A 24.3-million-pixel full-frame sensor and a fixed 35mm f/2 lens could make the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX1 the best digital compact camera yet. However, at £2,600 it doesn't come cheap. Read the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX1 review...
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX1 review – Viewfinder, LCD, live view and video
Like the current Sony Alpha cameras, the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX1 has a 3in, 1.22-million-dot LCD screen. Unlike the Fujifilm X100, the RX1 doesn’t have a built-in electronic viewfinder, but it does have an optional FDA-V1K Carl Zeiss optical viewfinder. This slides into the RX1’s hotshoe, and the sturdy aluminium viewfinder is bright and clear, but there is some obvious parallax error. If a 100% accurate view is required, there is an optional FDA-EV1MK XGA OLED Tru-Finder electronic viewfinder. This digital display has a 2.359-million-dot resolution and is based on the same unit that is used in the Sony Alpha 99 and NEX-7. Again, it slides into the hotshoe, but also takes advantage of the electronic interface tucked away in the shoe.
Although a sample of the EVF was available when I reviewed the camera, it wasn’t a final model. I found it to be excellent, though, and if the final version is as good as that found in the Sony NEX-7 and Alpha 99, it will be about the best electronic viewfinder currently available, and it is easy to forget that it is not an optical display.
With a choice of two viewfinders and the rear screen, there should be something to suit all photographers. However, both items are expensive. The EVF is £379, while the optical unit is a staggering £499. Of the two, and if you can afford it, I would advise purchasing the EVF, as I naturally found myself raising the camera up to my eye, forgetting that I didn’t have the EVF attached. With the EVF it really does start to feel like using a traditional-style compact camera.
One feature that may be overlooked at first is the RX1’s video capabilities. The camera can record full 50p HD, 1920×1080-pixel-resolution footage, with a high 28MB/s rate. Footage is saved as an MP4 file using the AVCHD codec. When this high-performance quality is combined with the low-light capabilities of the sensor, as well as the shallow depth of field created by the large maximum aperture, the RX1 becomes a very powerful, small and discreet camera for aspiring filmmakers.