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Canon M5 versus Sony RX10 IV

The Canon EOS M5 and the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10 IV are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in September 2016 and September 2017. The M5 is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera, while the RX10 IV is a fixed lens compact. The cameras are based on an APS-C (M5) and an one-inch (RX10 IV) sensor. The Canon has a resolution of 24 megapixel, whereas the Sony provides 20 MP. Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their size, their sensors, their features, and their reception by expert reviewers.

Body comparison: Canon M5 vs Sony RX10 IV

The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Canon M5 and the Sony RX10 IV. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three consecutive perspectives from the front, the top, and the back are available. All width, height and depth dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter. You can also use the toggle button to switch to a percentage comparison if you prefer that the measures are being expressed in relative terms (in this case, the camera on the left – the M5 – represents 100 percent across all the size and weight measures).

Compare Canon M5 vs Sony RX10 IV
Compare M5 versus RX10 IV top
Compare M5 and RX10 IV rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Sony RX10 IV is notably larger (21 percent) than the Canon M5. It is noteworthy in this context that the RX10 IV is splash and dust-proof, while the M5 does not feature any corresponding weather-sealing.

The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete and possibly misleading, as the RX10 IV has a lens build in, whereas the M5 is an interchangeable lens camera that requires a separate lens. Attaching the latter will add extra weight and bulk to the setup.

Concerning battery life, the M5 gets 295 shots out of its LP-E17 battery, while the RX10 IV can take 400 images on a single charge of its NP-FW50 power pack.

The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the two cameras alongside a broader set of comparators. If you would like to visualize and compare a different camera combination, just use the right or left arrows in the table to switch to the respective camera. Alternatively, you can also navigate to the CAM-parator app and make your selection from the full list of cameras there.

Camera Body Specifications
  Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life
(CIPA)
Weather
Sealing
(yes/no)
Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Camera
Model
Canon M5» 116 mm 89 mm 61 mm 427 g 295 n Sep 2016 979 i i Canon M5
Sony RX10 IV« 133 mm 94 mm 145 mm 1095 g 400 Y Sep 2017 1,699 i i Sony RX10 IV
Canon 77D« » 131 mm 100 mm 76 mm 540 g 600 n Feb 2017 899 i i Canon 77D
Canon 200D« » 122 mm 93 mm 70 mm 453 g 650 n Jun 2017 549 i i Canon 200D
Canon G1 X Mark III« » 115 mm 78 mm 51 mm 399 g 200 Y Oct 2017 1,299 i i Canon G1 X Mark III
Canon G9 X Mark II« » 98 mm 58 mm 31 mm 206 g 235 n Jan 2017 529 i i Canon G9 X Mark II
Canon M6« » 112 mm 68 mm 45 mm 390 g 295 n Feb 2017 779 i i Canon M6
Canon M100« » 108 mm 67 mm 35 mm 302 g 295 n Aug 2017 499 i i Canon M100
Canon 760D« » 132 mm 101 mm 78 mm 565 g 440 n Feb 2015 849- i Canon 760D
Canon M3« » 111 mm 68 mm 44 mm 366 g 250 n Feb 2015 679- i Canon M3
Fujifilm X-T20« » 118 mm 83 mm 41 mm 383 g 350 n Jan 2017 899 i i Fujifilm X-T20
Fujifilm X-Pro2« » 141 mm 83 mm 46 mm 495 g 350 Y Jan 2016 1,699 i i Fujifilm X-Pro2
Nikon D5600« » 124 mm 97 mm 70 mm 465 g 970 n Nov 2016 699 i i Nikon D5600
Nikon D5500« » 124 mm 97 mm 70 mm 420 g 820 n Jan 2015 899- i Nikon D5500
Sony A6300« » 120 mm 67 mm 49 mm 404 g 400 Y Feb 2016 999- i Sony A6300
Sony A6500« » 120 mm 67 mm 53 mm 453 g 350 Y Oct 2016 1,399 i i Sony A6500
Sony RX10 III« » 133 mm 94 mm 127 mm 1051 g 420 Y Mar 2016 1,499 i i Sony RX10 III

The camera’s price is obviously a critical decision-making factor. The retail prices at the time of the camera’s release place the model in the market relative to other models in the producer’s line-up and the competition. Usually, retail prices stay at first close to the launch price, but after several months, discounts become available. Later in the product cycle and, in particular, when the replacement model is about to appear, further discounting and stock clearance sales often push the camera price considerably down. Then, after the new model is out, very good deals can frequently be found on the pre-owned market.

