Digital Cameras

Sony RX100 M II: Review

Sony DSC-RX100 M II Cyber-shot is a premium compact 20 megapixel camera, with tilting screen and bright lens. The Sony RX100 had already impressed at the time of launch, about a year ago, proposing itself as the best premium compact in the world of photography, thanks to features of the first order, including the large-format sensor 1″.

Now, almost surprisingly, comes the heir, called simply RX100 M II, which makes it even more powerful of already excellent product of his own. But what are the differences between the first and the second generation of the RX100? We cannot from the sensor, backlit now that will please the most demanding amateur photographers in terms of sheer quality of the images.

Likely to go unnoticed so the big screen back, bright, defined and finally tilting, 3″ and 1,229,000 dot resolution. Another interesting enhancement to the Sony Cyber-shot RX100 M II is the presence of a hot shoe compatible not only with external flash units, but also with a remote control or with an electronic viewfinder (unfortunately sold separately at a high price). The series of novelty then continues with the addition of support of Wi-Fi and NFC technology, for a truly comprehensive connectivity.

Sony RX100 M II: Design

Aesthetically, and functionally little change in the Sony Cyber-shot RX100 M II compared to the predecessor. Placed side by side, it’s really difficult to find the differences, unless you pull the rear screen of the brand new premium compact Sony. The hot shoe goes virtually unnoticed as it is hidden from the protective cover. The aluminum body gives the same feeling of high-quality materials and finishes, with a processed surface satin finish, which keeps away scratches and fingerprints. It remains the only small flaw of the RX100, or handles very pronounced, which makes the taking in hand not so tight and secure (but there is an optional accessory that bridges the gap).

Sony RX100M II

If you look at the numbers alone, we note that Sony Cyber-shot RX100 M II has, now, a footprint slightly higher, precisely because of the new retractable screen on the back and the hot shoe on the top. Here we must make a further applaud Sony for not. Compromise a slim and stylish while implementing new features.

The controls do not change: there are the same of the main control mode selector on the top, while all other keys are on the back, including a classic programmable Fn button (you can also customize the function of the ring around the lens: shutter speed, aperture, creative styles or a more classic zoom focal lengths with direct access to the users preferred). So not only do you have full control of the camera, but also the ability to adapt to your shooting style.

Sony RX100 M II: Features and Performance

The main features of the Sony Cyber-shot RX100 M II remains almost unchanged: Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T with 3.6x zoom that covers a focal range from 28 to 100 mm, not particularly large, then, and with a wide-angle less open for some of the competitors accredited.

In each case, the objective is very bright, especially at the shorter focal length of 28 mm, where it reaches the impressive value of f: 1.8, while the maximum extension of 100 mm passes af: 4.9, which is more than acceptable. Behind the pure numeric values, hides a perspective of great quality, with a seven-blade diaphragm which helps you to play with depth of field, with very soft blur behind and in front of the subject in the foreground.

Sony RX100M II

We have already mentioned the great illuminated sensor Exmor R 1 ” and with a resolution of 20.2 megapixels. The combination of a lens fast, ultra defined and a large sensor and a powerful Bionz processing engine enables the Sony Cyber-shot RX100 M II to get very high details, low noise at high ISO, and, finally, a higher reactivity. In addition, the video capture mode is now more flexible, being able to record in Full HD 60p.

The experience of using the Sony Cyber-shot RX100 M II is always guided by the maximum pleasure in every situation. The impression is to have in hand a small reflex, in all respects. It starts from the contrast autofocus system, precise and responsive, especially in the single mode AF-S, while the continuous AF-C is in crisis – for accuracy and speed – with fast moving subjects, such as in sports.

The powerful processing engine helps in the continuous shots along with generous buffer: in our tests, we have maintained the promised 10 fps in JPEG format. You can also capture images combining with JPEG RAW file, but in this case, the buffer is soon saturated, maintaining maximum speed for about a second and then slowing down dramatically until complete saturation. It is a remarkable result for a compact premium.

Sony RX100M II

Excellent is the implementation of Wi-Fi, with easy sharing and instant shots and video clips via the app PlayMemories Mobile for Apple and Android mobile devices, which also enable remote control of the camera. Is even more intuitive file transfer with smartphones, tablets or TVs compatible with NFC: just put them in contact with the Sony Cyber-shot RX100 M II and you’re done.

It was hard to do better than the RX100, but the Sony Cyber-shot RX100 M II has succeeded. The images are always well exposed, with natural colors and edges, white balance reliable in almost all situations and the same tendency to slightly overexpose the scene. To avoid this problem you can still use the Sony D-Range technology, which leads to much more natural results in the expansion of dynamic range than a shot HDR, relying on five levels, plus the automatic mode.

What really changes is the signal / noise ratio, about the new back-illuminated sensor. Now the pictures are not only very detailed at low sensitivity, but also the mean value of ISO 400 to ISO 800 shots in JPEG or RAW. In the latter case, the noise is easily manageable in post production up to ISO 3,200, an impressive achievement for a compact.


No doubt, Sony has improved what appeared to be difficult to beat. The addition of the full support of the Wi-Fi connectivity and NFC, a tilting screen, a backlit APS-C sensor. A hot shoe is compatible with a range of accessories, along with other small refinements, make this small but powerful RX100 M II the most handsome premium compact market.

There remain still some flaws that undermine minimally the overall quality of the Sony Cyber-shot RX100 M II as a handle very pronounced (but among the accessories, we have the grip AG-R1 optional), do not touch the screen, an optics not so extensive and not so bright at maximum extension. It is easy to imagine that will be resolved in the next version.

Where to Buy Sony RX100 M II

Sony RX100 II 20.2 MP Premium Compact Digital Camera w/ 1-inch sensor, MI (Multi-Interface) shoe and tilt LCD screen (DSCRX100M2/B)
  • 20.2 MP 1"-type Exmor R CMOS sensor. 28-100mm equivalent F/1.8-4.9 lens.
  • Continuous shooting up to 10 FPS. ISO 160-12800, expandable ISO 100, 125, and...
  • . 1080 60p/24p HD video with full exposure control (MPEG-4/AVCHD)3.0 inch...
  • Raw/JPEG/ Raw+JPEG. Optical zoom : 3.6x (Optical Zoom during movie recording),...
  • Steady-Shot image stabilization. Rear control dial and customizable front...
Value of Money

PROS : Materials and finishes of the highest quality, Excellent image quality, Fast AF single, Excellent implementation of Wi-Fi, Sensor backlit, Tilting screen.

CONS : Non-touch screen, Zoom recently extended handle perfectible, Accessories loved ones.

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