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The Tamron 50-400mm F4.5-6.3 Di III VC VXD boasts an impressive zoom range in a relatively compact package. How does it perform? We took a look.
12 Conclusion & Samples
It's hard to review the RX100 II without calling out its predecessor/sibling model, and seeing as they're being sold simultaneously (at least for now) it may even be appropriate to offer some direct comparisons. The RX100 II is differentiated by only a handful of features, so naturally the more important those particular features are to you, the more it makes sense to spend a little more money on the RX100 II. But just how much are those new features worth? And at considerable cost of the RX100 II, would you be better off investing in a similarly-priced-but-much-bigger interchangeable lens camera? We've spent some time pondering these things during this review.
Our complaints with the RX100's somewhat unengaging shooting experience still stand in our evaluation of the RX100 II, since very little about the camera's physical form and interface have changed. The function ring around the lens is still clickless and the command ring on the back panel feels slightly under-used. Sony's excess of low light and dynamic range modes can be overwhelming, but the good news is the RX100 II makes wonderful images without any of their involvement.
The tilting LCD is nice to have, but it doesn't have the full range of motion that a flip-out LCD has, and is therefore slightly limited in use. The LCD panel itself, however, is excellent and stands up to use even in bright light. Overall the RX100 II looks, feels and handles like a premium point-and-shoot.
At the risk of over-stating it, we'll say it again: the RX100 II takes really nice pictures. When you compare image quality from like-sized cameras, it's practically peerless. However, comparing image quality from like-priced cameras, it starts to look a little more average. An Olympus E-PM2 now costs $500 and offers a significantly larger sensor. Sony's own Alpha NEX-6 offers an APS-C sized sensor for the same $750 price. As good as the RX100 II's image quality is, it falls short of the high ISO and dynamic range performance of Micro Four Thirds and APS-C sensor cameras at its price point. The obvious trade-off though, is a much bigger camera - neither of those options is pocketable.
As it stands, the RX100 II produces excellent JPEGs with good color rendition and detail. It shows a slight tendency toward cooler white balance in auto mode and has a habit of over-saturating reds, but overall produces images that will satisfy just about any user. The fact that its images are even comparable to an APS-C camera's images is impressive in itself. As long as you're expecting compact-level image quality, the RX100 II will exceed your expectations.
The addition of Wi-Fi, outside of gains in image quality, is one of the most notable new features. Wireless sharing hasn't been well integrated into the RX100 II's interface, but despite that it's a reliable and useful feature. Connecting a mobile device to the camera (once the initial setup is done) takes only a few moments. And, if this means that you can now shoot and share with an RX100 II on the move, that's a huge step up from using your smartphone.
The RX100 II's hotshoe introduces compatibility with a few accessories, including an electronic viewfinder. That's great news; the bad news is that the viewfinder costs $450. Add that to your shopping cart with the RX100 II and you're up to $1200 worth of camera gear. Needless to say, you can buy a whole lot of camera for $1200. At that price you're almost in NEX-7 territory, and that comes with an excellent built-in EVF. While the hotshoe is nice to have, it's hard to see it as a must-have for the vast majority of potential RX100 II owners.
It feels almost greedy asking the RX100 II to do more than it does. As it is, it takes exceptional pictures for a camera of its size, offers a wealth of manual shooting and customization options, and takes great video. It does everything and more you'd expect from a compact, and quite a few things you'd expect from a bigger camera.
Our disappointment with the slightly unengaging control wheel and shooting experience has remained unchanged since we reviewed the RX100. We want a compact camera with a big sensor, we really do, but we want to not feel like we're shooting with a compact camera. We want the convenience of a camera that will, if we want, make some or all of our shooting decisions for us with reliability and fit easily into a bag or big pocket. But we still want to take control and feel a connection between ourselves and the pictures we're making. That's not asking too much, is it?
Okay maybe that's getting a little philosophical about the whole thing, and when it boils right down to it the Sony Cyber-shot RX100 II produces some of the best images we could ever expect to see from a compact camera. It's not the best shooting experience, but Sony has pushed the limits for this category and produced something really innovative.
Is the RX100 II worth the cost of a mid-range interchangeable lens system? And 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.
Overall, the RX100 II is virtually untouchable in its compact camera class. For anyone simply looking for the best image quality from a compact, the RX100 II is the answer. Enthusiasts, however, should be cautioned. Anyone who picks up the camera will love the images it produces, but someone looking for a more satisfying shooting experience might need to look elsewhere.
