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Sony RX10 II vs RX10 IV

The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10 II and the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10 IV are two enthusiast cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in June 2015 and September 2017. Both the RX10 II and the RX10 IV are fixed lens compact cameras that are equipped with an one-inch sensor. Both cameras offer a resolution of 20 megapixels.

Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.

Headline Specifications
Sony RX10 II VS Sony RX10 IV
Sony RX10 II Sony RX10 IV
Fixed lens compact camera Fixed lens compact camera
24-200mm f/2.8 24-600mm f/2.4-4.0
20 MP, 1" Sensor 20 MP, 1" Sensor
4K/30p Video 4K/30p Video
ISO 100-12800 (64-25600) ISO 100-12800 (64-25600)
Electronic viewfinder (2359k dots) Electronic viewfinder (2359k dots)
3.0" LCD, 1229k dots 3.0" LCD, 1440k dots
Tilting screen (no touchscreen) Tilting touchscreen
14 shutter flaps per second 24 shutter flaps per second
Weathersealed bodyWeathersealed body
400 shots per battery charge400 shots per battery charge
129 x 88 x 102 mm, 813 g 133 x 94 x 145 mm, 1095 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10 II and the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10 IV? Which one should you buy? Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their body size, their imaging sensors, their shooting features, their input-output connections, and their reception by expert reviewers.

Body comparison

An illustration of the physical size and weight of the Sony RX10 II and the Sony RX10 IV is provided in the side-by-side display below. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three consecutive views from the front, the top, and the rear side are shown. All size dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

Size Sony RX10 II vs Sony RX10 IV
Compare RX10 II versus RX10 IV top
Comparison RX10 II or 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 (10 percent) than the Sony RX10 II. Moreover, the RX10 IV is substantially heavier (35 percent) than the RX10 II. In this context, it is worth noting that both cameras are splash and dust-proof and can, hence, be used in inclement weather conditions or harsh environments.

The battery packs of both cameras can be charged via USB, which can be very convenient when travelling.

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
  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)
Camera
Model
 
Sony RX10 II» 129 mm 88 mm 102 mm 813 g 400 Y Jun 2015 1,299iSony RX10 II
 
Sony RX10 IV« 133 mm 94 mm 145 mm 1095 g 400 Y Sep 2017 1,699 iSony RX10 IV
 
Canon G1 X Mark III« » 115 mm 78 mm 51 mm 399 g 200 Y Oct 2017 1,299 iCanon G1 X Mark III
 
Canon 80D« » 139 mm 105 mm 79 mm 730 g 960 Y Feb 2016 1,199iCanon 80D
 
Canon G3 X« » 123 mm 77 mm 105 mm 733 g 300 Y Jun 2015 999 iCanon G3 X
 
Fujifilm X-Pro2« » 141 mm 83 mm 46 mm 495 g 350 Y Jan 2016 1,699 iFujifilm X-Pro2
 
Nikon D500« » 147 mm 115 mm 81 mm 860 g 1240 Y Jan 2016 1,999 iNikon D500
 
Nikon D7200« » 136 mm 107 mm 76 mm 765 g 1110 Y Mar 2015 1,199iNikon D7200
 
Pentax K-3 II« » 131 mm 100 mm 77 mm 800 g 720 Y Apr 2015 1,099 iPentax K-3 II
 
Sony A6300« » 120 mm 67 mm 49 mm 404 g 400 Y Feb 2016 999iSony A6300
 
Sony A6500« » 120 mm 67 mm 53 mm 453 g 350 Y Oct 2016 1,399iSony A6500
 
Sony RX10 III« » 133 mm 94 mm 127 mm 1051 g 420 Y Mar 2016 1,499 iSony RX10 III
 
Sony RX100 V« » 102 mm 58 mm 41 mm 299 g 220 n Oct 2016 999 iSony RX100 V
 
Sony RX10« » 129 mm 88 mm 102 mm 813 g 420 Y Oct 2013 1,299iSony RX10
Note: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.

Any camera decision will obviously take relative prices into account. The manufacturer’s suggested retail prices give an idea on the placement of the camera in the maker’s lineup and the broader market. The RX10 II was launched at a somewhat lower price (by 24 percent) than the RX10 IV, which makes it more attractive for photographers on a tight budget. Normally, street prices remain initially close to the MSRP, but after a couple of months, the first discounts appear. 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.

 

Sensor comparison

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. Moreover, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more control over depth-of-field in the image and, thus, the ability to better isolate a subject from the background. On the downside, larger sensors tend to be more expensive and lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.

Both cameras under consideration feature an one-inch sensor and have a format factor (sometimes also referred to as "crop factor") of 2.7. Within the spectrum of camera sensors, this places the review cameras among the medium-sized sensor cameras that aim to strike a balance between image quality and portability. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.

