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Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 II Review

September 2013 | By Allison Johnson
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20.2MP | 1" BSI CMOS | $750/£649 (MSRP)

True breakthrough products are rare in consumer electronics and perhaps even more rare in the digital camera space. The Sony Cyber-shot RX100 was one of those rare products that caught the attention of casual photographers, enthusiasts and critics alike. It successfully fitted a large 1”-type sensor into a compact camera so inconspicuous that without knowing otherwise, a casual observer would assume it to be a point-and-shoot like any other. Unassuming to the eye, it succeeded in pulling off an impressive trick - delivering excellent image quality from a truly pocketable camera.

Now Sony has introduced the RX100 II, sold as a sister model to the existing camera. A new, back-illuminated 20MP sensor (the largest BSI chip we've yet encountered), gives a claimed 40% improvement in low-light sensitivity, which Sony says will allow the RX100 II to focus faster in low light than its predecessor, as well, of course, as producing cleaner high-ISO images.

Meanwhile, the camera's enthusiast appeal is bolstered by the addition of a Multi-Interface hot shoe, allowing use of external flashguns or, significantly, accessories such as an electronic viewfinder. The rear screen also now tilts up and down, which makes the RX100 II more flexible to use and more at ease in bright light. Impressively, Sony achieved this while adding just 2mm to the camera's depth - so it retains its pocketable prowess. The RX100 II has a list price of $750 - $100 more than that of the original RX100.

Key Features:

  • 1"-type Exmor-R BSI-CMOS sensor (13.2 x 8.8mm, 3:2 aspect ratio)
  • 20.2 million effective pixels
  • 28-100mm (equiv), f/1.8-4.9 Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T* lens
  • Steady-Shot image stabilization
  • ISO 160-12,800 (Down to ISO 100 and to 25,600 expanded)
  • NFC-mediated Wi-Fi allowing file transfer and control from smartphones
  • Rear control dial and customizable front control ring
  • 10fps continuous shooting in 'Speed Priority' mode
  • Tiltable 3" 1.2M-dot 'WhiteMagic' LCD screen
  • 13 Picture Effects (33 with variations)
  • Memory Recall feature can store up to three groups of custom settings
  • 1080p60 video, (AVCHD) with MP4 option (50p in PAL regions)
  • Built-in stereo microphones
  • 330-shot battery life (CIPA)

The RX100 II also manages to find room to include Wi-Fi capabilities that can be set-up using near field communication (NFC) if you have a smartphone that supports it. Those of us without NFC in our mobile devices will have to set the Wi-Fi up manually. The RX100 II's video capabilities have also been expanded, with the camera now offering the ability to capture 1080p footage at 24 frames per second, in addition to the 60p and 30p the current RX100 offers (50p/25p on European models). Sony now offers a filter adapter for the RX100 II and its predecessor, a $30 accessory that makes it possible to use 49mm filters with either camera.

Following on the heels of a hit

The RX100 was well received by consumers, and when we reviewed it last year it earned a Silver Award (mainly in response to user interface concerns). It wasn't just another enthusiast compact camera, it was truly a stunning piece of engineering. Now, the pricier RX100 II promises better low light performance, faster auto focus and the option to add a viewfinder/flash/remote trigger.

With the RX100 still on the market (and selling for a more-attractive $600 in the U.S. and £549 in the U.K.) do the RX100 II's additions and improvements make it worth the extra investment? If a tilting screen and the ability to use accessories aren't deal-makers, does the image quality justify its expense? Read our full analysis.


If you're new to digital photography you may wish to read the Digital Photography Glossary before diving into this article (it may help you understand some of the terms used).

Conclusion / Recommendation / Ratings are based on the opinion of the reviewer, you should read the ENTIRE review before coming to your own conclusions.

Images which can be viewed at a larger size have a small magnifying glass icon in the bottom right corner of the image, clicking on the image will display a larger (typically VGA) image in a new window.

To navigate the review simply use the next / previous page buttons, to jump to a particular section either pick the section from the drop down or select it from the navigation bar at the top.

DPReview calibrate their monitors using Color Vision OptiCal at the (fairly well accepted) PC normal gamma 2.2, this means that on our monitors we can make out the difference between all of the (computer generated) grayscale blocks below. We recommend to make the most of this review you should be able to see the difference (at least) between X,Y and Z and ideally A,B and C.

This article is Copyright 2013 and may NOT in part or in whole be reproduced in any electronic or printed medium without prior permission from the author.

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Comments

Total comments: 507
1234
Jusgojo
By Jusgojo (1 month ago)

Hi- I'm new to photography and bought the Sony RX100 II. This is probably a question that is opposite of most people. Everytime I shoot a macro potrait photo , the background is blurred. How do I unblur the background? What sort of setting can I use?

I like the background defocus for extreme close-up shots, but sometimes i want the background to show up to. Please let me know how to change the settings?

Thanks.

0 upvotes
kiko5575
By kiko5575 (1 month ago)

Hi, did you try to different aperture setings? the f number? if you use like a f numer 1.4 the Depth of Field will be much smaller than if you use f11
check this website
http://www.digital-photography-student.com/depth-of-field-explained/

0 upvotes
douglashuang
By douglashuang (2 months ago)

I owed one. It intermittently vibrates and makes a buzzing noise when turned on. When this happens, I immediately turn it off and on again, usually this stops the vibration/hum. A search on the internet suggests that this is a problem for many Sony cameras, not just the rx-100 II.

1 upvote
gbdz
By gbdz (3 months ago)

Got mine brand new for a really nice price as shops are getting rid of the 'old' stock. How many times did the review mention "shooting experience"-? It made me giggle. Personally, I get my kicks from the stuff I see uploaded on the screen.
Well, to each and every one of the reasons for choosing a camera are personal. I was looking for something pocketable to produce 'acceptable' picture quality. (5D III gives me all the "shooting experience" I want and a discal hernia on the deal).

On the negative side: The box had a very cheap feel to it and the manual is of no help at all. does But there are Kindle version guides for sale on Amazon at 10 dollars. Money well spent. An extra battery and an external charger are still on my shopping list and a protective case.

