Sony Announces a6500 And RX100 V

Sony a6500 and Sony RX100 V
Sony's a6500 (left) and RX100 V (right).

Today Sony introduced two new cameras: the a6500 interchangeable-lens mirrorless camera, and the RX100 V, a fixed-lens compact camera. Both are the new flagship models of their respective lines.

Sony a6500

Successor to the popular a6300, the a6500 shares many of its features, including Sony's 4D FOCUS system, which Sony positions as the world's fastest AF system currently available in an APS-C sensor interchangeable lens camera — Sony states AF focus acquisition with this system is as quick as 0.05 seconds. In addition to AF speed, the camera also offers fast continuous shooting at up to 11 fps, with AF and exposure tracking, for up to 307 frames.

Sony a6500 front view
The a6500 features a 24.2MP APS-C sensor with an ISO range of 100-512,009.

The a6500 includes Sony's 5-axis image stabilization system, which provides up to 5 stops of correction. This is the first Sony APS-C sensor camera to incorporate the system.

The camera also features a touch screen display with touch focusing, another new feature of the a6500. Simply touch your subject on the screen to set focus.

Sony a6500 rear view
The a6500's 3-inch touch screen provides touch focusing capability.

In addition to stills, the camera can also capture 4K video. The a6500 will be available in November for an estimated retail price of $1,400. Additional details are in the press release below.

The a6500 offers three customizable function buttons designated C1, C2 and C3. C1 and C2 are located on the top of the camera; C3 is on the back panel.
The a6500 offers three customizable function buttons designated C1, C2 and C3. C1 and C2 are located on the top of the camera; C3 is on the back panel.

Sony RX100 V

Along with the a6500, Sony also introduced a new model in its RX100 fixed-lens compact series, which is based on a 1.0-inch sensor. The built-in zoom lens offers a 35mm-equivalent range of 24-70mm.

Sony RX100 V front
The Sony RX100 V features a pop-up EVF.

The RX100 V, like the a6500, is said to acquire focus in as little as 0.05 seconds, and can capture 20.1MP images at up to 24 fps, with AF and exposure tracking, for up to 150 shots.

Sony RX100 V back
In addition to the pop-up EVF, the RX100 V incorporates a 3-inch LCD. Though not a touchscreen model like that in the a6500, it can tilt up to 180 degrees.

The RX100 V will be available later this month for about $1,000. An underwater housing, allowing the camera to be used at depths up to 130 feet, will also be offered, available in November for an estimated price of $350. Additional details are in the press release below (following the a6500 press release).

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Sony Introduces New α6500 Camera with Exceptional All-Around Performance  

New Flagship APS-C Sensor Camera Combines World’s Fastest AF speed1 and Highest Number of AF points2 with In-camera 5-axis optical image stabilization, Touchscreen AF Operation, 24.2 MP Exmor® CMOS sensor and more

NEW YORK, Oct. 6, 2016 – Sony Electronics, a worldwide leader in digital imaging and the world’s largest image sensor manufacturer, has today introduced their new flagship APS-C sensor camera, the α6500 (model ILCE-6500).

As the latest addition to Sony’s lineup of award winning mirrorless cameras, the new α6500 shares the same unrivaled 4D FOCUS™ system as the α6300 camera, which can lock focus on a subject in as little as 0.05 seconds, the world’s fastest1 AF acquisition time.  Also shared with the α6300, the new α6500 features 425 phase detection AF points that are densely positioned over nearly the entire image area – the world’s highest2 number of AF points on any interchangeable lens camera.  The new model can shoot images at up to 11 frames per second with continuous autofocus and exposure tracking and up to 8 frames per second in a live-view shooting mode that makes it easy to track fast moving subjects, as it combines all of the benefits of an electronic viewfinder with the immediacy of an optical viewfinder.

The camera can shoot at these high speeds for up to 307 frames3 thanks to its expanded buffer, which, along with the fast response speeds described above, are all achieved with the support of a new front-end LSI chip that has been added to the camera.  This new front-end LSI also serves to enhance both still and video image quality.

