Boasting a wealth of world-class features, the RX1R II looks incredible on paper. Callum McInerney-Riley finds out if it has held its place as king of the compacts
Sony RX1R II review – Our verdict
If I were in the market for a luxury compact, I would base my decision on what focal length better suits my photography. Sony’s sensor technology is well and truly ahead of the game, and the 42.4-million-pixel sensor inside the RX1R II is at the forefront of this.
For many users, such a high-resolution image is not necessary, but it does give users the ability to crop extensively, resize images to achieve a better noise reduction and, if required, print large-scale prints.
The RX1R II isn’t the type of camera you tote around for shooting thousands of images as you would, say, a wildlife or sports-centric DSLR. However, when shooting raw, it’s easy to fill a 16GB card in a day’s shooting. While the metering is accurate, I found that exposing images slightly under and bringing the shadows up in post-production yields the best results – there’s so much information in the shadows, thanks to the sensor’s dynamic range.
Of course, all sensors are limited by the quality of the lens, and the 35mm f/2 is a worthy companion. The optical performance of the lens matches the quality of the sensor with great sharpness and great control over distortion and chromatic aberrations. While the autofocus is not radically fast, it’s quicker than in the previous model, being rapid in good light and still finding focus in under a second in low light.
High ISO performance is especially impressive, and it’s possible to crank the ISO up to 6,400 without having images blighted by noise. Sensitivities up to ISO 1,600 look great even when pixel peeping, and lower ISOs show huge amounts of detail.
Sony menus are somewhat annoying, and the omission of a touchscreen is a disadvantage as it would have given an easier solution to moving the focus point around when using a single point. In all, the RX1R II is a rather specialist camera that’s expensive, but equally an impressive piece of kit.