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Sony RX1/RX1R worth it (used) in 2020?

  
 
NickD81
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Sony RX1/RX1R worth it (used) in 2020?


I've been looking at picking up a used RX1 or RX1R for a while now. I like the idea of an 'almost pocketable' full frame camera and the images I've seen from the Zeiss lens look fantastic.

I currently shoot with a Fuji X-T3 and Ricoh GR II. The X-T3 is my main camera and I have no intention of replacing it. The GR II is my everyday camera, I take it with me when I go for a hike or take the dog for a walk. The Ricoh has some great features and is truly pocketable but I'm not really a fan of the 28mm focal length, I find it a bit too wide. I'm considering replacing it with a used RX1 or RX1R.

Is it worth purchasing a used RX1 in 2020? The original RX1 was released in October 2012 so it's coming up to 8 years old and that's a long time in terms of technological advancements plus Sony haven't released any firmware updates as far as I'm aware. What differences would I notice from newer cameras? Obviously the autofocus won't be as fast as my X-T3 but as long as it works ok in daylight that's good enough for me. I wouldn't be using it for low light photography (the Ricoh autofocus isn't that great anyway). I'd mainly be using the camera for everyday snaps / family portraits and travel photos when I want to travel light and don't want to bring the X-T3 and additional lenses along, but still want great image quality. I don't plan on shooting sports or fast moving subjects.

I can pick up a used RX1R here in the UK for around £650 (eBay). I'd most likely sell the Ricoh and put the money towards it. Is the RX1 worth that much or would I find it frustrating to use compared to newer cameras?



Apr 13, 2020 at 02:39 PM
rummycoke
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Sony RX1/RX1R worth it (used) in 2020?


If you can accept the low light AF struggle the rx1r image quality is top notch.


Apr 13, 2020 at 03:20 PM
brabbit
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Sony RX1/RX1R worth it (used) in 2020?


The Sun still shine the same, so is the Moon and the Stars. I dont think you would have any problem with it. I just picked up rx1rii a month ago and love them.


Apr 13, 2020 at 03:36 PM
nehemiahphoto
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Sony RX1/RX1R worth it (used) in 2020?


I still think the RX1 Sonnar has the best rendering of any 35. The Sigma 35 1.2 seems great but it's huge.

Sensor tech hasn't changed a ton since the RX1 was released. Dual gain is great, but I don't think it's a huge deal.

I have owned 8 copies of either an RX1, RX1r or RX1r2, depending on finances and seasonal shooting needs. There's really nothing like it even 8 years after it came out.

As long as you don't need great AF or batteries, it's superb.






















Apr 13, 2020 at 04:05 PM
philip_pj
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Sony RX1/RX1R worth it (used) in 2020?


In low light, aim at contrast edges and simply wait a moment. It's fine in daylight. Tech advance? Negligible DR gains even by a7rIII out to ISO 500, thence .65 stops - no big deal.





ISO 3200







ISO 8000







ISO 6400







ISO 6400







ISO 2000




Apr 13, 2020 at 05:41 PM
Jmonat7
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Sony RX1/RX1R worth it (used) in 2020?


The Rx1/r is an amazing camera with one of the best 35mm lenses available on a great sensor (a7 original).
The downsides of the Rx1/r are:
-no EVF, the hot shoe EVF adds size
-poor battery life
-horrible AF
-focus by wire. If you like MF, it's not ideal and if the electronics on the focus mechanism dies, you'll have to live with the touchy AF
-size. It is not as small as you might think. It is still full-frame so the lens is rather large compared to a ricoh or fuji equivalent

Overall though, I've owned and used both the Rx1 and Rx1r extensively and love them to death but that doesn't mean there aren't some annoyances along the way. If you can live with these, by all means go for it. If you prefer portability and can sacrifice lens and IQ performance, a fuji x100 series might be worth a go as well. But nothing will come close to the Rx1's IQ unless you're shelling out for a Leica Q and even then I'd take the Rx1 for its sonnar lens.


Edited on Sep 24, 2020 at 07:39 PM · View previous versions



Apr 13, 2020 at 05:46 PM
derKoekje
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Sony RX1/RX1R worth it (used) in 2020?


If you are considering something like the Fuji X100 series then yeah, itís a certain contender. I was actually looking at it too since there are some nice deals to be had but in the end I got a crazy nice deal for the Ricoh GR III and Iím so glad I took it. Itís so nice to have something so pocketable and therefore with me everyday, with such great IQ that delivers to my phone in seconds.

I was thinking of comparing the Ricoh to the X100V and the RX1R II but I think I wonít have to anymore.



Apr 13, 2020 at 07:51 PM
ricmsm
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Sony RX1/RX1R worth it (used) in 2020?


NickD81 wrote:
I can pick up a used RX1R here in the UK for around £650 (eBay). I'd most likely sell the Ricoh and put the money towards it. Is the RX1 worth that much or would I find it frustrating to use compared to newer cameras?


I picked a used RX1 with evf (box and papers) from swiss seller all for 650.- CHF (about 680.- USD) and I canít be more happy to have back this gorgeous 35mm lens (that comes with a bonus of a great little camera).

