Sony Alpha A7 Vs Sony RX1R – A Detailed Comparison

Today, we’ll be comparing two cameras- Sony Alpha A7 Vs Sony RX1R. If you don’t have the time to read the entire article (it is going to be quite a long article), then check out our comparison overview.

Sony Alpha a7 Vs Sony RX1R
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There, you will find all the information you need to make a great purchase decision.

Sony Alpha A7 Vs Sony RX1R – Comparison review

Here are the basics of what this article will be talking about

Overall Review Of Sony Alpha A7 Vs Sony RX1R

The Sony Alpha A7 is a mirrorless system camera with a full-frame sensor. Announced in October 2013 alongside the higher-end A7r, they are the World’s smallest and lightest full-frame mirrorless system cameras.

The Sony Alpha A7 is equipped with a 24.3 Megapixel full-frame sensor with embedded phase-detect AF, its full-frame sensors are considerably larger than the APS-C and Micro Four Thirds sensors found in most mirrorless system cameras, allowing a shallower depth of field effects at the same apertures and potentially superior noise and dynamic range performance. Like the NEX models though, there’s no built-in stabilization, with the cameras instead of relying on optically stabilized lenses to iron-out any shake or vibration.

The Sony RX1R is an update to the Sony RX1 (the “R” stands for resolution). By removing the AA filter, the sensor is able to extract more detail out of an image at the expense of more moiré appearing in the image. So by definition, the images from the RX1R are a little sharper than the images from the RX1. The RX1R is a fixed prime lens camera. “Fixed” means that the lens you see is permanently attached to the body. “Prime lens” means that there is no optical zoom. It uses a more primitive form of zoom called walking toward your subject.

The Sony Alpha A7 and the Sony RX1R are both outstanding cameras with a great full-frame sensor of 24 megapixels, they both have large imaging sensors will tend to have larger individual pixels that provide better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and richer color-depth than smaller pixel-units in a sensor of the same technological generation. The Sony Alpha A7 and the Sony RX1R are amazing in photography, the Sony RX1R is not so much of a video camera its lack of optical low pass filter and resulting possibility for moiré is much more a concern for video shooters, if you are more of a video person you should go for its predecessor, the RX1. The Sony Alpha A7 with an anti-aliasing filter records a more quality video. Both cameras are a must-have, it now depends on you to make a choice.

Ratings Of The Features Of Sony Alpha A7 Vs Sony RX1R

The Sony Alpha A7 is a mirrorless camera. It has an electronic viewfinder (2400k dots), with a 100% view coverage which can be very helpful when shooting in bright sunlight.

In contrast, the RX1R relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. That said the RX1R can be equipped with an optional viewfinder – the FDA-EV1MK. 

The a7 has no shortage of controls, with five dials, one switch and 13 buttons, mostly located on the right top and right rear of the camera. This setup can be confusing at first, but once you figure it out, you can make adjustments very quickly.

For battery power, the Sony Alpha A7 has a 340 shot per full charge while the Sony RX1R has 270 per full charge. The Sony Alpha A7 has a greater advantage because you can shoot 70 more frames than the Sony RX1R with a single charge. Both cameras lack superb battery life but make up for it with their USB port which enables you to charge your camera with a power-bank, easy and convenient to use!

The Sony Alpha A7 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 25600, which can be extended to ISO 50-51200. The corresponding ISO settings for the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX1R are ISO 100 to ISO 25600, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 50-102400.

The Sony Alpha A7 and the Sony RX1R have great ISO ranges, from high to low. The Sony Alpha A7 has a problem with dropping its ISO range below ISO 100, taking noisy shots. The Sony RX1R is better than the Sony Alpha A7 in taking photos in low light and less noise.

Price Value Ratio – Sony Alpha A7 Vs Sony RX1R

The Sony Alpha A7 and the Sony RX1R have high price tags, with the Sony Alpha A7 being the lesser of the two. Both cameras have peculiar functions and have great features which would be a good compensation for their price tags. If you are in search of quality pictures or videoing, these cameras will suit you, regardless of its price tags.

