Is the Sony RX100 Mark V Worth for Vlogging?
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Weight (No lens)
10.5 oz (299g)
External Mic Port
The Sony RX100 Mark V will require you to dish out between $700 and $1000. So for many vloggers, the question is whether the camera is really worth it.
At first glance, it is hard to believe that such a compact digital camera could be powerful enough to command that type of price tag. However, when the details, features, and performance of the camera are laid out, the price becomes much more reasonable.
In the end, vloggers should be asking whether this camera is right for their video needs. Will it help them to create the content that they want to deliver? The following dives into this vlogging camera option to help you make up your own mind.
A new category of camera was created with the RX100 series—the large-sensor compact camera category. And the Mark V elevates the category to a new level. It has impressive 4K video performance and it can still easily fits into the side pouch of your backpack or the pocket in your favorite pair of jeans.
And the quality of the 4K videos that this Sony camera can shoot are only enhanced by the fact that it offers uncompressed HDMI out and extremely fast high frame rate video.
So while many cameras are designed around capturing great stills and video is more of an afterthought, the RX100 Mark V treats both forms of content equitably. Sony did this by improving what they already offered in the Mark IV version—the maximum capture rate of 1,000 frames per second and the ultra high definition 4K video recording, although this isn't unique to this camera and you can get 4k for a lower price.
These improvements are delivered through the fact that users can use the hybrid autofocus feature, which is also utilized for still images.
Additionally, the camera captures video quality that is actually higher than 4K by using nearly the entire width of the sensor, which it then downsamples by 1.7 times to the 4K quality. In other words, videos that are recorded by the RX100 Mark V have the same focal length as 4K footage but they offer a dramatically wider angle.
As a side note, those vloggers looking to add various video effects will appreciate the features that the RX100 offers.
For example, it can capture up to eight seconds of HFR footage, which means that it can create a five minute long video that has a 40x slow-motion effect.
Stabilization Is a Strong Point
Sony's RX100 has a very smart optical image stabilization. While some cameras require the OIS to be turned on and off based on whether it is on a tripod, this camera does not—it automatically switches it off when it is not needed.
Overall the optical stabilization works perfectly for vloggers who are on the move. It effectively smooths changes in height and the any panning during the filming process. The only downside is that is that it can make a slight hissing noise when the OIS is on.
Combine it with a tripod to hold it and you are going to get a pretty smooth image in a camera that is easy to handle due to its lightness, which brings me to...
A Great Travel and Daily Vlogging Camera
The RX100 Mark V comes in at an impressively light 10.5 ounces—and that includes its batteries. Its size is even more mind blowing at 4 x 2.3 x 1.6 inches. There are really no other cameras on the market that can compete in terms providing such impressive performance in such tiny dimensions.
When doing a side-by-side comparison of the RX100, all of these factors only become more astounding. For example, some DSLRs are not as quick when shooting, they can't read light as well, and they are not as accurate with focus and exposure.
It is this size that creates the price tag associated with the RX100. Never before has a camera been so easy to move around with, while also providing unparalleled performance.
And while the camera is small enough to be easily held in one hand, it does feel solid. I know some vloggers could be hesitant that such a small camera would feel too diminutive to use, but it really does feel much more substantial when you are actually holding and using the device. Plus, when you see the end product, all fears will be quelled.
It Has Most Vlogging Features, But Lacks One Important One
The RX100 does have a flip screen that folds both up and down from the camera's body, rather than the usual left or right. It also has a variety of angles that it can be locked to, making it ideal for both low and high shots (i.e. your back won't get sore from bending this way and that).
Additionally, the screen can be flipped all the way up so that it faces forward. This is ideal for vloggers when they need to be in front of the camera but still need to see how the angle looks.
The only downside to the screen is that it isn't a touchscreen. This can be a deal breaker for some, but the manual buttons really are sufficient in the end.
When it comes to audio, most vloggers will have a problem with the fact that this Sony camera does not have an external mic port or a headphone socket. So in the end, it is best to view this as a secondary camera that can be used for action content or any content where audio is laid over after.
But with this camera it isn't a big deal because the built-in microphone is better than most point-and-shoots. But you will need at least a windscreen for the microphone.
When it comes to a hot shoe, sadly there isn't one. The earlier iterations of the RX100 had a hot shoe, but Sony replaced it with a pop-up flash. The importance of this feature will vary from vlogger to vlogger, but it should be taken into consideration.
Over the various generations of the RX100, Sony has improved its stamina in low light. It did this by shortening its focal length, allowing the lens to have a brighter range.
The camera remains consistent with its focusing accuracy as the lighting becomes dimmer and dimmer. It does, however, start to struggle if the subject it is focusing on is low-contrast.
In other words, if you don't need more zoom, you'll likely be pleased with the camera's abilities in low light scenarios.
Sony's RX100 is an ideal camera for vloggers who are on the go and sometimes need a free hand while filming. The biggest downside is the lack of a mic port and high price.
You could get a cheaper camera small camera that is still great for vlogging---like the Canon G7X Mark II---, if you don't think you need to record in 4k.
In my opinion, the Mark V is ideal for vloggers who will lay over audio after the video is filmed or who use it as a second camera.