Like Panasonic, Sony brings its
expertise in video to its still cameras so the RX1R II is as capable in this application as it is for photography. Unlike the A7R II, it doesn’t shoot 4K video – sensor overheating is potentially an issue with such a small bodyshell – but Full HD footage (1920x1080 pixels) can be recorded in the AVCHD, MP4 or XAVC S formats at 50 or 25 fps (PAL), the latter codec giving a bit rate of 50 Mbps. There’s also the option of shooting slow-motion clips at 100 fps in XAVC S at the HD resolution (1280x720 pixels), also at a highquality 50 Mbps.
Stereo microphones are builtin with manual levels control and a wind-cut filter. A standard 3.5 mm minijack terminal is provided for connecting an external microphone, but there’s no stereo audio output. Audio level meters can be shown in the monitor screen. Sony offers a number of external microphones which can connect to the camera via its ‘Multi Interface Accessory Shoe’ – a hotshoe with extra connections – and this can also be used for fitting an external monitor.
The video functionality is extensive and includes the ‘PASM’ exposure control models, exposure compensation, the ‘Creative Style’ presets, the special effects, dynamic range expansion processing, noise reduction, lens corrections, and continuous autofocusing with subject tracking and face/ eye detection.
Manual focus is assisted by a magnified image and/or a focus peaking display which is available in a choice of colours and intensity levels. A zebra pattern is provided to warn of overexposed highlights and can be set between 70 and 100 percent of the maximum image brightness.
The sensitivity range is equivalent to ISO 100 to 25,600 with auto or manual adjustment during recording. A dedicated record start/stop button is located on the thumbrest. An uncompressed video feed (8-bit 4:2:2 colour) is available for recording to an external device via the camera’s micro HDMI terminal.
The Full HD image quality is excellent, particularly with Sony’s XAVC S codec, and the AF tracking works smoothly and reliably. While not as small – or as lightweight – as an actioncam, the RX1R II is still small enough to be considered for similar applications with the advantage of greater control and creative potential.
However, just whether you’d want to risk around $5500 worth of camera on a car mount or slung under a drone is debatable.