Sony Upgrades Camera Line with RX100 Mark V and a6500 Cameras


Sony shows it is still going strong with today’s release of a flagship APS-C mirrorless camera, the a6500, and an upgrade to its high-end point-and-shoot line, the RX100 Mark V. Both bring a variety of new features to their respective lines. The RX100 Mark V’s standout feature is the addition of a 315-point phase-detection AF system, which makes it the fastest-focusing camera with a 1" sensor, while the a6500 implements Sony’s SteadyShot INSIDE sensor-shift image stabilization system and a touchscreen LCD. Alongside these cameras are some new accessories, including the MPK-URX100A Underwater Housing for all RX100 series cameras and an LCS-EBG Body Case for the a6500.

To begin with the pocket-sized RX100 Mark V, we have an absolutely incredible plethora of features, stemming from the use of an updated 20.1MP 1" Exmor RS CMOS sensor with a Fast Hybrid AF system using 315 phase-detect points with 65% coverage, in addition to a BIONZ X image processor and a front-end LSI. This combination makes it the world’s fastest 1"-sensor camera, boasting AF speeds of just 0.05 seconds and 24 fps continuous shooting with AF/AE tracking. The buffer has been upgraded, as well, allowing up to 150 JPEGs to be recorded at once. An AF-A mode is also present, letting the camera switch seamlessly between AF-S and AF-C modes.

For imaging, the RX100 Mark V uses the same 24-70mm equivalent f/1.8-2.8 Zeiss lens as its predecessors, producing sharp images in a wide range of situations. It also retains the 4K-shooting ability of the Mark IV, but adds Fast Hybrid AF and a brand new Photo Capture setting that will let users quickly pull 8.3MP stills from their movies. The High Frame Rate mode that is able to record up to 960 fps also gets a substantial boost with the ability to record for twice as long, dramatically expanding the capabilities and uses of this camera.

The camera’s body remains very similar to its predecessors, including a 2.36m-dot pop-up XGA OLED electronic viewfinder, a 180-degree tilting 1.23m-dot LCD screen, a lens control ring, and more. It also features a silent shutter mode, Anti-Distortion Shutter up to 1/32,000 of a second, a built-in ND filter, Eye AF, Wi-Fi with NFC, and the ability to connect via QR code. The MPK-URX100A Underwater Housing is also being announced today, and thanks to the similar body designs, it will be compatible with every RX100 series camera from the Mark I to the Mark V. It is able to work at depths of 130' and offers access to every control on the camera, including the lens control ring. The housing even comes with an adapter that permits use of the built-in flash, and it offers a 67mm filter thread.

In a surprising move, Sony has created a new flagship APS-C E-mount mirrorless camera, the a6500, which is designed to sit just above the a6300 in the company’s lineup. This camera refines many of the enhancements we saw with the a6300, but adds some critical features, including 5-axis SteadyShot INSIDE in-body image stabilization rated to 5 stops and a touchscreen LCD that dramatically improves operability. The camera also incorporates the BIONZ X processor and a front-end LSI for improved image quality and speed.

Speed is a common feature of the cameras released today, with the a6500 showing off an 11 fps continuous shooting rate, an AF speed of just 0.05 seconds, thanks to the Fast Hybrid AF system with 84% phase-detection coverage, and an upgraded buffer that is able to record up to 307 JPEG images at once. Operation is improved in speed due to the rear touchscreen, which adds Touch Focus for tapping to focus for stills and movies, as well as a touchpad function that lets you move the focus point while looking through the EVF.

The a6500 continues Sony’s hybrid theme with 4K shooting similar to the a6300, though this time, we have been assured that overheating has been addressed. The 4K shooting benefits from the addition of in-body stabilization and oversampling of the entire 6K image for more detail. The a6500 also inherits the Slow & Quick Motion of the recently released a99 II, allowing for a choice of frame rates between 1–120 fps in Full HD. Photo Capture is present, too, letting users pull 8.3MP stills from their movies. Other features are still around, including S-Log3/2, zebras, Gamma Display Assist, clean HDMI out, and more.

Befitting a flagship model, it has received some body upgrades, including a shutter unit able to withstand more than 200,000 cycles. The grip and shutter release have been beefed up, making it more comfortable to work with for longer times, and with larger lenses. A variety of other smaller features have been added to the a6500, including highlight-priority metering, location information over a Bluetooth connection to your smartphone, adjustment of the standard exposure value for each metering mode, enhanced spot metering, a redesigned menu (similar to the a99 II), and enhanced remote camera control.

