UPDATE: My RX1RII Review should be up within 7-10 days..

UPDATE: My RX1RII Review should be up within 7-10 days..

rx1rII

A few have been asking me when my Sony RX1RII review will be up and it has been delayed due to the comparison with the Leica Q, which many have asked for. It has been very hard to get a hold of a Q, even the rental houses have been out of stock, and I did not feel like buying one to do a comparison 😉

LensRentals finally received the Q back in stock, so I rented it for a few days (over $200)! so I can compare with the RX1RII for the Sony review, which is what the delay was about.

But so far I can say that the RX1RII is stunning. The IQ for me, edges out the A7RII and Sony did tell me the RX1RII is their best image quality camera they have ever produced, beating even the A7RII. If one is OK with just a 35mm f/2 (and what a lens it is) then the RX1RII is well worth a serious look.

Iin comparison to the Leica Q the Sony is smaller, actually has a true F/2 lens (Leica will stop down no matter your manual setting when closer than 1 meter), even when in Macro mode, has a pop up very nice and very good EVF (much better than I expected and improves on the A7RII EVF)  and offers a tilt LCD, 30% faster AF than the previous version, an adjustable or defeat-able AA filter, and superior low light and high ISO performance.

The RX1rII also “feels” more solid than the Q which is a very lightweight body, especially for a Leica. For example, the Q feels NOTHING like an M in the hand. The RX1RII is also about $1000 less than the competing Q. Does the Q offer you $1000 more of a camera? In this case, I will say no. The RX1RII can beat the Q in overall technical IQ, dynamic range, ISO, etc so it is all a matter of taste.

Will one prefer the high contrast bolder color look of the Q or the higher dynamic range and gentleness of the RX1rII sensor? They both are full frame and both are gorgeous capable cameras but the RX1RII does offer more for less IMO.

So look for my review within a week or so, the camera is also in stock now at Amazon (one left for prime) 😉 Three snaps below from the RX1RII…

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kurt

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81 Comments

  1. In the end I sold the Q and bought the RX1RII because I couldn’t live with the banding when you push the shadows. Otherwise a convincing package.

  2. I really wish this little beast was weather sealed. This is probably the only setback from giving up my a7Rii + Distagon 35 1.4 combo, despite the weight differential as a go to/walk about camera. I’m finding it hard to find which would be more advantageous towards my needs, desiring certain aspects of versatility using the 35mm focal length, such as the subject isolation f/1.4 offers, and the IBIS… Damn!

      • I have a grip that i use on the “old” RX1 , will this fit on the RX1r II ?
        The specs says 69,6 mm Depth for the RX1 and 72,o med mer for the RX1r II .
        This extra depth could be due to the tiltable screen on the RX1r II .
        Anyway i felt that i had much more secure handling with that grip and also the advantage of the acra suiss qiuck release system. The grip and ballhead are from Really Right Stuff mounted on a carbon tripod from Induro . I can higly recommend both Really Right Stuff and Induro .

  3. I ordered the RX1 r II November 22 . And today i was told that Sony had stopped the shipping of the camera .Do you now what’s going on ? Is there something wrong with the camera that’s discovered just before shipping ?

      • sonyalpharumors claims that production on RX1rii has been halted. Reason unclear but may have to do with “inconsistent AF”. Do you have any info on this? (I just received my RX1rii but haven’t opened box yet in case I want to return it.)

        • Ive had no issues with AF, none at all. Not sure but maybe some cameras had an issue as they would not have stopped production otherwise….unless they are trying to copy Leica’s move, as in, keep shipments low to create demand. 😉

  4. Can’t wait to read the review Steve! I bit the bullet on the Q (arrives today!) myself, really liking what I have seen coming out of that Maestro sensor and lens combo in samples. As you say, they are both really fantastic cameras and we are at a great time in photography where we have so many options to choose from, it’s really down to picking the experience you want with the camera and what you want to get out of it. Are we going to get more obligatory Steve-sock-foot photos to check for moire on the Sony?!

