Sony RX1 vs RX1R
The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX1 and the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX1R are two enthusiast cameras that were announced, respectively, in September 2012 and June 2013. Both the RX1 and the RX1R are fixed lens compact cameras that are equipped with a full frame sensor. Both cameras offer a resolution of 24 megapixels.
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 Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX1 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 Sony RX1 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 size dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.
In this particular case, the Sony RX1 and the Sony RX1R have exactly the same width and height, and, thus, have identically-sized bodies. Moreover, the two cameras also share the same weight. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the RX1 nor the RX1R are weather-sealed.
The battery packs of both cameras can be charged via USB, 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. In case you want to display and compare another camera duo, you can use the CAM-parator app to select your camera combination among a large number of options.
|Sony RX1||113 mm||65 mm||70 mm||482 g||270||n||Sep 2012||2,799|
|Sony RX1R||113 mm||65 mm||70 mm||482 g||270||n||Jun 2013||2,799|
|Leica X Typ 113||133 mm||73 mm||78 mm||486 g||350||n||Sep 2014||2,295|
|Leica X Vario||133 mm||73 mm||95 mm||680 g||450||n||Jun 2013||2,850|
|Nikon D3300||124 mm||98 mm||76 mm||430 g||700||n||Jan 2014||499|
|Nikon D5300||125 mm||98 mm||76 mm||480 g||600||n||Oct 2013||799|
|Sony RX1R II||113 mm||65 mm||72 mm||507 g||220||n||Oct 2015||3,299|
|Sony A7||127 mm||94 mm||48 mm||474 g||340||Y||Oct 2013||1,699|
|Sony A7R||127 mm||94 mm||48 mm||465 g||340||Y||Oct 2013||2,299|
|Sony A3000||128 mm||91 mm||85 mm||411 g||470||n||Aug 2013||329|
|Sony RX100 II||102 mm||58 mm||38 mm||281 g||350||n||Jun 2013||749|
|Sony RX100||102 mm||58 mm||36 mm||240 g||330||n||Jun 2012||649|
|Sony NEX-7||120 mm||67 mm||43 mm||400 g||430||n||Aug 2011||1,349|
|Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.|
Any camera decision will obviously take relative prices into account. The retail prices at the time of the camera’s release place the model in the market relative to other models in the producer’s line-up and the competition. The two cameras under review were launched at the same price and fall into the same market segment. 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 size of the sensor inside a digital camera is one of the key determinants 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. Furthermore, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more possibilities to use shallow depth-of-field in order to isolate a subject from the background. On the downside, larger sensors tend to be associated with larger, more expensive camera bodies and lenses.
Both cameras under consideration feature a full frame sensor, but their sensors differ slightly in size. They nevertheless have the same format factor of 1.0. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.
Even though the RX1R has a slightly larger sensor, both cameras offer the same resolution of 24 megapixels. This implies that the RX1R has a lower pixel density and marginally larger individual pixels (with a pixel pitch of 5.97μm versus 5.96μm for the RX1), which gives it a potential advantage in terms of light gathering capacity. In addition, the RX1R is a somewhat more recent model (by 9 months) than the RX1, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time. 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 Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX1 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 25600, which can be extended to ISO 50-102400. The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX1R offers exactly the same ISO settings.
Since 2007, DXO Mark has published sensor performance measurements that have been derived using a consistent methodology. 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. The Overall DXO ratings for the two cameras under consideration are close, suggesting that they provide similar imaging performance. The adjacent table reports on the physical sensor characteristics and the outcomes of the DXO sensor quality tests for a sample of comparator-cameras.
| DXO |
|Sony RX1||Full Frame||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||25.1||14.3||2534||93|
|Sony RX1R||Full Frame||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||25.0||13.6||2537||91|
|Leica X Typ 113||APS-C||16.1||4928||3264||1080/30p||..||..||..||..|
|Leica X Vario||APS-C||16.1||4928||3272||1080/30p||23.4||12.7||1320||78|
|Sony RX1R II||Full Frame||42.2||7952||5304||1080/60p||25.8||13.9||3204||97|
|Sony A7||Full Frame||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||24.8||14.2||2248||90|
|Sony A7R||Full Frame||36.2||7360||4912||1080/60p||25.6||14.1||2746||95|
|Sony RX100 II||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||22.5||12.4||483||67|
Many modern cameras cannot only take still pictures, but also record videos. Both cameras under consideration have a sensor with sufficiently fast read-out times for moving pictures, and both provide the same movie specifications (1080/60p).
Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. The RX1 and the RX1R are similar in the sense that neither of the two has a viewfinder. The images are, thus, framed using live view on the rear LCD. However, optional viewfinders – the FDA-EV1MK for the RX1 and the FDA-EV1MK for the RX1R – are available as accessories. The adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Sony RX1 and Sony RX1R along with similar information for a selection of comparators.
|Leica X Typ 113||optional||n||3.0||920||fixed||n||1/2000s||5.0||Y||n|
|Leica X Vario||optional||n||3.0||920||fixed||n||1/2000s||5.0||Y||n|
|Sony RX1R II||2360||n||3.0||1229||tilting||n||1/4000s||5.0||n||n|
|Sony RX100 II||optional||n||3.0||1229||tilting||n||1/2000s||10.0||Y||Y|
Both the RX1 and the RX1R have built-in prime lenses. Both optics have identical focal length and aperture specifications (35mm f/2.0). Both cameras offer the same maximum aperture.
Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the RX1 and the RX1R write their files to SDXC or Memory Stick PRO Duo cards.
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 Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX1 and Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX1R and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
| WiFi |
| NFC |
|Leica X Typ 113||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|Leica X Vario||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|Sony RX1R II||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|Sony RX100 II||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
Both the RX1 and the RX1R have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The RX1 was replaced by the Sony RX1R, while the RX1R was followed by the Sony RX1R II. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Sony website.