If this thing lasts in outdoors use is a question to be answered. Then again, I can buy a new one for the price of repairing a Canon L lens....

2 upvotes
WRSIan
By WRSIan (3 months ago)

No kidding with the "shooting experience" stuff.

It's appropriate for a review to mention something like the clicks, or lack of them, with the wheel. That's a design decision Sony made, to do with video use partly, that you can feel one way or another about. I see that.

RX-100 II owners have lots of opinions about how to use the 7 Fn slots, where to put the Drive modes, and so on. If you've spent time with a camera you develop a sense of how it really works in those ways. This particular review, telling us the back command wheel is "slightly under-used," (what? you use it for everything!) reads like our writer hasn't done the homework.

The shoddy manual is a much more legitimate criticism. None of the Sony manuals come close to the third-party books out there. They phoned that in, and they should be called on that. The lack of an intervelometer, or of solid support for PlayMemories, are substantial points. Reviews miss that stuff about this camera, and obsess on the ring.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 57 seconds after posting
1 upvote
Matou
By Matou (3 months ago)

I am on the point of buying one of these cameras but need a wireless remote control (not smartphone based!) so that clients can operate it remotely over a long period.
To my abject amazement nobody makes one that is compatible with new sony multi connector!
Can anybody correct me on this? I hope that I am wrong.. but I can't find a solution.. thanks

0 upvotes
WRSIan
By WRSIan (3 months ago)

You might want to ask the TriggerTrap people. They've only just come out with the Rx-100 II compatible version of their product, and while it's mainly driven off a smart phone dongle, the whole thing is pretty extensible. (You can use TriggerTrap with hackable arduino kit, for example, to have your robot take pictures.)

The TriggerTrap Ada product they're about to come out with seems like a physical trigger of some kind, too.

0 upvotes
Galbertson
By Galbertson (5 months ago)

If connected to iPad via NFC, will Voice over in iPad read/speak data/words from iPad? I am sight limited, this would help me wonderfully!

0 upvotes
kecajkerugo
By kecajkerugo (5 months ago)

Hmmm...I am not Sony lover but just visited the review because I like reading about cameras. And....compared the dynamic range but not between the selected cameras as in this review but also between them and some of the FF DSLR and leading mirror less- stuff and I am kind of shocked: the latest small sensor are just well comparable to the big boys! You can argue than one is still better by one stop or something but hey, the winners are not obvious.
Check yourself!

0 upvotes
PatMann
By PatMann (5 months ago)

24-120 equivalent f/4 at the long end with built-in finder and somebody's got my $ for a compact P&S zoom with 1-inch sensor. Getting close here.

0 upvotes
theRose
By theRose (5 months ago)

canon GX1 mk ii comes close there, albeit without viewfinder, otherwise I think you'll have to go mft, but that is much, much bigger in terms of size

0 upvotes
Sad Joe
By Sad Joe (5 months ago)

PLUS: Zeiss lens ! CONS: MARK 3 is ready for roll out already.

0 upvotes
NYCzoom
By NYCzoom (5 months ago)

I've heard the RX100 M2 is not really so much better in low light as the first model. I currently own the RX100 and am wondering if I should upgrade to RX100 M2. Anyone out there that has both? What do you guys think? Also maybe I should wait for the successor to the RX100 M2... some say possibly this summer? I would love to have the EVF, but the current one is almost as expensive as the camera itself... hope Sony releases a less expensive EVF.

0 upvotes
pnoble
By pnoble (4 months ago)

I have both, the difference is not substantial. The Mk 3 is surely coming soon and surely worth waiting for. From my POV. I'm personally hoping for a wider lens (i.e. 24mm) and a wider and more uniform maximum aperture, but Sony is already evidently pushing the limits considering the camera and sensor size.

1 upvote
oldstudent
By oldstudent (3 months ago)

What do you mean by " more uniform maximum aperture"? Are you complaining that the maximum aperture of the current one is problematic?

0 upvotes
davids8560
By davids8560 (5 months ago)

I am going to get the RX100 II simply because I can attach a viewfinder, when needed. And I have found that a viewfinder is sometimes sorely needed with the RX100, even in only modestly bright conditions. Even when setting the RX100's LCD to Sunny Day mode, a viewfinder is needed. I find the RX100 LCD is just barely bright enough in sunny conditions.

The Olympus XZ-1's high-quality VF-2 optional viewfinder is not all that large and it rides around in a case that attaches to the neck strap. It's a little inconvenient, but it is absolutely great to have, when the need arises. But of course the XZ-1's IQ just doesn't match the RX100. I suppose that goes without saying.

I would like to see a small viewfinder built in to a future design of the RX100, much like the one built into the tiny Panasonic LF-1. That would be ideal. Even if it was sub-par, since it would only be used occasionally, as needed.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 5 minutes after posting
4 upvotes
wke002
By wke002 (6 months ago)

Darn, I got myself the sony grip and found now it wont fit in the original casing. Am now looking for the smallest pouch possible that can fit these camera + my Samsung note 2 to attached to my waist belt.

Been searching the web, found some nice pouch but often its small enough for a compact or the pouch/bag is too large to my liking. hope forummers can direct the link for the smallest possible pouch that fits both at one time.

Thanks.

0 upvotes
solarfl4re
By solarfl4re (3 months ago)

The Lowepro Dashpoint 10 is a GREAT fit - any smaller, and it wouldn't fit.

Here's how my RX100 (mk I) looks in it: https://db.tt/fP8Usv2R
I expect the mark II will fit as well.

EDIT: I see that you want a case to fit your RX100 and another device - so my suggestion might not work. But to anyone looking for a slim, affordable case for the RX100, I would still recommend the Dashpoint 10.

Comment edited 3 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
wke002
By wke002 (6 months ago)

I just bought one in replace of my d7000. got the d7000 as never in life had one and it was a craze to learn photography at that time but than found my shots are mainly at home or with children strolling down the park. got the x10 when the orb issue surface. sold it as its not compact enough. to lug a d7000 around a park or just cycling seems crazy.

