Sony RX1 Raw Image Quality

We used to convert raw files used for comparison crops with dcraw (an excellent freeware raw converter), as we could count on dcraw not to apply any noise reduction, sharpening or other corrections. Lately, though, we've switched to Adobe Camera Raw with its noise reduction and sharpening options set to zero. We've found conversions made with recent versions of ACR to be almost identical to dcraw when dcraw's demosaicing option is set to match ACR's method, so we're pretty sure ACR isn't applying any noise reduction "under the hood" like it used to.

Below are crops from Sony RX1 raw files compared to raw files from high-resolution full-frame DSLRs:

Sony RX1
versus
Canon 5D Mark III, Nikon D600, and Sony A99
Raw, no Noise Reduction, no Sharpening,
Simulated Daylight
Sony
RX1
Canon
5D Mark III
Nikon
D600
Sony
Alpha A99
I
S
O

5
0
I
S
O

1
0
0
I
S
O

2
0
0
I
S
O

4
0
0
I
S
O

8
0
0
I
S
O

1
6
0
0
I
S
O

3
2
0
0
I
S
O

6
4
0
0
I
S
O

1
2
8
0
0
I
S
O

2
5
6
0
0
I
S
O

5
1
2
0
0
N/A,
ISO 51,200 not
supported.
N/A,
ISO 51,200 not
supported.
N/A,
ISO 51,200 not
supported.
I
S
O

1
0
2
4
0
0
N/A,
ISO 102,400 not
supported.
N/A,
ISO 102,400 not
supported.
N/A,
ISO 102,400 not
supported.
Sony
RX1
Canon
5D Mark III
Nikon
D600
Sony
A99

As you can see, the Sony RX1 holds its own against leading full-frame SLRs from Canon and Nikon. The Canon 5D Mark III and Nikon D600 do better in terms of noise at very high ISOs, but it's pretty close. The Sony RX1 even bests the Sony A99 which uses a very similar sensor, but is at a slight disadvantage because its transmissive mirror reduces the amount of light reaching the sensor. Truly remarkable performance from a "compact "camera.

 



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