Sony RX100-IV Real World Review

Started Dec 9, 2015 | User reviews thread
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David C - SG New Member • Posts: 14
Sony RX100-IV Real World Review
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My full, detailed review with sample images is below -

http://davidcandlish.photography/sony-rx100-4

Summarised conclusions -

Conclusion

Sony have once again produced a technical marvel. It's really exciting watching how they are innovating and it's great for photography. The image quality is good & the video capabilities are fantastic. It's a great camera.

The headline new features are very exciting on paper and if you can shoot in conditions to take advantage of them they will give you something not seen on any other camera. That said, they still feel immature, more like first-generation "tech demos" which will need further refinement before they can reach their full potential. Take the 1/32,000th second shutter speed for instance - I can currently get more consistent and better quality results freezing the action using off camera flash. Even shooting at large apertures in bright conditions can be achieved using ND filters.

Similarly with the video. 4k recording in such a small body is impressive but if you take your videography seriously you'd opt for an external unit... and if you do that, might you be more serious and opt for a more capable camera? Likewise with the high frame rate features, they're fun to use but aren't serious production quality yet.

With the still photography side of the camera pretty much the same as the RX100-III the mark 4 seems to be aimed much more at the videographer. If you are primarily a photographer and are wondering if you should upgrade from III to IV I would probably advise not. If you are looking to get into video and want a good quality compact then it's a lot easier to recommend. However the biggest problem with this camera is one I have not mentioned yet. The price. High-end compacts are most commonly used as backups for larger, more capable & more expensive cameras but with this camera retailing for $1000 USD (850GBP, S$1400) it's more expensive than a larger sensored, more versatile entry level DSLR. Videographers might still opt for the RX100-IV in that kind of comparison but for stills the RX100-IV would not compete.

If money is no object and you will make use of the video features, the RX100-IV is the best high end compact around.

Pros

  • Class leading video capabilities; the new super-fast shutter is groundbreaking
  • Very good image quality in most situations
  • The pop-up viewfinder continues to be great

Cons

  • Extremely expensive for its class & capability
  • Noise rendering can be poor, especially at higher ISO values
  • Lens still only reaches 70mm focal length
  • No touchscreen
  • New HFR and fast shutter features highly dependent on very bright lighting conditions
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 IV
20 megapixels • 3 screen • 24 – 70 mm (2.9×)
Announced: Jun 10, 2015
David C - SG's score
4.0
Average community score
4.6
bad for good for
Kids / pets
okay
Action / sports
okay
Landscapes / scenery
good
Portraits
okay
Low light (without flash)
acceptable
Flash photography (social)
acceptable
Studio / still life
good
= community average
Sony RX100 Sony RX100 IV
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