Fast Five: Sony Cyber-shot RX100 V Review
The Sony RX100 V is the company's newest addition to its lineup of premium compact cameras. As with the previous two versions, it has a 1"-type sensor, 24-70mm equivalent F1.8-2.8 lens but gains 24fps burst shooting in both JPEG and Raw with full autofocus and autoexposure(!), oversampled 4K video recording, and plenty more. In short, the RX100 V has an incredible amount of technology stuffed into an easily pocketable package - but despite major increases in performance, we find that some of its more peripheral qualities could still use some attention.
- 20MP 1"-type stacked BSI-CMOS sensor
- 24-70mm equiv. F1.8-2.8 zoom lens
- 24fps burst shooting in JPEG + Raw, with full AF and AE
- 315-point phase-detection autofocus system
- Detailed 4K video capture with well-controlled rolling shutter
- Good quality high frame rate video capture
Where to begin, besides the original? The first RX100 made quite the splash when it was released back in 2012, and rightly so - it was the first camera to take a reasonably large, 1"-type sensor and place it within a camera body you could easily put into a pocket. There were, of course, pocketable compact digital cameras before it, but the RX100's much larger sensor was the key here for really allowing it to stand above the crowd.
The original RX100 brought us one significant step closer to the diminutive, high-quality 35mm film compacts of the 1990s. The RX100 V is a fitting member of the RX100 line in this regard, offering very good image quality and impressive capability in a camera that you can easily forget is in your purse or daypack.
The RX100 V becomes the world's first fixed-lens compact (at least, the first you can actually buy) to offer a 1" sensor with phase detection autofocus, and it does so across 65% of the frame with a total of 315 points. As far as video, the RX100 V shoots oversampled 4K clips, resulting in impressively detailed footage.
Sony's launch presentation for the RX100 V showed that this series of cameras is increasingly being chosen by existing mid-to-high-end DSLR shooters looking for a carry-everywhere compact. The RX100 V works exceedingly well as a capable point-and-shoot camera, but as with previous models, we've found ourselves frustrated when trying to take greater control over it for decisive-moment shooting.
That is, frankly, a shame. For all that Sony has done to make this a worthy upgrade from the Mark IV, it's also the things they haven't done that bear mentioning as well. There are still just too few controls on this camera, there still isn't a touchscreen (to more easily take advantage of that snazzy new PDAF system), the user interface is still unfriendly and the sluggish speed at which the camera reacts (or doesn't react) to some inputs stands in stark contrast to how unbelievably fast it can pull images off the sensor.
|Lens range (equiv)||24-70mm||24-70mm||24-100mm||24-72mm|
|Autofocus||315-point phase detection||Contrast detection||
|Control dials||Lens ring (stepless)
|Lens ring (stepless)
Aperture ring Command dial Lens ring (stepless)
|Rear screen||Tilt up/down||Tilt up/down||Tilt up/down
|Tilt up touchscreen|
|Built-in ND Filter||Yes
(Auto for stills)
(Auto for stills)
(Auto for stills)
|Burst Shooting||24 fps||16 fps||8 fps||10 fps|
|Battery life (CIPA)||220||280||265||260|
Here, you can clearly see Sony's focus for this new model - speed and autofocus (regarding pricing, Sony has recently dropped the cost of the Mark IV to $899 from its original MSRP of $999, which the Mark V has launched at). However, you can see the extra processing has had a fairly detrimental effect on its rated battery life. More on that later.
One of our earlier posts stated that the RX100 V has the potential to be just about all the camera any enthusiast might ever need. We still think that rings true, but as usual, there's some caveats to take into account. Let's take a closer look.
Nov 21, 2016
Jul 20, 2016
Apr 4, 2016
Jun 14, 2017
Google is holding a competition that could see your Pixel photos gracing millions of screens.
Nikon's 100th birthday party continues worldwide as a distributor in Italy organized a one-of-a-kind feat: assembling the world's largest 'human camera' from over a thousand volunteers.
