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on 23 September 2013
I bought this camera a few weeks' ago because I was finding it impractical to lug around an SLR - especially as we like to take a lot of family photos when we're out and about with the kids and a bulky SLR is just another thing to carry. Sometimes, you just want to take a compact that can fit into a pocket without compromising (too much) on quality and with which you can quickly take spontaneous shots.

My dad has the RX100 and the photos were great, so I took the plunge and bought the RX100M2, which is more than double what I paid for my last compact camera. But the reviews on Amazon and photo/camera specialist sites have been very positive and encouraging. And they're right. The RX100M2 takes stunning photos in all kinds of light (it's exceptional in low light) - the photos are comparable with my Nikon D5100 and there's enough menu options to keep a very amateur photographer like myself happy. The photos are super sharp and vibrant and that's all you could ask of a camera.

I'm not overly bothered about the lack of view finder - I'm not a serious photographer by any stretch of the imagination. For me the LCD screen is perfect. A nice touch (which I suspect is available on many other cameras now) is that when you switch to different modes, the camera displays a little bit of text telling you what type of photos can be taken in that mode and how to get your desired effect within that mode. Sony has also taken note of Apple's simplicity, with a very slimline manual - a good read through of the manual and getting used to the camera took around an hour. After that, you're all set. It's easy to navigate around the different settings and menu options on the camera, so operating it is very easy.

The only downside is that the wifi is a complete pain in the bottom to set up with a Mac. It took a little bit of time to do it, but now I can control my camera (limited control) with my iPhone and send photos from the camera to my Mac without the need to plug the camera in. I can also send photos from the camera to my iPhone via wifi too.

All in all, if you have an SLR and are after a great compact that can take comparable photos at the low-end SLR scale, this is the camera to get. Yes, it's pricey, but it's well worth it. I'm not entirely sure when I'll be using my D5100 now. One of the biggest positive factors for me is that the Sony camera fits into my pockets (coats, jackets, jeans etc), which means I'm always using it (it's the size of a chunky little mobile). And if you're thinking "well my phone fits in my pockets and takes photos", there's no comparison between the photo qualities. For photos, this camera is infinitely superior to a phone.
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on 26 April 2014
I'm a full-time professional photographer and so my standards for both image quality and performance are high. I was specifically seeking a pocketable camera for casual personal outings when I didn't want to carry a dedicated body and lens system. This little Sony is fantastic for that purpose and the quality of the images in good to moderate light is excellent (remaining good even in very low light). The JPEG engine is also very impressive, allowing very clean images at ISO 3200 but without the consequent heavy smearing one might experience with other brands - very close indeed to the JPEGs produced by my Micro 4/3 bodies. The RAW files are also very good and are approximately a stop to a stop and a half behind Micro 4/3 in the noise department, which is impressive for a sensor of this size and pixel density. White balance is very accurate, and tends to be neutral as is the case with most Sony sensors. I was concerned about using an LCD screen in bright sunlight but the Sunny setting is fantastically good and has entirely removed this issue (you can of course purchase the separate and very expensive clip on external viewfinder if you prefer). Autofocus is reasonably fast and very accurate, even in low light. This camera was a bit of an extravagance, but one I have not regretted for a moment.
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Style Name: Camera Only|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
♦ Brief ♦

I purchased the RX100 last year, which has since been my favourite compact camera to use, and so far I haven't come across a camera that betters it, that is of course until this upgrade that brings some much welcomed extras.

Here are some of the upgraded features:

☑ An improved sensor (Exmor R CMOS Sensor); it's still the same size and has the same effective mega-pixels, but is now backlit which means it's able to pick up light by a further 40%.
☑ Hot-shoe; no idea why they didn't include this on the previous version, but at least it's here now.
☑ Tilt-able screen; one of the things I was longing for on the old RX100, this is one of my favourite upgrades by far!
☑ NFC (Near-field communications); I love this extra feature, by tapping the bottom of this camera onto your phone that has NFC enabled, it will connect them both together straight away.
If you don't have PlayMemories Mobile installed, it will take you to the store to download it (for free), if you have it installed already, it will connect them both together where you can then control the camera with your phone, though the modes are limited, you're able to take stunning quality photos and instantly transfer them over to your phone when taken.
☑ Now have an extra choice of recording in 25p addition to the previous 50i & 50p.
☑ PAL & NTSC choice; in the settings you can switch from one to the other which I'm sure certain people will love.

- Zoom is still 3.6x optical zoom, this is normal for high-quality compact cameras such as this one.

☒ One thing this camera doesn't have is a touch-screen, this is debatable as a lot of people like this kind of feature, however others don't, personally I'm not a fan of touch-screen on cameras; I have a NEX 5RL and I always use the buttons to navigate, I hate using the touch-screen for some reason.

