In use the Sony RX0 is quite unlike any other camera. It doesn’t have the resolution and frame rate options of the GoPro Hero6 Black or the Yi 4K+ but by now you should realise that aside from the size and robustness the RX0 is very different.
The three movie formats enable you to adjust the quality settings and with each you get a different set of options. Shooting at the highest quality format XAVC S enables you to capture at 50mbs at 25, 50 or 100p. XAVC lowers the quality slightly and MP4 (the lowest option) gives you 28, 16 or 6mbs at 50p or 25p.
A little experimentation is needed to find which settings are best for you. You also need to select your Picture Profile – this allows you to adjust aspects such as the black level, gamma and colour mode, including enabling you to select S-Log2.
Shooting in these modes will give you a good hour of recording time.
The other big feature is HFR (High Frame Rate). This takes a little getting used to as there’s a procedure that you need to go through prior to shooting. Once primed, the camera will capture between 2 and 4 seconds of footage depending on how you have it set.
Once the capture has finished the camera then needs time to process the footage. Shooting in HFR is exceptionally easy although you do need to watch the lighting if you’re going to get anything usable at the end of it.
The RX0 isn’t just about video. Switching to stills mode you again have a good range of options that will enable you to shoot both JPEG and RAW.
I liked the small form factor of the camera and it made a great point and shoot that could be easily carried with you.
With most cameras it’s pretty easy to evaluate the image quality, but with the RX0 there are just so many options and settings to choose from – as soon as you break out of the standard video modes and options you really do need to know what you’re doing.
Starting with MP4 which is the lowest video format, if this is set to the maximum quality the footage has a good amount of detail. Low Light performance is also a step up from other cameras of this size.
The real video quality comes from shooting in XAVC S where you can shoot at 25, 50 or 100fps. At 25p the footage is clear and crisp with plenty of detail, great saturation and tonal detail. Increase to 50p and you can just see the effects of drop in bitrate.
Where this camera really excels is in the quantity of options that are available to you, making it perfect as a small additional camera to be mixed in with others.
It also enables those needing an ultra lightweight camera to shoot high quality footage with far less kit than has ever been possible before.
When it comes to the HFR settings things become a little more tricky and decent light is needed in order to obtain the best results.
In studio lit conditions the footage at 250p is excellent and pushing to 500p the results are still more than passable. At 1000p the image quality does deteriorate and in less than ideal conditions you can start to see noise and pixelation.