First shot of the camera after came out of shop was night scene parade. We were taking mostly children and its sooooo difficult to get all 9 childrens to pose in one place for more than 2sec. it might not be the many contributors whom had beautiful night shots in this forum but for me am satisfied with the outcome.

as each person has different opinion when I ask around for compact, recommendation from Canon GX-1, Fuji x20/x100s, canon s120/OMD !!!

Have narrow my term of compact to either rx100II or Canon S120 and given majority of photos under dim light and after searching the web for comparison, have settled down for the rx100II.

0 upvotes
papa natas
By papa natas (6 months ago)

Should have wait for the RX10...
Now you'll have to go and sell the RX100-2..
and start all aver again.

0 upvotes
Duncan Dimanche
By Duncan Dimanche (7 months ago)

The wifi is soooo useless !!! I tried it and all you can do is press the shutter change from video to photo and zoom.... And no setting at all !!

Let me explain :

You can't set it manually !
Even if you set up all your settings and then turn on the wifi it will still shoot in auto mode.... and the wifi range is pathétique too... I will say up to 5m (I tried taking picture with my Rx100 on my DJI phantom for a job and it lost it after less than 10m away...

I mean if Gopro does a better job with the wifi how come sony is incapable of doing so ?

Comment edited 42 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
WRSIan
By WRSIan (3 months ago)

This is a very good point, and goes to the more general issue of Sony's lack of significant support for the things like PlayMemories apps.

Your camera ships without an intervelometer? Firmware updates should.... Oh, they don't do those? Failing that, just plug one into the extensible application that can control it remotely! And there is such a thing, only the folks at Sony haven't tweaked it to work with their premium compact, so we're out of luck.

The inability to control any kind of settings with the Wifi shooting is just a symptom of an important support task Sony is failing to perform. They're quite unresponsive when it comes to supporting this exceptional little camera. The manual is sort of throw-away-able, actually, even on the most basic level of support.

0 upvotes
PGSexton
By PGSexton (7 months ago)

Where can one obtain a quality hard-copy manual for the 100ii?

0 upvotes
papa natas
By papa natas (6 months ago)

It comes with the camera.
A VERY cheap, little, puny manual, edited on recycled paper.
And don't go there with rough fingers...it will deteriorate the ink.

0 upvotes
EricCul
By EricCul (5 months ago)

Not sure what "papa natas" is talking about, but that description doesn't fit the manual I got.

Anyway, PGSexton, if the official manual doesn't fit your needs, there are a couple of books written specifically for the RX100 II on Amazon. Judging by the ratings, people seem to like them.

0 upvotes
Chris62
By Chris62 (7 months ago)

In test scene we can see right down corner of the picture completely unsharp and on the left side is much better.
It means poor quality.
Right mounted lens on camera should give the same sharpness in all 4 corners.

2 upvotes
Cal22
By Cal22 (6 months ago)

You're right in seeing 'poor quality'!

Whatever might be causing the 'poor quality' - the alignment of the camera in the studio or the alignment of lens elements or the lenses attachment to the camera body - the result is an image quality, you can't seriously praise as 'top of its class'!

In a camera review on a german website ('dkamera') you can find the same phenomenon: They ignore the poor image quality of the RX100II compared to the RX100 (see last two images in test chapter 'Abbildungsleistung') - and give the camera the highest rating!

I'm surely no hater of Zeiss lenses as being owner of six of them. But the renowned brandname can't make me blind. That's why I haven't bought me the RX100 II I was really interested in.

0 upvotes
RasterFarian
By RasterFarian (5 months ago)

Hi, I'm looking into the 100 or the 100 II. Are you saying that the image quality of the II is lower than the 100? If so do you know why that would be? Identical lens and sensor.
Thanks for any advice, feedback.

0 upvotes
Cal22
By Cal22 (5 months ago)

Hi, RasterFarian!
'Are you saying that the image quality of the II is lower than the 100?' Yes, that's how it looks! And I don't know what to think of it!

My advice: If you can do without Wi-Fi or an optional viewfinder, go for the RX100, the price of which has dropped down a lot!

Or take the equally sized Panasonic GM1 into consideration, with its bigger sensor, its praised tiny zoom lens and the option for lens changing.

Or what about the Canon G1X II (still to be launched in a few weeks), which seems to be a really versatile and capable compact camera, albeit not as compact as the RX100 II, but with a bigger sensor and with expanded zoom range? The Canon - the optional VF included - is anything but inexpensive, though.

0 upvotes
jdob123
By jdob123 (5 months ago)

I tend to spot a lot of "equally sized" sentences and I'm always interested but always also let down. So the short answer to GM1 vs RX100 is: not really. See eg. http://www.dpreview.com/previews/panasonic-lumix-dmc-gm1/images/SidebySideTd_RX-001.jpg

There are no micro-4/3 cameras that come even close to having the same pocketability, since the thickness with the zoom lenses seem to be at minimum twice of RX100.

Then the zoom lens always also tend to have poor ability to capture light, like starting with F3.5. With a nice 80% larger sensor in 4/3 cameras than RX100, you'd still need at least F2.5 lens or so to match low-light capability of RX100, assuming other sensor aspects remain the same.

0 upvotes
acid592
By acid592 (7 months ago)

Yep, it seems there is a relation with focusing and sizes of sensors or lenses. But maybe nanotechnology can bring super sharp and high zoom cameras. And maybe there can high spectrum sensors including infrared or ultraviolet for example and then use it for some improvement in visual image. It is easy to imagine, but I am not sure if it is physically possible.

0 upvotes
clburton2
By clburton2 (7 months ago)

hello, will sony build the rx100II with a longer zoom range? why is this so difficult to find? I want a compact point and shoot camera with a larger sensor but more zoom range. is this impossible?

0 upvotes
Greynerd
By Greynerd (7 months ago)

You cannot have it all ways so I suspect what you want is not possible. The consensus is that Sony have got the most into the least space that has been achieved up to now.

