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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.

camera

Is the Sony RX100 II a good camera? The RX100 II has a Camera Elo of 1945. This rating puts the RX100 II below average of all travel zoom compact cameras. In terms of its sensor size category (one inch cameras), the RX100 II also ranks below average. – Well, the Sony RX100 II is more than 8 years old, and there have been many other good digital cameras released since 2013.

Headline Specifications
Sony RX100 II
Fixed lens compact camera
28-100mm f/1.8-4.9
20 MP, 1" Sensor
1080/60p Video
ISO 100 - 12 800 (100 - 25 600)
Viewfinder optional
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


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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.

Sony RX100 II vs credit card front
RX100 II versus credit card top view
RX100 II and credit card rear side

The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the Sony RX100 II alongside a set of similar cameras. If you want to review a particular camera pair side-by-side, just move across to the CAM-parator tool and choose from the broad selection of possible comparisons there.

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Body Specifications
    Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life
Weather
Sealing
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
1.
 
Sony RX100 II 102 mm 58 mm 38 mm 281 g 350 n Jun 2013 749i
2.
 
Canon G7 X 103 mm 60 mm 40 mm 304 g 210 n Sep 2014 699i
3.
 
Panasonic FZ1000 137 mm 99 mm 131 mm 831 g 360 n Jun 2014 899i
4.
 
Ricoh GR 117 mm 61 mm 35 mm 245 g 290 n Apr 2013 799i
5.
 
Sony RX100 V 102 mm 58 mm 41 mm 299 g 220 n Oct 2016 999 i
6.
 
Sony RX100 IV 102 mm 58 mm 41 mm 298 g 280 n Jun 2015 999i
7.
 
Sony A5000 110 mm 63 mm 36 mm 269 g 420 n Jan 2014 449i
8.
 
Sony A5100 110 mm 63 mm 36 mm 283 g 400 n Aug 2014 549 i
9.
 
Sony RX100 III 102 mm 58 mm 41 mm 290 g 320 n May 2014 799i
10.
 
Sony NEX-5R 111 mm 59 mm 39 mm 276 g 330 n Aug 2012 749i
11.
 
Sony RX100 102 mm 58 mm 36 mm 240 g 330 n Jun 2012 649i
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.

Sony RX100 II:
Check Ebay offers

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.

Sony RX100 II sensor measures

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 alternative cameras.

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Sensor Characteristics
    Camera
Model
Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
1.
 
Sony RX100 II 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p22.512.448367
2.
 
Canon G7 X 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p23.012.755671
3.
 
Panasonic FZ1000 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p22.111.751764
4.
 
Ricoh GR APS-C 16.1 4928 32641080/30p23.613.597278
5.
 
Sony RX100 V 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p22.812.458670
6.
 
Sony RX100 IV 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p22.812.659170
7.
 
Sony A5000 APS-C 19.8 5456 36321080/60i23.813.0108979
8.
 
Sony A5100 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p23.812.7134780
9.
 
Sony RX100 III 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p22.412.349567
10.
 
Sony NEX-5R APS-C 16.0 4912 32641080/60i23.713.191078
11.
 
Sony RX100 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p22.612.439066

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.

Feature comparison

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.

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Core Features
    Camera
Model
Viewfinder
(Type or
000 dots)
Control
Panel
(yes/no)
LCD
Specifications
(inch/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
1.
 
Sony RX100 IIoptional n3.0 / 1229 tilting n 1/2000s 10.0 Y Y
2.
 
Canon G7 Xnone n3.0 / 1040 tilting Y 1/2000s 6.5 Y Y
3.
 
Panasonic FZ10002359 n3.0 / 921 swivel n 1/4000s 12.0 Y Y
4.
 
Ricoh GRoptional n3.0 / 1230 fixed n 1/4000s 4.0 Y n
5.
 
Sony RX100 V2359 n3.0 / 1229 tilting n 1/2000s 24.0 Y Y
6.
 
Sony RX100 IV2359 n3.0 / 1228 tilting n 1/2000s 16.0 Y Y
7.
 
Sony A5000none n3.0 / 461 tilting n 1/4000s 3.5 Y n
8.
 
Sony A5100none n3.0 / 922 tilting Y 1/4000s 6.0 Y n
9.
 
Sony RX100 III1440 n3.0 / 1229 tilting n 1/2000s 10.0 Y Y
10.
 
