Sony RX1R II Brief Review


REVIEW SUMMARY

Specifications

  • 42.2 megapixel full frame sensor
  • BIONZ X processor
  • Fixed f/2 lens
  • Maximum shutter speed 1/2000 (1/4000 possible at apertures of f/5.6 or greater
  • ISO 100-25600
  • Hybrid AF with 399 phase detection or 25 contrast detection autofocus points
  • Variable optical low pass filter
  • Flash sync speed up to 1/2000
  • Macro focusing as close as 14 cm
  • Up to 5 fps burst mode
  • 14 bit RAW
  • Manual modes
  • 3” tilting LCD
  • Electronic viewfinder
  • 1080p HD video at 60 fps
  • Wi-fi and NFC
  • Battery rated at 220 shots
  • Weighs 1 lb 1.9 oz (507g)
  • Release Date: 2015-10-14
  • Final Grade: 91 4.55 Star Rating: Recommended


Sony RX1R II adds big technology (with a big price tag)
The Sony RX1R II features a variable optical low pass filter and a big 42 megapixel full frame sensor in a small body.
By Hillary Grigonis, Last updated on: 1/9/2016

If there's one camera that packs the most imaging power into a compact body, it's the Sony RX1R II. Forget that tiny point-and-shoot sensor, the RX1R packs in the full frame sensor found on professional level cameras. Sony's third full frame compact after the RX1 and RX1R, the 2015 release packs a few new perks from technology advances.

With the RX1 introduced in 2012 and the RX1R in 2013, the Sony RX1R II brings several big changes to the advanced compact. The 24 megapixel sensor is now a huge 42.2 megapixel full frame sensor. Where the RX1 had an optical low pass filter and the RX1R did not, the RX1R II actually has a variable one that can be turned on and off, as well as using a “high” mode for when reducing moire is of utmost importance. How? It's a filter that uses different electrical charges to adjust the intensity (or leave the filter effect off completely). It's a neat concept, and while the RX1R II is the first to use such a system, it's not the first time the concept has been explored. The Pentax K-3 has an optical low pass filter effect that can be turned off, but instead of using a filter with different electrical charges, it uses the image stabilization system to blur out moire.

The other big addition on the Sony RX1R II is the new electronic viewfinder, since the previous versions had only the LCD screen. That's a big plus for enthusiast shooters, and the design is sharp too—it's retractable to save space, but has a nice 2.4 million dot resolution.

The Sony RX1R II still features a fixed f/2 lens. While the lens is bright, there is no zoom, so the camera is a bit more limited. It's a 35mm perspective, which is a nice wide angle for capturing entire scenes. The focus system has been improved a bit, with the manufacturer claiming a 30% increase in speed.

The Sony RX1R II truly looks like an amazing compact camera. But (you knew there was a but, right?) it's listed at $3,330. That's right in line with Sony's a7R II with the same sensor. While the compact design allows for a higher flash sync speed and that variable optical viewfinder, the a7R II can swap out lenses—that's a big plus compared to the RX1R II's fixed focal length. The RX1R II is definitely a luxury item, but that price tag is a bit too high when you could pick up the a7R II body for a similar cost with much more versatility.

The Sony RX1R will be available beginning in November 2015.


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Sony Reviews

Sony has been at the forefront of the market for consumer electronics for the past 30 years by offering innovative imaging products in response to changes in the market. Sony has made cameras that are ideal for casual users, hobbyists, and professional photographers through their dedication to implementing the most current technology with a sleek and minimal style, resulting in an end result of the highest quality.

Sony was the first to put a full-frame sensor inside of a mirrorless camera, the A7 and A7R, and a little later, the A7S. While the first-of-its-kind cameras aren't without flaws, Sony executed their ideas fairly well and made some pretty solid cameras to start the new line.

Speaking of first-of-its kind, Sony also designed a “camera-without-a-camera,” the QX10 and QX100. These cameras have a sensor and lens, but no operating system—instead, consumers use their smartphone via wi-fi or NFC to operate the camera. While the cameras certainly have flaws (mainly in the slow response due to operating through wi-fi), we still have to applaud Sony for the way they've responded to the rise in smartphone photography (plus the cameras have actually sold remarkably well).

Sony has also been highly successful with the RX compact camera line that began with the RX100, a compact camera with a 1” sensor, excellent image quality and full manual modes. The camera has since seen some solid updates, and remains a good option. Sony also added the RX10, a camera with a 1” sensor but instead of focusing on compact size, adds a much bigger zoom.

While their focus is on more advanced models, it’s usually a pretty safe bet to pick up a Sony compact, even a budget priced one, and still get a lot of bang for your buck. We're also big fans of Sony's designs, making their cameras easy to use and adjust, like the HX400 that has an automatic sensor on the electronic viewfinder as well as a control ring around the lens.

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