The Sony RX1R Mark II Review by Steve Huff

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The Sony RX1R Mark II Review

by Steve Huff

If you are interested in the RX1R Mark II I recommend the dealers below 100%:

B&H Photo – Click here to order the camera or see more info on the B&H Page

Amazon – Order via Amazon Prime RIGHT HERE!

Here we are at the last edge of 2015 and about to head into 2016. YES! We are NOW in the future! Remember back in the 80’s? Well, if you are old enough you do..when many TV shows and movies would be set in the future..like 2010 or 2020 and the vision of earth was always full of either flying cars or spaceships or the world was already gone due to nuclear wars. One thing they always tried to predict was technology, and usually it was way over the top. In any case, as we launch into 2016 we have cameras that beat the pants off of cameras that were launched just 2 years ago. Technology is here, and it is good. While not “Buck Rogers” kind of good, this new Sony is beautiful, but I never doubted it would be anything but.

RX1RII – Also some PP work with this one 😉 (Blur, Contrast, Smudge)

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Yep, but back in the day we would shoot film. Remember the cheap disc film or the 110 film? AWFUL quality but those cameras and film were had for cheap, and they fit in your pockets 😉 Today top end cutting edge digital cameras are made for professionals, enthusiasts and serious hobbyists. They have to be as these things are costing more than they ever have it seems. A Leica SL for $7500 without a lens. A Leica M for $5600, no lens. A Sony A7RII for $3400, no lens. A Leica Q for $4300 which is a single fixed lens camera, and now this…ladies and gentleman…I give you the long-awaited…

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Enter the new Sony RX1R Mark II

When the original RX1 was released it quickly became my #1 favorite go to camera for SO MANY reasons. I put up with its faults simply due to the fact that it gave me the best image quality I have seen up until that point. Rich, creamy, full of life, detailed, sharp, gobs of micro contrast, nice bokeh and an overall character that approached the look of Medium Format. It was the 1st 35mm full frame digital that I felt this way about and it even beat out my then previous 3 year love affair, the Leica M9. I suggest reading or refreshing with that old review HERE to see the main character and feature set of the RX1R II as it is mainly the same as the old version with a host of new features, all of which I will talk about here.

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Somehow Sony created a 35mm full frame camera in that original RX1 as it gave and produced output VERY much like Medium Format but less sterile, as in, it was almost perfect but still had plenty of character. This was my view on it and it quickly became my all around take everywhere camera. After the RX1R (R stands for RESOLUTION as it had No Low Pass filter) was announced and I reviewed it, I then fell in love again even though the camera was the same, just without an AA/Low Pass filter for even MORE detail. It boosted the RX1 up a bit with more of everything that made it great.

Click this for a larger and detailed version of this. The file quality is amazing with this camera!

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Unfortunately it (The RX1R) also kept all of the things that frustrated most about the camera..AF speed was dog slow and the lens looked like a 90 lb weakling trying to push 300lbs. It was slow but most who loved the RX1 and RX1R loved it for what it rewarded their patience with. Some of the most beautiful IQ ever seen in 35mm. The original has sort of collected a cult like status with users who own them vowing to NEVER give it up.

All three image below are from the new RX1R Mark II. Click them to see them correctly.

Kurt Kamka – Lunch Meeting in Phx AZ

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My son Brandon sleeping in until noon..

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My beautiful Debby once again helping me test cameras 😉 

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Then there was the Q

In mid 2015 Leica announced and released the Q, which is a camera that aimed directly at the Sony RX1 and RX1R. It is sort of small (though the Sony is quite a bit smaller) has a 28mm f/1.7 lens instead of a 35 f/2 like the Sony and well, it is a Leica. It has the red dot and all and is assembled in Germany. Coming in at $4300 which is $1000 more than the Sony, many felt it would be a Sony killer, and to be honest, it was. It took on the original RX1 and upped the ante with a BUILT in damn good EVF of which the RX1 lacked. It also has a touch screen, a beautiful LCD and has VERY fast AF. It’s a snappy all in one camera that also manages CRAZY GOOD IQ. Now, I do not feel the IQ can match the medium format look of the Sony but it is up there with the best there is in 35mm.

Overall, the Q beat out the old Sony and many were quick to fork over $4300 for the Q, and many still are. It’s one of Leica’s more popular digital cameras of the last 3 years or so. The 24MP sensor in the Q is stunning, so much so that they use it in the new top end SL that comes in at $7,500 (and won my Camera of the Year for 2015, see my review HERE). You can read my Leica Q review HERE.

So how would Sony answer Leica’s RX1 clone, the Q? And would it beat it?

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Enter the Sony RX1R Mark II!

It’s HEEEEERRRREEE and BOY, were MANY waiting for it. This camera has made my  inbox explode more than any other camera in recent memory. Most of you know I am a HUGE fan of the original RX1. I consider it a legend already due to the IQ alone. Now that we have the Mark II version with a FEW new things, it’s closer to perfect that it has ever been, and for me, this new R2 beats the Q. This will not be a huge LONG review as this at its core is still an RX1. Same body design, same feel, same lens, same controls, etc. So this review will focus on real world use while sharing thoughts and images from my 3 weeks with the camera that I have had the pleasure of shooting for the past few weeks.

All images in this review should be clicked on so you are seeing the correct version

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The RX1RII and its 42 MP sensor deliver “delicate detail”. It’s never analytical in its rendering but instead it offers what I like to call an ‘Organic Flow” to the rendering. For example, in the boring image below look at the screws, the web, the areas between what IS and what is NOT in focus. It’s falloff is fantastic and that is thanks to the Zeiss 35 f/2. This is a powerful camera that fits in my coat. Wow.

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Color & Light

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Click on this one to see the beauty in the rendering. 

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Lovely Blues from the Sony Sensor…

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Sony did not rest and now RX1R Mark II is here. That’s a mouthful, so I will call it the R2 from now on this this review. 

The new RX1R 2 looks the same, feels the same and yes, even smells the same as the original RX1 and RX1R. Upon closer inspection you will see the built in flash has been removed (not many used the flash, including me as this kind of camera does not need a flash) and now we have a very nice and sleek built in EVF that at first glance looks like an afterthought but in reality is a very nice powerful EVF, slightly improved from the A7RII!

So we now have the camera with a built-in EVF and most importantly faster auto focus which was the main #1 complaint on the original RX1 from those who used it or owned it. The new R2 has 30% faster AF, and I believe it as it is much much snappier than the old one, and even competes head to head with the Leica Q in AF speed. Also, I had no AF issues with the camera.

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So what is new in the new R2? All of the below!

  • New backlit 42MP full frame sensor. Yes, the same sensor as the A7RII!
  • New built-in and pop up EVF that is slightly better  than the A7RII EVF!
  • The new Af is 30% faster than the old RX1 series. This is evident as soon as you use it. 399 Phase Detect Points.
  • Swivel LCD screen this time around
  • Adjustable or Defeat-able Low Pass/AA filter! This is now an RX1 and RX1R in one body!
  • Eye AF now in this model
  • WiFi and NFC inside
  • Uncompressed 14 Bit RAW
  • Multiple Aspect Ratio Support
  • Smart Zoom to crop in camera without losing quality..use this with Macro mode 😉

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moooo

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The Sony RX1RII uses the same battery system as the old RX1 and RX100 line. It is one of the weaknesses of the camera so be sure to invest in 2-3 more batteries (you can get generic versions VERY cheap) to get you through the week.

