Camera Menus

The Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 IV uses the same menu system as Sony's Alpha interchangeable lens cameras. It's divided into six tabs, with each tab having up to nine pages. Navigation is a bit awkward, with the four-way controller being the sole way of moving around, and the rear dial just scrolling between the items on the current page. In addition, if you're used to most other brands of cameras, you might expect to be able to enter a sub-menu (where you'd change the setting) by pressing right on the four-way controller, but that advances to the next page.

You'll often bump into 'grayed-out' menu options, which display vague error messages if you select them.

One of the most frustrating menu-related things that continues to be an issue on the RX100 IV is its unhelpful error messages that pop-up when a menu item cannot be selected. Often these errors unhelpfully only tell you what mode you're in (see above), rather than what mode you should be in to gain access to the setting you wanted to change. And in the past, we've even found some of these messages to be flat out wrong.

It's clear Sony has been putting thought into resolving some of these interactions, but they need to take it further to avoid confusing the user experience. For example, I know that using AF-C and a self-timer together doesn't make sense, but prohibiting me from setting AF-C when I want to means I have to go back and change the drive mode and then come back to the AF setting again, which is a waste of time (a Nikon DSLR just lets me - foolishly - shoot in AF-C w/ a timer). It's a small example, but one of many where you'll find yourself going 'but why is that greyed out?'. Lock-on AF in video being another - if the Center Lock-on AF function is available, why isn't the Lock-on AF: Center area mode? The latter is far easier to use, while the former requires no less than four button presses to engage even when placed in the Fn menu.

The menu options you'll want to know about:

As with most high-end cameras, the menus are rather creaking under the weight of the complexity that they're having to represent. We've picked out a couple of the RX100 IV's most interesting features and settings, to highlight where to find them in the menus:

• Auto ISO:

The RX100 IV offers much-improved Auto ISO control. The key change is the ability to choose a shutter speed threshold based on the focal length you're shooting at. This includes five preset shutter speed/focal length relationships, Slower to Faster, to choose from. Shooting Menu, 4.

• Picture Profile:

Along with the ability to shoot 4K video (Shooting Menu, 2), the RX100 IV also gains the Picture Profile system for fine control of the video processing parameters, this includes an ultra-flat S-Log2 or the industry-standard ITU-709 gamma curves to provide more flexible footage for grading or a response that will fit in to a standard multi-camera workflow. (Shooting Menu, 6).

Other key video features include Focus Peaking (Custom Settings, 2) and Zebra (Custom Settings, 1) and the on-screen markers to aid composition (Custom Settings, 1).

• High Frame Rate movies:

The RX100 IV can also shoot movies at frame rates of up to 1000fps (960fps in NTSC mode). These slow mo videos are shot at lower resolution, then upscaled to 1080. You can choose between shooting for 2 seconds or for 4 seconds at half the pixel count. You also have a choice of playback rate and whether to trigger the start or end of recording. All the settings are defined in Shooting Menu, 2.

• Auto Dual Rec:

Prompts the camera to automatically grab still images while recording video if the composition or content resembles a series of image archetypes it's programmed to recognise. Shooting Menu, 7.

• Customization:

All the customization settings described on the Controls page of this review are clustered in Custom Menu page 5.


Menu Listing:

Shooting menu

Option Values / Actions Notes
Page one [Return to 'options you'll want to know']
[Stills] Image size
  • L: 20M
  • M: 10M
  • S: 5M
- 5472 x 3648
- 3888 x 2592
- 2736 x 1824
[Stills] Aspect Ratio
  • 3:2
  • 4:3
  • 16:9
  • 1:1

[Stills] Quality
  • RAW
  • RAW & JPEG
  • Extra Fine
  • Fine
  • Standard
Note that Raw & JPEG creates a Fine (rather than Extra Fine) JPEG
Img. Size (Dual rec)
  • L: 17M
  • M: 7.5M
  • S: 4.2M
Resolutions of photos you can take while simultaneously recording video (up to 1080/30p).
Quality (Dual rec)
  • Extra fine
  • Fine
  • Standard
Page two [Return to 'options you'll want to know']
[Movie] File format
  • XAVC S 4K
  • XAVC S HD
  • AVCHD
  • MP4
XAVC S requires the use of an SDXC card at least 64GB in size rated at Speed Class 10 or UHS Speed Class U1.
[Movie] record setting
  • XAVC S 4K (3840 x 2160):
    • 30p 100M
    • 30p 60M
    • 24p 100M
    • 24p 60M
  • XAVC S HD (1920 x 1080)
    • 60p 50M
    • 30p 50M
    • 24p 50M
    • 120p 100M
    • 120p 60M
  • AVCHD (1920 x 1080)
    • 60i 24M
    • 60i 17M
    • 60p 28M
    • 24p 24M
    • 24p 17M
  • MP4:
    • 1080/60p 28M
    • 1080/30p 16M
    • 720/30p 6M

All frame rates stated are for NTSC mode. RX100 IV can also be switched between PAL and NTSC modes (the camera reboots when you switch).

