Published on June 27, 2013 7:10 AM

Sony Updates Excellent RX100 Expert Compact With RX100 Mark 2

Mark 2 version gets backlit 1" sensor

Almost a year to the day after launching the RX100, Sony has unveiled the RX100 Mark 2 (RX100 II), a new model to add to the firm's line of 1" sensor-clad expert compacts. This Mark 2 version gets a vertical-tilt LCD, Wi-Fi connectivity, an accessories hot-shoe and a new 20-Megapixel BSI sensor.

We were blown away by Sony's RX100. It's safe to say that this high-end expert compact took the market by storm with its impressive spec sheet. For starters, the camera's 1" sensor (13.2 x 8.8 mm) is considerably bigger than those seen in competitor models, but the RX100 also boasts an extremely compact design, a versatile 28-100 mm f/1.8-4.9 stabilised zoom lens, a 3" screen with 1,228,000 dots (VGA resolution) and a 1080p video mode at 50 fps.

Presented as a revised version of the original RX100, the RX100 II brings several new features to the table, including a 1" 20-Megapixel sensor with BSI technology. BSI—or backlit—sensors have a different structure to standard CMOS sensors, which helps them capture light more effectively. The new sensor should therefore reduce noise at high ISO settings. That certainly sounds promising, but only a trip into our test lab can confirm that for sure. Sony is also promising a speedier autofocus in low light thanks to the new sensor—something else we'll bee keen to check out in practice. Note too that the ISO range has been extended, now running from 100 to 12,800 ISO.

On top of that, the RX100 Mark 2 has been treated to a tilt LCD, something we really missed in the original RX100. Otherwise, the RGBW screen keeps its 1,288,000 dots and VGA resolution (640 x 480 x 4). The only remaining downside is that there are still no touch-controls, which is a shame, as these are always handy for quickly choosing a focus area.

Sony RX100M2 dos

Some users were disappointed to see that the original RX100 had no accessories hot-shoe, but Sony has put that right in this updated model. And the firm hasn't done things by halves, treating the RX100 II to a multi-interface accessories shoe that can be used with a stereo mic, an electronic viewfinder, a monitor or even an XLR block.

Connectivity is on the cards for this Mark 2 model too, with added Wi-Fi and NFC. Wi-Fi can be used to send photos quickly and easily to a smartphone or tablet via Sony's PlayMemories app. This app even lets you control the camera remotely, mirroring the camera display on your mobile phone screen. NFC can be used to set up the wireless connection by tapping the RX100 II against an NFC smartphone or tablet. It really is that simple .. so long as your mobile is compatible.

In the end, the RX100 II is a pretty major update of Sony's original RX100. Some people may still be disappointed that there's no USB 3 connection, no GPS, no touchscreen and no neutral density filter (shutter speed limited to 1/2000 ths) but, on the whole, the new features on offer here are a step in the right direction for Sony's top-end expert compact. We can't wait to get our hands on one!

> Buyer's Guide: The Best Expert Compact Cameras
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