Six months after the release of the Sony RX1 - the world's first full-frame compact camera, no less - Sony has revealed a second option of the model. The Sony Cyber-shot RX1R is identical to the RX1 in all ways except for one bif difference: there's no low pass optical filter (OLPF).
There's a trend for removing the OLPF in high-spec digital cameras of late. The filter is designed to diffuse light in order to avoid moire and colour artefacts, but it also slightly softens images - as per the majority of current digital cameras. The RX1R, on the other hand, will receive a cleaner delivery of light to its sensor and, therefore, shots will be sharper.
Although we weren't allowed to take any images away with us, we used the RX1R and by zooming in to 100 per cent on the camera's rear screen we could see just how super-fine detail will be from this camera. It's impressive, but it is a specialist tool - we were able to stumble into moire issues in no time by snapping the fine criss-cross stitchwork of a backpack.
Those with shooting and post-production knowledge will most likely be able to avoid such issues, depenent on the subject, which may make the RX1R the ideal tool for their needs. We do, however, wonder why the heck the RX1R wasn't release alongside the original RX1 as there will be a number of RX1 owners now pulling their hair out that a more suited camera - that's priced exactly the same as the original model - has now come along six months too late.
In use there's otherwise zero difference between the original and the RX1R. That means a mix of good and bad: great image quality (despite some chromatic aberration issues) from the fixed 35mm f/2.0 lens is met with so-so autofocus speed and all wrapped up in a solid, tank-like metal body.
The Sony Cyber-shot RX1R will be available from mid-July priced at a cool £2,600. It sure is pricey, but the combination of full-frame sensor and Carl Zeiss optical quality works out similar to a full-frame DSLR with equivalent lens. It'll make sense to some who will love what this camera can do.