Sony recently announced a new RX series camera, this time in the full frame variety and called the RX1R Mark II. Unlike the 1″ sensor found in the other RX-series camera, this camera has the killer full frame A7r Mark II 42mb Hybrid AF sensor inside. In addition to that the RX1R II has a top quality 35mm f/2 Zeiss Sonnar T* lens permanently attached . So no changing lenses on this beast, just to be clear 😉 The lens actually reminds me a lot of the Zeiss Loxia 35mm f/2 I reviewed here >>
The price point is fairly high @ $3299 US, but one must factor in all the goods to make sense of this. So let’s do just that shall we?
Sony RX1R Mark II – Breakdown
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 1080p60 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
So, looking at these key features a few of them stand out as Awesome to me! The Variable Optical Low-Pass Filter was very intriguing to me and I needed to know more immediately. Sony re-leased a video trying to explain and illustrate how it works, but I’m honestly still not really sure. basically voltage is used to manipulate the variability it looks like.
Worlds First Variable Low-Pass Filter
The dynamic range is better, the resolution is better and I gather the variable optical low-pass will also help retain even better detail depending on the subject matter. It’s back-lit now, so the high ISO performance is also noticeable better than the previous model sensor as well. In this case the 24mp sensor which was on the original RX1 and the RX1R which removed low pass filter and stood for more resolution I guess..
399 phase-detect AF points in a Fast Hybrid AF system that can lock onto and track subjects quickly.
The sensor is a huge upgrade, although it will be harder to get a sharp shots at lower shutter speeds with such high resolution and no stabilization of any kind. No optical or sensor stabilization is built in which leads me to believe a tri-pod will be needed sometimes for the best results possible. I would love to see a version with IBIS built in and that will be the next generation most likely if it seams viable to Sony of course.
In my opinion, the Sony RX1R Mark II is more for the purists photographers out there like Leica users for example.. A much cheaper and better overall alternative in many ways depending on your needs..
From the front you can see she is gorgeous, just like the last model…
Upgraded to include a killer high resolution pop-up viewfinder and tilting LCD screen on the back. Thank you Sony!
Here is the viewfinder with Eye-piece for a better seal.
The build quality looks excellent on this unit from these pics. Not the metal door for the ports and metal surround housing for the rear lcd screen. The buttons also look really nice traction wise with the deeper groves.
The lens looks like a perfect match from these side views in particular. Butter smooth manual rings all around…
From the top she looks very similar, but modified for the new features of course.
Looking at the innards of the NEW Sony RX1R Mark II, we still have basically the same beefy magnesium alloy chassis construction as the original, but refined for the updates. Note the metal LCD Screen border in the back.
Full RX1R Mark II Breakdown courtesy of BHPhoto:
On the cutting edge of imaging technology, the Cyber-shot DSC-RX1R II Digital Camera from Sony packs in a full-frame 42.4-megapixel Exmor R back-illuminated CMOS sensor and BIONZ X processor behind a fixed Zeiss Sonnar T* 35mm f/2 lens that grants users the ability to capture finely detailed images in an extraordinarily compact body. In addition to this, the RX1R II has a world’s first variable optical low-pass filter system that can adjust voltage on a liquid crystal layer to adjust the light-splitting properties of the array. This feature allows users to prioritize detail, eliminate moire and aliasing, or strike a balance between the two.
Located on the sensor are 399 phase-detect AF points in a Fast Hybrid AF system that can lock onto and track subjects quickly. This setting can also be used in the continuous shooting mode at up to the maximum of 5 fps for capturing fast moving action. In addition to this, the improved processing and speed from the RX1R II’s sensor and processor combo enables capturing images at expanded sensitivities ranging from ISO 50-102400. And, Sony has added an uncompressed 14-bit RAW format for uncompromising images.
In addition to these major advancements in imaging, the body design has been refined and the RX1R II is now equipped with a pop-up 0.39″ 2.36M-dot XGA OLED Tru-Finder EVF. This viewfinder has an impressive magnification of 0.74x for comfortable, clear eye-level viewing and has a 4-lens optical system with two glass molded aspherical elements to ensure crisp, vibrant imagery. Along with this, the 3.0″ 1,228.8k-dot LCD monitor can now tilt upwards 109° and down 41° for working in a variety of positions and angles.
On the front of the camera is the impressive Zeiss 35mm lens which provides shooters with a classic wide angle focal length well-suited to street photography and documentary work, an excellent pairing for a compact and unobtrusive camera. The lens also offers a fast f/2 maximum aperture for creating images with a shallow depth-of-field and for working more easily in low light. Along with this, the lens utilizes three aspherical elements, including one advanced aspherical that will minimize aberrations and distortion.
