Late last night, Sony announced the RX0 II, a new 15.3-megapixel action camera that looks very promising even for advanced photographers. With a 1-inch sensor and a fixed, rectilinear 8mm f/4 lens (24mm field of view equivalent) – and among the lightest ever weights for a camera of this sensor size – its potential extends well beyond the GoPro market. Specifically, I can see travel photographers who want a tiny backup camera (132 grams / 4.7 oz) picking the RX0 II.
RX0 II Specifications
Before going any further, let’s take a look at the RX0 II’s main specifications:
- Sensor Type: 1.0″-type Exmor RS CMOS
- Sensor Size: 0.52″ x 0.35″ (13.2 x 8.9 mm)
- Aspect Ratio: 3×2
- Number of Pixels: 15.3 million (effective)
- ISO Range: 125 to 12500 (extendable low ISO 80)
- Lens Focal Length: 7.9mm (24mm equivalent), fixed
- LCD Screen: 1.5 inches (3.8 cm), 180 degree tilt, 230,400 dots
- Lens Aperture: f/4
- Lens Design: 6 elements, 6 groups
- Aspherical Elements: All 6
- Close Focus: 8 inches (20 cm)
- Video Features: Up to 4K at 30 FPS or 1080p at 120 FPS
- Focus Modes: Single-shot, preset focus, manual focus
- Eye AF: Yes
- Waterproof: Yes, to 33 feet (10 meters)
- Shockproof: Yes, to 6.5 feet (2 meters)
- Size: 2.3 x 1.6 x 1.4 inches (59.0 x 40.5 x 35.0 mm)
- Weight: 4.7 oz (132 g) with battery and card
As you can see from the specifications above, the Sony RX0 II is far from a normal action camera. Rather than a fisheye lens and video-only specifications, we get a stills-friendly camera with a (comparatively) large sensor and a truly miniature form factor.
Whether or not it will be easy to use manual settings on this camera remains to be seen. Certainly, with such a tiny size and weight, compactness takes priority versus ergonomics as Sony’s goal – and for a lot of travel photographers, that’s going to be a good thing. I can see myself picking up one of these cameras as a last-ditch backup, or as a small and high-quality underwater camera (given its 10m waterproofness specification).
In terms of its primary goal – as an action camera – the RX0 II also does not disappoint. In addition to its waterproofing, it is also dust- and crush-proof, and it has up to 4K 30 FPS video (and 120 FPS video at 1080p).
Overall, it looks like Sony has a very interesting camera on its hands. The RX0 II arrives in April for a suggested retail price of $700. You can read more about the camera here.