My brief experience RX10M4 - BIF

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EL Pistoffo
EL Pistoffo Contributing Member • Posts: 789
My brief experience RX10M4 - BIF

In recent months I've taken an interest in wildlife/BIF photography.  Wanting to delve into it with some decent gear I acquired a 2nd hand Nikon D7000 and Sigma 150-500mm lens.  This also helped me further develop my manual camera skills.

BIF and wildlife shooting in general is pretty demanding on the gear and the photographer.  As I developed my skills with my DSLR I started seeing improvements but also the limitations of my gear.  The need for fast, sharp lenses.  Good AF. A steady hand at long FL.   Most importantly, strong biceps for carrying multiple pounds of camera and lens.

Though I'm able to coax some good shots from my DSLR, the success rate was pretty poor.  The old AF system of the D7000, and maybe to a lesser extent, the mediocrity of my Sigma lens left me at times a little disappointed. I started fantasizing about a new D500 and the solid performing Nikon 200-500mm lens.  Then the reality of the cost sets in and that dream quickly dissolves.

In comes the Sony RX10 IV.

For a short trip to Cape May, NJ I decided to do what I always do when I travel, rent a nice travel camera.  This has always allowed me to try the latest gear without the high cost of ownership.  Last few rentals over the years have been the  FZ1000, RX10M2, RX100M3, M4, M5.  This time around it would be the RX10M4.  With 600mm it was the obvious choice.

So after some research here on the forums I found the ideal BIF camera settings.  I set them in then flew of on my trip.

I took many early morning, golden hour walks on the beach as well as through out the day.

I pointed the Sony at my subject, zoomed in a bit, press the shutter button and the magic happened.  The operation of the AF system left me in shock.  It was blazing fast, accurate and tracked continuously on moving objects without fail.  The burst shooting was incredible, even with RAW enabled the buffer was plenty beefy.

The percentage of well focused, sharp shots I was getting seemed almost unreal to me.  It was just too easy.  The RX10M4 makes it almost effortless compared to my experience on my DSLR.  The AF system of the Sony puts my Nikon to utter shame.  The buffer is light-years  ahead as well.  Best of all, it's far more compact and way, way lighter.

In summary, the RX10M4 was a pleasure to operate.

Now the RX10M4 isn't without it's faults, though minor IMO.  It does not have the DR of my DSLR.  The Sony's DR is not bad, actually quite good for a sensor of it's size but still not quite on par with the APS-C, yet.  The high ISO performance doesn't match the DSLR either.  The Sony does suffer after 1000 and gets considerably worse as that number increases.  My DSLR can still keep pretty clean at 1600 and even 3200 with some PP finesse.

For my typical usage, those shortcomings are usually avoided by me and are far outweighed by the superb advances the RX10M4 provides.

Here are a few samples.  All PP from RAW files:

The RX10 IV really has me second guessing my DSLR.  It does everything I want in a simple, travel friendly package.

 EL Pistoffo's gear list:EL Pistoffo's gear list
Canon ELPH 300 HS Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS20 Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX7 Nikon D7000 Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 35mm F1.8G +7 more
Nikon D500 Nikon D7000 Panasonic FZ1000 Sony RX10 II Sony RX10 IV Sony RX100 III
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