The Big One: Sony RX1R vs Sony RX1 vs Leica M 240 with 35 Zeiss Biogon.

The Big One: Sony RX1R vs Sony RX1 vs Leica M 240 with 35 Zeiss Biogon.

Below is a 4 camera comparison. The Sony RX1, Sony RX1R, Leica M 240 with 35 Zeiss Biogon and just for fun, and Olympus E-P5 with 17 1.8 at f/8. All lenses were shot on a tripod at f/8 and base ISO. These images are from RAW with a 100% crop of each file.

My RX1R review is HERE. My Leica M 240 Review is HERE

I am NOT using a Leica lens on the M for two reasons. A: This is a Zeiss vs Zeiss comparison. Can I put a Leica lens on the Sony? No, it has a Zeiss. Can I put a Zeiss lens on the Leica? Yes I can. and B: The Zeiss Zm 35 Biogon is known to be sharper than the 35 Summicron. This is a 35 f/2 comparison plain and simple. Of course if I used a 35 Cron, the Leica would show a little less detail. Just a little. Bokeh would be better (The Zeiss ZM looks a bit crazy here) and the color more muted and cool.

Comparison #1: Detail

What do I see in the 1st detail comparison? The RX1R has the most detail in the 1st detail comparison followed by the RX1 and then followed by the Leica M and Zeiss combo. Last place, as expected is the Olympus. Winner for detail, Sony RX1R.

You must click the image below to see the 100% crops and detail.

full4cam

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Comparison #2 – Overall Bokeh and Color Test

 These tests were more of a for fun test to see how the Bokeh would look from the RX1R vs M 240 with Zeiss 35 Biogon, both wide open at f/2:

rx1port

m240port

ep5port

and a couple more..which Bokeh do you prefer?

rx1rhatbokeh

m240hatbokeh

The Leica combo will run you about $8300. The RX1R will run you $2798 and the E-P5 will run you about $1300-$1400.

The thing to remember though is that the RX1/RX1R is 35mm ONLY. That is it. With the M you can shoot focal lengths from 12mm to 135mm to more with adapters and 3rd party lenses using the EVF. More versatile and yea, It’s a Leica. The RX1R is amazing for what it is, a fixed lens 35mm camera and in that group, there is nothing better.

More Detail at f/4

This is where the RX1R really shows its resolving power and wins again in the detail department. All were at f/4. Leica M had the Zeiss 35 at f/4. RX1R wins, RX1 2nd, Leica M 3rd place. If detail is your desire, it does not get any better than the RX1R before stepping up to the Nikon D800E, and I have seen side by side crops PRINTED from the RX1R and D800E and the RX1R was every bit the equal of the D800E file. Crazy.

chair

cropchairrx1r

cropchairrx1

L1000169

In the test above the RX1/RX1R wins for color as well.

The RX1R is available for pre-order at B&H Photo HERE and Amazon HERE.

The Leica M is available for pre-order at Ken Hansen, PopFlash Photo, Pro Shop, and B&H Photo

BTW, I used the EVF for focusing the M 240 to be sure it was exact. I also used the EVF on the RX1 and Olympus. 

jpegrx1r

bwjpegleica

157 Comments

  1. What´s the stripes about on the last M240 portrait? I get that with my Eos5D MKII when sensor gets stressed with overexposed background sometimes, AT 100 ISO!
    Sony seems to have more contrast that to me means closer to overexposing. How does Sony handle high contrast lightning/motives?
    I´ve seen terrifying examples of Leica Monochrome in high contrast photos, did I miss something or is it made for foggy weather only? It looked like the Monochrome was comparable to Tri-X pressed to 1600 iso or. The sharpness on the other hand was the best i´ve ever seen on a small sensor.

  2. Disappointed … what are we looking for in photography ?
    Sure, the Sony is an amazing technical tool, but the result doesn’t look ‘real’ : too much contrast, details…
    Look one second on the side of your computer screen : nothing has so much contrast, so much sharpness.
    Look at the face of your colleague : everything is softer, like the last M photo at iso5000. Never like the Sony !
    Take a look around you, open your eyes 😉

    • glad you say that ley. the way photography is discussed on this site is a technology championship. a photograph should be perceived through the intend of making an image, its meaning synthesized in the whole image, here it has shifted into the synthesis of one pixel analyses (how crystalline is one pixel rendered). it might serve technical competition and sales, but not sure it furthers any valuable discussion on photography. It’s ok, as long as we know we are not discussing photography, but photo technology.

    • Well, the A99 is about 5 times the size and 6X the weight, so that right there would do it for me. If a camera and lens is so large that it makes me dread leaving the house with it then I would never buy it. I would also feel odd pulling out the A99 and Sigma in public to take casual street shots or indoor images in public. Makes me look like a paparazzi. For pro work like weddings or events or whatever? Yea. For personal use or daily use? No. RX1 all the way.

      As for IQ, yo will get a little more speed with the Sigma and a little more shallow DOF but other than that, the RX1 rocks.

  3. Steve, been waiting for almost a year to take the Rx1 plunge as a step-up from my x100. I really shoot a fair amount of environmental portraits (though not exclusive) . I’m comfortable with the Rx1 focal length for what I do. A bit on the fence regarding Rx1 vs Rx1r , probably due to a little reticence regarding the sharpness for portraits. Though I have seen nice portrait work on the web. Opinion? Thanks for doing the comparison, by the way. Been agonizing over buying this camera for awhile and almost annoyed at the last minute change in my decision tree.

  4. Steve, I just received my Rx1r because of you and it is Amazing period. I have compared image quality with my canon 1dx with the new 24-70 and I like the Sony files better. What an amazing camera. Thanks for all of your reviews. Your the best. …….Shelby

  5. Thanks for review Steve !
    After detail comparison at the working chair images , now i know what i’m need
    RX1r fulfilled my 4point needs:
    Compact, Sharp Full frame IQ, Fast Lens & Value.

  6. I see that many others have questions about the validity of your test and the conclusion that you reach. I note that Mark Dubovoy did a series of tests comparing the 800E and the M240 that are available on Luminous Landscape. He used a good Leica 90mm lens and a good Nikon 85mm lens. He found that the M240 consistently outperformed the 800E. He also took the extra step of creating prints instead of merely judging computer screen images (which he also compared). His methodology is at least as “scientific” as yours. He has pretty impressive credentials and lots of experience with many brands of cameras. He also did not hesitate to criticize features of the M that he did not like. But his overall conclusion is that the M creates the best digital images he has ever seen.

