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Sony RX100 versus Sony RX1R

The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 and the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX1R are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in June 2012 and June 2013. Both the RX100 and the RX1R are fixed lens compact cameras that are based on an one-inch (RX100) and a full frame (RX1R) sensor. The RX100 has a resolution of 20 megapixel, whereas the RX1R provides 24 MP. Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their size, their sensors, their features, and their reception by expert reviewers.

Body comparison: Sony RX100 vs Sony RX1R

The physical size and weight of the Sony RX100 and the Sony RX1R are illustrated in the side-by-side display below. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three successive views from the front, the top, and the rear are shown. All width, height and depth dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter. If you prefer, you can also use the toggle button to switch to a comparison in percentage terms (in this case, the camera on the left side – the RX100 – represents the basis for the calculations across all the size and weight measures).

Compare Sony RX100 vs Sony RX1R
Compare RX100 versus RX1R top
Compare RX100 and RX1R rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Sony RX1R is notably larger (24 percent) than the Sony RX100. Moreover, the RX1R is substantially heavier (101 percent) than the RX100. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the RX100 nor the RX1R are weather-sealed.

The adjacent table lists the principal physical characteristics of the two cameras alongside a wider set of alternatives. If you would like to visualize and compare a different camera combination, just use the right or left arrows in the table to switch to the respective camera. Alternatively, you can also navigate to the CAM-parator app and make your selection from the full list of cameras there.

Camera Body Specifications
  Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life
(CIPA)
Weather
Sealing
(yes/no)
Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Camera
Model
Sony RX100» 102 mm 58 mm 36 mm 240 g 330 n Jun 2012 649- i Sony RX100
Sony RX1R« 113 mm 65 mm 70 mm 482 g 270 n Jun 2013 2,799- i Sony RX1R
Canon G9 X Mark II« » 98 mm 58 mm 31 mm 206 g 235 n Jan 2017 529 i i Canon G9 X Mark II
Canon G9 X« » 98 mm 58 mm 31 mm 209 g 220 n Oct 2015 529- i Canon G9 X
Canon G7 X« » 103 mm 60 mm 40 mm 304 g 210 n Sep 2014 699- i Canon G7 X
Leica X Typ 113« » 133 mm 73 mm 78 mm 486 g 350 n Sep 2014 2,295 i i Leica X Typ 113
Nikon D3300« » 124 mm 98 mm 76 mm 430 g 700 n Jan 2014 499- i Nikon D3300
Sony RX1R II« » 113 mm 65 mm 72 mm 507 g 220 n Oct 2015 3,299 i i Sony RX1R II
Sony RX100 IV« » 102 mm 58 mm 41 mm 298 g 280 n Jun 2015 999- i Sony RX100 IV
Sony A5100« » 110 mm 63 mm 36 mm 283 g 400 n Aug 2014 549 i i Sony A5100
Sony RX100 III« » 102 mm 58 mm 41 mm 290 g 320 n May 2014 799- i Sony RX100 III
Sony A3000« » 128 mm 91 mm 85 mm 411 g 470 n Aug 2013 329- i Sony A3000
Sony RX100 II« » 102 mm 58 mm 38 mm 281 g 350 n Jun 2013 749- i Sony RX100 II
Sony NEX-5R« » 111 mm 59 mm 39 mm 276 g 330 n Aug 2012 749- i Sony NEX-5R
Sony RX1« » 113 mm 65 mm 70 mm 482 g 270 n Sep 2012 2,799- i Sony RX1
Sony NEX-5N« » 111 mm 59 mm 38 mm 269 g 460 n Aug 2011 699- i Sony NEX-5N
Sony NEX-C3« » 110 mm 60 mm 33 mm 225 g 400 n Jun 2011 599- i Sony NEX-C3

The camera’s price is obviously a critical decision-making factor. The listed launch prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The RX100 was launched at a markedly lower price (by 77 percent) than the RX1R, which puts it into a different market segment. Usually, retail prices stay at first close to the launch price, but after several months, discounts become available. 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.

 

Sensor comparison: Sony RX100 vs Sony RX1R

The size of the imaging sensor is a crucial determinant 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. Further, a large sensor camera will give the photographer additional creative options when using shallow depth-of-field to isolate a subject from its 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 Sony RX100 features an one-inch sensor and the Sony RX1R a full frame sensor. The sensor area in the RX1R is 638 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 2.7 and 1.0. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.

Sony RX100 and Sony RX1R sensor measures

With 24MP, the RX1R offers a higher resolution than the RX100 (20MP), but the RX1R nevertheless has larger individual pixels (pixel pitch of 5.97μm versus 2.41μm for the RX100) due to its larger sensor. Moreover, the RX1R is a somewhat more recent model (by 1 year) than the RX100, and its sensor might 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.

