Like Pana­sonic, Sony brings its

Camera - - ON TRIAL -

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.

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