☒ Grip is minimal (best used with the wrist strap), once again this is down to preference, I like the combination of the sleek style whilst having just enough grip, but others may not like this.

- - -

♦ Box contents & recommended items ♦

Included in the box are the following:
Camera | AC adapter | Battery | Micro USB cable | Wrist strap | Two shoulder strap adapters | Manual.

Things you NEED:
SDHC Memory Card (You can choose a different brand/memory capacity, though do remember as this is a 20MP camera, files sizes average between 3MB-5MB if your using Jpeg in fine detail, or is around 20MB if using the RAW format (RAW image has a '.ARW' file extension)).

Optional:
Camera Case (LCJ-RXA) |USB SDHC Card Reader |Spare Battery NP-BX1 |HDMI - Micro HDMI Cable.

- - -

♦ Settings & Modes ♦

Just like the RX100, this is aimed towards people who are more advanced in photography due to it's great amount of changeability in settings, that said, like most cameras these days, regardless if it's a professional camera or for basic needs, they all seem to have automatic modes which allow people to snap shots quickly without having to worry about tweaking the settings in most situations.

The interface is pretty much identical to that of the RX100, with the addition of a few extra available settings located within the menu, for those who haven't seen it before all the settings are changed within the main menu, unlike the other cyber-shot cameras where a side menu pops up allowing you to change settings whilst being able to see what the camera is pointing at, this one has a solid menu that covers the whole screen, which is very appropriately tabbed making it easy to navigate.

Though if you wish to change a few settings quickly without going into the main menu, you can edit the 'Fn' button options (located on setting tab 2 in the main menu), this will give you the choice to select 7 out of 17 settings which will instantly be available upon pressing the 'Fn' button, choices range from image size, exposure, ISO, white balance, picture effects, HDR etc...

This function is partially transparent, so you can see where your pointing at.

To change modes, all you have to do is twist the mode dial located on top of the camera to the setting you want:

Intelligent Auto | Superior Auto | Program Auto* | Aperture Priority* | Shutter Priority* | Manual Exposure* | Memory recall** | Movie | Sweep Panorama | Scene Selection***.

* Advanced modes which allow you more customization in the settings.
** Allows you to set three different profiles, giving you quick access to your favourite settings.
*** Gives you a choice of many pre-set modes such as 'portrait', 'landscape', 'night scene' etc...

- - -

♦ Image Quality ♦

The quality is utterly fantastic, the camera is able to focus quickly to the subject to then take very nice sharp photos.

This camera is able to deliver an amazing amount of depth of field (obviously depends on which mode or settings you use), and found it be a bit more better than the previous RX100 when it comes to focusing on subjects at a closer range.

Due to it's sensor it's able to produce great low-light shooting results even when it's being held, though for some more impressive shots at lower lighting levels, I would recommend getting a sturdy tripod and play with the shutter settings.

The flash on this camera is also very good and I found it not to be overwhelming, I like the fact they've kept the same styled flash that allows you to manually point it upwards, allowing you to bounce the flash off the ceiling.

♦ Video Quality ♦

For those who are into recording movies/video footage, then you will be VERY pleased with this camera, especially on it's highest quality which produces a very smooth looking video.

You also have the choice of the following recording modes: 'Program Auto', 'Aperture Priority', 'Shutter Priority', 'Manual Exposure', which gives you more control over your movies.

The in-built stereo microphone is also very good quality, though with the addition of the hot-shoe it allows you to add a more advanced microphone (model number 'ECM-XYST1M'), when it becomes available.

- - -

♦ Helpful information ♦

When transferring files, if you're using the USB lead provided, make sure when it's connected you turn the camera on, otherwise it wont recognise the camera is connected.

Personally I would recommend getting a USB SDHC Card Reader, it's so much faster to navigate through files and delete the ones not needed, you can then copy and paste the desired photos onto your computer within seconds.

Pictures are located in the "DCIM" folder.

Videos can be found by going through folders; "PRIVATE" - "AVCHD" - "BDMV" - "STREAM".

- - -

♦ Overall opinion ♦

Due to the RX100 having such a positive response from customers all over the world, I think it was a clever move by Sony to improve the camera even further by adding extra features consumers had been talking about which would improve it even further, and with the RX100M2, it has done just that!

With the extra additions of an upgraded sensor with better sensitivity, hot-shoe, tilt-able screen, WiFi & NFC features, this definitely makes the RX100M2 a worthy upgrade.

That said, I don't think it completely replaces the RX100, because it is a great camera and now it's been given a really good price reduction, however if the extra features are something that would be of a greater use (which for me it has), then I think it would be well worth either upgrading, or buying this over the RX100.

