Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 II Review
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.
- 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.
|Astronomical Clock in PRAGUE by stadros|
from Your City - Clocks
|Glassball on a perforated metal plate_3 by harubux|
Lens maker Tamron has confirmed that new firmware issued at the end of last year to make certain lenses compatible with Nikon’s Z7 camera will also work for owners of the Z6.
NASA's OSIRIS-REx spacecraft has captured a photo of Earth that's being compared to the iconic 'Pale Blue Dot' captured by the Voyager 1 space probe in 1990.
GoPro has updated its Fusion ecosystem with new firmware for the Fusion camera and updates to the Fusion Studio software as well as the Adobe Premiere and After Effects plug-ins.
The Tamron 17-35mm F2.8-4 is a compact and light-weight lens for full-frame Canon and Nikon DSLRs. We took it on grand tour of Seattle's top tourist spots and found it makes a pleasant, albeit wide, walking around lens.
Olympus has published the third teaser video for its upcoming sports-oriented mirrorless camera, due for release next week.
Fujifilm has announced its new GF 100-200mm F5.6 R LM OIS WR tele-zoom lens. The lens, equivalent to 79-158mm when mounted on a GFX camera, has image stabilization (with a claimed 5 stops of shake reduction), a linear AF motor and weather-sealing.
Amongst all of the camera news yesterday, Sony also announced its new Imaging Edge mobile app, which replaces PlayMemories Mobile. Three desktop applications have also been updated, adding support for time-lapse movie creation.
We've been busy shooting with Sony's newest mirrorless camera, the mid-range a6400. Have a look at our initial samples.
Adobe has taken the new year as an opportunity to introduce an updated Behance with improved user profiles and more prominent project pages.
OPPO's 5x zoom prototype never made it into a production unit but now the company is about to release an even longer optical zoom for smartphones.
Our intrepid team is in San Diego, for the launch of the new Sony a6400. In this short overview video, Carey, Chris and Jordan talk through the main specifications of the new camera, and what they might mean for photographers and videographers.
After further testing, Sigma has updated its lens compatibility notice to highlight what lenses work with Canon's EOS R full-frame mirrorless camera.
The Sony a6400 is the company's new midrange mirrorless camera, whose standout features include an advanced autofocus system, flip-up touchscreen LCD and oversampled 4K footage with Log support. Learn more as we go hands-on with the a6400.
OWC has released the Helios FX 650 eGPU, a modular chassis that works with macOS and Windows computer over Thunderbolt 3.
Adorama has announced the availability of a new studio flash head from its own Flashpoint range.
Instagram has quietly added the iOS-exclusive ability to post images or videos to multiple Instagram accounts at once on the same device.
Sony has announced major firmware updates for the a7R III, a7 III and a9. All three cameras gain improved Eye-AF, the ability to recognize and focus on animals' eyes, and timelapse capability. The a9 gets more sophisticated subject tracking.
Sony has announced the a6400, an updated 24.2MP mirrorless camera with a flip-up rear touchscreen and the processor and autofocus system 'borrowed from the a9'.
We're live blogging at Sony's launch event in San Diego, where the company is rumored to be announcing a new mirrorless camera with an APS-C sensor.
The latest CamFi model lets you tether your camera wirelessly to your computer and transfer images directly into 3rd-party apps such as Capture One, Lightroom or EOS utility.
United States Transportation Secretary Eleain Chao introduced a proposed rule change that could make it easier for commercial operators to use drones at night and above crowds of people.
SmugMug Films has released its latest film from its award-winning series. 'Framing the Journey' follows photographer Karen Hutton around the landscapes and cityscapes of Slovenia.
Timelapse+ has announced its VIEW intervalometer now offers support for select Fujifilm and Panasonic camera systems.
The Miami Beach Police Department is using a camera blimp to get around a drone surveillance ban that went into effect in 2015.
The Nikon Z6 may not offer the incredible resolution of its sibling, the Z7, but its excellent video quality and faster performance make it an impressive camera at a considerably lower price.
What do you get when you combine an iconic camera brand from the past with a crowdfunding campaign for a 'rangefinder' camera? The Yashica Y35, that's what. Watch Chris and Jordan try to make lemonade out of a lemon.
Photographer Jimmy McIntyre has been working with Nikon, shooting a pre-production sample of the new Z 14-30mm lens. We're reserving final judgement until we see a reviewable lens, but it looks pretty impressive.
Photographer Nigel Danson recently had a chance to use the new Fujifilm GFX 50R for one of his landscape shoots. In this video, he shares his thoughts on the benefits and challenges of using a medium format camera like the GFX 50R for his work.
2019 is DPReview's 20th anniversary year, so we decided to take a walk down memory lane and shoot with a couple cameras that helped usher in the digital era for pro photographers: The Canon EOS 1D and the Nikon D1H.
The International Leica Society has shared a video of a camera sensor being cleaned at the Leica service centre in the Wetzlar factory in Germany.