Want your own “hands on” with the Sony RX1? You CAN on November 20th!

Want hands on with the Sony RX1? You CAN on November 20th!

So you have been reading all about the new Sony RX-1 full frame fixed lens Zeiss 35 f/2 camera and lusting after it. BUT you have been wondering if there is a way to see it..touch it and shoot with it before you plunk down your hard-earned cash for one. Well there is some good news! B&H Photo is hosting Sony in their Event Space on November 20th! There are limited seats so if you want to stop by and play with the RX1 you have to register at B&H Photo by clicking HERE.

Most of you have seen my early thoughts on the RX1 HERE, HERE, HERE and HERE but go see for yourself on November 20th as there is no better way that to see for yourself. They will be showing a dis-assembled model, prints and video all taken with the camera. Should be a great event. I would be there but that day happens to be my Birthday and besides..I should be shooting with a review unit by then anyway 🙂

The few days I was able to shoot the RX1 I was blown away by what it could do. Sure there are things missing that I would have loved to see, like a built-in EVF..BUT the EVF for the camera is actually quite amazing. The best EVF I have ever used to date. The camera is so small and the power it packs is quite astounding. When you stop by that event space and see the size many of you will be quite surprised at just how small it is. To think it has a full frame sensor inside that is capable of full frame DSLR results (in some cases, even better due to the lens matching to the sensor) boggles the mind when you see it in person.

The RX1 is quite the camera. No other company has yet dared to do this. Sure you can complain that it does not have interchangeable lenses but when you see the disassembled model you will see one reason why this is. You will also get to ask questions about the camera of course. I feel that the RX1 will be a superb street shooting tool, day or night. My kit would consist of the camera, EVF and ND filter for daytime shots where I wanted to keep the signature look of the lens at f/2.

But as I have been saying here all along, don’t just take my word for it..go register for this event and see for yourself! If anyone from here goes feel free to report back here in the comments when you get back.

Register HERE.

B&H Is still taking pre-orders for the RX1 HERE with an expected delivery date of December 14th. Just in time for Christmas 🙂 Great stocking stuffer because it will indeed fit in one!


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  2. Flickr link: full set of photos from a brand new RX1 unleashed in Tokyo’s streets (this girls was fast!). There are a couple of shots of a brick wall with and without the lens correction…the distortion of this 35mm seems to quite bad…the lens correction can fix it but the price to pay for that is the loss of sharpness in the corners.

  3. Hi!
    I live in Japan and today there was the official release of the RX1 in shops…just come back home after playing with one model enough time to grasp some first impressions:

    1. WEIGHT, SIZE and BUILD QUALITY: super light and boy, is this thing small…maybe too small? Japanese are the masters of miniaturization and this camera is indeed a huge technical achievement but I have to say that it doesn’t feel 100% confortable in the hands at first. I guess one can adapt to this with time and practice. Build quality feels great (I wouldn’t expect anything less for a camera with this price tag).

    2. CONTROLS: very easy and intuitive, everything feels in the right place. Nice.

    3. FOCUSING: autofocus is fast and accurate, it didn’t disappoint at all (but I’m currently shooting with a x100, so…). Manual focus feels great, it’s smooth and precise in both normal and macro mode. After 5 minutes I’ve found myself wanting to use only the manual, can’t explain why (nothing wrong with the autofocus)

    4. SCREEN: clear and bright (but I was indoor with standard shopping center lights)

    My impression thus far is that Steve’s enthusiasm is entirely justified, I can’t wait to read his official review!

    By the way, if someone is considering about buying the RX1 in Japan DON’T go to Bic Camera or Yodobashi Camera…they sell it for 248,000 yen, while Map Camera in Shinjuku sells for 223,000!

    • Getting excited Giovanni after your little description. I have one ordered and arrive here on the 5th December. Thanks for the initial feedback/thoughts!

      • You’re very welcome!
        I have to add one thing though, and it’s just about aesthetics so it’s not so relevant but…the design and look of the RX1 is nice, but it lacks the appeal of the Fujifilm X-series and to some people it will seem more on the “luxury electronic gadget” side. Apart form that, it’s cool, very cool.

        • Yeah I can see that possibly being an issue for some people (maybe a lot of people). However given its size, capability and IQ I don’t think I’ll dwell on that.

          I own the x100 now and this will be an upgrade in FF plus having manual focus capability!! I looked at Xpro 1 at the time and that manual focus issue was the deal breaker.

          • That said if there are issues coming out of the RX1 in Steve’s and other reviews I may just keep the x100 for that price.

  4. RX1s are showing up in the hands of buyers in Japan today. There’s a report that focus peaking is tied to magnification, at least this seems to be the case in released cameras in Japan.

    It won’t stop me from purchasing a RX1, but I’d rather have the choice to toggle on focus peaking, focus magnification, or both.

