We love to travel, so we also love anything small and compact. The Sony RX100v is a recent offering in the CyberShot compact camera line from Sony and is not only small and compact, it is also packed full of cutting edge tech.
What excites us most about this camera other than its compact size is its 4K recording capabilities and it’s super slow motion recording capabilities of 1000 frames per second.
On the outside: First impressions of the RX100v is great design and build quality. It feels like a premium product to hold, beautifully engineered and exuding the Sony aesthetic. The adjustable OLED 3 inch screen is bright as is the pop up electronic viewfinder. The viewfinder comes into its own when manual focus is used and MF Assist is active – when you turn the unbeautifully milled and textured focus ring the image in the viewfinder is magnified to help hit the perfect spot. The dials and buttons feel great and despite the small size of the camera the controls do not feel restrictive.
On the inside: The 20MP Exmor RS™ CMOS sensor coupled with the large aperture Zeiss Vario-Sonnar 27-70mm F1.8/2.8-F8 lens produce stunning images with crisp contrast. The auto focus is incredibly fast, and the camera starts up very quickly. When out and about we leave the camera on AUTO, and can lift the camera, switch it on and capture a shot in under three seconds. We love that the camera can be set up to focus on and even track focus on a subject’s eye as the face moves. The pop up flash take the prize for micro-engineering, not a feature we will use that often but nice to have to help if the subject you are shooting is backlit, it can also be aimed up at the ceiling to use as a bounce flash.
4k recording and Super Slow Mo are fantastic and easy to set up in the menu – and produce stunning results. We love good food photography, and are big fans of Slow Motion for capturing food, so this feature is very important to us. We have tested this function out extensively on the RX100V, and found the results are stunning. It works in a similar way to on the FS700 – the camera buffers the footage, then writes in to the card once triggered. When used in End Trigger mode you point the camera at the action, and once the moment you want to record in Slow Motion has passed you then press the movie button to trigger the recorded footage to write to the card. It is a foolproof way to capture the exact moment in stunning super slow motion – the benefit is you don’t miss the action, and avoid camera shake from pressing the record button. Check out our test footage below.
The menu layout is similar to other Sony cameras, it’s very easy to navigate through everything’s laid out in a logical order. The camera also has helpful hints as you cycle through the various options, explaining what each function does, which when you first pick up the camera is very useful – it lets you get shooting straight away. It takes a regular SD card and charges via the micro USB port on the side, and you can transfer files via WiFi or NFC straight to you smartphone.
Aside from the exciting video possibilities this camera opens up, the still photography functions and capabilities are extensive and make interesting reading over on the Sony webpage. This camera by no means replaces the A7 or A9 series cameras with interchangeable lenses, but it is the perfect travel companion. It’s the kind of camera that you can have with you every day and performs well in low light so is great for shooting indoor family events.
Is it worth the price tag? To be able to record super slow mo, very quickly and easily, 4K and have a good range of focal lengths at a large aperture to choose from with beautiful optics make this an incredibly versatile and nimble piece of kit. The image quality is outstanding and the build quality beautiful and is robust.
The Sony RX100V is capable of producing sublime images when you take a considered and careful approach to image making – however we believe its strength lies in it’s trim design and speed of use – the Sony RX100V is perfect for when you just need to grab a shot quickly, when something’s happening in the moment. It is a great camera to use for documenting any situation or experience because it’s very quick to use, and you get a beautiful result. This camera does not interfere with experiencing the moment beyond capturing it.