  7. Forget all the M 240 vs RX1r bantering, I come away with this comparison with a new found respect for the E-P5 with the 17 1.8

  8. It would be nice to see comparison between Sony RX1R and Olympus E-M5 + Voigtländer 17.5mm f/0.95, maybe Leica + 35mm added also to this comparison. Theoretically the DOF should be about the same and the Voigtländer has nice (although bit unique) bokeh as well. Of course the Voigtländer is not the sharpest lens wide open, but short test series with few different apertures would be nice. 🙂

  9. Dez, it is not because this website is free that you should not be able to criticize. My comment is meant to be constructive, not destructive.

  10. The sensor on the Sony RX1(R) is very good, it is up there with Canon and Nikon. The CZ lens is also excellent. This adds up to great IQ. Now if only Sony would make a real camera for this great combo. Interchangeable lens and a camera with a sutter speed dial and much better AF. Well I am Pro-1 user, so make it like that, have some frimware upgrades. The EVF is good enough. I would change over. The IQ from the Fuji is almost good enough, without Pixel counting. Camera has the makings of not just a good camera, but a great one. Sorry but give me a real camera, I will give up a little IQ, do only to the APC vs full frame. Fuji lens and sensor are second to no other high end maker.
    Me thinkist also the Leica M ( at 24MP ) would out do the Sony.

  11. Wow, quite a discussion on hand here….dang work is getting in the way of that. I for one am thankful for Steve’s review and image comparisons. They do seem valid. The use of a Zeiss lens essentailly as close to equivalent (same brand and focal length/aperture, though the RX1R has a sonnar lens, and the ZM 35 mm f/2 is a planar design, can lend itself to some subtle difference,s but the facto of the matter is that very few M lenses are optimized for digital. Probably only those released since the M8 was introduced, so the ZM 35 is a valid comparison, and performs admirably next to any Leica lens. The bottom line for me is that the RX1 offers very similar, and possibly superior IQ, to the M, in terms of detail, with a sensor that is incredibly, and for those who enjoy 35 mm as their primary focal length, it’s a great camera to have on hand should one be able to afford it and accept the lack of RF focussing and ergonomics. I am in that camp, and I am also a dedicated RF enthusiast.. Truth is that most cameras are more than adequate these days, and it’s all about choice. I am glad that we have choices, and some may be more preferable to others for the discerning photog….

    • Agree. In fact, most cameras of 2 or 3-years-ago are more than adequate still, and for those of us who still shoot film, extend that to the last 90 years or so.

  12. Firstly I don’t like the bokeh on either camera too nervous i do like the rendering of the leica better
    The Sony is a little too vivid for me but I love that black and white at 5000 iso leica wins for me

  13. Steve,

    Just for fun, would you ever do a comparison between the RXR and a medium format camera?

  14. Thanks for an interesting comparison. For my part I can only say that I really like these crazy comparisons even though the M camera I’m still waiting for shows less resolution of the two.

    Comparing the prize of one leica 35mm lens beeing more expensive than the RX1 alone, one should also consider that in 3 years you can sell a new leica lens of about 80 % of the new price and probably about the same after 5 years as well. I have a feeling that you’d have to be lucky to sell the RX1 for more than 50 % after three years. After 5 years it probably is even less since it is directly linked to the sensor technology which judging by the speed of development nowdays is probably quite outdated by then.

    This site is an amazing place to stop by every day to read some interesting posts so thanks for keeping up the good work!

  15. Ok, I can’t help but rant a little but I’ll try to keep it brief.

    First, I don’t understand why anyone would be shocked that the Sony RX1R would resolve more detail than the Leica M 240. The Zeiss Biogon is overall the best 35mm lens for M mount. Yes it was design for film but so was the 35mm summicron ASPH. The lens on the RX1R was specifically designed for that camera/sensor and don’t underestimate the advantages that go along with that. If you see a photo of one disassembled, you’ll see that the rear element is MASSIVE (in diameter). This allows the designers to get the rear element much closer to the sensor than on a Leica, while minimizing the problems of vignetting, color shift and coma, because light exits the lens in a more direct fashion.

    Second, I also don’t understand the need people have to complain about a free product. I agree, this NOT a scientific test, not by any stretch of the imagination but it is still a useful one to 90% of the people who read it. Unfortunately there’s a loud minority that likes to bitch and moan about something they got for free. Steve, honestly, you’re far too sensitive and you need to ignore some of the commenters and just respond to the ones that are constructive. Defending yourself simply feeds them and encourages their ill behavior.

    The end result of the test is that both camera and lens combinations render enough detail for professional and amateur alike. You pick a camera based on your needs, the M is fantastic for people who want use high quality manual focus lenses and keep their kits small. The RX1R is fantastic for people who demand the highest quality files and prefer a 62º FOV. Those needing more resolution or color depth (and believe me, most of you who think you do, don’t) should look at medium format.

    P.S. for those of you who think the 35 ‘lux would have done better, read this article. http://tashley1.zenfolio.com/blog/2013/4/leica-m-240-with-35mm-f1-4-fle—some-observations

    P.P.S. Before anyone accuses me of being a Sony Fan Boy, I shoot primarily with the Leica M9 for Landscape, Architecture and general photography and a D700 for set photography.

  16. I love my RX1 but its too sharp for people as can be seen with your friends bw. I would never let my wife shoot me with the RX1.

  17. I would love to know how the 2-year-old Sony NEX7 with the Sony Zeiss Sonnar 24 f/1.8E compares. At least you are still Zeiss against Zeiss and with the crop, you are 36mm against 35mm focal length equivalent.

    • I would have thrown it in but can only use what I have on hand. No longer own the NEX-7. Had it for a year and had to let it go to move on to the next for review purposes.

      • Thats my dilemma. I own the NEX7 and have the Zeiss 24. I’ve been very happy with the IQ and bought the new Touit 12 and 32 to go with it, which are also quite nice.

        Now I’ve traded a MacBook on the forum and have an M6. Do I keep the NEX, or try to sell off the whole NEX kit to get an M9?

        Decisions, decisions.

  18. Great comparison, thanks for that! I already got the idea that the new M was not so good with colors – some time ago I was shooting with a pre-production M which already seemed to render strange colors at times. Bokeh of the new Sony is great too and beats the Leica combo IMHO. Since most people seem to have enough possibilities when using only a 35mm lens – at least most of my pictures were done with this lens – the new Sony will attract many users…..

