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First Look: Sony a6500 & Sony RX100 Mark V


We are taking a quick break from our coverage of Photokina 2016 (we will continue in the next few days) to bring you a very interesting announcement from Sony of two products – the A6500 and the fifth generation RX100.

We have been using the A6300 for some time now and used it in Photokina 2016 and although the image quality of the camera is outstanding, there has been quite a few issues that we had with the camera (mostly for video or video/stills) that we really wanted Sony to address and apparently it was not only us but a lot of users.

Sony apparently listened very carefully and the A6500 does address many (although not all) of our concerns.

Tony Northrop did a very extensive walk through of the features of the new A6500

Here is some of the key features including some of the more interesting changes/updates compared to the A6300:

  • The same 24MP sensor from the A6300 (has a fantastic image quality).
  • New LSI processor for faster AF and more.
  • Touch screen, touch AF and touch focus (via viewfinder)
  • 5 Axis image stabilization (just like the new A7 series cameras).
  • Improved AF (425 phase detection AF points and High-density Tracking AF Technology – better subject tracking). Eye detection AF.
  • Much larger buffer (over 300 images in Jpeg and 100 in RAW+JPWEG at up to 11fps).
  • 4K at up to 30p and 1080p at 120p (S-Log2 /S-Gamut).
  • New menus (like those of the new A99 MKII).
  • Silent shutter.
  • Price – $1400 (around $400 over the A6300).

Still missing in the A6500 is a headphone socket, dual card slots, larger battery, flip screen for selfies, improved rolling shutter and improved buttons (Sony did improved them a bit but the general layout remains the same and is quite poor in our view). We are still unsure about overheating (Sony didn’t mention anything in this respect so we are not optimistic).

Despite all of these – the A6500 is still a big step forward for Sony and is going to be one of the best APS-C cameras currently on the market.

Steve Huff demo of the frame-rate/buffer of the A6500

The RX100 V also brings some new stuff to the table including phase-detection AF (as fast as 0.05 sec), front-end LSI to improve speed of operation and buffering which was substantially increased as well. The new sensor with 315 phase-detection AF points covers 65% of the frame and the camera can now shoot unbelievably fast – 24 frames per second (with focus and up to 150 images – JPEG+RAW).

The RX100 V has better 4K recording and 1080p @120 (with lower resolutions at up to 960fps). Although the RX100 V has a flip screen it still missing a touch screen which is a shame. It does have the pop-up viewfinder we encountered in the previus generation and as for pricing it will sell for around $1000 starting later this month.

If you don’t want to miss any new photography product be sure to check out our product photography section.

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