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Sony Cybershot DSC R1 | Digital Camera Review | Control
The Sony Cybershot R1 is a camera that enables you to explore a variety of new possibilities. Sony had the task to incorporate and collect the many settings into a comprehensible concept and develop a handy digital tool for the (demanding) photographer. Even though the users interface of the Sony R1 does indeed resemble the other Cybershot digital cameras, the entirely different ergonomic set-up of the various buttons will take a little getting used to at first. Especially the buttons located around the electronic viewfinder seem to have gone momentarily missing when looking down on the back of the camera from above.
Sony Cybershot DSC R1 | Digital Camera Sony Cybershot DSC R1 | Digital Camera
Sony Cybershot DSC R1 camera - Menu
The amount of buttons on the camera does decrease the time spent in the camera's menu. The experienced photographer in particular will surely appreciate this. The menu of the Sony Cybershot R1 is simple to operate as far as navigation is concerned, and settings can be easily changed via the small rigid joystick in the middle of the command dial. The first experience has primarily been one of adjusting and getting used to. Shooting an image with auto settings may be one thing, taking the next with manual settings requires a little extra research in the camera's manual. Once you have taken some time to invest in the camera however, Sony's logics will soon become your own and you'll have familiarized yourself with the camera before you know it.

Sony Cybershot R1 - Lens & Zoom
The large and heavy lens can be quickly and precisely operated. The zoom ring covered with rubber feels pleasant to touch. Your left hand automatically rests on the zoom ring which enables the user to zoom in very accurately on the subject. The zoom speed is determined by own preference, which is quite ideal indeed. Manual zoom can also be done with considerable accuracy, the information regarding distance will then appear on the LCD display. Manual focus via LCD, however, still remains tricky, an optical viewfinder would be preferable.

Sony R1 - Electronic viewfinder & LCD display
The camera is equipped with an electronic viewfinder that has a resolution of approximately 235.000 pixels. The viewfinder is supplied with a number of sensors that can detect whether there is something in front of the viewfinder, thus saving power. This can also be switched off by making a fixed choice in the viewfinder or LCD display. The viewfinder shows the same information as the large display. In practice I mainly used the LCD display.
Sony has thought of a remarkably good position for the monitor, right on top of the camera! When folded in, the display is very well protected. The display can be folded out and tilted so that you can still look at it via the back of the Sony R1. It would in fact be even better if the display could be tilted just a tad further to the back, so that it would be easier to capture shots over your head. The display has a format of 2 inch and a resolution of 134.000 pixels, a pity 2.5 inch proved impossible.

Sony DSC R1 - Advanced Gradation Control System
Besides its sassy design, the Sony Cybershot R1 has a lot of technique to offer. Sony has for instance used a new technology named Advanced Gradation Control System (A.G.C.S.). This new technology will have to provide an optimal image contrast. First of all, the division of the brightness of the image will be judged. Next, a certain division of the light will be selected to correct the images in real-time. Difficult shots in particular, such as a poorly exposed subject against a clear background, benefit from this technique. Using A.G.C.S., will provide a better divided brightness in the image, intelligent software! In practice, the camera shows it already exposes very well from the default settings. Although the corrected images seem to have undergone small subtle changes, it is more a 'fine-tuning' process of a useable image.

Sony Cybershot R1 digital camera design
When taking the Sony R1 into your hands for the first time, you immediately notice the sheer mass of the camera. It lies ever so solidly in your hand, and the firm handgrip and support of the left hand under the lens in particular ensure a superb balance. Those of you who want to make the leap from compact camera to a camera such as the Sony Cybershot DSC R1 should keep in mind that you will indeed need a strap or a case to take the Sony R1 out with you. You will however get plenty in return.
Sony Cybershot DSC R1 Sony Cybershot DSC R1
   
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