Olympus E-450 vs Sony RX1R
The Olympus E-450 and the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX1R are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in March 2009 and June 2013. The E-450 is a DSLR, while the RX1R is a fixed lens compact. The cameras are based on a Four Thirds (E-450) and a full frame (RX1R) sensor. The Olympus has a resolution of 10 megapixels, whereas the Sony provides 24 MP.
Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.
Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Olympus E-450 and the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX1R? Which one should you buy? Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their body size, their imaging sensors, their shooting features, their input-output connections, and their reception by expert reviewers.
The physical size and weight of the Olympus E-450 and the Sony RX1R are illustrated in the side-by-side display below. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three consecutive perspectives from the front, the top, and the back are available. All width, height and depth dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.
If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Sony RX1R is considerably smaller (38 percent) than the Olympus E-450. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the E-450 nor the RX1R are weather-sealed.
The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete and possibly misleading, as the RX1R has a lens built in, whereas the E-450 is an interchangeable lens camera that requires a separate lens. Attaching the latter will add extra weight and bulk to the setup. You can compare the optics available for the E-450 and their specifications in the Four Thirds Lens Catalog.
Concerning battery life, the E-450 gets 500 shots out of its BLS-1 battery, while the RX1R can take 270 images on a single charge of its NP-BX1 power pack. The power pack in the RX1R can be charged via the USB port, which can be very convenient when travelling.
The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the two cameras alongside a broader set of comparators. If you would like to visualize and compare a different camera combination, you can navigate to the CAM-parator app and make your selection from a broad list of cameras there.
|1.||Olympus E-450||130 mm||91 mm||53 mm||440 g||500||n||Mar 2009||499|
|2.||Sony RX1R||113 mm||65 mm||70 mm||482 g||270||n||Jun 2013||2,799|
|3.||Canon G12||112 mm||76 mm||48 mm||401 g||370||n||Sep 2010||499|
|4.||Leica X Typ 113||133 mm||73 mm||78 mm||486 g||350||n||Sep 2014||2,295|
|5.||Nikon D3000||126 mm||97 mm||64 mm||536 g||500||n||Jul 2009||599|
|6.||Olympus E-PL2||114 mm||72 mm||42 mm||362 g||280||n||Jan 2011||599|
|7.||Olympus E-600||130 mm||94 mm||60 mm||535 g||500||n||Aug 2009||449|
|8.||Olympus E-620||130 mm||94 mm||60 mm||521 g||500||n||Feb 2009||699|
|9.||Olympus E-420||130 mm||91 mm||53 mm||440 g||500||n||Mar 2008||599|
|10.||Olympus E-520||136 mm||92 mm||68 mm||535 g||750||n||May 2008||699|
|11.||Olympus E-410||130 mm||91 mm||53 mm||435 g||500||n||Mar 2007||699|
|12.||Panasonic G10||124 mm||84 mm||74 mm||388 g||380||n||Mar 2010||499|
|13.||Panasonic G2||124 mm||84 mm||74 mm||428 g||360||n||Mar 2010||599|
|14.||Sony RX1R II||113 mm||65 mm||72 mm||507 g||220||n||Oct 2015||3,299|
|15.||Sony A7R||127 mm||94 mm||48 mm||465 g||340||Y||Oct 2013||2,299|
|16.||Sony A3000||128 mm||91 mm||85 mm||411 g||470||n||Aug 2013||329|
|17.||Sony RX1||113 mm||65 mm||70 mm||482 g||270||n||Sep 2012||2,799|
|Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.|
Any camera decision will naturally be influenced heavily by the price. The listed launch prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. Normally, street prices remain initially close to the MSRP, but after a couple of months, the first discounts appear. Later in the product cycle and, in particular, when the replacement model is about to appear, further discounting and stock clearance sales often push the camera price considerably down. Then, after the new model is out, very good deals can frequently be found on the pre-owned market.
The imaging sensor is at the core of digital cameras and its size is one of the main determining factors of image quality. A large sensor will tend to have larger individual pixels that provide better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and richer color-depth than smaller pixel-units in a sensor of the same technological generation. Moreover, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more control over depth-of-field in the image and, thus, the ability to better isolate a subject from the background. On the downside, larger sensors are more costly to manufacture and tend to lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.
