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Sony Cyber-shot RX10 IV Review - Performance

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Sony Cyber-shot RX10 Mark IV Performance

The performance section is where we look at the image quality performance of the camera. Additional sample photos and product shots are available in the Equipment Database, where you can add your own review, photos and product ratings.

Speed - We took a number of shots to test the camera's responsiveness, from switch on to first photo, shot to shot, focusing speed etc. We take a number of shots and then use the average to ensure accurate and consistent tests, making it easy to compare with other cameras.

Shutter Response <0.05secs
Wide - Focus / Shutter Response 0.075secs
Full zoom - Focus / Shutter Response  0.1secs
Switch on Time to Taking a Photo 1.7secs
Shot to Shot without Flash 0.35secs
Shot to Shot with Flash 0.9secs
Continuous Shooting - JPEG
(shots before slow down)
24fps (290 shots), 17fps with C-AF
Continuous Shooting - Flash 0.8secs
Continuous Shooting - RAW 24fps (110 shots)

*JPEG Fine, Sony UHS-II SD card.


Sony Cyber-shot RX10 IV Sample Photos

Sample Photos - Images have good colour, and exposure is reliable. Dynamic range is good, with the camera producing good results when left on default settings, with DRO (Dynamic Range Optimisation) on auto. If you want to shoot with extended dynamic range, you can shoot in raw, or use the HDR mode will combine a number of shots taken at different exposures, in-camera. Portraits taken with flash show no signs of red-eye, and the pop-up flash is a good distance away from the lens. 


Sony Cyber-shot RX10 IV Lens test images

Lens Performance - The camera's lens performs extremely well, whether shooting at the wide-angle end of the lens or the telephoto end. The aperture remains quite bright as you use the zoom, and drops to f/4.0 from 100mm equivalent - this is better than the FZ2000 (f/4.0 at 80mm), and G3X (f/4.0 at 45mm). Some vignetting is visible when shooting at the telephoto end of the lens, although this can easily be corrected in image processing software. Macro performance is good, with the lens letting you focus on subjects that are just 3cm away from the front of the lens. Distortion is automatically corrected in-camera, and we struggled to find any chromatic aberration or purple fringing in images. 


Sony Cyber-shot RX10 IV ISO test images

ISO Noise Performance - For the lowest noise and best detail possible we would recommend using ISO100 to ISO1600, as images have low levels of noise and good levels of detail. For lower light situations ISO3200 to ISO6400 still provides good results, although noise increases and detail is reduced. At ISO12800 noise levels become strong and we would recommend avoiding this setting if possible as colour saturation drops, although results may still be useful if resized and used on the web. To use ISO25600 you need to use the "Multi-Frame Noise Reduction" setting.


Sony Cyber-shot RX10 IV White-balance test images

White Balance Performance - Auto White Balance (AWB) performs well under tungsten (incandescent) lighting, with a slightly warm result. For more accurate results, the tungsten preset does an excellent job. The camera gives a warm result under mixed lighting. Results under fluorescent lighting are excellent when using the auto white balance, with the fluorescent presets giving a slight colour cast.


Sony Cyber-shot RX10 IV Digital filters

Digital Filters - There are a number of scene modes, creative effects, and dynamic range options. When shooting using the HDR mode, the camera will also keep the original non-HDR version of the image. Examples of the different effects can be seen above. The camera has an automatic panoramic mode, where you simply press the shutter release button and pan the camera from one side to the other, and it automatically stitches the image together as you pan. 


Video - The RX10 Mark IV can record 4K UHD video at 25fps (in PAL). If you want to record at 30fps or 24fps then you need to switch to NTSC, and once you've switched, the camera needs to format your memory card before you can start recording video. This could quickly become annoying if you have photos on the memory card already. High-speed video is recorded at a reduced resolution and then upscaled to FullHD (1920x1080) resolution. The higher the frame rate, the lower the resolution recorded. You can prioritise quality of length of the recording, and the camera lets you record 4 or 6 seconds of footage at the following resolutions:

  • 1000fps (resolution: 912x308)
  • 500fps (resolution: 1292x436) 
  • 250fps (resolution: 1824x1026)

When recording 4K video, ISO12800 is the highest ISO speed available. There are options for S-Log3 / S-Gamut3, Gamma Display Assist, Proxy recording, and Timecode / User Bit. 4K video quality is great, especially when viewed on a 4K device. 


