The RX1R II Compared to a 24 Megapixel Interchangeable Lens Camera

Overview of the Camera

The  RX1R II at 42.4 megapixels is the smallest highest resolution full-frame frame camera on the market. The autofocus on this sensor has an impressive 399 phase-detection points and a low pass filter that has three settings low, high and off. It has a pop-up viewfinder when combined with the build in lens allows for the size of this camera to be smaller than some point and shoot cameras. So the camera is small enough to fit into a coat pocket when not in use.

The image quality (IQ) of this camera is further improved back-illuminated sensor structure and the copper wiring system, one of only a few full-frame cameras on the market with this latest technology. Without getting into a technical discussion this means significantly less noise and wider dynamic range. So the camera, as a result, has a higher ISO range images with far less noise when using these higher ISOs.

The lens itself, because it is designed into the camera and in relation to the sensor, is extremely sharp and precise, perhaps more than it might have been as an interchangeable lens on an interchangeable lens camera. It is an f2 lens with a built-in leaf shutter, with all the advantages that leaf shutters bring to a camera.

Economics of Fixed Lens Compared to Interchangeable.

If you consider 24 megapixels sufficient for the printing you are planning then by cropping the 42-megapixel images on the RX1R II the image does not drop below 24 megapixels until you get to a 61mm crop. So in effect, this single lens gives you everything from 35mm to 61mm through a cropping process and no need to change or carry additional lenses.
So let us look at the savings in cost and weight. With the two 24-megapixel cameras the A7 II and the X-T2 you would need two lenses for an equivalent comparison in lens quality and range. In this scenario, the A7 II kit would cost you $2546 (CA$3350) and weigh 955g; the X-T2 kit would cost $2880 (CA$3000) and weight 994g; and the RX1R II would cost $3648 (CA$4800) and weight 507g.
The saving in bulk would be your camera is in your jacket pocket rather than in a camera bag.
A7 II w/50mm f2.8 Sony FE Macro                   Fuji X-T2 w/35mm f2 (50mm equivalent)                  RX1R II w/ 35mm f2 
A7 II w/35mm f 2.8 Sony Sonnar                 Fuji X-T2 w/23mm f2 (35mm equivalent)                   RX1R II w/ 35mm f2

How Do the Lenses Compare

One of the difficulties in choosing compact lenses in for the X-T2 and the A7 II is we overlook the quality of the lenses in favour of how compact they make the complete package. If you look at the independent testing companies like DXO you can find comprehensive tests on some Sony lenses, but they do not test Fuji lenses. Photozone has extensive results on the Fujifilm lenses, but limited tests on the Sony lenses. So getting a standardised cross comparison is problematic. I have been unable to find tests on the RX1R II lens, tests mostly respond to the camera as a package for obvious reasons. 
In my subjective opinion, I believe all the lens are of similar quality, based on their price.

Another Possible Cropping Solution

One should not ignore the fact that the A7R II with the 42-megapixel sensor and the 35mm lens also has the same cropping capacity as the RX1R II, although it is somewhat larger. However, unlike the RX1R II it is an interchangeable lens camera.


If you are a meticulous photographer and image quality is very import across all f stops then the RX1R II is probably not the camera for you, I think you would be better off abandoning the idea of a smaller camera. If you are interested in a fixed lens camera of higher quality with a leaf shutter then the Leica Q might be a better camera, however, it is a larger camera.
Sony RXIR II                                                                                      Leica  Q
All of the combinations in the comparison above are capable of delivering excellent IQ, and it really comes down to a tradeoff between flexibility and compactness. The RX1R II delivers very high resolution images with excellent IQ in a pocket-size package, but at the expense of lens selection. If you value system flexibility and control over compactness, however, you may be better serviced by selecting a larger mirrorless body with interchangeable lenses. You’ll even save some money in the bargain