Sony’s Alpha 6500 and RX100 V Austin Texas Launch Event
Photography and Story by Mark Forman
Twenty-five journalists and bloggers were invited to Austin, Texas for the launch event of the new Sony Alpha 6500 and RX100 Mark V (RX100 V) Digital Still Photography and 4K (UHD) Motion Picture Cameras.
November 15th 2016
The group met at the W Hotel in downtown Austin and Sony’s latest cameras were loaned out for video and stills shooting. At dinner with the Sony team, a brief presentation was made by Mark Weir, Sony USA Product Manager, on what would be covered over the next two days.
Sony Alpha 6500
This new Alpha 6500 camera is a very important continuing step for Sony. It is capable of shooting both 24 Megapixel ARW (Sony RAW) and JPG stills internally and MP4 4K (UHD) motion equally well. The a6500 is a step above the previously released 6300–bringing 5 axis stabilization, and a larger cache that allows much longer sequences of multiple stills to be taken at 8 or 11 fps. The camera also has a redesigned grip and an additional programable button on the top plate. One would not hesitate to possibly use it as a smaller “B” camera on projects or mount it on a rig, gimbal or drone.
The a6500 has a super 35mm, 24 megapixel sensor and has the familiar Sony E-mount. (18mm flange focal depth).
Aliasing and moiré is minimal as the camera reads off the entire 6K sensor when shooting 4K UHD (3840 x 2160).
The low light capabilities are also better than the previous generation Alpha 6300 by about 1/2 stop — even approaching the Alpha 7R Mark II in some situations. Due to the new front-end LSI chipset (Large-Scale Integrated circuit), and larger buffer with a deeper cache when shooting high speed stills, you are able to view the images immediately as you shoot them.
Sony RX100 V
Before dinner there was time for a walk around downtown Austin with the RX100 V before receiving the Alpha 6500 cameras which were still on the way from San Diego, CA as hand-carried baggage.
The RX100 V is the camera to have when one would want to go light. It possesses all the attributes of the previous generations of RX100 cameras and now adds a larger cache which can handle up 150 jpg images at 24 fps, has a a 315 point phase detect autofocus, shoots 4K without line skipping, uses a 5K oversample and has less rolling shutter than previous generations. It is also capable of very high shutter speeds up to 1/32000 of a second with its electronic shutter. Additionally the camera has a built-in 1/8 (3 EV stops) ND filter.
During the walk around Austin the RX100 V was noticeably quicker for two reasons. First was a 315 point phase detect plus contrast detect autofocus. Previously, phase detect was not available in a camera of this type. Pointed at the subject , the camera responded instantly, over and over again, making it a pleasure to work with. The other feature was the ability to shoot video at 24fps in stills mode for a few seconds at a time with AF and AE tracking on each shot. Another advantage is the ability to view the shots almost as fast as you shoot them. The monitor has a countdown timer showing how many shots are remaining as they are being stored to the SD card. With post production software it is possible to make very short sequences into motion pictures. The pop-up OLED EVF has an almost optical viewfinder immediacy plus that looks very close in quality to the actual recorded image. The RX100 V has a lot going on in a very small package and is nearly as versatile as its larger siblings.
November 16th 2016
The day started off with a sunrise shoot on the riverfront near the hotel with the Alpha 6500 and a Sony 70-200mm f/4 shooting from the 1st Street bridge toward the sunrise as two and eight person sculls on the Colorado River rowed toward the camera. Also captured in the riverfront was a surprising amount of wildlife in this urban environment. The 5-axis in-body image stabilization was able to steady the hand held 70-200mm lens using 3 axes in the camera and the 2 stabilizers already in the lens. The camera deactivates two duplicate axes if a stabilized Sony lens is attached. When using non stabilized lenses the camera will always use all 5 axis in camera. Optionally the stabilizer can be shut off at any time if needed.
Presentations were made after breakfast and then the group was off again to the next location — a public BMX and skate park in Austin.
At the skate park, the Sony FE 28-135mm f/4 Cine servo lens and also the E-mount 16-70mm f/4 were used. With fast moving subjects, the park was a good test for both the operator and the camera’s 425 point phase detect system and the new front-end LSI when shooting at high frame rates. In the park, being able to see the athletes in action while shooting allowed for accuracy and the result was better shots.
