Duncan Davidson’s take, with more links to other previews.
Like Duncan, I’ve had an RX1 for a while now, and it’s fantastic — the sensor and optics blow away most of what I’ve seen before on any camera system at any size. But it’s not perfect:
- The body is small, but the lens is so long that the camera isn’t “pocketable” at all — it won’t even fit gracefully in many jacket pockets or small purses. I’d love an RX1 with a slower but much shorter lens, possibly at f/2.8 instead of f/2.0.
- Its contrast-only autofocus is faster than every other contrast system I’ve seen, but it’s still much slower than an SLR phase-detect system.
- Its battery life is terrible.
- It can only use one lens.
The A7 and A7R both fix the lens limitation, but it’s a brand new mount with very few lenses, and they all look pretty expensive.
The A7 (not the A7R) has a hybrid contrast and phase-detect autofocus system. The similar-sounding systems in a few other compacts are better than contrast-only systems but not as good as SLRs’ phase-only systems, so we’ll see how this works out. The A7 also has larger pixels and better high-ISO noise performance than the A7R, so between the two, I’d pick the A7.
But both the A7 and A7R with a lens mounted are substantially larger than the RX1, and despite the extra size, they both inherited its terrible battery life.
I think they’ll do well with these, but I don’t want one. They’re much too big for me.