Comment edited 3 minutes after posting
2 upvotes
Neodp
By Neodp (4 months ago)

Yes balances; but then these have been repeatedly broken before and "limits" or "physics" have been worked around. This is true photographic progress. That's history and will be the future. What's not been done well or in more than tiny progress is putting it all together in one camera and well. Including affordability and size. Where's that balance? Given the mass market scale then That's no where near unrealistic.

0 upvotes
StephenTee
By StephenTee (7 months ago)

It was recently commented that at a given ISO of 3200, a longer exposure was needed for the Sony RX-100 II than the Fuji x20 (1/8s vs 1/15s for roughly the same f-stop).

However, since the RX-100 II "base ISO" is 160 vs the Fuji's 100, you could claim that it's expected for the ISO or exposure values to be about 2/3 different in the exact same light/exposure conditions.

0 upvotes
Causio
By Causio (7 months ago)

Again, not really. If you set the iso 3200 on both cameras, what the "base iso" is doesn't matter. It's just 3200 for both sony and fuji. My observation was that you can't compare them on the same ISO value when the other values (F, speed) turn out to imply that sony needs to get more time, hence possibly needing a further ISO increment

Comment edited 3 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Frank Z C
By Frank Z C (8 months ago)

You will be luckily enough finding that this is the only fault.

0 upvotes
Causio
By Causio (8 months ago)

I just noticed that the RX100 II overestimates ISO to the point where - being iso the same - it shoots at half speed as the Fuji X20. You can download the night shots at iso 3200 for both and check yourself: Sony is 1/8 sec f5, Fuji 1/15 f4.5. Sony shot at iso 6400 brings it at 1/15 sec (f5). Even considering the tighter aperture, sony overestimates iso more than Fuji does (2/3 stops?). In real world, this would translate as shooting at lower iso with Fuji, being the desired speed and aperture the same.
It would be nice if dpReview made people notice in an OBVIOUS way on their comparison pages, that there is some iso overestimation going on for all cameras, and varying from model to model.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 6 minutes after posting
2 upvotes
Timmbits
By Timmbits (8 months ago)

if you did a little bit of math, you would realize that the photosites are much larger on the rx100, hence, at identical iso, will pick up about twice as much light.

so of course, for a given exposure, at a given ISO sensitivity, the rx100 doesn't need nearly as long.

1 upvote
Causio
By Causio (7 months ago)

Doesn't make much sense, at least explained that way. I can reply that it needs more light because the sensor is bigger... if you put the same light received at the same time by a smaller sensor, distribute that amount of photons all over the bigger sensor and the photo will be darker. Hence, it captures more light because it is physically necessary for achieving the same exposure. And guess what? The sony needs in fact LONGER...

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 15 minutes after posting
3 upvotes
Dougbm_2
By Dougbm_2 (7 months ago)

At the long end of the zoom (f1.8-4.9) the Sony will be getting less light to it's sensor compared with the Fuji and although it's sensor has more light gathering area it cannot make up the difference to the Fuji with it's brighter lens (f2.0 -2.8). Hence the Sony needs more time to gather the light and chooses a slower shutter speed.

1 upvote
Frank Z C
By Frank Z C (8 months ago)

Thanks Robert. That makes sense.

0 upvotes
Robert Wise
By Robert Wise (8 months ago)

Hi Frank. I can answer your question regarding price of the RX100 Mark II.
The price of cameras are based on what they think you are prepared to pay and not cost of production. That is why manufacturers price cameras at a high price when introduced (to tempt the early adopters) and then a Dutch auction takes place over months where prices are reduced to tempt others.

3 upvotes
papa natas
By papa natas (8 months ago)

Wise men say, only fools rush in.
But I can't help being a born hoarder.
That's the motto for early buyers.
I always wait at least 6 months to buy a camera of my fancy, so I have time to see the elevation and the landing of the novelty.
It's a quarantine I give to see the aps that will ensure a better performance. Usually the models bought after that period already have the aps.

0 upvotes
Timmbits
By Timmbits (8 months ago)

don't forget that there is a cost, to being without.
if you calculate the time until obsolescence as the end date of ownership, you aren't paying as much more as first appears.
the trick is to finding a good balance... what are the extra 6 months of using it (in the above example) worth to you? if you think you'll keep this camera 2 years, waiting 6 months to save 25% gains you nothing. if you keep your cameras longer than that before replacing them, then it makes sense, of course.

1 upvote
papa natas
By papa natas (7 months ago)

Remember the infamous Fujifilm X10? And the hellish lapse of time before the company acknowledged the disks flop? They all were first wave buyers. I never sell my cameras. I'm a camera hoarder, and they will lay me to my final rest with all my toys. Batteries included.

1 upvote
Frank Z C
By Frank Z C (8 months ago)

Yes MK2 have more features than the original RX-100. But wonder why it is so expensive for a camera made in China?

0 upvotes
papa natas
By papa natas (8 months ago)

Patriotism doesn't make a better camera, Frank.

2 upvotes
Timmbits
By Timmbits (8 months ago)

china is known for shoddy, or at the very least, inconsistent, manufacturing, and they pay exploitative wages, which are reflected in their bottom line.
what has this got to do with patriotism @papanatas?
for me, anything coming out of a country that is half a century behind in the space race, is just a disposable consumer product not worth paying a premium for, no matter what label you slap onto it.

Comment edited 45 seconds after posting
2 upvotes
M Lammerse
By M Lammerse (7 months ago)

@ Timmbits: I sometimes have that feeling too when people (iDiots) pay a fortune for a chinese product with a US marketed shiny apple on it.

I have to use Apple myself too, so I know where I talk about. ;-)

1 upvote
crazyhorse5
By crazyhorse5 (8 months ago)

After looking for a compact digital with large sensor. It seems that the Lumix DMC-Lx7 seems to have the largest sensor with the best Lens . So would this make it the best one to buy for Picture quality , which is what i really want. Not sure if it has zoom , but then none of the large sensors seem to have zoom. Would cropping deliver the same results as a Sony HX50v

0 upvotes
Timmbits
By Timmbits (8 months ago)

you're kidding, or being sarcastic, dissing the lx7 and the hx50v?
otherwise you're mistaken. the lx7 has a small sensor at 1/1.7", and the hx50v has a tiny sensor at 1/2.3"
the rx100ii has a 1" sensor, much much larger.