Sony Alpha a7 Vs Sony RX1R
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Sony Alpha A7 Vs Sony RX1R – Specs Comparison

Announcement Date 2014-01-22  2013-06-26
Sensor Resolution 24 mega pixels 24.2 mega pixels
ISO 50 – 25600 100 – 25600
Continuous Shooting 5fps 5fps
Video Resolution 1,920 x 1,080 1,920 x 1,080
Lens Sony E Mount Non-Zoom 
(35mm eq.)
Viewfinder EVF / LCD None / LCD
LCD Screen Resolution 2359k dots 1,230k dots
Max Shutter Speed 1/8000 1/4000
Colour Depth 24.8 bits 25.0 bits
Dynamic Range 14.2 13.6
Battery Life 340 shots 270 shots
Weight 474g. 127 x 94 x 48 mm   482g. 113 x 65 x 70 mm  
Environmental sealing Yes No
Low light ISO 2248 2537

Sony Alpha a7 Vs Sony RX1R
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Sony Alpha A7 Vs Sony RX1R – Circumstances They Are Best Suited For

Sony Alpha A7

Sony RX1R

The Sony Alpha A7 takes great portrait photos using its electronic viewfinder.

During a portrait shoot, using a viewfinder allows the photographer to stabilize the camera and reduce the camera shake since it is closer to the body.

Besides, it comes handy where LCD screens are very hard to read under bright sunlight.

Good handling and existence of well placed physical controls on the camera body are also very important during portrait shooting.

It is faster and more intuitive to change the camera settings with dedicated buttons and knobs instead delving into the menus on the LCD.
The compact body of Sony RX1R makes it much easier to carry it with you all day, making it suitable for daily photography.

The Sony RX1R has a correct exposure mode for a landscape shot which is very important.

Even though modern digital cameras features now calculate the right exposure, they still may fail some difficult conditions.

Manual exposure mode in these conditions helps a lot in order to achieve correct exposure.

Sony Alpha a7 Vs Sony RX1R
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Sony Alpha A7 Vs Sony RX1R– Common Features

In this segment of this Sony A7 Vs Sony RX1R comparison article, we would be discussing all the features that both of these cameras possess.

Focus Peaking

Manufacturers have been seeking ways to make focusing easier through a variety of different techniques. One of these techniques is focus peaking, an aid that has been very common with videographers and filmmakers but is just now finding its way into photographers’ hands. This can be attributed to the fact that digital cameras are further blurring the lines between still and video formats.

Focus peaking works by detecting edges of highest contrast in your scene (and therefore most in focus) and highlighting them in a bright color, usually of your choice. This sounds very similar to the contrast-detect focusing function found in many cameras and in a way, it is. The camera will use red, blue, green, white, yellow, or another color that allows photographers to recognize what is in focus and what isn’t since it will be contrasting with the normal colors of the scene. Also, when using manual lenses, it can also help show you how much of the scene is in focus at those apertures for checking your current depth of field.

Now, one may ask why a tool such as this is necessary, with the high-resolution LCDs and EVFs being released today. This is because as great as those screens are and as perfect as your eyesight may be, being able to see what is in focus quickly and clearly can dramatically speed up your work. Also, it is always nice to get another, perhaps more precise, opinion on the technical aspects before you find out that you barely missed the shot you needed. Peaking also shows up in real-time, giving you near-instantaneous feedback as you rack focus through a scene.

Sony Alpha a7 Vs Sony RX1R
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In-camera Panoramas

Most mountain ranges, cityscapes, and landscapes are always difficult to capture in just one frame. A Panorama image is basically several photos stitched together to create one big wide-angle scene. There are two methods you can use to capture the feeling of these types of scene.

Sony a7 series cameras include a panorama mode called the sweep panorama mode. Even though it takes a bit of control away from you during shooting; it serves as a great way to preview what your multiple-image panorama might look like. Depending on how well the camera stitches the shots together, the resulting panorama might just be the one you like most. In a context with enough light, the sweep panorama also allows you to forgo the tripod because it provides you a visual guide on the LCD to follow while you are shooting. 

Manual Focus

Autofocus is of unquestionable benefit in a large variety of shooting scenarios, but there are often times when it could actually be wiser to plump for manual focus.

When shooting a scene that compromises hundreds of elements, each presenting a multitude of details, the manual focus may be necessary for complete control. This is especially necessary when the subject(s) exhibits small or no variation in size, shape, color or brightness.

