Even though PhotoAgainstPhoto.com's main goal is comparing different cameras and lenses, this will be a review post. Yet it will be an extensive review and will also have some comparisons in it (especially with Sony Alpha A35) so hopefully I will be forgiven.
First a little foreword about Sony RX100 version 2 for whom who does not heard about it:
First model of RX100 was announced on June 2012. It caused a sensation in its release because it was the smallest camera with that big of a sensor at its announcement date. I made covers in any photography magazines, announced as world's best compact camera by a lot of sources (including EISA) and made a big sale in its class.
RX100 version 2 which is announced in June 2013 is very similar to RX100 1, both in its specs and also appearance. There are some differences though:
Differences between RX100 1 and RX100 2
- RX100 1 has a fixed screen but RX100 2's screen can tilt (just up and down, not sideways)
- RX100 1 is very slightly smaller and lighter than RX100 2 (RX100 213g., RX100 2 281g) but difference is negligible.
- Maximum ISO of RX100 1 is 6400, where RX100 2 can go up to 12800.
- RX100 has no flash port (for external flashes), RX100 2 has one. (It uses the new sony flash port which Sony started to use since Sony Alpha A58 and A99. Its not Minolta port like older sony cameras have)
- Rx100 2 has wi-fi and NFC support
- RX100 1 is using a normal CMOS sensor but RX100 2's sensor is back lighted CMOS (Please see sensor title below for more information on this)
- RX100 2 is 200 USD more expensive as of now. Please see recent prices from amazon below:
Let's examine certain aspects of Sony RX100 make 2:
SENSOR of RX100 2
We all know that most important spec in a camera that directly effects quality of photos is camera's sensor size.
Actually sensor size of RX100 is also the most sensational spec of this camera and it was why it caused such a thrill when announced. RX100 2 (and RX100 1 too) are very compact cameras in their dimensions. When you examine their size, you are likely to confuse them with regular cheap compacts which everybody has in their pocket. However Sony achieved to squeeze a PRETTY LARGE (1 inch) sensor into this compact size which were never done before.
Well its true that there are other small cameras which have big sensors. Some have even bigger sensors than RX100 2. For instance Nikon Coolpix A or Sony NEX's sensors bigger even though they are also small cameras. But they are also bigger than RX100. There is no other camera in the world which has RX100's dimensions and has a that size sensor in it which is what really about this camera.
Let me show sensor size to you in this picture:
As you can see in the chart, RX100 2's sensor is 7,5 times bigger than iphone 5 and 4 times bigger than Nikon P300 which is an advanced compact. Its sensor size matches the size of Nikon's mirrorless camera system Nikon J1 but with its lens Nikon J1 can barely fit in your jacket's pocket while you can slip RX100 2 in your t-shirt's pocket.
It should be pointed out that its "big sensor" should be big in comparison to a compact camera. RX100 2's sensor is still 3,1 times smaller than a APS-C sensor SLR/SLT Camera as you can see in the chart. Sony nex series (eg. nex 3, nex 5, nex6, nex7), Sony Alpha series (eg. sony alpha a35, a37, a58, a65, a77), or other aps-c brands like nikon d90, nikon d7100, canon 110d have still bigger sensors (and bigger sizes) than rx100. Yet RX100 2's sensor is pretty successful and even though its difficult to say its better than APS-C sensor cameras photo quality, it can surprisingly compete against them and sometimes even excel.
In my opinion one very important issue about RX100 2's sensor is its being backlight illuminated. In many RX100 2 reviews this is underrated but backlight illumated sensors are actually a big deal in low light photography. Sony claims it takes 40% more light against regular CMOS sensors and this is quite important for a camera. It should also be mentioned that RX100 2's 1 inch sensor is the largest back lighted CMOS sensor ever used in a camera. There is no other camera in the world that has a bigger back light illuminated sensor.