Overall I would definitely recommend this camera, it's just utterly brilliant!

[EDIT]

♦ Video ♦

I have now included a video that shows the unboxing & overview of the camera. Please note that the version I was provided by Amazon to review was the Japanese version, I had contacted them about this and they assured me the ones coming to the UK will have all the relevant English documents and adapters.

♦ Photos ♦

Located under the main picture of the product is a link stating "See all customer images", click on that to see photos I have uploaded.

I do plan on going out and getting more photos as examples when I have more spare time. :)
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on 24 July 2015
For the last few years, I have usually been content with mobile phone cameras. The quality wasn't great, but it was enough for the odd snapshot and even a photo book for grandma back in Germany. Lately, however, I have been going out more, and I work at events at which reduced ambient light is an issue. I knew I didn't want to get a DSLR, which was way too heavy and big, and most people react to those behemoths as if someone just aimed a bazooka at them. So I looked into compact cameras, and there was really only one option to go with - the RX100 series. I was initially aiming for the m3, mainly due to the viewfinder and the on-camera apps, but when the m2 came up on the Prime Day sale for £270 (plus £40 cashback) vs. £550 for the m3 from sellers who don't ship from China, I bought it without any hesitation whatsoever, together with a 32GB 95MB/s SD Card.

################### Packaging and Contents ###################
Gonna keep this short - well packed, maybe a bit more spartan than you'd expect from a top-of-the-class product. The 500mA charger (with power lead cable and micro USB cable) is not exactly powerful, so charging on a PC will take the same time (500mA is the USB standard output), and you'll want to be careful not to plug it into into higher powered outputs (1 to 2A), depending on the voltage regulation inside the camera. Quick guides, the camera itself in a small, sturdy and discardable bag, and that's it! The battery comes with some charge, so you can try your new toy right away, if you wish to.

################### Sample Pictures ###################
The sample pictures I uploaded show the inside of the Revolution Bar at America Square in London (indoor shot, ISO400), the outside during well-lit conditions, a night shot of Shoeburyness East Beach in Essex (10 second long time exposure and some touch up in Adobe RAW) as well as a picture of the O2 Arena from the Thames in London (shot through the window of a boat). The pictures are downsized (and will probably be downsized even more when uploading them to Amazon).

################### The Camera ###################
If you're looking into this kind of camera, you probably already know what to expect - incredibly well manufactured, surprisingly heavy for its weight (but not too heavy), everything where it should be. Hooks for wrist sleeves on both sides of the camera, so both lefties and righties can dangle it from whichever wrist they prefer. All controls are easy to reach, though people with big hands (such as me) will need some training - I can comfortably hold the camera in one hand (without using it, obviously), which makes controlling it with both hands a bit problematic at times. Just needs some training.

The automatic modes on this camera produce amazing pictures, but if you want to shoot anything more complex (say, a long-exposure shot), you really have to look into manual controls - and I had to, given that I'm a bit of a beginner. I am shooting in RAW+JPEG, and it's a bit of a shame that a lot of the shooting modes aren't compatible with RAW - that being said, if you shoot in RAW, you probably do touch-up in Adobe Lightroom or Adobe RAW anyway, so that's not too bad.

The menus are orderly and easy to understand, and the help mode is amazing, giving people that hold a complex digital camera for the first time good indicators on how to shoot in specific situations or for certain effects (like light trails).

The video mode was a bit of a let-down, as it only supports shooting videos in low ISO modes, which can't be changed at all. If you're shooting in daylight, though, the results look great at 1080p50/60. But that's not what I bought the cam for anyway.

The only thing that has truly annoyed me so far is the auto focus, which loves to decide to focus on other things than I do, and manually setting it is a pain. A touch screen with "tap to focus" function would've been greatly appreciated.

################### m2 vs. m3 - Would I do it again? ###################
At this price difference? Yes. Absolutely. The image quality is almost the same, and so far I haven't missed the viewfinder. I'd really love to have the apps and the 180° swivel screen from the m3, but again, the price difference completely makes up for it.

################### Cashback Experience ###################
Just in case it's of interest to you - I bought the camera on the 15th, got it and registered for Cashback right away on the 16th together with my Amazon Invoice. I had the £40 on my account on the 23rd of July. Your mileage may vary.
review image review image review image review image
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on 23 December 2013
TOUCH SCREEN WARNING: disable one-click buying!

I was just browsing--I own two Canon DSLRs (500D and 60D) and a Sony NEX 7, so had no need to buy another camera. I confess I was mildly curious about what was available in the high-end pocketable range since each of my cameras had accumulated an array of lenses and so, even with the compact NEX 7, 'taking the camera along' meant lugging a shoulder bag full of expensive and heavy glassware.

