Category Archives: Sony

Sony RX1???

Engadget is telling us to expect an announcement for a Sony RX1 camera shortly.  They are saying that this compact camera will contain a full frame sensor, along with a Carl Zeiss 35mm F2.0 apparently-not-interchangeable lens.  Is this the first mirrorless camera packing a full-frame sensor inside?

Here’s another image:

(from here)  Word has it that this will sell for more than the Fuji X100 (US$1,200) and possibly even more than the Leica X2 (US$2,000).  I suppose they’re thinking that people pay $7,000 for a Leica M9 so that this would be a relative bargain.



Sony RX100 DxOMark Sensor Score Is Out

DxOMark has completed testing on the Sony RX100 sensor and released the results – an overall score of 66.

With an overall DxOMark Score of 66, the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 comes in at 54th place among all cameras tested on DxOMark, and takes first place among conventional digital compacts equipped with a zoom lens. Only the Fujifilm X100 with its APS-C sensor does better.

With a DxOMark Portrait Score of 22.6 bits, the RX100 places 54th in terms of color depth among all cameras tested, and likewise is at the head of the pack of all conventional compacts tested (beaten only by the Fujifilm X100).

With a DxOMark Landscape score of 12.4EV, the 1″ CMOS sensor offers a high dynamic range for a digital compact. It ranks 32nd in the standings, tied with the APS-C sensor of the X100, and even surpasses several older-generation full-format reflexes such as the Nikon D700 and D3, and the Sony Alpha 850. By way of comparison, the Canon EOS 5D Mark II measured 11.9EV.

Low-light sensitivity: no miracles here with this 1-inch sensor, large and small at the same time, that fits in between the 1/1.7-inch sensors of the usual expert compacts and APS-C or 4:3 sensors of the hybrids and entry-level reflex cameras. Achieving 390 ISO and ranked 137th for this criterion, the Sony RX100 remains the most sensitive of the small-sized expert compact digital cameras, second only to the very bulky Canon Powershot G1 X. The RX100 gains 1 stop with respect to the scores for the more conventional compact sensors, a gain directly tied to the sensor surface area.

The strengths of the Sony RX100 sensor

  • The best color depth of all expert compacts with a zoom lens
  • The largest dynamic range of all expert compacts with a zoom lens
  • Significant progress relative to the 2011-generation 1-inch Nikon 1 sensors
  • Sensitivity equivalent to the Nikon 1 despite 8 additional megapixels on the same sensor

The weakness of the Sony RX100 sensor

  • A slight retreat in sensitivity with respect to micro 4:3 hybrid compacts and the Canon Powershot G1 X because of a smaller sensitive surface area.

Keeping in mind that this is a rating of the sensor performance only, Sony crushes most of the competition in its rangeNikon.  Compare its 66 score to:

  • Canon S100 – 50
  • Fuji X10 – 50
  • Olympus PEN EP3 – 51
  • Nikon 1 V1 – 54
  • Nikon 1 J1 – 56
  • Panasonic DMC G3 – 56
  • Canon G1X – 60
  • Fuji X100 – 73

No DxOMark scores yet for the Fuji X-Pro1 or Olympus OM-D E-M5.  (Of course these are larger cameras but I am curious to know how they would compare.)

One of the few dissenting voices on the Sony RX100 is diglloyd and his reviews on this camera have been very discouraging.  Basically he loves everything about the camera except for its Carl Zeiss lens.  “Regrettably, the real weakness of the Sony RX100 is the lens resolution— it’s pretty lousy at most settings,woefully underperforming the sensor in many situations; the sensor is in my view a breakthrough tour de force given its size and resolution.”



Interesting Sony RX100 Review

Sony’s RX100 has been getting a lot of attention recently and deservedly so.  A pocket-sized camera with a sensor similar to that found in Nikon’s J1 and V1 cameras, not to mention a Carl Zeiss zoom lens that opens to F1.8 at the widest focal length.  The images coming from the camera look amazing.

Of all the reviews I’ve read so far, Ming Thein’s is the most interesting, detailed and even-handed.

On the whole, two things left their mark on me during this review and while using the camera – firstly, I was constantly surprised by just how good the image quality was. I expected compact camera level, I was given constantly CSC-level, though not quite as good as the latest generation of M4/3 bodies like the OM-D. In many ways, it felt like an entry level DSLR crammed into a compact body. It’s incredibly fast and responsive, and shunts around large RAW files at 10fps without a hiccup. The lens is definitely an excellent performer, and a notch above the kit zooms; not to mention being faster at both ends and having a bit more reach. The second, less positive impression felt as though some useability had been sacrificed for size, usually unnecessarily – there’s no reason why we can’t have detents on the lens ring, an external charger, or even a printed manual (especially important given the complexity of the controls). There are ways to adjust things from both menu and shortcuts, but seemingly odd inflexibilities like the useless ‘?’ button and lack of an AF-point reset key (you have to move it back to the center with the D-pad). In some ways, the camera does feel like an experiment; which is surprising given the maturity of compact camera designs these days.

This image from his post was shot at ISO 3200, seriously impressive for a camera that can slip into your jeans pocket:

After finishing his review, I’m impressed by the camera but I’m still sticking with my (much larger) Fuji X-Pro1 for now.  Next year will be interesting.