 

Sensor comparison: Canon M5 vs Sony RX10 IV

The imaging sensor is at the core of digital cameras and its size is one of the main determining factors of image quality. All other things equal, a large sensor will have larger individual pixel-units that offer better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and richer color-depth than smaller pixels in a sensor of the same technological generation. Furthermore, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more possibilities to use shallow depth-of-field in order to isolate a subject from the background. On the downside, larger sensors tend to be associated with larger, more expensive camera bodies and lenses.

Of the two cameras under consideration, the Canon M5 features an APS-C sensor and the Sony RX10 IV an one-inch sensor. The sensor area in the RX10 IV is 65 percent smaller. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 1.6 and 2.7. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.

Canon M5 and Sony RX10 IV sensor measures

With 24MP, the M5 offers a higher resolution than the RX10 IV (20MP), but the M5 nevertheless has larger individual pixels (pixel pitch of 3.72μm versus 2.41μm for the RX10 IV) due to its larger sensor. However, the RX10 IV is a somewhat more recent model (by 11 months) than the M5, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time that enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixels.

M5 versus RX10 IV MP

Since 2007, DXO Mark has published sensor performance measurements that have been derived using a consistent methodology. This service determines an overall sensor rating, as well as sub-scores for low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and color depth ("DXO Portrait"). The adjacent table reports on the physical sensor characteristics and the outcomes of the DXO sensor quality tests for a sample of comparator-cameras.

Sensor Characteristics
  Camera
Model
Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
Camera
Model
Canon M5» APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p23.412.4126277Canon M5
Sony RX10 IV« 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p----Sony RX10 IV
Canon 77D« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p23.613.397178Canon 77D
Canon 200D« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p23.613.4104179Canon 200D
Canon G1 X Mark III« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p----Canon G1 X Mark III
Canon G9 X Mark II« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p21.912.552265Canon G9 X Mark II
Canon M6« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p----Canon M6
Canon M100« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p23.512.9127278Canon M100
Canon 760D« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/30p22.612.091570Canon 760D
Canon M3« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/30p22.811.8116972Canon M3
Fujifilm X-T20« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40004K/30p----Fujifilm X-T20
Fujifilm X-Pro2« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p----Fujifilm X-Pro2
Nikon D5600« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.114.0130684Nikon D5600
Nikon D5500« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.114.0143884Nikon D5500
Sony A6300« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40004K/30p24.413.7143785Sony A6300
Sony A6500« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40004K/30p24.513.7140585Sony A6500
Sony RX10 III« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p23.112.647270Sony RX10 III

Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but can also record movies. The two cameras under consideration both have sensors whose read-out speed is fast enough to capture moving pictures, but the RX10 IV provides a better video resolution than the M5. It can shoot movie footage at 4K/30p, while the Canon is limited to 1080/60p.

 

Feature comparison: Canon M5 vs Sony RX10 IV

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The two cameras under consideration are similar with respect to both having an electronic viewfinder. However, the one in the M5 offers a slightly higher resolution than the one in the RX10 IV (2360k vs 2359k dots). The following table reports on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Canon M5, the Sony RX10 IV, and comparable cameras. The full specs-sheets can be found in the camera manual or in the dpreview camera hub.

