In this Sony RX10 IV Review I will go over everything you need to know including how the camera performs in the real world, what is still missing as far as being the “perfect camera”, and I will also cover how to use the camera in great detail with several different tutorial videos. I also have tons of sample photos and video to show you as well!
The Sony RX10 series camera is Sony’s modern day answer to the “Do Everything” camera. The RX10 IV is the latest and greatest from Sony and in my opinion, it’s the best do everything camera on the market today. It’s not cheap at $1698 US retail, but based on all the Sony camera testing I have done over the years the Sony RX10 series really does make the best of a very difficult engineering challenge. You don’t get something for nothing and the larger the sensor, the larger the optics need to be to accommodate that sensor. Therefore, the smaller the sensor, the smaller the optics need to be.
Based on that basic engineering challenge, Sony decided to put their money down on the 1″ sensor to try and come up with the best possible point and shoot style camera in all areas. First Sony came out with the RX100 series camera to have the best possible quality in a deck or cards sized pocketable camera. It was a huge success to say the least.
Then Sony decided to step it up and create a more zoom range oriented ergonomically friendly design and they called it the RX10 which I reviewed here >>. The original RX10 had a 24-200mm f/2.8 Zeiss Lens that was a constant f/2.8 throughout the entire range. This was really awesome but left some people, like myself, wanting more zoom range.
Sony then came out with the RX10 II which I reviewed here >>, and it offered an updated 1″ Exmor RS sensor as well as 4k video and 960fps slow-motion abilities. It kept the same 24-200mm f/2.8 lens however.
After that, Sony came out with the RX10 III which I reviewed here >>, and I assumed it would have a 24-400mm lens, but Sony was like oh no. They somehow packed in a 24-600mm effective lens instead, which really blew me away to be honest.
The RX10 III was basically the same as the RX10 II features wise, but offered the new beast of a lens which made the filter thread go from a 62mm to a 72mm, and increased the weight of the camera by about 1/2 lb or ~300 grams. The effective 24-600mm range of the lens really transformed the camera into a mega zoom do everything camera, but as a negative the lens turned into a variable aperture f/2.4-f/4. This is not the end of the world, but it’s not a constant f/2.8 lens like the one found on the original RX10 and RX10 II. Like I said earlier, you don’t get something for nothing engineering wise.
Now, let’s move on to the next evolution of the RX10 series cameras, namely the RX10 IV….
The Sony RX10 IV in a Nutshell
When compared to the RX10 III the RX10 IV offers a New 1″ Exmor RS sensor which has 315 Hybrid AF points built in This gives the RX10 IV killer auto focus abilities and 24 frames per second continuous shooting which the RX10 III did not have. The RX10 IV also has a touchscreen, Slog 3 for advanced video users, improved optical stabilization, plus a larger burst shooting buffer, and about double the high frame rate slow-motion record time due to the larger internal buffer.
So what is the RX10 IV missing?
Well, in my opinion the most critical features missing are the fully articulating rear LCD touchscreen like the Sony A99 II has which I reviewed Here >>, or like the one Panasonic offers for example. It’s also missing the super convenient built in ND filter which helps slow the shutter speed down and is really an awesome tool for both photography and video.
If Sony can fit the ND filter into the deck of cards sized RX100 series cameras, I tend to think it should fit into the RX10 series cameras as well. However, perhaps there is some engineering challenge that makes this impossible, I really am not 100% sure.
My highly detailed Sony RX10 III Review is Here >>
Sony RX10 IV Key Features:
- 20.1MP 1″ Exmor RS BSI CMOS Sensor
- BIONZ X Image Processor & Front-End LSI
- Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T* f/2.4-4 Zoom Lens
- 24-600mm (35mm Equivalent) = 8.8mm – 220mm
- Improved Optical Steadyshot
- 2.36m-Dot OLED Tru-Finder EVF
- 3.0″ 1.44m-Dot Tilting Touchscreen LCD
- UHD 4K30 Video, Full HD 1080p at 960 fps
- ~Double Slow-Mo Record Time
- Fast Hybrid AF System with 315 Points
- ISO 12800 and 24 fps Continuous Shooting
- 1/32000sec max shutter
- Lens Filter Thread = 72mm
- Built-In Wi-Fi and Bluetooth
- Weight = 2.41 lb / 1095 g w/ battery and memory card
- Price = $1698 US @ BHPhoto
A few more RX10 IV camera body shots taken in the lab….
More Sony RX10 IV Camera Body Photos
My Sony RX10 IV Review – Video Version
Sony RX10 IV Lab Testing
I took several lab testing style photos which is great to see what the Sony RX10 IV can do in a controlled environment. It’s also good for comparing against other cameras and lenses I have reviewed for reference.
Aperture Run @ 8.8mm or 24mm Effective
This first frame I focused on the lab scene itself so you can see how out of focus the bolt is in the foreground that I focused on at the minimum focus distance for the actual aperture run. Basically, some depth of field play so you get an even better idea of what the 1″ sensor and lens combination is capable of in the lab.
