January 18, 2021

Sony DSC-R1: Unsung Cameras Of Yesteryear

Back in 2005, right before Sony started the Alpha series of interchangeable lens cameras, they released a weird bridge camera with an outstanding lens and enormous APS-C sensor. Is this camera the great grandparent of modern mirrorless cameras? TCSTV’s Chris Niccolls took the Sony R1 out on the streets of New York City to find out.

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Special thanks to Mark Weir and Gordon Laing

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Shot and edited by Jordan Drake
Shot on the Panasonic GH5

Nguồn: https://pcr-proven-hiv-cure.com/

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  • Great review, the camera was a milestone and other than no video and High ISO noise there is little to complain, even today.
    I am today in 2020 still using the Sony R1 for professional work in Brasil like product shots in studio, portraits and mainly for Restaurants exterior and interior shots plus food shots.
    Since most pictures are used today in internet and otherwise to print Pamphlets the 10MP are sufficient. the camera is a joy to use, completely silent and here you are always in danger to get mugged, not a big financial loss. But I am very protective of this camera, it was a gift from my mother in 2005.
    The only thing I changed is that I use a Metz 45 flash, since the Sony one is weak and slow.
    BTW my other cameras are Canon 5DM3 (the fast one), Sigma SDQH (the Resolution one) and DP0 (the Arcitecture & travel one), each for it's purpose.

  • My first (serious) digital camera was a Sony R1. It was a revolutionary concept that was as light as a kilogram can be. I waited 5 years for an R2, but it never came. As a result, Sony has become a manufacturer of consumer electronics for me. I bought a used Nikon D700 and various lenses over the years. So Sony lost me as a customer. My last analog camera was the Olympus OM 2n. I have now (01.2020) bought a used OM-E-M1 with A 60mm macro lens.
    I'm not a "fanboy" of any brand (it can say McDonalds on the camera and Skoda or Nike on the lenses), so it works the way I want it to.
    I've been a hobby photographer since 1960.
    And to everyone out there: the camera takes the photo, the photographer takes the picture.

  • One of my favorite all time cameras. Excellent for clouds, seas, storms that lens is a killer. I have a brand new R-1 in my camera library. No image stabilization but if you know reciprocity and have a tripod its never an issue if you are a pro shooter. Macro function equals canon 100mm f 2.8 but it is the lens that is the keeper, amazing contrast, and the zoom is wonderful. CHris glad you gave us a look back at this R-1. I use mine all year long along with my Nikon D750 and Leica Q that you sold to me. Never looked back since then Lee Gunderson

  • Ahh great camera, I loved using it as with the ability to hip shoot with it and look down at the display, it was perfect for me given I can't hold cameras up to my face (disability related). Still have mine, though it's now sitting in a box, as nowadays it's too heavy for me to use easily (that damn disability again)

  • Really sad that there's no way to upgrade the sensor to a higher resolution. The only criticism I had for Sony is that they coupled a fantastic Carl Zeiss lens to a limited photographic system that couldn't grow with it. Sort of like permanently hooking up a thoroughbred Trotter to a farm wagon (an admittedly state-of-the-art farm wagon, but a farm wagon nonetheless) without allowing the wagon to be replaced with a later-model sulky.
    When the time comes – I'll have to throw out the spectacular glass because of a simple failed capacitor or ribbon connector.

  • Guess what I just bought it again… this makes me having attempt number 9 or 10 at this model…. I have to stay consistent onwards and forwards but htis it really the only digital camera I would have hoped Sony would honer with a true version 2

  • The last 3 or 4 years most cameras have been all about gimmicks, Wi-Fi, nfc, GPS, Many features which are slightly useful but do nothing to improve on the picture itself, all we see is a small increase on the fps speed and expansions on iso to levels nobody ever uses.
    I see no reason whatsoever to upgrade a camera I bought 5 years ago for the main purpose of taking photo's, I'm not in the least bit interested in various wireless connections, I can just take the memory card out, I don't see a touch screen as an advantaged, quite the opposite, in fact I see it as a disadvantage.
    Small increase in the viewing screen… big deal, 1 fps faster, no that important.

  • You’re right about the shutter release, it’s very sensitive, but as they say, practice makes perfect. Great review.