RX100 versus RX1R MP

Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for many cameras. This service is based on lab testing and assigns an overall score to each camera sensor, as well as ratings for dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), color depth ("DXO Portrait"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"). Of the two cameras under consideration, the RX1R offers substantially better image quality than the RX100 (overall score 25 points higher). The advantage is based on 2.4 bits higher color depth, 1.2 EV in additional dynamic range, and 2.7 stops in additional low light sensitivity. The adjacent table reports on the physical sensor characteristics and the outcomes of the DXO sensor quality tests for a sample of comparator-cameras.

Sensor Characteristics
  Camera
Model
Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
Camera
Model
Sony RX100» 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p22.612.439066Sony RX100
Sony RX1R« Full Frame 24.0 6000 40001080/60p25.013.6253791Sony RX1R
Canon G9 X Mark II« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p21.912.552265Canon G9 X Mark II
Canon G9 X« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p21.512.349563Canon G9 X
Canon G7 X« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p23.012.755671Canon G7 X
Leica X Typ 113« » APS-C 16.1 4928 32641080/30p----Leica X Typ 113
Nikon D3300« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.312.8138582Nikon D3300
Sony RX1R II« » Full Frame 42.2 7952 53041080/60p25.813.9320497Sony RX1R II
Sony RX100 IV« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p22.812.659170Sony RX100 IV
Sony A5100« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p23.812.7134780Sony A5100
Sony RX100 III« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p22.412.349567Sony RX100 III
Sony A3000« » APS-C 19.8 5456 36321080/60i23.712.8106878Sony A3000
Sony RX100 II« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p22.512.448367Sony RX100 II
Sony NEX-5R« » APS-C 16.0 4912 32641080/60i23.713.191078Sony NEX-5R
Sony RX1« » Full Frame 24.0 6000 40001080/60p25.114.3253493Sony RX1
Sony NEX-5N« » APS-C 16.0 4912 32641080/60i23.612.7107977Sony NEX-5N
Sony NEX-C3« » APS-C 16.0 4912 3264720/30p22.712.2108373Sony NEX-C3

Many modern cameras cannot only take still pictures, but also record videos. Both cameras under consideration are equipped with sensors that have a sufficiently high read-out speed for moving images, and both provide the same movie specifications (1080/60p).

 

Feature comparison: Sony RX100 vs Sony RX1R

Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The RX100 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. That said, the RX1R can be equipped with an optional viewfinder – the FDA-EV1MK. The adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Sony RX100 and Sony RX1R along with similar information for a selection of comparators. The full specs-sheets can be found in the camera manual or in the dpreview camera hub.

Core Features
  Camera
Model
Viewfinder
(Type or
'000 dots)
Control
Panel
(yes/no)
LCD
Size
(inch)
LCD
Resolution
('000 dots)
LCD
Attach-
ment
Touch
Screen
(yes/no)
Shutter
speed
(1/sec)
Shutter
flaps
(1/sec))
Build-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Build-in
Image
Stab
Camera
Model
Sony RX100»- n 3.0 1229 fixed n 2000 10.0 Y Y Sony RX100
Sony RX1R«- n 3.0 1229 fixed n 4000 5.0 Y n Sony RX1R
Canon G9 X Mark II« »- n 3.0 1040 fixed Y 2000 8.2 Y Y Canon G9 X Mark II
Canon G9 X« »- n 3.0 1040 fixed Y 2000 6.0 Y Y Canon G9 X
Canon G7 X« »- n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 2000 6.5 Y Y Canon G7 X
Leica X Typ 113« »- n 3.0 920 fixed n 2000 5.0 Y n Leica X Typ 113
Nikon D3300« »optical n 3.0 921 fixed n 4000 5.0 Y n Nikon D3300
Sony RX1R II« »2360 n 3.0 1229 tilting n 4000 5.0 n n Sony RX1R II
Sony RX100 IV« »2359 n 3.0 1228 tilting n 2000 16.0 Y Y Sony RX100 IV
Sony A5100« »- n 3.0 922 tilting Y 4000 6.0 Y n Sony A5100
Sony RX100 III« »1440 n 3.0 1229 tilting n 2000 10.0 Y Y Sony RX100 III
Sony A3000« »202 n 3.0 230 fixed n 4000 2.5 Y n Sony A3000
Sony RX100 II« »- n 3.0 1229 tilting n 2000 10.0 Y Y Sony RX100 II
Sony NEX-5R« »- n 3.0 920 tilting Y 4000 10.0 n n Sony NEX-5R
Sony RX1« »- n 3.0 1229 fixed n 4000 5.0 Y n Sony RX1
Sony NEX-5N« »- n 3.0 920 tilting Y 4000 10.0 n n Sony NEX-5N
Sony NEX-C3« »- n 3.0 920 tilting n 4000 5.5 n n Sony NEX-C3

The RX100 is equipped with a zoom lens, while the RX1R comes with a build-in prime. The RX100 has a 28-100mm f/1.8-4.9 optic and the RX1R offers a 35mm f/2.0 (focal lengths in full frame equivalent terms). Hence, the RX100 provides a wider angle of view at the short end, as well as more tele-photo reach at the long end than the RX1R. The RX100 offers the faster maximum aperture.

