Sony Cybershot DSC-RX1 : highly desirable Full Frame compact camera

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Sony cyber-shot DSC-RX1
One and only one real issue concerns me with this camera, the price tag of the RX1...

If you liked the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 with its 1″ sensor, you will certainly fall in love with the Cyber-shot DSC-RX1, which pushes the concept of prosumer compact digital camera concept at its peak, adopting a full-frame sensor, 24-megapixel, the same one that is expected on the Nikon D600, well served by a Carl Zeiss Sonnar T * 35mm f/2.0 prime lens.

 

Sony RX1: the sensor

 

Sony sensor engineers are now real experts and wold-wide sensor kings! Thos past three years they have been gratifying us with the best imaging sensors on the market. Today, the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX1 dares going for the huge Full Frame sensor inaugurated by the SLT-A99. This CMOS EXMOR sensor offers 24 megapixels of resolution, a very comfortable definition, the same as the Nikon D3200 for example but with a much larger surface and therefore pixel pitch, without reaching the field of sky high definition like the 36-megapixel Nikon D800. Expect very pleasant high sensitivity images. Moreover, the sensor on the RX1 evolves between ISO 100 and ISO 12,800  and the sensitivity can be expanded up to ISO 102,400 with multi-image noise reduction mode, an efficient method that Sony also uses on its digital compact cameras like the Cyber-shot DSC-HX20V. The sensor, assisted by the BIONZ processor, can record videos in 1920×1080 pixels at 60P and be used in PSAM modes. The sound can be captured via the built-in stereo microphone or thanks to an external microphone.

 

Sony cyber-shot DSC-RX1
The Sony cyber-shot DSC-RX1

Sony RX1: the lens

 

Carl Zeiss Sonnar T * 35mm f/2.0 : this sensor needed a great lens, here Sony advertise the Zeiss optical quality with the T * anti-reflective coating. The focal length could not be more traditional, a 35mm, and it is pretty fast : f/2. Leica X2, do you feel targeted ?!
The lens of the Sony DSC-RX1 offers a minimum focus distance of 24cm and at this distance, the maximum magnification ratio is 0.26x.

 

Sony RX1: screen, ergonomics

Access to RAW format, customizable buttons, manual aperture and focusing rings, an autofocus mode selection dial, exposure compensation physical ring, customized settings that can be accessed through the mode dial….the UI of the RX1 has been designed for the enthusiast photographers who love working in aperture priority.
But, the RX1 doesn’t get any optical viewfinder (though, an external and optional one will be sold). To offset that, Sony has placed a high-end display, consistent with the positioning of the device, with the XtraFine matrix of 1,229,000 dots, Black Magic Display, a must.

Sony cyber-shot DSC-RX1 compact camera
The Sony cyber-shot DSC-RX1 gets ambitious UI with lots of manual dials and a highly comfortable screen with Sony’s Black Magic technolgy.

 

Fun modes, high-tech, creative modes

The RX1 inherits of the latest technologies in digital cameras developed by Sony with the multi-image mode that allows you to get low-noise high ISO images, sharp nigh handheld photos, to make HDR … the Auto scene mode is there of course, but also the auto crop portrait mode, the swipe panorama. Finally, various creative effects are on the menu of Sony RX1 : toy camera, pop color, posterization, photo retro, soft high key, partial color, monochrome high contrast, soft focus, HDR painting, miniature, watercolor, illustration.
Price and availability of Sony RX1

I know, reading these specs, you all want a Sony RX1, you all wish Santa would bring it for Chrismas…. and that is great because it will be available just before Chrismas, in December. But, because, yes, there is a “but”, the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX1 will be sold €3,199. 400 more than the SLT-A99 Digital SLR.

Sony cyber-shot DSC-RX1
Sony cyber-shot DSC-RX1 nice piece of lens !

