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Sony Unveils RX100 V with Impressive Autofocus Improvements
By Joseph Tepper, October 6, 2016 @ 07:46 PM (EST)

Well, that didn’t take long. Only just a year after releasing the RX100 IV (review here), Sony has updated their popular compact line with the RX100 V.

Even though it hasn’t been a while between models, there are some significant improvements—namely in the autofocus department. To start, the RX100 V shares the same 20MP sensor and 24–70mm equiv. f/1.8–2.8 lens as its predecessor. But it adds phase-detection autofocus, which is typically reserved for DSLRs and high-end mirrorless cameras.

A whopping 315 phase-detection points cover roughly 65 percent of the frame for maneuverability. And then there’s the addition of a front-end LSI chip that maximizes processing speed. The end result is that the camera can achieve focus in just 0.05 seconds—a new gold standard for a compact camera.

There are other imaging improvements to take note of. With all of that processing power for autofocus also comes the ability to shoot up to 24 frames per second at full resolution (AF tracking for 150 images in a row). The native ISO is 125–12,800 and presumably fares as well as its predecessor.  

The RX line continues to make improvements in the video realm as well. The UHD 4K is captured at a 5028 x 2828 pixel area, meaning the image is oversampled by 1.7x. This creates highly detailed 4K footage. Other pro features include the ability to shoot 1,000 frames per second slow motion, Picture Profile, S-Log2/S-Gamut, and to extract 8MP stills.

Oh, and the most interesting bit of news: Sony has announced they will produce an in-house housing for the RX100 V. This is the first major Sony housing in a while, and perhaps an indication that the company has noted the interest in the underwater market. There isn’t much detail on the housing other than it appears to be polycarbonate-built and is depth-rated to 130 feet.

The RX100 V will begin shipping in October with a price tag of “roughly” $1000. The underwater housing (MPK-URX100A) will be available in November for the affordable cost of $350. More information can be found below.
 



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PRESS RELEASE

Sony – a worldwide leader in digital imaging and the world’s largest image sensor manufacturer – has today announced a new flagship model for their popular Cyber-shot RX100 series of compact cameras, the RX100 V (model DSC-RX100M5).

The exciting new camera brings a new level of AF performance and speed to today’s compact camera market. It is equipped with a Fast Hybrid AF system with the world’s fastest AF acquisition1 at 0.05 seconds2 and world’s highest number of AF points on sensor1 with 315 points covering approximately 65% of the frame. The camera can also shoot continuously at speeds of up to 24 fps3 – the world’s fastest for a compact camera1 – at full 20.1 MP (approx. effective) resolution with AF/AE tracking for up to 150 continuous shots4.

The RX100 V is equipped with a newly developed 1.0-type stacked Exmor RS™ CMOS sensor with a DRAM chip, a ZEISS® Vario-Sonnar T* 24-70 mm5 F1.8–2.8 large aperture lens and an enhanced image processing system with a new front-end LSI chip that maximizes processing speed, expands the memory buffer and optimizes image quality, in particular at high ISO settings. The camera also features 4K video recording with full pixel readout and no pixel binning6, super slow motion recording at up to 960 fps7 with extended recording time and more.

“Featuring a level of power and performance that has never before been achieved in a compact, the new RX100 V redefines what it means to be a ‘pocket camera’,” said Neal Manowitz, Vice President of Digital Imaging at Sony Electronics. “This camera is yet another example of Sony innovating to a level far beyond what exists in the conventional marketplace.”

Fast Focusing, Fast Shooting

A first for Sony’s RX100 series of cameras, the new RX100 V model features a Fast Hybrid AF system that combines the respective advantages of focal-plane phase detection AF and contrast detection AF and ultimately enables the camera to lock focus in as little as 0.05 seconds2. This high speed focusing is a perfect complement to the 315 dedicated AF points that cover 65% of the sensor, and ensures that shooters will be able to capture their intended subject with high speed and accuracy, even if it’s moving rapidly in unpredictable directions.

Additionally, processing speed has been greatly enhanced through the addition of a front-end LSI that perfectly supports the camera’s BIONZ X® image processing engine. These two components combined with the powerful AF system allow the camera to shoot continuously at speeds of up to 24 fps3 at full 20.1 MP (approx. effective) resolution for up to 150 shots4 with AF/AE tracking. Viewfinder blackout between shots has also been minimized in this high-speed shooting mode, which greatly improves photographers’ ability to follow fast action and capture the decisive moment. Silent shooting is also available in these high-speed modes as well8.

Other advancements to AF performance on the new RX100 V include the addition of AF-A mode, which allows the camera to automatically switch between continuous and single-shot AF modes. Users can also manually select if they’d like the continuous AF and phase detection AF areas to be displayed live on screen while they are framing a shot.

