While “hands-on” might be a bit of a stretch for this article, I wanted to pass along my thoughts from actually putting my hands on the Sony RX1 at PhotoPlus 2012 today – even though the camera didn’t have a battery in it because Sony didn’t want to show off the camera without final firmware.
That said, the RX1 is unbelievably small. As I held it, I just kept thinking about how incredibly compact they managed to put together a full frame camera. With cameras like the RX1 (and even other models like NEX or Canon’s new EOS M), there is no longer a need to sacrifice image quality for camera size.
The body of the RX1 is just slightly larger than the compact RX100, as seen the image above.
While the Sony RX1 isn’t cheap at $2800, it is clear that Sony is targeting the Leica market. As I was checking the camera out, I heard a Sony rep repeatedly reference the price of Leica’s M digital cameras in comparison to the seemingly high price of the RX1 as he spoke to other attendees.
There are plenty of manual controls accessible on the RX1, including the exposure compensation dial in easy reach of your right thumb while shooting.
The hot shoe functions as an accessory attachment point, as you can see the optical viewfinder and the thumb rest mounted just below it.
As you can see from the focal plane mark on the top of the camera, the sensor sits way back in the camera in order to keep the size down and allow the lens to extend into the camera body. The below image shows the lens unit separated from the camera body so that you can see just how deep it goes inside of the camera.
See just how much goes into the compact frame of the RX1 in the blown-apart display below.
The Sony Rx1’s aftermarket aluminum lens hood retails for $179 . . . a bit overkill on price I think.
While it is aluminum, it has to be all of $5 worth of aluminum. While I think the camera will do well at $2800, this is an absurd price for what a lens hood is and does. Likewise, the thumb rest seen in some of the above images has a $249 price tag, which also extends beyond the edge of reason. The thumb rest feels great and works well with the camera’s ergonomics, but $249 is ridiculous for the functionality it offers. These accessories make some of the pricey battery grips for DSLRs seem almost reasonable.
Aside from the expensive accessories, there is a lot to look forward to with the Sony RX1. The camera should be available in December 2012 and looks to be one of the really hot cameras for this year.
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