In photo quality lens should come right after sensor size so let's focus on RX100 2's lens a little bit. RX100 2 has the exact lens RX100 1 is using. Its Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T* 1.8 – 4.9. Its. focal length is equivalent to 28mm-100mm in full frame cameras (Eg. Sony A99, Nikon D600-D800). It is equal to 18mm-66mm in APS-C sensor cameras. (Eg. Sony A38, A58, A77, Nikon D7000). Therefore the angle of view you get with Sony Rx100 2 is nearly identical to what you get with Sony Alpha A77 with 18-70 kit lens.
RX100 2's lens has 1.8 aperture in its widest focal length (18mm APS-C equivalent). In tele (66mm APS-C equivalent), it climbs up to 4.9.Smallest aperture in RX100 2 is F11. You can't go above F11 since lens and sensor is pretty small in comparison to SLR cameras.
As in all compact cameras, RX100 2's depth of field is more wider than SLR cameras. So stucking on F11 is not a problem as far as depth of field is concerned. Between F8 and F11 you get a lot of depth of field (more than F16 in a SLR camera) so landcape photography is no problem.
Yet maximum F11 aperture can be a little problem when you take photos under very bright light, especially if you consider camera's maximum shutter speed is limited to 1/2000. Unlike most cameras, RX100 2's default ISO is 160 so F11 + ISO 160 + 1/2000 maximum shutter speed combination can sometimes make the scene overexposed if there is a lot of light. Most new cameras in that class (eg. Nikon P330) provides a software based ND filter (which automatically drop exposure inside camera) for such scenarios but unfortunately Sony RX100 2 does not have this feature. There is not much you can do with RX100 2 in these conditions except you can lower ISO down to 100 and save another 2/3 stop of light.
Considering the lens is Carl Zeiss, I think there is not need to say its "sharp" but just in case here you go: Its sharp! Lens is sharp even in its largest aperture F1.8. It retains its sharpness between F1.8 to F4. When you go up to F5.6 to F6.3 sharpness makes its peak and this aperture range lens's sweet spot. When you go up to F8, there is a slight sharpness lose but it will be insignificant to many. Yet in F11 sharpness lose is more.
When it comes to lens's center sharpness, RX100 2 embarrasses a SLR/SLT camera with a kit lens/mid class lens. Center sharpness of Sony RX100 2 can easily be considered better than Sony A35 alpha with Sony SAM 18-55 Kit lens, Tamron 18-200 lens or even Tamron 17-50 2.8 lens. You can find center sharpness test of Sony RX100 2, Sony SAM 18-55, Tamron 18-200 and Tamron 17-55 in this chart below: (Test environment: tripod, all lenses are set to 18mm, under same light conditions, steady shot off, 10 seconds delayed shutter, distance to focus is 3.10 meters, creative style "standard" with contrast 0, saturation 0, sharpness 0, white balance Auto, manual focus with focus peaking. If result is not sharp enough, a few other shots taken with new focus just to make sure focus is correct. All samples are taken with 100% crop (1:1) with no post production. The reason RX100 2 samples are bigger is because RX100 takes photos in 20Mp, while Sony A35 is 16 Mp. To not to process and effect the results, no resize has been made and they are copied to the chart as they are. Also the tint difference is due to camera's own interpretation of auto white balance.)
By the way irrelevant but in the test you can also see the poor performance of Sony SAM 18-55 kit lens especially in comparison to remarkable performance of Tamron 18-200 against the common belief of "wide range lenses can not be sharp enough". Well, they can as you see here, especially in comparison to kit lenses. As far as center sharpness is concerned Tamron 18-200 performs as well as Tamron 17-50 lens, except F3.5
What would happen if we compared RX100 2 with a higher level lens like Sony 16-50 2.8? I don't have this lens so I couldn't test it. I'd think that a higher performance lens can beat RX100 2 in center sharpness but still RX100 2's performance is surprisingly well regardless. It is beating a APS-C sensor camera with legendary Tamron 17-50 2.8 lens in center sharpness is remarkable nonetheless.
Even though its center sharpness performance is incredible, I can't say same for corner sharpness performance. It is known that every lens loses some sharpness and contrast in corners but in my opinion RX100 2's lenses sharpness lose is more than expected especially after its outshining center performance. Please see the chart and evaluate yourself:
I think that RX100 2 (and Tamron 18-200) fails in corner sharpness test. Tamron 17-50 is best in this test (except F2.8) and 18-55 kit lens is not bad as well.