Ricoh has dropped the price of its Theta SC 360 spherical camera by to $199, a reduction of roughly $50. The camera features two 12MP sensors and can record Full HD video in addition to stills.
Photojournalist Pete Souza served as the presidential photographer for both Ronald Reagan and Barack Obama. In an interview with fellow photographer Marcia Nighswander, he discusses several of his most noteworthy images.
Photographer Michael Wolf has been documenting the crowded conditions of Tokyo's subway trains since the 1990s. The photos have gone viral regularly in the years since he started the project, and he just published the final edition in the series.
The just-launched OnePlus 5 is getting a minor update that should improve camera function.
A Belgian camera shop is showing off an extremely rare, limited 'Rex Edition' Nikon D500. The cosmetic alterations were provided by a customer's German Shepherd Rex, who got ahold of the camera within a day of its purchase.
Adobe says that many of its users have been relying on SkyBox for VR editing and it therefore made sense to make the plug-ins available to all subscribers through Creative Cloud.
The Pictar grip provides a number of customizable physical controls for your iPhone camera, but at its price point we would like to see better materials and build quality.
Peak Design's 'consider every detail' approach shines in the Everyday Backpack. While expensive, it's one of the best options out there for a photographer who needs to pack a lot of stuff in addition to gear.
If you're thinking of using Canon's sports glass on the Sony a9, think again. The ultra-fast camera slows way down when you attach off-brand glass.
The Polish town of Katowice is not famed as an area of beauty, but as all photographers know, that doesn't mean that beauty can't be found if you look in the right places. Mariusz Pietranek used a drone to look down on the colorful sedimentation tanks at an ironworks.
New York Times video journalist Ben Solomon spent a harrowing three weeks accompanying Iraqi Major Sajjad al-Hour as he and his men fought to retake Mosul from I.S. forces.
The 3D VR camera launched through a crowdfunding campaign in 2015 goes on sale beginning June 26.
Noctilucent clouds, a crescent moon and Venus were visible in the pre-dawn sky over Budapest yesterday. Photographer György Soponyai captured NASA's astronomy picture of the day.
Squirming pets won't sit still for photos? A Kickstarter campaign is looking to help.
Find out how Chris Burkard shifted from editorial photography to his true passions: landscapes, conservation and, of course, surfing.
The updated EyeEm app scans your camera roll and picks images that are composed particularly well, have the best quality, or highest chance of selling on EyeEm Market.
It's three years old but still a solid option for a Micro Four Thirds shooter looking for a high-quality, fast, wide-angle prime. Take a look at how we got along with it.
Tamron has announced the longest all-in-one zoom lens currently available, the 18-400mm F3.5-6.3 Di II VC HLD. Designed for Canon and Nikon crop-sensor cameras, the lens will be available in July.
When you're ready to step-up to full-frame from an entry-level or midrange camera, the choices can be overwhelming. Find out which models came out on top in our $1200-2000 enthusiast ILC roundup.
Just a guy wearing a VR headset, smashing invisible Goombas in Central Park.
NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter captured this gorgeous aerial photo of the Martian landscape. And if you look really close, you can actually see the Mars Curiosity rover in the very middle.
The city of Laguna Beach, California has provided some clarification around the kinds of photography permits it offers.
Later this year, a VR180 camera will be Joining Yi's Halo and 360 VR cameras, which will offer stereo 3D capture, yet be as easy to use and compact as a 2D camera.
Caltech researchers have developed an 'optical phased array' chip that uses time delays instead of a lens to focus the incoming light.
Pricing and shipping have finally been revealed for two highly anticipated lenses from Sigma, announced in February.
These macro photos of clouds of paint billowing through clear water might look like high-quality CGI, but they're real photographs. And photographer Alberto Seveso told us how they were made.
Facebook is testing a feature that prevents people from saving, sharing, or even taking a screenshot of your profile picture.
We've reshot the Sony a9 in our studio. The short story: it's sharper! The long story... well you can read it all here.