Sony launched a bomb today with the announcement of a successor to what could be the best action camera that was never intended to be an action camera. Welcome to RX0 II. Is this the most versatile and highest quality POV camera?
When Sony released the original RX0 camera, it was considered rather strange. It looked like an action camera and had the general specs of one such as sturdy construction, fixed lens etc. But it was not marketed as such. In fact, it was aimed at the professional side of the market, requiring an external recorder to record 4K.
Today Sony announced the RX0 II, and it seems to be a very different beast. Sure, it's very similar to the first camera, almost exactly the same on the first inspection, but there are some extremely significant changes, both to the specs and to the way it's being marketed.
Let's start with some of the technical specs. The RX0 II contains a 15.3 "Exmor RS CMOS sensor. On the face of it, we are talking about a camera with a cut well above a GoPro, because it creates your video image by oversampling, taking the picture from the sensor area .
The ZEISS lens has a fixed aperture of f / 4, comprising 6 elements in 6 groups and provides a viewing angle of 84 degrees. The real beauty of this glass is that, unlike most action cameras, the RX0II has absolutely no distortion. This is definitely a fish eye zone.
The camera also features autofocus, including eye detection. There are several options for full control over the image setting, including various creative image profile styles. S-log2 also displays the list of options.
The biggest change over the RX0 is that the new camera internally records 4K 30p for XAVC at up to 100Mbps, along with a rather long and confusing list of additional frame rates and resolutions! Suffice it to say that high frame rates are prominent. If you stick to HD, then 100 / 120fps will be available to record and play in real time, because strangely Sony does not consider HFR mode at 120fps.
For this you need to go up to 250fps, which again is recorded in HD resolution. In fact, in HD, you can go all the way down to the unimaginable heights of 1000fps. Now, this is likely to involve some real loss of resolution. But if Sony is using similar methods here for other cameras, such as the PXW-Z90, such limitations will only be noticeable on a very close inspection. In other words, this seems to be a great slow-motion camera.
Clean the HDMI output features for recording on external recorders. Sony has not specifically specified whether it is 8-bit or 10-bit. Smart money, however, is in 10 bits, as that is what the original camera produces in 4K with 4: 2: 2 color accuracy.
Despite calling it "tiny touch camera," Sony is marketing the RX0 II as a lifestyle device. Something that is so small you can pick up and use it anywhere. And this includes using it for Vlogging. A use for which has influenced the next big change in design. The 180 degree LCD display. This is not only useful for taking low-angle shots but can be shifted so Vloggers can see the image they are recording. There's even a dedicated mic connector.
The camera has a waterproof rating of IPX8, which means it is submersible up to 10m and has a 2000N crushing proof rating. So while it's being shown in marketing as a lifestyle camera, one can not help but feel it would be a great premium action camera.
Interestingly, the RX0 II features Clear Image zoom up to 2x, electronically. On paper, electronic zooms always look heinous. But Sony has a history of managing the creation of voodoo with Clear Image on its other cameras, so this can really become a highly useful function!
Sony mentions electronic stabilization, but it seems that, while not entirely clear, there are two methods to achieve this. One on the camera and another on the interpretation of gyroscopic clip metadata in the Sony smartphone application to perform different types of stabilization. For example, keep a subject on the board or adjust the amount of stabilization applied.
The battery life for video is stated around 120 minutes, and it looks like the battery can be replaced. Finally, just like the original camera, the RX0 II has an anti-distortion capability that eliminates any shutter problem during fast motion when taking pictures.
Accessories feature prominence. A handle is available that can control the recording functions as well as bend as a mini tripod. For more professional users, there is a complement that allows the use of thread filters of 30.5 mm.
Price wise, the camera has an RRP of $ 700, which does not exactly make a budget option. And for those with the action camera style in mind, it can be very risky. Said that, is built with durability in mind, and for people who are tired of the fisheye distortion of other similar cameras, and who want images that are a step up, may well be persuaded to give the RX0 II a good look. Personally I think it really is a very interesting camera with a very attractive feature set, and as you can see in the video below, the image coming out of this thing is quite remarkable for such a small device.
For more information, visit the Sony website. Video example of the new camera follows below.