Sony Introduces New Palm-Sized RX1R II Camera with 42.4 MP Full-Frame Image Sensor

Sony unveiled a successor to their RX1/RX1R cameras, the RX1R II. This camera has some amazing specs—Sony basically took the Sony A7RII and compressed it down into a compact-camera form-factor.

The Cyber-shot RX1R II has the same high-sensitivity 42.4 megapixel Backside Illuminated (BSI) sensor found in the a7RII, as well as the 399 point phase-detect autofocus system, which the company says provides a 30% improvement in focus performance. The camera also offers 5fps shooting, though no word on how many shots until the buffer fills at that rate. It’s also capable of shooting 14-bit uncompressed RAW.

The camera has a fixed 35mm f/2 Zeiss Sonnar T* lens, which should provide incredible image quality. Macro shooters will rejoice over the close-focus mode, which focuses the lens down to 14cm.

The built-in 2.4M dot OLED viewfinder pops up from the body when it’s needed, and a tilting 3-inch display can be adjusted to face upwards or downwards. Also, like the A7R II, there is WiFi and NFC connections built-in. For more details, read the full press release below. — David Schloss

NEW YORK, Oct. 14, 2015 – Sony Electronics, a worldwide leader in digital imaging and the world’s largest image sensor manufacturer, has today introduced the latest addition to their acclaimed Cyber-shot RX compact camera line, the full-frame RX1R II (model DSC-RX1RM2).

Joining the original RX1 and RX1R cameras in the family of the world’s smallest full-frame cameras, the new RX1R II delivers the highest picture quality of any Sony compact camera ever made. This can largely be attributed to the new camera’s high resolution 42.4 MP sensor paired with its large aperture, fixed focal length ZEISS Sonnar T* 35mm F2 lens, which have been fine-tuned to optimize performance together.

Additionally, the new model features a 30% improvement in AF response speed compared to the original award-winning RX1 models and is equipped with the world’s first optical variable low pass filter that can be set to “off”, “standard” or “high” based on user preference, with low pass filter bracketing available. The camera also has a convenient retractable XGA OLED viewfinder for eye-level shooting, which has been implemented with minimal change in overall body size from its predecessors. “The new RX1R II offers a combination of size and performance that has never before been realized in the world of compact cameras,” said Neal Manowitz, Vice President of Digital Imaging for Sony Electronics. “We’re giving imaging enthusiasts and professionals the opportunity to enjoy a camera with one of the most powerful combinations of sensor and lens in market today that can easily fit in the palm of your hand. It’s simply the latest example of the progressive innovation that Sony is bringing to the world of imaging.”

Ultimate Image Quality in the Palm of Your Hand
The new RX1R II camera utilizes a back-illuminated 35mm full-frame Exmor R CMOS sensor with approx. 42.4 effective megapixels paired with a powerful BIONZ X processing engine to achieve superior levels of image resolution and sensitivity (ISO 100-25600, expandable to 50 – 1024002) with wide dynamic range. The sensor’s back-illuminated structure, with an expanded circuit scale and copper wiring design, enables faster transmission speed and outputs data approximately 3.5x faster than the original RX1R, ensuring high-speed performance.

Matched specifically for the image sensor, the large aperture 35mm F2 ZEISS Sonnar T* lens ensures that all images captured by the camera are impressively sharp from the center to the corners. The lens also has a unique Macro shift ring for focusing on subjects as close as 14cm in front of the lens and has nine aperture blades that produce smooth, even background defocus or ‘bokeh’ in the most commonly used aperture ranges.

Another unique benefit of the new camera is its fixed lens design, which allows the positioning of its sensor and lens to be precisely adjusted to maximize all benefits of the sensor’s extremely high resolution. The closer the two components are to one another, the wider the angle through which light can pass through the lens and directly reach the sensor, resulting in imagery that is rich in detail and resolution. Also, unlike the focal plane shutter common to interchangeable lens cameras, RX1R II utilizes an in-lens shutter, allowing 1/2000 sec flash synch speed and a significant reduction in overall body size.

