Thursday, April 4, 2013

Torquay with Sony Cyber-shot RX1 (Review)

Over the easter holiday, I was given the opportunity to try out the much talked about Sony Cyber-shot RX1.

As a wedding and documentary photographer, I often dream of owning a lightweight camera that is packed with the goodness of a decent DSLR. When working on the ground, there are times when i wish I had a slightly more discreet camera that doesn't scream out photographer. This "serious" compact camera might just be the answer.

Special thanks to Sony Europe, Norihiko Sakura, I finally got my hands around a RX1.
Above is an iphone image of the RX1 with an Electronic View Finder. 
My 1st impression of the camera is that it looks like any normal compact camera. Its body is solid and feel just right on the palm of your hand. Although, the LCD screen is big and bright, I personally preferred shooting with an Electronic View Finder (EVF). Also, I realized that the camera responded a split second faster with the LCD screen set to manual. One thing I can't really comprehend is why Sony decided to leave out the locking mechanism for the EVF. With the camera sling over my neck, it is such a joy to have this lightweight camera accompanying you throughout your travel. However, not being able to lock the EVF in place, I am always conscientiously checking to see if the EVF is still on the camera. It is simple detail like this that could really make the whole experience a lot better for a photographer.

Nonetheless, the RX1 performed way beyond my expectations. This serious lightweight camera could be the dream of any professional photographers or photojournalists who are looking for a small and flexible camera with excellent image quality. Focusing is surprisingly fast and the time for the camera to respond while on sleep mode is pretty decent. The 35mm F2 Carl Zeiss len coupled with its large sensor meant that the camera can easily cope with any low-light situation. The main feature of this amazing camera is its full frame sensor. The 24 megapixel full frame CMOS sensor could outrun many of today's mid-end DSLR. The combination of a huge sensor in a compact body and a high quality fast lens set this camera apart from its competitors. Despite the steep price, the RX1 can easily justified itself with its capability and image quality that are paramount to most professional/serious photographers.

The obvious direct competitor of the RX1 is the Fujifilm X100 and X Pro-1 (both do not have a full frame sensor) and having tried both the Fujifilm cameras, the Sony RX1 is truly at a class of its own.

Now, let the pictures do the talking…

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