Sony has announced its Cyber-shot RX1R II, an update to 2013's RX1 and RX1R full-frame, fixed-lens compact cameras. The RX1R II brings a 42.4 Megapixel BSI-CMOS sensor borrowed from the a7R II, 35mm F2 Zeiss Sonnar T* lens, retractable XGA OLED viewfinder and greatly improved autofocus. It claims a world's first with an optical variable low-pass filter that can be set to off, standard and high, and low pass filter bracketing is offered. 

The RX1R II's AF system appears to be the same Hybrid AF system as the A7R II, complete with 399 phase-detect AF points with 45% coverage along with 25 CDAF points. Sony claims a 30% improvement over the RX1R's autofocus speed, and we'd also expect better accuracy in low light. A more robust tracking algorithm is included, as is an AF-C mode with up to 5 fps continuous shooting. Eye-AF and lock-on AF are also included. As on the original RX1 models, a macro switch ring offers quick access to a close focusing mode that can be used with subjects as close as 14cm. The RX1R II will also offer uncompressed 14-bit Raw capture.

If the retractable 2.4M-dot XGA OLED viewfinder looks familiar that's because a similar unit was implemented in the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 IV. It's complemented by a 3" 1.2M-dot tilting LCD, which tilts up by 109 degrees and down by 41 degrees. Video recording tops out at 1080/60p, and while the camera lacks image stabilization in stills shooting, it provides digital stabilization for video. Wi-Fi and NFC are built in, allowing remote shooting from a smartphone. 

The Sony RX1R II will ship in November for $3299. Let us know what you think, in the comments.


Press release:

Sony Introduces New Palm-Sized RX1R II Camera with 42.4 MP Full-Frame Image Sensor

Sony’s Latest Premium Compact Features Back-Illuminated Full-Frame Sensor, ZEISS® Sonnar T* 35mm F2 Lens, High Speed AF, retractable XGA OLED Viewfinder and World’s First Optical Variable Low Pass Filter1

NEW YORK, Oct. 14, 2015 – Sony Electronics, a worldwide leader in digital imaging and the world’s largest image sensor manufacturer, has today introduced the latest addition to their acclaimed Cyber-shot RX compact camera line, the full-frame RX1R II (model DSC-RX1RM2).  

Joining the original RX1 and RX1R cameras in the family of the world’s smallest full-frame cameras, the new RX1R II delivers the highest picture quality of any Sony compact camera ever made.  This can largely be attributed to the new camera’s high resolution 42.4 MP sensor paired with its large aperture, fixed focal length ZEISS Sonnar T* 35mm F2 lens, which have been fine-tuned to optimize performance together.  

Additionally, the new model features a 30% improvement in AF response speed compared to the original award-winning RX1 models and is equipped with the world’s first optical variable low pass filter that can be set to “off”, “standard” or “high” based on user preference, with low pass filter bracketing available.  The camera also has a convenient retractable XGA OLED viewfinder for eye-level shooting, which has been implemented with minimal change in overall body size from its predecessors.  

“The new RX1R II offers a combination of size and performance that has never before been realized in the world of compact cameras,” said Neal Manowitz, Vice President of Digital Imaging for Sony Electronics.  “We’re giving imaging enthusiasts and professionals the opportunity to enjoy a camera with one of the most powerful combinations of sensor and lens in market today that can easily fit in the palm of your hand.  It’s simply the latest example of the progressive innovation that Sony is bringing to the world of imaging.”

Ultimate Image Quality in the Palm of Your Hand

The new RX1R II camera utilizes a back-illuminated 35mm full-frame Exmor R CMOS sensor with approx. 42.4 effective megapixels paired with a powerful BIONZ X processing engine to achieve superior levels of image resolution and sensitivity (ISO 100-25600, expandable to 50 – 1024002) with wide dynamic range.  The sensor’s back-illuminated structure, with an expanded circuit scale and copper wiring design, enables faster transmission speed and outputs data approximately 3.5x faster than the original RX1R, ensuring high-speed performance.  

Matched specifically for the image sensor, the large aperture 35mm F2 ZEISS Sonnar T* lens ensures that all images captured by the camera are impressively sharp from the center to the corners.  The lens also has a unique Macro shift ring for focusing on subjects as close as 14cm in front of the lens and has nine aperture blades that produce smooth, even background defocus or ‘bokeh’ in the most commonly used aperture ranges.  

