Sony unveiled its new flagship APS-C sensor camera, a6500, along with the RX100 Mark V, the flagship model for the Cyber-shot RX100 series.
Both flagship sensors debuted during a New York event held Friday, Oct. 7. The Japanese image sensor manufacturer says that both cameras sport record-breaking autofocus speeds. Sony also claims that the a6500 has the world's highest number of AF points among other interchangeable lens cameras while the RX100 Mark V has the world's fastest continuous shooting for a compact camera.
The a6500 (Model ILCE-6500)
"We are continuing to push the boundaries of modern innovation in digital imaging, in particular within the mirrorless space," says Sony Electronics vice president of digital imaging Neal Manowitz. "As our flagship APS-C camera, [the a6500] far exceeds the performance threshold of any camera in its class, and many above its class as well."
The words "world's fastest" may be enticing, but what Sony actually did was port the a6300's 4D Focus system, which is capable of capturing and locking onto moving subjects in just 0.05 seconds, to the a6500. The hybrid AF system also comes with 425 phase detection AF points and high-density autofocus tracking technology. The combination greatly enhances tracking performance and subject detection.
The a6500 is also fitted with the same 24-megapixel Exmor CMOS sensor and BIONZ X image processor as the a6300. However, to separate the new E-mount mirrorless flagship from its predecessor, Sony equipped it with a front-end LSI for quicker internal processing. The buffer was also expanded, which grants the a6500 model 307 frames for continuous shooting. This equates to roughly 28 seconds of continuous shooting while on continuous autofocus.
Note that the a6500 is capable of shooting images on continuous autofocus at up to 11 frames per second and 8 fps while in live view mode.
What really distinguishes the a6500 from its older brother, however, is the 5-axis image stabilization system. This crowns the a6500 as the first Sony APS-C sensor camera to feature the in-body stabilization system.
Moving beyond stills, the a6500 can shoot 4K (3,840 x 2,160) videos. It can also record Full HD at 120 fps with speeds of up to 100 Mbps. Moreover, the new camera incorporates the "Slow and Quick" mode, which, as the name suggests, supports both quick (up to 60 times) and slow motion (up to five times).
To complement the autofocus system and video recording capabilities of the new flagship, Sony fitted the a6500 with a touch-screen, which owners can use to lock the focus on a subject with a simple tap. The touch-screen also doubles as a touchpad for shifting focus points.
Improved durability also comes with the a6500 that has a magnesium alloy body and a shutter that lasts up to 200,000 release cycles.
The Sony a6500 will be on retailers' shelves by November for $1,400.
The RX100 Mark V (Model DSC-RX100M5)
"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'," Manowitz comments on the new Cyber-shot RX100 series flagship. "This camera is yet another example of Sony innovating to a level far beyond what exists in the conventional marketplace."
The RX100 V also features Sony's autofocus system, which allows it to match the a6500's AF acquisition speed at 0.05 seconds. 315 dedicated AF points complement the high-speed autofocus system.
Moreover, the RX100 V can continuously shoot at speeds of up to 24 fps, which is an improvement compared with the IV's 16 fps. This is possible with the 20.1 MP Exmor RS CMOS sensor that got refreshed with a DRAM chip.The V also has a larger memory buffer that allows for up to 150 continuous shots.
Just like its predecessor, the RX100 IV, the V is fitted with an F1.8-2.8 24-70mm equivalent ZEISS Vario-Sonnar T* lens. The pop-up 2.35 million dot OLED electronic viewfinder has also remained unchanged.
"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," says Sony in a press release for the RX100 V.
There are also significant improvements in its video capture aspect. The new camera offers 4K video shooting without pixel binning and full pixel readout. There's also a super-slow motion option that records at 40 times slower than the normal speed. The RX100 V can record super-slow motion at up to 960fps.
Note that, according to Sony, the V almost doubles the IV's recording time for super-slow motion recording.
Same with the more recent RX100 series cameras, the RX100 V comes with Wi-Fi and NFC. Sony says that an underwater housing will be made available as a separate accessory.
The Sony RX100 V ship later this month and will have an accompanying $1000 price tag.