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Sony’s Questionable Claim

Sony has a lovely new page [page no longer exists] with interesting scrolling effects, talking about how innovative and creative they are. (They forgot to mention how they innovatively installed malware on their customers’ computers, though.) Some of the products showcased on the new page look genuinely cool. One that doesn’t is their new very compact full-frame RX1R camera. Although, with a good lens, no anti-aliasing filter, and 35mm sensor, it probably has very good technical image quality, it has no viewfinder1, and is therefore almost useless for actual photography.

But that’s not why I’m here. There are loads of useless viewfinderless cameras out there. Sony claims, however, that this one can produce photographs that look like medium format film. This claim is almost surely a wild exaggeration, and casts all their other claims about their products in doubt. By some estimates, medium format film stores over a gigapixel of information. It is extremely unlikely that this 24MP camera, even with its fine lens and lack of anti-aliasing filter, can pack anything close to that amount of information into a file. In addition, and perhaps more importantly, it is not possible for this camera, considering the amount of information stored in each pixel (14 bits), to match the dynamic range and color gamut of film.

  1. Well, you can buy a clunky add-on one for $500.↩︎

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