Sony Cyber-shot DSC-R1 review
Gordon Laing, December 2005
The following images were taken with the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-R1. The recording
mode was set to 10M Fine mode, thereby using the full 10.8 megapixel resolution
and the least-compressed JPEG setting; unless otherwise stated, the pictures were
taken in Program mode with the default settings. The individual file sizes, shutter
speeds, aperture, ISO and lens focal length are listed for each image.
The crops are taken from the original files, reproduced at 100% and saved in Adobe
Photoshop CS2 as JPEGs with the default Very High quality preset, while the resized
images were made in Photoshop CS2 and saved with the default High quality preset.
The three crops are typically taken from far left, central and far right portions
of each image.
City: 4.11MB, Program, 1/640, f8, ISO 160, 14.3-71.5mm at 38mm (65mm equivalent)
This photo of London's
Millennium Bridge on a sunny day illustrates the punchiness of the R1's
default colour and tonal settings.
They may be a little strong for those used to digital SLRs, but this vibrancy
out of the camera will be enjoyed by many.
Alternatively you could switch to RAW and process them yourself, but beware
the files are huge at 20.5MB each.
Additionally, while the R1's flip-out screen works well for landscape orientation
shots, it can feel a little odd for portrait ones like this.
City: 4.35MB, Program, 1/160, f8, ISO 200, 14.3-71.5mm at 14.3mm (24mm equivalent)
This wide angle shot was taken at
a very low position pointing upwards, which would normally have digital
SLR owners scrabbling on the ground.
In contrast the Sony R1's flip-out screen makes it easy and comfortable
to take shots like these. Indeed it encourages them.
The bright reflections in the corner areas has resulted in a little fringing
on the crops, but certainly no more than on other cameras or lenses.
Interior: 4.65MB, Program, 1/25, f2.8, ISO 400, 14.3-71.5mm at 14.3mm (24mm
For this interior shot we increased
the ISO to 400 to allow a reasonable shutter speed of 1/25th at f2.8.
There's visible noise in the dark shadow areas, such as the escalator crop
in the lower left, and more than we hoped from a camera with this size of
That said, with 10.8 Mpixels, artefacts like these will be smaller when
images are reproduced at the same size as lower resolution models.
Night: 3.89MB, Manual, 15 seconds, f6.3, ISO 160, 14.3-71.5mm at 22mm (38mm
There was plenty of light for this
night shot of the River Thames, allowing us to stop the lens down slightly
and keep it at ISO 160 for the best quality results.
The clock face detail of Big Ben has unsurprisingly been burnt out by this
15 second exposure, but otherwise there's a good level of detail and low
noise levels in this image.
Park: 3.17MB, Aperture Priority, 1/250, f5, ISO 200, 14.3-71.5mm at 48mm (82mm
This shot of pigeons on a sign against an overcast sky represents a nightmare
for cameras which suffer from purple fringing.
Indeed the R1's predecessor, the F828, would have not done very well at
In contrast, the R1 has coped very well with the challenging conditions.
Viewed at 100%, there's a small degree of fringing visible, but nothing
to be concerned about.
Images like these prove the F828's demons have thankfully been laid to
All words, images, videos and layout, copyright 2005-2013 Gordon Laing. May not be used without permission.