Some people may be intrigued by Sony RX0 II, which is sold at twice the price of GoPro Hero 7. Is it really worth the money? The discussion below will compare Sony RX0 II vs GoPro Hero 7 to see which ultra-compact camera that will provide the best image quality, features, and overall value for the money.
Continue reading to learn further about:
- The design and dimensions of each camera here
- The special features of Sony RX0 II to justify its price
- The features and capabilities of GoPro Hero 7
- The comparison of their image stabilization performance
- The image quality of Sony RX0 II vs GoPro Hero 7
- Whether you should go for Sony RX0 II or GoPro Hero 7
Sony RX0 II: Design
Sony RX0 II is quite interesting because, while other manufacturers try to compete against GoPro by selling their products at more affordable price points, it does the contrary. Sony RX0 II is twice more expensive. Indeed, it comes with premium-grade features, such as the crushproof metallic body and the flip-out screen. See also: Sony RX0 II vs DJI Osmo Action
Compared to other action cameras in the market, the build quality of Sony RX0 II is definitely in a whole higher level. The very tough and durable metallic casing is waterproof up to 10 meters (approximately 33 feet) without requiring any additional housing, shockproof up to 6.5 feet, and crushproof up to 440 lbs/feet. You may be able to scratch the surface if you put enough effort, but it is virtually impossible to break the casing apart.
In terms of size, Sony RX0 II vs GoPro Hero 7 are pretty much similar. Sony RX0 II measures 2.4 inches x 1.6 inches x 1.3 inches. But, unlike GoPro Hero 7, Sony RX0 II has opted to put its lens behind a flush plastic. As the effect, there is no protruding part on the front side. The camera looks more blocky and becomes a bit easier to pocket.
Sony RX0 II has a 1.5-inch non-touch display screen with six small buttons on the rear and two slightly recessed buttons for power and shutter on the top. One of the most highlighted features of Sony RX0 II is the flip-out screen. You can flip the screen 180 degrees for taking selfies and vlogging. You can also angle the screen for shooting from below the hip or from an overhead position.
Sony RX0 II: Features and Ease of Use
All the standard connectivity features are available on Sony RX0 II. There is a MicroSD card slot, a Micro USB port, a Micro HDMI port, and a 3.5mm input jack for an external microphone. They are hidden behind a weather-sealed cover. Meanwhile, the removable lithium-ion battery is put behind another spring-loaded cover. A standard tripod mount is found on the bottom of the camera.
Since Sony RX0 II doesn’t rely on a touchscreen, it is not susceptible to accidental inputs. The buttons feel solid and precise. Unfortunately, this advantage is not accompanied with an efficient menu system. Quite the opposite, the menu system has dozens of pages and is very cumbersome. A supposedly simple task like changing the video resolution becomes a nightmare, and you can’t switch to 4K before changing the video recording format to XAVC S 4K.
On the good side, Sony RX0 II vs GoPro Hero 7 indeed has a plethora of settings available. A professional photographer who wants to tweak everything from ISO level to shutter speed will be very happy with Sony RX0 II. Changing the ISO level, shutter speed, lens aperture, and white balance is relatively easy through the mobile app. For the less proficient users, there are fully automatic settings that will adjust the values intelligently and generally deliver good results.
Sony RX0 II: Performance
Sony RX0 II has a 1-inch 15.3MP image sensor, which is much bigger than that of GoPro Hero 7. The advantage of a bigger image sensor is that it can capture more light, hence resulting in better brightness, dynamic range, and low-light performance. Although Sony RX0 II record 4K videos only at 25fps, the maximum bitrate goes to 100Mbps, which means the videos can have high levels of detail and color accuracy.
When tested, the quality of the colors is truly amazing. Photos taken at the beach show deep blue ocean water with white crisp waves, as well as beige sand that looks warm due to the late afternoon sun. The colors are really solid and vivid. Likewise, 4K videos have impressive color quality, too.
Like most action cameras, Sony RX0 II is prone to wind noise. However, activating the wind noise reduction can help a bit.
Unfortunately, the electronic image stabilization (EIS) of Sony RX0 II is not very good. It is nowhere as effective as GoPro Hero 7’s EIS. While it is pretty good for reducing mild shakiness, it tends to lag when dealing with heavy shakes or vibrations. Also, the footage will have a motion blur if the camera is moving too quickly.
