Is the Sony RX100 V the ultimate compact camera?

RX100 V

Sony can take credit for starting a whole new premium compact camera sector when they launched the original RX100 back in 2012. With a 1.0-inch sensor and high quality lens, it caught the imagination of both serious photographers and casual users looking for a high-quality, pocket sized compact.

With a host of rivals now muscling in, Sony is not standing still, with the RX100 V, their latest offering.

Resolution remains the same at 20.1MP, but Sony say that its a newly developed 1.0-inch stacked EXMOR RS CMOS design, coupled with an enhanced image processing system, should see an improvement in image quality, especially at higher sensitivities.

The fast 24-70mm f/1.8-2.8 Zeiss zoom lens appears to be unchanged, but that's not necessarily bad – we loved the reach and image quality in the RX100 IV.

The bigger changes have happened elsewhere, notably the autofocus system. Featuring what Sony call a Fast Hybrid AF system with both phase-detect and contrast-detect AF points, the RX100 V should be able to acquire focus in as little as 0.05 secs, making it the world's fastest-focusing camera (amongst fixed-lens, 1.0-inch sensor compacts).

This is thanks in part to the 315 AF points on the sensor that is spread across roughly 65% of the frame, while the image processing speed has be hugely enhanced, which means that you'll be able to shoot with AF tracking at up to 24fps. That's a full resolution as well.

To help follow the action if you're shooting at these fast frame rates, the viewfinder blackout between shots has also been minimised, but we'll have to see by how much once we get our hands on the RX100 and put it through its paces.

4K video

While the RX100 Mark IV sported 4K video capture, the Mark V takes things a bit further, utilising full pixel readout without pixel binning. This should deliver finer detailed footage at 4K with minimal moire through use of the XAVC S codec.

For dramatic slow-motion video capture, the RX100 Mark V allows users the choice 1,000fps, 500fps and 250fps frame rates – making this one of the most robust cameras for slow motion video as well.


The RX100 V follows the same design format as the previous generation, with the premium pocket-sized design featuring a 2.35m dot XGA OLED electronic viewfinder that neatly retracts into the body when not in use.

The RX100 V is expected to ship towards the end of October and into the beginning of November, with a launch price of $1000. UK and Australian pricing are still to be confirmed.

Phil Hall

Phil Hall is an experienced writer and editor having worked on some of the largest photography magazines in the UK, and now edit the photography channel of TechRadar, the UK's biggest tech website and one of the largest in the world. He has also worked on numerous commercial projects, including working with manufacturers like Nikon and Fujifilm on bespoke printed and online camera guides, as well as writing technique blogs and copy for the John Lewis Technology guide.