Sony A6000 versus Sony RX100 IV
The Sony Alpha A6000 and the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 IV are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in February 2014 and June 2015. The A6000 is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera, while the RX100 IV is a fixed lens compact. The cameras are based on an APS-C (A6000) and an one-inch (RX100 IV) sensor. The A6000 has a resolution of 24 megapixel, whereas the RX100 IV 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: Sony A6000 vs Sony RX100 IV
The physical size and weight of the Sony A6000 and the Sony RX100 IV are illustrated in the side-by-side display below. Three consecutive views from the front, the top, and the rear side are shown. All size 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 side – the A6000 – represents the basis for the calculations across all the size and weight measures).
If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Sony RX100 IV is notably smaller (26 percent) than the Sony A6000. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the A6000 nor the RX100 IV are weather-sealed.
The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete and possibly misleading, as the RX100 IV has a lens build in, whereas the A6000 is an interchangeable lens camera that requires a separate lens. Attaching the latter will add extra weight and bulk to the setup. You can find an overview of optics for the A6000 and their specifications in the Sony E-Mount Lens Catalog.
The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the two cameras alongside a broader set of comparators. If you want to switch the focus of the display and review another camera pair, just select a new right or left comparator from among the camera models in the table. Alternatively, you can also move across to the CAM-parator tool and choose from the broad selection of possible camera comparisons there.
|Camera Body Specifications|
|Sony A6000»||120 mm||67 mm||45 mm||344 g||360||n||Feb 2014||599||-|
|Sony RX100 IV«||102 mm||58 mm||41 mm||298 g||280||n||Jun 2015||999||-|
|Canon G7 X« »||103 mm||60 mm||40 mm||304 g||210||n||Sep 2014||699||-|
|Panasonic FZ1000« »||137 mm||99 mm||131 mm||831 g||360||n||Jun 2014||899||-|
|Sony A6300« »||120 mm||67 mm||49 mm||404 g||400||Y||Feb 2016||999||-|
|Sony RX100 V« »||102 mm||58 mm||41 mm||299 g||220||n||Oct 2016||999|
|Sony RX100 III« »||102 mm||58 mm||41 mm||290 g||320||n||May 2014||799||-|
|Sony A5100« »||110 mm||63 mm||36 mm||283 g||400||n||Aug 2014||549|
|Sony A5000« »||110 mm||63 mm||36 mm||269 g||420||n||Jan 2014||449||-|
|Sony A3000« »||128 mm||91 mm||85 mm||411 g||470||n||Aug 2013||329||-|
|Sony NEX-3N« »||110 mm||62 mm||35 mm||269 g||480||n||Feb 2013||499||-|
|Sony NEX-5T« »||111 mm||59 mm||39 mm||2776 g||330||n||Aug 2013||699||-|
|Sony NEX-6« »||120 mm||67 mm||43 mm||345 g||360||n||Sep 2012||999||-|
|Sony NEX-F3« »||117 mm||67 mm||42 mm||314 g||470||n||May 2012||599||-|
|Sony NEX-7« »||120 mm||67 mm||43 mm||400 g||430||n||Aug 2011||1,349||-|
|Sony NEX-3« »||117 mm||62 mm||33 mm||297 g||330||n||May 2010||599||-|
The price is, of course, an important factor in any camera decision. The listed launch prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. 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: Sony A6000 vs Sony RX100 IV
The size of the imaging sensor is a crucial determinant of image quality. A large sensor will tend to have larger individual pixels that provide better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and richer color depth than smaller pixel-units in a sensor of the same technological generation. Further, a large sensor camera will give the photographer additional creative options when using shallow depth-of-field to isolate a subject from its background. On the downside, larger sensors tend to be more expensive and lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.
Of the two cameras under consideration, the Sony A6000 features an APS-C sensor and the Sony RX100 IV an one-inch sensor. The sensor area in the RX100 IV is 68 percent smaller. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 1.5 and 2.7. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.
With 24MP, the A6000 offers a higher resolution than the RX100 IV (20MP), but the A6000 nevertheless has larger individual pixels (pixel pitch of 3.91μm versus 2.41μm for the RX100 IV) due to its larger sensor. However, the RX100 IV is a somewhat more recent model (by 1 year and 3 months) than the A6000, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time that enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixels.
