Sony RX10 IV Review

Sony’s most recent high-end bridge camera is called the Cyber-shot RX10 IV. It is designed to appeal to photography enthusiasts looking for a sophisticated all-in-one camera without skimp on performance.

It wasn’t long ago that “bridge camera” was considered a pejorative term in the photography world. These cameras may have had the appearance of DSLRs, but their functionality and image quality were far worse. All of that, however, changed when cameras such as the first Cyber-shot RX10 were released with sensors measuring 1 inch.

After four generations of cameras, Sony introduced the RX10 IV. Although it may appear that not much has changed from the RX10 III at first appearance, Sony has outfitted its most recent camera with a variety of brand-new capabilities.

Is this the ultimate bridge camera, as well as one of the most excellent travel cameras, considering that it has a long and fast zoom lens, a vast sensor (for a bridge camera, at least), and performance that, on paper at least, would make some advanced DSLRs blush?

Sony RX10 IV Features

The RX10 IV, much like its predecessors in the RX10 series, possesses a sensor with a resolution of 20.1 megapixels and is 1.0 inches in size; nevertheless, it makes use of Sony’s most recent EXMOR RS CMOS stacked sensor architecture. This, in conjunction with the front-end LSI and the BIONZ X image processor borrowed from the Alpha A9, results in a significant increase in performance.

The RX10 IV can now shoot at an incredible 24 frames per second (with full autofocus and auto exposure capabilities engaged) and can focus in only 0.03 seconds. Additionally, the sensitivity range goes from ISO 100 to 12,800 and can be expanded to ISO 64 to 25,600.

The RX10 IV utilizes the same Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T* 24-600mm f/2.4-4 optic as previous models, indicating that the lens design has not changed. This is flexible for many photographers since it combines a vast zoom range with a fast variable maximum aperture. This lets you capture everything from wide-angle landscapes to narrowly cropped action and animal photographs.

Sony RX10 IV Build Quality

The Sony RX10 IV is a big piece of equipment, even for a bridge camera; with a weight of 1,095 grams, it makes some DSLRs appear lightweight. However, when you consider that Sony has managed to fit a 24-600mm optic inside the housing, it starts to seem relatively tiny compared to what it provides.

For example, the weight of a Nikon 600mm f/4 telephoto prime lens is almost four times that of the RX10 IV, and that’s just the lens by itself. So even though this isn’t exactly a comparison of apples to apples, it does help put into perspective how great of an all-in-one solution this camera is, even though it’s somewhat large.

The finish is exceptionally high-quality, precisely what you’d expect from a camera that costs this much money. The RX10 IV is made out of a combination of magnesium alloy and polycarbonate and is resistant to dust and moisture. Additionally, the RX10 IV has a wide handgrip that gives you a solid grasp on the camera even when the lens is extended.

Sony RX10 IV Autofocus

The introduction of on-sensor phase-detection autofocus is the most significant improvement Sony has made to the RX10 IV compared to the RX10 III. Three hundred fifteen phase-detection AF points cover 65% of the frame, proving that Sony has not skimped on this aspect of the camera’s functionality either.

Because the RX10 IV uses the same BIONZ X image processor as Sony’s top-of-the-line Alpha A9, it also has the luxury of using the same autofocus algorithms used for focus tracking as Sony’s top-of-the-line mirrorless camera. This allows the RX10 IV to take advantage of focus tracking in the same manner as the Alpha A9.

This feature, which concentrates AF points around a subject to increase tracking and focus accuracy, is known as high-density AF tracking. Sony claims that even the most unexpected issues should be easily caught with this feature.

Sony RX10 IV Performance

The RX10 III’s ability to shoot at a burst rate of 14 frames per second was already impressive; however, the Sony RX10 IV’s ability to shoot at a burst rate of 24 frames per second places it in a class all by itself for a bridge camera, even surpassing the 20 frames per second that the Alpha A9 is capable of.

You might need to ask yourself if you require this level of performance (if you don’t, it can be set to 10 and 3.5fps). Still, if you do, you can take comfort that the camera can maintain this rate for as many as 112 raw or 249 JPEG files while maintaining full AF and metering capabilities.