In PAL mode, the camera only offers 25p multiples (25, 50 and 100p), with no 24p option.

Dual Video REC
  • Off
  • On
Records and XAVC S/AVCHD and low bit rate MP4 movie simultaneously. Limited to frame rates 60i and below.
HFR Settings
  • Record setting
    • 60p 50M
    • 30p 50M
    • 24p 50M
  • Frame rate
    • 240 fps
    • 480 fps
    • 960 fps
  • Priority setting
    • Quality priority
    • Shoot time priority
  • REC timing
    • Start trigger
    • End trigger
These settings dicate the behavior of the High Frame Rate (slow mo) video mode.

'Record Setting' defines the framerate at which the video will be played back.

'Frame Rate' defines the rate at which frames are actually captured.

All HFR videos are captured at lower resolution, then upscaled to 1080. The priority setting lets you choose between capture size and capture duration.

We'll be looking at this feature in more depth, later in the review.
Panorama: Size
  • Standard (8192 x 1856)
  • Wide (12416 x 1856)
Only available in Panorama mode. Dimensions are for left-to-right panoramas (up or down are considerably smaller).
Panorama: Detection
  • Right
  • Left
  • Up
  • Down
Only available in Panorama mode
Page three [Return to 'options you'll want to know']
Drive mode
  • Single shooting
  • Continuous shooting
  • Speed priority continuous
  • Self-timer (2/5/10 sec)
  • Self-timer (continuous)
  • Continuous bracket
  • Single bracket
  • WB bracket lo/hi
  • DRO bracket lo/hi
AE bracketing takes 3, 5, or 9 shots at 0.3, 0.7. 1, 2, and 3EV intervals.
Bracket settings
  • Self-timer during bracket
    • Off
    • 2/5/10 secs
  • Bracket order
    • 0 > - > +
    • - > 0 > +
Flash mode
  • Flash off
  • Auto flash
  • Fill flash
  • Slow sync
  • Rear sync
Flash comp.
  • -3EV to +3EV
In 1/3EV increments
Redeye reduction
  • On
  • Off
Off is the default
Page four [Return to 'options you'll want to know']
Focus mode
  • Single-shot (AF-S)
  • Continuous AF (AF-C)
  • DMF
  • Manual focus
DMF (Direct Manual Focus) lets you manually adjust focus after the AF system has done its thing.
Focus area
  • Wide
  • Center
  • Flexible spot
  • Expand flexible spot
  • Lock-on AF
    • Wide
    • Center
    • Flexible spot S
    • Flexible spot M
    • Flexible spot L
    • Expand flexible spot
Flexible spot offers three focus point sizes: small, medium. and large. The expand flexible spot will use surrounding focus points if the camera cannot lock on the one you selected.
[Stills] AF illuminator
  • Auto
  • Off
Exposure comp.
  • -3 to +3 EV
ISO
  • Multi Frame NR
    • ISO (Auto, 200-25600)
  • Auto
    • Minimum (125-12800)
    • Maximum (125-12800)
  • 80 - 12800 (1/3-stop incr.)
ISO 80 and 100 are considered 'low' as the base ISO of the camera is 125.

Multi Frame NR combines several exposures into a single image which reduces noise. Not available when Raw is activate.
ISO Auto Min. SS
  • Rate of change
    • Slower
    • Slow
    • Standard
    • Fast
    • Faster
  • 1/32000 - 30 secs
In the first option, the 'Standard' selection uses a shutter speed based on the focal length of the lens. The speed options will adjust the ISO at shutter speeds either faster or slower than standard.

Alternatively you can select a specific minimum shutter speed.
Page five [Return to 'options you'll want to know']
ND filter
  • Auto
  • On
  • Off
Metering mode
  • Multi
  • Center
  • Spot
White balance
  • Auto
  • Daylight
  • Shade
  • Cloudy
  • Incandescent
  • Warm white fluorescent
  • Cool white fluorescent
  • Day white fluorescent
  • Daylight florescent
  • Flash
  • Color temp/filter
  • Custom 1/2/3
  • Custom setup
The color temperature range is 2500K - 9900K. All white balance settings can be fine-tuned in the amber-blue and/or green-magenta direction.
DRO / Auto HDR
  • D-R Off
  • DRO (Auto, Lv1 - Lv5)
  • HDR (Auto, ±1EV - ±6EV)
HDR is only available for JPEGs. DRO setting does not affect Raw images.
Creative Style
  • Standard
  • Vivid
  • Neutral
  • Clear
  • Deep
  • Light
  • Portrait
  • Landscape
  • Sunset
  • Night scene
  • Autumn leaves
  • Black & White
  • Sepia

For each of these you can adjust contrast, saturation, and sharpness.

