Sony A6500, RX100 V cameras focus on fast performance and movie-making
The RX100 V has the world's fastest autofocus system for a compact, while the α6500 interchangeable lens camera is equally speedy with in-camera five-axis optical image stabilization.
Joshua GoldmanManaging Editor / Advice
Managing Editor Josh Goldman is a laptop expert and has been writing about and reviewing them since built-in Wi-Fi was an optional feature. He also covers almost anything connected to a PC, including keyboards, mice, USB-C docks and PC gaming accessories. In addition, he writes about cameras, including action cams and drones. And while he doesn't consider himself a gamer, he spends entirely too much time playing them.
ExpertiseLaptops, desktops and computer and PC gaming accessories including keyboards, mice and controllers, cameras, action cameras and dronesCredentials
More than two decades experience writing about PCs and accessories, and 15 years writing about cameras of all kinds.
For many photographers, speed is as important -- or even more important -- than image quality. If you fall into this category, Sony has a couple new cameras for your consideration: the α6500 interchangeable lens camera (ILC) and RX100 V (aka RX100M5) pocket camera.
Both models have what Sony says are the world's fastest hybrid autofocus systems for their categories with an AF acquisition speed of 0.05 seconds. The compact f1.8-2.8 24-70mm RX100 V has the world's highest number of on-sensor AF points at 315 on its new 1-inch-type 20-megapixel stacked Exmor RS CMOS sensor. The α6500 has 425 phase detection AF points (also a world's highest) on its 24-megapixel APS-C-size CMOS sensor.
Sony says the AF speeds were made possible because of a new front-end chipset in the cameras that also improves the cameras' overall performance. For example, the RX100 V is capable of up to 24 frames per second at full resolution for up to 150 shots with autofocus and exposure tracking, while the α6500 can shoot at up to 11fps with continuous AF/AE tracking and up to 8fps in a live-view shooting mode that makes it easy to track fast moving subjects for up to 307 frames before its expanded buffer is filled.
Sony A6500 and RX100 V cameras are mostly different on the inside
Fast performance is also crucial for high-resolution movie capture. Both can capture 4K (3,840x2,160p) video at a high bit rate of up to 100 Mbps in XAVC S codec. Other video features include slow- and quick-motion capture, Picture Profile and S-Log/S-Gamut for wide dynamic range and color space.
Other key features for the α6500 include:
In-camera 5-axis image stabilization (a first for a Sony APS-C sensor camera)
ISO 100-51200 range
2.4-million-dot OLED viewfinder
Touchpad functionality (shift focus by dragging a finger on the touchscreen)
Magnesium alloy body
200,000-release high-durability shutter
Wi-Fi, QR and NFC
For the pocketable RX100 V:
Anti-distortion shutter to minimize rolling-shutter effect
Maximum shutter speed of 1/32,000 second
2.35-million-dot OLED viewfinder
Wi-Fi and NFC
Underwater housing available good to 40 meters/130 feet
The Sony Cyber-shot RX100 V will be available this month for $1,000. The Sony α6500 ships this November for $1,400. Those prices convert to approximately £800 or AU$1,300 for the RX100 V and £1,100 or AU$1,900 for the α6500.