Sony RX10 IV Review: The Biggest All-in-One Digicam You Can Buy

Sony Cyber-shot RX10 IV

MSRP $1,699.99

“Sony’s Cyber-shot RX10 IV will make you a believer in all-in-one cameras.”


  • Very high-quality stills and flicks
  • 25x telephoto Zeiss lens
  • Eye AF carry out is superb
  • Choices designed for newbie filmmaking
  • 1-inch stacked sensor


  • Tends to overexpose in auto mode
  • Sony’s menus are nonetheless exhausting to navigate

There is a part of photographers who need the effectivity of an interchangeable lens camera, nevertheless could do with out the bulk from having to carry a physique and lens. For that goal, “bridge” cameras have been created. They provide DSLR-like attributes, harking back to utterly completely different capturing modes and longer lenses than compact cameras, nevertheless in all-in-one our our bodies which may be smaller than DSLRs. The difficulty with a lot of these bridge cameras is that they use the an identical utilized sciences current in point-and-shoots, so that you simply weren’t getting any enhancements in image prime quality or effectivity.

Sony modified all that with the superior RX10-series. Constructed spherical a 1-inch sensor and high-quality Zeiss lens, the RX10 has the texture and seem of a DSLR, nevertheless in a sturdy all-in-one physique that’s weather-sealed. Whereas we wouldn’t consider RX10 fashions to fanatic or professional-level DSLR and mirrorless cameras, they aren’t far behind. The newest and biggest occasion however is the Sony Cyber-shot RX10 Mark IV. A follow-up to the already good RX10 Mark III, the RX10 IV has a 25x zoom and Sony’s latest 1-inch “stacked” sensor, nevertheless improves upon its predecessor with very fast effectivity. Admittedly, the $1,700 ticket is difficult to swallow, nevertheless to get a comparable outfit from a DSLR or mirrorless, you would want to spend moderately more money.

Not like completely different cameras we’ve reviewed, we’ve had an opportunity to spend a lot of time having fun with with the RX10 IV. With such a extreme asking worth, we would have liked to make sure that is worth your funding. It isn’t a camera for everybody, nevertheless for the exact viewers, it ticks the entire containers. For individuals who suppose bridge cameras can’t match higher-end cameras, the RX10 IV will change your ideas.

Acquainted design, stronger effectivity

All through Sony’s RX10 lineup, the RX10 IV has undergone little in one of the best ways of exterior design changes as a result of the distinctive was launched in 2013 (all fashions are for the time being in the marketplace). All 4 RX10 fashions are bridge cameras with a 1-inch sensor and a set, high-quality Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T optical lens, nevertheless each supplies utterly completely different choices and effectivity. And, whereas all-in-one bridge cameras have centered casual photographers, the RX10 steers in direction of additional superior prospects — a reality indicated by its extreme worth.

David Elrich/Digital Developments

The distinctive RX10 had an 8.3x zoom with quite a lot of 24-200mm and a unbroken aperture of f/2.8 that’s terrific for blurred backgrounds all via the whole focal measurement. The so much bigger and bulkier RX10 IV has a 25x zoom (24-600mm) which is very useful for zeroing in on faraway subjects. For that additional distance, it is vital to give up the fastened f/2.8 aperture, nevertheless f/4 at 600mm stays to be pretty good.

The RX10 IV makes use of a 20.1-megapixel Exmor RS sensor and a Bionz X image processor. The 1-inch sensor makes use of Sony’s “stacked” technology that’s designed to ship faster effectivity than a typical sensor, along with choices like super-slow-motion. We’ve had numerous experience using Sony cameras with stacked sensors, and they also all ship secure effectivity.

The RX10 IV is sort of an an identical to the RX10 III, nevertheless so much faster.