1 upvote
Dougbm_2
By Dougbm_2 (7 months ago)

Maybe the confusing naming of sensor sizes has...er..confused him.
One day we may have an understandable naming ie diagonal measurement in mm (7.2 to 43.3mm) or surface area (28 to 864 mm) or just a grading eg size 1x to 30... 1x being the smallest used in cameras (1/2.3") and 30x being "Full Frame or 35mm film size.
This would make the Sony X100 a 4.1x sensor and an LX7 a 1.72x, a Fuji X20 a 2.0x, an OMD-E5 an 8.0x and Canon 70D 19.5x and a 5D 30x. The HX50V would be a 1.0x.

1 upvote
aerorail
By aerorail (8 months ago)

thom hogan

http://www.gearophile.com/cameras/camera-reviews/sony-rx100-and-rx100ii.html

Final Words

If you're looking for the best image quality you can produce from a shirt pocket camera that has a great deal of flexibility, then buy the RX-100. Or the RX-100II if you think the tilt LCD, WiFi, or EVF option will be useful. I've been carrying this camera around the world with me for over two years now. It's never disappointed me for compact-type camera usage. Never. That's saying a lot.

2 upvotes
DPReview007
By DPReview007 (8 months ago)

I couldn't agree more. Diamond award from me. As dpreview admits, this is the clear class leader. I'm somewhat confused about their "silver award"...

0 upvotes
geranium
By geranium (7 months ago)

Hi Thom. I have a Nikon 7001 etc that I am about to manoeuvre to my first and last trip to Africa. I cant really afford to buy a compact camera on top of all the other bits and pieces I've forked out for but I think it will be an essential extra for impromptu people shots and twilight walks. (I am 70 and arthritic) A Sony RX 100 seems the way to go but low light shooting and wide angle may be important on these occasions . Just how much better is the mark II for low light shots.? Would really appreciate your opinion.

0 upvotes
Peter Kroll
By Peter Kroll (8 months ago)

With a slightly higher max aperture at the tele and this would by my ideal camara.
Peter Kroll, Singapore

0 upvotes
shawnfb
By shawnfb (7 months ago)

it probably wouldn't get in your pocket...

0 upvotes
North Conor
By North Conor (9 months ago)

I did not really find an answer to this in the review: Putting the extra features aside, is it worth it to spend the extra money on the RX100 II (over the RX100) based on picture quality/focus speed?

0 upvotes
North Conor
By North Conor (9 months ago)

I read through the review again, and I did find the answers I was looking for.

0 upvotes
notnaff
By notnaff (9 months ago)

I'm in the same position. RX100 or RX100 mk2?

The review, last page, says "...would you be better off saving some money and buying the now-discounted RX100 instead? That depends. If a slightly-less-noisy ISO 3200 JPEG is worth an extra $150 to you, then the RX100 II will be the better investment. If you can live with a little more noise, don't care much for a tilting LCD and don't plan to use Wi-Fi sharing, then you're better off with an RX100".

I think I'll go for the RX100 as I only usually shoot in daylight and the shop will through in a free ever-ready case.

Comment edited 38 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
marike6
By marike6 (9 months ago)

From the review: "Overall, the RX100 II is virtually untouchable in its compact camera class".

And they still found it appropriate to give it a Silver Award? Pretty incredible really. I thought for sure when the RX100 II was reviewed, DPR would correct its earlier "Silver Award" slip up for the original RX100 by giving the II a much deserved highest rating.

The only other camera that I can remember that so obviously led its class in pretty much every area and still received "only" a Silver Award was the D7000. Not really a complaint as I don't own either camera just an observation.

5 upvotes
Michael Z Houston
By Michael Z Houston (9 months ago)

I really like the fact that the hotshoe allows me to attach the small Sony bounce flash to the camera when taking photographs of friends in unlighted spaces. I am pleased I traded up from the RX 100. Of all my cameras this is the one I use the most because I always have it with me.

Comment edited 47 seconds after posting
1 upvote
Stephen Owades
By Stephen Owades (8 months ago)

The pop-up flash in the RX100 can be tilted up (with a finger) to become a bounce flash, and I've been very pleased with the ability of my RX100 to shoot portraits without adding external flash gear. I assume the RX100II flash will also tilt. Agree completely that a camera that's small and light enough to have with you at all times can be more valuable than a "better" camera that you don't bring because of bulk and weight.

0 upvotes
alfpang
By alfpang (7 months ago)

Agree. This is a Gold camera for its class.

1 upvote
carlgt1
By carlgt1 (9 months ago)

has anyone tested it's "dust gathering" capabilities? My original RX100 had a dusty sensor within a few days, maybe not at Nikon D600 level, but it was still annoying to shoot a blue sky at higher aperture and see blue blobs.

2 upvotes
Steven Pam
By Steven Pam (8 months ago)

I have an RX100 Mk II, and had sensor dust within two weeks. I've just received it back from having returned it for cleaning, tested it on the sky, and there is still dust - well, a different, small spot in a different location.
To replace the RC as my "every day carry" camera, I bought a second-hand OM-D E-M5 which is an altogether more interesting, fun, and competent camera (although significantly larger, of course). As soon as the RX is fixed, I'll be listing it on eBay.
Maybe I'm fussy, but I find sensor dust on a non-interchangeable lens camera to be a total deal-breaker.

2 upvotes
Timmbits
By Timmbits (8 months ago)

thanks for mentioning this guys!
I had no idea this was a problem with these!

I guess it must be the chinese manufacturing making parts that rub against each other not as smooth as better quality japanese products?

there is no way I would pay the kind of money they are asking for it, for a product of lesser quality.

2 upvotes
cokeisit
By cokeisit (7 months ago)

@Timmbits Way to jump to conclusions! Reading on another site, people have had no problems with their RX100M2 made in China. And the OP didn't say whether or not his original RX100 was made in China.

