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Sony RX1R versus Sony A6000

The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX1R and the Sony Alpha A6000 are two enthusiast cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in June 2013 and February 2014. The RX1R is a fixed lens compact, while the A6000 is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera. The cameras are based on a full frame (RX1R) and an APS-C (A6000) sensor. Both cameras offer a resolution of 24 megapixel. 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 RX1R vs Sony A6000

An illustration of the physical size and weight of the Sony RX1R and the Sony A6000 is provided in the side-by-side display below. Three consecutive views from the front, the top, and the rear side are shown. All width, height and depth dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter. You can also use the toggle button to switch to a percentage comparison if you prefer that the measures are being expressed in relative terms (in this case, the camera on the left – the RX1R – represents the basis or 100 percent across all the size and weight measures).

Snapsort Sony RX1R vs Sony A6000
Compare RX1R versus A6000 top
Compare RX1R and A6000 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Sony A6000 is notably larger (9 percent) than the Sony RX1R. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the RX1R nor the A6000 are weather-sealed.

The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete and possibly misleading, as the RX1R has a lens build in, whereas the A6000 is an interchangeable lens camera that requires a separate lens. Attaching the latter will add extra weight and bulk to the setup. You can find an overview of optics for the A6000 and their specifications in the Sony E-Mount Lens Catalog.

Concerning battery life, the RX1R gets 270 shots out of its NP-BX1 battery, while the A6000 can take 360 images on a single charge of its NP-FW50 power pack.

The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the two cameras alongside a broader set of comparators. If you want to switch the focus of the display and review another camera pair, just select a new right or left 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 camera 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)
Sony RX1R» 4.4 in 2.6 in 2.8 in 17.0 oz 270 n Jun 2013 2,799- i
Sony A6000« 4.7 in 2.6 in 1.8 in 12.1 oz 360 n Feb 2014 599- i
Leica X Typ 113« » 5.2 in 2.9 in 3.1 in 17.1 oz 350 n Sep 2014 2,295 i i
Nikon D5300« » 4.9 in 3.9 in 3.0 in 16.9 oz 600 n Oct 2013 799- i
Sony A6300« » 4.7 in 2.6 in 1.9 in 14.3 oz 400 Y Feb 2016 999- i
Sony RX1R II« » 4.4 in 2.6 in 2.8 in 17.9 oz 220 n Oct 2015 3,299 i i
Sony A7S« » 5.0 in 3.7 in 1.9 in 17.2 oz 380 Y Apr 2014 2,499- i
Sony A5100« » 4.3 in 2.5 in 1.4 in 10.0 oz 400 n Aug 2014 549 i i
Sony A5000« » 4.3 in 2.5 in 1.4 in 9.5 oz 420 n Jan 2014 449- i
Sony A3000« » 5.0 in 3.6 in 3.3 in 14.5 oz 470 n Aug 2013 329- i
Sony A7« » 5.0 in 3.7 in 1.9 in 16.7 oz 340 Y Oct 2013 1,699- i
Sony RX100 II« » 4.0 in 2.3 in 1.5 in 9.9 oz 350 n Jun 2013 749- i
Sony NEX-6« » 4.7 in 2.6 in 1.7 in 12.2 oz 360 n Sep 2012 999- i
Sony RX100« » 4.0 in 2.3 in 1.4 in 8.5 oz 330 n Jun 2012 649- i
Sony RX1« » 4.4 in 2.6 in 2.8 in 17.0 oz 270 n Sep 2012 2,799- i

The price is, of course, an important factor in any camera decision. The listed launch prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. 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.

 

Sensor comparison: Sony RX1R vs Sony A6000

The size of the imaging sensor is a crucial determinant of image quality. All other things equal, a large sensor will have larger individual pixel-units that offer better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and richer color depth than smaller pixels 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 RX1R features a full frame sensor and the Sony A6000 an APS-C sensor. The sensor area in the A6000 is 57 percent smaller. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 1.0 and 1.5. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.

Sony RX1R and Sony A6000 sensor measures

Even though the RX1R has a larger sensor, both cameras offer the same resolution of 24 megapixel. This implies that the RX1R has a lower pixel density and larger individual pixels (with a pixel pitch of 5.97μm versus 3.91μm for the A6000), which gives it a potential advantage in terms of light gathering capacity. It should, however, be noted that the A6000 is a somewhat more recent model (by 7 months) than the RX1R, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time that at least partly compensate for the smaller pixel size. 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.

RX1R versus A6000 MP

Since 2007, DXO Mark has published sensor performance measurements that have been derived using a consistent methodology. 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 review, the RX1R has a notably higher overall DXO score than the A6000 (overall score 9 points higher), which gives it an advantage in terms of imaging quality. This advantage is based on 0.9 bits higher color depth, 0.5 EV in additional dynamic range, and 0.9 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.

Sensor Characteristics
  Camera Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
Sony RX1R» Full Frame 24.0 6000 40001080/60p25.013.6253791
Sony A6000« APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.113.1134782
Leica X Typ 113« » APS-C 16.1 4928 32641080/30p----
Nikon D5300« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.013.9133883
Sony A6300« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40004K/30p24.413.7143785
Sony RX1R II« » Full Frame 42.2 7952 53041080/60p25.813.9320497
Sony A7S« » Full Frame 12.0 4240 28321080/60p23.913.2370287
Sony A5100« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p23.812.7134780
Sony A5000« » APS-C 19.8 5456 36321080/60i23.813.0108979
Sony A3000« » APS-C 19.8 5456 36321080/60i23.712.8106878
Sony A7« » Full Frame 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.814.2224890
Sony RX100 II« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p22.512.448367
Sony NEX-6« » APS-C 16.0 4912 32641080/60i23.713.1101878
Sony RX100« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p22.612.439066
Sony RX1« » Full Frame 24.0 6000 40001080/60p25.114.3253493

Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but also of capturing video footage. The two cameras under consideration both have sensors whose read-out speed is fast enough to capture moving pictures, and both provide the same movie specifications (1080/60p).

