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on August 1, 2013
As a professional photographer who mostly carries a 36 megapixel Nikon D800 SLR, I also needed a strong ultra-compact camera for those times when the big camera is just too much or I need to be inconspicuous in my shooting, and also for convenient personal/family use. For both uses, I find that the RX-100, Model 2 really exceeds all of my expectations.

Shortly after receiving it, I set up lab tests shooting the same objects at a range of ISO settings using 4 different cameras. I expected the Sony to surpass my older Canon compact, which it did easily. The surprise came when I compared the Sony images with my Nikon D7000 SLR, itself a very fine camera. The Sony RX100 M2 matched that fine camera at low ISO settings and surpassed it at ISO 1600 and above.

This little workhorse also has nearly all the settings one would seek as a serious photographer - 3-frame bracketing, manual white balance, focus and exposure control, aperture and shutter priority, 10fps rapid multiple shots, and more. Settings are complex, though and the manual confusing, So while it can behave as a point-and-shoot, this camera is best for someone having a good knowledge of sophisticated cameras.

I purchased mine with the optional, and rather expensive, electronic viewfinder that slides into the accessory shoe. It is a great viewfinder and I highly recommend this add-on for those of us who prefer an SLR-like way of holding a camera. And the electronic finder is really better than the usual optical, because you are seeing exactly what the sensor sees, and there is no mirror slap when you shoot.

I don't work much with video, but I conducted some tests of this capability anyway - full 1080 at 60P setting. I just went to dinner, set the camera on the edge of my table and recorded people coming and going. The results, even in the relatively dim restaurant lighting, easily exceed my 4-year-old $750 dedicated video camera. The RX200, Model 2 is a winner all around for those who are serious about image quality and features, need a pocketable camera and can afford to pay for these capabilities.
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on June 23, 2015
I would not recommend this camera. Type this into Google and read the forums " RX100 buzzing"
My camera started buzzing for no reason after a year, of course after the warranty ran out. I had it on a tripod taking pictures of dear on my deck when it started buzzing. People report this issue after a few days, few weeks, and in my case a year. Very unreliable and the camera has even been recalled in japan from what some people were saying.

Very disappointed in Sony. Waste of $650
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on December 28, 2015
My wife loves taking pictures so I decided to get her a really good camera for Christmas. Now I'm not one of those people who knows a lot about cameras so I can't speak to the technical specifications or anything like that. BUT I am one of those people who obsessively reads reviews and does tons of research before pulling the trigger so hopefully this review will help someone like that. Although if you are like me, you'll need more than one review to sway you. Anyway, here goes.

To begin my camera-hunting process, I outlined several criteria that the camera had to meet. I listed them below and explained why this particular camera ticked all of the boxes for me.

1.) Image quality has to be better than a smartphone. Otherwise, why get an additional camera? If the image quality were similar or even only slightly better than her iPhone, she'd end up using the iPhone. I guarantee it. So far this camera has delivered. The image quality is incredible. Super sharp, professional looking pictures. Wife loves it.

2.) Camera has to be small. Small enough to fit in a purse. She's not going to be one of those people who wears a giant DSLR around her neck. When we travel we walk around a lot, so a compact camera was key. This camera is a little thicker than a bar of soap. Perfect for throwing in a clutch, which is a purse you put inside another purse (or something). Wife loves it.

3.) Easy to use. I know my wife won't use it if it's overly complicated or frustrating. She's not a technophobe but she does get very frustrated when things aren't simple. So far this camera has been super simple to use. I mean it's a point and shoot. The auto-focus setting is easy and she's just starting to figure out all the other bells and whistles. All without ever cracking the manual. Wife loves it.

4.) WiFi. She likes to share pics on Instagram and Facebook so this was crucial. I originally ordered the RX100 but then returned it for this one. If WiFi isn't that important to you, stick with that one. We played around with it a little and the image quality is very similar. If it is important, go with this one. Side note: I thought you had to connect both the camera and the phone to your home WiFi to transfer pics but I was mistaken. There is WiFi IN THE CAMERA. So you connect your phone (or laptop or tablet) to the WiFi in the camera. This means you can transfer pics ANYWHERE. This may have been obvious to you but it was a pleasant surprise for me. Sharing is super easy and fast. Again, I wanted a camera that made sharing easy. A lot of the WiFi enabled cameras I looked at got poor reviews in that area. Not this one. Wife has been sharing like a champ. Needless to say, wife loves it.

So if you're looking for a camera that fits any or all of these criteria, go ahead and pull the trigger on this one. Or be like me and read a thousand more reviews first.
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on May 11, 2015
If you're an SLR or other large camera user looking for a compact camera, you may find this review helpful. My primary camera is a Canon 60D. I also used a Panasonic GX1 extensively as my carry-around camera, but I lost it a few months ago, and I decided to purchase this camera before heading on a long trip with my kids as I didn't feel like carrying the 60D.

Overall, this is a good little camera. If you value zoom capability and don't shoot extensively in low light you'll like this camera. If you prefer to shoot with a wide open prime lens or are very demanding when it comes to camera speed, this may not be the camera for you.

