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Sony CyberShot DSC-R1
Sony CyberShot DSC-R1

Hey! You should know that this product has been discontinued. Here are our current recommended cameras in the Ultra Compact Digital Cameras category.

Sony CyberShot DSC-R1

Editor's Review

Affordable, impressive: the Sony Cybershot DSC-R1 is a great choice for aspiring pros. The Sony CyberShot DSC-R1 is Sony's most compact prosumer camera to date. The camera's sensor provides a live feed for the camera's electronic viewfinder, which eliminates the need for a mirror box, shrinking the overall size of the body. At just under a thousand dollars, the 10.3 megapixel DSC-R1 is a strong contender in an already competitive market.

Specifications

  • 10.3 megapixels
  • Carl Zeiss T* lens with 5x zoom
  • auto and manual focus
  • auto and manual exposure
  • JPEG and RAW file formats
  • ISO 160-3200
  • lithium ion battery
  • no movie mode
  • Part Number: DSCR1
  • UPC: 027242679627
  • Release Date: Sep 09, 2005

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Sony CyberShot DSC-R1 Reviews

Sony CyberShot DSC-R1 Reviews by Digital Camera-HQ Users

  • 5.0 out of 5
garrik (robert hebel — 09/03/2007)

i have a as new 828 both cameras take same picture quality i nwant the r1 because i make custom posters and i tried one and there is a slight difference ill trade you and ill throw in the external flash and mine does awesome movies my address is bmonster@ptd ,net

  • 5.0 out of 5
Review after 17k photos (Christian — 07/04/2007)

I own this camera now for over 1.5 years. And it still rocks. This is my second review of this camera. In my initial review (A review after 3k photos Jan 2006) i talked about focusing errors. Well i am glad to that it was not the camera, but the user. Focusing in low light is a problem for every camera and doing a test drive with several amateur and semi-pro DSLRs showed me, that they have a lot of focusing issues too. I was just expecting too much. After overcoming this learning hunch my hit rate went straight up. After improving my raw workflow and color calibrating my display all white balance issues were resolved for me. It was me, my equipment, my software, but not the camera.

17k photos in 1.5 years? Yes, in the first 10 months it saw a lot of usage (12k photos), but it has never failed. The only thing which is no longer in mint condition is the rubber on the hand grip. It's a bit loose now. But that's it.

The performance and fidelity is fantastic. Fellow photographs are still stunned by my results, large prints look superb (largest chemical 30x45cm so far, largest ink-print 1x1.5m), and its image quality is still in the same league as most DSLRs. Only professional top of the line cameras offer a real and noticeable improvement. And coming to the area of this pro equipment i noticed that the individual framing and artistic skills of photographer have a much higher influence on the picture quality than your camera budget.

The lens quality still outshines most standard lenses delivered with amateur DSLRs. It just is more versatile, sharper, cheaper and has less aberration problems. I compared it with a Canon EOS 20D and its Canon 17-85mm lens. I was shocked to see so much more optical problem with this semi-pro lens than with lens in the Sony R1.

Honestly, i currently would only trade this camera for pro equipment (league Canon 1D), pro lenses, and an assistant to carry it all. Until i can afford this, or some real progress in the photographic quality of current portable amateur and semi-pro DSLRs is made, i will defend this camera with my life. It is that good.

Everyone who wants to get into photography and don't need 3-5 frames per second, will find in this camera an inexpensive tool to improve ones technical and artistic skills.

Most used equipment:
1. external flash unit
2. linear polarizer
3. tripod

(flash unit: HVL FX-32, long recycle rate, but flash x-syncs up to 1/2000 s! try that with any other flash unit!)

  • 5.0 out of 5
Sony R1 rocks.!!! (JEFFERY VU — 03/25/2007)

hi all!.
i've got this new Sony R1 for about 2 months now, i love to use it, i've shot over 2,000 shots with it already. most of the pics are dead on..i love Sony colors, its very true, contrasty, bright, neutral, and very sharp..plus smooth on higher iso. i've shot many shots with 400, 800iso. Sony does earned thier reputation., the build quality is solid, long life battery, very clear and bright Zeiss lens, great range on 24mm to 120mm, very useful for everyday shooting. The results images can look like from a DSLR, you cant tell the differents, with its swivel top LCD is a very neat feature, you can lay the camera on the floor to shoot, which i like to use...
Now come the negative about R1, its design style is for 2 hands user, the battery charges from the camera plugs in the wall outlet, it can be handycap if you want to use it, but you cant use it when its charging. The AF focus is on the slow side, it can struggles in the dark..the refreshing time is on slow side too. its heavy for its size, to use external flash you have to go to menu and change it to external, then you have to remember to change it back to internal flash for most uses. pain in the butt,
For what its worth, i think the R1 is over price to start with, Sony should learn from this and improves on the next generation cameras.
i cant wait to see the next generation of Sony cameras.
i saw the new Sony DSLRs coming out soon in summer of 2007
my 2 centz.
Chao`.
JV.

