Sony is rumored to announce a new RX1R III camera

I received a tip from a source that has been correct in the past that one of the not-yet-announced Sony cameras, the WW620081, will be a new RX1R III model that will replace the current RX1R II. This could also explain the recent $600 price drop on the RX1R II. Stay tuned while I am trying to gather some additional information.

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  • Zos Xavius

    They were smart in waiting until they had an actually worthy upgrade for the original. This seems somewhat premature I think. I do not see what this could possibly offer that the RX1R II does not.

    • abortabort

      I speculated when the RX1R II came out, that eventually an updated RX1 II would also land, otherwise there is zero point of the ‘R’ designation.

      Sony likely are a bit behind in their latest ‘entry level’ FF sensor, possibly due to the most recent earthquake.

    • lobotomisedjournalist

      Er, let me take a stab at that:

      1. Faster, more accurate AF, especially in low light.
      2. A touch/focus LCD screen, for quick positioning of focus point.
      3. IBIS.
      4. Better battery life.
      5. Better, simpler menus and a ‘my menu’ facility.
      6. AFL/AEL toggle switch, as on the A7rII, so that one can be set one to simple back-button-focus and the other can be eye AF.
      7. More effective/reliable continuous AF.
      8. Better weatherproofing.
      9. Much, much faster start-up time and faster review times.
      10. One-touch manual focus magnification.
      11. Remembering all settings, including focus point when switched off and then back on (like an analogue camera).

      3&4 might make the camera a little larger/heavier, but, if most of that went into width, with a better grip, it would make the camera better to hold. Something like the width/grip of the X100 series, or even the A6500 could be a large ergonomic improvement.

      • Zos Xavius

        I didn’t realize the last model lacked Ibis. Yeah that would be big.

  • XenoGloss

    Better start showing some leg for money.

  • KT

    There has been several rumors, maybe more of a wishful thinking if you ask me, that the RX1R II might one day evolve into a compact medium format mirrorless wrapped around the 50 MP sensor currently populating the Fujifim GFX 50S and Hasselblad X1D. It might not be technically feasible to cram such a sensor in a FF body like the RX1R. Perhaps a new BSI sensor replacing the 42 MP will emerge out of this.

  • abortabort

    My bet is it is a new RX1 II, not a replacement to the RX1R II.

    • Could be, but I think they will continue only with the R going forward.

      • abortabort

        Why would they need an R in the name then? What’s it’s purpose?

        • silmasan

          Not sure why you’re asking the obvious. The “R” ending (as used by Sony and Canon) has always been used to indicate that the camera doesn’t have an AA filter (or at least not a “full” stack one / both axes).

          As the pixel count rises beyond 36mp, it’s safe (or at least sound) to assume that it’s not needed anymore. Nikon has only given one version of the D810 (not counting the special purpose D810A), and I haven’t read/heard a single complain about that.

          • abortabort

            “Not sure why you’re asking the obvious. The “R” ending (as used by Sony and Canon) has always been used to indicate that the camera doesn’t have an AA filter (or at least not a “full” stack one / both axes).”

            Not sure why you think this is ‘the obvious’, especially as this is completely incorrect, let alone obvious.

            The ‘R’ in Sony models stands for ‘R’esolution and is only ever used in a ‘R’esolution variant. Just like their ‘S’ensitivity models.

            Originally you stated that it was like Nikon with the D800/E, so why when the replacement ONLY had no AA-filter is the next one not called D810E? Or Pentax K-3 S? There is no reason to have a designation like this if it is the ONLY model.

            Going back to your false assumption that the R means it doesn’t have an AA-filter, the RX1R II does have an AA-filer, although variable, the A99 II does NOT have an AA-filter, yet is not called an A99R II.

            The R is a variant where there are variants. There is no reason to use it without there being an alternative variant.

