Sony Packs EVF and 42MP Full-Frame Sensor into the Compact RX1R II

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In an unexpected move, Sony has just announced the innovative Cyber-shot DSC-RX1R II Digital Camera, a super compact full-frame point-and-shoot with a fixed 35mm f/2 lens. The major improvement comes in the form of a new full-frame image sensor, a 42.4-megapixel Exmor R back-illuminated CMOS sensor with a lightning-fast 399-point phase-detect Fast Hybrid AF system, the same as found in the groundbreaking a7R II mirrorless camera. Also, the stills-oriented camera now has a retractable 0.39" 2.36M-dot electronic viewfinder with an impressive 0.74x magnification.

Another huge advantage of this model is the implementation of a world’s-first variable optical low-pass filter that allows you to take full advantage of the high-resolution sensor. This system works by applying voltage to a liquid crystal layer to determine the amount of filtration that is desired. It can be set to “Off,” which focuses on detail, “Hi,” which aims to eliminate moiré and aliasing, and “Standard,” which balances the two sides. This function can also be bracketed so users will find it easier to determine which mode is best for their specific situation.

Image quality sees a huge improvement, thanks to the pairing of the Exmor R sensor with the BIONZ X image processor. This setup allows for sensitivities ranging from ISO 50-102400 when in expanded mode. Also, this powers the autofocus system for tracking and locking on subjects during continuous shooting at up to 5 fps. Additionally, this camera will implement a 14-bit uncompressed raw format for extremely discerning and demanding photographers.

At the front of the camera is a beautiful Zeiss 35mm f/2 Sonnar T* lens, featuring three aspherical elements, including one advanced aspherical. The lens can also focus as close as 7.9" using a macro mode, and has a control ring for manual focus when desired, as well as a physical aperture dial. It utilizes a fast f/2 maximum aperture and 9-blade diaphragm for extensive control over depth of field with smooth out-of-focus elements.

The camera’s body and operation remain largely the same, with magnesium-alloy construction, a variety of dials and customization, and tactile lens control, though the 1,229k-dot LCD screen can now tilt upwards 109 degrees and downward 41 degrees for shooting at angles. Also, the retractable XGA OLED Tru-Finder sports a 4-element optical system with two molded glass aspherical elements and a Zeiss T* coating, ensuring what users see is crisp and vibrant.

Though this camera is heavily targeting stills shooters, video has not been left out. Users will have access to the high-bit rate 50 Mbps XAVC S format with Full HD 1080p video at up to 60 fps. Also, the camera features a 3.5mm stereo mic jack for acquiring high-quality audio during recording.

During use, a variety of brand-new features has been added, including support for 1:1 and 4:3 aspect ratios, in addition to the standard 3:2 and 16:9. These allow photographers to frame their shots more accurately and, thanks to the 42.4-megapixel sensor, the 1:1, 4:3, and 16:9 modes still maintain high resolutions of 28, 38, and 36 megapixels, respectively. Along with this, we see more familiar options like Bright Monitoring, USB power supply during use, ISO Auto Minimum Shutter Speed, advanced white balance control, and built-in Wi-Fi with NFC. The camera will also support Sony’s PlayMemories Camera Apps.

Image Sensor Full-frame (35.9 x 24.0mm) Exmor R BSI CMOS
Effective Pixels 42.4 MP
Total Pixels 43.6 MP
Maximum Resolution 7952 x 5304
Aspect Ratio 3:2, 16:9, 4:3, 1:1
Still Image File Format JPEG, RAW
Still Image Bit Depth 14-bit, uncompressed RAW option
Storage Media SD, SDHC, SDXC, Memory Stick Duo, Memory Stick PRO Duo, Memory Stick PRO-HG Duo
Card Slot 1 x SD/Memory Stick combo
Lens Type Carl Zeiss Sonnar T*
Focal Length (35mm Equivalent) 35mm
Optical Zoom None
Aperture Range f/2 to 22
Lens Construction 8 elements / 7 groups
Diaphragm Blades 9
Minimum Focusing Distance 7.9" / 20 cm
Image Stabilization Electronic (for video)
Viewfinder Type Retractable 0.39" / 1 cm 2.36M-dot XGA OLED EVF
Viewfinder Magnification 0.74x
Shutter Speed 1/4000 to 30 sec.
Drive Modes Single, continuous, speed priority continuous, self-timer, continuous bracketing, single bracketing, white balance bracketing, DRO bracketing, LPF bracketing
Top Continuous Shooting Rate 5 fps
Self-Timer 10 / 5 / 2 sec. for 3 or 5 consecutive shots
Exposure Metering System 1200-zone evaluative
Metering Method Multi Pattern, Center-Weighted, Spot
Exposure Modes AUTO, program, aperture priority, shutter speed priority, manual, memory recall, movie, panorama, scene selection
Exposure Compensation ±5 EV in 1/3 EV steps
ISO Sensitivity Auto, 100-25600 (Expandable to 50-102400)
Autofocus System Fast Hybrid AF
Number of Focus Points Phase-Detect: 399
Contrast-Detect: 25
Focus Modes Single-shot (AF-S), Continuous (AF-C), Direct Manual Focus (DMF), Manual (MF)
Built-In Flash No
Flash Modes Off, auto, fill-flash, slow sync, rear sync, wireless (with compliant flash)
External Flash Interface Multi Interface Shoe
White Balance Modes Auto, daylight, shade, cloudy, incandescent, fluorescent (warm white, cool white, day white, daylight), flash, C.Temp, filter, custom
Movie Recording XAVC S
1920 x 1080: 60p, 50p, 30p, 25p, 24p
1280 x 720: 120p, 100p
AVCHD
1920 x 1080: 60i, 50i, 60p, 50p, 24p, 25p
MP4
1920 x 1080: 60p, 50p, 30p, 25p
1280 x 720: 30p, 25p
File Format XAVC S, AVCHD, MP4
Audio Recording Yes, with video
Audio File Format XAVC S: Linear PCM 2 ch
AVCHD: Dolby Digital AC3 2 ch
MP$: MPEG-4 AAC-LC 2 ch
Maximum Recording Time 29 minutes
Monitor 3.0" / 7.5 cm 1,228k-dot tilting LCD screen
Interface 1 x Multi-Terminal / Micro-USB port
1 x Micro HDMI
1 x 3.5mm stereo mic jack
Wi-Fi Yes, with NFC
GPS No
Power Source 1 x NP-BX1 Li-Ion Battery Pack
Dimensions 4.5 x 2.6 x 2.8" / 113.3 x 65.4 x 72.0mm
Weight 1.1 lb / 507 g with batttery and card

