If there's one camera that packs the most imaging power into a compact body, it's the Sony RX1R II. Forget that tiny point-and-shoot sensor, the RX1R packs in the full frame sensor found on professional level cameras. Sony's third full frame compact after the RX1 and RX1R, the 2015 release packs a few new perks from technology advances.
With the RX1 introduced in 2012 and the RX1R in 2013, the Sony RX1R II brings several big changes to the advanced compact. The 24 megapixel sensor is now a huge 42.2 megapixel full frame sensor. Where the RX1 had an optical low pass filter and the RX1R did not, the RX1R II actually has a variable one that can be turned on and off, as well as using a “high” mode for when reducing moire is of utmost importance. How? It's a filter that uses different electrical charges to adjust the intensity (or leave the filter effect off completely). It's a neat concept, and while the RX1R II is the first to use such a system, it's not the first time the concept has been explored. The Pentax K-3 has an optical low pass filter effect that can be turned off, but instead of using a filter with different electrical charges, it uses the image stabilization system to blur out moire.
The other big addition on the Sony RX1R II is the new electronic viewfinder, since the previous versions had only the LCD screen. That's a big plus for enthusiast shooters, and the design is sharp too—it's retractable to save space, but has a nice 2.4 million dot resolution.
The Sony RX1R II still features a fixed f/2 lens. While the lens is bright, there is no zoom, so the camera is a bit more limited. It's a 35mm perspective, which is a nice wide angle for capturing entire scenes. The focus system has been improved a bit, with the manufacturer claiming a 30% increase in speed.
The Sony RX1R II truly looks like an amazing compact camera. But (you knew there was a but, right?) it's listed at $3,330. That's right in line with Sony's a7R II with the same sensor. While the compact design allows for a higher flash sync speed and that variable optical viewfinder, the a7R II can swap out lenses—that's a big plus compared to the RX1R II's fixed focal length. The RX1R II is definitely a luxury item, but that price tag is a bit too high when you could pick up the a7R II body for a similar cost with much more versatility.
The Sony RX1R will be available beginning in November 2015.