On paper, the RX10 IV’s specs seem like a near-facsimile of the RX10 III, nevertheless what the $300 premium will get you is faster effectivity. Sony instructed us that the Bionz X throughout the RX10 IV is certainly a newly developed processor, and, working with the stacked sensor, it’d receive a gradual capturing tempo as extreme as 24 frames per second (fps) and an autofocus tempo of 0.03 seconds. The RX10 III can shoot as a lot as 14 fps.

One different plus is an autofocus system that makes use of 315 part detection AF components and 25 distinction detect components that cowl just about the whole sensor. Shutter lag is called an element of the earlier and you may seize super-fast movement. Couple it with an digital shutter tempo of 1/32,000th of second and there isn’t so much you can’t seize.

The camera measures 5.25 x 3.75 x 5.1 inches and weighs roughly 2.4 kilos (39 ounces) with battery and card, which is a bit heavier than a Canon EOS Rebel T7i DSLR with a package deal lens connected. It’s 11 ounces heavier than the distinctive RX10 as properly, nevertheless don’t forget that you simply’re getting a higher-quality lens with an prolonged focal range.

David Elrich/Digital Developments

And speaking of the lens, the non-removable 25x zoom dominates the doorway. It’s a Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T* lens with 18 elements in 13 groups. Along with the primary goal and zoom rings, there’s an aperture ring for everytime you’re in Aperture Priority mode. A swap lets you change focusing distance to each full, or 3 meters to infinity, nevertheless the perform is simply environment friendly at 150mm or bigger; it’s in full mode in another case. A Focus Keep button may also be shut by, which lets you lock focus, nevertheless you may even customise it for yet another carry out.

On the doorway there could also be moreover a highlight administration dial, which helps you to select each single, regular, auto, direct information focus (DMF) and information focus (MF). All through our checks we saved it primarily in auto, as a result of it switches mechanically between single and regular.

The autofocus system makes use of 315 part detection and 25 distinction detect components that cowl just about the whole sensor.

Along with having a DSLR-like physique, the RX10 IV has a small monochrome LCD on the very best that displays current settings. This generally is a perform current in higher-end interchangeable lens cameras, which, as soon as extra, components to the type of particular person Sony has in ideas. That’s to not say casual prospects or newbie photographers can’t use this camera, as there are various computerized options.

The rear is dominated by a tilting 3-inch LCD that’s rated 1.44-million pixels. It has some contact performance as properly (additional on this later), nevertheless now we now have undoubtedly seen greater reveals. What we do like is the very high-quality 0.39-inch OLED digital viewfinder with 2.359-million dots. It’s is superb, which is important since you’ll be holding the camera to your eye most cases, given the need for stability with a 600mm zoom.

On the exact side is a card slot whereas the left doorways cowl connections for a mic, headphone, HDMI-out port and AV-in port for charging the battery in-camera. Given that RX10 IV may also be marketed as a video camera, these ports are splendid.

Sony Cyber-shot RX10 Mark IV reviewDavid Elrich/Digital Developments

As for battery life the utmost number of images is 400, which is adequate for a day’s capturing nevertheless nonetheless a fraction of what an fanatic DSLR can muster — two or 3 instances as so much. The RX10 IV helps high-speed SDXC card, and we propose you make the most of one once you plan to utilize the superior capturing modes or 4K video.

Like most trendy cameras, you can pair the RX10 IV with a smartphone, and use the PlayMemories Mobile app for distant administration, or swap pictures for importing to Instagram or wherever you do your sharing. It is also potential so as to add location data. It’s nothing explicit to brag about, nonetheless it really works. Sony moreover provides Seize One and Imaging Edge software program program for processing and modifying RAW photos.

Effectivity and use

We’ve examined the RX10 IV in quite a few occasions, most not too way back for quite a few weeks capturing the environment and scenes in Sedona, Arizona and Monterey, California. (Editors’ discover: Sony supplied us with among the many testing alternate options as part of media events.) For an just about 3-pound camera, it was fairly comfortable strolling spherical with it. When the lens is extended all one of the best ways, it appears to be a bit ridiculous nevertheless a little bit bit embarrassment isn’t so unhealthy when you can {{photograph}} faraway subjects harking back to wildlife or mountain tops.

