Late to the party or what! This Sony Party has been gathering pace for a few years and I have overlooked it until recently. I am no longer a Fuji user having traded my system for a Phase One P back.
After I sold the Fuji X-Pro1, I felt life was missing something, there was a hole where my small form camera used to be, I was trying to ignore it, living with the GAS (gear acquisition syndrome) I managed for a while, but kept looking at blogs on mirrorless cameras, reading more and more about the sony offerings. I got drawn into the Sony RX1, a camera that doesn't have the internet coverage of the Fuji X100s/t etc... Its a bit of a phantom hiding in the shadows, I think I read all blogs on it in a couple of days. It has a strong following, not a massive one, a refined audience one might say.
Full Frame 24MP sensor paired to a Zeiss 35mm f2 lens, sounds great right. DxOMark rated above the canon 5D offerings, I was sold, the thought of having all that power in the palm of my hand and not having to worry about what lens I was going to take out with me, I wouldn't even need to worry about a bag. The only thing standing in my way was the price tag. At around £2000 new and £1200 used I didn't have a hope of convincing my wife it was a good investment. (I rarely do)
Que the Sony £400 cash back offer, perfectly timed to coincide with the hight of my GAS. That much money off was obviously a sign a new model was coming, but the price I would now pay for the RX1R seemed like a bargain, so I pulled the trigger, then not long after the RX1R II was announced. https://fstoppers.com/originals/hands-newly-announced-sony-rx1r-ii-92665 It looks amazing yes, but I gotta say I am not to tempted as the original is such an awesome camera.
The RX1R went straight into professional use when I got it, I was asked to shoot at Saõ Paulo fashion week. A big ask, but backstage I found it really rather stealth and managed to get it into angles and get shots I wouldn't have managed with a larger camera. I was also confident as it had the same MP and quality lens as I would have with a big Canon rig. I floated about backstage mingling and shooting with ease, for the reportage it was incredible.
Now to some form of review, I'll start off by stating I love it. There done!
OK, my thoughts, when you pick it up you know you are dealing with a serious bit of kit, its heavy for its size, heavier than it looks (its not heavy though) the construction is top notch, way better than my fuji X-Pro1 was. The dials are nice and stiff and click into place, I have yet to accidentally turn dials, maybe I will who knows. The aperture ring feels beautiful and clicks round in a really pleasing manner. The ISO controlled by the c button is perfect and I haven't been to bothered about the dial for shutter speed, its not as nice and as retro as having a dedicated dial, but it works and is quick and easy to use.
Overall for ease of use its great, fits in your hand and takes pictures. I used the pop up flash on a few occasions and I was glad I had it, I don't think I would like to trade it for a viewfinder, not having a built in flash was what annoyed me about the X-Pro1, for low light snapshots of friends its awesome to have. The rear screen is lovely, clear and everything you would expect, I shot using it with no issues, that quite surprised me as I love using a viewfinder. I will admit I looked like an idiot as I put it up to my eye though instinct on my first few uses. Doh!
The files I got out of it were amazing, the sharpness surprised me, as did the auto focus results, considering I left it at f2 the whole time, I missed some, focusing on the back eye but overall the focus was quick. I was very impressed by the manual focus assist, it zooms in to centre when you turn the focus ring and zooms out when you half press the release, a welcome addition.
Battery life. Well... I took 40o images on one battery, not amazing. The upside of the small batteries is the fact that I had 2 spare Wasabi ones in my card wallet in my pocket and I didn't even notice. I much prefer them to the size of the fuji batteries, as I said before, no need for a bag.
So this RX1R hasn't got WiFi, no massive issue, I got the EyeFi Mobi card and it performs really well, I was actually surprised at the transfer speed of the jpegs. They were on my phone and on Instagram in no time!
In conclusion this is an incredible camera, I am sure that I will develop some irritations with some features or lack of. No camera is perfect but so far so good.. I will be buying the EVF as soon as I can thats for sure. I am looking forward to walking round with this tiny powerhouse of a camera!