Sony RX100 raised a lot of dust since it was announced year and a half ago. Besides all the bells and whistles that are expected of the advanced-level camera like a full range of manual settings, programmable controls and excellent build quality, RX100 got praises for its image quality and this is what matters most. Never before was there such a small camera with such image quality and the main reason behind it was a “huge” 13.2 x 8.8 mm CMOS sensor with 20 megapixels paired to excellent Zeiss branded zoom lens.
WHAT IS NEW COMPARED TO ORIGINAL RX100?
RX100M2 has several improvements over the first RX100 and these are:
- Improved sensor: RX100M2 has a similar 13x9mm CMOS image sensor, but Sony improved high ISO capabilities for the new model.
- Tilt-LCD: LCD has the same pixel count and diagonal but is now tilt-able. Very handy when framing from difficult angles. The camera is only marginally larger because of it (1-2mm).
- Flash hot-shoe: It would be a very funny sight to see huge bounce flash on top of the camera as small as RX100, but it is better to have than not to have it. And you can always use wireless remote trigger for external flashes what is very nice feature.
- External EVF: Hot-shoe has special electrical contacts which allow you to connect external EVF (at this point still very expensive at $ 450).
- 24p videos: Besides 60p and 25p, RX100 can record videos with 24p frame rate (full HD of course)
- WiFi and NFC: Personally, I couldn’t care less for these features since I don’t use Smartphone nor have intention to get one, but everyone around me has so it obvious to add those features.
CONSTRUCTION AND HANDLING
Build quality looks to be the same as on previous model – in other words excellent. The camera is heavy compared to its size. Control layout remained the same but there is no need to change anything, at least in my opinion. All of the buttons are quite small and if you have big fat fingers have this might not be the best camera for you.
One thing could have been upgraded though – control wheel around the lens would be easier to use if it had notches. Dial function can be assigned in the menu and there are 10 functions to choose between. But beware of weird software limitations; RX100M2 it drove me mad at one point; no matter what function I selected, the wheel did nothing. It took me some time to realize that when you select DMF (dual AF-manual focus) the control wheel is disabled for all other functions; it only works as a manual focus control after shutter button half-press. Other functions got enabled only when I selected AF-only focusing. My personal favourite was step-zoom in which the zoom has preset focal settings: 28, 35, 50, 70 and 100mm.
The assignable “Fn” button can control up to 7 different functions and you can leave some spaces blank in order to get less cluttered interface. Personally, I never used more 4 of them.
MENUS AND RESPONSIVENESS
RX100M2 may be a high end compact, but still it is a compact. That means slower response time. It takes a second or two to extend the lens and be ready to take a first shot and you cannot enter playback until the camera writes the images to the card.
Also, there is a delay between the rotation of one of the control wheels and the moment the camera actually changes something and displays it on screen. It is not a big delay, but it makes you feel like the camera is slowing you down.
LCD AND VIEWFINDER
LCD has a 3″ diagonal and 1.3 million dots. It is very detailed and sharp with excellent viewing angles. It can be tilted 90°upward and 45°downward which helps a lot when framing from difficult angles. RX100M2 can accept external electronic viewfinder FDA-EV1MKwith tilt-function and 1024×768 resolution. Still, I doubt many people will buy it since it defeats the purpose of this camera (being really small) and costs a whopping $450.