Also if your subject is partially blocked behind an obstacle that you are unable to move out of the way or intend to keep (adding context), manual focus can help you to pinpoint the main subject. Furthermore, if you team this approach with a wide aperture, you can creatively blur the obstruction from view. Take a caged or penned animal for instance or a person looking from a window.

Lastly, compositions that contain objects that are bigger or bolder than the intended subject may also throw off your autofocus.  For instance, a person dwarfed in front of an intimidating cityscape may be lost using autofocus, switching to manual would give a quick and effective solution. Fortunately, Sony Alpha A7 and Sony RX1R possess this feature, meaning you are not only tied to the fate of your autofocus. You can tweak your images anyhow you want!

Bulb Shutter

Most DSLR and mirrorless cameras have a feature called Bulb Mode. It’s a very useful option that can unlock all sorts of creative possibilities with your camera.

Most modern cameras allow you to set the shutter speed anywhere from 1/4000th of a second and 30 seconds, which gives you an incredible range of creative photographic possibilities. These shutter speeds work in line with a camera’s light meter, as well as the ISO and lens aperture, to help you get properly-exposed images with little to no fuss or hassle.

The benefit of Bulb Mode is that it lets you keep the shutter open for as long as you want. The timing is not specified by you, the camera, or anything else which means it’s entirely your decision whether to use a fast, slow or extremely slow shutter speed

Using Bulb Mode, it’s possible to leave your shutter open for one, five, 10 minutes or even longer. The only limitation is your camera’s battery and your own degree of patience, which opens the door for some amazing photographic opportunities.

Sony Alpha a7 Vs Sony RX1R
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Sony Alpha A7 Vs Sony RX1R – Unique Features

In this section, we will be looking at the disparity between Sony Alpha A7 and Sony RX1R. We have put together some features that are different between the two cameras.

Eye-level Finder

On the Sony Alpha A7 which possesses an electronic viewfinder, the light from the lens goes straight to the imaging sensor which records the data and shows a preview of what the sensor captures on a tiny little TV screen viewfinder. 

 It’s basically just a tiny version of the LCD screen on your camera when shooting in live view mode.

Histogram display is one of the benefits of an EVF. Since the image you see in the viewfinder is recorded on the imaging sensor, the camera can use that data to show a histogram of the brightness levels in the photo.  This is very important to help properly expose a photo in a difficult lighting situation.

Live display of how the photo will be rendered is another important use of the EVF. One problem with cameras is that they don’t have the dynamic range to show all of the brightest parts in the photo and the darkest shadow detail.  

Since you can see right in the EVF how the brights and darks are captured, you can plan your camera settings accordingly.

After you take a photo, you will see the preview right in the viewfinder without needing to take your face off the viewfinder and look at the LCD, and then go back to the viewfinder for another shot.

These are basically what photographers with EVFs enjoy. If you’d want to be one the Sony Alpha A7 would be your choice.


In this day and age, there seems to a need to connect something, such as a camera, to your computer to transfer information. 

Wifi cameras, which first made an appearance in 2005, are aimed at solving cable clutter by making it possible to transfer photos wirelessly from a digital camera to a Website or your computer.

This means you can do things like e-mail photos of your trip while you’re still on vacation, or get pictures directly off your camera and to an editor quickly if you’re a photojournalist.

Wirelessly uploading files at the touch of a button might be the main benefit of a Wifi camera, as well as the ability to share albums and photos with one step instead of several. With a Wifi camera, storage shouldn’t be your problem, if you set it to delete photos as they upload, you’ll never have to worry about a full SD card.

In all its awesomeness, Wifi cameras are still unreliable when it comes to maintaining battery power while connected to the Internet. As with other portable electronics, it’s still a lithium drain and one that can make or break vacation documentation if a power source isn’t handy.

Another major downfall is the fact that a Wifi camera needs a place to connect to upload pictures. While coffee shops, restaurants and hotels often have free access to these, many locations do not. Additionally, Wifi connections aren’t always reliable, so there may be the risk that your photos won’t upload properly. The Sony Alpha A7 comes with the built-in-Wifi while the Sony RX1R makes use of Eye-fi.