But hopefully you'd also agree that center sharpness is the primary issue in a lens performance so I think we are safe to say that RX100 2's Carl Zeiss lens is very successful in producing crisp and very sharp photos and more importantly even very sharp at F1.8.
In my tests I also found RX100 2's lens quite successful regarding chromatic aberration. I made a lot of reverse light shots but chromatic aberration is hardly ever a problem. Tamron 17-50 is also a quite successful lens in this regard but in my opinion Rx100 2 is better than that lens on CA.
While we are discussing the lens, I should also mention that RX100 2 is not a ideal camera for portrait photography. As you know defocused (blurred) background is expected in portrait photography and RX100 2's can't kill the background enough in 18mm with F1.8. And when you zoom to 50-60mm, the aperture rises to F4.9 which is again unwanted in portrait shots. So if this is a concern to you, RX100 2 (along with many other compacts, maybe with the exception of powerzooms) might not be your selection.
ISO & HIGH ISO PERFORMANCE OF SONY RX100 2
If you are familiar with Sony cameras, I think you'll also agree that high ISO performance is not something sony cameras' excel. Well let's say, this was so until RX100 2! Sony RX100 2's high ISO performance is VERY GOOD and more importantly better than many Sony Alpha Cameras like A35. I really don't know how come a compact camera has a better ISO performance than a camera with APS-C sensor but well, RX100 2 does!
RX100 2's first advantage in ISO is its lowest ISO's being 160 (unlike traditional ISO 100). You can still lower as low as ISO 100 if you need to but its default ISO is 160. This is different than RX100 1 whose default ISO was 100. I think having a 160 ISO is somehow related to backlight illuminated sensor technology because nearly all cameras with back lighted CMOS I used until today had ISO 160 as their default (eg. Nikon P300, Nikon P310, Nikon P330 etc.). But this is actually a very good thing because when your camera's lowest ISO is 160, instead of 100, you automatically gain 60% better shutter speed which is 2/3 stop advantage in low light shots.
With RX100 2's F1.8 aperture in 18mm (and very sharp F1.8 I might add), you gain another 2/3 stop for many APS-C camera lenses like Tamron 17-50 2.8 and 2 full stops for many APS-C camera kit lenses (eg. Sony SAM 18-55). Sony when sun goes down, many APS-C sensor SRL/SLT cameras like Sony Alpha A35 start climbing the ISO 500-640, RX100 2 still shoots with its lowest ISO with zero noise. When light drops more and RX100 2 also start climbing its ISO, its photo quality is still REMARKABLY high.
In starter level alpha cameras like Sony Alpha A35, high ISO setting has 2 options: Clean / Don't clean. In higher level alpha cameras like A77, Sony has 3 options for high ISO setting like none, low, high. Most alpha users usually set this option to "high" but still they usually complain about Sony camera's ISO performance (maybe with the exception of A57 users, which apparently has the best high ISO performance in crop sensor Sony alpha cameras). In RX100 2, high iso performance setting is as "low", "normal" and "high". In my tests, I always used "normal" setting and I'm amazed by its ISO performance in this configuration. Do you lose some details in noise clean up of the camera? Well of course! But regardless many details are still kept which is what really matters. Sony RX100 2's high ISO performance is MUCH better than Sony alpha A35 which is very surprising regarding their sensor sizes. Here are the samples:
(You can download full sized samples here: http://yadi.sk/d/ziGgrWOwFHU4W )
While we are discussing the ISO performance, I like to mention that I can take shutter speeds as low as 1/25, 1/20 in RX100 2 at 18mm, ISO 160 (default), steady shot on, no flash, hand held. Camera suggests 1/30 shutter speed in hand held and after that, it wants to raise the ISO. But you are likely to take clean shots in 1/25 and 1/20 hand held if you are careful, unless you have too shaky hands. You can even have a %50 chance of getting a sharp image in 1/15 shutter speed but 50% is not high enough so I limit it to 1:20. Unfortunately there is no option to tell RX100 2, to not to raise ISO in a certain shutter speed, frankly I miss that setting which are available in many new cameras. Also as a Nikon P300 user, I can also say that Nikon P300/P330is much better in this regard because you can easily take hand held photos at 1/8 shutter speed in Nikon but its P300/P330 that is an exceptional camera in this issue, RX100 2's 1/20-1/30 shutter speed is normal. Even though RX200 2 has 2 stop disadvantage in low light in comparison to Nikon P330, its still a better camera and produces better results due to its bigger sensor and better ISO performance.
