Photography / Features

Things We Love: Sony RX1R II Full-Frame Digital Camera


I quickly fell in love with the Sony RX1R II. It’s small, has a big heart, and can always be found by my side. What caught my eye with this camera was the gorgeous Zeiss Sonnar 35mm lens. I’ve always been partial to this focal length, having owned many varieties of it over the years, but this lens is even more special because it was designed solely for use in the full-frame RX1 series. This perfectly matched design ensures minimal size and maximum quality while still offering a fast f/2 aperture, and it means outstanding performance when paired with the phenomenal back-illuminated 42.4MP Exmor R sensor in the RX1R II.

42.4-Megapixel Back-Illuminated 35mm Full-Frame Exmor R CMOS Sensor

Taking this camera out is like putting a mini a7R II in my pocket—extreme resolution, along with a very capable 399-point AF system, and the ability to hit an astounding ISO 102400, all in the palm of my hand. On top of this, the RX1R II offers something that no one else has: a variable optical low-pass filter. This isn’t all that is crammed into the impressively small body. There is also a pop-up electronic viewfinder that makes for more natural composition and an almost Leica-rangefinder feel. Add a thumb grip and you have a solid setup.

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX1R II Digital Camera

A camera is more than just image quality; it must feel good in the hand and have smooth operation and controls. The RX1R II manages to pull this off remarkably well. The lens sports a solidly clicked aperture ring and smooth focusing ring, while the rear and top of the camera offer plenty of customizable dials and buttons for very personal setups. Finally, there is a heft from the magnesium-alloy build that reassures you that it is a great camera, and it makes me happy every time I pick it up.

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I'd get this in a heartbeat if I could justify spending $4000 on a fixed-lens camera

Hi Alvaro,

The price does make this a tough buy. Best bet is to look used, and if you can (like I did) unload some older gear.