Lunch was at La Condesa, a wonderful Mexican Fusion Restaurant before heading back to the Hotel.
Footage was reviewed before heading out again. Sports Photographer Patrick Murphy-Racey gave suggestions on his sports photography techniques. This was to prepare for the late afternoon sports shoot at St. Edwards. There the first shot was tennis, then lacrosse and finally an NCAA women’s basketball game. Both the Alpha 6500 with 28-135mm at 24fps and the RX100 V in 240fps got a workout. Setting up the RX100 V for slow motion was straightforward and quick with the selection of frame rates in the menu, The RX100 did not have many issues, however shooting slow motion does have it’s limits under 60 Hz artificial lighting. The tennis players in 480fps were interesting — however be aware that as frame rates go up there will be loss in resolution and quality. Shooting basketball at 240 fps under artificial institutional light caused some flickering when shown at 24fps. But one should not complain as the RX100 V fits in a pocket and this kind of flicker can often be fixed in post.
Above: RX100 V 480fps slow motion at 24P
Above: RX100 V 240fps slow motion at 24P
The group was off to Austin City Limits to have dinner in their club and then to shoot a live concert by Ian Moore.
Above: Alpha 6500 at 24P with the Sony 28-135mm f/4 Cine Servo Lens
Sony Artisan Chad Wadsworth talked about his concert photography techniques. Again, deciding to shoot with the Alpha 6500 and 28-135mm Servo Zoom combo under TV studio lighting conditions made sense. Handheld autofocus never became an issue. Switching between UHD and still photography was seamless.
November 17th 2016
It was Rodeo day in Texas with a little extra for the final shoot day at Windsong Farm.
Sony had arranged for the group to shoot a set-up with barrel racing horses, calf roping, and riders slalom racing in the Rodeo arena. The ability to shoot both stills and video with the Alpha 6500 using the very versatile Sony 28-135 Cine Zoom lens made sense. Wider shots were accomplished with the Sony E 16-70mm f/4 zoom. The balance of the lens and camera combination was not an issue and holding the camera all day was not tiring, as the combined weight is about 5 pounds. Balance is an inch ahead of the back of the 28-135mm lens. Audio is good. There’s a stereo mic input for external sources. But the lack of a headphone jack is an issue and should be addressed as it is a confirmation that good audio is being recorded. There are work-arounds: the headphone connector of an external video monitor connected via HDMI or a wireless receiver’s headphone connector attached via Sony’s MI shoe adaptor. The camera’s magnesium alloy body is dust and weather sealed and the camera did not overheat during the entire shoot.
Alpha 6500 at 24P with the Sony 28-135mm f/4 Cine Servo Lens 1/1000 second
At lunchtime a barbecue was set up by Salt Lick Catering with delicious brisket, pork ribs and chicken and blueberry cobbler for dessert with vanilla ice cream.
After lunch there were 2 setups: the first being the FDDA flying disc dogs, (frisbees) and then models with the American flag in various poses. One of the poses was on top of two circular hay bales which was shot with the RX100 V and yielded very pleasing results.
above: Alpha 6500 at 24P with the Sony 28-135mm f/4 Cine Servo Lens 1/1000 second
It was back to the hotel for post production on the workstations provided by Sony Electronics.
At 5 PM the group was off again for the final evening together, a private party at Skyhouse Austin Rooftop overlooking Austin and the Colorado River with models dressed in costumes and a contortionist. From the rooftop, dusk made shooting Austin and the Colorado River irresistible. Placing the camera on top of flat columns allowed for longer exposures without a tripod.
After dinner was nearby at Emmer and Rye and more time on the Skyhouse rooftop, it was time to return the loaned equipment to Sony and say our final goodbyes to our hosts and fellow journalists — until the next event brings the group together again. The company of all the members of the press and the Sony Staff made the time fly by and created many good memories, photographs and motion pictures.
The Sony Alpha 6500 and the RX100 V cameras are again breaking new ground in a number of ways for cinematography as well as still photography.