The more I shot with the RX1R2 the more I was falling in love again, just as I did with the original. But at the same time, I have shot with the competition, THE competition that copied Sony and made a better camera than the old RX1 (Mark I). That would be the Leica Q.

The Leica Q vs the RX1RII

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While the mighty Q beat the old RX1 and RX1R in just about every way, how will the Q stack up against the latest and greatest from Sony? With this top of the heap technically advanced 42MP backlit sensor, how could the Q compete? Well, lets take a look..but 1st, see my video on the RX1R II vs the Leica Q:

NOTE: I incorrectly spoke at one point with the Leica Q in this video. I said it will stop down the lens automatically when closer than 1M. I was thinking of the X. The Q does not do this but will stop down when in Macro mode. 

So at the end of the day, for me, I prefer the new Sony but it’s VERY close. My main reason? The Sony is $1000 less expensive and gives me slightly superior IQ, or at least “different IQ”, and is smaller..and I prefer 35mm to 28mm… though I have no issue with the size of the Q. But do not take my word for it, let’s see some comparisons. Who knows, you may prefer the Q!

Away we go…

1st up. ISO

Let’s get this one out-of-the-way 1st. High ISO. Let’s face it, below these high ISO’s both cameras are comparable, but how do they stack up at 50,000 ISO? Let’s see…

Sony RX1RII – RAW – ISO 50k  – MUST CLICK IMAGE!

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LEICA Q – ISO 50K – RAW – MUST CLICK IMAGE!

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Sony wins, the Leica has banding at its max ISO, and Sony still has steam pushing along to ISO 102,000..Sony Wins the ISO here.

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Portrait? These are all good IMO. One is from the Leica Q, one from the RX12 and one from the Leica SL with 50 APO (which is easy to spot). Can you spot which is which? EXIF info is in the photos..

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Same shot. The 1st one is the RX1R 2 as you can tell from the longer focal length of 35mm over the Q’s 28mm. 

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Sony is handling the color better so far…also, bokeh effect will be more pronounced on the Sony due to the longer focal length.

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Boots…1st up, Sony

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Leica Q

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1st, Sony

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Leica

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Coming in at $4300, the Q is expensive but hey, it’s a Leica. People love the idea of Leica and when they released the Q, and it exceeded expectations, well, the old RX1 kind of became forgotten. It was much slower than the Q and was dated in comparison. As you can see above the Sony delivers the goods. Some will prefer the Sony rendering, others the Leica. There is no wrong choice here but for me, the RX1R II delivers the goods in a bigger way while being smaller and less expensive by a grand.

Now there are areas of the Q that beat the Sony. For example:

  1. The Q has a 1/16,000 shutter speed so you can shoot wide open in full sun, Sony does not
  2. The Q is a bit snappier to AF but only by a little
  3. The Q menu is simpler than Sony’s
  4. The battery life is better on the Q
  5. The Q has a touch screen, not on the Sony.

With that out of the way, the Sony has some things to like over the Q…

  1. Latest sensor tech with the 42MP Backlit sensor from the A7RII Flagship delivers stunning results
  2. Swivel LCD which is NOT on the Leica
  3. Smaller size, can indeed fit in a coat pocket, Leica Q can not
  4. Better high ISO performance means better night time shooting
  5. files have more of a medium format look over the Q’s harder look
  6. More dynamic range from the Sony
  7. $1000 Less expensive than the Q
  8. You can turn on or off or adjust the AA filter. Want to avoid MOIRE? turn it ON. Want max detail, turn it OFF!

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What I tell everyone when they ask “Which should I get” I say “go with what you feel would make you the happiest and don’t look back”. There is no perfect camera but they are getting mighty close these days! The new Sony RX1RII is a stunning machine with power that you would never think could come from a camera this small. I had people looking at some of my sample shots telling me “did you use the Pentax 645”?!? It’s something that Sony is doing these days but the images that come from their latest cameras do indeed have a medium format feel to them.

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And the black and White conversions can be stunning!

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The Details…

Remember, this guy packs the 42 Megapixel sensor of the top of the heap FLAGSHIP Sony A7RII (See review HERE). That is FORTY TWO MILLION pixels in your coat pocket! That is the draw to this camera, not “Which one is better”. This is the smallest full frame camera you can buy as far as I know, and according to Sony, it offers the best IQ of any camera they currently produce. This is the top of the heap for IQ when it comes to Sony full frame. At the same time, it is not the best for video, and even Sony will tell you this. This camera was designed for the enthusiast and passionate shooter who wants a no compromise camera  – one they can shoot day, night or anywhere in between all the while getting top of the line quality that will beat just about any full frame camera around well past its price point.

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The camera also has an adjustable AA filter meaning if you want MAX RESOLUTION turn it OFF and you have an RX1RII. Turn it on and you have an RX1II. Adjust it and you can customize it to your needs. Me, I left it OFF at all times as I am ANTI AA filter. I RARELY EVER have Moire issues, so always leave it off.

But let’s see some shots with 100% crops to check details…

These bricks…this is a JPEG but click it to see the full 100% crop

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Again…

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…and again…

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OOC JPEG

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…you get the drift…

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corner to corner this camera is sharp..this is an OOC JPEG

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Any reports you may have heard about the Sony RX1RII’s image quality not being as stellar is it was hyped up to be..well, not sure what to make of those (must have had a stinker) as I think the camera is as good as it gets in this class of camera. It bests the old model easily in speed, usability, and image quality. It’s more versatile with the nice pop up EVF and delivers a fantastic experience. In all other ways it is the same as the 1st version. Same menu system, same size, same style, same lens, etc. So there is nothing to report on there.

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I did hear something about Sony stopping production for a few weeks but I have not confirmed this nor do I know what it is about (I do not go by rumors or “he said/she said”). If this is the case, and fact, then the issue is not in my camera that I have here. 


-For me, my three full frame references are the Leica SL, Sony RX1RII and the Sony A7RII. To me, these are as good as it gets in 2015, heading into 2016 for cameras that deliver the goods. Expensive? Yes, very. Worth it? Only you can answer that one.

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Is the Sony RX1R II for you? Maybe..maybe not! My Final Word.

Think about it like this. The Sony RX1R II is like having an A7RII and 35 Loxia with AF in your coat pocket. Tiny, small, but uber powerful. There is nothing not to like on the Sony RX1RII. It’s beautiful in build, feel, and the EVF is fanatstic, even besting the one in the A7RII and it easily hides away when you do not want it. It delivers the best IQ of the Sony line due to the matched lens to sensor (which I talk about in my original RX1 Review HERE). It’s as good as it gets in an all in one, with the Leica Q right on its heels.

I love this camera as I loved the original, and it has earned a place at the top of my “keeper heap” in the Huff Household.

But I have many cameras. Many here will be using this as their one and only camera, so if this is the case I would say to make sure you are OK with only shooting 35mm as that is all you will get. There is no zoom on this guy, but that is the beauty of it. In many ways, using only the 35mm focal length for a year can greatly improve your photography, so for many this could be a welcome change from those big huge DSLR’s.

If you like what you see here from the camera then you will love it when it is in your hands. It’s a superb upgrade to the Mark 1 and while not a huge revelation when compared to the old one, it is a very nice step in the right direction for this series.