Additionally, the new α6500 features Sony’s acclaimed in-camera 5-axis optical image stabilization, making it the first Sony APS-C sensor camera to offer all of the benefits of advanced in-body stabilization, which include a shutter speed advantage of approximately 5 steps4.   It also offers touchscreen AF capabilities for focus point selection and adjustment.

“We are continuing to push the boundaries of modern innovation in digital imaging, in particular within the mirrorless space,” said Neal Manowitz, Vice President of Digital Imaging at Sony Electronics.  “By equipping the α6500 with 5-axis image stabilization and touchscreen AF, we’re offering photographers and videographers more control than ever before and a seemingly endless amount of creative possibilities.  As our flagship APS-C camera, it far exceeds the performance threshold of any camera in its class, and many above its class as well.”

Unmatched AF Capability

Sony’s new α6500 camera utilizes the same 4D FOCUS system as the α6300 – a Fast Hybrid AF system that combines high-speed phase detection AF with extremely accurate contrast AF and allows it to capture and lock on to moving subjects in as little as 0.05 seconds1.  It also features 425 phase detection AF points and High-density Tracking AF Technology, which significantly improves subject detection and tracking performance.

New for the α6500, thanks to faster internal processing capabilities enabled by the front-end LSI, the maximum buffer for high-speed continuous shooting is an impressive 307 frames3, greatly increasing the chances to catch that decisive moment.

The camera’s 425 phase detection AF points, focusing tracking and accuracy are also available when using non-native A-mount lenses5 with Sony’s LA-EA3 mount adaptor.  Additionally, it includes silent shooting, Eye AF in AF-C mode, AF in focus magnifier modes, Expand Flexible Spot AF and more.

5-axis Image Stabilization Provides 5 Steps Shutter Speed Advantage

One of the most exciting developments in the new α6500 is the implementation of 5-axis image stabilization for the first time in a Sony APS-C sensor camera.  Additionally, through a total revision of the internal design of the camera, this newly developed stabilization system fits entirely within a body that is nearly the same size as the α6300 model6. This innovative 5- axis system provides a shutter speed advantage of 5 steps4, ensuring the full resolving power of the sensor can be realized, even in challenging lighting.

The shake compensation provided by the system works with a variety of lenses, including E-mount lenses without OSS (Optical SteadyShot) stabilization and A-mount lenses7 when used with a compatible mount adapter.  When an E-mount lens with OSS is mounted, pitch and yaw are compensated in the lens and horizontal, vertical and roll axes are compensated in the camera body, resulting in optimal 5-axis stabilization 7.

Also, with a simple half press of the shutter button, the effect of the image stabilization can be monitored in the viewfinder or on the LCD screen, allowing framing and focus to be accurately checked and continually monitored.  This is available even when a lens is attached that does not have built-in shake compensation.

New Touch Screen Focusing

             The new α6500 comes equipped with touch screen functionality, allowing users to lock focus on a subject simply by touching it on the screen.  This is a powerful compliment to its advanced AF system and video shooting capabilities.

Additionally, in a first for Sony cameras, the α6500 features touchpad functionality.  When utilizing the viewfinder for framing and shooting, the LCD screen can be used as a touch pad.  Simply drag a finger across the screen to shift the focus point from one area to another.

Powerful 24.2 MP8 Exmor CMOS Sensor, BIONZ X® Processor and New Front-End LSI

The new α6500 features an APS-C sized 24.2 MP8 Exmor CMOS sensor that works together with a BIONZ X image processor and the newly developed front-end LSI to maximize processing power and achieve an impressive sensitivity range of ISO 100-512009.

The image sensor employs a thin wiring layer and large photodiode substrate that maximizes light collection efficiency, plus copper wiring in its structure for outstanding read-out speed.    The BIONZ X image processor and newly developed front-end LSI ensure superior image and video quality with low noise even when using higher ISO settings, in particular those at high sensitivity values where other cameras typically struggle.  The LSI is also responsible for the expanded buffer depth for continuous shooting.

Professional Video Capabilities

The new α6500 becomes the latest Sony interchangeable lens camera to offer internal 4K movie recording, as it can shoot 4K (3840x2160p) video in the popular Super 35mm format on the full width of the image sensor.  When shooting in this format, the camera uses full pixel readout without pixel binning to collect 6K of information – approximately 2.4x10 (20 MP equivalent) as many pixels as 4K UHD and then oversamples the information to produce high quality 4K footage with exceptional detail and depth.