I use the RX1 to complement the A7III (21mm + 55mm & 100mm)



Apr 14, 2020 at 06:16 AM
AdaptedLenses
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Sony RX1/RX1R worth it (used) in 2020?


Off topic but can the GRIII send RAWs to your phone (Apple or Android?)

derKoekje wrote:
If you are considering something like the Fuji X100 series then yeah, itís a certain contender. I was actually looking at it too since there are some nice deals to be had but in the end I got a crazy nice deal for the Ricoh GR III and Iím so glad I took it. Itís so nice to have something so pocketable and therefore with me everyday, with such great IQ that delivers to my phone in seconds.

I was thinking of comparing the Ricoh to the X100V and the RX1R II but I think I wonít have to anymore.
...Show more



Apr 14, 2020 at 06:48 AM
KarmaKramer
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Sony RX1/RX1R worth it (used) in 2020?


The iffy autofocus & routinely failing manual focus would be dealbreakers for me.


Apr 14, 2020 at 07:45 AM
 


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Editorrr
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Sony RX1/RX1R worth it (used) in 2020?


Is RX1R II as good as RX1?


Apr 14, 2020 at 09:25 AM
bigwonton
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Sony RX1/RX1R worth it (used) in 2020?


ricmsm wrote:
I picked a used RX1 with evf (box and papers) from swiss seller all for 650.- CHF (about 680.- USD


Same here - I purchased a used RX1 with EVF and RRS L-Plate/Grip for $700 from the B&S forum here.

I like having a small full frame camera that I can bring around with me. Although it's a little difficult shooting with the rear LCD, I don't particularly like using the hot shoe EVF as it makes the camera much more bulky and there is no way to lock the EVF onto the camera. The battery life also leaves much to be desired.

The camera fills a niche but I would never give up any of my A7 or A6XXX bodies for it.




Apr 14, 2020 at 10:11 AM
Fred Miranda
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Sony RX1/RX1R worth it (used) in 2020?


Some thoughts on this:

RX1 vs RX1R: Mainly the anti-aliasing filter was removed for the R version. The latter showed more moire in exchange for slight more resolution. It's a compromise that many were willing to accept. Moire is more of an issue with lower MP count bodies when coupled with high resolution lenses. It's definitely visible on the original RX1R.

RX1R vs RX1R II: Same lens on a higher resolution/DR sensor (about 1/3 stop at base ISO and almost 1 stop at high ISO). There were those who preferred the RX1R images as the slight lower DR gave the 'appearance' of richer colors, deep shadows, etc...

The RX1R II sensor was borrowed from the Sony A7R II with the same number phase detection AF points, noise, DR, etc.. (RX1R only had contrast detect AF). So, you get better AF (especially tracking), Eye AF, higher DR, higher resolution and a built-in EVF. To me, aside from the price difference, the advantage of the RX1R II is clear. Regarding moire, Sony developed an electronic anti-aliasing option for the RX1R II that can be turned on/off. It was a clever move but 42MP is less prone to moire compared to the 24MP from the RX1 to begin with. We don't hear much about moire with the new Sony A7R IV 60MP sensor.

The Sonnar 35/2 lens used in both RX1/R and RX1RII remained unchanged. That means they share the same AF motor and IQ characteristics like color aberration, rendering, distortion and vignetting. What changed with the RX1R II was better algorithms and a new processor which improved AF speed and the ability to capture higher resolution and DR from the upgraded sensor.

Manual focus for the RX1 series is by wire but it has an older 'variable' non-linear throw. That means that focus is influenced by the amount and speed the focusing ring is turned. Focus by wire has been improved tremendously over the years and it's now linear, non-variable for many lenses mimicking closely to mechanical helicoids. Having said that, many use a "trick" where the lens is set to infinity and the "macro ring" can be used as a mechanical MF. It's actually very precise and I use it very often.

How about the RX1 series compared to other fixed-lens cameras? We have to be careful comparing it to cameras like the Fuji and Ricoh GR as it's not apples to apples. (APC-S vs Full frame) meaning that the focal length "and" aperture must be multiplied to 1.5x. In the case of the GR, it's like shooting with a 28mm f/4 lens in terms of FOV and depth of field. There is nothing wrong with that but it's something to consider when deciding on these cameras. Generally, there is also the advantage in resolution, DR and noise when choosing a camera with a bigger sensor. It's a personal decision based on individual needs but it's something to also keep in mind.

The only other full frame competition on the compact fixed lens market is the Leica Q series. (Possibly the Zeiss ZX1 if ever released)



Apr 14, 2020 at 10:22 AM
gordec
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · Sony RX1/RX1R worth it (used) in 2020?




Editorrr wrote:
Is RX1R II as good as RX1?


Mark II improves on AF significantly, adds eye af, adds tilt screen, rendering is similar on the 42 mp sensor, adds evf. This is the easiest debate ever which is better.



Apr 14, 2020 at 10:22 AM
AdaptedLenses
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · Sony RX1/RX1R worth it (used) in 2020?


Autofocus is fine and accurate, just slow. Iffy implies unreliable which is unfair. Manual focus is fair, but only an RX1 issue. RX1R and RX1RII do not seem to have that problem.