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 II
Category: Enthusiast Large Sensor Compact Camera
Ergonomics & handling
Metering & focus accuracy
Image quality (raw)
Image quality (jpeg)
Low light / high ISO performance
Viewfinder / screen rating
Movie / video mode
The RX100 II performs much the same as its RX100 predecessor, turning out some of the best image quality we've seen from a compact camera. With the addition of Wi-Fi connectivity and a BSI sensor, it's at the top of its class in terms of performance and features. With a few caveats regarding the shooting experience, it's a clear class-leader.
There are 30 images in the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 II preview samples gallery, and 38 more in our review samples gallery. Please do not reproduce any of these images on a website or any newsletter / magazine without prior permission (see our copyright page). We make the originals available for private users to download to their own machines for personal examination or printing (in conjunction with this review), we do so in good faith, please don't abuse it.
Unless otherwise noted images taken with no particular settings at full resolution. Because our review images are now hosted on the 'galleries' section of dpreview.com, you can enjoy all of the new galleries functionality when browsing these samples.
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DPR reader Philip Ewing found he had little time outside of long hours at the office to spend on photography, so he turned his commute into a time to exercise some creativity. Each day he brings his camera along with him on Washington D.C.'s Metrorail system, where he photographs the Brutalist-style architecture, morning rushes and evening light of the Metro subway. Read more
Hasselblad has announced the Stellar II, an enthusiast compact 'not intended to be judged against other cameras'. According to Hasselbad. the Stellar II has been 'conceived and crafted exclusively for aficionados, collectors, and connoisseurs'. Like other recent Hasselblads, the Stellar II is essentially a rebadged Sony camera - the Cyber-shot RX100 II in this case. Available grip finishes include olive, walnut, padouk, and carbon fiber. You can pick one up for yourself at an MSRP of $2395/€1650. Click through to feast your eyes (just don't judge)
Before Christmas, we asked you to vote for your favorite cameras and lenses in five categories. We announced the category winners earlier this year and created a final poll to find what - in your opinion - was the single standout product of 2013. Click through for a reminder of the category winners and to find out which of the winning products was your choice for 2013 product of the year!
Last month you voted for the best gear in five categories, and now's your chance to let us know which of the winning products was the most impressive. The poll stays open until the end of this month, and if you haven't voted yet this is your chance! Click through for a look at the 2013 category winners from our five classes, and a chance to cast your vote.
The Tamron 50-400mm F4.5-6.3 Di III VC VXD boasts an impressive zoom range in a relatively compact package. How does it perform? We took a look.
What’s the best camera for around $2000? These capable cameras should be solid and well-built, have both speed and focus for capturing fast action and offer professional-level image quality. In this buying guide we’ve rounded up all the current interchangeable lens cameras costing around $2000 and recommended the best.
What's the best camera for shooting landscapes? High resolution, weather-sealed bodies and wide dynamic range are all important. In this buying guide we've rounded-up several great cameras for shooting landscapes, and recommended the best.
If you're looking for the perfect drone for yourself, or to gift someone special, we've gone through all of the options and selected our favorites.
Most modern cameras will shoot video to one degree or another, but these are the ones we’d look at if you plan to shoot some video alongside your photos. We’ve chosen cameras that can take great photos and make it easy to get great looking video, rather than being the ones you’d choose as a committed videographer.
Although a lot of people only upload images to Instagram from their smartphones, the app is much more than just a mobile photography platform. In this guide we've chosen a selection of cameras that make it easy to shoot compelling lifestyle images, ideal for sharing on social media.
|Reina by Great Bustard|
from in the style of a Large Format Portrait
|_SDI2370bw by rick decker|
from Crashing Wave
|2019_0720_163302AA by old shutter bugger|
from In The Style Of EDWARD WESTON's Sitll Lifes
|Winter Days by DaveN01|
|IMG_750-16662-2 Dusty drive by Jill Hancock|
from Daylight Pictures of Modern Trucks in Action
Copy That for Mac features integrated checksum verification, detailed reporting, presets, thumbnail support, file renaming and automated error detection.
The winners and finalists have been announced for the Siena Drone Photo Awards. We've rounded them up into a photo gallery for your viewing pleasure.
The $150 lens is fully manual and is available for Canon EOS-M, Fujifilm X, Micro Four Thirds and Sony E-mount camera systems.