One more detail shot using an OOC JPEG! Click it for the larger version with 100% crop.

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Where to Buy?

If you are interested in the RX1R Mark II I recommend the dealers below 100%:

B&H Photo – Click here to order the camera or see more info on the B&H Page

Amazon – Order via Amazon Prime RIGHT HERE!

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143 thoughts on “The Sony RX1R Mark II Review by Steve Huff

  1. Any insights on RX1R m3? Rumors all disappeared.
    Would love this camera with a TL2- like touch screen.

    1. I have no info, but my gut tells me there may not be a RX1RIII. VII did not sell well. The 1st one did but at the time there was nothing like it. MKII had serious competition from the Leica Q. So not sure if there will be a III. I hope there is, but it would need faster AF (Like A9 style AF) and a built in EVF (instead of a pop up) along with serious high ISO capabilities to get my attention.

  2. Does anyone know if there is a RX1r3 coming soon?
    Any rumors?
    I want to buy the R2 because I just sold meh R1 and can’t live without this camera.

    But I don’t want to spend 3 grand if the new one is coming soon, obviously.

    I know there is an R5 coming but tis APC

    Any help is appreciated. thanks

      1. Wow, really that long?
        Any reason u draw that conclusion.
        It would certainly help me to know when to buy obviously.

        Do u have any opinions about rendering between the mark 1 and 2 versions
        R2 looks so much sharper and has less smooth rendering in transitions
        At least that’s how it looks to me, if that made sense.

        Maybe turning on the AA would get same rendering as first RX1

        Oh and thanks for the reply

  3. Does anyone know if there is a RX1r3 coming soon?
    Any rumors?
    I want to buy the R2 because I just sold meh R1 and can’t live without this camera.

    But I don’t want to spend 3 grand if the new one is coming soon, obviously.

    I know there is an R5 coming but tis APC

    Any help is appreciated. thanks

  4. I do really long for a R1XR Mk. II, but can’t afford one…the Beauty is it’s Zeiss 35/F2 lens, and it really shows…excels with it’s own kind of rendering pictures. I do love the Zeiss Look “3D-Pop” and 35mm is almost all-purpose, much more then the usual nifty 50’s…for my taste.

  5. Steve, I cannot find how to turn off the AA filter as you suggested. Any help would be greatly
    appreciated.

    Thank you

      1. In the menu there is a camera symbol on the upper left side , there you go to the sub page 6 and on the top there is the setting LPF- effect .
        That’s the name Sony uses instead of AA .
        LPF : Low pass filter
        AA : Anti aliasing filter .
        There’s three choices : off , standard and high . I have always used the off setting , and never experienced any noticeably moire .

  6. Hello Steve ! Do you have news for the disponibility ? I’m french and want buy it for so long time. Sony don’t tell me when it will be release from amazon.

    Sorry for the bad english…..

  7. You post this:

    ” Today top end cutting edge digital cameras are made for professionals, enthusiasts and serious hobbyists. They have to be as these things are costing more than they ever have it seems. A Leica SL for $7500 without a lens. A Leica M for $5600, no lens. A Sony A7RII for $3400, no lens. A Leica Q for $4300 which is a single fixed lens camera, and now this…ladies and gentleman…I give you the long-awaited…”

    then go on to talk about a $3300 camera being your go to lens? I’m confused.

    1. Not sure what you are even talking about…. please be more clear. Cameras – good ones, are expensive these days, but worth it to those who love the craft. I never said they were too expensive, I said they were expensive and cutting edge geared at pros and enthusiasts, NOT The mass consumer, they use phones. Yes, this camera is remarkable and well worth the cost for those with a passion for photography (and there are millions of us).

  8. Hello Steve,
    Thank you for your excellent review and amazing pictures taken with the new rx1rII. I have few questions about this camera. Do you share opinion that with 42 mpix sensor, this camera which has no image stabilisation, handheld – requires faster shutter speeds not to produce blurred/shaken images? I’ve read, that going under 1/60 sek may result in shaken image. What’s your observation about this. Do I really need a stative to shot under 1/60-1/40? What is in your opinion minimal shutter speed while holding this camera in hand?
    The second question is – how would you compare the iq of this new camera vs the older versions, I mean colour rendition, awb, especially in jpegs. Yes, I know that this new sensor is probably way better than the older one, but I’m curious if the progress is really so big? I’m asking because if there is real problem with image stabilisation with 42 mpix than while I don’t need fast autofocus I would rather go for the older rx1r version. Thanks a lot for reply

    1. As some reviewers also address this hi-pix blur issue, an easy solution seems feasible. Set AUTO ISO, with slowest shutter speed at 1/100, and then let its high iso performance steer away from blurring chance. Hope this setting works well for you.

      1. Well, yes, we may do so, but there are many situations, when you’d prefer to shoot with lower shutter speeds, for example to show the effect of blurred water in move. And in such case with let’s say 1/20; 1/25 sec there’s a risk of “shaked pixels” across the whole picture
        Anyway, no doubt that this is an outstanding camera.

  9. Hey Steve!
    My big question is: MANUAL focus & peaking.

    My big dislike with the RX1 was that focus peaking & MF assist (5.9x crop) couldnt be decoupled from eachother!
    Meaning that while AF sucked, MF wasnt very precise either (if you were shooting moving subjects)

    Is this still the case with the RX1m2?
    Or can you have peaking on whilst still viewing the entire shot ?

    THANKS a lot

    1. * i should’ve said, MF wasnt very usable. Its precise, but I loved (with the A7 that could) framing my shot, then pulling the focus back and forth until that subject in the corner was in focus

    2. Not sure as I will not be using MF, ever. AF is very acceptable, double the old one, which I also made some of my fave photos with, ever. So it did not hold me back with the 1 and with the much improved AF on the II, I see no reason to ever use MF. I tested using MF but had no issues, took longer than AF so I decided AF was much preferred for this camera.

  10. I´m wondering which is the slowest shutter speed you can handheld without micro-blur due to the huge MP count sensor. and also how is really the detail in bad light situation(different kelvin light sources and in night scene with few illumination both in normal and high iso?
    thanks for the review

  11. Hello.
    Thanks for another beautiful review! Because of tour review of the RX1 i sold all my Canon-gear (1D..5D.. with all my primes) and moved to Sony. I love my RX1, and use it for 90% of my work. After reading this review of RX1RII i decided to go all in for 35mm, and sold my A7S and A7II with my EF-lenses, and ordered the RX1RII.
    RX1 make me want to take pictures, and it have became a goal for me to challenge my self to use it for everything. No more focus on lenses and what to bring with me. Only focus on what to work with, and how to do it the best way with 35mm/2. Can´t wait to try the RX1RII!

    But where do the RX1RII go?

    My store can´t tell me, and it seems that no one can tell me what´s happening. Do anyone know?
    Waiting for Sony to announce something about it…
    Someone who knows?

  12. Great review as always Steve!

    I am currently using the original RX1R and thinking of upgrading to either the A7RII or the RX1RII. Is there in your opinion a 35mm AF lens for the A7RII that matches the IQ of the RX1RII?

    thank you very much

      1. I have a similar question, but with a different priority. I would like the RX1RII, but the view finder seems to be an issue for me (needs eye-cup and to be extended 100% of the time). With this in mind I am thinking of getting a A7RII over the RX1RII.

        What I think may be ideal is an A7RII with a compact lens – to make the whole setup a compact as the RX1RII, as best as possible.

