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Sony A7R vs RX1R II

The Sony Alpha A7R and the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX1R II are two enthusiast cameras that were announced, respectively, in October 2013 and October 2015. The A7R is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera, while the RX1R II is a fixed lens compact. Both cameras are equipped with a full frame sensor. The A7R has a resolution of 36.2 megapixels, whereas the RX1R II provides 42.2 MP.

Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.

Headline Specifications
Sony A7R   Sony RX1R II
Sony A7R Sony RX1R II
Mirrorless system camera Fixed lens compact camera
Sony E mount lenses 35mm f/2.0
36.2 MP, Full Frame Sensor 42.2 MP, Full Frame Sensor
1080/60p Video 1080/60p Video
ISO 100-25600 (50-51200) ISO 100-25600 (50-102400)
Electronic viewfinder (2400k dots) Electronic viewfinder (2360k dots)
3.0" LCD, 1230k dots 3.0" LCD, 1229k dots
Tilting screen (no touchscreen) Tilting screen (not touch-sensitive)
4 shutter flaps per second 5 shutter flaps per second
Weathersealed bodyNot weather sealed
340 shots per battery charge220 shots per battery charge
127 x 94 x 48 mm, 465 g 113 x 65 x 72 mm, 507 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Sony Alpha A7R and the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX1R II? Which one should you buy? Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their body size, their imaging sensors, their shooting features, their input-output connections, and their reception by expert reviewers.

Body comparison: Sony A7R vs RX1R II

An illustration of the physical size and weight of the Sony A7R and the Sony RX1R II is provided in the side-by-side display below. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three consecutive views from the front, the top, and the rear side are shown. All size dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

Size Sony A7R vs Sony RX1R II
Compare A7R versus RX1R II top
Comparison A7R or RX1R II rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Sony RX1R II is considerably smaller (38 percent) than the Sony A7R. It is worth mentioning in this context that the A7R is splash and dust resistant, while the RX1R II does not feature any corresponding weather-sealing.

The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete and possibly misleading, as the RX1R II has a lens built in, whereas the A7R is an interchangeable lens camera that requires a separate lens. Attaching the latter will add extra weight and bulk to the setup. You can compare the optics available for the A7R and their specifications in the Sony FE Lens Catalog.

Concerning battery life, the A7R gets 340 shots out of its NP-FW50 battery, while the RX1R II can take 220 images on a single charge of its NP-BX1 power pack. The battery packs of both cameras can be charged via USB, which can be very convenient when travelling.

The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the two cameras alongside a broader set of comparators. If you want to switch the focus of the display and review another camera pair, just select a new right or left comparator from among the camera models in the table. Alternatively, you can also move across to the CAM-parator tool and choose from the broad selection of possible camera comparisons there.

Camera Body Specifications
  Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life
(CIPA)
Weather
Sealing
(yes/no)
Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Camera
Model
 
Sony A7R» 5.0 in 3.7 in 1.9 in 16.4 oz 340 Y Oct 2013 2,299- i Sony A7R
 
Sony RX1R II« 4.4 in 2.6 in 2.8 in 17.9 oz 220 n Oct 2015 3,299 i i Sony RX1R II
 
Canon 5DS« » 6.0 in 4.6 in 3.0 in 32.8 oz 700 Y Feb 2015 3,699 i i Canon 5DS
 
Canon 5DS R« » 6.0 in 4.6 in 3.0 in 32.8 oz 700 Y Feb 2015 3,699 i i Canon 5DS R
 
Leica Q Typ 116« » 5.1 in 3.1 in 3.7 in 22.6 oz 300 n Jun 2015 4,249- i Leica Q Typ 116
 
Nikon D810« » 5.7 in 4.8 in 3.2 in 34.6 oz 1200 Y Jun 2014 3,299- i Nikon D810
 
Sony A7 III« » 5.0 in 3.8 in 2.9 in 22.9 oz 610 Y Feb 2018 1,999 i i Sony A7 III
 
Sony A7R III« » 5.0 in 3.8 in 2.9 in 22.9 oz 650 Y Oct 2017 3,199 i i Sony A7R III
 
Sony A7R II« » 5.0 in 3.8 in 2.4 in 22.0 oz 290 Y Jun 2015 3,199- i Sony A7R II
 
Sony A7 II« » 5.0 in 3.8 in 2.4 in 21.1 oz 350 Y Nov 2014 1,999- i Sony A7 II
 
Sony A7S« » 5.0 in 3.7 in 1.9 in 17.2 oz 380 Y Apr 2014 2,499- i Sony A7S
 
Sony A7« » 5.0 in 3.7 in 1.9 in 16.7 oz 340 Y Oct 2013 1,699- i Sony A7
 
Sony RX1R« » 4.4 in 2.6 in 2.8 in 17.0 oz 270 n Jun 2013 2,799- i Sony RX1R
 
Sony RX1« » 4.4 in 2.6 in 2.8 in 17.0 oz 270 n Sep 2012 2,799- i Sony RX1
Note: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.