The Lumix S family of full-frame primes keeps growing. The 18mm F1.8 is the newest member of Panasonic's lens lineup. Check our our sample gallery to see what it's capable of.
Peep some pixels from the hefty 100 megapixel files created by the new Hasselblad X2D 100C, as we prepare our DPReview TV review of the camera.
About 95% of Earth's oceans haven't been observed. Researchers at MIT have built a battery-free, wireless underwater camera that may help scientists explore more of the oceans.
Drone manufacturer DJI has moved its staff into an innovative and masterfully-designed new building in Shenzhen, China. Here is a first look.
We (metaphorically) sat down with Brandon Faith of Baggen Photos to ask him a few questions about what it's like to photograph motorsports events with his Crown Graphic large format camera.
Sony's new 320GB and 640GB 'Tough' CFexpress Type A cards are due out next month and while the 640GB card will offer the most storage of any Type A card to date, it doesn't come cheap.
Adobe's Photoshop and Premiere Elements apps make editing photos and videos easy for users of all skill levels. The latest versions add more editing tools, more AI features and improved performance.
The Sony FX30 is an explicitly video-focused camera, but could its technology herald a refresh of the company's APS-C stills line-up? We have a look at what that might mean.
The lens offers a constant F2.8 aperture through a rather unique focal length range for full-frame camera systems. It’s expected to be available starting October 27, 2022 for $699.
Can AI overcome the physical limitations of smartphone sensors and lenses? A Qualcomm executive thinks so, thanks in large part to improvements in processing power, hardware and artificial intelligence.
We're starting to see cameras offering 'open gate' video recording, so what is this tool and when is it useful?
The Sony FX30 is a 4K/120p-capable Super35 / APS-C cinema camera that wants to take the battle to the likes of Panasonic's GH series.
Sony's FX30 Super35/APS-C Cinema Line camera is effectively a crop-sensor version of the company's full-frame FX3 camera with sensor-based image stabilization, oversampled 4K/60p capture and '16-bit' Raw output and more.
If you've ever wanted to become an action figure, Hasbro is providing you the opportunity with its new 3D-printed Selfie Series action figures.
When you store photos on the cloud, you expect them to remain safe for a long time. However, some Google Photos users were scared over the weekend when they realized that their photo libraries had become corrupted.
DALL-E's Outpainting feature uses AI to expand existing images and artwork. Ad agency Ogilvy Paris has used Outpainting to expand Johannes Vermeer's famous painting, 'The Milkmaid.'
iOS 16.0.2 addresses, amongst other bug fixes, a problem wherein the second-generation sensor-shift image stabilization tech was causing camera shake issues in some third-party apps.
For the past eight years, the Library of Congress has been working on figuring out the subjects in a large collection of film, TV and music photos. Many of the mysteries have been solved. However, 17 photos have eluded the LC's best efforts, and the public's help is needed to help put names to the final unknown faces.
After having to pull the initial firmware update last month due to an issue that caused some units to stop working, Sony has re-released firmware version 1.1 for its a7 IV full-frame mirrorless camera.
Sigma's latest wide Art-badged prime for full frame is capable of some stunning landscapes. Check out a new batch of sample photos in the gallery.
Winners for this year's annual Comedy Pet Photo Awards have been announced.
While visiting the team in Seattle, Chris and Jordan attempt to eat some chowder. It's difficult. Also, this week they are puppets.
Meike has released its first adapter for Nikon Z cameras. The new MK-EFTZ-B adapter allows Nikon Z users to attach Canon EF and EF-S lenses to their cameras, complete with autofocus and automatic exposure functionality.
The Canon 5D Mark II was released in November 2008. Since then, a photographer used theirs to capture nearly 2.3 million images, which is an average of about 450 photos per day if they shot every single day. The camera is still going strong for its new owner.
Capture One for iPad users cvan now connect their camera, wired or wirelessly, to their iPad for quick image transfers without the need for memory cards and readers.
Digital film scanners can be pricey, so Lomo's latest scanners let shooters do it themselves. Whether you have a digital camera, or simply a smartphone, there's a DigitaLIZA that'll work with your kit. But are the results any good? Let's find out.
The Leica Q2 'Dawn' is the same camera on the inside, but features an all-black paint job and a special Japanese-woven fabric wrap produced by Japanese brand, Hosoo.