Pros Low light performance is absolutely astounding
Many excellent shooting modes
Superb Carl Zeiss 35mm F 2.0 fixed lens
Ergonomics and controls are pretty good
It's well built
Cons Autofocus is a bit lacking in low light
Battery life is average
No internal view finder
Summary I went from a P&S to the APS-C sensor NEX C3 to the full frame sensor RX1 in the span of a year. Quite an ambitious upgrade path, and one without any mention of a traditional DSLR. Light, unintimidating, and easily portable are critical factors that I look for in my camera gear, and I've shied away from purchasing any camera that lacked those features. While I love the autofocus performance and sheer amount of accessories for Canon and Nikon, an afternoon spent with a friend's 5DIII and D7000 quickly dissuaded me of buying into the system. They were simply too heavy and bulky for me, not to mention that for some reason, subjects would become hyperaware whenever the lens pointed their way, and they would become stiff and unnatural.
I'd continuously changed cameras due to a never ending pursuit of better image quality. I was continually frustrated by low light and high ISO performance, as I take a lot of pictures in those environments. I lean heavily towards taking pictures of friends and families (capturing memories as I like to put it), landscape, artistic, and food photography. I like to view my pictures on a 20 inch monitor and print them out for photo books. The RX1 takes superb photos for my purposes.
With the full frame sensor, low light performance is absolutely astounding. I can render sharp details and accurate colors in dim bar environments, and a surprising amount of depth in pitch black night. Low light performance is so good that sometimes I have to dial the exposure down, since the camera portrayed the scene with too much light! Coupled with the Zeiss lens, bokeh is absolutely beautiful. I love shooting wide open and have actually ventured into taking more portrait shots as the camera does such a good job with them. I also had the SEL24F18Z with my C3, and find that the two lenses are similar in terms of sharpness, but with the RX1 a much better sensor and lens combo as a whole. Despite many comments to the contrary, I still find the lens to be sharp at infinity. In fact, I love shooting landscapes even more so now thanks to the level of detail and colors rendered in images. Who says this can't be a landscape camera? :)
However, autofocus is a bit lacking in low light. This is one of the few complaints I have about the camera. It slows in low light, and hunts quite a bit in dim bar environments. I do have to experiment more with shutter speed and ISO, instead of simply raising and shooting. But this is a limitation I'm happy to work with and around. Focus in good light is snappy and accurate. When frustrated by the autofocus, I switch a dial to MF. I really like how Sony has implemented manual focus on their cameras. Focus peaking is wonderful, making it so easy to frame a beautiful shot.
Speaking of the hardware, this is one of the reasons why the camera is such a joy to use. All knobs and dials are solid and turn stiffly with a satisfying click into place. I've taken to calling my camera the "little monster" as the full frame sensor seems to suck in light like a black hole, and it feels so solidly built that it could withstand the end of the world.
I shoot JPG only, and I really like the output from this camera. I shoot JPG only because I take way too many photos due to always having the camera with me, and cannot fathom spending more time than I currently do on photo selection and organization. I do engage in a tiny bit of very basic PP, but shoot JPG only. The white balance is dead on accurate, the colors are nicely saturated. I particularly appreciate the various filters that Sony has crammed into the tiny package. All of this combined just makes the entire picture taking process a joy, and a form of art. I also prefer to compose with the screen, as I'm accustomed to this style of shooting. The LCD is truly "White Magic", it's one of the best I've seen from any camera. (And it should be, with this price tag!).
This camera has really redefined my photography skills. Thanks to its easy manual controls, I am constantly experimenting with S, A, and M modes. I'm much more creative, since aperture, exposure and shutter speed are a mere finger flick away. I really appreciate that I don't have to menu dive to change anything, which was one of the most frustrating points of my old C3. My technique has grown by leaps and bounds in the mere two months that I've had it, and I take it anywhere and everywhere. It's so portable and light for me, even when compared to my C3, that I barely use the camera on my cellphone. I have it with me everywhere I go, always ready for that perfect moment to raise the camera and snap a shot.
This camera has been an utter joy to use, and I cannot imagine using anything else. The combination of image quality, portability, subtlety, and versatility are unmatched by any other. Thus, for me, the price is right. I often go shooting with friends that own XE-1, 5DIII, and T3i, and they've started complaining that they refuse to take pictures with me, lastly before you will buy this camera, I suggest check for best deal at: Digitalcameragreatdeals.blogspot.com/p/sony-dsc-rx1.html
Thank for reading and I hope it helpful.
Pros Gorgeous Lens
Full Frame Sensor
Massive Amounts of Detail
Dead-on Auto White Balance
Almost Point & Shoot Compact
Best FF Camera & 35mm Lens Combo On Market
Cons Exposure Comp Dial Bumps Easily
Lacks Electronic Viewfinder
Price Gouging Accessories
Short Battery Life
Macro Lens Setting Can Be Forgotten
Fair Video Quality
Fixed 35mm Focal Length
Slow Focus in Dark
Summary I've used the Sony's RX1 & RX1r on several occasions. To date, even with the cons above this is my favorite camera. In the 1980's, I learned photography on a Canon F-Series film camera. When the digital era erupted I purchased a Canon P&S but never a DSLR. Over the past 4 years, for special events, I have rented both Nikon & Canon FF cameras. I'm always reminded of the weight & fuss in using these large cameras & large lenses.
About 1-year ago Sony introduced a FF small camera. Burning to try this camera, I rented the RX1 for a stateside trip. The photo results were amazing. So impressive were the images that the RX1 was my only camera taken on a Summer-2103 10-day trip to Germany. From the Frankfurt street ways to Hitler's Eagle Nest in Berchtesgaden the RX1 camera was a joy to use. It was a cathartic experience.
Sure, there were times an interchangeable lens camera would have been handy... but the ease in carrying, using, and less threatening nature of this small FF camera made up for any limitation the fixed focal length imposed. Some suggest zooming with your feet but that won't get every shot, yet I'm delighted the RX1 was the camera of choice for these trips.
There are new options emerging in the smaller camera mirror-less market from Olympus M43 to Sony A7 & A7r full-frame bodies but the fact remains.... I'm done lugging around a large camera with large gear. For most of us, over a 1-day period, the weight aches our back and claws-away at the joy of photography.
Pros Small, small, small, for a full frame sensor
Extremely customizable button set
High Quality build
Aperture ring on lens
Extremely malleable files
Great noise handling
Cons If shutter release is held down in a bag, it drains the battery.
When the camera is turned off or goes to sleep, focus resets to infinity
Summary I was initially interested in the small size and FF sensor to allow more depth of field flexibility. Little did I know the image quality and file malleability practically trumps its original reason for being. It really is a classic. ...and that build quality? Absolutely solid.
Extremely accurate focus (when it locks, which is almost all the time unless you shoot in an unlit closet frequently)
Superb B&W photographs
Pros Full Frame Sensor
Photos have a 3D look
Amazing black and white photos.
Zeiss F2 Sonnar T lens.
Cons price. would like a firmware update soon.
Summary This camera is my favorite I own. It is a fixed 35mm camera that takes Professional full frame pictures it has a built in digital zoom which give it some more distance. It is best used for street photography.Great travel camera. Spectacular Image quality. Amazing black and white photos. Excellent bokeh.
Here are links to the rx1 and accessories.
sony rx1- *******/RHLYC9
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