Sony is the most exciting camera brand right now. There I said it. They just keep bouncing from field to field making huge leaps and bounds in technology and the latest example of that is the entirely new, exciting Sony RX0—Sony’s first foray into the action sports world. But it's not exciting for the reasons that you might imagine.
At first glance, the Sony RX0 is a powerhouse action sports camera that gives you all the specs you might want. The RX0 runs virtually identical to the RX100 MkV with its 1-inch sensor and Zeiss lens, but from there, we start to see the cameras veer off into their own corners of the market. The Sony RX0 is made to take a beating. It can be dropped from 6.5 meters with an optional housing to allow dives up to 330 feet. It's also Crush-Proof at up to 440 pounds. This makes the RX0 pretty much dead even with GoPro in terms of durability. But again, that’s not all the RX0 can do.
While the RX0 and the GoPro Hero 5 run almost parallel in terms of frame rates and resolution (no UHD), the RX0 differentiates itself by utilizing that 1-inch sensor (almost
double quadruple the size of the Hero 5) to create a better image—or that’s the point at least. Clearly, we haven’t seen any footage yet, but I think considering it’s similarities to the RX100 MkV, we can let Sony win this one. But here we are, standing in front of the largest hit against the RX0—no internal 4k. I feel like this is a way to avoid overheating than an inability to include UHD resolutions. Either way, if you were hoping to use the RX0 like this, you’re probably going to be disappointed. But before you write the RX0 off, let me tell you what really excites me about it.
The RX0 is a camera made with more than just action sports in its crosshair. It was created to be strung together in a multi-camera set up for Virtual Reality or 360-degree video. By just using the Sony Playmemories App, you can simultaneously trigger five RX0s at once. With the FA-WRC1M radio commander, you can trigger up to fifteen simultaneously, and Sony has plans to increase that number before it’s release in 2018.
The possibilities here are exciting. For a long time, I’ve been waiting for a real, professional looking rig for independent virtual reality films. If this is Sony taking up the burden of bringing Virtual Reality to indie filmmakers, I am one hundred percent behind it. Because of its form and the obvious (aforementioned) comparisons to the GoPro Hero 5, the RX0 may be doomed to be cloistered into relative obscurity by its $700 price tag. But consider this: While the GoPro Hero 5 was created for action sports in mind, the Sony RX0 takes you seriously as a professional providing you with options that don’t handcuff you as a creative.
So yes, the Sony RX0 can take a beating. It has features and specs that make it feel like an action camera, but upon closer inspection, you’ll see, Sony is posturing for the future.
The Sony RX0 will ship October 2017.