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Sony RX1 — What Does it Actually Cost?

I’ll be reviewing the Sony RX1 24-megapixel compact in Guide to Mirrorless when it shows up, probably very late in the year.

See my in-depth discussion of the Sony DSC-RX1 as well as Sony RX1— Optical Performance and Value vs Leica Alternative — the latter being a legitimate alternative viewpoint to the absolute cost.

What does a Sony RX1 system actually cost?

A lens shade, the thumbgrip, an extra battery and the EVF wart are essential “options” in my book. And in context, the 4-year service plan with accidental damage actually makes sense at $350 (less than 10% of the system cost). Which brings our total to about $4100 (excluding tax).

It’s a good thing that the Sony RX1 has one fixed lens to keep the cost down (no temptation to buy a 2nd or 3rd lens). But it’s the only lens you can ever use with it.

The RX1 is a super premium camera, but it would be more attractive at $2999 with all the accessories below except perhaps the EVF (which ought to be built-in)— upping profit margins by charging for all the stuff any serious shooter needs is an approach I would prefer to avoid—at least a bundle deal would be preferable to having to track down out of stock items. Don’t forget the Sony RX100 as an accessory (a bargain at only $648).

The brutally competitive camera market will speak its verdict soon enough. But for this chunk of change, a Nikon D800E with a Zeiss lens sure looks a lot more interesting to me, even if it is larger and heavier. Well, that’s the thing: perhaps the size and weight are worth the cost.

There are far lower priced alternatives. Two very sharp Sigma DP Merrill cameras (28mm and 45mm lenses) for a fraction of the price of the RX1. But no EVF and so on.


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