The Sony RX1…

…is now surprisingly in stock at Amazon. Probably won’t last long, so if you’re one of the dozens of people who’ve emailed me about one, now’s the time πŸ™‚ MT


  1. The comments here seem to be missing the entire point.
    The RX1 has replaced my M9 & 35mm summilux and stopped me buying a M240.
    Sure, I have a OM-D for zoom work but as 90% of my pictures are 35mm I though i’d give it a try …
    The quality of the RX1 is simply sublime. The quality of the controls (even the aperture dial) is better then the M9.
    Its so light you don’t even notice carrying it.
    A Nikon D600 with Zeiss 35mm f2. is comparable, the same cost. But with the RX1 you are also getting the miniaturisation and the sum of the parts is great.
    Resale value ? at the moment high, in the future who cares.
    The RX1 feels to me like the Canon 5D, or the Leica M9 – a classic. Pictures at ISO 6400 look good, and it seems to retain its DR at higher ISOs more then other cameras I have used.
    I would see very little that can be added and would tempt me to change in the future. GPS, wifi ???? nice but not essential.
    Pocket size almost perfection ?????

    • It’s not the idea/ concept that’s the problem: it’s the lack of flexibility, and the illusion of size. I handled one today (finally) in Japan and agree on image quality: I don’t think it’s small enough to replace an OM-D or M (and the image quality isn’t that different; same reason I wouldn’t pick my D600 over either of the former for travel) and the penalty you pay for being a first adopter in terms of price and flexibility is too high for me, personally. I don’t think we worry about resale, everybody knows digital is a black hole… πŸ™‚

      • harold1968 says:

        Yes, the lens is not interchangeable, and you noted above you are not a 35mm fan. Obviously this would make it no go for you.
        I am holding my OM-D + 25mm Panasonic in one hand and the RX1 in the other hand.
        The OM-D feels substantially heavier and larger
        On a scale, with case and hood, the RX1 is 570g, the OM-D is 700g
        The other thing is quality. The OM-D is nice at web size, but at ISO 800 and above the pixel level is really not very good, as you know since you use one extensively. The RX1 is really good up to much higher.
        Also there is an epic nature which you can’t get with APS-C, much less with 4/3s. The arguments over FF rage on, but I can’t back to anything smaller for wide FLs.
        90% of people would rather get a D600 and Zeiss, but Sony didn’t make this camera for those folk. It made it for whose that love this FL and want the maximum quality in the smallest possible package.
        The new Leica M240 has gone up to 680g, almost 100g or 16% more then the M9, which really annoyed me as I was a hoping for M6 size and a further weight loss. The lens add further weight of course (my 35mm summilux is 320g).
        Additionally, the sensor is only useable up to ISO 3200 (according to reviews I have read) but already shows banding at 3200. The RX1 never shows banding and is better at 6400 then the M240 at 3200.
        I am not saying the RX1 is for everyone. Its a very specialist camera. But for someone who shoots 35mm,can live with a max aperture of f2 and wants a small package its amazing. And it costs the same as a 35mm Summicron!
        The success of the Fuji X100 shows that there is a large market, albeit limited, for fixed lens cameras which sacrifice functionality for IQ and size.

        • Actually, I disagree with you on the OM-D. I’ve shot concerts up to 6400 ISO and been very surprised by the results, more so when printed. If you shoot raw and get your exposure right, a 13×19″ at that size is no problem at all.

          I’m looking with interest at that new Nikon A…

  2. OK, don’t know how it compares to GXR EVF. Maybe you could find a place to just try it out?

  3. Cameras with EVFs stuck on top remind me of Baldas and Weltas from the 1930s. Way too “retro” for me.
    That design went out of style for good reason.

    I like Leicas with 35mm lenses; if Sony had put a simple viewfinder on the RX1, I’d be tempted. As it is, it’s
    just too much money for me.

    • I’m actually more worried I might accidentally break off the EVF – especially those which tilt; the connections really don’t look that secure.

      • Connection is secure enough to hot shoe and is rigid enough unless you hit it hard on something.
        Camera would be larger if built in.
        Leica M9 and 35 Cron or Lux costs way more.
        This Sonnar lens is sharp wide open with sweet bokeh.
        Has the Zeiss 3-d pop rendering too.

        • Sorry, not so much the connection but the hinge – I had a couple of EVFs in the past that were very ‘loose’ and made me nervous about using them. I think the Ricoh GXR was the worst culprit.

  4. Yes, just got the EVF too.
    Shutter is very quiet. But I guess the lens would have to be 28mm for you.

    • I thought this was OVF-only until recently – then I saw their special shoe ports. Shame the EVF sticks out so much; if integrated it’d be rather neat.

