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Sony RX0 II Camera Review

Tested using Methodology v0.10
Reviewed Jul 15, 2022 at 11:46 am
Sony RX0 II Picture
6.4
Travel Photography
6.6
Landscape Photography
6.7
Sport & Wildlife Photography
8.0
Vlogging
6.7
Studio Video
8.4
Action Video
Body Type
Action Cam
Mirrorless
Yes
Tested Lens
Built-In Lens
Sensor Size
1-inch

The Sony RX0 II is the second iteration of Sony's unique ultracompact RX0 camera. While it looks and feels like an action camera, this little guy doesn't really fit into a neat box (metaphorically speaking, of course; literally, it'll fit into almost any box). It boasts a crushproof, shockproof, and waterproof design and has a small tilt-out screen that can flip up 180° for selfies and vlogs or down 90° for high-angle shots. It also has a micro HDMI port and microphone jack, allowing you to connect video peripherals, something you won't find on a typical action cam.

Our Verdict

6.4 Travel Photography

The Sony DSC-RX0M2 is okay for travel photography. It's incredibly portable and durable, which is great for adventurous travelers going to remote locations who don't want to be weighed down by a bulky camera system. While its battery life is disappointing, you can continue to use it while charging via a portable power bank, which is handy when traveling. Image quality is limited by the camera's smaller sensor, so don't expect breathtaking travel photos, especially if you're shooting in dimly lit environments or at nighttime.

Pros
  • Super portable.
  • Shockproof, crushproof, and waterproof design.
Cons
  • Disappointing battery life.
  • No viewfinder or handgrip.
  • Doesn't perform as well in low light
6.6 Landscape Photography

The Sony RX0 Mark II can take decent landscape photos, although it isn't intended for this use. It's mostly helpful for taking landscapes in remote locations or in the middle of adventuring, like mountain climbing or hiking. However, its dynamic range is quite limited due to its small sensor. Its tilting screen is also very small, making it harder to frame your shots.

Pros
  • Super portable.
  • Shockproof, crushproof, and waterproof design.
Cons
  • No viewfinder or handgrip.
  • Limited dynamic range.
  • Doesn't perform as well in low light
6.7 Sport & Wildlife Photography

The Sony DSC-RX0 II is okay for sports and wildlife photography, though it isn't meant for this use. It can shoot at a very quick max burst rate to capture small moments of fast action. However, its image buffer isn't the largest, and it takes a long time to empty once full, possibly slowing you down or interrupting shooting at a critical moment. It doesn't have continuous autofocus, so it can't track and keep moving subjects in focus. The camera isn't meant for handheld use and only has a tiny screen to help you frame your shots. Its fixed wide-angle lens also isn't great for capturing farther-away subjects.

Pros
  • Super portable.
  • Shockproof, crushproof, and waterproof design.
  • Very fast max burst rate.
Cons
  • No viewfinder or handgrip.
  • Doesn't perform as well in low light
  • No continuous AF.
8.0 Vlogging

The Sony RX0 II is good for vlogging. It's incredibly portable and lightweight, meaning you can vlog inconspicuously. You can flip its tilting screen up to face you for vlogs, although it's small. Its e-stabilization feature does a decent job of reducing camera shake. However, it doesn't have continuous autofocus, so it can't keep you in focus if you move out of the focal plane. It also doesn't have the best battery life, but thankfully it doesn't overheat, and there's no recording time limit.

Pros
  • Super portable.
  • Shockproof, crushproof, and waterproof design.
  • Screen can flip up to face you.
Cons
  • Disappointing battery life.
  • No continuous AF.
6.7 Studio Video

The Sony DSC-RX0M2 is okay for studio video, although it's most suited to shooting B-roll from tricky angles or tight spots, thanks to its ultracompact size. Video quality is good in more controlled lighting but degrades in low light. The camera supports Log recording to preserve more dynamic range and tone in your videos. However, it can only capture 8-bit 4:2:0 color internally, giving you a bit less leeway to manipulate and grade your footage. While its screen is tiny, it does have a micro HDMI port, meaning you can connect an external monitor, and it has a mic jack to connect an auxiliary microphone for higher-quality audio recording.