RX100 2 ISO samples
RX100 2, ISO 6400, F1.8, 1/200 S, hand held, no flash
RX100 2, ISO 1250, F1.8, 1/30 s, hand held, no flash:
RX100 2, ISO 250, 1/30s, F1.8, EV -1, hand held:
RX100 2, ISO 1000, F3.5, 1/30, hand held:
RX100 2, ISO 3200, 1/20 s. F4.9, hand held, crop:
(You can download full size pictures of these samples here: http://yadi.sk/d/ziGgrWOwFHU4W)
Creative Style and White Balance of Sony Rx100 2
Rx100 2 keeps the exact creative style menu which Sony alpha cameras have: Standard, Vivid, Landscape, Portrait, Sunset, Black&White options are available. You can set contrast, saturation, sharpness in between -3 to +3 for each option independently (again just like in alpha cameras)
White balance options of RX100 2 is more than Sony Alpha A35: In addition to all white balance options of A35, RX100 2 also has an additional florescence option. In alpha 35 you set the power of each WB option within 0-3 scale but RX100 2 allows you to set it in a 15×15 large color chart .
Color is matter of taste so undebatable. However my probably only personal criticism for RX100 2 is its way of rendering the colors. First I should admit that its auto white balance is pretty successful. Camera detects the correct color cast under many conditions and capable of producing "natural" colored photographs. I can even tell its auto white balance is more successful than manual white balance options. For instance if its cloudy, you are still likely to take a better photo in auto-white balance option, rather than setting white balance to cloudy. Therefore its safe to say that, you can simply set RX100 2's white balance to "auto", leave it there forever and forget that option altogether.
However as a long time A35 user who likes to take colorful atmospheric photographs by playing with white balance option, I should say that RX100 2's sticking to natural colors so adamantly and refusing to change color rendition regardless of how much I played with its white balance and creative style setting disappointed me a lot. For instance I worked very hard to get the A35's blue tone of sky in daylight whitebalance but whatever creative style and white balance option I did in RX100, it never even come close to the tone A35 renders. It may a personal thing and it can be highly related to my being a long time A35 user so you probably wouldn't even matter what I'm talking about here if you own a RX100 2 camera but I still felt obligated to mention this critisim of mine about RX100 2.
Yet here is a sample photo of what I mean in case you are interested in white balance customization as much as I do: In both cameras creative style is set to "landscape", white balance is set to "daylight" and contrast 0, saturation 0. Left photo is from Sony RX100 2, Right photo is from Sony A35. Its a matter of taste but I'm sure you see the different render of the colors, especially the blue in sky. In my opinion alpha colors are much more punchy, while RX100 2's colors are weak in comparison.
Dynamic Range in Sony RX100 2
I never ever experienced any problems or limits in RX100 2’s dynamic range, IMO, its pretty successful in this area
In snapsort.com comparison, that websites claims that Sony A35 is 1/3 stop more successful than RX100 2 in dynamic range. (A35 12.7 EV, RX100 2 12.4 EV). I don't know how accurate their test is but my impression is that, RX100 2's backlight illuminated CMOS sensor helps it capture much more light than many cameras, including A35. Actually its also what Sony claims, they say RX100 is capable of acquiring 40% more light. I don't know about the percentage but in my tests, I also thought that RX100 2 is really strong in getting tonal differences and performing in dynamic range.
