• 1 inch 116.2mm2
  • 20.2 megapixels
  • 28mm - 100mm (35mm eq.)
  • 1 inch 116.2mm2
  • 20.2 megapixels
  • 28mm - 100mm (35mm eq.)

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Comparison Review

The difference in name between 'RX100' and 'RX100 II' is minor, but when it comes to features and performance the RX100 II is clearly the superior model. Still, with the original RX100 sometimes dropping in price to less than $500 (at the time of thiswriting), it's a good alternative for someone who wants a solid compact camera, but balks at the RX100 II's $700 price tag.

RX100 II connectivity: it's there, but it's not brilliant

The RX100 II offers Wi-Fi support, which lets you upload photos and control the camera from your smartphone. Unfortunately, we found the Wi-Fi interface a little clunky; only one size photo is automatically transferred to your phone, you can't share photos with social networks directly from the camera and the controls available to you from your smartphone are rather limited: shutter, exposure compensation and video recording. So the Mark II does give you Wi-Fi, but it's not a particularly strong implementation.

Accessorize!

The accessory hot shoe is a nice addition, letting you attach an external flash, the fantastic (optional) electronic viewfinder accessory, or an external mic. The tilting LCD is another welcome addition, letting you compose your shots up high or down low. Sony also saw fit to improve video frame rate options, and you get a slightly faster AF with the RX100 II as well.

The main attraction for the Mark II is the greatly improved sensor

But the real draw? That would be the RX100 II's sensor. Sony swapped out the original RX100's sensor for a version using backside illumination (BSI), a technology that greatly improves light sensitivity on sensors of this size and resolution. This gives you roughly an extra stop of performance when it comes to high ISO noise: ISO 3200 on the RX100 II should be as clean as ISO 1600 on the RX100 (you can see for yourself how good it is in the low light comparison section of our review). And of course noise at any given ISO drops significantly. Not content to just raise sensitivity at a given ISO, Sony also increased the maximum ISO from 6400 to 12,800.

Given the price difference, it's something of a toss-up

The RX100 II won our award for the best pocket camera of 2013, and is the superior camera by just about any measure. But is it worth the $150-200 price difference? Our testing didn't see as big an improvement in RAW files as JPEG files (~1/3-1/2 stop vs ~1 stop), so RAW shooters on a tight budget might give careful consideration to the RX100. And those on a budget or those who don't need the latest features might also consider saving their money. That's because the RX100 is a stellar camera -- so good, in fact, that it took the award for best pocket camera of 2012. Despite being nearly 3 years old now, it's arguably the best compact camera available for $500 (again, at time of this writing).

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Differences

Sony RX100 advantages over Sony RX100 II

  • Less expensive
    $448 vs $598
    Save money for lenses or accessories
  • Faster RAW shooting
    10.0 fps vs 4.9 fps
    Faster RAW shooting in burst mode

Sony RX100 II advantages over Sony RX100

  • Tiltable Screen
    Tiltable vs Fixed
    Tilt the screen for shooting flexbility
  • NFC
    Yes vs No
    Simplifies pairing your camera with supported phones
  • Wi-Fi
    Wi-Fi vs None
    Share your photos wirelessly
  • Newer
    2 years vs 3 years old
    Newer cameras often support more advanced features
  • Shoots 24p video
    Yes vs No
    Gives your movies a big-screen feel
  • Hot shoe
    Hot shoe vs None
    Off-camera flashes open new possibilities

Similarities

Common Strengths

  • Focus peaking
    Both provide
    Your camera will highlight what's in focus
  • RAW file ability
    Both provide
    Gives you more flexibility to develop your photos later
  • In-camera panoramas
    Both provide
    Stitches multiple shots into a panoramic photo
  • In-Camera Image Stabilization
    Both provide
    Reduces the effects of camera shake at slower shutter speeds
  • Manual focus
    Both provide
    AF is for the weak. Real photographers focus manually.
  • HDMI out
    Both provide
    Use an external screen to monitor or review video
  • Internal flash
    Both provide
    Useful in a pinch for fill flash
  • Bulb shutter
    Both provide
    Hold the shutter open manually for long exposures

