to see more before making a decision on this. EVF obviously would be nice but hey, if it’s performance and IQ across the spectrum at this size you are looking for……then this looks like it is worth the money to me.

      It is a genuine option to someone who might look at buying an the new Leica M with a 35 lux or cron for much less money. Yes i/c lens system but given the cost of buying an extra lens it’s even more expensive.

      I very nearly bought an M9, but going to hold out and consider this as an option now. Will ponder a bit more. And yes……i know they are different systems (rangefinder vs. CSC).

    • must be to do with the lense built into the body. If you haven’t already watch the video. To me that seems to be the main reason….

      and of course to keep us all coming back for more next time!

  59. Steve, Camera sounds great and pictures are nice, but a problem, is it just me or do the shadows, especially darker areas (the gnome and especially the tree trunk) are blocked up, and the images look ‘dirty’ and noisy?

    • Good stuff steve. Congrats on shooting the best photo. Interesting comparison with the Leica Mono.
      Confirms my impression of the RX1 images being too sharp. I expect this is a camera jpg setting. Also the highlights are a touch blown. Conversely the Leica shot is a bit soft and flat. I tried to adjust them in photoshop and you can get pretty much the same result from either but I probably prefer the Leica.
      However the Sony also does colour and it is really a 35/50/75 (digital zoom that works!). Be a great camera with the evf (too bad if you also want a flash – but with such good low light performance…). Can’t agrees that ISO 25,600 is a good as others 3200 Steve. Think you got carried away there. The 25,600 shots you have shown are pretty muddy and dirty and nothing like as clean as 3200 on an X100. Works for B & W street shots though for sure.

      • jeez, they’re 25,600 iso? no wonder. As they look isn’t nice at all. Nor was the sunset shot on the previous post – which I presume was high ISO. High ISO’s are fir when they’re required, at parties, at night, semi darkness, low light, in concerts – not for landscapes or still life!

        • I have NO IDEA what shots you are reffering to. The ISO 25,600 shots were in a post from a few days ago testing high ISO…which is what I was doing..TESTING HIGH ISO to the extreme. THIS post does not have any ISO 25,600 shots in it. The EXIF is all embedded so feel free to click the image for the larger version and download it. If you are referring to the tree comparison remember it is an OOC JPEG with default sharpening then it went through a B&W conversion from color. Quick and dirty NON scientific comparison. Will not be fair until I can shoot RAW with the RX1.

          The landscape shot at ISO 6400 (which was clearly marked ISO 6400) was again, a TEST of high ISO. I was not trying to create some beautiful landscape, I was hand holding the camera at night and TESTING the higher IS0. At ISO 6400 of course you will get grain and noise.

          • Steve man, just an observation, and mate, no offence whatsoever – I might not be a digital lover but there’s no doubt that it terms of clean bright images with tons of shadow detail and crispness these new camera’s blow most film away – just the tree and gnome above, look kind of noisy and muddy etc (as described above) , not very pleasing, not something I often say, as the images from these camera’s are usually as clean as a whistle. And I totally understand that you’re demonstrating the different focal length variations in the software and the shallow depth, but as i said, just an observation. Sony almost got it perfect, their one downfall was giving the Cybershot team this project and NOT the Alpha (Konica Minolta) Team, as the KM team I’m sure would’ve released a digital Hexar AF (with eVF). This is a very pricey and advanced bit of kit, and of course end users want to see value for money, and any discrepancy is going to be jumped upon – what i’m doing! 🙂

          • Of course the gnome is noisy! It is ISO 2500. Using Auto ISO in a room without light. It is an OOC JPEG. No processing, no tweaks, just an ISO 2500 shot to show DOF – not clean smooth files. ISO 2500 on the A99 is worse BTW so the Alpha team would not have done any better. The tree? ISO 800, again, OOC JPEG. It was dark (though you cant tell that in the image as it brightened it up due to the f/2 aperture and ISO).

