Sony RX0 – an Action Camera?

When I saw the press release of the new Sony RX0 today I got very excited. It seems this new camera is the “mother of all action cameras“, but then I took a closer look at the specs:

Sony RX0

Sony RX0

 

Sony RX0 Specs

Sensor
Sony RX0 features a 15.3 MP (effective) 1.0-type Exmor RS CMOS sensor. Compared to rival action cameras the sensor has a larger physical size. Most other action cams hold a smaller 1/2.3″ sensor. This new sensor enables up to 960fps/1000fps (!) super slow motion and up to 1/32000 super-high shutter speed. It’s the same sensor used in Sony RX100 V.

Lens
The ZEISS Tessar T* 24mm F4 lens promises high-resolution images and less image distortion in peripheral areas, despite its wide-angle lens design. Focus range is approx. 50cm (1.7 ft.) to infinity. RX0 features manual and auto focus control, so you have the option to fine tune focus settings.

Frame Rates & Resolution

Now here comes the huge question mark:
The maximum Sony RX0 can shoot in 1920 x 1080 are an impressive 1000fps!
It is stated that there is a clean HDMI 4K output for external recording.
As well as 16fps of continuous RAW shooting.
But there is no info on internal 4K recording !?

Photo Resolution
Sony RX0 can shoot still images up to 15MP (4,800×3,200) resolution in .jpg and RAW (Sony ARW).

Image Stabilization
It seem that Sony RX0 will NOT have image stabilisation. Would be nice to have optical stabilisation like on Sony FDR-X3000. Might have been dropped in favour of camera body design.

Display & Focus
Sony RX0 features a 3.8cm 1,5″ (4:3) TFT screen. To help you fine-tune focus, Manual Focus (MF) Assist magnifies the area you are focusing on to enable more precise adjustment, while Peaking highlights the sharpest or most in-focus area with your choice of color to help determine whether further focusing adjustment is required. For movie shooting, you can choose MF (manual focus) or PF (preset focus) mode. If you select PF mode, Sony RX0 automatically focuses on a subject in the range farther than approx. 1m. Also, while the RX0 is in PF mode, if you activate “NEAR” focusing range, the camera automatically focuses on a nearby subject (within approx. 1m range).

Sony RX0 - Ports, Screen & Focus Adjustment

Sony RX0 – Ports, Screen & Focus Adjustment

 

Connectivity & Ports
Sony RX0 features wifi to connect with the Sony PlayMemories Smartphone app. With one smartphone you can control up to 5 RX0 cameras! Also, Bluetooth is available and allows remote power on/off operation!
With the optional remote you can trigger up to 15 cameras at once.
Ports include micro USB, micro HDMI and a 3,5mm audio jack for an external microphone.
And of course a microSD card slot.

Battery
Sony RX0 uses NP-BJ1 J-type batteries with a capacity of 700 mAh. That’s not much and therefore battery life is only stated with 60min “movies continuous shooting” and 30min “movies actual shooting”.

 

Built tough

  • Waterproof – RX0 itself is 10m/33ft waterproof (IPX8 equivalent).
  • Shockproof – shock resistant to drops to the ground from heights up to 2.0m/6.5ft.
  • Crashproof – under weight of up to 200kgf/440lbf/2000N.

Dimension & Weight:
59 x 40.5 x 29.8 mm (2 3/8 × 1 5/8 × 1 3/16 in.), Approx. 110g (3.9oz.) with battery included.

Sony RX0 - Dimensions

Sony RX0 – Dimensions

 

Features

S-log2
S-Log2 is a proprietary gamma setting from Sony that is for professionals seeking post-production flexibility, and extends the dynamic range of recording to reduce occurrence of blown-out highlights and black crush.

Clean HDMI Output
For production flexibility, you can use clean HDMI output to record uncompressed video to an external recorder in your choice of formats and bitrates, including non-compressed 4K movie, and monitor the footage.

Uncompressed high-quality 4K data can be recorded on an external recorder.

Uncompressed high-quality 4K data can be recorded on an external recorder.

 

ISO sensitivity
Sensitivity extends up to ISO 12800, for crisper images in extremely low light. The camera also allows you to set up lower-limit shutter speed at time of Auto ISO setting.

1/32000 sec. Anti-Distortion Shutter
Super-speedy shutter reduces distortion in shots of fast-moving subjects. See images below: [1] Conventional rolling shutter [2] RX0 anti-distortion shutter.

Sony RX0 - anti-distortion shutter

Sony RX0 – 1) Conventional rolling shutter 2) RX0 anti-distortion shutter

 

Accessories

Included Accessories
There’s not much included, the camera comes with battery, cable, manual and wrist srap. But there’s a long list of optional accessories:

Optional Accessories

  • Housing – Ground aluminum alloy material is used to make this camera housing waterproof down to 100m/330ft. under water. Moreover, this underwater housing’s shockproof and crushproof performance also enhances protection of the camera from impact. All buttons are fully accessible.
  • Cage – The aluminium cage has a total of 35 screw holes (1/4-inch-diameter) in four faces (top, bottom, and sides), to allow future expandability and system flexibility for accessories and mounting.
  • Filter Adapter – This adaptor features a 30.5mm diameter filter mount for attachment of various optional accessories.
  • Cable Protector
Sony RX0 - optional accessories

Sony RX0 – optional accessories: Cable Protector, Housing, Cage, Filter Adaptor

 

Price

Sony RX0 will be 700 USD, available in October 2017.

 

Conclusion

No internal 4K? After looking at the specs on Sony’s for quite a while I couldn’t find any info. Seems 4K is only available via HDMI output. Now I’m pretty confused what kind of camera Sony RX0 actually is:

Is it an Action Camera? Sony doesn’t market it as Action Cam, RX0 is not in that section on their website. The cam itself is waterproof, shockproof, crushproof – but you need an external recorder for 4K video? What’s the purpose of having this feature, and offering a 100m dive case when you need to open the door to hook up a cable? Or shouldn’t there be a solution to hook up the cable with more protection of the other ports? A housing with cable outlet?
So is it a stills photo camera? With fixed aperture and fixed lens?
RX0 has impressive slow motion capabilities, is it a high speed camera?
Via App up to 5 cameras can be remotely controlled and via controller even up to 15. Is it made for VR rigs? So why is there no VR rig but other accessories?

So I’m not quite sure what this camera actually is. It has some impressive features for some certain use cases.

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