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.
Is the Sony RX100 IV a good camera? The RX100 IV has a Camera Elo of 2234. 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.
|Sony RX100 IV|
|Fixed lens compact camera|
|20 MP, 1" Sensor|
|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|
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.
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.
|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 RX100 VII||102 mm||58 mm||43 mm||302 g||260||n||Jul 2019||1,199|
|Sony RX100 VI||102 mm||58 mm||43 mm||301 g||240||n||Jun 2018||1,199|
|Sony RX100 V||102 mm||58 mm||41 mm||299 g||220||n||Oct 2016||999|
|Sony A5000||110 mm||63 mm||36 mm||269 g||420||n||Jan 2014||449|
|Sony A5100||110 mm||63 mm||36 mm||283 g||400||n||Aug 2014||549|
|Sony A6000||120 mm||67 mm||45 mm||344 g||360||n||Feb 2014||599|
|Sony RX100 III||102 mm||58 mm||41 mm||290 g||320||n||May 2014||799|
|Sony RX100 II||102 mm||58 mm||38 mm||281 g||350||n||Jun 2013||749|
|Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.|
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.
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.
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.
| DXO |
|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|
|Sony RX100 VII||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||4K/30p||21.8||12.4||418||63|
|Sony RX100 VI||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||4K/30p||..||..||..||..|
|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 RX100 II||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||22.5||12.4||483||67|
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.
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.
|Sony RX100 IV||2359||n||3.0||1228||tilting||n||1/2000s||16.0||Y||Y|
|Canon G7 X||none||n||3.0||1040||tilting||Y||1/2000s||6.5||Y||Y|
|Sony RX100 VII||2359||n||3.0||921||tilting||Y||1/2000s||90.0||Y||Y|
|Sony RX100 VI||2359||n||3.0||1229||tilting||Y||1/2000s||24.0||Y||Y|
|Sony RX100 V||2359||n||3.0||1229||tilting||n||1/2000s||24.0||Y||Y|
|Sony RX100 III||1440||n||3.0||1229||tilting||n||1/2000s||10.0||Y||Y|
|Sony RX100 II||optional||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.
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.
| WiFi |
| NFC |
|Sony RX100 IV||-||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|Canon G7 X||-||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|Sony RX100 VII||-||stereo||mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||Y|
|Sony RX100 VI||-||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||Y|
|Sony RX100 V||-||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|Sony RX100 III||-||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|Sony RX100 II||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
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.
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).
|Sony RX100 IV||+ +||85/100||4/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jun 2015||999|
|Canon G7 X||+ +||77/100||4.5/5||3.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2014||699|
|Panasonic FZ1000||+ +||82/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jun 2014||899|
|Sony RX100 VII||..||..||4/5||..||5/5||Jul 2019||1,199|
|Sony RX100 VI||+ +||83/100||4/5||..||4.5/5||Jun 2018||1,199|
|Sony RX100 V||+ +||83/100||4/5||5/5||4.5/5||Oct 2016||999|
|Sony A5000||+||..||4.5/5||o||4.5/5||Jan 2014||449|
|Sony A5100||+||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||5/5||Aug 2014||549|
|Sony A6000||+||80/100||4.5/5||5/5||5/5||Feb 2014||599|
|Sony RX100 III||+ +||82/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||5/5||May 2014||799|
|Sony RX100 II||+ +||79/100||4.5/5||5/5||4.5/5||Jun 2013||749|
|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.
|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 Format||1" Sensor|
|Sensor Size||13.2 x 8.8 mm|
|Sensor Area||116 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||15.9 mm|
|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|
|Viewfinder Type||Electronic viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||100%|
|Viewfinder Resolution||2359k dots|
|LCD Framing||Live View|
|LCD Size||1228k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Tilting screen|
|Focus System||Contrast-detect AF|
|Manual Focusing Aid||Focus Peaking|
|Maximum Shutter Speed||1/2000s|
|Continuous Shooting||16 shutter flaps/s|
|Silent Shooting||Electronic Shutter|
|Time Lapse Photography||no Intervalometer|
|Fill Flash||Build-in Flash|
|Storage Medium||MS or SDXC cards|
|Second Storage Option||Single card slot|
|UHS card support||UHS-I|
|External Flash||no Hotshoe|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||micro HDMI|
|Wifi Support||Wifi built-in|
|Near-Field Communication||NFC built-in|
|Battery Type||NP-BX1 power pack|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||280 shots per charge|
|In-Camera Charging||USB charging|
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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