Sony Alpha a7 Vs Sony RX1R
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Higher Max Flash Sync

High-speed sync flash is used when you want to use a shutter speed that is faster than your camera’s native flash sync speed, or when you want to use a wider aperture setting that requires a higher shutter speed as is often the case with outdoor daylight shooting.

Normal sync mode does not allow you to use a fast shutter speed of say 1/1000 of a second, due to the flash sync limitations of most cameras. High-speed sync, however, allows you to do just that.

With such high shutter speeds, you can shoot with a wide-open aperture; get nice, soft, shallow depth of field. To top it all you can bring the strobes into effect to create a nice highlight on the subject’s face.

Unfortunately, it has its downsides, high-speed sync takes a toll on the power and you also drain out the batteries more quickly than in normal sync mode.

Tilt-able screen

The Sony Alpha A7 has this tilt-screen ability and would be more effective for shooting flexibility than the Sony RX1R whose screen is fixed.

If you’ve found the perfect position to shoot, but can’t see the image on your screen because of bright sunlight, for example, it can be difficult to compose your shot effectively.

If you didn’t have a tilting screen, this would mean having to tilt the camera to see what you’re shooting, which can end in you losing the ideal shot.

With a tilting screen, you can simply partially tilt it to get rid of the glare, without having to move your camera set up at all.  

A camera with a flip-screen allows you to shoot around corners at angles that usually wouldn’t be possible with a non-tilt-able screen camera.

By having the ability to change the angle of your camera’s screen you can tweak lights, move reflectors, direct models, adjust still life set-ups, etc. and see the effect when using Live View without having to walk around the back of the camera. 

 Sony Alpha A7 Vs Sony RX1R– Video Review – Sony Alpha A7 review – Sony RX1R review

Sony Alpha A7 Vs Sony RX1R – Unique Pros

Sony Alpha A7

  • Full frame image sensor
  • 5fps burst shooting
  • Snappy autofocus
  • The impressive high ISO performance
  • Sharp, tilting rear LCD
  • Focus peaking
  • Excellent OLED EVF
  • Great control layout
  • Compact, dust and moisture resistant body
  • Vertical shooting grip available
  • Great quality rivals DSLRs of similar resolution

Sony RX1R

  • Significantly sharper and more detailed JPEG images than those from the RX1,
  • JPEG processing appears to minimize moiré and aliasing artifacts.
  • Same price as the RX1
  • It has a Full frame, imaging sensor
  • It is a 24megapixel compact camera with fast Carl Zeiss Sonnar 35mm f/2 Tlens
  • Solid build quality
  •  The excellent high ISO performance

Sony Alpha a7 Vs Sony RX1R
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Sony Alpha A7 Vs Sony RX1R – Unique Cons

Sony Alpha A7

  • Sensor design includes OLPF
  • No PC sync socket
  • No built-in flash
  • External battery charger not included
  • Native lens library is in its infancy
  • Autofocus falls behind DSLR viewfinder or best mirrorless
  • No built-in stabilization
  • Needs optically stabilized lenses
  • A limited selection of native lenses at launch
  • Screen not touch-sensitive and doesn’t fully articulate
  • Fairly basic bracketing

Sony RX1R

  • More prone to moiré
  •  aliasing and false color than the RX1
  • Only subtle improvement in sharpness in RAW files
  • Fixed length lens limits shooting flexibility
  • Viewfinders (optical or electronic) only available as optional accessories,
  • Extremely expensive
  • Battery Life is shorter than that of Sony Alpha A7
  • Autofocus can hunt and misfocus
  •  Moiré patterning in some circumstances

Sony Alpha A7 Vs Sony RX1R– Common Pros

Sony Alpha A7

Sony RX1R

Bulb Shutter mode A camera contains two components that do the bulk of the work when you take a picture.

The lens focuses the light, and the shutter opens to let the light in, the bulb mode is a certain way of controlling your camera’s shutter.

Sometimes 30 seconds of exposure just isn’t enough. Sometimes you’d need to keep the shutter open for minutes or hours at a time.

The bulb mode comes in handy in astrography, when you have starlight to work with.

The stars, although bright, are also very far away. They may fill up the sky, but they don’t illuminate subjects very well.