0 upvotes
CaseyComo
By CaseyComo (9 months ago)

I have this camera. It's pretty terrific. My favorite feature is the articulating screen. Coupling this with its small size and non-threatening appearance makes it the perfect street camera. I typically hold it at chest or waist level and shoot it looking down at the screen. This makes me essentially invisible and able to get great shots. It's easy to get shots 90 degrees left or right of me by turning the camera, and even behind me by holding it to my side and turning it to face back.

My other cam is a Nikon D7000 with a nice array of lenses. Great, but definitely not able to get the same level of candid street shots because it gets noticed. If I had to keep only one? Don't ask! It's like asking me to choose which of my kids is my favorite.

1 upvote
MarcusGR
By MarcusGR (9 months ago)

Now than Oly has released its Stylus1, it is high time for Sony to respond by equipping RX100 with a built-in EVF (and possibly a slightly longer zoom, as far as camera size does not exceed 400 grs.) !!
A viewfinder is vital for ... grown-up travellers, finding it highly un-practical having to wear glasses each time they need to see details on a darned small screen in a sunny day.
Of course, RX100's sensor is much larger than Stylus1's. Nonetheless, a long-sighted person will rather sacrifice some IQ (and some high-ISO performance) than the possibility to SEE what his/her camera is framing. As to external (add-on) VFs, they are not a viable option for a traveller's camera !

Comment edited 4 times, last edit -605 seconds after posting
2 upvotes
JanesyB
By JanesyB (9 months ago)

Buy a camera with an EVF or OVF then... there's a lot of able sighted people that don't want to compromise on IQ and noise handling to satisfy people that can't invest in bifocal or varifocal glasses.

3 upvotes
MtEvans
By MtEvans (9 months ago)

Spot On My Friend!

I'd like to see the % of the under 45 market who own a camera other than the one on their phone, how old that camera is and how often the upgrade that purchase.

Ignoring the "grown up" market is stupid.

They have the money and they have more specific needs (visual acuity & dials-not touch screens) and are willing to pay handsomely for it. Developing a camera that suits the 45+ crowd is a lot smarter than trying to convert the twenty something to upgrade to a camera other than the one that's on their phone.

1 upvote
mcshan
By mcshan (9 months ago)

I hope they keep the RX series SMALL. Add EVF/OVF, more zoom all all the other internet wish-lists might ruin what is already special. Small size and larger point and shoot sensor made the RX100 different. I hope that doesn't change.

Comment edited 28 seconds after posting
3 upvotes
Dougbm_2
By Dougbm_2 (7 months ago)

@MarcuGR.
Sorry: have to do this.

IMPRACTICAL not UN.

Had a look at the Stylus 1. Great to handle and excellent viewfinder but the IQ is a little worse than the ZX-2 due to the longer zoom having quite a bit of distortion ( looking at the reviews now on the web).
It is also a little large. Make me think why not just have an EM-5 and a couple of lenses but I DO see the point of this camera.
A near equivalent is the Sony RX10 but as the sensor is much larger so too is the lens and therefore the whole rig.

1 upvote
Jolnar
By Jolnar (10 months ago)

For those who's been following, I've updated my test on this camera http://www.squidoo.com/sony-dsc-rx100-ii-review

Gotta say, honestly I'm impressed at the results (again). :)

2 upvotes
chillgreg
By chillgreg (6 months ago)

"This Sony camera beats my D7000 at ISO above 1600"

Squidoo is a joke, as are your "reviews". Just spamming for hits, pathetic.

0 upvotes
utomo99
By utomo99 (10 months ago)

I hope sony update the firmware ans solve some of the issue, and can get higher point.
some of them can be improved by firmware update.
But I don't know if sony willing to do it or not.

For next year, I suggest sony to start the lens from 24mm. and also trying to have fast lens (on tele)

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
2 upvotes
mailman30
By mailman30 (10 months ago)

"the flash offers a working distance of 0.30 to 15 meters."

are you serious? Not even canon's top of the line external flash will do much at 15 meters (~50 feet)

These may be the specs but you guys should list real world numbers. I really don't think this flash would do much past 10 feet.

2 upvotes
rvenes
By rvenes (10 months ago)

Is there a time lapse function on this camera?
Will mount this camera on a hexacopter an shoot areal photography.
Cant use WIFI (if there is wifi on it)

0 upvotes
DerekWillmott
By DerekWillmott (10 months ago)

Am I the only one who finds a rear screen almost useless in bright outdoor light? If this camera or the Pana GM1 had a good EVF (and either a smaller screen or a little larger size to accommodate it) would not everyone who walks and shoots outside want one? I know I would. Who will be the first manufacturer to sell to every hiker on the planet?

1 upvote
DaveE1
By DaveE1 (10 months ago)

Personally, I have not had a problem with the RX100II's screen. I leave mine at Auto, so it adjusts to ambient light levels. There is an option in the menu settings for "Sunny Weather", as well as "Manual". Along with the tilt screen, that should cover most people's needs nicely.

You can also get an excellent Sony EVF to go with the RX100II. Too expensive if you don't need it, but good value if the absence of one bothers you. I like that it is an add on, so that the majority who don't need it can still enjoy the smaller size with large screen.

1 upvote
CaseyComo
By CaseyComo (9 months ago)

Nope, I know what you mean. That said, even in the brightest light I can usually see enough to compose the shot. Works for me, YMMV. :)

0 upvotes
Fotomaker01
By Fotomaker01 (10 months ago)

Given the price of this camera (and its optional electronic viewfinder) it is a crime that Sony doesn't provide a printed real (vs. Quick Start) manual for the camera. There is also no CD with the manual or other software disc included with the camera. And, the Web-based version of the manual is a pain to read - it's all topline topics only and requires clicking to expand any given topic. There is just no facility for the speed and ease of flipping back and forth b/wn manual pages that there would be with a printed, with decent sized font (geared to the eyesight of middle-aged people who can afford the blankety blank camera) manual. For such a complex camera that is so feature rich, a printed manual is a must!

6 upvotes
CaseyComo
By CaseyComo (9 months ago)

Agreed. Printed manual is useful. Want.

