Sony RX0 Review
Sony is well known in the action camera market for providing many manufacturers with their impressive lenses, but for them to make their own high end camera is news to most. The Japanese electronics giant hopes to make a splash with their RX0 by providing a powerful, reliable camera that doesn’t skimp on features or build quality. It doesn’t take much more than a glimpse at the spec sheet to know that this camera was made for more than just your average user.
In the box you’ll find a rechargeable battery pack, AC adapter, micro USB cable, wrist strap and a memory card protector along with the necessary literature and the camera itself. Most retailers who sell the RX0 include a variety of extras in your purchase to make the hefty price tag feel a little less substantial. Some stores even offer a free 64GB SD card, which you’ll otherwise need to purchase yourself. Be sure to go for a more powerful card with sufficient storage as the RX0 doesn’t gel well with dollar store cards.
Sony’s flagship action cam features a sturdy and functional build. Up front you’ll find the Zeiss lens, seemingly dwarfed by the thick bezels that surround it. This provides a noticeable contrast to the conventional action cam design where the lens protrudes out of the front. The sides are more or less clean, featuring only the sliding door to open the ports for the battery and SD card slot, as well as some Zeiss branding.
At the back you’ll find another slide, flanked by the display.
Surrounding it are numerous buttons, namely for navigation and recording. Underneath you’ll find some regulatory stickers and the screw-in port for stands or other attachments. Flip it over and you’ll find two navigation buttons, with one featuring an LED indicator ring. Overall, the RX0 maintains a functional and rugged build, coated in a textured matte black paint. The amount of power Sony has managed to put inside this compact case is admirable.
Even without the underwater housing, the camera is waterproof up to 33 feet. The rugged outer frame helps it remain shockproof up to 6.5 feet, higher than any accidental drop from your hands. Weirdly enough its effective against being crushed, with the official specs stating that the camera is 400lbf crushproof. The RX0 also supports a seemingly endless list of custom made accessories that can turn your wallet sized action cam into a full-fledged filmmaking rig.
Moving on to the camera, the RX0 features an Exmor RS sensor housed underneath the Zeiss Tessar T* lens. The 15 megapixel camera is capable of churning out raw 4K footage with clean HDMI output. Lowering the resolution to 1080p will give you the power to record an insane 1000fps slow motion video, more than triple that of any other action cam. The 1/32000 anti-distortion shutter is also ridiculously powerful, allowing you to record even the noisiest footage without artefacts or blur.
There’s no doubt that Sony has put in every ounce of effort to ensure that you get what you pay for. It trumps nearly every other sensor on the spec sheet and delivers on its promises in real world use. Sony’s own BIONZ X image processor and the built-in DRAM memory chip structure helps keep things moving along smoothly, as would be needed with all the processing required for each frame to be stored.
For a camera this small, the inclusion of a display is nice to see. While it isn’t the best option for video playback, changing general settings on the fly is a convenient alternative to hooking it up to an external device. There’s built-in WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity, allowing you to transfer recordings and customize settings without any additional cables. You can control up to five RX0 cameras with your mobile device using WiFi via Sony’s Play Memories Mobile app.
As mentioned earlier, you’ll need a powerful microSD card to store recordings. Consider how long your sessions will be and whether you’ll utilize the higher, more storage hungry quality settings to get a better idea of how much space you’ll need.
Being in the Sony ecosystem, the RX0 grants you access to a variety software for storing and editing your videos. PlayMemories Online allows you to back up your videos onto Sony’s cloud service and access them from any device. There’s also Capture One Express, which provides an After Effects-esque interface for you edit your videos using a variety of settings and tools. The S-Log2 proprietary gamma setting is Sony’s own software that helps make for a more flexible post-production environment by analyzing the footage and determining the best settings. Final Cut Pro X and iMovie users will be glad to hear that the camera is optimized for their applications as well.
RX0 VS GoPro
There’s no doubt that the RX0 is one of the best action cams you can buy today, but how does it compare to the camera that started it all? Below we’ll look at how the RX0 compares to the GoPro Hero 6 Black to determine which one provides the best bang for your buck.
First and foremost, its worth noting that depending on where you buy either camera, the GoPro tends to be around $200 cheaper. But this does result in some budget cuts. When looking at raw megapixel count for example, the RX0 features a 15 megapixel sensor whereas the GoPro is three megapixels less.
Both feature a compact design, but the GoPro trumps Sony’s RX0 by featuring a superior touchscreen, as well as a smaller display up front in exchange for a slightly larger and heavier footprint. Surprisingly enough, the Sony also doesn’t feature a stereo microphone as it relies on an external one. This is largely due to the fact that it was built to be accessorized into a filmmaking machine, which is why it has 24p cinema mode, allowing it to capture video with more film-like characteristics. The GoPro lacks this feature as it draws more towards being used to film action sports.
Both have their strengths and unique uses. Which one is best for you not only depends on your budget, but what you plan to use them for. If you want to film your diving expeditions, get the GoPro. If you want to make your own indie film, pick up the Sony instead.
Dimensions: 6.15 x 4.7 x 3.65″
Weight: 0.8 lb
Video: 1920 x 1080p @ 24, 25, 30, 50, 60 FPS
Screen: 1.5″ LCD
Sensor: 1.0-type (13.2mm x 8.8mm) Exmor RS™ CMOS sensor, aspect ratio 3:2
Operating Temperature: 32 to 104°F / 0 to 40°C
Storage: microSD Card
Battery: Lithium Ion
What’s in the box
- Sony RX0 Camera
- Samsung EVO Select 64GB MicroSDXC UHS-I U3 Class 10 Memory Card with Adapter
- Vivitar Pro Series Car Suction Cup Windshield & Dashboard Mounts
- Vivitar Pro Series ATV/Bike Handlebar Bracket & Vented Helmet Mount
- Precision Design PD-BP2 Deluxe Sling Digital SLR Camera Backpack Case (Black/Silver)
- Sony LensPen Camera Lens Cleaner
- PD 5-Piece Camera & Lens Cleaning Kit
- PD 8 SD / 2 MicroSD Memory Card Case
- PD Universal LCD Screen Protectors
- ImageRecall Digital Image Recovery Software
- Rechargeable Battery Pack NP-BJl
- AC Adaptor
- Micro USB cable
- Wrist Strap
- User Manual
Sony RX0 Sample Videos
Mini movie shot entirely on the RX0
Daytime sample footage
Night and day video footage