 

27 Comments

I hope that this camera can live up to its specs. If Sony is commanding top $$ it better be  Rolls Royce of a camera.

This is the type of camera I have been hoping for. Small, easy to carry with great image quality and no more packing around pounds of equipment. I was really excited until reality set in and I saw the price!

I am starting to appreciate my 5D2 more and more.

All the commenters griping about the cost of this "point and shoot" have conveniently forgotten that the original RX1 was universally praised as a modern classic at a similar price point. For the extra $500, Sony is throwing in the kitchen sink with all of the new additions.

He comprado productos Sony toda mi vida. desde sus primeras filmadoras y primeros reproductores de video.

Y ahora me sorprendo mucho con la camara que acaban de anunciar me . gustaria mas informacion pues con otro profesioonal de la fotografia estamos pensando seriamente vender nuestro equipo para comprar las nuevas camas profesionales de Sony

 

Atentamente Roberto Perea Quintero

$3,299 for a fixed, non-zoom lens point & shoot? Even the original "prosumer" DSC-R1 offered a more-versatile 24-120mm zoom. Granted, there's no comparison in the technologies but, for this price, I'd buy the a7R II body.

How about this with a 28 f/2  sans the pop-up EVF, Variable Low-Pass Filter [just leave it OFF completely!], the silly Tilting LCD & WiFi NFC & price it at say, $1500?  

I love the pop-up EVF on the RX100 III.  The tilting LCD is also extremely useful.  But of the price is tied up in the sensor and the lens.  I enjoy the comments that say "fixed lens point-and-shoot for $3300" as much as I enjoy the "full-frame 43MP with a stellar lens thrown in that'll fit in your pocket" comments.  Both are true.  I'm surprised nobody picked on the continued lack of image stabilization for stills.  Of course, that's partly about compactness.  Some will argue that it's not so important for a 35mm lens, but it matters to me: it encroaches on the ISO/shutter-speed/f-number trade in low light, regardless.

 

 

How do I get some of whatever the folks at Sony are smoking to introduce a fixed lens point and shoot at $3300? Guess we know what the folks at Hasselblad will be using in their next point and shoot rollout.

I am so not convinced. $4,000 for a fixed lens P&S. Pass.

Yep, me too.

If I'm going to spend a lifetime savings on a camera, it will probably be the A7Rll, or maybe someday the A7Rlll, or else...

If I'm going to buy a point-and-shoot, it will likely be the RX100lll, or perhaps the RX100lV...

Impressive full-frame sensor format in a compact body.   Any information on real-world use for battery life, weather elements, etc.? Also, what ships with the camera at the SRP of $3299? (hood, molded full leather case (gilded gold I presume), lifetime warranty?)

Anonymous wrote:

Impressive full-frame sensor format in a compact body.   Any information on real-world use for battery life, weather elements, etc.? Also, what ships with the camera at the SRP of $3299? (hood, molded full leather case (gilded gold I presume), lifetime warranty?)

After reading all the features, wondering why it doesn't include exposure bracketing and a built-in ND function? 

Hello Doug,

As for real-world use of battery and weather resistance we will not have that information until the camera becomes available. Per Sony, the battery should provide about 200/220 shots (viewfinder/monitor) on a single charge. Or about 30-50 minutes of video shooting depending on setting.

As for includes information please see our product page here, which will have the most up-to-date informatoin.

And, the camera will have exposure bracketing with both continuous and single bracketing drive modes (as found in the spec sheet above), along with the LPF, white balance, and DRO bracketing modes. As for why this model does not have a built-in ND filter we do not have a direct answer from Sony, however this was something not seen on the previous RX1R and from my guess has to do with body size/weight, the full-frame sensor, and possible the integration of the variable optical low-pass filter. 

Thanks for reading!

That seems to be the case unfortunately.  No word that I've seen from Sony explaining the lack of a key feature like that.  They do include digital Steadyshot stabilization for video but nothing for stills. 

Mother of..they just laid the smack down with this camera.

Great--and it is really tempting.  I wonder if it will be weather proof.  

Hello, what cameras did you use to record this interview? 

 

Very good camera.. Looking forward to see something interesting from Canon in near future. Thank you for the review, guys!

Canon believes that interesting is over rated and will remain completely uninteresting for any and all future products or until further notice.

 

Not at 3,299.00.. You might as well have called it the Sony a7R II. Come on Sony ! Why?

Joe.  Point taken, but it is a grand cheaper than the Leica Q.    

Why?  Because it includes a $1000 lens, which the A7RII doesn't.  I'll admit, I'm more likely to go for the A7RII.

Thank you Allen, for keeping us aware of the latest innovations!