Originally Posted by Dandlewood
Do you really think that the ZS30 and HX50V have better video capabilities than the RX100 II? Any reason why? Curious, since they are both half the price. (legitimately curious, not being sarcastic)
Pocketability is crucial, and image/video are about 50/50.
My RX100 was new 14 months ago. My primary goal was to have a small camera capable of high quality RAW format still photos. Travel video clips were important, but not as important.
Since a lot of what I've learned about video capable cameras came from this forum, it seemed appropriate "pay back" by starting a thread/topic on the camera. I posted a few "test shots" and thought it would be fun to continue demonstrating, over time, what I could and could not do with the RX100 as a rank amateur. Quickly, a reference to a German camera review site made it clear that Sony provided a poor quality lens for video. It explained a number of aberrations in technical terms I didn't understand nor cared to understand. It killed the thread and established that I made a bad purchase choice. There was no point of providing any additional "test clips" for review. I dropped my participation in my own thread and took the test clips off Vimeo. If you search, you may find a "relic" thread with dead links.
A result of that lesson, was that I will never recommend the RX100 for someone else's video camera.
Since that thread, I ran across interesting articles explaining some of Sony's lens aberrations. They are intentional! Knowing they were trying to stuff a lot into a small package they accepted that the optics alone wouldn't get there. They teamed the lens with software that mostly "fixes" the aberrations or optical limitations that come from the smallish lens. It would have been easier to make a bigger lens, but then it wouldn't fit in a standard shirt pocket. It was suggested that intentionally correcting impossible optics with software in the camera is a Sony pioneering effort.
I thought, and still think, the RX100 does well. (I nearly cried when a dust spot showed up on my sensor a few weeks ago.) I used it as my primary video and photo camera on a trip through four European countries a month ago. I have so many "wonderful to me" video clips and photos of me, my wife and two friends that I'm having an extreme personal challenge getting them into a watchable travel story.
Additionally, I enjoy video editing that does not make lossless output. The standard on the forum is to examine a camera's native, or original, clips. I stopped doing that when I started enjoying editing. If you would like to see what I've managed with the RX100, I have several on Vimeo that have been edited into my version of "stories". You are more than welcome to watch them. Again they have been transcoded by my NLE and prosessed again by Vimeo. My Vimeo account allows you to download the original, but it will still have been trancoded in my NLE.
This is a very much unfinished beginning to my Europe video that is mostly stills. The video clips start at about 3:00 minutes:
This is a story about the Lake Havasu Hot Rod culture where I pushed hard on some low light boosting at the end in the editing process. A black car at night is tough to shoot!
Last spring I went to the Grand Canyon. I don't know who is watching, but it has 1400 view! I had a lot of fun getting the music. There are a lot of still that I processed with multi exposure HDR techniques.
Here are two that were done in really crappy shooting conditions where I had no control over the conditions but were important for someone else. Considering the conditions, I thought the RX100 did fairly well.
This is the closest I have up as a test clip. I leave it there because it is such a pretty shot of an Oregon coast lighthouse. It was taken from an RV Campground where my wife just bought a RV parking space! It was uploaded straight from the camera without any NLE interference.
Switching cameras, my record at 1800 views was done with an HX9V, that is an earlier version of the HX50V. There is a 7 frame stop action sequence of my brother shooting an antique canon (now, not a camera, a gun). You may be able to see why I prefer it for video to the RX100. I think I could have almost as well with the RX100 as little zoom was used.
To directly answer your question, the zoom on the RX100 is less than I like for video. The ZS30 and HX50V are much better, but the sensors are too small for the RAW photo capability that I want. In another thread on this forum, Mark demonstrated the ZS30 as a very capable video camera. My own sister asked me for advice and was going to buy an RX100 based on my use. When she told me she wanted to "zoom in" on her grandkids, I suggested the ZS30. She is quite happy with it.
Frankly, the push from smartphones has put enough pressure on that most any of the highly rated cameras at dpreview or talked about here will get you something you will be impressed with when you figure out the controls. In your first post, you expressed concern and interest in video stabilization. Look examples of the 5 axis stabilization used in the ZS30.