Video has also seen some notable improvement thanks to the implementation of the high bit rate XAVC S format. This format will record Full HD 1080p video at 50 Mbps at frame rates up to 60 fps. Also, the camera will be able to capture HD 720p video at up to 120 fps for slow motion and it has a 3.5mm jack for using external microphones and audio devices.
Numerous other features, such as Bright Monitoring, Eye AF, support for 4:3 and 1:1 aspect ratios, and ISO auto minimum shutter speed have made their way into this model. Also, the camera has built-in Wi-Fi connectivity with NFC (Near Field Communication) for pairing the device with a smartphone or tablet for remote control and transfer of images. In addition to this, the RX1R II supports Sony’s PlayMemories Camera apps for adding advanced functionality to the camera later on.
- 42.4MP Exmor R BSI CMOS Sensor and BIONZ X Image Processor
- The full-frame 42.4-megapixel Exmor R CMOS sensor present in the DSC-RX1R II works with the BIONZ X image processor to offer high-resolution stills and video while minimizing noise and improving speed. This sensor structure works with gapless on-chip lens design and an anti-reflection coating, as well as eliminating the optical low-pass filter, to improve light collection and enhance detail. Also, the copper wiring layer dramatically improves data transmission speed for creating high-resolution 42.4-megapixel stills at sensitivities up to ISO 102,400.
- Variable Optical Low-Pass Filter
- The world’s first variable optical low-pass filter allows users to control the amount of filtration they need for each specific image as they work, in order to maximize detail from the 42.4-megapixel sensor. The system uses a liquid crystal layer which it applies voltage to in order to control the light-splitting function. Users will have access to three settings: Off, Standard, and Hi. This unique ability allows the RX1R II to work in a variety of circumstances that normally would require separate cameras. Additionally, a low-pass filter bracketing function is available for users to quickly compare the differences between the different modes.
- Zeiss Sonnar T* 35mm f/2 Lens
- Equipped with a fixed Zeiss Sonnar T* 35mm f/2 lens, the RX1R II can deliver sharp imagery with exceptional control over depth-of-field. The maximum aperture of f/2 can enable shallow depth-of-field as well as benefit image quality in low-light conditions. Ensuring maximum image quality the 8 element 7 group optical construction utilizes three aspherical elements, including 1 advanced aspherical, that minimize aberrations and distortion. The nine-blade diaphragm furthers the overall quality by providing smooth out-of-focus areas in your imagery. This lens also offers a dedicated macro mode that shortens the minimum focus distance from 11.8″ to just 7.9″.
- Fast Hybrid AF with 399 Phase-Detect Points
- Lock onto your subjects quickly and without hesitation thanks to the revamped Fast Hybrid AF packed into the RX1R II. It uses 399 on-sensor phase-detect AF points with 45% coverage along with 25 contrast-detect AF points in order to improve the speed, accuracy and tracking performance of the system. Faster readout thanks to the back-illuminated sensor structure also allows for tracking while shooting at the top continuous shooting rate of 5 fps. This can be captured with a continuous AF Display that allows users to view the active AF points.
Another feature available with this AF system is a Lock-on AF tracking that will analyze more information from the scene to provide dramatically improved accuracy and stability. Eye AF is also available which will prioritize a subject’s pupil for excellent portraits even with a shallow depth of field.
- Full HD 1080p Video Recording in XAVC S Format
- In addition to impressive stills, the RX1R II offers some excellent video recording capabilities thanks to the implementation of the XAVC S format in this model. This enables detailed high-bit rate footage to be captured in Full HD 1080p at 50 Mbps at up to 60 fps. This also works with HD 720p recording at 120 fps for slow motion video. In addition this the camera does feature a 3.5mm mic input jack that allows users to connect their standard microphones for improved audio quality.
- 3.0″ 1,228.8k-Dot Tilting LCD Monitor
- With a high 1,228.8k-dot resolution, the LCD screen will provide shooters with an excellent screen for composing images, adjusting settings, and reviewing video and photos. It also tilts upward 109° and downward 41° for working with multiple shooting angles. Also, it has been designed to handle bright sunlight that would wash out most screens.
- Retractable 0.39″ 2.36M-Dot XGA OLED Tru-Finder Electronic Viewfinder
- With its 4-lens optical system using two glass molded aspherical elements, the high resolution 0.39″ 2.36M-dot XGA OLED viewfinder faithfully displays what will appear in your recording, including the effects of your camera settings. Also, you will be able to easily pop it up out of the camera body when you want to use it and put it away for storage. The viewfinder will allow users to enjoy rich tonal gradations and improved contrast with high-end features like 100% frame coverage and a 0.74x magnification that enable comfortable and stable eye-level composition.
