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Sony RX10 II versus Sony RX1R II

The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10 II and the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX1R II are two enthusiast cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in June 2015 and October 2015. Both the RX10 II and the RX1R II are fixed lens compact cameras that are based on an one-inch (RX10 II) and a full frame (RX1R II) sensor. The RX10 II has a resolution of 20 megapixel, whereas the RX1R II provides 42.2 MP. Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their size, their sensors, their features, and their reception by expert reviewers.

Body comparison: Sony RX10 II vs Sony RX1R II

The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Sony RX10 II and the Sony RX1R II. Three successive views from the front, the top, and the rear are shown. All width, height and depth dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter. If you prefer, you can also use the toggle button to switch to a comparison in percentage terms (in this case, the camera on the left – the RX10 II – represents the basis or 100 percent across all the size and weight measures).

Snapsort Sony RX10 II vs Sony RX1R II
Compare RX10 II versus RX1R II top
Compare RX10 II and 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 (35 percent) than the Sony RX10 II. Moreover, the RX1R II is substantially lighter (38 percent) than the RX10 II. It is worth mentioning in this context that the RX10 II is splash and dust resistant, while the RX1R II does not feature any corresponding weather-sealing.

Concerning battery life, the RX10 II gets 400 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 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)
Sony RX10 II» 5.1 in 3.5 in 4.0 in 28.7 oz 400 Y Jun 2015 1,299- i
Sony RX1R II« 4.4 in 2.6 in 2.8 in 17.9 oz 220 n Oct 2015 3,299 i i
Canon 80D« » 5.5 in 4.1 in 3.1 in 25.8 oz 960 Y Feb 2016 1,199 i i
Canon 5DS« » 6.0 in 4.6 in 3.0 in 32.8 oz 700 Y Feb 2015 3,699 i i
Canon G3 X« » 4.8 in 3.0 in 4.1 in 25.9 oz 300 Y Jun 2015 999 i i
Leica Q Typ 116« » 5.1 in 3.1 in 3.7 in 22.6 oz 300 n Jun 2015 4,249 i i
Panasonic FZ2500« » 5.4 in 4.0 in 5.3 in 32.3 oz 350 n Sep 2016 1,199 i i
Sony A6300« » 4.7 in 2.6 in 1.9 in 14.3 oz 400 Y Feb 2016 999- i
Sony A6500« » 4.7 in 2.6 in 2.1 in 16.0 oz 350 Y Oct 2016 1,399 i i
Sony RX10 III« » 5.2 in 3.7 in 5.0 in 37.1 oz 420 Y Mar 2016 1,499- i
Sony RX100 V« » 4.0 in 2.3 in 1.6 in 10.5 oz 220 n Oct 2016 999 i i
Sony RX100 IV« » 4.0 in 2.3 in 1.6 in 10.5 oz 280 n Jun 2015 999- i
Sony RX100 III« » 4.0 in 2.3 in 1.6 in 10.2 oz 320 n May 2014 799- i
Sony RX10« » 5.1 in 3.5 in 4.0 in 28.7 oz 420 Y Oct 2013 1,299- i
Sony RX1R« » 4.4 in 2.6 in 2.8 in 17.0 oz 270 n Jun 2013 2,799- i
Sony RX1« » 4.4 in 2.6 in 2.8 in 17.0 oz 270 n Sep 2012 2,799- i

The price is, of course, an important factor in any camera decision. The listed launch prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The RX10 II was launched at a markedly lower price (by 61 percent) than the RX1R II, which puts it into a different market segment. Usually, retail prices stay at first close to the launch price, but after several months, discounts become available. 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. Then, after the new model is out, very good deals can frequently be found on the pre-owned market.

 

Sensor comparison: Sony RX10 II vs Sony RX1R II

The size of the imaging sensor is a crucial determinant of image quality. A large sensor will tend to have larger individual pixels that provide better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and richer color depth than smaller pixel-units in a sensor of the same technological generation. Further, a large sensor camera will give the photographer additional creative options when using shallow depth-of-field to isolate a subject from its background. On the downside, larger sensors tend to be associated with larger, more expensive camera bodies and lenses.

Of the two cameras under consideration, the Sony RX10 II features an one-inch sensor and the Sony RX1R II a full frame sensor. The sensor area in the RX1R II is 638 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 2.7 and 1.0. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.

Sony RX10 II and Sony RX1R II sensor measures

With 42.2MP, the RX1R II offers a higher resolution than the RX10 II (20MP), but the RX1R II nevertheless has larger individual pixels (pixel pitch of 4.50μm versus 2.41μm for the RX10 II) due to its larger sensor. Moreover, the RX1R II is a somewhat more recent model (by 4 months) than the RX10 II, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time that further enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixel-units. Coming back to sensor resolution, it should be mentioned that the RX1R II has no anti-alias filter installed, so that it can capture all the detail its sensor resolves.

