Sony Cyber-shot DSC RX100 IV Review – The RX-series from Sony is regarded as one of the top performers in the compact cameras segment. The RX100 and subsequent upgrades have improved with each iteration and the latest RX100 IV takes the camera’s video capability a step further.
COMPACT YET STURDY
The RX100 IV looks and feels almost identical to the RX100 III. The outer shell has a robust build with a combination of metal and engineering plastic. The tiny built-in pop-up viewfinder and flash fits snugly into its assigned slot and springs up when the flash release lever is pulled. Though we favour a slow, carefully damped release of flash, we doubt if Sony could have accommodated additional gears and springs in this little compartment. However, given the mechanism, there is an inherent flaw that is consistently observed in these accessories propped on simple hinges — exposed cables or circuit strips.
And in the case of the RX100 IV, the metal hinge appears to press against these strips when the flash is lowered into the slot. A similar exposed strip is found in all tilt-only LCD screens, and the RX100 IV is no exception. The LCD at the back measures 3-inches in size and is sharp at 1.2 million dots. Although the display is not touchscreen enabled, the screen is complemented with a jog dial surrounded by play, cancel, function and menu buttons.
That said, The RX100 IV is a joy to use. It’s compact enough to fit in one’s hand, though one thing that works against the size is the use of small buttons, which users with large fingers may find a bit difficult to operate. The camera is easy to use and has an intuitive interface.
The tiny EVF helps in low-light situations to eliminate camera shake. Propping up the viewfinder will switch on the camera. Images appear crisp both in the viewfinder and the LCD with legible information display. Given the size, the camera lacks a proper grip, thus making it slippery. Hence, we would advice users to attach and use the wrist strap without fail.
The improvements of the RX100 IV over the RX100 III are mainly related to 4K video recording and highspeed image capture. But to enjoy these advantages, you need to use an SDXC Class 10 or UHS-I compatible memory card. 4K videos are limited to five minutes per video where the camera uses XAVC S format to record 4K. Users can even opt for AVCHD or MP4 format to record high-definition video. On using it, we found the Autofocus fast and precise, and could lock on to the subject even under low light.
Out-of-the-box JPEG images were sharp, except at f/11, and this remained consistent throughout the zoom range. Darkening of corners was controlled very well. We did not observe darkening even at f/1.8 at the wide-angle end. The lens eliminated Flare and Ghosting, but we observed a tinge of purple fringing in strong against-the-light shots. All metering modes performed well as expected.
Surprisingly, we observed barrel distortion from around 55mm up to the telephoto end, while there was no distortion at the wide-angle end. Images in the LCD and viewfinder appeared sharp, though it was cumbersome to use the small EVF.
The EVF eyepiece optics is also treated with ZEISS T Coating to reduce unwanted reflections for clear corner-to-corner visibility. The camera reproduced colours true to the original, especially under natural light. Slight cast produced under artificial light sources were easy to remove in post-processing. The RX100 IV supports ISO sensitivity up to 12800, which frankly, is not usable. Images, however, noise-free up to ISO 1600, while slight noise was observed at ISO 3200 and 6400.
The camera also comes with camera modes like Sweep Panorama and variety of scenes like Fireworks, Gourmet, Pet, Sunset and Portrait. Couple of other interesting features include wireless connectivity and PlayMemories Camera apps.
Built-in Wi-fi and NFC makes it easier for smartphones to connect for easier sharing and act as a remote shutter button while the PlayMemories Camera apps enhance the camera with extra functions. Do note, some of these camera apps need to be purchased separately.
The RX100 IV is a great little camera that takes excellent pictures and videos but at an MRP of 69,990 Rupee, we would consider this quite high for a compact camera. with a 24-70mm lens.
- 4K Video recording
- WiFi and NFC
- Advanced Steady Shot
- Only 5 min of 4K Video capture
- Slippery Body
- Too Pricey
Sony Cyber-shot DSC RX100 IV Specifications
- SENSOR EXMOR RS CMOS
- SENSOR SIZE 13.2mm x 8.8mm
- LENS TYPE 24-70mm equivalent ZEISS Vario-Sonnar T* Lens
- EFFECTIVE PIXELS 20.1MP LCD 3-inch 1.28m-dot ISO 125-12800
- FOCUS MODE Direct Manual, Manual, AF-S, AF-C