Sony a7R Vs RX1R – What Camera Is Better For You?

This article features a detailed comparison of these two cameras- Sony a7R Vs RX1R. The interesting thing about this comparison we have today is that these two cameras have different body types. The Sony a7R is a mirrorless camera, while the Sony RX1R is a compact camera.

Sony a7R Vs RX1R
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Both of these camera types have one thing in common, they aim to provide quality in a smaller package. The aim of this article is to show you which of this relatively small cameras is better for you. We’ll be looking at all the features of both products, as well as, pros, cons, and what people think about them.

It’s going to be quite a lengthy read. So, if you do not have the time or the patience to read through it all, check out the comparison overview below. It features all the main points you’ll need to make the right decision between these two cameras.

Sony a7R Vs RX1R – Comparison Overview

Both of these two cameras are pretty good, depending on what you’re looking for. The Sony a7R is more of a professional studio camera, while the Sony RX1R, is more of a travel and vlogging camera.

The Sony a7R comes with a 36-megapixel sensor, which makes it great for printing large photos. The higher the megapixel sensor, the more detailed your photo is. This means that your pictures won’t get pixelated.

Furthermore, it comes with an articulating/tilting screen which is great for taking different shots from different angles. This feature together with the built-in headphone port, is the reason why we think this camera is good enough for recording video. However, you must know that it does not record 4K video.

The Sony RX1R is a small compact camera with an optional electronic viewfinder. It does not come with wireless connection, but you can wirelessly transfer files using an eye-fi. The battery life is very bad, just 270 shots per full charge. So, you definitely have to carry around some extra batteries.

What you won’t have to carry around, though, is an external light. Why? Because this camera comes with an internal flash. So, if you take a lot of photos in low-light, you can simply whip your camera out wherever you are and take a photo.

Sony a7R Vs RX1R – Price To Performance Ratio

These are not the most expensive cameras you’ll find out there, but they are not the most affordable either. If you’re a beginner, there are a lot of other options out there that are more affordable and will still provide good quality.

However, if you do have the money, investing in one of these cameras is definitely not a bad idea. Surprisingly, the Sony RX1R costs way more than the Sony a7R, for reasons we cannot fathom. With that said, you definitely know which of these cameras is the better economic deal, definitely the Sony a7R.

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Sony a7R Vs RX1R – Comparison Table


Sony a7R

Sony RX1R

Announcement Date 13th February 2014 26th June 2013
Maximum Sensor Resolution 36 megapixels 24 megapixels
Screen Type Articulating Fixed
Continuous Shooting Rate 4 frames per second 5 frames per second
Built-in Flash No Yes
Wireless Connection Built-in Eye-fi
Battery Life 340 shots 270 shots
Headphone Port Yes No
Environmental Sealing Yes No
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Sony a7R Vs RX1R – What Scenario Is What Camera Best For?

Sony a7R

Sony RX1R

The Sony a7R is a great studio camera. If you are in search of an affordable camera to get started with professional photography, this is one you definitely need to look at. The Sony RX1R is a great travel camera. Isn’t that what compact cameras are for?

So if you’re travel photographer or a vlogger, you should definitely look at this camera.
Another scenario where this camera does well is if you’re printing large photos.

It’ll do well because of its 36-megapixel sensor.
Apart from portability, this camera is pretty decent for taking action shots. Say you want to catch a wave, or snap the kids running on the beach, this camera captures up to 5 frames per second, which is good enough, sometimes.
A sensor that large will give you enough details and information in your pictures that will keep them from getting pixelated when they are stretched out. This camera is a great “point and shoot” camera. It even comes with a built-in flash. Because of that, you don’t need to carry an external flash with you, wherever you go.
Compared to the Sony RX1R, the camera is the better camera for taking videos. We can’t say it’s the best because it doesn’t shoot 4K video.  
However, its articulating screen and headphone port definitely make it a better option, compared to the Sony RX1R.
So, you can keep your kit to the barest minimum and still get great shots in low-light.    
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Sony a7R Vs RX1R – Features Common To Both Cameras

In this section of this Sony a7R Vs RX1R comparison article, we would be looking at all the features that both of these cameras come with.

Although both of these cameras are made by the same company, they are different camera body types. Which means that there isn’t a lot to talk about in this section. However, without further ado, let’s get into it.

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External Flash Shoe

Both of these cameras come with an external flash shoe. If you shoot a lot in low-light, then this is a very important feature for your camera to have. An external flash shoe allows you connect an on-camera flash to your camera.

Shooting in low-light can be quite difficult. Sometimes, increasing the ISO helps to make your camera more sensitive to light, thereby making your images appear brighter. However, there is a limit to what you can do with the ISO.