The RX100 V also has a high speed Anti-Distortion Shutter (maximum speed of 1/32000 second) that minimizes the “rolling shutter” effect commonly experienced with fast moving subjects. This fast shutter speed also allows the camera to capture sharp, crystal clear images with a wide open aperture at brightness levels up to EV199. Shooting at wide aperture with the fast shutter speed allows photographers and videographers to capture beautiful content with sharply focused subjects and defocused backgrounds under some of the most difficult, bright lighting conditions.

New on the RX100 V, users can freely select the initial magnification ratio when shooting in a mode with Focus Magnifier, and can select between “focus point” and “center of display” for the location of Focus Magnifier.

Professional Movie Functionality

The pocket-friendly RX100 V is packed with a variety of video capabilities that will satisfy even the most demanding video enthusiasts.

With Fast Hybrid AF, the focal plane phase detection AF sensor ensures accurate focusing and tracking performance, even for the severe focusing requirements of 4K movie shooting. AF drive speed and AF tracking sensitivity can also be adjusted via the menu system, giving shooters plenty of flexibility based on their focusing preferences.

In 4K mode6, the new RX100 V utilizes full pixel readout without pixel binning to ensure that all the finer details of 4K video are captured with minimal moire and ‘jaggies’. These high-quality results are achieved through use of the XAVC S codec, which records video at a high data rate of up to 100 Mbps during 4K recording and 50 Mbps during full HD shooting10.

Additional professional caliber video features include Picture Profile, S-Log2/S-Gamut, 120p HD Full HD mode and more. Users also have the ability to manually select a frame from a recorded movie and save it as a still image file of approximately 8 MP during 4K shooting or 2 MP during HD shooting.

The RX100 V is able to record super-slow motion video7 at up to 40x slower than the standard rate, and can do this for about twice as long as the RX100 IV model. This extended time allowing users to capture a series of high-speed, fleeting moments of action with incredible detail, resolution and clarity.

Prior to shooting, users will have the ability to choose among 960fps, 480fps and 240fps frame rates and among 60p, 30p and 24p playback formats to optimize the recording to fit the speed of the moving subject, with the option to use the movie record button as a ‘start trigger’ to begin recording once button is pressed or ‘end trigger’ to record footage up until the button is pressed.

Pocket-Friendly Design, Premium Performance

The new RX100 V maintains the convenient pocket-sized design of the remainder of the RX100 family and is equipped with a high-contrast 2.35 million dot XGA OLED Tru-Finder™, ensuring true-to-life image preview and playback functionality. The EVF conveniently retracts in and out of the camera body based on user preference, and features optics with ZEISS® T* Coating.

The new camera is also Wi-Fi® and NFC™ compatible and can access Sony’s growing range of PlayMemories Camera Applications. Learn more at www.sony.net/pmca.

Another convenient addition is the ability for users to freely set the leading three characters of saved file names for easier sorting and organization.

There will also be a new underwater housing (model MPK-URX100A) that will be available as a separate accessory for the RX100 V and all other RX100 series cameras. Designed exclusively to fit the RX100 cameras, the housing features a depth level of 40m/130ft.

Pricing and Availability

The new Sony Cyber-shot RX100 V (model DSC-RX100M5) compact camera will ship this month for about $1,000 US and $1,250 CA.

The new underwater housing (model MPK-URX100A) will ship in November for about $350 US and $450 CA.

Both products will be sold at a variety of Sony authorized dealers throughout North America.

A variety of exclusive stories and exciting new content shot with the new RX100 V camera and other Sony products can be found at www.alphauniverse.com, Sony’s community site built to educate, inspire and showcase all fans and customers of the Sony α brand.

Notes:

1. Among fixed lens digital cameras with 1.0-type sensor. As of October 2016 press release, based on Sony research.
2. CIPA standard, internal measurement, at f=8.8mm (wide telephoto), EV4.7, Program Auto, Focus mode: AF-A, AF area: Wide,

3. With “Continuous shooting mode: Hi”.
4. With “Continuous shooting mode: Hi” and “Image quality: Fine”.
5. 35mm equivalent
6. Continuous recording is available for approx. 5 minutes. The duration available for the shooting may change according to shooting conditions.
7. Sound cannot be recorded when shooting slow motion. An SDHC/SDXC memory card of Class 10 or higher is required

8. Silent shooting can be activated via “Shutter type: Electronic” and “Audio signals: Off”.
9. Using built-in ND filter.
10. An SDHC/SDXC memory card with a Class 10 or higher speed rating is required for XAVC S recording and UHS Speed Class 3 is required for recording at 100Mbps

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