Sony RX0 II can last for about 60 minutes per charge, which is good. If the camera runs out of power, you can swap out the battery, or use an external USB power bank to recharge it.
GoPro Hero 7: Design
GoPro Hero 7 is the new flagship model of GoPro’s line-up of action cameras. It is often touted as the best action camera that you can buy with money today, and this is probably true. The 4K recording of GoPro Hero 7 has matured a lot, and the EIS is one of the very best in the market. Not to mention the advanced, easy to use mobile apps and the vast range of accessories.
If you are familiar with previous GoPro action cameras, you will quickly get accustomed to GoPro Hero 7. The only change in terms of appearance is the black color. The rubberized surface is grippy, so it won’t slip away from your hand. Another notable change is the redesigned mic membrane, which is said to improve the sound quality during bone-shaking moments.
GoPro Hero 7 is also waterproof up to 10 meters (approximately 33 feet) without requiring an additional housing. If you want, an additional housing is still available for increasing the limit to 60 meters (approximately 196 feet) – great for some serious dives.
GoPro Hero 7 measures 2.45 inches x 1.76 inches x 1.3 inches. It is lightweight and pocketable, although the lens protrudes a bit from the front side. On the rear, there is a 2-inch touchscreen which is slightly wider than Sony RX0 II’s display screen. There are physical buttons for power and shutter. The rest of the features can be accessed by swiping from the top, bottom, left, or right on the touchscreen.
GoPro Hero 7: Features and Ease of Use
If we compare the user friendliness of Sony RX0 II vs GoPro Hero 7, we can easily determine the winner – GoPro Hero 7. It has a more efficient menu system. The features and settings are grouped neatly, and you won’t need to scroll through dozens of pages to get what you are looking for. In addition, GoPro Hero 7 supports voice commands, which can make the operation even more seamless and practical.
All the video options, including the field of view setting and the ProTune manual controls, are put in the same menu screen. As the effect, it will be quick and easy to fine-tune your videos and photos.
GoPro Hero 7 comes with HyperSmooth, which is the enhanced version of the already good EIS found in previous GoPro models. HyperSmooth now works on 4K/60fps, so you can now shoot in the highest video quality and still get a smooth and stable footage. The company claims that HyperSmooth is just as effective as the GoPro Karma Grip gimbal, which is really impressive.
Other new features include the TimeWarp, which is a fancy timelapse mode with the enhanced EIS, and SuperPhoto, which is a very intelligent auto mode that can adjust the settings dynamically according to the scene. GoPro Hero 7 now also comes with the ability to live-stream via your smartphone to Facebook Live, and later, to YouTube.
GoPro Hero 7: Performance
The overall performance of GoPro Hero 7 is great. The colors are solid and highly accurate. Compared to Sony RX0 II, GoPro Hero 7 may lack a bit of dynamic range, but the overall image quality is still very satisfying.
The weakness of GoPro Hero 7’s 1/2.3-inch image sensor only becomes apparent in low-light conditions. To be fair, the performance is still good; it doesn’t suffer from noise or smudginess. It simply has less brightness than Sony RX0 II, which has a 1-inch image sensor. That said, the ProTune settings become handy here for adjusting the ISO level, exposure compensation, and sharpness.
For fast actions and adventures, though, you will love GoPro Hero 7 better. It can capture 4K videos at 60fps. As the effect, the videos will look very smooth and detailed. There is no motion blur. The HyperSmooth feature will allow you to get stable footage, even if you are shooting while riding a bike on a trail.
When shooting in 4K, though, be careful with overheating. When tested to record continuously in 4K, GoPro Hero 7 became very hot and suddenly shut off after about 35 minutes. However, shooting in 1080p doesn’t involve any overheating issue. GoPro Hero 7 can last for about 90 minutes when shooting in 1080p.
Sony RX0 II vs GoPro Hero 7
In general, GoPro Hero 7 is more recommended. It comes at a lower price, and it has excellent features. GoPro Hero 7 can record 4K videos at 60fps, and the HyperSmooth stabilization is really impressive. This action camera is also easier to use, thanks to the efficient menu system and voice control.