  • 5.0 out of 5
1 Cool Camera (Neil Devonshire — 03/11/2007)

No video mode is not an issue, buy an Archos AV500 or 700 video recorder and plug it in to the side of the R1 and buy a decent mic, you can make a very decent looking video with good sound and 10x zoom on the move cheaper than buying the full video camera and take extremely good shots too. The Camcorder battery works a treat too, even in extreme cold conditions.

  • 5.0 out of 5
Just the best Camera (Garrick Lacl���� — 02/14/2007)

I was looking for the F828 but got the R1. doing a great job beyond expectations! I'm currently searching for a external flash for the camera but the camera store in Aruba (Boolchand's) does not have it, and didn't even bother to ask if they order it for me. i f someone know which flash and the cost, please let me know. Thanks Garrick

  • 4.0 out of 5
REVIEW ON SONY R1 (JEFFVU — 12/31/2006)

well, i finally bought the sony r1, after along wait for the price to drop, and read all reviews on it..i got it for 565$.
what i like about r1:
build quality, good zeiss lens, 24mm wide angle, iso change on cam just a botton..great colors balance, low noise and high iso, big cmos sensor, use both pro stick and cf card, long battery life , displays batt life in mins, useable high iso at 400, top view and swivel lcd, manual tele zoomring, good raw files.
what i dont like:
battery charges in camera is a big draw back, while you charge the batt, you cant use the camera to shoot, bad feature, hope sony improves it on next camera. the camera design is so weird, the grip is over size, off balance on hand, view finder housing is over size, to use external flash you have to go to menu and change it everytime, and change back to use pop up flash, cant use both flashes, missing OIS(opical image stabilizer), its heavy and big, tele at 120mm is at f4.8, AF is not that fast, its kinda slow, especially in dark, sony should learn from this cam and improves it on next camera, im sure they will.the price is abit too high for a point and shoot.no video mode, macro is not that good, its about 15inches from subject.
other than that i love to use it, its my main camera to walk around with, i love the image result quality, thats why i bought it, i know no camera is perfect yet.for the price i paid im not complainning. its a dslr wanna be, very close to dslr results.
i strongly suggest to any one who wants a back up to dslr..

  • 5.0 out of 5
DSC-R1 (Ezra — 11/11/2006)

For a non SLR camera, I have found the R1 to be excellent in terms of reproduction of colours - note that you will need a high end monitor or to print each pic on a decent printer to appreciate that. Further, the ability to shoot in RAW (Sony developer included allows you to then save down to TIF) is a plus as a lot of fine art photography may be done with this unit. My only regret is the zoom, but to tell the truth, I believe for everything else the camera has going for it, this may be overlooked and one should purchase the teleconverter for the camera to get the extra zoom needed.

  • 5.0 out of 5
No Video .......????? (JYB — 11/07/2006)

Excellent quality lens.
Easy to use.
Ok, the camera don't have video mode, it's right but in my mind this is a camera not a camcorder.
It's realy stupid to give a low score for this camera.

  • 4.0 out of 5
Pretty Lucky (Senorita Bonita — 11/05/2006)

I got this camera as a gift from my father last year. This was the first digital camera I ever got. I loved it when I got and I still love it now. The only exception to this is that the buttons are difficult to use and I wish it had a video function. I love the swivel LCD screen. It is an excellent way to snap pictures when no one is suspecting it. Also the quality of the pictures are amazing. I took some portraits of a friend and they turned out beautiful. I don't think this is a great camera for a beginner but I'm learning how to work with it.

  • 5.0 out of 5
Great camera (Valery — 10/20/2006)

This is professional quality camera for the reasnable price. Especially impressive is lens performance, which is going down if you use protective filter Sony VF-67MC.

