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Sony Cyber-shot RX10 IV review

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Introduction

The Sony DSC-RX10 IV is premium superzoom bridge-camera (DSLR-like form factor) with a 24-600mm F2.4-4 equivalent zoom lens and a 20MP 1″-type stacked BSI-CMOS sensor: the same used by the Sony RX100 V. This new sensor brings phase detect autofocus to the RX10 series for the first time, adding the depth-awareness that is important for focusing long lenses. The camera is also faster than its predecessor and can shoot at 24 fps with AF and auto exposure (compared to 5 fps).

The processor is borrowed from the flagship Sony a9, which should mean excellent subject tracking. In short, this camera packs speed, AF ability and lens reach into a convenient package, not to mention 4K video. So is it the most capable all-in-one camera on the market? Read on…

Key specs:

  • 20MP 1″-type stacked BSI-CMOS sensor
  • 24-600mm equivalent F2.4-4 stabilized zoom lens
  • 24 fps burst shooting in JPEG + Raw, with full AF and AE
  • 315-point phase-detection autofocus system covers 65% of frame
  • Detailed 4K video capture with well-controlled rolling shutter
  • High frame rate video capture
  • Touchscreen
  • Bluetooth connectivity
  • Updated menus

We feel like this camera will appeal to a variety of users including those seeking an all-in-one camera with serious reach for casual shooting, travel or vacationing. But advanced videographers may also find this camera tempting thanks to a laundry list of video features and good quality UHD capture.

Key features compared

The body is almost identical to that of its predecessor, using the same outstanding lens. However the RX10 IV offers a touchscreen that can be used as a touchpad for placing AF points with your eye to the finder or for selecting a point of focus in still or video mode. There are a few other minor differences between the two cameras as well:

Sony RX10 IV Sony RX10 III Sony RX10 II Panasonic FZ1000 Panasonic
FZ2500
MSRP $1699 $1499 $1199 $899 $1199
Sensor 20MP 1″-type stacked CMOS sensor 20MP 1″-type stacked CMOS 20MP 1″-type stacked CMOS 20MP 1″-type BSI-CMOS 20MP 1″-type BSI-CMOS
ISO range (native) 100-12800 100-12800 100-12800 125-12800 125-12800
Lens (35mm equivalent) 24-600mm F2.4-4 24-600mm F2.4-4 24-200mm F2.8 25-400mm F2.8-4 24-480mm F2.8-4.5
Built-in ND filter No No Yes No Yes
AF system Phase detect Contrast detect Contrast detect Contrast detect Contrast detect
AF points 315-point 25-pt 25-pt 49-pt 49-pt
Fastest shutter speed

1/32,000 sec
(e-shutter), 1/2000 (mechanical)

1/32,000 sec
(e-shutter),
1/2000 (mechanical)

1/32000 sec
(e-shutter),
1/2000 (mechanical)

1/16000 sec
(e-shutter), 1/4000 (mechanical)

1/16000 sec
(e-shutter), 1/4000 (mechanical)

EVF resolution 2.36m-dot 2.36m-dot 2.36m-dot 2.36m-dot 2.36m-dot
LCD 3″ 1.44M-dot tilting 3″ 1.23M-dot tilting 3″ 1.23M-dot tilting 3″ 921k-dot fully articulated 3″ 1.04M-dot fully articulating
Touscreen Yes No No No Yes
Burst rate 24 fps 14 fps 14 fps 12 fps 12 fps
Video 4K/30p 4K/30p 4K/30p 4K/30p 4K/30p
High-speed video Up to 960 fps @ 800 x 270 Up to 960 fps @ 800 x 270 Up to 960 fps @ 800 x 270 120 fps @ 1920 x 1080 120 fps @ 1920 x 1080
Wi-Fi Yes, with NFC and Bluetooth Yes, with NFC Yes, with NFC Yes Yes
Battery life (CIPA) 400 shots 420 shots 400 shots 360 shots 350 shots
Weather sealing Yes Yes Yes No No
Dimensions 133 x 94 x 145mm 133 x 94 x 127mm 129 x 88 x 102mm 137 x 99 x 131mm 138 x 102 x 135 mm
Weight 1095 g 1051 g 813 g 831 g 915 g

As you can see, the RX10 IV stacks up nicely next to its siblings and direct competitors. For someone primarily concerned with stills, the RX10 IV seems like the obvious choice, especially if you plan on shooting action: it’s got the fastest burst rate of the bunch and is the only camera in its class with phase detection.

But for videographers, the FZ2500 with its fully-articulating touchscreen, built-in variable ND filter and similar zoom range might make it the more sensible choice, especially given its lower price point (though we found its lens performance inferior to its Sony counterparts). You don’t get the cool, super-high-speed frame rate options offered by the Sony cameras, but 1080/120p is not too shabby.

Availability

The RX10 IV is available now for an MSRP of $1699.

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