  5. Again – raw samples please! Raw converter please!
    And about pricing: I think it’s not too expensive, one Leica lens will cost you much more $$$. So don’t tell me the RX1 is too expensive. People telling this are internet haunters, looking for something…. yeah tell me what are you looking for anyway? Just for fun writing your fustrations on blogs? Could be a nice job if anything else is outside of your interest…. 🙂

  6. Man there’s a lot of Doug’s here! Doug B, Doug Frost, and I’m pretty sure there’s another Dougb or something.. and I’m Doug B as well. Aaaaanyway……

    Thanks for the head’s up Steve, I’m all signed up after finding out I’m off that Tuesday, so it should be fun! Would be nice to see you there as a guest, but I know you’re not THAT rich where you can just fly to NYC on a whim! (nonsense, you’d rather just spend the $ on a camera or lens) I’ll probably hold off for their ICL version, but still looking forward to seeing the form factor and capabilities.

    Doug R. B.

  7. ummm, Steve, you do realize that most photographers and most folks who frequent this site do not live in NYC?

    Geez, I know B&H supports this site, but this is silly

    FWIW, I have an RX-1 on order from Sony site. I expect it to be a useful addition to my gear. But my D4 doesn’t hunt much on dark streets…

    • Ummm, do you know that there are hundreds, maybe thousands who read this site daily who DO live in NYC? Also, this was posted as a service to those who are interested in this camera, those who are close by and those who would like to attend. IT IS FREE to attend,doesn’t cost a dime so what am I promoting exactly? Oh yes, a free event for those who live in NYC or close to it and would like to try the RX1 a month before it comes out.

      Already had several who emailed me that registered for this so some of you guys benefited form it and will get to see, shoot with and check out the camera. Since Sony was so kind to let me preview the Camera in California a few weeks ago the least I could do in return is tell everyone about this event. Why on earth wouldn’t I?

      BTW, The D4 I had for review for 4 weeks did plenty of hunting with the 50 1.4 on the dark streets…I had so many focus issues with it I never wrote the review. I assumed it was the lens though.

      PS – Let me know when you work 60-70 hours a week on your own blog so I can tell you what to and what not to post. 🙂 Thx for reading and the silly comment.

      • I live 8 hours away from NYC and would consider a visit there to coincide with this presentation.
        I pre-ordered this camera from B&H on the day it was announced. Frankly I’m a little bummed I didn’t know of your blog then or I would have made the purchase from a link on your site… but not bummed out enough to loose my place in line and change my order, sorry. I’ll do so next time…
        I can’t read enough about the RX1! I haven’t been this excited about a camera since my first Nikon in 1981. Millions of pictures later and a thirty year career in photojournalism I’m happy to see myself giddy about a piece of gear again.

    • Seriously HDS? What does him or anyone else living outside of NYC have to do with hosting a blog on a world wide internet forum? Is he not supposed to give us a head’s up? It is relevant to his life, so why wouldn’t he? I’m sure that if Sony was hosting an event in another state, he’d be all over that too. That really is a weird comment dude.

      Doug R.B.

    • 40M+ people live within 2 hours of NYC. I’d say there is a pretty good chance that a substantial amount of Steve’s readers are not only interested in this, but willing to make the trip.

      Thanks for the heads up Steve.

  8. 3100 euros here in The Netherlands. Very expensive, but full frame with a superb Zeiss lens, so actually it’s the price is justifiable. I’ll pass for the time being, though. I just invested in the Sigma DP2 Merrill and the IQ is just amazing. The best I’ve seen in a long, long time. One just needs some patience with the camera, but that’s o.k.

  9. Which raw converter can be used to process the raw files? LR4, C1, AP3…? I would like to see some processed raw files. I’ve only seen jpegs, or…..?

  10. Steve how did you find the manual focus capability? I certainly hope it’s smoother and faster than Fuji!

    Thanks for any feedback.

  11. I, too, am trying to decide between Fuji EX-1 and RX1. One thing I not have fully understood is the focal length multiplier function. Steve, can you, or anyone else explain how this works in a little more detail?
    Thanks for all you do!!

    • All APS-C cameras have a “crop factor” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crop_factor) of 1.5 (most) or 1.6 (Canon). This means that a 24mm lens on an XE-1 would have the same field of view as a 36mm lens on a full frame camera. The depth-of-field characteristics (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Depth_of_field) of the lens are always the same for a given true focal length. Only use 35mm “equivalent” focal lengths to get an idea of the angle of view it covers.

      The best way to stay unconfused about this is to remember that every lens projects a circular image onto the film/sensor plane. A smaller sensor merely captures or “crops” a smaller portion of that circle. All smaller sensor with the same pixel count as a larger sensor therefore has smaller pixels, which–all other things being equal–would produce more noise, particularly noticeable at higher ISOs.