0 upvotes
mhammon
By mhammon (8 months ago)

I agree and found this ebook to be a great manual. I have it on my iPad and iPhone, so it's available when I'm in the field.

“The Complete Guide to Sony’s Cyber-Shot RX-100 Camera. Professional insights for the experienced photographer”, by Gary L. Friedman, Version 2.1. http://www.amazon.com/Complete-Guide-Sonys-Cybershot-RX-100-ebook/dp/B00BEO4IJK

He has one for the Mk2, too. http://friedmanarchives.com/RX100-MK2/.

1 upvote
tropicmerc
By tropicmerc (4 months ago)

Same here. Put Gary Friedman's RX100 M2 ebook on my phone for easy reference anywhere. Great explanation of all the wonderful features of this magic camera. It really pays to take the time and learn about it in great detail. The more I use this camera, the more I like it.

0 upvotes
msmithphd80
By msmithphd80 (10 months ago)

So, no gold eh? Oh well, still an awesome camera - one would hope the price might come down with only silver (haha). Anyway - I am not a pro, but I love taking pics... so, since I ended up not even using the Canon DSLR package I've got... I bought the RX100II AND the RX1R from here - best prices are constantly updated here (and the writer is cute), so I finally got the other one as well: http://www.squidoo.com/sony-dsc-rx100-ii-review) and sold my DSLR. For a lot of photographers, I don't think these Sony compacts can replace their set-ups, but for me, they do. And they do it well too.

1 upvote
Jolnar
By Jolnar (10 months ago)

Well everyone is entitled to their own opinion. But do take a look at the tests that I had done using the RX100 II against 3 other mid to high end cameras - http://www.squidoo.com/sony-dsc-rx100-ii-review

You will be surprised why this camera is call a breakthrough product. :)

1 upvote
pvida
By pvida (10 months ago)

Does anyone know if Sony has managed to improve the locking mechanism of the battery door ? It´s all safe in even when the door is open but it´s annoying and I have the fear to break it while moving in and out of the pocket.

0 upvotes
FreedomLover
By FreedomLover (10 months ago)

When is your battery door opening?
When you reach for the camera in a tight pocket?
Or when you put it into a tight pocket?

0 upvotes
pvida
By pvida (9 months ago)

Mainly when getting it out. The door ist locked by a single slider only. The mechanism I know from the Canon S (90) ist more secure.

0 upvotes
Mike7500
By Mike7500 (10 months ago)

Is it worth the extra $150 to buy the II instead of the I?

I will be using it mainly for low light indoor and outdoor concerts.

Comment edited 60 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
DaveE1
By DaveE1 (10 months ago)

Yes. I would recommend the II for what you plan to use it for.

The tilting screen alone (not on the first model) will make the job of shooting at events so much easier. I find myself using the screen also tilted up; allowing easy waist level shooting.

The back illuminated sensor should also help with lower light conditions and the multi-interface hotshoe allows for a better mic to be attached. The added WiFi may come in useful for use on location too.

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
1 upvote
alfpang
By alfpang (7 months ago)

Get the II so you can add a stereo mic. Really makes a difference for concerts.

0 upvotes
harry in harrisburg
By harry in harrisburg (10 months ago)

I would like to comment on the click-less ring. I would like it for zooming better than one with click detents. I have a Canon SX-100 that I remotely control the focal length with. I am stuck with settings of 24, 28, 35, 50, 85, 100 and 120mm. If you look at the angular field coverage at each step, you find large gaps between some, and almost duplicates with others.

I would much rather have it infinitely variable.

==============

Also with all of these cameras, be aware when comparing the extremes in focal lengths, you take into effect the aspect ratio of the final work you expect to do. The sensor in my SX-100 is .75:1 (close to an 8x10 for instance). If you make prints close to this, and you use a camera with a 2:3 ratio, like the RX-100, what looks like a Wide Angle view of 28 mm becomes more like 30 mm. You wind up cropping quite a bit off of the ends of the image.

1 upvote
Artvladi
By Artvladi (10 months ago)

Is this review biased?

if you go to the Image Quality compared (Low Light) page of this review, there appears to be a lot of similar sized compact cameras that do much better than Sony DCS-RX-100 II, for example, select RAW 800 and compare it to Olympus Pen E-PL5 or Lumix DMC-GX7 or some of the Fujis of the same size and weight as Sony. The image quality and resolution of Sony seems to be inferior based on these shots. Is this an error or a biased review toward Sony?

2 upvotes
Artvladi
By Artvladi (10 months ago)

Also, Ricoh GR is even more pocketable, has bigger sensor and produces much better pictures than Sony RX100 II in low light according to its review on this site.

0 upvotes
DaveE1
By DaveE1 (10 months ago)

You are comparing the pocketable compact RX100II to the Olympus Pen E-PL5? Also, the Lumix DMC-GX7? Are you on the wrong page perhaps? Do you know the difference between these categories of camera? Throw in the Nikon D800 into the mix too - sure why not? ;-)

Comment edited 13 minutes after posting
11 upvotes
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (10 months ago)

Artvladi:

Besides the fact that cameras like the GX7 take interchangeable lenses, which add bulk. The GX7 hasn't really shipped yet. It and the new Olympus are the first really good MFT cameras for high ISO work above ISO 1600.

The Ricoh GR, yes, it can be used at high ISOs, but it takes some work and serious raw extraction software. It also uses a fixed lens. It's a plenty good camera that someone can put in a biggish pocket, but it's not exactly in the same category as the Sony RX100.

2 upvotes
unofr
By unofr (10 months ago)

RX100 vs RX100M2

I really need your HELP
Fist of all I'm diver and i'll use this camera underwater in a Nauticam housing.
It was my birthday yesterday and my wife has bought the RX100
Since exchange with Alex from Nauticam yesterday I thougt thath the better option was the RX100M2
I didn't open the box and would like to know if M2 will be a better choice.

I will use the camera underwater but not so much on land
So what a difficult choice for me

I received this info from Nauticam :
"Will you use the camera a lot on land? If so, the RX100II is the better option. I think if you are spending €2000 on a housing, lenses and flashes, that €200 on the camera is not really so much and the RX100II is the better option.

