Sony Releases the RX1R II—High-end 42MP Full-frame Compact With World’s First Optical Variable Low Pass Filter

Sony RX1R II
Sony RX1R II

Sony has released a Mark II version of the RX1R, a high-end full-frame compact camera released 2 years ago.

This new edition features what Sony’s claim to be the world’s first camera with a optical variable low-pass filter which can be set to off, standard or high. This lets you choose between having a very sharp image, with the increased risk of moiré, or having slightly reduced sharpness with better moiré control. You can even bracket your shots with the optical low-pass filter in different settings!

Here’s a video describing how it works.

The sensor is now 42MP,  compared to the 24MP from the first RX1R, with an ISO range of between 100-25,600, expandable to 50-102,400. It has also been improved to transmit data 3.5x faster than the original RX1R.

The lens is a fixed 35mm f/2 Zeiss Sonnar T*, featuring a macro shift ring for close focussing up to 14cm. A 9-blade aperture ensures a smooth bokeh while the in-lens shutter allows you to sync with your flash at up to 1/2,000s.

Sony has also implemented the pop-up EVF first seen on the RX100 III, but with an increased resolution of 2.4M dots. A 3″ swivelling LCD with 1.2M dots adorns the back of the camera. It can be tilted up 109 and down 41º.

Sony RX1R II Rear LCD
Sony RX1R II Rear LCD

For the AF side of things, the RX1R II has a 399 phase-detect AF points covering 45% of the frame, alongside 25 CDAF points. Sony claims that this is 30% faster than the original (which was rather slow.)

Unfortunately, all these goodness does not come cheap. Like the original RX1R, this is a premium, high-end product. At a cost of US$3,300, it costs more than the A7RII. Granted, the latter doesn’t come with a lens, but US$3,300 is still fairly expensive for a compact camera, though no more than that German brand. It’ll be available from November 2015.

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Leica Launches the Leica Q 24-megapixel Full-Frame Fixed Lens Compact Camera With a 28mm f/1.7 Lens

Leica Q
Leica Q

While we are all getting excited over Sony’s new camera releases today, that German luxury camera maker has also released a new camera! It’s the all-new Leica Q (Typ 116) (CK: What’s with all these funky numbers?), a full-frame fixed-lens compact camera with a 27mm Summilux 28mm f/1.7 ASPH lens.

The camera features a top plate machined from solid blocks of aluminium, a body made of magnesium alloy, and laser-engraved lettering and marketings seen on other Leica cameras.

The Leica Q incorporates a 24-megapixel full-frame CMOS sensor capable of ISO up to 50,000. with a burst mode of up to 10fps. Leica claimed that it has the fastest AF among full-frame compacts, something that I am rather skeptical about. Many camera makers have also claimed to have the fastest AF, but are disclaimed with specific conditions in which that is achieved. And with the only other notable full-frame compact being Sony’s RX1 series which have ridiculously slow AF, “fastest AF” isn’t hard to achieve.

Moving ahead with the times, the Summilux 28mm f/1.7 ASPH lens in front of the camera features image stabilisation. Leica claims that it’s the fastest among the full-frame compacts, since Sony’s RX1’s 35mm Carl Zeiss is only f/2.

The touch-screen LCD offers a resolution of 1 megapixel and lets you focus by tapping an area in the frame. You can also manual focus using a physical ring on the lens like any other camera. A switch lets you toggle between MF and AF.

The 3.6-megapixel electronic viewfinder has a digital frame selector function which display frame lines for 28, 35 and 50mm, allowing you to shoot at 28, 35 or 50mm while having a 28mm field of view, just like a rangefinder camera. In essence, it’s basically cropping the full-frame image, but you have the ability to store the full-frame DNG image.

Leica has put up some sample images of the Leica Q, so if you are interested, you can head over to their web site and take a look. If that piqued your interest and you want one, you can get it for just US$4,250 and comes with a free copy of Adobe Lightroom 6.

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