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Sony RX0 II ultracompact camera
4.0Overall Score
Name: Sony RX0 II ultracompact camera
Price (RRP): $988
Manufacturer: Sony

My goodness, the Sony RX0 II had me confused for a while. Lately I’ve been using various action cams, so perhaps I can be forgiven for thinking that that’s what this is. After all, it’s shaped like one and it’s the size of one. And, well, it kind of is, as we’ll see. But it is principally a still camera.

Indeed, it uses Sony’s still camera designations. It says “Cybershot” on the box and the formal model number is DSC-RX0M2G.

So what’s it all about? I guess Sony’s marketing tagline is apt: “Waterproof, dustproof, shockproof and crushproof, this camera really is invincible, making it a must have for the holiday season and any adventures you have lined up for the warmer weather.”

Sony RX0 II features

Yes, the Sony RX0 II is small and boxy. It’s 59mm wide, 41mm tall and 35mm deep and weighs only 132 grams, loaded with battery and microSD card. It’s IP68 rates. The 6 means it’s dustproof. The 8 means it can be immersed in more than a metre of water. Sony says that it’s good for use at depths of up to ten metres.

It’s shockproof according to military two-metre drop standards onto plywood. And crushproof, to 200kgf. That means I ought to be able to stand on it, without problems. Of course, as the footnotes on the Sony RX0 II specification page note, if you start dropping it from heights of a couple of metres, waterproof performance may suffer.

That crush and drop stuff is based on the fold-out screen being properly in place.

Yes, as I said, this is a still camera. There’s a rear monitor as there is on an action cam, and a glass-protected lens on the other side. But the monitor can fold out and up, so you can take selfies. The monitor is not touch sensitive. Given that it’s only 3.8 cm in size, touch sensitivity wouldn’t really offer much. Its resolution is 230,000 pixels. There is no regular viewfinder, of course.

Sony RX0 II

Controls and Connections

On top is the on/off button and the shutter release. There are six more tiny push buttons around the edge of the screen, most of them multi-purpose. Next to the monitor is a Micro-B USB connection for power and photo transfer, a 3.5mm socket for connecting an external microphone and a micro-HDMI socket for outputting videos and photos on an external monitor. With them is the slot for the microSD card. They are all concealed under a removable waterproof cover.

In addition, the camera supports Wi-Fi (2.4GHz only) and Bluetooth, so you can use it with Sony’s camera app.

Sony says that the battery is good for around 240 photos or between 35 and 60 minutes of video shooting, depending on various settings.

Sony RX0 II

Sony RX0 II optics

The lens is a proper one: it’s a ZEISS Tessar T* lens with 6 elements in 6 groups. It has a fixed aperture of f/4 and a fixed focal length of 7.9mm. With the 13.2mm x 8.8mm Exmor RS CMOS sensor it works out to a 24mm-equivalent focal length in traditional terms. That’s an 84-degree field of view. Focus range goes down to 200mm.

The sensor resolution is 15.3 megapixels for a picture size of 4,800 by 3,200 pixels.

The shutter is electronic and has speeds of 1/4 to 1/32,000 second.

Movie recording goes up to UltraHD at 24, 25 or 30 frames per second. Full HD can go up to 120p in regular mode, and there are a bunch of high frame rate modes up to 1,000 frames per second in 1080p. In 4K mode it uses the full sensor (at least to the appropriate aspect), not a crop.

You know all the modes that a modern camera provides? Well, most of them are here. You can shoot in RAW. There are intelligent scene identification modes for both movie and still shooting. You can bracket exposures, burst shoot, choose picture profiles and styles.