RX1R II yes or no?

Discussion in 'Sony RX1 Forum' started by pniev, Feb 20, 2017.

  1. pniev

    pniev Student for life

    Jun 10, 2013
    This is more or less a follow-up on my 'seeking gear advice' question ... I just found out that I can get a brand new Sony RX1R II for 2600 euros ex VAT (tax is deductable). I admit that is really, really tempting although I will be giving up on DoF (I was focusing on a smaller sensor camera to increase DoF; a feature that is valuable when you have to quickly shoot watches at an event). But I was thinking that I could shoot from further away and crop. From photos I have seen, I love that Zeiss 35/2 lens!

    There are a couple of things that makes me hesitate: the menu structure (which apparently is invented by gear nuts instead of photographers), the colours (comparable to Nikon?), how comfortable the camera is after holding it for some hours, how easy/difficult it is to trigger external flash via radio trigger.

    What is your view/experience on this?

    Are there any disadvantages of the camera that you have experienced (besides limited battery capacity)?

    If anyone has Nikon Df or D750: how would you compare IQ of those cameras with the RX1R II (resolution excluded)? Assuming you're using a 35mm Zeiss/Nikon/Sigma lens?


    Your thoughts are much appreciated!

    Peter
     
  2. Biro

    Biro SC Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Aug 7, 2011
    Jersey Shore
    Steve
    Ray Sachs is your man for these questions. He's had the RX1 and now has the RX1 Mark II... and even has a Df. Maybe PM him... and check out his enteries in the RX1 and Nikon DSLR forums of this site.
     
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2017
    • Agree Agree x 3
  3. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs SC Legend Subscribing Member

    Sep 21, 2010
    Not too far from Philly
    you should be able to figure it out...
    Hi Peter,

    Yeah, the lens is wonderful, as it was on the original RX1. The menu structure isn't intuitive, but it doesn't take long to figure out. And, in my experience, the camera is so customizable, that once you spend some time up-front setting it up to your liking, you won't be using the menus much anyway. I'd give it a couple hours of intensive playing around (and eating batteries - battery life is a weak spot with the original RX1 and weaker spot with the new one) to really get it down and then a few days of shooting to change settings and custom options to really get it set up the way you like it. And then the interface is just fine because it's yours.

    The sensor is technically better than those in the D750 or DF, but it's more similar in it's approach and look to the d750 than to the df. The sensor in the original RX1 was basically identical to the one in the D610 and D750 except that the original RX1 didn't let you shoot the raw uncompressed, so it didn't have quite the latitude of the Nikons. The new one does allow you to shoot compressed or uncompressed, but the uncompressed files are ENORMOUS with this higher res sensor, so I mostly shoot it compressed - I was always happy with the original RX1 files and these have that much more DR and are that much better at high ISO, even without shooting uncompressed. For an occasional landscape I might turn the compression off to get every bit of latitude I can, but that's pretty rare - I usually shoot compressed. It's an amazing sensor technically, but I still somewhat prefer the flavor of the DF files, despite it's lesser base ISO DR.

    The colors I can't comment a lot on - the raw files are as malleable as you want them to be and I can get colors I like more than well enough. I almost never shoot jpegs, so I can't really comment on those or compare them between Sony and Nikon, although I think the general consensus is that Sony doesn't do jpegs as well.

    And I don't have any idea about triggering external flashes. I pretty much never used even the internal tiny flash in the first RX1 and haven't even thought about using an external one with the new camera. These are extremely good low light cameras and, for what and how I shoot, I just rely on that and basically don't use flash. But, if you can get it set up with an external flash setup, your concerns about DOF should be alleviated - you can close the aperture down as far as you need shooting with a flash, no?

    In terms of handling, I've used it both with and without a grip and I mostly use it with the Fotodiox grip, which is about $50-60 and well worth it. The camera is so small and light that shooting with it for long periods of time is not an issue. For me at least. The only question is whether you'd like it more with or without a grip.

    The only other thing I'd mention is that for what you're talking about shooting, you might do just as well and save a bundle of money with the original RX1. I thought that was a wonderful camera and if they'd just set up the auto-ISO options to my liking (primarily an issue for the way I shoot on the street), I'd have never sold it or even considered the new model. The built in EVF and the tilt screen are pretty nice to have, but I was fine without them in the original. And that sensor, as you're aware from the D750, is incredibly good even if the new higher res version is technically somewhat better. My ideal small camera would be the original RX1 with the DF sensor, and a slightly wider 28mm lens. But nobody's offering that and the new RX1 is best for my needs. But I really loved the original and for everything but the way I do street shooting, I liked it every bit as much as the new one.

    Hope this is useful... If I missed anything or if you have any other questions, let me know.

