The new Sony DSC-RX1 is the first ever full-frame compact camera, offering a high level of imaging performance in a highly compact package. Raising the bar from the standard APS-C to a full-frame 24.3 megapixel Exmor CMOS sensor provides an increase of image quality that can effectively resemble that of a professional-level DSLR. The small form factor makes this camera an especially viable option for carrying at all times. It includes a bright 35mm f/2.0 Carl Zeiss Sonnar T* fixed lens. The combination of these two assets is well balanced, with full manual controls and the ability to record full HD video at a cinematic frame rate of 24p. Additionally, when paired with the powerful BIONZ image processor, low-light sensitivity to 25600 and a continuous frame rate of 5 full-resolution frames per second, this camera is as functional in a variety of other conditions as it is in the most ideal circumstances.
The standout technology of the RX1 is undeniably the inclusion of a large, 35mm-format sensor in such a small body size. Until now, full-frame sensors have been relegated to large, professional-sized DSLRs that are often viewed as a commitment to carry. The stature of the RX1 is impressively compact, considering the physical size of the 24.3 megapixel Exmor CMOS sensor, the same sensor found in the new Sony SLT-A99 full size interchangeable-lens camera. This technology effectively allows you to achieve the same DSLR-quality imagery in a more spontaneous manner and in a more inconspicuous package.
When paired with the BIONZ image processor, the RX1 is capable of achieving a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to 25600, with the added benefits of powerful noise-reduction technologies. For noise reduction while achieving high image sensitivity, six individual images can be captured consecutively and layered in order to increase the exposure value and effectively reduce the ISO-to-noise ratio by two steps. This camera is capable of 14-bit RAW image data recording, preserving the greatest amount of detail possible with minimal effects of image-conversion processing. Additionally, the sensor design has been reformulated to integrate larger photo diodes for a greater collection of light, resulting in a wider dynamic range and smoother gradations from highlights to shadows. Aside from benefitting the imaging performance, the BIONZ sensor also aids the overall speed of the camera and allows for up to 5 full-resolution frames per second.
Adequately complementing the full-frame sensor, a standard wide angle 35mm f/2.0 lens is built in to the RX1. This fixed lens provides an ideal angle of view for daily shooting that is just slightly wider than normal. Additionally, the maximum f/2.0 aperture is highly capable of achieving selective focus, which is aesthetically enhanced by a nine-blade rounded diaphragm, providing adequate speed for low light and action applications. The Sonnar T* designation indicates a multi-layered coating that noticeably reduces ghosting and lens flare from stray light.
The lens’s design is reminiscent of an older manual-focus lens and incorporates three separate rings for control of macro functions, focusing and a full aperture ring with click stops. The rings are precision-tuned to provide accurate feedback when changing exposure settings or working with manual focus, and allows you to maintain focus on the scene at hand while changing apertures or macro and normal focus positions. The macro capabilities allow this lens to focus as closely as 20cm, while still providing a standard focusing range from 30cm to infinity.
While the lens is certainly an appealing manual-focus option, the RX1 is also capable of quick autofocusing in as little as 0.13 of a second. Due to a dedicated throughput, the CMOS sensor is capable of relaying image signals to the image processor for fast, accurate response in acquiring sharp focus, even in low-light situations.
In addition to DSLR quality still photography, the RX1 also shoots Full HD 24p/60i/60p video with manual controls and audio input, plus creative flexibility while shooting movies and stills. Enable the Program Auto (P), Aperture Priority (A), Shutter Speed Priority (S) or Manual Exposure (M) mode for manual shooting and exposure control. Audio recording is possible via the built-in stereo microphone and playback on the built-in mono speaker. Additionally, an optional external microphone can be plugged into the camera. The RX1 records video in the AVCHD Ver2.0 format at up to 28Mbps.
The RX1 features an intuitively designed body with all of the exposure and focus controls easily and readily accessible. Beside the lens controls, you can also control all exposure settings from the Quick Navi interface, which places your most-used settings in an easily navigable menu system. Pulled up from the Fn button, you can view your defined settings quickly and make changes without having to delve into more complex menu systems. More fine tuning is available with the Memory Recall mode, which can memorize up to three groups of your preferred settings, including zoom magnification, white balance, exposure compensation, shutter speed, drive mode and metering modes. For more hands-on, physical manipulation of settings, an exposure compensation dial is included for quick selection between +/- 3 EV in 1/3 steps for altering your exposure, and a larger dial allows you to change between P/A/S/M modes and other AUTO or Scene modes.
