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Sony RX100 II review

Popular premium compact gets an upgrade

Our Verdict

For

  • Tilting screen
  • Full manual control
  • Wi-Fi compatibility
  • Excellent low-light performance

Against

  • No touchscreen
  • Limited Wi-Fi functionality

Last year's Sony RX100 has proven popular with both critics and consumers, becoming the top-selling premium compact camera at various points over the past 12 months.

Here on TechRadar it won the title of best premium compact camera, beating the likes of the Canon G15, Nikon P7700 and the Fuji X20. It is unique in the market for now, because it features a one-inch (type) sensor, which is significantly larger than the devices found in similar cameras on the market.

Now, Sony is releasing an RX100 Mark II version of the camera, keeping many of the same specifications but with a few notable improvements. It will be sold at the same time as the original RX100, which Sony says will remain on the market until at least Christmas 2013.

Sony RX100 Mark II

First up is the sensor, which keeps the same 20.2 million pixel resolution and physical size, but is now an Exmor R device, meaning it is backlit. This should make it perform better in lower light conditions. The maximum sensitivity has now also been increased to ISO 12,800.

The camera keeps the same 3.6x optical zoom Carl Zeiss lens, which offers an equivalent focal length of 28-100mm (in 35mm format) and a maximum aperture at the wide angle of f/1.8. Sony tells us that it was important to keep the f/1.8 specification in particular, since this was an especially popular feature.

One of the most significant changes to the build of the body of the camera is the screen, which keeps the same 3-inch size and 1,229k dot high resolution, but now tilts both upwards and downwards for shooting at awkward angles. Anyone who was hoping Sony would include a touchscreen on the RX100's successor will be disappointed, because the company is still electing not to include one.

Sony RX100 Mark II review

In terms of usability, the new camera's biggest upgrade is probably the addition of Wi-Fi connectivity. This is also the first Sony compact camera to feature NFC connectivity, which is something that's becoming increasingly popular. Both these features mean you can control the camera remotely via a smartphone or tablet, as well as download your images to your device.

One of the criticisms of the first Sony RX100 was that it lacked a hotshoe or port, meaning you couldn't attach accessories such as a viewfinder or microphone. Sony has rectified this by including the same Multi Interface Shoe as found on other Sony cameras in its NEX and Alpha ranges.

The sticking point of this camera will of course be the fact that these improvements come at a price premium. Whereas you can currently pick up the original Sony RX100 for around £450 / US$650 / AU$680, the Sony RX100 Mark II price will be much steeper, at £650 (around US$1,000 / AU$1,100). Hopefully, prices will come down once it hits the market.

Sony RX100 Mark II review

The number of premium compact cameras now on the market is fairly high, with pretty much every manufacturer offering some kind of option. The Sony RX100 II therefore has a good number of competitors, but it is probably most closely matched by the Panasonic LF1 or Olympus XZ-2.

Of course it actually has the same size sensor as found on the Nikon 1 interchangeable lens system, so it's also somewhat a competitor for those cameras, albeit without the ability to change lenses.

Its small size and zoom lens mean that it sits below the ultra-premium APS-C and full-frame compact cameras currently on the market, including the Ricoh GR, Nikon Coolpix A, Fujifilm X100S and Sony's own RX1.

Tech Specs

Product TypeCompact Camera
Battery Size SupportedProprietary Battery Size
Maximum Video Resolution1920 x 1080
TouchscreenNo
Effective Camera Resolution20.2 Megapixel
GPSNo
USBYes
PictBridgeNo
Product FamilyCyber-shot R
Image StabilizationOptical
ColourBlack
Optical Zoom3.6x
Digital Zoom14x
Brand NameSony
FeaturesContinuous Shooting Mode, External Flash Shoe, Live View, Orientation Sensor, Face Detection, Smile Detection
Screen Size7.6 cm (3")
Video FormatsAVCHD, MPEG-4
Weight (Approximate)254 g
Minimum Focus Distance50 mm
Maximum Image Resolution5472 x 3648
Maximum Frame Rate60 fps
Number of Batteries Supported1
Battery Built-inNo
Battery RechargeableYes
Battery IncludedYes
Display Screen TypeLCD
Image Sensor TypeExmor R CMOS
Total Camera Resolution21 Megapixel
HDMIYes
HD Movie ModeYes
Battery Model SupportedNP-BX1
Memory Card SupportedMemory Stick Duo, Memory Stick PRO Duo, Memory Stick PRO High Speed Duo, Memory Stick PRO-HG Duo, Memory Stick Micro, Memory Stick Micro (M2), Secure Digital (SD) Card, Secure Digital Extended Capacity (SDXC), Secure Digital High Capacity (SDHC) Card, microSD Card, microSDHC Card, Eye-Fi Card
Height58.1 mm
Width101.6 mm
Depth35.9 mm
Autofocus Points25
Product SeriesR
Focal Length10.40 mm to 37.10 mm
Image FormatsJPEG, RAW
Flash ModesAuto Flash, Flash OFF, Flash ON, Rear Slow Sync, Slow Sync, Red-eye Fix
Focus ModesAuto, Manual
ManufacturerSony Corporation
Product ModelDSC-RX100M2
Product NameRX100 II Digital Compact Camera
Product LineCyber-shot
Aspect Ratio16:9
Manufacturer Part NumberDSCRX100M2CEH
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.sony.co.uk
Marketing InformationEffortlessly clear shooting

The sun dipping below the horizon, an epic mountain peak view, capture it all with our Cyber-shot™ RX100 II. The new 1.0 type back-illuminated Exmor R® back illuminated CMOS sensor and F1.8 Carl Zeiss Vario Sonnar T* coating lens ensures bright, detail and low-noise photos.

Battery Life350 Shot/2.92 Hour Video
Package Contents
  • RX100 II Digital Compact Camera
  • Rechargeable Battery Pack (NP-BX1)
  • AC Adaptor (AC-UB10/UB10B/UB10C/UB10D)
  • Micro USB Cable
  • Wrist Strap
  • Strap Adapter
  • Instruction Manual
  • Software Media
Display Resolution1228800 Pixel
Limited Warranty1 Year
Built-in DevicesSpeaker, Microphone