RX10 II versus RX1R II MP

Since 2007, DXO Mark has published sensor performance measurements that have been derived using a consistent methodology. This service determines an overall sensor rating, as well as sub-scores for low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and color depth ("DXO Portrait"). Of the two cameras under consideration, the RX1R II offers substantially better image quality than the RX10 II (overall score 27 points higher). The advantage is based on 2.8 bits higher color depth, 1.3 EV in additional dynamic range, and 2.6 stops in additional low light sensitivity. The following table provides an overview of the physical sensor characteristics, as well as the sensor quality measurements for a selection of comparators.

Sensor Characteristics
  Camera Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
Sony RX10 II» 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p23.012.653170
Sony RX1R II« Full Frame 42.2 7952 53041080/60p25.813.9320497
Canon 80D« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p23.613.2113579
Canon 5DS« » Full Frame 50.3 8688 57921080/60p24.712.4238187
Canon G3 X« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p21.412.352163
Leica Q Typ 116« » Full Frame 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.312.7222185
Panasonic FZ2500« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p----
Sony A6300« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40004K/30p24.413.7143785
Sony A6500« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40004K/30p24.513.7140585
Sony RX10 III« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p23.112.647270
Sony RX100 V« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p22.812.458670
Sony RX100 IV« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p22.812.659170
Sony RX100 III« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p22.412.349567
Sony RX10« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p22.912.647469
Sony RX1R« » Full Frame 24.0 6000 40001080/60p25.013.6253791
Sony RX1« » Full Frame 24.0 6000 40001080/60p25.114.3253493

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, but the RX10 II provides a higher video resolution than the RX1R II. It can shoot video footage at 4K/30p, while the RX1R II is limited to 1080/60p.

 

Feature comparison: Sony RX10 II vs Sony RX1R II

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. The two cameras under review are similar with respect to both having an electronic viewfinder. However, the one in the RX1R II offers a slightly higher resolution than the one in the RX10 II (2360k vs 2359k dots). The adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Sony RX10 II and Sony RX1R II along with similar information for a selection of comparators. If you need more detail on the specs, you can find comprehensive listings, for example, in the dpreview camera hub.

Core Features
  Camera Viewfinder
(Type or
'000 dots)
Control
Panel
(yes/no)
LCD
Size
(inch)
LCD
Resolution
('000 dots)
LCD
Attach-
ment
Touch
Screen
(yes/no)
Shutter
speed
(1/sec)
Shutter
flaps
(1/sec))
Build-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Build-in
Image
Stab
Sony RX10 II»2359 Y 3.0 1229 tilting n 3200 14.0 Y Y
Sony RX1R II«2360 n 3.0 1229 tilting n 4000 5.0 n n
Canon 80D« »optical Y 3.0 1040 swivel Y 8000 7.0 Y n
Canon 5DS« »optical Y 3.2 1040 fixed n 8000 5.0 n n
Canon G3 X« »- n 3.2 1620 tilting Y 2000 5.9 Y Y
Leica Q Typ 116« »3680 n 3.0 1040 fixed Y 2000 10.0 n n
Panasonic FZ2500« »2360 n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 4000 12.0 Y Y
Sony A6300« »2300 n 3.0 922 tilting n 4000 11.0 Y n
Sony A6500« »2300 n 3.0 922 tilting Y 4000 11.0 Y Y
Sony RX10 III« »2359 Y 3.0 1229 tilting n 2000 14.0 Y Y
Sony RX100 V« »2359 n 3.0 1229 tilting n 2000 24.0 Y Y
Sony RX100 IV« »2359 n 3.0 1228 tilting n 2000 16.0 Y Y
Sony RX100 III« »1440 n 3.0 1229 tilting n 2000 10.0 Y Y
Sony RX10« »1440 Y 3.0 1229 tilting n 3200 10.0 Y Y
Sony RX1R« »- n 3.0 1229 fixed n 4000 5.0 Y n
Sony RX1« »- n 3.0 1229 fixed n 4000 5.0 Y n

The RX10 II is equipped with a zoom lens, while the RX1R II comes with a build-in prime. The RX10 II has a 24-200mm f/2.8-2.8 optic and the RX1R II offers a 35mm f/2.0 (focal lengths in full frame equivalent terms). Hence, the RX10 II provides a wider angle of view at the short end, as well as more tele-photo reach at the long end than the RX1R II. The RX1R II offers the faster maximum aperture.