Of the two cameras under consideration, the Olympus E-450 features a Four Thirds sensor and the Sony RX1R a full frame sensor. The sensor area in the RX1R is 280 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 2.0 and 1.0. The sensor in the E-450 has a native 4:3 aspect ratio, while the one in the RX1R offers a 3:2 aspect.
Technology-wise, both cameras are equipped with CMOS (Complementary Metal–Oxide–Semiconductor) sensors.
With 24MP, the RX1R offers a higher resolution than the E-450 (10MP), but the RX1R nevertheless has larger individual pixels (pixel pitch of 5.97μm versus 4.74μm for the E-450) due to its larger sensor. Moreover, the RX1R is a much more recent model (by 4 years and 2 months) than the E-450, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that further enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixel-units. Coming back to sensor resolution, it should be mentioned that the RX1R has no anti-alias filter installed, so that it can capture all the detail its sensor resolves.
The resolution advantage of the Sony RX1R implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the RX1R for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 30 x 20 inches or 76.2 x 50.8 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 24 x 16 inches or 61 x 40.6 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 20 x 13.3 inches or 50.8 x 33.9 cm. The corresponding values for the Olympus E-450 are 18.2 x 13.7 inches or 46.3 x 34.7 cm for good quality, 14.6 x 10.9 inches or 37.1 x 27.8 cm for very good quality, and 12.2 x 9.1 inches or 30.9 x 23.2 cm for excellent quality prints.
The Olympus E-450 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 1600. The corresponding ISO settings for the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX1R are ISO 100 to ISO 25600, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 50-102400.
For many cameras, data on sensor performance has been reported by DXO Mark. This service assesses and scores the color depth ("DXO Portrait"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports") of camera sensors, and also publishes an overall camera score. Of the two cameras under consideration, the RX1R offers substantially better image quality than the E-450 (overall score 35 points higher). The advantage is based on 3.5 bits higher color depth, 3.1 EV in additional dynamic range, and 2.3 stops in additional low light sensitivity. The following table provides an overview of the physical sensor characteristics, as well as the sensor quality measurements for a selection of comparators.
|1.||Olympus E-450||Four Thirds||10.0||3648||2736||none||21.5||10.5||512||56|
|2.||Sony RX1R||Full Frame||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||25.0||13.6||2537||91|
|4.||Leica X Typ 113||APS-C||16.1||4928||3264||1080/30p||..||..||..||..|
|6.||Olympus E-PL2||Four Thirds||12.2||4032||3024||720/30p||21.4||10.2||573||55|
|7.||Olympus E-600||Four Thirds||12.2||4032||3024||none||21.5||10.3||541||55|
|8.||Olympus E-620||Four Thirds||12.2||4032||3024||none||21.3||10.3||536||55|
|9.||Olympus E-420||Four Thirds||10.0||3648||2736||none||21.5||10.4||527||56|
|10.||Olympus E-520||Four Thirds||10.0||3648||2736||none||21.4||10.4||548||55|
|11.||Olympus E-410||Four Thirds||10.0||3648||2736||none||21.1||10.0||494||51|
|12.||Panasonic G10||Four Thirds||12.0||4000||3000||720/30p||21.2||10.1||411||52|
|13.||Panasonic G2||Four Thirds||12.0||4000||3000||720/30p||21.2||10.3||493||53|
|14.||Sony RX1R II||Full Frame||42.2||7952||5304||1080/60p||25.8||13.9||3204||97|
|15.||Sony A7R||Full Frame||36.2||7360||4912||1080/60p||25.6||14.1||2746||95|
|17.||Sony RX1||Full Frame||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||25.1||14.3||2534||93|
Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but also of capturing video footage. The RX1R indeed provides for movie recording, while the E-450 does not. The highest resolution format that the RX1R can use is 1080/60p.
Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the E-450 has an optical viewfinder, which can be very useful when shooting in bright sunlight. In contrast, the RX1R relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. That said, the RX1R can be equipped with an optional viewfinder – the FDA-EV1MK. The following table reports on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Olympus E-450, the Sony RX1R, and comparable cameras.
|1.||Olympus E-450||optical||n||2.7 / 215||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.5||Y||n|
|2.||Sony RX1R||optional||n||3.0 / 1229||fixed||n||1/4000s||5.0||Y||n|
|3.||Canon G12||optical||n||2.8 / 461||swivel||n||1/4000s||1.1||Y||Y|
|4.||Leica X Typ 113||optional||n||3.0 / 920||fixed||n||1/2000s||5.0||Y||n|
|5.||Nikon D3000||optical||n||3.0 / 230||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.0||Y||n|
|6.||Olympus E-PL2||optional||n||3.0 / 460||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.0||Y||Y|
|7.||Olympus E-600||optical||n||2.7 / 230||swivel||n||1/4000s||4.0||Y||Y|
|8.||Olympus E-620||optical||n||2.7 / 230||swivel||n||1/4000s||4.0||Y||Y|
|9.||Olympus E-420||optical||n||2.7 / 215||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.5||Y||n|
|10.||Olympus E-520||optical||n||2.7 / 215||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.5||Y||Y|
|11.||Olympus E-410||optical||n||2.5 / 215||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.0||Y||n|
|12.||Panasonic G10||202||n||3.0 / 460||fixed||n||1/4000s||2.6||Y||n|
|13.||Panasonic G2||1440||n||3.0 / 460||swivel||Y||1/4000s||2.6||Y||n|
|14.||Sony RX1R II||2360||n||3.0 / 1229||tilting||n||1/4000s||5.0||n||n|
|15.||Sony A7R||2400||n||3.0 / 1230||tilting||n||1/8000s||4.0||n||n|
|16.||Sony A3000||202||n||3.0 / 230||fixed||n||1/4000s||2.5||Y||n|
|17.||Sony RX1||optional||n||3.0 / 1229||fixed||n||1/4000s||5.0||Y||n|
The E-450 writes its imaging data to Compact Flash or xD Picture cards, while the RX1R uses SDXC or Memory Stick PRO Duo cards. The E-450 features dual card slots, which can be very useful in case a memory card fails. In contrast, the RX1R only has one slot.
For some imaging applications, the extent to which a camera can communicate with its environment can be an important aspect in the camera decision process. The table below provides an overview of the connectivity of the Olympus E-450 and Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX1R and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
Mic / Speaker
|1.||Olympus E-450||Y||- / -||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-|
|2.||Sony RX1R||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|3.||Canon G12||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|4.||Leica X Typ 113||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|5.||Nikon D3000||Y||- / -||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-|
|6.||Olympus E-PL2||Y||stereo / -||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|7.||Olympus E-600||Y||- / -||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-|
|8.||Olympus E-620||Y||- / -||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-|
|9.||Olympus E-420||Y||- / -||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-|
|10.||Olympus E-520||Y||- / -||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-|
|11.||Olympus E-410||Y||- / -||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-|
|12.||Panasonic G10||Y||mono / -||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|13.||Panasonic G2||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|14.||Sony RX1R II||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|15.||Sony A7R||Y||stereo / mono||Y||Y||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|16.||Sony A3000||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|17.||Sony RX1||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
Both the E-450 and the RX1R have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The RX1R was replaced by the Sony RX1R II, while the E-450 does not have a direct successor. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Olympus and Sony websites.
So what is the bottom line? Is there a clear favorite between the Olympus E-450 and the Sony RX1R? Which camera is better? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.
Reasons to prefer the Olympus E-450:
- Better moiré control: Has an anti-alias filter to avoid artificial patterns to appear in images.
- Easier framing: Has an optical viewfinder for image composition and settings control.
- More flexible: Can take a variety of interchangeable lenses, including specialty optics.
- Longer lasting: Can take more shots (500 versus 270) on a single battery charge.
- Greater peace of mind: Features a second card slot as a backup in case of memory card failure.