  • 5.0 out of 5
Why I chose this camera (Murray Maclean — 10/14/2006)

I'm lucky enough to own a Nikon D70. Nice camera without doubt. But the one camera I consistently pick up and use is the Sony R1. Here's why. I hate dust! No matter how careful I am with the Nikon, I'm getting speckles in my photos from lens changes. It drives me crazy! I know there is software to fix it etc etc. But considering I rarely take photos with a zoom exceeding 120 mm, I can get the same excellent picture results using the Sony. Therefore I love the fixed lens, especially the quality of this Zeiss lens. No dust problems-ever. And the Sony has a lovely 24 mm wide-angle setting which I find far more useful than a long zoom setting. I admit its a bit slow to focus in dim light situations but I can live with it. Otherwise I find the controls far more intuitive than the Nikon especially the menu. It's just such a nice camera to use. If I want to take movies, maybe a Fujifilm Finepix F30 in my pocket as a back up. The Sony comes highly recommenced.

  • 5.0 out of 5
Almost the same as most entry level 10m pixels DSLR of similar price (Alain WL — 09/28/2006)

Excellent build quality, sharpness, true color, deep of field, good handling and user friendly. Thanks to its 24mm wide, APS sized cmos and Carl Zeiss T len. Very very good to take landscape picture, portrait shot is also its strength.

I owned it for over 1/2 year, and feel its perfect in most case, I've no complaint to it except slow focus in dim environment. However, after I bought a sony flash and work with it, they worked perfectly and pictures are good. If you have R1, I recommend to buy a flash and match with it, then no problem at all!

Some may consider its weight and not enough zoom as well as not flexible to change lens. i think that its only a DC (total price sure less than any DSLR single len package), it worth as it is, and no replacement till now.

Last but not the least, a basic technique is a must. This is a good camera that I have ever met with, and can build up my technique, so that we can grow-up together.

  • 5.0 out of 5
As good as any camera I have owned (Keith — 09/08/2006)

OK, apart from using my wife's Sony DSC W7 a few times with good results, I finally made the change to digital. The Sony R1 is my first digital camera and I love it. Having been a Canon man and Contax man for years, the move to Sony might seem a bit strange. But it was a calculation based on several points: the first was the superb Carl Zeiss lens - and it is a stonker make no mistake - and the focal range was similar to what I had been used to for the previous 5 or 6 years. The size of the sensor was also a consideration for me. I am a slow photographer so write speeds, especially with RAW capture make little difference to me. Another consideration was the fixed lens. As I get older I tend to get more careless and likely to drop a lens during a change. It hasn't happened yet of course, but one never knows when it might. Now I don't have to worry about that aspect of photography. The image quality from the R1 is as good as I got from my Canon EOS 1 and EOS 3. In fact it is as good as I got from My Contax G2 Rangefinder, using CZ lenses on that. Raw is slow and files are large because it writes a jpeg back-up at the same time. If you intend shooting raw then you might want to adjust the quality of the jpeg to 1mb to give you some extra write space for the raw. For some photographers this will mean raw is rendered totally unusable. You will need a lot of storage space in the field as a 2 gig card will give you around 76 images. I have cards that add up to 8 gig - about 312 raw images in total and only just enough for a weeks vacation for me, but very tight. Fine Jpegs give really good images though and I have had some excellent prints up to 15"x10" from the files. The Sony R1 is a great camera to hold. It is well balanced and feels larger in the hand than it actually is. The downside of this camera is, my honest opinion, the EVF. Having been used to an optical viewfinder for years it took a bit of getting used to - but you will get used to it. All the buttons and knobs are in easy to use positions and this makes life easy when needing to bracket shots or use the timer control etc. If you don't want a DSLR but you want the quality that a DSLR can give your photography, there is no other choice. Worth every penny for the lens alone and that's no hype.

  • 1.0 out of 5
Focusing way too slow indoor (anonymous — 07/18/2006)

I regret that I bought this camera now. It focus way too slow indoor that most of actions such as graduation or things like that came out out of focus. Very disappointed. It focus real fast when outdoor. This camera only good for taking non-moving action for indoor. Big regret on $1000 spent.

  • 5.0 out of 5
Superb images, superb camera (anonymous — 07/18/2006)

I bought the Sony DSC-R1 in February 2006 after its excellent rating in a review in Amateur Photographer, one of the most highly respected photographic journals in the world. It is my first digital camera though I have been taking photographs for over 50 years. And the quality of the images it captures is truly superb, equal to those taken on Kodachrome 64 with my Nikon F4 and Nikon f/2.8 lenses. Last month I took the camera to Las Vegas and then on to 6 US National Parks and Monuments. People are astonished at the naturalness, sharpness and colour rendition of 12 x 8 inch prints produced on a Fujifilm photographic printer.