  19. Hi Steve,
    thanks a lot for your nice reviews! Before I bought my RX1 I used a long time a canon FF and the 50L. I was really happy with this combo accept the weight. After I read your Leica reviews I rented a M9 and a X2. At both cameras I didnt like the ISO performance. After I read your RX1 review I bought my RX1. The first days I really loved the RX1. The iso performance and the sharpness was nearly perfect like you wrote in your reviews. But I still feel the RX1 is a toy not a camera. I had much more fun with the leicas. Its not the red dot. If I would buy a leica I would remove the logo. I think I am ready for the new M 

    greetings from germany!
    Thomas

  20. Steve, but what are you comparing?

    (1) Is it a lens comparison? Just a couple of extracts:
    “This is a Zeiss vs Zeiss comparison”
    “This is a 35 f/2 comparison plain and simple”

    (2) Is it a camera comparison?
    It must be too as you compare the Zeiss RX1R and Zeiss RX1 which have the same lens. On the M, you use the Biogon, which was designed in 2004 with film in mind.

    And the results:
    Comparison #1 detail: 2013 camera beats 2012 camera with same lens and 2012 camera with 2004 lens.
    Comparison #2 – Overall Bokeh and Color Test: ok, it’s for fun (i.e. it’s not serious). Seems at this point, price and body versatility are to be reminded.
    Comparison # 3 More Detail at f/4: “RX1R wins, RX1 2nd, Leica M 3rd place”. This must be the serious part, so I take it seriously. I would understand why you exclude the Biogon in your statement if the lenses were indeed similar, but there are not, have a look athe MTF charts. When you make a statement like this it seems that there is no chance the Leica with the best lens around can match the Sony. It’s all about perception and I think in this case, the statement is deceiving. Truth is probably the Sony sensor has a better resolution, but we will never really know. Note I appreciate the effort made for actually making a comparison in the first place.

    In all of this, I find the ISO comparison the only valid one.

    I value most of your articles, which is why I spend the time writing this, but this one does not cut it for me. Your image quality analysisis indeed one crazy comparison. If not entirely valid in my eyes, at least I found it entertaining

    Best,

    • I am comparing a Sony RX1R with a Leica M 240. BOTH with a Zeiss 35mm f/2 lens attached. THAT is what the comparison is. It is NOT a comparison of Leica M vs RX1 – it is Zeiss vs Zeiss, RX1R vs M 240 sensor. In this regard it is 100% fair, valid and useful to those who care about these things. The #1 request in my inbox for the past 2 weeks was “Do an M comparison with the RX1, and please use the Zeiss 35 ZM” – So that is what I did. I knew up front I would get moaners and groaners if it went one way of the other. Always happens. Always. Not sure why people get so bitter and angry and yell “Unfair” when it is nothing more than showing what the RX does and the M 240 and Zeiss Biogon does. There are many who SWEAR by that Zeiss ZM, doesn’t matter when it was made. It is a great Leica M mount lens just as a 1950’s Summicron is. If I used a 35 cron Asph the results may have favored the Sony even more. Then I would have had people complaining about the fact that it was unfair because I used a Leica lens and not a Zeiss. It’s a no win situation for me whenever I do these comparisons because it always hurts the feelings of those who own Camera A or B.

      But luckily I could care less about those who cry about it as I know the test is valid and I am providing info for free to those who asked for it. Besides, these comparisons are all in fun. It does not matter if one camera is sharper than the other. The only thing that matters is what you enjoy using.

      All tests here are as valid as it can get for what this comparison was meant to show. Like it or not.

      Thanks for your comment and reading,

      Steve

      • I agree that’s the risk with it. Since it’s what people want to see, then it makes sense, and thank you for doing this.

      • Like with Like Steve.
        The Zeiss Sonnar T* 2/35 is a new lens that gets a DxO mark of 33.
        The Zeiss Boigon is ma9ical states, an inferior lens, designed almost 10 years ago with film in mind.
        I doubt it would even get 25 on DxO.

        I don’t think you are not making a fair or valid comparison.
        If you are comparing cameras systems at 35mm, them the M 240 with Lux FLE is a better comparison to make.

        ET

        • @EvilTed

          do you own the Zeiss Biogon, or did you have used it at least?

          The fact that a lens is 10 years old (which is nothing in optics) says nothing about performance.

          My experience is, that the Biogon is equal, if not sharper than the 35 Lux FLE from f4 and up. The FILE has killer resolution at f 1.4, but that has no significance in regard to Steve’s comparison.

          So, to me, Steve’s comarsion IS valid.

    • ma9ical I hate to break it to you but most Leica lenses were designed for film as well, including the 35mm summicron. The only 35mm M lens designed for digital is the 35mm Summilux ASPH FLE, which really wasn’t so much designed for digital, but modified for digital (focus shift). Having used all three lenses, the 35mm Biogon is superior in several respects, the most notable of which is field curvature. So regardless of the fact that Steve was trying to do a “Zeiss vs Zeiss” comparison, the Biogon is the best lens available in Leica M mount for a test like this. Period.

      I also find it interesting that you spent the time to complain about a free product (an article of Steve’s site) falling short to the standards you seem to have set for him. The free content on the internet sure does give people a sense of entitlement.

  21. Good comparison. If Sony were to make an RXs with an EVF I’d sell my granny in a heartbeat. It has to be on the cards given Sony’s roadmap with the NEX 5/5n/6.

  22. 1) I like the bokeh from the sony rx1r . the leica bokeh looks like disordered in my opinion.

    2)The RAW samples illustrate just how much processing the camera does by default, though, as they’re much noisier at all ISO values than their JPEG counterparts but that is ok

    3) The only difference between the RX1R and the original RX1 is the removal of the low-pass filter. The RX1R’s photos are very subtly sharper and more detailed than the RX1’s, and unless you shoot a lot of subjects with very fine details like fabrics or man-made patterns.

    4)I don’t like the in-camera battery charging or the short life.

    5) The RX1R offers three noise reduction settings – off, low and normal. The ‘off’ setting still applies a fair dose of chroma noise reduction but leaves luminance noise relatively untouched, so you get a gritty but still sensibly-colored image ( yes it applies noise reduction in off mode)

    6) Its autofocus system isn’t fantastic (and is prone to failure in moderately dark conditions).

    7) it still feels a bit ‘Cyber-shot-y’ in places, which it really shouldn’t for a camera costing close to three thousand dollars, and the cost of the optional accessories is borderline extortionate ($180 for a lens hood?.

    8)sensor dust . I have read about this
    Dust reduction : No .Bad news for $2,798.00

    I like the new sonyrx1r but some things are not good

    • 1. I agree
      2 and 3: I have ZERO NR with the Sony, as in ZERO in the RAW conversion and OFF in camera for JPEGS but I do not shoot JPEG.
      4. That is why ou can get a killer charger with two extra batteries for $29, easy squeezy.
      5. See #2 and #3
      6. Not for me, hasn’t failed me at all. Use center point, as you should with any camera for accurate AF.
      7. I do not share your opinion on this and in fact, feels solid as a rock to my hands and holds up WELL with loads of use. Hood is insane, which is why I would never buy it.
      8. Never saw it. You may have read about it but have you experienced it? I never saw anyone with this issue and never came up for me.

