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Sony RX100 IV Comparison Review

The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 IV is a fixed lens compact camera that was officially introduced in June 2015 and is equipped with an one-inch sensor. It offers a resolution of 20 megapixel.

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Is the Sony RX100 IV a good camera? The RX100 IV has a Camera Elo of 2192. This rating puts the RX100 IV among the top 30 percent of all travel zoom compact cameras. In terms of its sensor size category (one inch cameras), the RX100 IV ranks below average. Based on its within category standings, the camera earns a 3.5-star performance rating.

Headline Specifications
Sony RX100 IV
Fixed lens compact camera
24-70mm f/1.8-2.8
20 MP, 1" Sensor
4K/30p Video
ISO 125 - 12 800 (80 - 25 600)
Electronic viewfinder (2359k dots)
3.0 LCD, 1228k dots
Tilting screen (no touchscreen)
16 shutter flaps per second
280 shots per battery charge
102 x 58 x 41 mm, 298 g


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Read on to find out more about the camera's size, sensor, features, reception by expert reviewers, and how it compares to other digital cameras.

Body comparison with a credit card

The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size of the Sony RX100 IV vis-à-vis a credit card. Three successive views from the front, the top, and the rear are shown. All width, height and depth measures are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

Sony RX100 IV vs credit card front
RX100 IV versus credit card top view
RX100 IV and credit card rear side

The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the Sony RX100 IV alongside a set of comparators. If you want to review a camera pair side-by-side, just select a right-side 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 comparisons there.

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Body Specifications
  Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life 1
Weather
Sealing
Camera
Launch 2
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
 
Sony RX100 IV 4.0 in 2.3 in 1.6 in 10.5 oz 280 n Jun 2015 999i
 
Canon G7 X 4.1 in 2.4 in 1.6 in 10.7 oz 210 n Sep 2014 699i
 
Panasonic FZ1000 5.4 in 3.9 in 5.2 in 29.3 oz 360 n Jun 2014 899i
 
Sony RX100 VII 4.0 in 2.3 in 1.7 in 10.7 oz 260 n Jul 2019 1,199 i
 
Sony RX100 VI 4.0 in 2.3 in 1.7 in 10.6 oz 240 n Jun 2018 1,199i
 
Sony RX100 V 4.0 in 2.3 in 1.6 in 10.5 oz 220 n Oct 2016 999 i
 
Sony A5000 4.3 in 2.5 in 1.4 in 9.5 oz 420 n Jan 2014 449i
 
Sony A5100 4.3 in 2.5 in 1.4 in 10.0 oz 400 n Aug 2014 549 i
 
Sony A6000 4.7 in 2.6 in 1.8 in 12.1 oz 360 n Feb 2014 599i
 
Sony RX100 III 4.0 in 2.3 in 1.6 in 10.2 oz 320 n May 2014 799i
 
Sony RX100 II 4.0 in 2.3 in 1.5 in 9.9 oz 350 n Jun 2013 749i
Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.
(1) Number of images that can be taken on a full battery charge according to the CIPA-standard; (2) Official announcement.

The listed prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The Sony RX100 IV was launched in the US market at a price of $999. 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.

Sony RX100 IV:
Check Ebay offers

Sensor comparison with a 35mm slide

The size of the imaging sensor is a crucial determinant 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. 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.

The Sony RX100 IV features an one-inch sensor and has a format factor (sometimes also referred to as "crop factor") of 2.7. Within the spectrum of camera sensors, this places the Sony RX100 IV among the medium-sized sensor cameras that aim to strike a balance between image quality and portability.

Sony RX100 IV sensor measures

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 adjacent table reports on the physical sensor characteristics and the outcomes of the DXO sensor quality tests for a sample of comparator-cameras.

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Sensor Characteristics
  Camera
Model
Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
 
Sony RX100 IV 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p22.812.659170
 
Canon G7 X 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p23.012.755671
 
Panasonic FZ1000 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p22.111.751764
 
Sony RX100 VII 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p21.812.441863
 
Sony RX100 VI 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p........
 