Up to six custom Styles can be saved in memory.

Picture Effect
  • Off
  • Toy camera
  • Pop color
  • Posterization
  • Retro photo
  • Soft high-key
  • Partial color
  • High contrast mono
  • Soft focus
  • HDR painting
  • Rich-tone mono
  • Miniature
  • Watercolor
  • Illustration
Several of these effects can be adjusted to your liking. None are available when shooting Raw.
Page six [Return to 'options you'll want to know']
Picture Profile
  • Off
  • PP 1-6
    • Black level (±15)
    • Gamma (Movie, still, cine1, cine2, ITU709, ITU709 (800%), S-Log2)
    • Black gamma
      • Range (Wide, middle, narrow)
      • Level (±7)
    • Knee
      • Mode (Auto, manual)
      • Auto set
        • Max point (90. 92.5, 95, 97.5, 100%)
        • Sensitivity (High, mid, low)
      • Manual set
        • Point (75, 77.5, 80, 82.5, 85, 87.5, 90, 92.5, 95, 97.5, 100, 102.5, 105%)
        • Slope (±5)
    • Color mode (Movie, still, cinema, pro, ITU709 matrix, black & white, S-Gamut)
      • Saturation (±32)
    • Color phase (±7)
    • Color depth (±7 for R/G/B/C/M/Y)
    • Detail
      • Level (±7)
      • Adjust (±7)
        • Mode (Auto, manual)
        • V/H balance (±2)
        • B/W balance (Type 1-5)
        • Limit (0-7)
        • Crispening (0-7)
        • Hi-light detail (0-4)
    • Copy
    • Reset
The RX100 IV has all of the pro-level video features from higher-end Sony ILCs.

The level of control offered is impressive but you may find it easier to simply pick one of the presets than create your own, given the bewildering selection of broadcast industry standards and fine-tuning options.
Focus magnifier
  • Activate
Enlarges the frame when manually focusing so you can confirm proper focus.
[Stills] Long exposure NR
  • On
  • Off
[Stills] High ISO NR
  • Normal
  • Low
  • Off
Center lock-on AF
  • Off
  • On
Attempts to track a subject which you've selected while in the center of the frame.
Smile/face Detection
  • Off
  • Face detection on (reg. faces)
  • Face detection on
  • Smile Shutter
Choose from slight, normal, and big smile for the last option.
Page seven [Return to 'options you'll want to know']
Auto Dual Rec
  • Off
  • On
    • Shooting frequency low
    • Shooting frequency standard
    • Shooting frequency high
When on the camera will take still images while a video is being recorded. The camera takes stills when it detects an 'impressive composition' (such as when faces are detected) and images may be cropped into 'optimal compositions'.
[Stills] Soft skin effect
  • Off
  • On
Choose from low, middle, and high settings.
[Stills] Auto obj. framing
  • Off
  • On
Will automatically crop photos using the rule-of-thirds. The original (uncropped) image is saved.
Auto mode
  • Intelligent Auto
  • Superior Auto
Choose which point-and-shoot mode you wish to use. Both offer automatic scene selection, with the latter adding multi-shot modes like HDR.
Scene selection
  • Portrait
  • Sports action
  • Macro
  • Landscape
  • Sunset
  • Night scene
  • Hand-held twilight
  • Night portrait
  • Anti Motion Blur
  • Pet
  • Gourmet (food)
  • Fireworks
  • High sensitivity
The hand-held twilight mode shoot a series of images and combines them in order to reduce noise and blur. Anti Motion Blur is similar but uses a faster shutter speed in order to freeze moving subjects.
High Frame Rate
  • Program Auto
  • Aperture Priority
  • Shutter Priority
  • Manual
Select the exposure mode when the mode dial is set to the HFR position.
Page eight [Return to 'options you'll want to know']
Movie
  • Program Auto
  • Aperture Priority
  • Shutter Priority
  • Manual
Select the exposure mode when the mode dial is set to the Movie position.
[Stills] SteadyShot
  • On
  • Off
SteadyShot is Sony's term for optical image stabilization.
[Movie] SteadyShot
  • Intelligent Active
  • Active
  • Standard
  • Off
Active mode increases shake reduction, such as when the photographer is walking. Intelligent Active is even stronger. The field-of-view is cropped as the amount of shake reduction is increased. Active modes not available in 4K.
[Stills] Color space
  • sRGB
  • AdobeRGB
[Movie] Auto slow shutter
  • Off
  • On
Whether the camera uses a slower shutter speed when recording movies in low light.
Audio recording
  • On
  • Off
Page nine [Return to 'options you'll want to know']
Microphone level
  • Normal
  • Low
Adjusts the mic level when the mode dial is set to 'movie'.
Wind noise reduction
  • On
  • Off
Memory recall
  • Recall (1, 2, 3)
Recall one of the three sets of camera settings you've stored using the memory function.
Memory
  • Adjust
Save up to three sets of your favorite camera settings to the MR spot on the mode dial.

