Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX1 Review

February 7, 2013 | Mark Goldstein | |

Your Comments

28 Comments | Newest Oldest First | Post a Comment

#1 Dan

I love it i hate it i love it i hate it! I really can’t make my mind up.
Knowing sony they will be knocking out another one soon, and the price of the accessories take the piss.
I just made my mind up, you can’t have my money this time Sony…...maybe next…..

11:27 am - Thursday, February 7, 2013

#2 Simon Lambert

Nice camera, nice concept, slightly too expensive for what it is but not too far off as a true FF backup camera.

Accessory prices sheer lunacy however, and not including a charger to charge battery externally is penny pinching of the highest order - shame on you Sony.

1:18 pm - Thursday, February 7, 2013

#3 CocoJambo

Nice review. BUT you didn’t make an ISO test on LOW LIGHT and dark !

3:13 pm - Thursday, February 7, 2013

#4 Pedrow

Nice to see Sony have caught up with the full frame fixed lens compact I had in 1991 (i.e. Olympus :mju-1), at only 10x the price. Admittedly that one couldn’t do ISO 256000!!

3:33 pm - Thursday, February 7, 2013

#5 Barry

I just cannot understand your complaint: “we don’t like the in-camera battery charging”, although it is a pretty common complaint nowadays.  In-camera charging is a wonderful fallback position for when you find yourself low on battery, but without a charger.

No doubt, what you are really complaining about is that Sony doesn’t include a $20 external charger with the camera.  I think that is small minded thinking.  Does it really matter if the price of this camera is $2788 or $2808?  I think that the need for me to buy a $20 ‘accessory’ external charger is a pretty cheap cost for the benefit of having in camera charging as a backup.

Finally, just in case some manufacturers are reading this, I recently made a decision between the Canon S110 and the Sony RX100, and the in camera charging was what actually tipped the scales to the Sony.


6:05 pm - Thursday, February 7, 2013

#6 Zick

I know everyone goes gaga over this camera, but at nearly $3,000, it’s absurd. I guarantee 99% of the people would never know the difference if you showed them a photo taken with this and, say, an Olympus E-PL5. Guaranteed.

Not to mention, Sony quality has disappointed me so many times in the past with cameras and other electronics that I would never buy anything from the company again.

11:39 pm - Thursday, February 7, 2013

#7 Al

Ok, fantastic camera. Just what we all want. A super compact with a full frame sensor. But, wait a minute, 3.000 euros? eeerr, no thanks. Paying more than 600-700 euros for a compact camera (fixed-lens) is insane, even if it makes you coffee in the morning.

1:01 am - Friday, February 8, 2013

#8 Michael

This camera hands down has the best picture quality that I have ever seen.  It is definitely on par with a Leica M9 as a friend of mine owns the Leica and I own the Sony RX1.

Say what you want about Sony, but they have finally done it!  Yes it’s expensive, but it’s still cheaper than a Leica and blows just about any FF camera out of the water.  I also own a 5DM3.

I have shot with the Sony RX1 and the photos are not great…they are outstanding!!!.  Everything to sharpness, color reproduction and low light shooting are all incredible.  You get what you pay for.  The body is solid and the dials are sturdy and not cheap feeling my any means.  I love this camera. 

I own both the Olympus EPL5 and Olympus OMD E-5 as and there is a HUGE difference.  Both shooting RAW and jpeg.  I challenge anyone to tell me that they don’t see a difference.

If you have been thinking about splurging for this camera but aren’t sure if it lives up to the hype.  It does!

1:25 am - Friday, February 8, 2013

#9 Jose kerginaldo de paula

A dilemma: the camera is excellent, despite the inexplicable fixed focus, but ... for 3.000 bucks can buy a dslr, with long zoom. If the price was 1/10 of the current, perhaps ...

2:22 am - Friday, February 8, 2013

#10 Al

A full frame sensor compact camera is what many people have been expecting for a long time. But 3.000 euros is just ridiculous. Many people could but won’t buy it for that mere reason. At any rate, well done to Sony by leading the way here. Can’t wait to see the other manufacturers’ answer. How will they react? Will Canon launch a compact with full frame sensor (a Canon G2X, for example)? Looking forward to it.

2:27 am - Friday, February 8, 2013

#11 Chris

A couple of years ago I bought a second hand Canon EOS 1Ds, a Canon 28-70mm f2.8 L lens and a Canon 70-200mm f4L and still had £1000 in my pocket compared to the price of this. I would rather haul the bulk of the 1Ds.

Comparing the image quality with my Fujifilm X100 I have to say there is not that much difference. You wouldn’t see it on the print.

Outrageously expensive.

Who actually NEEDS 24mp for heavens sake. I certainly don’t.

It looks fantastic tho. But I would rather use my X100 even if you offered one of these to me free.

Very brave of Sony to do it, so loads of kudos there. And I am sure this is the way it will go. Full frame in your pocket digicams.

Reminds me, I have to dig out my Olympus mju II.

12:54 pm - Friday, February 8, 2013

#12 Chris

Neither do I think this camera will be commercially feasible or a success either financially or otherwise. Good job Sony has the finance to cover the loss this camera is going to make.

12:58 pm - Friday, February 8, 2013

#13 rob

Like Chris, I think this camera, as innovative and desirable as it is, will become just a footnote in the history of digital cameras. Sony just priced itself out of the market…

I’m sure there will be some buyers (those who do not notice what economic shape the world is in). But don’t count on me, Sony.

I am an owner of Canon FF dSLRs and I was longing to get my hands on a FF compact - just like this model. But for half the price. SONY, YOU ARE OUT OF YOUR MIND!

That said, I’m sure there will be more similar offers from other manufacturers and eventually, the prices must go down. For now, I’m shooting full frame, but not with RX-1.