  5. Loving my RX1R2, my only criticism is the lack of a digital ‘zoom’. With 42MP, it now really makes sense to allow a ‘zoom’ (even in RAW).. I believe the Q allows you to shoot at 35 and 50mm resulting in smaller images. There is no excuse why the APS-C crop mode in the a7R2 is gone in the RX1R2. That will be the minimum they should bring back in firmware upgrade. A 35mm and 50mm (about 18MP?) option. It will be even better if it allows one to continuously zoom from 35 to 70 (I have no idea how many MP will remain if cropped to FOV of 70mm). Maybe Sony can call that vRAW (variable-size RAW)

    • Fyi Just got the Sony LCJ-RXH case (for the RX1r ii) which is the newer design. It is pricey but is very well designed. Provides easy access to everything and great protection. If your going to spend 3200 on the camera I think this case is worth it. By the way Steve is right on the money. Have only had the (RX1r ii) camera a couple days but it is ridiculous in performance and size.

  6. The Q is much more versatile.
    Can you do this with the RX1: Shooting at f1.7 with a 1/16.000 in bright sunshine, taking pictures handheld at 1/10 or even 1/6 due to image stabilisation in the dark (think of the ISO reduction you get with this).
    10 frames per second shooting. Full wireless control including touch AF.

    You can crop 28mm to 35mm but not vice versa

    • I can take images with the RX1rII at 1/8th sec. I can not do 1/16000 but my ND filter that is attached allows me to shoot in full sun anyway. The Sony will also offer you a smaller size, better low light, a better lens that is a true f/2 (not variable like the Q), macro mode with 42MP which can be used to crop for more details, and the swivel LCD that the Q does not have allows one to get low angle shots easily. The Sony feels more solid in the hand, and offers a more creamy organic rendering. There are pros and cons to each camera, I choose the RX1RII over the Q because it offers me more versatility and IQ and low light performance while being $1000 less expensive. Anyone who owns an RX1RIi should spend the $50 on a nice ND filter to go with it. The look of the files with the ND in full sun is gorgeous and no need for 1/16,000. Again, the Q offers a certain type of rendering as does the RX1RII. Each individual will choose based on their preferences, how it should be.

      • Hi Steve,

        In your Leica Q review you said, “….I feel the Q beats the Sony RX1 in many ways. Body style….manual focus the Q wins as it is just as joyful to Manual Focus as use Auto Focus. Manual Focus feels like true manual focus here. The other areas where the Q wins for me is color performance and “SNAP”! These Leica files just pop with a crispness and bite that give it that “WOW” factor….”

        So it’s safe to assume you would still prefer the manual focusing, body style, and color rendition of the Q because all those features are unchanged on the RX1R2. Hopefully the Q is delivered to you soon so that you are reminded of how equally matched these 2 cameras actually are 🙂

        • The Manual Focus is just as good on the RX1RII as it is on the Q – in fact, a tad easier. With the new built in EVF (which is what helped make the Q a nicer MF experience over the old RX1) it is a joy and works just the same as the Q F implementation. Look through the EVF, turn the focus ring and the view magnifies just as it does in the Q. Except the Sony has a distance scale that pops up while using MF in your EVF. Color is changed from the RX1RII from the RX1 with the new sensor, so that has changed as well, and I love the Q JPEG color but when shooting RAW, the Sony wins for me. I have the Q and RX1R II here now, and just tried both (with MF) before writing this. Sony eeks out this one again.

          • Good to hear you received the Q. Yes once you get into manual focus mode the Sony works. Still a PIA how it resets the focusing point every time it shuts down. So it’s a challenge to quickly zone-focus. Not to mention the tiny knob in the front that switches between AF and MF modes, That is another horrible feature in terms of ergonomics. You may say that it only takes a second to switch, but these small things that aren’t intuitive with the Sony adds up when shooting on the street, making it a slower operating camera. The small size has it’s demerits as well, such as the cramped/weird control layout, horrible battery life, and handling. Besides, I carry my RX1R and Q in a Wotancraft Ryker, like yourself, so honestly the size difference doesn’t even matter. No one that I know has ever put this camera in their coat pocket. It’s like saying you could physically fit in the trunk of your car. Sure you can, but would you ride along like that?

