Sony RX100 vs RX100 IV
The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 and the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 IV are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in June 2012 and June 2015. Both the RX100 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. Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their body size, their sensors, their features, their input-output connections, and their reception by expert reviewers.
|Sony RX100||Sony RX100 IV|
|Fixed lens compact camera||Fixed lens compact camera|
|28-100mm f/1.8-4.9||24-70mm f/1.8-2.8|
|20 MP, 1" Sensor||20 MP, 1" Sensor|
|1080/60p Video||4K/30p Video|
|ISO 100-6400 (100-25600)||ISO 125-12800 (80-25600)|
|No viewfinder, LCD framing||Electronic viewfinder (2359k dots)|
|3.0" LCD, 1229k dots||3.0" LCD, 1228k dots|
|Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)||Tilting screen (not touch-sensitive)|
|10 shutter flaps per second||16 shutter flaps per second|
|330 shots per battery charge||280 shots per battery charge|
|102 x 58 x 36 mm, 240 g||102 x 58 x 41 mm, 298 g|
Body comparison: Sony RX100 vs RX100 IV
An illustration of the physical size and weight of the Sony RX100 and the Sony RX100 IV is provided 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 size dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter. If you prefer, you can also use the toggle button to switch to a comparison in percentage terms (in this case, the camera on the left side – the RX100 – represents the basis for the calculations across all the size and weight measures).
In this particular case, the Sony RX100 and the Sony RX100 IV have exactly the same width and height, and, thus, have identically-sized bodies. However, the RX100 IV is markedly heavier (24 percent) than the RX100. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the RX100 nor the RX100 IV are weather-sealed.
The following table provides a synthesis of the main physical specifications of the two cameras and other similar ones. 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.
|Sony RX100»||4.0 in||2.3 in||1.4 in||8.5 oz||330||n||Jun 2012||649||-||Sony RX100|
|Sony RX100 IV«||4.0 in||2.3 in||1.6 in||10.5 oz||280||n||Jun 2015||999||-||Sony RX100 IV|
|Canon G9 X Mark II« »||3.9 in||2.3 in||1.2 in||7.3 oz||235||n||Jan 2017||529||Canon G9 X Mark II|
|Canon G9 X« »||3.9 in||2.3 in||1.2 in||7.4 oz||220||n||Oct 2015||529||-||Canon G9 X|
|Canon G7 X« »||4.1 in||2.4 in||1.6 in||10.7 oz||210||n||Sep 2014||699||-||Canon G7 X|
|Panasonic FZ1000« »||5.4 in||3.9 in||5.2 in||29.3 oz||360||n||Jun 2014||899||-||Panasonic FZ1000|
|Sony RX100 V« »||4.0 in||2.3 in||1.6 in||10.5 oz||220||n||Oct 2016||999||Sony RX100 V|
|Sony A5100« »||4.3 in||2.5 in||1.4 in||10.0 oz||400||n||Aug 2014||549||Sony A5100|
|Sony A6000« »||4.7 in||2.6 in||1.8 in||12.1 oz||360||n||Feb 2014||599||-||Sony A6000|
|Sony RX100 III« »||4.0 in||2.3 in||1.6 in||10.2 oz||320||n||May 2014||799||-||Sony RX100 III|
|Sony RX10« »||5.1 in||3.5 in||4.0 in||28.7 oz||420||Y||Oct 2013||1,299||-||Sony RX10|
|Sony RX100 II« »||4.0 in||2.3 in||1.5 in||9.9 oz||350||n||Jun 2013||749||-||Sony RX100 II|
|Sony NEX-5R« »||4.4 in||2.3 in||1.5 in||9.7 oz||330||n||Aug 2012||749||-||Sony NEX-5R|
|Sony NEX-5N« »||4.4 in||2.3 in||1.5 in||9.5 oz||460||n||Aug 2011||699||-||Sony NEX-5N|
|Sony NEX-C3« »||4.3 in||2.4 in||1.3 in||7.9 oz||400||n||Jun 2011||599||-||Sony NEX-C3|
Any camera decision will naturally be influenced heavily by the price. 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 was launched at a markedly lower price (by 35 percent) than the RX100 IV, 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.
