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Sony, a major technological company, with an image sensor business that supplies the majority of digital camera manufacturers, has not shied away from trying new technology and sensor designs, often leading the market.
With the Sony Cyber-shot RX10, Sony has introduced one of the first bridge cameras with a larger sensor, in this case, the RX10 features the same 20 megapixel 1inch backlit CMOS sensor as the Sony Cyber-shot RX100 II. However, it's not the first time Sony has used a large sensor in a bridge style camera, with the Sony Cyber-shot R1 (above right) featuring a 10 megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor, introduced in 2005. As we had one to hand, we thought it would be worth looking how far we have come since the R1.
The Sony Cyber-Shot RX10 features a larger than normal 20 megapixel 1inch backlit CMOS sensor, vs the larger 10 megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor. The RX10 features an 8.3x optical zoom lens, vs a 5x optical zoom lens in the R1 - and due to the larger APS-C sensor in the R1, the lens is physically larger. Both cameras start at 24mm equivalent and feature a Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T* branded lens, and start with an f/2.8 aperture, however the R10 benefits from a constant f/2.8 aperture, while the R1 isn't as bright at the telephoto end with an f/4.8 aperture.
Both cameras feature an electronic viewfinder, however the R10 has a high resolution 1.44 million dot resolution, while the R1 has a 235k dot resolution. The RX10 with a more conventional style features a larger 3inch tilting screen on the back and a top LCD screen, whereas the R1 features a tilting / rotating 2inch screen on the top of the camera. The R1 also features a manual zoom ring, whereas the zoom on the RX10 is electronically controlled.
Weighing 995g vs 755g for the RX10, it is noticeably lighter than the R1, although still quite heavy compared to other compact cameras. The Sony Cyber-shot R1 measures 139.4 x 97.7 x 156mm vs 129 x 88.1 x 102.2mm for the RX10, making the RX10 noticeably smaller than the R1. It's when you view the cameras from the top that you can see how much of a size difference there is between the cameras.
There is a rotating scroll wheel on the back and a command wheel on both. Both cameras also feature an eye-detection sensor so that the camera will automatically switch to the electronic viewfinder when the camera is held up to your eye. The RX10 has an exposure compensation dial on the top.
The rear of the Sony Cyber-shot R1 has a rather unconventional layout of controls compared to the RX10, yet gives quick access to a number of settings including metering, drive mode, self-timer, AE lock and an ISO button on the top of the camera. On the side of both cameras is the memory card slot, with the RX10 taking Sony Memory Sticks or SD/SDHC/SDXC cards, while the R1 takes either Sony Memory Sticks or CompactFlash cards.
1/13 sec | f/5.0 | 42.7 mm | ISO 200
1/13 sec | f/4.8 | 55.3 mm | ISO 200
1/200 sec | f/5.0 | 42.7 mm | ISO 3200
1/250 sec | f/4.8 | 55.3 mm | ISO 3200
The lowest matching ISO setting of both cameras is ISO200, so we have shown this as a comparison.
The highest matching ISO setting of both cameras is ISO3200, so we have shown this as a comparison. The RX10 goes up to ISO25600 and is also twice the megapixel rating at 20 megapixels, compared to the 10 megapixels of the R1. The R1 also has a larger sensor, however, as can be seen, the advances in technology and image processing has resulted in a much cleaner, higher resolution image with much lower noise.
If shooting JPEG with the R1, then you might think using ISO1600 and ISO3200 was something you just wouldn't want to do, but it's a different story when shooting raw, as these examples below show, when shooting at ISO3200.
|RAW with no noise reduction (NR) applied||RAW converted to JPEG with NR applied|
Taking the RAW file from the Sony Cyber-shot R1 and processing it in a modern image application such as Adobe Photoshop CS6 with Adobe Camera RAW RC8.2, it's possible to get a much better result from the old R1. And while shooting RAW may not be as important with modern cameras, as they're often very good at producing very good JPEG results, with older cameras it is still useful to shoot raw to get the best possible results.
Sony Cyber-shot RX10, with 10fps continuous shooting, excellent JPEG output, fullHD video recording, a higher resolution sensor as well as a brighter zoom lens, will be preferable.
Read our full Sony Cyber-shot RX10 Review.
|Sony Cyber-shot RX10||Sony Cyber-shot DSC-R1|
|Max Aperture||f/2.8||f/2.8 - f/4.8|
|35mm equivalent||24mm - 200mm||24mm - 120mm|
|CCD pixels||20.2Mp (Megapixels)||10.3Mp (Megapixels)|
|Sensor Type||Back-lit CMOS (B.S.I.)||CMOS|
|Sensor Size (width)||13.2mm||21.5mm|
|Sensor Size (height)||8.8mm||14.4mm|
|Screen resolution||1,228,800 dots||134k|
|Shutter speeds shortest||1/3200sec||1/2000sec|
|Shutter speeds longest||30sec||30sec|
|ISO sensitivity||80 - 25600||160 - 3200|
|Video FPS||60p, 50p, 25p||No Data|
|Stereo Sound||Yes||No Data|
|Optical Zoom with Video||Yes||No Data|
|USB||USB 2||USB 2|
|Battery Type||NP-FW50 Lithium Ion||Lithium Ion|
|Box Contents||Rechargeable Battery Pack NP-FW50, AC Adaptor AC-UB10 / UB10B / UB10C / UB10D, Micro USB cable, Shoulder strap, Lens cap, Shoe cap, Lens hood, Eyepiece Cup, Instruction Manual||infoLITHIUM NP-FR1, AC Adaptor (AC-LS5), AV Cable, USB Cable, Shoulder Strap, CD-ROM 2x|
|View Full Details||View Full Details|