      Great buy for $2798 as it does things no other camera under $3500 can do.

      • Yes I agree some things too but now I would like to see the samsung nx300 and expecting for the near future the new fujifilm organic sensor . By replacing the traditional silicon photodiode with an organic photoelectric conversion layer, researchers have created image sensors with a dynamic range of 89dB (the industry’s highest), a 1.3-fold increase in sensitivity (compared to traditional designs) and a 60-degree range of incident light (vs. 30-40 degrees, typically). What does this mean in practice? Less clipping in bright scenes, better low-light performance and richer colors and textures .

        And of course expecting the new lumia 1020 .Steve have you seen that phone?
        I would like to see that new zoom technique in all digital cameras . Lets you shoot in super high resolution, which means you can zoom in close to your shot after you’ve taken it. Then rotate, reframe, crop and share new images as many times as you want.

  23. 100 % agree. The Leica M is without a doubt a fantastic camera. Everybody that follow your site knows you love it.
    Maybe I didn´t express myself good.I am sorry. Just wanted to talk about those who are not happy with the results and blame your choice of lenses saying these results are not accurate or are irrevelant. They simple can´t accept the truth. Again thank you for making this test and showing us the things like they really are, no matter what brands comes first or second…By the way, I will be more than happy with any of those cameras 😀

  24. portraits with such a lens are no good idea….. at all. and you should use a Leica lens with the M!!!! You know only this leads to a perfect match.

    • Not true at all. There are Zeiss ZM lenses that surpass Leica lenses in IQ. There are Voigtlander lenses that equal Leica lenses in IQ. A perfect match is what works for whoever is shooting and owns the camera and lens. The images in my Voigtlander 50 1.5 Nokton review are more pleasing to me than images in my Leica 50 Summicron review yet I love them both for different reasons. As for portraits, some of the coolest portraits I have seen have been shot with a 35mm focal length. Dig around the internet and you will see some amazing work with an RX1 and Leica M / 35 for portraits. What you see here are not “portraits”, they are TEST snapshots to test bokeh/color.

  25. Hi Steve, Great and Fantastic Review. Just want to say that I see here a lot of Leica M owners that feel insulted just because they can not accept that the RX1R has more detail under the same circumstances. And they say that your comparison is not valid. I wonder what they will say if the results were differnts ? I think that they can´t handle that a “sony” model can have the same or better perfomance than their more expensive and beloved M. At the end it is just a test…and a very good one indeed :)The people that can´t accept it, simply stop reading it.For those like me that do not have the pleasure to use an M or and RX1R we appreciate your test, becasue we can see the results that we personally could never do. Sorry for my bad english. ANd I again…..GREAT TEST !!!! Thanks Steve.

    • That happens but I am not saying the M is no good! I love the M, I own the M. I also love the RX1/RX1R. Different cameras, different capabilities. The RX1 is my 35mm focal length. Leica M will give me my wide, 50 and if wanted 90. But there is always someone who gets bent out of shape or offended then offends me with ridiculous statements like “this is not valid”. That is nonsense 🙂 Thanks for reading and realizing what this is.

      Steve

  26. Wow, not even close for me. The RX1R is sharper and it also makes a much nicer looking boheh….look at the shot of the guy holding the hat…the RX1R bokeh is soft and dreamy whereas the Leica/Zeiss is a little busy.

    Regardless….I would still rather have the M240 and the ability to change lenses.

  27. Hi Steve,

    Thanks for the comparison, it really shows the variables that a lens brings to the table. Normally I love Leica bokeh, but the biogon is visually offensive to me. The sharpness and skin tones are good, but the swirly bokeh looks like bubble wrap and I find it very distracting (negatively).

    No question on the Sony though, what a little power house! Gorgeous creamy bokeh, great construction, full meal deal here! It has Nocto qualities in terms of the creamy bokeh, but clearly has greater DOF due to max aperture.

    I love my Fuji, and covet my neighbours MM, but there’s no denying that Sony ‘gets it’ and should be kept on the watch list for an M mount version of this wee gem 🙂

    Thanks again Steve – Great site 😀

    Bradley

  28. All in all Steve, thanks for the comparison. Impressive camera, RX1R. That Biogon is excellent too. I thought the bokeh was a bit busier with the latter. Not a very big difference.

  29. First of all, thank you Steve for your always entertaining site. Keep it up!

    Regarding this comparsion, you said it before, it is what it is. A comparsion of ONE single selected aspect of a camera: The resolution. But as informative and entertaining it might be, i think it is impossible to make conclusions in regard to the price of the cameras. Because the price stands for the WHOLE camera!

    What I’m trying to say is, you can’t compare a Leica M to any other camera, that isn’t a Leica M. Especially if you ask yourself, if a Leica M is worth the money, compared to others. It is as impossible to compare a rangefinder to a non-rangefinder, as it is to compare a mirrorless camera to a DSLR or a MF-system as a whole.

    Your “price-conclusion” adds more confusion, than it helps. At least according the comments here.

    So, everyone calm down: To me, Steve was not saying the RX1R is a better camera than the M240/Biogon. He said the RX1R has better resolution and better high ISO. Period.

    BTW, it is very sad, that we have still no real competition to the digital Leica M. (Except the Epson RD1, which is obsolete)

    • Exactly. I agree with you except where you say I can not compare. You certainly CAN compare an M to another camera for output. Some who buy and M only care about the output but this was meant to be a Zeiss vs Zeiss comparison more than anything. Two new cameras, full frame modern sensors, Zeiss glass to test detail, color and Bokeh qualities. The Zeiss 35 f/2 Bokeh looks a bit off to me but that is the joy of shooting a Leica as well. There are MANY lenses out there that can be used and experimented with. You can go for a variety of looks. For example, you will never get the look of the Leica M with a 50 Lux or Noct out of the RX1, not possible. Which is why I own both as my main cameras.

  30. Thanks for the comparison Steve! Also thanks for your patience with some of the comments you get daily on your reviews.

  31. Quite impressed with the RX1R detail here Steve. I don’t think I could be tied down to just the 35mm, but would be great carry-all-day camera. Granted, I shoot only the lux 50 right now and it’s rare that the 35 makes it onto my ME. So, it’s practically a fixed 50 on mine right now. 😉 But I like knowing I can throw on a 21 when I need to.