    • Basically for the RX1 shooting at 50 and 75mm you are in a crop mode. Same with a Nikon FX camera shooting in DX mode. So, shooting at 75mm you basically create an electronic crop of the sensor and use fewer pixels. You would get the same image if you shot at 35mm and cropped later in post, but because the viewfinder would show the cropped image when you are shooting in 75mm mode it may be easier to actually shoot in crop mode. You definitely loose resolution shooting in crop modes though don’t be fooled into thinking otherwise

      • That is not true. I do not have my final RX1 for review yet (this week sometime) but Sony explained it to me as much more than a crop mode. You still get same resolution/image size and the camera improves the quality by some in camera processing so you get absolute minimal quality loss. This will be one of the 1st things I try when I get the camera and will post full size samples of each mode soon so you guys can see.

        I am just telling you what Sony told me…

        • Hmmm…the only way physically to crop is to reduce the number of pixels or have a zoom lens. We know that the RX1 doesn’t zoom. There is no other way to do this than to physically reduce the resolution. The camera may do some sort of software interpolation similar to what photoshop can do but that’s a sofware issue.

          I hear what Sony told you….can’t deny physics though. God made those rules up.

        • I guess the IQ will be better than with a simple crop, but the perspective will still be that of a 35mm lens. To me, one of the important issues of a 50mm lens is that it produces the same perspective of our eye.

          • yes, i agree with you dirk 😀 with smart teleconventer crop in RX1 we had some perspective of a 50 and 75mm, but the DOF not change at all, maybe 🙂

    • I don’t see the use much for the smart tele-converter function for photos, but if this works for HD video, THEN we are in business! Even the 75mm crop could give a decent image quality video in HD resolution.

      So can we get 50mm and 75mm FOV in Full HD video too?
      Really searching to find this somewhere.

  12. Interesting comment on adding an ND filter for daytime shooting with this unit. Would it be possible to expand on these thoughts and what ND filter would you choose?

    I actually went to the B&H site to preorder one of these. But I also want to order the EVF along with the camera and I don’t see it listed at all. Also do you have any info in the optional grip?

    Who ever I order the camera from I’m looking to order everything at once as shipping to me is always an issue.

      • hi steve i always love your review, btw what do you think for RX1, witch good B&W ND filter or variable ND filter signh-ray/ daisee variable ND filter? 😀 thank you 🙂

    • I think the other point you *might* have wanted addressed is that the leaf shutter can’t hit really high speeds. Though they added a 1/4000 sec option for smaller apertures, wide open you are limited to 1/2000 sec. Well at f/2 in very bright light, that would be a problem. At ISO 100 you might need 1/6400 of a second or even faster. (Just applying this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sunny_16_rule.)

      • Imaging-resource.com has some test chart images up (not that interesting to me) but of note… there are some ISO50 images in the lot.

        I’d thought I’d seen a spec sheet somewhere indicating the camera might do ISO50. Maybe you won’t need a ND filter all that often after all.

    • Doug I pre-ordered through a store in Australia. No problem with camera and available Dec 5. However went in last week to ensure I can get EVF and they were at a loss to gaurantee me it would be available when I pick up the camera!!!

      Don’t be surprised if there is an issue here.

      Also given cant use thumb grip with EVF I may wait and see if someone can produce an alternative down the track.

  13. I find price is fair compared to any other FF DSLR with a Zeiss 35mm f/2 prime … Still waiting for an interchangeable mirrorless FF from Sony , should work great with my M lenses with Focus Peaking …

  14. Oh boy…today I saw the first “real-life” price in my favorite online-shop for the RX-1 – price even got higher after announcement – now its: 3099,– EUROS!

    For me personally it’s by far too high – looking forward how many will be sold this year.

  15. Trying to decide between waiting for an RX1 and a Fuji EX-1 or NEX-6. Currently have an M9P and would like something small for video and high ISO performance as well as a nice casual camera. The RX1 seems excessively expensive for my needs and I already have a full frame performer. Don’t know that I need extreme IQ quality for those situations and the Fuji EX-1 seems to fit the bill. Also, the idea of being able to have an f/1.4 lens with the Fuji/NEX somewhat negates the shallow DOF of the full frame sensor with the Sony. What do you think Steve? Also with the Fuji/NEX I could use my M lenses in addition to the Fuji/Sony ones. Don’t want an M either as I like my M9P.

  16. The IQ of RX1 is really stunning. And the big print from ISO 6400 is jaw dropping. But after hands-on trial in Sony store in Hong Kong, I found the AF to be a bit on the slow side and sometimes hunt a bit.(I’ve already checked the distance range switch) So that’s a “de-toxifying” experience for me unless some firmware will improve the AF speed.

    P.S. the thumb grip makes the grip much better and secure. So I think it’s a must buy item for this camera but it costs HKD$2000 (~USD$250) . Maybe better wait for other alternative like the thumbs up.

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