Sony Cybershot DSC R1 - Extraordinary digital camera
Let it be clear that the Sony Cybershot DSC-R1 is an extraordinary camera indeed. This doesn't just limit itself to the design, but also covers the optics. The fact that the Sony R1 is equipped with a Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T* lens greatly attributes to the test results. The Cybershot R1 really is a digital camera that awakens one's enthusiasm. Working with the camera in practice is pleasant and will without a doubt raise the heartbeat of the avid photographer!
Sony Cybershot R1 lens - Optical zoom
As mentioned, the quality of the 5x optical zoom is outstanding. The unique reach of the lens, 24 - 120mm (equivalent to a 35mm camera), is an attractive feature for the landscape or indoor photographer, but also makes it possible to shoot a striking portrait with the light-weighted tele lens. The results of the images taken in practice stand for themselves and are a pleasure to look at. The lively colours, the details in an image and the sharpness alone make purchasing the Cybershot R1 more than worth it!
Cybershot R1 camera - Sony CMOS image sensor
The high resolution of 10+ Megapixels leaves unlimited room for the creative photographer to edit, enlarge or crop an image. The new image sensor with which the R1 is equipped, far exceeds its expectations. Sony is well in control of the signal/noise ratio, it is the high ISO values in particular that can be worked with. This greatly emphasises the all-round use of the camera.
Sony Cybershot R1 lens - Ergonomics
Sony's ergonomic design of the camera however, might take some getting used to at first. Being of a bold and sassy design, working with this camera means you will have to re-familiarise yourself with certain actions. How to handle the LCD monitor for instance, is a good example. A certain amount of the consumers is likely to make more use of the electronic viewfinder, while the other will immediately recognize the advantage of this new and different location. There are a few buttons that might prove hard to find upon first glance, especially when looking at the camera from above. Overall, it remains a case of getting used to new things and familiarising yourself with the camera.
Sony Cybershot R1 - No digital SLR camera
Could the Sony Cybershot R1 be seen as a replacement for a digital reflex camera? Well, we certainly don't want to create any confusion here, and since the R1 is not a system camera, saying that would be like comparing apples and oranges. On the other hand, the Sony R1 does offer virtually all the same setting possibilities as a digital SLR. In addition, the combination of the high resolution and high quality lens is one that should undoubtedly be seen as tough competition. If you would want to find the same lens and quality of the Sony R1 in another camera, it would without question have a price tag several times higher. The comparison thus ends there. The choice on whether to purchase a non-system or a system camera pretty much depends on the kind of photography you intend to use your camera for.
Sony Cybershot DSC R1 - Top quality camera
The Sony Cybershot R1 is far from your average digital camera. It is a definite trendsetter, a digital camera that has noticeably raised the bar another notch for the competition. Not only does the camera radiate quality, it shows it in every aspect and truly deserves all praise. Sony have every right to be pleased with the end result. We can only conclude we were lucky to have had an opportunity to work with such a top quality camera. Hats off to Sony!
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Sony DSC R1 memory card compartment
The memory cards are inserted in the compartment from the side. The compartment can be quickly opened and the cards are easily changed. A button on the back of the camera enables you to indicate on which type of memory card you would like to save your images. The Sony R1 also supports the Microdrive cards. Personally, I am not a fan of these rather vulnerable and energy-gulping mini hard discs. They greatly increase the chance of losing your (valuable) data as compared to a flash memory card. The Sony R1 supports FAT32 format, enabling it to work with memory cards larger than 2GB.
SanDisk Extreme III 4GB CompactFlash memory card
A manufacturer as SanDisk, one of the founders of the contemporary flash memory cards, has a broad assortment available for a camera such as the Sony R1. In practice I used a SanDisk Extreme III 4GB CompactFlash memory card, allowing me to take approximately 150 images RAW + JPEG or well over 770 images in highest JPEG quality. It is recommended to purchase a minimum of 1GB, or even 2GB if you can. Do also consider a fast version of an MS or CF card; in most cases this will make a considerable difference when emptying the camera's internal buffer.
Considering 1GB storage capacity:
3888 x 2592 (10M) - JPEG - Fine - 192 images - 5MB
3888 x 2592 (10M) - JPEG - Standard - 384 images - 2.5MB
3888 x 2592 (10M) - RAW + JPEG - Fine - 37 images - 26.2MB
3888 x 2592 (10M) - RAW + JPEG - Standard - 41 images - 23.8MB
3264 x 2176 (7M) - JPEG - Fine - 247 images - 3.9MB
3264 x 2176 (7M) - JPEG - Standard - 456 images - 2.1MB
3264 x 2176 (7M) - RAW + JPEG - 38 images - 24.9MB
3264 x 2176 (7M) - RAW + JPEG - 41 images - 23.2MB
2784 x 1856 (5M) - JPEG - Fine - 370 images - 2.6MB
2784 x 1856 (5M) - JPEG - Standard - 741 images - 1.3MB
2784 x 1856 (5M) - RAW + JPEG - Fine - 41 images - 23.8MB
2784 x 1856 (5M) - RAW + JPEG - Standard - 43 images - 22.7MB
2160 x 1440 (3M) - JPEG - Fine - 617 images - 1.6MB
2160 x 1440 (3M) - JPEG - Standard - 1235 images - 787K
2160 x 1440 (3M) - RAW + JPEG - Fine - 42 images - 22.7MB
2160 x 1440 (3M) - RAW + JPEG - Standard - 44 images - 22.2MB
1296 x 864 (1M) - JPEG - Fine - 1743 images - 557K
1296 x 864 (1M) - JPEG - Standard - 3705 images - 262K
1296 x 864 (1M) - RAW + JPEG - Fine - 44 images - 21.7MB
1296 x 864 (1M) - RAW + JPEG - Standard - 45 images - 21.3MB