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Sony Announces New RX1R and RX100 II, Available in July

by Brandon Russell | June 26, 2013June 26, 2013 9:00 pm PST

Sony is beefing up its Cyber-shot RX line with upgrades to two of its most beloved models, building on the foundation set last year. These aren’t full-on replacements, Sony conveyed, but iterative updates—a more focused approach that refines and expressively improves; the company explained changes were made following consumer feedback regarding the RX1 and RX100, focusing on more prosumer features without sacrificing design. Meet the new RX100 II and RX1R.

If you have room in your budget for something truly special, Sony is further staking its claim as one of the premier camera makers working today. Last year, the RX1 and RX100 were two of the most widely acclaimed shooters available; the upgraded models are again pushing the boundaries for compact cameras swelling with specs. Both largely look the same, but there are a few key differences that Sony promises will make a world of difference.

First up is the RX100 II, which comes with an upgraded 20-megapixel sensor from the previous model. Sony said the changes were made to maximize low-light performance while reducing overall noise; the sensor itself is the first 1.0-type back illuminated sensor. That means 40 percent more sensitivity, giving users better results where light is scarce; a bar or inside during a party. Pair that with the camera’s F1.8 Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T lens, and you’ll wind up with sharp, natural images no matter what situation you’re shooting in.

Likely the two headlining additions for the RX100 II will be Wi-Fi and a new tilting LCD display. On the Wi-Fi front, the added capability will give users greater freedom and convenience—the camera also has NFC, too, so you can easily transfer content between compatible devices. The 3.0-type White Magic LCD tilts upwards up to 84 degrees and downward up to 45 degrees. It won’t make self portraits any easier, but it does introduce a new element when shooting something higher or lower to the ground.

On to the RX1R, Sony has taken the anti-aliasing filter out of the camera, which the company explained means better overall results. That extra R at the end there, as you may have guessed, entails the higher resolution users can expect when wielding the new cam. The fixed lens is the same, and the design largely remains untouched, along with other RX1 features—the sensor is still a 24.3-megapixels CMOS—but that minor change promises sharper, more detailed pictures at enhanced resolutions.

“By eliminating the OLPF, the image projected by the lens reaches the sensor without any dispersion or blurring, so that the maximum resolution capabilities of the optical system can be fully realized,” Sony said.

Both new models will be available next month, starting at $750 and $2,800, respectively. Not the cheapest cameras on the block, though the quality should speak for itself. The added features aren’t enough for current users to upgrade to the new models, but they’re nice little additions that should make the overall experience of both that much better. If you’re in the market for a camera, definitely give these two a look.


Brandon Russell

Brandon Russell enjoys writing about technology and entertainment. When he's not watching Back to the Future, you can find him on a hike or watching...

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