Thursday, September 13, 2012

Sony Announces A Real World-Beating Compact Camera! - DSC-RX1

8896: Sony announces the Cyber-shot™ DSC-RX1

Sony DSC-RX1 Full Frame (!) Compact
Image Source:

I remember my father-in-law getting me into digital photography. Living in Tokyo, he had access to the latest and greatest devices. First, he handed down a gorgeous Fujifilm camera, with a blinding 1.3MPixels. The optics on that camera were awesome. The sensor was good, but obviously not enough to make big enlargements from. That said, I did use it to shoot some artwork, which made it onto the front cover of Science. Not bad for 1.3MPixels.

The second generation gift from him was a Sony compact. At 3.2 MPixels, that little camera really had capability. In fact, it still does. It is well over ten years old. At one time, I used it in a Sony underwater case for diving. A little anecdote about Sony related to that camera. After using it for a couple of years, I was having trouble with charging the batteries. On a trip to Tokyo, I took it to Sony's service center, at their headquarters. Within two days, they had checked the camera out fully, and replaced both of my batteries, for free! That's service.

So, I have no issues whatsoever with Sony cameras.

In my work in science, which involves a lot of imaging (to put it lightly), I have developed a similarly positive relationship with Carl Zeiss. Their optics are simply wonderful. So, the combination of Sony cameras and Zeiss lenses is a natural fit for me.

I have an even closer feeling for Matsushita (Panasonic), having been accepted as a fellow and training in one of their factories in Japan for a year. Maybe that's why I got so into Lumix cameras in the beginning. Now it's because of the great equipment.

Anyway, with that introducion, let me say that I was amazed to see the announcement for the new Sony DSC-RX1 with Carl Zeiss Sonnar T* 35mm f2 lens and full-frame sensor in a compact camera body. When I read the headline, I thought it had to mean some sensor size other than 24x36mm (full-frame 35mm format). Nope. It's really there.

(Click Here) to read the announcement on

With a full-frame CMOS sensor (and Sony sensors are used in a lot of other manufacturer's cameras) at 24.3 MPixels, this is awesome. It boasts iso settings from 100-25,600. You can literally shoot in near total darkness with that iso and f2!

The camera weighs in a 453 grams (1 pound)!

This is going to be interesting. Especially if Sony decides to make a similar camera with interchangeable lenses! With Zeiss lenses, it could even be an M-mount! Now I'm dreaming.