Sony has upgraded its Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 premium compact camera, but is it possible to improve an already excellent camera? We find out, read the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 II review...
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 II at a glance:
- 20.2-million-pixel Exmor R 1in sensor
- Carl Zeiss 10.4-37.1mm (28-100mm equivalent) f/1.8-4.9 lens
- 3in tiltable LCD screen
- Multi-interface hotshoe
- Wi-Fi and NFC
- See Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 II sample shots
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 II review – Introduction
Sony announced its Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 II alongside the Cyber-shot DSC-RX1R on 27 June this year. As the name makes clear, the RX100 II is an upgraded version of the original Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 that impressed us greatly when we tested it in AP 14 July 2012. It was part of the recent wave of advanced compact cameras and, for its size, it was top of the class for image quality.
Since the RX100’s release, competitors such as the Fujifilm X100S and X20 have turned up, as well as the Nikon Coolpix A. However, only the Fujifilm X20 is comparable in size to the RX100 II.
While much of the core design remains the same as the original RX100, Sony has listened to customer feedback and made some significant improvements. The company has taken an already successful, high-performance camera and made it better by improving sensor design and adding a tiltable LCD screen, Wi-Fi connectivity, a multi-interface hotshoe, and more.
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 II review – Features
Inside the RX100 II is an Exmor R 1in (13.2×8.8mm) sensor with the same 20.2-million-pixel resolution as the original RX100. However, this sensor now features back-illumination that Sony claims will improve low-light performance by a whole stop. Sony also claims that the sensor is approximately 40% more sensitive in comparison to that of the RX100.
Sony has continued to use the excellent Carl Zeiss 10.4-37.1mm (28-100mm equivalent) lens in the RX100 II, which has a very impressive maximum aperture of f/1.8-4.9 and a minimum of f/11. The aperture blades have a near-circular design, which gives very pleasing shallow depth of field with great bokeh when used at wider settings.
A few people considered Sony to have missed a trick with the RX100 by not including Wi-Fi at a time when other manufacturers were introducing it into their own cameras. Well, the company has rectified this by adding Wi-Fi connectivity to the RX100 II, which, of course, makes it easy to share photos directly with a smartphone or tablet and publish them online.
The new compact also supports remote shooting directly from a smartphone or tablet. Although settings cannot be altered when using a device, the zoom and shutter are fully operable. Interestingly, Sony has also provided Near Field Communication (NFC) connectivity. This allows NFC-compatible devices to instantly connect with the RX100 II without the need for passwords or extensive menu diving, just by touching the bottom of the camera.
A further great addition to the RX100 II is a multi-interface hotshoe, as we have seen recently in cameras such as the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX50 and the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX1/RX1R. The hotshoe has special terminals at the back which transfer more information to the camera than a regular hotshoe. This means Sony’s range of external flashes, microphones and the EV1MK electronic viewfinder can all be used with the RX100 II.