Another unique benefit of the new camera is its fixed lens design, which allows the positioning of its sensor and lens to be precisely adjusted to maximize all benefits of the sensor’s extremely high resolution.  The closer the two components are to one another, the wider the angle through which light can pass through the lens and directly reach the sensor, resulting in imagery that is rich in detail and resolution.  Also, unlike the focal plane shutter common to interchangeable lens cameras, RX1R II utilizes an in-lens shutter, allowing 1/2000 sec flash synch speed and a significant reduction in overall body size.

The new RX1R II also offers uncompressed 14-bit RAW image capture to maximize the benefits of the image sensor’s wide dynamic range, while also still supporting existing compressed format.  

High Speed AF to Capture the Decisive Moment

The RX1R II model is the first in Sony’s acclaimed RX line of compact cameras to feature Fast Hybrid AF capabilities.  The camera’s sensor features 399 focal-plane phase-detection AF points that cover about 45% of the image area – the world’s widest AF coverage on a full-frame sensor1 – that work together with 25 contrast AF points to achieve focus response that is about 30% faster than the original model.  Additionally, the camera has adapted an advanced motion-detection algorithm that offers superior tracking performance of moving subjects and allows for the addition of AF-C mode that accurately tracks a subject after focusing.  It also can achieve up to 5fps continuous shooting with AF tracking.  

Other focusing improvements on the new model include multiple AF area settings including Wide, Center and Flexible Spot and Expand Flexible Spot.  The camera also has Eye AF and lock-on AF.  

World’s First Optical Variable Low Pass Filter

In a first for digital cameras, the RX1R II features an optical variable low pass filter that allows shooters to manually adjust the balance of image resolution and presence of moiré or color artifacts to match the subject.   

The three settings for the low-pass filter3 include “off”, which provides comparable effects to having no low-pass filter and is suitable when prioritizing resolution, “standard”, which strikes a balance between resolution and removal of moiré and color artifacts, and “high”, which places more emphasis on reducing moiré and artifacting.  This unique feature allows photographers to achieve the desired image quality and resolution based on the presence of moiré-inducing high spatial frequency objects in the scene, essentially combining two cameras – one with and without a low-pass filter – into one body.  Low-pass filter bracketing is also available and can be used to compare the effects of different settings.

New Retractable XGA OLED Viewfinder, Tiltable Screen, HD Video and more

New for the RX1 series, the RX1R II has a built-in retractable 2.4 million dot XGA OLED Tru-Finder that pops up and down with simple one-push operation.   The viewfinder features ZEISS T* Coating and four glass elements including two aspherical lenses that work together to deliver a magnification of 0.74x4 and clear corner-to-corner visibility with minimal distortion.  The new camera also has a 3.0 type WhiteMagic™ 1.2 million dot LCD display that can tilt upwards up to 109 degrees and downwards up to 41 degrees, allowing for a greater range of shooting angles and positions.

On the video side, the camera’s advanced sensor and processor deliver exceptionally detailed movies with low levels of noise.  It is able to support full HD 1920x1080 video recording at frame rates of 60p, 30p or 24p through use of the versatile XAVC S movie recording format5.  

The new RX1R II camera is also Wi-Fi® and NFC compatible and fully functional with Sony’s PlayMemories Mobile™ application available for Android™ and iOS platforms, as well as Sony’s growing range of PlayMemories Camera Apps™.  

A new version of the popular “Smart Remote Control” app (version 4.0) from PlayMemories Camera Apps, which enables remote shooting from a connected smartphone, will be released that features updated bulb and continuous shooting functionality to match the new camera.  Learn more at www.sony.net/pmca.    

Pricing and Availability

The Sony RX1R II full-frame compact camera will be available in November for about $3300 US and $4300 CA at a variety of Sony authorized dealers in both countries. There is also a new camera case (model LCJ-RXH) that will be available at launch that fits snugly on the new RX1R II as well as the original RX1 and RX1R models.  

A series of exciting new content shot with the RX1R II camera can be found at www.alphauniverse.com, Sony’s new community site built to educate, inspire and showcase all fans and customers of the Sony imaging brand.  

The new content will also be posted directly at Sony global sites https://www.sony.net/Product/di_photo_gallery/.

For US customers seeking more information on the new RX1R II camera, please visit  http://www.sony.com/electronics/cyber-shot-compact-cameras/dsc-rx1rm2 .