        Could you recommend a few lenses that would pair relatively well with the A7RII to make it fairly compact, and without losing too much IQ that the RX1RII has to offer?

        Have you done a RX1RII and A7RII comparison?

        Thank you in advance,

        1. You could go with the A7RII and a Voigtlander 40 2.8 pancake, or a 35 Loxia which would be manual only but smaller. You could add any M mount lens with adapter to keep it compact. There are no auto focus f/2 35mm lenses like the one in the RX1 for teh A7 series. The RX1II is going to give the best IQ of any Sony camera made right now, but it’s only by a small margin to the A7RII and a good lens. To do a RX1RII and A7RII comparison one would need a similar lens and none exist. These are two different cameras with one being an all in one, very small fixed lens full frame camera. Best IQ of the bunch. One is the larger with a bigger body and lens but you can swap lenses, and take better video if video is your thing. The most compact I have used my A7 series is with the little Voigtlander 40 2.8 – it is a fantastic lens. But manual only.

  13. Hi, I just compared low light performance of this camera with the Fuji x-e2 and x100s and the latter seemed to come out on top! I can’t believe this is right so would apreciate the input of more experienced photographers. To compare I used dpreview’s scene comparison tool in their review of the 7r 2 which I understand to use the same sensor as the rx1r 2 (they’ve not reviewed the latter yet). The comparison tool is here : http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/sony-alpha-7r-ii/5 . I looked at RAW at 6400 & the Fuji files look a lot less noisy. What’s going on? I know this is pixel peeping rather than real life comparisons, but with the lower end cameras I’ve been using this comparison still usually tells the tale. Insights apreciated.

    1. It is not right. The X100 or X-E2 can not hold a candle to the low light performance of the RX1 series. Rent both and take some real world photos, you will see. Never go by DP Review “scenes” as they never reflect a real world photo. But the RX1 and X100 are not even in the same league. I love the X100 series but the RX1R and RX1RII outclass it in ever conceivable IQ way.

  14. For anyone out there having focusing issues with there Sony rx1rII, my dealer just let me return mine and Sony has agreed to take it back. Apparently Sony stop shipment for an issue with their focusing on early models and my dealer got them to take mine back. I bought the Leica Q instead and love it. Besides the terrible out of focus photos every now and than, the pop up evf does not work well for glasses wearers and feels flimsy like a pop up flash.

    1. Peter, That’s one reason I returned my RX1RII. I wasn’t SURE if I was having focusing problems, but it did seem a bit off too frequently. Seemed to front focus too often, more than just a normal mistake now and then. Did you have any issues with fringing?, specifically greenish? It was too much for me and the main reason I returned my RX2. I used to own an RX1 and an RX1R and don’t recall as much fringing. I too own the Q and love it too. That said, the Sony took some great pictures when it focused spot on and was free of fringing. I personally like the size of the RX1RII vs the Q also slightly prefer fixed 35 to 28mm but the Q seems to JUST work, and is a pleasure to use..where I felt I was always fighting with the Sony. Sony needs stabilization..I think the fact the Q can get steady shots a much lower shutter speeds than the Sony negates any better HIGH iso capability the RX2 may have over the Q in. However I may re-buy the RX1RII anyway once Sony comes clean with why they stopped production. Been a long time now and not one word from Sony OFFICIALLY on why they stopped production. Not good!:(

        1. Thanks Steve! Ok then I guess I really had a defective RX1RII. Crazy amount of fringing on mine..like a deal breaker for me. Good thing I returned it then. I am thinking to re-buy it when Sony has fixed whatever issues there may have been on at least some RX2s in the early first batch or so. Glad you got a good one! Thanks for the reply.:)

  15. Don’t know if this is one of the reasons Sony halted production on the RX1R2?. I had mine about three weeks. As to possible inconsistent auto-focus? for the most part my RX2 would focus on what I wanted 95% of the time. Sometimes though IT decided to focus 4-6 inches away from where I placed the focus box. For example, a few times I clearly focused on one eye of my dog. However the picture looked like I had focused on his collar which was razor sharp..while his eye where I focused was not that sharp at all. However what really disturbed me about my RX2 was “fringing.” I’d say it was close to severe, WHEN it would happen. Particularly greens, in high contrast shots. I used to own the RX1R as well, looking back at the many shots I took with the RX1R I also saw some green-ish fringing but seems with the RX1RII this fringing seems about twice as much. I actually have a few pictures where I find the green fringing on branches for example so disturbing the picture is now a throw away. Of course I tried to De-fringe using LR, PS, and I was able to get rid of some of this stuff, but never completely. If it was on edges of things, usually I could post process the fringing out, but if it was on tree branches or like that, I seemed to be stuck with heavy green fringing. I am not talking so much about CA as though it does show a bit of CA only with the lens wide open usually, that was easily fixed. I am wondering if this fringing issue is an issue with this camera, or if maybe I had a slightly bad copy of the lens. I happen to own a Q too, if I took the exact same shot with the Q both wide open, generally the Q was flawless as to this ugly green fringing with virtually NO CA EVER, but the Sony was a fringe monster, again only in high contrast shots and pretty much wide open or up to 2.8 aperture. Being nobody really knows exactly why Sony halted production yet, Sony hasn’t said a word officially, I finally returned my RX2 sadly just in case we may find out later SOMETHING was wrong with the whole first batch. Btw in most of my shots..IQ was stunning with this camera. That fringing issue was only when maybe the background was very bright vs the subject, but I found it very disturbing and a bit too much for a camera that costs over $3,000.

    I hope Sony will make some sort of statement as to why they stopped production. They really should. Had they done so, I may have kept my RX1RII, but I didn’t want to get some bad news later that I may need send my camera in for some sort of a repair. Happy Holidays to all here.

  16. Bitterly disappointed with the ergonomics. It feels HORRIBLE in my hand. Nothing to do with build quality or weight- it’s that the lens is too wide for the body and there isn’t enough grip. It’s pretty much exactly the same size as a Panasonic GX1, and, at the very least, it needed that small lip that the GX1 has. It’s gonna be the A7Rii for me…

  17. Excellent review as always, Steve. I’d be curious whether or not the new version is better at keeping out dust bunnies? My RX1R V1 was like a dust bunny super magnet, especially when closed down. Granted, I used it handheld wide open much of the time (where it really shines). But for those tripod-mounted F/11 landscape days, it was frustrating to see all the artifacts in noticeable areas like a clear blue sky (and you need to send it out to be cleaned, which is a PITA). I don’t think the body was changed, which is not to say that Sony didn’t make some seal tweaks behind the scenes on V2. Stunning IQ aside, today’s demanding photographers really need a camera that can withstand some inclement conditions, including but not limited to dirty pockets. I’m just saying…

    1. …I had the rx1 for obver one year in excessive use and I cannot report of any problems with dust. I never had just one dust particle on the sensor.

    2. Weather sealing would be nice but suggest you try turning your pockets inside out prior to tossing in the washing machine.

  18. This is a question please more than a comment, figuring a few here besides Steve may own this camera by now. I was lucky enough to get the RX1RII in one of the first batches. Generally I love the camera but my question is: I am still within the return period as a lot of stores offer a longer return policy during the holidays. If I love the camera then why would I maybe want to return it? It’s not my RX1RII actually. However I have noticed now and then auto-focus is not always consistent. Mostly seems NO PROBLEM though, and it may be after reading Sony stopped production, rumor is because of focus issues maybe I now have my RX2 under a microscope and am LOOKING for problems.?

