Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 IV Review

The series Sony RX100 arose three years ago with the goal of “bundling” a high photo quality in a compact and lightweight camera body, so as to satisfy the most demanding professionals and amateurs looking for a second camera to complement their DSLRs. The Sony RX100 IV is the fourth step in the evolution of this series, and is also a reference to the compact premium in this attractive market niche.

Compared to the previous incarnation RX100 III we find a faster shutter speed, a greater versatility when shooting video (including 4 k ultra high frequency), a removable electronic viewfinder and resolution.

The fourth installment of RX100 seems even more attractive and competitive, but Sony asks ben 1150 euros to buy, a price affordable for those on a well-stocked wallet and that he wants to invest in a product of its kind. However, price aside, this RX100 IV is a compact camera virtually perfect.

The quality of materials and finishes it lived up to expectations and confirms the attention of Sony in developing this platform for success.

The magnesium alloy frame, ultra compact size (101.6 × 41 × 58.1 mm) which, together with low weight in about three ounces (298 g including the battery and memory card) make it one of the most manageable cameras ever.

Surely this is one of the cornerstones of the series RX100, along with attractive design, the right mix between classic and modern, not to mention the strength: you can mistreat her, without adverse effects, aside from a certain delicacy rear screen, on which it is recommended to apply a protective film.

The RX100 IV is not only small, nice and solid, but also convenient to use that in the end is what counts: taking is safe even with one hand, with the pad back – at the thumb – a great help.
This compact high range is a real wonder even for not having given up the manual controls, recalling all the way the setup adopted on second generation professional series mirrorless A7.

With respect to the third series of RX100 has a texture on the aperture ring of the lens to improve the stability of grip. Obviously lacks the ability to customize the functions of some programmable buttons, very practical solution even though their small size will not be loved by users with big hands and fingers.

Control of Sony RX100 IV reaches the State of the art also and above all thanks to the removable EVF screen tilt and coupled.

The first is a 3 “TFT display with resolution of 1.28 Mp, ultra bright and defined, capable of displaying colors faithful and all the information you need before and after the shot. Can be tilted by about 45° downwards and ben 180° upward. This means that it is completely tipper and that you can click those indexed so so fashionable now, but a quality well higher than secured from smartphones. The auto-portrait mode screen swivel snap Ay in three-second delay, what else?

Impress is the retractable electronic viewfinder, from excellent quality: is OLED, with extremely high contrast and brightness, resolution of ben 2.36 Mp (almost double rear screen), anti-reflective coating Zeiss T *, total coverage of the scene, to compose it perfectly. Will be loved by those who love photographing in “traditional” way, in addition to naturally increase the stability in the shot. How to use requires a few steps necessary to pull back – after opening – but totally worth it.

Compact zoom

Zoom extension might be a sore subject of this miracle of miniaturisation in the field of photography. The lens Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T *, in fact, increased from 24 to 70 mm equivalent, with a modest range, by configuring the RX100 IV as a compact fit to travel, to portraits and street photography.

Those who want more can be considered the most powerful RX10 II, although this partial gap is fully offset by exceptional brightness, with a range of f:1 .8 -2.8.

But that’s not all: in fact, you can decide how fast it works, helping and not a little motorized zoom when shooting video.

The high-quality optics works hand in hand with an extremely fast and accurate autofocus, based on a phase-contrast system, which might seem a limit if compared to a more advanced and versatile hybrid approach that also includes the phase detection.

Sony has staked everything on speed that, in situations with high contrast and good lighting, never disappoint the most demanding users. Definitely a hybrid AF system will represent one of the upgrade on a future RX100 V. ..

Than the third generation there is a noticeable improvement in sequential shooting: the new design of the CMOS sensor, 1 “with built-in DRAM chip allows you to manage a high volume of data in a reduced time, carrying the burst to the exceptional value of 16 fps (Sony RX100 III stopped to” only “10 fps). You can capture high-quality sequences of 44 shots in JPEG, otherwise 29 RAW images with the flurry reduced to 9 fps (using class 10 SDXC memory or better).
Love the light

The 20 megapixel CMOS sensor 1 “well in a refreshed design bundles from the previous incarnation, with which it shares only the resolution. Adopt a scheme in layers, with circuits placed behind the surface and is no longer in the side as on the sensor RX100 III. This approach, as already seen, helps a lot in the operating speed, with a noticeable improvement in terms of sheer quality of scanned images.

The best performances from Sony RX100 IV are obtained under high lighting – natural or manmade – low ISO values: the dynamic range is wide, with a delightful reading light and clarity to primacy in the category.

Who likes to shoot in RAW can really pull off each image even smallest details, although the JPEG shots do not disappoint in this regard.

Up to ISO 800 performance remain strong for signal-to-noise ratio and the decay is obvious, and it could not be otherwise for a compact camera with from 1 “, which although of excellent quality fails to capture as much light as a wider and more capable APS-C, without troubling a Full Frame.

Always working in RAW, and using the optimized version of Capture One software Express for Sony, you manage to get good results, not only for on-screen display but also for printing up to A4 size. Over 1600 ISO noise, luminance, takes over, especially with the detail that holds up, requiring a longer and deeper work in post production to “Save” the shot.

The reasonable limits of this otherwise handsome RX100 IV is a value of ISO 3200, beyond which the images are virtually unusable.

3 stop ND filter deserves a nod, for the possibility of reducing the amount of light reaching the sensor: longer shutter speeds can be used with strong natural light, to suggestive images. The HDR capability (customizable) helps most extreme in backlit or when he wants to greatly expand the dynamic range.
Power video

When it comes to video, instead you return to a near complete satisfaction. Also in this case the credit is CMOS sensor new design.

The resolution passes from 1080 p of RX100 III at 4 k, with bit rates up to 100 Mbps in ben XAVC S format (need a class 10 SDXC card or higher, and with over 32 Gb capacity). But few have computers capable of managing video streams at this level, so it is better to focus on other features, far more appealing.

In fact, RX100 IV enables shooting in super slow-motion at 1000 fps, for four seconds at a resolution of 800 × 270 pixels, or 2 “to 1,136 × 384 pixels. You can register with a still high rate of 250 fps, Full HD format, in addition to the more traditional 25 and 50 fps (which did not offer the fun and excitement of a “slow motion” quality).

The shots are extremely flexible, being able to decide whether to give priority to quality or autofocus, and the ability to capture still images with resolution of 17 megapixels.

The Sony RX100 IV also offers connectivity and ancillary features. Integrates Wi-Fi and NFC, for a quick and stable connection with a mobile device on which you have installed the app – for Android and iOS – PlayMemories Mobile: it starts from the remote control to get to the transfer and sharing online photos and videos.

Sony also gives the option to install the presets PlayMemories Camera Apps directly on the camera, thus expanding the scene preset for users less practical. Just need a PC or Wi-Fi camera.

Conclusions

The Sony RX100 IV is a top-of-the-range compact stupendous. Enhances the experience of the previous incarnation, especially in terms of operating speed and video capabilities.

Will appeal to advanced amateurs and professionals who want to shoot with a miniature replica of a mirrorless reflex – or – to a completely different caliber.

The overall performance and extending the zoom makes it ideal holiday, both in the city’s outdoor, where to acquire quality photos and have fun with the exceptional versatility in the video.

The price you pay is high, like previous incarnations, but pleasure and satisfaction in using largely repay the investment.

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