Sony Unleashes a Number of RX1 Photos Showing the Power of Full Frame

Sony made huge ripples in the camera industry earlier this month by announcing a compact camera with a full frame sensor: the RX1. The camera features a bokehlicious 35mm f/2 Carl Zeiss lens, a super compact size, and a price tag of $2,800 that broke many a photographer’s heart.

For those of you who are wondering how the fusion of compact and full frame performs, Sony has uploaded a number of full-resolution sample photographs. Pixel-peepers, prepare to gawk in amazement at the quality that’s now possible with fixed lens compact cameras.

To take a closer look at any of the images in this post, simply click them for the full-res 6000×4000 versions:

Only two of the sample photographs weren’t shot at ISO 100. These next two photos offer a glimpse into the low-light performance of this camera. This one was shot at ISO 1600:

This photograph was shot at ISO 6400:

Here’s a 100% crop of the previous photograph:

You may now pick your jaws up off the floor. It’s ridiculous how nice the photos turn out even when ISO is boosted to 6400 — a level that’s still far below the camera’s max native ISO of 25600. Too bad there isn’t a sample photo showing ISO 25600 yet.

Okay Sony, you’ve shown us full frame compacts. Now take this camera and make it have an interchangeable lens, please.

  • Bart Kuik

    I have a Yashica Electro 35EE with 35mm f/1.7 and a Konica Auto S3 with an amazing 38mm f/1.8. And some b&w and slide film. And now I’m drooling over these pics while I have the gear to match them, alhough with a little more effort…

  • Alessandro Aimonetto

    Quite impressive

  • Bing

    I’m in awe! So nice and beautifully shot!

  • Jlelelr Jrw

    A to the W to the E to the S to the O to the M to the E

  • Glenn Owens

    Pretty impressive!

  • Gil Garber

    Time to start saving piles of money for when this sensor get packed into the NEX-9 or whatever they decide to call it.

  • Renato Murakami

    Wow, very nice. While I’d also like to see how it goes at 25600, seems like a very smooth noise.

  • Jackson Cheese

    Within 10 years the use of the DSLR as we know it today will be limited only to a few professionals and niche hobbyists.

  • Jason Lee Boyd

    Fixed lens and the $$$$ makes this a no go. I’ll pass like a lot of others.

  • jesseyardley

    Sensor tech has come a very long way in a comparatively short time; however, I’d really like to see what the future holds for lens tech. Smaller, lighter, sharper, faster lenses are needed in order to maximize on the advances in sensor design.

  • Jef Mindrup

    Sony – stop screwing around and give us the FF NEX and price it right for f*cks sake. While you’re at it we need a firmware rev for the NEX-7.

  • Robert Di Lorenzo

    Holy low light performance, Batman!

    I can has Christmas present?

  • Robert Di Lorenzo

    To that i’d like to add, I’m glad the industry is moving to larger sensors. It’s about time that everybody got over this whole megapixel battle.

  • Delayedflight

    Well seeing as Sony announced the VG900 which is essentially a full frame NEX camera and full frame NEX would probably be on the horizon.
    In regards to market I probably won’t buy it but I know quite a few people who would actually purchase this camera…

  • Max

    Very Impressive. Now please stop complaining about this being a fixed lens camera.
    It is as small as it is and it does what it does so well BECAUSE it has a Zeiss fixed lens.
    If you don’t like that then buy something else. I will buy one as soon as I can.
    And if you know anyone who is in the market for a kidney, I might know someone who can help. : – )

  • Henning Nilsen

    For the price the lowlight performance really all that impressive.

  • Henning Nilsen

    You know, it’s nice. It’s really nice, but I expected a bit better sharpness and microcontrast from a fixed lens from Zeiss.

  • Stefan Svensson

    Is it just me or I think this is pretty subpar compared to Fujifilm XE1 for example. Look at the dynamic range in a few of the shots and the lack of sharpness. I have placed a pre order on the Sony but now I’m not so sure anymore..

  • Nikon>Canon

    Sony, LOL

    Stick to video games and walkmans

  • Anthony Burokas

    Interesting chromatic aberration in the glass ball and card. The black line on the top of the card is surrounded by red, then green as it moves from foreground to background.

  • Anthony Burokas

    Based on this?
    If you only want to see the world through one lens, fine. If you want interchangeable, then it’ll have to be bigger for the mount, then if you actually want to DO something with the camera, then it’ll have to be bigger for the controls… at which point you’re back to DSLR.

  • Anthony Burokas

    I look forward to everyone being over the whole bigger sensor thing.
    I like my tiny compact ravel zoom and the small sensor is what makes it easy to focus, and keep a lot of things in focus. Try doing that with a large sensor and you get 3x cameras, or DSLRs.