- More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in March 2009).
Arguments in favor of the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX1R:
- More detail: Has more megapixels (24 vs 10MP), which boosts linear resolution by 58%.
- Maximized detail: Lacks an anti-alias filter to exploit the sensor's full resolution potential.
- Better image quality: Scores substantially higher (35 points) in the DXO overall evaluation.
- Richer colors: Generates noticeably more natural colors (3.5 bits more color depth).
- More dynamic range: Captures a broader range of light and dark details (3.1 EV of extra DR).
- Better low-light sensitivity: Can shoot in dim conditions (2.3 stops ISO advantage).
- Broader imaging potential: Can capture not only stills but also 1080/60p video.
- Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (3.0" vs 2.7") for image review and settings control.
- More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1229k vs 215k dots).
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (5 vs 3.5 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- Ready to shoot: Comes with an integrated lens, while the E-450 requires a separate lens.
- More compact: Is smaller (113x65mm vs 130x91mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
- Easier travel charging: Can be conveniently charged via its USB port.
- More modern: Reflects 4 years and 2 months of technical progress since the E-450 launch.
If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the RX1R is the clear winner of the contest (14 : 6 points). However, the pertinence of the various camera strengths will differ across photographers, so that you might want to weigh individual camera traits according to their importance for your own imaging needs before making a camera decision. A professional wedding photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a travel photog, and a person interested in cityscapes has distinct needs from a macro shooter. Hence, the decision which camera is best and worth buying is often a very personal one.
How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Olympus E-450 and the Sony RX1R place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best DSLR Camera and Best Prime Lens Compact Camera listings whether the two cameras rank among the cream of the crop.
In any case, while the specs-based evaluation of cameras can be instructive in revealing their potential as photographic tools, it remains partial and cannot reveal, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance when actually working with the E-450 or the RX1R. User reviews that are available, for instance, at amazon can sometimes shed light on these issues, but such feedback is all too often partial, inconsistent, and inaccurate.
This is where reviews by experts come in. The adjacent summary-table relays the overall verdicts of several of the most popular camera review sites (amateurphotographer [AP], cameralabs [CL], digitalcameraworld [DCW], dpreview [DPR], ephotozine [EPZ], photographyblog [PB]). As can be seen, the professional reviewers agree in many cases on the quality of different cameras, but sometimes their assessments diverge, reinforcing the earlier point that a camera decision is often a very personal choice.
|1.||Olympus E-450||..||..||..||..||4/5||4/5||Mar 2009||499|
|2.||Sony RX1R||5/5||..||..||..||4/5||4.5/5||Jun 2013||2,799|
|3.||Canon G12||4/5||+||..||73/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2010||499|
|4.||Leica X Typ 113||3.5/5||..||..||..||3.5/5||4/5||Sep 2014||2,295|
|5.||Nikon D3000||..||+||..||72/100||4/5||4.5/5||Jul 2009||599|
|6.||Olympus E-PL2||3/5||83/100||..||71/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jan 2011||599|
|7.||Olympus E-600||..||..||..||..||..||4.5/5||Aug 2009||449|
|8.||Olympus E-620||3/5||88/100||..||72/100||4.5/5||5/5||Feb 2009||699|
|9.||Olympus E-420||..||85/100||..||+ +||4/5||4.5/5||Mar 2008||599|
|10.||Olympus E-520||..||87/100||..||+ +||4.5/5||4.5/5||May 2008||699|
|11.||Olympus E-410||..||86/100||..||+ +||4/5||4.5/5||Mar 2007||699|
|12.||Panasonic G10||3/5||..||..||70/100||4/5||4/5||Mar 2010||499|
|13.||Panasonic G2||..||..||..||72/100||4/5||4.5/5||Mar 2010||599|
|14.||Sony RX1R II||5/5||..||..||82/100||..||4.5/5||Oct 2015||3,299|
|15.||Sony A7R||5/5||+ +||..||82/100||4.5/5||5/5||Oct 2013||2,299|
|16.||Sony A3000||3/5||+||..||..||4/5||4/5||Aug 2013||329|
|17.||Sony RX1||5/5||..||..||79/100||4/5||4.5/5||Sep 2012||2,799|
|Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.|
The review scores listed above should be treated with care, though. The assessments were made in relation to similar cameras of the same technological generation. Hence, a score should always be seen in the context of the camera's market launch date and its price, and comparing ratings of very distinct cameras or ones that are far apart in terms of their release date have little meaning. Also, kindly note that some of the listed sites have over time developped their review approaches and their reporting style.