Backlit sensors are really excel in low light photography and when you take the same picture with 2 cameras with and without backlit sensor, you really see a big difference especially in shadow area details. RX100 2 is no exception. Here is a sample photo:
Camera settings (and especially exposure) are same but you can see RX100 2 captures much more detailed than A35 in dark areas.If image above is not full size in your browser, you can download it here:
You need full size photo to see the details and difference.
AUTO FOCUS in RX100 2
Unlike SLR/SLT cameras there is no mirror RX100 2, hence it uses contrast based auto focus system just like other compacts and mirrorless cameras. As you know contrast based auto focus is not as fast as phase detection autofocus. So you shouldn't expect AF speed in par with SLR/SLT machines. For instance A35 with its SLT technology definitely much faster than RX100 in focusing.
Yet in its own class, RX100 2 is not slow either. Unlike many contrast based compacts its low light focusing is also NOT bad. For instance in Nikon P300 my biggest complaint was getting focus in low light. Even though RX100 2 is worse than A35, its definitely better than Nikon P300 in this. There are still times it can't focus in low light but this happens much less than many other high level compacts.
I should also mention that RX100 has manual focus, focus peaking and focus magnification feature which are really handy. When you set the certain options, RX100 can make your point of view 7.5 times (or 15 times) bigger when you focus manually. This is really very useful when you are trying to pinpoint the sharpest focus. Like many other Sony cameras, it also has a feature of marking focus area with a special color in your live view which helps you to determine which part of the view took the focus. In a special shooting option, it even allows you take photos in which it first gets an autofocus and then while you keep pressing the shutter button, it allows you the tweak the taken focus manually. This is really very useful to take the correct focus in camera.
While contrast based focus is not as fast as SLR/SLT cameras, it has its merits: With RX100 2, you can take focus even from the very corner of your live view, unlike traditional SLR/SLT cameras which limits your focus points with very small points all distributed around center of the frame.
MACRO PHOTOGRAPHY With RX100 2:
RX100 2 is able to get close to your object up to 4-5 cm. So you get photos which are very close to 1:1 macro. Since its even sharp in F1.8, its macros are also successful.
However if you are traditional SLR/SLT user, you should remember that macro photography with Sony RX100 2 is a much different world than your accustomed SLR macro photography.
In SLR cameras, macro lenses are usually tele lenses like 60mm, 90mm or 180mm. The widest macro lenses are usually 30mm's which are generally not very preferred. Since macro lenses are tele, their area of focus also shrinks dramatically and in most macro shots, you have very limited depth of field where background is totally blurred even if you don't want to.
However in RX100 2, macro photography is only possible in its widest angle (18mm) so depth of field in this angle is automatically much wider as well. Hence in macro shots of RX100 2, you'll usually see the background pretty well and it will not be much as blurred as SLR macro shots even when you shoot at F1.8. So in macro shots of RX100's sharpness and photo quality is good but don't expect the point of view you got used to. You don't have it but you should expect shots as if you had a 18mm F1.8 1:1 macro lens. Here are some samples.
Rx100 2, ISO 160, F2.5, 1/320, WB: daylight, Creative Style: Vivid, hand held:
Full Size: http://yadi.sk/d/O_bA1Mp4FHWza
RX100 2, ISO 160, F6.3, 1/60, EV: +⅔, WB: daylight, Creative Style vivid, hand held:
RX100 2, ISO 160, 1/2000, F3.2, WB: daylight, creative style vivid, hand held:
SOME OTHER FEATURES OF RX100 2
- Its 20 Mp
- Has 3 inch 1200K LCD screen (no viewfinder)
- Can capture 1080p60 video
- Has digital horizon line
- There is no dedicated flash button. If you want to use manual/fill flash, you need to open the flash inside the menu which is not handy
- Fn works different than that of Sony alpha's. With FN button you open a speed menu which you can fully customize and assign upto 7 features you want to access fast. Its good but 7 is not enough and IMO, alpha's fn button is still better.
- It has 12 keys and 3 rings. One of the rings (the one on the lens) and 5 of the buttons are programmable. With 7 options you can assign to FN button you have 12 customizable and programmable options. This is enough for most options but its still bad that for all the other options you didn't (couldn't) assign, you have to go deep into the menu.