            When I get a review camera and can shoot RAW and process on my home machine (not the tiny macbook air I have here) I can do much more. These were quick and dirty samples and the RX1 puts out better high ISO than I have seen in a long while. When light is low or non existent you will see the tru high ISO performance of digital cameras. The noise gets way worse when the lights are low and all of my high ISO shots were in LOW light/Darkness. No camera can do better..well, maybe one can but thats about it 🙂

          • Steve I was just talking about the design of the camera when I mentioned the Alpha team, the Alpha team just have that much more experience than the Cybershot guys, but I’m just being pedantic! 😉

            Anyway, I look forward to more stuff, I’m more of a daylight geeza, though I’ve only ever shot 1600 and 3200 twice in my life – but I do find it very interesting and curious and amazing to see clean shots taken in such low light. I apologise about my comment regarding the landscape in the previous post, I was a bit confused, no common sense at times! 😛

          • “No camera can do better..well, maybe one can but thats about it”.

            Yes and that “one” will propably be the D4, D800 and D3S 🙂

            Incredible that we can get usable images at ISO 25.600 these days.

          • Love the b+w best pic winner it is a very classy image. I also like the other similar shot. Super quality and very sharp with sweet lighting.

            Loved all the other shots too and a very fair demo of the cameras capabilities.

            I think at 25,600 this camera is awesome, how often would a person need to go that super high with iso any way? But if needed it can handle it.

            Nice 1 Sony. Nice 1 Steve.

  60. Sounds like a gtreat week and just like the Nikon of old! Good for Sony!
    But regardless, when will the “real” RX-1 camera appear on the market with the EVF in camera? Not a amatuer afterthought??? Otherwise, IMO, Sony is just kidding around…

    • I kind of felt the same way at first but as a left eye dominant shooter who has a 5N with the external viewfinder I am absolutely sold on this configuration. Here is why (and of course YMMV):

      1. With the viewfinder in a higher center position as opposed to left corner, I can look through with both eyes open with stereo vision seeing the complete scene, not just what the lens is capturing. A design that benefits left and right eyed shooters equally.

      2. Tilt. Since the RX1 omits the tilt-LCD, you can regain some of at functionality with the external EVF.

      3. Size and flexibility. Add the EVF if you want and enjoy the more compact size if it isn’t important at that moment or for that task.

      And yes, I am well aware of the pro-built in arguments – all I’m saying is that it is a personal preference and there are positives to the external solution.

  61. Another excellent review, and collection of samples that includes things that will be excluded by many others. You’re on a roll, keep it up! I’m glad to have subscribed to your blog.

    • Not to me. May be, it really depends on whether you prefer uncompromising IQ or convenience of having IBIS/OSS. And on a 35mm lens, on a FF sensor, I personally would prefer the former as IBIS or OSS is pretty much a moot point at this focal length, and more so if the camera performs well at high ISOs.

          • why on earth would they try to include ibis if it makes the camera noticeably larger? since they cut out the evf and tiltscreen for size restraints. besides, pros develop a more stable grip and stable pose when shooting, so only beginners(u) would need ibis on a wide angle focal length. and ibis does not magically give u a tripod.

      • Trying to figure out all the geek talk here. I’ve been a professional photojournalist for 30 years and was the go to guy on staff for knowing geeky camera stuff but this thread is confusing me. What is IBIS & OSS? Can’t find it online either.
        Just discovered this site. Very informative, thanks! BTW I pre ordered the RX1 the first day it was announced. Think I’ll be okay with just the LCD screen, I find myself shooting this way more and more with my Canon’s especially zooming in using live view to get the critical focus just right. I certainly don’t see any iPhone users wishing they had a EVF. I can shoot more incognito by not holding it up to my eyes. This will be my carry around everywhere camera, the smaller and lighter the better.

    • Anyone who says you need ibis on a FF 35mm focal length… You obviously haven’t spent much time with a FF camera & 35mm lens.

      • Wow! I’ve spent decades with FF 35 and 28 and 24 and 20 and 14/15mm lenses and never with IBIS or even VR/IS. And you what? I’m better able to shoot with IBIS in my toy Oly EM5 with the 12mm f:2! Better is always good. Always.
        Nikon and Canon are very interested in this and obviously mirrorless as well. As they should be.
        Party on.

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