Sony RX100 II Comparison Review
The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 II is a fixed lens compact camera that was revealed to the public in June 2013 and is equipped with an one-inch sensor. It offers a resolution of 20 megapixel.
Is the Sony RX100 II a good camera? The RX100 II has a Camera Elo of 2088. This rating puts the RX100 II among the top 40 percent of all travel zoom compact cameras. In terms of its sensor size category (one inch cameras), the RX100 II ranks below average. Based on its within category standings, the camera earns a 3-star performance rating.
|Sony RX100 II|
|Fixed lens compact camera|
|20 MP, 1" Sensor|
|ISO 100 - 12 800 (100 - 25 600)|
|3.0 LCD, 1229k dots|
|Tilting screen (no touchscreen)|
|10 shutter flaps per second|
|350 shots per battery charge|
|102 x 58 x 38 mm, 281 g|
Read on to find out more about the camera's size, sensor, features, reception by expert reviewers, and how it compares to other digital cameras.
Body comparison with a credit card
The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size of the Sony RX100 II vis-à-vis a credit card. Three consecutive views from the front, the top, and the rear side are shown. All size dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.
The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the Sony RX100 II alongside a set of comparators. If you want to review a camera pair side-by-side, just select a right-side 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 comparisons there.
|Sony RX100 II||102 mm||58 mm||38 mm||281 g||350||n||Jun 2013||749|
|Canon G7 X||103 mm||60 mm||40 mm||304 g||210||n||Sep 2014||699|
|Panasonic FZ1000||137 mm||99 mm||131 mm||831 g||360||n||Jun 2014||899|
|Ricoh GR||117 mm||61 mm||35 mm||245 g||290||n||Apr 2013||799|
|Sony RX100 V||102 mm||58 mm||41 mm||299 g||220||n||Oct 2016||999|
|Sony RX100 IV||102 mm||58 mm||41 mm||298 g||280||n||Jun 2015||999|
|Sony A5000||110 mm||63 mm||36 mm||269 g||420||n||Jan 2014||449|
|Sony A5100||110 mm||63 mm||36 mm||283 g||400||n||Aug 2014||549|
|Sony RX100 III||102 mm||58 mm||41 mm||290 g||320||n||May 2014||799|
|Sony NEX-5R||111 mm||59 mm||39 mm||276 g||330||n||Aug 2012||749|
|Sony RX100||102 mm||58 mm||36 mm||240 g||330||n||Jun 2012||649|
|Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.|
The listed prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The Sony RX100 II was launched in the US market at a price of $749. 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 with a 35mm slide
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. 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 tend to be more expensive and lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.
The Sony RX100 II features an one-inch sensor and has a format factor (sometimes also referred to as "crop factor") of 2.7. Within the spectrum of camera sensors, this places the Sony RX100 II among the medium-sized sensor cameras that aim to strike a balance between image quality and portability.
Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for most cameras. This service is based on lab testing and assigns an overall score to each camera sensor, as well as ratings for dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), color depth ("DXO Portrait"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"). The adjacent table reports on the physical sensor characteristics and the outcomes of the DXO sensor quality tests for a sample of comparator-cameras.
| DXO |
|Sony RX100 II||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||22.5||12.4||483||67|
|Canon G7 X||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||23.0||12.7||556||71|
|Sony RX100 V||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||4K/30p||22.8||12.4||586||70|
|Sony RX100 IV||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||4K/30p||22.8||12.6||591||70|
|Sony RX100 III||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||22.4||12.3||495||67|
Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but also of capturing video footage. The RX100 II indeed provides movie recording capabilities. The highest resolution format that the RX100 II can use is 1080/60p.
Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The adjacent tables list some of the other core features of the Sony RX100 II along with similar information for a selection of comparators.
|Sony RX100 II||optional||n||3.0||1229||tilting||n||1/2000s||10.0||Y||Y|
|Canon G7 X||none||n||3.0||1040||tilting||Y||1/2000s||6.5||Y||Y|
|Sony RX100 V||2359||n||3.0||1229||tilting||n||1/2000s||24.0||Y||Y|
|Sony RX100 IV||2359||n||3.0||1228||tilting||n||1/2000s||16.0||Y||Y|
|Sony RX100 III||1440||n||3.0||1229||tilting||n||1/2000s||10.0||Y||Y|
One convenient feature of the RX100 II is the presence of an on-board flash. While this built-in flash is not very powerful, it can at times be useful as a fill-in light to brighten deep shadow areas.
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 Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 II and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
| WiFi |
| NFC |
|Sony RX100 II||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|Canon G7 X||-||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|Sony RX100 V||-||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|Sony RX100 IV||-||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|Sony RX100 III||-||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
It is notable that the RX100 II offers wifi support. Wifi can be a very convenient means to transfer image data to an off-camera location.
