Let’s talk about the Sony RX0.

 

A couple of days ago I had the chance to play around with this little camera at the IBC and there’s so many things to love about this concept and one or two things that you might hate. First the obvious things it’s very small, fairly heavy for its compact form factor. Very robust high quality built, its drop proof, water proof up to 10 meters without any housing, up to 100 meters with an extra accessory.

Talking about accessories, it’s very modular built so it comes with many accessories that are built specifically for this camera. The front protection you can take it off, put filters on it. So it’s very well thought through this concept. The menu system is very familiar, if you if you work with Sony cameras you will see the same system as in the RX100 or even the A7SII.  Not only in the menu system, you can also shoot in SLog2 with the Sony RX0, which is great if you want to match colors with bigger cameras. When I shot a documentary with the A7SII and I had to match GoPro and drone shots with it, it was kind of hard to match the colors. If you work in Log it’s gonna be great to match the colors.

You will be shooting 60p in full HD. It does up to 960 frames per second, but of course in a much smaller resolution. Since we’re gonna be seeing a similar sensor as in the RX100 it’s very likely to get full HD 120p (a 30frames base) or 100p if you’re in Europe (25 frames base). The basic ISO will be 1600, as mentioned it’s a very modular system and you will be able to shoot in SLog2. It will have multicam control. You can control up to 5 units with the PlayMemories app or a dedicated wireless transmitter. As Yoshi stated in our IBC video they’re working on controlling 15 units remotely. When you look at the camera it’s built symmetrical, there was a rig (pretty much a robot on wheels) which looked very impressive and when you see that, it’s obvious that Sony actually concepted this camera to be pretty much like a very compact multipurpose camera to put it in weird angles, for VR rigs as a crash cam.

I remember watching a movie and it was shot on, I don’t know Alexa or Red or anything and the crash cam shots were totally GoPro. I found that to be not perfect and even when they tried to match the colors you could totally see that it was GoPro shots. So with this camera it should look better without sacrificing GH4s /GH5s as crash cams. I’m seeing this being used as a crash cam.

It’s a symmetrical camera, the optical center is right in the middle of the camera. As mentioned that’s gonna be great for VR rigs. It doesn’t have 4K internal recording. However you will be getting clean HDMI 4K output. Again I’ve seen a couple of rigs at the Sony booth at the IBC and it looks kind of weird at first. Why would you rig up such a small action camera. But then again think about it, every bit of weight that you can save when running around with a camera the whole day, if you ever used a Sony FS7 and had to shoot a wedding or an event or an expo the whole day with that camera, you’ll know what I’m talking about. I’m pretty sure we will be seeing this camera as a run-around, run&gun camera and still see great footage with it. If you if you look at the promo video ‘orbit in blue‘ it looks amazing what they were able to achieve with this little camera.

(>> here is some comparison footage between the GoPro and the Sony RX0)

What I’m trying to say is, I don’t see this camera to be a competitor let alone a GoPro killer per se because it’s a different concept. When you look at action photos from a GoPro you totally want to have the full benefit of the whole scenery. Of the background, of the foreground and shallow depth-of-field is certainly nothing that contributes to the impression of the imagery. So when we’re talking about action footage like sports I still see GoPros to work much better.

A bigger sensor is certainly not an advantage when you look at it from that perspective. The RX0 comes with a few modes that sound surprising at first. The ‘high heat mode’ whatever that is. So that was the first thing when I heard it’s gonna be a larger sensor, the RX100 sensor. Because, here’s the thing: I’ve worked with almost all the usual Sony cameras the RX100, or this one, the A6300 and the A7SII which I sold recently. And all of them shut shut down on me because they overheated. I shot a documentary as mentioned with the A7SII and the RX10.

That’s actually the only one where it didn’t see any overheating problems. So the RX0 anything other than 30p it’s gonna shut down. the same thing happened with the alpha and I’m expecting that to happen with the RX0 too because it’s the same sensor and it’s a much smaller body. That’s why they they’re putting something in there that’s in there that’s called the ‘high heat mode’. I don’t know what that means, maybe you can’t shoot any videos longer than a couple of minutes. I don’t know we’ll find out soon. I didn’t see a demo at the booth. It will come with two focus modes ‘near’ and ‘far’ so you can tell the camera or the auto focus which priority to have when it’s focusing. Interesting though it won’t have any focus tracking once it’s rolling. It’s gonna be interesting to find out about this behavior once you’re really shooting with it. Once we get to see some tests and real hands-on footage. So it doesn’t have any internal 4K but it does have external clean HDMI output.

I’m seeing this to be a versatile multicam solution that you can build bigger multicam setups with. And as mentioned definitely the perfect choice as a crash cam. The Sony RX0 is expected to retail in October for around 700$ / 800Euros. Certainly not cheap fairly expensive as many other Sony cameras. But it comes with a couple of big benefits that you might want to have in such a small form factor and I’m seeing a couple of productions actually really put that camera to practical use.

Do you see yourself using this camera, getting a Sony RX0 rather than a GoPro? what are your thoughts about it? put it into the comments and I’m really curious what you think about this concept. Do you think the Sony RX0 is gonna have some overheating problems as well? Or are you missing anything, something that you would have loved to see in this new action camera concept? I actually don’t want to call it action camera I want to call it a multi-purpose compact super compact camera, that makes much more sense.

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