    Wondering if anyone here knows anything SOLID, like are the first batch of RX1RII’s actually defective in some way, or some? Again as to auto-focus mine does sometime miss the shot, may front focus a little, BUT I’ve had other cameras do this too on occasion, then next shot may be spot on where I focused. I don’t know IF there is an issue, can firmware fix it, OR will I have a lemon as per the early serial number and just be better off returning it and RE-Buying it when production starts up again.

    “Something rather serious must have occurred for Sony to completely halt production”, Yet I don’t feel my camera is defective. Actually if there IS an issue, mine seems to have above average CA or fringing particularly with greens when wide open. Not sure if that’s just the good old RX1 lens OR an issue.

    Any opinions as to returning what seems to be an ok, RX1rII, or just be thankful I actually got one and hang on to it. mmm

  19. I will still be holding on to my RX1 (not the R version) just because I bought it at a steal second hand. This version is obviously awesome but I don’t need to upgrade. I am awaiting for Sony to release an RX1 with the new Sony medium format 44 x 33mm sensor in something like a M9 body with a fixed 45mm 😉

    Side note if it wasn’t mentioned already DXO has the rx1r mark ii at a 97 rating. Pretty much top tier IQ wise especially with that lens!

  20. So I decided that I want a Sony RX but I couldn’t quite justify the price of this one and went for the original RX1R. I am pretty certain I am in for awesome image quality even if I’ll be missing some of the bells and whistles of the new one. Hope I didn’t make a mistake with that choice. A lot of people still seem to be happy with that camera 🙂

      1. Picked it up today and done some tests in daylight and now some night sky and the photos come out so sharp and with so much detail – I feel that this is a keeper for sure! May just park my 1D MK IV for some up-n-coming hikes 😉 Sure the 1D mk IV is a monster for focus in low light – but the ISO performance of the RX1R makes up for that!

        Thanks for running this awesome site, without it I might have missed out on this pearl!!

  21. Mine arrived a few days ago, and has to be returned to B&H. It front focuses badly. Otherwise it is a fine camera, and I will be sorry to see it go. Who knows when I might have another in hand?

    The silver lining to the story is that I had the opportunity to compare IQ and lens to the files from my Sigma DP2 Merrill uprezzed to match. I made 11″ wide 300 ppi copies and compared them. They look very close, even at 1:1, but the Merrill files have better acuity by just a little, and noticeably better corners, even at f/5.6. In fact the Merrill corners are better if the Merrill at f/2.8 is compared to the Sony at f/5.6. All in all, the Merrill photographs just look better. I should add however that I work only in b&w, and the Merrill is good there up to ISO 1600, or even 3200. In color, 400 is pushing it.

    The cameras are similar in size and weight. Build quality is not very different. The Merrill’s menus are better.

    That said, I would still like to shoot with the Sony in candid situations, and far more prefer not needing the horrible Sony software in the workflow.

    1. There is no way to purchase it. NO ONE has it in stock. Reportedly it is due to a few cameras having AF inconsistencies. Probably like the one DP Review had. IF that is the case, I am sure they want to make sure there are no issues with future deliveries. I do know mine has no issues that I have discovered but its not available anywhere until after they do whatever they need to do.

  22. Hi,

    I really enjoyed reading your review. Although it has been brought up many times by other viewers, dpreview did seem to have received a dud. Not only RX1R II falls short in their studio comparison, there’s even something off with their real-world sample gallery of this camera. Because quit many of the sample images are just not in focus that much, given the 1/500s shutter speed, I would rule out the hand-shaking matter.

    However, the sample image in your review is crystal sharp and solid. This review demonstrates the true power of this camera. Hoping Sony would fix this issue (or whatever issue there is) and hit the market ASAP.

  23. It’s too bad the RX1’s built-in flash had to go to make room for the viewfinder. Although it isn’t very powerful, it’s powerful enough to use for fill and it’s great to not need to carry a separate flash unit around.

  24. My quick observations of the RX1Rii I have had for a couple of weeks. It is a powerful camera with all its features, FF sensor, fast auto focus and EVF. I never had the RX1 so I can’t make that comparison. First thing I did was add a wrist strap. I don’t like neck straps and the camera wasn’t “grippy” enough for me.

    Coming from the A7 series I was surprised the menu and playback button locations were swapped on the RX. The A6000 seems more compatible button wise with the A7 series than the RX1Rii. I wish all the RX buttons were more programmable to mirror my A7Rii.

    I don’t like the manual switch on the front of the RX to change focus modes. I didn’t find it very easy to turn/use. But again, I am used to my setup on the A7Rii and A7s, which I can also mimic on the A6000.

    I wish the aperture ring had more grooves. They left a large smooth space on the ring between two grooved areas and my fingers often fell right on that spot and made it harder to turn/change the aperture.

    I was surprised with the lens noise while focusing. It’s not that loud but my FE 35 2.8 is much quieter.

    The battery life was poor – luckily I had spare ones from the RX100IV. It seems to use up batteries quicker than the A7Rii. Of course testing/playing with a new camera chews up the batteries faster than with normal use.

    All that said, the RX1Rii is a fantastic camera and the small size is incredible for the features and megapixels you are getting. I imagine I could get used to the differences/annoyances. However, the deal breaker for me is I am getting sharper photos from my A7Rii with the FE 35 2.8 ZA than the RX1Rii. I assume my RX copy is not on spec and it is going back. I have decided I am happy with the performance of the FE 35 2.8 on the A7Rii and I can live with the slightly bigger size and weight to have image stabilizing, a consistent button layout and a few other features.

    1. I agree with the conclusions in the last sentence of your post. The A7R2 is my main camera now. Because I need to quickly change focus and other settings frequently while shooting events, consistent button layout is important to me. It would be the prime factor in considering upgrading my A7s to the A7s2. I’d love an RX12 but the different control layout along with lingering doubts about autofocus problems (the reason I sold my RX1) has put me in a ‘wait and see mode’. For now, an R100 III is my pocket camera and the the A7R2 I with 35 f2.8 is my coat pocket camera.

  25. I’ve got the RX1 and RX1R2. To me, the R2 has much better usability, with its much faster AF, and the high ISO is much more usable than RX1. But to me, I miss the RX1’s flash, as I prefer the flash more than the EVF. I have no problem using the LCD if I don’t want to carry the EVF in RX1, and the flash with the central shutter is just stunning. The central shutter is actually one of the main reason I buy the RX1 series. You can only get one of these in medium format. And, trust me, having a full flash output in 1/2000 sec is very useful in outdoor environment. Of course, using high speed sync in current flash technology may help, but the flash size may be bigger than the RX1 itself. If just SONY can make a tiny flash for RX1Rm2, just like those on NEX5, it would be perfect!

  26. For $100 more, one can purchase an A7RII and have more flexibility as a system camera. To mount a 35mm lens on the A7RII equaling the quality of the R2, would cost you another $1,000 (?). To me the biggest benefit of the R2 is it being the perfect carry-camera. Small, super quality and always at your side. You implied in the SL review, that (file-size aside) the IQ of the file beats the A7RII. How do you feel the R2 IQ stacks up against the SL?

