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  1. #1
    Captain of the Ship Photo-John's Avatar
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    Sony RX1 Sample Photos

    I've got a gallery of RX1 samples up and I'll be adding to it throughout the day as I work on my first impressions article. Unfortunately, the RX1 isn't supported by Lightroom yet, so I wasn't able to share any RAW images, although I do have them as I shot RAW + JPEG. I feel like the JPEGs are a bit harsh and I'm hoping I can get more out of the RAW files, without as much highlight clipping. Part of the harshness may just be the lens and the sensor, though. One of the things I am noticing - at least with the JPEG files - is this camera is very unforgiving. But when you get it right, it's wonderful.

    The RX1 gallery is here: All Images photos from the PhotographyREVIEW.com Gallery

    Let me know what you think and feel free to ask questions. Anything posted here should help me write a better article
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Sony RX1 Sample Photos-dsc00710.jpg   Sony RX1 Sample Photos-dsc00777.jpg  
    Photo-John


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  2. #2
    Senior Shooter Greg McCary's Avatar
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    Re: Sony RX1 Sample Photos

    Maybe it's time to sell the Leica an just go full digital.
    I am like Barney Fife, I have a gun but Andy makes me keep the bullet in my pocket..

    Sony a99/a7R

  3. #3
    Captain of the Ship Photo-John's Avatar
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    Re: Sony RX1 Sample Photos

    Quote Originally Posted by Greg McCary View Post
    Maybe it's time to sell the Leica an just go full digital.
    You mean with an RX1? Does it look that good to you? How many Leica lenses do you have? Could you live with just the RX1's 35mm focal length?
    Photo-John


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    Re: Sony RX1 Sample Photos

    Looks good PJ. Let me know how it goes with Lightroom on the RX1 photos once they are supported. Everything I've read about the a99 raw file processing (and Sony's dynamic range in general) would lead me to believe you should be able to recover a bit more from the highlights, but most folks are working on shadow recovery instead with this sensor (with very good results). It's possible with that lens, you need to dial the exposure back a bit to avoid the highlight issues all together and rely on the shadow recovery more.

    As for the camera itself, it really does make me smile thinking about it. Your sample photos definitely do it justice. The only one that I had IQ issues with was the one of the painters on the coast. It was an issue with the sky/highlights making the oof areas up against the sky seem a bit harsh and blocky. Just had a strange, not in a good way, look to it at full size. All of the others look very nice. The B&W in your post is especially pleasing in both tone and detail...

  5. #5
    Senior Shooter Greg McCary's Avatar
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    Re: Sony RX1 Sample Photos

    Quote Originally Posted by Photo-John View Post
    You mean with an RX1? Does it look that good to you? How many Leica lenses do you have? Could you live with just the RX1's 35mm focal length?
    John just two lenses 50mm Summicron and a 40mm Voightlander. Most of my others have slowly been traded or sold off. I would like a small carry all. I think the RX1 is just to high in cost the NEX 6 would be the better choice. Just thinking out loud as they say.
    Since I got the a850 I just have lost all interest in film.
    I hate to see a good Leica go unused.
    I am like Barney Fife, I have a gun but Andy makes me keep the bullet in my pocket..

    Sony a99/a7R

  6. #6
    Captain of the Ship Photo-John's Avatar
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    Re: Sony RX1 Sample Photos

    Did you see my Sony A99 article and photos? I love that camera - especially with the 24-70mm f/2.8 Zeiss lens! And since it uses the same sensor as the RX1, it should provide some good insight into the RX1's ultimate image quality. I shot all RAW with the A99. You can see that article, here:

    Sony A99 Full-Frame DSLR – First Impressions Review | Camera News & Reviews

    The RX1 lens is the one unknown. It does appear to be crazy sharp and contrasty and you might be right about dialing back the exposure just a bit to control the highlights. I thought about that after I got my photos on the computer. If I had known I would have gone a little darker on my exposures.
    Photo-John


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  7. #7
    Captain of the Ship Photo-John's Avatar
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    Re: Sony RX1 Sample Photos

