Sony RX1R II Field Test Part I: Big upgrades all around for Sony’s super-premium compact


posted Thursday, December 17, 2015 at 7:05 PM EDT


Sony made a major splash back in 2012 with the original RX1. It was a sheer feat of engineering that they managed to cram-jam a huge full-frame sensor into this amazingly compact body. Now, a few years later, Sony's brought in the refining tools in order to make the new Sony RX1R II even better and yet still just as compact.

The original model was thoroughly impressive, and thoroughly expensive. Though I drooled over it, it was way beyond my budget for a camera, but the technical innovation and image quality kept my interest piqued. Therefore, I am super excited to have the opportunity to test and shoot the new RX1R II and today, share my first installment of our Sony RX1R II Field Test.

f/2, 1/1000s, ISO 100

Sadly for me, this camera is still very expensive -- in fact, at $3,300, it's more than the MSRP of the original. Alas, looking beyond the budget-crushing price, the Sony RX1R II is an amazing camera, sporting some serious upgrades. After the RX1, Sony's continued to make leaps and bounds with their full-frame A7-series mirrorless cameras and their RX100-series compacts. For instance, the RX1R II sports a similar 42.4-megapixel full-frame CMOS sensor and BIONZ X processor as the A7R II and a similar, yet improved, pop-up EVF (à la the RX100 III and IV).

In this Field Test Part I, I discuss my initial impressions of the image quality, in both good lighting and in very dark conditions -- thus putting the camera's improved ISO range to the test. Overall, image quality is superb. Low-light performance is great, with images, especially RAW files, showing lots of fine detail. Ergonomics are similar to the original, but the cool EVF is a fantastic addition, and the vastly configurable buttons and dials make the RX1R II very flexible to your personal tastes.

I won't spoil all the details here, so jump over to my Sony RX1R II Field Test Part I for all the specifics. I'm continuing to shoot with the RX1R II in preparation for Part II, in which I'll explore more in-depth the camera's cool new variable low-pass filter, see if its new Fast Hybrid AF is up to snuff, and check out the improved video features. So, stay tuned! Oh, and if there's anything else you think I should look into, leave a note in the comments section below!

f/2.5, 1/100s, ISO 20,000
f/4, 1/1250s, ISO 100

Sony RX1R II Field Test Part I

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