Sony RX100 II review

Popular premium compact gets an upgrade

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Editor's Choice

The upgrades to the existing Sony RX100 are significant enough to warrant a new version of this very popular and well liked camera. It seems that Sony has been listening to existing users and the market when thinking about what to include on the latest version - and that's no bad thing.

We were excited to test out the Sony RX100 Mark II's new backlit sensor, and both our labs results and real-world samples indicate that Sony has made some significant improvements to the performance of the sensor, making it an incredibly useful camera to use in low light. While it can't compete with those cameras that have a larger sensor, such as the Fuji X100S or the Nikon Coolpix A, it is also much more pocket friendly, has a zoom lens and is cheaper.

Images are bright and crisp, packing plenty of detail and saturation without being overly vibrant. This is something we saw in the original Sony RX100, so we're pleased to see it continue here on the Sony RX100 Mark II.

Some of the problems we had with the original Sony RX100 haven't been addressed, such as the camera's inability to shoot digital filters in raw format, but this is a relatively minor complaint compared with the noticeable improvements that have been made.

While we're a little disappointed to still not have a touchscreen, the fact that it tilts up and down is a significant improvement that thankfully doesn't add too much bulk.

We're also pleased to see the addition of a hotshoe for adding accessories should you wish to do so. This is a premium compact camera without a viewfinder, like the Panasonic LF1 or Canon G15, but you could always add one at a later date if you found you were really missing one.

The addition of Wi-Fi and NFC is also a welcome one, all we need now is for phone and tablet manufacturers to start including NFC as standard (we're looking at you, Apple) and we can see this kind of technology becoming incredibly popular.

We liked

There's plenty to like about the Sony RX100 Mark II, from its small, pocketable size to its excellent image quality. We're most pleased about the improvement to low light performance, which is significantly better than its predecessor, thanks to that new backlit sensor.

We disliked

Putting aside our disappointment about there still not being a touchscreen, we're still a little bugged by the functions that can't be shot in raw format, leading to some pretty tedious menu diving. Still, if you predominantly shoot in JPEG only, this shouldn't be too much of an issue for you.

Final verdict

The biggest bugbear at the moment is the Sony RX100 Mark II's price, which will hopefully come down in due course. As it stands, it seems like a good idea for Sony to continue to market both versions of the camera at the same time, the original Sony RX100 available now for an excellent price for the feature set.

We tipped the original Sony RX100 as the best compact camera of its class available on the market today. That is, a premium compact camera with a smaller than APS-C sized sensor. With a raft of welcome improvements, it's fair to say that the Sony RX100 Mark II steals that crown now, making it incredibly worthy of your lust.

Tech Specs

Product TypeCompact Camera
Battery Size SupportedProprietary Battery Size
Maximum Video Resolution1920 x 1080
Wireless LANYes
Effective Camera Resolution20.2 Megapixel
Product FamilyCyber-shot R
HD Movie ModeYes
Memory Card SupportedMemory Stick Duo, Memory Stick PRO Duo, Memory Stick PRO High Speed Duo, Memory Stick PRO-HG Duo, Memory Stick Micro, Memory Stick Micro (M2), Secure Digital (SD) Card, Secure Digital Extended Capacity (SDXC), Secure Digital High Capacity (SDHC) Card, microSD Card, microSDHC Card, Eye-Fi Card
Image StabilizationOptical
Optical Zoom3.6x
Digital Zoom14x
Brand NameSony
FeaturesContinuous Shooting Mode, External Flash Shoe, Live View, Orientation Sensor, Face Detection, Smile Detection
Screen Size7.6 cm (3")
Video FormatsAVCHD, MPEG-4
Weight (Approximate)254 g
Image Sensor Size1" (13.20 mm x 8.80 mm)
Maximum Image Resolution5472 x 3648
Display Screen TypeLCD
Height58.1 mm
Width101.6 mm
Depth35.9 mm
Product SeriesR
Focal Length10.40 mm to 37.10 mm
Image FormatsJPEG, RAW
External FlashOptional
Focus ModesAuto, Manual
ManufacturerSony Corporation
Product ModelDSC-RX100M2
Product NameRX100 II Digital Compact Camera
Product LineCyber-shot
Exposure Control
  • Program AE
  • Aperture Priority AE
  • Shutter Priority AE
  • Manual
Aspect Ratio16:9
Manufacturer Part NumberDSCRX100M2CEH
Manufacturer Website Address
Marketing InformationEffortlessly clear shooting

The sun dipping below the horizon, an epic mountain peak view, capture it all with our Cyber-shot™ RX100 II. The new 1.0 type back-illuminated Exmor R® back illuminated CMOS sensor and F1.8 Carl Zeiss Vario Sonnar T* coating lens ensures bright, detail and low-noise photos.

Package Contents
  • RX100 II Digital Compact Camera
  • Rechargeable Battery Pack (NP-BX1)
  • AC Adaptor (AC-UB10/UB10B/UB10C/UB10D)
  • Micro USB Cable
  • Wrist Strap
  • Strap Adapter
  • Instruction Manual
  • Software Media
Limited Warranty1 Year