The price is, of course, an important factor in any camera decision. The manufacturer’s suggested retail prices give an idea on the placement of the camera in the maker’s lineup and the broader market. Normally, street prices remain initially close to the MSRP, but after a couple of months, the first discounts appear. Later in the product cycle and, in particular, when the replacement model is about to appear, further discounting and stock clearance sales often push the camera price considerably down.

 

Sensor comparison: Sony A7R vs RX1R II

The imaging sensor is at the core of digital cameras and its size is one of the main determining factors of image quality. A large sensor will generally have larger individual pixels that offer better low-light sensitivity, provide wider dynamic range, and have richer color-depth than smaller pixels in a sensor of the same technological generation. Furthermore, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more possibilities to use shallow depth-of-field in order to isolate a subject from the background. On the downside, larger sensors are more costly to manufacture and tend to lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.

Both cameras under consideration feature a full frame sensor, but their sensors differ slightly in size. The sensor area in the RX1R II is 1 percent smaller. They nevertheless have the same format factor of 1.0. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.

Sony A7R and Sony RX1R II sensor measures

Despite having a slightly smaller sensor, the RX1R II offers a higher resolution of 42.2 megapixels, compared with 36.2 MP of the A7R. This megapixels advantage comes at the cost of a higher pixel density and a smaller size of the individual pixel (with a pixel pitch of 4.50μm versus 4.88μm for the A7R). However, it should be noted that the RX1R II is a somewhat more recent model (by 1 year and 11 months) than the A7R, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time that partly offset its pixel-size disadvantage. Coming back to sensor resolution, it should be mentioned that neither of the two cameras has an anti-alias filter installed, so they are able to capture all the detail the sensor resolves.

The resolution advantage of the Sony RX1R II implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the RX1R II for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 39.8 x 26.5 inch or 101 x 67.4 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 31.8 x 21.2 inch or 80.8 x 53.9 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 26.5 x 17.7 inch or 67.3 x 44.9 cm. The corresponding values for the Sony A7R are 36.8 x 24.6 inch or 93.5 x 62.4 cm for good quality, 29.4 x 19.6 inch or 74.8 x 49.9 cm for very good quality, and 24.5 x 16.4 inch or 62.3 x 41.6 cm for excellent quality prints.

The Sony Alpha A7R has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 25600, which can be extended to ISO 50-51200. The corresponding ISO settings for the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX1R II are ISO 100 to ISO 25600, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 50-102400.

A7R versus RX1R II MP

For many cameras, data on sensor performance has been reported by DXO Mark. This service assesses and scores the color depth ("DXO Portrait"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports") of camera sensors, and also publishes an overall camera score. The Overall DXO ratings for the two cameras under consideration are close, suggesting that they provide similar imaging performance. The table below summarizes the physical sensor characteristics and sensor quality findings and compares them across a set of similar cameras.

Sensor Characteristics
  Camera
Model
Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
Camera
Model
 
Sony A7R» Full Frame 36.2 7360 49121080/60p25.614.1274695Sony A7R
 
Sony RX1R II« Full Frame 42.2 7952 53041080/60p25.813.9320497Sony RX1R II
 
Canon 5DS« » Full Frame 50.3 8688 57921080/30p24.712.4238187Canon 5DS
 
Canon 5DS R« » Full Frame 50.3 8688 57921080/30p24.612.4230886Canon 5DS R
 
Leica Q Typ 116« » Full Frame 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.312.7222185Leica Q Typ 116
 
Nikon D810« » Full Frame 36.2 7360 49121080/60p25.714.8285397Nikon D810
 
Sony A7 III« » Full Frame 24.0 6000 40004K/30p25.014.7373096Sony A7 III
 
Sony A7R III« » Full Frame 42.2 7952 53044K/30p26.014.73523100Sony A7R III
 
Sony A7R II« » Full Frame 42.2 7952 53044K/30p26.013.9343498Sony A7R II
 
Sony A7 II« » Full Frame 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.913.6244990Sony A7 II
 
