My thoughts on Sony RX1
Well I have had the new Sony RX1 in my possession for a good 2 weeks now, so I thought I’ll post my experience using the Sony RX1. (since it has started snowing I have nothing else to do indoors).
But firstly let me bore you a little bit about what made me choose this camera. I first became interested in photography back in 2005 when I picked up my first Nikon DSLR, a Nikon D50. I then upgraded to a D7000. The main reason for sticking to Nikon is that I already had the lenses, so i didn’t want to make a switch to another camera maker, and buy new lenses all over again.
I became interested in Sony, when I read that the sensor used in my D7000 is made by Sony. So I started following Sony Alpha Rumors to find out the latest developments by Sony.
By following this site, I then find out that the sensors in the new Full Frame DSLR from Nikon, the Nikon D800, Nikon D800E, Nikon D600, are also Sony Made sensors. And these 3 cameras are sitting in the top 3 camera sensor rankings on DxOMark. Now this tells me that Sony is pretty damn good in tthe camera sensor business. Actually they dominate the world in this area.
I wanted to upgrade to the Nikon D600 Full Frame Camera, but Again didn’t want another bulky camera and new lenses. And when Sony announced it would be releasing a compact Full Frame, using the same full frame sensor as the D600. I kept my options open, and eyes peeled for all news about this camera. And the best source of news was Sony Alpha Rumors.
The Sony RX1 uses a fixed 35mm F2 lens made by Carl Zeiss. If you are into photography you’ll know it’s a lens maker you can trust, that will give you the best optical performance out of your camera. And choosing the best lens for your camera is very important if you want superb image quality. (My favorite lens on my D7000 is also a 35mm)
I bought my wife the Sony RX100, and was amazed at how this compact camera performs. So I’m sure the RX1 is not going to disappoint.
With these points in mind, I thought long and hard, read as many news and reviews as possible, and took the plunge. I made a preorder and picked mine up for 223,000 円. Note that the model released in Japan only comes in Japanese Language. It also comes with a complete FULL users manual (again in Japanese). It didn’t take me long to learn the menu settings anyway. And besides I always shoot in Aperture Priority mode, and adjusting the aperture ring on the RX1 is a treat.
Then I started this blog to share some of the pictures taken using the Sony RX1, as there werent many blogs around with RX1 images. Please note that all pictures on this blog was all taken hand held and uploaded straight to my Ipad and then blogged using the wordpress app. so I think the images are resized a little, but they are still blogable and presentable.
So after using it for two weeks, was it worth every penny?
YES!!! It was worth it. This camera is small, so it isn’t too intrusive especially when you want to take pictures of kids. It feels sexy in your hands, and best of all, it produces beautiful images. I’m glad to say that this will now become my every day camera, a camera that I can feel comfortable carrying around all day, especially traveling. I’m glad I left all my Nikon camera gear at home in Sydney. And glad i didn’t by another bulky camera. I’m also thinking of selling all my Nikon stuff and saving the money for what Sony has next in line.
I hated taking pictures in low light, and feared low light. the SONY RX1 performs superbly in low light, I never ever venture beyond ISO 800 due to grainy images, but with this camera I can. Let me show you some images at high ISO’s, So If your afraid of low light, then have no fear, Sony RX1 is here.
See below images at ISO 1600:
The below image was captured using the Handheld twilight mode and was captured at ISO 6400
Handheld twilight mode again in the silver mine captured at ISO 20000
Handheld twilight mode again ISO 12800
So how is the Bokeh? Well see for yourself, it’s beautiful. All below images captured wide open at f2
Just like the RX100 The RX1 has panoramic mode, which I like to use.
Then you have HDR mode which I just started exploring. The camera will take 3 bracketed images and then combine it for you, and then it will give you two copies, one image in normal exposure and then the second image is the HDR copy. For example below:
Then you have rich black and white mode
And high contrast black and white mode
Any many more other modes, like miniature, which makes it fun to use.
The only problem I have with this camera is that the Battery life is short, so I have two. I guess this is expected as this is a compact camera. so an additional battery is a life saver! And there isn’t a proper charger, you have to connect the charger to the camera directly. other than that, I don’t have any other complaints.
Other accessories to consider getting is: A shutter button to make it easier to press (and just to pimp this camera up a little) . And maybe get the EVF at a later stage.
Overall I love this camera and I’m sure other owners will feel the same.