Sony RX1R II review — smaller and better than every other camera

Reviews

Over the years, I have been looking for a camera that gives top notch DSLR quality, point and shoot ease of use (with face detection), a tilting screen, and an EVF. Well, look no further than the RX1R II. This camera is just flat out awesome! Now, there are room for improvements, but still — it’s just a terrific camera!

Prior to purchasing this camera, I asked multiple RX1R II owners if there was anything they didn’t like about the camera. I did this on DPReview (a love/hate relationship with that site) and Instagram. Side note — Instagram is a great place to ask people what they think of equipment, most people love to talk about their images and gear. Try it! Everyone I asked had the same complaint — battery life. Other than that, they LOVED the camera.

I’ve now owned the camera for a few months and have had a chance to shoot with it in a variety of conditions. Here is my list of pros and cons with thoughts based upon my real world experiences:

Pros:

  1. Same sensor as the Sony A7R II — pretty much everyone that has reviewed that camera raves about the sensor.
  2. Full frame sensor — better noise and low light performance than smaller sensors. The best description and technical article I ever found on this subject is over on Anandtech.com in this article.
  3. High megapixel count — this comes in really handy when cropping. Especially important with this camera since it’s a fixed focal length.
    35mm f/2 — My favorite focal length and a fairly fast lens with nice bokeh and the ability to shoot close up as well.
  4. Face detection that actually works.
  5. Responsive and the wide area autofocus is usually where I want it to be.
  6. Decent out of camera JPEGs.
  7. RAW files have tons of leeway in post.
  8. Quick menu is well thought out.
  9. Menu system — I actually like it. It could be better, but it could be way worse.
  10. Intuitive controls.
  11. Good video performance.
  12. Great EVF — I’d say on par with the Panasonic GX8 (maybe marginally lower in quality, but only marginally).
  13. Size — it’s tiny! It’s smaller than the Fuji X-Pro2 or Panasonic GX8, but the sensor blows the competition away!
  14. 3.5mm mic jack. I tried it with a shoe mount shotgun mic, and it gave very nice results.
  15. Aperture ring.
  16. Ability to set shutter speed in relation to auto ISO — my GX8 can’t do this.
  17. Tilting LCD — I love this feature. Too bad the trend with so many cameras is the flip out kind. Tilting LCDs are great!
  18. Nice lens cap — I know, it’s minor, but it is a high quality lens cap.
  19. XAVC Codec
  20. 1080/60p
  21. The lens — certainly not the last thing on the list, but the bokeh is great, it’s sharp, and it has a macro mode!

Cons:

  1. Worst battery performance of any camera that I have ever used. I bought two extra batteries to take with me.
  2. Included charger feels cheap. Seriously, for $3,200, they should have included the best charger that Sony makes. I bought a Sony branded external charger that didn’t suck.
  3. RAW+JPEG uses a smaller compressed JPEG file instead of a high quality one.
  4. No included lens hood, I bought an after market Fotodiox one on Amazon.
  5. No weather sealing. However, I solved this with one of these.
  6. Eye cup not integrated and fiddly when attaching.
  7. Should have included a hand strap.
  8. No headphone jack.
  9. No flash.
  10. Sony apps.
  11. No touch screen — this would have been awesome had it been a part of the camera.
  12. No 4K.
  13. The LCD is prone to scratching — more than any other camera I own. Definitely put a screen protector on it the second you take it out of the box. I didn’t and now have a hairline scratch on it. Now, I have a Sony branded screen cover on it, but it shouldn’t have needed it in the first place.

Now come the images! Most of these images were processed in Capture One Pro 9 and sometimes Athentech’s Perfectly Clear. There are plenty of megapixels to crop too for those times when a longer focal length would have been handy.

If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to share below.


Noah Bershatsky

Noah Bershatsky

I was a nerd before hipsters were cool.


https://bershatsky.com

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