    Quote Originally Posted by Greg McCary View Post
    John just two lenses 50mm Summicron and a 40mm Voightlander. Most of my others have slowly been traded or sold off. I would like a small carry all. I think the RX1 is just to high in cost the NEX 6 would be the better choice. Just thinking out loud as they say.
    Since I got the a850 I just have lost all interest in film.
    I hate to see a good Leica go unused.
    The NEX-6 is nice but it's nothing like the RX1. I need to get an article done about the NEX-6, too. Just have other things that needed to get taken care of first. But don't think that the NEX-6 would be a worthy replacement for your Leica. I don't know anything about Sony's plans, but I have to assume that if the RX1 is successful, they will make some kind of follow-up. Maybe they'll make something with a full-frame sensor that will take your Leica lenses? If I were you I'd hang on to it for a while just to see what happens. Plus, once again, if the RX1 is successful - and it looks like it will be - Sony will probably come out with a second generation version that costs less.
    Photo-John


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  8. #8
    Senior Shooter Greg McCary's Avatar
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    Re: Sony RX1 Sample Photos

    Quote Originally Posted by Photo-John View Post
    The NEX-6 is nice but it's nothing like the RX1. I need to get an article done about the NEX-6, too. Just have other things that needed to get taken care of first. But don't think that the NEX-6 would be a worthy replacement for your Leica. I don't know anything about Sony's plans, but I have to assume that if the RX1 is successful, they will make some kind of follow-up. Maybe they'll make something with a full-frame sensor that will take your Leica lenses? If I were you I'd hang on to it for a while just to see what happens. Plus, once again, if the RX1 is successful - and it looks like it will be - Sony will probably come out with a second generation version that costs less.
    Thanks for the advise. I guess for now I will just hang on to it. To be honest I can't lose money on it as the prices of Leica cameras seem to go up with time and not down. You have seat time with the RX1 and I trust you.
    I am like Barney Fife, I have a gun but Andy makes me keep the bullet in my pocket..

    Sony a99/a7R

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    Re: Sony RX1 Sample Photos

    Yep, saw the a99 info too, so I do have a pretty good idea what can be done with the rx1 raws. The ultimate sharpness of the RX1 is pretty impressive.

    What I like the most about the RX1 is it does give people hope that there could be a FF NEX in the works, although it will require new E-Mount FF lenses that will definitely NOT be cheap. I'm thinking Zeiss only type options and pricing... If they pull that off, then yes, it would be a worthy Leica replacement. The nex-6 and 7 are quite nice, but not Leica nice, even with the Zeiss e-mount lenses...

    As for me, I'm still happily committed to the SLR/SLT A-Mount... My FF lens collection has been accumulated. I don't see the a99 making a big enough IQ difference over the a850/a900 FF's for most of MY usage, but it does have improvements in pretty much every department. I'll hold out a bit longer. It will be interesting to see what Sony's next "Photographers" camera turns out to be, using either the 36mp sensor of the D800, or a new, larger one... Who knows...

  10. #10
    Senior Shooter Greg McCary's Avatar
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    Re: Sony RX1 Sample Photos

    Quote Originally Posted by NoKnees View Post
    Yep, saw the a99 info too, so I do have a pretty good idea what can be done with the rx1 raws. The ultimate sharpness of the RX1 is pretty impressive.

    What I like the most about the RX1 is it does give people hope that there could be a FF NEX in the works, although it will require new E-Mount FF lenses that will definitely NOT be cheap. I'm thinking Zeiss only type options and pricing... If they pull that off, then yes, it would be a worthy Leica replacement. The nex-6 and 7 are quite nice, but not Leica nice, even with the Zeiss e-mount lenses...

    As for me, I'm still happily committed to the SLR/SLT A-Mount... My FF lens collection has been accumulated. I don't see the a99 making a big enough IQ difference over the a850/a900 FF's for most of MY usage, but it does have improvements in pretty much every department. I'll hold out a bit longer. It will be interesting to see what Sony's next "Photographers" camera turns out to be, using either the 36mp sensor of the D800, or a new, larger one... Who knows...
    So you think Sony is going to release another FF like Nikon did but in reverse order 24 megapixel first and 36 megapixel second? I actually prefer 24 as the D800 files slows my computer a lot when stitching a Pano. I just bought a 2tb hard drive. At least memory is cheap.
    I am like Barney Fife, I have a gun but Andy makes me keep the bullet in my pocket..