As other reviewers point out, the autofocus can be hesitant under some conditions, but it does get there in the end. Anyway that is no big problem for landscape photographers like me. Also I find the EVF is not as good as an optical viewfinder for judging composition. Nevertheless one soon adjusts to its foibles and it does offer two significant benefits:-
1. what you see is exactly what the camera captures, and
2. it is perfect for reviewing images in the view mode - in particular you can accurately judge which bracketed exposure is best.

Owners of DSC-F828 moan loudly that the R1 does not do video or macros and denounce the camera in consequence. In fact Amateur Photographer gave the F828 an overall rating of 72% back in 2004, one of its lowest ever, compared to 90% for the R1. That speaks volumes for the relative merits of the two cameras.

Before closing perhaps another advantage of the DSC-R1 should be mentioned. When the LCD is turned upwards on top of the camera it enables one to take shots at waist level. Allied with the total silence of the camera��s operation, pictures can be taken discretely - a useful aid in this age of increasing anti-photographer reaction.

  • 5.0 out of 5
Amazing camera (anonymous — 07/18/2006)

Sony DSC-R1 is excellent professional grade DC and this is a stupidity to rate this camera by one star only because there is no any memory in or movie function.

  • 5.0 out of 5
No regret (anonymous — 07/18/2006)

I've traded my previous DC to own this new R1, and find my decision is right.
Lot of good points -
(1)good lens —> sharp picture
(2)good sensor and 1000 pixels —> great size and beautiful picture
(3)good handling —> seems come from sony experience, every button are easily handle as well asmenu
(4)good flash —> intelligent and high grade flash
(5)24mm wide —> perfect
(6)High grade materials build —> professional
(7)good battery life
(8)can use CF & MS
(9)provide lot of modes —> more colorful and natural photo
(10)very good ISO control
(11)very quick response especially in day light,
and more..... overall, worth for money, and the best in the market (now)

Some weak points are -
(1)too heavy
(2)not enough zoom (only 5x)
(3)no movie mode but not necessary
(4)large Raw file size
(5)rather slow focus in dim condition

I've no complaint to R1, and my custom to upgrade regularly is broken by R1, I cannot find next target after perchase R1.
It's the best in market (no DSLR concern).

  • 5.0 out of 5
Perfect Landscape Camera! (anonymous — 07/18/2006)

I had a Sony F828 and was very pleased with it. When I saw some sample photos from the R1, I decided to get one. The images are noticeably cleaner, the colors more vibrant. I take photos, not movies, so I don't miss that feature. The lens is sweet, as good as any Nikon glass I have owned (some of their best), and I love not having to change lenses in the field. It is a great package for backpacking with a light tripod and a couple of batteries, you can shoot for 3 days (provided you have enough memory). I shoot only RAW now, and these are superb, with no digital artifacts, great tonal and dynamic range. But the files are large and it takes about 7 seconds to write one image to the card, even with a Sandisk Extreme III. You probably wouldn't want to use this camera for sports or other action-oriented photography, but for landscape work, it is ideal. I also love the live histogram. I keep thinking I will buy a digital SLR, but these Sonys keep putting that decision into the future. It is very well-built, the equal to my old Nikon F100, handles well in the field. I wish it had a tiltable viewfinder as well as the LCD - I have to get on my knees a lot. If this review seems like it rambles, I guess it does - I am typing these things as they come to me. Did I mention that the prints are superb up to at least 12x18? I haven't tried anything larger, but I'm sure they would be - I don't shoot at high ISOs, so I don't worry about noise - there is none at 160, but I guess you see it at 800 or so. Oh well, like I said - landscapes don't move much, and I always use a tripod.

  • 1.0 out of 5
No Real Macro Capability (anonymous — 07/18/2006)

I was planning on using this R1 for a back up to my F828. I shoot product close ups for Ebay sites. Have shot approximately 300,000+ to date. This is a very disappointing camera from Sony for any Macro work. Maybe the next generation R series will consider the Macro world. Until then I will continue to use my F828 and look to another Digital Camera manufacturer for a back up unit! Have returned my R1 for a full refund.

  • 2.0 out of 5
Too heavy (anonymous — 07/18/2006)

No video at all. Di asapointing zoom. Break your neck weight, especially with the cast iron bracket to a lens. Sony missed. I this camera was $500 it would be too much.

  • 4.0 out of 5
It's durable and gives quality photos. (anonymous — 07/18/2006)

I've had mine for two years. I am not a Pro at photography and if you were looking for a camera that's not for the experts and not a cheap, amature camera, this would be a good fit.

I like the motion picture feature as well.