  32. Steve, why are you not comparing Sony RX1R with M and 35 Summilux FLE,if we are talking about 35 mm full frame comparison ?

  33. I would love to see how the detail compares with the Sigma DP Merrill range, I know it would be hard as the closest would be the 45mm equivalent DP2 but I’ve been shooting with the DP3 Merrill and have been flabbergasted by the detail it produces. Just would be interesting to see how it compares to full frame cameras.

    • In tests I’ve seen of the DP2 and the RX1, the DP2 has been noticeably sharper at under 400 ISO. Above that though you can forget it, the Sony is far better in every respect. Of course, Steve is now saying that nothing is sharper than the RX1R, even though that is very easy to disprove.

      • But did you see a test of a DP2 and RX1R? Same focal length and aperture? No, that is not even possible but have you seen ANY test with an RX1R and DP2M at say f/5.6? No of course not. So go ahead and disprove what I say..that the RX1R can compete with ANY camera for sharpness at the focus point. There is only so much sharpness that one can attain from a camera. If you want to continue to come here, start trouble and argue then so be it but just know it wont go on for long. When you have an RX1R and DP2M test let me know.

        • Ah, so the power of the moderator. You don’t like what you read so you threaten to moderate me out. Is that what you do in your best of all positive worlds – block out what you don’t want to hear, it seems pretty fragile to me.

          I’ve already mentioned digital MF backs and LF film – have you seen contacts of LF film? Especially fine grained film? Of course there is more detail and sharpness available than in RX1R images. It seems to me that you have said something in the heat of the moment and are now too proud to back down and admit that it was an over-statement. I guarantee you that within the year you will even be showing how some new image maker has even bested this latest wonder on this site.

          I know you will block this mail, since you don’t like people to disagree with you, or prove you wrong, but look back on some of your hyperbolic statements in a year or two and you will cringe at what you are now saying.

          Images that I have seen from the DPR 2 are considerably sharper than those from the RX1. These images that you are now showing from the RXIR are only subtly sharper than the RXI, so its pretty obvious that the DP2 images, within the constraints I’ve stated, will be sharper than the RXIR, its not that difficult to work out. And we are talking about ultimate sharpness in an image, not comparing like lenses with like.

          • Ahhh, the power of the moderator is right! All sites need moderation, especially when bitter and angry individuals come here to start trouble. Bottom line: I tested the RX1R and I reviewed and tested the DP2M. I prefer using the RX1/RX1R so much that I would not use a DP2M if it was given to me for $200 or for free! I would take one but it would sit at home because it is much too slow, can not shoot ANYTHING moving, is awful at high ISO and the colors, while different are a bit wonky and odd. The detail is great, as it is with many cameras. As for me cringing when I read back? That is one benefit of being brutally honest in what I do, I never have to look back and cringe because I always tell it like it is, whether poeple like it or not. If you do not like what I say why do you hang around here continuing to poke and prod and try to start trouble? IVE USED THE CAMERAS you HAVE NOT. I speak of MY personal experience using them. End of story. For the record, none of your comments were moderated or deleted. I only do that once personal attacks come into play and you are getting close. Chill out, relax and enjoy shooting what you own whatever it may be.

          • Because I am not here to argue with anyone, it is pointless. It is what it is. I know you have NOT used an RX1R, that I know for sure. Take care.

          • Hi Steve,
            DP review have compared the RX1r and DP1. See here.
            http://www.dpreview.com/reviews_data/sony_dscrx1r/boxshot/dsc00608.acr.jpg and http://www.dpreview.com/reviews_data/sigma_dp1m/boxshot/sdim0026.acr.jpg

            If you res the Sony image down to the same size as the Sigma (in Photoshop) the DP wins easily. Res the DP image up and the Sony is slightly sharper. Impressive from the Sigma. The Sony shows significant colour moire, especially on the coin with a greek head above Mickey Mouse.
            This would be enough to encourage me to go with the RX1 only not the RX1r
            I would choose the Sony over the Sigma due to it’s versatility just as I chose a Canon 5D over a Sigma SD14, The SD14 outperformed the 5D in good light or studio but as an all rounder the 5D is more versatile.

            Cheers Doug

          • As is the RX1 much much much more versatile than any DP camera. I looked at those samples and neither of their samples impressed me. What I got from the DP and RX1/RX1R is sharper than what they are showing for some reason. Odd. Both of those look very un-crisp to me, which is the opposite of what I see from both of these cameras. They should compare a set of real images from each camera and then see who wins with the more pleasing looking results. Id bet $1k on the Sony RX1 or RX1R 🙂

  34. I think the comparison shows just how good (in regards to resolution) those cameras are.
    I also believe a lot comes down to 2 questions:
    – Are you happy with 35mm, and do you like EVF; if Yes, the RX1 seems like the perfect camera
    -if you prefer OVF, and if you prefer to shoot other focal lengths as well, it would be the Leica;

    I had an RX1 for some time but the overlap in use with my M9 was too big so I saw no reason to keep both.
    For my taste I use 50mm FOV a lot, and if I want wider it is often more the 28mm which I like. That’s why I would feel a little limited with just 35mm. I can accept such limitation of a camera is really small (like the Ricoh, or Coolpix A or X2) – but if a camera gets to the size of the RX1 I prefer to have the choice of focal lengths.

    • Ive done these comparisons since DAY one of my site almost 5 years ago. Usually they are called “Crazy Comparisons” and what you see here is one of those. Read my reviews, what you will see is 99% real world photos used to evaluate the camera, which up until I started doing it NO ONE else was. That is a fact. These days everyone is “Real World” 🙂 All of those dudes are now becoming me.

      • “That is a fact. These days everyone is “Real World” 🙂 All of those dudes are now becoming me.”

        This is simple self-delusion and self-aggrandizement. Sean Reid and many others have been doing real world reviews for years, back to the days of film and scanning.

        • Sorry but Sean Reid has not done REal World reviews. I used to subscribe to his site years ago. All I saw was tech talk, crops of newspapers and an occasional image in teeny size. Totally different than using a camera, talking about how it is to USE it, work with it and experience it and then show 20-50 real world samples with it. That is the whole reason I started my site 5 years ago. There were no real world reviewers. Not LL, Not Reid, Not DP Review, not Rockwell, etc. It is what it is.

          • I’m not interested in arguing over who did what first. But I will say that the field tests and studio tests of cameras and lenses that Sean Reid is posting these days are more detailed than what you do here, Steve. I’ve learned a great deal from him about how to use a rangefinder, and it impacts my work every day. All the same I love reading your reviews and getting the benefit of your perspective. There’s plenty of room in the world for both of you, and many others besides.