Pros
  • Super portable.
  • Shockproof, crushproof, and waterproof design.
  • Good video quality in brighter settings.
Cons
  • Disappointing battery life.
  • No continuous AF.
  • Limited to 8-bit 4:2:0.
8.4 Action Video

The Sony RX0 II is great for action video. Video quality is good in brighter lighting conditions, although it isn't as well-suited to shooting in low light. The camera also includes a high frame rate mode in 1080p, meaning you can capture audio-free super-slow-motion footage at up to 960 fps, as well as regular footage at up to 120 fps. However, its 4k frame rates are limited, maxing out at 30 fps. The camera's e-stabilization feature is also just decent, and you'll need to use a gimbal if you need super-smooth footage.

Pros
  • Super portable.
  • Shockproof, crushproof, and waterproof design.
  • High frame rate mode in FHD.
  • Good video quality in brighter settings.
Cons
  • Limited high frame rate options in 4k.
  • Disappointing battery life.
  • 6.4 Travel Photography
  • 6.6 Landscape Photography
  • 6.7 Sport & Wildlife Photography
  • 8.0 Vlogging
  • 6.7 Studio Video
  • 8.4 Action Video
  1. Updated Oct 03, 2022: Converted to Test Bench 0.10.
  2. Updated Sep 02, 2022: Converted to Test Bench 0.9.
  3. Updated Jul 15, 2022: Review published.
  4. Updated Jun 06, 2022: Early access published.

Differences Between Sizes And Variants

The Sony DSC-RX0M2 only comes in one color variant: Black. You can see our unit's label here.

Let us know if you come across another variant, and we'll update the review.

Compared To Other Cameras

The Sony DSC-RX0 ii is a pocketable camera unlike anything else on the market. It's not quite worth it as an action cam, with alternatives like the GoPro HERO10 Black offering better stabilization and more frame rate and resolution options at a more affordable price point. However, it shines as an ultracompact camera that you can pocket and use to capture shots or B-footage from odd angles and in tight spots that wouldn't be possible to achieve with a regular camera.

For more options, check out our recommendations for the best action cameras, the best cameras for filmmaking, and the best compact cameras.

GoPro HERO9 Black

The GoPro HERO9 Black is a better value option for action video than the Sony RX0 II. While the Sony has a more rugged build quality and a unique tilting screen that helps with tricky angles, the GoPro has better video stabilization and offers more frame rate and resolution options.

Sony ZV-1

The Sony ZV-1 is a more versatile camera than the Sony RX0 II, especially for vloggers. While the RX0 II has it beat for portability and ruggedness, the ZV-1 has a better lens, a bigger, fully articulated screen, and a better autofocus system.

Sony ZV-E10

The Sony ZV-E10 is better than the Sony RX0 II, though they're different cameras intended for different uses. While it isn't as rugged or compact as the RX0 II, the ZV-E10 is more versatile thanks to its interchangeable lens design. Its larger sensor also delivers better image and video quality, and it has a more effective autofocus system.

GoPro HERO10 Black

If you're looking for an action camera, the GoPro HERO10 Black is a better choice than the Sony RX0 II. Though it isn't as ruggedly built and doesn't give you as much control over settings and focus, the GoPro gives you more frame rate and resolution options and better video stabilization.

Test Results

perceptual testing image
Design
9.7
Design
Portability
Height
1.6" (4.0 cm)
Width
2.3" (5.8 cm)
Depth
1.4" (3.6 cm)
Volume
5.1 in³ (83.5 cm³)
Weight
0.29 lbs (0.13 kg)
Weight With Lens
0.29 lbs (0.13 kg)

The Sony RX0 II is incredibly portable. It's similar in size to many action cameras and is even a bit smaller than the GoPro HERO10 Black in height and width. It's remarkably lightweight, making it easy to take anywhere, film in tight spots, or attach to an object or drone.