  • 5.0 out of 5
Everything the dslr's don't have (anonymous — 07/18/2006)

Had the canon dslr and had nothing but dust problems when I would change the lense. All the shots had to be through the veiw finder. With the sony I could preview the shot on its own screen or from a monitor. The folks that complain that there is no macro you don't need one, if you go digital you should have a good editing soft ware anyway. With the soft ware you can get a better macro shot then any lense will give you. The wire less remote would be nice but the direct remote does the job. Overall I love the camera.

  • 5.0 out of 5
WOW (anonymous — 07/18/2006)

3/24/06 Have owned one for 5 days and I'm blown away.What an amazing piece of glass.Still learning how to focus.The only 2 things I miss so far are a ground glass and an AF lock,but on balance it's one heck of a camera.People 'oooh and aaah' over the results.An amazing piece of gear right out of the box,go Sony/Zeiss,smart combo!

  • 5.0 out of 5
Great for starter (anonymous — 07/18/2006)

Excellent lens! Great range 24-120!
Helps newcomer to see what those fancy terms like Exposure or Flash Compensation mean. Grids help to find better composition, zebra pattern helps to prevent over-exposure. LCD helps to preview what you will get and pivoting makes it possible to take pictures in tricky conditions. Dream camera!

  • 5.0 out of 5
It's the images, stupid...... (anonymous — 07/18/2006)

Indecent exposure of reality. Forget all the reviews. I read 'em too , too numerous hours to count. Walk around a few seconds, examine what you see and how your nervous system presents the richness of reality. It's like that.

  • 5.0 out of 5
I just dont beleive it (anonymous — 07/18/2006)

How can Sony justify this camera - Its should zoom to at least 800mm. and there should be a vibration device in it. it should have at least a 5 inch screen and it should be supplied with TWO 2 gig cards and a leather case and a macro so that you can take photos of ants - and for this money it should have a FREE underwater housing. The fact that it takes awsome photographs is quite useful - but thats about ALL

  • 5.0 out of 5
Almost Perfect (anonymous — 07/18/2006)

As a professional snapper I needed a discreet partner to my D2X, which would produce equally excellent results - The R1 delivers in every way ! Stunning quality Fab handling and build, and yes you could argue that more rubber on the grip might be nicer - yes an image stabiliser would be good - Yeh a separate charger would help ( but given the fact that the battery is the same as the sony camcorders use, and I already have one - that's not an issue) but don't loose sight of the fact �600 is not any money at all for this superb - dare I say it Professional tool. I cant help but LOL at some of the remarks here - thank heavens it has no useless video mode or free memory or macro or bright pink shoulder strap and build in glitter ball !

  • 5.0 out of 5
Fabulous pictures at a good price (G.Rexroad — 03/21/2006)

This is my fourth digital Sony camera since 2000 and the seventh overall I have owned. The image quality is outstanding, the learning curve is easy and not having to carry around a ton of equipment is a plus. I am a Photoshop disciple and this integrates with ease. For the cost nothing compares. I would recommend this camera for the person who wants wonderful shots with little or no professional experience. Sony has extended the battery life to a greater degree than any other of their cameras. The large 10 mp pix allow a lot of detail in crops. Wonderful camera.

  • 2.0 out of 5
No real macro lens (anonymous — 07/18/2006)

It's useless for close-up photography. The so-called macro lens doesn't work — stay at 35-40 cm: how can you shoot any close-ups. A terrible disappointment after the super lens of the earlier version. what a stupid mistake.

  • 5.0 out of 5
Excellent camera. Excellent Lens. Great Value. (anonymous — 07/18/2006)

This camera is amazing for the money, the lens alone is worth the price. The negative reviews here have nothing to do with the camera and how it was intended to be used. If you want video, buy a video camera. Didn't ship with a memory card? Do film cameras ship with film?

  • 5.0 out of 5
The Pictures are INSANE! (anonymous — 07/18/2006)

