The market for superzoom cameras is a niche one. But manufacturers continue to churn them out for people who want them, as small a group as this may be. And while Canon is designing models that can fit in your pocket, Sony’s latest high-end superzoom is a very different kind of device. The RX10 II has a big, DSLR-like body (similar to its predecessor), which it needs to accommodate that Zeiss 24-200mm (35mm equivalent, constant f/2.8) zoom lens. Coupled with this fixed glass is a 1-inch, 20.2-megapixel Exmor RS BSI CMOS sensor and a BIONZ X image processor for fast and sharp shooting. Aside from being just a superzoom, though, the RX10 II is also being marketed as a premium video camera: It records 4K (3,840 x 2,160) at up to 30 fps and offers an insane slow-motion setting at 960 fps. After shooting with it for a day, I can say that everything comes together nicely — and you’d hope as much considering its $1,300 asking price.
The RX10 II has performed well so far, producing great photos and videos all around, although they’re not as impressive as those from the A7R II — which isn’t surprising given the different types of sensors used. Obviously, where this camera shines is when you’re trying to capture things from afar, and the built-in Zeiss 24-200mm lens doesn’t disappoint. A lot of that is thanks to the constant f/2.8, of course, giving you one less thing to worry about when zooming in and out of distant subjects. There’s also a manual aperture ring that gives the camera a more “pro” feel, if you’re into that sort of thing. Since I’ve only had the RX10 II for about 24 hours, I’m going to hold back on a final verdict until later. For now, check out this album of sample images taken with Sony’s new superzoom shooter.