- Uncompressed 14-Bit RAW Format
- After listening to feedback from photographers, Sony has introduced an uncompressed 14-bit RAW format option for users who demand the best image quality the camera can deliver. This format ensures finer tonal gradations that will not show any artifacts normally found in compressed formats.
- Physical Controls & Magnesium Alloy Construction
- Still sporting a magnesium alloy construction, the overall design and layout of the camera has been refined rather than completely changed. In addition to the pop-up viewfinder and tilting EVF, the cameras multiple dials and buttons have gotten a facelift for more comfortable handling and control. The lens also features the same physical focusing ring and aperture dial as its predecessor, granting users advanced tactile control over their settings if desired.
- Built-In Wi-Fi Connectivity with NFC
- Built-in Wi-Fi connectivity enables the RX1R II to instantly share imagery to mobile devices for direct sharing online to social networking, via email, and to cloud storage sites. NFC (Near Field Communication) is also supported, which allows for one-touch connection between the camera and compatible mobile devices; no complex set-up is required. Once connected, the linked mobile device can also display a live view image on its screen and remotely control the camera’s shutter.
Additionally, PlayMemories Camera Apps are also supported via the built-in Wi-Fi connection, and allow you to personalize the camera’s features depending on specific shooting styles. Apps are available to suit creating portraits, detailed close-ups, sports, time lapse, motion shot, and other specific types of imagery.
- Other Camera Features
- Multiple aspect ratio support enables the use of 4:3 and 1:1 in addition to the standard 3:2 and 16:9 options. Also, thanks to the high-resolution sensor, images in the 16:9, 4:3, and 1:1 ratio still manage to offer 36, 38, and 28 megapixels, respectively.
- A Multi-Interface Shoe located on the top of the camera enables support for a variety of accessories, including remotes, flashes, microphones, and more.
- Capture One Express (for Sony) is a free downloadable RAW conversion software that will help users get the utmost quality from their image files.
- Precise white balance adjustments for tuning the exact color using amber-blue and green-magenta axes.
- Bright Monitoring boosts image brightness by changing shutter speed for better preview of a night sky or dark scene.
- ISO Auto Minimum Shutter Speed allows users to prevent image blur by setting a minimum shutter speed that when reached will then start changing the ISO sensitivity.
- Thirteen Creative Styles, including Vivid and Portrait, are available for capturing images with pre-defined looks that can flatter specific subject matter.
- A 1200-zone evaluative metering system ensures balanced exposures and can be set between Multi Pattern, Center Weighted, and Spot metering.
- Face Detection is available to base exposure and focus on up to eight recognized faces. Furthermore, Eye AF can be used for even greater precision by maintaining critical focus on a subject’s eye.
- 2x Clear Image Zoom can be used to effectively double the magnification afforded by any lens in use with minimal image degradation. For even greater magnification, 1.4x and 2x Smart zoom is available, as well as 4x, 6.2 and 8x digital zoom.
Sony RX1R II First Look courtesy of BHPhoto
This would be a nice camera to have, but practically for somebody like myself it’s far too expensive and limiting. I really need a zoom lens built in or an e-mount so I can change lenses. The RX10 Mark II for example has a near perfect zoom lens @ 24-200mm f/2.8 constant aperture. The RX1R Mark II flexibility is very limiting I suppose is my biggest issue with this camera. Also, no 4k video in this unit, but the higher bit rate XAVC S Format is now available and welcomed! 14-bit uncompressed raw files are proving to offer more detail in the high contrast areas on the A7r Mark II files, and this camera has the same sensor…
If you are a 35mm full frame shooter, this might be the perfect camera for you!
I have not found any detailed reviews up on the web yet, but stay connected via the NEW SonyAlphaLab Community over on Google Plus This way >> Basically I am funneling all the good Sony and photography internet content into one feed that grows throughout the day depending… I add all the latest Sony News, Rumors, Reviews, Deals, Etc…
I also created a NEW campaign style Patreon website that is designed specifically for those who would like to have a more active roll in what gets reviewed and so fourth. It’s basically a pay for performance type service that comes with perks if you participate! I’m still working out the details, but I have it up and hopefully it will help me fight the hackers and help fuel the cause 😉 Thanks in advance for taking a look and consideration…
Learn more about the RX1R Mark II for $3299 US @ BHPhoto
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