As I had broadly anticipated in my last blog post relating to the review of the RX100 IV, I was very tempted to purchase the RX1r ii - a full frame camera in the body size of a point and shoot. 

Some time back I already had the RX1, which I loved dearly, but which I had decided to sell as I was not willing to tie that kind of money to a camera which I used casually.  I must say that I was wrong in my assertion.  For me photography is all about spontaneity, passion and moments and during this year without a real camera I could not take out with me and shoot high quality images in my style. I could still shoot images in my mind and later with the RX100 IV which I purchased some months ago, but it never felt right.

As much as I like the RX100 IV for what it is - super portable, pop-up viewfinder and decent IQ, the comparison with images from a full-frame camera are too distant.  I therefore needed to have a camera which was discrete, had a fixed lens prime and had great IQ.  I really looked at opting for a Fuji (Fujifilm X series X100F specifically) but the fact that Fujis are not full-frame pushed me a bit off from them. 

I also must say I have all my cameras are Sony mirrorless, so for me I knew that the RX1rii was more suited as I am accustomed to their menus and way of being.  It was just a matter of time to get the necessary financial resources to buy this camera.  

My camera arrived yesterday with a number of accessories:

  • Lims Grip case
  • B+W Filter
  • Lens hood.

Camera Impressions and Settings

My first impressions of the camera is that it is exactly as I expected it.  It is a compact professional camera, which requires a grip!  The 42MP sensor is great to crop into and the f2 lens matches well with the sensor.  Did I also tell you that 35mm is my favorite and most used focal range?

A small but large improvement is that the EVF (electronic viewfinder)  pop-up up finder does not need to be pushed out to be used.  I must say however that I mostly do shoot from the hip, with the tilted screen, but when I can I will be using the viewfinder as it is a joy to use.

I have read other reviews and modes of using the camera, but I prefer to stick to single focus point autofocus and single shoot autofocus (S) modes.  This gives me more control and is still good for street photography.  I have however switched to continous frame shooting, so as to ensure I get a shoot or two in quick action.  

Other reviewers (see this review)  have advocated for a wide autofocus mode and continuous autofocus mode, and while I will need to expert more, I felt I lost all control of the the focusing and left all the decision making to the camera.

Real world Review - Street photography

So this morning I took the camera off for a spin... I mean I went to do something I have not been doing for some time - real street photography.  The path I took is hereby retraced, just around Tarxien and Paola area, where I live:

 

The images here under were taken during a 1 hour period this morning.  As the images show, to take good images one does not need to go to the other side of the world or take impossible travels.  For me, photography is all about observation, exploration and story-telling.  To those reading this from outside of Malta, these images display in a simplistic manner daily life in a typical Maltese village.

Conclusion

The RX1rii is exactly what I had hoped for, and I think there is no other camera at the moment which delivers the same image quality in such a small and discreet package.  If I could give Sony an advise for their future RX1 models, I would ask them to add a bit of a grip and possibly use the same batteries they use in the A7rii in the grip space.  

I do know however that this time around I will not be repeating the mistake as I did with the RX1!  I will be keeping this camera for a long time to come!

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