Sony RX100 V 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p22.812.458670
 
Sony A5000 APS-C 19.8 5456 36321080/60i23.813.0108979
 
Sony A5100 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p23.812.7134780
 
Sony A6000 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.113.1134782
 
Sony RX100 III 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p22.412.349567
 
Sony RX100 II 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p22.512.448367

Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but can also record movies. The RX100 IV indeed provides movie recording capabilities. The highest resolution format that the RX100 IV can use is 4K/30p.

Feature comparison

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. For example, the RX100 IV has an electronic viewfinder with a resolution of 2359k dots. The viewfinder offers a field of view of 100% and a magnification of 0.22x. The adjacent tables list some of the other core features of the Sony RX100 IV along with similar information for a selection of comparators.

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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
 
Sony RX100 IV2359 n 3.0 1228 tilting n 1/2000s 16.0 Y Y
 
Canon G7 Xnone n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/2000s 6.5 Y Y
 
Panasonic FZ10002359 n 3.0 921 swivel n 1/4000s 12.0 Y Y
 
Sony RX100 VII2359 n 3.0 921 tilting Y 1/2000s 90.0 Y Y
 
Sony RX100 VI2359 n 3.0 1229 tilting Y 1/2000s 24.0 Y Y
 
Sony RX100 V2359 n 3.0 1229 tilting n 1/2000s 24.0 Y Y
 
Sony A5000none n 3.0 461 tilting n 1/4000s 3.5 Y n
 
Sony A5100none n 3.0 922 tilting Y 1/4000s 6.0 Y n
 
Sony A60001440 n 3.0 922 tilting n 1/4000s 11.0 Y n
 
Sony RX100 III1440 n 3.0 1229 tilting n 1/2000s 10.0 Y Y
 
Sony RX100 IIoptional n 3.0 1229 tilting n 1/2000s 10.0 Y Y

One convenient feature of the RX100 IV is the presence of an on-board flash. While this built-in flash is not very powerful, it can at times be useful as a fill-in light to brighten deep shadow areas.

Connection 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-RX100 IV and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.

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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
 
Sony RX100 IV-stereomono--micro2.0YY-
 
Canon G7 X-stereomono--micro2.0YY-
 
Panasonic FZ1000YstereomonoY-micro2.0YY-
 
Sony RX100 VII-stereomonoY-micro2.0YYY
 
Sony RX100 VI-stereomono--micro2.0YYY
 
Sony RX100 V-stereomono--micro2.0YY-
 
Sony A5000-stereomono--micro2.0YY-
 
Sony A5100-stereomono--micro2.0YY-
 
Sony A6000Ystereomono--micro2.0YY-
 
Sony RX100 III-stereomono--micro2.0YY-
 
Sony RX100 IIYstereomono--micro2.0YY-

It is notable that the RX100 IV offers wifi support. Wifi can be a very convenient means to transfer image data to an off-camera location.

The RX100 IV has a zoom lens built in (8.8-25.7mm f/1.8-2.8), which, in full frame equivalent terms, provides a focal length range from 24 to 70mm. The camera is, hence, ready to shoot, while remaining more compact in size than an interchangeable lens camera with an optic that offers similar focal length and aperture specifications.

Expert reviews

While the comparison of the spec-sheets of cameras can offer a general idea of their imaging potential, it remains partial and cannot reveal, for example, the handling experience and imaging performance when actually working with the RX100 IV. 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 table below summarizes the assessments of some of the best known camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, photographyblog).

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Review Scores
  Camera
Model
camera
  labs  
dp
review  
ephoto
  zine  
imaging
resource
photography
  blog  
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
 
Sony RX100 IV+ +85/1004/54.5/54.5/5 Jun 2015 999i
 
Canon G7 X+ +77/1004.5/53.5/54.5/5 Sep 2014 699i
 
Panasonic FZ1000+ +82/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Jun 2014 899i
 
Sony RX100 VII....4/5..5/5 Jul 2019 1,199 i
 
Sony RX100 VI+ +83/1004/5..4.5/5 Jun 2018 1,199i
 
Sony RX100 V+ +83/1004/55/54.5/5 Oct 2016 999 i
 
Sony A5000+..4.5/5o4.5/5 Jan 2014 449i
 
Sony A5100+..4.5/54.5/55/5 Aug 2014 549 i
 
Sony A6000+80/1004.5/55/55/5 Feb 2014 599i
 
Sony RX100 III+ +82/1004.5/54.5/55/5 May 2014 799i
 
Sony RX100 II+ +79/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Jun 2013 749i
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.

