Is the RX1 the compact photojournalists are waiting for?

By Paul Carroll - Tuesday January 08 2013

Camera Review
Introduction | Sony RX1 sensor performance | Sony RX1 versus competition | Conclusion

The new Sony RX1 offers discerning photographers the unique proposition of a full frame CMOS sensor and fixed 35mm f/2 prime lens in a compact shell. Perfect if you’re after great image quality without the bulk, weight and inconvenience of a large DSLR. But how will the RX1 perform in the DxOMark Sensor Scores?

Launched in October 2012 the Sony RX1 is the world’s first compact camera with a full-frame 24x36mm CMOS sensor. Featuring a fixed 35mm f/2 lens and 24 megapixel sensor in a petite shell the RX1 is designed for professionals after a discreet compact with excellent image quality. This places the RX1 firmly in the photojournalist and street photographer category and its unique offering of a full-frame sensor in a compact means it comes with a hefty $2,800 price tag.

The second release in the RX range of fixed lens compacts the RX1 sits above the more consumer orientated RX100, which features a 20-megapixel 1" sensors and costs $649. The RX range complements Sony’s existing NEX range of Hybrid cameras featuring an APS-C sensor, as well as their line-up of DLSR style SLT cameras featuring Sony’s own Translucent Mirror Technology.

The RX1 doesn’t offer a viewfinder as standard, although the V1K optical viewfinder is available separately for $600. There is however a built in flash and a hotshoe that’s compatible with both standard and Sony proprietary flashguns. The ISO range extends between 100-25600, there’s a dedicated aperture ring, 5 user-customizable buttons, 1.23M dot LCD, 1080p video capture and 14cm minimum focus for close-ups.

So lots on offer, but with a plethora of other Hybrids available and other fixed lens offerings like the $1,200 Fuji X100, $999 Sigma DP2 or $1,995 Leica X2 on the market is the RX1 the camera you want? The DxOMark Sensor Scores can help you decide…

Sony RX1 sensor performance

Sony RX1 versus competition

Conclusion