Other camera comparisons
Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? If you would like to see a different side-by-side camera review, just use the search menu below. There is also a set of direct links to comparison reviews that other users of the CAM-parator app explored.
- Canon 550D vs Olympus E-450
- Canon 70D vs Olympus E-450
- Leica C-LUX vs Sony RX1R
- Nikon D1H vs Sony RX1R
- Nikon D700 vs Olympus E-450
- Olympus E-330 vs Olympus E-450
- Olympus E-450 vs Sony A7R
- Olympus E-450 vs Sony A99 II
- Panasonic FZ2000 vs Sony RX1R
- Panasonic G2 vs Sony RX1R
- Sony NEX-3 vs Sony RX1R
- Sony RX100 V vs Sony RX1R
Specifications: Olympus E-450 vs Sony RX1R
Below is a side-by-side comparison of the specs of the two cameras to facilitate a quick review of their differences and common features.
|Camera Model||Olympus E-450||Sony RX1R|
|Camera Type||Digital single lens reflex||Fixed lens compact camera|
|Camera Lens||Four Thirds lenses||35mm f/2.0|
|Launch Date||March 2009||June 2013|
|Launch Price||USD 499||USD 2,799|
|Sensor Specs||Olympus E-450||Sony RX1R|
|Sensor Format||Four Thirds Sensor||Full Frame Sensor|
|Sensor Size||17.3 x 13.0 mm||35.8 x 23.9 mm|
|Sensor Area||224.9 mm2||855.62 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||21.6 mm||43 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||10 Megapixels||24 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||3648 x 2736 pixels||6000 x 4000 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||4.74 μm||5.97 μm|
|Pixel Density||4.44 MP/cm2||2.80 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||Anti-Alias filter||no AA filter|
|Movie Capability||no Video||1080/60p Video|
|ISO Setting||100 - 1,600 ISO||100 - 25,600 ISO|
|ISO Boost||no Enhancement||50 - 102,400 ISO|
|Image Processor||TruePic III+||BIONZ X|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||56||91|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||21.5||25.0|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||10.5||13.6|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||512||2537|
|Screen Specs||Olympus E-450||Sony RX1R|
|Viewfinder Type||Optical viewfinder||Viewfinder optional|
|Viewfinder Field of View||95%|
|LCD Framing||Live View||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||2.7inch||3.0inch|
|LCD Resolution||215k dots||1229k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Fixed screen||Fixed screen|
|Shooting Specs||Olympus E-450||Sony RX1R|
|Focus System||Phase-detect AF||Contrast-detect AF|
|Manual Focusing Aid||no Peaking Feature||Focus Peaking|
|Max Shutter Speed (mechanical)||1/4000s||1/4000s|
|Continuous Shooting||3.5 shutter flaps/s||5 shutter flaps/s|
|Fill Flash||Built-in Flash||Built-in Flash|
|Storage Medium||CF or XD cards||MS or SDXC cards|
|Second Storage Option||Dual card slots||Single card slot|
|Connectivity Specs||Olympus E-450||Sony RX1R|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||no HDMI||mini HDMI|
|Microphone Port||no MIC socket||External MIC port|
|Wifi Support||no Wifi||no Wifi|
|Body Specs||Olympus E-450||Sony RX1R|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||500 shots per charge||270 shots per charge|
|In-Camera Charging||no USB charging||USB charging|
130 x 91 x 53 mm
(5.1 x 3.6 x 2.1 in)
113 x 65 x 70 mm
(4.4 x 2.6 x 2.8 in)
|Camera Weight||440 g (15.5 oz)||482 g (17.0 oz)|
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