Observations:

1.) Image quality is very important to me. There are obviously quite a few factors that go into image quality, but it seems to me that sensor size is critical. Therefore, in my camera search, I only considered large sensor compacts. If you look at the dpreview of this camera, you'll see that the image quality is stellar. I looked at the closeup shots on dpreview and compared this camera to the 60D and the GX1 all the way up to very high ISO settings. This camera compares very well. It is not as good as the 60D but the difference is quite minor. When comparing this camera to the GX1, the difference in image quality is really minor.

2.) I prefer to shoot my interchangeable lens cameras with a prime lens, usually around 40 to 50 mm full frame equivalent. (For example, I have a 20 mm on my GX1 and a 35mm on my 60D.) This camera turns on at quite a wide angle - 28 mm full frame equivalent. This is significantly wider than I prefer to shoot at most of the time. At this zoom, you're at F1.8. However, if you zoom in to 43mm, you're already at F3.3. Having a large aperature is very important to me and was one of the appeals of this camera. However, F3.5 is really not all that great, and that's the aperature I'm getting where I like to shoot. In practice, I turn the camera off and on a lot and don't do a lot of zooming, so I'm basically getting used to shooting at a very wide angle most of the time. For me, the time to turn on the camera (or wake it up) and zoom the lens is just too long. The camera does not remember the previous zoom setting when you turn it on.

3.) In general, the camera is fast but not as fast as an SLR or my GX1. If you're used to a camera with a fixed lens (as opposed to one that telescopes in and out), you'll find it annoying waiting for this lens to go in and out of the camera. It's very handy how compact the camera is when the lens is retracted, but the camera is quite bulky with the lens out, and since there's no lens cap, I'm always worried about getting it dirty. When I first started using the camera, I found the image preview quite annoying. You can set the length of time the preview stays up, but the minimum time is 2 seconds. I found the camera felt faster when I disabled the image preview altogether.

4.) I love the video. Of the cameras I've used video on - Panasonic GF1 and GX1, the Canon Rebel T3i (I think), and the Canon 60d, this one seems by far the best in terms of useability. You can turn on video with a single press of a button. (Why oh why does the 60D not have this obvious feature?) The autofocusing is excellent, seamless, and quiet. The video may be my favorite feature of this camera so far.

5.) Dpreview really bashed this camera for the control wheel and general useability. Controllability is really important to me. I returned my Canon Rebel after a few weeks because it was driving me crazy after the Canon 20D. I love my Canon 60D by comparison. I chose a GX1 over the later GF models because I wanted to be able to quickly change the various settings without diving into menus. For me, after a little setup, this camera meets my needs. The wheel around the lens takes a little getting used, but overall, I like it a lot. I primarily shoot aperture priority these days, and I set the lens wheel for exposure compensation. I also have found the wheel on the back really easy to use. I was concerned setting ISO would be cumbersome, but using the Fn key, it's actually pretty trivial, as easy I think as changing it on my 60D. I think a dedicated ISO button would have made sense, but you can use the Fn key as a dedicated ISO key, and that works just as well.

6.) I debated between the RX100 and the RX100 ii. I chose this because of the claimed 40% improvement in image quality in low light. However, I have since read in dpreview that this may be a bit overstated, and in retrospect, I think perhaps I should have gone for the cheaper camera.

Overall, this camera is meeting my needs for this trip. If I could, I'd replace the zoom lens with an F1.8 fixed 50mm equivalent lens which would better meet my needs for photographing my kids the low light we have all too often in the Pacific Northwest. I don't see any other cameras screaming at me for this price that do better, so I'm on the fence whether to keep it or sell it. It's a good little camera without much if any competition at the same size and price.
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on April 15, 2017
Had a first generation that went swimming with me so it died. After some research I decided on this second generation (used/like new) and I am very happy with it, also. It's basically the same as a first generation but with some significant improvements. If you want the smallest camera you can get (fits in a pocket) with a larger then average size sensor this is it. Picture quality in the enlargements I make is very good. More advanced photographers will have be able to take advantage of the the settings this camera offers and get some great results. People who shot auto will still be happy but will not be able to take full advantage of what it can do. The newest generation (4th or 5th?) of this camera is a bit pricey - I noticed.
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on November 5, 2013
Ohhhh! what a nice camera short of a DSLR but much smaller, so I like much better. The MII has a tilt screen which is ok, but not a necessity, also the hot shoe is no big deal as the EVF is way too expensive. Don't care about the wifi & other connectivity, but you may. I am a point and shoot, (like 7,000 pics in Tikal) not a pro or amateur enthusiast. But this thing can probably do all sorts of things for either type of person.
A must is the Sony case as this thing is small, heavy, and slippery (and expensive to drop). Great pics and video. Much better than my previous, a Canon A640 with a tele & wide angle lens. And it took very good pics.
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on December 29, 2013
I love it, 1-star off cause:
-it's so damn expensive for a point & shoot... like seriously I could have gotten a NEX-6 for around the same price.
-it's not THAT small
-the LCD only tilts up and down and doesn't fully articulate
-hotshoe accessories are insanely expensive
-doesn't come with a viewfinder (like NEX6/7) but they sell one separately that's 400+ USD (crazy)

The reason why I got this thing is to be compact... I got this for when I go to sports events... since 9/11 they've gotten real tight with allowing ppl in arenas with "...professional looking cameras..." so if you have large-ish DSLR and try to get into MSG or TD Garden, depending on the security guard they may not let you in...

