Big tech has gone small and today’s photographers can capture high-resolution stills and ultra high-quality videos on tiny cameras. Sony has recently announced the RX0 II, the follow up to the RX0, which is a rugged action-camera style model built to take on GoPro.
However, at the end of 2018 DJI (the market leader in drones) had already thrown a curveball to photograpers by taking a different approach via the launch of the DJI Osmo Pocket. This tiny device features a mechanically stabilised gimbal, capable of capturing stills and high quality video. Both cameras will come onto the radar of photographers searching for a tiny device they can carry all the time, but which model is right for you? Let’s drill down into the specification sheets to find out…
Build and design:
Although the two cameras may be regarded as fitting into the same sector, the truth is that they are very different propositions. The Sony RX0 II is build to take everything you throw at it, while the DJI Osmo Pocket is more of a lifestyle camera aimed at Vloggers and lacks the rugged capabilities of the Sony. For example, the Sony is waterproof, dustproof and crushproof, while the Osmo Pocket most definitely isn’t. The Sony packs a 1-inch Exmor RS CMOS sensor that gives 15.3-megapixels of resolution and features compact dimensions, weighing in at 132g and measuring 59mm x 40mm x 35mm – it also packs a smart flip-out screen that folds up 180-degrees to be ‘selfie-friendly’, which is a new feature that was missing on the original RX0 and is likely to of interest to Vloggers as they will be able to judge when they are in frame when presenting to the camera.
The DJI Osmo is even lighter at 116g but sports a completely different body shape – instead of the more square form factor you’ve come to expect from Sony and GoPro, the Osmo Pocket is tall and thin, with a 1-inch LCD screen built into the body and a gimbal heading up the camera unit. Measuring 121.9×36.9×28.6 mm, the Osmo Pocket is well named as it can genuinely be popped away in your pocket. As the gimbal head tends to flop when the power is turned off, DJI supply a fantastically designed protective case that keeps the unit safe, while still allowing it to be charged via the USB C slot in the bottom of the device. At the heart of the Osmo Pocket is a 1/2.3-inch CMOS sensor that serves up a resolution of 12-megapixels. Two buttons on the body enable the user to switch the device on/off, cycle modes and start/start recording, but it’s the multi-pin connector slot on the middle of the unit that really sets the Osmo Pocket apart.
The slot and the connector (users can choose between iOS and Android, both are supplied in the box) that fits in place enables photographers to pair the Osmo Pocket with their smartphone via the free DJI Mimo app. By using the smartphone paired with the Osmo Pocket, photographers can access settings more quickly along with getting a much bigger preview of the scene. At the top of the Osmo Pocket is the three-axis stabilised gimbal unit, which holds the 26mm lens that features an f/2 aperture, offers an 80-degree field of view and an electronic shutter range of 8s-1/8000secs.
The Sony RX0 II uses a ZEISS Tessar T Lens, which has a 7.9mm focal length that translates to 24mm in 35mm equivalent and features an electronic shutter speed range of 1/4″ – 1/32000. Images can be reviewed on that 1.5-inch flip screen that moves 180° up and 90° down to help compose images at awkward angles.
|DJI Osmo Pocket||Sony RX0 II|
|Price||$ 439.00||$ 809.00|
|Video||4K at 60p||4K at 30p|
Let’s look at what each camera can offer photographers who wish to capture stills. Both models can shoot images in both JPEG and RAW file formats, offering users a high degree of tolerance when it comes to editing stills in RAW conversion software such as Adobe Lightroom. The RX0 II produces stills with a maximum image size of 4800 x 3200 pixels, while the Osmo Pocket trails just marginally behind, offering a maximum image size of 4000 x 3000 pixels, but both will enable you to make prints between A4 and A3 in size.
When it comes to ISO, the DJI Osmo Pocket offers a range of ISO 100-3200, while the Sony pulls ahead, offering a much wider range (ISO 125-12800). One of the more interesting modes on the Osmo Pocket is its ability to capture more of the scene via its Panorama mode, which shoots a grid of 3×3 images to create on single file. Both cameras benefit from good autofocus systems – the Osmo Pocket features a Facetracking feature, while the Sony boasts Eye AF for precision focus.
Making movies is likely to be the number one reason a photographer will buy either of these cameras and users will find much to love in both models. The Sony RX0 II offers high-quality 4K video (3840×2160) up to 30p and this is with full pixel readout and no pixel binning. The RX0 III also offers videographer the option of using the Clean HDMI output to monitor and record uncompressed video to an external recorder. Where the RX0 II really excels is in its ability to create slow motion footage as the Sony can shoot at up to 1000FPS (Frames Per Seconds), which will help you slow footage down to incredible levels and will add a high production feel to your movies.
The tiny Osmo Pocket can film footage in 4K up to 60 FPS (Frames Per Second), which is an incredible feat. It also offer the option of filming in Full HD at 60FPS or a Full HD 120p slow motion mode. While the Sony features electronic stabilisation, the DJI Osmo Pocket benefits from mechanical stabilisation, allowing users to capture smooth footage when when they are walking along filming and this can lead to some impressive cinematic footage. Although the Osmo Pocket features a Colour and Cinematic profile mode, the RX0 II goes a little further and includes Sony’s S-Log2 profile, which should come in useful when editing footage in software such as Adobe Premiere or Final Cut Pro.
Additional features and verdict:
Although both cameras can capture RAW stills and 4K video, it’s worth investigating what other features each model can offer as there are a number of differences. The DJI Osmo Pocket has an operating time of 140 minutes on a full charge, although you can add more power on the move via a powerbank connected via a USB C cable. Sony explain the RX0 II is good for 240 shots or around 120 min of operation time, though this camera can also be charged up on the move.
The Sony includes built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth technology, enabling smart devices to be paired and images to be transferred easily. This technology is missing on the DJI Osmo Pocket, though you can buy a Wi-Fi module accessory. That said, if you are using the Osmo Pocket with a smartphone already attached, you can simply download the still image or video file straight to your phone and then share it to the internet from there. Both cameras are compatible with a range of accessories, in fact the RX0 II can pair with Sony’s VCT-SGR1 Shooting Grip – a clever accessory that features integrated controls so you can trip the shutter release, along with turning into a tabletop mini-tripod, too.
Both of these cameras are excellent buys, but it’s worth noting that the Sony – although it sports a far more rugged build, is a fair bit more expensive than the Osmo Pocket. In reality, both units will serve photographers and videographers very well in the field. If you intend to hit the skate park or snow slopes then the extra protection of the RX0 II may sway many buyers. Alternatively, if you are after insane levels of stabilisation in a tiny unit that you can, quite literally, keep in your pocket all the time, the Osmo Pocket could grab your vote.