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Sony’s announcement of the RX0 reinforces the growth of the action camera market in ways that we just couldn’t have foreseen. Compact go-anywhere cameras are cool for a start but as large swathes of people have dumped their standard compact cameras in place of their smartphones, the growth of the action camera is a little surprising to some.
Adaptability and size is what has really driven people to these small cameras and Sony really seems to have grasped how the use of action cameras is evolving. After all, Sony is not new to action cameras or compact cameras of this size.
The Sony RX0 finally looks to be a decent successor to the old Sony U-10 launched back in 2002. This was a small go-anywhere compact roughly the same size as one of today’s action cameras and it was perfect for capturing stills just about anywhere.
It also featured a relatively wide 35mm equivalent lens. It looks like at some point in the last year one of these has mated with an FDR-3000.
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Something new and unique
The RX0 breaks away from all other action cameras and really seems to be offering something new and unique.
Let’s take the lens first; one thing that really makes action camera footage stand-out is the ultra-wide fish-eye perspective. It’s great for filming fast action, but a little unflattering for selfies.
Action camera lenses are also really designed to capture video and the persistence of vision hides the fact that edges are soft and suffering from chromatic aberration. The RX0 is fronted by a 24mm equivalent lens, ok still wide-angled but nothing near the fish-eye view that we’re used to.
This is definitely a good thing. It means we have the first action camera (not thinking of the DJI X3) which has a relatively normal field-of-view. This makes it infinitely more adaptable for different types of use.
I like the 24mm focal length, but having a single field-of-view really is very last century, especially when it comes to video editing. For video editors out there this is the most exciting thing to come along since true 360 VR editing, in fact the potential of the RX0 with a VR camera in tow is incredible.
Let me explain. We all get excited about 360 video, especially Jeff, because with a headset on you can look around the scene that’s been filmed.
Forget that and think of it this way, 360 enables you to set the POV (point of view) in editing, so if you want to shift the camera’s central point of focus when editing at 16:9 you can. In effect you’re swinging the camera round in the editing suite rather than when filming.
The resolutions of the types of 360 camera that most of us get to use are still a little low for this type of action in high quality, but it works. OK so that’s 360, one camera and a 360 degree view from one fixed view point. Lets look at the RX0 with just one lens which is 24mm.
One camera, one view. Add a camera s for two cameras, two views. Hardware multi camming – we’re not yet sure how many cameras can be linked, but for all sorts of sports and action this could be great fun.
Image you’re out for a ride with friends or family, all filming your ride and then you stack it. Big style. Your camera bites the dust with you and the footage, although amusing, doesn’t show much. But then that incident could have been caught on one of the other cameras, and that footage can be easily synced and edited back in the studio. Now we’re cooking!
Details of how this will work and wether it will come with an automatic edit app that will enable you to sync all units and rewatch the action from multi angles on the fly has yet to be detailed, but I certainly hope that’s how it’s going to work.
Push that editing further and drop in some 360 spins edits and you’ve got yourself a completely new style of video editing.
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For everyday use this camera is certainly exciting, but look through the specs, really look at them, and it shows that this isn’t a camera for the faint hearted, it has 40x slow motion, S-log2 profiles and shutter speeds. Up until this point I’ve been very excited, this could be the greatest thing I’ve ever seen.
The more I read, the more I want this small camera, for those of us who don’t work in imperial weights and measures the details are: 3.9 oz (110g) and 2.38 in. x 1.63 in x 1.19 (WxDxH) or 71 mm x 41mm x 30mm.
Sadly this is going to be expensive – the FDR-3000 is near £500 and the announced a price of the RX0 is $700. I want a minimum of three, but I really need five to do what I want, so that’s $3500!