This is because, increasing the ISO too much will increase the noise levels in your picture. If your camera has a high sensor resolution, this noise is more pronounced, making your images look unprofessional. So, in cases where the ISO does not do the job, an on-camera flash is your best bet.

Sony a7R Vs RX1R
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RAW Storage Support

Saving your images in their RAW format, is a great idea. If you don’t already know, RAW is the format that all digital cameras initially save their images in. However, some cameras don’t allow you save the images in this format.

Instead they process the image, compress it, and then they convert it into JPEG. The problem with this is that it reduces the quality of the image. The quality of the image is reduced because some information when it’s compressed.

So, to get the best quality possible of your images, it’s best to save it in RAW. Both of these cameras allow you to do that.

Face Detection Focus

For a compact camera, this is super important. You want to be able to just whip out the camera and take a shot, without having to think too much about anything, or start setting anything. Face detection focus is one of the things that helps you achieve this.

Just like its name, this feature is pretty simple and straightforward. Once there’s a face in the camera’s frame, the camera will automatically focus on that face. This is especially great if you take a lot of portrait shots.

Sony a7R Vs RX1R
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Microphone Port

If you’re going to be shooting videos with your camera, then you definitely want this port. The most important aspect of a video is the audio. So, it’s super important to get high quality audio while you’re recording with your camera.

More often than not, you cannot get that level of audio with the camera’s built-in microphone. So, you need an external microphone. This microphone port is what allows you connect that external microphone to your camera.

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AE Bracketing

As a photographer (beginner, amateur or professional), you definitely know how important the exposure is. An overexposed or underexposed photo is no good, most times. So, getting the exposure absolutely right, is super important.

To save time and make this process a little easier, photographers invented the “exposure bracket”. To manually create an exposure bracket, you take different photos of the same scene, changing the exposure after every photo.

That way, after you’re done shooting, you can easily go back to your exposure bracket and pick the image you think is correctly exposed.

The problem with manually creating an exposure bracket is that it’s quite tedious and time consuming. Which is why AE bracketing is an important feature for a camera to have. With Auto Exposure bracketing, all you need to do is to set the different levels you want for the exposure.

Once you’ve done that, you’ll need to click the shutter button once, and the camera will save that one photo as multiple photos with the different exposure settings. As you can tell, this is a much easier process, compared to manually creating the exposure bracket.

Furthermore, AE bracketing makes HDR images possible. Basically, combining all the images in an AE bracket forms one image that is perfectly exposed. This image is what is called the “HDR image”.

Sony a7R Vs RX1R
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Sony a7R Vs RX1R – Features Unique To Each Camera

Just like we mentioned earlier, both of these cameras- Sony a7R Vs RX1R, have few things in common, although they’re made by the same company. In this section of this article, we would be looking at the features that either of these cameras has, that the other does not.

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Sony a7R Vs RX1R – Features Unique To The Sony a7R

1. Wireless Connection

The Sony a7R comes with built-in wireless connectivity. A wireless connection makes transferring of files a whole lot easier. You no longer have to carry all your wires and cables around to transfer files from your camera to your other devices.

Apart from making it easier to transfer files from your camera to other devices, a wireless connection also gives you direct access to the internet. Having access to the internet, straight from your camera, provides you with two major benefits.

The first is that you can get to your audience quicker. With this, you can easily go live with your camera, upload “behind the scenes” footage, and basically draw your audience into your world.

The second is cloud storage. Because you have access to the internet, you can save your files on the cloud. Saving your files on the cloud means you have space on your SD card to shoot more stuff. Also, you protect your files from loss or damage in case anything goes wrong with your SD card.

This camera goes one step further with its wireless connection with the inclusion of “NFC connection”. NFC is an acronym that stands for Near Field Communication. It’s a type of wireless connection that connects two devices once they are in close proximity to one another.

Once you initially pair these two devices, they’re automatically connect to each other once they’re brought close to each other. So, you no longer have to go through the process of connecting again and again. Note, though, this feature only works with compatible devices.

2. Articulating Screen

While the Sony RX1R comes with a fixed screen, this camera, the Sony a7R, comes with an articulating screen. You can also call it a tilting screen. To get certain shots, you need to shoot from awkward angles.

When shooting from these awkward angles, it’s difficult to use your viewfinder to frame your shots. A fixed screen is also useless in this situation because it faces the same way as the viewfinder. This is when you need an articulating screen.

Because they are joint to the camera using a pivot system, articulating screens can tilt to different angles. This makes them perfect for framing those shots you need to take from awkward angles and positions.

3. Headphone Port

Both of these cameras- Sony a7R Vs RX1R, come with a microphone port but only this camera, the Sony a7R, comes with a headphone port. Connecting a headphone to your camera allows you listen to, and monitor the audio you’re recording.