    -Ray
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  4. Grokgod

    Grokgod SC Regular

    70
    Feb 20, 2017
    Hi Ray,
    Thanks of all your great info on the Sony Rx1.
    I'm wondering if there is any rendering differences? Tween the new version and the original.
    I think the ISO settings on base SS and better AF is perhaps the best reason to upgrade.
    Though I agree the original was near perfect.

    I miss it.
    Im still wondering if a new rx1r3 is in the cards for the year ahead.
    Any rumors?
     
  5. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs SC Legend Subscribing Member

    Sep 21, 2010
    Not too far from Philly
    you should be able to figure it out...
    I think there's some difference in rendering - there was even a really subtle difference between the RX1 and RX1R. And this one has even more detail than the original RX1R. But, as I mentioned elsewhere, you can always remove detail when you have too much for a given shot, but you can't add it if it's not there to begin with...

    The shutter speed control in the auto-ISO setup is HUGE to me, but not to everyone. The AF differences don't seem that great to me, but I don't notice that much with this type of camera and focal length. With this camera I'm generally using zone focus if I'm shooting moving subjects and use the AF for more static subjects and the AF in the original was just fine for my purposes.

    Have not heard any rumors about another iteration, but then I think I remember that the announcement of the mk II was a total surprise when it hit - no rumors on that one either. So, who knows. I'm not sure what else I'd want - they'll probably wait until they have an even higher resolution flagship sensor and I don't want that - I didn't even want 42mp...

    -Ray
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  6. Grokgod

    Grokgod SC Regular

    70
    Feb 20, 2017
    Total agreement.
    42 mp is too much, it's one of the main things holding me back from buying.

    What few files I have seen from RX1r2 seem extremely sharp which maybe can be mitigated by using the AA FILTER variable just a little?
    Or is it a factor of the new sensor and new rendering?

    Auto ISO and SS setup is mandatory, I was perplexed by it being missing in the original.

    My main concern is file size but I can shoot compressed raw as u suggested.
    And what are the differences in rendering other than more detail.

    It looks to me that sometimes the extra detail seems to trap the eye.

    And yes, the Mark 2 was a sudden appearance to me also.
     
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2017
  7. pniev

    pniev Student for life

    Jun 10, 2013
    Thanks Ray, that is very helpful. Your experience and writing helped me reach a conclusion: I decided to let the opportunity pass. I do not need the 42MP for my intended use. The D810 - and perhaps MF in the future, if I do well financially - suffices for high-detail watch photos. I also feel there is some redundancy. I took the D750 with 24, 35, and 58 lenses with me on a 3-week vacation and had no problems with weight, whatsoever. It is also the reason why I was able to prevent myself from buying the Df (could get a new one with 50mm lens for 1700 euros ex VAT) and to wait for the rumored Df2.

    I am not sure about RX1 either because of the auto-iso thing.

    I also realized that a brain deficiency holds me from buying/liking Sony: I associate Sony with electronics, not cameras. I know it's a ridiculous thing (hence the deficiency) but it is what it is. I like the looks, button layout and menu structure of the Leica Q better. The joy is as much in the process as in the result. I would love seeing a camera that has Leica Q looks with Zeiss 35/2 lens.

    So for now, I think I am going to focus on MFT or APS-C.... unless a good Leica Q deal comes along. ;-)
     
    • Like Like x 2
    • Agree Agree x 1
  8. Grokgod

    Grokgod SC Regular

    70
    Feb 20, 2017
    I just remembered an important possible issue on rx1r2
    Does the higher 42mp require higher SS? To maintain sharp images.
    Have u had any issues with lower SS's despite the fact that it's a leaf shutter and doesn't have shutter shock.
     
  9. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs SC Legend Subscribing Member

    Sep 21, 2010
    Not too far from Philly
    you should be able to figure it out...
    It's theoretically an issue at the pixel level, but assuming you display at the same sizes as you did with the 24mp sensor, shouldn't be any difference. I haven't been shooting it any differently personally...

    -Ray
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  10. Grokgod

    Grokgod SC Regular

    70
    Feb 20, 2017
    I am curious as to how you would remove detail.
    I am very tempted by the mark 2
    but like the rendering far more on the original version.

    I find the extra detail in the mark 2 distracting and I think it renders very differently as far as I can tell.
    but I like the new updates of the Mark 2
    If could get rid of some detail maybe that would recreate the Mark 1 look
    but still keep the mechanical difference of the new upgrades.
     
  11. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs SC Legend Subscribing Member

    Sep 21, 2010
    Not too far from Philly
    you should be able to figure it out...
    There are any number of ways to soften images in post processing. If you look at my Savannah post, I think there are a number of shots in that thread that show a smoother rendering closer to the original RX1 (as well as some processed in a way to show every bit of detail, arguably overdone). I'm gonna be traveling and in transition mode over the next couple days, but once I get settled with my Mac in front of me I may be able to show you some other examples, including a few family shots with a softer processing to them. But ultimately it's a matter of taste and if you just don't like it, that matters, so I'm not gonna try to talk you into or out of your impressions... just don't take some of my more heavily processed shots (at either the soft or crunchy end) as the only word on camera's rendering. Let Christilou get ahold of the RX1R II and I guarantee her processing style would show you how to soften an image and make it look wonderful and dreamy...