  7. Hi Steve, I want to ask if you can please take some test shots of 50mm in smart teleconverter (crop) mode and compare it to a regular 50mm prime lens. Reason for this is if the crop mode is good enough I think I will purchase this as my go to travel camera. I want to see if the images in 50mm will warp portraits or if it gives a flatter look as a true 50mm can. Basically what I am trying to find out is in 50mm smart teleconverter mode, will the image just be a crop of the total 42mp or will the sensor itself somehow switch/shrink to aps-c sizen and it a true 50mm image. Thanks!

    • A 50mm crop is just that, a crop. It will NOT look like a 50mm lens, at all, as it is a crop of a 35mm. Smaller file, using only a part of the 35mm lens, etc. It will also have the Bokeh of a 35 not a 50. Also, can only use this mode in JPEG so most who own these cams never even use it. I do not.

    • My sentiments exactly, Keith! I’ve been lusting after a 1:1 image monster for years – at least one that doesn’t have the price tag of an S-Class. THIS is it! Can’t wait to make the purchase for the Sony RX1R II.

  8. I saw a comparison on youtube a bit ago which claimed to show comparisons between the A7Rii and the RX1Rii images, and in every case, the RX1Rii images were much more subdued and less saturated / less pop. Did you notice that in your tests?

    I found it very off-putting as I prefer images with very bold colors and a lot of pop vs the soft look of the samples on this video. By comparison, sample shots I’ve seen in Leica Q reviews seem really saturated and bold. Here’s the link for reference: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=61K_D4sAZXM

    • No, as I shoot RAW and there is no difference in image color or pop (depends on lens used on the A7RII) when shooting RAW. Shoot JPEG and the presets come into play. My tests show same color signature as the A7RII, with a teeny bit more detail, but not even noticeable in prints or online images which shows how amazing the RX1RII is. It’s like a coat pocket A7RII, all in one. Compact powerhouse. Again, images from the A7RII and RX1RII should always be shot in RAW, and when you do you will see the quality in both cameras. The A7RII does not have bolder color or more pop, unless you slap on a Noctilux of course.

      • that’s good to hear. not sure what caused the results shown in that video, but apparently it is nothing to worry about.

  9. Looking forward to the comparison. Yes, it still matters. Others will review each camera separately. What makes a review interesting is how something compares to something else as a separate point of reverence and vice versa. So, stick to the comparison. Many are still interested in the Q. It has zero negative comments apart from the “fixed 28mm lens, versus 35mm. I’ve seen the 35mm frame lines inside of the 28mm lines and the difference is quite small. The advantage is that you can see what’s just outside the 35mm perspective, and the DNG file will allow to shift the crop if desired. More flexible than a 35 or 50. I got stuck in the main “square” in Amsterdam with only a 50mm lens and I had to back all the way out down one street to capture the scene properly. Your “the Q feels NOTHING like an M in the hand,” is obviously correct, but when I lend the Q it felt exactly like my sorely missed Leica M6. In fact the Q will fit inside the M6 Luigi leather case. But even the Q leaves one’s little finger dangling; that would be even worse (better to some?) than the smaller Sony camera you will compare it to. Yes, I’m biased. The M6 was my all time favorite camera, just waiting to be reincarnated in 2015 in the form of a Q digital camera. And just the right weight too. I’m sure I would not mind owning both the Q and the RX1RII. Your comparison will help many of us who like a fixed lens cameras to decide which one to buy.

  10. Hi Steve!

    Long time fan, thanks for your reviews! Does the RX1R MKII have the same eye focus function as the A7R II? If that’s the case I’m sold!

  11. Yeah, compare all the pixels to death and spend all your money for these overpriced toys! Think about your lifes, dudes…

    • Who is to say people buying these are spending “all” their money ? Maybe its as much a disposable income purchase to some folks as just spending $5 for lunch is no another ?

