RX10 Return of the Large-Sensor Fixed Zoom

It is a virtual certainty that Sony will be announcing new camera products soon. At least one model NEX sporting a full-frame sensor is expected and that’s what is getting the most attention. However I wonder if what we might also see a new RX camera. Something to fit in between the compact, pocketable, large-sensor RX100 and the class-toping RX1. I believe this new camera–logically the RX10–will have a fixed zoom lens and a “bridge camera” design. Why? Because we’ve seen it before.

Sony’s waning, but once popular, HX series of small-sensor fixed lens cameras (I hate to call them point and shoots because isn’t that the philosophy of the RX100 & RX1?) have both a compact, pocketable model (like the HX9v) as well as a super-zoom bridge model (like the HX1v).

More to the point, Sony already sold the R1 a camera ahead of its time which sported a near APS-C sized sensor and a relatively fast 24-110mm equivalent zoom (f/2.8-4.5). The R1 was not a perfect camera and I’m told slow operational and focusing speeds at a time when DSLR were beginning to be affordable dampened its success. It also had ergonomics you either loved or hated.

Both of these issues seemed largely solved. Sony has created NEX and A-mount cameras lauded for their ergonomics and speed. The improvements of on-sensor phase-detection autofocus and the fast buffer/write speeds of Sony’s cameras could make the RX10 a real force among enthusiasts looking for top-notch image quality without the hassle of changing lenses.

2 thoughts on “RX10 Return of the Large-Sensor Fixed Zoom”

  1. I hope that you are wrong in your assumption. I believe that the shape of the RX1 is very popular. It is not a retro design like Fuji. I am not a fan of the big professional looking plastic bricks on offer bigged up with buttons and bells and whistles. I believe the winning formula for an RX10 would be ….RX1 shape and size with APSC sensor allowing for quality zoom lens and hybrid rangefinder or top quality EVF ( I rather like the solution found in the X100). I think this spec fits between all the other cameras currently on offer and offers a unique usp. Pricewise i think £12/1300 ……sign me up for that !!

    1. Nick, I think there’s some confusion here. The Sony “R1″ is a different model then the “RX1″. The RX1 is wildly popular (in its relatively small niche) and I believe more than the R1 was back in its day (2008 I believe). The R1–which I believe will be the template for the RX10–is exactly as you described but cheaper (it was only $1000! back when low-end DSLRs cost that much). An APS-C fixed zoom (meaning not interchangeable) with an APS-C sensor and high-quality EVF. If the RX10 has a zoom it will be bigger than the RX1 however if the zoom range and speed is kept more moderate (say 24-70mm f4.0 like the new Zeiss E-mount lens) then it shouldn’t be much bigger because the lens can be re-designed to fit right next to the sensor like the RX1/RX100.

      Thanks for reading! Excited to see what Sony turns up.

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