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Sony RX10 II review

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Awards

  • Recommended by TR

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Summary

Our Score:

8

Pros

  • Versatile, high-quality lens
  • Good image quality
  • Good manual control
  • Excellent speed and slo-mo video skills

Cons

  • Expensive, especially against RX10
  • Limited display tilt usefulness

Key Features

  • 20.2-megapixel 1-inch sensor
  • 14fps shooting speed
  • 4K video
  • Manufacturer: Sony
  • Review Price: £1,199.00

What is the Sony RX10 II?

The Sony RX10 II is a dream camera for many. It combines great general image quality with incredible video skills, super-rapid shooting speed and a lens that offers both a wide zoom range and constant max aperture of f/2.8 throughout.

This is an amazing combo. It’s no wonder the Sony RX10 II costs £1199, which may seem incredibly expensive for what is still effectively a bridge camera. You don't want to be bridging your way to anywhere after spending that much.

If you’re after an all-purpose camera you’ll never have to upgrade with lenses, and don’t mind that it's not far off an entry-level DSLR in size, the RX10 II is simply excellent.

SEE ALSO: Best Cameras

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Sony RX10 II: Design and Handling

The Sony RX10 II looks and feels much like its predecessor, the original RX10. It has a high-quality magnesium alloy shell, and it’s chunky enough to be able to fit in a full DSLR-style handgrip.

In typical large camera style, the outer part has a faux-leather texture to give you a grippier surface to hold onto. It’s a typical bridge camera shape, and that has both pros and cons.

On the positive side, the Sony RX10 II has plenty to hold onto, getting you both an easy grip and a camera that feels that bit more serious than its compact cousin the Sony RX100 IV. However, it’s obviously less convenient as a result. While there are no extra lenses to consider, as a bridge camera the lens is totally fixed. And it is far too big to fit in any sort of pocket.

Sony RX10 II 9

Switching back to the positive side once more, being larger makes it easier for the Sony RX10 II to fit in a good number of manual controls. There’s a wide selection of buttons and dials across its body.

Addressing the most important ones, there’s a dedicated exposure dial on the top plate, alongside a secondary LCD display that gives you a quick-fire read off of the core settings, battery level and card space. There’s also a manual dial on the rear and two control rings around the lens, one for focusing, one for aperture. You can have click feedback on the aperture ring, or choose to disable it — particularly useful for video.

The Sony RX10 II is the real deal, getting you as much control as you want. Casual shooters aren’t left out in the cold, though. The familiar mode dial on the left side of the top plate has an Auto setting, as well PASM modes. Shooting with it is comparable to using a DSLR.

Sony RX10 II

Sony RX10 II: Screen, EVF

Of course, this is not a DSLR, so needs to use an electronic viewfinder (EVF) rather than an optical one. It’s an excellent EVF, though, among the best available at present.

It offers 2.36-million-dot resolution, equivalent to XGA (1024 x 768), offering clarity somewhat-similar to that of an entry-level DSLR's optical viewfinder.

The Sony RX10 II screen is handy too. It’s a 3-inch 1.23-million dot display that tilts up and down, helping you shoot higher and lower than head height. However, thanks to the viewfinder eyepiece bulge it can't flip around to let you see yourself for selfies. Maybe it's time for the RX10 series to embrace a proper articulated screen, which would let it flip out to the side.

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Sony RX10 II: Features

Typical of a higher-end Sony camera, the Sony RX10 II offers both Wi-Fi and NFC, letting you transfer images to a mobile device quickly. NFC is there to speed up the pairing process, done by simply pressing the two devices together rather than having to fiddle around in menus.

Burnz Eye View

June 26, 2015, 5:50 am

This 2015 Sony line up is freaking awesome. Top of the class all around. Last year the Panasonic Lumix GH4 was the big dog. However now Sony's New RX10 II surpasses the GH4 in every respect including cost. RX10 II $1300 out the door with lens and body. GH4 $1500 for body plus equivalent lens a 14-140mm F2.8 (which they don't make) would easily exceed $1500. So for a more capable camera; 20.2 vs 16.1 MP stills, 120fps (lowest highspeed FHD)/soft 96 fps, ISO same, plus lens for Sony RX10 II $1300 vs Lumix GH4+ $3000. More than half the price LESS. You get a lens that is not available in 4/3rds for $1300 and a 4K camera for free. The only benefit the GH4 has is a larger sensor. Baring a terrible side by side video comparison the Sony wins hands down. The Sony A7R Mark II, new this year, has a full frame sensor that can record up to Super 35 and 42.5 MP! If you are looking for a camera to venture into 4k, the RX10 II looks like the best value and performance you can get under $1300. Hey Sony, I would love to field test one for you. :)

Matthias Mallešič

August 12, 2015, 3:33 pm

Well, it's not that easy...someone would probably buy GH4 for its option to use other lens they had collected over time. I see potential in RX10II mainly as good 4k and slowmotion shooter. My option in that case would be to buy G7 and RX10II - both of them...

John Russell

August 24, 2015, 5:26 pm

To my understanding Sony does 11bit raw? Is that why the RX10 ii can shoot at 14FPS?
What is the difference between 11bit, 12bit and 14bit raw files?

This Sony is not even in the same class as super zoom. It only goes to the medium telephoto range of 200mm. A small yellow bird at 30 feet is nothing but a yellow clump of blur. Now the Panasonic FZ1000 at 400mm gives you a good photo of the small yellow bird at 30 feet.

Henrik

September 1, 2015, 3:58 pm

remember the crop factor. It probably is 300-350mm effective.

John Russell

September 1, 2015, 5:12 pm

There should be no crop factor involved as the cameras are stated to be 24mm-200mm 25mm-400mm 24mm-600mm equivalent of a 35mm camera.
The crop factor of these one inch sensors is 2.7X.
FPS vs bits?
Difference in raw files of 11bits 12bits and 14bits?

lw

September 2, 2015, 9:53 am

OK, so you can nit-pick over who has the best feature list (both have + & -), but a Panasonic G7 + 14-140mm (28-280 equiv) lens comes in at just £749. The RX10 II looks great and has some unique features like slo-mo, but needs to drop a couple of hundred to be really competitive.

Manzoor E Elahi

September 3, 2015, 5:00 am

The RX10 II has a f/2.8 constant aperture, which puts it in a league completely apart from the G7.

lw

September 3, 2015, 6:59 am

The G7 has a m43 sensor, which puts it in a league completely apart from the RX10 :-)

Like I said, they both have +&-

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