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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 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 June 5, 2014
I had the chance to test the RX100 Mark II agains the Canon G1X Mark II, and as soon I started using the RX100 Mark II, I understood why it's gained so much attention. It is a really nice little compact camera, with excellent image quality, faster AF and shot-to-shot speed than the G1X MKII.

The faster AF can be a bit deceiving though, since whenever it feels challenged by the scene it has to focus, instead of trying to lock focus on a small spot, it just increases the focus area by a huge amount and does a general large area focus, which isn't as precise, and you can end up with your intended focal area slightly out of focus.

I liked the menu design better than the G1X Mark II, with more tabs instead of extremely long scrolling list. The number of buttons and dials and customizability is very similar between the two cameras.

While the size of the RX100 Mark II is actually pocketable, like I already mentioned, I have no need or desire to pocket an electronic device -- I much rather use a shoulder-sling pouch. There are a lot of people who do want to pocket their electronic devices though, so its small size is one of its most attractive points.

The image quality on this little guy is so nice that it competes favorably against the G1X MKII. The images have less noise, but the difference isn't as meaningful to me since a little noise reduction evens results. You won't get the same level of DOF control though, and for some people, this is a deal breaker.

The other possible deal breaker is the lack of a touchscreen and touch-focus/shutter. The face-recognition helps a lot, but when it failed, I really wished it had touchscreen shooting. Again, the old focus and then recompose or moving the AF point around with physical controls just doesn't cut it anymore when we now have superior methods.

For those who don't care about the possible deal breakers of the RX100 Mark II, I would recommend it over the G1X Mark II.

(And now that RX100 Mark III is out, it's an even better camera than Mark II, with a built-in EVF. But unfortunately still no touchscreen shooting, and it's still an 1" sensor.)

If you want to read my review of the G1X Mark II, it's here:
http://www.amazon.com/review/R1H83DLB5CIXDE/ref=cm_aya_cmt?ie=UTF8&ASIN=B00I58M1VK

BTW, I ended up choosing the Olympus OM-D E-M1 over the RX100 Mark II and G1X Mark II. You can read about why I made that decision in the E-M1 review I wrote:
http://www.amazon.com/review/R2KADWQS2KXJU2/ref=cm_aya_cmt?ie=UTF8&ASIN=B00EQ07PG2
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on April 4, 2016
The camera is very nice, portable and shoots very nice photos. RAW photos are not quite up to the standards to the bigger brothers of the ILC or DSLRs. The RAW colors are little wonky in comparison but not not objectionable and nothing that a good photo editor can't fix. The real issue with the camera is battery drain. Even with the camera in airplane mode battery drain is excessive. The battery will go flat in 24 hour in standby mode even in airplane mode. This is good news for Amazon as I have stocked up on Wasabi X type batteries for the Cyber-shot. Keep the camera on charge when not in use and carry plenty of spares when shooting.

Update: this is the very first disappointing buy from Amazon Warehouse I have ever purchased. The micro usb connection was not working so I took it into a local shop. Estimated repair $312.00 for a new main board. Ouch! I should have know there was a problem when the package arrived with a big dent in the side. Worse yet, there was not enough packaging inside. I don't know if the warehouse inspected the item before shipping to make sure it was working or if the hard knocks had damaged the fragile USB port. I don't know if the damage has anything to do with the unit eating batteries. I had a work around of always having batteries on hand and on charge and putting the SD card directly into a reader as the USB plug was no-go. Don't know if this was Amazon or the shipper who was in error but I am a least out shipping to replace the unit, if I can even do that.
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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 May 26, 2014
I love this camera. I bought it to replace may Canon S120, which I also loved, but which I lost...my fault. Both of these cameras are reasonable DSLR replacements for those of you (you know who you are...over 30, want to have a camera everywhere, but not just for snapshots--for which your cell phone is fine--and money not a limiting factor) who have pictures you have taken framed and hung. For what it does well, it's amazing: extra high quality images under very tough shooting conditions, in terms of lighting, speed, visibility, etc.). I had gone the Canon SLR route 10+ years ago. Pocket cameras were a necessary evil, under some circumstances. The Canon S90 changed all that. I found it capable enough that I was increasingly leaving my Canon 40D + 50mm f.8 & tamron 18 - 270 + flash, tripod & bag at home even on vacation!

For me, the first priority became size...has to fit in my coat pocket. Second priority is it has to have full manual options. I just like to think I'm the one taking the pictures. Third is image quality...this camera is intended for the 8 X 10 prints and larger. Need to have Raw option. Fourth is lens capability. The 24 - 120 f1.8 -5.7 Canon is better in this respect than the 28 - 100 f1.8 -4.9, but with 20.2 mp, the "clear view" digital zoom to 200 is good enough for the limited cases when I want zoom snapshots. (IMHO, real photographers require a DSLR and a $$$ 300MM fast lens for zoom photography). Fifth "features" which for these types of cameras is ha highly subjective "market basket." including video capabilities, ISO range, camera modes, flash capability, etc. For me the RX II is far better equipped than the S120. It's flash is far superior to the s120, though a key reason to buy the camera is to minimize the use of flash. It's auto mode--it has two-- are really quite amazing and fun. The "intelligent" auto mode make easily handles extreme back-lighting situations.

Finally, I'm not oblivious to price and at $698 list there's a lot of competition and options, especially if you're not so hard over as I am on the size of the camera. The S120 at $400 (if you shop) is a good deal. Nikon J series (new J4) is about the same price, but changeable lens. The Panasonic DMC-LX7 and the Leica version of the camera the D-lux 6. are similarly capable and the lx7 is under $400. Complicating the decision is the new Sony RX 100 III, which changes the lens (24-70) adds an EVF and $100 to the price ($798). All-in-all, I'm happy where I am--but I know the march of technology and my absentmindedness only allow me 2-3yrs with what becomes a trusty friend

[Special notes: if you buy this camera, buy the sony screen protector ($10) at the same time and put it on immediately. If you don't, you WILL scratch the screen. Also, don't worry about the lack of an external charger. Buy the off brand package with 2 batteries and a charger for under $20. They are fine]
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on February 27, 2016
Got this for three tour stops on Billy Idol's most recent US tour. Takes great photos in low lighting.
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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 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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Enthusiast: Photographyon January 19, 2014
I'm very happy with the picture quality. And the wifi and NFC work as they are suppose to when transferring pictures to my smartphone, the samsung galaxy s4, when using the sony play memories app. I did, however, have trouble when using a 64gb Sandisk card. Photos would not transfer unless I used a card no bigger than 32gb. Than I had no trouble transferring.

The accessory hand/finger grip Sony sells, when placed on the camera, will not fit in Sonys black camera case (Sony LCJRXC/B Jacket case for DSC-RX100 series (Black). So I'm looking for some kind of suitable case to carry the camera in now that I have the hand/finger grip attached.

I bought the OP/TECH USA 3401002 Compact Sling for Cameras (Black), as well as the OP/TECH USA Cam Strap - QD (Black). Which I believe are perfect for using with this camera. The across-the-body sling, and the wrist strap, each have the same quick disconnect attachment so you can easily and quickly change from one carry/shooting type to another. I highly recommend.
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