Sony engages with NFC, adds it to cameras

We’re seeing the wireless handshake protocol Near-Field Communication enter nearly every device Sony makes, with TVs, smartphones, headphones, laptops and tablets receiving it. Now it’s time for cameras to latch on to the wireless standard, as Sony announces its first NFC camera.

A follow-up to last year’s RX100, the RX100 II revamps the original with a new sensor, better support for accessories, and more of the technology coming across from all of Sony’s divisions in an attempt to make the products all the more better.

We’ll start with the sensor, and while the megapixel count hasn’t changed dramatically and stick with 20, the sensor has been redeveloped with the aim of getting low-light noise down. We can’t say for sure yet if it does this, but Sony is paring it with an f/1.8 to f.4.9 lens capable of pulling in 3.6x optical, or 28-100mm.

The camera will also be able to instantly send images straight to an NFC-compatible smartphone or tablet simply by pairing over Near-Field Communication, which will link up using WiFi. We haven’t heard yet, but we suspect iPhones and iPads won’t be left out in the cold, as while Apple hasn’t yet supported NFC, owners of these devices will still probably be able to link up directly with the WiFi access.

“We’re thrilled to bring Australians our first NFC camera packed with all the great features you’ve come to expect in a Sony pocket camera,” said Ervin Quek, Marketing Manager for Digital Imaging at Sony Australia.

“We’ve listened to our users and have updated the RX100 mark 2 with improved specs like the new Exmor R CMOS sensor which lets you take stunning pictures, even in low light situations.”

Next is the back of the camera, and the fixed three inch screen now has the ability to tilt, which will make shooting from different heights much easier than trying to reach for the screen.

That screen will also include Sony’s Triliminos technology, which aims to improve colour recreation dramatically, and is the same technology used in Sony’s 4K Ultra High Definition TVs.

Sony is also bringing a hot shoe to the camera, which means external flashes can be used with the tiny compact camera.

A flash head is the obvious accessory, but thanks to Sony’s engineering of the “multi interface shoe” controller (which adds a few extra pins to the design), the RX100 II can take a range of accessories, and from what we gather, these might even be the same as what the RX1, RX1R, and even possibly what the HX50 use.

Interestingly, the RX100 II won’t replace the original, but will instead join it, with the RX100 retailing for $799, and the new model hitting stores in July for $899.

Lots of accessories available for this camera.