May 22, 2019

Why Did Sony Make The RX0 MK II?

Sony's RX0 Mark II is waterproof to up to 10 Meters
And more importantly, for whom?

If you're unfamiliar, the RX0 line of cameras from Sony consists of only two cameras to-date, the RX0 and the RX0 Mark II. These are Sony's "action cameras" that are made, seemingly, to compete with the likes of GoPro and its Hero 7 Black camera as well as the recently announced DJI Osmo Action.

I'm already confused because Sony makes the FDR-X3000, which is definitely an action camera (this camera also has an option to come with a truly underrated accessory, which is a screen that you wear on your wrist....how is this not more of a thing!?!?!).

So why did Sony make the RX0 Mark II?

RX0 II and its main competitors, the GoPro Hero 7 Black and the DJI Osmo Pocket
Credit: elproducente.com

It's not like it's entering a market with low competition. Sony is already on the ropes from behemoth camera sales from GoPro and its Hero line of cameras, and DJI, with its new Osmo Action and the Osmo Pocket, both of which are priced a lot cheaper than Sony's RX0 II. (The GoPro Hero 7 Black, DJI Osmo Pocket, and Osmo Action are all currently priced at $349, while the Sony RX0 II stands tallest at $698.)

Sony has given the RX0 II a laundry list of features, though. I've listed the highlights below:

  • Zeiss Optics
  • 4K30p internal
  • Up to 1000 fps (limited frame rates)
  • S Log 2 Gamma
  • 1.5” Flip-up screen (Other than the a6400, this is the only Sony camera since the RX100-series to have this feature)
  • 1” Sensor (same as the RX100 VI)
  • Waterproof to 10m
  • Shock-proof from 2m
  • Crush-proof to 200 Kg
  • 3.5mm audio Jack
  • Eye AF
  • Image Stabilization

When I see a list of features such as this, it reminds me of more fleshed out, full-featured prosumer cameras, not action cameras.

Sony seems to agree.

This camera is less action camera, more companion camera. Considering that there are several examples online of the camera overheating in 4K modes, and considering that the camera has a 1" sensor with substantial rolling shutter when shooting in 4K (anyone else noticing a trend, here?), and further looking at features like Eye AF and the optional hundred dollar selfie grip (Sony doesn't call it that... but I do), this camera seems to be billed as a companion to pre-existing Sony users that are, presumably, in the alpha ecosystem of cameras (both full frame and APS-C, alike).

This camera was made to complement those of us that need a quick, extra shot to help take our Sony-based productions from good to great, without spending too much time on an extra angle or setup...even if that angle is a selfie. 

It's actually a lot like the Sony RX1R II point-and-shoot camera; overpriced, fixed lens, and a bigger sensor than every other camera in its class. It's starting to look like Sony is developing a bad habit.

Honestly, as an a7RIII shooter, I really wouldn't mind having this on-set. I'd just mind buying it. I mean, really...$698 is a bit much, don't you think? 

Let me know how you really feel about Sony in the comments below.     

Your Comment

8 Comments

I would get it if I would produce a low budget cooking show. A7s II as main camera and three of those as additional cameras. Then shoot it in Slog and make it look amazing in post. I just trust Sony.

May 22, 2019 at 10:58AM, Edited May 22, 10:58AM

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Jan Becker
DP, Director, Producer
510

I think you're exactly the type of niche filmmaker that this is made for. It slots directly into a pre-existing workflow and gives you an extra boost without any major compensations to workflow and post-work.

May 22, 2019 at 6:00PM

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Nick Friend
Freelance Technical Editor

my take: crash camera for tv/cinema production.

May 22, 2019 at 2:09PM

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Matt
174

I feel a stress test coming in the near future.

May 22, 2019 at 6:00PM

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Nick Friend
Freelance Technical Editor

I'd give it a try on an FPV drone (where I normally use a Hero7).. Rolling shutter and durability would definitely be put to the test

May 22, 2019 at 11:07PM

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very interested to see the results!

May 23, 2019 at 7:50AM

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Nick Friend
Freelance Technical Editor

This is not an action camera sir, stop calling it that and do your research..

May 26, 2019 at 2:31PM

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grga
13

I’d agree but Sony do not market this as an action camera. They call it the “tough tiny camera that fits in your life”. On their website there are no mountain bike POV, no snow boarding or surfing. Just one shot of it underwater! Other wise it’s projecting travel, vlogging and image quality. So should it be compared to the Osmo Action? There are similarities of course but have you tried taking a still photo with the action. The shutter release needs so much pressure and there seems to be a delay. The rx0mk2 is a camera, a proper tiny camera, with superb optics and really amazing build quality. So why? I still think it’s a good question. But hey there’s a lot of cameras that take great photos and they range from affordable to paying for the name with a small mortgage. But people still hand over the cash. I am not suggesting people pay for the Sony name, and my Osmo Action fits the job ask of it but if money were not a consideration I’d have bought the Sony!

June 5, 2019 at 8:56PM

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Jonathan Glazier
Creative Director
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