Sony RX10 II and Sony RX10 IV sensor measures

The two cameras under review do not only share the same sensor size, but also offer an identical resolution of 20 megapixels. This similarity in sensor specs implies that both the RX10 II and the RX10 IV have the same pixel density, as well as the same pixel size. It should, however, be noted that the RX10 IV is much more recent (by 2 years and 3 months) than the RX10 II, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time.

The RX10 IV has on-sensor phase detect pixels, which results in fast and reliable autofocus acquisition even during live view operation.

The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10 II has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 12800, which can be extended to ISO 64-25600. The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10 IV offers exactly the same ISO settings.

RX10 II versus RX10 IV MP

Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for many cameras. 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 following table provides an overview of the physical sensor characteristics, as well as the sensor quality measurements for a selection of comparators.

Sensor Characteristics
  Camera
Model
Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
Camera
Model
 
Sony RX10 II 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p23.012.653170Sony RX10 II
 
Sony RX10 IV 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p........Sony RX10 IV
 
Canon G1 X Mark III APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p........Canon G1 X Mark III
 
Canon 80D APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p23.613.2113579Canon 80D
 
Canon G3 X 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p21.412.352163Canon G3 X
 
Fujifilm X-Pro2 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p........Fujifilm X-Pro2
 
Nikon D500 APS-C 20.7 5568 37124K/30p24.014.0132483Nikon D500
 
Nikon D7200 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.514.6133387Nikon D7200
 
Pentax K-3 II APS-C 24.1 6016 40001080/60i23.613.6110680Pentax K-3 II
 
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
 
Sony RX100 V 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p22.812.458670Sony RX100 V
 
Sony RX10 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p22.912.647469Sony RX10

Many modern cameras cannot only take still pictures, but also record videos. The two cameras under consideration both have sensors whose read-out speed is fast enough to capture moving pictures, and both provide the same movie specifications (4K/30p).

 

Feature comparison

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The RX10 II and the RX10 IV are similar in the sense that both feature an electronic viewfinder, which is helpful when framing images in bright sunlight. Moreover, their viewfinders offer an identical resolution of 2359k dots. The table below summarizes some of the other core capabilities of the Sony RX10 II and Sony RX10 IV in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar cameras.

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)
Mech
Shutter
Speed
Shutter
Flaps
(1/sec)
Built-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Built-in
Image
Stab
Camera
Model
 
Sony RX10 II2359 Y 3.0 1229 tilting n 1/3200s 14.0 Y Y Sony RX10 II
 
Sony RX10 IV2359 Y 3.0 1440 tilting Y 1/2000s 24.0 Y Y Sony RX10 IV
 
Canon G1 X Mark III2360 n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/2000s 9.0 Y Y Canon G1 X Mark III
 
Canon 80Doptical Y 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/8000s 7.0 Y n Canon 80D
 
Canon G3 Xoptional n 3.2 1620 tilting Y 1/2000s 5.9 Y Y Canon G3 X
 
Fujifilm X-Pro22360 n 3.0 1620 fixed n 1/8000s 8.0 n n Fujifilm X-Pro2
 
Nikon D500optical Y 3.2 2359 tilting Y 1/8000s 10.0 n n Nikon D500
 
Nikon D7200optical Y 3.2 1229 fixed n 1/8000s 6.0 Y n Nikon D7200
 
Pentax K-3 IIoptical Y 3.2 1037 fixed n 1/8000s 8.3 n Y Pentax K-3 II
 
Sony A63002359 n 3.0 922 tilting n 1/4000s 11.0 Y n Sony A6300
 
Sony A65002359 n 3.0 922 tilting Y 1/4000s 11.0 Y Y Sony A6500
 
Sony RX10 III2359 Y 3.0 1229 tilting n 1/2000s 14.0 Y Y Sony RX10 III
 
Sony RX100 V2359 n 3.0 1229 tilting n 1/2000s 24.0 Y Y Sony RX100 V
 
Sony RX101440 Y 3.0 1229 tilting n 1/3200s 10.0 Y Y Sony RX10

One differentiating feature between the two cameras concerns the touch sensitivity of the rear screen. The RX10 IV has a touchscreen, while the RX10 II has a conventional panel. Touch control can be particularly helpful, for example, for setting the focus point.

The reported shutter speed information refers to the use of the mechanical shutter. Yet, some cameras only have an electronic shutter, while others have an electronic shutter in addition to a mechanical one. In fact, both cameras under consideration feature an electronic shutter, which makes completely silent shooting possible. However, this mode is less suitable for photographing moving objects (risk of rolling shutter) or shooting under artificial light sources (risk of flickering).

Both the RX10 II and the RX10 IV have zoom lenses built in. The RX10 II has a 24-200mm f/2.8-2.8 optic and the RX10 IV offers a 24-600mm f/2.4-4.0 (focal lengths in full frame equivalent terms). Hence, the RX10 II and RX10 IV provide the same view at the wide-angle end, but the RX10 IV has more tele-photo reach at the long end. The RX10 IV offers the faster maximum aperture.

Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the RX10 II and the RX10 IV write their files to SDXC or Memory Stick PRO Duo cards. Both cameras can use UHS-I cards, which provide for Ultra High Speed data transfer of up to 104 MB/s.

 

Connectivity comparison

For some imaging applications, the extent to which a camera can communicate with its environment can be an important aspect in the camera decision process. The table below provides an overview of the connectivity of the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10 II and Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10 IV and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.

Input-Output Connections
  Camera
Model
Hotshoe
Port
Internal
Microphone
Internal
Speaker
Microphone
Port
Headphone
Port
HDMI
Port
USB
Port
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
Camera
Model
 
Sony RX10 IIYstereomonoYYmicro2.0YY-Sony RX10 II
 
Sony RX10 IVYstereomonoYYmicro2.0YY-Sony RX10 IV
 
Canon G1 X Mark IIIYstereomono--micro2.0YYYCanon G1 X Mark III
 
Canon 80DYstereomonoYYmini2.0YY-Canon 80D
 
Canon G3 XYstereomonoYYmini2.0YY-Canon G3 X
 
Fujifilm X-Pro2YstereomonoY-micro2.0Y--Fujifilm X-Pro2
 
Nikon D500YstereomonoYYmini3.0YYYNikon D500
 
Nikon D7200YstereomonoYYmini2.0YY-Nikon D7200
 
Pentax K-3 IIYmonomonoYYmini3.0---Pentax K-3 II
 
Sony A6300YstereomonoY-micro2.0YY-Sony A6300
 
Sony A6500YstereomonoY-micro2.0YY-Sony A6500
 
Sony RX10 IIIYstereomonoYYmicro2.0YY-Sony RX10 III
 
Sony RX100 V-stereomono--micro2.0YY-Sony RX100 V
 
Sony RX10YstereomonoYYmicro2.0YY-Sony RX10

The RX10 IV is a recent model that features in the current product line-up of Sony. In contrast, the RX10 II has been discontinued (but it can be found pre-owned on eBay). As a replacement in the same line of cameras, the RX10 II was succeeded by the Sony RX10 III. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Sony website.

Review summary

So what is the bottom line? Is there a clear favorite between the Sony RX10 II and the Sony RX10 IV? Which camera is better? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.


Advantages of the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10 II:

  • Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/3200s vs 1/2000s) to freeze action.
  • Less heavy: Is lighter (by 282g or 26 percent) and hence easier to carry around.
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced segment (24 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in June 2015).


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

  • Better live-view autofocus: Features on-sensor phase-detection for more confident autofocus.
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1440k vs 1229k dots).
  • Fewer buttons to press: Has a touchscreen to facilitate handling and shooting adjustments.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (24 vs 14 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • Better light gathering: Has a lens with a wider maximum aperture (f/2.4 vs f/2.8).
  • More tele-reach: Has a longer tele-lens for perspective compression and subject magnification.
  • More modern: Reflects 2 years and 3 months of technical progress since the RX10 II launch.

If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the RX10 IV emerges as the winner of the match-up (7 : 4 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. A professional wildlife photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a family photog, and a person interested in architecture has distinct needs from a sports shooter. Hence, the decision which camera is best and worth buying is often a very personal one.

RX10 II 04:07 RX10 IV

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Sony RX10 II and the Sony RX10 IV place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best Travel-Zoom Camera and Best Superzoom Camera listings whether the two cameras rank among the cream of the crop.

In any case, while the comparison of the spec-sheets of cameras can offer a general idea of their imaging potential, it remains incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the RX10 II or the RX10 IV perform in practice. 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.

Expert reviews

This is where reviews by experts come in. The adjacent summary-table relays the overall verdicts of several of the most popular camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, and photographyblog). As can be seen, the professional reviewers agree in many cases on the quality of different cameras, but sometimes their assessments diverge, reinforcing the earlier point that a camera decision is often a very personal choice.

Review Scores
  Camera
Model
cam
era
  labs  
dp
re
  view  
e
photo
  zine  
ima
ging
resource
photo
graphy
  blog  
Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Camera
Model
 
Sony RX10 II+ +82/1004.5/54.5/54/5 Jun 2015 1,299iSony RX10 II
 
Sony RX10 IV+84/1004.5/5..5/5 Sep 2017 1,699 iSony RX10 IV
 
Canon G1 X Mark III+79/1004.5/5..4.5/5 Oct 2017 1,299 iCanon G1 X Mark III
 
Canon 80D+ +84/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Feb 2016 1,199iCanon 80D
 