Aperture run @ 220mm or 600mm Effective
For this aperture run I was zoomed in to the effective 600mm and at the minimum focus distance for the maximum depth of field potential in the lab scene. Note the background light bokeh ball and how it changes I dial down the aperture from the max f/4 all the way to f/16.
High ISO Testing
In this ISO testing run you will see the entire range from ISO 100 all the way to ISO 12800 for reference. The camera did a really good job considering the 1″ size and 20.1mp density I would say.
Sony RX10 IV – Real World Sample Photos
I was using the Sony RX10 IV in Full Auto Mode for all of these photos!
As you will see the image quality the RX10 IV pumps out is amazing! The new Sony 1″ Sensor holds up to the hype and produces some stunning images in combination with the built in 24-600mm effective Zeiss lens. The depth of field that you can get with such a combination really rivals larger camera sensor systems when you factor in the cost of the several lenses you would need to get this kind of range. Not to mention the weight of the bag you would need to carry as well.
Just click on the images for a larger view
Here are a few snapshots from around my brothers house when we doing a bit of work.
Here are a few snapshots from around my house including Bones Jones.
Check out the moon in the daytime at the max zoom of 600mm effective and clear image zoom which gives you an additional 600mm digitally. That works out to an effective 1200mm with very little loss of quality on a shot like this. I was really impressed with this frame!
A few sample photos from the Basha Kill Wildlife Preserve.
A few Panos from the Basha Kill.
Check out what Illustration Mode looks like at the Basha Kill during the sunset.
A few more randoms sample photos.
Sony RX10 IV – How-To Tutorial Videos
- Sony RX10 IV – Auto Focus Areas, Modes, and Related Features Explained
- Sony RX10 IV – Drive Modes, Self-timer, & Bracket Settings
- Sony RX10 IV – Recording Video & Movie Mode Settings Explained
- Sony RX10 IV – Sports Photography – How-To and Recommended Settings
- Creative Modes & Picture Effects Explained using Sony RX10 IV
- Sony RX10 IV – High Frame Rate Slow Motion Settings Explained
- Sony RX10 IV – Metering Modes Explained
Sony RX10 IV Accessories:
- Sony RX10 IV NP-FW50 Batteries >>
- Sony NP-FW50 Battery Charger Options >>
- Sony NPA-MQZ1K Multi Battery Adapter Kit >>
Protection and Cleaning:
- LCD Screen Proctors >>
- Camera Rain Covers >>
- Recommended 72mm UV Protective Lens Filters >>
- Lens Cleaning Kits >>
Expanding your Creativity:
- Recommended Memory Cards >>
- Sony Wireless Remote Commander >>
- Timer & Intervalometer Style Remote from ShutterBoss >>
- Recommended Shotgun Style Microphones for Video >>
- Recommended High Quality Lavalier style Microphone >>
- Recommended Monitors for Video Recording and Capture >>
- Recommended On Camera Flash Units >>
- Recommended 72mm Neutral Density Filters >>
- Recommended 72mm Polarizing Filters >>
At the end of the day the Sony RX10 IV is a top quality All-In-One camera solution for those that literally need everything in one package. Excellent image quality, excellent video quality and incredible real world versatility. The RX10 IV can be used for Sports, Portraits. Landscapes, and recording your kids dance recital. It’s not cheap at ~$1700 US, but you absolutely get what you pay for when considering an alternative larger sensor mirrorless camera system like the Sony A6500 for example. The lenses that would be required to get the kind of range and quality the RX10 IV offers would cost way more money, require a fairly large camera bag to carry it all around, and it would weigh at least triple the weight if not more.
This is what Sony had in mind when engineering the RX10 camera system. They wanted to come up with a solution for people considering that smaller sensor mirrorless system whether it be a Micro 4/3rds system or APS-C system, and a bag of lenses to cover a huge range. The RX10 IV solves that problem with one turn key solution and the actual real world performance and image quality holds up like a champ in my opinion.
I highly recommend the RX10 IV to anyone looking for the best possible quality all-in-one turn key solution for photography, 4k video, auto focus performance, and optical zoom range abilities.
The negatives for the RX10 IV that stand out to me include poor battery life, the camera is a bit large and heavy for extending holding, and the lcd screen on the back does not fully articulate like it really should considering the competition like the Panasonic FZ100 II and FZ2500 for example.
What I want to see in the next generation RX10 series camera?
- Fully articulating touchscreen
- New FZ100 Battery found in the A9 and A7 III
- A auto locking battery door when closing
- 4k video with 60p
- Better low light and High ISO capability
- Better stabilization abilities with 4k video
- Sensor Stabilization
- A9 like thumb toggle and a few more physical buttons
That is about it for my Sony RX10 IV Review and I really hope you got what you were looking for. Please feel free to ask questions below and have a wonderful day! Jay
Sony RX10 IV for $1698 US @ BHPhoto