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:
- Same sensor as the Sony A7R II — pretty much everyone that has reviewed that camera raves about the sensor.
- 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.
- 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.
- Face detection that actually works.
- Responsive and the wide area autofocus is usually where I want it to be.
- Decent out of camera JPEGs.
- RAW files have tons of leeway in post.
- Quick menu is well thought out.
- Menu system — I actually like it. It could be better, but it could be way worse.
- Intuitive controls.
- Good video performance.
- Great EVF — I’d say on par with the Panasonic GX8 (maybe marginally lower in quality, but only marginally).
- Size — it’s tiny! It’s smaller than the Fuji X-Pro2 or Panasonic GX8, but the sensor blows the competition away!
- 3.5mm mic jack. I tried it with a shoe mount shotgun mic, and it gave very nice results.
- Aperture ring.
- Ability to set shutter speed in relation to auto ISO — my GX8 can’t do this.
- Tilting LCD — I love this feature. Too bad the trend with so many cameras is the flip out kind. Tilting LCDs are great!
- Nice lens cap — I know, it’s minor, but it is a high quality lens cap.
- XAVC Codec
- The lens — certainly not the last thing on the list, but the bokeh is great, it’s sharp, and it has a macro mode!
- Worst battery performance of any camera that I have ever used. I bought two extra batteries to take with me.
- 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.
- RAW+JPEG uses a smaller compressed JPEG file instead of a high quality one.
- No included lens hood, I bought an after market Fotodiox one on Amazon.
- No weather sealing. However, I solved this with one of these.
- Eye cup not integrated and fiddly when attaching.
- Should have included a hand strap.
- No headphone jack.
- No flash.
- Sony apps.
- No touch screen — this would have been awesome had it been a part of the camera.
- No 4K.
- 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.