Sony Cybershot RX1 – the world’s first full frame compact [Video]
What is the Sony Cybershot RX1?
The Sony Cybershot RX1 is the first compact camera to include a full frame sensor – this means the sensor is the same size as a 35mm frame, meaning it should be better in low light conditions as well as capturing detail and improving depth of field.
The sensor is an Exmor CMOS sensor and provides an effective 24.3Mp resolution while the ISO range is 100-25,600 – meaning it should perform very well in low light conditions.
The fixed lens has a wide aperture of f/2.0 which should also help in low light as well as providing depth of field and allowing you to artisitically blur the background of your shots.
Then we come to the sticky situation of price, with the RX1 costing a huge £2,600. This puts it in the same price bracket as entry level full-frame DSLRs with their kit lenses.
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Below are just our first impressions based on a short time with the product, not a full review. Read our bridge camera reviews for full reviews of the latest bridge and compact system cameras and to see which produce the sharpest shots and sport the quickest speeds. Read about how we test bridge cameras for an in-depth breakdown of our tests.
Tim’s impressions of the Sony Cybershot RX1
The Rx1 has some very impressive specs and until you read that the lens is fixed you could easily mistake the feature list for that of a top range DSLR – but unfortunately you could also mistake the price tag as well.
It’s an incredibly impressive compact camera and will probably produce some the best shots possible from this category of camera, but when it comes down to the price it is competing with much more sophisticated models.
Unfortunately, Sony kept the RX1 behind glass so we weren’t able to get a proper feel for the camera or see how the shots came out although it doesn’t look overly compact. While it is obviously much slimmer and lighter than a DSLR, its not like you’re just going to slip a £2,600 camera in your pocket even if you could get it to fit.
The lens itself is a Carl Zeiss Sonnar T lens with a fixed focal length of 35mm to make the best use of the full frame sensor, although it is only limted to a 2X optical zoom. Sonnar is the German word for sun and apparently this refers to the lens making the best possible use of the light available – although if it is particularly sunny you might struggle to see what you are taking a picture of as there is no optical viewfinder (although you can add one using the hotshoe and for a price) so you will have to rely on the 3-inch LCD.
Sony has mad a big thing of its digital zoom, saying it is able to produce good results without sacrificing pixel count – but until we see this in action we can’t comment on its ability, although we would always be happier with an optical zoom.
There are lots of dials and physical controls to change the settings of the camera which should appeal to enthusiasts. Plus, there is also a switch on the barrel of the lens that lets you switch to macro focusing, shortening the minimum focusing distance to 20cm for close up shots.
It does sound and look like a very impressive bit of kit, but I can’t see who would be willing to spend so much money on a compact digital camera with a 2X optical zoom.
What do you think of the Sony Cybershot RX1? Can you imagine spending £2,600 on a compact camera? Would you rather opt for a high spec DSLR? Let us know in the comments below.
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