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First Impressions: Sony RX1R

by Chris Gampat on 06/27/2013

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Sony RX1R product photos first impressions (1 of 5)ISO 32001-40 sec at f - 3.5

Remember the Sony RX1? It’s the fixed lens camera that we dare not call a point and shoot–and it changed everything. Sony gave us a full frame imaging sensor in a point and shoot sized body, and we reviewed it very positively. Today, the company is announcing a specially modified version of the camera called the RX1R. Following in the footsteps of both Nikon and Pentax, they’re taking the same camera that they had before and removing the low pass filter.

And that’s really the only change. But unlike Nikon and Pentax charging more for the more stripped down version that allows measurbators to pixel peep until their eyes bleed, the RX1R will be exactly the same price as the RX1.

Tech Specs

  • JPEG, 14-bit RAW Image Capture
  • No Low Pass Filter
  • 35mm f/2.0 Carl Zeiss Sonnar T* Lens
  • Xtra Fine 3″ LCD Display
  • Full HD 1080p Video at 24 or 60fps
  • High Speed AF
  • Dedicated Focus, Iris and Macro Rings
  • Full Frame 24MP Bursts at up to 5fps
  • Hot Shoe for External Flash, Viewfinder
  • Auto HDR Protects Highlight and Shadow

Ergonomics

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Sony RX1R product photos first impressions (4 of 5)ISO 32001-50 sec at f - 3.5

For the most part, we’re basically doing a tour of a product that has been announced already. The RX1R is externally the RX1; but it’s what matters on the inside that counts–and this time around Mr. Rogers isn’t saying that.

The front of the camera is characterized by a 35mm f2 Zeiss lens, which everyone says is too large. I tend to disagree. There is also a focusing switch near the front bottom area of the camera.

The lens was already spectacularly sharp, and now it will be even more so with the lack of a low pass filter. For the record, The Phoblographer staff have always been fans of Zeiss lenses.

 

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Sony RX1R product photos first impressions (5 of 5)ISO 32001-50 sec at f - 3.5

On the top of the new RX1R is the brand new Sony Hot Shoe, the pop-up flash, the mode dial, the on/off switch, a threaded shutter release, and an exposure compensation dial.

Plus, there is a custom function button.

Did we mention that lens?

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Sony RX1R product photos first impressions (3 of 5)ISO 32001-50 sec at f - 3.5

The back of the camera is once again, just like the RX1. The LCD is big, bright, and gorgeous so that you can pixel peep all you want. And to do that, you can use Sony’s Magnify button. Back here you’ll also find an exposure dial, pop-up flash button, playback button, Auto Exposure Lock, Function button, display button, menu button, and trash button.

Build Quality

As was previous with its now older brother, the RX1R is quite solid feeling. Nothing about the camera feels cheap to the touch and it only exudes quality all over.

But heck, do we wish it had a built in electronic viewfinder.

Ease of Use

If you’re used to Sony’s Cybershot series of cameras, you shouldn’t have too much of a problem. However, this camera has more of a DSLR-like interface and menu system.

Also note that you should have a good idea of old school manual cameras before you take advantage of this camera. This is due to the aperture ring being around the lens.

Autofocus

We held a pre-production version of the camera. However, this version felt like it focused faster than the RX1. In fact, it overall felt like there was an AF speed boost no matter what the focusing range was. It isn’t NEX camera speed, but more on par with the Fujifilm 35mm f1.4 lens after its autofocus boosts.

We were quite impressed.

Image Quality

Since this was a pre-production unit, we couldn’t put a card in here so that you can all pixel peep and measurebate. But we’ll be getting our hands on a review unit soon.

First Impressions

Last September, I had the pleasure of working with the RX1 for a long period of time. Though I didn’t personally handle the review unit, I still knew just how awesome a camera it was. The RX1R seems even better with what we believe is an improved autofocusing system and now the lack of a low pass filter. While that will surely mean more image noise at higher ISOs, it can’t be all that terrible.

Stay tuned as we’ve called in a review unit.

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