Sony recently launched the strangely named RX0, a compact waterproof and shockproof camera with a price tag of $548.00.
The action camera market is heating up with the launch of new products. GoPro is no longer the only major player here and others are catching up big time.
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It only means good news for consumers. With the launch of the Sony’s RX0 this segment is now even more competitive. The RX0 comes with a pretty interesting list of features. Some of these are quite unexpected from such a small camera. No wonder it is dubbed as a Pro Action Camera.
But with such a hefty price tag does the RX0 make buying sense?
SONY RXO Camera Features
Let’s take a closer look at the camera’s features and find out more about it.
- Unique performance and compactness for extraordinary applications
- 1” (1.0-Type) stacked Exmor RS CMOS sensor with DRAM Chip
- 24mm1 F4 ZEISS Tessar T* lens delivers high-resolution images
- Matchbox sized durable duralumin, water2/shock3/crush4 proof body
- In the box: Rechargeable Battery Pack NP-BJ1; AC AdaptorAC-UUD12; Micro USB cable; Wrist Strap; Memory card protector;...
The Sony RX0 is powered by a 1″ stacked EXMOR RS CMOS sensor with an effective resolution of 15.3 megapixels. Maximum native ISO capability of the sensor is 12800. Paired with a BIONZ X image processor the RX0 is a capable system that can shoot and process full HD videos at a high frame rate.
Being a compact camera, the Sony RX0 comes with a fixed built-in lens. The Zeiss Tessar T* 24mm (equivalent to 35mm format) lens has a maximum aperture of f/4. F/4 is somewhat in the middle in terms of aperture value.
Neither too small nor too big. But one thing is true. This will struggle in low light conditions. Construction wise the lens is composed of 6 elements.
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This is an action sports video camera. It is capable of recording of 4K / UHD footages when you use an external recorder connected via the HDMI port.
When recording internally, the camera is capable of recording full HD at variable frame rates of 24 through 60. It is capable of recording in the Sony XAVC S format at a bit rate of 50 Mbps. Apart from that you can also record in AVCHD and MP4 formats.
There is a slow motion mode on the camera as well. It can shoot full HD at a higher frame rate – 240 fps through to 1000 fps. That’s an incredible amount of frames. You can play it back in 30 fps and create some stunning slow-motion effects of everyday moments.
It outputs 4:2:2 UHD / 4K footages which ensure that you have a lot more color information compared to standard 4:2:0 recording. Additionally, you also have time-stamp coding. That ensures in a multi-camera set-up you can easily sync footages from several cameras.
There are a few annual shooting assists. You get manual focus peaking option which gives you a greater degree of control over manual focusing. You get Preset Focus option as well. The camera comes with S-Log2 as well for recording a larger amount of dynamic range if you love to grade your footages.
Despite its video pedigree, the Sony RX0 is also a capable still shooter. It can produce RAW stills as well. The still capability comes in handy if you love shooting time-lapses, hyper-lapses, just casual still images or something more complicated like bullet-time.
Sony’s FA-WRC1M is a wireless triggering system that can be programmed to fire up to 15 of these RX0 cameras. The results is 15 frames that are shot from different angles at the same instant (your raw material for bullet time video).
Sony has plans to launch an access point device that will allow even a higher number of RX0’s to be triggered for a more expansive and an exclusive shooting solution.
If you plan on shooting Virtual Reality (VR) footages setting up 6-8 of these cameras on a custom-built rig gives you an incredibly powerful system. Perhaps Sony is desirous of this use and that is why they are planning on the access point device.
Normal shooting has a continuous burst speed of 5.5 fps. There is a burst photo mode as well. It shoots 16 frames in one second.
The RX0 uses smaller MicroSD cards.
The Sony RX0 comes with built-in Wi-Fi. There is a Sony app – PlayMemories. This can be downloaded and installed on a compatible ssmartphone/tabletdevice. This app allows you to trigger up to 5 RX0 without the need for an external triggering mechanism. If you have a small set-up of 3-5 cameras this is more than enough for you.
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Controls, Buttons and Display
There are very few controls on the RX0. The back of the camera has a display toggle, a play button, a recording button, a menu button, scroll forward and backward (which also doubles as the function) button.
There is also a latch which opens battery compartment. The rest of the real estate is dominated by a 1.5″ LCD screen. There is no touch functionality on the screen.
The RX0 comes with an excellent well-built chassis. The lens has a waterproof and shockproof body. You can safely use it at a depth of up to 33′ under water without any issues. It should survive a fall from up to 6.5′. Finally, the camera can withstand a pressure of 200 kilos on it. So, it should be perfectly ok even if you accidentally happen to sit on it.
Action cameras ought to be that way if you are going to put them in harm’s way and use them in inclement weather. But the other advantage of these high durability credentials is that you can mount the camera on a drone or take it underwater as part of a larger set-up for shooting in situations where no other camera will work. The fact that it is very light weight means all these is possible without any extra load.
There is a tripod mount that allows 1/4″ – 20 screw. You can mount it on a tripod without issues. There is also a microphone input and a HDMI output (type-D).
Weighing just 96 grams the RX0 is a tiny camera. The dimensions of the camera are 2.4 x 1.6 x 1.2″ making it one of the smallest camera systems that is capable of shooting 4:2:2 UHD 4K videos.
The Sony RX0 is an action, sports and VR camera. I would say that it is on the pricier side with a number of options coming below it in that parameter. But when you take into consideration the overall package this is a nice camera to boot.
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Rajib is an avid travel photographer and an overall shutterbug. He loves to test and review new photography gear. He has been writing about cameras and lenses for over 10 years now. You can consider him as your “master guide” here at PhotoWorkout.
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