Sony’s Cyber-shot RX1 compact camera packs a full-frame sensor, ‘fits in your palm’ (hands-on)

By Joe Pollicino

Would you believe us if we told you Sony packed a full-frame sensor in a Cyber-shot-branded camera? It’s true! Say hello to the RX1, a “compact” digital camera for pros that’s packing the same 24.3MP Exmor CMOS sensor introduced today with the A99.

Calling the rangefinder-esque one-pound shooter small might seem off-base, especially considering the Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T* 35mm f/2.0 fixed prime lens protruding from its front, but it’s not so huge (3-inches high by 4.5-inches wide) up against its tiny sibling, the RX100 — taking into account how much larger the RX1’s sensor is, well, that’s when this editor’s jaw basically dropped. While it’s not a “pro-NEX” as many had hoped, Sony explained that it chose a fixed lens to avoid the bulk of a lens-mount. We were able to get some eyes-on time with an engineering prototype of the unit, so click past the break for more details, close-ups and a brief video overview.

Although the attached lens is all your only option for optics, it’s custom-built to specifically complement the sensor. Internally, it’s packing a 9-bladed aperture ring, which Sony says should help in creating some serious bokeh. Better yet, the lens features manual aperture and focus rings, not to mention a macro switch that mechanically adjusts the optics for close-up shots.

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