Just what is it like to shoot with the Sony Cyber-Shot RX10 II at 1000fps? We nipped out in to the garden to find out
It is safe to say that the specification of the new Sony Cyber-Shot RX100 IV and RX10 II cameras raised a few eyebrows amongst enthusiast videographers. As well as 4K video capture, both of these cameras are capable of shooting at up to 1000fps, which is then output as 1080p 25fps footage. To make sense of that 1sec in real time is slowed down to approximately 40secs of video.
Now. That. Is. Slow.
There are a few caveats, and whilst filming this video we had to take some time to learn out to use the HFR (High Frame Rate) mode of the RX10 II.
Importantly the exposure settings are fully operational, so you can chose between the usual PASM modes and set your exposure settings as normal.
Before capturing your footage the camera must be focused and the exposure set. With this done you can then put the RX10 in to its standby mode, which means that it is ready to begin recording with a press of the record start/stop button.
There are actually two ways to capture footage, and these are selected in the cameras main menu system. Start Trigger begins recording the second that you press the start button and it will record a few seconds of footage before stopping. However, the onscreen display shows the slowed down footage, rather than what is happening live, so it can be difficult to know exactly what is going on.
The better option in most situations is to use the End Trigger. This actually begins capturing footage continuously as soon as the camera is in the HFR standby mode. When you press the button to begin recording, the camera actually stops recording, and shows you the last few seconds of slowed down footage on the rear screen.
It is difficult to get your head around, but when photographing the bees, we used the End Trigger method. The camera was focused and the exposure set and we then put the camera in its standby mode. In this mode we followed the bees on the flowers, the camera is actually recording in the background the whole time during this. When we saw the bee fly away, we press the record button, which actually ends the recording. The camera then plays back the last few seconds of slow motion footage, remembering of course that you may actually be looking at over a minute of slow motion video. If all has gone to plan, at the very end of this video is the footage of the bee flying away.
Once you get your end around using the End Trigger method is it very straightforward and easy to use.
As for the quality, it is obviously pushing the sensor to the very extreme of what it can do, and the footage is obviously upscaled. So there is some noise and artifacts, but this mode isn’t about the finest quality, it is about seeing what the human eye can’t, and it does that fantastically well.
There are few ways that you can shoot such footage for this price, and whilst I’m sure that some people will see it as just a gimmick, I’m looking forward to seeing just how creative people get with this mode.
Look out for our full review of the video features of the Sony Cyber-Shot RX10 in the next few weeks