With this camera it's a non issue as it fits into my back jeans pocket... I'm 5'10" 230lbs... I'm not a small person but, just stop wearing skinny jeans and you'll be just fine. Also fits into coat pockets with ease.

Picture quality is great...I've never owned an DSLR so to me this is the best thing I've seen, and the pictures are huge...20.2MP like 5k.
1080P/60 video is great, and I was extremely surprised at how good the camera's mic is, it's very clear.

Low-light is mixed bag, but I attribute that to me learning how to take pictures and learning the camera...I find that I'd have to crank up the ISO to 3200 to have decently lit shots in the dark. Of course flash fixes this and you can shoot <ISO 800 but flash really changes the picture. Speak of the flash, its really cool how it hides then pops up out of no where...its fairly strong, doesn't blow-out pictures.

So that's it, I've been mostly shooting in aperture priority mode... with my ISO settings pre-set to 160-1600, I have to disable this at night or else the pics are too dark.

I think for the money you can buy a better camera (whether it be a DSLR or NEX6) with a bigger APS-C sensor but the benefit of this is...it can always be on you...you don't have to lug around 2 lens and a large camera body around your neck looking like a tourist.

bottom line: if you're looking for the best image quality in a small (pocketable) body, then buy this.
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on May 14, 2015
...and it is an awesome camera.

I actually had the original RX100, which either got stolen or recycled. Either way, I had to get a new one and the MII just came out. Me, my wife, and my preschooler are the main users of this camera. Preschooler you say? Yes, he likes to take pictures and for some reason I let him use this $750 (back then) camera despite it flying in the face of reason. This camera goes all over house, outside, purse, pitched around the car, dropped on the floor. It's tough. It's shows it's battlemarks on on the view screen and body, but the lens is pristine and the camera works flawlessly. So 5 stars for toughness.

Picture quality is superb mainly because SONY makes pretty good cameras and has experience writing the processing firmware coupled with an outsized sensor for the camera size. The sensor really is much bigger than other P&S and it allows much better indoor shots. With the compact and easy portability, it's often the first camera we pick up when take impromptu shots indoors or go on trips. If I know that I'm going somewhere for serious pictures, then I go for the 4/3 cameras that otherwise mostly sit around. Colors are good, sharpness is great. There is a little bit of the big-nose effect that is hard to avoid with small cameras like this.

Compared to the original version of this camera, it's really not that much better overall. If you can get a screaming good price on the MI, then I suggest going for that instead. Right now, the price difference as sold by Amazon is about $150. The newest MIII is around $200 more than this middle one.
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on August 27, 2013
Got the camera within 18hrs after ordering it. That was nice. I had a lot to learn to be able to get all I wanted out of it. Played around with it for 2 weeks. Then took it to a trip to Las Vegas, Zion and Bryce National Parks. Good movie quality. (Zoom was slow and exposure was a little tricky - in move mode only.) Surprised by how well soo many pictures came out. High Rez screen better than most. Lots of envy from everybody I showed pictures to. Very pocketable. Hiked with it in my cargo pockets. In the end it had scratches and wear all over the body and on the screen. Had to blow the grit out of the top knob. The action on the rotating ring on the back is not what it originally was as I used it soo much backing to review pics I had just taken. I was never silly enough to put this camera in my pocket with keys or coins. That is just stupid. In short I used it hard and still very pleased. I took some incredible pictures of the milky way out in the parks and away from lights. 1.8, 3200 ISO and 20 second exposure. Amazing. Good low light pics. Fast from off to picture taken. Missed almost nothing. Friends couldn't dodge me. Fast good Auto focus. The zoom really slows the exposure. Wish zoom was a more like 5X or 8X. Panorama function is a little tricky. HDR is good. I wish it had more knobs for adjustments. I'm not a fan of working through menus to do stuff. Pricy but only the very picky will be disappointed. But for the size very hard to beat.
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on February 22, 2015
This is the perfect camera for us. We were not looking for a professional camera, but with three kids we needed better memories than a cellphone camera can provide. We have had the camera for a year now and have taken hundreds of pictures and lots of movies- the camera still functions like its brand new. Sony is always a safe bet, but we have been extremely impressed. A few notes for the camera:
- It has lots of functions, so it pays to take an hour or so when its new to figure stuff out.
- We do not use most of the bells and whistles, but a camera "expert" friend is around he has helped usmake the most out of this camera's extensive features list.
- Highly recommend the Sony LCJRXC/B Jacket case- when its hot the camera can get slippery and the leather case gives a firm grip, as well as protecting.
- We love the two different Auto modes- one for simple shots and one more advanced. Practice with these.

Overall we are very happy with the purchase and we expect this camera to last another couple years before we have to move on. Money well spent!
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