Oftentimes, you’ll have to wait at least half an hour to get an exposure that’s bright enough to see any colors. In that case, you have no other choice but to use bulb mode.  
Same applies here
HDMI Output The HDMI Output allows you to see your photos or videos on a different screen, they also promise clear movie/ picture playbacks in which you can control the volume through the screen and not the camera.  

It also helps vloggers monitor their videos while shooting.
Same applies here
Hot shoe This feature is kind of a backbone in cameras now. It allows cameras access external features like the Sony RX1R which can get access to an EVF through this feature.  

This feature is essential for everyone; Vloggers who might need to stream live and are using the RX1R would have to get a Wifi adapter which would be connected to the hot shoe.  

If you are a on a vacation, you can share your location with people by using the geo-tagger which would be connected through the hot shoe.
Same applies here

Sony Alpha a7 Vs Sony RX1R
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Sony Alpha A7 Vs Sony RX1R – Common Cons

Sony Alpha A7

Sony RX1R

Swivel screen Having a swiveling screen is when your cameras LCD can tilt to any degree you move it to.

The Sony Alpha A7 only has a tilt screen which can move to certain angles and are restricted to others while the Sony RX1R has a fixed screen which can’t be moved at all; this can be a problem in harsh sun conditions.

With the swivel screen, you can be able to shoot outstanding angular shots; you can also be able to snap a selfie.
Same applies here
In-camera stabilization Both cameras lack the image stabilization feature which is present in most recent cameras today.   

It helps photographers to capture clear images at slow shutter speed when images are prone to being blurry.  

You can now get this feature in the lens you buy for your camera or you can improvise by using a tripod.
Same applies here
Dual card slots This feature enables a photographer to snap more pictures without having to worry about running out of space.

Unfortunately, the Sony Alpha A7 and the Sony RX1R lacks this feature.
Same applies here!  


Sony Alpha A7 Vs Sony RX1R– People Thoughts about Both

Sony Alpha A7

Sony RX1R

It is loved for its low light capability and its lens compatibility. It is also loved for its exceptional photos in basic sports photography  

People complained about its expensive nature, and how it doesn’t save money for you as a photographer; its lenses are also expensive  

A lot of people loved it slim and light body which makes it easier to carry around, they also loved its image processing ability which is far better than that of its predecessors  
A number of people think its battery life is a limitation to the camera; its battery life is half the capacity of many standard DSLRs.  

People love its electronic viewfinder which has the ability to use a level, focus peaking, grids, and zebra stripes and much more while looking through the viewfinder, especially when you choose to shoot in manual focus.  

Some people liked its image quality, The images gotten from the camera comes with blown-out highlights, and so much data in the raw files to play with.    
People loved that it was made in Japan because Japanese cameras and lenses are getting fewer by the day and can be trusted to produce great result and quality images.  

A lot of positive remarks came from its 35mm lenses, It has a real F2 aperture so compared to crop sensor versions and it’s a bit easier to defocus the background when desired.  

People loved the feel of metal dials and the clicks they make and the overall quality of the camera.  

People complained about its autofocus in very low light, it will hunt and it will miss. Your only option is to switch over to manual which will save you.  

People complain about its lack of an in-built Wifi to shoot images over to your phone for a quick share. They also complained about its video quality which is only good for short clips and is not better than that of cheaper cameras.

Sony Alpha a7 Vs Sony RX1R
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Sony Alpha A7 Vs Sony RX1R – Conclusion

The Sony Alpha A7 is a great camera which can work for any type of photography you want. It’s lightweight and Wifi capabilities make it suitable for photojournalism.

Its environmental sealing and its max shutter speed of 1/8000, its built-in EVF and its great ergonomics makes it wonderful for sports photography. The list can go on, make Sony alpha A7 your choice and enjoy unlimited image/ video quality!

The Sony RX1R is a great camera which would be enjoyed by professionals and people who would spend much for the best. It’s a great travel camera as it comes with a superb and unique light body with an internal flash, so no additional weight at all! If you are not a fan of weight and you are a lover of vacations and tours, this camera is for you!

However, if you are in search of a camera with a price tag that suits its features, with an in-built Wifi and EVF, with a tilt-able screen to give your photos angular prowess, we’ll advise you go for the Sony Alpha A7.  In this comparison review, the Sony Alpha A7 is our choice for a better experience.

Sony Alpha a7 Vs Sony RX1R
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