 

Feature comparison: Sony RX1R vs Sony A6000

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the A6000 has an electronic viewfinder (1440k dots), which can be very helpful when shooting in bright sunlight. In contrast, the RX1R relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. The adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Sony RX1R and Sony A6000 along with similar information for a selection of comparators. If needed, the dpreview camera hub, for example, contains further detail on the cameras' specs.

Core Features
  Camera 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
Sony RX1R»- n 3.0 1229 fixed n 4000 5.0 Y n
Sony A6000«1440 n 3.0 922 tilting n 4000 11.0 Y n
Leica X Typ 113« »- n 3.0 920 fixed n 2000 5.0 Y n
Nikon D5300« »optical n 3.2 1037 swivel n 4000 5.0 Y n
Sony A6300« »2300 n 3.0 922 tilting n 4000 11.0 Y n
Sony RX1R II« »2360 n 3.0 1229 tilting n 4000 5.0 n n
Sony A7S« »2400 n 3.0 921 tilting n 8000 5.0 n n
Sony A5100« »- n 3.0 922 tilting Y 4000 6.0 Y n
Sony A5000« »- n 3.0 461 tilting n 4000 3.5 Y n
Sony A3000« »202 n 3.0 230 fixed n 4000 2.5 Y n
Sony A7« »2400 n 3.0 1230 tilting n 8000 5.0 n n
Sony RX100 II« »- n 3.0 1229 tilting n 2000 10.0 Y Y
Sony NEX-6« »2359 n 3.0 921 tilting n 4000 10.0 Y n
Sony RX100« »- n 3.0 1229 fixed n 2000 10.0 Y Y
Sony RX1« »- n 3.0 1229 fixed n 4000 5.0 Y n

Both the RX1R and the A6000 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The RX1R was replaced by the Sony RX1R II, while the A6000 was followed by the Sony A6300.

Review summary: Sony RX1R vs Sony A6000

So what conclusions can be drawn? Is the Sony RX1R better than the Sony A6000 or vice versa? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.


Arguments in favor of the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX1R:

  • Maximized detail: Lacks an anti-alias filter to exploit the sensor's full resolution potential.
  • Better image quality: Scores markedly higher (9 points) in the DXO overall assessment.
  • Better low-light sensitivity: Requires less light for good images (0.9 stops ISO advantage).
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1229k vs 922k dots).
  • Ready to shoot: Has a lens build-in, whereas the A6000 requires a separate lens.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in June 2013).


Advantages of the Sony Alpha A6000:

  • Better moiré control: Has an anti-alias filter to avoid artificial patterns to appear in images.
  • Easier framing: Has an electronic viewfinder for image framing and settings control.
  • More flexible LCD: Has a tilting screen for odd-angle shots in landscape orientation.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (11 vs 5 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • More flexible: Takes interchangeable lenses and can thus be used with specialty optics.
  • Longer lasting: Gets more shots (360 versus 270) out of a single battery charge.
  • More modern: Was introduced somewhat (7 months) more recently.

If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the A6000 comes out slightly ahead of the RX1R (7 : 6 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.

RX1R 06:07 A6000

In any case, while the comparison of technical specifications can provide a useful overview of the capabilities of different cameras, it says nothing about, for example, the handling, responsiveness, and overall imaging quality of the RX1R and the A6000 in practical situations. 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 why expert reviews 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 full reviews are available by clicking on the site logo in the table header.

Review scores
  Camera cameralabs dpreview ephotozine imaging-resource photographyblog Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Sony RX1R»--4/5rev4.5/5 Jun 2013 2,799- i
Sony A6000«Rec80/1004.5/55/55/5 Feb 2014 599- i
Leica X Typ 113« »--3.5/5-4/5 Sep 2014 2,295 i i
Nikon D5300« »HiRec79/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Oct 2013 799- i
Sony A6300« »Rec85/1005/55/55/5 Feb 2016 999- i
Sony RX1R II« »-82/100-rev4.5/5 Oct 2015 3,299 i i
Sony A7S« »-86/1004.5/54.5/55/5 Apr 2014 2,499- i
Sony A5100« »Rec-4.5/54.5/55/5 Aug 2014 549 i i
Sony A5000« »Rec-4.5/5rev4.5/5 Jan 2014 449- i
Sony A3000« »Rec-4/54.5/54/5 Aug 2013 329- i
Sony A7« »HiRec80/1005/54.5/55/5 Oct 2013 1,699- i
Sony RX100 II« »HiRec79/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Jun 2013 749- i
Sony NEX-6« »HiRec78/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Sep 2012 999- i
Sony RX100« »HiRec78/1004/55/55/5 Jun 2012 649- i
Sony RX1« »-79/1004/54.5/54.5/5 Sep 2012 2,799- i

The review scores listed above should be treated with care, 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 comparisons of ratings among very different cameras or across long time periods have little meaning. It should also be noted that some of the review sites have over time altered the way they render their verdicts.

 

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. If you cannot find the camera you are interested in, please contact me, and I will try to add information on that model to the database.

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