Common Weaknesses

  • Touchscreen
    Neither provide
    Select your focus point more intuitively.
  • Eye-level viewfinder
    Neither provide
    You'll be able to frame photos even when the sun is out
  • GPS
    Neither provide
    Geotag your photos
  • On-sensor phase detect
    Neither provide
    Usually improves live view and video AF performance
  • External Mic Jack
    Neither provide
    Improved sound fidelity when shooting video
  • Headphone jack
    Neither provide
    Monitor audio recording while you shoot video
  • Integrated ND filter
    Neither provide
    Shoot in daylight with a large aperture or slow shutter
  • Slow-motion videos
    Neither provide
    Shoot slow-motion videos

User reviews

The Competition

Compared to Sony RX100 III

Sony RX100
Sony RX100 III
  • $444
  • 1 inch
  • Less expensive
  • More lens zoom
  • $791
  • 1 inch
  • Tiltable Screen
  • NFC
Sony RX100 II
Sony RX100 III
  • $593
  • 1 inch
  • Less expensive
  • More lens zoom
  • $791
  • 1 inch
  • Fast startup
  • Eye-level viewfinder

Compared to Fujifilm XF1

Sony RX100
Fujifilm XF1
  • $444
  • 1 inch
  • Focus peaking
  • Larger sensor
  • $240
  • 2/3 inch
  • Less expensive
  • Fast startup
Sony RX100 II
Fujifilm XF1
  • $593
  • 1 inch
  • Focus peaking
  • Larger sensor
  • $240
  • 2/3 inch
  • Less expensive
  • Fast startup

Compared to Nikon P330

Sony RX100
Nikon P330
  • $444
  • 1 inch
  • Focus peaking
  • Larger sensor
  • $380
  • 1/1.7 inch
  • Less expensive
  • More lens zoom
Sony RX100 II
Nikon P330
  • $593
  • 1 inch
  • Focus peaking
  • Larger sensor
  • $380
  • 1/1.7 inch
  • Less expensive
  • More lens zoom

Compared to Canon N100

Sony RX100
Canon N100
  • $444
  • 1 inch
  • Focus peaking
  • Larger sensor
  • $346
  • 1/1.7 inch
  • Less expensive
  • Tiltable Screen
Sony RX100 II
Canon N100
  • $593
  • 1 inch
  • Focus peaking
  • Larger sensor
  • $346
  • 1/1.7 inch
  • Less expensive
  • More lens zoom

Compared to Sony RX100 III

Sony RX100
Sony RX100 III
  • $444
  • 1 inch
  • Less expensive
  • More lens zoom
  • $791
  • 1 inch
  • Tiltable Screen
  • NFC
Sony RX100 II
Sony RX100 III
  • $593
  • 1 inch
  • Less expensive
  • More lens zoom
  • $791
  • 1 inch
  • Fast startup
  • Eye-level viewfinder

Review Excerpt

  • Excellent high-ISO performance for such a compact model; Smart controls; Small body; Bright lens; 10fps full-res burst mode; Very fast shutter response; Excellent LCD.

  • Lens flare at night; Poor rendering of yellows; Slow flash recycling; Soft corners wide open; Continuous AF mode slow to lock.

  • New, 20.2MP, 1-inch type, backside illuminated (BSI) image sensor produces superb image quality, with particular improvements in low light and high ISO; 3-inch tilting rear LCD screen handy for composing shots from difficult angles; Fast all-around performer with quick autofocus and virtually no shutter lag; New, multi-interface hotshoe for adding a strobe or optional electronic viewfinder; Built-in Wi-Fi with NFC.

  • Bigger and heavier than previous model; More expensive than previous model; Reduced burst performance when shooting RAW files; Somewhat confusing menu structure and control layout; Wi-Fi features can be difficult to set up.

Sony RX100 vs Sony RX100 II Discussion

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