    Sony a99/a7R

  11. #11
    ELS
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    Re: Sony RX1 Sample Photos

    Hello:

    I always enjoy reading the comments, viewpoints, opinions, etc. of you "experts". :thumbsup:

    There's so much to learn, and being able to read the comments and such here from everyone contributing, for example within this thread, helps me to get a clearer picture as to the road map Sony is taking, and it's fun to read too...

    Thanks everyone for sharing your thoughts...

    Have a nice day/evening...

    Ed

  12. #12
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    Re: Sony RX1 Sample Photos

    Even though I would love Sony to produce a full frame / 135 format camera that was tuned for M mount lenses (I own five Zeiss M lenses and one CV LTM lens), I doubt they will.

    The only currently operating camera manufacturer other than Leica that is making a camera specifically geared to M lenses is Ricoh with their modular GXR system and the Mount A12 M-mount unit. If anyone other than Leica were to bring out a full frame camera for M lenses, it would be them. While I own a GXR and find it a great bit of gear, I'm not holding my breath for such a development either, as logical as it may be.

    Sony NEX cameras have been used by many a M lens shooter because they work "good enough" and in some cases, spectacularly so, but this support for adapted lenses of all mounts is in many ways a happy accident. Sony can't afford to tune the NEX for high performance for M lenses because they have their own E mount to consider first and foremost, and that has an even shorter back focal length (18mm) than M's 27mm.

    You can see this happy accident principle at work by comparing M lens performance on the 16MP NEX-5N to the 24MP NEX-7 -- while symmetrical wide angle lenses had some issues on the 5N, the results were often very usable; on the -7 many of these same "problematic" lenses became largely unusable for many owners.

    The same general issues seem to hold true on the X Pro 1. Some lenses work well, others are awful.

    Contrast that situation to the Leica or Ricoh cameras - lens performance is excellent generally across the board, because the sensor implementation has been tuned for these lenses.

    Sony has an interest in selling complete cameras (Cyber-shot including the lovely RX1) or their own lenses for their own cameras (NEX + Sony E and Alpha mount). They should be applauded for recognizing the interest from enthusiasts adapting lenses - for a while they even promoted this use. I'm sure they sell more cameras and more Sony lenses as a result, but they don't have to build special support for M lenses to continue that success. Adapted SLR lenses tend to work well across the board thanks to even longer back focal lengths (40mm+) so there's always a manual focus solution available to those that one one.

    Ok, turning the ramble into a conclusion or prediction:

    1) Sony won't ever produce a M lens tuned camera. They will however nibble at the compact camera high end opportunistically and the RX1 certainly is a bite in that market.

    Ricoh *may* produce a 24MP full frame module for the GXR but the company is still digesting Pentax and nothing has leaked out in terms of future plans in that regard... my concern is they have no plans as yet and some statements from the company are basically supporting that in that they've indicated the two teams have only recently moved in with one another and all work to date has been the finalization of plans that existed prior to Ricoh's acquisition of Pentax.

    Myself, I'm buying a RX1 and selling some M lenses to fund it partly. I do shoot 35mm equivalent or actual (on film) the vast majority of the time, so the RX1 is a good fit. And... I actually do want a camera that can autofocus when I need it to but still affords me manual focus control. RX1 does that too.

    2) My second prediction, a little riskier I think, is that Sony won't bring out an interchangeable lens full frame sensor compact camera system anytime soon. Why?

    I don't believe the demand for a full frame compact ILC is as large as the vocal calls for it would otherwise suggest. Once a price tag is associated with such a camera and lens(es) a good chunk of that demand will evaporate. Such a camera will have to be made at a very high spec level, period. There won't be any NEX-3 or -5N equivalent and the spec level will have to be much higher than the NEX-7 or -6, not just a somewhat high end body with a larger sensor slapped into it.

