It’s not every day we have a digital camera announcement from Sony’s President and CEO himself Kazuo Hirai, but that’s just what we had with today’s Sony RX1R II Announcement! Turns out that he was especially fond of the original RX1R and he jumped at the chance to announce it’s successor.
Sony Cyber-shot RX1R II – $3,299 (Available for Pre-order – Ships November 25) packs in a full-frame 42.4-megapixel Exmor R back-illuminated CMOS sensor and BIONZ X processor behind a fixed Zeiss Sonnar T* 35mm f/2 lens that grants users the ability to capture finely detailed images in an extraordinarily compact body. In addition to this, the RX1R II has a world’s first variable optical low-pass filter system that can adjust voltage on a liquid crystal layer to adjust the light-splitting properties of the array. This feature allows users to prioritize detail, eliminate moire and aliasing, or strike a balance between the two.
Located on the sensor are 399 phase-detect AF points in a Fast Hybrid AF system that can lock onto and track subjects quickly. This setting can also be used in the continuous shooting mode at up to the maximum of 5 fps for capturing fast moving action. In addition to this, the improved processing and speed from the RX1R II’s sensor and processor combo enables capturing images at expanded sensitivities ranging from ISO 50-102400. And, Sony has added an uncompressed 14-bit RAW format for uncompromising images.
In addition to these major advancements in imaging, the body design has been refined and the RX1R II is now equipped with a pop-up 0.39″ 2.36M-dot XGA OLED Tru-Finder EVF. This viewfinder has an impressive magnification of 0.74x for comfortable, clear eye-level viewing and has a 4-lens optical system with two glass molded aspherical elements to ensure crisp, vibrant imagery. Along with this, the 3.0″ 1,228.8k-dot LCD monitor can now tilt upwards 109° and down 41° for working in a variety of positions and angles.
On the front of the camera is the impressive Zeiss 35mm lens which provides shooters with a classic wide angle focal length well-suited to street photography and documentary work, an excellent pairing for a compact and unobtrusive camera. The lens also offers a fast f/2 maximum aperture for creating images with a shallow depth-of-field and for working more easily in low light. Along with this, the lens utilizes three aspherical elements, including one advanced aspherical that will minimize aberrations and distortion.
Video has also seen some notable improvement thanks to the implementation of the high bit rate XAVC S format. This format will record Full HD 1080p video at 50 Mbps at frame rates up to 60 fps. Also, the camera will be able to capture HD 720p video at up to 120 fps for slow motion and it has a 3.5mm jack for using external microphones and audio devices.
Numerous other features, such as Bright Monitoring, Eye AF, support for 4:3 and 1:1 aspect ratios, and ISO auto minimum shutter speed have made their way into this model. Also, the camera has built-in Wi-Fi connectivity with NFC (Near Field Communication) for pairing the device with a smartphone or tablet for remote control and transfer of images. In addition to this, the RX1R II supports Sony’s PlayMemories Camera apps for adding advanced functionality to the camera later on.
42.4MP Exmor R BSI CMOS Sensor + BIONZ X Image Processor
The full-frame 42.4-megapixel Exmor R CMOS sensor present in the RX1R II works with the BIONZ X image processor to offer high-resolution stills and video while minimizing noise and improving speed. This sensor structure works with gapless on-chip lens design and an anti-reflection coating, as well as eliminating the optical low-pass filter, to improve light collection and enhance detail. Also, the copper wiring layer dramatically improves data transmission speed for creating high-resolution 42.4-megapixel stills at sensitivities up to ISO 102,400.
Variable Optical Low-Pass Filter
RX1R II has the world’s first variable optical low-pass filter allows users to control the amount of filtration they need for each specific image as they work, in order to maximize detail from the 42.4-megapixel sensor. The system uses a liquid crystal layer which it applies voltage to in order to control the light-splitting function. Users will have access to three settings: Off, Standard, and High. This unique ability allows the RX1R II to work in a variety of circumstances that normally would require separate cameras.
Low-Pass Filter Bracketing
Rx1R II also has the world’s first Low-Pass Filter Bracketing Mode that allows you to save a three-shot bracket of standard, high and no low-pass filter images to select which looks best or to layer all three together in post.
