Sony reveals updated Cyber-shot RX100 V premium compact
October 6, 2016
The big update in the Sony RX100 V compared to last year’s RX100 IV is a brand-new AF system that uses on-chip phase detection for subject tracking, and 315 AF points covering approximately 65% of the frame. High-speed shooting has also been improved to a remarkable 24 frames per second at full resolution, for up to 150 shots with AF tracking. Externally the camera is broadly similar to the previous two models, with the same 24-70mm equivalent f/1.8-2.8 zoom and unique pop-up electronic viewfinder. There’s also a tilting screen that can face forwards for selfies, but Sony has again inexplicably refused to add touchscreen functionality.
While Sony’s new AF system certainly looks like a technological marvel, we can’t help but think that it’s not the most pressing addition that the RX100 series needed; we’d have much preferred to see some ergonomic improvements and an updated lens to make the Sony Cyber-shot RX100 V more competitive with cameras like the Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark II and Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX15.
Existing users of the RX100 series may perhaps be more excited by Sony’s custom-designed MPK-URX100A underwater case, which will work with all five models in the line, not just the Sony RX100 V. It’s rated for shooting to a depth of 40m / 130ft, and will cost £320. The RX100 V will be available in November for approximately €1,200. We’ll add UK pricing for the RX100 V when it’s available.
New Compact RX100 V Model Boasts World’s Fastest AF Speed[i], World’s Most AF Points and World’s Fastest Continuous Shootingi for a Compact Camerai
Sony today announced a new flagship model for their popular Cyber-shot RX100 series of compact cameras, the RX100 V (model DSC-RX100M5).
The exciting new camera brings a new level of AF performance and speed to today’s compact camera market. It is equipped with a Fast Hybrid AF system with the world’s fastest AF acquisitioni at 0.05 seconds[ii] and world’s highest number of AF points on sensori with 315 points covering approximately 65% of the frame. The camera can also shoot continuously at speeds of up to 24 fps[iii] – the world’s fastest for a compact camerai – at full 20.1 MP (approx. effective) resolution with AF/AE tracking for up to 150 continuous shots[iv].
The RX100 V is equipped with a newly developed 1.0-type stacked Exmor RS™ CMOS sensor with a DRAM chip, a ZEISS® Vario-Sonnar T* 24-70 mm[v] F1.8 – 2.8 large aperture lens and an enhanced image processing system with a new front-end LSI chip that maximises processing speed, expands the memory buffer and optimises image quality, in particular at high ISO settings. The camera also features 4K video recording with full pixel readout and no pixel binning[vi], super slow motion recording at up to 1000 fps[vii] with extended recording time and more.
Fast Focusing, Fast Shooting
A first for Sony’s RX100 series of cameras, the new RX100 V model features a Fast Hybrid AF system that combines the respective advantages of focal-plane phase detection AF and contrast detection AF and ultimately enables the camera to lock focus in as little as 0.05 seconds.ii This high speed focusing is a perfect complement to the 315 dedicated AF points that cover 65% of the sensor, and ensures that shooters will be able to capture their intended subject with high speed and accuracy, even if it’s moving rapidly in unpredictable directions.
Additionally, processing speed has been greatly enhanced through the addition of a front-end LSI that perfectly supports the camera’s BIONZ X™ image processing engine. These two components combined with the powerful AF system allow the camera to shoot continuously at speeds of up to 24 fpsiii at full 20.1 MP (approx. effective) resolution for up to 150 shotsiv with AF/AE tracking. Viewfinder blackout between shots has also been minimised in this high-speed shooting mode, which greatly improves photographers’ ability to follow fast action and capture the decisive moment. Silent shooting is also available in these high-speed modes as well.vii
Other advancements to AF performance on the new RX100 V include the addition of AF-A mode, which allows the camera to automatically switch between continuous and single-shot AF modes. Users can also manually select if they’d like the continuous AF and phase detection AF areas to be displayed live on screen while they are framing a shot.
