Hard on the heels of the successful Cyber-shot DSC-RX100, Sony has released details of its first compact camera with a ‘full frame’ image sensor, the Cyber-shot DSC-RX1.


Angled view of the new Sony Cyber-shot DMC-RX1. (Source: Sony.)
Weighing only 482 grams (with battery and memory card), the new camera measures just 113.3 x 65.4 x 69.6 mm in size. It has a non-interchangeable, Carl Zeiss Sonnar T* 35mm f/2 prime lens that can focus to 20 cm in macro mode and anExmor CMOS sensor with  approximately  24.3 effective megapixels of resolution, just like the new SLT-A99 DSLR camera. Like the A99, the RX1’s BIONZ processor can output image data in 14-bit RAW format and enables a base sensitivity of ISO 100-25600, which can be expanded to ISO 50 and ISO 102400, the latter achieved using Multi Frame Noise Reduction.

The unified lens/body design ensures an accurate alignment of the sensor and optical components, which can deliver high image quality to the edges of the frame. The f/2 maximum aperture and 9-bladed circular iris diaphragm promise attractive ‘bokeh’ (background blurring). A Macro switching ring is provided on the lens barrel for quick close focusing.

A DSLR-style Focus mode dial on the front of the camera allows easy switching between focus modes. In manual focusing mode, the MF Assist function magnifies the image to simplify fine focus adjustments. Sony’s peaking focus indicators are also included, enabling users to highlight sharply-focused areas of the image on screen. An optional FDA-EV1MK electronic viewfinder kit will be available with the new camera.

Full manual control options are provided, with top panel mode and exposure compensation dials, an aperture ring on the lens. Custom function and AEL buttons are positioned for easy access, while the camera’s pro-style control dial and cross keys, which are used in the Quick Navi mode, allow fast, intuitive adjustment of camera settings. A memory recall (MR) mode that allows storage and instant recall of up to three sets of camera settings.

Full HD movie recording is supported with a choice of 50p/60p or 25p/24p (progressive) frame rates. All the   PASM exposure modes are supported in movie mode. The camera also provides a choice of 13 Creative Styles, plus a wide range of in-camera Picture Effects. Auto HDR and D-Range Optimiser, bracket shooting (Exposure, DRO or White Balance) and Auto HDR shooting modes are available, along with a Digital Level Gauge that indicates camera pitch and camera roll on the LCD screen.
 The RX1’s Multi Interface Shoe accepts accessories such as a powerful flash, electronic viewfinder, optical viewfinder and a clip-on LCD monitor. The camera comes with PlayMemories Home (Lite Edition) software pre-installed, allowing easy image transfers to a PC for managing, editing and printing. Available for free download, a full version of PlayMemories Home adds movie editing and disc burning. Also available as a free download, PlayMemories Studio allows game-like editing of photos and videos on PlayStation 3.

The RX1 is scheduled for release in Europe and North America in December, 2012, at an estimated price of $2800. It’s due to become available in Australia from November for SRP$2,999 (inc. GST) at Sony Centre stores,   www.sony.com.au  and other Sony authorised retailers.  Australian photographers can register interest in the new camera at http://www.sony.com.au/microsite/register/fullframe/

Image sensor: 36 x 24 mm CMOS   sensor with 24.7 million photosites (24.3 megapixels effective)
Image processor: BIONZ
A/D processing: 14-bit
Lens: Carl Zeiss Sonnar T* 35mm f/2, 8 elements in 7 groups (3 aspherical elements including AA lens)
Image formats: Stills ““ ARW.RAW, JPEG (Exif 2.3), RAW+JPEG; Movies ““ AVCHD 2.0, MP4
Image Sizes: Stills ““ 3:2 aspect ratio – L (24M): 6000 x 4000; M (10M): 3936 x 2464; S (4.6M): 2640 x 1760; 16:9 aspect ratio – L (21M): 6000 x 3376; M (8.7M): 3936 x 2216; S (3.9M): 2640 x 1488; Movies: AVCHD: 28M PS (1920×1080, 50p), 24M FX (1920×1080, 50i), 17M FH (1920×1080, 50i), 24M FX (1920×1080, 25p), 17M FH (1920×1080, 25p); MP4: 12M (1440×1080, 25p), 3M (VGA 640×480, 25p)
Image Stabilisation: Electronic type (for movies only)
Shutter speed range: 30 to 1/2000 seconds plus Bulb
Exposure Compensation: +/- 3 EV in 1/3 or 1/2 EV increments
Exposure bracketing: 3 frames in 1/3 or 2/3 EV steps
Self-timer: 2   or 10 seconds delay
Focus system: Contrast detection AF with Multi point AF (25 points), Centre weighted AF, Flexible spot, Flexible spot (tracking focus), Flexible spot (face tracking) area settings
Focus modes: Single-shot AF, Auto AF, Continuous AF, Direct Manual Focus, Manual Focus
Exposure metering: TTL metering with Multi Segment, Centre-weighted, Spot metering patterns
Shooting modes: Program AE (AUTO/P, with program shift),  Aperture  priority, Shutter priority, Manual, MR (Memory Recall) 1 / 2 / 3, Movie, Sweep shooting, Scene Selection, Intelligent Auto
Picture Style/Control settings: Standard, Vivid, Neutral, Clear, Deep, Light, Portrait, Landscape, Sunset, Night Scene, Autumn Leaves, Black & White, Sepia
In-camera Effects: Toy Camera, Pop Colour, Posterisation, Retro Photo, Soft High-key, Partial Colour, High Contrast Monochrome, Soft Focus, HDR Painting, Rich-tone Monochrome, Miniature, Watercolour, Illustration
Other functions: Smart Teleconverter (approx. 1.4x / 2x), Face Detection, Face Registration, Smile Shutter, Quick Navi, Grid Line, Digital Level Gauge (pitch and roll), Exposure Bracketing, White Balance Bracketing, DRO Bracketing, Flash Bracketing, Peaking, MF Assist, Auto Portrait Framing
Colour space options: sRGB, Adobe RGB
ISO range: Auto, ISO 100-25,600 in 0.3EV increments; expandable to ISO 50   and ISO 102,400
White balance: Auto, Daylight, Shade, Cloudy, Tungsten, Fluorescent (x3), Flash, Colour Temperature (2500 – 9900k with 19-step Magenta/Green compensation), custom  
Flash:  GN 6 (metres at ISO 100); Flash modes Auto, Fill-flash, Slow Sync, Rear Sync, Off, Wireless
Flash exposure adjustment: +/- 3EV (0.3/0.5 EV increments)
Sequence shooting: Speed Priority Continuous Mode: Approx.5 fps; Continuous mode: 2.5 fps (AF-S)
Storage Media: SD/SDHC/SDXC and  Memory Stick Duo/Pro Duo cards  
Viewfinder: Optional accessory
LCD monitor: 3.0-inch, 1,229,000-dot,  Xtra Fine TFT LCD
Interface terminals: USO 2.0, HDMI (Type C Mini)
Power supply: NP-BX1 rechargeable lithium-ion battery; CIPA rated for approx. 220  shots/charge  
Dimensions (wxhxd): Approx. 113.3 x 65.4 x 69.6 mm
Weight: Approx. 733 grams

RRP: AU$2999, US$2800
 Distributor: Sony Australia; 1300 720 071; www.sony.com.au.