We took the Sony DSC-RX100M II (available in Singapore for S$999) out on our Japan trip and had earlier shown a gallery of photos from the camera. We really loved the camera, and believe that it is one of the best compacts on the market now. If you are thinking of buy a compact camera, there is no other choice. And we aren’t the only ones saying this.It is a powerhouse in a compact body. With the lens retracted, the camera could easily fit into my jeans pockets, with a slight bulge. Yes, it’s not that slim, but it’s good enough for me. It’s a good balance between the size and quality. And I think it looks better than the first version too. Being a compact camera, there is limited space on the body for many of the controls. Most of the control changes can be made with the control ring just around the lens, or with the keys at the back of the camera. Slow and cumbersome compared to a DSLR, but I can live with it. I just wished that they had allowed for more customisation of the function keys to allow power users options. The top dial allowed for easy changing between modes. The quality of the photos was very good. In fact, we didn’t bother to touch up most of them and really liked the contrast, exposure and colour of the shots. We were very impressed with its performance at the Tokyo Auto Salon with the many varied lighting conditions. We never had an unexposed shot nor a shot with a wrong white balance using the enhanced Intelligent Auto mode. I think the camera performs really well for human subjects and gave really great looking photos. The enhanced Intelligent Auto and the Aperture Priority modes were the two we used most frequently and never disappointed. We also very much loved the panorama function of the camera. It was easy to access, being directly on the top dial, and easy to operate. Just click and pan, and tada, a good panorama comes out.
We did however encounter some bugs in the panorama function, some times giving us a blank frame in the last shot of the stitch. You can see the effect below. While we could have just cropped out the black portion, some of the captured image was lost. Not sure what happened here, but we saw the problem in the camera review and re-took most of the panoramas with this problem, which happened quite often.
I loved the camera in Aperture priority mode, especially to shoot my oishi food shots. The bokeh looks great and the camera is able to lock into focus at a rather short minimum focal distance, making it very easy to do what Singaporeans love to shot most – their food! I tried to shot at f/1.8 for most of the food shots but sometimes found the focal plane too thin, so for some shots decided to shoot at f/2.8.Another common scene that people use is to take landscapes, and so we will also review how this camera does. Most landscape shots are done in good light (hopefully), and should trouble most compacts. This applies also to RX100-II, giving beautiful scenic shots with a good balance of colours and saturation. I would have prefered slightly more saturated photos, but the camera’s shots are faithful to the true colours. The camera’s battery life was surprisingly good, allowing us over 300 shots before it went flat. Charging was easy via a micro-USB interface so we did not have to bring an additional charger along and could use the same one as the one that charged my mobile phone.
We love this camera, and would encourage anyone looking to buy a new compact camera to buy this. It might be a bit more expensive than other compact cameras, but we promise you that you won’t be disappointed. Having good photos from trips and memorable events would last a lifetime. I even contemplated buying this camera for myself, but that would be one camera too many (I already have two compacts and a DSLR).
This camera is available in Singapore in Sony shops and authorised retailers for a RRP of $999. For our international readers, you can also get this from Amazon.
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Here are a selection of photos taken with the RX100-II, for your viewing pleasure!