          • I have nothing against Sean at all. Met him, shot with him, great guy. He has been around a long time, just saying..he does not do “real world”, or at least he did not used to.

          • Sean Reid often includes “real world” in his reviews now (Harley Davidson meets, fast-moving contra-dancing indoors at night, local fairs, etc.) and shows the images that the equipment captures under challenging conditions. Perhaps he was influenced (quite positively) by your approach!

            I consider Steve Huff, Ming Thein, and Sean Reid reviews as the “golden trio” for credible and thoughtful reviews. Hang in there1

  35. Hi Steve, your ‘real-world reviews’ are awesome! My question is similar to at least one other: if cost was not an issue, would you prefer RX1r or M240+35 non-ASPH cron? Does the RX1r image quality mute that question? For me, the RF experience is key.

    • You answered your own question. If the RF experience is key for you, then it would be an easy choice. The RF Leica M and 35 Cron. 🙂 The Sony does not offer any RF experience. Neither do Fujis, Olympus, or any other camera.

  36. I’ve been eyeing the Leica M/M9, but I really like the output of the RX-1R. I’ve been a 50mm shooter with my M7 0.58x, although I have other lenses including the Zeiss 35/2. I think I’m going to switch to keeping the 35mm on the M7 for awhile and if I like my results, I may save a few bucks and get the Sony instead, and continue using my film Leicas for other focal lengths.

    Steve, one thing I did just notice, looks like there are no distance markings on the lens of the RX-1R. Any tips for zone focusing with the RX-1R?

  37. Thanks Steve! Very interesting comparison. However, the differene in resolution or brokh between M and Rx1 is not big enough to affect my purchase decision if i decide to upgrade. I have to agree with many commments that the EVF is a must have. I think Sony made a major mistake by not including it in the camera and charging so much on the attached one, it is a deal breaker for me. Also, over the years, i have learned that having an unreliable AF is worse than MF. I will probably wait for the next exciting camera.

  38. A very interesting comparison. The Sony does not disappoint and the little Olympus is doing quite well considering price and the fact that the 17 mm is ot one of its best lenses.
    The M9 and about 10 m-mount lenses are in my closet these days. The RX1 and DP3M (by the way a great combo with unbelievable IQ) in my bag and the Nikon A in my pocket. It`s somehow sad to accept that Leica found its masters as far as IQ are concerned. Soon, all what is left will be the “shooting experience” one can throw into a discussion about “Leica still wins”. Yet this is no longer good enough to justify the steep price differences. And the writing is on the wall, that the gap is going to widen. With Sony`s stake in Olympus there are already credible rumors that the two companies will exchange the best of their technologies. So think of Sony having access to Olympus expertise in designing outstanding optics, IBIS and jpeg engine and Olympus getting the newest generation of Sony mft sensors and electronics.

  39. I love my Olympus 17mm f/1.8. I do! I really do!! I really, really do!!! Damn you Sony!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  40. I think Steve is comparing the sensor in this test where using a sharp Zeiss lens was intended to make it a level playing field by keeping the Zeiss look consistent. While we all agree sharpness alone does not make an image great nor the sole criterion of a successful image, there are times when resolution can be beautiful and has its benefit. That is the reason Medium Format exists for commercial photographers where resolution is demanded. Also I would hope commercial photographers do produce “real photography” or at the least their clients think so and are willing to pay for it 😛

    IMO Steve is just continuing the excitement of observing the unbelievable “medium format” feature of the new Sony (which is the whole point of this new model.)

    Yes the next test would be for the entire system taking the sharpest Leica lens and see if resolution improves or matches, however the total price of the Leica kit will be approaching or exceeding $10,000. Again if minimal cost for “medium format” resolution is the quest in this particular post then the M will be considered the loser still.

    It does not, however; prove the M system and its images less powerful to Sony images, which I know Steve would agree 100%.

    • “taking the sharpest Leica lens and see…” Is that not measurbation?

      I like the busting of the Leica myth. Absolutely love it 🙂

  41. Ok, there’s a difference. But, is the detail the most important thing of a photo? I contemplate some Robert Capa, Bresson, and all the masters work and sometimes the photos are defocused, or too grainy… But still wonderful. We are losing our composition time, talking about cameras. They are launched by the market bringing always a promise: make you an art man. But they only make you poor. To be good in any activity requires practicing, not shopping.

  42. Reading Mr. Huff’s reviews provides me with an immense amount of weekly entertainment. I am amazed that some readers seem to take take personal offense when Mr. Huff does a review, lens test or comparison that is not to their “liking.” Why? He can test or compare or recommend whatever he likes. Any decent photographer should know that all these tests don’t have anything to do with real photography. They may or may not be objective. Who cares? They are fun to read!! I have no doubt that the author is doing what he does because he loves photography (that is my reading of some of his comments) and to convince some of his readers to get inspired to buy a new piece of equipment from one of his financial sponsors. Not a bad way to make an honest living. Please continue to entertain me. To the nagging critics I say “Get a life.”

    • Completely agree. It’s Steve’s blog writing about his experience. Not sure why so many don’t understand this.

  43. The biggest problem for me with the Sony RX-1 or the new version is the lack of optical viewfinder.
    The fixed 35mm I could live with, but the arms length point-and-shoot behavior and slow auto focus or EVF lag all makes for a pretty shitty street camera 🙁

    I also need reading glasses for up close, which means that for the live view without EVF, I’d have to wear them. Uh – NO.

    Sorry Steve, the devil IS in the details and as lots of others have pointed out, the RX-1 is great at one thing and terrible at most others, including ergonomics and auto focus.

    No thanks, I’ll keep my M 240 🙂

    ET

    • The devil is in the details. The details are that there are OVF and EVF options for the RX1/RX1R. I use the EVF personally and have no issues with it, even though I permanently wear glasses.

  44. The RX1 has an amazing sensor and lens, thats for sure. I used it for about a week and got some pretty cool shots, but the slow autofocus really let me down and was ultimately a deal breaker for me. Nothing beats a rangefinder when it comes to focusing, and besides, I can’t use my 50 lux asph on the RX1.

    • Interesting: Yes. But not really needed. The Fuji will certainly lose in the detail arena. The lens on the RX1R also seems to be way sharper than the x100s one. That said, I will get my X100s in a few days and despite seeing the RX1r photos I am still looking forward to it.

      • I have the Fuji x100s…amazing camera, and a joy to work with, producing some amazing results. Enjoy!

    • I own the X100S, it is a great camera, but it won’t be sharper than this RX1R. Others have done the test and confirmed this.

