A full frame but compact 24 mpixel camera with a fixed Zeiss 35,, f1,4 autofocusing lens. Announced 09/2012

A set of nude portraits shots with the Sony RX1 (and the A99 and NEX-6), by photographer Wataru M, at 500px.

This must be the first set of nude shots by the Sony RX1 posted on the Interwebs. A mix of portraits and sensual nudes. It is kind of possible to distinguish the files from the RX1 without looking at the exif info to the right of the images, there's something special in its rendering of skin tones. Disclaimer for our American public: Only click the link if you're an adult/mature person, warning explicit nude images, yadda yadda. Here's Wataru's artist statement:

"I'm looking to explore visuals that inspire and challenge me. As a huge videogame geek, my themes mostly revolve around strong female characters. I also love a great traditional portrait."

Sony RX1 in-depth review by Richard Butler and Lars Rehm at DPReview: "If a fixed 35mm lens will fulfill any of your shooting requirements, then there's nothing to touch the RX1."

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX1 full frame camera with zeiss 35mm f2 lens front view

The Sony RX1 could be the ultimate 'Decisive Moment Camera' if it wasn't for some major niggles, like the lack of a built-in viewfinder, the subpar AF system, and that horrible orange bling ring around the lens. Common Sony, this isn't  a Hyundai Coupe, the owners of this camera already know they got a '35mm full frame CMOS image sensor' camera, no need to have a screamy text reminding them of it.

"At the start of this review we asked if the RX1 was a good enough camera to play in the same league as Leica. The answer is yes. The lens is excellent, as is the sensor (something that's not been true of digital Leicas so far), meaning it'll more than hold its own against the M-series cameras in image quality terms, even if it's not quite as engaging as a true rangefinder. Or, put another way, it's arguably the camera the Leica X-series aspires to be. . . . read more

Sony RX1 in-depth review by Duncan Davidson

"Despite any quibbles and the outrageous prices of the accessories, I don’t have any qualms about purchasing the RX1 and the optional EVF. The RX1 gives me no-compromise images in a package that comfortably goes with me anywhere. I’ll go so far as to say that if anything happened to it, I’d replace it with another one without so much as a second thought. Of course, it doesn’t replace my Nikon D800 or my D4 and my collection of Nikkor lenses for lots of uses, but it has replaced my Fuji X100 as my everyday carry about camera. . . . read more

Sony RX1 vs Canon 5D Mk III with Sigma 35mm f/1.4 sharpness comparison at the Photography Blog

Can't really understand the narrow focus or the scope of this comparison, but it is an interesting one, not many people get to have their hands on both these lenses at once :)

"The sharpness tests for this review were carried out using a real-world subject rather than a test chart. Both the Sony RX1 and the Canon EOS 5D Mk III DSLR / Sigma 35mm f/1.4 lens were mounted on a sturdy tripod. The camera's self-timer mode was activated to avoid camera-shake. Tonal and colour variances across the crops are due to changes in natural light during the session. Centre sharpness is very good from f/2.8 onwards on both the Sony . . . read more

Sony RX1 review by Mark Goldstein at the Photography Blog: "Sony have truly blurred the lines between compact and DSLR in terms of the RX1's features, performance and image quality."

If you ever get bored by the 35mm Zeiss lens on your RX1, you can always use this nifty tool to change the lens to something wider or longer~

"As the RX1 is a Sony camera, it boasts a long list of other stand-out features. Shutter lag is only notable by its apparent absence, and image processing times are thankfully non-intrusive, even for the large Raw files that the RX1 produces. This camera really does deliver DSLR-like performance and image quality in a pocketable format, music to the ears of most enthusiasts, with the exception of the auto-focusing speed, which lags behind the very best contrast-based systems. It's certainly not bad enough to prevent us from recommending the RX1, but it does limit the camera's versatility somewhat.  . . . read more

Sony RX1 review by Joshua Waller at EPZ: Without doubt, the Sony Cyber-shot RX1 is capable of delivering stunning images.