    I don’t crave a larger sensor, or more megapixels, just better image quality for my next compact travel zoom.

  • Matt

    Not sure why you got negative vote there… I agree, and the future (even the near future) really holds a lot of promise. It is now up to the glass to catch up. Maybe even tech that is fundamentally different than today. I can’t wait LOL

  • Matt

    I wouldn’t put too much into web photos.

  • Matt

    Nice. I wish it wasn’t so expensive or I would go for it. Having a fixed lens camera is not that much of a problem. I had a Fujifilm 690 II and their 645, both range finders with fixed lenses. I loved taking photos with them, not may missed opportunities and a lot of great photos. I just don’t shoot film anymore. I’d welcome a digital fixed lens camera that had this image quality, just not at $2800.

  • quickpick

    love the bokeh of the shallow DOF and can’t stop wondering the low noise of the 6400.. my camera envy just raised it head high.. well, after a while that will the standard quality for most cameras, only wait like 5 years or so.. but until then, that’s simply amazing HQ!

  • Jackson Cheese

    Based on the fact that these advanced P&S’s, plus the advent of Mirrorless cameras are going to make DSLR’s obsolete for most us. Why carry around a boat anchor when you can achieve the same results in a much more compact for factor?

  • Sal Morales

    In order to have better image quality a good quality big sensor is a large factor. So a sensor war might not be the worst thing in the world, that is, given that the lenses are of high quality.

  • jesseyardley

    I think some trolls just vote everything down just to be pricks.

  • xtoph

    I certainly didn’t vote it down, but it is possible the down was reacting to the absurdity of “waiting” for a smaller, sharper, faster lens given the specs on this rx1 zeiss lens. It is about as small as it physically can be for the speed and format.

    What more could you want?

  • xtoph

    Well said.

  • Scott Peterson

    Wow…the age of the power compact has arrived. The price tag is through the roof but I can think of a lot of situations where a full frame compact would be useful.

  • Stuki

    The mirror is becoming more of a hindrance than a boon, as it is a mechanical impediment to shooting speed, a space consumer and, in some cases, puts unnecessary limitations on lens design.

    Developments like electronic viewfinders, on-sensor fast and accurate AF (without the inherent inaccuracies that arise when doing AF off of a mirror, and hoping this will translate accurately to the focal plane, will kill SLRs. It is only a matter of time, if for no other reason than it’s inability to shoot 60+fps with millimeter accurate AF and a full, uninterrupted viewfinder image.

  • Stuki

    FF ___Lens shutter___ NEX

  • Stuki

    Don’t know they will ever become as sharp as combinations of fixed glass, but lenses that focus by changing shape, like living eyes, could be made very compact.

  • Stuki

    Are you sure it’s not just focus? Looking through the full size images, I seem to find at least one spot in each with seemingly very high sharpness and contrast (just going by eye.)

    The images all seem to be taken to show off bokeh and low light capabilities (those darned Japanese and their obsessions….) So they may have been shot at larger than ideal, for sharpness, apertures.

  • Stuki

    No kidding! This could become ‘the’ camera for unobtrusive indoor ‘reportage’ style photography. Like tour and backstage band and political campaign shooting. Wish it had either lens or sensor stabilization, but I guess there’s limits to what even Sony can fit in such a tiny package.

  • Henning Nilsen

    Well sure, it’s common knowledge that sharpness peaks between f4 and f8 depending on the lens, but as a user of other zeiss glass. Specifially their ZM series, I expected more.

    Though the bokeh is lovely :P

  • John Doolittle

    pixelbator much…

  • John Doolittle

    great camera and not that expensive for what you get (hello… zeiss lens!!!) but no integrated viewfinder!!!??? C’mon!!!

  • Pavel Kounine

    These are in-camera JPEGs and rubbish for sharpness comparisons. Another aspect of these photos that makes them utter rubbish for sharpness analysis is that most of their frames are out of focus.

  • Pavel Kounine

    You’d need hemispherical sensors for that.

  • Pavel Kounine

    Scott, is your comment regarding shallow depth of focus?

  • Ryan Villanueva

    Its my opinion that we hit a plateau in megapixels as only few but the most demanding pros will need as much megapixels as a D800. However the compact camera industry still much to go in terms of image quality. As Sai said, a big FF sensor has a lot of advantages, higher image quality, better depth of field control, excellent low light capability, better dynamic range, less noise, etc.

  • Ryan Villanueva

    I look forward to having a palm sized 70-200mm lens and body in the future.

  • Ryan Villanueva

    Sony cameras are notorious for having terrible jpgs. Better to see what can be done with its RAW output.