Monitoring and image review is done on the rear 3” 1,229K-dot Xtra Fine LCD, which provides high-resolution means to compose your images and scroll through menus. WhiteMagic technology is integrated in the screen’s construction and adds a fourth color layer (white) in order to increase the overall brightness of the display for use in bright sunlit conditions.
The RX1 also integrates Sony’s new multi-interface shoe for a greatly expanded range of compatible accessories. This shoe takes on the same function as a standard hot shoe but also gives accessibility to a newly designed external flash unit, electronic viewfinder, optical viewfinder, clip-on LCD monitor and others. There is also a built-in pop-up flash with an approximate guide number of 6m (at ISO 100), which can be tilted manually for bounce applications.
Aiding the standard manual P/A/S/M controls, the RX1 integrates several features for more automatic, yet still well-rounded imaging. An Auto HDR mode enables you to capture a wider dynamic range than possible with a single exposure by layering several exposures into one, combining the benefits of well-exposed highlight and shadow regions. Also helping to improve the overall look of images, RAW image support is available in addition to the standard JPEG file format. When working in RAW, images are saved prior to white balance, sharpness and color enhancements, giving your files the greatest latitude possible for manipulation during post processing.
For working in a more spontaneous manner, a number of automated image modes are available for relegating the look of your imagery with the camera. Creative Style features 15 image finishing styles, including Standard, Vivid, Neutral, B&W, Portrait, Landscape and others to help fine-tune the overall appearance of your imagery, depending on the situation in which you are photographing. Picture Effect mode allows you to employ creative effects in-camera for altering the overall look or feel of your images. These effects include Toy Camera, miniature, Retro Photo and High Contrast Monochrome. Sweep Panorama Mode is also available, which enables you to make seamless panoramic images simply by panning your camera about the scene.
In addition to the excellent manual focus capabilities afforded by the lens design, other focus modes permit you to work with either single-shot or continuous AF (AF-S is used during still image capture, AF-C is used during video capture) and Direct Manual Focus (DMF), which combines both modes for quickly acquiring general focus, then allowing you to critically home your focal point through manual manipulation. Also contributing to manual focus accuracy, focus peaking is available for emphasizing subject edges by adding contrast and colored outlines to ensure crisp focus on selected subjects.
Other imaging features available include the ability to select between either a 3:2 or 16:19 aspect ratio; a digital level gauge for easier leveling of your camera; Face Detection for easier focusing and exposure balance when photographing people; and Auto Portrait Framing, which automatically recomposes your images of people based on the rule of thirds and applies other portrait-specific image enhancements.
The Sony DSC-RX1 is an image-quality-centric compact camera, while still offering the functionality and the intuitive characteristics of a camera one would want carry along at all times. The integration of a full-frame sensor dramatically effects how a camera of this size can be used and the kinds of imagery it is capable of producing. Considerably aiding the quality of the sensor, the fixed Carl Zeiss T* 35mm f/2.0 lens is an ideal companion for everyday use and features a design that allows adequate control over the focus and exposure. The RX1 is an ideal camera for the photographer who is already familiar with high-end DSLRs, but is searching for a more compact solution that maintains high image quality.