          • R means Resolution – is this something you’ve seen on an official Sony website and you just made it up? Because the RX1 and RX1R were both 24MP, so I am not sure what else the R could mean in this case besides no AA filter:

            Comparing cameras that are 5 years apart and comparing cameras from different brands in order to make sense of a letter in a model number is so far from obvious that I don’t even know why I am writing this and arguing with you.

          • abortabort

            “is this something you’ve seen on an official Sony website and you just made it up? ” Are you serious?

            “Because the RX1 and RX1R were both 24MP, so I am not sure what else the R could mean in this case besides no AA filter: ”

            Anddddd that is the only model with an ‘R’ in it is it? Ever heard of an A7R? Because that model never shares the same res sensor as the ‘standard’ model. A lack of AA-filter ALSO increases resolution… funny that.

            “Comparing cameras that are 5 years apart and comparing cameras from different brands in order to make sense of a letter in a model number is so far from obvious that I don’t even know why I am writing this and arguing with you.”

            That wasn’t in response to you, not sure why you feel the need to argue it. But fine, ‘R’ OBVIOUSLY means ‘no AA-filter’ rather than ‘Resolution’ because that’s all that Nikon fanboys can understand.

            Oh and therefore S stands for ‘Electronic shutter’ right, because the A7S had an electronic shutter.

            As we move away from AA-Filters ALL models are going to have to have R in them, same with S for ‘electronic shutter’. Oh and global shutters, that is the ‘W’ model, soon Sony will release the A7RSW IV. Oh and if it has touch, it needs a ‘B’, plus if it has dual card slots it needs to a F, so OBVIOUSLY this will be the RX1RSWBF IV – Catchy no?

          • silmasan

            Yes, I omitted a good deal of my post for the sake of brevity. D810 actually has a difference to the D800E, I’ll just quote Thom Hogan here:

            “In particular, the D810 is different than a D800E: the D800E has a AA filter that first filters information on one axis, then replaces it; the D810 does no such thing. The data is never resolution filtered at all. It’s a very subtle thing”

            Anyway, you could be 100% correct and I don’t really care either way. However, the precedent with the RX1/RX1R series was that the differentiation began with two identical cameras using the same sensor. Was there a similar precedent in the A99 series? Should Sony go back in time to release RX1R with a 36MP sensor instead to go along with the A7R?

            Heheh you’re taking it too seriously.

          • abortabort

            I’m aware of the difference between the D810 and D800E, but you seem to be missing the point. The ‘E’ is used to differentiate the two otherwise very similar models, when they moved to a single model they dropped the differentiating letter. Pentax did the same with the ‘S’ on the K-5 II and K-5s II to the K-3.

            In Sony models they use it to differentiate models as well, so why use it on this model if there is nothing to differentiate? If it is the only model it is no longer required.

            The sensor used in the A7R was initially not used by Sony in anything, I’m not 100% sure of the reasons why, but if it were the RX1R likely would have used it, which goes with the rest of the model. You are tripping yourself up with one instance determining a pattern, rather than looking across the whole range and their own marketing.

            In marketing speak S is being touted as Sensitivity Mastered and R as Reality Realised, but in less marketing jargon, they are divided up a Sensity and Resolution models.

            On a side note, Sony didn’t use the 36MP sensor with the A99 MkI, it is likely because a) it didn’t have EFCS nor b) did it have PDAF. In the RX1 this may have made a difference either for focussing, or didn’t play well with the leaf shutter etc. The 42MP sensor does both. Given that the 36MP (possibly) wasn’t an option for the RX1, removing the AA-Filter may have been the only way, for that model, to achieve a ‘R’ variant.

          • silmasan

            Honestly, I think you’re taking commercial product naming (which too often is more affected by marketing than anything else) too logically, as if everything was already planned from the start and never to be changed midway. Then again, as ‘Nikon fanboys’, maybe we’ve gotten all too used to sloppy product naming/numbering… 😉

            So in the end, the proof of your argument lies on the existence of a vanilla “RX7 II”, right? Fine by me, let’s see if they release it… and if it comes, I’ll congratulate you (do remind me though). ‘K?