The electronic viewfinder (EVF) of the RX10 IV does not let users down, as it produces a view that is both crisp and clear. Additionally, the display has a wide dynamic range, making it suitable for various settings. There are no complaints regarding the back show either; the resolution is adequate, and the colors and details appear high quality.

Sony RX10 IV Image Quality

Because the Sony RX10 IV sensor is identical to those found in the RX10 III and RX100 V, the camera’s photos did not include any unwelcome surprises. The RX10 IV can produce some stunning images at a variety of ISOs. Since it has such a wide dynamic range, recovering a respectable amount of detail in raw files is also feasible. This is particularly impressive for a camera that has a 1-inch sensor.

The resolution is extremely high, and you shouldn’t have any problems generating a good A3 print from a file shot with the RX10 IV. This is especially true if you shoot at an ISO lower than 800 since this helps keep picture noise under control. So even if you spend more than that, which you probably will, things are still in a positive place.

At an ISO of 1600, color noise in the shadow portions of a picture is just beginning to develop, but at an ISO of 3200, there are indications of both color and luminance (grain-like) noise present. However, it is still more than sufficient, mainly if you shoot in raw, since this enables you to reduce the impacts of post-processing manipulation.

If it were up to us, we wouldn’t go any higher than ISO6400, but if you had to, you should still be able to generate satisfactory results as long as you’re honest with yourself about the maximum size of the printouts you can produce.

Sony RX10 IV Specs

Body typeSLR-like (bridge)
Body materialMagnesium alloy, composite
Max resolution5472 x 3648
Other resolutions4864 x 3648, 5472 x 3080, 3648 x 3648, 3648 x 2736, 3648 x 2592, 3648 x 2056, 2544 x 2544, 2736 x 1824, 2592 x 1944, 2720 x 1528, 1920 x 1920, 640 x 480
Image ratio w h1:1, 4:3, 3:2, 16:9
Effective pixels20 megapixels
Sensor photo detectors21 megapixels
Sensor size1″ (13.2 x 8.8 mm)
Sensor typeStacked CMOS
ProcessorBionz X
Color spacesRGB, AdobeRGB
Color filter arrayPrimary color filter
ISOAuto, 100 – 12800 (expands to 64-25600)
Boosted ISO (minimum)64
Boosted ISO (maximum)25600
White balance presets9
Custom white balanceYes
Image stabilizationOptical
Image stabilization notes4.5 stops correction
Uncompressed formatRAW
JPEG quality levelsExtra fine, standard, fine
File formatJPEG (EXIF v2.3)Raw (Sony ARW 2.3)
Optics & Focus
Focal length (equiv.)24–600 mm
Optical zoom25×
Maximum apertureF2.4–4
AutofocusContrast Detect (sensor)Phase DetectMulti-areaCenterSelective single-pointTrackingSingleContinuousTouchFace DetectionLive View.
Autofocus assist lampYes
Digital zoomYes (4X)
Manual focusYes
Normal focus range3 cm (1.18″)
Macro focus range3 cm (1.18″)
Number of focus points315
Articulated LCDTilting
Screen size3″
Screen dots1,440,000
Touch screenYes
Screen typeTFT LCD
Live ViewYes
Viewfinder typeElectronic
Viewfinder coverage100%
Viewfinder magnification0.7×
Viewfinder resolution2,359,296
Photography features
Minimum shutter speed30 sec
Maximum shutter speed1/2000 sec
Maximum shutter speed (electronic)1/32000 sec
Exposure modesAutoProgram autoAperture priorityShutter priorityManual
Scene modesPortraitSports ActionMacroLandscapeSunsetNight SceneHandheld TwilightNight PortraitAnti Motion Blur
Built-in flashYes
Flash Range10.80 m (at Auto ISO)
External flashYes (Multi-interface shoe)
Flash modesAuto, fill-flash, slow sync, rear sync, off
Drive modesSingleContinuous (Hi/Med/Lo)Self-timer (single/cont.)AE bracketingWB bracketingDRO bracketing
Continuous drive24.0 fps
Self-timerYes (2 or 10 sec, continuous)
Metering modesMultiCenter-weighted spot
Exposure compensation±3 (at 1/3 EV steps)
WB BracketingYes
Videography features
Videography notesHigh-speed modes at 240, 480, and 960 fps
Modes3840 x 2160 @ 30p / 100 Mbps, XAVC S, MP4, H.264, Linear PCM3840 x 2160 @ 30p / 60 Mbps, XAVC S, MP4, H.264, Linear PCM3840 x 2160 @ 24p / 100 Mbps, XAVC S, MP4, H.264, Linear PCM3840 x 2160 @ 24p / 60 Mbps, XAVC S, MP4, H.264, Linear PCM1920 x 1080 @ 120p / 100 Mbps, XAVC S, MP4, H.264, Linear PCM1920 x 1080 @ 120p / 60 Mbps, XAVC S, MP4, H.264, Linear PCM1920 x 1080 @ 60p / 50 Mbps, XAVC S, MP4, H.264, Linear PCM1920 x 1080 @ 60p / 25 Mbps, XAVC S, MP4, H.264, Linear PCM1920 x 1080 @ 30p / 50 Mbps, XAVC S, MP4, H.264, Linear PCM1920 x 1080 @ 24p / 50 Mbps, XAVC S, MP4, H.264, Linear PCM
Storage typesSD/SDHC/SDXC, Memory Stick Duo/Pro Duo/Pro-HG Duo
USBUSB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)
HDMIYes (micro-HDMI)
Microphone portYes
Headphone portYes
Wireless notes802.11b/g/n with NFC
Remote controlYes (via smartphone)
Environmentally sealedYes
BatteryBattery Pack
Battery descriptionNP-FW50 lithium-ion battery and charger
Battery Life (CIPA)400
Weight (inc. batteries)1095 g (2.41 lb / 38.62 oz)
Dimensions133 x 94 x 145 mm (5.24 x 3.7 x 5.71″)
Other features
Orientation sensorYes
Timelapse recordingNo

