Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX1R II Review

February 23, 2016 | Amy Davies | |

Image Quality

All of the sample images in this review were taken using the 42 megapixel JPEG setting, which gives an average image size of around 12Mb.

Without doubt the most impressive thing about the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX1R II is the amount of detail its capable of resolving. Throughout the sensitivity range, detail is very fine, and that impression is maintained whether you're looking at images at normal printing sizes or at 100% on screen.

The variable OLPF allows you to switch the effects of using an anti-aliasing filter. It's pretty difficult to see much of a difference between images taken with it on or off, especially at normal printing sizes. At 100%, there's a little bit of a difference, which you may find particularly useful if you're shooting macro, want to crop your image, or are shooting something with particularly fine detail. Not having an anti-aliasing filter can result in moire patterning, but I didn't see any of this present in any shots taken with the OLPF set to “off”.

The amount of noise, or rather, the lack of noise, is impressive. You can shoot with confidence throughout the native sensitivity range and still make decent prints all the way up to 12800. In JPEG images, the camera automatically applies noise reduction - you can really see how much when you compare the corresponding raw images. It's not too heavy handed, but if you want ultimate control over detail then it's best to apply your own noise reduction in post production.

Sony has made the decision not to include any kind of optical image stabilisation for the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX1R II. This seems quite odd when you consider the huge resolution. It's difficult to shoot handheld at speeds slower than around 1/100th of a second and get something which is 100% sharp. If you can brace yourself then you may be able to get as slow as 1/50th, but for safeness you may want to stick to speeds of 1/125th or faster - or use a tripod if you're shooting a static subject.

In the majority of conditions, the RXR II's general purpose metering system creates well-exposed images, but you may have to deal in a little exposure compensation if you're photographing something particularly high in contrast. Similarly, automatic white balance is pretty good, but it can err on the side of too warm under artificial lighting - switching to Incandescent results in a more realistic look.

Noise

There are 14 ISO settings available on the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX1R II. Here are some 100% crops which show the noise levels for each ISO setting for both JPEG and Raw formats.

JPEG Raw

ISO 50 (100% Crop)

ISO 50 (100% Crop)

iso80.jpg iso50raw.jpg
   

ISO 64 (100% Crop)

ISO 64 (100% Crop)

iso64.jpg iso64raw.jpg
   

ISO 80 (100% Crop)

ISO 80 (100% Crop)

iso80.jpg iso80raw.jpg
   

ISO 100 (100% Crop)

ISO 100 (100% Crop)

iso100.jpg iso100raw.jpg
   

ISO 200 (100% Crop)

ISO 200 (100% Crop)

iso200.jpg iso200raw.jpg
   

ISO 400 (100% Crop)

ISO 400 (100% Crop)

iso400.jpg iso400raw.jpg
   

ISO 800 (100% Crop)

ISO 800 (100% Crop)

iso800.jpg iso800raw.jpg
   

ISO 1600 (100% Crop)

ISO 1600 (100% Crop)

iso1600.jpg iso1600raw.jpg
   

ISO 3200 (100% Crop)

ISO 3200 (100% Crop)

iso3200.jpg iso3200raw.jpg
   

ISO 6400 (100% Crop)

ISO 6400 (100% Crop)

iso6400.jpg iso6400raw.jpg
   

ISO 12800 (100% Crop)

ISO 12800 (100% Crop)

iso12800.jpg iso12800raw.jpg
   

ISO 25600 (100% Crop)

ISO 25600 (100% Crop)

iso25600.jpg iso25600raw.jpg
   

ISO 51200 (100% Crop)

ISO 51200 (100% Crop)

iso51200.jpg iso51200raw.jpg
   

ISO 102400 (100% Crop)

ISO 102400 (100% Crop)

iso102400.jpg iso102400raw.jpg
   

Sharpening

Here are two 100% crops which have been Saved as Web - Quality 50 in Photoshop. The right-hand image has had some sharpening applied in Photoshop. The out-of-the camera images are just a little soft and ideally benefit from some further sharpening in a program like Adobe Photoshop. Alternatively you can change the in-camera sharpening level.

Original (100% Crop)

Sharpened (100% Crop)

sharpen1.jpg sharpen1a.jpg
   
sharpen2.jpg sharpen2a.jpg

Chromatic Aberrations

The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX1R II handled chromatic aberrations very well during the review, with slight purple fringing present around the edges of objects in high-contrast situations, as shown in the examples below.

Chromatic Aberrations 1 (100% Crop)

Chromatic Aberrations 2 (100% Crop)

chromatic1.jpg chromatic2.jpg

Macro

The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX1R II allows you to focus on a subject that is 20cms away from the camera.

Macro

macro1.jpg

Night

The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX1R II's maximum shutter speed is 30 seconds in the Manual mode, which is great news if you're seriously interested in night photography. The shot below was taken using a shutter speed of 30 seconds at ISO 100.

Night

Night (100% Crop)

night1.jpg night1a.jpg

Creative Styles

There are 13 Creative Style preset effects that you can use to change the look of your images.

Vivid

Vivid

creativestylestandard.jpg creativestylevivid.jpg
   

Neutral

Clear

creativestyleneutral.jpg creativestyleclear.jpg
   

Deep

Light

creativestyledeep.jpg creativestylelight.jpg
   

Portrait

Landscape

creativestyleportrait.jpg creativestylelandscape.jpg
   

Sunset

Night Scene

creativestylesunset.jpg creativestylenight.jpg
   

Autumn Leaves

B/W

creativestyleautumnleaves.jpg creativestylebw.jpg
   

Sepia

 
creativestylesepiaJPEG.jpg  

Picture Effects

The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX1R II offers an extensive range of thirteen creative Picture Effects.

Off

Toy Camera

pictureeffectnone.jpg pictureeffecttoycamera.jpg
   

Pop Color

Posterization

pictureeffectpop.jpg pictureeffectposterize.jpg
   

Retro

Soft High-key

pictureeffectretro.jpg pictureeffectsofthighkey.jpg
   

Partial Color (Red)

High Contrast Mono

pictureeffectpartialcolourblackandwhite.jpg pictureeffecthighcontrastblackandwhite.jpg
   

Soft Focus

HDR Painting

pictureeffectsoft.jpg pictureeffectpainting.jpg
   

Rich-tone Mono

Miniature

pictureeffectrichtoneblackandwhite.jpg pictureeffectminiature.jpg
   

Watercolor

Illustration

pictureeffectwatercolour.jpg pictureeffectillustration.jpg