Full-frame to go: Sony updates the RX1

Photographic enthusiasts who know the value of a full-frame camera will be keen to see that Sony has updated its full-frame compact camera, one of the only models of its kind.

With the first model released last year, and not for a price everyone could afford, the RX1 was a camera that could surprise and bewilder even the most knowledgable of camera people.

It was a compact camera that could be thrown into a small bag, and yet it featured a full-frame sensor, a fact that made it capable of some insanely high quality shots the likes of which professional photographers normally only see.

The first RX1 sitting alongside the new RX1R. It's hard to tell the difference, and that's because most of the changes aren't on the surface.

Now in 2013, Sony is updating it with some new technology to make it better than before, just don’t expect the price to be updated in the process.

“We’ve taken the unprecedented image quality of the RX1 to the next level with the RX1R which is optimally designed for an enhanced photographic experience,” said Ervin Quek, Sony Australia’s Marketing Manager for Digital Imaging.

“Enthusiast photographers can now explore even more creative possibilities, with full-frame imaging from a compact camera that’s drastically smaller and lighter than any full-frame DSLR.”

The latest incarnation of the camera doesn’t increase the megapixels or change the lens – which is still stuck to the body and not removable like interchangeable lens camera – keeping this set of specs to 24.3 megapixels with the fixed Carl Zeiss 35mm f/2 lens.

What it does change is some of the internals, with the Sony RX1R dropping the low-pass filter similar to how Nikon’s D800E removed it for that variant of the D800 DSLR. Without the optical low-pass filter – called the OLPF – detail can be stronger and more accurate, especially since camera processing has been enhanced to deal with this technology change.

Also included is support for Sony’s Triluminos technology, which originates in the BRAVIA TV line-up, but has been spreading across other Sony products, such as the Sony VAIO Pro laptop and the Sony Xperia Z Ultra tablet-sized smartphone.

While Sony hasn’t told us quite how the Triluminos colour-gamut enhancing technology has been utilised here, our guess is that it makes the 3 inch rear LCD just that much more colour accurate for what will be seen on it.

My, what a big sensor you have...

Most of the other tech inside this camera looks perfectly suited to photographers, such as the low-light sensitivity which is capable of reaching ISO 25600, 5 frame per second shooting, and lots of controls which make the Sony RX1 cameras more like using a proper body with dials, wheels, and actual things to press.

It isn’t cheap, however, and if you’re interested in seeing this bad boy, you’ll find it in stores July, where it will carry a recommended retail price of $2999

That's a lot of accessories.