Sony A7S« » Full Frame 12.0 4240 28321080/60p23.913.2370287Sony A7S
 
Sony A7« » Full Frame 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.814.2224890Sony A7
 
Sony RX1R« » Full Frame 24.0 6000 40001080/60p25.013.6253791Sony RX1R
 
Sony RX1« » Full Frame 24.0 6000 40001080/60p25.114.3253493Sony RX1

Many modern cameras cannot only take still pictures, but also record videos. Both cameras under consideration are equipped with sensors that have a sufficiently high read-out speed for moving images, and both provide the same movie specifications (1080/60p).

 

Feature comparison: Sony A7R vs RX1R II

Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The two cameras under consideration are similar with respect to both having an electronic viewfinder. However, the one in the A7R offers a slightly higher resolution than the one in the RX1R II (2400k vs 2360k dots). The adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Sony A7R and Sony RX1R II along with similar information for a selection of comparators.

Core Features
  Camera
Model
Viewfinder
(Type or
'000 dots)
Control
Panel
(yes/no)
LCD
Size
(inch)
LCD
Resolution
('000 dots)
LCD
Attach-
ment
Touch
Screen
(yes/no)
Mech
Shutter
Speed
Shutter
Flaps
(1/sec)
Built-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Built-in
Image
Stab
Camera
Model
 
Sony A7R»2400 n 3.0 1230 tilting n 1/8000s 4.0 n n Sony A7R
 
Sony RX1R II«2360 n 3.0 1229 tilting n 1/4000s 5.0 n n Sony RX1R II
 
Canon 5DS« »optical Y 3.2 1040 fixed n 1/8000s 5.0 n n Canon 5DS
 
Canon 5DS R« »optical Y 3.2 1040 fixed n 1/8000s 5.0 n n Canon 5DS R
 
Leica Q Typ 116« »3680 n 3.0 1040 fixed Y 1/2000s 10.0 n Y Leica Q Typ 116
 
Nikon D810« »optical Y 3.2 1229 fixed n 1/8000s 5.0 Y n Nikon D810
 
Sony A7 III« »2359 n 3.0 922 tilting Y 1/8000s 10.0 n Y Sony A7 III
 
Sony A7R III« »3686 n 3.0 1440 tilting Y 1/8000s 10.0 n Y Sony A7R III
 
Sony A7R II« »2400 n 3.0 1229 tilting n 1/8000s 5.0 n Y Sony A7R II
 
Sony A7 II« »2400 n 3.0 1230 tilting n 1/8000s 5.0 n Y Sony A7 II
 
Sony A7S« »2400 n 3.0 921 tilting n 1/8000s 5.0 n n Sony A7S
 
Sony A7« »2400 n 3.0 1230 tilting n 1/8000s 5.0 n n Sony A7
 
Sony RX1R« »- n 3.0 1229 fixed n 1/4000s 5.0 Y n Sony RX1R
 
Sony RX1« »- n 3.0 1229 fixed n 1/4000s 5.0 Y n Sony RX1

Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the A7R and the RX1R II write their files to SDXC or Memory Stick PRO Duo cards. Both cameras can use UHS-I cards, which provide for Ultra High Speed data transfer of up to 104 MB/s.

 

Connectivity comparison: Sony A7R vs RX1R II

For some imaging applications, the extent to which a camera can communicate with its environment can be an important aspect in the camera decision process. The table below provides an overview of the connectivity of the Sony Alpha A7R and Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX1R II and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.

Input-Output Connections
  Camera
Model
Hotshoe
Port
Internal
Microphone
Internal
Speaker
Microphone
Port
Headphone
Port
HDMI
Port
USB
Type
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
Camera
Model
 