8.5
Design
Build Quality

The Sony DSC-RX0 II feels amazingly well-built. It's made of robust materials, including a duralumin chassis, and it's advertised to be crushproof under weights up to 200 kgf/440 lbf/2000 N, shockproof from drops at heights up to 6.5 ft/2 m, and waterproof down to 33 ft/10 m. The screen and tilting mechanism feel solid, and the battery compartment is covered by a hinged door with a gasket for waterproofing. However, the plastic buttons feel cheap and flimsy compared to the rubberized button on the GoPro HERO10 Black. The SD card and inputs are covered by just a flap door, which feels like it could break more easily and would render the camera unusable underwater.

Design
Body
Body Type
Action Cam
Water Resistance
Waterproof
Mirrorless
Yes
Rugged
Yes
Hot Shoe
No
Customizable Button
No
Command Dial
0
Tripod Mount
Yes
Lens Mount
N/A
Built-In Flash
No
Design
In The Box

  • Sony DSC-RX0 II camera
  • 1x Sony NP-BJ1 battery
  • USB-A to Micro-USB cable
  • AC adapter
  • Memory card protector
  • Wrist strap
  • Startup Guide and warranty documentation

7.0
Design
Ergonomics & Comfort
Hand Grip: Small Hand
No Hand Grip
Hand Grip: Medium Hand
No Hand Grip
Hand Grip: Large Hand
No Hand Grip
Hand Grip: Extra-Large Hand
No Hand Grip

The Sony RX0 II is fairly comfortable to shoot with, though it isn't meant for handheld use. It's primarily meant for use with a tripod, monopod, or external grip. Sony sells the optional VCT-SGR1 Shooting Grip with integrated controls that you can buy at additional cost, but the camera is also compatible with third-party options and other accessories.

The buttons on the camera provide good physical feedback. The camera's compact size makes it easy to shoot with, though it can also feel cramped if you're shooting handheld.

Design
Viewfinder
Viewfinder Type
No Viewfinder
Advertised Coverage
N/A
Advertised Resolution
N/A
Advertised Magnification
N/A
5.6
Design
Screen
Screen Articulation Type
Tilt And Flip
Screen Max Brightness
390 cd/m²
Advertised Resolution
0.23 million dots
Size
1.5" (3.8 cm)
Touchscreen
No

The Sony RX0 II has a small, tilting screen. You can tilt it up 180° to record vlogs or take selfies, or tilt it down 90° for high-angle shots. Unfortunately, the screen doesn't have a very high resolution and doesn't get especially bright either, making it difficult to check the monitor when shooting in sunny conditions. The camera also uses Sony's full menu system, which is hard to read on the camera's tiny screen. The screen also lacks touch navigation.

6.5
Design
Menu System
Guide Mode
No
App Name
Imaging Edge Mobile

The Sony RX0 II uses Sony's older menu system, which is just okay. It isn't very well-organized, with advanced settings spread across many pages and submenus that aren't always clearly labeled. You also have to use the camera's buttons to navigate the menu, which can be cumbersome, along with the small size of the screen, making it harder to read. On the upside, the menu does have a 'tile' view that makes it a little easier to see and navigate. Pressing the 'Fn' button also brings up a quick menu to access commonly used settings on the fly. You can also create a custom menu to access the settings you use most frequently.

5.9
Design
Lens
Lens Type
Built-in
Maximum Aperture
4.0
Max Aperture (Full-Frame Equivalent)
f/10.8
Tested Lens
Built-In Lens
Minimum Focal Length
8 mm
Maximum Focal Length
8 mm
Max Focal Length (Full-Frame Equivalent)
24 mm
Optical Image Stabilization
No
Luminance
80.8%
Light Falloff
43.1%
Design
Sensor
Sensor Type
Exmor RS CMOS
Advertised Effective Pixels
15.3 MP
Sensor Size
1-inch
Processor
BIONZ X
Extended ISO Minimum
80
Native ISO Minimum (Base ISO)
125
Native ISO Maximum
12,800
Tested Firmware
Ver. 3.10
5.2
Design
Battery
Battery Type
NP-BJ1
USB Charging
Yes
Use When Charging
Yes
Advertised Battery Life In Photo
240 photos
Tested Battery Life In Video
45 min

Unfortunately, the Sony DSC-RX0 ii has poor battery performance. Its advertised battery life in photos is limited to 240 shots according to CIPA standards. While that number should be taken with a grain of salt when applied to real-world usage, it does give a good indication of how the camera performs compared to more conventional mirrorless or DSLR models. Naturally, because of the small size of the camera, it can't last as long as larger cameras. The bigger disappointment is its video battery life, which only lasts about 45 minutes when recording continuously using the highest quality settings. That's much shorter than many action cameras, lasting only about half as long as the GoPro HERO10 Black. On the upside, the battery doesn't overheat throughout its runtime, and you can keep using the camera while charging it via USB if you need to extend the battery life.