Both the RX100 and the RX1R have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The RX100 was replaced by the Sony RX100 II, while the RX1R was followed by the Sony RX1R II.

Review summary: Sony RX100 vs Sony RX1R

So how do things add up? Is there a clear favorite between the Sony RX100 and the Sony RX1R? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.


Arguments in favor of the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100:

  • Better moiré control: Has an anti-alias filter to avoid artificial patterns to appear in images.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (10 vs 5 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • Better light gathering: Has a lens with a wider maximum aperture (f/1.8 vs f/2.0).
  • Wider view: Has a wider-angle lens that facilitates landscape or interior shots.
  • More compact: Is smaller (102x58mm vs 113x65mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
  • Less heavy: Is lighter (by 242g or 50 percent) and hence easier to carry around.
  • Longer lasting: Can take more shots (330 versus 270) on a single battery charge.
  • Sharper images: Has hand-shake reducing image stabilization build-in.
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (77 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in June 2012).


Advantages of the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX1R:

  • More detail: Has more megapixels (24 vs 20MP), which boosts linear resolution by 10%.
  • Maximized detail: Lacks an anti-alias filter to exploit the sensor's full resolution potential.
  • Better image quality: Scores substantially higher (25 points) in the DXO overall evaluation.
  • Richer colors: Generates noticeably more natural colors (2.4 bits more color depth).
  • More dynamic range: Captures a broader range of light and dark details (1.2 EV of extra DR).
  • Better low-light sensitivity: Can shoot in dim conditions (2.7 stops ISO advantage).
  • More framing options: Can be equipped with a hotshoe-mounted accessory-viewfinder.
  • Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (4000/sec vs 2000/sec) to freeze action.
  • More modern: Was introduced somewhat (1 year) more recently.

If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the RX100 comes out slightly ahead of the RX1R (10 : 9 points). However, the relative importance of the various individual camera aspects will vary according to personal preferences and needs, so that you might like to apply corresponding weights to the particular features before making a decision on a new camera.

RX100 10:09 RX1R

In any case, while the comparison of technical specifications can provide a useful overview of the capabilities of different cameras, it remains partial and cannot reveal, for example, the handling experience and imaging performance when actually working with the RX100 or the RX1R. 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 why hands-on reviews by experts are important. The adjacent table relays the overall verdicts of several of the most popular camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, photographyblog). The detailed reviews can be accessed by clicking on the site logo in the table header.

Review Scores
  Camera
Model
cameralabs dpreview ephotozine imaging-resource photographyblog Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Camera
Model
Sony RX100»HiRec78/1004/55/55/5 Jun 2012 649- i Sony RX100
Sony RX1R«--4/5rev4.5/5 Jun 2013 2,799- i Sony RX1R
Canon G9 X Mark II« »-75/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Jan 2017 529 i i Canon G9 X Mark II
Canon G9 X« »HiRec-4.5/54/54.5/5 Oct 2015 529- i Canon G9 X
Canon G7 X« »HiRec77/1004.5/53.5/54.5/5 Sep 2014 699- i Canon G7 X
Leica X Typ 113« »--3.5/5-4/5 Sep 2014 2,295 i i Leica X Typ 113
Nikon D3300« »Rec77/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Jan 2014 499- i Nikon D3300
Sony RX1R II« »-82/100-rev4.5/5 Oct 2015 3,299 i i Sony RX1R II
Sony RX100 IV« »HiRec85/1004/54.5/54.5/5 Jun 2015 999- i Sony RX100 IV
Sony A5100« »Rec-4.5/54.5/55/5 Aug 2014 549 i i Sony A5100
Sony RX100 III« »HiRec82/1004.5/54.5/55/5 May 2014 799- i Sony RX100 III
Sony A3000« »Rec-4/54.5/54/5 Aug 2013 329- i Sony A3000
Sony RX100 II« »HiRec79/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Jun 2013 749- i Sony RX100 II
Sony NEX-5R« »--4.5/5-4.5/5 Aug 2012 749- i Sony NEX-5R
Sony RX1« »-79/1004/54.5/54.5/5 Sep 2012 2,799- i Sony RX1
Sony NEX-5N« »HiRec79/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Aug 2011 699- i Sony NEX-5N
Sony NEX-C3« »HiRec74/1004.5/54.5/54/5 Jun 2011 599- i Sony NEX-C3

The review scores listed above should be treated with care, though. The ratings are only valid when refering to cameras in the same category and of the same age. Hence, a score should always be seen in the context of the camera's market launch date and its price, and comparisons of ratings among very different cameras or across long time periods 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? In case you would like to check on the differences and similarities of other camera models, just use the search menu below. Alternatively, you can follow any of the listed hyperlinks for comparisons that others found interesting. If you do not see the camera that you are looking for, please send me an email, and I will try to add information on that model to the database.

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