    -Ray
     
    • Like Like x 1
  12. Grokgod

    Grokgod SC Regular

    70
    Feb 20, 2017
    Thank you.
    I been trying to imagine how to soften images in LR and still retain proper sharpness where the focus is, without elaborate masking.
    Yet if as u say it's merely specific processesing in some photos that is creating this somewhat HDR detailed look, then there is perhaps a default RX1r2 image that I have yet to define?

    I think I'm trying to quantify a more objective understanding of the rendering differences between the two cameras.

    Thank you for the help.
     
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2017
  13. christilou

    christilou SC Hall of Famer

    Jul 13, 2010
    Sunny Frimley
    Well for what it's worth, I like the RX1. I'm still surprised by just how much detail you can pull out in a landscape and love the way it renders portraits where you don't want it to be over sharp. I would be so pleased if they just upgraded the focus speed but I guess you can't have everything. I struggled with the A7RII sensor and still I think the original A7R produces a nicer picture.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
    • Informative Informative x 1
  14. Grokgod

    Grokgod SC Regular

    70
    Feb 20, 2017
    Exactly,
    And how would u classify the rendering differences?
    Too much detail and subtle rendering not as good on the R2?
    R2 looks less 3d to me.

    Could using the AA filter render better?

    I love all the additional features on the R2 but the rendering on the R1 looks far more pleasing to me.

    But I'm still trying to figure out by looking at a lot of photos on Flickr if it's users processing?
    I guess we need raw file from both of same photo to really draw a conclusion.

    And if the R2 has the a7r2 sensor then that would coorlate with the R1 being a better picture than the R2

    or maybe I am just used to the way the original rendering looked. And need to get used to it.
     
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2017
  15. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs SC Legend Subscribing Member

    Sep 21, 2010
    Not too far from Philly
    you should be able to figure it out...
    FWIW, here are a few examples of different results based on processing. The first three are all from the same shot, the first neutral, the second soft, and the third with some extra sharpening and contrast applied. I tend toward the third approach more than I probably should with this camera - it's an approach that's probably more useful with some other gear I use and I should lay off it with these files, but I often don't.

    Nothing added here except some exposure adjustment and the border:
    33113664176_ea6b607125_h. last days-5-Edit-3 by Ray, on Flickr

    A bit of contrast, but also some softening applied:
    32772443770_ae59c93ca7_h. last days-5-Edit by Ray, on Flickr

    More contrast and sharpening, no softening:
    33027875691_7a4e4042cf_h. last days-5-Edit-2 by Ray, on Flickr

    And a couple of family shots, softened a bit:
    32772658890_e5bacf4686_h. Family-15-Edit by Ray, on Flickr

    32772655630_def05a4757_h. Southport-4-Edit by Ray, on Flickr

    I just got back home yesterday and after looking at a lot of my shots from my time down south, I really don't see all that much difference in the rendering from this RX1 and the original. As I said, I have some shots I processed arguably too heavily. But a LOT of them could have just as easily come from the original RX1, with plenty of detail but a sort of real natural looking smoothness as well. There's more detail and you have to be somewhat cognizant of that when you're working with the files, but you can end up with VERY similar results IMHO...

    -Ray
     
    • Like Like x 2
  16. Grokgod

    Grokgod SC Regular

    70
    Feb 20, 2017
    Thank you Ray for taking the time to post these.
    I am not sure what LR method you are using to soften photos.
    maybe reducing clarity of contrast.
    They look rather strange to me and not like the RX1, IMO

    I am not sure why to me there seems to be a big difference between the original Rx1 and the mark 2.
    I find the extra resolution in the rx1r2 very distracting and the rendering not really to my liking, but this may be merely because of what I am used to.
    I find the RX1r to have the least difference in rendering.
    The extra detail often stands out

    I guess I will have to continue my Flickr journey to continue my visual education until I can come up with a manner of expressing it better.
    I often distinguish the different files very easily.

    Lovely family

    Thanks again.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  17. BruPri

    BruPri SC Top Veteran

    720
    May 11, 2011
    Seattle, Washington USA
    Bruce J. Pritchard
    For what it's worth, with my RX1r (original), In LR, a bit of Clarity slider to the left gives me a subtler rendering akin to my A7/Leica 35 Summicron.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  18. Grokgod

    Grokgod SC Regular

    70
    Feb 20, 2017
    Thanks Bru,
    That is very helpful.
    I was working with some Rx1r2 file and using the clarity slider.
    But I think that technique soul deb far more useful with the rx1r version.

    Much Thanks