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Sony Unveils Ultra-Fast RX10 IV Digital Camera

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Sony keeps getting faster and faster as it has set yet another speed record with today’s release of the Cyber-shot DSC-RX10 IV Digital Camera. This long-zoom model is known for its versatile 24-600mm equivalent f/2.4-4 Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T* lens and ultra-fast 1" Exmor RS stacked CMOS sensor which combine to provide a phenomenal all-in-one imaging solution for both stills and video. This model steps things up from its predecessor by implementing an updated BIONZ X processor with front-end LSI to achieve the faster speeds which are made evident in the camera’s ability to acquire focus in just 0.03 seconds and shoot continuously at 24 fps with full AF/AE tracking.

Many of the updates seen here will be familiar to those who followed the RX100 V’s announcement last year, especially the implementation of a Fast Hybrid AF System with 315 phase-detect points covering 65% of the frame. There are many other improvements to this camera, however, as it received High-density Tracking AF technology which was first seen on Sony’s interchangeable lens cameras which helps ensure accurate focusing on fast moving subjects. Other related functions have been enhanced as well, including Eye AF and the Focus Range Limiter while the introduction of a 3” 1.44m-dot tilting LCD touchscreen enables new Touch Focus and Touch Pad functions for intuitive control over the focus area. On top of this, users can enjoy 24 fps shooting at full resolution for up to 249 frames.

These changes will improve the RX10 IV’s video functions as well, with up to 2x faster focusing when recording UHD 4K video. The camera also uses a full-pixel readout of the sensor for sharper, more detailed 4K video and users can enjoy Full HD recording at up to 120 fps. Some other notable additions to the video settings include S-Log3/S-Gamut3, a Gamma Display Assist, proxy recording, and more. High Frame Rate options of up to 960 fps make a return in the RX10 IV with improved quality.

Operation and handling has not changed much with the dust- and moisture-resistant body making a return. It has received Bluetooth connectivity in addition to Wi-Fi for creating a constant connection between a mobile device and the camera for location information. The menu has been revamped with color coding and an enhanced “My Menu” for easier navigation of settings, including a new Movie Settings menu.

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I added a wishlist and plan to buy one to use for travel, hiking and birding. I did test a RX10 III owned by a friend and with the latest AF improvements this model should to be a good solution for shooting birds in flight. It's also much lighter than the current collection of bodies and glass I have to haul into the field. The RX series still has problems and omissions mentioned by others here and continues to use Sony's poorly thought out menu system. Since the camera is sealed and weatherproofed, the bridge concept should eliminate or minimize the potential for getting particulate on the sensor that I have experienced with interchangeable lens, mirrorless cameras from Sony and other manufacturers. The bridge concept should prove to be a good solution for those who travel to areas where winds, blowing sand, and moisture can foul a camera sensor. 

For those who will not buy one because the camera does not support the larger Micro 4/3 or any other larger sensor, you should perform a few calculations to learn the physics involved in mounting a 24-600mm f/2.8-4.0 zoom on a camera with that sensor. It would be a heavy beast. Applause to Zeiss for another remarkable lens design.

However, I am going to buy this camera with the full knowledge that Sony will release a new model next year and make my investment worthless within a year. Also, Sony will only release new firmware updates for the short life cycle of the camera model. I fully expect to be annoyed and frustrated by Sony's worthless customer support should it be needed. Sony's frequent camera release cycles to work around hardware problems and negative reviews (they just come out with a new model or change the camera name to work-around negative review feedback). My positive feedback for Sony as a company is that they are innovating at a progressively faster pace. However, I'm still leaning on my Canon DSLR bodies and L glass for professional work. 

The RX10 III is a good camera.Here are some of the things I would like to see improved

1. A second 1/4-20 tripod mount under the lens for better balance
2. In HFR mode the standby button should toggle between 'standy' and 'record' It's a pain to find that tint red button at times
3. The focus mode switch should be in 'inny' instead of an 'outy' or some kind of mechanism to prevent unintentional changes.
4. Getting the subject to come into focus in HFR is just painful 
5. That Iris ring is a pain to fit my fingers around. There should be a programmable rotary knob somewhere more convenient, like where the focus mode switch is.
6. I cannot find a way to disable that annoying home-screen when I switch modes. It wastes valuable time having to get rid of it by pressing other buttons.

