The perfect shot
By Paisal Chuenprasaeng
Waterproof, shockproof and crushproof, the compact Sony RX0 has everything you want in a camera and more
An ultra-compact digital camera which uses similar technology to Sony’s acclaimed RX100 V, the Sony DSCRX0 more than makes up for its minimal appearance and lack of control buttons by capturing outstanding photos and videos.
Boasting only a power on/off button, shutter/video button, a menu button, an “enter” button and four navigation keys that also serve other functions depending on the current usage, the camera can be controlled through a smartphone and Sony’s PlayMemories Mobile app.
The app is particularly good for keen home moviemakers as it can be used to control up to five RX0 cameras for multi-angle shooting. One RX0 is connected to your smartphone as the “group owner” with the four others connected to the “group owner” as clients. You control the group power that in turn controls the client cameras.
Your smartphone connects to the camera with a Wi-Fi connection (the camera has a builtin Wi-Fi function) and when using the phone to control a single RX0, you can check the composition or settings on the smartphone screen, which should save you screwing up your eyes to make out the image on the tiny 1.5-inch, 230,400-dot camera display.
The RX0 uses the 1.0-inch-type (13.2mmx8.8mm) Exmor RS CMOS image sensor like the one used in RX100 V but with lower resolution of 15.3 effective megapixels.
Moreover, the image sensor comes complete with a DRAM memory chip, allowing for fast readout and enabling impressive performance including super slow motion.
The RX0 is capable of shooting high-quality super slow-motion movies at high frame rates of up to 960 fps/1000fps in NTSC/PAL modes. You can switch between them through the menu.
The RX0 also supports Picture Profile and SLog2 gamma settings, which enable prostyle movie expression. In addition the RX0 can record uncompressed high-quality 4K data on an external recorder.
And the RX0 uses a super speedy anti-distortion shutter of up to 1/32000 sec. At this speed, fast-moving subjects can be frozen in frames without distortion.
Thanks to its fast image sensor and fast image processor, the RX0 also has a continuous shooting speed of up to 16 fps.
The RX0’s lens is made of 6-element ZEISS Tessar T glass and has fixed a focal length of 24mm in 35mm photography and fixed aperture of f/4.0.
And despite its compact size, the camera is robust thanks to its duralumin body. That means it doesn’t need an underwater housing to able to take great photos and snap videos at depths of up to 10 metres. You can even drop it from a height of up to two metres and it won’t complain and it’s crushproof too, supporting weights of up to 200 kgs.
The RX0 allows you to select five still modes: Intelligent Auto, Superior Auto, Programme Auto (P), Manual Exposure (M), and Memory Recall.
The Superior Auto is more advanced than Intelligent Auto and takes multiple shots to compose into one photo in dark or backlit scenes.
Both auto modes analyse the scenes and select proper scene modes for the exposure. The camera is capable of recognising Portrait, Infant, Night Portrait, Night Scene, Backlight Portrait, Backlight, Landscape, Spotlight and Low Light scene modes, though in certain cases (Portrait, Backlight Portrait, Night Portrait and Infant), you must first turn on the Face Detection function.
In P mode, the exposure or shutter speed adjusts automatically while you can use the Fn (Function) button and Menu button to change various functions and values.
In the M mode, you must adjust the shutter speed manually.
During the test, I enjoyed shooting with Superior Auto and I captured sharp and clean shots with well saturated colours in most lighting conditions.
For shooting videos, the RX0 provides four modes: Intelligent Auto, Programme auto, Manual Exposure and High Frame Rate (HFR). The HFR is fun as it allows you to shoot super slow motion video for enjoying later.
To change shooting mode, select the one you want from the menu or use the FN button and the arrow keys. For certain shooting modes, you may have to go through a few layers of menu levels. Time being at a premium, I stuck to the automatic shooting mode. The RX0 can also be expanded with more accessories. For example, you can buy a housing that allows the RX0 to be used underwater at the depth of 100 metres. There is also a Filter Adapter Kit that allows you to attach 30.5mm filters to the camera lens for creative shooting.
The Accessory Kit comes with an optional rechargeable battery pack and a charger. The RX0 battery is capable of shooting about 240 shots or about 35 minutes of video shooting per one charge, making the spare battery kit a must have.
Sony DSCRX0 has a suggested retail price of Bt24,990 with a free micro SD card of 32GB storage.
– Sensor: 1.0-type (13.2mm x 8.8mm) Exmor RS CMOS sensor with 15.3 effective MP
– Lens: ZEISS Tessar T Lens, 6 elements in 6 groups (6 aspheric elements) with fixed f/4.0 aperture and 24mm equivalent focal length
– Image processing engine: BIONZ X
– Focus modes: Singleshot AF; Preset Focus; Manual Focus
– FocUs area: Wide (25 points contrastdetection AF); Centtre; Flexible Spot (S/M/L); Expanded Flexible Spot
Light metering mode; Multi Pattern; Centre Weighted; Spot
– ISO: Auto: ISO12512800
– Electronic shutter: 1/4″ 1/32000
– Recording media: Memory Stick Micro; Memory Stick Micro (Mark2); microSD Memory Card; microSDHC Memory Card; microSDXC Memory Card
– Input/Output terminals: Multi/Micro USB Terminal , Hi-Speed USB (USB2.0), Micro HDMI, Microphone jack (3.5mm Stereo mini jack)
– Wireless connectivity: Wi-Fi 802.11n, Bluetooth 4.1
– Battery: Rechargeable battery pack NPBJ1 (240 shots per one charge)