Sony Cybershot DSC-RX1 Digital filters

"The Sony Cyber-shot RX1 is currently unique in being the only compact camera with fixed lens and full-frame sensor. Due to the expense of developing a camera like this, it's likely to be unique in its field for a long time to come, with APS-C sized sensor (or smaller) compact cameras being developed in greater numbers. . . . read more

Sony RX1 review by Kai Wong at Digital Rev: Big balls, gutter talk, and pure slick slickness.

Btw, this is what Kai wrote about the RX1 when it was first announced:

"The Sony RX1 is possibly one of the most important developments in digital photography. Why? Because it is supposed to be a 24-megapixel full-frame compact camera. Not a DSLR, but a compact camera. You remember those old film compact cameras that used 35mm film? They were "full-frame" too, but it seems like APS-C sensors have become the limit for cameras smaller than the full-frame DSLRs and Leica M9. We've all come to accept that, and any such suggestions of a full-frame compact camera have been laughed off" . . . read more

Sony RX1 vs Fujifilm X-E1 comparison by Steve Huff proves that the basic laws of thermodynamics still holds up well (And in this house, we obey them)

Just remember that you can buy ALL currently available Fujinon primes + the X-E1 body and come up with less money than needed  for the RX1 + viewfinder. While this is a quick review, it covers the essentials and is straight to the point.  Initially there's was some readers' uproar about the usage of Lightroom converted RAW files by Steve (X-E1 raws+Lightroom=meh), but then he posted a couple of OOC Jpegs and everybody went "oooh!"

"The RX1 JPEGS are much sharper than the Fuji’s and have that more “robust” look to them as well. As for AF speed, the Sony and Fuji are about the same with AF speed after the new Fuji firmware update of the body and lens and both seem to lock on well in my low light tests (see video above). After shooting them both and handling them both and processing files from both, for me the winner is the Sony. I much prefer the feel, build and lens on the Sony RX1. I also enjoy almost limitless DR and amazing sharpness in my files. I love the shallow DOF and the “Zeiss Pop” from the RX1 and with the Gariz case on my personal camera it feels like a work of art. . . . read more

DXO Optics Pro version 8.1.2 released, adds support for the Canon 6D, Sony RX-1, Nikon 1 V2, and surpasses the symbolic milestone of 10.000 available optics modules.

DxO Optics Pro v8.1.2 supports the Canon EOS 6D, the Sony Cyber-Shot DSC-RX1

From DXO Optics:

Since the previous version, DxO Optics Pro v8.1.2 has added nearly 300 new camera/lens combinations to provide support for additional Canon, Nikon, Sigma, Sony, Tamron and Tokina lenses for Canon, Nikon and Sony cameras.

DxO Optics Pro achieved the goal it set in early 2012 to have 10,000 DxO Optics Modules available by the end of 2012. Developed in the laboratory using an exclusive calibration process, DxO Optics Modules contain tens of thousands of data points about the intrinsic characteristics and flaws of each camera and lens. This database, unique in the entire world, allows DxO Optics Pro to automatically correct all the optical flaws in RAW and JPEG images – distortion, vignetting, chromatic aberrations, lens softness – with an unrivaled level of quality. . . . read more

The Sony RX1 in India, a great user report by Richard Geltman at SteveHuffPhoto.

"The camera is weighty-feeling and very solid. It feels like a miniature M9. I was unable to obtain the EVF so used, in addition to the LCD, an optical viewfinder. I found after a few experiments that the Voightlander 28 mm finder gave the best match for the 35 mm lens field of view. I’m sure the Zeiss finder made specifically for the RX1 is nice but I think it somewhat over-priced. I fitted the lens with a 49 mm B+W clear filter and purchased a very inexpensive screw-in vented lens hood on Ebay for around $10. These two served to protect the front surface of the lens . . . read more

Sony RX1 walks by the DXO Mark lab, makes a big impression: Bests the a99, matches the D600, comes 4th overall.

