First Look at the Sony RX100 V

Sony unveils the RX100 V with fastest compact camera autofocus, a new processor, new sensors and other big updates
By Brent Durand

Sony has just announced the latest in a long line of exceptional compact cameras, the Sony RX100 V. The RX100 camera series has proven extremely popular for underwater photography and is one of our go-to recommendations for divers researching compact camera systems. The RX100 V takes it to the next level.

The Sony RX100 V will begin shipping this month (next month in Europe). The body is nearly the same size as the RX100 IV, so it should fit in many RX100 IV underwater housings.

The RX100 V boasts some major upgrades as well. These are all focused around speed, speed, speed, as we'll discuss below.

Availability:  October 2016 (November for Europe)

U.S. Retail Price:  $1,000

 

Sony RX100 V Key Upgrades

  • New 20.1-megapixel 1-inch Exmor RS BSI CMOS sensor
  • New BIONZ X image processor and front-end LSi (faster camera operation and image processing speed)
  • 315-point phase detection autofocus system
  • 24 fps RAW burst with AF tracking for up to 150 photos. Wow!
  • New AF-A mode allows camera to switch between single and continuous AF (usually found on DSLR AF systems)

 

Sony RX100 V Complete Specs

  • 20.1-megapixel 1-inch Exmor RS BSI CMOS sensor
  • 315-point phase detection autofocus system: focuses in 0.05-sec
  • AF-A autofocus mode in addition to AF-S and AF-C
  • New BIONZ X image processor and front-end LSi (faster camera operation and image processing speed)
  • ISO range 125 - 12800
  • 24 fps RAW burst with AF tracking for up to 150 photos. Wow!
  • Anti Distortion Shutter minimizes rolling shutter effect when recording video
  • ZEISS® Vario-Sonnar® T* 24-70mm, f/1.8 - 2.8 Lens with 10 elements in 9 groups and a 0.17 ft (5 cm) minimum focusing distance
  • Adjustable LCD screen - 2.95 inches (3.0type) (4:3) / 1,228,800 dots
  • 100% coverage viewfinder
  • WiFI and NFC connectivity
  • Dimensions: 4 x 2 3/8 × 1 5/8 inch (101.6 x 58.1 x 41.0 mm)
  • Weight: Approx. 10.5 oz (299 g) (Battery and Memory Stick Duo are included) / Approx. 9.6 oz (272 g) (Body Only)

 

Thoughts for Underwater Photo and Video

The Sony RX100 V is going to be a great choice for shooting underwater photo and video. Combine the great performance, functionality and image quality of the RX100 series with the new features in the RX100 V and we have a winner. The Canon G7 X II is the closest rival in the compact camera world.

The steep price tag matches the performance, and those who want a compact system without sacrificing image quality will be very happy with the Sony RX100 V. Video shooters will also enjoy the RX100 V with 4K recording, super slow motion (at 720p), S-Log2 gamma, and the ability to extract 8MB still images from 4K video.

Fast autofocus is very important for underwater shooting, and we're excited to test the autofocus speed on the RX100 V, which claims to be the world's fastest (among fixed lens cameras). The new processor speeds up camera operation and the revamped front-end LSi speeds up image processing. And while not essential for underwater photography, we can't wait to test the 24 fps burst. Fun fact: cinema film is shot at 24fps, so you'll be able to play back these burst photos as smoothly as film... until you reach the 150 shot limit.

All in all, Sony did a great job taking this camera series to the next level.

Underwater Housings

The RX100 V fits in select RX100 IV housings, so be sure to consult Bluewater Photo with any questions if you're thinking about an upgrade. They've conducted a basic compatibility test in the shop, finding the results below. Note that this is preliminary and that the camera / housing combos haven't been put through real world testing yet.

Fantasea Housing:  All functions seem to work well.

Nauticam Housing:  RX100 V does NOT work in RX100 IV housing.

Ikelite Housing:  Some controls work intermittently, but none work reliably. Need more testing when we receive another RX100 IV housing.

Recsea Aluminum Housing:  All functions seem to work well.

Recsea Polycarbonate Housing:  All functions seem to work well.

 

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