Sony’s Palm-Size Cyber-shot RX1R II: 42.4MP Full-Frame Sensor, Optical Variable Low-Pass Filter

Sony’s Palm-Size Cyber-shot RX1R II: 42.4MP Full-Frame Sensor, Optical Variable Low-Pass Filter


San Diego, CA—Sony Electronics announced the latest addition to its Cyber-shot RX line of compact point-and-shoot cameras—the full-frame DSC-RX1R II. Joining the original RX1 and RX1R, the diminutive RX1R II delivers the highest picture quality of any Sony compact camera.

This is largely attributed to a 42.4 megapixel, back-illuminated, 35mm full-frame sensor that’s paired with a large aperture, fixed focal length Zeiss Sonnar T* 35mm f/2 lens. The lens has a macro shift ring for focusing on subjects as close as 14cm and a nine-blade aperture to produce smooth background defocus or bokeh. Also, unlike the focal plane shutter common to interchangeable-lens cameras, its fixed lens utilizes an in-lens shutter, allowing 1/2,000-sec flash synch speed and a significant reduction in overall body size.

“The new RX1R II offers a combination of size and performance that has never before been realized in the world of compact cameras,” said Neal Manowitz, vice president, Digital Imaging, Sony Electronics. “We’re giving imaging enthusiasts and professionals the opportunity to enjoy a camera with one of the most powerful combinations of sensor and lens in market today that can easily fit in the palm of your hand. It’s simply the latest example of the progressive innovation that Sony is bringing to the world of imaging.”

The camera’s Exmor R CMOS sensor is coupled with Sony’s latest Bionz X processing engine to achieve high image resolution and sensitivity settings from ISO 100–25,600, expandable to ISO 50–102,400 (still photos only) with wide dynamic range. The sensor is said to output data 3.5x faster than the original RX1R. And uncompressed 14-bit RAW image capture is provided to maximize the benefits of the sensor’s wide dynamic range, while supporting existing compressed format.

For videophiles, the camera is said to deliver “exceptionally detailed movies with low levels of noise.” Full HD 1,920×1,080 video can be recorded at 60p, 30p or 24p in the XAVC S format.

Notably, the RX1R II is equipped with the “world’s first optical, variable low-pass filter,” which allows shooters to manually adjust the balance of image resolution and presence of moiré or color artifacts. Settings for the low-pass filter include “off,” which provides comparable effects to having no low-pass filter and prioritizes resolution; “standard,” which strikes a balance between resolution and removal of moiré and color artifacts; and “high,” which places more emphasis on reducing moiré and artifacting. Low-pass filter bracketing is also available and can be used to compare the effects of different settings.

In addition, the RX1R II is the first in Sony’s RX line to utilize Fast Hybrid AF. The camera’s sensor has 399 focal-plane phase-detection autofocus points that cover about 45% of the image area, said to be “the world’s widest AF coverage on a full-frame sensor.” They work with 25 contrast AF points to achieve focus response that’s 30% faster than the original model. And, an advanced motion-detection algorithm was developed to offer improved tracking performance of moving subjects and allow for an AF-C mode that accurately tracks a subject after focusing. The camera also can achieve 5-frames-per-sec continuous shooting with AF tracking. Other AF improvements include wide, center and flexible spot and expand flexible spot AF area settings, as well as Eye AF and lock-on AF.

Rounding out the performance features, a retractable XGA OLED viewfinder for eye-level shooting is integrated with minimal change in body size. The 2.4-million-dot OLED Tru-Finder pops up and down with one-push operation. With Zeiss T* coating, it has four glass elements, including two aspherical lenses that work to deliver a 0.74x magnification and minimal distortion. The viewfinder is complemented by a 3-inch WhiteMagic 1.2-million-dot LCD monitor that tilts up 109º and down to 41º, allowing for a range of shooting angles.

For sharing, the RX1R II is Wi-Fi and NFC compatible and functions with Sony’s PlayMemories Mobile app as well as Sony’s range of PlayMemories Camera apps. Version 4.0 of its Smart Remote Control app, which enables remote shooting from a connected smartphone, soon will be released. It also provides updated bulb and continuous shooting functionality to match the new camera.

Sony’s Cyber-shot RX1R II (model DSC-RX1RM2) will be available in November for $3,300.