- It has 3 recordable memory option. You can set all options you want in the camera and then record this to the memory. Then you can recall it anytime fast from the dial button.
- Its capable of doing panorama shot. (automatically stitched)
- Its battery lasts around 300-350 shots
- No GPS
- It has an external flash port and its possible to use it for external viewfinder (which is TOO expensive around 450 USD)
- Shutter speed supports BULB (Only in S/M mode, its strangely limited to 8 seconds in A mode)
- No touch screen
- It has NFC (Near field communication) which allows you to use your other NFC devices (eg. cell phone) as remote shutter of RX100 2 as well as easily transfer your photos to your device by just touching them to each other.
- Has HDMI port
- Uses micro SD for data transfer and also charging.So unlike most Sony cameras it does not come with an dedicated external charger which you need to plug out battery and change separately. In RX100 2, you simply plug the camera to any micro USB charger and it charges (even from computer USB port when connected). There are people who are fans of external chargers but IMO this is much more handy, I don't even carry RX100 2 charger anymore, I can charge it anywhere from my android phone cable.
- Apart from its 3.6 optical zoom, it has a "crystal image zoom" feature which is something unknown. It sounds like digital zoom but its not because it also has an additional "digital zoom". I couldn't find any info about that feature anywhere including its manual. Yet in my tests, I am not satisfied from its photo quality so it does not require much of our attention.
- One criticism I can say for RX100 2 is its on/off speed. When its on, its a pretty fast camera with nice AF and menu speeds. However it does not turn on fast when you hit the ON button. You even sometimes wonder if you missed the button or not. And its turning off speed is worse. This is really one of the very few bad things in RX100 2.
- Apart from JPG, it can take photos in RAW and RAW+JPEG.
- DRO/HDR features we know from Sony alphas exists in the exact manner in RX100 2.
- It has steady shot (unlike nex cameras)
- Its capable of putting date to photos automatically. Not for pro users but amateurs who like to use it for vacation camera might appreciate the feature which is not very frequent in high end machines.
- Menu button and how it functions are exactly as in Sony alpha cameras. (I'd appreciate if FN button also worked same way)
Nikon P300 vs Sony RX100 2 Comparison
Well I plan to make a dedicated comparison for these two cameras but here is a brief comment for now: Sony RX100 2 excels Nikon P300 in every aspect. Its photo quality is remarkably better thanks to its bigger sensor. Nikon P330 is the newest version of P300 model and it has a slightly bigger sensor than P300 but still even P330 is not a match to Sony RX100 2.
Yet there is one advantage of P300-P330 over RX100 2: Nikon is capable of taking hand held in shutter speeds as slow as 1/8 and even 1/6. Sony RX100 2 cant go beyond 1/25 in hand held so in low light conditions where RX100 2 climbs to ISO 400, Nikon P300-P330 is still capable of producing photos in ISO 160 (default ISO). Yet RX100 2 produces very clean photos even in ISO400 so its ISO raise is not a handicap, its ISO 400 photo is still better in quality than Nikon P330's ISO 160 photo.
Don't take me wrong, I'm still a big fan (and proud owner) of Nikon P300 series. I used it a lot and fascinated by its low light performance. Even though I admit RX100 2 is much better than Nikon P300 series, you can still consider that Nikon compact if your budget is not very wide. Even though RX100 2 is better, it also has twice price tag which is not justified for many users.
So my suggestion is if budget is no concern, get RX100 2 as your low light performance prime compact camera. However if you can't afford it, you won't go wrong with Nikon P330 which is also an incredible machine.
