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Sony RX10 IV versus Sony RX10

The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10 IV and the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10 are two enthusiast cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in September 2017 and October 2013. Both the RX10 IV and the RX10 are fixed lens compact cameras that are equipped with an one-inch sensor. Both cameras offer a resolution of 20 megapixel. 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 RX10 IV vs Sony RX10

An illustration of the physical size and weight of the Sony RX10 IV and the Sony RX10 is provided in the side-by-side display below. Three consecutive views from the front, the top, and the rear side are shown. All width, height and depth measures 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 RX10 IV – represents the basis for the calculations across all the size and weight measures).

Snapsort Sony RX10 IV vs Sony RX10
Compare RX10 IV versus RX10 top
Compare RX10 IV and RX10 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Sony RX10 is notably smaller (9 percent) than the Sony RX10 IV. Moreover, the RX10 is markedly lighter (26 percent) than the RX10 IV. 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 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)
Used
Price
(USD)
Sony RX10 IV» 5.2 in 3.7 in 5.7 in 38.6 oz 400 Y Sep 2017 1,699 i i
Sony RX10« 5.1 in 3.5 in 4.0 in 28.7 oz 420 Y Oct 2013 1,299- i
Canon G1 X Mark III« » 4.5 in 3.1 in 2.0 in 14.1 oz 200 Y Oct 2017 1,299 i i
Canon 7D II« » 5.9 in 4.4 in 3.1 in 32.1 oz 670 Y Sep 2014 1,799 i i
Canon 70D« » 5.5 in 4.1 in 3.1 in 26.6 oz 920 Y Jul 2013 1,199- i
Fujifilm X-Pro2« » 5.6 in 3.3 in 1.8 in 17.5 oz 350 Y Jan 2016 1,699 i i
Fujifilm X-T2« » 5.2 in 3.6 in 1.9 in 17.9 oz 340 Y Jul 2016 1,599 i i
Nikon D500« » 5.8 in 4.5 in 3.2 in 30.3 oz 1240 Y Jan 2016 1,999 i i
Nikon D7100« » 5.4 in 4.2 in 3.0 in 27.0 oz 950 Y Feb 2013 1,199- i
Sony A6300« » 4.7 in 2.6 in 1.9 in 14.3 oz 400 Y Feb 2016 999- i
Sony A6500« » 4.7 in 2.6 in 2.1 in 16.0 oz 350 Y Oct 2016 1,399 i i
Sony RX10 III« » 5.2 in 3.7 in 5.0 in 37.1 oz 420 Y Mar 2016 1,499- i
Sony RX100 V« » 4.0 in 2.3 in 1.6 in 10.5 oz 220 n Oct 2016 999 i i
Sony RX10 II« » 5.1 in 3.5 in 4.0 in 28.7 oz 400 Y Jun 2015 1,299- i

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. The RX10 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. 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 RX10 IV vs Sony RX10

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. 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 are more costly to manufacture and tend to 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 IV and Sony RX10 sensor measures

The two cameras under review do not only share the same sensor size, but also offer an identical resolution of 20 megapixel. This similarity in sensor specs implies that both the RX10 IV and the RX10 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 3 years and 10 months) than the RX10, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time.

RX10 IV versus RX10 MP

For most 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 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 Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
Sony RX10 IV» 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p----
Sony RX10« 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p22.912.647469
Canon G1 X Mark III« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p----
Canon 7D II« » APS-C 20.0 5472 36481080/60p22.411.8108270
Canon 70D« » APS-C 20.0 5472 36481080/30p22.511.692668
Fujifilm X-Pro2« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p----
Fujifilm X-T2« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40004K/30p----
Nikon D500« » APS-C 20.7 5568 37124K/30p24.014.0132483
Nikon D7100« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.213.7125683
Sony A6300« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40004K/30p24.413.7143785
Sony A6500« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40004K/30p24.513.7140585
Sony RX10 III« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p23.112.647270
Sony RX100 V« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p22.812.458670
Sony RX10 II« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p23.012.653170

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, but the RX10 IV provides a higher video resolution than the RX10. It can shoot video footage at 4K/30p, while the RX10 is limited to 1080/60p.

 

Feature comparison: Sony RX10 IV vs Sony RX10

Beyond 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 RX10 IV offers a substantially higher resolution than the one in the RX10 (2359k vs 1440k dots). The following table reports on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Sony RX10 IV, the Sony RX10, and comparable cameras. The full specs-sheets can be found in the camera manual or, for example, in the dpreview camera hub.