- Affordability and pocketability.
- Small mirrorless cameras able to record 4K UHD in multiple lighting conditions without visible aliasing and moiré.
- The Alpha 6500 has 5-Axis Stabilization which operates with most optically stabilized lenses and has 3 axis stabilization with non stabilized lenses including adapted lenses including PL lenses in Super 35mm.
Sony a6500 Features
The changes from the previous α6300 include 5 axis on chip image stabilization, a much faster buffer, touch screen focus operation and a more ergonomic grip.
The 4D Focus system can lock onto a subject in as little as 0.05 seconds, which Sony claims to set a new record among interchangeable lens cameras with APS-C sensors. I was particularly impressed with the fast focus when following athletes in action. The 8-bit 4:2:0 video image has up to a 14-stop exposure latitude in S-Log and can be connected via its micro HDMI connector to an external recorder for 4:2:2 8-bit output.
The Alpha 6500 is a capable low light camera with a usable ISO of up to 6,400. You can go higher if you want, but noise might become an issue if you do. The OLED viewfinder has an XGA resolution of 2,359,296 dots with .71X magnification. The Camera has both Phase Detect and Contrast Detect Autofocus in motion mode with native autofocus lenses. This is becoming much more necessary as focus gets more critical. It becomes much harder to achieve focus manually in many situations in 4 or 8K. Touch screen focus has been added to the Alpha 6500 for the first time and can help when you need to follow focus in video mode. The implementation is a work in progress and will be a very useful feature I feel for those whose need it.
In Camera 4K (UHD) 4:2:0 Internal SD card at 100Mbps in XAVC S and External 4 :2:2 8-bit recording with the Convergent design Odyssey or other HDMI capable recorders.
- Fast (0.05 s ) AF with 425 phase-detection AF points
- Built-in 5-axis image stabilization
- 24.2-megapixel CMOS sensor
BIONZ X image processing engine and new faster LSI
4K movie recording with full pixel readout from the 6K sensor/no pixel binningWide 425 phase detection AF points, Fast 0.05 sec. AF acquisition
- XAVC S video, S-log2/3, slow/quick frame rates, 4:2:2 HDMI out
- Touch AF for stills/video w/ touchpad operation when using EVF
- Dust/moisture resistant magnesium alloy body w/ 200k+ cycle shutter
- RECORDING FORMATXAVC S, AVCHD format Ver. 2.0 compliant, MP4VIDEO COMPRESSIONXAVC S: MPEG-4 AVC/H.264, AVCHD: MPEG-4 AVC/H.264, MP4: MPEG-4 AVC/H.264AUDIO RECORDING FORMATXAVC S: LPCM 2ch, AVCHD: Dolby® Digital (AC-3) 2ch, Dolby Digital Stereo Creator, MP4: MPEG-4 AAC-LC 2chCOLOR SPACExvYCC standard (x.v.Color when connected via HDMI cable) compatible with TRILUMINOS ColorPICTURE EFFECTPosterization (Color), Posterization (B/W), Pop Color, Retro Photo, Partial Color (R/G/B/Y), High Contrast Monochrome, Toy Camera(Normal/Cool/Warm/Green/Magenta), Soft High-keyCREATIVE STYLEStandard, Vivid, Neutral, Clear, Deep, Light, Portrait, Landscape, Sunset, Night Scene, Autumn leaves, Black & White, Sepia, Style Box(1-6), (Contrast (-3 to +3 steps), Saturation (-3 to +3 steps), Sharpness (-3 to +3 steps))PICTURE PROFILEYes (Off / PP1-PP9) Parameters: Black level, Gamma (Movie, Still, Cine1-4, ITU709, ITU709 [800%], S-Log2, S-Log3), Black Gamma, Knee, Color Mode, Saturation, Color Phase, Color Depth, Detail, Copy, Reset
- IMAGE SIZE (PIXELS), NTSC
- XAVC S 4K: 3840 x 2160 (30p, 100 M), 3840 x 2160 (24p, 100 M), 3840 x 2160 (30p, 60 M), 3840 x 2160 (24p, 60 M), XAVC S HD: 1920 x 1080 (120p, 100 M), 1920 x 1080 (120p, 60 M), 1920 x 1080 (60p, 50 M), 1920 x 1080 (30p, 50 M), 1920 x 1080 (24p, 50 M), AVCHD: 1920 x 1080 (60p, 28 M, PS), 1920 x 1080 (60i, 24 M, FX), 1920 x 1080 (60i, 17 M, FH), 1920 x 1080 (24p, 24 M, FX), 1920 x 1080 (24p, 17 M, FH), AVC MP4: 1920 x 1080 (60p, 28 M), 1920 x 1080 (30p, 16 M), 1280 x 720 (30p, 6 M)
- IMAGE SIZE (PIXELS), PAL
- XAVC S 4K: 3840 x 2160 (25p, 100 M), 3840 x 2160 (25p, 60 M), XAVC S HD: 1920 x 1080 (100p, 100 M), 1920 x 1080 (100p, 60 M), 1920 x 1080 (50p, 50 M), 1920 x 1080 (25p, 50 M), AVCHD: 1920 x 1080 (50p, 28 M, PS), 1920 x 1080 (50i, 24 M, FX), 1920 x 1080 (50i, 17 M, FH), 1920 x 1080 (25p, 24 M, FX), 1920 x 1080 (25p, 17 M, FH), AVC MP4: 1920 x 1080 (50p, 28 M), 1920 x 1080 (25p, 16 M), 1280 x 720 (25p, 6 M)
- IMAGE FRAME RATE
- 1fps, 2fps, 4fps, 8fps, 15fps, 30fps, 60fps, 120fps
- IMAGE SIZE (FRAME RATE/BITRATE)
- 1920×1080 (60p), 1920×1080 (30p), 1920×1080 (24p)
- MOVIE FUNCTIONS
- Audio Level Display, Audio Rec Level, PAL/NTSC Selector, Dual Video REC, TC/UB, (TC Preset/UB Preset/TC Format/TC Run/TC Make/UB Time Rec), Auto Slow Shutter, REC Control, Gamma Disp. Assist
- HDMI OUTPUT
- 3840 x 2160 (30p), 3840 x 2160 (25p), 3840 x 2160 (24p), 1920 x 1080 (60p), 1920 x 1080 (60i), 1920 x 1080 (50p), 1920 x 1080 (50i), 1920 x 1080 (24p), YCbCr 4:2:2 8bit / RGB 8bit
- CLEAN HDMI OUTPUT
- ON/OFF selectable
Recording (still images)
- RECORDING FORMAT
- JPEG (DCF Ver. 2.0, Exif Ver.2.31, MPF Baseline compliant), RAW (Sony ARW 2.3 format)
- IMAGE SIZE (PIXELS) [3:2]
- L: 6000 x 4000 (24M), M: 4240 x 2832 (12M), S: 3008 x 2000 (6.0M)
- IMAGE SIZE (PIXELS) [16:9]
- L: 6000 x 3376 (20 M), M: 4240 x 2400 (10 M), S: 3008 x 1688 (5.1 M)
- IMAGE SIZE (PIXELS) [SWEEP PANORAMA]
- Wide: horizontal 12,416 x 1,856 (23 M), vertical 5,536 x 2,160 (12 M), Standard: horizontal 8,192 x 1,856 (15 M), vertical 3,872 x 2,160 (8.4 M)
- IMAGE QUALITY MODES
- RAW, RAW & JPEG, JPEG Extra fine, JPEG Fine, JPEG Standard
- PICTURE EFFECT