    • I think it’s safe to say that most photographers that are considering this particular Sony camera are not overly concerned with the price. Especially it being a Mark II version. Calling this camera an “over priced toy” is just ridiculous and insulting to the technology and quality that one would recieved from the purchase of this fine piece of photography equipment.

      Just sayin’

  12. Looking forward! Also waiting for the review of the Slr Magic 50mm f/1.1, hope you’re aware of their announcement that the final production will be 20% sharper wide open at infinity.

  13. In a fixed (focal) length camera 35mm would be my choice over a 28mm, and this really seems to be an excellent camera.

  14. I want to step up from a Ricoh GR to a Sony RX1. The RX1R is now on sale for €1.700, the RX1RII will set me back € 3.500. Will it be worth the difference?

    • You gain: 30% faster AF, faster responsiveness and no more sluggishness, a better EVF than what is in the A7RII, 43MP sensor with gobs of detail. The old RX1R is gorgeous with IQ..gorgeous. Top 3 ever. But its slow in operation, AF and has a sluggish feel when compared to the new version. The old sensor is still fantastic in low or good light. If you do not want the EVF (can do external on the old one) or 42MP or the faster AF then Id say get the old one and save some money.

    • I had the original RX1 and now the new one. No regrets re: the upgrade. The first version was wonderful, but the faster auto-focus is a huge gain for me. And the new version seems to behave much better in low light. However, I mainly shoot street scenes and candid portraits. In these cases AF is important, and decent low-light ability is also key. Your typical shooting needs may be very different though.

  15. Hi Steve, could you please mention something about the original RX1R vs the new RX1RII in your review? Thanks!

    • Not sure what you want me to mention but feel free to read my RX1 and RX1R reviews 😉 The Mark II is basically an RX1R with an adjustable and defeat-able AA filter, a new EVF (which is very nice and bests the RII EVF slightly), no more flash (which this camera does NOT need), and the latest sensor tech allowing more resolution, better low light and the new Mark II has faster AF than the old version by what Sony says is 30%. The overall character of the IQ is the same as the RX1R Mark I, just more of it.

      • Hi Steve, sorry for not being clear. I am interested to learn if there are any IQ differences between the two. Reading your reply, it is the same. Thanks!

        • The Mark II will have 42MP, much more resolution. The color and character are very much in line with the old RX1. Speed is much improved from AFto response. No more sluggishness.

  16. Woof!! Stunning mono!

    I think it’s a great idea, holding the review. Everyone is going to want to know how it compares to:
    1) The Leica Q
    2) The RX1 (original)
    3) The A7R II with various 35mm lenses

    Looking forward to the review!

  17. I just received this beauty and in my very initial testing I’m very pleased: and I haven’t even used the EVF yet! Auto-focus and rendition seem wonderful. I also don’t really care about a detailed comparison with the Q. Looking forward to your more detailed thoughts about this camera.

  18. I am dying to read your RX1R II review, 7 – 10 Days seems like an eternity at this point! 😀
    Keep up the ‘spectacular’ work you got going on here, I always enjoy reading your reviews. Cheers!

    • We also love your “raw & real” video reviews too STEVE!

      You’re always “keep in’ it real!” I remember you doing a review on the Oly Em 5 and you lost the EVF’s eyecup! But no biggie, you reviewed/compared it anyways without the eye up on it! LOL!
      You rock Steve!

  19. For me I just want to see the video and write review of the AF speed, it’s the single most important thing, my current RX1R is amazing I love it, just let down a little with it’s slower AF, eg not so good for candid portraits and street photography but fine for composing and taking your time over a shot.

    • Its about 30% faster as Sony says 😉 Much more responsive though not a record setting speed demon. Its about the same speed as an A7RII with a 35mm attached. Slightly better IQ/Details but much much smaller than an A7 body and lens.

  20. I CAN wait to read it Steve!! I think it will be worth the wait. Interested to see how portraiture (eg your canine top model lol) looks in 50mm/75mm in-camera crop modes. Also the macro mode, too. Thanks for your dedication.