A few new accessories for the a6500 are available, including a redesigned PCK-EP17 Eyepiece Cup that is more comfortable and less likely to be knocked off, and the LCS-EBG Body Case, which provides a larger grip and features full access to all of the camera’s ports, including the battery and SD card slot.

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Next, Alan examined the UHD 4K record mode. Here things started a little better. He noted that “the camera is resolving detail all the way up to the limits (of UHD resolution)”, but then discovered that there is no 4K optimised optical low pass filter in front of the sensor and as a result aliasing occurs. He said: “Detail at higher frequencies is reaching the sensor and causing more out-of-band aliasing.”

This clip says there is no filter on the Sony A6300, so also not on the Sony A6500. Both will still suffer from over-heating problems, and there fore do require an "Active Cooling System" to run multiples of 25 minutes--as I have done with the Sony A6300 and Sony A7r II.

  Look up Supercooler on You-tube and on E-bay for more information.

Hi Stephen,

I just got in touch with Sony since there seems to be no clear answer on the subject. There is in fact an AA filter on the a6500/6300. All Sony cameras except for the R series cameras have it. What Alan is referring to in your quote is that the filter is likely not very strong, and not optimized for the relatively low 4K resolution compared to the 24MP sensor.

Do you know if a firmware update will change the dim screen during 4k recording Issue

Hi Cliff,

The dimmed screen is not an "issue" as the cameras are designed to do that in order to conserve power and to minimize the amount of heat generated by the camera to reduce chances of overheating. Earlier Sony cameras have demonstrated the same effect. I think it is unlikely that any firmware updates will change this.

I've tried to find out in several places if the A6500 has an AA filter.  Tony Northrup has a video that says it does not and that the A6300 didn't either.  I haven't seen anything to verify this.  Maybe he was thinking of the A99ii (he had some other errors in the video).

Hi Wesley,

I cannot verify that the a6300 or a6500 removed the AA filter, so I would assume that it is still there, especially since manufacturers try to state this when they release cameras.

Will the new stablization help with the rolling shutter issue?

Is the improved autofocus continus for video too?

Hi Dave,

Rolling shutter should be a little improved in both cameras and both will benefit from advanced AF in video.

Wish he will asked about if any improvements had been made for the overheating problems in A6300.

Hi Alejandro,

I asked Sony about overheating and was told that the a6500 should not have the same overheating problems that users experienced when the a6300 came out. I was also told that the a6300's latest firmware update should resolve many of the overheating issues with that camera.

One must wait,I new that sony was going to do it , to many profesional are using the a6000,a6300, which both were a hit I haven't own my a6000 for a year when just after a bought my a6000 Sony brought out the a6300 ...and I was going to get the a6300 but now just before I get the a6300 the got the a6500 ,just wait as well they got a a7000 on the winds and Sony A7 series 72 megapixels on test now on sony rumours .I use Canon but Canon now hasn't done much I do lots of low light but now going to jump over to sony better faster for my stage work at concerts.One festival I use the sony a6000 ,when just got it, it has some noise but not as bad as canon 5d series besides canon since 2008 to fix all the issues at low light mean while the others pass canon and nikon (nikon uses sony sensors)  My next two cameras are a6500 and a99ll . I still shot with my sony and canon 5d mk ll,5dmklll,Eos1V 35mm .

Just finished paying for my A6300. I wondered why they chose the number 6300 as an upgrade "number" from the 6000, seemed a bit odd... Well now I know, they had a secret plan all along. Still have not figured out even half the Menu's on the 6300, but can see where a touch screen would be nice. The A600 still seems to be available at a slightly discounted price, so I'm sure the A6300 will be curreny fo some time. But, hey, they could have waited a few months more.....

Camera companies specialize in having very limited line logic.  Two is better the four which is only slightly better than one, which of course tops the 200 model, which is just a tad below the 6000.  You get it, right.  Oy.

Finally a Nex 7 with touch screen and 5 axis in body! I may be in!

what the heck?! I just bought my 6300!  Sony you suck. 

It is nothing but a rat race, Every body is talking sabout the gaget not the asthetics of the picture. Very unfortunate.

Sony is busy tryiing to make my wonderful A6000 obsolete. I shall ignore them!

Just bought the a6300 last month ... I too will ignore them.

so...what are they supposed to do? stop making cameras because you bought one?


no not at all just don't be a scammer trying to get rid of your old stock

i did the same thing. thet forgot to metion it was discontioned and the a 6500 was coming out in 30 days, im not happy

Making a new camera has no effect on the camera that you've already purchased!  And you can continue to use your camera as long as it works!