The RX100 V is a compact camera from Sony which features a 24-70 (35mm equivalent) f/1.8-2.8 Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T* lens, a back-side illuminated sensor and records 4k video. The RX100 V has been discontinued and replaced by the RX100 Va.

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All images ©Ted Forbes

The Sony RX100 V was the game changer

I’ve always loved the Sony RX100 lineup. My first camera in this series was the Sony RX100 III, which I still think is an incredible camera. But the V was a big step forward in imaging as it was the first to have the stacked CMOS sensor. This same sensor concept made its way to the Sony A9 just a few months later. Lets be honest – they’re pretty close to the same resolution. If you want the high-speed shooting of the A9, but on a budget. The Sony RX100 V is a much cheaper alternative. But lets be honest – its more than that for this class of point-and-shoot camera.

The entire line of RX100 cameras is fascinating. Many of the features released on these “point-and-shoot” cameras have made their way to the flagship Sony cameras. This tends to be where Sony does their experimentation more often than not.

The Sony RX100 V was the first point and shoot to feature phase-detection autofocus. Its much more accurate and fast than previous models. The Eye-AF is flawless. Secondly, it was the first in the series to feature a stacked-CMOS sensor. This means you can shoot 20 megapixel, raw files at 25 frames per second.

The Places You’ll Go – With the RX100 V

I ordered my Sony RX100 V the minute it went available for pre-order. For the next 2 years, I travelled all over the US with this camera. It is absolutely perfect for travel.

The 24-70mm equivalent lens is perfect for most situations. Sony interestingly have incorporated a 70-200mm lens in the RX100 VI which was an interesting move. There is an expense of the amount of light allowed into the lens so I think its fair to state that the Sony RX100 V performs at least a stop better in low light. But as every model in the RX100 lineup is still available, you have the choice.

What I love most about the Sony RX100 V is that its tiny, but has the image quality that rivals much bigger cameras. Even when I travel with tons of camera gear, its nice to be able to have this in my bag or a pocket, and with no setup at all – just get amazing images and video.

Vlogging with the Sony RX100 V

One thing that Sony excels at is video. And the best part is they didn’t hold anything back in the RX100 V. It has most the picture profiles of the top of the line models. The only log profile is S-log2 which is fine for high contrast scenes. But you also have Cine2 and Cine4, Rec709, movie and still. I prefer Cine 2 on this camera – it does require a little bit of grading, but gets a decent dynamic range and preserves an excellent range of colors. I’ve actually set my color space to Rec709 and my gamma profile to Cine4 and I’ve gotten excellent results.

The following video I shot in New York City. The entire thing is shot with the Sony RX100 V. I did use a gimbal, but its an easy setup and absolutely perfect for vlogging.

Does it really do 25fps?

Yes. The Sony RX100 V was the first camera in Sony’s lineup to feature a stacked CMOS sensor. This design adds a second layer of memory to the sensor to help capture and manage the data readout. In fact, the readout speeds are up to 20x faster. This means 2 things. One, autofocus can refresh at a much faster rate. Two the camera can capture raw images with a burst rate of 25 frames per-second. The RX100 cameras only have 1″ sensors which is why this is faster than the full-frame Sony A9. But it works.

Having this kind of power option in a pocketable camera is unheard of. This is the only camera that can do this. Its also the reason this is an expensive point and shoot. To me its worth it.

Conclusion

The Sony RX100 V is not a cheap camera. But if you want the best option for getting the photograph that you can’t on any other point and shoot… if you want the autofocus accuracy in much more expensive models… if you want the best image quality there is for this class of camera with a 1″ sensor – this is it.

I have since purchased the Sony RX100 VI, but I still keep and use the Sony RX100 V. The VI took a different direction with the lens, but both are fabulous options. This is most likely why Sony has them all still in production. One does not replace the next.

Specifications

• 20.1 Megapixel, 1″ Exmor RS BSI CMOS Sensor
• BIONZ X Image Processor
• Front-End LSI
• Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T* f/1.8-2.8 Lens
• 10 elements in 9 groups
• 9 Aspherical elements
• 24-70mm (35mm equivalent)
• UHD 4k up to 30p video with S-Log2 Gamma
• HFR mode for 1080p video up to 960 fps
• .39″ 2.36 million dot OLED pop-up EVF
• 3″ 1.23 million dot 180° Tilting Screen
• Hybrid Phase/Contrast detection AF system with 315 points
• 24fps burst mode RAW
• Clean HDMI output