Sony NEX-5Roptional n3.0 / 920 tilting Y 1/4000s 10.0 n n
11.
 
Sony RX100none n3.0 / 1229 fixed n 1/2000s 10.0 Y Y

The LCD screen on the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 II is flexibly attached to the body. In particular, the LCD can be tilted vertically to facilitate odd-angle shots in landscape orientation. This tilting design is often preferred, for example, by street photographers to a fully articulated, swivel type of LCD attachment, as it is more unobtrusive during shooting than a screen that flips out to the side.

articulated screen
Flexible screen on the RX100 II

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.

Connection comparison

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.

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Input-Output Connections
    Camera
Model
Hotshoe
Port
Internal
Mic / Speaker
Microphone
Port
Headphone
Port
HDMI
Port
USB
Port
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
1.
 
Sony RX100 IIYstereo / mono--micro2.0YY-
2.
 
Canon G7 X-stereo / mono--micro2.0YY-
3.
 
Panasonic FZ1000Ystereo / monoY-micro2.0YY-
4.
 
Ricoh GRYmono / mono--micro2.0---
5.
 
Sony RX100 V-stereo / mono--micro2.0YY-
6.
 
Sony RX100 IV-stereo / mono--micro2.0YY-
7.
 
Sony A5000-stereo / mono--micro2.0YY-
8.
 
Sony A5100-stereo / mono--micro2.0YY-
9.
 
Sony RX100 III-stereo / mono--micro2.0YY-
10.
 
Sony NEX-5RYstereo / mono--mini2.0Y--
11.
 
Sony RX100-stereo / mono--micro2.0---

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.

Expert reviews

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 (amateurphotographer [AP], cameralabs [CL], digitalcameraworld [DCW], dpreview [DPR], ephotozine [EPZ], photographyblog [PB]).

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Review Scores
     Camera 
 Model 
 AP 
 score 
 CL 
 score 
 DCW 
 score 
 DPR 
 score 
 EPZ 
 score 
 PB 
 score 
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
1.
 
Sony RX100 II5/5+ +..79/1004.5/54.5/5 Jun 2013 749i
2.
 
Canon G7 X4/5+ +..77/1004.5/54.5/5 Sep 2014 699i
3.
 
Panasonic FZ10004/5+ +..82/1004.5/54.5/5 Jun 2014 899i
4.
 
Ricoh GR5/5....79/1004.5/54.5/5 Apr 2013 799i
5.
 
Sony RX100 V4.5/5+ +..83/1004/54.5/5 Oct 2016 999 i
6.
 
Sony RX100 IV4.5/5+ +..85/1004/54.5/5 Jun 2015 999i
7.
 
Sony A50003/5+....4.5/54.5/5 Jan 2014 449i
8.
 
Sony A51004.5/5+....4.5/55/5 Aug 2014 549 i
9.
 
Sony RX100 III5/5+ +..82/1004.5/55/5 May 2014 799i
10.
 
Sony NEX-5R........4.5/54.5/5 Aug 2012 749i
11.
 
Sony RX1005/5+ +..78/1004/55/5 Jun 2012 649i
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.

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    Specifications Summary
    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 Specs
    Sensor Technology BSI-CMOS
    Sensor Format 1" Sensor
    Sensor Size 13.2 x 8.8 mm
    Sensor Area 116 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 15.9 mm
    Crop Factor 2.7x
    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
    Screen Specs
    Viewfinder Type Viewfinder optional
    Top-Level Screen no Top Display
    LCD Framing Live View
    LCD Size 3.0 inch
    LCD Resolution 1229k dots
    LCD Attachment Tilting screen
    V-logging Friendliness No front-flip
    Touch Input No touchscreen
    Shooting Specs
    Focus System Contrast-detect AF
    Manual Focusing AidFocus Peaking
    Maximum Shutter Speed 1/2000s
    Continuous Shooting 10 shutter flaps/s
    Silent Shootingno E-Shutter
    Time Lapse Photographyno Intervalometer
    Fill Flash Built-in Flash
    Storage Medium MS or SDXC cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot
    UHS card support no
    Connectivity Specs
    External Flash Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 2.0
    HDMI Port micro HDMI
    Wifi Support Wifi built-in
    Near-Field Communication NFC built-in
    Body Specs
    Battery Type NP-BX1 power pack
    Battery Life (CIPA)350 shots per charge
    In-Camera Charging USB charging
    Body Dimensions 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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