The RX1R II is a current model that online retailers, such as amazon, will have in stock. In contrast, the RX10 II has been discontinued (but it can be found pre-owned on eBay). As a replacement in the same line of cameras, the RX10 II was succeeded by the Sony RX10 III.

Review summary: Sony RX10 II vs Sony RX1R II

So what is the bottom line? Which of the two cameras – the Sony RX10 II or the Sony RX1R II – has the upper hand? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.


Advantages of the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10 II:

  • Better moiré control: Has an anti-alias filter to avoid artificial patterns to appear in images.
  • Better video: Provides higher definition movie capture (4K/30p vs 1080/60p).
  • Easier setting verification: Has an LCD display on top to control shooting parameters.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (14 vs 5 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • Wider view: Has a wider-angle lens that facilitates landscape or interior shots.
  • Longer lasting: Can take more shots (400 versus 220) on a single battery charge.
  • Better sealing: Is weather sealed to enable shooting in dusty or wet environments.
  • Easier fill-in: Is equipped with a small onboard flash to brighten deep shadow areas.
  • Sharper images: Has hand-shake reducing image stabilization build-in.
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (61 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in June 2015).


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

  • More detail: Has more megapixels (42.2 vs 20MP), which boosts linear resolution by 45%.
  • Maximized detail: Lacks an anti-alias filter to exploit the sensor's full resolution potential.
  • Better image quality: Scores substantially higher (27 points) in the DXO overall evaluation.
  • Richer colors: Generates noticeably more natural colors (2.8 bits more color depth).
  • More dynamic range: Captures a broader range of light and dark details (1.3 EV of extra DR).
  • Better low-light sensitivity: Can shoot in dim conditions (2.6 stops ISO advantage).
  • Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (4000/sec vs 3200/sec) to freeze action.
  • Better light gathering: Has a lens with a wider maximum aperture (f/2.0 vs f/2.8).
  • More compact: Is smaller (113x65mm vs 129x88mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
  • Less heavy: Has a lower weight (by 306g or 38 percent) and is thus easier to take along.
  • More modern: Was introduced somewhat (4 months) more recently.

If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the match-up finishes in a tie (11 points each). However, the relevance of individual strengths will vary across photographers, so that you might want to apply your own weighing scheme to the summary points when reflecting and deciding on a new camera.

RX10 II 11:11 RX1R II

In any case, while the comparison of technical specifications can provide a useful overview of the capabilities of different cameras, it remains partial and cannot reveal, for example, the handling experience and imaging performance when actually working with the RX10 II or the RX1R II. 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. This is why expert reviews are important. The following table reports the overall rankings of the cameras as published by some of the major camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, photographyblog). You can find the full text of the reviews by clicking on the site logo in the table header.

Review scores
  Camera cameralabs dpreview ephotozine imaging-resource photographyblog Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Sony RX10 II»HiRec82/1004.5/54.5/54/5 Jun 2015 1,299- i
Sony RX1R II«-82/100-rev4.5/5 Oct 2015 3,299 i i
Canon 80D« »HiRec84/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Feb 2016 1,199 i i
Canon 5DS« »Rec83/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Feb 2015 3,699 i i
Canon G3 X« »Rec-4.5/53.5/54/5 Jun 2015 999 i i
Leica Q Typ 116« »-80/1004.5/5-4.5/5 Jun 2015 4,249 i i
Panasonic FZ2500« »Rec82/1004.5/54.5/55/5 Sep 2016 1,199 i i
Sony A6300« »Rec85/1005/55/55/5 Feb 2016 999- i
Sony A6500« »HiRec85/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Oct 2016 1,399 i i
Sony RX10 III« »Rec84/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Mar 2016 1,499- i
Sony RX100 V« »HiRec83/1004/55/54.5/5 Oct 2016 999 i i
Sony RX100 IV« »HiRec85/1004/54.5/54.5/5 Jun 2015 999- i
Sony RX100 III« »HiRec82/1004.5/54.5/55/5 May 2014 799- i
Sony RX10« »Rec80/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Oct 2013 1,299- i
Sony RX1R« »--4/5rev4.5/5 Jun 2013 2,799- i
Sony RX1« »-79/1004/54.5/54.5/5 Sep 2012 2,799- i

The review scores listed above should be treated with care, though. The ratings are only valid when refering to cameras in the same category and of the same age. Thus, a score needs to be put into the context of the launch date and the launch price of the camera, and comparing ratings of very distinct cameras or ones that are far apart in terms of their release date have little meaning. It should also be noted that some of the review sites have over time altered the way they render their verdicts.

 

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. There is also a set of direct links to comparison reviews that other users of the CAM-parator app explored. If you cannot find the camera you are interested in, please send me an email, and I will try to add information on that model to the database.

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