Core Features
  Camera
Model
Viewfinder
(Type or
'000 dots)
Control
Panel
(yes/no)
LCD
Size
(inch)
LCD
Resolution
('000 dots)
LCD
Attach-
ment
Touch
Screen
(yes/no)
Shutter
speed
(1/sec)
Shutter
flaps
(1/sec)
Build-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Build-in
Image
Stab
Camera
Model
Canon M5»2360 n 3.2 1620 tilting Y 4000 9.0 Y n Canon M5
Sony RX10 IV«2359 Y 3.0 1440 tilting Y 2000 24.0 Y Y Sony RX10 IV
Canon 77D« »optical Y 3.0 1040 swivel Y 4000 6.0 Y n Canon 77D
Canon 200D« »optical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 4000 5.0 Y n Canon 200D
Canon G1 X Mark III« »2360 n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 2000 9.0 Y Y Canon G1 X Mark III
Canon G9 X Mark II« »- n 3.0 1040 fixed Y 2000 8.2 Y Y Canon G9 X Mark II
Canon M6« »- n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 4000 9.0 Y n Canon M6
Canon M100« »- n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 4000 6.1 Y n Canon M100
Canon 760D« »optical Y 3.0 1040 swivel Y 4000 5.0 Y n Canon 760D
Canon M3« »- n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 4000 4.2 Y n Canon M3
Fujifilm X-T20« »2360 n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 4000 8.0 Y n Fujifilm X-T20
Fujifilm X-Pro2« »2360 n 3.0 1620 fixed n 8000 8.0 n n Fujifilm X-Pro2
Nikon D5600« »optical n 3.2 1037 swivel Y 4000 5.0 Y n Nikon D5600
Nikon D5500« »optical n 3.2 1037 swivel Y 4000 5.0 Y n Nikon D5500
Sony A6300« »2300 n 3.0 922 tilting n 4000 11.0 Y n Sony A6300
Sony A6500« »2300 n 3.0 922 tilting Y 4000 11.0 Y Y Sony A6500
Sony RX10 III« »2359 Y 3.0 1229 tilting n 2000 14.0 Y Y Sony RX10 III

One feature that is present on the RX10 IV, but is missing on the M5 is a top-level LCD. While being, of course, smaller than the rear screen, the control panel conveys some of the essential shooting information and can be convenient for quick and easy settings verification.

The reported shutter speed and shutter burst refer to the use of the mechanical shutter. In addition, the RX10 IV features an electronic shutter, which makes completely silent shooting possible. However, this mode is less suitable for photographing moving objects (rolling shutter) or shooting under artificial light sources (flickering).

The M5 writes its imaging data to SDXC cards, while the RX10 IV uses SDXC or Memory Stick PRO Duo cards.

Input-Output Connections
  Camera
Model
Hotshoe
Port
Internal
Microphone
Internal
Speaker
Microphone
Port
Headphone
Port
HDMI
Port
USB
Type
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
Camera
Model
Canon M5»YstereomonoY-mini2.0YYYCanon M5
Sony RX10 IV«YstereomonoYYmicro2.0YY-Sony RX10 IV
Canon 77D« »YstereomonoY-mini2.0YYYCanon 77D
Canon 200D« »YstereomonoY-mini2.0YYYCanon 200D
Canon G1 X Mark III« »Ystereomono--micro2.0YYYCanon G1 X Mark III
Canon G9 X Mark II« »-stereomono--micro2.0YYYCanon G9 X Mark II
Canon M6« »YstereomonoY-mini2.0YYYCanon M6
Canon M100« »-stereomono--mini2.0YYYCanon M100
Canon 760D« »YstereomonoY-mini2.0YY-Canon 760D
Canon M3« »YstereomonoY-mini2.0YY-Canon M3
Fujifilm X-T20« »YstereomonoY-micro2.0Y--Fujifilm X-T20
Fujifilm X-Pro2« »YstereomonoY-micro2.0Y--Fujifilm X-Pro2
Nikon D5600« »YstereomonoY-mini2.0YYYNikon D5600
Nikon D5500« »YstereomonoY-mini2.0Y--Nikon D5500
Sony A6300« »YstereomonoY-micro2.0YY-Sony A6300
Sony A6500« »YstereomonoY-micro2.0YY-Sony A6500
Sony RX10 III« »YstereomonoYYmicro2.0YY-Sony RX10 III

Both the M5 and the RX10 IV are recent models that feature in their makers' current product line-up. The RX10 IV replaced the earlier Sony RX10 III, while the M5 does not have a direct predecessor.

Review summary: Canon M5 vs Sony RX10 IV

So how do things add up? Is the Canon M5 better than the Sony RX10 IV or vice versa? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.

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Arguments in favor of the Canon EOS M5:

  • More detail: Offers more megapixels (24 vs 20MP) with a 10% higher linear resolution.
  • Better image quality: Features bigger pixels on a larger sensor for higher quality imaging.
  • Richer colors: Larger pixels generate images with better, more accurate colors.
  • More dynamic range: Capable of capturing a wider spectrum of light and dark details.
  • Better low-light sensitivity: Can be used in poorly lit environments and still produce good images.
  • Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (3.2" vs 3.0") for image review and settings control.
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1620k vs 1440k dots).
  • Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (4000/sec vs 2000/sec) to freeze action.
  • More flexible: Accepts interchangeable lenses, so that lens characteristics can be altered.
  • More compact: Is smaller (116x89mm vs 133x94mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
  • Easier wireless transfer: Supports Bluetooth for image sharing without cables.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in September 2016).