These Pictures are just too much from this camera!!!! Unbelievable crispness, clarity, color, and detail.... No memory? Thats good since the decision for memory stick vs flash vs Hard drive is very personal. Reallyreally tho, there are enough critical reviews on the net of this camera....so I will tell you this....pictures off this camera, even in the most banal setting.....will give you an emotional rush....Absolutely stunning! Each week I bring in pics to work shot over the weekend, and co workers dig thru my bag to see what I have shot. They think its their right to see such beautiful photographs....they look at the same photographs over and over again....By the way....I am Mr average when it comes to picture taking......Hmmmm...whatever. Anyway, I was introduced to Zeiss lens 30 years ago when they married up with Contax....Pictures then, elicited strong emotional responses....like great art....The lenses still do the trick...Blown up to 16x20....The pictures have the feeling that you are peering into another world...and all very sharp and crisp....rapidly running out of wall space....
Favorite settings.....RAW Files (20mgbyte per foto), "vivid" color setting, forced flash, 1/3 to 2/3 underexposed....If anyone has ever shot ectacrome slide film underexposed on Cibachrome Paper, the effect is the same...with intense color saturation...stunningly beautiful! I think the criticisms are just BLAHBLAHBLAH! Like other reviewers......Zeiss sans Sony blows all other image quality away...Not to say that Nikon/Canon is bad.....Its just that Zeiss is so much Better.
Got mine from "dbuy" had it delivered within 14hrs of ordering for an extra 30 bucks........GO GET THIS CAMERA!

  • 5.0 out of 5
Amazing Camera (anonymous — 07/18/2006)

Great lens. Great images. Great build quality. Very good ergonomics, flexibility and control. The big knock on this camera was supposed to be the inability to change lenses. But the truth is the lens on this camera is so far superior to what you will find being used by 95% of the high end DSLR users on their camera, that the lens alone justifies the price. With a focal length ranging from a very wide 24 mm, up to a very useful 120 mm, it is going to more than satisfy all the needs of the average photographer, and the image quality is as good as it gets under the $10,000 price range on any camera.

This is a solid piece of photographic equipment that just keeps taking one fabulous photo after another and doesn�t require the user to lug around heavy bags of lens to get the job done.

  • 5.0 out of 5
A review after 3k photos (anonymous — 07/18/2006)

I bought this camera after an extensive search about a month ago. As a starter. It has it's pros and cons, but i'm very satisfied with it. I'm very emotional about this camera, since it gives me just about everything i wanted.
First cons and then the pros.

Cons:
* Yes, it comes without memory and a movie mode. I never missed them. Buying a camera in this price range i would rather by a real pocketable camcorder than use a "castrated" movie mode of a digital camera.
* RAW pictures are really large, a JPG everytime and writeback is quiet slow (well 20meg need their time). Adobe DNG converter helps saving disk space at home, but the flash media is really stressed. Yet shooting raw delivers very high quality pictures. Nikon D200 beware! (the sensors are allmost the same)
* Automatic white balance is not D-SLR grade and sometimes erratic difficult ambient light. Sony service said, that this might be just an issue with my camera.
* Shooting ISO 1600 gives high chroma noise. You can clean them up with Neat Image and Noise Ninja in no time. Thankfully Sony didn't applied a strong noise reduction algorithms to blur all details away.
* Shooting ISO 3200 is a No-Go if you want large prints. After cleaning them up, you might be able to use them for your homepage.
* Focusing (both AF and manual) in low ambient light is VERY difficult. I missed the focus in a lot of pictures. But this might be an issue with just my camera. Some negative issue about low light focusing:
1.) manual focus is very difficult with the low DOF of the lens. The automatic 2x zoom-in doesn't really help. Since it is still like manual focusing a 5MP picture without ANY help. Using the manual mode with a smaller aperture circumvents the low DOF problem. Thus objects stay focused even if the focus missed by a some cm. But in low light situations the preview image is too dark to see anything at all. I still hope that Sony will address this point with a fireware update.
2.) AF has a tendency to focus on the closest object giving the best contrast. This means even spot AF focus sometimes the wall behind the object. According to Sony service, this might be an issue of just my camera.
3.) AF lack is noticeable, thus this is no camera for shooting sport events. I made about 700 photos at several dancing contests without an external flash unit. Focusing with a large aperture was troublesome, but i managed in manual mode.

After bashing this camera long enough, now about some points of this camera i just love. There are too many to list them here. So don't expect me to embrace everything about it.

