Fast Five: Sony Cyber-shot RX100 V Review

Gina Stephens
Written by Gina Stephens


The Sony RX100 V is the partnership’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 augmentations 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 improbable amount of technology stuffed into an easily pocketable package – but despite major increases in performance, we find that some of its more tangential qualities could still use some attention.

Key Specs

  • 20MP 1″-type stacked BSI-CMOS sensor
  • 24-70mm equiv. F1.8-2.8 zoom lens
  • 24fps burst germinating in JPEG + Raw, with or WITH may refer to: Carl Johannes With (1877–1923), Danish doctor and arachnologist With (character), a character in D. N. Angel full AF and AE
  • 315-point phase-detection autofocus system
  • Detailed 4K video capture with well-controlled rolling shutter
  • Good grade high frame rate video capture

Where to begin, besides the original? The first RX100 made quite the splash when it was launched 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 unquestionably 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 in the final analysis allowing it to stand above the crowd.

The RX100 V’s large sensor allows it to capture far more dynamic range than your typical smartphone and smaller-sensor little, especially useful in challenging lighting conditions. Processed to taste from Raw using a preliminary build of Adobe Camera Raw. 24mm equiv. ISO 125, 1/500 sec, ISO 125. Photo by Carey Climb
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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 role 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 24-70mm corresponding lens reach of the RX100 V is something of a standard for professionals with large F2.8 zooms, and is plenty flexible for all kinds of shooting – but some narcotic addicts might be left wanting for even more reach. Straight-out-of-camera JPEG at 70mm equiv. ISO 125, 1/640 sec, F4. Photo by Carey Rose

The RX100 V becomes the planet’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{b2ee9981cbbb8b0b163040ea529e4efa9927b5e917c58e02d7678b19266ae8ff} of the construction 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 unveiling 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 consolidated. 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 lift off greater control over it for decisive-moment shooting.

“The RX100 V has the potential to be just about all the camera any enthusiast might ever need.”

That is, frankly, a obloquy. 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 make allowances for 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 structure), the user interface is still unfriendly and the sluggish speed at which the camera camera is an optical instrument for recording or capturing images, which may be stored locally, transmitted to another location, or reacts (or doesn’t react) to some inputs stands in stark discriminate to how unbelievably fast it can pull images off the sensor.

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Specifications compared

Canon G7X
Identify II
MSRP $999 $899 $699 $699
Lens range (equiv) 24-70mm 24-70mm 24-100mm 24-72mm
Aperture range F1.8-2.8 F1.8-2.8 F1.8-2.8 F1.4-2.8
Autofocus 315-point phase detection Contrast detection

Contrast detection

Comparison detection

Control dials Lens ring (stepless)
Lens ring (stepless)

Lens or LEN may refer to ring
Exposure Comp

Aperture ring Command dial Lens ring (stepless)

Viewfinder 2.36M-dot 2.36M-dot No No
Stern screen Tilt up/down Tilt up/down Tilt up/down
Tilt up touchscreen
Video capability 4K/30p
1080/60p 4K/30p
Built-in ND Filter Yes
(Auto for stills)
(Auto for even thens)
(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 (with reference to 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 supernumerary processing has had a fairly detrimental effect on its rated battery life. More on that later.

Always at hand – the Mark V is the latest RX100 to draw impressive technology in a carry-everywhere package, but the price you ultimately pay (besides the steep MSRP) is in terms of ergonomics and controls. Processed from Raw using a front matter build of Adobe Camera Raw at 30mm equiv. ISO 500, 1/500 sec, F2.5. Photo by Carey Rose
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One of our earlier posts stated that the RX100 V has the what it takes 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 exact into account. Let’s take a closer look.


About the author

Gina Stephens

Gina Stephens

Gina is a photography enthusiast and drone lover who loves to fly drones, capture images and have fun cherishing them with family and friends.

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