The RX100 V also has a high speed Anti-Distortion Shutter (maximum speed of 1/32000 second) that minimises the “rolling shutter” effect commonly experienced with fast moving subjects. This fast shutter speed also allows the camera to capture sharp, crystal clear images with a wide open aperture at brightness levels up to EV19.[viii] Shooting at wide aperture with the fast shutter speed allows photographers and videographers to capture beautiful content with sharply focused subjects and defocused backgrounds under some of the most difficult, bright lighting conditions.
New on the RX100 V, users can freely select the initial magnification ratio when shooting in a mode with Focus Magnifier, and can select between “focus point” and “centre of display” for the location of Focus Magnifier.
Professional Movie Functionality
The pocket-friendly RX100 V is packed with a variety of video capabilities that will satisfy even the most demanding video enthusiasts.
With Fast Hybrid AF, the focal plane phase detection AF sensor ensures accurate focusing and tracking performance, even for the severe focusing requirements of 4K movie shooting. AF drive speed and AF tracking sensitivity can also be adjusted via the menu system, giving shooters plenty of flexibility based on their focusing preferences.
In 4K mode,vi the new RX100 V utilises full pixel readout without pixel binning to ensure that all the finer details of 4K video are captured with minimal moire and ‘jaggies’. These high-quality results are achieved through use of the XAVC S codec, which records video at a high data rate of up to 100 Mbps during 4K recording and 50 Mbps during full HD shooting[ix].
Additional professional grade video features include Picture Profile, S-Log2 /S-Gamut, 100p HD Full HD mode and more. Users also have the ability to manually select a frame from a recorded movie and save it as a still image file of approximately 8 MP during 4K shooting or 2 MP during HD shooting.
The RX100 V is able to record super-slow motion video[x] at up to 40x slower than the standard rate, and can do this for about twice as long as the RX100 IV model. This extended time allowing users to capture a series of high-speed, fleeting moments of action with incredible detail, resolution and clarity.
Prior to shooting, users will have the ability to choose among 1000fps, 500fps and 250fps frame rates and among 50p and 25p playback formats to optimise the recording to fit the speed of the moving subject, with the option to use the movie record button as a ‘start trigger’ to begin recording once button is pressed or ‘end trigger’ to record footage up until the button is pressed.
Pocket-Friendly Design, Premium Performance
The new RX100 V maintains the convenient pocket-sized design of the remainder of the RX100 family and is equipped with a high-contrast 2.35 million dot XGA OLED Tru-Finder™, ensuring true-to-life image preview and playback functionality. The EVF conveniently retracts in and out of the camera body based on user preference, and features optics with ZEISS® T* Coating.
The new camera is also Wi-Fi® and NFC™ compatible and can access Sony’s growing range of PlayMemories Camera Applications. Learn more at www.sony.net/pmca.
Another convenient addition is the ability for users to freely set the leading three characters of saved file names for easier sorting and organisation.
There will also be a new underwater housing (model MPK-URX100A) that will be available as a separate accessory for the RX100 V and all other RX100 series cameras. Designed exclusively to fit the RX100 cameras, the housing features a depth level of 40m/130ft.
Pricing and Availability
The new Sony Cyber-shot RX100 V (model DSC-RX100M5) compact camera will be available in Europe in November priced at approximately €1,200. The MPK-URX100A underwater housing will be available for approximately €360.
[i]Among fixed lens digital cameras with 1.0-type sensor. As of October 2016 press release, based on Sony research.
[ii] CIPA standard, internal measurement, at f=8.8mm(wide telephoto), EV4.7, Program Auto, Focus mode: AF-A, AF area: Wide
[iii] With “Continuous shooting mode: Hi”.
[iv] With “Continuous shooting mode: Hi” and “Image quality: Fine”.
[vi] Continuous recording is available for approx. 5 minutes. The duration available for the shooting may change according to shooting conditions.
[vii] Silent shooting can be activated via “Shutter type: Electronic” and “Audio signals: Off”.
[viii]Using built-in ND filter.
[ix] An SDHC/SDXC memory card with a Class 10 or higher speed rating is required for XAVC S recording and UHS Speed Class 3 is required for recording at 100Mbps
[x]Sound cannot be recorded when shooting slow motion. An SDHC/SDXC memory card of Class 10 or higher is required.