 

Main features of the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX1

– Sensor: 24x36mm CMOS EXMOR / 24.3 megapixels
– 3:2 Ratio
– Lens : Carl Zeiss Sonnar T * 35mm f/2.0
– Maximal focusing distance : 24cm
– Max. magnification: 0.24x
– 9 aperture blades
– Full HD 1920 x 1080 pixels / 50p / AVCHD 2.0 video recording (available in PSAM modes)
– Stereo built-in Microphone and external mic jack
– BIONZ processor
– Autofocus: Contrast-detection multipoint (25), face detection
– Sensitivity: ISO 100 to ISO 25,600 (expandable to ISO 102,400)
– Noise Reduction in MultiPhoto
– PSAM Mode
– IAuto mode
– Burst: 5 fps in speed priority and 2.5 fps with subject tracking on
– Sweep Panorama
– 13 creative filters
– Built-in Flash
– Portrait mode autocrop
– DRO (Dynamic Range Optimizer)
– TFT 3 “/ XtraFine / 1,229,000 dots / White Magic, RGBW
– Manual focusing ring and aperture ring
– Memory cards: MS Duo / Pro Duo, Pro Duo High Speed MS Pro HG Duo Micro SD, SDHC and SDHX
– High-Speed MicroUSB 2.0, microHDMI, accessory hot-shoe
– Magnesium alloy casing
– Dimensions: 113.3 x 65.4 x 69.6 mm
– Weight: 482 grams with battery and memory card
– battery : Lithium NP-PBX1
– Battery life: 270 pictures or video 135mn

Sony cyber-shot DSC-RX1
One and only one real issue concerns me with this camera, the price tag of the RX1…

Sony RX1 translated press release

• The image quality of full-size in a compact radically smaller and lighter than any other full-size SLR.
• Exmor ™ CMOS sensor with approximately 24.3 million effective pixels for exceptionally detailed images and videos in high definition
• Carl Zeiss Sonnar T * 35mm F2 Macro mode with remote minimum focusing distance of 20 cm
• Sensitivity range expanded to ISO 100-25600
• Manual control with intuitive dial opening and the mode of development
• New Multi claw accessories, compatible external flash, electronic viewfinder or LCD screen and external.

You thought impossible … For photo enthusiasts, a new era of creativity opens: that of the full-size in a compact camera, which is actually in the palm of your hand.

The extraordinary Cyber-shot ™ DSC-RX1 Sony realizes the dream of every photographer. With only 482 g (including battery and memory card), the RX1 features a 24x36mm full-frame sensor and a fixed lens with a large aperture (F2) in a housing designed and perfectly proportioned for travel photography, urban portraits and all taken your daily living.

Widely smaller and lighter than any full-size SLR, the Cyber-shot ™ RX1 provides image quality usually reserved for holders of high-end professional DSLR. The construction of an integral of the lens and housing ensures perfect alignment of optics and the sensor. It allows the lens to give the maximum of its potential and deliver images of exceptional quality and constant, center, at the edges or in the corners of the image. Manual control settings has been designed to be as intuitive as possible, and allow photo enthusiasts to realize their creativity without sacrificing ease of use and compactness of the set.

World first for a compact digital camera, the Cyber-shot ™ integrates RX1 Exmor CMOS sensor full format. With an effective resolution of 24.3 million pixels, the surface is more than twice larger than the sensors equipping the majority of DSLR public. You returning with finesse and subtlety all the details and all the textures, the full-frame sensor delivers you images with rich colors faithful and exceptionally wide dynamic range.

Due to its size, the sensor offers a wide sensitivity range, from 100 to 25,600 ISO. Mode ISO sensitivity, the sensitivity can be set at 50 Iso. Similarly, via the mode Noise Reduction Multi Images (Multi Frame NR), it may be pushed to ISO 102,400. The RX1 enables you to capture freehand without flash and natural images with a low noise digital and in conditions of near darkness.