    Whoever is first with such a development will not price such cameras cheaply - look at RX1 as a clear example of this principle at work. I'd expect a full frame compact ILC plus a 35mm lens to cost about as much as a RX1 if not a little more perhaps. Would I buy one? Almost certainly, depending on the lenses of course. Incrementally they'd sell more of these than RX1's too, since just that more people can logically accept buying an interchangeable lens camera even if they plan on shooting one lens only as the body not the entire camera becomes eventually obsolete.

    BUT... I don't believe the RX1 really becomes obsolete in the same way digital bodies have over the past decade. The technology has come a long way. Now we see makers purposely bringing out new bodies that aren't at higher and higher pixel densities. Physics is starting to become a limitation and quite honestly the image quality is very very good now - has been for some time but now is so good that I can picture myself not wanting an upgrade for years. As near as one or two sensor generations ago I could not say that.

    Ugh, ramble mode continues. Let's see if I can net this out:


    • - Sony won't bring out a M lens specific camera, ever.
    • - Ricoh might.
    • - NEX isn't a great platform for full frame sensor; look at how bulky the VG900 is when configured to shoot full frame. Who really want's that? No one... meaning a new product would have to be created. Sony has a lot on its plate already and would be loathe to take on another, so...
    • - The RX1 allows Sony to nibble at the high end of the compact market without committing to developing an entire new line of lenses. I don't see a RX2 coming anytime soon; they intended this camera to remain for sale for at least three years if not longer.
    • - The ultimate portable full frame camera would be a fast moderate wide to moderate telephoto zoom (28-75?) with a constant aperture if it were possible to do so. Maybe that's a RX2, down the road. Cost: $4,000 unless sensors have fallen significantly but still a big premium over any other compact.
    • - A distant future interchangeable lens full frame compact camera will not be called NEX or RX (Cyber-shots are all fixed lens) but maybe will hang off the Alpha line or they'll chose another letter of the Greek alphabet.
    Ok the only thing I'm really certain about is the first one - Sony won't design an M lens specific camera, ever.

  13. #13
    Senior Member OldClicker's Avatar
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    Re: Sony RX1 Sample Photos

    Quote Originally Posted by adanac View Post
    Even though I would love Sony to produce a full frame / 135 format camera that was tuned for M mount lenses (I own five Zeiss M lenses and one CV LTM lens), I doubt they will.

    The only currently operating camera manufacturer other than Leica that is making a camera specifically geared to M lenses is Ricoh with their modular GXR system and the Mount A12 M-mount unit. If anyone other than Leica were to bring out a full frame camera for M lenses, it would be them. While I own a GXR and find it a great bit of gear, I'm not holding my breath for such a development either, as logical as it may be.

    Sony NEX cameras have been used by many a M lens shooter because they work "good enough" and in some cases, spectacularly so, but this support for adapted lenses of all mounts is in many ways a happy accident. Sony can't afford to tune the NEX for high performance for M lenses because they have their own E mount to consider first and foremost, and that has an even shorter back focal length (18mm) than M's 27mm.

    You can see this happy accident principle at work by comparing M lens performance on the 16MP NEX-5N to the 24MP NEX-7 -- while symmetrical wide angle lenses had some issues on the 5N, the results were often very usable; on the -7 many of these same "problematic" lenses became largely unusable for many owners.

    The same general issues seem to hold true on the X Pro 1. Some lenses work well, others are awful.

    Contrast that situation to the Leica or Ricoh cameras - lens performance is excellent generally across the board, because the sensor implementation has been tuned for these lenses.

    Sony has an interest in selling complete cameras (Cyber-shot including the lovely RX1) or their own lenses for their own cameras (NEX + Sony E and Alpha mount). They should be applauded for recognizing the interest from enthusiasts adapting lenses - for a while they even promoted this use. I'm sure they sell more cameras and more Sony lenses as a result, but they don't have to build special support for M lenses to continue that success. Adapted SLR lenses tend to work well across the board thanks to even longer back focal lengths (40mm+) so there's always a manual focus solution available to those that one one.

    Ok, turning the ramble into a conclusion or prediction:

    1) Sony won't ever produce a M lens tuned camera. They will however nibble at the compact camera high end opportunistically and the RX1 certainly is a bite in that market.

