Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX1 ReviewFebruary 2013 | By Richard Butler with additional material by Lars RehmReview based on a production RX1 with firmware v.1.00We were surprised and delighted when Sony decided to create the RX100 – its first compact camera for serious photographers, but that’s nothing compared to our surprise when we were told about the RX1. This isn’t just Sony’s most serious compact camera, but arguably the most serious compact camera we’ve ever seen. It features a full-frame sensor and a fixed 35mm F2 lens, making it a real heavyweight in terms of lightweight photography. Sony has said it is targeting professional photographers and we see no reason to question that.The obvious reference point for this camera is the Fujifilm X100 and its recent successor the X100S – $1300, fixed lens 35mm equivalent F2 cameras whose popularity the X100 at least has exceeded most expectations. The Sony raises the bar though – this is the first fixed-lens full-frame camera on the market, which means both that it’s comfortably the smallest full-frame camera and, consequently, the most expensive compact camera by some margin.This combination gives the RX1 the chance to become something of a classic, used by photojournalists and other working pros who need a small, flexible camera with excellent image quality. It’s no secret that Sony’s sensors are currently setting the benchmark for image quality and the RX1’s sensor is clearly going to have a lot in common with the one that impressed us so much in the Nikon D600. A 35mm F2 lens also gives the low-light performance and shallow depth-of-field that it’s hard to achieve without a fast lens in front of huge sensor. With this in mind, it’s clear that the RX1 will stand or fall based on its focus performance, handling and lens quality.