Photo General
Photo General
Photo Features
JPEG File Format
Yes
Raw File Format
ARW
Shutter
Electronic
Slowest Shutter Speed
1/4s
Fastest Shutter Speed
1/32,000 s
Silent Shooting
Yes
HDR
No
Time Lapse
No
7.9
Photo General
Photo Shooting Speed
Low Speed Continuous
4 fps
High Speed Continuous
16 fps
Silent Shooting Continuous
16 fps
Raw Buffer Size
66 Photos
JPEG Buffer Size
126 Photos
Buffer Empty Time
19 s

The Sony RX0 II has a very fast max burst rate to capture stills of fast-moving subjects. The camera only has an electronic shutter, so the burst rate remains the same whether or not you're shooting in silent mode. It has a decent-sized image buffer, but it does take a very long time to empty once full, which can slow you down or cause you to miss a critical moment.

2.0
Photo General
Photo Autofocus
Object Tracking Success Rate
0%
Face Tracking Success Rate
0%
Face Detection Distance
217" (550 cm)
Eye Detection
Yes
Advertised Coverage
N/A
Advertised Focus Points
25

Unfortunately, the Sony RX0 II doesn't have continuous autofocus for tracking moving subjects, but it does have single autofocus with face and eye detection. That means it can detect and lock onto a subject with no problem, but if the target is moving, it won't follow and adjust focus automatically, which is why it fails our tracking tests. Despite that, it's effective for still subjects and does a good job figuring out what it's supposed to focus on and quickly shifting focus.

7.3
Photo General
Photo Image Stabilization
Minimum Shutter Speed Achieved
1/20 s
In-Body Image Stabilization
No

The Sony RX0 II doesn't have any stabilization features in photo mode, but the camera's small size makes it easy to keep it steady for photos at relatively slow shutter speeds.

Photo Image Quality
not tested
Photo Image Quality
Photo RAW Dynamic Range
Dynamic Range At Base ISO
N/A
Dynamic Range At 1/500s Exposure Time
N/A
Dynamic Range At 1/2000s Exposure Time
N/A
Dynamic Range At 1/4000s Exposure Time
N/A

The Sony RX0 II has limited dynamic range due to its 1-inch sensor. In high-contrast scenes like our skate park sample gallery photo, for instance, the sky is completely blown out, and we even lose a bit of the darkest shadow detail under the car. Photos don't have too much latitude for exposure adjustments either, as pushing an underexposed photo a few stops results in visible noise and loss of quality.

not tested
Photo Image Quality
Photo RAW Sharpness
Vertical Edge MTF50 At Base ISO
N/A
Horizontal Edge MTF50 At Base ISO
N/A

The Sony RX0 II takes very sharp images for its sensor size. However, its lens aperture is fixed at f/4, so we couldn't test it at the usual f/8 we use to measure sharpness. For that reason, the results aren't fully comparable with other cameras we've tested.

8.7
Photo Image Quality
Photo JPEG Noise
SNR 18% At Base ISO
39.61 dB
SNR 18% At ISO 800
38.59 dB
SNR 18% At ISO 3200
34.41 dB

When shooting in JPEG, images don't have much visual noise, especially at ISOs below 800 and when viewed at full size. However, noise becomes much more apparent at higher ISO levels, so it isn't the best camera for low-light situations.

