#121 Go, Sony!

By philberphoto | News

Sep 13

Haha! I dreamed of a camera, posted what it should do for me, and it looks like Sony may well have done it!

I said I wanted something totally portable, so that I could bring it with me at all times. I said that, within that limitation, I wanted the best possible IQ, and I was willing to accept certain compromises. Now it seems that I may not have to make any IQ compromises, on the contrary. But it is still early days, and it remains to be seen if Sony actually deliver the goods.

Enter the Sony RX-1. A 24.3 megapixel, full-format sensor. Yes, full format, 24×36, like the big boys. But the camera, with lens, is only 438g. Just about the size of a smaller micro-4/3, smaller than Pascal’s Olympus. Oh, yes, I forgot to mention the lens. A fixed prime 35mm f:2.0 made by Carl Zeiss.

The IQ promises to shatter anything remotely that size and weight. Of course, it does not have the humongous sensor size (preferably square) that some here advocate, nor the bazillion pixels. But it should be the mother of all small-form-factor cameras.

Enter the Sony RX-1

Of course, even on paper, it is not perfect. No interchangeable lenses. No integrated viewfinder, though there should be an optical and an electronic one available as add-ons. No tilt LCD which really annoys me, as I love the ones on the NEX.

And also, minor detail, the cost, at 2800$, is hardly insignificant when the non-detachable lens means there will be no way to protect the lens investment from losing value along with the camera body.

I want one as bad as Pascal wants a Sigma DP2M. Different strokes for different folks…:-)))

And Photokina starts in just over a week with many other new toys to be announced, including the Leica M10.

Hmmmm, we have never had it so good…

  • Boris says:

    I like both the RX1 and the DP2M 😉

    Since I returned my RX100 (due to the decentered lens) I’m thinking about getting one of the following three cameras: RX1, DP1M or DP2M. Today I cancled my preorder for the DP1M, mainly because of the sample images I’ve seen so far. The 19mm lens seems not very sharp in the corners even stopped down.

    The RX1 looks very promising, but for a go-everywhere-camera it is just too expensive. At this price level I would be worried again to expose the camera to certain risks (like water, unsafe areas, leaving it in hotel rooms / meeting rooms at business meetings, handing it over to my daughter etc.). The main advantage of this kind of camera over my M9 would be gone.
    The DP2M seems to have a nearly perfect lens and will have a much better pixel sharpness compared to the RX1 and an acceptale price level. It is just not my prefered focal length.

    Maybe you should also test the DP2M, Philippe.
    If I get one I will bring it to Paris in November.

    By the way very nice blog Pascal and Philippe.

  • pascaljappy says:

    Oh Philippe, you have no idea how badly I want the RX1 as well. If they match the lens to the sensor correctly, this camera could be sooo good (they could also totally screw it up with an AA filter, initial images from the A99 are so fuzzy compared to an M9 or DP2M). In fact, not object has triggered such an urge since the venerable Ongaku (yes, being a romantic again 😉 )

    Boris, thanks for your kind comment. If the DP1M has a weaker lens than the DP2M, that’s a real shame and a huge wasted opportunity for Sigma. I’ve been playing with some raw files and SPP for a few days and the results from the DP2M are simply stunning. I’ll print some crops from 30″ and 40″ enlargements this week-end and expect at least the 30″ to be gallery sharp.

    At any rate, can’t wait to see pictures from both these cameras. Lovely days to be a photographer !

    I hope we can meet in November 🙂

  • Barry Timm says:

    NEX-6, NEX-6, NEX-6, NEX-6!!!! This may be the perfect camera for me, with my small collection of Leica compatible lenses, and the only small camera system that I;d consider trading my beloved little 5N in for!!!!

  • philberphoto says:

    Wow, if Pascal and Boris both opine in favor of the DP2M, it must be a strong contender. All the more so as its price (the street price, not the list price, as Sigma has a history of deep discounts) is around 1/3 of that of the Sony. Obviously, the two cameras are very different, one with a FF sensor, the other one with a APS-C Foveon sensor. But how many pocket-sized-camera-with-fixed-around-30MM-lens does one need? If the Sigman DP2M is that good, Sigma could be on to a winner.
    The other point that the RX-1 teaches is that Sony is now by far THE innovator among camera companies. Canon have not innovated since the stunning 5D II which opened the whole video market to DSLRs. Nikon have not innovated except by using the 36Mp sensor from… Sony for the D800, and now another Sony sensor for the low-cost FF DSLR. Sony today are acknowledged as the premier sensor producers, and are busy innovating with SLT DSLRs, with the NEX family, and now the RX family, where they are not afraid to leverage their sensor technology to produce high-end and niche products.
    Then, it remains to be seen how innovative the Leica M10 will be (launch date is supposed to be Monday September 17th). But it is already clear that, for those who value top IQ in a highly portable package, Leica will have to fight a lot harder than it did during the lifecycle of the M9, when it pretty much had the world market to itself. I cannot see the all-new Leica X2, for example, successfully duking it out with the likes of RX-1 and DP2M….
    So, here’s to hoping that, next week, post #122 will be “Go, Leica!”…

  • mb-de says:

    Aaah, THE RX1. I got one at last, because the previous owner decided a higher spec full frame camera was more to his taste, and his wish to separate turned into an offer not to be refused – the only two complaints I have about it after a few weeks of intensive use are the need for the plug-on EVF and the behavior of the autofocus in low light, which I now master, but it has a steep learning curve. Sensor and lens (+in-body corrections) are a very strong combination – and the camera (just) fits in my coat pocket – so I am carrying it everywhere, just like I used to carry the M4P with old ‘Lux 35 in the 1990ies, before the digital age. Albeit buying it pre-owned saved some cash, it still wiped out my gadget budget for the year, as it followed my acquisition of an A7… and I do not regret having spent the money on both for a second.

    The camera is fun to use, has a nice and solid feel to it, and it is capable of producing truly first rate results – I highly recommend at least to try it. Just bear in mind that it is a specialised tool…

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