Sony RX1 vs Olympus E-M5 + Panasonic 20mm f/1.7

Edmunds

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I currently have an Olympus E-M5 and a Panasonic 20mm f/1.7, I live in a place with around 6-7 hours of daylight in winter

I'm looking to buy a Sony RX1R, mostly for the better high ISO, less noise when pulling shadows, shallower depth of field, and better resolution. Is it a significant upgrade? Am I going to be awed? People talk nothing but praise for the RX1, but I am not sure what that really equates to in real world results.
 

ivoire

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I have the EP5 w/45mm f1.8 and the RX1. Not exactly what you are asking, but I prefer the RX1 and am considering selling the 45mm. The RX1 will not focus nearly as fast, can hunt in low light due ti its contrast af and is not as convenient/easy to use. The Rx1 does have much better low light performance and the ability to post process due to its amazing dynamic range is one of the reasons I picked one up. The IQ from the RX1 comes very close to that of the Sigma DP2M. If you can rent/try one out I'd recommend that before buying one (I'm prone to owning quirky cameras).

There's a used refurb for sale here at a great price (I have no affiliation with the seller):

http://www.photographerslounge.org/showthread.php?t=32453
 

darrellc

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I have RX1 and EM1 (sold 20/1.7, use 25/1.4). In terms of IQ, the RX1 is leagues apart on all dimensions. Perhaps the best 35mm lens paired with a great sensor. It is shocking how good the RX1 files are. But from a performance and usability perspective it is disastrous compared to the EM1/5. Go look at the RX1 image thread at Fred Miranda to see what it is capable of in good hands.

I have way too many cameras but I do shot all of them a lot. All of them are capable of producing great shots when I do my part. The RX1 has a disproportionate share of my favorites images.

The RX1 is the kind of camera, probably like the Sigma, that makes you want to take pictures just to see what the files look like.
 

demiro

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Mike, can you provide a bit more insight about the focusing in low light issues? The pessimist in me thinks "great ability to shoot in low light, but if it can't focus very well who cares?" I'm sure I'm way oversimplifying reality. I've been staring at the RX1 for a while, but ultimate low light performance is critical to me. Thanks.
 

darrellc

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The RX1 takes a long time to acquire focus but if and when it does it is very accurate. I shoot mine in MF mode a lot and have a fn button set up to acquire AF as an override. You won't get the focus speed of the EM5 in any lighting, with the gap widening as the light drops.
 

BeyondTheLines

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I've been thinking about this same comparison for a while now and especially a lot lately. I was looking at the RX1 thread on Fredmiranda just yesterday and I think if I was in the US right now I would have bought a used one last night. I also considered a Sigma DPMX for landscape but kind of decided that if I pick one of the two the RX1 would get a lot more use and fit my workflow better. I like to print big occasionally and will want to try out full frame someday and I think the RX1 with that amazing 35mm lens would be a lot of fun.
 

ivoire

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Contrast af is known for this type of issue. In most situations where there is a light source in a dark scene that offers contrast you will not have a problem. If you were to try to shoot a black cat in a dark room there will be. I usually find a light source within a very dark scene (such as shooting at night in town) to focus on and then recompose. If the center of the scene is dark with minimal contrasting brightness the focus may hunt and lock on or fail. Here's a photo as an example. I focused on the body of the person on the bench (far right) and the af hunted. Focusing on the head area, the focus locked on. Hope this helps. One thing that bothers me about the RX1 is the issue of shooting in A mode with auto iso turned on. It always wants to shoot at 1/80th sec which is too slow for me. So, I just turn off auto iso and shoot. Not a big deal, but a quirk of the camera.

[url=https://flic.kr/p/oKDymP]
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
DSC00946 by 2Deye, on Flickr[/URL]
 

ivoire

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I've been thinking about this same comparison for a while now and especially a lot lately. I was looking at the RX1 thread on Fredmiranda just yesterday and I think if I was in the US right now I would have bought a used one last night. I also considered a Sigma DPMX for landscape but kind of decided that if I pick one of the two the RX1 would get a lot more use and fit my workflow better. I like to print big occasionally and will want to try out full frame someday and I think the RX1 with that amazing 35mm lens would be a lot of fun.
I've got both and for what you want to do i'd suggest the RX1 for its versatility and being full frame. I still like the DP2M and it gets less use since the RX1 purchase. However, when I want to capture detail the DP2M is pulled out. I find they complement each other.
 

ivoire

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The RX1 is the kind of camera, probably like the Sigma, that makes you want to take pictures just to see what the files look like.
That's probably the most accurate statement I've ever heard for owning either the RX1/R or any of the Sigma DP#M series.
 

Edmunds

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The whole slow in low light focus thing kind of scares me. This is an expensive camera to be disappointed by. Is it slower than the Panny 20mm f/1.7? This lens sometimes drives me nuts
 

darrellc

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You'll be disappointed if AF is very important to you and your expectation is that it will perform even close to the EM5+20/1.7.

All cameras are trade offs and you'll lose much and gain much with the RX1.
 

Ulfric M Douglas

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The RX cameras are wonderful things just lacking in the AF department : but since closer ties with Olympus' R&D dept are obvious in Sony's current model progression I think we'll see leaps and bounds in AF performance from their new RX and A series bodies ...

So my tip would be to wait for the next installment if AF is a priority.

We live in a wonderful time for cameras right now.
I'll stick with my e-P1+17mmF2.8 for this field of view since (yes, really) there is nothing better for me at any price ... yet.
 

Edmunds

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Well, the video of it focusing looks fine, but I would have hoped he tried it on some actual people, even moving people.

I would love to get the new version, but I can only afford the current one because they are like half price used. No way I would spend that much money on a brand new one.
 

mattia

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I really want the RX1 also. I'm just worried about autofocus.
Dude, you keep selling and buying much cheaper cams due to financial issues and you are considering a 2000 dollar camera?

You can always rent one for a bit first to see if you gel with it.
 

memzinla

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Dude, you keep selling and buying much cheaper cams due to financial issues and you are considering a 2000 dollar camera?

You can always rent one for a bit first to see if you gel with it.
I won't be buying it at $2000. ;) I do buy and sell exactly because of the financial issues... I can't afford to keep them all. lol!
 

Serhan

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Wait and buy the A7 II + Sony 28 f2 next year if you are after the fast af speed and similar high ISO to RX1... I don't know how the lens IQ will be eg not a Zeiss lens and will be released next Feb, but af should be better then RX1 as current A7/A7R are faster...
 

Ulfric M Douglas

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A friend of a friend used an RX1 (which he dropped and cracked the LCD, so can't sell it) at work and loved it, but the price is still way too high for the limitations in AF and options, for me anyway.
 
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