  27. You didn’t mention the auto ISO improvements. The lack of a good minimum shutter speed control really killed auto ISO in the first one (and all Sony’s up until the A7R II). Now the auto ISO is the powerful tool it should have been all along. This is the biggest improvement to me – the EVF, flip screen, and AF are nice improvements, but not critical to me. And the 42mp sensor is a negative for me. But the auto ISO fix makes this a far more useful camera for a variety of applications…

  28. Hi Steve,

    I have the RX1R2 as well and I’m loving it so far. It really does take all the great things the RX1/R did and improve upon them. Personally, the EVF isn’t as good as Sony is making it out to be. I find it small. The diopter adjustment is poorly implemented and hard to adjust to your liking. It’s also hard to believe that it has an eye point of 19mm. I wear glasses and was hoping for better relief than the X100T but it doesn’t seem to be great. If you wear glasses, forget the rubber attachment as it doesn’t let your eye get close enough to see the entire frame in the EVF. The other thing I don’t like about the EVF is that without the rubber eye cup attachment (which again, I can’t use), it’s really difficult to block out light when it’s sunny out. The EVF is however super clear, fast and sharp.

    A few other things that I struggle with:

    1. You can’t truly turn off the LCD when you want to stick to using only the EVF. You can “deactivate” it, however it doesn’t actually turn the screen off. It’s just black with basic settings at the bottom of the screen. It would be nice to be able to fully turn off the screen which would be nice to save on battery use.

    2. Speaking of batteries, the battery life is horrid, it really is. I bought 5 BX1’s for this reason but it’s still a real pain.

    3. The 42mp sensor is a blessing and a curse. The files are beautiful indeed but 1 raw is 82mb! That’s going to eat up my storage real quick, however cheap storage may be.

    4. My only other true gripe with this, and other Sony’s is the menu system. It really is terribly implemented. Sony should really take a note from Fuji or even Leica in this regard. For example, to set your custom functions to buttons, there’s no visual layout to show you which button you’re programming, just a text menu which makes it time consuming and difficult. The menu system overall seems complicated and has too many layers.

    In any event, regardless of it’s shortcomings, the RX1R2 is an amazing camera capable of stunning results and in my opinion, well worth the price of admission. Hopefully Sony will do a better job of listening to their customers this time around and address some of these concerns via firmware updates wherever possible.

  29. Thanks Steve – first proper review I’ve seen. You don’t specifically mention the new Continuous Autofocus option which the RX1/RX1r didn’t have. If you’ve tried it out I’d love to hear what you think.

  30. Other reviews state that unlike the Q, the Sony’s AF has big trouble in low light. Did you find that too? Would you miss focus on shots of running kids indoor?

    1. BOth are about equal with AF in good light. IN low light, I saw the same. Keep in mind, if you want to photograph running children inside a house at night, this camera or the Q is not the one you want. Id suggest an A7SII for that job 😉 I had ZERO, ZILCH, NADA, NONE – NO issues with AF in any way, shape or form with the RX1RII I have here. If I did, would have mentioned it. Only cameras I have ever had AF inconsistencies with are the Fuji models, the early ones like the X Pro 1, etc. These days, most all high end cameras have fantastic AF abilities. In use, the Q will feel a little snappier overall though over the RX1RII.

  31. Great review Steve. Great pics. I have this camera and love it. Please share how you are setting up the all the buttons (c1, etc) As you are the leader on reviewing this camera in the real world, I would like to see your board be the world’s home for a discussion on the custom settings.

  32. What is the usability and durability of the flip up screen? Can you walk around with it sticking out hanging around your neck? Is it visible at waist level?
    Also, is the square (1:1) mode also RAW?

  33. Hahaha….the little dog! He looks like hell bite your nuts off while you sleep if you take another photo of him…hahahaha.

    1. Hey Steve, What breed is your dog? We love animals and had lots cats / dogs. Yours is so cute … would make a lovely addition to our family for the new year 🙂

  34. I have an A7RII and three lenses. I use my RX1 and RX10 more than my A7RII. Why? Picture IQ is definitely superior. Probably due to the matching of the fixed lenses with the sensor. One lens out of the three gives me great IQ on that A7RII and that is the Sony 1.4 35mm. Only because of it’s superior light catching abilities and super bokeh.

  35. I tested both now and the IQ of the Sony is far better than the Q one. The Q has serious banding problems. Just lift the shadows of the Q by 30-40% and you get this nasty stripes even at 200 ISO.

    1. I own the Q, and I don’t see banding at 800 ISO, even with shadows at 40%, maybe you’re just trying to look for it other than use it for what it is, i happen to love the files that come out of the Q, i had a Sony A7II and was never really happy with it, the files look too clinical, OOC on the Q is the best, unless you intend to do more PP you stick with the Sony, skin tones on the Leica is the best, it’s always bemusing when someone thinks the camera that has the most feature wins, let the photographer think, not the camera for once.

  36. The three shots of Debby are beautiful. Without looking at EXIF, i have to say the difference is very small and my preference is 1>2>3. My guess is 3 is the Q.

  37. Hello Steve
    Does it take a lot of processing power to deal with 42 mp raw files in lightroom? I think this is a major question for a lot of rx1 Cameras owners to decide if the upgrade is interesting.
    Yves

    1. Well, depends on your computer. I have no way of knowing what everyone uses but I use a 2 year old iMac 27″ and have no issues. Take maybe 1-2 seconds to open an uncompressed RAW file.

  38. Thanks Steve for you review.

    I’ve owned the RX1 and A7ii and rented the A7Rii. I sold both to buy this R2, but now you have me thinking about the SL. I know it’s must more expensive but the AWB and IQ is stunning. Now, I’m thinking I should continue to rent. Even test the SL. And save up for an eventual buy. I probably know the answer to this question but your thoughts would be appreciate.

    Assuming the SL would be a better studio camera over the RX?

  39. It’s a beautiful camera. A marvel of engineering, and a great marriage of a lens and season, no doubt. IQ looks beautiful. And high ISO borders on the absurd.

    But buy this and pray that Sony’s QC was just as good as the engineering promises.

    This may not be everyone’s experience, but Sony’s customer service was a waking nightmare for me. WEEKS of runaround. Wasted hours. Something to keep in mind as you invest in a $3k+ camera.

  40. OMG – I had completely forgotten about the disc camera! Thanks for that reminder and trip down memory lane.

    Speaking of ‘memory lane’… having used ILC/DSRL/SLR cameras for quite some time now, I wondered how I’d adjust to using a fixed lens one. As it turns out, it quickly felt second nature to me. And in many ways, the RX1 feels very reminiscent of my first 35mm camera – the Minolta Hi-Matic E (though that had a 40mm f1.7 lens).

    Great review Steve – have a wonderful Christmas and all the best for 2016!

  41. Steve, thanks for the great review and fair comparison with the Q. For me, the 42MP sensor is the RX1R2’s biggest downside. I simply do not need or use that many megapixels. The huge files doubles or triples the transferring/processing time with no benefits for me.. In addition, the images would be affected more by camera shake with a smaller pixel pitch. I guess I’ll have to live with the slow AF speed of the original RX1R. It’s a kind of a “pick your poison” situation for me — slower shooting or slower processing.

    It’s disappointing because I’m quite sure Sony is working on a second generation 24MP BSI sensor for the A7 mk3. With what they were able to do with a 42MP sensor, they’d probably be able to pack more dynamic range and ISO capability. That would have been perfect for this IBIS-less camera.

