The Sony RX1R

OK, let’s start with the disclaimers.

This is not a typical photography review.

I’m not going to get into technical mumbo jumbo (or all that review-ish-y stuff) you can get from other websites.

I’m just going to tell you my thoughts and experiences and opinions regarding my, fairly new, Sony RX1R camera.  (Available at B&H and/or Amazon.)

First of all, I like the camera.

A lot.

Second, my physical therapist LOVES my new camera.  “Did you use your little camera?” has become his favorite phrase.

Now that those two “big picture” opinions are out of the way, let’s get into a little more detail.

•  The RX1R is amazingly small and lightweight – who wouldn’t love the size?  I absolutely love the size!


•  The RX1R is not necessarily a camera you can fit in your jacket pocket.  But maybe you can.  It depends on the size of your pocket.  It can easily fit inside an average sized handbag.

•  I like the way the camera feels in my hand.  It feels like quality.

•  The RX1R has a full-frame sensor …. something I, personally, can’t live without.  If you don’t know what a full frame sensor is, you don’t need this camera.

•  The RX1R is pricey.  It can be used by any level photographer, but you aren’t going to (remotely) get your money’s worth out of it unless you know what you’re doing.  Sony made this camera with the professional photographer in mind.

•  Let me put it another way, if you have money to burn and want to buy this camera just to have it – go right ahead and buy it.  You can, I’m sure, get beautiful jpeg files by setting the camera on Auto.  But?  But, Average Joe would just be wasting a lot of money by buying this camera.  If you’ve got a good handle on shooting in RAW, using manual settings, etc., you will not feel you’ve wasted a penny buying the RX1R.  It’s an amazing camera (and worth the money) if you know what to do with it.

•  Sony has priced accessories for this camera at ridiculously high prices.  Someone wasn’t thinking clearly.  Hopefully, this is a mistake Sony will rectify in the future.

•  The EVF (electronic viewfinder) is, in my opinion, the one necessary accessory.  Plan on forking over the bucks for it if you buy the camera.

•  The battery life on this camera sucks.  I could say that in a nicer way, but that’s the truth of it.  I’ve bought several batteries and always take them with me, fully charged.  By the way, you can (and I do) buy off-brand batteries for this camera which hold a charge longer than the Sony batteries do.  (Another thing Sony should rectify.)  Batteries for the RX1R are very small, so it still really beats having a “big” camera to lug around.

•  The autofocus on the Sony is a little on the slow side.  It isn’t a deal-killer, but it’s noticeable if you’re used to shooting a Canon 5D Mark III level camera.

•  A lot of people in the photography world view the RX1R as a potential collector’s item.  It’s a very specialized, niche, camera.  What do I think?  Well, I wouldn’t buy it for that reason – but I can also understand why it might become exactly that.

•  The RX1R captures amazing detail.  AMAZING!

•  The majority of the population (I’m guessing 99.9%) will never guess the power you have in your hands when you hold this camera.  People will look at you and dismiss you (and your camera) as no big deal.  Yes, your new expensive toy will be looked at as a non-threatening point and shoot.  (This makes it ideal for taking into events where DSLRs are not allowed.  It’s also a great tool for street photographers.)

•  You can’t change lenses on an RX1R.  It comes with a fixed (very high quality) 35mm Zeiss lens.  This is something I LOVE about the RX1R.  In fact, I bought this camera because I’m forced to go simple when I use it.

•  The RX1R will not replace my Canon 5D.  I’m nowhere close to giving up my Canon or my Canon lenses.  I LOVE my DSLR.  The RX1R is the camera I take when I can’t (or don’t want to) take “gear” with me.  Yes, I’ve been shooting primarily with it, whenever possible, the last couple weeks.  I want to really, really, learn the ins and outs of the RX1R.  But, there’s still no changing my need for my “big” camera.

•  Yet.

•  Kudos to Sony for being a front runner with new technology for the photography industry!

•  The RX1R is capable of producing beautiful bokeh.  If you love a shallow depth of field …. you can really have fun.

Ball Tree © SHaggerty 2013 W-1

Dolly © SHaggerty 2013 W-1


•  I definitely had a “learning curve” with this camera.  I’ve shot Canon for decades.  My first week with the Sony was a little frustrating.  Not because it’s a complex camera, but because I needed to learn a new menu system.  During my second week with the camera, I found myself in awe of it.

As of last night, the (my) above RX1R photo received over 10,000 views on Flickr and was favorited by 244 people.

That’s a hell of a lot of attention for one photo … and I’m still new to the camera.

What magic will I be able to make with it once I really “know” it?

•  Would I recommend this camera?  Absolutelyto serious, skilled, photographers.  If you’re new to photography, you’d be better off with a (less expensive!) more beginning-level camera.

3 Responses to “The Sony RX1R”

  1. Siff

    your review is exactly what I was looking for. Thank you, so very much, for sharing!

    I am about to own one very soon. 😀

  2. Ricky Stafford

    So… I bought a 5D3 + 35mm 1.4 Sigma recently but I am not sure I’ll keep it since I feel like I would use the RX1R more often…. I won’t be shooting either for money so I can’t justify having both. WHAT TO DO!!

  3. Edwin

    I have bought the RX1R, and I love the pictures I took with it. However, I am a mega noob in photography. All I know is using A mode and change the aperture depending on the light level and how much I want the picture to be in focus. I struggle very hard to bring out the full potential of this camera, never know how to use M or S mode….and I am not a very technical person, I am not sure at all where I can find some comprehensive photography tutorials online. Learning everything about the ISO, aperture, shutter speed, etc, are already everything I can find on the internet. Any suggestion on where to learn??? Many Thanks.

    Besides, I LOVE you photos immensely, none of mine look as goof as yours, I just love them. I will come back and check this blog regularly. 🙂


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