Sony RX10 II: Fastest Super Zoom in Town
Last week I was very fortunate to spend the entire week using the relatively new Sony RX10 Mk II super zoom / bridge camera. The RX10 II sports the worlds first “stacked” 20mp 1” BSI (back side illuminated) CMOS sensor, whose design confers some impressive ultra fast shooting capacities (i.e. 40X Slow-Mo capture, 4K video and 14fps).
Other core features includes, an impressive Carl Zeiss Vario Sonnar 24-200mm f2.8 (equivalent) zoom lens, a highly resolute 2.36 million EFV (with eye sensor), a top plate LCD screen, Wi-Fi, NFC, 3 “ tilting screen ( not fully articulated or with touch capacity), built in flash, a new electronic shutter (in additional to a mechanical one) allowing a top shutter speed of 1/32,000sec, built in ND filter (adds 3 stops), all wrapped up in a robust weather sealed body.
All in all the new RX10 II really wants for little, there are plenty of scene and picture style modes, HDR, Panoramic shooting, PSAM, RAW capture, you name it and the RX 10 II pretty much has it. In fact the RX10 II is undoubtedly the best equipped super zoom / bridge camera on the market, only the Panasonic FZ1000 comes close, but then you’ll pay for the privilege because the RX10 II is the most expensive bridge camera about and by some margin.
So does the presence of new stacked BSI sensor warrant the cost of the RX10 II? Well the answer is both yes and no, it all depends on whether you actually plan to use the raft of fast shooting modes or incorporate video into your work flow.What the 20mp sensor doesn’t deliver is superior image quality to the older 20mp sensor in the original RX10 or FZ1000 for that matter.Image quality is still excellent, top notch (highly detailed with noise creeping in around ISO1000) but overall it is definitely not superior to that produced by non stacked BSI 1” sensors.
Handling and ergonomics are very good the addition of an aperture ring is welcomed and as expected there plenty of scope to change metering, focus point, white balance, the lot. So to conclude the new RX100 Mk II is simply unrivalled and is currently the best super zoom / bridge camera on the market, all be it a rather expensive one.
Sony RX10 Mk II: Verdict:
Even “better” overall than the original RX10, the new sensor in the RX10 Mk II allows for some impressive but somewhat specialist modes which in truth most users probably won’t utilise anyway. Core capacity (i.e. image quality) is top notch, handling & ergonomics is spot on and as a high end all-in one versatile solution the RX10 II is without few peers. However it’s an expensive purchase and for the price I’d insist on a fully articulated touch screen for a start.
In things considered I’d save a fist full of £’s and opt for the Panasonic FZ1000 as image quality for the two cameras produce near identical image quality and the Panasonic offers a more expansive zoom range ( be it a “slower” lens overall). However if your into video, want to record slow-mo clips and need 14fps shooting capacity the Sony RX10 II is the camera for you, it’s the fastest, best performing and most expensive bridge camera in town.
Mark Baynham (February 2016)