Sony RX10 IV Review

Started Oct 29, 2017 | Discussions thread
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Switch-krik New Member • Posts: 1
Sony RX10 IV Review
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I purchased and tested the RX10 IV for four days. I feel it didn't live up to the advertising. I'm a professional photographer and hoped this would be a game changer as a second body that could cover a lot of ground. This is what I found:

- Battery life is terrible. I’m pretty sure it was a known fact when the camera came out. What would be very helpful is to have an external charger for the battery, not an in-camera charge. That way you could have a second battery going while the first depleted one is charging in case you need it again. If you only have one battery and it goes, or both go, then you’re S.O.L. It just needs a longer lasting battery and external charging method.

- For action photography I’m shocked that Sony didn’t realize that photographers needs to rack the zoom while following focus on a moving subject. I recall now that the ad video only shows video filming and isn’t related to still photography. 24 frames/second is sweet, but pretty useless if you can’t zoom in or out while shooting action that’s moving toward or away from you. Who first tested this for sports? I’d love to try this stuff out before it’s going on the market to let the builders know whats-what. I’ve photographed pro sports for over 20 years, been a MLB and XFL team photographer, shot NFL, surfing, yada-yada, and this camera is not a sports camera per se…… at least not for stills but on a limited basis. Of course, that’s just my opinion and some there may argue it, but I’d love to talk with them about it as I gave this camera a good test. 24 frames a second would be great for a batter hitting a baseball, but as soon as he hits it and takes off for first you wouldn’t be able to zoom back to keep all of him in the frame. It’s like having a fixed lens camera, and you can’t let up on the shutter, zoom back, then start shooting again. You miss way too much (I tried that on horses running).

- The Manual Focus feature is very funky. I tried it today and it seems it will only work if your camera is on a tripod as no one can hold perfectly still after you get what you want in focus. It zooms very tight to focus, especially if hand holding, and I don’t think that’s necessary - helpful if, for some reason, you don’t think the autofocus will do the job, but just didn’t work for me in trying it out today. I focused on one portion of a race track the horses would run through, but when it zoomed back I apparently moved a few inches and the photos were out of focus (shooting at 600mm and then around 200mm). You should just be able to turn the focus ring and have it work at all times.

- I was disappointed that when you pick up the camera and zoom the lens it has to go to the widest point and then zoom. Just took way too long to get going. You will miss shots with that lag time.

- When formatting a new SD card it takes a LONG time! If you were shooting and needed to replace a card in a critical situation (a bird just landed on a tree branch you’ve been waiting for, or your son/daughter just came up to bat, etc.) and you needed to replace a card not previously formatted you could miss the shot!

- I tried various focus area ways today shooting a large video board where a sponsor’s name was to come up. The camera had a hard time with focusing no matter which I tried, and I couldn’t manual focus (hand holding), which would have been easy if the focus ring would work all the time no matter what program you’re in. I’ve photographed these many times and you slow the shutter down to get a clear photo of the board. The stabilization worked, but it just kept searching to focus.

- I tried using the panoramic feature in a dining room full of people I was photographing. It worked, but cut so much off that the photo was unusable. My iPhone did a way better job.

- It was getting dark in the late afternoon and I had to go to ISO 3200. Most of the photos came out sharp (I was still testing various Auto Focus Points to find out which works best for horse racing) but when my client put them in Photo Mechanic and then increased them to 100% to check sharpness, what she noticed is that there was not a look of grain, but pixillation. She showed me. I tested it in my living room early this morning on a cloudy day and when zooming in on the photo later in Photo Mechanic I saw the same thing. Today I shot my Canon 7D MII with a 100-400 lens at ISO 3200 at the track. When I zoomed in to 100% I saw noise, but not the same look as the RX10 produced. I have screen shots of those if you, or anyone there, wants to see them just for their information. I shoot many jobs in low light situations - conventions, weddings, theater concerts/plays, etc - and this wouldn’t work. Even though Sony says you can bump the ISO to 12,800 (I’ve shot at that), if the results at 3200 look like they do I’m thinking the higher ISO's would be a disaster.

I realize I’m really laying a lot on here and I’m sorry there seems to be so much negative. But I really think Sony should know. There are features I really liked and I keep trying to tell myself this camera will work. It probably would in some situations (the interior shots I took of a restaurant came out great the first day I tried the camera. It worked well on people standing still - face recognition works!). I tried using a longer lens and shooting from above looking through a large opening in tree branches at one person. It just kept losing focus or searching way too much, even using Center weighted focus. I did finally get one, but it was frustrating.

It did a great job with color in various situations - tungsten lights, mixture of tungsten and fluorescents, etc. Way better than my Canon bodies will do! And it’s absolutely silent!! It could be taken on a movie set and you wouldn’t need a Blimp - I think that’s what they’re called. That absolutely ROCKS!

Canon EOS 7D Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10 Sony RX10 IV
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