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Sony RX1Rii Real World Review

Sony RX1Rii Real World Review

Why the Sony RX1Rii is the Perfect Everyday Camera For Me

Introduction
Last year at WPPI, fellow Artisan, Spencer Pablo showed me his RX1R. I wasn’t familiar with the camera. In fact, I had no idea that Sony produced it. I loved the features and the palm-sized form factor of the full frame RX1R: a fixed Carl Zeiss Sonnar T* 35mm f/2 Lens {with leaf shutter and a synch speed of 2000th of a second} 24.3MP. The drawback for me was that there was no built-in EVF.

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RX1Rii.tiff Why the RX1Rii Is the Right Camera for Me
Flashback to my last trip to NYC, I packed light, and brought along my a7s {a7s video here} and the FE 50mm f/1.8 ZA, for street photography. For me, I found the 50mm not wide enough. I knew I needed a wider lens. So when the RX1Rii came out I knew the camera was for me. Sony made some notable technological upgrades: They bumped the resolution from 24.3mp to 42.4pm; put in a really cool, built-in, pop-up, EVF; went from 25 focusing points to a whopping 399 phase-detect AF points; and ISO was increased from a maximum of 25600 to 102,400. I’m very comfortable photographing at 10,000 ISO on my RX1Rii when needed.

Pro Features Plus…In a Small Body
The RX1Rii comes with all the pro features you’ve come to expect in a pro-series camera….plus a few bonuses. Exposure modes include, TV it’s S on the Sony, AV, M, P, and Pano mode. Because there is no mirror…thus no vibration, image captures are simply sharper…period. A full range of bracketing controls. 3 self-timer modes 2 sec., 5 sec. and 10 sec. Wifi and NFC are built into the camera allowing quick transfer of images to any device with Wifi capabilities for sharing on social media or à la minute slide shows. Focus peaking for manual focus confirmation. 12 Creative styles such as Vivid for adding punch to captures, Landscape and Black and White mode. While it’s possible to capture in both RAW {only one size available} and Jpeg simultaneously. Jepg files come in 3 flavors: Extra Fine, Fine and Standard. On my wish list would be that Sony up date RAW come in 3 flavors in an upcoming firmware. These are some of the features that I use in my day to day shooting. And the superb pop-up EVF shouldn’t be left off the list, which instantly confirms WYSIWYG exposure. Harkening back the days when I used medium format with Zeiss optics, the RX1Rii’s leaf shutter lens allows off camera synch speed of 2000th/sec, 4 times that of a Hasselbald.

Features that I love about the RX1Rii
The RX1Rii is so small and light that I carry it in my shoulder bag daily. The aperture ring is on the lens barrel, allowing for quick and intuitive changing of the aperture on the fly. At the very end of the lens barrel is an additional ring, when turned to the right, switches the lens into Macro mode, allowing photography from eight inches away. I turned off the sound feature for acquiring focus. And because the lens is a leaf shutter {there is no internal camera shutter}, the RX1Rii is completely silent when shooting. Because the camera is so small and unobtrusive, no one notices that I’m photographing, allowing me to go in stealth mode. In fact, I can be right next to someone and they’ll have no idea that they’ve been photographed. In addition to photographing people, architecture and street photography, I use the RX1Rii to create stunning landscape photography. I’m looking forward to using the RX1Rii at upcoming weddings this year. The 35mm lens is tack sharp when wide open to f/2.8 with lovely bokeh and razor sharp edge to edge when stopped down to f/16. The Carl Zeiss lens is a leaf shutter allowing off camera flash synch speeds of 2000th/sec, giving the RX1Rii the ability to shoot wide open in the studio, and make it possible to stop down the sky, when working outdoors with any flash system during the day and early evening.

Conclusion
What’s remarkable about the RX1Rii for me is its size. I call it my pocket rocket. Its diminutive enough to fit in the palm of my hand yet robust enough in capture prowess to match the files of my a7Rii. I take it out with me every single day. During the two months I’ve had it, its been a trusted travel companion and gone to Arizona, Las Vegas and all around Southern California with me. In fact, the RX1Rii will be coming with me as one of my prime cameras for upcoming trips this year to New York City, Portland Oregon, Big Sur and Japan.

Real World Images
As I always say…there are plenty of sites that give tech specs like DPreview. Below are a collection of real world images from my travels with the RX1Rii.

