Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 V

20.1MP 1"-type stacked CMOS sensor | 24-70mm equiv. F1.8-2.8 lens | 4K video capture

What we like:

  • Additional processor allows for 24fps bursts with AF in Raw
  • 315 point phase detection autofocus system
  • Ultra-slow motion and oversampled 4K video capture
  • AF in video is incredible
  • Bright, sharp lens
  • Built-in high-res EVF

What we don't:

  • Feature set overwhelms both the interface and controls
  • No touchscreen
  • Limited zoom compared to competition
  • Pricey
  • Very limited battery life

The RX100 V takes the previous iteration and cranks it up to 11. While it offers the same sensor, lens and viewfinder (all of which are excellent anyway), the V adds a new processor to speed up burst shooting to a full 24 fps with autofocus and autoexposure, as well as offering oversampled 4K for incredibly detailed video. There's now a 315 point phase detection autofocus system, allowing for more impressive tracking abilities, including continuous Eye AF at 24 fps. With that frame rate, you can pick your decisive moment, or assemble short video clips.

As before, there's a range of impressive slow-motion video settings, dual recording of 17MP stills while recording 1080/30p video and a tilting LCD. The LCD still isn't touch-enabled, which would've really helped users get the most out of the new AF system, and we continue to think the interface and menu system are in need of an overhaul.

The faster processor now allows you to shoot those 24 fps bursts and instantly enter playback and check focus on the last image the camera has written to the card. In playback mode, you can also see how many shots remain to be written from the camera's substantial buffer (150 JPEGs or 60 Raw + JPEGs). Autofocus is swift and accurate in complete auto mode, following subjects and faces around the entire frame and focusing on them at lightning speed, even at 24 fps. Try to take control over specifying your subject, though, and the camera can falter.

There's no other camera out there - none - that will shoot 24 fps bursts of Raw + JPEG with full autofocus and autoexposure.

Still image quality is only slightly changed from the RX100 IV, meaning it also leads the competition thanks to the sharp lens (if you get a good copy) and excellent JPEG image quality, even in low light. Raw image quality is similar to most other cameras in this roundup, since they nearly all use some variant of a Sony 1"-type sensor. Which is to say: it's very good.

The camera's 4K video is incredibly detailed, and rolling shutter is now so well controlled as to be a non-issue for most. Extensive video tools make this one of the most capable video-oriented stills camera available: log gamma captures high contrast scenes, incredibly effective stabilization in 1080 makes for rock-steady footage, and the new AF system is uncanny in its ability to intelligently pick and decisively maintain focus on subjects. It still lacks a microphone input though.

The handling and ergonomics continue to be the RX100-series' weak point, and we wish Sony would address some of these concerns as they continue to add features and capability into a camera where the menus and controls are already overwhelmed. The end result is an incredibly capable camera that encourages point-and-shoot usage. If that's just what you're looking for, and you can justify the price tag, it unquestionably offers the best combination of photo and video quality, autofocus, speed and compactness in its category.

If you're confused about which of the many RX100 models to purchase, you might find this article to be helpful.

Studio Test Scene | Specifications Compared

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