1. Among digital cameras. As of October 2015 press release, based on Sony research.

2. Expanded ISO 50-102400 available only for shooting still images

3. Available only for shooting still images

4. Approx. 0.74x with 50mm lens equiv. at infinity, -1m-1.

5. A class 10 or higher SDXC memory card is required to record movies in the XAVC S format.


Sony Cyber-shot RX1R II specifications

Price
MSRP$3299
Body type
Body typeLarge sensor compact
Body materialMagnesium alloy
Sensor
Max resolution7952 x 5304
Image ratio w:h1:1, 4:3, 3:2, 16:9
Effective pixels42 megapixels
Sensor photo detectors44 megapixels
Sensor sizeFull frame (35.9 x 24 mm)
Sensor typeBSI-CMOS
ProcessorBIONZ X
Color spacesRGB, AdobeRGB
Color filter arrayPrimary color filter
Image
ISOAuto, 100-25600, expandable to 50-102400
Boosted ISO (minimum)50
Boosted ISO (maximum)102400
White balance presets9
Custom white balanceYes (with fine-tuning)
Image stabilizationNo
Uncompressed formatRAW
JPEG quality levelsExtra fine, fine, standard
File format
  • JPEG (Exif v2.3, DCF 2.0)
  • Raw (Sony ARW, 14-bit uncompressed)
Image parameters
  • Contrast
  • Saturation
  • Sharpness
  • Color Space
  • Creative Style
Optics & Focus
Focal length (equiv.)35 mm
Optical zoom1×
Maximum apertureF2
Autofocus
  • Contrast Detect (sensor)
  • Phase Detect
  • Multi-area
  • Center
  • Selective single-point
  • Tracking
  • Single
  • Face Detection
Autofocus assist lampYes
Digital zoomYes (4x)
Manual focusYes
Normal focus range24 cm (9.45)
Macro focus range14 cm (5.51)
Number of focus points399
Focal length multiplier1×
Screen / viewfinder
Articulated LCDTilting
Screen size3
Screen dots1,228,800
Touch screenNo
Screen typeTFT LCD
Live viewYes
Viewfinder typeElectronic
Viewfinder coverage100%
Viewfinder magnification0.74×
Viewfinder resolution2,359,296
Photography features
Minimum shutter speed30 sec
Maximum shutter speed1/4000 sec
Exposure modes
  • Auto
  • Program
  • Aperture priority
  • Shutter speed priority
  • Manual
  • Memory Recall
Scene modes
  • Portrait
  • Sports Action
  • Landscape
  • Sunset
  • Night Scene
  • Handheld Twilight
  • Night Portrait
  • Anti Motion Blur
Built-in flashNo
External flashYes (via hot-shoe)
Flash modesOff, auto, fill flash, slow sync, rear sync, wireless
Flash X sync speed1/2000 sec
Drive modes
  • Single
  • Continuous
  • Speed priority continuous
  • Self-timer
  • Continuous bracketing
  • Single bracketing
  • WB bracketing
  • DRO bracketing
  • LPF bracketing
Continuous drive5.0 fps
Self-timerYes (2,5, 10 sec)
Metering modes
  • Multi
  • Center-weighted
  • Spot
Exposure compensation±5 (at 1/3 EV steps)
WB BracketingYes
Videography features
Resolutions1920 x 1080 (60p, 60i, 30p, 24p), 1280 x 720 (120p, 30p)
FormatMPEG-4, AVCHD, XAVC S, H.264
Videography notesSupports bit rates as high as 50Mbps using XAVC S codec
MicrophoneStereo
SpeakerMono
Storage
Storage typesSD/SDHC/SDXC, Memory Stick Pro Duo
Connectivity
USB USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)
HDMIYes (Micro HDMI)
Microphone portYes
Headphone portNo
WirelessBuilt-In
Wireless notes802.11b/g/n with NFC
Remote controlYes (via smartphone)
Physical
Environmentally sealedNo
BatteryBattery Pack
Battery descriptionLithium-Ion NP-BX1 battery and charger
Battery Life (CIPA)220
Weight (inc. batteries)507 g (1.12 lb / 17.88 oz)
Dimensions113 x 65 x 72 mm (4.45 x 2.56 x 2.83)
Other features
Orientation sensorYes
Timelapse recordingNo
GPSNone