These conclusions have been updated to reflect my August 2013 experience with the Sony RX1R in the field*.
This is a comparative essay capturing what I feel is a seminal moment in the evolution of “new” and “old” digital camera design. Not all considerations can be stated here (far too many) so I will instead will focus on some key “decider” points I noted during extensive field usage.
My perspective on the Sony RX1 / RX1R is that of a DSLR user in some ways, but based on my field usage I see it as most appropriate to compare it to a Leica M Typ 240: the Sony RX1 / RX1R paradigm is a direct threat to the best features of the Leica M system. That is to say it is not a threat but already far superior in most every operational way (efficiency and hit rate), at least for those making images (as opposed to the most or many Leica buyers who buy one to make a fashion statement). As I own an extensive Leica M system, this is an owner’s perspective for real world shooting, with price left out of consideration except as an afterthought: which is a “better” camera**? Which delivers the best results, which starts with minimizing various errors, especially focusing and exposure?
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Since 2009, Diglloyd Guide to Mirrorless covers mirrorless cameras and lenses. Includes interchangeable lens camera systems (Sony, Fujifilm, Olympus, etc) as well as fixed-lens cameras (Sony, Sigma, Ricoh, etc).
In addition to the manufacturer-brand lenses, lens coverage includes 3rd-party lens lines like Zeiss Touit, Zeiss Loxia and Zeiss Batis.
It includes hundreds of pages of exclusive coverage and high resolution, Retina-grade examples for the new mirrorless camera systems from Sony, Fujifilm, Olympus, Sigma, Ricoh and more. Also included are operational concerns, like shutter vibration or other camera behaviors. This publication will play a decisive role in your selection and use of mirrorless cameras and lenses.