For years Sony’s RX100 line has been the camera to beat if you’re looking for an impressively capable pocket-sized shooter packing a one-inch sensor. It still doesn’t let you swap lenses, the but the latest iteration, the new Rx100 V, now boasts the ability to shoot full 20.1-megapixel images at an astonishing 24 frames per second.
Capable of focusing in a mere 0.05-seconds using a 315-point autofocus system, the RX100 V can actually keep tracking and focusing on your subject, and maintaining the proper exposure, while you’re snapping away at full resolution 24 times every second. Its internal buffer can keep this up for 150 images, or around 6.2 seconds, before you’ll need to give it a second or two to catch up, but it all but guarantees that you’re going to capture the exact moment you’re after.
The RX100 V’s video capabilities still top out at 4K resolutions when shooting at upwards of 30 frames per second. But as with the RX100 IV, that can be boosted to as high as 960 frames per second for capturing extreme slo-mo footage, if you’re OK with a resolution drop down to just NTSC, which is well below even hi-def. But thanks to the RX100 V’s improved buffer capacity, you can now capture slo-mo footage for twice as long as you could on its predecessor.
Hardware-wise the RX100 V has a 24-70-millimetre f/1.8-2.8 Zeiss Vario-Sonnar lens; a 2,359,296-dot XGA OLED viewfinder, the same as the Rx100 IV; and a 2.95-inch, 1,228,800 dot TFT LCD display that can be tilted 180-degrees for selfie snaps. And for those times when you’re trying to capture a close-up photo of a sleeping baby and require stealth, you can also set the RX100 V to only use the electronic shutter to keep camera noise to a minimum.
As newer models of the RX100 series of cameras have been introduced, the price tags have been creeping higher along with the line’s model numbers. But the new RX100 V will be available for $US1000 ($1318) when it’s available in the US later this month, which is the same price point as its predecessor, the IV. (Australian pricing and availability has not yet been confirmed.) So while the RX100 V is certainly an improvement over the RX100 IV, not even Sony thinks the minor feature and hardware updates warrant a price increase.
Sony isn’t targeting the RX100 V at DSLR-ditching professional photographers looking to lighten their camera bags like it does with its full-frame, lens-swapping, A7 Mark II. But for photography enthusiasts wanting to travel light without resorting to a smartphone as their primary shooter, the RX100 line has been a popular choice given its compact and lightweight form, impressive specs and robust controls. There was a time when Canon ruled the compact camera market, but even recent updates to the G7X haven’t been able to keep up with Sony’s offerings.
We’ve even used various versions of the RX100 to cover press events over the years, both for capturing what’s happening on stage, as well as hands-on product shots where a massive DSLR would just be in the way. The trade-off in image quality and speed is minimal, especially when it means our arms aren’t aching at the end of the day.