    Ricoh *may* produce a 24MP full frame module for the GXR but the company is still digesting Pentax and nothing has leaked out in terms of future plans in that regard... my concern is they have no plans as yet and some statements from the company are basically supporting that in that they've indicated the two teams have only recently moved in with one another and all work to date has been the finalization of plans that existed prior to Ricoh's acquisition of Pentax.

    Myself, I'm buying a RX1 and selling some M lenses to fund it partly. I do shoot 35mm equivalent or actual (on film) the vast majority of the time, so the RX1 is a good fit. And... I actually do want a camera that can autofocus when I need it to but still affords me manual focus control. RX1 does that too.

    2) My second prediction, a little riskier I think, is that Sony won't bring out an interchangeable lens full frame sensor compact camera system anytime soon. Why?

    I don't believe the demand for a full frame compact ILC is as large as the vocal calls for it would otherwise suggest. Once a price tag is associated with such a camera and lens(es) a good chunk of that demand will evaporate. Such a camera will have to be made at a very high spec level, period. There won't be any NEX-3 or -5N equivalent and the spec level will have to be much higher than the NEX-7 or -6, not just a somewhat high end body with a larger sensor slapped into it.

    Whoever is first with such a development will not price such cameras cheaply - look at RX1 as a clear example of this principle at work. I'd expect a full frame compact ILC plus a 35mm lens to cost about as much as a RX1 if not a little more perhaps. Would I buy one? Almost certainly, depending on the lenses of course. Incrementally they'd sell more of these than RX1's too, since just that more people can logically accept buying an interchangeable lens camera even if they plan on shooting one lens only as the body not the entire camera becomes eventually obsolete.

    BUT... I don't believe the RX1 really becomes obsolete in the same way digital bodies have over the past decade. The technology has come a long way. Now we see makers purposely bringing out new bodies that aren't at higher and higher pixel densities. Physics is starting to become a limitation and quite honestly the image quality is very very good now - has been for some time but now is so good that I can picture myself not wanting an upgrade for years. As near as one or two sensor generations ago I could not say that.

    Ugh, ramble mode continues. Let's see if I can net this out:


    • - Sony won't bring out a M lens specific camera, ever.
    • - Ricoh might.
    • - NEX isn't a great platform for full frame sensor; look at how bulky the VG900 is when configured to shoot full frame. Who really want's that? No one... meaning a new product would have to be created. Sony has a lot on its plate already and would be loathe to take on another, so...
    • - The RX1 allows Sony to nibble at the high end of the compact market without committing to developing an entire new line of lenses. I don't see a RX2 coming anytime soon; they intended this camera to remain for sale for at least three years if not longer.
    • - The ultimate portable full frame camera would be a fast moderate wide to moderate telephoto zoom (28-75?) with a constant aperture if it were possible to do so. Maybe that's a RX2, down the road. Cost: $4,000 unless sensors have fallen significantly but still a big premium over any other compact.
    • - A distant future interchangeable lens full frame compact camera will not be called NEX or RX (Cyber-shots are all fixed lens) but maybe will hang off the Alpha line or they'll chose another letter of the Greek alphabet.
    Ok the only thing I'm really certain about is the first one - Sony won't design an M lens specific camera, ever.
    What do you mean by "tuned" for a lens? The back focal length is a function of the adapter. I'm assuming that you are not talking about 'digital' tuning since the M-mount is for film also, correct? What else can you do? - Terry
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  14. #14
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    Re: Sony RX1 Sample Photos

    Quote Originally Posted by OldClicker View Post
    What do you mean by "tuned" for a lens? The back focal length is a function of the adapter. I'm assuming that you are not talking about 'digital' tuning since the M-mount is for film also, correct? What else can you do? - Terry
    Film responds to light rays at oblique (steep) angles much differently than the photo-sites on a digital sensor.

    For a long time Leica claimed that a digital M couldn't be produced, as getting edge to edge sharpness from lenses that are quite capable of delivering high performance on film wasn't simply a matter of putting them in front of a digital sensor.