  • I still use mine since I bought it new, I now have two in case one breaks down, a fantastic lens, you can lock focus by using a side button, very useful.

  • This brings back memories! I still have mine. I’d bought mine second hand in mint condition not long after they were released. The previous owner sold in frustration as they hadn’t read up on the quirks and ways to approach this special beast. Never regretted it one little bit. Beautiful colours SOOC. I had the Sony flash as well, it was just as fabulous. My entry into photography. I moved on to Olympus and their Zuiko lenses. Loved living and shooting on the fringe back in the day 😉 This has prompted me to pull mine out of storage and fire her up 🙂 Thanks for the memories!

  • I loved that camera back then, and I shot with it for about 3 years. When I moved on to a Nikon D700 I wasn't so sure that I had made a smart move; in many ways the D700 was a step backwards: Poor live view with abysmal autofocus (in live view) and a lot of trial-and-error. I used to have about 70% keepers with the R1; with the D700 it was down to, say, 20-25% for a complete and utter lack of WYSIWYG. Back then I started a discussion on the dpreview forums that the DSLRs' mirror was an anachronism, and we should get over it, and everybody was berating me how that was impossible and I just had no clue. Enter today's FF mirrorless. 😉 The R1 was way ahead of its time, and in a just slightly updated version (ISO, Megapixels, display) it could still hold its own today!

  • …had one…loved it so much, kept it & bought a second (just in case)….love both, maybe I'll buy a third (just in case)…..

  • Nice to see the R1 get some of the credit it deserves. Owning 2 along with the Tele and WA mutars in addition to close up lenses I have yet to find a camera that I like better. Strange statement I know, but 5 decades of Sinars P 8x10s , Hasselblads, Rollies GX, Nikons and over 90 hand selected lenses gives me the right to call this little camera in a Gem. I am waiting for a 40+MP FF Mirror-less Leica with a Leitz zoom to maybe replace it. It is not about money. A couple of notes about the camera. First off the lens was specifically designed by Zeiss for this sensor and is many times sharper than needed, even when shooting Wide Open. As a result even though the camera has an internal IR filter the lens is so sharp the circles of confusion actually give this sensor the performance of about 14MP. The Sonnar design is sharp Corner to Corner ( except if you find one of a few that are known to have a centering problem during early production). Distortion is almost non existent. Camera can take a 32GB stick DUO at the same time as a 16GB Flash Drive….plenty of RAW file room. The Raw files are large because these are NOT COMPRESSED. The camera Zoom is a dream with just the right touch. When shooting portraits assemble the optional adapter and 3 pound Tele Mutar and shoot wide in Marco or regular focus and you will see the Zeiss Look along with a creamy Bokeh with round circles. To correct the red magenta cast before shooting you will have to manually place a white calibration filter in front of the lens and activate the manual white balance calibration for the camera. Now I shoot everthing RAW at 160ASA ( never higher) . Download the instruction manual and study and UNDERSTAND it before shooting. Camera has a great layout and balance for me. Obviously the camera has to be worked around but as long as you use it within its capabilities you will probably pick this camera up more often than you ever thought. I always liked the ability to view an image from the top like the Rollie 2 1/4 and this gives you that option. Since the camera has no stabilization you need to be higher in shutter speed or rock steady in your technique to really see the results. You cannot be sloppy with this unlike Newer more forgiving cameras. 20 x 30 looks very good but nowhere like a medium format Leica or Hasselblad. Tweek the RAW images in Photoshop or Capture 1 version 10 and you may be surprised. The Lens is outstanding and has been tested at all apertures and 5 focal lengths. Build quality is VG to Excellent. Obviously you realize I am a bit biased but I do handle the newest Sony 40+ MP cameras and wish they would get Porsche to help with the Robot Box look and feel. If you know how to compose so you do not have to crop your images will approach comparison to a cropped 20MP sensor. Learn the Camera…….

  • Dear Chris Niccolls,

    i also wrote some thoughts about the Sony DSC – R1 (and it´s spiritual successor, the Sony DSC RX 100 III) in my blog and posted a nice sample image, taken with the "old chap" DSC – R1!

    Imho it is the best camera in the world in some ways….

    http://totti1965.blogspot.com/ (Sept. 12, 2018)


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