I recently had the opportunity to travel to Hilton Head Island with my wife for a week-long vacation. It was a much-needed break and re-energizer for work for both of us. For the trip I left the big D800E and Nikkor glass at home and instead took just the Sony RX1R.
How did it do?
Very well, of course. It’s an exceptionally capable little camera, particularly when it comes to image quality and the flexibility of the RAW files. The main concerns or ‘problems’ with the camera are ones I already touched on in my review. Specifically:
Limited to the fixed 35mm f/2 lens – it is a spectacular Zeiss lens, and you should be well aware of the limitations (as I was) of having only one focal length before you ever buy the camera, but even so there were occasions where I wanted a wider perspective or a longer perspective
Hunts in low light – I actually only had this happen a few times. Most of the night time shots I took were in cities like Savannah with enough illumination from street lights and store fronts that the camera readily locked on to whatever I was aiming at. So not really a big deal at all
A wish for image stabilization – I don’t have the most stable of hands. It’s tough to admit, but there you go. I do my best to compensate with careful shot technique (forming a solid triangle with my arms and face [using the viewfinder], bracing against objects whenever possible, etc), but even so it would have been very nice to have in-body image stabilization a-la the Olympus OM-D series cameras
Not weather sealed – this was kind of a biggie. It was cold, rainy and windy where we were for the first three days of the trip, and we spent time on the beach. I was very careful to protect the camera but given how expensive it is, I think Sony should have thoroughly sealed it against moisture and dust
That’s really it. The image quality is great, even at high ISOs. That Zeiss lens packs a punch. The entire camera, including my added grip and the EVF, still slipped into a small shoulder bag, and I carried it everywhere. On a late night “Ghost Tour” of Savannah I got some shots I’m quite happy with – again, at times I’d have liked a wider focal length, perhaps, or longer one, as well as image stabilization, but the overall quality of the output and the fact that I carried it around for hours without pain or discomfort speaks to what this camera really excels at: producing DSLR-quality images in a tiny body.