Well, if this isn’t one of the weirdest but coolest camera modifications I’ve seen, I’m not sure what is. Canadian company, Back-Bone Gear has been performing camera modifications to GoPros and Sony RX0 cameras for a while now. They offer a range of modifications as well as kits you can implement yourself.
Their latest release is the elegant monster you see above, the Ribcage RXo II. It’s essentially a Sony RX0 II converted to accept Micro Four Thirds or C-Mount lenses, and boy does it look like it’d be fun to play with.
The Sony RX0 II is a $700 action camera. It’s the followup to Sony’s original RX0, but comes with some significant upgrades, like a tilting LCD, Eye AF, electronic image stabilisation, and waterproofing. The Ribcage RX0 II modification does remove the last of those features, but it’s able to offer everything else while letting you mount pretty much any lens you wish.
- MFT Mount* & C-Mount
- Tripod mount with both 1/4-20 & 3/8-16 UNC threads
- *New* Internal 4K/30 recording
- *New* Electronic Image Stabilization
- *New* Flip-out rear LCD display
- Improved cooling for extended shooting
- Removable IR-Cut filter for custom imaging applications
- 1” (1.0-Type) stacked Exmor RS CMOS sensor with DRAM Chip
- Clean 4K UHD HDMI out for uncompressed external recording
- 1080p 24/25/30/50/60 720p/120 XAVC S; AVCHD format Ver.2.0 compatible; MP4
- Ultra slow motion up to 1000 fps
- Up to 1/32000 sec. Anti-Distortion Shutter
- Wireless or Wired multi camera control for multi-view applications
- Wifi camera control (Android / iOS)
- Control up to 5 cameras via smartphone
The Rigcage RX0 II comes in two flavours, either MFT mount or C-Mount. But this is a passive mount. You get no control over the aperture or any other electronic communication between the camera and lenses. But, because it’s MFT, with a short flange distance, you can use your manual adapters and speed boosters to use Nikon, Canon, M42 or other mount lenses on there that still allow you to get full control over the lens settings.
While the video above shows footage from their RX0 version of this modification, and not the RX0 II, the benefits of being able to add other lenses to this tiny little camera are obvious, particularly being able to shoot up to an insane 1,000 frames per second. You can control up to five of these from your smartphone, too, or you can hook each camera up to a Sony CCB-WD1 Wired Control Box and control up to 100 of them at once with single-frame accuracy.
These modified cameras don’t come cheap, though. The standard Sony RX0 II is currently available for just under $700. The Ribcage RX0 II costs double that, at $1,399, although it appears to be on sale at the moment, showing a $1,299 sale price with an extra 15% off for a limited time. This makes it around $1,105 total.
That’s still a $400 increase over the standard camera, but when you consider what it allows you to do, that doesn’t sound that bad at all. I’d still love to have a good play with one of these, although I doubt enough of them will ever be made that they’ll come down to a price I can justify for my own needs, even on the used market.
How about you? Would you buy one of these crazy little cameras?