"Ranking 4th overall in the DxOMark Sensor Score Ratings the Sony RX1 compact camera performs as well as and better than many professional DSLRs. Featuring the same full frame Sony CMOS sensor used in the Nikon D600 we already knew how impressive the results could be and engineering it into a compact shell with a fixed lens hasn’t negatively affected picture quality. ISO performance isn’t quite as good, but nearly, and Sony should be congratulated for pushing the boundaries of camera technology with the RX1. . . . read more

Do you find your Sony RX1 unbearable to use without an EVF? Sony makes one (FDA-EV1MK in the lingo) and Tim Ashley has posted a review of it.

Sony RX1 FDA-EV1MK electronic viewfinder EVF review

"The EVF both could and should have been better. Not enough thought has gone into the way in which it or its case have been designed, nor into the way that it works as part of the system: the firmware tweak I suggest above is one example of this but another is the fact that neither the thumb-grip nor the flash  can be used in conjunction with the finder.

Those gripes aside, the finder does its job very well. It fulfills all of the major requirements a user will have of it and it unlocks . . . read more

Sony RX1 review by Amy Davies at Digital Camera World:With its high asking price, and its fixed lens limitations, it’s a camera that shows off exactly what Sony can do, and isn’t necessarily aimed squarely at the consumer market.

"Speaking of the screen, the 3 inch, 1.2 million dot TFT features Sony’s White Magic technology, which is designed to boost contrast. It’s a good performer, not suffering from reflection or glare in all but the very brightest of sunlight. There’s no viewfinder included as standard, but, unlike with the Sony RX100, either an optical or electronic viewfinder can be slotted into this port here. . . . read more

Sony DSC-RX1 review at Camera Hoarders: Image quality is in the same league with Nikon D600, D800 or Canon 5D MkIII used with similar high quality lens, but none of them is so small.

There is no viewfinder on RX1, but it can be bought separately.

"Overall, Sony RX1 is a definite winner. It might not be perfect, but never before could we buy a camera this small with such superb sensor and lens combination. Silent shutter makes it ideal for street or photojournalist work, and if someone finds the time (Sony are you reading this?) to develop hyperfocal on-screen distance scale in a form of firmware update, RX1 might become digital street camera unlike any before.

Image quality is in the same league with Nikon D600, D800 or Canon 5D MkIII used with similar high quality lens… in plain words there are only 5-6 cameras on the market today capable of competing with RX1 (excluding medium format) and 

. . . read more

Sony RX1 review by Ron Martinsen: If you are someone who only uses 35mm and think that the only thing that matters is a combination of size and image quality, then this is the perfect camera for you.

Sony DSC-RX1 with Zeiss 35mm f1.4 lens Full Frame Compact Camera review.

"Overall I’d have to say this is a great beginning, but not something I’m interested in at this time. I loved the image quality and I commend Sony for using such a great lens. However, I need a zoom lens on a form factor like this and this is one camera that I’d actually consider buying if it had interchangeable lenses.

It’s just lame being stuck at 35mm only at this day and age, so at this price point it’s more of a proof of concept camera than something I desire to own. Hopefully Sony will respond to feedback like this and come up with an . . . read more

Sony RX1 review by Michael Reichman at the Luminous Landscape: the Sony RX1 has captured my attention and admiration. Indeed I bought one as soon as I could because it's just the ticket for the kind of travel and documentary shooting that I so much enjoy

The RX1 will fit in a coat pocket, which none of the others remotely will.