12:45 am - Saturday, February 9, 2013

#14 Hans Benndorf

That would make a great travel and street shooter camera.
I’ll check the price again in a year or so. Battery performance is sub par and charging in camera is plain dumb. The price for the accessories are so absurd, it made me laugh.

2:00 am - Saturday, February 9, 2013

#15 andy clad

Really nice piece of kit. Have seen some lovely pics taken with this. But its at a really step price. Yes its full frame and all that. But for me the latest from the Fuji X range, along with the range of lenses looks like far better value.

8:59 am - Saturday, February 9, 2013

#16 htree1

Wow!!! Way to expensive for me..  I’ll stick with my Fuji X 100.
Image quality is great especially for my type of photography and final image production. The RX1’s specs, sensor size and costs IMHO, is targeted to photographers who have a large disposable income.
I would like and waiting on a full frame camera with the size and features of a Fuji X100, XE, or Pro.  I love the Fuji colors and hardware treatment.  That’s just the way it is in my world and in the meantime I’ll continue to learn and shoot with mY X100. 
However good work Sony.

5:43 am - Sunday, February 10, 2013

#17 etudiant

This is a spectacular camera, at a fair price.
Sure, we all would like it to be cheaper, but when the only alternative is a Leica, priced for the name but with Panasonic genes, this Sony nee Minolta looks like a bargain.
People who beef that they could buy a bagful of lenses and bodies for the same price are just missing the point entirely. This is a superb camera for when you are not carrying a bagful of lenses and bodies, normal life in other words.

10:57 pm - Sunday, February 10, 2013

#18 newoldmate

The only alternative is a leica?

Haha. Obviously never used a rangefinder camera. This is a gimmicky expensive toy for cashed up people.

Focus by wire, fixed lens and an outrageous price. Good luck Sony.

8:41 am - Monday, February 11, 2013

#19 Jose Kerginaldo de Paula

The prices of digital cameras are falling worldwide, compared to five, seven years ago. But Sony decided to go against the hand of history with this camera “gold.” May have its attributes, of course, but today photos are showed in display of tv, pc, etc.This high resolution would be right for a dslr professional use, not a compact. Sony wants to pay the costs of the PS4 at our expense? But some millionaires (and noobs) will pay as always

1:07 pm - Monday, February 11, 2013

#20 Raoul

The raw images producted by this camera suffer from the same defect as the Sony-A99: tag 258 of the exif header says that the image is 14 bits deep. But it appears that they are only 12 bits deep.

I suggest that the real depth of the raw images be added to the resumé of the specifications: here 12.

10:18 pm - Monday, February 11, 2013

#21 MM

I was on the fence—$3k is a lot of money. After my first set of pictures, I was blown away. The sharpness,colouration, and image quality are just in a different league than the Fuji X-100… And bokeh (background blur)is just beautifully creamy. While a full frame dslr will be on par, who hauls around a 5 lb camera around with a night out to a restaurant/event? I take this camera everywhere. I’ve had a lot of cameras and each time I’m disappointed with their results—except with the RX1.

I can’t say enough.

To be fair, the only issue I have is the slow autofocus and the lack of continuous focus, so action/ sports photography is a challenge…but this camera wasn’t marketed for that.

Speaking of marketing, I suspect that the designers had a budget and we’re required to maintain the $3000 price point and at least a break even margin, if they were going to be given a continued budget for future iterations. So they spent all of it on development of the body and lens, rather than spending it on a new battery, charger, packaging and other non-essential requirements.

Good job Sony!

9:46 pm - Saturday, February 16, 2013

#22 Sara

I wouldn’t go for a Sony.

8:43 pm - Monday, February 18, 2013

#23 MarcosD

So most of you want a camera with a full-frame sensor but at a quarter of the size and weight and for it to be 1/10 of the price of a full frame DSLR. Morons. Making things smaller is not cheaper when it comes to technology and optics, it’s more expensive. If you can’t pay for it or won’t, fine that is your decision and you are obviously not the target market. Autofocus is the problem this camera has and so does the NEX line. It is probably the only area Sony is not leading with mirrorless.

10:03 pm - Tuesday, February 19, 2013

#24 Peter Adams

Great review. Check out my Sony RX1 Review ( for a look at the wide range of photography that you can do with this camera.

4:04 am - Sunday, February 24, 2013

#25 FoveonFan

Crazy price. And it still does NOT compare to Sigma DP2M in terms of image quality, even after you resize the image down to DP2M level….

Bayer cannot compare to Foveon. My dream camera would be a Sigma CSC 24 “true” megapixel camera. But knowing Sigma, that might have to wait 4 more years. :-(

6:20 am - Friday, May 3, 2013

#26 Abe

I bought it.  Arrives soon.  I’m pretty excited about that Zeiss lens - and the lack of filter and this cameras RAW abilities are just downright impressive.  Have a read of this for a quick summary: - make sure you watch the Olivia Speranza webcast review too - it’s linked, and it’s helpful info.

4:32 pm - Tuesday, July 23, 2013

#27 Abe

Oops - I meant the new one - I bought the RX1/R… not the RX1.  Nto too much difference, and same price.

4:36 pm - Tuesday, July 23, 2013

#28 Char

I bought the RX 1 , have not used it much yet…
is there anyone out there that understands, HOW TO ZOOM with
it ?


9:53 pm - Sunday, September 7, 2014

Entry Tags

hd video, review, hd, 3 inch LCD, 1080p, test, wide-angle, sony, RAW, full-frame, 35mm, 24 megapixel, panorama, cybershot, 5fps, f2, carl zeiss, Full Frame, 35mm lens, rx1, dsc-rx1, dsc rx1, Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX1 Review

Tracker Pixel for Entry