Sony RX10 III vs RX100 IV
The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10 III and the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 IV are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in March 2016 and June 2015. Both the RX10 III and the RX100 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.
Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10 III and the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 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.
The physical size and weight of the Sony RX10 III and the Sony RX100 IV are illustrated in the side-by-side display below. 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.
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 considerably smaller (53 percent) than the Sony RX10 III. Moreover, the RX100 IV is substantially lighter (72 percent) than the RX10 III. It is worth mentioning in this context that the RX10 III is splash and dust resistant, while the RX100 IV does not feature any corresponding weather-sealing.
Concerning battery life, the RX10 III gets 420 shots out of its NP-FW50 battery, while the RX100 IV can take 280 images on a single charge of its NP-BX1 power pack. The battery packs of both cameras can be charged via USB, which can be very convenient when travelling.
The adjacent table lists the principal physical characteristics of the two cameras alongside a wider set of alternatives. If you want to switch the focus of the display and review another camera pair, you can move across to the CAM-parator tool and choose from the broad selection of possible camera comparisons there.
|1.||Sony RX10 III||133 mm||94 mm||127 mm||1051 g||420||Y||Mar 2016||1,499|
|2.||Sony RX100 IV||102 mm||58 mm||41 mm||298 g||280||n||Jun 2015||999|
|3.||Canon G3 X||123 mm||77 mm||105 mm||733 g||300||Y||Jun 2015||999|
|4.||Canon 7D II||149 mm||112 mm||78 mm||910 g||670||Y||Sep 2014||1,799|
|5.||Canon G7 X||103 mm||60 mm||40 mm||304 g||210||n||Sep 2014||699|
|6.||Nikon D500||147 mm||115 mm||81 mm||860 g||1240||Y||Jan 2016||1,999|
|7.||Panasonic FZ1000||137 mm||99 mm||131 mm||831 g||360||n||Jun 2014||899|
|8.||Sony RX100 VII||102 mm||58 mm||43 mm||302 g||260||n||Jul 2019||1,199|
|9.||Sony RX10 IV||133 mm||94 mm||145 mm||1095 g||400||Y||Sep 2017||1,699|
|10.||Sony RX0||59 mm||41 mm||30 mm||110 g||240||Y||Aug 2017||699|
|11.||Sony A6300||120 mm||67 mm||49 mm||404 g||400||Y||Feb 2016||999|
|12.||Sony RX100 V||102 mm||58 mm||41 mm||299 g||220||n||Oct 2016||999|
|13.||Sony RX10 II||129 mm||88 mm||102 mm||813 g||400||Y||Jun 2015||1,299|
|14.||Sony RX100 III||102 mm||58 mm||41 mm||290 g||320||n||May 2014||799|
|15.||Sony RX10||129 mm||88 mm||102 mm||813 g||420||Y||Oct 2013||1,299|
|Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.|
The price is, of course, an important factor in any camera decision. 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 RX100 IV was launched at a markedly lower price (by 33 percent) than the RX10 III, which puts it into a different market segment. 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.
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.
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.
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 III and the RX100 IV have the same pixel density, as well as the same pixel size. It should, however, be noted that the RX10 III is a somewhat more recent model (by 9 months) than the RX100 IV, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time.
The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10 III has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 12800, which can be extended to ISO 64-25600. The corresponding ISO settings for the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 IV are ISO 125 to ISO 12800, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 80-25600.
For many cameras, data on sensor performance has been reported by DXO Mark. This service assesses and scores the color depth ("DXO Portrait"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports") of camera sensors, and also publishes an overall camera score. The Overall DXO ratings for the two cameras under consideration are close, suggesting that they provide similar imaging performance. The table below summarizes the physical sensor characteristics and sensor quality findings and compares them across a set of similar cameras.
| DXO |
|1.||Sony RX10 III||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||4K/30p||23.1||12.6||472||70|
|2.||Sony RX100 IV||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||4K/30p||22.8||12.6||591||70|
|3.||Canon G3 X||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||21.4||12.3||521||63|
|4.||Canon 7D II||APS-C||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||22.4||11.8||1082||70|
|5.||Canon G7 X||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||23.0||12.7||556||71|
|8.||Sony RX100 VII||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||4K/30p||21.8||12.4||418||63|
|9.||Sony RX10 IV||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||4K/30p||..||..||..||..|
|12.||Sony RX100 V||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||4K/30p||22.8||12.4||586||70|
|13.||Sony RX10 II||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||4K/30p||23.0||12.6||531||70|
|14.||Sony RX100 III||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||22.4||12.3||495||67|
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).
Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. The RX10 III and the RX100 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 adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Sony RX10 III and Sony RX100 IV along with similar information for a selection of comparators.
|1.||Sony RX10 III||2359||Y||3.0||1229||tilting||n||1/2000s||14.0||Y||Y|
|2.||Sony RX100 IV||2359||n||3.0||1228||tilting||n||1/2000s||16.0||Y||Y|
|3.||Canon G3 X||optional||n||3.2||1620||tilting||Y||1/2000s||5.9||Y||Y|
|4.||Canon 7D II||optical||Y||3.0||1040||fixed||n||1/8000s||10.0||Y||n|
|5.||Canon G7 X||none||n||3.0||1040||tilting||Y||1/2000s||6.5||Y||Y|
|8.||Sony RX100 VII||2359||n||3.0||921||tilting||Y||1/2000s||90.0||Y||Y|
|9.||Sony RX10 IV||2359||Y||3.0||1440||tilting||Y||1/2000s||24.0||Y||Y|
|12.||Sony RX100 V||2359||n||3.0||1229||tilting||n||1/2000s||24.0||Y||Y|
|13.||Sony RX10 II||2359||Y||3.0||1229||tilting||n||1/3200s||14.0||Y||Y|
|14.||Sony RX100 III||1440||n||3.0||1229||tilting||n||1/2000s||10.0||Y||Y|
One feature that is present on the RX10 III, but is missing on the RX100 IV 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 RX100 IV has an articulated screen that can be turned to be front-facing. This characteristic will be appreciated by vloggers and photographers who are interested in taking selfies. In contrast, the RX10 III does not have a selfie-screen.
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 III and the RX100 IV have zoom lenses built in. The RX10 III has a 24-600mm f/2.4-4.0 optic and the RX100 IV offers a 24-70mm f/1.8-2.8 (focal lengths in full frame equivalent terms). Hence, the RX10 III and RX100 IV provide the same view at the wide-angle end, but the RX100 IV has less tele-photo reach at the long end. The RX100 IV offers the faster maximum aperture.
Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the RX10 III and the RX100 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.
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 III and Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 IV and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
| WiFi |
| NFC |
|1.||Sony RX10 III||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|2.||Sony RX100 IV||-||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|3.||Canon G3 X||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|4.||Canon 7D II||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||mini||3.0||-||-||-|
|5.||Canon G7 X||-||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|8.||Sony RX100 VII||-||stereo||mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||Y|
|9.||Sony RX10 IV||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|12.||Sony RX100 V||-||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|13.||Sony RX10 II||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|14.||Sony RX100 III||-||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
It is notable that the RX10 III has a hotshoe, while the RX100 IV does not. This socket makes it possible to easily attach optional accessories, such as an external flash gun.
The RX10 III is a recent model that features in the current product line-up of Sony. In contrast, the RX100 IV has been discontinued (but can be found pre-owned on eBay). As a replacement in the same line of cameras, the RX100 IV was succeeded by the Sony RX100 IV. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Sony website.
So how do things add up? Is there a clear favorite between the Sony RX10 III and the Sony RX100 IV? Which camera is better? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.
Advantages of the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10 III:
- Better sound: Can connect to an external microphone for higher quality sound recording.
- Better sound control: Has a headphone port that enables audio monitoring while recording.
- Larger viewfinder image: Features a viewfinder with a higher magnification (0.70x vs 0.59x).
- Easier setting verification: Features an LCD display on top to control shooting parameters.
- More tele-reach: Has a longer tele-lens for perspective compression and subject magnification.
- Longer lasting: Can take more shots (420 versus 280) on a single battery charge.
- Better sealing: Is weather sealed to enable shooting in dusty or wet environments.
- Better lighting: Features a hotshoe and can thus hold and trigger an external flash gun.
- More modern: Is somewhat more recent (announced 9 months after the RX100 IV).
Arguments in favor of the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 IV:
- Better low-light sensitivity: Can shoot in dim conditions (0.3 stops ISO advantage).
- More selfie-friendly: Has an articulated screen that can be turned to be front-facing.
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (16 vs 14 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- Better light gathering: Has a lens with a wider maximum aperture (f/1.8 vs f/2.4).
- More compact: Is smaller (102x58mm vs 133x94mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
- Less heavy: Has a lower weight (by 753g or 72 percent) and is thus easier to take along.
- More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (33 percent cheaper at launch).
- More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in June 2015).
If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the RX10 III comes out slightly ahead of the RX100 IV (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. 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.
How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Sony RX10 III and the Sony RX100 IV place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best Superzoom Camera and Best Travel-Zoom Camera listings whether the two cameras rank among the cream of the crop.
In any case, while the specs-based evaluation of cameras can be instructive in revealing their potential as photographic tools, it remains partial and cannot reveal, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance when actually working with the RX10 III or the RX100 IV. User reviews, such as those found at amazon, can sometimes inform about these issues, but such feedback is often incomplete, inconsistent, and biased.