Zeiss Sonnar T* 35mm f/2 Lens
The fixed Zeiss Sonnar T* 35mm f/2 lens, the RX1R II can deliver sharp imagery with exceptional control over depth-of-field. The maximum aperture of f/2 can enable shallow depth-of-field as well as benefit image quality in low-light conditions. Ensuring maximum image quality the 8 element 7 group optical construction utilizes three aspherical elements, including one advanced aspherical, that minimize aberrations and distortion. The nine-blade diaphragm furthers the overall quality by providing smooth out-of-focus areas in your imagery. This lens also offers a dedicated macro mode that shortens the minimum focus distance from 11.8″ to just 7.9″.
Whisper-Quiet Vibration-Free Leaf Shutter
Because it’s a fixed lens camera, RX1R II can offer a whisper-quiet vibration-free leaf shutter with sync speeds up to 1/4000 sec (radio remote flash triggers might be slower)
Don’t forget to turn off the fake audio shutter sound: Menu > Setup > Audio signals > Off
Fast Hybrid AF with 399 Phase-Detect Points
Lock onto your subjects quickly and without hesitation thanks to the revamped Fast Hybrid AF packed into the RX1R II. It uses 399 on-sensor phase-detect AF points with 45% coverage along with 25 contrast-detect AF points in order to improve the speed, accuracy and tracking performance of the system. Faster readout thanks to the back-illuminated sensor structure also allows for tracking while shooting at the top continuous shooting rate of 5 fps. This can be captured with a continuous AF Display that allows users to view the active AF points. Lock-on AF tracking can analyze more information from the scene to provide dramatically improved accuracy and stability. Eye AF is also available which will prioritize a subject’s pupil for excellent portraits even with a shallow depth of field.
Full HD 1080p Video Recording in XAVC S Format
In addition to impressive stills, the RX1R II offers some excellent video recording capabilities thanks to the implementation of the XAVC S format in this model. This enables detailed high-bit rate footage to be captured in Full HD 1080p at 50 Mbps at up to 60 fps. This also works with HD 720p recording at 120 fps for slow motion video. Additionally, this the camera does feature a 3.5mm mic input jack that allows users to connect their standard microphones for improved audio quality.
Tilting 3″ 1,228,800-Dot LCD Monitor
Another nice upgrade from the original RX1 and RX1R is the addition of tilt screen that tilts upward 109° and downward 41° for working with multiple shooting angles. With 1,228,800-dot resolution, the LCD screen will provide shooters with an excellent screen for composing images, adjusting settings, and reviewing video and photos designed to handle bright sunlight that would wash out most screens.
Retractable 0.39″ 2.36M-Dot XGA OLED Tru-Finder Electronic Viewfinder
With its 4-lens optical system using two glass molded aspherical elements, the high resolution 0.39″ 2.36M-dot XGA OLED viewfinder faithfully displays what will appear in your recording, including the effects of your camera settings. Also, you will be able to easily pop it up out of the camera body when you want to use it and put it away for storage. The viewfinder will allow users to enjoy rich tonal gradations and improved contrast with high-end features like 100% frame coverage and a 0.74x magnification that enable comfortable and stable eye-level composition.
Uncompressed 14-Bit RAW Format
In response to feedback from photographers, Sony has introduced an uncompressed 14-bit RAW format option for users who demand the best image quality the camera can deliver. This format ensures finer tonal gradations that will not show any artifacts that can be found in compressed formats.
Physical Controls & Magnesium Alloy Construction
Still sporting a magnesium alloy construction, the overall design and layout of the camera has been refined rather than completely changed. In addition to the pop-up viewfinder and tilting EVF, the cameras multiple dials and buttons have gotten a facelift for more comfortable handling and control. The lens also features the same physical focusing ring and aperture dial as its predecessor, granting users advanced tactile control over their settings if desired.
New 4:3 and 1:1 Aspect Ratio
This is going to make a LOT of you happy who have asked for 4:3 and 1:1 crops in addition to the standard 3:2 and 16:9 options and thanks to the high-resolution sensor, images in the 16:9, 4:3, and 1:1 ratio still manage to offer 36, 38, and 28 megapixels, respectively.
ISO Auto Minimum Shutter Speed
ISO Auto Minimum Shutter Speed allows users to prevent image blur by setting a minimum shutter speed that when reached will then start changing the ISO sensitivity.
Face Detection and Eye AF
Face Detection is available to base exposure and focus on up to eight recognized faces and Eye AF can be used for even greater precision by maintaining critical focus on a subject’s eye.