Looking to upgrade from Sony DSC-RX10 iv

Started 2 months ago | Discussions thread
Craig Gillette Forum Pro • Posts: 11,379
Re: Looking to upgrade from Sony DSC-RX10 iv

Odd that this seems to have slipped by. There are a couple of ways to go with this which might work for you. There are some trade-offs to consider when approaching a "replacement," too.  As you surmised, part of the trade-off is spending more money.  So, some thoughts.

Brendan_D wrote:

Hello all…

I've been using a Sony DSC-RX10 iv since early 2018, primarily for sports photography with my Son's sports team.

It's an absolutely superb camera when in good daylight, and if you're able to get alongside the play - the huge zoom captures pin-sharp action portraits, with the autofocus doing a great job of keeping up.

Getting alongside the play, that is, getting good positioning is going to be quite important.  Whether one can get more effective focal length depends some on the approach you take.  And good daylight performance is a lead to getting better performance.

The RX10 series use a smaller sensor.  That allows for a relatively less expensive lens.  But low light performance is related to sensor size .  Larger sensors work better in lower light levels.  But to get the same "reach," larger sensors require more expensive/larger lenses.

But as the teams become teenagers, the players are getting faster, the pitches are getting bigger and the games are sometimes under lights – and in all of these contexts, this camera struggles.

What's the best option to get a bit more zoom, a bit more tolerance for lower-light conditions, and a slightly faster auto focus?

It's rather difficult, or maybe just rather expensive, to get more "zoom."  The RX10 has a 24mm-600mm "35mm equivalent" zoom.  600mm is about the top of the affordable focal length range when getting to full frame digital, which is essentially the same size sensor as 35mm film frames.

One can "crop" down from the ff size sensor and that gets a tighter angle of view, seemingly a longer focal length.  If you use a smaller sensor, you lose some of the lower light advantage of the larger sensor.  If you crop from an image, there are limits how much one can crop and still have useful resolution. (This is in very general terms.)

The faster auto focus is more dependent on how recent the camera sensor, processor, memory and file size is.  So, a smaller sensor camera might be quite current in that sense.  There are fans of the different sensor sizes and there can be compelling arguments for a range of possibilities.

The Nikon D500 is quite fast and a very good aps-c sensor camera.  It's a dslr and there's the Nikon 200-500/5.6 lens and several 3rd party lenses that go to 600mm.  With the smaller sensor, it's an advantage over the ff dslrs when it comes to reach with the same lens.  Also it's not as expensive as the most capable ff dslrs.

When it comes to mirror-less, Sony has been at it longer on the ff side, Fuji and Sony have aps-c offerings, and there are M43 fans, too.  If having problems with indoor or outdoor sports lighting, as opposed to good daytime shooting, M43 is likely not the better approach.  ("Professional" sports coverage is essentially all done with full frame cameras and expensive fast lenses.)  The xxx-600mm lenses aren't as fast as many primes and a few faster f2.8 or f4 zooms but have the 600mm reach.

The problem being as you move to the most capable bodies or lenses, you run out of budget.  The Sony A9 and A9ii are perhaps the best approach and especially either used or the A9 (the A9ii is better in ways that probably won't help much in your situation - they do help for fast transfer and communication of results.)   The Sony 200-600 does very well for a zoom and is well suited to the A9.  Canon and Nikon are coming along but not sure they have comparable offerings sensitive to your budget.

From my initial research, I seem to have to make big leaps in price – I'm working towards a budget of €4,000 (under $5,000), but would be thrilled if I can achieve better results for a lower price than that!

Sony recently released a really incredible camera for this kind of use, the A1.  Blazing fast.  It's captured a lot of A9 and A7Riv users, being both fast and higher resolution.  However, if you get one you won't have budget for a lens.  It did free up used cameras and the A9s don't have problems with the A7Riv that seem to crop up for some uses with the 200-600.

Keyboard shortcuts:
FForum PPrevious NNext WNext unread UUpvote SSubscribe RReply QQuote BBookmark MMy threads
Color scheme? Blue / Yellow