Let me know and I can do you a devis.

I would exchange it for the version 2 if I were you. The hotshoe may
be useful, the wifi is convenient and the tilt screen is useful on land."

Thanks for your help

0 upvotes
unofr
By unofr (10 months ago)

Add information :

I received this info from uwdigitalcamera :
"It is very difficult.
The camera performance, definitely M2 is improved and better one.
But it is your decision which one you select, and consider it is worth for the difference 200EUR.
The housing for RX100, it is almost discontinued.
And now the housing for M2 is hot item.
I like ACQUAPAZZA housing, it is very good housing.
And its price is far reasonable than Nauticam.

But if you will use outside monitor, and you take movie mainly, then Nauticam housing has flexibility for these functions and accessories."

Tanks for your help

0 upvotes
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (10 months ago)

V2 is better at higher ISOs, because of the BSI sensor, so easier to shoot with less light underwater.

Check to make sure that raws can be sent via wifi if your intention is to get raws off the camera while it's still in the underwater housing.

I assume you realize that this lens gets significantly slower as it zooms out.

0 upvotes
george2013
By george2013 (10 months ago)

The name of the game is wide depth of field. People today watch tv, and on tv you see no out of focus areas. When people look at photographs, they expect the same. The winner will always be the camera that creates clear focused pictures with no out of focus areas.

1 upvote
njb311
By njb311 (10 months ago)

Did I miss a huge amount of sarcasm here? Sorry if I did, but if not, then not only is it untrue what you are saying about TV shows being shot entirely within depth of field, but achieving large depth of field has always been far less challenging for cameras than narrow depth of field, with the proviso that in low light the photographer needs to be able to either slow the shutter or use higher ISO. But that has forever been the case. I also fundamentally disagree with the comparison between moving images and stills.

1 upvote
AndyW17
By AndyW17 (11 months ago)

I recently travelled with a borrowed RX100 for 10 days, along with my FZ200 superzoom. The RX did 90% of the work. The LCD is surprisingly great and didn't miss the EVF. Tilt would be useful, as on the II.

I will say I completely agree with the review on the user experience and "engagement". I actually don't like shooting with the RX100, and the II is the same menu and navigation. Too much fiddling and quirkiness. The clickless dials don't bother me. It's the menu diving and odd behavior of the flash by mode, or what changes when you shift PASM modes (and what doesn't).

I think the RX100's could be a great camera, but Gold it is not, if only for usability. My FZ200 completely blows it out of the water for usability and speed of use.

But, I'll probably buy a II since it will be with me and is the best small camera I've ever used..... Then I'll polish it up from Silver to Gold by figuring out what customization settings makes it work for me...

1 upvote
DaveE1
By DaveE1 (11 months ago)

It's well worth getting to know the RX100II.

User experience and engagement is more in the head than in the hands. Unreasonable expectations aren't going to help with any new camera, and you can't reasonably expect to be as familiar with it as you are with the one you normally use. When you need a camera this small, you won't get a better alternative anywhere at this point in time.

Also, don't expect physics to bend just because the price tag reflects the high end specification. A very small camera with plenty of controls will feel like a very small camera with plenty of controls. In other words, the RX100II will shoot images like a bigger camera, but feel like a compact camera.

Good luck with your choice (whatever that may be). You may wish to broaden your source of information in the light of this review. I will.

2 upvotes
AndyW17
By AndyW17 (10 months ago)

Granted I know the FZ200 waaaay better than the RX100, but I have more than 1000 shots on the RX100 so am reasonably familiar with it. I DO think the key to these cameras is to fine tune their settings to what works for you as an individual. I had very different settings than the owner of this camera - simply because I worked more of the camera features than did the owner.

Yes - you're correct on the physics vs. $$ - I understand and agree.

My choice is complex. I own a full D600 kit as well, and am likely to sell that for m4/3 shortly..... This Sony camera is for having it "with me", and being happy with the results.

tx

1 upvote
km25
By km25 (11 months ago)

Well, there goes Sony again. I said this with the last model. Lens not good and EVF opion would be nice. Silver not Gold, well when the lens ends in F5 at Tele. You do not get gold. If Sony had made it end in even f4 Gold maybe, F3.5 Gold for sure, give the opional EVF and Sony may not be able to keep up with demand.
No camera will plase everyone, but Sony you are so close. Here is keep shoting your foot off and allmosting again.
Just think if the lens were F1.4-F2!, maybe you should use the Leica lens.

1 upvote
DaveE1
By DaveE1 (11 months ago)

It doesn't make my coffee for me either, but I'd still give it gold as the best compact camera around by a long shot.

Then again, I don't care whose badge is on the camera, so I don't carry that baggage with me when choosing.

5 upvotes
Neodp
By Neodp (11 months ago)

Makes one wonder; why can't Nikon, and Canon etc..., can't do better.

1 upvote
dweberphotography
By dweberphotography (10 months ago)

Because every time Nion or Canon catch up to Sony's innovations, Sny releases something else that Nikon and Canon just dont have. Think about it, Sony released the first full frame mirrorless camera, the first smartphone camera that has an appreciable sensor, a clipon camera for a phone that has the same sensor as a high end P&S (Rx100), the first mirrorless (tell me if im wrong) camera with an APS-C sensor (NEX3-5), DSLT technology, and so much more.

0 upvotes
travelshots_dpr
By travelshots_dpr (11 months ago)

Here we have the greatest compact cam on earth and it just gets a silver award? I still don't get why Dpreview criticises the clickless front wheel. I would hate it, if it would have clicks. Focussing and zooming with clicks? Horrible! A click that could be deactivated would be nice though.
I have the older RX100 for more than a year now and I still must say that this is a phantastic camera.

10 upvotes
DaveE1
By DaveE1 (11 months ago)

There are many posts here that agree with you.

More about the camera, less about the reviewer, that should be DPR's new motto at the end of all this. A separate mood icon for the reviewer, to sit beside the camera award icon, might be a nice idea for DPR. I am actually serious.

4 upvotes
Total comments: 507
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