Sony RX1 Carl Zeiss Lens to Outperform the Leica Summicron?

A number of publications have begun receiving hands-on time with the new Sony RX1 full-frame compact camera. It seems that Sony is doing something right, as initial commentators and testers are saying some pretty positive things about the $2,800 shooter.

Respected reviewer Lloyd Chambers speculates that the camera’s lens may match up very well against more expensive glass,

While there is legitimate concern that the Sony RX1 is expensive at about $2800, this is unjustified on the basis of competing cameras in the proper quality context. Consider that a 24MP Leica M240 [the new Leica M] + Leica 35mm f/2 Summicron-M ASPH would cost about $10,150. Or that the Leica 35/2 lens alone costs more than the RX1 […]

It is my expectation that the Zeiss Sonnar 35/2 will outperform the Leica 35/2 Summicron-M ASPH at ƒ/2 and ƒ/2.8 (and perhaps ƒ/4), and match it at ƒ/5.6 and ƒ/8. I am not basing this on the fantasy-land Sony MTF charts.

Chambers also points out that the fixed 35mm f/2 Zeiss lens alone is probably worth about $1100, based on what the standalone lens costs for Canon and Nikon mounts.

You can find sample photographs shot using the RX1 over on DPReview, The Imaging Resource, and Steve Huff Photo. Engadget has also done a head-to-head comparison between the RX1 and the new Sony A99.

The RX1 ISO 6400 sample photo that Sony released last month. Click for the full-res version

The photos reflect the same image quality that Sony showed off last month when it released a number of sample photographs.

Sony RX1 — Optical Performance and Value vs Leica Alternative [Lloyd Chambers via sonyalpharumors]

Image credit: Sony RX1 Body by Ben Fredericson (xjrlokix)

  • Steven

    Whats with the Fox news-esque headlines?

  • Joseph Mietus

    I guess he figured out what sells.

  • madmax

    HAHAHA! Good try Sony! ;-)

  • Andrew

    This may be a fine camera, but I’ve found Sony gear to be absolute garbage.

  • Walt

    The “respected” Lloyd has never touched an RX1. His comments are pure speculation.

  • Michael Zhang

    Edited a couple of parts to make this more clear. Thanks walt.

  • Lee Young

    garbage maybe, but that Zeiss lens is right up there with Leica’s

  • John Kantor

    So we are supposed to be glad the Sony is only overpriced rather than ridiculously overpriced?

  • Vladimir Byazrov Photographer

    Still the built-in flash usually is used way less than a viewfinder.
    I’d consider this camera, but it feels like Sony purposely made it less desirable, so when they make a better one, we’d need to buy that too. I am most probably wrong. But built-in flash cheapens any concept. Who wants a 3000 bucks camera with built-in flash, but have a huge Greek nose ( viewfinder ) attached above it? Silly! So advertised portability is not a case any more when you have to use EVF. Most of us love viewfinders. In this situation not only it will make camera more expensive (plus 600 bucks) but also a larger and more breakable one. Irdk.

  • madmax

    It´s not a Zeiss, it´s a Cosina lens with Zeiss brand on it. And comparing it to Leica is nonsense.

  • Jason

    I love how those Red-dot zombies are nervous.

  • madmax

    I´m not a “”red dot zombie””, Jason, but do you think the lens in front of a Panasonic camera is a real Leica lens? Of course, not. The same way the lens in front a RX1 is not a Zeiss, but a Cosina. Everybody knows.