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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Quickly set and I was ready to roll within a few minutes of opening the box.
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....
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.
No. It's simply lovely.
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.