    The problem becomes particularly noticeable with wide angle lenses of a symmetrical design - in these lenses the exit pupil extends deep into the mount, presenting an even steeper incident light angle. A telecentric design puts the exit pupil of the lens farther away, reducing the incident light angle at the edges.

    DSLRs with the deeper mounts don't suffer as much with these issues.

    Today's cameras, compacts and otherwise, use micro-lenses in front of the photosite and these must be tuned for the lens systems anticipated. Leica has their sensors tuned for the M mount logically; Sony would never do that - their E mount is much closer to the sensor, providing a steeper incident light angle. Other developments like anti-alias filters (M9 has none, Ricoh GXR M mount has none) can also create astigmatism with steep incident light angles.

    A maker like Sony would want to create designs that are simpler to implement, even if they are of high performance. I can't see them willingly adopting designs that would cost more merely to placate M lens users. Even Leica has been modernizing their lens range, if I recall correctly, to avoid steep incident light angles where possible. Astigmatism, soft edges, excessive vignetting can all be improved with the right digital sensor design.

  15. #15
    Senior Shooter Greg McCary's Avatar
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    Re: Sony RX1 Sample Photos

    I have read about this before. I think Olympus was the first with the 4/3rd lenses and sensors that accounted for this. It is why the Olympus lenses are so good. The lenses are designed for the light to hit the sensor just right.
    I do know that some of my Leica lenses worked better than others when I put them on my NEX 7. The Summicron 5cm was pretty bad but my Voigtlander 40mm done a much better job.
    I am having great luck with the Leica R lenses on my Sony DSLR and SLT though. Awesome results.

    Quote Originally Posted by adanac View Post
    Film responds to light rays at oblique (steep) angles much differently than the photo-sites on a digital sensor.

    For a long time Leica claimed that a digital M couldn't be produced, as getting edge to edge sharpness from lenses that are quite capable of delivering high performance on film wasn't simply a matter of putting them in front of a digital sensor.

    The problem becomes particularly noticeable with wide angle lenses of a symmetrical design - in these lenses the exit pupil extends deep into the mount, presenting an even steeper incident light angle. A telecentric design puts the exit pupil of the lens farther away, reducing the incident light angle at the edges.

    DSLRs with the deeper mounts don't suffer as much with these issues.

    Today's cameras, compacts and otherwise, use micro-lenses in front of the photosite and these must be tuned for the lens systems anticipated. Leica has their sensors tuned for the M mount logically; Sony would never do that - their E mount is much closer to the sensor, providing a steeper incident light angle. Other developments like anti-alias filters (M9 has none, Ricoh GXR M mount has none) can also create astigmatism with steep incident light angles.

    A maker like Sony would want to create designs that are simpler to implement, even if they are of high performance. I can't see them willingly adopting designs that would cost more merely to placate M lens users. Even Leica has been modernizing their lens range, if I recall correctly, to avoid steep incident light angles where possible. Astigmatism, soft edges, excessive vignetting can all be improved with the right digital sensor design.
    I am like Barney Fife, I have a gun but Andy makes me keep the bullet in my pocket..

    Sony a99/a7R

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    Re: Sony RX1 Sample Photos

    Couple good topics in this thread... First, yes, I expect Sony to introduce a 36mp or even 50mp that would be more in line with the D800. I would be more interested in one of those as an upgrade to my a900 rather than the a99, as it's more of a jump in detail and performance. I don't deny the a99's 24mp sensor is a noticeable improvement over the a900, just not enough of one to motivated me to spend the money on an immediate upgrade.

    Now the other topic about sensor vs lens design, I've heard a lot about this as well, especially when the NEX-7 rolled out. Folks who had great results on the Nex-5n's with other lenses (M's specifically) found them, as mentioned above, hardly usable on the 7. Major color shifts, focus issues, etc, etc...

    Someone on the sonyalpharumors site linked to a recent Sony patent that appears to be trying to address this, among other issues, through the use of tilted pixels on the sensor. This might just be a way to get more light to a sensor for the sake of sensitivity, but it's an idea... ;)

    Anyway, no one can argue the results of a well mated lens and sensor, and the RX1 appears to be a good example of this. Should be a fun one to play with!

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