It is clear that the wheel cannot stop spinning. We haven’t even finished digesting the new products presented at Photokina and manufacturers are back already with a new set of releases. Soon there won’t be any gaps in the calendar to avoid overlapping each other’s releases. Not content with just announcing the new and impressive Sony A6500, the Japanese giant renews its range of Cyber-Shot compacts with the new Sony RX100 V.
One of the biggest differences when using a compact camera compared to higher performance equipment, was the sluggishness of its AF system and shutter… until now. Sony announces its new Sony RX100 V as the fastest compact in the world. It is true that in recent years there have been many good steps in improving this critical part of compact cameras but the figures we handle according to official information released by Sony are certainly outstanding.
For the first time a camera from the RX series carries a fast hybrid AF system. It combines phase detection and contrast systems and achieves, thanks to its 315 AF points in its sensor (the highest AF points count in a sensor in a compact in the world), the greatest speed of AF achieved to date in a compact: 0.05 seconds (under equipment test conditions). The 315 AF points cover 65% of the frame which allows excellent tracking of moving objects, making this camera stand out in areas so far banned for compacts, such as sports or wildlife photography.
The high speed of this camera is not limited to its ability to autofocus. You can shoot in bursts of 24 fps at full resolution and RAW; big words. Achieves up to 150 shots with AF tracking and automatic exposure (AF / AE). Not to mention the new AF-A mode that allows the processor to decide for us if image conditions require AF-C (continuous focus) or AF-S mode.
These new features are all related to the work done by developing the new LSI front-end processing chip, which is able to move perfectly the camera’s BIONZ X image processing engine. In addition to improving the use of the buffer, it optimizes image quality and it allows to achieve good performance with high ISO values (making quality images possible in environments without adequate lighting or where high shutter speed is needed) something that we are already accustomed to in Sony’s high-end equipment.
The camera allows shooting at shutter speeds of up to 1/32000 s. This capability avoids the dreaded "rolling shutter" that appears frequently when portraying objects in motion. Furthermore, thanks to the use of built-in ND filter, we can get beautiful background blur effects, working with full opening even in very bright light(up to to EV19 according to the manufacturer).
At the heart of the camera is an Exmor RS™ CMOS type 1.0 sensor which reaches 20.1MP resolution, a reasonable amount for a high performance compact. The name of Carl ZEISS makes an appearance in this compact lenses having a 24-70 mm focal length range (35mm equivalent) and F1.8 – 2.8 aperture.
The camera is equipped with a retractable electronic viewfinder, that is fully integrated within the camera, and can be hidden like a flash, when not in use. Moreover, the high contrast XGA OLED rear screen allows access to all the configuration menus and image display in real time with its 2.35 million pixels.
We can not forget about something that has become a common denominator in all new releases, and that appears as a key factor in predicting the success of a new camera on the market: its video capabilities.
Of course, the new Sony RX100 V records video on 4K. It uses full pixel reading without pixel binning to ensure minimum jaggies and moire effects. It does this by using the XAVC S codec, that records video at high data rates of up to 100 Mbps while recording 4K and 50Mbps during Full HD recording.
Improvements in the focusing system are very useful in the video field too. In addition through the camera settings you can customize the behavior of the AF, adjusting speed and sensitivity. Without forgetting features associated with professional equipments such as Picture Profile, S-Log2 / S-Gamut or the 100p Full HD mode.
The system lets you manually select a frame from a recorded video and save it as a still image file of approximately 8 MP during shooting or 4K 2MP while recording in high definition.
Recording in super-slow motion is up to 40 times slower than standard speed (Up to 1.000fps with reduced resolution), which is an improvement from the previous model RX100 IV by a factor of x2.
Sony RX100 III vs RX100 IV