Pros:
* Picture Quality. The results are astonishing, next to perfect. At a dancing contest i compared my pictures with those made by a professional photographer next to me with his Oly E-1, big ext. flash, and expensive, bulky lens. He was able to shoot faster, and had more focused shot. But he had enough photos with missed focus as well. Yet each and everytime the focus hit, the results just blew him into another dimension. Color, saturation, resolution, exposure were great. The photos were way beyond anything he had reach the same day. (None the less he made beautiful pictures, but not one you would be sentimental about.)
* Portrait mode! Kudos Sony. The Portraits i made with it are brilliant. They exceed the expectation of all people i have met and photographed so far. Even portraits made with flash support in low ambient light situations deliver excellent results.
* Live histogram. Shooting high contrast photos was never this easy! Especially with RAW mode, the results are very superb.
* Shooting in situations with much ambient light is just great. I just have shot some photos at a TV production. Full tele without flash was no problem at all.
* Silence. No mirror, no noise. There is a barely noticeable sound starting up the AF system and switching on the sensor, but its miles away from any SLR system.
* Battery Life. Kudos! I never ran out of juice. Memory was gone way before. Shooting a complete evening with about 250 photos, a lot of flash and review, was just a warm up. There was still 50% battery life left!
* Build Quality. It is sturdy. Just the plastic cap protecting the I/O ports at the left camera side looks a bit flimsy, but it is just fine.
* Lens Quality. A 24mm macro with no chromatic aberration (purple fringes)? Nope. There is CA, but is encountered it only once in a very high contrast indoor shooting. It almost missed it, since was barely noticeable viewing the picture at 100%. Even more it wasn't really purple at all, but a little aberration of the surrounding black and white contrast.
* CF and Memory Stick supported. Just put in a large CF card and a large Memory Stick. You can switch between the medias as needed with a small switch next to the card compartment. So you don't have to mess around with the medias in the field.
* Ergonomics. I was able to operate the camera fluently with leather gloves on. Pre-focusing with the shutter was no problem.

  • 1.0 out of 5
Sony the cheap folks (anonymous — 07/18/2006)

Went to purchase the camera for $999 and found out it did not even have any memory in it at all. You can't even take one photo. What would it have cost to sell the camera with even a little bit of memory. How pathetic is that. I decided to wait, perhaps wait for some else to produce a similar product.

  • 5.0 out of 5
It Is What It Is (anonymous — 07/18/2006)

I have used the F-828, W-1, and M-1 Sony digicams, as well as earlier models (F95 floppy disc camera) and love Sony's willingness to innovate. Many years ago I trained and worked as a professional, using all the best film cameras from Nikon, Hasselblad, and Linhoff. The DSC-R1 is quality equipment with a great lens (especially the wide end), excellent improvements in the addition of hard controls (vs. menu driven controls) for things like ISO, EV, framing, auto focus, and metering. The addition of the play button in close proximity to the right thumb and the ability to go to shoot mode from play by touching the shutter button are all highly useful professional features. I wasn't sure when I first got the F-828 about the dual card set-up (CF + MS), but I now find that using both gives me the ability, beyond using folders, to bank my shots on the different media. I love the swivel LCD for shooting from the waist like my old Mamiya C330 and Rollieflex twin lens medium format film cameras. I'm a little disappointed with the noise from ISO 1600 and 3200 compared to D-SLR cameras like the Canon 20D and don't know why Sony can't match that performance with their R1 CMOS sensor. However, rarely does this really become visibly apparent in my prints (up to 16x20).

All-in-all, I like the R1 very much and plan on staying with Sony products as they expand to include removable lens cameras in the near future (or so I hear). I feel that as improvements come with the Electronic Viewfinder digicams they will soon hold nothing but advantages over D-SLR's which are really jury rigged film cameras (and way overpriced, at that!)

  • 5.0 out of 5
Blows Canon & Nikon out of the water! (anonymous — 07/18/2006)

The Carl Zeiss lens on my new Sony DSC-R1, along with the Zeiss lens my Sony DSC F828, blows any Nikon lens I've ever owned right out of the water . . . and I've owned a lot of Nikon lenses! It certainly beats my soon-to-be-sold Kodak DCS-760. Featuring sealed lenses, the Sony's eliminate the ongoing frustrations of the constant cleaning of delicate SLR sensors. The ergonomics of the R1 and 828 are superb. It handles better than any SLR on the market, all of which are essentially film cameras that have been adapted to digital. The Zeiss lenses are designed for digital capture, and unlike their much heavier, bulky brethren designed for film capture, they are much lighter and more compact. This is a fact that many pros have surprisingly not caught on to! As a well-established professional, I predict the concepts incorporated into Sony's newest releases will prove to be the wave of the future in professional digital photography.

  • 5.0 out of 5
Looked closely at Canon and Nikon, Couldn't be Happier (anonymous — 07/18/2006)

I actually purchased a Nikon D50 for my wife for Christmas because of the build quality, but felt it was outdated (6 megapixel) from the start. Returned it for an R1, and am totally blown away. Excellent optics, astonishing image quality, great build quality (the Canon seemed like a toy in comparison). Hooked it up to a studio monitor and used it to take family photos, worked like a charm. Not the fastest camera, but for what we are using it for, I have not seen its equal. I have now seen (but do not yet own) the telephoto lens, and it is gorgeous! I look forward to picking up it and the macro lens in the near future. One caveat; RAW file sizes are HUGE (20mb)!