 

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[L] Grafitti, Bisbee, AZ, RX1Rii, ISO 800, f/8.0, 1/200th/sec [R] Window, Bisbee, AZ, RX1Rii, ISO 100, f/8.0, 1/500th/sec

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USC Campus, RX1Rii, ISO 200, f/2.0, 1/800th/sec

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Patagonia store, Escondido, CA, sufboard fins, RX1Rii, ISO 250, f/5.6, 1/200th/sec

 

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Mission San Xavier Del Bac, Tuscon, AZ, RX1Rii, ISO 4000, f/2.0, 1/200th/sec

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[L]Mission San Xavier Del Bac, Tuscon, AZ, RX1Rii, ISO 100, f/11.0, 1/100th/sec [R] Mission San Xavier Del Bac, interior,Tuscon, AZ, RX1Rii, ISO 6400, f/2.8, 1/100th/sec

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[L]Bisbee, AZ, RX1Rii, ISO 50, f/5.6, 1/320th/sec [R]Bisbee, AZ, RX1Rii, ISO 50, f/5.6, 1/30th/sec

 

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Bisbee, AZ, RX1Rii, ISO 400, f/4.0, 1/200th/sec

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Bisbee, AZ, RX1Rii, ISO 3200, f/8.0, 1/200th/sec

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Bisbee, AZ, RX1Rii, ISO 160, f/2.0, 1/200th/sec

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Bisbee, AZ, RX1Rii, ISO 6400, f/5.6, 1/80th/sec

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Bisbee, AZ, RX1Rii, ISO 6400, f/8.0, 1/13th/sec

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[L]Bisbee, AZ, RX1Rii, ISO 800, f/2.0, 1/200th/sec [R]Bisbee, AZ, RX1Rii, ISO 4000, f/8.0, 1/200th/sec

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Bisbee, AZ, RX1Rii, ISO 500, f/5.6, 1/200th/sec

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Mexican border town, near the fence, AZ, RX1Rii, ISO 100, f/2.2, 1/1000th/sec

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[L]Bisbee, AZ, RX1Rii, ISO 50, f/5.6, 1/30th/sec [R] Mexican border town, AZ, RX1Rii, ISO 200, f/5.6, 1/200th/sec

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Mexican border town, AZ, RX1Rii, ISO 2000, f/8.0, 1/200th/sec

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Bisbee, AZ, RX1Rii, ISO 1000, f/8.0, 1/200th/sec

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Lake Apache, Roosevelt, AZ, RX1Rii, ISO 640, f/16, 1/200th/sec



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Lake Apache, Roosevelt, AZ, RX1Rii, ISO 640, f/16, 1/200th/sec, B&W conversion MacPhun Tonality

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Lake Apache, Roosevelt, AZ, RX1Rii, ISO 125, f/11, 1/200th/sec, B&W conversion MacPhun Tonality

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Red Rock National Park, Henderson, Las Vegas, RX1Rii, ISO 160, f/16, 1/200th/sec, B&W conversion MacPhun Tonality

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Bellagio, Las Vegas, RX1Rii, ISO 2500, f/2.0, 1/200th/sec

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Wynn, Las Vegas, RX1Rii, ISO 500, f/8.0, 1/200th/sec

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Two Elvis, Las Vegas Strip, RX1Rii, ISO 100, f/5.6, 1/250th/sec

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Performance artist, Freemont Street, Las Vegas, RX1Rii, ISO 640, f/2.0, 1/200th/sec,

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Bellagio ceiling, Chihuli glass sculpture, RX1Rii, ISO 10,000, f/5.6, 1/125th/sec

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Aria, Las Vegas, RX1Rii, ISO 125, f/8.0, 1/200th/sec

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Lemon Grass bistro, Aria, Las Vegas, RX1Rii, ISO 1250, f/2.0, 1/200th/sec

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Chrome sculpture, Aria, Las Vegas, RX1Rii, ISO 640, f/4, 1/200th/sec, B&W conversion MacPhun

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Machiato, Escondido, CA, RX1Rii, Macro mode, ISO 400, f/4.0, 1/200th/sec

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[L] Tungsten light bulb, Las Vegas, RX1Rii, Macro mode, ISO 2000, f/4.0, 1/2000th/sec [R] 100% Crop.

Marc Weisberg is an award winning photographer and Sony Artist of Imagery based in Irvine, California. Specializing in Luxury Architecture & Real Estate Photography, Food + Wine Photography, and Weddings & Family Photography, he’s easy to work with and produces clean, crisp, and technically flawless images. Marc’s photography is published internationally in over a dozen books and magazines. You can contact Marc by phone at 949.494.5084…. or email.

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