6.6
Photo Image Quality
Photo RAW Noise
RAW SNR 18% At Base ISO
38.13 dB
RAW SNR 18% At ISO 200
36.73 dB
RAW SNR 18% At ISO 400
35.87 dB
RAW SNR 18% At ISO 800
33.46 dB
RAW SNR 18% At ISO 1600
30.58 dB
RAW SNR 18% At ISO 3200
27.91 dB
RAW SNR 18% At ISO 6400
24.25 dB
RAW SNR 18% At ISO 12800
20.88 dB
RAW SNR 18% At ISO 25600
N/A
RAW SNR 18% At ISO 51200
N/A

The Sony RX0 II has okay noise handling. However, it's naturally limited by the size of its sensor. Quality doesn't hold up at higher ISOs for low-light shooting, with noticeable noise. However, the camera does well up to around ISO 800. Overall, it performs roughly on par with other cameras with 1-inch sensors, like the Sony RX100 VII.

Photo Image Quality
Test Scene Pictures Download
JPEG Picture At Base ISO Download
JPEG Picture At ISO 400 Download
JPEG Picture At ISO 800 Download
JPEG Picture At ISO 1600 Download
JPEG Picture At ISO 3200 Download
JPEG Picture At ISO 6400 Download
JPEG Picture At ISO 12800 Download
JPEG Picture At ISO 25600 N/A
JPEG Picture At ISO 51200 N/A
RAW Picture At Base ISO Download
RAW Picture At ISO 400 Download
RAW Picture At ISO 800 Download
RAW Picture At ISO 1600 Download
RAW Picture At ISO 3200 Download
RAW Picture At ISO 6400 Download
RAW Picture At ISO 12800 Download
RAW Picture At ISO 25600 N/A
RAW Picture At ISO 51200 N/A
Pictures Sample Gallery
Pictures Sample Gallery
The Skate Park Picture
JPEG Skate Park Picture Download
RAW Skate Park Picture Download
Pictures Sample Gallery
The Polish Church Picture
JPEG Polish Church Picture Download
RAW Polish Church Picture Download
Pictures Sample Gallery
The Studio Picture
JPEG Studio Picture Download
RAW Studio Picture Download
Pictures Sample Gallery
The Stairway Picture
JPEG Stairway Picture Download
RAW Stairway Picture Download
Video General
Video General
Video Features
Full HD Video
Yes
4k Video
Yes
6k Video
No
Clean HDMI Output
Yes
Advertised Max Chroma Sampling Over HDMI
Not Advertised
Advertised Max Bit Depth Over HDMI
N/A
Log Picture Profile
Yes
Recording Light
Yes

The Sony RX0 II stands apart from your typical action camera in that it supports Log recording with S-Log2, allowing you to capture flat footage that can be color graded in post to get a wider dynamic and tonal range.

Video General
Audio
Audio Test Sample
Audio Recording
Stereo
Microphone Level Display
Yes
Video General
Video File Format And Compression
MP4 H.264 / MPEG-4 AVC
No
MP4 H.265 / HEVC
No
MOV H.264 / MPEG-4 AVC
No
MOV H.265 / HEVC
No
AVCHD H.264 / MPEG-4 AVC
Yes
All-I Compression
No
4k Video
8.5
4k Video
4k Video Frame Rate
240 fps In 4k
No
120 fps In 4k
No
60 fps In 4k
No
30 fps In 4k
Yes
24 fps In 4k
Yes
4k Crop At Max Available fps
1 x

The Sony RX0 II can record 4k video up to 30 fps, but it lacks any high-frame-rate or slow-motion recording options in this resolution.

8.1
4k Video
4k Video Internal Recording
Bitrate Maximum In 4k
96 Mbps
Bitrate Minimum In 4k
56 Mbps
Chroma Sampling In 4k
4:2:0
Bit Depth In 4k
8 Bit
Record Time Limit In 4k
N/A
Overheat Recording Interruptions in 4k
0

The Sony RX0 II has great internal recording specs in 4k. It captures video at fairly high bit rates and has an unlimited recording time limit, so you can record as long as you need to within the limits of the camera's battery life. Unfortunately, it's limited to 8-bit 4:2:0 internal recording, which gives you less color information to work with when editing your footage.

