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The RX1 design mission was to create the smallest high quality FF camera ever made. Were an EVF to be added, the camera likely would have been more Leica-sized. I think Sony imagined being a leader in a segment that didn't exist would give this tiny fixed lens camera more of a chance to succeed than being launched as the low cost Japanese brand Leica imitator that can't even change lenses... which would probably cost $400+ more if the EVF was internal... so would also guess Sony marketing advised engineering dept. that camera cost had to be kept sub-$3K in the U.S. at launch. In fact, there are many elements of the camera design to indicate Sony clearly was not trying to mirror a Leica experience.
Now that we got out of the way my theory why the RX1 is what it is from a design standpoint here are the top 3 reasons in my opinion for having and not having an integral EVF/OVF:
- Systematic user experience - every shot always feels the same to the user
- More stability allowing for lower shutter speed
- Easier/more accurate composition
- Smaller form factor camera allowing for increased camera portability/availability
- Incognito non-threatening appearance when used without EVF/OVF
- More camera angle flexibility when utilizing articulating EVF
In summary, if the user can overcome not having a systematic user experience, there is other benefit gained with an optional EVF that could not be had with an integral EVF. Unless I know I will purposefully be shooting, I usually do not use the EVF, as the RX1 remains compact and when photographing human subjects, they seem to be more relaxed posing, or better yet, ignoring someone shooting from their LCD. After several months of using the LCD 70% of the time, I am getting pretty used to it.
Also, due to the amazing ISO performance of the RX1, I use Manual mode and Auto-ISO and do not hesitate to have shutter speed at 1/125 or higher because I find most files usable up to ISO 6400 and higher. Of course if I'm shooting landscape, I have my tripod and EVF and ensure I shoot at ISO 100.
In other words, the RX1 provides some interesting flexibility not achievable with any other camera on market... but most owners agree it is a unique camera that takes significant time to understand, appreciate, and get the maximum potential from.