Everyone interested in the field of digital photography has necessarily heard of the RX100 and this is quite normal since the latter has for a long time occupied the first place of the podium dedicated to compacts. A few months later, Sony put the cover again with a new even more complete camera: the RX100 II , also known as the RX100 M2 . As the title of my article cleverly suggests, it is precisely the latter that we are talking about today, since he has been sharing my daily life for a few days now. And if you're wondering what's in his stomach, then you've come to the right place.
At first glance, the RX100 II looks like two drops of water like its big brother. A compact case, intuitive ergonomics, it will have no trouble seducing those who had fallen in admiration in front of the RX100. Be careful, however, not to be fooled because if the RX100 II looks similar to the latter, it is not a perfect copy either. In reality, there are many new features and Sony has not really done in the lace.
Handling & Ergonomics
The main advantage of the Sony RX100 II are its compact dimensions . It will fit easily in a pocket or in a bag, and it can therefore accompany us in the slightest of our trips. A good thing, especially when you know that the best camera is the one we always have with us. Good news, because the RX100 II will fit easily in your pants pocket. Or in the other, for that matter.
Ergonomics are not left out, however. On the upper edge of the camera, we will find a “popup” flash, the power button, the shutter release framed by a wheel dedicated to zoom and the mode selection wheel. In this regard, we will be spoiled for choice with the usual PSAM modes, not to mention the panoramas so dear to Sony's eyes. Interesting point, unlike the RX100, this new case incorporates an accessory label . It will therefore be possible to stick an external flash, a microphone and even a digital viewfinder if necessary.
On the back of the box, we will have the right to the button to start recording a video, a customizable Fn button, the menu access button, the play button and a coding wheel. The 3-inch LCD screen (1,223,000 dots) is tiltable . Exactly like the NEX. It will therefore be able to tilt 90 ° upwards and 45 ° downwards. The only downside is that it is not tactile.
The lens ring is still in order and it will always allow us to change the aperture, zoom or shutter speed. Everything will depend on the user's settings.
On the right side, we can get our hands on the MULTI / HDMI outputs . The hatch concealing access to the memory card is still located under the device and this is ultimately its biggest flaw since it will be necessary to remove it from its tripod to change it. Same punishment for the battery but there, it is not very surprising.
The handling is intuitive, and pleasant. Admittedly, the case is very compact, but this is precisely what makes its strength since it can accompany us in the least of our movements. Experts will immediately find their mark, and we finally feel that the RX100 II has been designed for this particularly demanding audience.
New sensor, WiFi and NFC on the program
First change and not the least, the sensor. A 1 ″ 20-megapixel Exmor R sensor , with BSI technology for improved noise management. In concrete terms, therefore, the RX100 II's sensor is four times the size of most digital compacts on the market, and it will perform better than its predecessor when there is no light.
But that's not the only novelty he's enjoying. In reality, the RX100 II plays the card of everything connected by integrating both a WiFi chip and an NFC chip . It will therefore be perfectly possible to transfer the contents of your memory card to a computer or a mobile terminal. Better still, by installing PlayMemories, it will even be possible to take control from a terminal running iOS or Android.
What is the use of this function? In reality, it all depends on your needs, but it's still very comfortable to be able to manage the RX100 II remotely from your smartphone. If need be, we can actually film or photograph ourselves, and thus ensure that our framing is respected. Very practical in interviews, for example, since we will not necessarily need a cameraman (or a friend) to perform this function.
More stuff also means a little heavier weight. The RX100 II thus weighs 40 grams more than its predecessor, a little noticeable difference for the muscular Geeks that we are.
Performances, Photos & Videos
Let's say it clearly, if the Sony RX100 II is a bit slow at startup (allow a little over two seconds), it is doing pretty well for the release and for the autofocus. The box is also entitled to its burst mode, a mode set at 10 images per second . Be careful though because everything will depend on the format of your files. If the RX100 II obviously manages JPEG, it is also possible to shoot in RAW (ARW) if necessary.
The optics are the same as on the RX100 and we therefore find the Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T * 28-100mm f / 1.8-4.9 . Quality is obviously there, even when the light is lacking. The BSI sensor will provide acceptable results up to ISO 12,800. Remember that the RX100 was limited to a sensitivity of ISO 6,400. And we must admit, the performances are really there. The RX100 II performs perfectly in all conditions, including low light. It is also quite astonishing since the compacts have never been at ease on this ground there. Sony is once again proving all its know-how in this area.
And then there's the video. The RX100 II accepts two distinct formats: AVCHD (1080p, 50 fps, 38 Mbps) or MP4 (1440 × 1080, 25 fps, 12 Mbps). The autofocus is very responsive, the compact obtains more than correct results and I admit that I was very surprised by the rendering of certain sequences. By investing in additional accessories, such as a tripod and an external microphone, it will be perfectly possible to transform the RX100 II into a small portable recording studio. Ideal to go almost unnoticed in social evenings, or to cover a specialized salon.
Autonomy, for its part, is set at 350 photos, taking into account CIPA standards.
Digital compacts have always left me very perplexed, especially when we see the innovations made to our smartphones. Sony, for its part, has chosen to launch a resolutely top-of-the-range digital camera and it has done well because the RX100 II is capable of accomplishing wonders, especially at wide-angle, including in low light. Its connectivity is also an asset since it will be possible to easily take control from a distance, without having to place a single finger on its case.
The only downside is its price. With an average price around € 680, the RX100 II will not necessarily suit all budgets. However, if you have the means, and if you are looking for a discreet digital compact to take everywhere with you, then sure, you cannot find better.
More personally, I was very pleasantly surprised by the performance of the RX100 II, both in capturing photos and recording videos. Regardless of the shooting conditions, the Sony compact does it with all the honors. Frankly, I really fell in love with this camera, even though I was never a big fan of digital compacts. Oh, and know that all the photos illustrating my handling of the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 were taken using the RX100 II. Same thing for the video, by the way.
Thanks to Pixmania ! Ah and you are even entitled to a bonus by the way: if you enter the code FREDZONE50PIX on Pixmania when ordering the RX100 II, you will be entitled to a reduction of 50 €. Offer subject to the 50 fastest.