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Sunday, June 30, 2013

Sony Cybershot DSC-RX100 II Preview

Sony Cybershot DSC-RX100 II Preview
June 2013, Carl Garrard
Back when the Sony RX100 was announced, I made some rather constructively critical comments about it. Here was a camera that I had decided was good, but certainly not as good as I know the Cybershot division was capable of. That is why I didn't jump up and down about it. Now a year has gone by and it looks as though all of  my major criticisms of the RX100 were addressed with the RX100 II. Good job Sony! So let me tell you first and foremost that I'm excited about the RX100 II and plan on getting my hands on one real soon.

Sony DSC-RX100M II Current Best Price
Why? Well there were a couple of deal breakers on the RX100 that would have just annoyed me every time I used it. The big one, was a lack of some sort of grip on the camera at all. Sony has addressed that by offering a stick on grip Sony RX100 (II) Grip for both the RX100 and RX100 II. The grip will not add any noticeable weight or bulk to the camera in terms of pocketability. Yes you  have to pay $17.00 for it, but for me.... gladly, any day, so what.

Stick it on and smile. Confident one handed shooting is suddenly available
Secondly (the list here are all irritants not as obvious as the grip) the RX100 lacked ISO 100, any kind of viewfinder option, any kind of external flash option, etc. Those were all addressed with the new mutli-interface hot shoe addition to the RX100 II. Bravo.  Add that Sony has a much better sensor in this camera (now back side illuminated) and the RX100 II suddenly looks like a killer pocket camera to me.

Sony DSC-RX100M II Current Best Price

And lets not forget that Sony went one step further and added a tilt screen to the RX100, which magnifies its versatility greatly for one handed shooters or those situations that call for below the waist shooting or above the head shots.  Sony added this new tilt screen with a really thin frame that adds a mere 2mm to the camera's width and at first glance looks like a fixed screen it's so well fit. That is the kind of screen for me. Again, good job Sony.

The RX100 II still doesn't allow for noise removal to be turned completely off, nor does it have filter threads on the front so that one can use filters normally. These can be worked around in my book and aren't deal breakers just slightly annoying. The lack of an off setting for Jpegs though is *more* of an irritant than the lack of filter threads by far but again, not a deal breaker. Maybe they've adjusted the tuning of the noise control to a true low, normal, and high setting? In the past I've found very little difference in those settings- so one can hope.

Sony DSC-RX100M II Current Best Price

As it stands the RX100 II is a pocket camera that retained many features I liked about the RX100 but improved upon the design in just the right areas. The menu system is very much like the Alpha DSLR's which I really rave about, and that is a big deal to me. I hate bad menu systems (NEX cameras for example, almost all Olympus cameras) so I'm really happy to see that Sony retained that in the II model.

The f/1.8-f/4.9 28-100mm lens is perfectly fine considering the sensor that sits behind it.... now. At 28-100mm you can crop a 100 mm 20mp file by 50% and still get a 10mp image showing a 200mm equivalent field of view. That is really great. It's aperture is just fine in terms of brightness because the camera can shoot ISO 6400 raw files and they look pretty darn fantastic from its 1" sized sensor (again an improvement over the RX100).

The RX100 II will cost a bit more though, but I'm betting that those like me that held off on an RX100 purchase might be tempted enough now to throw down the cash. This camera can do a lot of things that much larger cameras can do, and may replace them altogether for some shooters.

Sony DSC-RX100M II Current Best Price
The only thing standing in the way of me honoring the RX100 II as the best pocketable camera today, or any day for that matter- is using one. I've made my requests so we'll see if those channels come through or not. Either way you'll be hearing from me one way or the other on the RX100 II as it is a camera that appeals to me Readers who know me know that once I set my eyes on something it happens.

I'm looking forward to using an RX100 II ASAP and reporting my thoughts to my readers. Till then, I'll continue to use my lovely S100 as my main pocket camera. I have a feeling it just may end up being replaced, sadly enough.


Carl Garard

Sony DSC-RX100M II Current Best Price

1 comment:

  1. The RX100 II has landed here at Photographic-Central! Just as I had hoped!