- 13 types: Posterization (Color), Posterization (B/W), Pop Color, Retro Photo, Partial Color (R/G/B/Y), High Contrast Monochrome, Toy Camera (Normal/Cool/Warm/Green/Magenta), Soft High-key , Soft Focus (High/Mid/Low), HDR Painting (High/Mid/Low), Rich-tone Monochrome, Miniature (Auto/Top/Middle (H)/Bottom/Right/Middle (V)/Left), Watercolor, Illustration (High/Mid/ Low)
- CREATIVE STYLE
- Standard, Vivid, Neutral, Clear, Deep, Light, Portrait, Landscape, Sunset, Night Scene, Autumn leaves, Black & White, Sepia, Style Box(1-6), (Contrast (-3 to +3 steps), Saturation (-3 to +3 steps), Sharpness (-3 to +3 steps))
- PICTURE PROFILE
- Yes (Off / PP1-PP9) Parameters: Black level, Gamma (Movie, Still, Cine1-4, ITU709, ITU709 [800%], S-Log2, S-Log3), Black Gamma, Knee, Color Mode, Saturation, Color Phase, Color Depth, Detail, Copy, Reset
- DYNAMIC RANGE FUNCTIONS
- Off, Dynamic Range Optimizer (Auto/Level (1–5)), Auto High Dynamic Range (Auto Exposure Difference, Exposure Difference Level (1-6 EV, 1.0 EV step))
- COLOR SPACE
- sRGB standard (with sYCC gamut) and Adobe RGB standard compatible with TRILUMINOS Color
- RAW OUTPUT
- 14bit RAW
- a6500 full specifications http://www.sony.com/electronics/interchangeable-lens-cameras/ilce-6500-body-kit/specifications
Sony RX100 V Features
The RX100 V is the first RX100 series camera with Fast Hybrid AF combining focal-plane phase-detection AF and contrast-detection AF for fast 0.05 second AF speed, an enhanced system enabling continuous shooting at up to 24fps with AF/AE tracking, plus high-resolution 4K and various other professional-class movie recording functions.
- RX100 V Specs
0.05-sec.AF response with 315 focal-plane phase-detection AF points
Up to 24fps continuous stills shooting with AF/AE for up to 150 shots
About 20.1 effective megapixel 1.0-type stacked CMOS sensor with DRAM chip
F1.8- F2.8 ZEISS® Vario-Sonnar T* lens (24-70mm)
Up to 960fps super slow motion with lower resolution. 1080P is available at 240fps or slower.
Super-speed Anti-Distortion Shutter at max. 1/32000 sec. up to 24fpsLENS TYPE
ZEISS Vario-Sonnar T* Lens, 10 elements in 9 groups (9 aspheric elements including AA lens)
F-NUMBER (MAXIMUM APERTURE)
F1.8 (W) -2.8 (T)
Auto/On (3 steps)/Off
FOCAL LENGTH (F=)
f=8.8-25.7 mm, Still Image 3:2 f=24-70 mm, Still Image 4:3 f=25-73 mm, Still Image 16:9 f=26-76 mm, Still Image 1:1 f=30.5-89 mm
FOCUS RANGE (FROM THE FRONT OF THE LENS)
iAuto: AF (W: Approx. 0.17 ft (5 cm) to Infinity, T: Approx. 0.99 ft (30 cm) to Infinity) / Program Auto: AF (W: Approx. 0.17 ft (5 cm) to Infinity, T: Approx. 0.99 ft (30 cm) to Infinity)
2.9x (Optical Zoom during movie recording)
CLEAR IMAGE ZOOM (STILL IMAGE)
20 M Approx. 5.8x / 10 M Approx. 8.2x / 5.0 M Approx. 11x / VGA Approx. 44×2
CLEAR IMAGE ZOOM (MOVIE)
DIGITAL ZOOM (STILL IMAGE)
20 M Approx.11x / 10 M Approx.16x / 5.0 M Approx.23x / VGA Approx.44×2
DIGITAL ZOOM (MOVIERECORDING FORMAT
