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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)

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-R1 at 38mm   Sony Cyber-shot DSC-R1 at 38mm upper left crop   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.
  Sony Cyber-shot DSC-R1 at 38mm middle crop  
  Sony Cyber-shot DSC-R1 at 38mm upper right crop  

City: 4.35MB, Program, 1/160, f8, ISO 200, 14.3-71.5mm at 14.3mm (24mm equivalent)

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-R1 at 14.3mm   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.
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-R1 at 14.3mm lower left crop   Sony Cyber-shot DSC-R1 at 14.3mm lower middle crop   Sony Cyber-shot DSC-R1 at 14.3mm upper right crop  

Interior: 4.65MB, Program, 1/25, f2.8, ISO 400, 14.3-71.5mm at 14.3mm (24mm equivalent)

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-R1 at 14.3mm   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 sensor.

That said, with 10.8 Mpixels, artefacts like these will be smaller when images are reproduced at the same size as lower resolution models.
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-R1 at 14.3mm lower left crop   Sony Cyber-shot DSC-R1 at 14.3mm middle crop   Sony Cyber-shot DSC-R1 at 14.3mm lower right crop  

Night: 3.89MB, Manual, 15 seconds, f6.3, ISO 160, 14.3-71.5mm at 22mm (38mm equivalent)

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-R1 at 22mm   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.
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-R1 at 22mm middle left crop   Sony Cyber-shot DSC-R1 at 22mm middle crop   Sony Cyber-shot DSC-R1 at 22mm middle right crop  

Park: 3.17MB, Aperture Priority, 1/250, f5, ISO 200, 14.3-71.5mm at 48mm (82mm equivalent)

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-R1 at 48mm  

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 all here.

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 rest.

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-R1 at 48mm middle left crop   Sony Cyber-shot DSC-R1 at 48mm middle crop   Sony Cyber-shot DSC-R1 at 48mm upper right crop  

All words, images, videos and layout, copyright 2005-2017 Gordon Laing. May not be used without permission.

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