The new RX1R II also offers uncompressed 14-bit RAW image capture to maximize the benefits of the image sensor’s wide dynamic range, while also still supporting existing compressed format.

High Speed AF to Capture the Decisive Moment
The RX1R II model is the first in Sony’s acclaimed RX line of compact cameras to feature Fast Hybrid AF capabilities. The camera’s sensor features 399 focal-plane phase-detection AF points that cover about 45% of the image area – the world’s widest AF coverage on a full-frame sensor1 – that work together with 25 contrast AF points to achieve focus response that is about 30% faster than the original model. Additionally, the camera has adapted an advanced motion-detection algorithm that offers superior tracking performance of moving subjects and allows for the addition of AF-C mode that accurately tracks a subject after focusing. It also can achieve up to 5fps continuous shooting with AF tracking.

Other focusing improvements on the new model include multiple AF area settings including Wide, Center and Flexible Spot and Expand Flexible Spot. The camera also has Eye AF and lock-on AF.

World’s First Optical Variable Low Pass Filter
In a first for digital cameras, the RX1R II features an optical variable low pass filter that allows shooters to manually adjust the balance of image resolution and presence of moiré or color artifacts to match the subject.

The three settings for the low-pass filter3 include “off”, which provides comparable effects to having no low-pass filter and is suitable when prioritizing resolution, “standard”, which strikes a balance between resolution and removal of moiré and color artifacts, and “high”, which places more emphasis on reducing moiré and artifacting. This unique feature allows photographers to achieve the desired image quality and resolution based on the presence of moiré-inducing high spatial frequency objects in the scene, essentially combining two cameras – one with and without a low-pass filter – into one body. Low-pass filter bracketing is also available and can be used to compare the effects of different settings.

New Retractable XGA OLED Viewfinder, Tiltable Screen, HD Video and more
New for the RX1 series, the RX1R II has a built-in retractable 2.4 million dot XGA OLED Tru-Finder that pops up and down with simple one-push operation. The viewfinder features ZEISS T* Coating and four glass elements including two aspherical lenses that work together to deliver a magnification of 0.74×4 and clear corner-to-corner visibility with minimal distortion. The new camera also has a 3.0 type WhiteMagic™ 1.2 million dot LCD display that can tilt upwards up to 109 degrees and downwards up to 41 degrees, allowing for a greater range of shooting angles and positions.

On the video side, the camera’s advanced sensor and processor deliver exceptionally detailed movies with low levels of noise. It is able to support full HD 1920×1080 video recording at frame rates of 60p, 30p or 24p through use of the versatile XAVC S movie recording format5.

The new RX1R II camera is also Wi-Fi® and NFC compatible and fully functional with Sony’s PlayMemories Mobile™ application available for Android™ and iOS platforms, as well as Sony’s growing range of PlayMemories Camera Apps™.

A new version of the popular “Smart Remote Control” app (version 4.0) from PlayMemories Camera Apps, which enables remote shooting from a connected smartphone, will be released that features updated bulb and continuous shooting functionality to match the new camera. Learn more at www.sony.net/pmca.

Pricing and Availability
The Sony RX1R II full-frame compact camera will be available in November for about $3,300 U.S. and $4,200 CAD at a variety of Sony authorized dealers in both countries. There is also a new camera case (model LCJ-RXH) that will be available at launch that fits snugly on the new RX1R II as well as the original RX1 and RX1R models. A series of exciting new content shot with the RX1R II camera can be found at www.alphauniverse.com, Sony’s new community site built to educate, inspire and showcase all fans and customers of the Sony imaging brand.

For U.S. customers seeking more information on the new RX1R II camera, please visit www.sony.com/electronics/cyber-shot-compact-cameras/dsc-rx1rm2.

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