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Reasons to prefer the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10 IV:

  • Better video: Provides higher definition movie capture (4K/30p vs 1080/60p).
  • Better sound control: Has a headphone port that enables audio monitoring while recording.
  • Easier setting verification: Features a control panel on top to check shooting parameters.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (24 vs 9 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • Less disturbing: Has an electronic shutter option for completely silent shooting.
  • Ready to shoot: Has an integrated lens, whereas the M5 necessitates an extra lens.
  • Longer lasting: Gets more shots (400 versus 295) out of a single battery charge.
  • Better sealing: Is splash and dust sealed for shooting in inclement weather conditions.
  • Sharper images: Has stabilization technology build-in to reduce the impact of hand-shake.
  • More modern: Was introduced somewhat (11 months) more recently.

If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the M5 emerges as the winner of the contest (12 : 10 points). However, the relative importance of the various individual camera aspects will vary according to personal preferences and needs, so that you might like to apply corresponding weights to the particular features before making a decision on a new camera.

M5 12:10 RX10 IV

In any case, while the comparison of the spec-sheets of cameras can offer a general idea of their imaging potential, it says nothing about, for example, the handling, responsiveness, and overall imaging quality of the M5 and the RX10 IV in practical situations. User reviews that are available, for instance, at amazon can sometimes shed light on these issues, but such feedback is all too often partial, inconsistent, and inaccurate. This is why expert reviews are important. The following table reports the overall rankings of the cameras as published by some of the major camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, photographyblog). The full reviews are available by clicking on the site logo in the table header.

Review Scores
  Camera
Model
cameralabs dpreview ephotozine imaging-resource photographyblog Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Camera
Model
Canon M5»Rec82/1004/54.5/54/5 Sep 2016 979 i i Canon M5
Sony RX10 IV«Rec84/1004.5/5-5/5 Sep 2017 1,699 i i Sony RX10 IV
Canon 77D« »-82/1004.5/54.5/54/5 Feb 2017 899 i i Canon 77D
Canon 200D« »HiRec78/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Jun 2017 549 i i Canon 200D
Canon G1 X Mark III« »Rec79/1004.5/5-4.5/5 Oct 2017 1,299 i i Canon G1 X Mark III
Canon G9 X Mark II« »-75/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Jan 2017 529 i i Canon G9 X Mark II
Canon M6« »-80/1004/54.5/54/5 Feb 2017 779 i i Canon M6
Canon M100« »Rec-4/5-3.5/5 Aug 2017 499 i i Canon M100
Canon 760D« »Rec77/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Feb 2015 849- i Canon 760D
Canon M3« »rev75/1004.5/54.5/54/5 Feb 2015 679- i Canon M3
Fujifilm X-T20« »HiRec82/1005/5-4.5/5 Jan 2017 899 i i Fujifilm X-T20
Fujifilm X-Pro2« »Rec83/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Jan 2016 1,699 i i Fujifilm X-Pro2
Nikon D5600« »-79/1004.5/54.5/54/5 Nov 2016 699 i i Nikon D5600
Nikon D5500« »Rec79/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Jan 2015 899- i Nikon D5500
Sony A6300« »Rec85/1005/55/55/5 Feb 2016 999- i Sony A6300
Sony A6500« »HiRec85/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Oct 2016 1,399 i i Sony A6500
Sony RX10 III« »Rec84/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Mar 2016 1,499 i i Sony RX10 III

The above review scores should be interpreted with care, though. The ratings are only valid when referring to cameras in the same category and of the same age. A score, therefore, has to be seen in close connection to the price and market introduction time of the camera, and rating-comparisons among cameras that span long time periods or concern very differently equipped models make little sense. Also, please note that some of the review sites have changed their methodology and reporting over time.

 

Other camera comparisons

Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? In case you are interested in seeing how other cameras pair up, just make your choice using the following search menu. Alternatively, you can follow any of the listed hyperlinks for comparisons that others found interesting. If the camera you are interested in is not available, please send me an email, and I will try to add information on that model to the database.

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