Pick up the Sony RX0 and you'd be forgiven for thinking this a straight up action camera. In one sense it is, but in another sense the RX0 is in its own category, which makes it very difficult to judge.
Part action camera, part compact camera, part multi-camera rig/ B-Roll/ C-Roll/ drone camera. Think of the RX0 like a Sony Cyber-Shot RX100, in the shell of an action camera with microphone port.
To an extent, the sum of these many parts falls short. For each of these purposes, there are downsides - the pitfall of a camera that could work for many purposes but is not designed to. It's like a teaser. An expensive teaser at that - you'll get two GoPro Hero 6's for the price of one RX0.
For instance, let's consider the Sony RX0 for action photographers. They will love the tough build quality that is fully waterproof/ shockproof/ crushproof and the protective screen that water glides right off. Yet they will find the minimum focus distance of 0.5m and more limited field of view of the 24mm lens very restricting for shooting in tight spaces.
Then there is the ommission of image stabilisation - no run-and-gun or bumpy action then without additional stabilisation. The 1.5in LCD screen without touch function is poor too - you'll struggle to see it at all in bright daylight. Also, battery life could be better. This is a camera that needs refining.
On the flipside, a camera this size has no right to have such an incredible feature set and image quality. It's sensor is 4x larger than other action cameras and the sharp 24mm f/4 lens shows virtually no distortion.
In short, you get superior image quality for still images in any condition and especially so in low light. No other action camera comes close. This is complemented by a 16fps burst mode and up to 1,000fps slow motion recording.
Add to that a tough build quality with no need for housing, plus connectivity options including to an external mic and control via a smart device, with the ability to remotely control up to 5 RX0's simultaneously and to pair even more.
So what do I think of the Sony RX0 then? This is a camera that delights and confounds in equal measures. I'm still not really sure who it is for.
However, I anticipate that many reading this will know better than me. It's those people for whose purpose the RX0 is suited to that will wax lyrical about it. It's those people that would struggle to find a better pocket camera. For others, I recommend renting this £800 camera first to see what it can (and cannot do).
Check out my full review here.