          • abortabort

            You seem to think that companies must ‘just wing it’ with these things and that there is no interrelationship or conventions between models. Of course there is a plan, what makes you think otherwise?

            There is a pretty well laid out convention for their whole ecology of products, there are changes for sure, but this is not usually done by individual model (and then not propagated).

            This doesn’t mean that there will definitely be other models, but it does suggest that other models were planned. Sony has only ever used these designations for sister models, there is no history of the convention that it is used alone (nor for any other brand either), this model would be the exception if that were true. So it’s a hypothesis that there was the intention for a ‘non-R’ model to be introduced at some stage. I also theorised that that model could have been delayed due to the lower resolution sensor not yet being available.

            Before the RX1R II the RX1 was believed to be being replaced with all sorts of sensors, all of which ‘could’ have been in testing and ‘could’ have potentially been planned for release, even after the R version.

            It is entirely possible that that version has been cancelled completely, which doesn’t invalidate the idea, but doesn’t prove it either.

            Additionally there are claims that this new RX1R III would replace the RX1R II, which given the time between MkI and MkII would seem quite too soon in it’s product cycle. Which also lends itself to rather than a refresh, a sister product instead.

            Lastly, most people believe that any new A7 series camera would in fact be a replacement to the A7R II, because that is the ‘top model’ which somehow equates to ‘current model’ (largely also because it is one of the more recent models). However it is most likely that a new model would be an A7 III which would exceed the overall capabilities of the A7R II, except in resolution. It would likely sit in 24-36MP territory (but using neither existing sensor) and feature faster performance and other body upgrades and feature set upgrades.

            Given that, the RX1 II (if it ever will exist as a shipping product) would likely feature many of the same features that that new sensor would bring (better AF performance, better video, lower power consumption, better low light performance).

            My bet however, is that any new RX series camera will be a new RX10 with PDAF and other performance improvements that came with the RX100 V. That model is a given at some point, it is only a matter of when.

          • silmasan

            save it dude. i don’t read walloftexts anymore

          • abortabort

            Yes, I can see how that might be a bit complex for you. You read something, didn’t understand it and repeated it as fact. Good on you for giving learning a go though!

          • silmasan

            In times of insecurity, condescend!

          • orpickanamo

            Just a suggestion. There are several similar personas here which I’ve blocked out (Disqus lets you do that now, if you didn’t already know this). Talk about productivity indeed. :p

          • oh yes, the block feature is great

          • silmasan


          • orpickanamo

            “rx1 ii”
            they have no rx7 series ^_^

          • silmasan

            heh right 😀

        • no aa filter

          • abortabort

            Incorrect, see response below.

        • Craig Nowell

          Simply signifies an absence of an AA filter. There are still cameras on the market that feature AA filters, of course, so it still differentiates the camera from these, and it just goes in a progression as such, as far as I can see: RX1, RX1R, RX1Rii, iii, etc. If the camera was launched as an RX1ii, people would then assume it has an AA filter restored possibly, whereas the new RX1Rii came with a variable LPF.

          • abortabort

            Well my Sony A99 II has no AA-Filter and it has no ‘R’ in the name. The RX1R II which does have one (although variable) has an R for the ‘lack of AA’? Does the A9 have an AA filter.

            IF Sony had only ever used the R designation on the RX1/R I would tend to agree with you, but it isn’t. Sony’s marketing material says that R is for ‘Reality’.

          • Craig Nowell

            Well, that is because there was not an A99R before yours came along ;). There was an R version of the RX1, and, as “R” in Sony speak stood for “Resolution”, that is what removing the AA filter is for. However, the RX1Rii has a 42.4 megapixel sensor. The A99ii’s is not as dense as that

          • abortabort

            There is no R version because they only make one variant. See how that works? And yes the A99 II has exactly the same pixel density because it has exactly the same sensor as the RX1R II.

            Yes the R stands for resolution, but only when there is a Resolution variant. So where is the NON Resolution variant of the RX1 II?

