Sony RX100 V Review
For the fifth generation of the Sony RX100 V series, it has completely concentrated on its performance. It is capable of shooting full-resolution images at 24 frames per second with autofocus and autoexposure adjustments between frames.
Some of its features are detailed below.
While the sensitivity range hasn’t changed, there’s been a step forward in terms of burst capture performance.
Sony rated the RX100 III for a modest 2.9 frames per second, and the RX100 IV for a more reasonable 5.5 frames per second. And now the RX100 V is said to be capable of a truly outstanding 24 frames per second capture. That’s more than four times the performance of its predecessor. It’s important to note that this manufacturer-supplied performance rating is said to include both autofocus and autoexposure adjustments between frames.
In fact, to give you an idea of the magnitude of the improvement here, it’s worth considering the fact that even with autofocus locked in the first frame.
The output from the Sony RX100 V’s brand-new image sensor is handled by the current-generation BIONZ X-branded image processor. This was also used by the earlier RX100 III and IV. However, unlike those cameras, the RX100 V also sports a new front-end LSI chip which helps in improving performance to even higher levels. If this feature seems familiar, that’s because, incidentally, we saw it first in the interchangeable-lens Sony A99 II.
For the fifth generation, the resolution from Sony RX100 V’s 20.1-megapixel, 1″-type, the backside-illuminated image sensor is all. But it unchanged from that of the previous model, suggesting that Sony is happy with the sweet spot it has found in terms of resolution and sensor size.
However, it’s not the exact same sensor used in the RX100 IV. This time around, Sony has added on-chip phase detection autofocus pixels. This autofocus pixel allows a super-speedy new hybrid autofocus system.
As in earlier models, the Sony RX100 V’s Exmor RS-branded image sensor has a 3:2 aspect ratio. The total pixel count is unchanged from that of the RX100 IV, at 21.0 megapixels. Compared to prior models, it’s just fractionally higher than their 20.9-megapixel total counts.
Together, the pairing of image sensor and processor produce the exact same ISO sensitivity range offered by the RX100 III and IV. Still, for imaging, the Sony RX100 V offers everything from ISO 125 to 12,800 equivalents by default, with the option to extend the lower end of the range to ISO 80 / 100 equivalents. Movie capture allows the same standard sensitivity range, but not the extended sensitivities.
You can also reduce noise levels for relatively static subjects using a Multi-Frame Noise Reduction function. When enabled, this allows a maximum sensitivity of ISO 25,600 equivalent.
Once again, Sony has retained the same ZEISS Vario-Sonnar T-branded, 2.9x optical zoom lens featured in the RX100 III and IV for the follow-up RX100 V. It’s very bright, with a maximum aperture of f/1.8 at wide angle, falling to f/2.8 by the telephoto position. It’s also a bit shorter than the lenses of the RX100 and RX100 II, however, with a 35 mm-equivalent focal range of 24-70 mm.
Just as in the earlier cameras, it has a 10-element, nine-group design with nine aspheric elements, including one crafted from two Advanced Aspheric elements cemented together. There’s also a seven-bladed aperture iris, a Zeiss T* coating, and a built-in, three-stop neutral density filter that can be automatically or manually enabled or disabled.
Also just as in the RX100 III and IV, the Sony RX100 V’s lens also includes SteadyShot optical image stabilization for still images. When shooting movies, the more powerful Intelligent Active SteadyShot stabilization is used, and it’s coupled with electronic compensation as well.
The Sony RX100 V uses a new hybrid autofocus system, pairing both on-chip phase detection AF pixels with a contrast-detection AF system. The former is used to determine the distance and direction of adjustment required to achieve an approximate focus lock, and then the latter steps in to fine-tune the focus adjustment.
Totally, the phase-detection system sports a generous 315 focus points covering 65% of the image frame. In addition, there are 25 contrast-detection AF points.
The Sony RX100 V has a minimum focusing distance of five centimeters at wide angle, or 30 cm at the telephoto position, just as in the RX100 III and IV. Autofocus options are the same as in the RX100 IV, with a choice of Wide, Center, and small, medium or large Flexible Spot autofocus modes, as well as an Expanded Flexible Spot AF mode. And of course, you can still opt for single, continuous or Direct Manual Focus servo modes, as well as fully manual, fly-by-wire autofocus.
Like the RX100 III and IV before it, the Sony RX100 V has a clever pop-up electronic viewfinder that adds relatively little to the size of the camera body, but which adds much to its versatility. The display used in this viewfinder is the exact same model as in the RX100 IV. It’s deployed using a switch on the left side of the body (when viewed from the rear), and based around a 0.39-inch Organic LED panel with a resolution of 2,359,296 dots, which equates to a 1,024 x 768-pixel array.
When the viewfinder is raised, the camera will power itself on automatically if need be. You then manually pull the rear element of the finder backward a little to lock it in position. Sony rates the viewfinder at 100% coverage with 0.59x magnification and a 20mm eyepoint. It also has a five-step auto / manual brightness control, and a -4 to +3 diopter adjustment for eyeglasses wearers.
If you need a little more light cast on your subject, a built-in flash strobe is provided. It’s exactly the same as that in the RX100 III and IV, with a range of 0.4 to 10.2 meters at wide-angle, or 0.4 to 6.5 meters at telephoto using auto ISO sensitivity.
The Sony RX100 V has got its significant upgrade in the department of movies as its predecessor.
The Sony RX100 V also retains its predecessor’s high frame-rate modes, but clip length has been doubled from either two or four seconds to four or eight seconds. NTSC / PAL mode sensor readouts as follows:
- 1,824 x 1,026 pixels
- 240 / 250 fps (quality priority, four-second clip length)
- 1,676 x 566 pixels
- 480 / 500 fps (quality priority, four-second clip length)
- 240 / 250 fps (shoot time priority, eight-second clip length)
- 1,136 x 384 pixels
- 960 / 1,000 fps (quality priority, four-second clip length)
- 480 / 500 fps (shoot time priority, eight-second clip length)
- 800 x 270 pixels
- 960 / 1,000 fps (shoot time priority, eight-second clip length)
Images and movies are stored on a single slot compatible with either Secure Digital or Memory Stick Duo cards, and this is also compatible with SDHC, SDXC, and UHS-I SD cards, not to mention PRO Duo, Pro Duo High Speed or PRO-HG MS Duo cards. However, UHS-II cards are not supported, and so will fall back to UHS-I operation at reduced speeds.
Note that if you plan to capture XAVC S video clips, a Class 10 SDHC or SDXC card is required, and if you want to record 100 Mbps video, a UHS Speed Class U3 card is required.
The Sony RX100‘s Fifth generation has the advanced features than its predecessors.