Also please note that if your priority is low light hand held no flash photos, you should not consider RX100 1 as an option as it does not have backlit sensor. Even though its photo quality would still be better than Nikon P300 series, for low light photography I'd suggest you P330 over RX100 1. Bottom line when it comes to low light performance use that formula:
Sony RX100 2 > Nikon P330/P310/P300 > Sony RX100 1
Comparison of Sony RX100 2 vs Sony Alpha 35
Before this test, I was pretty sure RX100 2 would be no match to Sony alpha 35. Its just a small compact camera and its sensor is 3 times smaller than alpha. However after taking hundreds of photos with two cameras under same light conditions, I should now admit that RX100 2 mostly matches the quality of alpha A35. I can't say it excels, its sometimes behind, sometimes ahead and mostly in par so I can't now easily say Sony alpha A35 crashes RX100 2.
Of course RX100 2 is not actually a competition to Sony alpha series. Its lens is fixed, you can't use different type of lenses with it (like tele, ultrawide etc.), it does not allow you to enhance the camera with equipment like filters etc. so even though you have your RX100 2 in your pocket, you are very likely to need your SLR/SLT machine with you under many conditions. At least this is so for me.
However when you are shooting within kit lens range (18-55) and even when I shoot with a good lens like Tamron 17-50 2.8, I admit that RX100 nearly always produce as quality photos as alpha A35 and it might render it unnecessary in this range.
Despite this comment if you ask me whether you should buy a RX100 2 or sony alpha, I'd still suggest you to buy Alpha series if you are serious in photography. RX100 2 might compete with alpha in photo quality in its limited range but it does not have alpha's capability to improve the camera with difference equipment.
But if you are an amateur and you plan to buy a beginner level SLR/SLT with kit lens and intend to use it for years without enhancing it with new lenses etc., then I'd say buy RX100 2 instead and be done with it.
Here is some A35 – RX100 2 comparison photos. I link them so that you can see its full sizes:
Conclusion RX100 2 is super! Best compact of world slogan is not an advertisement trick, its probably true. Its likely that there is no other camera in that size which can produce better quality photos.
If we ignore the size, RX100 2 is still a "good camera". It can even competes with bigger SLR/SLT cameras in photo quality in many conditions. But when size is not a criteria, RX100 2 is also an expensive camera. So if are interested in quality of the camera but size is not important to you, you can fix as good (even better) cameras than RX100 2. But if you want a very small camera that can slip in your t-shirt pocket, RX100 2 is probably the best you can ever find.
Let me recap its advantages and disadvantages:
RX100 2 PROS:
-RX100 2 is very small but can produce photos in par with APS-C sensor cameras can
- Its photo quality, sharpness and high ISO performance is good (when we regard its size, its fantastic)
- It has F1.8 aperture and its very sharp even with it.
- It can do nearly everything Sony alpha SLT cameras can do except using new lenses and accessories.
RX100 2 CONS:
- Turn on/off speed is slow
- Its a little bit heavy in comparison to other compact cameras
- Its color rendition is weak and different than Sony alpha series
- Its an expensive camera (too expensive for a compact)
- Aperture is limited to F11, you lose sharpness above F8
- There is no built in software ND filter
- There is no GPS
- Its not a good camera for portrait photography
I suggest you to buy RX100 2 if
- You want a advanced compact to use with your main SLR/SLT camera
- You want a good camera to take low light hand held no flash interior daily photography (like parties, indoor meetings etc. (You can get it over SLR)
- You plan to buy a starter level SLR/SLT with kit lens and don't intend to buy new lenses in the future
- You want to have a quality advanced compact for travel photography
- You want the best compact camera
I do NOT suggest you to buy RX100 2 if
- You are full frame SLR/SLT user
- You want to have a single camera which you can improve in the future
- You used high quality APS-C cameras with expensive lenses and get used to this photo quality
- You will take too many portraits
- You need external flash, filters, ultrawide angle lenses, tele zoom lenses in your photography
- You don't want to spend SLR/SLT price tag to a compact camera
Full Size Sample Photos of Sony RX100 2
Rx100 2, ISO 160, 1/60, F5
Rx100 2, ISO 160, 1/50, F1.8
RX100 2, ISO 160, 1/40, F5.6
RX100 ISO 160, 1/40s, F8
RX100 ISO 160, 1/125, F4.9
For full size files, please download them from here:
There is also a RAW sample in there if you want to check its RAW quality.