The Sony RX100 IV camera achieves excellence versatility, speed in the shooting and image quality.
The Sony RX100 series began three years ago with the aim of ” bundling ” a high photo quality in an extremely compact and lightweight camera body, so as to satisfy the amateurs and the most demanding professionals looking for a second camera to be attached to its reflex. The Sony RX100 IV is the fourth step in the evolution of this series, and is also one of the premium compact reference in this attractive market niche.
Compared to the previous Sony RX100 III incarnation, we find one more quick click, superior versatility in video footage (including 4K and ultra-high frequency), a removable electronic viewfinder and high resolution.
The fourth chapter of the RX100 looks even more attractive and competitive, but Sony asks well 1,150 Euros for the purchase, at a price within the reach of those who have a well-stocked wallets and who wants to invest in a product of this kind. However, money aside, this RX100 IV is an almost perfect compact camera.
Sony RX100 IV – Design and Functions
The quality of materials and finishes it lived up to expectations and confirms the attention of Sony in the development of this successful platform. The magnesium alloy structure is ultra compact size (101.6 × 58.1 × 41 mm) which, together with low weight in about three ounces (298 g, including battery and memory card), make it one of more manageable cameras ever.
Surely this is one of the pillars of the RX100 series, along with eye-catching aesthetics, the right mix of classic and modern, without losing strength: you can mistreat, without negative repercussions, apart from a certain delicacy of the rear screen, on which it is recommended to apply a protective film.
The Sony RX100 IV is not only small, beautiful and solid, but also comfortable to use it in the end is what counts: the outlet is safe even with one hand, with the back pad – at the thumb – a big help. This high-end compact is also a real surprise at the fact that he had given up the manual controls, which recall in every way the setup adopted on professional mirrorless the second-generation A7 series.
Compared to the third series of the RX100, it has a texture on the lens ring to improve the stability of grip in hand. Obviously not miss the opportunity to customize the functions of some programmable keys, very practical solution, although their small size will not be loved by users with larger hands and fingers.
Control of the Sony RX100 IV is a state-thanks to, above all coupled tilting screen and removable electronic viewfinder.
The first is a TFT 3″ display with a resolution of 1.28 MP, ultra bright and defined, capable of displaying accurate colors and all the information you need before and after shooting. It is tilted about 45° downwards and 180° upward. This means that it is totally folded, and that it is possible to click those selfies so fashionable now, but to a much higher quality than that provided by smartphones. The screen tilt automatically enables the self-portrait mode with a shutter delay of three seconds, ask what else?
The impressive feature is the retractable electronic viewfinder, the excellent quality: is type OLED, with very high contrast and brightness, resolution 2.36 Mp well (almost twice the rear screen), Zeiss T anti-reflection coating, full coverage of the scene to compose perfectly. He will be loved by those who love to take photographs in ” traditional, ” in addition to naturally increase the stability in the shot. The operating procedure takes a couple of steps – after the opening you need to remove the back – but definitely worth the effort.
The zoom range could be a sore point of this miracle of miniaturization in the field of photography. The Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T increased from 24 to 70 mm equivalent, with a modest range by configuring the Sony RX100 IV as a compact suitable for travel, portraits and street photography.
Those who want more can be considered the most powerful RX10 II, although this partial gap is fully compensated by the exceptional brightness, with a range of f: 1.8-2.8. But not all: you can choose the speed at which it works the motorized zoom, helping and not just in the video footage.
Extreme Speed : The optical quality of working hand in hand with an extremely fast and accurate auto focus, based on a phase contrast system, which might seem a limit when compared to a more advanced and versatile hybrid approach that also includes the phase detection.
Sony has staked everything on speed, in high-contrast situations and good lighting, does not disappoint the most demanding users. Definitely, a hybrid AF system will represent one of the upgrades on future RX100 V.
Compared to the third generation it is a significant improvement in the shot in sequence: the new design of the CMOS sensor 1 ” with integrated DRAM chip will handle a high volume of data in a short time, bringing the barrage exceptional value 16 fps (Sony RX100 III stopped at ” only ” 10 fps). You can capture sequences of 44 shots in high-quality JPEG, or 29 RAW format with reduced gust to 9 fps (using SDXC memories of 10 or higher class).
The CMOS sensor 1″ packs a full 20 megapixel in a new design compared to the previous embodiment, in which only shares the resolution. Adopts a layered scheme, with the circuits placed behind the surface and no longer at the sides as for the BSI sensor of RX100 III. This approach, as we have seen, helps a lot in operating speed, an improvement noticeable also in terms of sheer quality of scanned images.
The best performance by Sony RX100 IV are obtained in bright places – natural or artificial – with low ISO values: the dynamic range is wide, with an appreciable reading of light and clarity from leadership in the category. Those who like to shoot RAW images can really pull out of any image even the tiniest details, even if the JPEG shots do not disappoint from this point of view.
Up to ISO 800 performance remain solid for the signal/noise ratio, then the decay is evident, and it could not be otherwise for a compact sensor 1″, which although of excellent quality fails to capture so much light as a more large and capable APS-C, without resorting to a full frame.
Always working in RAW, and using the optimized version of the Capture One Express software to Sony, they can achieve significant results, not only for on-screen viewing but also for printing up to A4 size. Besides ISO 1600 the noise, especially the luminance, takes over, with the detail that holds, requiring a longer and deeper work in post production to ” save ” the shot.
Reasonable limitation of this otherwise handsome Sony RX100 IV has a value of ISO 3200, after which the images are virtually unusable. The 3-stop ND filter deserves a nod for the possibility of reducing the amount of light reaching the sensor: You can use slower shutter speeds with strong natural light, evocative images. Even the functionality HDR (customizable) helps in extreme backlit or when you want to greatly expand the dynamic range.
Video output : When it comes to video, it returns to a near-total satisfaction. Again the merit of CMOS sensor by the new design. The resolution changes from 1080p to 4K RX100 III, at bit rates up to 100 Mbps in well XAVC S format (need an SDXC card of 10 or higher class, and with over 32 GB of capacity). But very few they have computers capable of handling video streams at this level, so it is better to focus on other features, far more appealing.
The Sony RX100 IV enables shooting in super slow-motion at 1,000 frames per second, for four seconds at a resolution of 800 × 270 pixels, or 2″ to 1,136 × 384 pixels. You can register with a still high frequency of 250 fps in full HD, in addition to more traditional 25 and 50 fps (but do not offer the fun and excitement of a quality ” slow motion “). The shots are extremely flexible, being able to decide whether to give priority to the quality and autofocus, plus the ability to capture still images up to 17 megapixels resolution.
Advanced features : The Sony RX100 IV also offers connectivity and additional features to record. Integrates Wi-Fi and NFC, for a fast and stable connection with a mobile device where you installed the app – for Android and iOS – PlayMemories Mobile: starting from the remote control to get to the transfer and online sharing of the shots and video. Sony also gives you the option to install the presets PlayMemories Camera Apps directly on the camera, thus expanding the preset scenes for Less-experienced users. Just it needs a PC or Wi-Fi camera.
Sony RX100 IV – Conclusions
The Sony RX100 IV is a high compact really extraordinary range. It enhances the experience of the previous incarnation, especially in terms of operating speed and video capabilities. Always it aimed at advanced amateurs and professionals who want to take when they have a miniature replica of an SLR – or mirrorless – of a completely different caliber.
The overall performance and the zoom range makes it ideal for holidays, in the city and outdoor, where to acquire quality photos and have fun with the exceptional versatility in the field of video. The price to pay is high, like previous incarnations, but the pleasure and satisfaction in using fully repay the investment.