  21. I have to agree with one of the comment above. There are plenty of comparisons to the Q already and its pretty irrelevant for most people. Even though the RX1 is closer to 30mm they are quite different animals notwithstanding the different price point. Id love to see your RX1 review up now and append it later for the Q if you see fit too.. Thanks

  22. …….. and I did not feel like buying one to do a comparison! Well, with that statement, I already knew what I am going to buy! I am glad I hold out on the Q, even though it’s a RED DOT! LOL

  23. Hi Steve, can you explain how you post processed this 3 images? I sold all my A7II gear jumping to M240 3 months ago, I didn’t like A7II color, skintone or the images produced compare to the M240 files.
    Somehow I see your files of Sony series very good nothing like mine.

    • I just shoot RAW and do very very little in the conversion. No PP here. IN fact, the 2nd shot of Kurt is straight out of camera. Same color I get from the A7RII and close to the color from the normal A7II. The M 240 puts out much more red/magenta in comparison to the Sony, many hate the M skin tones due to the reddish and often times yellowish tones in the files. The Sony is not perfect either (no camera is but the closest I have seen is the new Leica SL for color) and offers a cooler rendering (the A7II) and the Rx1rII and new A7RII offer a more warm punchy look.

    • Same situation, I have a Leica m and a sony a7ii, the files of the a7 are okay, but they don’t really convince me. I like much more the files from the Leica, or a Nikon DF I also have. But when looking at Steves files its like it was coming the images from another camera, really nice results!

  24. Can’t wait to read this review… I have the rx100iii do u think supplementing it with rx1rii is better than a7rii? If I mainly want to take quality landscape, portrait and street photography? 都uthinkthe 35面膜餐cover all those categories? Thanks Steve!!

  25. The new Sony RX1RII is an exception and amazing digital camera. Its specifications rival that of the A7RII, yet the Ziess 35mm f2 lens is so finely tuned to this instrument’s sensor as it surpasses the A7RII’s image quality. If I were just a photo journalist this would be a near perfect camera. However, I need flexibility with lens to capture different scenes. My preference is to shoot photo journalism, architectural and landscape with the occasional portrait from time to time. The Sony RX1RII rivals Leica in build quality, I have been a believer in Sony for years now, owning their F828, NEX 7 and A7R cameras. Prior to that my cameras were all Nikon F, F2 and F2As. If my pockets were deep I would own both the RX1RII and the A7RII. Maybe for Xmas if I am very very good Santa will deliver me the A7RII.

  26. Please don’t bother withholding the RX1 review for the Q comparison. There are plenty of reviews of the Q up and I already know 28mm is not for me. So please post the RX1 review and add an update for the Q comparison later.

        • Triple agreed.

          But I’d really like to see a comparison between the Mark 2 and the previous (current) RX1R. How does the IQ compare? Do the extra pixels really help? Do they make it harder to get tack sharp images handheld? etc. In other words, are the images noticeably better?

          I realize there are advantages to the tilt screen and built-in EVF (altho I wouldn’t be too upset about using an add-on version like the RX1/R has). But mostly I wonder if it’s worth the added cost (considering I can get a used RX1R for half the price of the Mark 2) just for the extra pixels. Or does the faster AF help enough to justify the newer version?

          • There is nothing hard about getting tack sharp images from the Mark II. It’s just more of the old RX1R but with an EVF, new sensor, faster AF and performance, more responsiveness, and the best Sensor Sony makes today. Same character to the images but more resolution, better low light performance, better usability with the EVF, etc. The old versions are still top of the heap IQ machines but will be more of a pain to get there vs the new Mark II.

  27. When the Leica X was out I bought it, then a second hand Sony RX1R came up at a very attractive price, I also got hold of the Sony. Within 1 week, I sold the Leica X.

    When the Q came out, I tried a few times in local Leica shop. Don’t really like the package as a whole. Was hoping Sony will release version 2 of the RX1R, and here it is. Can’t wait to get one as my only FF camera.

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