James Duncan Davidson reviews the Sony RX1

February 23, 2013

On balance, he loves it, and for good reason. If you’re on the fence at all about the RX1, I encourage you to check out this review, because it touches fairly on all aspects of the camera—good and bad.

As some of you know, I picked up the RX1 at the end of 2012. After playing with one for just a few minutes (someone at work brought one in for me to check out) I immediately knew I wanted it. The urge caught me by surprise—a $2800, fixed-lens camera from Sony? Yep. I ordered one that day and put my Fujifilm XPro-1 up for sale (though of course I still have all my Canon DSLR gear, and still shoot with it more than anything else).

The fact is, the camera feels impossibly solid in the hand (Sony?!), has wonderful controls, and takes incredible pictures. It’s a very compelling, fun package that demands that you reevaluate how you feel about “small” cameras. For the time being, this tiny wonder puts Sony in a league of its own.

My biggest hangup with the RX1 is psychological. Frankly, I just kind of feel like an idiot using it. It doesn’t have a viewfinder (optical or electronic) and so to frame shots you’re left to hold the camera in front of you and look at the (stunning) LCD display…like an octogenarian tourist trying to get a snap of the Mona Lisa. The process just feels a little silly to me after having spent so many years hiding my face behind large DSLR bodies and lenses. You definitely look like a fresh-out-of-Best-Buy amateur with this thing.

Yes, there is an EVF available, but at $450, it, like the rest of the accessories Sony has released for this camera, is shamefully expensive. That said, and despite the fact that it does the svelte look and feel of the camera no favors, I may end up buying one.

Anyway, enough of my blabbering—go read JDD’s review.

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