No other company has blurred the line between DSLRs and point-and-shoots quite like Sony. They’ve released cameras like the NEX line that offer up DSLR quality in a compact body, and now they’re coming out with two new impressive fixed-lens point-and-shoots in impressively small packages.
The Sony Cyber-shot RX100 II is a follow-up to the RX100, and features a brand new 20.2 effective MP 1” back-illuminated Exmor CMOS sensor, which Sony says is 40 percent better in low-light conditions compared to the RX100. The F1.8 Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T lens makes very clear pictures and 1080p video possible. For more dedicated photographers, there’s a shoe up top that allows you to attach an external flash, microphone, viewfinder, or whatever other camera accessory you happen to have.
You can shoot in RAW using the RX100 II, and the contrast-detect auto-focus has 25 focus points. You can also play around with metering and exposure compensation settings. Also, if you need to get just the right zoom on the fly, you can use the control wheel on the camera to quickly switch between 28 mm, 35 mm, 50 mm, 70 mm, or 100 mm focal lengths for the lens. There’s also a 3.0” LCD screen on the back, which can now be tilted upwards to 84 degrees, or downwards to 45 degrees. Last but not least, the RX100 II is packing HDMI out, Wi-Fi, and NFC for connectivity – which is also a first for a Sony camera.
The RX1R is a follow up to the RX1, and is targeted more at enthusiasts. The main difference between the two is actually something that has been removed – the optical low-pass filter. The RX1R aims to give photographers more control over their shots, taking in and presenting an image that is as faithful as possible, warts and all – with the expectation that camera enthusiasts can fix all the undesirable parts later.
Everything else is just about the same as the RX1 – a 35 mm full-frame Exmor CMOS sensor, with 24.3 effective MP. There’s a Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T lens, and you can play with the same settings as with the RX100 II. You’ll also be able to adjust ISO and white balance. Connectivity is just as robust as the RX100 II – NFC, Wi-Fi, and HDMI out. The same acccessory shoe is also on top of the RX1R.
The Sony Cyber-shot RX100 II will sell for $750, while the more robust RX1R will go for $2,800. Both will be available sometime next month. In the meanwhile, you can check out our hands-on photos below.