          • Craig Nowell

            Abortabort… What does it matter that warrants a year long discussion about how Sony chooses to name its products, or anyone else for that matter? I have been a photographer for over 30 years, and what I care about is whether the tool delivers for me, full stop, end of. They could call it the “Sony RX1ABCDEFG iii”, I wouldn’t care. If the name matters so much to you, go and talk to Sony about it! For me, I do not care. The logic holds because, when the RX1 was introduced, AA filters were still commonly in use. The first RX1 was introduced in 2012. It was really only in 2013/4 when AA filters started to be universally removed from sensors. As for the capabilities of my RX1Rii, I don’t need a replacement, because its capabilities – for what I use cameras for – are way more than I require, and I adore the 35/2 Sonnar lens especially. Great lens. It is the primary reason why you buy the RX1 series camera, to be honest. As for sensor designs, they evolve, and that is not going to stop. Since cameras went digital, planned obsolesence has become a feature to their marketing, unlike when film cameras and darkrooms were the way to go. However, what matters are the end results: the camera is a tool, the results matter, and the photographer determines the results and getting the most out of the tool.

          • abortabort

            Interesting that I point out errors in your post and you decide to lash out at me.

            How is this a year old post? That makes about as much sense as the rest of your post.

            I CARE about what it’s called because THIS post is about an upcoming RUMOURED new Sony RX camera. The name potentially means there is room in Sony’s lineup for a non-R model of the MkII RX1’s, nothing to do with dissing your camera, at all. So chill out. It leaves the possibility for (say) an RX1 II with 24MP stacked sensor to be sold alongside the RX1R II. Make sense yet? The R models are their high resolution VARIANTS. In models that don’t have any variants, regardless of having an AA or not, don’t have R or S letters needed. The RX1R II (seems) to be the only exception.

          • Craig Nowell

            You misread what I said, Abortabort. I don’t lash out at things. The fact is, Sony decide what they call their products, so go and talk to them about your disapprovals ;). I merely stated a point: i.e. Who cares what a camera is called. I find it entertaining that names and labels matter so much to you as it happens, as I really do not care. I care about the product’s capabilities more, not its labels, although as I stated before, the Nikon methods of labelling are confusing.

          • abortabort


            The stupidity of ‘photographers’ is staggering. I hope nobody requires you to say sign a contract or have children.

          • Craig Nowell

            If, howeve, grooming your ego about being right and pointing out errors turns you on – fine, I suppose. As for the bit about “a year” I was exaggerating, quite clearly… I was speaking metaphorically as if to say: “what a waste of time talking about labels!” There, hope that is clear.

            I think people talking about what improvements or features or even things like improved battert life or ergonomics would be far more interesting, especially the extra cost and outlay you must spend on it to make it handle better (although the form factor and look of the camera at a glance make it look very elegant a design between retro and state of the art).

          • Craig Nowell

            …but ultimately all it is is Marketing, pure and simple. Minor differentiations to coax people into buying: digital cameras have, after all, now becomed products with “planned obsolesence” built in, quite unlike old film cameras used to be forever enduring

        • Craig Nowell

          I was for a long time a Nikon user, and in more recent times I have found that the product naming methods being used by them has been confusing. I actually like the “Mark II, III, etc.” Method used by Canon and Sony to be rather a simple way of describing the next model evolution.

          • abortabort

            I agree. It’s like a 5-series or 3-series bmw, you don’t need a new model number with every evolutionary product.

  • Yitzchal

    Still love my RX1R I, and apart from the slow AF, think it is one of the best cameras ever made!

    • I agree with you, Sony should have update the AF speed with a firmware….

      • Yitzchal

        I was disappointed they never did so… but I didn’t want to spend all that money for the RX1R ii, since 24MP is more than enough for 99% of my needs, and besides, I had purchased the A7Rii for landscape work…. peace Peter.

        • In my case I sold the RX1 and got the Leica Q.

          • Yitzchal

            So do you like the “Q” better?

