Fresh off the presses, the Sony DSC-RX100 M2 (Mark II) comes in addition of the existing RX-100, which it will supplement and bring a 41% improvement in noise reduction during low-light photography and a 10% faster auto-focus (AF). The new model comes with a huge 1-inch BackSide Illuminated Sensor (BSI), and this particular size is very big for a BSI sensor. If you are not familiar with BSI, it is basically a sensor that has been designed to be much more sensitive to light than traditional CMOS ones.
This works by having the various sensor elements placed in an order such that the electronic components such as electric wires are placed behind the sensor, and therefore do not interfere with the incoming light. This makes sense, but traditionally, putting all those components in front of the light-sensing elements made those chips much easier to build.
In any case, Sony’s latest DSC-RX100 M2 not only comes with a 1″ BSI sensor, but also with a large aperture Carl Zeiss f1.8 lens. This is an ideal setup for low-light image capture. While we have been bored to death by the Megapixel race in recent years, we have to admit that the low-light race is much more interesting, and this is precisely what Sony aims for: great low-light capabilities in an ultra-compact body. Typically those are conflicting goals, because low-light usually means big lens, which means big camera. Introducing a largely better sensor does change the equation.
Among the new features, Sony has also improved the ergonomics of the camera by adding a tilt LCD display (up and down), along with an accessory shoe. Finally, WiFi connectivity has been added to allow for photos download/sharing with smart devices or a home network.
Sony has created this camera mainly for two types of users: 1/ those who already have a DSLR but would like a radically more compact secondary camera. 2/ users who already enjoy a compact camera but who want a higher quality image, especially when it comes to noise reduction in low-light photography.
To wrap up with the new features, the Sony RX100M2 also gets a tilt display for improved comfort when shooting at odd angles, a “Step Zoom” that switches between 28,35,50,70 and 100mm, 1080/24p video recording to mimic a “film” framerate and a shoe accessory slot that can receive Flashes, electronic viewfinders, microphones and more.
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