KarmaKramer wrote:
The iffy autofocus & routinely failing manual focus would be dealbreakers for me.




Apr 14, 2020 at 11:01 AM
nehemiahphoto
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · Sony RX1/RX1R worth it (used) in 2020?


Fred Miranda wrote:
Some thoughts on this:

RX1 vs RX1R: Mainly the anti-aliasing filter was removed for the R version. The latter showed more moire in exchange for slight more resolution. It's a compromise that many were willing to accept. Moire is more of an issue with lower MP count bodies when coupled with high resolution lenses. It's definitely visible on the original RX1R.

RX1R vs RX1R II: Same lens on a higher resolution/DR sensor (about 1/3 stop at base ISO and almost 1 stop at high ISO). There were those who preferred the RX1R images as the slight lower DR gave the 'appearance'
...Show more

Excellent and articulate, but I do disagree with something.

I don't find the RX1R2 to have better base ISO by a half stop--I wish it did. I shoot at base ISO well over half the time. I have found it similar, though I do prefer the highlight roll-off of the RX1R2. I noticed improvements in color (IMO), resolution and contrast but not DR except at dual gain ISO's.

If you look at DXOMark and Photonstophotos they colloaborate and both show the RX1R2 having less base DR than the RX1.

https://www.photonstophotos.net/Charts/PDR.htm#Sony%20DSC-RX1,Sony%20DSC-RX1RM2

https://www.dxomark.com/Cameras/Compare/Side-by-side/Sony-Cyber-shot-DSC-RX1-versus-Sony-Cyber-shot-DSC-RX1R-II___833_1049



Apr 14, 2020 at 11:31 AM
Fred Miranda
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · Sony RX1/RX1R worth it (used) in 2020?


nehemiahphoto wrote:
Excellent and articulate, but I do disagree with something.

I don't find the RX1R2 to have better base ISO by a half stop--I wish it did. I shoot at base ISO well over half the time. I have found it similar, though I do prefer the highlight roll-off of the RX1R2. I noticed improvements in color (IMO), resolution and contrast but not DR except at dual gain ISO's.

If you look at DXOMark and Photonstophotos they colloaborate and both show the RX1R2 having less base DR than the RX1.

https://www.photonstophotos.net/Charts/PDR.htm#Sony%20DSC-RX1,Sony%20DSC-RX1RM2

https://www.dxomark.com/Cameras/Compare/Side-by-side/Sony-Cyber-shot-DSC-RX1-versus-Sony-Cyber-shot-DSC-RX1R-II___833_1049


Thanks for the graphs. I was referring to RX1R vs RX1R II though.
I would give a small advantage to the RX1RII even at base ISO. Perhaps not as big as 1/2 stop as we have to consider copy variation but I saw an advantage when files were normalized with the cameras I tested. Having said that, the noticeable advantage is at the high ISOs.



Apr 14, 2020 at 12:05 PM
Fred Miranda
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · Sony RX1/RX1R worth it (used) in 2020?


At photonstophotos.net linked above, Ive found the result of a test derived from the DxOMark data using photographic dynamic range (PDR) criteria.

https://www.photonstophotos.net/Charts/DXOPDR.htm#Sony%20DSC-RX1R,Sony%20DSC-RX1RM2







Apr 14, 2020 at 12:14 PM
nehemiahphoto
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p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · Sony RX1/RX1R worth it (used) in 2020?


Fred Miranda wrote:
Thanks for the graphs. I am quite surprised as it does not mimic my perception testing them side by side. I would give a small advantage to the RX1RII even at base ISO. Perhaps not as big as 1/2 stop as we have to consider copy variation but I saw an advantage when files were normalized with the cameras I tested. Having said that, the noticeable advantage is at the high ISOs.


Maybe it's the way we shoot or the part of the range we are looking at. Perhaps there's more information in highlights versus midtones versus shadows or something across the cameras. I have a bias towards midtones to blow highlights. I am not as concerned with deep shadows and blacks. I had the opposite experience of you, where I found the RX1R2 IQ easily preferable but not better DR, in fact I was a bit disappointed at first with it as a landscaper. The dual gain is really noticeably better.



Apr 14, 2020 at 12:14 PM
nehemiahphoto
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p.1 #20 · p.1 #20 · Sony RX1/RX1R worth it (used) in 2020?


Fred Miranda wrote:
I found the result of a test derived from the DxOMark data using photographic dynamic range (PDR) criteria.
The graph is more in line with my description but like I wrote, the difference is less noticeable at base ISO comparing RX1R vs RX1R II.


Super interesting. How did you get this?

edit: Oh, you compared the RX1R, not RX1. The RX1R is the worst of the group easily, not hard to tell when pushed. I have owned it, but I find it the least desirable of the 3 RX1 bodies.

edit 2: Now I see, you're talking about the RX1R versus the RX1R2, and I am talking about the RX1 original, which does even better DR wise than the RX1r2. This makes sense now.











Edited on Apr 14, 2020 at 12:23 PM · View previous versions



Apr 14, 2020 at 12:15 PM
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