Renowned filmmaker / DP and all around nice guy Philip Bloom has been having fun with both the Sony RX10 II and RX100 IV this past few days. He has tested the slow motion and 4k modes extensively and has done a fantastic rundown of the usability, performance and pitfalls on using the cameras. There are a lot of interesting tidbits that He discovered such as the 240fps NTSC and 250fps PAL modes are nearly HD in quality and extremely usable very close to what the much more expensive Sony FS700 camera achieves.
When recording the 2 second quality priority mode it records back to the SD card in Real time that means a 2 second video at 240fps will take 20 seconds if saved as 24p for the frame count of 480 frames duration. At 480fps for 2 seconds of 960 frames it will take 40 seconds of write time to the SD card. This is in line with most slow motion cameras and it is a point to be considered while using the HFR modes. You will have to plan ahead as the camera will be unavailable for use for quite a long time before the next shot is ready to be taken. This is a normal thing in most high speed cameras.
He also says the modes above 240fps NTSC and 250fps PAL are pretty bad in aliasing and moire artifacts and Bloom would probably never use them in those modes for anything real serious.
To read his entire evolving review of the Sony RX10 II and RX100 IV with image samples be sure to visit his sight, well worth the read: http://philipbloom.net/blog/rxroadtests/
This image quality gap is why more expensive high speed camera solutions are required when quality at higher frame rates is something you covet. Cameras like the edgertronic available now or upcoming fps1000 “if it ships this year” are able to deliver true high frame rates with professional quality.
Call the Cleaner! Sony RX100 IV 250fps, 500fps & 1000fps by DP Philip Bloom Short film:
The fantastic short film Call the Cleaner above, shows what kind of things you can achieve with imagination, time and hard work with these Sony cameras. Many shots are aliased or low resolution but clever editing and artistic grading coupled with great ambient sound effects provide a compelling piece that is greater than the sum of it’s parts.
Regarding 4k and Rolling shutter:
4k capture looks great and has minimal artifacting in brightly illuminated scenes. The quality goes down severely in low light and rolling shutter is still a problem in 4k as you can see in Philip Bloom’s train station footage here. The train skew is still very much there which seems to indicate that high speed modes read a lot faster than 4k.
One more video we would like to share of the Sony RX100 IV in action by Xerophyte NYC:
*Philip Bloom logo and footage copyright of Philip Bloom 2015.