With determination and drive, you achieve outstanding performance! Get Bitdefender Total Security 2018 Now!
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-R1
- Excellent zoom lens, Quiet operation
- Manual focusing is difficult, three frame buffer is small
If you don't need to swap lenses, precisely focus manually or shoot more than three frames at a time, the DSCR1 is a better bet than a budget digital SLR.
Price$ 1,799.00 (AUD)
With the high-end camera market currently dominated by SLR (single lens reflex) digicams, you'd think there'd be no demand for a new all-in-one model. But Sony's Cybershot DSC-R1 isn't like any all-in-one ever released. It's got a 10.8Mp (megapixels) sensor, an excellent 5x zoom lens and, crucially, is the first all-in-one to sport the same kind of sensor as a digital SLR. It's a unique package, but how does it shape up?
The R1's entire design, operation and performance is built around its unique sensor, which combines the low noise of a digital SLR with the live screen of a consumer camera. With the screen used for composition, the R1 doesn't need the prism and flipping mirror of a traditional SLR. This not only enables the R1 to operate silently, but also allows Sony to place the lens elements much closer to the sensor.
The lens itself, designed by Carl Zeiss, offers a wide 5x range equivalent to 24-120mm, with a bright optical ratio of f2.8~4.8. The zoom is operated by a mechanical ring, but manual focus is electrically assisted; a lens hood is supplied. The R1's 10.8Mp sensor delivers images with 3888 x 2592 pixels and sufficient detail to make prints at least 2in larger than those provided by budget digital SLRs. Images can be recorded at two JPEG levels, or in RAW mode accompanied by a JPEG.
Best-quality JPEGs measure around 4.5MB each and can be recorded onto CompactFlash or Memory Stick cards; you'll need to supply your own. In terms of design, the R1 is unmistakably a Sony camera, although the swivelling body of its high-end predecessors has been replaced by a more flexible flip-out 2in screen. Rather than mount the screen on the back, however, Sony has fitted it on top of the R1. This can be flipped out or folded back down face-up for waist-level shooting. Alternatively, you can use the electronic viewfinder.
Unusually, the main dial is mounted on the back. It switches between Auto, Program, Manual, Shutter and Aperture Priority modes, along with four scene presets. Exposures run from 1/2,000 to 30 seconds, with a bulb of up to three minutes, while a wide range of sensitivities are available, from 100 to 3,200 ISO. Burst mode fires off three frames in a second, but then pauses as the buffer is emptied.
In use the R1 feels responsive and the flip-out display encourages unusual angles. The images easily out-resolve 6Mp digital SLRs, although,Canon's 8 megapixel 350D comes close. Noise levels aren't quite as low as most digital SLRs, but are far lower than any all-in-one, especially at higher sensitivities. On the downside, manual focusing isn't as easy as with an SLR and the three-frame buffer is small.
Ultimately, though, the choice between the R1 and a traditional SLR depends on whether you need to switch lenses. Remember: many SLR owners never remove their basic 3x zooms. They'd prefer the R1, with its longer 5x range and brighter optics, not to mention higher resolution and flexible composition. So if you're satisfied by the R1's lens range, and sustained burst shooting and precision manual focusing aren't high priorities, then go for it. You'll enjoy higher resolution, more flexible composition and a better standard of lens than you'd get with a budget digital SLR.
The Cmos sensor on the R1 is the same size as those used by budget digital SLRs, boasting more than five times the area of those in existing high-end all-in-ones. Like digital SLRs, the R1 is thus able to deliver much lower noise levels, even at higher sensitivities.
Unlike digital SLRs, the R1 has a large Cmos sensor that can deliver live video to the screen, allowing it to be used for composition like a consumer camera. Sony has exploited this facility by offering a host of optional onscreen features that are impossible with traditional digital SLRs, including grid lines, live histograms and live zebra patterns to indicate areas of overexposure. There's no movie mode, though.
Sony's DSC-R1 is the first all-in-one to combine the low noise and high sensitivity of a digital SLR with the flexible screen of a consumer camera. It also sports a 10.8Mp sensor and a superb 5x zoom.
Join the newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Samsung Galaxy S9+ review: A predictably-exellent flagship uplifted by a standout camera
- 2 Panasonic Lumix G9 review: A mirrorless moulded to the needs of still-shooters
- 3 Hisense takes the fight to home entertainment heavyweights with flagship Series 8 and 9 ULED TVs
- 4 D-Link Omna 180 Cam HD DSH-C310 review
- 5 Ring Video Doorbell review
Latest News Articles
- Samsung Electronics introduces Pro Endurance microSD
- Fujifilm announces cash back promotions for selected X Series Cameras, XF and GF Lenses
- D-Link Wins Prestigious iF Design Award 2018
- Reolink Launches a New 4G LTE Security Camera, Available in Australia
- Panasonic introduces new ultra telephoto zoom lens
PCW Evaluation Team
Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category
The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use
I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.
It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.
Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.
The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.
- Overwatch Devs celebrate Anniversary event by sharing insights into the game's future
- Nokia 8 Sirocco review: Full, in-depth review
- HTC promise more Edge Sense and a better camera with the HTC U12+
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies