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Sony RX1R Comparison Review

The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX1R is a fixed lens compact camera that was officially introduced in June 2013 and is equipped with a full frame sensor. It offers a resolution of 24 megapixel.

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Is the Sony RX1R a good camera? The RX1R has a Camera Elo of 1814. This rating puts the RX1R below average of all prime lens compact cameras. In terms of its sensor size category (full frame cameras), the RX1R also ranks below average. – Well, the Sony RX1R is more than 6 years old, and there have been many other good digital cameras released since 2013.

Headline Specifications
Sony RX1R
Fixed lens compact camera
35mm f/2.0
24 MP, Full Frame Sensor
1080/60p Video
ISO 100-25600 (50-102400)
Viewfinder optional
3.0" LCD, 1229k dots
Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)
5 shutter flaps per second
270 shots per battery charge
113 x 65 x 70 mm, 482 g


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Read on to find out more about the camera's size, sensor, features, reception by expert reviewers, and how it compares to other digital cameras.

Body comparison with a credit card

The physical dimensions of the Sony RX1R relative to a credit card are illustrated in the side-by-side display below. Three consecutive perspectives from the front, the top, and the back are presented. All width, height and depth dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

Sony RX1R vs credit card front
RX1R versus credit card top view
RX1R and credit card rear side

The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the Sony RX1R alongside a set of comparators. If you want to review a camera pair side-by-side, just select a right-side comparator from among the camera models in the table. Alternatively, you can also move across to the CAM-parator tool and choose from the broad selection of possible comparisons 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 RX1R 113 mm 65 mm 70 mm 482 g 270 n Jun 2013 2,799- i Sony RX1R
 
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 A7S« » 127 mm 94 mm 48 mm 489 g 380 Y Apr 2014 2,499- i Sony A7S
 
Sony A6000« » 120 mm 67 mm 45 mm 344 g 360 n Feb 2014 599- i Sony A6000
 
Sony HX400V« » 130 mm 93 mm 103 mm 660 g 300 n Feb 2014 499 i i Sony HX400V
 
Sony RX100 III« » 102 mm 58 mm 41 mm 290 g 320 n May 2014 799- i Sony RX100 III
 
Sony A7« » 127 mm 94 mm 48 mm 474 g 340 Y Oct 2013 1,699- i Sony A7
 
Sony A3000« » 128 mm 91 mm 85 mm 411 g 470 n Aug 2013 329- i Sony A3000
 
Sony RX1« » 113 mm 65 mm 70 mm 482 g 270 n Sep 2012 2,799- i Sony RX1
Note: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.

The listed prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The Sony RX1R was launched in the US market at a price of $2,799. 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. Then, after the new model is out, very good deals can frequently be found on the pre-owned market.

Sony RX1R:
Check Ebay offers

Sensor comparison with a 35mm slide

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. 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 tent to lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.

The Sony RX1R features a full frame sensor and has a format factor (sometimes also referred to as "crop factor") of 1.0. Within the spectrum of camera sensors, this places the Sony RX1R among the large-sensor cameras that aim for top notch image quality.

Sony RX1R sensor measures

For most cameras, data on sensor performance has been reported by DXO Mark. This service determines an overall sensor rating, as well as sub-scores for low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and color depth ("DXO Portrait"). 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 RX1R Full Frame 24.0 6000 40001080/60p25.013.6253791Sony RX1R
 
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 A7S« » Full Frame 12.0 4240 28321080/60p23.913.2370287Sony A7S
 
Sony A6000« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.113.1134782Sony A6000
 
Sony HX400V« » 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38881080/60p----Sony HX400V
 
Sony RX100 III« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p22.412.349567Sony RX100 III
 
Sony A7« » Full Frame 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.814.2224890Sony A7
 
Sony A3000« » APS-C 19.8 5456 36321080/60i23.712.8106878Sony A3000
 
Sony RX1« » Full Frame 24.0 6000 40001080/60p25.114.3253493Sony RX1

Many modern cameras cannot only take still pictures, but also record videos. The RX1R indeed provides movie recording capabilities. The highest resolution format that the RX1R can use is 1080/60p.