Canon G3 X+..4.5/53.5/54/5 Jun 2015 999 iCanon G3 X
 
Fujifilm X-Pro2+83/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Jan 2016 1,699 iFujifilm X-Pro2
 
Nikon D500+ +91/1004.5/55/55/5 Jan 2016 1,999 iNikon D500
 
Nikon D7200+ +84/1004.5/54/54.5/5 Mar 2015 1,199iNikon D7200
 
Pentax K-3 II....5/54.5/55/5 Apr 2015 1,099 iPentax K-3 II
 
Sony A6300+85/1005/55/55/5 Feb 2016 999iSony A6300
 
Sony A6500+ +85/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Oct 2016 1,399iSony A6500
 
Sony RX10 III+84/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Mar 2016 1,499 iSony RX10 III
 
Sony RX100 V+ +83/1004/55/54.5/5 Oct 2016 999 iSony RX100 V
 
Sony RX10+80/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Oct 2013 1,299iSony RX10
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.

Care should be taken when interpreting the review scores above, though. The assessments were made in relation to similar cameras of the same technological generation. Hence, a score should always be seen in the context of the camera's market launch date and its price, and comparisons of ratings among very different cameras or across long time periods have little meaning. Also, please note that some of the review sites have changed their methodology and reporting over time.

Sony RX10 II:
Check Ebay offers
Sony RX10 IV:
Check Amazon price

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. Alternatively, you can follow any of the listed hyperlinks for comparisons that others found interesting.

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    Specifications: Sony RX10 II vs Sony RX10 IV

    Below is a side-by-side comparison of the specs of the two cameras to facilitate a quick review of their differences and common features.

    Camera Specifications
    Camera Model Sony RX10 II Sony RX10 IV
    Camera Type Fixed lens compact camera Fixed lens compact camera
    Camera Lens 24-200mm f/2.8 24-600mm f/2.4-4.0
    Launch Date June 2015 September 2017
    Launch Price USD 1299 USD 1699
    Sensor Specs Sony RX10 II Sony RX10 IV
    Sensor Technology BSI-CMOS BSI-CMOS
    Sensor Format 1" Sensor 1" Sensor
    Sensor Size 13.2 x 8.8 mm 13.2 x 8.8 mm
    Sensor Area 116.16 mm2 116.16 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 15.9 mm 15.9 mm
    Crop Factor 2.7x 2.7x
    Sensor Resolution 20 Megapixels 20 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 5472 x 3648 pixels 5472 x 3648 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 2.41 μm 2.41 μm
    Pixel Density 17.18 MP/cm2 17.18 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability 4K/30p Video 4K/30p Video
    ISO Setting 100-12800 ISO 100-12800 ISO
    ISO Boost 64-25600 ISO 64-25600 ISO
    Image Processor BIONZ X BIONZ X
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) 70 ..
    DXO Color Depth (bits) 23.0 ..
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) 12.6 ..
    DXO Low Light (ISO) 531 ..
    Screen Specs Sony RX10 II Sony RX10 IV
    Viewfinder Type Electronic viewfinder Electronic viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 100% 100%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.70x 0.70x
    Viewfinder Resolution 2359k dots 2359k dots
    Top-Level Screen Control Panel Control Panel
    LCD Framing Live View Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.0 inch 3.0 inch
    LCD Resolution 1229k dots 1440k dots
    LCD Attachment Tilting screen Tilting screen
    Touch Input no Touchscreen Touchscreen
    Shooting Specs Sony RX10 II Sony RX10 IV
    Focus System Contrast-detect AF On-Sensor Phase-detect
    Manual Focusing AidFocus PeakingFocus Peaking
    Max Shutter Speed (mechanical) 1/3200/s 1/2000/s
    Continuous Shooting 14 shutter flaps/s 24 shutter flaps/s
    Electronic Shutterup to 1/32000sup to 1/32000s
    Fill Flash Build-in Flash Build-in Flash
    Storage Medium MS or SDXC cards MS or SDXC cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot Single card slot
    UHS card support UHS-I UHS-I
    Connectivity Specs Sony RX10 II Sony RX10 IV
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port micro HDMI micro HDMI
    Microphone Port External MIC port External MIC port
    Headphone Socket Headphone port Headphone port
    Wifi Support Wifi built-in Wifi built-in
    Near-Field Communication NFC built-in NFC built-in
    Body Specs Sony RX10 II Sony RX10 IV
    Environmental SealingWeathersealed bodyWeathersealed body
    Battery Type NP-FW50 NP-FW50
    Battery Life (CIPA)400 shots per charge400 shots per charge
    In-Camera Charging USB charging USB charging
    Body Dimensions 129 x 88 x 102 mm
    (5.1 x 3.5 x 4.0 in)
    133 x 94 x 145 mm
    (5.2 x 3.7 x 5.7 in)
    Camera Weight 813 g (28.7 oz) 1095 g (38.6 oz)

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