Additionally, the α6500 will focus exceptionally fast during movie shooting thanks to its Fast Hybrid AF system, offers touch focusing  for professionally smooth focus shifts, while also offering adjustable AF transition speed and AF tracking sensitivity.  The camera supports the XAVC S codec11 during video shooting, which records at a high bit rate of up to 100 Mbps during 4K recording and 50 Mbps during Full HD shooting, ensuring maximum detail and clarity in both video formats.

Other professional caliber video features include the ability to record Full HD at 120 fps at up to 100 Mbps, which allows footage to be reviewed and eventually edited into 4x or 5x slow motion video files in Full HD (24p) resolution with AF tracking.

New on the α6500 is the incorporation of a ‘Slow and Quick’ (S&Q) mode that supports both slow motion and quick motion.  In this mode, frame rates from 1 fps to 120 fps can be selected in 8 steps for up to 60x quick motion and 5x slow motion recording12. Footage shot in this mode can be previewed after shooting without the need for PC-based post processing.

The camera also offers S-Log gamma recording13 for wide dynamic range shooting – approximately 14-stop latitude in S-Log3 gamma setting – and supports S-Gamut for a wider color space.  Both options allow for greater creativity for processing video post-production.

Shooters also now have the ability to select, extract and save still images from movie footage directly on the camera.  Approximately 8 MP images and 2 MP images can be pulled from 4K modes and Full HD modes, respectively.

Enhanced Operability and Reliability       

            The new α6500 has a refined design, maintaining the mobility of the α6000 series while adapting much of the usability of Sony’s acclaimed α7 II series.  The new model features the same high contrast, high-resolution 2.4 million dot XGA OLED Tru-Finder as the α6300 that offers exceptional corner-to-corner visibility.

New hardware features on the α6500 include a magnesium alloy body and a high-durability shutter with a tested life span of approximately 200,000 release cycles14. It also has several design features that are borrowed from the α7 II series of full-frame cameras, which include a robust lens mount, a recessed grip to improve handling, a larger release button and ten total custom buttons including ‘C1’, ‘C2’ and ‘C3’.  It also has an improved operation feel for its mode and control dials and rear face buttons, as well as a softer eyepiece cup for more comfortable usage.

On the software front, there is a new overall user interface, which allows for a much smoother process for searching and adjusting menu settings, as well two new metering modes – Highlight, where exposure metering is focused on the brightest area of the frame, and Entire Screen Avg, which maintains an average metering for the entire image.

The camera is Wi-Fi®, QR and NFC compatible and fully compatible with Sony’s PlayMemories Mobile™ applications15 available for Android and iOS platforms, as well as Sony’s growing range of PlayMemories Camera Apps™.  The α6500 also offers location data acquisition via a Bluetooth16 connection to a compatible mobile device and an updated menu structure to deliver a smoother navigational experience.

Pricing and Availability

The Sony α6500 interchangeable lens camera will ship this November for about $1,400 US and $1,750 CA.    It will be sold at a variety of Sony authorized dealers throughout North America.

There is also a new genuine leather body case (model LCS-EBG) that will ship in November and a new eyepiece cup (model FDA-EP17) that will be launched at a later date.