I don't know how, but at some point I must've touched the one-click button. Perhaps I was distracted--whatever--I failed to clock the confirmation message. It was a week or so later that I received an email advising me that my purchase of a Sony RX100M2 had been dispatched. Once I'd calmed down I decided I might as well take a look at the thing before returning it.

It arrived, I unpacked it and was immediately captivated: this was a remarkable piece of precision engineering. I held it in my hand and knew that this little beauty wasn't going anywhere but my top pocket.

Since then it has gone everywhere with me, whilst its big brothers have languished in the cupboard.

Sure, it's not suitable for all shooting, mainly because the zoom range is limited at both ends, but for my preferred shots--architecture, urban, landscape, indoor available light (I hate flash photography)--it's 99% perfect.

Image quality is superb, and it easily bests all of my other cameras in low-light conditions.

At first I was a little sniffy at using the automatic settings, but now I leave it in Superior Automatic mode so that I can take a 'quick on the draw' shot and use the DSLR-like modes for a set-up shot.

Finally, it shoots great video too--even with the built-in mic.

Superb.
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on 21 September 2015
This little compact replaced my big Nikon DSLR because I found that carrying around a big camera meant I was reluctant to take it on days out and therefore missed many photo opportunities. Having used the RX100 for a month now, I've taken many more pictures than before so I feel my decision has been vindicated.
In terms of image quality, the RX100 is staggering - easily as good as the DSLR, if not better. A few days away in Cornwall resulted in some lovely crisp seascapes in varying light. The camera has more than enough control for me (enthusiastic amateur) and I love the ability to put it auto mode and not have to think or miss photo's. I bought a third party guide book because the manual is simply rubbish for anything other than describing each control. I have only just started to explore the more technical features but in reality, I probably won't need them often.
I agree with other reviewers about the difficulty of the grip but I can live with that for the ease of use and the picture quality.
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on 9 December 2014
In all the years that I have been a photographer I have never managed to find a true compact that delivered a result useful for anything but personal use. The Sony though is a revelation. A little fiddly to use but the results are extraordinary and bear comparison to many DSLR's. It is also a camera that does not call attention to itself and slips easily into a pocket.
It's feel is of a very robust, beautifully finished machine and reassuringly heavy.
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TOP 100 REVIEWERon 10 October 2013
QUICK
=====
Quickly set and I was ready to roll within a few minutes of opening the box.

QUALITY
=======
It oooooozes quality. Feels lovely to hold and you will not be disappointed by the look and feel of this adorable beauty.

IS THERE A BUT
==============
Funny you should say that there is. I really like this and it is better than the model it's upgraded from Sony Cybershot DSC-RX100 Digital Camera (20.2MP, 3.6x Optical Zoom) 3 inch LCD.
But it's 200 more. (at the time of writing the older model in between 330-400 whereas this is over 600.) If, as is common, the price difference reduces then PLEASE ignore this But....

PICTURE QUALITY
===============
There are only two words to describes the picture quality: Super Duper.
Detailed, superb colour and able to take photos at low light and fast moving subjects.

DISAPPOINTED
============
No. It's simply lovely.
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on 22 November 2013
the results this wee camera can produce are simply stunning, I wanted a small , take anywhere camera that still produced quality. My usual beast is a leica M9 / summicron glass and this comes pretty close (when shooting raw)

The zeiss lens excells and the big sensor ensures quality output.

It really is tiny and definately shirt-pocketable

dont dither, just buy it...I guarantee you will not regret it.
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on 12 July 2014
I've had my RX100 II for 6 months and it's as brilliant as other reviewers, more eloquently than I, have stated. If Nikon / Canon compacts have the same flaw, I'd buy this Sony again.

Now, coming from a DSLR (Nikon D90) I know not to expect DSLR features, but let me cut to the chase:

The is no minimum shutter speed setting in aperture priority mode.

For a flagship compact of this price, and so packed with features, this is such an oversight in the firmware. It's nothing to do with the size / type of camera - this feature can be an option in any modern shooting mode enabled camera; compact to pro-DSLR - and at this price I'd expect the capability.

Essentially, it defaults to 1/30s in aperture priority, unless there is so much light that, even at the lowest auto-iso setting, the image would be over-exposure at 1/30s. The result is motion blur with indoor shots (e.g., office lighting).

The only 'fix' I've been able to find is to turn off auto-ISO and set the two control rings to ISO and aperture. You can then manually raise the ISO high enough that shutter speed increases to counter the greater sensitivity. The result is a noisier image, but I personally find that is far more preferable to a blurry image.

If anyone has any other suggestions for a better fix, or spots a firmware update from Sony to enable this feature, please comment and I'll edit my review to include it.
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