Sony RX100 II Is Sensitive, Connected, Looking For Hook-Ups

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Sony’s RX100 is a pretty great compact camera. And the new RX100 II should be even better. The update/sequel, announced today, adds a bunch of modern-day gizmos to the $750 compact camera.

The additions are, in order of me remembering them, are Wi-Fi and NFC, 180p video, an electronic hotshoe and a new 20.2MP backlit sensor.

Sony says that the sensor is 40% more sensitive in low light than the previous model, thanks to its “backlit” nature, which means that the circuitry is put on the back so it doesn’t get in the light path. The hotshoe now accepts microphones and viewfinders as well as a flash, and the Wi-Fi is, well, Wi-Fi: you can beam photos direct to your iPad and – if you’re using an NFC-equipped Android phone – you should be able to touch the two together and have photos transfer automatically.

Other details are the removal of the optical low-pass filter, which seems to be the new fashion, and a maximum aperture of ƒ1.8 on the stepped zoom which lets you pick 28mm, 35mm, 50mm, 70mm or 100mm focal lengths.

The filter – aka the antialias filter – blurs the image slightly so that fine lines and repeating patterns won’t go jaggy on the photo. Removing it increases sharpness but can introduces stepped lines and moiré patterns. Fujifilm got around this by designing a new kind of sensor that does away with the uniform positioning of color pixels that makes a sensor sensitive to this problem. Sony has done no such thing, so we guess it’s relying on software.

Right now it’s a fantastic time to be buying a high-end compact camera: they have big sensors (one inch in this case) and are getting some connectivity at last.

About the author

Charlie Sorrel Charlie Sorrel is the Reviews Editor here on Cult of Mac. Follow Charlie  on Twitter at @mistercharlie.

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