Notes

  1. Among interchangeable-lens digital cameras equipped with an APS-C image sensor as of October 2016, based on Sony research, measured using CIPA-compliant guidelines, and internal measurement method with an E PZ 16-50mm F3.5-5.6 OSS lens mounted, Pre-AF off and viewfinder in use.
  2. Among digital cameras as of October 2016, based on Sony research.
  3. With "Hi" continuous shooting mode and "Fine” image quality.
  4. Based on CIPA standard. Pitch/yaw shake only. With Sonnar T* FE 55mm F1.8 ZA lens mounted. Long exposure NR off.
  5. A-mount lenses with SSM or SAM only. Users can choose phase-detection AF or contrast-detection AF in AF System menu. "Phase-detection AF" is not available during movie shooting. AF-C in AF System menu is available only with "Contrast-detection AF" selected, but no motion tracking is performed during continuous shooting (Hi+, Hi, Mid).
  6. Excluding grip, frontal-view size and main body thickness are the same as for the α6300
  7. All 5-axis stabilization is performed in-camera when SEL90M28G is mounted
  8. Approximate effective MP
  9. Standard ISO range: 100-25600 for stills and movies. Expandable up to ISO 51200 for stills only.
  10. In 24p recording. Approx. 1.6 times in 30p recording.
  11. SDHC/SDXC memory card of Class 10 or higher is required for movie recording in XAVC S format. UHS-I (U3) SDHC/SDXC card is required for 100Mbps recording.
  12. Sound cannot be recorded. SDHC/SDXC memory card of Class 10 or higher is required.
  13. S-Log2 and S-Log3 are premised on processing pictures.
  14. With the electronic front curtain shutter, under internal test conditions of Sony.
  15. Use the latest version of PlayMemories Mobile
  16. Can be connected via Bluetooth with smartphones featuring (as of the date of release): Android (Android 5.0 or later, Bluetooth 4.0 or later); iPhone/iPad(iPhone 4S or later/iPad 3rd generation or later).

• • •

Sony Announces New Addition to Acclaimed Line of Cyber-shot® RX Cameras 

New Compact RX100 V Model Boasts World’s Fastest AF Speed1, World’s Most AF Points and World’s Fastest Continuous Shooting1 for a Compact Camera1

NEW YORK, Oct. 6, 2016 – Sony – a worldwide leader in digital imaging and the world’s largest image sensor manufacturer – has today announced a new flagship model for their popular Cyber-shot RX100 series of compact cameras, the RX100 V (model DSC-RX100M5).

The exciting new camera brings a new level of AF performance and speed to today’s compact camera market.  It is equipped with a Fast Hybrid AF system with the world’s fastest AF acquisition1 at 0.05 seconds2 and world’s highest number of AF points on sensor1 with 315 points covering approximately 65% of the frame.  The camera can also shoot continuously at speeds of up to 24 fps3 – the world’s fastest for a compact camera1 – at full 20.1 MP (approx. effective) resolution with AF/AE tracking for up to 150 continuous shots4.

The RX100 V is equipped with a newly developed 1.0-type stacked Exmor RS™ CMOS sensor with a DRAM chip, a ZEISS® Vario-Sonnar T* 24-70 mm5 F1.8 – 2.8 large aperture lens and an enhanced image processing system with a new front-end LSI chip that maximizes processing speed, expands the memory buffer and optimizes image quality, in particular at high ISO settings.  The camera also features 4K video recording with full pixel readout and no pixel binning6, super slow motion recording at up to 960 fps7 with extended recording time and more.

“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’,” said Neal Manowitz, Vice President of Digital Imaging at Sony Electronics.  “This camera is yet another example of Sony innovating to a level far beyond what exists in the conventional marketplace.”

Fast Focusing, Fast Shooting

A first for Sony’s RX100 series of cameras, the new RX100 V model features a Fast Hybrid AF system that combines the respective advantages of focal-plane phase detection AF and contrast detection AF and ultimately enables the camera to lock focus in  as little as 0.05 seconds2.  This high speed focusing is a perfect complement to the 315 dedicated AF points that cover 65% of the sensor, and ensures that shooters will be able to capture their intended subject with high speed and accuracy, even if it’s moving rapidly in unpredictable directions.

Additionally, processing speed has been greatly enhanced through the addition of a front-end LSI that perfectly supports the camera’s BIONZ X® image processing engine.  These two components combined with the powerful AF system allow the camera to shoot continuously at speeds of up to 24 fps 3 at full 20.1 MP (approx. effective) resolution for up to 150 shots4 with AF/AE tracking.  Viewfinder blackout between shots has also been minimized in this high-speed shooting mode, which greatly improves  photographers’ ability to follow fast action and capture the decisive moment.  Silent shooting is also available in these high-speed modes as well8.

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.  Users can also manually select if they’d like the continuous AF and phase detection AF areas to be displayed live on screen while they are framing a shot.