Portraits shot with Eye AF carry out are merely out of this world.

The 600mm zoom is a boon for wildlife photographers, nonetheless, a monopod must be part of your setup. Although the lens has built-in optical image stabilization it isn’t a miracle worker at 25x zoom since every jiggle of handheld capturing can have an effect on the image or video. We acquired a substantial amount of keepers nevertheless we propose using some type of help.

Thought-about one in every of our favorite RX10 choices is Eye AF. You physique your subject with face detection enabled, then press the center OK key on the once more. A small subject appears on the person’s eye; the camera does the remaining everytime you press shutter. What you end up with are portraits which may be merely out of this world, with factor so high-quality you can rely eyelashes. Although many rave about completely different Sony choices, Eye AF ranks up there for day-to-day capturing. Dynamic Differ Optimization (DRO) is one different good nevertheless buried perform: Make modifications (diploma 1-5) and you may carry factor out of the shadows. We advocate prospects experiment with these two choices.

David Elrich/Digital Developments

The RX10 IV isn’t just for nonetheless photos. It’s the first Cyber-shot model to utilize Sony’s Extreme-Density Monitoring AF technology, which maintains focus spherical your meant subject, attributable to these 315 focus components. That’s splendid for sports activities actions or one thing that strikes, and it’s typically one factor you see in higher-end cameras.

In most conditions we shot aperture priority with the one shot setting. In others, harking back to surfers, we shot 24 fps bursts. The RX10 IV has a mechanical shutter tempo of 30-1/2,000th of a second nevertheless an digital shutter hits 1/32,000th. With the proper strategy you can seize just about one thing that strikes. The 24 fps might be lowered to slower decisions as you drill down into the menus. Although we’ve used Sony cameras for years, the menu system stays to be dense and we hope it’s revamped ultimately. We’ve been asking for years, so wishful pondering, nevertheless we’re not alone with this criticism — Sony retains saying they’re listening nevertheless solely time will inform.

One different criticism is the camera’s tendency to overexpose in auto mode. The EVF will warn you to the precise reality and a quick publicity compensation adjustment (normally two-thirds of a stop) acquired us to the place we would have liked to be. (Or, don’t be in auto mode and fiddle with the settings.)

Sony Cyber‑Shot RX10 IV PanoSweep Panorama mode David Elrich/Digital Developments

The RX10 IV has an ISO range of 100-12,800 in auto mode nevertheless might be extended to 64 and 25,600. The camera is secure to 2,500 ISO, nevertheless then tends to soften a bit as you improve the sensitivity. Even so, 12,800 was useable, which is pretty unimaginable for a 1-inch sensor. For max whole sharpness, we’d try and protect it underneath 2,000, nevertheless in low-light situations, you can undoubtedly crank it up a little bit bit higher and nonetheless get first charge outcomes.

Pores and pores and skin tones have been correct on the money, skies had the exact shades of blue, greens have been rich.

The camera shoots 4K video and we had a ball recording all of the issues from surfers to dwell rock bands. As soon as extra, no matter onboard image stabilization, you need appropriate help to eradicate shake, which is accentuated by the extreme determination. Together with Full HD 1080p, you may even file Extreme Physique Worth (HFR) clips, additionally known as slow-motion. When capturing a soccer participant, at 960 fps, we might even see his glossy movement in kicking the ball — layer some beautiful instrumental music in post-edit, and you have got your self an elegant sports activities actions movie. When used judiciously this generally is a satisfying, inventive gadget. Merely discover that it is best to make use of a high-speed SDXC card.

As with the sooner RX10, whole image prime quality is type of good and fascinating. Pores and pores and skin tones have been correct on the money, skies had the exact shades of blue, greens have been rich; the 1-inch sensor delivered appropriate colors which will make most shutterbugs pleased with the tip outcomes.

