Review

Hi guys and welcome to another super high quality Sony camera review 😉 This time the Sony RX1R II, which is one of the most powerful point and shoot style cameras you can buy today. The Sony RX1-series cameras are very compact full frame sensor equipped beasts! The lens is a 35mm f/2 Zeiss Sonnar T* unit permanently fixed to the camera, which makes it much smaller than a traditional interchangeable lens camera like the Sony A7r II , for example. The Sony RX1R II goes for nearly $3898 US at the time of this review, and you might wonder why anybody would want such a thing, when you can get the same sensor inside a ILCE camera like the A7r II, and have the flexibility of using any lens in the world pretty much. Well, in this review I will try and clear that up for you.

The Sony RX1R II is not for everybody, and in fact, it’s really only marketed towards a slim audience of photographers. Namely professionals looking for the absolute best possible quality compact point and shoot style camera. Like the RX10 and RX100 series cameras, the “pro” features and image quality are excellent and top quality for the given sensor size. The RX1 series is no different. Will sony come out with an APS-C size sensor RX style camera?? Time will tell….

So lets take a closer look at the key features first, then below that is my highly detailed video style review, fallowed by high res sample photos for your visual pleasure….

Sony RX1R II Key Features:

  • 42MP Full-Frame Exmor R BSI CMOS Sensor
  • BIONZ X Image Processor
  • Variable Optical Low-Pass Filter
  • Zeiss Sonnar T* 35mm f/2 Lens
  • Full HD 1080p/60 Video & XAVC S Format
  • 399 Phase-Detect AF Points & 5 fps Burst
  • 0.39″ 2.36M-Dot XGA OLED Tru-Finder EVF
  • 3.0″ 1,228.8k-Dot Tilting LCD Monitor
  • ISO 102400 & Uncompressed 14-Bit RAW
  • Built-In Wi-Fi Connectivity with NFC
  • Weight1.12 lb / 507 g with battery and card
  • Price = $3898 US
 

Sony RX1R II Camera Body Design, and Promo Photos

Please Click Photos for higher res versions…

rx1rm2-sensor rx1rm2-frontview-angle-1 rx1rm2-left rx1rm2-right rx1rm2-frontview rx1rm2-back-ldc-1 rx1rm2-back-ldc-2 RX1R Mark II - ViewfinderRX1R Mark II - Viewfinderrx1rm2-top Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX1R II Digital Camera Sensor Sony rx1r II chassis rx1rm2-in-hand

 

Sony RX1R II Review

In my Youtube video style review of the Sony RX1R II, I cover everything you need to know and much more! It’s fairly long at ~45min, but very thorough.

Please be sure to select the 1080p viewing quality and then go fullscreen mode for the best possible viewing experience! The little gear icon on the bottom right of the video is where you change the quality once the video starts playing, and the fullscreen button is the broken square icon on the bottom right.

 

Sony RX1R II – Sample Photos

First I would like to start off with a few RAW Quality Snapshots w/ 100% crops for your critical inspection. This would be what you can expect if just pointing and shooting pretty much. I will show you a few edited photos as well, after this first set, so don’t worry if your looking for those.

A new Casino is going in near where I live and it offered some interesting detail to check out I thought.

Sony RX1R II - Sample Photo

f/5.6 @ 1/1000sec, hand-held

I can see a little softness here when viewing 100% towards the top of the photo.

100% Crop

Down here in the middle things are noticeable sharper.

100% Crop

Here is another real world hand-held snapshot raw file…

@ f/5.6 hand held

100% Crop – Top left with harsh sun to the left as well

100% Crop from center area

raw @ f/5.6

100% Crop

 

Here are a few more Raw quality snapshots:

f/2 vs f/5.6 on a full frame camera makes a huge difference…

f/5.6

f/2

f/2

f/5.6

A few more random shots…

f/5.6

Note the lens distortion in this frame below of the rusty paint flaking railing…

f/5.6

f/5.6

f/2, 1/2000sec

 

Raw Vs Edited

Next I will show a raw file, then a slightly edited version of the same file:

Raw file un-edited

edited raw file

Here are a few more raw files vs an edited raw files:

Raw

Edited Raw

raw

edited raw file

I really like this edited frame, and be sure to click on it for a higher res version via Flickr:

Color and Patterns

 

Here are a few more snapshots I took the other day at the car dealer.

f/2.2

f/5.6

f/5.6

f/5.6

f/5.6

 

Lab Testing

For the sake of saving massive amounts of time I will not include all the lab test photos, because I covered them in great detail in the video review above, and at the end of the day you can compare with other cameras on other review sites way better than I can offer here anyway… DPReview for example offers the killer compare to another camera photo tools… I can’t do that, so I don’t feel the need to try and compare to them in that regard. I hope that makes sense and I can send files to you all if you like, no problem at all…. Just shot me an email or a comment below with info.

Max ISO Test

I focused on the train for this frame @ ISO 102400

ISO 102400

It’s certainly noisy when viewing at 100%, but for ISO 102400 I think it’s really good overall.

ISO 102400 – 100% Crop

Minimum Focus Distance @ Max f/2 Aperture

f/2 – Minimum focus distance test

100% Crop – f/2 – Minimum focus distance test

 

Conclusions

As I said in the video review and above in the intro, this camera is certainly not for everybody. In fact, it’s only for a select few that demand the best possible quality in the smallest possible form factor available. Pretty much just like all the RX-100 Series cameras as well.

I really enjoyed using this camera and the quality output is outstanding in both video and photography. The lack of 4k is a downside, but the 1080 footage is killer in my opinion.

Pros

Awesome quality in a super compact form factor considering full frame format. The pop-up view finder is awesome, and the tilting screen is very well designed. Focus speed has been greatly improved over the last model and it’s very accurate based on my testing.

Cons

One of my biggest gripes with the RX1R II is the max shutter speed of 1/2000sec @ f/2. At f/4 for example the max shutter is 1/4000sec, so this does not make sense to me. Also, there is no built in ND filter, which makes shooting at f/2 in bright conditions difficult if not impossible without a ND filter of some kind. The cost of the camera is very high, and with a fixed 35mm lens the versatility is also very limited. Raw files are not as tack sharp as expected, but overall excellent.

Final Word

The Sony RX1R II is a lot of fun to use and offers some exceptional image quality in a very small and well made package. The images are a little softer than I would expect, but with 42mp to work with, this is not an issue that I would consider a deal breaker. Overall IQ is remarkable….

I really hope you guys got what you were looking for and please have a great day! Please feel free to ask questions and comment below as always 😉

Jay

Sony RX1R II @ BHPhoto (Click Here)


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Thanks,
Jay



About the Author

Jay
Hello, I'm the owner and operator of SonyAlphaLab.com. Please check out the About page for a full background on myself and the Lab ;) Google+ | Twitter | RSS-feed | Email Updates!!