The RX100 II has a zoom lens built in (10.4-37.1mm f/1.8-4.9), which, in full frame equivalent terms, provides a focal length range from 28 to 100mm. The camera is, hence, ready to shoot, while remaining more compact in size than an interchangeable lens camera with an optic that offers similar focal length and aperture specifications.
While the specs-based evaluation of cameras is instructive in revealing their potential as photographic tools, it says nothing about, for example, the handling, responsiveness, and overall imaging quality of the RX100 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. This is where reviews by experts come in. 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).
|Sony RX100 II||+ +||79/100||4.5/5||5/5||4.5/5||Jun 2013||749|
|Canon G7 X||+ +||77/100||4.5/5||3.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2014||699|
|Panasonic FZ1000||+ +||82/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jun 2014||899|
|Ricoh GR||..||79/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Apr 2013||799|
|Sony RX100 V||+ +||83/100||4/5||5/5||4.5/5||Oct 2016||999|
|Sony RX100 IV||+ +||85/100||4/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jun 2015||999|
|Sony A5000||+||..||4.5/5||o||4.5/5||Jan 2014||449|
|Sony A5100||+||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||5/5||Aug 2014||549|
|Sony RX100 III||+ +||82/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||5/5||May 2014||799|
|Sony NEX-5R||..||..||4.5/5||..||4.5/5||Aug 2012||749|
|Sony RX100||+ +||78/100||4/5||5/5||5/5||Jun 2012||649|
|Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.|
Care should be taken when interpreting the review scores above, though. The assessments were made in relation to similar cameras of the same technological generation. Thus, a score needs to be put into the context of the launch date and the launch price of the camera, and comparisons of ratings among very different cameras or across long time periods have little meaning. Also, please note that some of the review sites have changed their methodology and reporting over time.
Sony RX100 II FAQ
Below are some additional questions and answers concerning some particular features of the RX100 II.
What technology is the imaging sensor in the RX100 II based on?
The camera has a BSI-CMOS (Backside Illuminated Complementary Metal–Oxide–Semiconductor) sensor at its core.
Which image processing chip is used to convert the raw signal into an image file and perform noise reduction and image sharpening?
Sony equipped the RX100 II with the BIONZ X image processor.
What is the ISO sensitivity range of the RX100 II?
The camera has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 12800.
Can the camera be equipped with an optional viewfinder?
Yes, Sony provides the FDA-EV1MK as an accessory (here on amazon) that can be mounted on the hotshoe.
Is it difficult to use manual focus lenses with the Sony RX100 II?
The RX100 II offers focus peaking as a manual focus aid. This feature works by placing a colored highlight on in-focus zones within the image.
Does the Sony RX100 II feature an autofocus assist light?
Yes, the camera has a lamp built-in that can illuminate the subject and improve autofocus in low-light settings.
Which battery does the RX100 II use?
The camera gets its power from the NP-BX1 (here at amazon), which is a rechargeable Lithium-Ion power pack.
Camera to camera comparisons
In case you would like to check on the differences and similarities with other camera models, just make your choice using the following search menu. Alternatively, you can follow any of the listed hyperlinks for comparisons that others found interesting.
|Camera Model||Sony RX100 II|
|Camera Type||Fixed lens compact camera|
|Camera Lens||28-100mm f/1.8-4.9|
|Launch Date||June 2013|
|Launch Price||USD 749|
|Sensor Format||1" Sensor|
|Sensor Size||13.2 x 8.8 mm|
|Sensor Area||116 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||15.9 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||20 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||5 472 x 3 648 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||2.41 μm|
|Pixel Density||17.18 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||Anti-Alias filter|
|Movie Capability||1080/60p Video|
|ISO Setting||100 - 12 800 ISO|
|ISO Boost||100 - 25 600 ISO|
|Image Processor||BIONZ X|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||67|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||22.5|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||12.4|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||483|
|Viewfinder Type||Viewfinder optional|
|LCD Framing||Live View|
|LCD Size||1229k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Tilting screen|
|Focus System||Contrast-detect AF|
|Manual Focusing Aid||Focus Peaking|
|Maximum Shutter Speed||1/2000s|
|Continuous Shooting||10 shutter flaps/s|
|Silent Shooting||no E-Shutter|
|Time Lapse Photography||no Intervalometer|
|Fill Flash||Build-in Flash|
|Storage Medium||MS or SDXC cards|
|Second Storage Option||Single card slot|
|UHS card support||no|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||micro HDMI|
|Wifi Support||Wifi built-in|
|Near-Field Communication||NFC built-in|
|Battery Type||NP-BX1 power pack|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||350 shots per charge|
|In-Camera Charging||USB charging|
102 x 58 x 38 mm
(4.0 x 2.3 x 1.5 in)
|Camera Weight||281 g (9.9 oz)|
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