Sony RX10 IV Verdict

The RX10 IV is a fantastic bridge camera. Finally, it appears that Sony has addressed the primary complaint that was leveled against the RX10 III: the camera’s focusing performance was slightly annoying.

Even though we found the camera’s burst rate excessively fast for most situations, certain kinds of photography could benefit from being able to shoot at 24 frames per second. In addition, the autofocus system has been improved to the point where it does justice to the camera, which makes it a good choice for photographing wildlife and action.

The image quality of still photographs and videos captured by the 1-inch sensor is exceptional, and the camera’s handling is quite outstanding. However, there is always the potential for development; implementing some touchscreen capabilities is a good addition, but this feature might be incorporated into the system more comprehensively.

Sony RX10 IV FAQs

Is Sony RX10 IV worth the money?

Your individual requirements and financial constraints will determine whether or not the Sony RX10 IV is worth the money for you. It is a great point-and-shoot camera with a pricey price tag due to its impressive feature set.

Is the Sony RX10 IV good in low light?

It is important to note that the Sony RX10 IV is not a mirrorless camera but rather a camera with a fixed lens and a 1-inch sensor.

Is the Sony RX10 IV mirrorless?

The Sony RX10 IV has a quick zoom, the ability to shoot at high ISOs, and image stabilization, all of which contribute to its strong performance in low light.

Is Sony RX10 IV good for bird photography?

Because of its long zoom lens, quick autofocus, and high-speed continuous recording, the Sony RX10 IV is a very popular option for photographers interested in avian photography.

Does Sony RX10 IV shoot RAW?

Yes, the Sony RX10 IV is capable of shooting in RAW, which allows for greater versatility in the editing process.

How long does the Sony RX10 IV battery last?

It is estimated that the Sony RX10 IV can take approximately 400 pictures on a single refill of its battery.

Does Sony RX10 IV have eye detection?

Eye recognition autofocus is available on the Sony RX10 IV, which is a feature that can be helpful for portraiture as well as other kinds of photography.

Is Sony RX10 IV full frame?

Although it does not have a full-frame sensor, the Sony RX10 IV does have a 1-inch sensor, which is significantly bigger than the sensors found in the majority of point-and-shoot cameras.

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