  45. Seems to me that the images are all close enough that the price is the deal maker. This is a great time for anyone to be making photographs. Many great options at all price levels down to $ 1,000 or so. Even though I own Leica M6 and M9 and was willing to pay the price for the visible 10% improvement, I find it harder to pay these price differences for a 3-5% difference. Or are my estimates all off? If I only had my Olympus OMD and great lenses, I’m pretty sure I would be satisfied for a long time. If Sony/Olympus issues a second OMD with an even better sensor, then where does that leave us all? Oh, right. All the Sony cameras will be upgraded as well. What more can we ask for?

  46. Why do you use a non Leica lens for the comparison and then make conclusions about the merit of the M camera? Why wouldn’t you, at a minimum, use the superb older 50 or 35 cron? Or better still the the Summilux lens? I guess you would never use the new 50 cron on the theory that it is insanely expensive. I don’t understand what you are trying to achieve or the method or approach you use.
    How does the RX1r compare to the MM with a Leica lens?
    And what is the point of all this when we all know that pure sharpness is sort of incidental to taking great pictures and that the overall rendering of Leica lenses is what has always distinguished them.
    This comparison seems completely irrelevant to real photography.

    • It was Zeiss 35mm vs Zeiss 35mm. Clear and simple. (besides, the Zeiss stands toe to toe with the 35 cron) It’s a lens I had on hand as well. Why would I use a 50 cron when the RX1R is a 35mm camera? That would be a worthless comparison to do 35mm vs 50mm. As for the RX1 vs MM, I have that comparison in my original RX1 review .Did not do one with the RX1R. But the RX1 came very very close with using a 35 Lux on the MM.

      What is the point? Because MANY people beg me to do these, so I do. What is the point in you complaining about it if you are not interested? THAT is the question of the day.

      This is exactly what it says it is. A comparison between the RX1, RX1R and an M with a Zeiss 35 Biogon.

      Thx

      • Sorry, Steve, but the comparison you draw is between the cameras. The Zeiss lens is not optimized for the M and you know it. Take a look at Irwin Puts statements about the error that is inherent in the kind of tests you are conducting. You are in the GIGO arena.
        Why are you so defensive?

        • Jack, the Zeiss is a M-Mount lens, therefore as optimized as possible for any M-Mount camera. Besides, according to Ken Rockewell, the Zeiss 35 is better than the Summicron-M 35mm and equal in quality to the Summicron-M 35mm ASPH. Besides the comparison is between the cameras, using a 5k lens would indeed tell more about the lens..

          • The M has no programmed software optimization for any Zeiss lens. Ken Rockwell doesn’t even use most of the equipment he comments on. Sorry but this test is essentially meaningless.

          • Why would it need it? The only thing the coding does is deal with vignetting. It does not matter if the Zeiss has coding or optimizations. Also, I’ve used this Zeiss on the M8 and M9, it is a fantastic lens that equals or beats the cron in many areas. Not all, and it is personal pref but where the difference likes is in the color and contrast. The cron has a cooler rendering with lower contrast. Other than that, the Zeiss is a tad sharper as well. Facts are facts. As for you saying this is worthless, how so? It sounds like you are offended by the results for some reason. This usually happens when one person owns camera A and camera A falls short. Me, I own the RX1 and the M 240. Love them both equally. The M and a 50 is my fave combo. if I want 35, its the RX1.

          • I certainly am not commenting because I think my camera falls short. I will remain perfectly happy shooting either my MM or my M with a 35Lux FLE when I want a 35 and would not even consider buying a Sony instead. I guess I simply don’t like what I consider an apples/ oranges, non scientific comparison leading to pretty meaningless conclusions.

          • Not scientific…

            Tripod mounted, same focal length, same brand of lens, same aperture, ISO and Shutter Speed. Doesn’t get more scientific than that. It is what it is. It is a fact that the RX1R will outresolve and give nicer Bokeh than a Leica M and 35 Zeiss Biogon at the same settings. Does it really matter? NO! Totally different cameras for mostly a different audience. I love my M, love my RX1R and would never pass on an outstanding camera just because of a name (Sony). Thanks for your thoughts.

          • “Other than that, the Zeiss is a tad sharper as well. Facts are facts.”

            Not according to tests made by Sean Reid on his site. Maybe your ‘facts’ are different though.

          • Interesting! I really did sold my RX-1 because of the name Sony. I bought it for the sake of trying it out. Sold it a while ago and never looked back. For me, feel and bokeh are everything! I love my Noctilux, I couldn’t care less if it’s a tad less sharp than a Biogon or a Sony or even an SLR Magic.

            Scientific tests are meaningless in terms of real world use, but in the end we all love to read them.

            I love this site!

          • The software only corrects lens distortions, which is irrelevant in this test. And, these are all RAW shots, therefore there is no processing, optimization or whatever applied to the image by the camera to improve lens performance. BTW, don’t even know Ken Rockwell, just googled for a comparison between the Zeiss and the Summicron and his site was the first to show up. I am sure there are more reviews available… But it doesn’t seem to matter.

          • lol, it’s funny how people get so defensive about their gear. So much passion for gear, so few amazing images being shot with that gear.

  47. At f/8 you start to get diffraction. Have you considered redoing the test at f5.6? I’d also like to see the test done with a Leica glass such as the 35mm Summilux or Summicron instead of the Zeiss glass.

        • I tested the M240 with MANY Leica lenses in my M 240 review and gallery. This was a comparison of Zeiss vs Zeiss. The 35 cron would have done no different, maybe less contrast, different Bokeh. Thats it.

    • I have to disagree about that, diffraction starts a few stops away from half the aperture range. So if the lens range is about f/2-22, the ideal range for shooting would be between 8-11.

        • I strongly believe you have a very serious problem reading yet very simple technical articles, or making believe you read them at all. This is the starting paragraph of the article you have linked: Diffraction is an optical effect which limits the total resolution of your photography — no matter how many megapixels your camera may have. It happens because light begins to disperse or “diffract” when passing through a small opening (such as your camera’s aperture).

          Pixel Pitch is the distance between two same-color dots in a RGB system. Diffraction is related, in the pixel system, to the size of the pixel itself, which is also irrelevant here since both cameras have the same pixel size and the peak will have the same consequences on both. So talking about pixel size here is utter irrelevant. What causes the diffraction is the APERTURE OF THE LENS, as the original commenter, Erik, suggested.

  48. Just so everyone knows, the RX1(r) has no built in EVF and cost $2800! Both facts that I’m sure anyone interested in buying one is well aware of, yet I’m sure about 50 people will still post responses to this article stating those same facts repeatedly as their reasons for not buying the camera, or to support why their camera of choice is superior.