For most cameras, data on sensor performance has been reported by DXO Mark. This service is based on lab testing and assigns an overall score to each camera sensor, as well as ratings for dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), color depth ("DXO Portrait"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"). Of the two cameras under review, the A6000 provides substantially higher image quality than the RX100 IV, with an overall score that is 12 points higher. This advantage is based on 1.3 bits higher color depth, 0.5 EV in additional dynamic range, and 1.2 stops in additional low light sensitivity. The adjacent table reports on the physical sensor characteristics and the outcomes of the DXO sensor quality tests for a sample of comparator-cameras.
|Sony RX100 IV«||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||4K/30p||22.8||12.6||591||70|
|Canon G7 X« »||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||23.0||12.7||556||71|
|Panasonic FZ1000« »||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||4K/30p||22.1||11.7||517||64|
|Sony A6300« »||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||4K/30p||24.4||13.7||1437||85|
|Sony RX100 V« »||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||4K/30p||22.8||12.4||586||70|
|Sony RX100 III« »||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||22.4||12.3||495||67|
|Sony A5100« »||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||23.8||12.7||1347||80|
|Sony A5000« »||APS-C||19.8||5456||3632||1080/60i||23.8||13.0||1089||79|
|Sony A3000« »||APS-C||19.8||5456||3632||1080/60i||23.7||12.8||1068||78|
|Sony NEX-3N« »||APS-C||16.0||4912||3264||1080/60i||22.8||12.5||1067||74|
|Sony NEX-5T« »||APS-C||16.0||4912||3264||1080/60p||23.6||13.0||1015||78|
|Sony NEX-6« »||APS-C||16.0||4912||3264||1080/60i||23.7||13.1||1018||78|
|Sony NEX-F3« »||APS-C||16.0||4912||3264||1080/60i||22.7||12.3||1114||73|
|Sony NEX-7« »||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60i||24.1||13.4||1016||81|
|Sony NEX-3« »||APS-C||14.0||4592||3056||720/30p||22.1||12.0||830||68|
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 RX100 IV provides a better video resolution than the A6000. It can shoot movie footage at 4K/30p, while the A6000 is limited to 1080/60p.
Feature comparison: Sony A6000 vs Sony RX100 IV
Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The two cameras under review are similar with respect to both having an electronic viewfinder. However, the one in the RX100 IV offers a substantially higher resolution than the one in the A6000 (2359k vs 1440k dots). The adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Sony A6000 and Sony RX100 IV along with similar information for a selection of comparators. If needed, the dpreview camera hub, for example, contains further detail on the cameras' specs.
|Sony RX100 IV«||2359||n||3.0||1228||tilting||n||2000||16.0||Y||Y|
|Canon G7 X« »||-||n||3.0||1040||tilting||Y||2000||6.5||Y||Y|
|Panasonic FZ1000« »||2359||n||3.0||921||swivel||n||4000||12.0||Y||Y|
|Sony A6300« »||2300||n||3.0||922||tilting||n||4000||11.0||Y||n|
|Sony RX100 V« »||2359||n||3.0||1229||tilting||n||2000||24.0||Y||Y|
|Sony RX100 III« »||1440||n||3.0||1229||tilting||n||2000||10.0||Y||Y|
|Sony A5100« »||-||n||3.0||922||tilting||Y||4000||6.0||Y||n|
|Sony A5000« »||-||n||3.0||461||tilting||n||4000||3.5||Y||n|
|Sony A3000« »||202||n||3.0||230||fixed||n||4000||2.5||Y||n|
|Sony NEX-3N« »||-||n||3.0||460||tilting||n||4000||4.0||Y||n|
|Sony NEX-5T« »||-||n||3.0||922||tilting||Y||4000||10.0||n||n|
|Sony NEX-6« »||2359||n||3.0||921||tilting||n||4000||10.0||Y||n|
|Sony NEX-F3« »||-||n||3.0||920||tilting||n||4000||5.5||Y||n|
|Sony NEX-7« »||2359||n||3.0||921||tilting||n||4000||10.0||Y||n|
|Sony NEX-3« »||-||n||3.0||920||tilting||n||4000||7.0||n||n|
Both the A6000 and the RX100 IV have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The A6000 was replaced by the Sony A6300, while the RX100 IV was followed by the Sony RX100 IV.