          • The AF is better, the menus are better, but it’s a bigger camera with EVF. It’s also 28mm, I prefer 35mm. So yes, in general I like it – if Sony had improved the AF, I would have kept the RX1.

          • Yitzchal

            Thanks Peter… Let’s see what they do with the RX1r iii!

      • Craig Nowell

        It is not a software capability… It is the system built on the sensor itself that determine s the processing speed. Contrast only AF is slower as it averages a bigger target area. Phase detect looks at a tiny area with cross type sensors

        • The reason I am saying firmware update is because a few years ago Sony released a big firmware update that improved the AF on several models, excepts the RX1.

    • Craig Nowell

      I have played with the original RX1R and would not be disappointed if I had that instead of the ii. The viewfinder does make a world of difference though and the phase detect AF helps enormously in terms of both AF speed and low light performance and accuracy, as well as Eye AF.

  • Craig Nowell

    The RX1Rii, in my opinion, is one of the most capable and exciting cameras ever made. It is expensive, but, I argue you more than get your money’s worth. It got the AF system it needed: the same as the phase detection system in the A7Rii, a very welcome and very well made EVF, as well as tiltable rear LCD. The only drawback of the camera is the battery life, but I can live with that as I have 4 spares. It is beautifully made, the Sonar lens is, in my over 30 years in photography, the best 35mm lens I have had in my possession in terms of clarity, centre to edge performance, contrast and more. I have a love of fixed focal length photography, in particular, and for anyone who enjoys the fun and challenge of that as I do, this camera is money well spent. There are some pro points of the Leica Q (and a bit of a rip off in comparison too), but there are more in the RX1Rii frankly, in my view. In terms of sheer versatility and size and weight, it is unparalleled still. I don’t know what the RX1Riii will be like, but, I won’t be rushing out to buy it.

  • Craig Nowell

    By all accounts it looks like the next evolution of the camera could either use the rumoured 56 MP sensor from Sony, or, the stacked back illuminated sensors they have released in full frame for the first time on the A99 Mark II. Either way you’ll either get even better resolution (arguably not needed) or the stacked illuminated sensor which further improves low light performance and high speed file transfers (which would significantly increase burst rates and AF speeds, potentially). I don’t know about 4K video: this doesn’t interest me a whole lot as I don’t want to spend £4-5000 on a PC designed to cope with 4K video editing, and it is still a small body full frame camera (which is the whole appeal of it), and cooling will be an issue unless it was covered in vents and had a heatsink that resulted fattening the camera up.

    • abortabort

      I think you are are talking about the Sony A9… not A99 II.

      • Craig Nowell

        No apologies, that was a typo… I am typing on an Apple iPad, which has a rubbish screen based keyboard and cannot keep up with my key strokes, or doubles up or puts incorrect text in sometimes. I was talking about the A99 and A99ii. The A9 is the first of its range, of course. I expect an A9S and an A9R will follow at some point, like the A7 range

        • abortabort

          Oh do you? Well I don’t care what they’re called, it’s about the photographer, not the name. I’m not sure why you need to argue about the name, its about the capabilities. I don’t know why you want to spend your time talking about what they will call these new cameras.

      • Craig Nowell

        There, I made some corrections above, just to qualify.

        The other huge issue in the RX1Rii is overheating. It is so small as a full frame camera that, even doing full HD video, it overheats in a few minutes and stops filming (I time it at around 6 minutes when it starts getting upset) let alone having 4K capability, and battery life is exceedingly poor. If Sony can find a way to resolve those ‘quirks’ the RX1 series will be an “almost” perfect fixed lens camera. All that aside, I can live with those drawbacks for all the pluses the camera has. The Leica Q certainly is better for battery life, but it is not really a pocketable full frame camera (it is bigger than many mid ranged Canon DSLRs) and in terms of overall performance, not nearly as good as the Sony, except for an even more detailed EVF (but the third iteration will no doubt inherit the A9’s new trufinder)

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