    I’ve actually found battery life to be quite decent by the way, never needing a spare yet (though having one in my RX100 which I often also carrry) I can get 200-300 shots which certainly doesn’t match a DSLR, but is miles better than my Sigma Merrills

  49. What is Sony waiting for? All they have to do is put an M-mount and sell the body only. Instant success gua-ran-teed. Call it the RX1-M and put Leica out of the camera body business. Voilà!

    • Sony with m-mount wouldn`t work as well as RX1 with its lens specifically designed and matched with the sensor. Just look at the blueprints. You would`t be able to make RX1 32/2 removable ( its back optical element is almost touching the sensor).

    • When I look at the orange hat photos I prefer the bokeh of the RX1R for its soft, less busy appearance. On closer inspection it appears to me the Sony has shallower DOF than the Leica. Take a look at the shirt in the first set of orange hat shots. How is that possible with the same focal length, aperture, and sensor size?

  50. Steve. what are you doing to me.. I own the RX1 because of you and it is great. I have been lusting for the new M240 and finally got it last week with a 35 lux len (my first Leica). and now you are saying the RX1R is better than both. I better stop going to ur website.

    It’s all good .. I luv both that I have. But “M” more for now.

    • The M and 35 Lux is sweet. What this test shows is that the RX1R is more detailed and does indeed have more DR than the Leica and Zeiss 35 Biogon ZM lens (Made for M mount BTW). The M would be “better” as it offers more versatility in lens choices. The RX1 gives you one choice and as good as it is, some may not like being stuck with one focal length at all times. I do feel the RX1R is a better choice than a 35 Summicron lens (RX1R is cheaper than the Summicron alone) due to the close focusing, superb quality, high ISO, ect. I use it as my 35mm and the rest on my M, mostly 50. The M is wonderful and does its thing very well, and that is being a rangefinder which is enough reason for me to own it 🙂

  51. Steve,

    Now I’m upset! Read some of my old posts when the RX1 came out…I swore I would never buy this camera. No EVF? Never!

    I’m I a hypocrite if I buy the RX1R? It is a different camera 🙂

  52. steve, you are giving leica conniptions! lol! (p.s. i do own the m9 – 50 asph and 90/4 macro-elmar my favorite lenses – and the rx1, so, no, i am not a leica hater.)

  53. There seems to be a difference in the exposure of the M pictures in the 2nd picture. Look at the highlights on the man’s chin. The EP-5 and RX are OK, the M is ever so slightly blown. Never mind the RX1R, the EP-5 is no slouch either. How about comparing a 50 crop on the RX at 2.8 with the M using a 50 lux at 2.8 with an OM-D with the 1.4 25 panasonic lens? $2800 vs. $11K vs. $1500. Now those would be pictures I would like to see.

    • that might be due to the Sony RX1’s dynamic range optimizer algorithm? if it was shot in jpeg and this was turned on, you can see a comparison right after you’ve taken a shot (essentially raw) and then the dynamic range optimizer algorithm kicks in and you suddenly get a processed jpeg with blown highlights reduced and the shadows have been improved. i love this feature at times but at other times it just leads to more color noise when its trying really hard to bring out details/colours which are just too dark

  54. I prefer Leica’s skin tone the most. Does the X2 or X Vario have similar colour rendition to the M240?

  55. I was thinking about upgrading my Leica, but now I will just get an MM for a companion camera. Unless there is a Sony Monochrome on the way. Still, comparing the Leica S with the RX1 that I own the S I way superior in every area, and looking at these RX1R shots, I am sure the S is definitely better as well. But it costs 20k for the body only anyway…

    • The S will give you bigger files, richer. But no sharper. It also cant compete at high ISO, low light, size, price or all around versatility. 🙂 All depends on what you like.

      • Of course the S will be sharper. In all comparisons I’ve seen it is sharper than the D800. What makes you make such a claim?

        • Because I have used them all. WIth the RX1R you are reaching the limits of sharpness. It does not get any sharper than an RX1R, D800E with a fantastic lens or an S2 or MF with a fantastic lens. Can i count sweater fabric with an S2? Yes. Can I do that with an RX1R? Yes. Sharpness is silly anyway and we only need so much of it for a large print or display. ANY camera today will give us plenty of sharpness for 98% of our needs. But the S2 is no sharper than the RX1R and I say that as i used them all. What you will see is a richer file but that comes with the larger sensor, as is usually the case. But even so, the S2 is good at low ISO only. It is huge, larger than a D800 and very heavy. It is also $25k+ so an entirely different audience, usually studio or landscape.

          • Everything you say about the S or S2 is true, you are also right in your comments about sharpness not being everything, of course it isn’t, and few people say it is. Nevertheless, the S2 is sharper than the RX1X, and to say it does not get any sharper than the RX1R is just hyperbole. Compare it to a 60mp digital back or an 8×10 large format and you will see the difference immediately, even at reasonably small 16×20 size. go up to 40×30 and the difference will be obvious to anyone.

          • I’m glad folks are starting to put this out there. Sharpness is a non-issue with the majority of today’s “photography”. Especially given that most don’t print and few print large. Its pure silliness. Color, bokeh, ease-of-use, familiarity, handling, etc. are all much more important in my opinion. (And don’t forget the “I like it” factor.)

  56. The RX1/RX1R is $3,300 with a battery charger (required due to short battery life/multiple batteries required) and the excellent Sony EVF. Have not seen anyone recommend buying/using an RX1 without both to have a complete camera.

    • Yep, I also recommend both but they are not required to get the output from the camera. $3300 vs $8300 vs $1300. The RX1R with accessories is $5k less than the M and Zeiss, is smaller, resolves more detail, better color, higher ISO capability BUT you are stuck with 35mm. The Leica allows you to shoot all kinds of lenses from the 40’s to 2013.

      • I think that the Sony A7r is the best of both worlds. It’s small(ish), relatively affordable, it has an excellent viewfinder and a 36 megapixel sensor. Combined with the Zeiss 35mm f/2.8 its performance is pretty decent too.

    • Even though I also recommend buying the EVF, I rarely use it for journalistic work, it makes the camera less discrete and more prone to damage. Works great without it!

    • it depends on how much you use it, for me its a fun little camera but i always carry around 2 batteries rather than having 1 in camera and 1 at home, also i use a Olympus 35mm viewfinder for the 17mm micro4/3s lens, works a treat and i got it for about than 10% of the cost what the RX1 OVF sells for, if I could get the RX1 EVF for that price i’m sure i would, but I can’t complain about the olympus ovf 😀

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