This is especially important if you’re filming alone. Sometimes you set the audio perfectly but along the line it gets messed up. A headphone will allow you listen to it as it’s being recorded. That way, you’ll be able to tweak things until they sound the way you want them to.

4. Environmental Sealing

If you’re going to be shooting outside a lot, this is one feature you really need to take note of. Environmental sealing, otherwise known as “weather sealing” is simply a feature that protects your camera from damages caused by environmental factors such as- rain and wind.

Basically, the camera is shielded by a weather proof material that is both moisture and dust resistant. This means that it’ll hold up under slight rainfall, and when it gets windy.

One thing you must not forget, though, is that this camera is not water-resistant, neither is it waterproof. So, make sure it doesn’t drop into a pool of water.

Sony a7R Vs RX1R
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Sony a7R Vs RX1R – Features Unique To The Sony RX1R

1. Built-in Flash

The Sony a7R comes with a flash sync port which allows you connect an on-camera flash to your camera. That’s great. What’s not great, is having to carry an on-camera flash with you wherever you go. It’s slightly worse due to the fact that mirrorless cameras are meant to be the symbol of all things portable.

The Sony RX1R does better in this as it comes with a built-in flash. A built-in flash provides you with extra lighting when you’re shooting in low-light. Yes, the brightness of this light cannot be compared to the brightness of an on-camera flash. But this requires no extra space. Which means you can your camera kit to its barest minimum.

If you’re a travel photographer, or you just want a camera for fun and you don’t intend doing it professionally, then this is best for you. It provides enough brightness most times, and you won’t need to spend any extra money to get an on-camera flash.

Sony a7R Vs RX1R – Unique Pros

Sony a7R

1. Built-in Electronic Viewfinder

You can use an electronic viewfinder with the Sony RX1R. However, it’s not built-in like this camera. You’ll have to buy it separately and then attach it to that camera. The problem with that is that it does not work as well as a built-in electronic viewfinder.

When people talk about electronic viewfinders, the comparison between them and optical viewfinders always pops up. So, let’s talk about it.

In a mirrorless camera, light is sent to the viewfinder using an electronic sensor, not a mirror. One light hits this electronic sensor, it’s converted into a digital image. This digital image is then transferred to a small display, which is what you see when you look through the electronic viewfinder.

What that means is that you get to see a live preview of what your image is going to come out looking like. With an optical viewfinder, all you see is raw light.

Let’s see a practical example. Let’s say you’re trying to shoot in low-light and you want to see what ISO works best. Using the optical viewfinder, you have to look at a light meter that shows on the viewfinder to measure how much light is coming into your camera.

On the other hand, using an electronic viewfinder, you see the image getting brighter and darker, in response to your ISO settings. Comparing the two, you can see that it’s a lot easier to use the electronic viewfinder. It’s great for beginners who do not really know how to use light meters and things like that, and also for professionals who need to see exactly how their shots will turn out, before taking them.

The One Downside Electronic Viewfinders Have

Although some others will disagree, we do not think that electronic viewfinders have a lot of flaws. In fact, we think they have just one major flaw, they drain your camera’s battery. This is made worse by the fact that mirrorless cameras, on their own, having poor battery life.

Couple the poor battery life of mirrorless cameras with a battery draining electronic viewfinder, they don’t make a good mix. Optical viewfinders, on the other hand, do not even need to camera to be on for them to work.

2. Higher Maximum Sensor Resolution

This camera, the Sony a7R, comes with a 36-megapixel sensor. This is 50% more pixels than the 24-megapixel sensor that the Sony RX1R comes with. Although the sensor resolution is not the only feature that determines a camera’s quality, it definitely improves the sharpness and details in a photo.

Basically what a higher maximum sensor resolution does is that it processes more pixels. Processing more pixels means more information on your pictures. That way you can print large sheets of your pictures without them getting pixelated. You can also zoom in, crop things, and still keep the image clean.

Sony a7R Vs RX1R
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Sony RX1R

1. Better Continuous Shooting

If you shoot a lot of action shots, this is something you need to take a closer look at. This camera, the Sony RX1R, has slightly better continuous shooting that the Sony a7R.

While the Sony a7R can shoot up to 4 frames per second, the Sony RX1R shoots 5 frames per second. That extra one frame is definitely not a lot, but you’ll only notice it when the need arises. So, if you do sports photography, wildlife photography, or basically anything that requires fast shooting, the Sony RX1R has a slight edge.

2. Portability

The Sony RX1R edges slightly over the Sony a7R when it comes to portability. Although this is slightly heavier, you have to put into consideration that you’re getting the camera, plus the built-in flash.

