My fellow editor Renaud Labracherie has received its final production sample of a Sony RX1 earlier this week and just published the camera’s images of the studio scene at various sensibilities, from ISO 50 to ISO 25,600. So, how does the RX1 at high ISO setttings ? He has a hard time having the right to publish images from the camera which they actually did not even have the right to turn on ! But here it is now, fully ready to shoot the studio scene with its 24MP sensor that we already know as it is used in two other full frame cameras, yet, DSLRs, the Sony SLT-A99 and the Nikon D600 which has benn teared down by ifixit and its sensor analysze by chipworks which proved that the D600s sensor is made by Sony.
For the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX1 review, Focus Numérique, a French speaking photography online magazine, has tested the camera at different ISO settings shooting the same studio scene ligtnened under 200 Lux and using the camera’s manual mode at 1/4s and f/5,6 at ISO 100 for a start. You can see the results at www.focus-numerique.com and even download full resolution JPEG and RAW files straight from the camera.
On the JPEG images, the review shows that the exposure of the RX1 is much brighter than the SLT-A99 which was densifying the scene with a difference of around 2/3EV. No surprise, from ISO 50 to ISO 400, the Sony RX1 delivers absolutely grain free images and actually, even till ISO 1,600, the photos are surprisingly noise free. Even at ISO 3,200, the review shows that the RX1 delivers still very good looking images with very little grain and a still high dynamic range with respected colors. As you can see on the patches displayed at 1:1 scale on your screen which tends to emphasize the defects, but obviously, the image is still very clean. Where is the Sony RX1 ISO limit then ? Does it have any ? Well, as Renaud writes, when the SLT-A99 shows its limits (ISO 12,800), the RX1 still offers a natural noise reduction algorythm which makes it possible to enlarge prints of the camera till ISO 25,600. Let me just remind you that Sony SLT cameras use a portion of the light beam to feed the autofocus sensor and Translucent MIrror Technology lowers the amount of light which finally ends up on the sensor’s surface.
With these results, and after the moments I spent with the Sony RX1, I can not wait to get my sample body for its full review.