"I hate sounding like a fanboy, but I must say that the Sony RX1 presses all the right buttons for me – no pun intended. Built quality is exemplary, haptics are mostly excellent, as are control placement and customizability. The Zeiss lens is truly excellent, and having a full-frame 24MP camera that can fit in a coat pocket and go almost anywhere without being an encumbrance makes this camera greatly appealing. One can always find quibbles in any piece of equipment, but the RX1 is more operationally all-of-a-piece and desirable than just about any recent camera in my experience. . . . read more

Sony Cybershot RX1 review by Ken Rockwell: It looks good, built good, but the user interface is awkward, and compared to a Leica that satisfies for decades, this seems like a toy to play with-for a few months, until the next model comes out.

Ken Rockwell: I wouldn't buy the RX1 because its image quality isn't good enough

"Color rendition, as covered at the Introduction, isn't great. It tends towards yellow-green, and the colors just don't render as well as they do on my other brand cameras. For instance, most would be happy with the snap above, but if I had shot it on my Canon, Nikon or iPhone 5, the colors would be much more as I want them.

All brands are different, and tend to be similar within a brand. Sony's still cameras lack the chops of other makers. Look . . . read more

Sony Cybershot RX1 review at Pocket-Lint: It has its shortcomings, of which the steep price is the most serious one, but does other things so brilliantly it is enough for many people to fall in love with.

"Rating the world's most expensive fixed-lens compact camera is no easy task. For some it won't ever make it on to so much as a wish list, while for others it'll be what they've been waiting years for. But it's not without some bumps and blips.

The camera's 35mm fixed focal length may be a touch wide for some, though, who knows, perhaps there'll be a future version with a 50mm lens. Still, what the RX1's 35mm Carl Zeiss lens does get right it does so staggeringly well. The build . . . read more

Steve Huff goes Tom Cruise at Oprah's Couch over the Sony RX1, declares it the best camera of 2012, uses the same defence strategy as Tom did: 'But i AM in love!'

Steve Huff reviews and loves the Sony Cybershot RX1

"To be totally honest, there has not been any camera that I have tested or owned  in recent times that has given me the visual rewards like the RX1 has. What I mean by this can be explained with a few reasons..1st one is ease of use. The ease in which it gives you beautiful quality and rich images huge in Dynamic Range is pretty sweet to have.

I also say this due to the size of the camera. No camera of this size can give you results like this. Period. You can get it with a Nikon D800 and Zeiss 35 f/2 but that combo would be much much larger, much much heavier and much much more expensive! After shooting with the RX1 for a few weeks I have grown to appreciate what it does and I seriously do not want to be without it! With most cameras, after I review them I am fine with sending them back to the manufacturer but not this time!" . . . read more

Sony Cybershot RX1 review at What Digital Camera: One of the finest digital cameras ever.

Sony RX1 Front side.

"The RX1 is, for many reasons, a remarkable camera, and one which has been very difficult to score on account of it not having any obvious immediate rivals. While it's certainly true that it's expensive, it'd be difficult to find a full-frame DSLR and optic of equivalent performance for less. Its compact size and reasonably discrete styling means it also presents a very real advantage over full-frame DSLRs with similar lenses; for the reportage photographer in particular, there are many reasons why it should be the most desirable option currently available. . . . read more

Digiloyd pounders on the actual cost of the Sony RX1, versus the competition.

Sony RX1 top, black.

"The RX1 is a super premium camera, but it ought to be $2999 with all the accessories below except perhaps the EVF (which ought to be built-in)— upping profit margins by charging for all the stuff any serious shooter needs is a game I don’t like to see played, not to the tune of ~$1000. Don’t forget the Sony RX100 as an accessory (a bargain at only $648).

The brutally competitive camera market will speak its verdict soon enough. But for this chunk of change, a Nikon D800E . . . read more

Sony unveils the Cyber-shot DSC-RX1, a compact full frame camera without a lens mount. (but with a lens)

Maybe the biggest surprise of this years PhotoKina edition, this compact (relatively speaking) 24 Mpixel full frame camera, comes with a fixed Zeiss 35mm f1.4 lens, and many other goodies:

Description by Sony:

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