Custom settings menu.

Option Values / Actions Notes
Page one [Return to 'options you'll want to know']
Zebra
  • Off
  • 70 - 100+
Shows a zebra pattern over parts of an image that exceed the brightness level you've chosen.
MF assist
  • On
  • Off
Allows for enlargement of the frame when manually focusing.
Focus magnification time
  • 2 sec
  • 5 sec
  • No limit
Amount of time that MF assist is displayed.
Grid line
  • Off
  • Diag + Square grid
  • Square grid
  • Rule of 3rds grid
[Movie] Marker Display
  • On
  • Off
Allows you to put center and aspect markers as well as safety zones and guideframes onto the LCD/EVF for video recording.
[Movie] Marker Settings
  • Center
    • On
    • Off
  • Aspect
    • Off
    • 4:3
    • 13:9
    • 14:9
    • 15:9
    • 1.66:1
    • 1.85:1
    • 2.35:1
  • Safety Zone
    • Off
    • 80%
    • 90%
  • Guideframe
    • On
    • Off
Page two [Return to 'options you'll want to know']
Auto review
  • Off
  • 2 sec
  • 5 sec
  • 10 sec
DISP button
  • Monitor
    • Graphic display
    • Display all info
    • No display info
    • Histogram
    • Level
  • For viewfinder
    • Finder
    • Graphic display
    • Display all info
    • No display info
    • Histogram
    • Level
What can be displayed on the LCD and EVF by pressing the DISP button.
Peaking level
  • Off
  • Low
  • Mid
  • High
Peaking color
  • White
  • Yellow
  • Red
Exposure set. guide
  • On
  • Off
Displays a shutter speed/aperture guide at the bottom of the display.
Live view display
  • Setting effect on
  • Setting effect off
Whether or not images on the LCD/EVF reflect exposure, white balance, Picture Effects, and Creative Styles.
Page three [Return to 'options you'll want to know']
[Stills] Pre-AF
  • On
  • Off
Adjusts focus before you half-press the shutter release button
Zoom speed
  • Normal
  • Fast
Zoom setting
  • Optical zoom only
  • Clear image zoom
  • Digital zoom
Clear Image Zoom has slight image quality deterioration while standard digital zoom will greatly reduce quality. When image size is lower than Large a lossless 'Smart Zoom' is also available.
Finder/Monitor
  • Auto
  • Viewfinder
Turns the eye sensor on and off.
Release w/o card
  • Enable
  • Disable
[Stills] AEL w/shutter
  • Auto
  • On
  • Off
Page four [Return to 'options you'll want to know']
[Stills] Shutter type
  • Auto
  • Mechanical
  • Electronic
Electronic shutter allows for much faster shutter speeds (up to 1/32000 sec) than the mechanical shutter (1/2000 sec). The RX100 IV's sensor minimises rolling shutter.
Self-portrait/timer
  • On
  • Off
Starts a 3 second self-timer after the shutter release is pressed when the LCD is flipping up all the way.
Face registration
  • New registration
  • Order exchange
  • Delete
  • Delete all
Registered faces get priority when multiple faces are detected.
[Stills] Write date
  • On
  • Off
Page five [Return to 'options you'll want to know']
Function menu set.
  • Function upper 1-6
  • Function lower 1-6
Custom key set.
  • Control ring
  • Custom button
  • Center button
  • Left button
  • Right button
Zoom func. on ring
  • Standard
  • Quick
  • Step
Standard moves the lens smoothly, while quick is relative to how quickly you turn the dial. Step moves jumps to five preset positions: 24, 28, 35, 50, and 75mm equiv. For any of these to work you must assign zoom to the control ring in the previous menu item.
Movie button
  • Always
  • Movie mode only
Whether the movie record button is locked out in all modes except for video.
Wheel lock
  • Lock
  • Unlock
The latter allows you to lock out the rear dial when the Fn button is held down.