Sony RX100 II : Wi-Fi, tiltable screen, backlit 1" sensor


Among high-end compact cameras, the Sony RX100 is a big hit and its market share is about the double the second’s among large sensor cameras, the Fujifilm X20. Sony today offers the Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 a bigger brother, a version II, which will coexist with the first one in an upgraded philosophy, offering some significant improvements that some photographers will definitely fall for, like the backside illumination of the 1″ sensor, the WiFi or a tiltable screen. Let’s meet the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 II.

The success encountered (well deserved) by the Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 has pushed Sony to decline the camera in a more advanced version. The RX100II brings the following improvements:

  • BSI Sensor : nice progress here, the 1″ sensor  of 20 megapixel wins backside illumination technology, Exmor R in Sony’s language, which improves themore sensitivity in low light over the original RX100 sensor which is already pretty good thanks to its wide area. The RX100 Mark II should provide a qualitative step up of 1EV, that is to say, it should offer the same image quality at ISO 3,200 as its predecessor at ISO 1,600.
  • Adjustable rear screen: The screen remains the same as the one I loved in the RX100 review, it is tiltable now and it is an important step for many photographers who have become accustomed to aiming at their subject arm above the crowd or the tidal ground or in the chest as you might do with a medium format … One might have feared that the RX100 MKII would therefor be more bulkier (the compactness is a major asset of the RX100 MKI), but this increase is limited since the RX100 Mark II is only 2.3 mm thicker than its predecessor with a fixed screen. I had the opportunity to handle the Mark II for a few minutes last weed (sorry, was not allowed to take any picture) and I have to say that the addition of an articulated screen does not hurt the overall compactness of the RX100 but if it were for myself, I would still go for the version I because I like the RX100 pocket size above all.
  • The lens of the RX100 II has an incremental zoom. I mean that with the adjustment ring around the lens, you can easily access to preprogrammed traditional focal length as shortcuts: 28, 35, 50,70 or 100 mm.
  • The Sony RX100 II gets a multi-interface connector: you can now connect an electronic viewfinder (the Sony FDA-EV1MK), an additional flash, or an external microphone as the new XYST1M. The digital interface of the Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 Mark II It is also complemented by a multi-terminal port that can connect a RM-VPR1 with a micro USB connector.
  • Wifi and NFC get to the RX100 II : WiFi connectivity and easy setup of the camera with a smartphone or a tablet, is achieved thanks to the NFC chip. So just rub your RX100 II on the NFC sign of your idevice or Xperia or anything you’d like your camera to connect with, and you’re done. With Sony’s iOS and Android PlayMemories app, you can upload the photos and videos on your device as you shoot to share instantly with your peers and on social networks, but also to use your smartphone as a remote control for your camera.
  • The video evolves in small steps on the RX100+ which now gets 24p shooting rate. We can also record movies in PSAM modes and apply them creative effects.

The Sony RX100 II will be sold in addition to the RX100 which it won’t replace but cen be considered as a “Mr. More”. The Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 II is priced $150 more than the street price of the RX100. It will hit the shelves in July.

Spny also announced an optical low-pass filter free version of the RX1, the Sony RX1 R.

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