On the other hand, with the Sony a7R, you only get the camera. So, the overall weight of the Sony a7R camera kit is slightly more than that of this camera, the Sony RX1R, because of the extra weight in the on-camera flash.

Sony a7R Vs RX1R – Common Pros


Sony a7R

Sony RX1R

External Flash Shoe Both of these cameras provide you with good lighting options for when you’re shooting in low-light.  

They both come with an external flash shoe that allows you connect an on-camera flash to your camera.
In terms of providing options for low-light photography, this camera does better.  

Not only does it have an external flash shoe, it also comes with a built-in flash.
RAW Storage Support You can easily save your images in their highest quality, by saving them in their RAW format.  

Both of these cameras allow you to do that.
Same as the Sony a7R.
Face Detection Focus This is good if you take a lot of portrait shots. With this, your camera automatically knows when there is a face in the frame of the camera, and focuses on it. Same as the Sony a7R.
Maximum Sensor Resolution Both of these cameras come with impressive sensor resolutions.  
This camera does a lot better than the Sony RX1R, though, with its 36-megapixel sensor.
Although this camera does not do as well in terms of sensor resolution, it does come with a very respectable 24-megapixel sensor.
Microphone Port With a microphone port, you can record high-quality audio with you external microphone, straight into your camera. Same as the Sony a7R.
AE Bracketing Auto Exposure bracketing makes creating exposure brackets a lot easier and faster.   Also, it makes it possible to get HDR images. HDR images are a combination of all the images in an exposure bracket, making them perfectly exposed. Same as the Sony a7R.
Sony a7R Vs RX1R
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Sony a7R Vs RX1R – Common Cons

  Sony a7R Sony RX1R
No In-camera Image Stabilization Neither of these cameras comes with built-in image stabilization.  
This means that to shoot a stable video that’s not shaky or blurry, you’ll need an external camera stabilizer, like a tripod or a gimbal.
Same as the Sony a7R.
No touchscreen Neither of cameras has a touchscreen feature. A touchscreen feature would have made it easier to navigate through the camera’s settings and menus. Same as the Sony a7R.
No built-in Bluetooth The Sony a7R comes with built-in wireless connection, the Sony RX1R comes with eye-fi connectivity, but neither of them come with built-in Bluetooth connectivity. Same as the Sony a7R.
No built-in GPS A GPS would have helped you find your camera in case it got lost.  
Also, you would have been able to geotag your photos, which is a really cool feature, especially for travel photographers.
Same as the Sony a7R.
Single Card Slot Neither of these cameras provides a secondary storage slot.   This limits storage flexibility, as well as, the amount of storage space you can have at a go. Same as the Sony a7R.

Sony a7R Vs RX1R – General Feeling Amongst Users

Sony a7R

Sony RX1R

A lot of people believe that although this camera is great, it’s not for everyone. What they mean by that is that it’s a more specialized camera, as opposed to being a good all-around camera. A lot of people love this camera because it’s pretty affordable. A camera this affordable, with the amount of quality it offers, is a treasure.
In essence, it does its job, and it does it well. So what does it do well? A lot of photographers who bought the camera claimed that it’s a great studio camera.

That does not come as a surprise to us looking at its 36-megapixel sensor and its ability to shoot RAW photos.
Another reason why people like this camera is because it has a sturdy build. The camera mainly has a metal build and it’s made in Japan.  
Quite a number of people were happy that this camera wasn’t “made in China” for some reason.
Another group of people believe that the camera is good for travelling. This is because, it takes great landscaped photos. Another thing people liked about this camera was the built-in flash. Without a thought, you can whip out your camera wherever you are, and take a brightly lit shot.
Keeping in mind that this is not a great all-round camera, it does have a few uninspiring features, most notably, its autofocus speed.  

A lot of people had complained about the autofocus speed of this camera. So, if you take a lot of action shots, sadly, this isn’t the camera for you.
Portability is one thing people could not stop mentioning about this camera. We think that most people who got this camera used it whilst traveling.  

So, that extra space, no matter how small it might seem to you, is very important to them.
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Sony a7R Vs RX1R – What Do We Think?

Sony a7RM

Sony RX1R

This camera is great for portrait and landscape photos. It does take pretty good videos too, although it doesn’t shoot 4k videos, which is a huge bummer. Looking for a travel camera? This is great for that purpose! It’s pretty small, so it’ll fit in any bag.
If you’re looking for a studio camera, then this is the camera you want.  
Just make sure you keep it plugged in because the battery dies pretty quickly.
Also, it comes with a built-in flash so you don’t need to pack any other flashes to get those bright shots when you’re shooting in the night.
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