Sony RX100 II Review (Camera Secrets!)

A little while ago I invested in a new camera.

As you’re well aware, I take a lot of pictures! So it may seem ridiculous to you that buying a new camera is a big deal for me. The thing is, I already had a good one. I loved my Lumix GF5 and it’s made blogging a breeze. It’s great for food photos, goes in my handbag and you can hand it to a stranger, ask them to take a snap and they’ll be able to manage without too much trouble.

I didn’t want a new toy, I didn’t see the point.

But I got talked into it.

My friend PJ is a camera nut. He collects them. He’s a Leica boy through and through and a professional photographer to boot. He learned about the new Sony RX100 II on the grapevine and insisted I had to have it.

“The sensor is HUUUUGE!” he said. “It’s almost as good as a Leica!” he said (high praise indeed from him).

I did some snooping and reading around. I couldn’t find a single bad review. Everyone loved the camera and if PJ was right it was genuinely going to enhance my life.

I bought it, and of course… he was right.

When it arrived I was amazed by the size. It’s tiny.

Not spy camera tiny, but small enough to fit inside a jacket pocket.

With a few little tweaks it was also silent. No beeps, no shutter clunk, just the tiniest of *tic*s as it takes a picture. Stealth photography at its finest!

It’s fast, too. Not quite DSLR fast, but pretty damn close. If you put it on continuous you can just hold down the shutter for a quick succession of shots and choose your favourite.

I often take pictures in dark restaurants and I’ve found it so much easier than before because, as PJ promised, the sensor (13.2 x 8.8mm) allows so much more light in.

My favourite feature by a country mile however, is the wifi. At the touch of a button I can send a picture right from the camera onto my phone. Then I can Instagram it or email it out!

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You can also control the Self Timer with your phone and view what the camera sees on your iPhone (I haven’t really used this yet, but I think it’s pretty exciting anyway…)

The battery lasts for days, even shooting constantly like I was in Paris.

If I had one bone to pick with Sony it would be about the LCD screen and the Auto-Focus.

I’ve been a bit spoilt by my Lumix and love the touch screen, which means you can focus on anything by just tapping it with your finger. The Sony RX doesn’t have a touch screen, it has an articulated screen (which I haven’t used once) and the autofocus has a mind of its own. It can take a good few tries before you finally focus on what you want, especially if there’s something shiny about. In the presence of fairy-lights the camera has a nervous breakdown and often refuses to focus on anything at all. Shouting at it doesn’t get you anywhere, sadly.

On the flip-side, it has a great macro setting and the zoom (20M Approx) is brilliant.

At £545 it’s not cheap, but I like to think the quality of some of the shots it produces rivals that of many much more expensive cameras…

My only regret is that I didn’t buy it sooner.

And that I hadn’t already dented it by dropping it a few times…

I will continue to use my other cameras and still think the Lumix GF5 is a brilliant option, but for now the Sony RX100 II has stolen my heart.

It’s £545 on British Amazon. American Amazon has it at $750

BUT… if you can live without the articulated screen (trust me, you can) and you’re not fussed about the WIFI option then you can go one model down to the RX100 which is only £350 or $500.

Or, if you fancy yourself as a bit of a James Bond then take a look at the QX100 and turn your smartphone into the same camera.

It just clicks onto your phone and you get the same pictures as you would from the RX100 II. The only difference is that you can’t shoot RAW files, but it’s usually pro-togs who do that anyway.

The QX100 is £323 in the UK and $498 in the US.

Phew. I hope you feel fully up to date with all my camera secrets now!

I’m sorry it’s taken me so long to tell you about my new piece of kit. I just wanted to be really sure about it and put it through its paces before I gave you my thoughts.

I promise you faithfully that this isn’t an ad and I wasn’t given the camera by Sony. But if you’re in the market for a cracking little point-n-shoot then I’m confident that this is the best you’ll find.

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