Capturing 4K films with the RX10 is a blast although we did are inclined to go a little bit bit zoom crazy, nevertheless once you’ve bought a 25x lens it’s exhausting to not. Merely ensure to have a tripod for help in extreme telephoto as every jiggle displays up on the large show. We found little proof of rolling shutter in our films. Shade accuracy — merely as in most conditions of the stills — was heading in the right direction, with secure outcomes. For people who want to previous the capabilities of the camera there are mic and headphone inputs for added gear.

We undoubtedly put the camera by the use of its paces and in no way acquired close to draining the battery. Nonetheless, a spare might be an excellent issue once you’ll be away from an outlet most of the day.

Assure information

Sony supplies the usual one-year assure on components and labor.

Our Take

As an all-in-one camera, the Sony RX10 Mark IV is predominant the pack. With a focal range of 24-600mm, you’re nearly lined in most conditions — no should swap lenses. It’s moreover very fast, because of the utilized sciences Sony packed into it. While you may’t consider it to greater sensors, the 1-inch stacked Exmor R isn’t any slouch, significantly when compared with the so much smaller sensors current in most bridge cameras. Nonetheless, at cases, the RX10 IV had us questioning why we now have been nonetheless using our huge DSLRs.

Notably for panorama photos, the RX10 IV will give DSLRs and mirrorless cameras a run for his or her money. It doesn’t keep up pretty as properly for portraiture, with the inherently deeper depth of topic of the smaller 1-inch sensor, nevertheless it is not lower than attainable to get some clean backgrounds when capturing near the telephoto end of the zoom range. In actual fact, that’s no utterly completely different than on the RX10 III, which makes use of the an identical sensor and lens. Counting on what you favor to shoot, it’s as a lot as you to find out if the extra worth is worth it for the faster effectivity.

Is there a higher completely different?

There truly will not be any completely different cameras identical to the RX10s, and the RX10 IV is the current king of the sequence. Nevertheless not all people desires the entire choices, and if that’s you, ponder the Panasonic FZ2500 ($999). It has a 20.1-megapixel 1-inch sensor, 20x zoom (24-480mm, f/2.8-4.5) lens, and 4K video. It is most likely the closest and biggest competitor, nonetheless it doesn’t have the tempo. There’s moreover Canon’s PowerShot G3 X ($899). It has the identical zoom range and spine, nevertheless burst mode is a lot slower (5.9 fps), would not have an EVF, or seize 4K or slow-motion video.

In actual fact, you may’t overlook in regards to the earlier RX10 fashions, which are nonetheless in the marketplace. The distinctive might be had for decrease than $1,000, nevertheless you obtained’t get basically probably the most up-to-date specs. The RX10 III is definitely the an identical camera nevertheless minus the tempo (14 fps, nonetheless, should not be too shabby), and might stop not lower than $300. For lots of, the RX10 III can be the upper selection.

How prolonged will it closing?

Sony normally updates the RX10 sequence every 12-18 months. Given that RX10 IV was launched in October 2017, it ought to remain on the excessive of the heap for a while longer, nevertheless Sony has a fame for throwing curveballs. Protect your eyes out for any worth drops at retail, a sure sign a model new model is on one of the best ways. As a camera, it is well-made and actually so much a premium product; it must closing you years, nevertheless in distinction to an interchangeable lens camera, it’s not upgradeable.

Do you must buy it?

The RX10 Mark IV is a very succesful camera, nevertheless it is pricey at $1,700, so it isn’t for everybody. It truly depends in your desires, and whereas it earns our Editors’ Various, we wouldn’t counsel it to casual photographers who wouldn’t use choices previous computerized or default, significantly once you’ve bought a restricted funds. Even once you’re in search of to reinforce your photos, there are cheaper decisions. Nevertheless once you’re trying to find an all-in-one that gives you DSLR/mirrorless-like prime quality pictures and films, and money isn’t an issue, this camera is terrific. Wildlife photographers and vacationers must considerably ponder the Mark IV — and go away the entire cumbersome gear behind.

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