Feature comparison

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. The adjacent tables list some of the other core features of the Sony RX1R along with similar information for a selection of comparators.

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)
Mech
Shutter
Speed
Shutter
Flaps
(1/sec)
Built-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Built-in
Image
Stab
Camera
Model
 
Sony RX1R- n 3.0 1229 fixed n 1/4000s 5.0 Y n Sony RX1R
 
Leica X Typ 113« »- n 3.0 920 fixed n 1/2000s 5.0 Y n Leica X Typ 113
 
Nikon D3300« »optical n 3.0 921 fixed n 1/4000s 5.0 Y n Nikon D3300
 
Sony RX1R II« »2360 n 3.0 1229 tilting n 1/4000s 5.0 n n Sony RX1R II
 
Sony A7S« »2400 n 3.0 921 tilting n 1/8000s 5.0 n n Sony A7S
 
Sony A6000« »1440 n 3.0 922 tilting n 1/4000s 11.0 Y n Sony A6000
 
Sony HX400V« »210 n 3.0 921 tilting n 1/4000s 10.0 Y Y Sony HX400V
 
Sony RX100 III« »1440 n 3.0 1229 tilting n 1/2000s 10.0 Y Y Sony RX100 III
 
Sony A7« »2400 n 3.0 1230 tilting n 1/8000s 5.0 n n Sony A7
 
Sony A3000« »202 n 3.0 230 fixed n 1/4000s 2.5 Y n Sony A3000
 
Sony RX1« »- n 3.0 1229 fixed n 1/4000s 5.0 Y n Sony RX1

One convenient feature of the RX1R is the presence of an on-board flash. While this built-in flash is not very powerful, it can at times be useful as a fill-in light to brighten deep shadow areas.

 

Connection comparison

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-RX1R and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.

Input-Output Connections
  Camera
Model
Hotshoe
Port
Internal
Microphone
Internal
Speaker
Microphone
Port
Headphone
Port
HDMI
Port
USB
Type
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
Camera
Model
 
Sony RX1RYstereomonoY-mini2.0---Sony RX1R
 
Leica X Typ 113« »Ystereomono--mini2.0---Leica X Typ 113
 
Nikon D3300« »YmonomonoY-mini2.0---Nikon D3300
 
Sony RX1R II« »YstereomonoY-micro2.0YY-Sony RX1R II
 
Sony A7S« »YstereomonoYYmicro2.0YY-Sony A7S
 
Sony A6000« »Ystereomono--micro2.0YY-Sony A6000
 
Sony HX400V« »Ystereomono--micro2.0YY-Sony HX400V
 
Sony RX100 III« »-stereomono--micro2.0YY-Sony RX100 III
 
Sony A7« »YstereomonoYYmicro2.0YY-Sony A7
 
Sony A3000« »Ystereomono--mini2.0---Sony A3000
 
Sony RX1« »YstereomonoY-mini2.0---Sony RX1

It is notable that the RX1R has a microphone port. Such an external microphone input can help to substantially improve the quality of audio recordings when a good external microphone is used.

 

The RX1R has a prime lens built in (35mm f/2.0). The camera is, hence, ready to shoot, while remaining more compact in size than an interchangeable lens camera with an optic of similar focal length and aperture specifications.

Expert reviews

While the comparison of the spec-sheets of cameras can offer a general idea of their imaging potential, it says nothing about, for example, the handling, responsiveness, and overall imaging quality of the RX1R in practical situations. User reviews, such as those found at amazon, can sometimes inform about these issues, but such feedback is often incomplete, inconsistent, and biased. This is where reviews by experts come in. The adjacent table relays the overall verdicts of several of the most popular camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, photographyblog).

