Sony RX1 review

Small but mighty full-frame compact put to the test

Sony RX1 review
The Sony RX1 is the first full-frame digital compact camera

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Ultimately, Sony has created a camera to show off what it can do with its latest technology. With its high asking price and fixed-length limitations, it seems unlikely that the Sony RX1 will sell in any great volume - but that's not really the point.

The Sony DSC-RX1 produces superb images, with a fantastic amount of detail, colour and dynamic range. It really is the best image quality you'll get in something of this size.

Of course, you'll have to be prepared to pay a lot for this ultimate combination of quality and portability, not just in terms of asking price, but also in terms of inflexibility.

A 35mm lens makes a good street photography lens, but unfortunately the camera is severely marred by a very poor battery life - if Sony can do something to tackle that particular problem, then it might win more favour.

We liked

It's beautifully constructed and offers fantastic image quality, in a package that is almost pocketable. You can carry this around and be sure to get ultra high quality images, along with a heap of creative modes, without doing your back in as you would with other full-frame cameras.

We disliked

For a camera that costs £2,600/AU$3,000/US$2,800, it's disappointing that you don't get a lot more in the box for your money. The battery life is so poor that you will need to purchase an additional one to make it a reasonable proposition, while a viewfinder would also have been a nice addition.

Final verdict

When this camera was announced it caused a lot of excitement. It's the world's smallest digital full-frame camera, and so it raised a lot of eyebrows.

Image quality is superb, but there are a fair few limitations that mean this camera could never be described as perfect.

It's exciting to see Sony producing a camera like this, because it shows exactly what the electronics giant is capable of. That's a good thing, even if it's not something that will be snapped up by a wide population.

Amy Davies

Amy has been writing about cameras, photography and associated tech since 2009. Amy was once part of the photography testing team for Future Publishing working across TechRadar, Digital Camera, PhotoPlus, N Photo and Photography Week. For her photography, she has won awards and has been exhibited. She often partakes in unusual projects - including one intense year where she used a different camera every single day. Amy is currently the Features Editor at Amateur Photographer magazine, and in her increasingly little spare time works across a number of high-profile publications including Wired, Stuff, Digital Camera World, Expert Reviews, and just a little off-tangent, PetsRadar.