This is where reviews by experts come in. The table below provides a synthesis of the camera assessments of some of the best known photo-gear review sites (amateurphotographer [AP], cameralabs [CL], dpreview [DPR], ephotozine [EPZ], photographyblog [PB]). 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.
|1.||Sony RX10 III||5/5||+||84/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Mar 2016||1,499|
|2.||Sony RX100 IV||4.5/5||+ +||85/100||4/5||4.5/5||Jun 2015||999|
|3.||Canon G3 X||3.5/5||+||..||4.5/5||4/5||Jun 2015||999|
|4.||Canon 7D II||4.5/5||+||84/100||4/5||4.5/5||Sep 2014||1,799|
|5.||Canon G7 X||4/5||+ +||77/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2014||699|
|6.||Nikon D500||5/5||+ +||91/100||4.5/5||5/5||Jan 2016||1,999|
|7.||Panasonic FZ1000||4/5||+ +||82/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jun 2014||899|
|8.||Sony RX100 VII||4.5/5||..||..||4/5||5/5||Jul 2019||1,199|
|9.||Sony RX10 IV||5/5||+||84/100||4.5/5||5/5||Sep 2017||1,699|
|10.||Sony RX0||..||..||..||3.5/5||4/5||Aug 2017||699|
|11.||Sony A6300||4.5/5||+||85/100||5/5||5/5||Feb 2016||999|
|12.||Sony RX100 V||4.5/5||+ +||83/100||4/5||4.5/5||Oct 2016||999|
|13.||Sony RX10 II||5/5||+ +||82/100||4.5/5||4/5||Jun 2015||1,299|
|14.||Sony RX100 III||5/5||+ +||82/100||4.5/5||5/5||May 2014||799|
|15.||Sony RX10||5/5||+||80/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Oct 2013||1,299|
|Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.|
Care should be taken when interpreting the review scores above, though. The ratings were established in reference to similarly priced cameras that were available in the market at the time of the review. Hence, a score should always be seen in the context of the camera's market launch date and its price, and comparing ratings of very distinct cameras or ones that are far apart in terms of their release date have little meaning. Also, kindly note that some of the listed sites have over time developped their review approaches and their reporting style.
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. As an alternative, you can also directly jump to any one of the listed comparisons that were previously generated by the CAM-parator tool.
Specifications: Sony RX10 III vs Sony RX100 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 Model||Sony RX10 III||Sony RX100 IV|
|Camera Type||Fixed lens compact camera||Fixed lens compact camera|
|Camera Lens||24-600mm f/2.4-4.0||24-70mm f/1.8-2.8|
|Launch Date||March 2016||June 2015|
|Launch Price||USD 1,499||USD 999|
|Sensor Specs||Sony RX10 III||Sony RX100 IV|
|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|
|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 - 12,800 ISO||125 - 12,800 ISO|
|ISO Boost||64 - 25,600 ISO||80 - 25,600 ISO|
|Image Processor||BIONZ X||BIONZ X|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||70||70|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||23.1||22.8|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||12.6||12.6|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||472||591|
|Screen Specs||Sony RX10 III||Sony RX100 IV|
|Viewfinder Type||Electronic viewfinder||Electronic viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||100%||100%|
|Viewfinder Resolution||2359k dots||2359k dots|
|Top-Level Screen||Control Panel||no Top Display|
|LCD Framing||Live View||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||3.0inch||3.0inch|
|LCD Resolution||1229k dots||1228k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Tilting screen||Tilting screen|
|Shooting Specs||Sony RX10 III||Sony RX100 IV|
|Focus System||Contrast-detect AF||Contrast-detect AF|
|Manual Focusing Aid||Focus Peaking||Focus Peaking|
|Max Shutter Speed (mechanical)||1/2000s||1/2000s|
|Continuous Shooting||14 shutter flaps/s||16 shutter flaps/s|
|Electronic Shutter||up to 1/32000s||up to 1/32000s|
|Fill Flash||Built-in Flash||Built-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 III||Sony RX100 IV|
|External Flash||Hotshoe||no Hotshoe|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||micro HDMI||micro HDMI|
|Microphone Port||External MIC port||no MIC socket|
|Headphone Socket||Headphone port||no Headphone port|
|Wifi Support||Wifi built-in||Wifi built-in|
|Near-Field Communication||NFC built-in||NFC built-in|
|Body Specs||Sony RX10 III||Sony RX100 IV|
|Environmental Sealing||Weathersealed body||not weather sealed|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||420 shots per charge||280 shots per charge|
|In-Camera Charging||USB charging||USB charging|
133 x 94 x 127 mm
(5.2 x 3.7 x 5.0 in)
102 x 58 x 41 mm
(4.0 x 2.3 x 1.6 in)
|Camera Weight||1051 g (37.1 oz)||298 g (10.5 oz)|
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