Review summary: Sony A6000 vs Sony RX100 IV
So what conclusions can be drawn? Is the Sony A6000 better than the Sony RX100 IV or vice versa? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.
Arguments in favor of the Sony Alpha A6000:
- More detail: Offers more megapixels (24 vs 20MP) with a 10% higher linear resolution.
- Better image quality: Scores substantially higher (12 points) in the DXO overall assessment.
- Richer colors: Generates images with noticeably better colors (1.3 bits more color depth).
- Better low-light sensitivity: Requires less light for good images (1.2 stops ISO advantage).
- 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.
- Longer lasting: Can take more shots (360 versus 280) on a single battery charge.
- More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in February 2014).
Advantages of the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 IV:
- Better video: Provides higher definition movie capture (4K/30p vs 1080/60p).
- More detailed viewfinder: Has higher resolution electronic viewfinder (2359k vs 1440k dots).
- More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1228k vs 922k dots).
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (16 vs 11 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- Ready to shoot: Has an integrated lens, whereas the A6000 necessitates an extra lens.
- More compact: Is smaller (102x58mm vs 120x67mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
- Less heavy: Has a lower weight even though it has a lens build in (unlike the A6000).
- Sharper images: Has stabilization technology build-in to reduce the impact of hand-shake.
- More modern: Was introduced somewhat (1 year and 3 months) more recently.
If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the RX100 IV comes out slightly ahead of the A6000 (9 : 8 points). However, the pertinence of the various camera strengths will differ across photographers, so that you might want to weigh individual camera traits according to their importance for your own imaging needs before making a camera decision.
In any case, while the comparison of technical specifications can provide a useful overview of the capabilities of different cameras, it remains partial and cannot reveal, for example, the handling experience and imaging performance when actually working with the A6000 or the RX100 IV. At times, user reviews, such as those published at amazon, address these issues in a useful manner, but such feedback is on many occasions incomplete, inconsistent, and unreliable. This is why expert reviews are important. The table below summarizes the assessments of some of the best known camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, photographyblog). The full reviews are available by clicking on the site logo in the table header.
|Sony A6000»||Rec||80/100||4.5/5||5/5||5/5||Feb 2014||599||-|
|Sony RX100 IV«||HiRec||85/100||4/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jun 2015||999||-|
|Canon G7 X« »||HiRec||77/100||4.5/5||3.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2014||699||-|
|Panasonic FZ1000« »||HiRec||82/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jun 2014||899||-|
|Sony A6300« »||Rec||85/100||5/5||5/5||5/5||Feb 2016||999||-|
|Sony RX100 V« »||HiRec||83/100||4/5||5/5||4.5/5||Oct 2016||999|
|Sony RX100 III« »||HiRec||82/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||5/5||May 2014||799||-|
|Sony A5100« »||Rec||-||4.5/5||4.5/5||5/5||Aug 2014||549|
|Sony A5000« »||Rec||-||4.5/5||rev||4.5/5||Jan 2014||449||-|
|Sony A3000« »||Rec||-||4/5||4.5/5||4/5||Aug 2013||329||-|
|Sony NEX-3N« »||-||-||4.5/5||4/5||4.5/5||Feb 2013||499||-|
|Sony NEX-5T« »||-||-||4.5/5||-||4.5/5||Aug 2013||699||-|
|Sony NEX-6« »||HiRec||78/100||4.5/5||5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2012||999||-|
|Sony NEX-F3« »||-||74/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||May 2012||599||-|
|Sony NEX-7« »||HiRec||81/100||4.5/5||5/5||5/5||Aug 2011||1,349||-|
|Sony NEX-3« »||-||70/100||4.5/5||5/5||4/5||May 2010||599||-|
The above review scores should be interpreted with care, though. The ratings were established in reference to similarly priced cameras that were available in the market at the time of the review. Thus, a score needs to be put into the context of the launch date and the launch price of the camera, and comparing ratings of very distinct cameras or ones that are far apart in terms of their release date have little meaning. It should also be noted that some of the review sites have over time altered the way they render their verdicts.
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 a corresponding selection in the search boxes below. There is also a set of direct links to comparison reviews that other users of the CAM-parator app explored. If you do not see the camera that you are looking for, please contact me, and I will try to update the database with the necessary infos.
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