Sony A7R»YstereomonoYYmicro2.0YY-Sony A7R
 
Sony RX1R II«YstereomonoY-micro2.0YY-Sony RX1R II
 
Canon 5DS« »YmonomonoY-mini3.0---Canon 5DS
 
Canon 5DS R« »YmonomonoY-mini3.0---Canon 5DS R
 
Leica Q Typ 116« »Ystereomono--micro2.0YY-Leica Q Typ 116
 
Nikon D810« »YstereomonoYYmini3.0Y--Nikon D810
 
Sony A7 III« »YstereomonoYYmicro3.1YYYSony A7 III
 
Sony A7R III« »YstereomonoYYmicro3.1YYYSony A7R III
 
Sony A7R II« »YstereomonoYYmicro2.0YY-Sony A7R II
 
Sony A7 II« »YstereomonoYYmicro2.0YY-Sony A7 II
 
Sony A7S« »YstereomonoYYmicro2.0YY-Sony A7S
 
Sony A7« »YstereomonoYYmicro2.0YY-Sony A7
 
Sony RX1R« »YstereomonoY-mini2.0---Sony RX1R
 
Sony RX1« »YstereomonoY-mini2.0---Sony RX1

The RX1R II is a recent model that features in the current product line-up of Sony. In contrast, the A7R has been discontinued (but it can be found pre-owned on eBay). As a replacement in the same line of cameras, the A7R was succeeded by the Sony A7R II. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Sony website.


Review summary: Sony A7R vs RX1R II

So how do things add up? Which of the two cameras – the Sony A7R or the Sony RX1R II – has the upper hand? Is one clearly better than the other? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.


Advantages of the Sony Alpha A7R:

  • Better sound control: Has a headphone port that enables audio monitoring while recording.
  • Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/8000s vs 1/4000s) to freeze action.
  • More flexible: Accepts interchangeable lenses, so that lens characteristics can be altered.
  • Longer lasting: Can take more shots (340 versus 220) on a single battery charge.
  • Better sealing: Is weather sealed to enable shooting in dusty or wet environments.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in October 2013).


Arguments in favor of the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX1R II:

  • More detail: Has more megapixels (42.2 vs 36.2MP), which boosts linear resolution by 8%.
  • Larger viewfinder image: Features a viewfinder with a higher magnification (0.74x vs 0.71x).
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (5 vs 4 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • Ready to shoot: Has an integrated lens, whereas the A7R necessitates an extra lens.
  • More compact: Is smaller (113x65mm vs 127x94mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
  • More modern: Was introduced somewhat (1 year and 11 months) more recently.

If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the match-up finishes in a tie (6 points each). However, the pertinence of the various camera strengths will differ across photographers, so that you might want to weigh individual camera traits according to their importance for your own imaging needs before making a camera decision. A professional wildlife photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a family photog, and a person interested in architecture has distinct needs from a sports shooter. Hence, the decision which camera is best and worth buying is often a very personal one.

A7R 06:06 RX1R II

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Sony A7R and the Sony RX1R II place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Camera and Best Prime Lens Compact Camera listings whether the two cameras rank among the cream of the crop.

In any case, while the specs-based evaluation of cameras can be instructive in revealing their potential as photographic tools, it says little about, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance of the A7R and the RX1R II in practical situations. User reviews that are available, for instance, at amazon can sometimes shed light on these issues, but such feedback is all too often partial, inconsistent, and inaccurate.

Expert reviews: Sony A7R vs RX1R II

This is why expert reviews are important. The following table reports the overall ratings of the cameras as published by some of the major camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, and photographyblog). As can be seen, the professional reviewers agree in many cases on the quality of different cameras, but sometimes their assessments diverge, reinforcing the earlier point that a camera decision is often a very personal choice.

Review Scores
  Camera
Model
cameralabs dpreview ephotozine imaging-resource photographyblog Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Camera
Model
 
Sony A7R»+ +82/1004.5/55/55/5 Oct 2013 2,299- i Sony A7R
 
Sony RX1R II«-82/100-o4.5/5 Oct 2015 3,299 i i Sony RX1R II
 
Canon 5DS« »+83/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Feb 2015 3,699 i i Canon 5DS
 
Canon 5DS R« »+83/1005/55/54.5/5 Feb 2015 3,699 i i Canon 5DS R
 
Leica Q Typ 116« »-80/1004.5/5-4.5/5 Jun 2015 4,249- i Leica Q Typ 116
 
Nikon D810« »-86/1005/54.5/54.5/5 Jun 2014 3,299- i Nikon D810
 
Sony A7 III« »+ +89/1005/55/55/5 Feb 2018 1,999 i i Sony A7 III
 
Sony A7R III« »+ +90/1004.5/55/55/5 Oct 2017 3,199 i i Sony A7R III
 
Sony A7R II« »+ +90/1005/54.5/55/5 Jun 2015 3,199- i Sony A7R II
 
Sony A7 II« »+82/1004.5/55/55/5 Nov 2014 1,999- i Sony A7 II
 
Sony A7S« »-86/1004.5/54.5/55/5 Apr 2014 2,499- i Sony A7S
 
Sony A7« »+ +80/1005/54.5/55/5 Oct 2013 1,699- i Sony A7
 
Sony RX1R« »--4/5o4.5/5 Jun 2013 2,799- i Sony RX1R
 
Sony RX1« »-79/1004/54.5/54.5/5 Sep 2012 2,799- i Sony RX1
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (-) not available.