    1. there’s a medium resolution setting of 18mpx, just an fyi. my very informal tests show that the differences would mostly be seen in larger prints but it’s all a matter of opinion really.

    1. You zone focus with it just like you did with the 1st one. You don’t.Well, you can set your MF and shoot but when it is turned off it will resort to its original setting. MF is easy with the RX1RII, Turn the focus dial and you instantly get a magnified view to easily critically focus. But this is not a zone focusing camera and with maybe 2% of shooters using it these days, Sony probably did not even think of it as an option.

      1. fyi, if set to MF on the front dial, the R2 will remember the last focus distance set. zone focus is definitely an option on it, unlike the first models.

  42. Looks to me the Sony 42mp sensor performs better here vs. the Q. However, the same sensors in the Arii vs. Leica SL show a significant advantage to the SL. Is it all about the lenses?

    1. It’s the way the sensor is implemented as well as the lens. The lens is 80% of the image IMO as that is what gives the character we see in an image. An image shot with a 35 f/2 Zeiss will look different than one shot with a 50mm Lux 1.4. So on the RX1rII we are seeing a result of lens and sensor matching and since the Sony sensor is technically better than the Leica sensor, it will give better results here. With the A7RII, same sensor but now we have to decide what lens and not all of them are created equal. Using an SL with its tweaked Q sensor along with top end Leica M glass will yield best results due to the lenses and all of that good stuff. The Q will be limited as it is stuck with one lens, like the RX. At the end of the day though, all are top tier. Can’t go wrong either way if you go with your gut and what you feel drawn to.

  43. Dear Steve,
    I wouldn’t mind if you turn that background music off, please?
    You are so entertaining that no additional is required. Only disturbing.

      1. OK Steve, I should have added to my complaint; we the people who have with impaired hearing experience additional sounds disturbing. I, in line with yourself, is an old Hi-Fi music enthusiast and knew the importance of top facilities for listening and, in addition, very important if we have impaired hearing.
        This site of yours are for ‘hi-fi’ eyes…haha..

  44. Steve that was truly a fantastic review. Some of the images you posted are simply stunning. I happen to own a Q as well. I am torn a bit actually as to which camera I prefer. In my real life review for myself, I DO notice more purlple fringing on branches of trees etc. for example in high contrast shots (CA) from the Sony more than I get from the Q.
    In fact with the Q, I have yet to see any Chromatic aberration at all, NOT so with my Sony though not very much, and usually only when wide open-ish F2 – 3.2 or so. As it’s same lens as the original RX1 anyone who owns an RX1 would already know about any CA this RX1Rii may produce or not. As to auto focus, my RX1RII the first few days seemed to be front focusing on OCCASION. In my case while using flexible spot SMALL, right on an area of my target, the picture would often look like I actually focused 3-4 inches BELOW where the box was. Oddly in the last week or so now the auto focus seems FLAWLESS, that mis-focus stopped happening so not sure if it’s an issue, or was an issue, as rumors state with inconsistent auto-focus or mine fixed itself. 🙂 I’d say the Q just feels more SURE. By that I mean I aim, focus with the Q, boom, I have the shot pic after pic. With the RX2 as we call it, I feel I need tinker a bit more with it vs the Q if you want to shoot with at least a little speed. I also find because of the 42megapixels I suppose, it COULD have benefited IMO from some sort of image stabilization. Unlike the Q where I can shoot indoors at say a shutter speed of 1/10 or even lower and have tack sharp pictures I find unless I’m crazy careful I need to shoot at at LEAST 1/35 and up on the Sony to avoid camera shake. To me that neutralizes the better high iso capability of the RX2 because in my case at least, I need raise the ISO higher than the Q in order to avoid camera shake. SOUNDS like I’m complaining…no I’m not. I actually LOVE the RX1RII, I love it’s size, I love it’s IQ, It’s just a camera you want to pick up and use, hard to say why. I’d say I have that feeling MORE with the Sony than my Q. I also happen to prefer a fixed 35 vs 28, but everyone will have a different opinion on that. The only true negative I can really say and you said it, is the battery life. it’s pretty awful and we can make excuses and buy more batteries but in fact, this is a $3,000 plus camera so to me Sony failed in the battery dept. All that said, I hope my copy is OK as to auto focus, SEEMS so now. If there are going to be real issues on some RX1RIIs’ that were sold already, hopefully Sony will issue a firmware fix/update or offer free repair. That said, I too feel at this point my RX1RII does NOT have any inconsistent auto focus issues or any problem at all that I can see. Again thank you for your review. I feel it is quite balanced and I generally agree with everything you wrote for the most part.

    1. Quick note about camera shake – at pixel level, a little shake would show up more in a 42MP image vs a 24MP image. I think if you take an image on rx1r2 at 1/15, and maybe resize it to 24mp, it would be comparable, in terms of blurriness due to the camera shake, with the image from the Q.

      1. Right you are Sidd. I used to own the A7R when it came out. I did notice even with just, lol JUST? 36 megapixels it was much easier to get camera shake vs the 16 megapixel other cameras I had back that.
        You are correct, downsizing the picture to 24 meg size would indeed look less blurry as to camera shake. However being it is a 42meg camera not 24, I think it’s even more of a reason some sort of image stabilization would have been even more helpful than usual, guess you can’t have everything in such a small, great FF camera.. Sol

  45. Steve thank you, had been waiting eagerly for your review the past few weeks! For me if I get a Q is like I am trying to show off that I’ve one hanging over my neck ….. look it’s a red dot! Big n bulky for a compact camera! If Q is more compact, it may have a place in my dry cabinet! In terms of IQ and tech, I totally agreed with you Sony is at the top of the game! I love my A7RII, a RX1RII will definitely be a great travelling companion because of it’s IQ and mobility. Again thank you for the review!

  46. Hi Steve, thank you for your review, I am just wondering, how is the mechanical build quality of this popup EVF ? Is it going to make trouble after using it constantly in 6 month ? Happy New Year !

    1. It seems pretty solid. No wiggle or play and it comes up and goes down with a nice solid click. I mean, if you leave it up all the time it could snag on a bag or something but I think as long as it is put back down every time it will stay solid without issues. The one in the RX100 never has any reported issues and this one is made better. But only time will tell really.

      1. Dear Steve,
        I have read some of your reviews and absolutely luv the stuff. However I need some help here. I have owned the nex 3, 18 55 kit lens, la ea 3 adapter and sal 75 300 telephoto lens for the last 6 years. I am an enthusiastic photographer with some theoretical know how. My photography is limited to primarily landscapes in my the trips and tours with family and occasional portraits. However I did not buy any specialist prime for either purpose.
        Now I am looking to upgrade and can’t choose between a7rii and rxrii. My budget is already stretched with either of them, so if I go with the a7rii I will have to manage with either the kit lens or a 28/35 mm prime till I can have some more funds for 16 35 f4. In the mean time I can use my sal 75 300 for portraits using la ea 3.
        If I go for the rxrii then no expense for lens will be there, however I don’t know if 35 mm itself would be enough for me. Seeing my photos I see landscapes mostly shot on 18mm aps c, for portraits I will retain my nex 3/ lens combination till I get another body a6000 later.
        I hope you can help me in my dilemma

        1. DO NOT buy an A7RII if you plan on using a kit lens. The lens is the heart of the system and is responsible for IQ, character, color, contrast, etc. A kit lens on the A7RII will cripple your camera. If planning an A7RII with the new 50 1.8 that is $249, the RX1R II will give better IQ, color, etc. BUT you will be at 35mm forever. If you are OK with ONLY 35mm, the RX1RII is hard to beat.

