SONY RX1R / SHOOTING REPORT
Attention! The RX1R has arrived! I never have thought they would release the lowpass-less version. I'm using the RX1 and I fell in love with the wonderful depiction. It's perfectly sharp wide open and the bokeh is beautiful. And best of all, the depiction is very solid. As a professional photographer, I have chances to use so many cameras and lenses, but I think the RX1R is irreplaceable because it's a perfect camera that I can't complain. The additional letter "R" reminds me of racing cars and I even wonder if it's fast. Joking aside, there must be a reason for the release and I hope you'll find my report useful.
( Photography & Text : K )
Outstanding resolving power and impressively minute line drawings.
The RX1 has an extremely sharp lens, or it's sharp more than necessary. However, the RX1R is even sharper than the RX1. I wanted to take distant views of trees to best show how sharp it is, but I couldn't because of a time constraint. So, please wait for the second report. Still, you can see its capability on the depictions of buildings in the middle distance. However, what impressed me most were the minute and natural line drawings. This report includes double-sized images of the samples and you can click each image to view them.
Even cameras with a lowpass filter do generate moiré depending on conditions. Now, what will happen if the lowpass filter is taken out? You can see a little moiré if you take a close look at the iron railing in the center of the image above. The amount is unexpectedly small and there would be no real harm. Again, the lines are just beautiful.
The resolution of boat is great, and the depiction of water surface is wonderful, too. If the camera was the one of former generation, the water surface would have looked like a compressed video shown on a High Vision TV. This is a 24 Megapixel camera and it depicts to the finest detail.
Now, what about wide open? Here you are. I cancel the distortion correction and falloff compensation because I want to know the real performance of the lens. So, you can see the falloff, but the image surface is flat and the corner resolution is just wonderful. Still, this is a F2 lens! The perspective of the twisted laces is nicely drawn. By the way, I once saw the picture of the real element of the RX1's lens and I was surprised to know the size was almost equal to the barrel's diameter. I felt the lens is made with the greatest effort.
A jewel lens on a compact body. Just stick to it.
This is still the RX1 except the lowpass-less-ness. This is a real camera with an excellent lens, an exposure compensation dial on the top cover, a lens barrel with an aperture ring, and a silky smooth focus ring. It takes great pictures, yet it's small. It's the best camera for serious shooters who want to carry it with them all the time.
The depiction is so solid especially wide open and I felt exactly the same way when I used the RX1. But, it doesn't mean it loses the solidity once you stop down. Things nearby look near and things afar look far. Everyone takes it for granted, but in fact this is one of the hardest things to achieve.
This thick color reminds me of the CONTAX G series, but the color is not exaggerated. It's just like what I saw.
I stopped down by two f-stops. This beautiful bokeh is another feature of this lens. The tonality is smooth and the panel is nicely realized.
The best picture quality is obtained at around f8. But, since it's just stunning from wide open, you can use the aperture just to control the depth of field.
The RX1R seems to generate more spherical aberration than the RX1 especially in close up shots. Maybe this is because of the lowpass-less-ness and it's a little interesting. Anyway, by using the RX1R, I realized how excellent the lens is.
The bokeh is beautiful. The amount of bokeh increases gradually and it just doesn't decrease suddenly. How wonderful!
Now, I'm in trouble.
I don't know how to conclude. Of course, the picture is different because it's a lowpass-less camera. But, it never means that the RX1 becomes obsolete because it is still a great camera. Now which one is better? SONY's answer is "the both" because they will continue to sell the two cameras. Certainly the risk of moiré increases on a lowpass-less sensor. If you don't like it, get the RX1. However, if you are not using it for commercial photography and you were thinking of getting the RX1, the RX1R would be a nice choice. Now, what about the RX1 users? There is one thing I keep in mind when I write. That is I try not to be overly affirmative. But, this time, I do become affirmative. There's no doubt that the RX1 is an excellent cameras that generates top quality images. And, the RX1R generates even better pictures. The differences become minor once things get sophisticated. Or, the difference isn't perceived as difference anymore. The choice depends on whether you are interested in the minute difference or not. My discussion should be like lecturing to the Buddha, or those who prefers the compact camera with a fixed lens and a full-size sensor to the Alpha 99 that is equally priced. The next report will be coming up soon!