The review scores listed above should be treated with care, though. The ratings are only valid when referring to cameras in the same category and of the same age. A score, therefore, has to be seen in close connection to the price and market introduction time of the camera, and rating-comparisons among cameras that span long time periods or concern very differently equipped models make little sense. Also, please note that some of the review sites have changed their methodology and reporting over time.

Sony A7R:
Check Ebay offers
Sony RX1R II:
Check Amazon price

Other camera comparisons

Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? In case you are interested in seeing how other cameras pair up, just make a corresponding selection in the search boxes below. Alternatively, you can follow any of the listed hyperlinks for comparisons that others found interesting.

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    Specifications: Sony A7R vs Sony RX1R II

    Below is a side-by-side comparison of the specs of the two cameras to facilitate a quick review of their differences and common features.

    Camera Specifications
    Camera Model Sony A7R Sony RX1R II
    Camera Type Mirrorless system camera Fixed lens compact camera
    Camera Lens Sony E mount lenses 35mm f/2.0
    Launch Date October 2013 October 2015
    Launch Price USD 2299 USD 3299
    Sensor Specs Sony A7R Sony RX1R II
    Sensor Technology CMOS BSI-CMOS
    Sensor Format Full Frame Sensor Full Frame Sensor
    Sensor Size 35.9 x 24.0 mm 35.8 x 23.9 mm
    Sensor Area 861.6 mm2 855.62 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 43.2 mm 43 mm
    Crop Factor 1.0x 1.0x
    Sensor Resolution 36.2 Megapixels 42.2 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 7360 x 4912 pixels 7952 x 5304 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 4.88 μm 4.50 μm
    Pixel Density 4.20 MP/cm2 4.93 MP/cm2
    Moiré control no AA filter no AA filter
    Movie Capability 1080/60p Video 1080/60p Video
    ISO Setting 100-25600 ISO 100-25600 ISO
    ISO Boost 50-51200 ISO 50-102400 ISO
    Image Processor BIONZ X BIONZ X
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) 95 97
    DXO Color Depth (bits) 25.6 25.8
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) 14.1 13.9
    DXO Low Light (ISO) 2746 3204
    Screen Specs Sony A7R Sony RX1R II
    Viewfinder Type Electronic viewfinder Electronic viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 100% 100%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.71x 0.74x
    Viewfinder Resolution 2400k dots 2360k dots
    LCD Framing Live View Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.0 inch 3.0 inch
    LCD Resolution 1230k dots 1229k dots
    LCD Attachment Tilting screen Tilting screen
    Shooting Specs Sony A7R Sony RX1R II
    Autofocus System Contrast-detect AF Contrast-detect AF
    Manual Focusing AidFocus PeakingFocus Peaking
    Max Shutter Speed (mechanical) 1/8000/s 1/4000/s
    Continuous Shooting 4 shutter flaps/s 5 shutter flaps/s
    Fill Flash no On-Board Flash no On-Board Flash
    Storage Medium MS or SDXC cards MS or SDXC cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot Single card slot
    UHS card support UHS-I UHS-I
    Connectivity Specs Sony A7R Sony RX1R II
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port micro HDMI micro HDMI
    Microphone Port External MIC port External MIC port
    Headphone Socket Headphone port Headphone port
    Wifi Support Wifi built-in Wifi built-in
    Near-Field Communication NFC built-in NFC built-in
    Body Specs Sony A7R Sony RX1R II
    Environmental SealingWeathersealed bodyNot weather sealed
    Battery Type NP-FW50 power pack NP-BX1 power pack
    Battery Life (CIPA)340 shots per charge220 shots per charge
    In-Camera Charging USB charging USB charging
    Body Dimensions 127 x 94 x 48 mm
    (5.0 x 3.7 x 1.9 in)
    113 x 65 x 72 mm
    (4.4 x 2.6 x 2.8 in)
    Camera Weight 465 g (16.4 oz) 507 g (17.9 oz)

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