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Photographs taken using the Sony Cyber-shot RX10 IV

In the distanceThe wonder that is the Orion Nebula.Sitting in the sunshineFollow the lightBlowing in the windColourful and brightCan I come in please?Rays of LightThe lone dandelionSunshine doorwayPutting his foot in it.....Winstonís worldPurple flowerColoursMoon shapes over the last weeks

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Niknut Plus
10 2.8k 82 United Kingdom
14 Nov 2017 4:43PM
Great concept !......but 1095gms, the same size as my Canon DSLR, smaller sensor size,
& £1800 ???????......sorry Sony, not for me !!.......lovely image quality though !.Smile
peterjones 18 5.1k 1 United Kingdom
14 Nov 2017 5:50PM
I would like to see some real world images at the 600mm end at various apertures.
pablophotographer 9 1.8k 396
15 Nov 2017 2:22AM
It was the benefit of having versatility, compactness and a fully sealed sensor which made these cameras a choice for people who travel or can not be spending a fortune of lenses. RX10 is a true monster in everything, performance, price, looks and heaviness. If early models were expensive, the IV is ultra expensive. Marketing-wise and design-wise Sony would have dropped them from production if they were market flops. On the fourth incarnation I think we must thank those who buy them and hope that our next lottery ticket will be a million dollar winner.
Euan65 3 316 United Kingdom
15 Nov 2017 7:39AM
It is very expensive, but you can buy a camera with similar specifications for much less, such as the Panasonic FZ2000 or FZ1000. These also have a 20MP 1" sensor, and it's quite probably exactly the same sensor as this one, the differences being in zoom range and video features.

Cameras like these are the future, really. The traditional SLR will inevitably fade away as fast, responsive and high resolution electronic viewfinders mean there is an alternative to the reflex mirror and prism system - the SLR system only exists because it's a convenient way of seeing exactly what the film or sensor sees through the lens, so if there is an accurate enough way of seeing this by directly interrogating the sensor then that's going to take over just as the camera phone displaced the cheap point and shoot.
peterjones 18 5.1k 1 United Kingdom
15 Nov 2017 8:07AM
If indeed the new Sony RX10 Mk IV is acceptable at the 600mm end nature photographers make take to it in droves; it would be a great travel nature camera however I suspect (but don't know) that you don't get nothing for nothing and I wont be parting with my big primes just yet.

I might pop into a camera shop sometime or maybe John Lewis as they have demo' cameras on show, pop one of my cards in and see if I can try it at 600.
Euan65 3 316 United Kingdom
15 Nov 2017 8:30AM

Quote:I suspect (but don't know) that you don't get nothing for nothing

That's true.

I used to have an FZ1000. If you're never printing larger than A3, or indeed if you're never printing, it's pretty much the equivalent of a fairly good DSLR. The problem with this kind of camera is that it of necessity tries to be all things to all men - you can't change the lens so you have to pack as much capability as possible into the one you've got.

The weaknesses of the super-zoom bridge are largely in the lens. They don't go ultra-wide, and image quality at the long end of the zoom range can suffer. That said, the FZ1000 is pretty good even at 400mm equivalent, although nobody would pretend it's as good as a full frame DSLR and a 400mm prime lens. There's no reason to suppose this one is much less good.

Another weakness is the difficulty in getting wide apertures, which obviously is constrained by the physics of lens design and manufacture. This can make subject isolation difficult, but you can to an extent work around that by shooting from further away and zooming in.

The great strength is that you do get a lot of camera for your money and it's a lot easier to carry around than an SLR and a bag full of lenses.
peterjones 18 5.1k 1 United Kingdom
12 Dec 2017 2:26PM

Quote:The great strength is that you do get a lot of camera for your money and it's a lot easier to carry around than an SLR and a bag full of lenses.

Absolutely true.
21 Dec 2018 9:15PM
It's very interesting to read the above comments about the RX10IV but they all seem to be from photographers that have not used one or probably not even seen one, are they expensive ? i guess they are, but compared to a heavy bag of kit similar to the kit I have just sold 2x K3 with grips, 5x lens big and small and other bits and bobs total value new at the time over £4000 and weighed in at nearly 10kgs, and came no where near the versatility of the RX10IV as for image quality it's incredible given the size of the camera, the biggest proportion of us by far print no bigger than A3ish or we view on our computers but it's capable of far bigger.
Dumping my Slr kit and buying this was without doubt a smart move on my part but of course one size does not fit all as with most things, but now I look forward to taking pictures and no longer return home with sore shoulders or dust on the sensor
Check out the YouTube test of a £15000 Canon camera and lens vs RX10IV they were surprised and so might you be!!
At the end of the day the best camera is the one you have with you hence the rise of cameras phones,
I will put some 600mm images up soon, in the mean time let's all get out there and keep on taking pics,

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