          1. Dear Steve,
            Mamy thanks for your suggestions. Now I have decided to go the a7 way. Can you further suggest whether I should go for a7ii + loxia 35 OR a7rii + fe 28 f2 . I am wondering if money saved on a7ii (instead of a7rii ) will be better used on a pro grade prime lens.
            Awaiting your opinion on the matter.

          2. Well, thats a tough one. The A7II is fantastic, as is the RII…BUT…lenses make them most difference. Id go A7II and Loxia over an RII and 28.

  47. Profoundly disappointing to me given the long time since this camera was updated that they did not update the body that would have greatly improved handling. I have used a friends original rx1r many times and like the images but the autofocus issues and the cheap feel and handling of the camera always turned me away from purchase. I was hoping Sony would increase the dimensions a little to at least be proportional to the dimension of the lens sticking out the front which would have allowed for a proper built-in viewfinder (not a cheap spring actuated pop-up which is doomed to failure – my rx-100 III viewfinder has already been repaired once). This also would have maybe provided room for IBIS, and maybe a couple more direct manual controls. The changes to the innards appear to be awesome but the body is still crap in my opinion and no where near the functionality of the Q.

    Sony alpha rumors is also reporting that the production of the RX1R2 is halted because of AF inconsistencies, which may be why you got a good copy and others have reported that images and autofocus were not good. I have been stashing cash for this version for couple of years now thinking Sony would have made dramatic changes to the form factor like they did between the A71 and A7II.

    I am a hobbyist photo guy that uses rx-100 most of the time but want a simple full-frame camera for special ocasions and to help develop my skills, but don’t really want to invest in a system and a bunch of lenses. I am now leaning towards the Q, but also considering the A7II or A7RII and one 35mm lens. Money not really the issue, just don’t want a ton of gear.

    1. Well you knew for weeks the form factor is the same 🙂 Also, its more solid feeling than the Leica Q. Build is not cheap at all, so not sure where that comes from. The build is solid. It feels like a little mini brick. The Q feels hollow-ish. The RX1 is small, that is the beauty of it and why it exists. If it were made larger it would be an A7RII size camera and what is the point of doing that? One key that attracts many to this camera is the size. Only FF jacket pocket camera in the world. I have the Q, A7RII and 3 35’s and the Rx1RII here with me now. Of these three, I prefer the A7RII with 35 1.4 (but its 4X the size), then the RX1RII and then the Q. The RX1RII is like having an A7RII, but smaller with a fixed lens.

      1. I mean form factor not so much feel as in weight. Based on your prior review, I bought my friend who has been kind enough to loan me his rx1r about 20 times an Angelo Pelle case for Xmas and we put it on last night and for me it dramatically improves the form factor and feel of the camera. I look forward to your observations on this camera longer term regarding the structural integrity of the viewfinder, performance of this amazing sensor without IBIS, and what is going on as far as production issues with the autofocus. This camera is still the best fit for my needs and if your longer term input on these three factors will be incredibly helpful to me, thank you for the great site!!

      2. I agree that it is very nice to have a small camera … but, a built in viewfinder would only make it a little taller and would give a little more to grip. I also agree that the pop up is not only asking to get damaged, but is also an annoying protrusion that will catch on things if putting the thing into a pocket in a hurry, which one might be tempted to do once the eye cup has been screwed in place.

        I am sure this is a great little camera, and I am very, very tempted, but it is the ergonomics that holds me back for the moment – both the pop-up finder and the menu system.

        1. According to Steve Huff the price difference in the US is 1000 dollar higher for the Leica Q and can be an excuse for the Sony. Here in Sweden, EU, the price, SEK 35.000 (VAT 25% included) is the very same between these cameras. If that’s the case for you where you live, I should go for the Q. Reading Steve’s review, he’s favorisering the Q for its ergonomics.
          Wider body, few buttons and placed correctly and no viewfinder ‘sticking up’ with an eye cup.
          From picture quality point of view? Peanuts in comparison unless you are not a pixel nerd?

    2. “Cheap Build”?? … how you feel about the handling is of course up to you…. but to call the RX1R build cheap makes me doubt what you said about using a friends … it’s a little brick… and if this new one is built similar then that will not be a problem…

    3. yup, having returned my R1 mk2 to sony I am very disapointed, while I had the R1 mk2 i was doing comparisons between my A7r mk2 and I have to say the A7r just felt better in the hand, yes it is marginally bigger but with the 2.8 35mm I am getting stuningly sharp results (I tried the Zeiss 1.8 35mm and it was not as good, especially in the corners and the zeiss was a lot more money, dont know why the quality difference ) if I had to do it again It be to stick to TH A7r11 for the size difference you get sooo much more and lets be honest you can hardly call the R1 pocket-able.

  48. Wow. Just wow. I’ve been keen on getting one since RX1 came out, but the lack of viewfinder always made me hesitant. That hesitation is now gone. I have nothing else to fend of the desire with. I may just have to get me one of these. Then again the Leica Q is a sweet camera too..

  49. I won’t be trading my O.G RX1R, which I love dearly. But this shows one thing for absolutely sure. Sony is a force to be reckoned with, and they do (eventually) listen to their customers.

  50. More LoCA on the Sony. See boots comparison. The Q does a great job with LoCA correction. If you want to chance my mind then do some close-up comparisons such as the lenstip LoCA test. If you can find a way to correct the Sony RAW to match the Q RAW I’ll be impressed.

    1. Ive seen no CA issues on this camera, at all. Also, I only shoot real world how 99.9999 of people will shoot the camera. If it’s not a issue in the real world, it’s not an issue.

    2. You see similar with the Canon 50L which has beautiful buttery-smooth blur but lots of LoCA. A better corrected like lens like the OTUS gives a harsher background blur and less appealing highlight rendering, no winning whatever you choose, just compromises. Some good discussions over on Fred Miranda between the “look” of various Zeiss lenses for Sony. All in all this 35 f/2 design looks to compromise in just the right areas, it’s still very sharp, but has better background blur than far more complex aspheric designs.

      Thanks for the review Steve, I’ll snag on through your links if & when they ever re-appear on B&H.

  51. Here’s what I don’t like about the Sony, the pop up view finder. I compared a Q with the built in view finder and the Sony. I can see one whack of that view finder when your in a hurry and it’s gone. Yes I know the Q is a $K more. But give me an internal view finder any day.

  52. Hi Steve, I managed to get a rx1rii and have been testing it alongside my rx100iii. However resolution on my rx100iii is somehow better or comparable. AF is also worse than rx100iii. Could i also have a dud? Not sure what the issue is with the halt on sales..

    1. wow that is the same issue I have had very poor focus and comparing to my A7r 11 there was no comparision A was considerably better and then I did a low light comparison with my R100 mk4 and the mk4 was infinitely better so it was then I returned to sony via Henry’s camera in Toronto who have been very supportive ….most dissapointed…ahhhhhh

      1. i agree. i await a rx1r11 shot took in half brightsunlight/half deep shadow on automatic to see what colour the black is

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