Flagship APS-C sensor a6500 model and Cyber-shot RX100 V compact announced
Less than two weeks after the major Photokina trade show closed its doors Sony has suddenly taken the wraps off two more cameras with 4K video capabilities – the new flagship APS-C sensor a6500 and the RX100 V compact.
The 24.2 megapixel a6500 has many specifications in common with its sister a6300 model – such as the 4D FOCUS system and the 425 phase detection AF points – but it also incorporates a number of improvements. These include the addition of in-body 5-axis optical image stabilisation (with five steps of stabilisation), buffering for up to 307 frames of high-speed continuous shooting and a new APS-C 24.2 megapixel Exmor CMOS sensor.
It also has touch screen focusing to allow for swift locking on to moving subjects and touchpad functionality – a first for any Sony camera – on the rear LCD screen that can be used to shift focus points from one area to another when you are composing a scene in the viewfinder.
Sony a6500 – key video features
On the video side of things the a6500 offers internal 4K (3840x2160p) video in the Super 35mm format on the full width of the image sensor. When shooting in this format the a6500 is said to use full pixel readout without pixel binning to collect 6K of information, said to be approximately 2.4x (20MP equivalent) as many pixels as 4K UHD, and then oversamples the information to produce 4K footage.
The camera supports the XAVC S codec during video shooting, which records at a bit rate of up to 100Mbps for 4K and 50Mbps for Full HD shooting. Other video features include the ability to record Full HD at 100fps at up to 100 Mbps, which allows footage to be reviewed and then edited into 4x slow motion video files in Full HD (25p) resolution with AF tracking.
New on the α6500 is the inclusion of a ‘Slow and Quick’ (S&Q) mode that supports both slow motion and quick motion. In this mode, frame rates from 1fps to 100fps can be selected in eight steps for up to 50x quick motion and 4x slow motion recording. Footage shot in this mode can be previewed after shooting without the need for computer-based post-processing.
The camera also offers S-Log gamma recording for wide dynamic range shooting – approximately 14-stop latitude in S-Log3 gamma setting – and supports S-Gamut for a wider colour space. Both options potentially allow for greater creativity for processing video in post. Users can select, extract and save still images from movie footage directly on the camera with approximately 8MP images and 2MP images able to be pulled from 4K modes and Full HD modes respectively.
Sony Cyber-shot RX100 V – key video features
The 20.1 megapixel RX100 V will become the new flagship camera in Sony’s RX100 series of compacts. It includes a Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T* 24-70mm f/1.8-2.8 zoom lens and is the first RX100-series model to feature Fast Hybrid AF system that combines focal plane phase detection AF and contrast detection AF – this is said to operate for 4K movie shooting.
Also of note to video users will be the fact that in 4K mode the RX100 V utilises full pixel readout without pixel binning to hopefully help to ensure that all the finer details of 4K video are captured with minimal moire and ‘jaggies’. These camera uses the XAVC S codec, which records video at a data rate of up to 100Mbps during 4K recording and 50Mbps during full HD shooting.
Additional video features include Picture Profile, S-Log2 /S-Gamut, 100p 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 8MP during 4K shooting or 2MP during HD shooting. The camera is said to be able to record super-slow motion video at up to 40x slower than the standard rate, and can do so for about twice as long as the Sony RX100 IV model did.
Filmmakers will be able to choose from 1000fps, 500fps and 250fps frame rates and 50p and 25p playback formats to optimise 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.
Sony has said that it plans to introduce the a6500 model in Europe during December 2016 and the RX100 V compact should be available a little earlier with a planned European on-sale date sometime during November 2016.