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 RX1R--4/5o4.5/5 Jun 2013 2,799- i Sony RX1R
 
Leica X Typ 113« »--3.5/5-4/5 Sep 2014 2,295 i i Leica X Typ 113
 
Nikon D3300« »+77/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Jan 2014 499- i Nikon D3300
 
Sony RX1R II« »-82/100-o4.5/5 Oct 2015 3,299 i i Sony RX1R II
 
Sony A7S« »-86/1004.5/54.5/55/5 Apr 2014 2,499- i Sony A7S
 
Sony A6000« »+80/1004.5/55/55/5 Feb 2014 599- i Sony A6000
 
Sony HX400V« »+ +-4/5-4/5 Feb 2014 499 i i Sony HX400V
 
Sony RX100 III« »+ +82/1004.5/54.5/55/5 May 2014 799- i Sony RX100 III
 
Sony A7« »+ +80/1005/54.5/55/5 Oct 2013 1,699- i Sony A7
 
Sony A3000« »+-4/54.5/54/5 Aug 2013 329- i Sony A3000
 
Sony RX1« »-79/1004/54.5/54.5/5 Sep 2012 2,799- i Sony RX1
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. Thus, a score needs to be put into the context of the launch date and the launch price of the camera, and rating-comparisons among cameras that span long time periods or concern very differently equipped models make little sense. It should also be noted that some of the review sites have over time altered the way they render their verdicts.

Sony RX1R FAQ

Below are some additional questions and answers concerning some particular features of the RX1R.

What technology is the imaging sensor in the RX1R based on?

The camera features a CMOS (Complementary Metal–Oxide–Semiconductor) sensor.

Which image processing chip is used to convert the raw signal into an image file and perform noise reduction and image sharpening?

Sony equipped the RX1R with the BIONZ X image processor.

What is the ISO sensitivity range of the RX1R?

The camera has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 25600, which can be extended to ISO 50-102400.

Can the camera be equipped with an optional viewfinder?

Yes, Sony provides the FDA-EV1MK as an accessory (here on amazon) that can be mounted on the hotshoe.

Is it difficult to use manual focus lenses with the Sony RX1R?

The RX1R offers focus peaking as a manual focus aid. This feature works by placing a colored highlight on in-focus zones within the image.

Does the Sony RX1R feature an autofocus assist light?

Yes, the camera has a lamp built-in that can illuminate the subject and improve autofocus in low-light settings.

Which battery does the RX1R use?

The camera gets its power from the NP-BX1 (here at amazon), which is a rechargeable Lithium-Ion power pack.

Camera to camera comparisons

If you would like to see a side-by-side review of this and another camera, just make your choice using the following search menu. An an alternative, you can also directly jump to any one of the listed comparisons that were previously generated by the CAM-parator tool.

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    Specifications Summary
    Camera Model Sony RX1R
    Camera Type Fixed lens compact camera
    Camera Lens 35mm f/2.0
    Launch Date June 2013
    Launch Price USD 2799
    Sensor Specs
    Sensor Technology CMOS
    Sensor Format Full Frame Sensor
    Sensor Size 35.8 x 23.9 mm
    Sensor Area 855.62 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 43 mm
    Crop Factor 1.0x
    Sensor Resolution 24 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 6000 x 4000 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 5.97 μm
    Pixel Density 2.80 MP/cm2
    Moiré control no AA filter
    Movie Capability 1080/60p Video
    ISO Setting 100-25600 ISO
    ISO Boost 50-102400 ISO
    Image Processor BIONZ X
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) 91
    DXO Color Depth (bits) 25.0
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) 13.6
    DXO Low Light (ISO) 2537
    Screen Specs
    Viewfinder Type Viewfinder optional
    LCD Framing Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.0 inch
    LCD Resolution 1229k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen
    Shooting Specs
    Autofocus System Contrast-detect AF
    Manual Focusing AidFocus Peaking
    Maximum Shutter Speed 1/4000s
    Continuous Shooting 5 shutter flaps/s
    Silent Shootingno E-Shutter
    Time Lapse Photographyno Intervalometer
    Fill Flash Build-in Flash
    Storage Medium MS or SDXC cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot
    UHS card support no
    Connectivity Specs
    External Flash Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 2.0
    HDMI Port mini HDMI
    Microphone Port External MIC port
    Wifi Support no Wifi
    Body Specs
    Battery Type NP-BX1 power pack
    Battery Life (CIPA)270 shots per charge
    In-Camera Charging USB charging
    Body Dimensions 113 x 65 x 70 mm
    (4.4 x 2.6 x 2.8 in)
    Camera Weight 482 g (17.0 oz)

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