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Sony RX1R II: Is it Worth Upgrading from RX1/RX1R?

Get Sony RX1R II at B&H Photo. Strongly recommended: optional Sony LHP-1 lens hood (56% off today!) to protect the front of the lens (and as a secondary consideration, stray light) as well as at least three Sony NP-BX1 batteries.

In my review of the Sony RX1R II I cover what I see as the salient considerations in upgrading from the Sony RX1/RX1R, and alternatives plus practical considerations. This is not about specifications, but about cameras as tools.

Sony RX1R II: Thoughts vs RX1R: Worth Upgrading?

Sony RX1R II (left), RX1R (right)

M writes:

I have to confess that I renewed my subscription only for the RX1R II articles. I trust you for I think you are not a fanboy, you seem to give the right information to readers who pay for your work. I have a RX1R and wanted to move to the new version, I have to admit that I have no money to buy it, nor do I print, it was just the need to have it.

But where I am, the RX1R II is delayed ! The samples for our shop did not arrive until early December and Sony just said that we should receive them in February ! We asked the reason, but they wouldn’t say anything more ! They do not want to communicate on that matter, and we have customers who already have pre-ordered them!

I read your last thoughts for owners of the RX1R first generation and if the upgrade would be a nice move, and I admit that you saved my life today ;-)

I do not want to buy it anymore. I was annoyed by the lack of sensor stabilisation, and some other problems that you raised in your test, and for 3500€ it’s too much money for a camera which is far from perfection.

I tried the Sony A7RII yesterday along with a Loxia 21mm which comes directly from Zeiss Germany for us to show to our customers, but the files from the Sony do not excite me much either, nor the resolution. I tested recently a Medium Format camera from Phase One and I liked the files. I do not care about speed, fast focus etc… I have the Sigma DP1, Dp22 and DP3 Merrils and they are just fantastic! I do not care about batteries, slow cameras etc… as long as the image quality is there, and the Sigmas deliver !

My wish would be a Nikon D820(?) with the possibility to add an EVF, so I’ll gladly buy the Otus line. The other option would be for me to wait to the next Kina where Fujifilm will unveil a new Medium Format camera with a CMOS sensor of 50MP…

DIGLLOYD: there is a rumor that production is halted on the RX1R II. Sony did not respond to my inquiry on the matter, so I am inclined to assume it is true. It would not be surprising, given troublesome behaviors I found while reviewing it.

Hint to Nikon and Canon: add an EVF. Suggestion to Zeiss: push Nikon and Canon to get an EVF option to make manual focus lenses far more usable. Otherwise, the manual focus lens market will continue its decline because OVF is an unreliable joke for manual focus through the viewfinder.

I’m all for a medium format mirrorless camera—it’s about time. But I am also keen to see a sensor that is not crippled in color rendition by cutting off violet light at 420nm: recently I saw some images from a medium format digital back that were absolutely gorgeous overall, but what really caught my attention were deep violet flowers, which I doubt can be recorded by any DSLR or mirrorless camera. Also, my mountain shots with the Sony RX1R II in very blue light have long struck me as “wrong” somehow, as if clipped in color. It’s been nagging at me for a while; I think it is spectral cutoff. As evidence for this are intense violet flare spots under some conditions, caused by angle of incidence behaviors not accounted for in the lens design. Intense violet seems to be blocked by most sensors, hence forget about being able to photograph certain flowers.

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