Competition rumor: Sony made it (not?) right?


Huuu, that was close! Sony “almost” release the first mirrorless Full frame camera!  (I don’t count the Leica M9 is a rangefinder camera). What you see here on top is the Sony RX1, the big Full Frame brother of the current RX100. So it’s actually a fixed lens camera with a 35mm f/2.0 Zeiss. But the Sony guys didn’t have the smart idea to make it with an interchangeable mount. For almost $3000 this camera is way too expensive. But I am posting this because I would like to be in the head of the Olympus and Panasonic managers to see their reaction when watching this camera. Would it be worthy to risk to develop and launch a new system with larger sensors?

  • ero

    exciting news! if the reviews and samples are good, i would be tempted to get one for my wife who never take her 25mm1.4 off the gx1, judging from the photos they are about the same size. about the fixed lens… x100 is the most preferred camera that i take with me on daily basis and travel (with two kids), so there is definitely a market for fixed lens cameras. its pricy, but not necessary targeting at the riches, there are always people who are willing to make compromises on other things in their lives to fulfill their hobbies and interests.

  • Frye

    If their goal was to make a nice overpriced little camera toy for the rich, then it looks like they got it about right.

    • metalaryeh


  • Haha! I was sooo close to wasting my money on a m43 camera.. But now my dream finally has come true. A small fixed lens FF compact. Hello Sony, goodbye every other camera-manufacturer.

  • metalaryeh

    you are getting a fixed lens.You CANNOT compare this lens to a lens that one could use for 60 years on various cameras. This lens dies when the camera dies.

    • djmdgk

      I don’t think that any native m43 lens will be usable 60 years either…. except for the purely mechanical Samyangs etc.

    • bart

      Fixed lens cameras in the 2500-3000 dollar price range however have never been commonplace, regardless of how good they were.

      That said, if 35mm field of view is what you use all the time, this is an expensive yet very attractive option from the looks of it.

  • whatever

    what “actual focus scale”?? you mean that switch between macro and normal focus? you call that “actual focus scale”? such a joke

  • @camerageek
    a Leica D Summilux 25mm f1.4 works fine on most micro four thirds bodies and all Four thirds bodies , has an aperture ring and a distance scale, it can be had for about $700/£400

    • chris

      That may be true, but then you’re looking at a ~50mm/f2.8 lens and its still a m43 sensor, this is basically a FF version of the already excellent EM5 sensor – which means better DR, IQ and tonal gradation – a look m43 can’t replicate.

      Its apples and oranges.

      • @chris
        aperture stays the same.
        Pretty sure Dynamic Range of the E-M5 is good for nearly all needs ie printing at least upto 3 meters wide sooc,all types of normal sized screens viewed from normal distances, IQ and tonal graduation is the same argument.

        The only benefit in real world use of full frame in real world use is much abused ultra thin dof and the ability to abuse images more ie “rescue” poorly exposed/white balanced/framed images….

        • chris

          I’m talking DOF, not light gathering, a F1.4 lens on a M43 camera does not give you the same DOF that it would on a FF, its effectively a F2.8 lens when compared to FF and the FOV of a 25mm lens is 50mm on the EM5. Just because the EM5 meets your needs, doesn’t mean it meets everyone’s needs. The FF sensor will show more detail and improve upon the EM5’s already great shadow recovery capabilities. For me, more is better.

          Once you get above 1600, the EM5 really loses ground to FF cameras in terms of noise and detail. Compare it to the 5d3 and its absolutely rubbish at 3200 and 6400. I expect the new Sony sensor to crush the 5d3’s — Sony just seems to be a generation ahead of everyone else right now. To me this makes a great compliment to the A99 as there’s really no great 35 in the Sony lens lineup. I’m going to pre-order both when available.

          I love it when people use poor technique as a way to bash FF vs M43. The EM5 is great, but the FF will still resolve more detail. Use whatever tools you’re comfortable with, just don’t tell me a FF sensor – that’s more than 3x the size of a m43 using the same technology (since the new FF is undoubtedly using every trick Sony has) – is not capable of producing superior IQ and DR.


          • bart

            DOF depends on the final presentation, because things within the dof must look reasonably in focus on that final presentation.

            For identical print size, 4/3 needs more magnification. Consequently, it requires a smaller coc for the same final result. Consequently, a 25/1.4 on 4/3 gives a more shallow dof then a 50/2.8 on a 135 format sensor.

            Additionaly this all depends on final presentation size and viewing distance.

            Last but not least, a 50/2.8 gives a certain size coc at a given projection distance, and that has totally zero relation to sensor size.

            • You’re overthinking and coming out with incorrect info.

              The 50mm f2.8 on FF does have the same dof and image as 25mm f1.4 on m43.

              There’s been numerous discussions and sample images. if you’re trying to liken coc to pixel size, don’t. Otherwise you’d have the notion that more pixels gives a shallower dof.

              Also keep in mind that while a 50 is a 50 no matter what camera it’s on, composition isn’t constant. In comparing like compositions, you must use proportional focal length/aperture with cropfactor.

              • Bart

                No, I’m not at all overthinking, I’m taking into account what DOF really is, a perception of the viewer of the final presentation, not something absolute, and not something that can be calculated independently of considering the viewing conditions, and even then the calculation is only an indication.

                All DOF calculators make an assumption about the size of the coc for something to be considered ‘in focus’, based on a standard magnification, print size and viewing distance. If one or more of those 3 changes, the required coc also changes. Additionally, the required coc also somewhat changes based on the viewer.

                Then there is an additional issue that the perception of what is in focus also depends on the peak sharpness of the image, something that confused the hell out of a guy known as Dalmeyer somewhere in the late 1800s, he thought he had invented ‘diffusion of focus’ (the ability to spread the ‘in focus’ area wider).

                It is also something that was used a lot by graphics artists for creating a whole variety of effects, including pictures that show something entirely different based on viewing distance. The ‘far away’ picture only shows because at longer distance, we don’t see all the small details, and simply require less sharpness to consider something ‘sharp’.

                This is also used extensively when printing billboards for example.

                This all has nothing to do with overthinking things, but with understanding a bit more about how humans perceive an image.

  • elle

    “But the Sony guys didn’t have the smart idea to make it with an interchangeable mount.”? If the poster is smart enough maybe he can work for Sony. Who the hell is this guy to say who’s smart and dumb. Stop whinning. I bet this guy bought an iphone 4s for $900 in a heart beat.

  • mocha

    When the lens is not changable, the sensor size might not the biggest issue but the lens. If m43 (whatever Panasonic or Olympus) wants to take a risk, I prefer that they make a 17mm F1.2 fixed lens P&S. The lens is collapsible when poweroff. No joking, the size can be as small as LX7. Now Sony RX1 is quite embarrassing because it is not able to put into our pocket. Contax used to make the sexy T series that makes the RX1 look so big by comparison.

  • Hello Sony. (Goodbye Leica.)

  • eliot

    introducing, “the MEGA 4/3 system!”

  • Blanko

    Well done for pointing out what this actually costs. If you look at what a Leica M9 and the ‘right’ 35mm would cost you, this starts to look like discount brand bargain shopping.
    As to a fixed lens: I believe if you just work one focal length, you get good at that one focal length, you say it costs too much, but what’s you’re bag of glass cost you?
    I also don’t know many photographers who work the same lens for decades. That’s the theory,the justification, but they back in the shop, cash in hand with every new generation canikon pump out.
    Sony are just putting it out there, and I’m glad, because it’ll trickle down and put the cat amongst the pigeons, we’ll all get the chance to buy this tech, maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but…

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