Sony RX1R II Field Test Part I

Big upgrades all around for Sony's super-premium compact

by William Brawley |

The super-premium compact gets super-upgraded
Ever since the first Sony RX1 debuted, I was curious about this "little" camera. Housing a comparably massive full-frame sensor into its nearly-pocketable compact body made my then-primary camera, a Canon 5D Mark II, look and feel ancient and downright gargantuan. For photography on the go -- traveling, hiking, around town, etc. -- I was drawn to the compactness as well as the full-frame image quality it provided.

On the other hand, the fixed 35mm lens was cause for some thought. Personally, I'm not a big fan of the 35mm focal length. In the right hands, however, images shot at 35mm can be downright stunning; it's just not for me and for what I like to shoot most of the time. The major factor, however, as to why I didn't jump to buy an RX1 right away was the price. It's flat-out expensive.

Now in its second generation -- combining the RX1 and specialized RX1R together -- the new Sony RX1R II maintains its stylist, compact design and 35mm f/2 Zeiss lens. However, on the inside, the camera packs a sizeable array of new features, new technologies and upgrades that should improve both performance and image quality.

Sony RX1R II Field Test Part II

Performance testing: C-AF, Variable Low-Pass Filter, Video & Wi-Fi

by William Brawley |

A deeper look at performance and new features
In the first section of my Field Test, I mainly focused on the Sony RX1R II's design and build quality as well as its general-use performance and image quality. In this follow-up Field Test, I'll take a closer look at some of its new features, including the improved autofocus system and the variable low-pass filter. Plus, I'll test out the video capabilities and wireless connectivity, before wrapping things up with my final thoughts.

Off the street & onto the court: the RX1R II as a sports camera?
Unlike the original pair of RX1-series cameras, the new "Mark II" version features on-sensor phase-detect autofocus similar to the A7 II and A7R II cameras. This should lead to speedier autofocus, particularly with continuous AF. In fact, the original RX1 didn't have continuous AF capabilities for still images at all!

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