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. Thus, a score needs to be put into the context of the launch date and the launch price of the camera, and rating-comparisons among cameras that span long time periods or concern very differently equipped models make little sense. It should also be noted that some of the review sites have over time altered the way they render their verdicts.

Sony RX100 IV FAQ

Below are some additional questions and answers concerning some particular features of the RX100 IV.

What technology is the imaging sensor in the RX100 IV based on?

The camera features a BSI-CMOS (Backside Illuminated Complementary Metal–Oxide–Semiconductor) sensor.

Which image processing chip is used to convert the raw signal into an image file and perform noise reduction and image sharpening?

Sony equipped the RX100 IV with the BIONZ X image processor.

What is the ISO sensitivity range of the RX100 IV?

The camera has a native sensitivity range from ISO 125 to ISO 12800, which can be extended to ISO 80-25600.

Does the camera have a selfie-friendly screen?

Yes, the LCD-screen of the RX100 IV is flexible and can be turned to be front-facing for capturing selfies.

Is completely silent shooting possible with the Sony RX100 IV?

The camera has an electronic shutter option, so that it is indeed feasible to capture images without any shutter noise.

Is it difficult to use manual focus lenses with the Sony RX100 IV?

The RX100 IV offers focus peaking as a manual focus aid. This feature works by placing a colored highlight on in-focus zones within the image.

Does the Sony RX100 IV feature an autofocus assist light?

Yes, the camera has a lamp built-in that can illuminate the subject and improve autofocus in low-light settings.

Does the Sony RX100 IV support the Ultra High Speed (UHS) bus interface for SD cards?

Yes, the camera can indeed use UHS-I cards (data transfer speed of up to 104 MB/s).

Which battery does the RX100 IV use?

The camera gets its power from the NP-BX1 (here at amazon), which is a rechargeable Lithium-Ion power pack.

Camera to camera comparisons

If you would like to see a side-by-side review of this and another camera, 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.

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    Specifications Summary
    Camera Model Sony RX100 IV
    Camera Type Fixed lens compact camera
    Camera Lens 24-70mm f/1.8-2.8
    Launch Date June 2015
    Launch Price USD 999
    Sensor Specs
    Sensor Technology BSI-CMOS
    Sensor Format 1" Sensor
    Sensor Size 13.2 x 8.8 mm
    Sensor Area 116 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 15.9 mm
    Crop Factor 2.7x
    Sensor Resolution 20 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 5 472 x 3 648 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 2.41 μm
    Pixel Density 17.18 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability 4K/30p Video
    ISO Setting 125 - 12 800 ISO
    ISO Boost 80 - 25 600 ISO
    Image Processor BIONZ X
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) 70
    DXO Color Depth (bits) 22.8
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) 12.6
    DXO Low Light (ISO) 591
    Screen Specs
    Viewfinder Type Electronic viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 100%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.22x
    Viewfinder Resolution 2359k dots
    LCD Framing Live View
    LCD Size 1228k dots
    LCD Attachment Tilting screen
    Shooting Specs
    Focus System Contrast-detect AF
    Manual Focusing AidFocus Peaking
    Maximum Shutter Speed 1/2000s
    Continuous Shooting 16 shutter flaps/s
    Silent ShootingElectronic Shutter
    Time Lapse Photographyno Intervalometer
    Fill Flash Build-in Flash
    Storage Medium MS or SDXC cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot
    UHS card support UHS-I
    Connectivity Specs
    External Flash no Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 2.0
    HDMI Port micro HDMI
    Wifi Support Wifi built-in
    Near-Field Communication NFC built-in
    Body Specs
    Battery Type NP-BX1 power pack
    Battery Life (CIPA)280 shots per charge
    In-Camera Charging USB charging
    Body Dimensions 102 x 58 x 41 mm
    (4.0 x 2.3 x 1.6 in)
    Camera Weight 298 g (10.5 oz)

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