      Back in the film days, we had an abundance of high quality viewfinder compacts to choose from – in 35mm flavors, the Minox 35GT, Contax T2/T3, Yashica T4, Olympus Mju II, Nikon 35Ti, Leica CM and in 28mm flavors the Ricoh GR1 series, Minolta TC1 and Nikon 28Ti; there was even the GR21 if you wanted wider. We don’t seem to have these yet in digital – but I have a feeling we’re not far off. In the meantime, the hunt for a nice GR1v continues.

  5. Ming, it’s a great camera and you can not judge it’s IQ from MR’s shots in his review.
    The combination of sharpness wide open and smooth bokeh and slow focus transition make it imho a better lens than ZF 35/2 and 28/2. Couple that with the latest, high DR, highISO well performing Sony sensor and with its small size and silent shutter you get a great street and social settings type camera. It’s only competition is Leica M9 and 35 crown or lux which is way more expensive.
    A lot of people like to bash this camera because of price and fixed lens but they need to try it to see what this camera is about.

    • I’m not judging image quality from MR’s review; I just don’t see where a $3,000, 35mm-only compact fits into my shooting kit. It isn’t even so much the price – I simply I don’t like the 35mm FOV. No doubt the IQ is good though, since it shares a sensor with the D600. Did you buy one?

  6. If you love 35mm I can see the temptation…..given I have loads of fun with the Fuji X100 at around Β£600 I’m not tempted. BUT given we are gear heads at heart, sense goes out of the window πŸ™‚

  7. Ken Rockwell mentioned on his site that it’s good but not great. But not everyone likes Ken and I’m just saying. I’m also not convinced on it. I agree with you Ming and Collins.

    • I don’t see where it fits into my kit, especially not at that price and focal length. But it doesn’t have any real competition, so if you want what is probably the highest IQ ‘compact’, then…

  8. Nathan Smith says:

    read the review @ and you just might change your mind. Tested similar to the way you like to photograph.

  9. I really wanted to pick up an RX1
    But the thought of putting down 4 figures on a digital camera that i can’t change the lens on just stopped making sense to me.

    So i took a different route and picked up a Leica M6 TTL w/ 50/2 ZM lens a couple months back.
    And i’ve just been astonished by the quality that can be captured on film. Plus this setup is way smaller than my DSLR.
    Just learning to see, and being more deliberate and selective with film has been vastly increasing my shot to keeper ratio. Absolutely loving this journey with no regrets.

    The only thing i kind of miss is the close focus ability, which is why the RX100 i carry with me at all times is so great ^__^.

    • True. For me, picking up a barely used complete Hasselblad kit – a body, spare back, prism finder, three lenses, accessories – for less than that puts things into perspective…

      • I think for myself its about putting my money in something that will last longer than just a couple years.
        Zeiss / Leica lenses are going to work no matter how far technology goes.

        But the Sony RX1 just doesn’t make sense to me because its not a system camera. It’s value will fall as soon as the latest and greatest digital camera comes out. And not only would people be persuaded to get a new camera. They’ll need to get a new lens too….

        My guess is that a lot of people who are considering this as Leica alternative are probably better served getting a Leica then spending the exorbitant amount on this ~$3500 stop gap. imho

        But to each their own, I’m sure we’ll see some great shots from RX1 owners in the coming months ^__^

        • Agreed – the old Hasselblad/Zeiss CF glass is amazing, and a steal – mint condition averages about US$700. As for the RX1…that’s what I’ve been trying to say. You could get an M8 and a couple of Zeiss lenses, or a D600 and the ZF.2 2/35, or an entire Hasselblad film system with several lenses…the list goes on.

  10. And here I thought, was a review of the RX1 by the mighty Ming!

  11. Stephen Syrotiak says:

    When they add IBIS, weatherproofing, and an articulated viewing screen; bundle the EVF, and lenshade. I’ll be the first in line. Til then my new OMD does fairly well.

    • I agree. But it seems to have received a silly amount of attention (and I keep getting multiple emails about it every day), so I thought I’d put it up for people who are looking for one…

    • I have the RX1 and the only thing I’d wish they included was an articulating LCD panel. But the camera/lens combo is unparalleled for the price for the kind of shooting I do. I thought about a Nikon D600, but I tested it and the size (I’d probably use the Sigma 35/1.4) was just HUGE. I can’t do HUGE. The RX1 is a noticeable upgrade from my NEX-5N and Zeiss 24 combo when the light gets lower.

      • The sensor is larger, so I’d expect it to be. I seem to be doing extremes these days. Either the Hasselblad or an RX100…usually both, since the RX100 doesn’t add much bulk, plus it has a meter πŸ™‚

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