  • 3.0 out of 5
was possible buyer (anonymous — 07/18/2006)

I was a buyer and maybe it could happen the retro fit wide angle and telephoto are good but I need a close up. My f828 movie caught a confrontation that proved very fruitful. Guess I will wait for the next one. Photos taken with f828 (some Sony V-1) at angelica14709.com mostly right out of the camera no alterations, the movie clip is there under the landfill pollution albums. I do not want to carry two cameras the subjects are unsuspecting with one. I thought the f828 was genius at work.

  • 4.0 out of 5
Superb picture quality- focus problems (anonymous — 07/18/2006)

Picture quality is superior to my 828 and D100 but lacks the outright resolution of my Kodak DCS. Very useful pictures at 400asa. Main problem for me is poor low light focus which is nowhere near as positive as the laser assisted 828. I also prefer the layout and swivel body of the 828 which I may keep.Excellent value though.

  • 5.0 out of 5
all non-owner negative reviewers are just jealous. (anonymous — 07/18/2006)

I actually own one and took photos with it today!Almost every shot that I have taken is impressive. Great optics, great color. If you want video, get a video camera. Still cameras all
take crummy video anyway. This camera does what I want. It takes stunning pictures and you can't buy a DSLR with comparable quality lenses for the same money.

  • 5.0 out of 5
DSC R1 Perfect Match for underwater photography (anonymous — 07/18/2006)

Bought the Sony DSC R1 recently for the purpose of underwater photography. No DSLR have a live preview for ease of underwater photography. The pictures from the camera is crystal clear which is not easily matched by any entry level DSLR camera. Now it is just the wait for the Underwater housing before this camera will set new standards for underwater photography.

  • 5.0 out of 5
Amazing Camera (anonymous — 07/18/2006)

Great lens. Great images. Great build quality. Very good ergonomics, flexibility and control. The big knock on this camera was supposed to be the inability to change lenses. But the truth is the lens on this camera is so far superior to what you will find being used by 95% of the high end DSLR users on their camera, that the lens alone justifies the price. With a focal length ranging from a very wide 24 mm, up to a very useful 120 mm, it is going to more than satisfy all the needs of the average photographer, and the image quality is as good as it gets under the $10,000 price range on any camera.

This is a solid piece of photographic equipment that just keeps taking one fabulous photo after another and doesn’t require the user to lug around heavy bags of lens to get the job done.

  • 3.0 out of 5
R1 is ain't no F828 (anonymous — 07/18/2006)

The R1 has great optics and take great pictures! It even appears to have cured the purple fringe problem of the F828, but it cannot match the versatality of the F828.

Anyone buying the R1 as a spare or to upgrade their F828 would be sorely disappointed. The R1
is an entirely different camera and function only as a still photo camera. It does not ever have a voice annotation feature other high-end digital cameras have.

I believe that Sony really screwed up a great thing when they did not follow through with an improvement to the F828.

  • 3.0 out of 5
Shattered Dreams (anonymous — 07/18/2006)

Expecting a 2-years progress to the F828 I ordered one. No I learn that there is no movie function or close up-macro. The later one can depend of the Zoom construction, the decision to bury the movie function can only be made of a marketing department. Thus although from the software absolutely no problem they castrated the camera. Certainly Digicams aren't predestinated for movies, but how I have to tell to my 7 and 3 years old daughters that I can't make movies they have more pleasure than ordinary pics.
Hey guys from Sony: Can you tell it to THEM???

Jan Dirk

  • 5.0 out of 5
Excellent DSLR Competitor! (anonymous — 07/18/2006)

Beware DSLRs... Sony is here again! What an awesome improvement/upgrade to the F828! Crisp, Sharp, Colorful images, yet "real" looking! Amazing peice of glass on this camera! For a 10MP camera like this and glass like that at that price, you could never buy a DSLR with such a lens. It would cost you about another grand at least. Great Wide lens too! Wow!

  • 4.0 out of 5
It Ain't No DSLR (don't want one either so auit the bull (anonymous — 07/18/2006)

More like a resurectted D-770 on steroids with a Hemi under the hood. Nice cammie. I'll get one when they come out but ther are a few items missing: no movie, no wireless remote (love that thing). the LCD is too small, and the flash won't clear the lense. Too Heavy. Hoping alreasdy for the R2. I'llstill get one though.

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