The Sony RX1 is a technological marvel that we still can’t believe exists. Hold it in your hands and the camera looks like a large compact with an oversized lens, but inside this relatively small package beats a full-frame image sensor - the same large sensor that you find in much bigger DSLR cameras. In fact, it’s the smallest digital full-frame camera in the world. So you’re getting the same image quality from a compact camera as you’d get from the best DSLR cameras, and in high-resolution 24MP glory.
There are compromises of course. The RX1 is a fixed-lens camera with a 35mm f/2 lens; you can’t swap it out as with a DSLR – the only way you’ll zoom is to walk in. It’s a beautiful compromise though; 35mm is a classic focal length, not too wide, not too tight and its glass is from Carl Zeiss.
Even though you can shoot in bursts, there’s no Auto-Focus Continuous (AF-C) mode, the camera is stuck in AF-S (Single) mode. Another compromise is that there’s no viewfinder, electronic or optical. There are optional electronic and optical viewfinder attachments for sale, but those cost an arm and a leg; the EVF costs S$729 while the optical viewfinder costs a whopping S$829.
And that’s the last thing you should know before we dive into the review proper; the Sony RX1 is seriously pricey at S$3,999. The question is: Is it worth it?