0.8
4k Video
4k Video Autofocus Performance
Object Tracking In 4k
0
Face Tracking In 4k
0
Face Detection In 4k
Yes
Eye Detection In 4k
No

Unfortunately, the Sony RX0 II only has single autofocus and can't track moving subjects continuously. It supports eye and face detection and does a good job of finding its target and accurately locking in focus, so it's good for videos with a static subject, like a talking head vlog where you don't move from your position in the frame. However, it's not well-suited for anything where you need to track a moving person or object continuously. You can adjust the focus while shooting by half-pressing the shutter button, but it won't automatically refocus if your subject moves.

7.0
4k Video
4k Video Quality
Low Light Capability In 4k
6.5
Test Scene Extract In 4k
7.5

Video quality is good in 4k, especially when shooting in more controlled lighting conditions. It does an okay job in low light; however, it's limited by its sensor. Low light video tends to look noisy and soft, with some loss of fine detail.

6.2
4k Video
4k Video Rolling Shutter Effect
4k Rolling Shutter
6.0°

Despite being advertised to have an 'anti-distortion' shutter with fast sensor readout speeds, the Sony DSC-RX0M2 still has some fairly heavy rolling shutter effect in 4k, especially when moving or panning the camera more quickly.

Full HD Video
10
Full HD Video
FHD Video Frame Rate
240 fps In FHD
Yes
120 fps In FHD
Yes
60 fps In FHD
Yes
30 fps In FHD
Yes
24 fps In FHD
Yes
FHD Crop At Max Available fps
1 x

The Sony RX0 II can record 1080p footage at up to 120 fps without a crop, which is great for capturing smooth, fast action video or creating slow-motion clips. It also has a separate 'High Frame Rate' mode that can capture 1080p footage at 240 fps, 480 fps, or 960 fps, which you can slow down to 60p, 30p, or 24p for varying levels of slow motion. However, this mode doesn't record audio, and in our experience, it made the camera feel a bit slow and laggy.

8.1
Full HD Video
FHD Video Internal Recording
Bitrate Maximum In FHD
45 Mbps
Bitrate Minimum In FHD
15 Mbps
Chroma Sampling In FHD
4:2:0
Bit Depth In FHD
8 Bit
Record Time Limit in FHD
N/A

Like 4k, FHD internal recording capability is great. There's no recording time limit, so you can record clips as long as you need within the camera's battery life.

0.8
Full HD Video
FHD Video Autofocus Performance
Object Tracking In FHD
0
Face Tracking In FHD
0
Face Detection In FHD
Yes
Eye Detection In FHD
No

Unfortunately, the Sony RX0 II only has single autofocus and can't track moving subjects continuously. It supports eye and face detection and does a good job of finding its target and accurately locking in focus, so it's good for videos with a static subject, like a talking head vlog where you don't move from your position in the frame. However, it's not well-suited for anything where you need to track a moving person or object continuously. You can adjust the focus while shooting by half-pressing the shutter button, but it won't automatically refocus if your subject moves.

7.0
Full HD Video
FHD Video Quality
Low Light Capability In FHD
6.5
Test Scene Extract In FHD
7.5

1080p video quality is good in brighter lighting. Videos look reasonably sharp and detailed. However, the camera's smaller sensor introduces more noise at higher ISO settings or in low light. In dimly lit environments, there's pretty noticeable noise and grain and loss of detail and sharpness.

7.5
Full HD Video
FHD Video Rolling Shutter Effect
FHD Rolling Shutter
3.0°

There's less rolling shutter effect in 1080p, which is good. Some distortion is still noticeable when moving the camera very quickly, but with moderate movements, it isn't too bad.

Storage And Connectivity
Storage And Connectivity
Storage
Card 1 Slot
microSD Card UHS-I
Card 2 Slot
No 2nd Card Slot

The Sony DSC-RX0M2 has a single microSD card slot rated for UHS-I cards, meaning you can't take advantage of the faster read and write speeds of UHS-II cards.

7.8
Storage And Connectivity
Inputs / Outputs
USB
Micro USB
HDMI
Micro (Type D)
Headphones
No
Microphone
Stereo
Wi-Fi
Yes
Bluetooth
Yes

The Sony RX0 II has a solid amount of inputs and outputs for such a small camera. It has a micro HDMI port, allowing you to connect it to an external monitor or display. It even has a microphone input to connect an external mic for better audio recording.

Discussions