The RX100 V also has a high speed Anti-Distortion Shutter (maximum speed of 1/32000 second) that minimizes the “rolling shutter” effect commonly experienced with fast moving subjects.   This fast shutter speed also allows  the camera to capture sharp, crystal clear images with a wide open aperture at brightness levels up to EV199.   Shooting at wide aperture with the fast shutter speed allows photographers and videographers to capture beautiful content with sharply focused subjects and defocused backgrounds under some of the most difficult, bright lighting conditions.

New on the RX100 V, users can freely select the initial magnification ratio when shooting in a mode with Focus Magnifier, and can select between “focus point” and “center of display” for the location of Focus Magnifier.

Professional Movie Functionality

The pocket-friendly RX100 V is packed with a variety of video capabilities that will satisfy even the most demanding video enthusiasts.

With Fast Hybrid AF, the focal plane phase detection AF sensor ensures accurate focusing and tracking performance, even for the severe focusing requirements of 4K movie shooting.  AF drive speed and AF tracking sensitivity can also be adjusted via the menu system, giving shooters plenty of flexibility based on their focusing preferences.

In 4K mode 6, the new RX100 V utilizes full pixel readout without pixel binning to ensure that all the finer details of 4K video are captured with minimal moire and ‘jaggies’.  These high-quality results are achieved through use of the XAVC S codec, which records video at a high data rate of up to 100 Mbps during 4K recording and 50 Mbps during full HD shooting10.

Additional professional caliber video features include Picture Profile, S-Log2/S-Gamut, 120p HD Full HD mode and more.  Users also have the ability to manually select a frame from a recorded movie and save it as a still image file of approximately 8 MP during 4K shooting or 2 MP during HD shooting.

The RX100 V is able to record super-slow motion video7 at up to 40x slower than the standard rate, and can do this for about twice as long as the RX100 IV model.  This extended time allowing users to capture a series of high-speed, fleeting moments of action with incredible detail, resolution and clarity.

Prior to shooting, users will have the ability to choose among 960fps, 480fps and 240 fps frame rates and among 60p, 30p and 24p playback formats to optimize the recording to fit the speed of the moving subject, with the option to use the movie record button as a ‘start trigger’ to begin recording once button is pressed or ‘end trigger’ to record footage up until the button is pressed.

Pocket-Friendly Design, Premium Performance

The new RX100 V maintains the convenient pocket-sized design of the remainder of the RX100 family and is equipped with a high-contrast 2.35 million dot XGA OLED Tru-Finder™, ensuring true-to-life image preview and playback functionality.  The EVF conveniently retracts in and out of the camera body based on user preference, and features optics with ZEISS® T* Coating.

The new camera is also Wi-Fi® and NFC™ compatible and can access Sony’s growing range of PlayMemories Camera Applications.  Learn more at www.sony.net/pmca.

Another convenient addition is the ability for users to freely set the leading three characters of saved file names for easier sorting and organization.

There will also be a new underwater housing (model MPK-URX100A) that will be available as a separate accessory for the RX100 V and all other RX100 series cameras.  Designed exclusively to fit the RX100 cameras, the housing features a depth level of 40m/130ft.

Pricing and Availability

The new Sony Cyber-shot RX100 V (model DSC-RX100M5) compact camera will ship this month for about $1,000 US and $1,250 CA.

The new underwater housing (model MPK-URX100A) will ship in November for about $350 US and $450 CA.

Notes

  1. Among fixed lens digital cameras with 1.0-type sensor. As of October 2016 press release, based on Sony research.
  2. CIPA standard, internal measurement, at f=8.8mm (wide telephoto), EV4.7, Program Auto, Focus mode: AF-A, AF area: Wide,
  3. With "Continuous shooting mode: Hi".
  4. With "Continuous shooting mode: Hi" and "Image quality: Fine".
  5. 35mm equivalent
  6. Continuous recording is available for approx. 5 minutes. The duration available for the shooting may change according to shooting conditions.
  7. Sound cannot be recorded when shooting slow motion. An SDHC/SDXC memory card of Class 10 or higher is required
  8. Silent shooting can be activated via "Shutter type: Electronic” and “Audio signals: Off”.
  9. Using built-in ND filter.
  10. An SDHC/SDXC memory card with a Class 10 or higher speed rating is required for XAVC S recording and UHS Speed Class 3 is required for recording at 100Mbps.

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