Still Image: JPEG(DCF Ver.2.0,Exif Ver.2.31,MPF Baseline compliant), RAW (Sony ARW 2.3 format), Movie: XAVC S, AVCHD format Ver.2.0 compatible, MP4
RECORDING FORMAT (MOVIE AUDIO)
XAVCS: LP cm 2ch, AVCHD: Dolby Digital (AC-3) 2ch (Dolby Digital Stereo Creator) , MP4: MPEG-4 AAC-LC 2ch
COLOR SPACE (STILL)
sRGB, Adobe® RGB
STILL IMAGE NUMBER OF RECORDED PIXELS (IMAGE SIZE)
Image Size: 3:2mode:20 M (5,472×3,648) / 10 M (3,888×2,592) / 5 M (2,736×1,824), 4:3mode: 18 M (4,864×3,648) / 10 M (3,648×2,736) / 5 M (2,592×1,944) / VGA, 16:9mode: 17 M (5,472×3,080) / 7.5 M (3,648×2,056) / 4.2 M (2,720×1,528), 1:1mode: 13 M (3,648×3,648) / 6.5 M (2,544×2,544) / 3.7 M (1,920×1,920) ,Sweep Panorama: Wide (12,416×1,856/5,536×2,160), Standard (8,192×1,856/3,872×2,160), Image Size during Movie: 16:9mode: 17 M (5,472×3,080) / 7.5 M (3,648×2,056) / 4.2 M (2,720×1,528)
MOVIE RECORDING MODE (NTSC)
NTSC/PAL Selector: [NTSC] AVCHD: 28 M PS (1,920 x 1,080/60p) / 24 M FX (1,920 x 1,080/60i) / 17 M FH (1,920 x 1,080/60i) / 24 M FX (1,920 x 1,080/24p) / 17 M FH (1,920 x 1,080/24p), XAVC S 4K: 30p 100 M (3,840 x 2,160/30p) / 30p 60 M (3,840 x 2,160/30p) / 24p 100 M (3,840 x 2,160/24p) / 24p 60 M (3,840 x 2,160/24p), XAVC S HD:60p 50 M (1,920 x 1,080/60p) / 30p 50 M (1,920 x 1,080/30p) / 24p 50 M (1,920 x 1,080/24p) / 120p 100 M (1,920 x 1,080/120p) / 120p 60 M (1,920 x 1,080/120p), MP4: 28 M (1,920 x 1,080/60p) / 16 M (1,920 x 1,080/30p) / 6 M (1,280 x 720/30p)
MOVIE RECORDING MODE (PAL)
NTSC/PAL Selector: [PAL] mode AVCHD: 28M PS (1,920 x 1,080/50p) / 24M FX (1,920 x 1,080/50i) / 17M FH (1,920 x 1,080/50i) / 24M FX (1,920 x 1,080/25p) / 17M FH (1,920 x 1,080/25p), XAVC S 4K: 25p 100M (3,840 x 2,160/25p) / 25p 60M (3,840 x 2,160/25p), XAVC S HD:50p 50M (1,920 x 1,080/50p) / 25p 50M (1,920 x 1,080/25p) / 100p 100M (1,920 x 1,080/100p) / 100p 60M (1,920 x 1,080/100p), MP4: 28M (1,920 x 1,080/50p) / 16M (1,920 x 1,080/25p) / 6M (1,280 x 720/25p)
RecordingNTSC/PAL Selector: [PAL] mode XAVC S HD:50p 50 M (1,920×1,080/250fps), 50p 50 M (1,920×1,080/500fps), 50p 50 M (1,920×1,080/1000fps) / 25p 50 M (1,920×1,080/250fps), 25p 50 M (1,920×1,080/500fps), 25p 50 M (1,920×1,080/1000fps), NTSC/PAL Selector: [NTSC] mode XAVC S HD:60p 50 M (1,920×1,080/240fps), 60p 50 M (1,920×1,080/480fps), 60p 5 0M (1,920×1,080/960fps) / 30p 50 M (1,920×1,080/240fps), 30p 50 M (1,920×1,080/480fps), 30p 50 M (1,920×1,080/960fps) / 24p 50 M (1,920×1,080/240fps), 24p 50 M (1,920×1,080/480fps), 24p 50 M (1,920×1,080/960fps)Sensor Readout Number of effective pixelsQuality Priority: 240fps/250fps (1,824×1,026), 480fps/500fps (1,676×566), 960fps/1000fps (1,136×384)/Shoot Time Priority: 240fps/250fps (1,676×566), 480fps/500fps (1,136×384), 960fps/1000fps (800×270)
STILL IMAGE NUMBER OF RECORDED PIXELS (IMAGE SIZE) DURING MOVIE
16: 9mode: 17 M (5,472×3,080) / 7.5 M (3,648×2,056) / 4.2 M (2,720×1,528)
- RX100 V full specifications