So what conclusions can be drawn? Is there a clear favorite between the Sony RX1 and the Sony RX1R? Which camera is better? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.
Arguments in favor of the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX1:
- Better moiré control: Has an anti-alias filter to avoid artificial patterns to appear in images.
- More dynamic range: Captures a larger spectrum of light and dark details (0.7 EV of extra DR).
- More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in September 2012).
Advantages of the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX1R:
- Maximized detail: Lacks an anti-alias filter to exploit the sensor's full resolution potential.
- More modern: Was introduced somewhat (9 months) more recently.
If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the RX1 comes out slightly ahead of the RX1R (3 : 2 points). However, the relevance of individual strengths will vary across photographers, so that you might want to apply your own weighing scheme to the summary points when reflecting and deciding on a new camera. A professional sports photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a street photog, and a person interested in family portraits has distinct needs from a landscape 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 Sony RX1 and the Sony RX1R place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best Prime Lens Compact Camera listing whether the two cameras rank among the cream of the crop.
In any case, while the comparison of the spec-sheets of cameras can offer a general idea of their imaging potential, it says little about, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance of the RX1 and the RX1R in practical situations. At times, user reviews, such as those published at amazon, address these issues in a useful manner, but such feedback is on many occasions incomplete, inconsistent, and unreliable.
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 (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, and photographyblog). 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.
|Sony RX1||..||79/100||4/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2012||2,799|
|Sony RX1R||..||..||4/5||o||4.5/5||Jun 2013||2,799|
|Leica X Typ 113||..||..||3.5/5||..||4/5||Sep 2014||2,295|
|Leica X Vario||..||..||4/5||4/5||4/5||Jun 2013||2,850|
|Nikon D3300||+||77/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jan 2014||499|
|Nikon D5300||+ +||79/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Oct 2013||799|
|Sony RX1R II||..||82/100||..||o||4.5/5||Oct 2015||3,299|
|Sony A7||+ +||80/100||5/5||4.5/5||5/5||Oct 2013||1,699|
|Sony A7R||+ +||82/100||4.5/5||5/5||5/5||Oct 2013||2,299|
|Sony A3000||+||..||4/5||4.5/5||4/5||Aug 2013||329|
|Sony RX100 II||+ +||79/100||4.5/5||5/5||4.5/5||Jun 2013||749|
|Sony RX100||+ +||78/100||4/5||5/5||5/5||Jun 2012||649|
|Sony NEX-7||+ +||81/100||4.5/5||5/5||5/5||Aug 2011||1,349|
|Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.|
Care should be taken when interpreting the review scores above, though. The ratings were established in reference to similarly priced cameras that were available in the market at the time of the review. A score, therefore, has to be seen in close connection to the price and market introduction time of the camera, 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 make a corresponding selection in the search boxes below. Alternatively, you can follow any of the listed hyperlinks for comparisons that others found interesting.
Specifications: Sony RX1 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||Sony RX1||Sony RX1R|
|Camera Type||Fixed lens compact camera||Fixed lens compact camera|
|Camera Lens||35mm f/2.0||35mm f/2.0|
|Launch Date||September 2012||June 2013|
|Launch Price||USD 2,799||USD 2,799|
|Sensor Specs||Sony RX1||Sony RX1R|
|Sensor Format||Full Frame Sensor||Full Frame Sensor|
|Sensor Size||35.8 x 23.8 mm||35.8 x 23.9 mm|
|Sensor Area||852.04 mm2||855.62 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||43 mm||43 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||24 Megapixels||24 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||6000 x 4000 pixels||6000 x 4000 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||5.96 μm||5.97 μm|
|Pixel Density||2.82 MP/cm2||2.80 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||Anti-Alias filter||no AA filter|
|Movie Capability||1080/60p Video||1080/60p Video|
|ISO Setting||100 - 25,600 ISO||100 - 25,600 ISO|
|ISO Boost||50 - 102,400 ISO||50 - 102,400 ISO|
|Image Processor||BIONZ X||BIONZ X|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||93||91|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||25.1||25.0|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||14.3||13.6|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||2534||2537|
|Screen Specs||Sony RX1||Sony RX1R|
|Viewfinder Type||Viewfinder optional||Viewfinder optional|
|LCD Framing||Live View||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||3.0inch||3.0inch|
|LCD Resolution||1229k dots||1229k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Fixed screen||Fixed screen|
|Shooting Specs||Sony RX1||Sony RX1R|
|Focus System||Contrast-detect AF||Contrast-detect AF|
|Manual Focusing Aid||Focus Peaking||Focus Peaking|
|Max Shutter Speed (mechanical)||1/4000s||1/4000s|
|Continuous Shooting||5 shutter flaps/s||5 shutter flaps/s|
|Fill Flash||Build-in Flash||Build-in Flash|
|Storage Medium||MS or SDXC cards||MS or SDXC cards|
|Second Storage Option||Single card slot||Single card slot|
|UHS card support||no||no|
|Connectivity Specs||Sony RX1||Sony RX1R|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||mini HDMI||mini HDMI|
|Microphone Port||External MIC port||External MIC port|
|Wifi Support||no Wifi||no Wifi|
|Body Specs||Sony RX1||Sony RX1R|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||270 shots per charge||270 shots per charge|
|In-Camera Charging||USB charging||USB charging|
113 x 65 x 70 mm
(4.4 x 2.6 x 2.8 in)
113 x 65 x 70 mm
(4.4 x 2.6 x 2.8 in)
|Camera Weight||482 g (17.0 oz)||482 g (17.0 oz)|
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