Sony launched a bomb today announcing the successor of what could be the best action camera that was never designed to be an action camera. Welcome to the RX0 II. Is it the most versatile POV camera of the highest quality yet?
When Sony released the original RX0 camera, it was considered a bit strange. It looked like an action camera and had the general specifications, such as rugged construction, fixed lens, and so on. But it was not marketed as such. In fact, it was very much aimed at the professional segment of the market because it required an external recorder to record 4K.
Today, Sony has announced the RX0 II, and it seems that it is a very different beast. Of course, this is very similar to the first camera, almost identical to the first inspection, but there are extremely important changes, both in the specifications and in the way it is marketed.
Let's start with some of the technical specifications. The RX0 II contains a 15 cm (1 ") Exmor RS CMOS sensor. We are talking from the outset of a camera that far exceeds the GoPro, especially because it creates its video image by oversampling, taking the picture of the sensor's full area.
The ZEISS lens has a fixed aperture of f / 4, consisting of 6 elements in 6 groups, and gives a viewing angle of 84 degrees. The real beauty of this lens is that, unlike most action cameras, the RX0II has no distortion. It's definitely an area without fisheye.
The camera also has autofocus, including eye detection. There are different options to get full control over the image configuration, including different creative image profile styles. S-log2 is also in the list of options.
The biggest change from the RX0 is that the new camera records 4K 30p internally in XAVC at 100 Mbps, with a rather long and confusing list of frame rates and additional resolutions! Suffice to say that the high rates are well in evidence. If you stick to the HD, 100 / 120fps is available to record and play back in real time, because strangely, Sony does not consider the HFR mode at 120fps.
For this you have to go up to 250 frames per second, which is saved again in HD resolution. In fact, in HD, you can reach the dizzying heights of 1000 frames per second. Now, this will likely involve a loss of real resolution. But if Sony uses methods similar to those of other devices such as the PXW-Z90, these limitations will be noticeable only during a very careful control. In other words, it looks like an excellent camera in slow motion.
Own HDMI output functions for recording on external recorders. Sony did not specify whether it was 8-bit or 10-bit. Smart money, however, is 10-bit, since that's what the original camera displays in 4K with 4: 2: 2 color accuracy.
Despite the name of "premium touch mini camera", Sony markets the RX0 II quite like a lifestyle device. Something so small that you can take it and use it anywhere. And this includes using it for Vlogging. A use for which influenced the next big change in design. The LCD screen swivels 180 degrees. This is not only useful for taking low angle shots, but it can be reversed so that Vloggers can see the image they are recording. There is even a dedicated microphone jack.
The camera has an IPX8 sealing index, which means that it is submersible up to 10 m and a crush resistance index of 2000N. So, while marketing appears like a lifestyle camera, you can not help thinking that it would make it an excellent premium camera.
Interestingly, the RX0 II has a Clear Image optical zoom of up to 2x, electronically. On paper, electronic zooms always look hideous. But Sony has experience creating voodoo with Clear Image on its other devices, so this feature can prove extremely useful!
Sony mentions the electronic stabilization, but it seems, although it is not entirely clear, that there are two methods to achieve it. One in camera and another by interpreting the gyroscopic metadata of Sony's smartphone application clips to perform different types of stabilization. For example, keep a subject in the frame or adjust the amount of stabilization applied.
The battery life for video is about 120 minutes, and it seems that the battery is exchangeable. Finally, just like the original camera, the RX0 II is equipped with an anti-distortion function that eliminates any shutter problems when shooting fast.
Accessories occupy a prominent place. There is a handle to control the recording functions and duplicate it as a mini tripod. For more professional users, there is an extension that allows the use of 30.5 mm screw filters.
In terms of price, the camera has a suggested retail price of $ 700, which does not really make it an economical option. And for those whose camera style of action is in mind, this may be too risky. That said, that is built for durability, and for people who are fed up with the fish-eye distortion of other similar devices, and who want advanced imagery, can be persuaded to look good at the RX0 II. Personally, I think it's a very interesting camera with a very compelling feature set, and as you can see on the video below, the picture that comes out is quite remarkable for such a small camera.
For more information, visit the Sony website. Sample video of the new camera below.