The Sony RX100 wasn't the first camera to feature a 1" sensor, but it was the first to fit it in a body as small as a conventional compact. The 13.3 x 8.8mm sensor may only be one-third the size of a typical DSLR chip but it's 2.7x larger than those used in most enthusiast compacts - meaning the RX100 was able to offer impressive image quality in a genuinely pocketable body. Now Sony has introduced the RX100 II (also known, confusingly, as the RX100 M2 - it's II on the top, and M2 on the bottom label: we'll be using the former until someone gives us firmer guidance), which it says will sell as a sister model to the existing camera.
The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 II Digital Camera is a compact point-and-shoot camera that features a large 20.2 megapixel 1" Exmor R CMOS sensor to produce high resolution still imagery and full HD 1080i/p video. This sensor's design utilizes backside-illuminated technology to improve clarity and image quality when working in dimly-lit conditions as well as increase the sensitivity to an expandable ISO 12800.
Benefitting the performance of this sensor is the BIONZ image processor, which helps to produce images with smooth quality and gradations as well as provide expedited performance throughout all
aspects of the camera. Full-resolution continuous shooting up to 10 fps is possible as well as a quick autofocus speed of just 0.13 seconds.
20.2MP 1" Exmor R BSI CMOS Sensor and BIONZ Image Processor
The large 20.2 megapixel 1" Exmor R CMOS sensor features backside-illuminated technology to enhance its low-light capabilities to an expanded ISO 12800 while still retaining vivid clarity. Using Sony's Column A/D Conversion, images are rendered with impressive image quality and smooth gradations between tones and colors due to the marked reduction in apparent noise.
Also benefitting the image quality, as well as overall camera performance, is the BIONZ image processor, which provides full-resolution continuous shooting up to 10 fps, high-speed auto focusing as quickly as 0.13 sec., and full HD 1080i/p video recording. Still images can be recorded in JPEG or RAW file formats, or both simultaneously.
Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T* 3.6x Optical Zoom Lens
The built-in Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T* 10.4-37.1mm f/1.8-4.9 lens provides a 35mm-equivalent focal length range of 28-100mm, covering wide-angle to portrait-length perspectives to suit working in a wide variety of situations. The bright f/1.8 maximum aperture on the wide end enables enhanced low-light capabilities as well as greater control over focus placement for selective focus imagery. The lens also features a Carl Zeiss T* anti-reflective coating to help minimize lens flare and ghosting in order to produce imagery with rich contrast and clarity.
Built-In Wireless and NFC Connectivity
Built-in wireless connectivity enables the RX100 II to instantly share imagery to mobile devices for direct sharing online to social networking, via email, and to cloud storage sites. NFC (Near Field Communication) is also supported, which allows for one-touch connection between the camera and compatible mobile devices; no complex set-up is required. This technology also provides the ability to use Smart Remote Control, which provides for remote shutter release that is controlled by a smart device.
High Speed Autofocus
Aided by the rapid throughput of the BIONZ image processor, high speed auto focusing is possible that is equally as precise as it is quick. Utilizing intelligent response data and a refined high speed actuator motor, the RX100 II can acquire focus in a similar manner and speed to top-performing DSLR focus systems in a variety of lighting conditions.
An efficiently designed control ring around the lens lends itself to intuitive adjusting of some of the most crucial camera controls. This ring can be assigned to control an array of features, including zooming and aperture settings as well as more creative functions like Picture Effect modes. Its click-less design permits quick and quiet changing of settings, too, to benefit its use while recording HD movies. Additionally, for expedited changing of camera settings, a customizable function button allows you to assign one of seven different functions for quick modification when working in any shooting mode.
Also promoting greater efficiency while shooting is the inclusion of a multi interface shoe that allows for the use of external flashes, auxiliary viewfinders, and external microphones. Remote camera controls can also be connected via this accessory shoe.
A built-in pop-up flash is incorporated into the design as well, and features a unique design that allows for tilting of the flash head for bouncing off of walls, ceilings, or reflectors.
High-Resolution LCD Monitor
For live view monitoring, image playback and review, and menu navigation, a 3.0" 1,229k-dot Xtra Fine LCD monitor is integrated into the camera body and features a tilting design to promote easier use from high and low angles. The screen can tilt approximately 84° up and 45° down, giving a wide range of viewing angles. The LCD also employs WhiteMagic technology, which enhances the brightness of the display for easier use in bright conditions.
Full HD 1080p Video Recording
Full HD 1920 x 1080 video recording is supported in multiple frames rates, including 60p, 60i, and 24p. When recording in full HD, the AVCHD Ver. 2.0 codec is used for highly detailed image quality that translates well to editing and sharing on HDTVs. Recording in the Internet-friendly MP4 format is also supported in 1440 x 1080 and 640 x 480 sizes at 30 fps. Sound is recorded during filming using the built-in stereo microphone or, additionally, an external microphone can be used in conjunction with the multi interface shoe.
Optical SteadyShot Image Stabilization
Optical SteadyShot image stabilization works to minimize the appearance of camera shake when working in low-light conditions or with greater zoom magnifications. The system can counter the effects of both vertical and horizontal movements, and, furthermore, Active 3-Way stabilization adds digital rolling control that balances both clockwise and counter-clockwise movements while recording videos.
Other Camera Features
Auto Object Framing is an intelligent shooting mode that can automatically analyze the scene and subjects within it and determine an aesthetically-pleasing composition. The
subsequent imagery will be cropped according to subject matter, resulting in a well-balanced composition that utilizes Face Detection and Tracking Focus to ensure high image quality and
Auto HDR mode will automatically record a bracketed range of exposures of the same scene in order to capture greater highlight and shadow detail than a single exposure can
record. These multiple exposures will then be composited into a single file that exhibits an extended dynamic range.
Face Detection/Registration technology can detect and register up to eight individual faces and adjust the focus, exposure, white balance, and flash settings in order to
deliver optimal image settings for pictures of people. Children or adults can be prioritized within this mode.
1:1, 3:2, 4:3, and 16:9 aspect ratios are available and can be chosen depending on specific shooting purposes.
To extend the effective reach of the 3.6x optical zoom lens, 2x Clear Image digital zoom can be used to intelligently magnify scenes up to 7.2x. This digital zoom technology uses an intelligent interpolation process to minimize the amount of image degradation in order to produce realistic, high-quality images.
Picture Effect modes allow you to apply creative settings and emphasize certain facets of individual images for a richer, more aesthetic picture quality. Soft Focus,
Posterization, Retro Photo, High Contrast Monochrome, Rich-Tone Monochrome, Miniature, Soft High-Key, Toy Camera, Pop Color, Partial Color, Watercolor Painting, HDR Painting, and Illustration
modes are available.
- Creative Style settings provide control over how the camera processes images based on six different predetermined styles: Standard, Vivid, B&W, Sunset, Portrait, and Landscape. Within these settings, contrast, saturation, and sharpness can also be adjusted depending on personal preference.