In addition to the full-frame sensor, the RX1 features a Carl Zeiss Sonnar T * 35mm fixed focal length, comfortable in all conditions and at all times of the day (portrait, urban photography, etc..). Derived from the German word “Sonne”, meaning “sun”, the name Sonnar reflects its ability to capture the maximum possible brightness. This approach “expert” has been new construction and incorporates elements Aspherical Advanced (AA), for exceptional optical performance that remain, despite the compactness of the housing.

The F2 maximum aperture and iris diaphragm with 9 blades can create beautiful bokeh effects, like a professional SLR camera. Macro ring on the lens toggles Macro mode and instantly reduce the minimum distance focus to 20cm for easy carry beautiful images of small subjects up close.

The flow of data from the Exmor CMOS sensor is processed by the latest evolution of processor BIONZ, to take bursts of 5 frames per second. The processor delivers images in RAW format in 14-bit, to almost total freedom of management, development and post-processing RAW files.

Despite its incredibly compact dimensions, the RX1 provides almost unlimited creative freedom and full manual control of all parameters of shooting, like any expert or professional SLR camera.

On the lens, adjusting rings can refine your fingertips development and openness, while a thumbwheel located on the top of the camera lets you select the mode of development. Always on the top of the casing, knobs exposure compensation and selection program are set to be handled as simply as possible. AEL function buttons and drop them on perfectly under the fingers, to be activated quickly, without disrupting your shooting.

Accessible via the control dial and buttons cross on the back of the unit, Quick Navi mode allows you to adjust settings quickly and intuitively making sight: a great option when you use the camera with an optical viewfinder (sold separately). Thanks to Memory mode Call (MR), you can quickly store and select up to 3 three sets of parameters taken.

Other features include “expert” assistance function MF (manual focus) magnifies an area of your image to set the focus with more precision. The Peaking function can help it to highlight areas on the screen sharpness. The electronic viewfinder FDA-EV1MK (sold separately) allows you to finally a more precise focus.

By Sony technology Super Resolution pixels has been developed to magnify an image without loss of pixels, and thus maintain resolution and better quality than can be achieved with a conventional digital zoom. The Smart Tele-converter also allows you to zoom and crop in central area of the sensor to obtain a magnification of 1.4x and 2x. Thanks to the extremely high number of pixels of the full-frame sensor, the images cropped and zoomed or retain a sufficient level of detail to print photos in large size.

The Cyber-shot ™ RX1 has high quality video mode, recording in Full HD sequences with a very low noise digital scanning 50/60P or 24/25p (progressive). The recording 24p can give your movies a cinematic touch. Through its management of sensitivity, you can turn beautiful images in low light or when night has fallen. And you have access to programs PSAM for more freedom and flexibility while shooting.

For photographers with artistic inclinations, the RX1 provides refine images using one of 13 creative effects, and a wide range of treatments.

To go further, the Auto HDR, DRO (dynamic page optimization), Exposure Bracketing, Dynamic Range or white balance will give you much more opportunities to meet your créativité.La gauge digital level allows to precisely adjust the horizon. An option that will appeal to lovers of landscape photography or architecture.

Pictured as video, new label Multi Accessories to mount an increasing number of accessories such as an external flash, optical or electronic viewfinder or external LCD. Also available, a case cover high quality, sun visors and a thumb rest for more comfortable use.

For more details on the full range of lenses and accessories for Cyber-shot ™ RX1, visit
www.sony.co.uk / hub / cyber-shot-digital-cameras / accessories

The Cyber-shot ™ RX1 comes with preinstalled software PlayMemories Home (Lite Edition), which allows quick and easy transfer to your PC for all your images, to classify, to edit or print. Free download, full version adds features video editing and burning DVD and CD-Rom.

Images can be easily shared via PlayMemories Online, the online sharing service from Sony, which allows you to view the images wherever you are and at any time on a wide range of connected devices.
The new compact camera full-RX1 Cyber-shot ™ will be available in Europe from December 2012.

 

 

Sony DSC-RX1 image gallery