Lens performance

The RX100 IV uses the same lens as the RX100 III, so we've used the images we shot with that camera. Sony has chosen to make a trade-off between brightness and zoom range, offering a much more consistently bright lens than its predecessors, but losing some reach to avoid the camera becoming too big.

24-70mm equivalent may sound restrictive, when compared to the 20, 30, 40... 83x zooms that have appeared in recent cameras, but it covers the same range as one of the most popular general-purpose zoom lenses that full frame users tend to buy, so it may not be quite as limiting as it sounds.

The key thing is that the performance is really impressive. Unlike the zoom on Canon's PowerShot G7 X, which found only sharpens up at the long end of the zoom, the Sony's more modest range allows it to be at least acceptably sharp regardless of which focal length or aperture you use.

This makes it much more comparable with the Panasonic LX100, which is also pretty impressive, wide-open, at both the wide-angle and telephoto extremes of its zoom range. The difference, of course, is that the Sony brings significantly greater resolution to the table, which you can still see even when the images are compared at a common output size.