|Camera Type||Professional compact digital camera|
|Lens Type||Carl Zeiss Sonnar T*|
|Lens Focal Length||35mm|
|Aperture Range||f/2.0 to f/22|
|Angle of View||63°|
|Focus Range||9.4" / 24cm to infinity (normal), 5.5-11.4" / 14-29cm (macro)|
|Lens Construction||8 elements in 7 groups (3 aspherical lenses including AA lens)|
|Number of Aperture Blades||9|
|Image Sensor Type||35mm full-frame (35.8 x 23.9mm, Exmor CMOS sensor)|
|Effective Number of Pixels||24.3MP|
|Actual Number of Pixels||24.7MP|
|Bit Depth||14-bit (RAW)|
|Recording Format||JPEG, RAW (Sony ARW 2.3 format), RAW & JPEG|
|Still Image Size||3:2
35mm L: 6000 x 4000 (24M)
35mm M: 3936 x 2624 (10M)
35mm S: 2640 x 1760 (4.6M)
35mm L: 6000 x 3376 (20M)
35mm M: 3936 x 2216 (8.7M)
35mm S: 2640 x 1488 (3.9M)
Standard: 3872 x 2160 / 8192 x 1856
Wide: 5536 x 2160 / 12416 x 1856
|Image Stabilization||Optical & Digital|
|Color Spaces||Not Specified By Manufacturer|
|Picture Effect||Toy Camera, Pop Color, Posterization, Retro Photo, Soft High-key, Partial Color, High Contrast Monochrome, Soft Focus, HDR Painting, Rich-tone Monochrome, Miniature, Watercolor, Illustration|
|Creative Style||Standard, Vivid, Neutral, Clear, Deep, Light, Portrait, Landscape, Sunset, Night Scene, Autumn Leaves, Black & White, Sepia (fine tuning of sharpness, contrast, and saturation)|
|Dynamic Range Functions||Off, Dynamic Range Optimizer (Auto/Level (1-5)), Auto High Dynamic Range (Auto Exposure Difference, Exposure Difference Level (1-6 EV, 1.0 EV step))|
|Video Format||AVCHD Ver. 2.0 / MP4|
|Video Compression||AVCHD Ver. 2.0 compliant / MPEG-4 AVC (H.264)|
|Video Mode||AVCHD: 1920 x 1080 (24p/25p/60i/50i/24Mbps/FX, 24p/25p/60i/50i/17Mbps/FH, 60p/50p/28Mbps)
MP4: 1440 x 1080 (30fps/25fps/12Mbps), 640 x 480 (30fps/25fps/3Mbps)
|Video Clip Length||Up to 29 Minutes|
|Media Type||Memory Stick Duo, Memory Stick PRO Duo, Memory Stick PRO-HG Duo, SD, SDHC, SDXC|
|Media Slot||MS Duo and SD, SDHC, SDXC compatible|
|Still Images per GB||Not Specified By Manufacturer|
|White Balance Modes||Auto, Daylight, Shade, Cloudy, Incandescent, Fluorescent (Warm White, Cool White, Day White, Daylight), Flash, Color Temp., Color Filter, Custom|
|Focus System||Autofocus (AF functions as AF-S during still capture and AF-C during video capture), Direct Manual Focus (DMF), Manual Focus (MF)|
|AF Modes||Multi point AF (25 points), Center weighted AF, Flexible spot, Flexible spot (tracking focus), Flexible spot (face tracking)|
|Exposure Metering Modes||Multi-segment, Center-weighted, Spot|
|Scene Modes||Portrait, Sports Action, Landscape, Sunset, Night Scene, Handheld Twilight, Night Portrait|
|Exposure Compensation||+/- 3 EV in 1/3 steps|
|ISO Sensitivity||ISO 100-25600|
|Viewfinder Type||None (electronic or optical VF optional)|
|LCD Type||3" / 7.5cm Xtra Fine TFT LCD|
|LCD Brightness Control||Auto, Manual (5 steps), Sunny weather mode|
|Peaking MF||Yes (Level: High/Mid/Low, Color: White/Red/Yellow)|
|Clear Image Zoom||Approx. 2x|
|Digital Zoom||24MP: approx. 4x, 10MP: approx. 6.1x, 4.6MP: approx. 9.1x|
|Shutter Speed Range||Bulb, 30 to 1/4000 sec. (at f/5.6 or higher, up to 1/2000 sec. at f/2.0)|
|Built-in Flash||Yes - Modes: Flash off, Autoflash, Fill-flash, Rear sync, Slow sync|
|External Flash Connection||Hot Shoe, Wireless|
|Flash Coverage||ISO Auto: 2.5-71.2' / 0.75-21.7m, ISO 25600: up to 142.4' / 43.4m|
|Continuous Shooting Speed||Up to 5fps (full resolution)|
|Self-Timer||10 or 2 sec. delay|
|Interval Recording||Not Specified By Manufacturer|
|Remote Control||Not Specified By Manufacturer|
|USB Interface||Micro-USB, USB 2.0|
|HD Output||Micro HDMI|
|Accessory Shoe||Multi Interface Hot Shoe|
|Microphone||Built-in stereo microphone or microphone jack|
|Power Source||NP-BX1 rechargeable lithium-ion battery, 3.6VDC, 1240mAh
AC Adapter AC-UD11 (Included)
|Operating/Storage Temperature||Not Specified By Manufacturer|
|Certifications||Not Specified By Manufacturer|
|Power Consumption||Approx. 1.5W|
|Dimensions||4.5 x 2.6 x 2.75" / 113.3 x 65.4 x 69.6mm|
|Weight||1.06 lb / .48 kg|