Hate to be so picky but when you have such a great little camera at such a reasonable price, I wish minor things like these didn't have to prevent taking better advantage of the camera's features.

focus  at  ussing the the 600 mm, is not accurate and slow in autofocus. I´m very disappointed, with this camera. I do own all the previous Sony models.  close-up autofocus is not god. If I try to take a picture of a high object when using the zoom., in occasions the screen turn totally black, I have to turn off the camera, and re'start all over.

As an owner of an old version SONY named HX400V, I am quite disapointed with the technical support from Sony, as the camera presents an error message theat cannot be fixed. Just because of this issue I will no longer acquire products from this manufacturer.

Mixed bag of a camera... typical Sony. Long spec list, finally they put an ancient touch screen in the 4th generation (wooow) but no built in ND filter. All this for ~$1700... no thanks...

I do videos most of the time. Usually 2 hour in length. I have held back on these DSLRs because they are limited to around a half hour before shutting down. How long a clip will this one do?

Hi Robert,

This camera follows the same restrictions as many DSLRs of 30 minutes. This this type of bracket I would recommend looking at Panasonic's GH5 or GH4 (with V-Log upgrade), both of which lack the 30 minute restriction.

Did I miss it, was there some kind of vibration control? That is a pretty long lens without that help.

Yes, there has always been Sony steadyshot which worked well on the rx10iii with the exact same lens.

Hi Al,

Yes, the lens does features Optical SteadyShot. It is the same as the previous model the RX10 III with 4.5 stops of compensation. If you are looking for more information there is more on the item's product page here.

I want one! Wow! Just wonder about low light performance. Sure with it had 60 fps @ 4K.

Dave A -

Totally agree regarding the 4K / 60fps. Even the iPhone X will be able to shoot UHD @ 60fps. Always, baffles me at to why camera manufacturers can't implement this ... where as Apple can do so ... in a smartphone.

Is there any improvement on macro cababilites

The reason Sony did not put a 4/3" sensor in the RX10 iv is that the image circle projected by the 24-600 mm (equivalent) lens of the RX10 will not illuminate the entire area of a 4/3" sensor.  The size of a 24-600 mm (equivalent) lens of equal aperture to lens of the RX10 iv would render a camera with a 4/3" sensor not partable for the average user. 

Why is Sony not putting a 4/3 sensor in this camera, especial at this price, too bad, I would have bought one but ?????? size matters! 

"Size matters" that's exactly why they didn't put a 4/3 sensor in it. Same lens specs on that would be too big to carry. I would have rather a 4/3 sensor with a constant f4 24-300mm.

How does a camera like this do in low-light? E.g, in comparison to a Canon 80D with 1.2/4 lens?

I have the 80D and the RX10 iii. The RX10 iii does considerably better than the Canon 80D. The Sony in 4K is much less noisy than the Canon. This camera is no joke one of our favorite cameras to shoot with. Now that it has touchscreen autofocus and faster autofocusing, we will probably be trying to purcahse this new one. 

Ben thanks for your thoughts it helped me know that I shoudl pre-order. Lead the way Sony!

Unfortunately it only does better in low light in video, on stills it is about a stop and a half to two stops noisier. 

Hi Joel,

I would have to agree with SamSantana's analysis. It may perform better in low light for video, but the smaller sensor likely puts it at least a stop lower than the 80D's APS-C sensor.

Still no ND filters?

This is a big omission.

Hi Eugen,

Unfortunately no built-in ND on the RX10 IV. There is one on the RX10 II, so I wonder if it has something to do with the construction of the longer lens on the III and IV that is limiting a similar implementation.

The main reason I did not buy any of this series is because Sony keeps pumping out new models one after another. If I buy one, it will be outdated within a year to a year and a half. If you pump out models that fast, something must be wrong with the previous model or Sony feels that a new model is justified. At nearly $1700.00 the Sony RX10 IV is not inexpensive. Compaired to it's metal bodies, this camera is not high on my list of purchases. I prefer the the Sony A77II and A99II because of a wider range of lens selections available. I do like Sony and I do like the innovations that they have brought out but $1700.00 for a plastic body and plastic gears on that hugh zoom lens spells trouble for a camera that I intend to use hard. For now I will stick with the through the mirror DSLR Sony cameras. Good luck with you newest incarnation of the RX10 series.

Agree with you 100%  One could either say that it is a great bridge camera or a lousy $1700.00 camera.  I think the latter statement is correct

The lens is calibrated for the camera and sensor specifically. The DSLRs with various lenses actually lacked the IQ of the RX100 III bridge for me despite it's 1 inch sensor. As the DSLR's model's sensor changes so does the IQ. They sit at home and that baby goes everywhere with me. 

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