Core Features
  Camera 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
Sony RX10 IV»2359 Y 3.0 1440 tilting Y 2000 24.0 Y Y
Sony RX10«1440 Y 3.0 1229 tilting n 3200 10.0 Y Y
Canon G1 X Mark III« »2360 n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 2000 9.0 Y Y
Canon 7D II« »optical Y 3.0 1040 fixed n 8000 10.0 Y n
Canon 70D« »optical Y 3.0 1040 swivel Y 8000 7.0 Y n
Fujifilm X-Pro2« »2360 n 3.0 1620 fixed n 8000 8.0 n n
Fujifilm X-T2« »2360 n 3.0 1040 tilting n 8000 14.0 n n
Nikon D500« »optical Y 3.2 2359 tilting Y 8000 10.0 n n
Nikon D7100« »optical Y 3.2 1229 fixed n 8000 6.0 Y n
Sony A6300« »2300 n 3.0 922 tilting n 4000 11.0 Y n
Sony A6500« »2300 n 3.0 922 tilting Y 4000 11.0 Y Y
Sony RX10 III« »2359 Y 3.0 1229 tilting n 2000 14.0 Y Y
Sony RX100 V« »2359 n 3.0 1229 tilting n 2000 24.0 Y Y
Sony RX10 II« »2359 Y 3.0 1229 tilting n 3200 14.0 Y Y

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

The RX10 IV is a current model that online retailers, such as amazon, will have in stock. In contrast, the RX10 has been discontinued (but it can be found pre-owned on eBay). As a replacement in the same line of cameras, the RX10 was succeeded by the Sony RX10 II.

Review summary: Sony RX10 IV vs Sony RX10

So what conclusions can be drawn? Which of the two cameras – the Sony RX10 IV or the Sony RX10 – has the upper hand? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.


Arguments in favor of the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10 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 (1440k vs 1229k dots).
  • Fewer buttons to press: Is equipped with a touch-sensitive rear screen to facilitate handling.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (24 vs 10 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 3 years and 10 months of technical progress since the RX10 launch.


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

  • Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (3200/sec vs 2000/sec) to freeze action.
  • Less heavy: Has a lower weight (by 282g or 26 percent) and is thus easier to take along.
  • More affordable: Was released into a lower priced segment (24 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More heavily discounted: Has been around for much longer (launched in October 2013).

If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the RX10 IV is the clear winner of the match-up (8 : 4 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.

RX10 IV 08:04 RX10

In any case, while the comparison of technical specifications can provide a useful overview of the capabilities of different cameras, it remains incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the RX10 IV or the RX10 handle or perform in practice. 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 detailed reviews can be accessed by clicking on the site logo in the table header.

Review scores
  Camera cameralabs dpreview ephotozine imaging-resource photographyblog Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Sony RX10 IV»Rec84/1004.5/5-5/5 Sep 2017 1,699 i i
Sony RX10«Rec80/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Oct 2013 1,299- i
Canon G1 X Mark III« »Rec79/1004.5/5-4.5/5 Oct 2017 1,299 i i
Canon 7D II« »Rec84/1004/55/54.5/5 Sep 2014 1,799 i i
Canon 70D« »HiRec83/1004.5/54.5/55/5 Jul 2013 1,199- i
Fujifilm X-Pro2« »Rec83/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Jan 2016 1,699 i i
Fujifilm X-T2« »HiRec86/1004.5/55/55/5 Jul 2016 1,599 i i
Nikon D500« »HiRec91/1004.5/55/55/5 Jan 2016 1,999 i i
Nikon D7100« »HiRec85/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Feb 2013 1,199- i
Sony A6300« »Rec85/1005/55/55/5 Feb 2016 999- i
Sony A6500« »HiRec85/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Oct 2016 1,399 i i
Sony RX10 III« »Rec84/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Mar 2016 1,499- i
Sony RX100 V« »HiRec83/1004/55/54.5/5 Oct 2016 999 i i
Sony RX10 II« »HiRec82/1004.5/54.5/54/5 Jun 2015 1,299- i

The review scores listed above should be treated with care, 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 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? If you would like to see a different side-by-side camera review, just use the search menu below. There is also a set of direct links to comparison reviews that other users of the CAM-parator app explored. If the camera you are interested in is not available, please send me an email, and I will try to update the database with the necessary infos.

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