The new Sony RX100 V continues to raise the bar for compact camera price and capability. Now in its fifth generation, Sony has largely left the design unchanged, but mainly improved the auto-focus capability, increased the buffer to allow longer burst shots and HFR (high frame rate) video recording.
I cannot blame Sony for charging S$1499 for the RX100 V. Some of its capabilities are unparalleled on a compact camera, like the ability to shoot 1000 fps for 6 seconds. The eventual footage is mesmerizing and satisfying to watch, showing the events that we could never notice in normal time.
The auto-focus engine is so fast that the RX100 V can continuously track, focus and shoot at 24 frames per second in full 20MP images including RAW for up to 150 image files at a burst. Based on my test, it certainly works, but mind you, it is no wizard. I find myself frustrated that the camera picks the wrong focus area, something that I cannot blame Sony.
JPG images appear sharp and outdoor colours are spot-on.
Indoors are average, but one cannot expect smartphone type of results. There are definitely a lot of details to work on with RAW files, though on extreme lighting, it cannot avoid blooming and chromatic aberrations.
The display flips 180-degrees upwards for selfie, and the pop-up EVF continues to be highly useful in bright lighting situations and when you prefer to have some privacy in capturing your subjects.
I would wish that Sony improves on other aspects. For instance, the lens specs remain unchanged at 24 – 70mm F1.8-2.8. The lens ring is still laggy in changing shoot settings. The most lacking feature is the display screen without touch input. Not that I must have it, but it certainly helps in entering text or making quick selections. Finally, the apps browser is slow, I gave up browsing for apps to download.
Fortunately, transferring images to smartphone app is hassle-free. When I select the image I want, the camera displays a QR code for me to scan on the PlayMemories smartphone app, which then transfers the selected image instantly, following which the devices are disconnected. I can also choose to browse the camera images on the smartphone.
Battery life remains unimpressive. Being such a fun camera, I find myself shooting a lot. It is highly recommended to purchase multiple batteries. The package includes an external battery charger, but I can plug the microUSB cable directly to the RX100 V to charge.
Sony RX100 V remains as the most advanced compact camera, allowing casual photographers to capture HFR footages and continuously focus and capture moving objects at 24 fps. If these 2 features are not important, then there are other brands and models that are equally capable in capturing good images at a fraction of the price.
Official product site: http://www.sony.com.sg/electronics/cyber-shot-compact-cameras/dsc-rx100m5/specifications
- 1000 fps HFR video capture
- 24 fps continuous AF still photos
- Pop-up EVF to help shooting in harsh lighting
- No touch screen
- Average zoom range
- Average battery life