Sensor comparison: Sony RX100 vs RX100 IV
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. 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 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 RX100 and the RX100 IV have the same pixel density, as well as the same pixel size. It should, however, be noted that the RX100 IV is much more recent (by 3 years) than the RX100, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time.
The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 6400, which can be extended to ISO 100-25600. 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..
Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for many cameras. This service is based on lab testing and assigns an overall score to each camera sensor, as well as ratings for dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), color depth ("DXO Portrait"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"). Of the two cameras under consideration, the RX100 IV has a markedly higher DXO score than the RX100 (overall score 4 points higher), which will translate into better image quality. The advantage is based on 0.2 bits higher color depth, 0.2 EV in additional dynamic range, and 0.6 stops in additional low light sensitivity. The following table provides an overview of the physical sensor characteristics, as well as the sensor quality measurements for a selection of comparators.
|Sony RX100»||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||22.6||12.4||390||66||Sony RX100|
|Sony RX100 IV«||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||4K/30p||22.8||12.6||591||70||Sony RX100 IV|
|Canon G9 X Mark II« »||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||21.9||12.5||522||65||Canon G9 X Mark II|
|Canon G9 X« »||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||21.5||12.3||495||63||Canon G9 X|
|Canon G7 X« »||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||23.0||12.7||556||71||Canon G7 X|
|Panasonic FZ1000« »||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||4K/30p||22.1||11.7||517||64||Panasonic FZ1000|
|Sony RX100 V« »||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||4K/30p||22.8||12.4||586||70||Sony RX100 V|
|Sony A5100« »||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||23.8||12.7||1347||80||Sony A5100|
|Sony A6000« »||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||24.1||13.1||1347||82||Sony A6000|
|Sony RX100 III« »||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||22.4||12.3||495||67||Sony RX100 III|
|Sony RX10« »||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||22.9||12.6||474||69||Sony RX10|
|Sony RX100 II« »||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||22.5||12.4||483||67||Sony RX100 II|
|Sony NEX-5R« »||APS-C||16.0||4912||3264||1080/60i||23.7||13.1||910||78||Sony NEX-5R|
|Sony NEX-5N« »||APS-C||16.0||4912||3264||1080/60i||23.6||12.7||1079||77||Sony NEX-5N|
|Sony NEX-C3« »||APS-C||16.0||4912||3264||720/30p||22.7||12.2||1083||73||Sony NEX-C3|
Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but also of capturing video footage. The two cameras under consideration both have sensors whose read-out speed is fast enough to capture moving pictures, but the RX100 IV provides a better video resolution than the RX100. It can shoot movie footage at 4K/30p, while the RX100 is limited to 1080/60p.
Feature comparison: Sony RX100 vs RX100 IV
Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the RX100 IV has an electronic viewfinder (2359k dots), which can be very helpful when shooting in bright sunlight. In contrast, the RX100 relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. The table below summarizes some of the other core capabilities of the Sony RX100 and Sony RX100 IV in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar cameras.
|Sony RX100»||-||n||3.0||1229||fixed||n||2000||10.0||Y||Y||Sony RX100|
|Sony RX100 IV«||2359||n||3.0||1228||tilting||n||2000||16.0||Y||Y||Sony RX100 IV|
|Canon G9 X Mark II« »||-||n||3.0||1040||fixed||Y||2000||8.2||Y||Y||Canon G9 X Mark II|
|Canon G9 X« »||-||n||3.0||1040||fixed||Y||2000||6.0||Y||Y||Canon G9 X|
|Canon G7 X« »||-||n||3.0||1040||tilting||Y||2000||6.5||Y||Y||Canon G7 X|
|Panasonic FZ1000« »||2359||n||3.0||921||swivel||n||4000||12.0||Y||Y||Panasonic FZ1000|
|Sony RX100 V« »||2359||n||3.0||1229||tilting||n||2000||24.0||Y||Y||Sony RX100 V|
|Sony A5100« »||-||n||3.0||922||tilting||Y||4000||6.0||Y||n||Sony A5100|
|Sony A6000« »||1440||n||3.0||922||tilting||n||4000||11.0||Y||n||Sony A6000|
|Sony RX100 III« »||1440||n||3.0||1229||tilting||n||2000||10.0||Y||Y||Sony RX100 III|
|Sony RX10« »||1440||Y||3.0||1229||tilting||n||3200||10.0||Y||Y||Sony RX10|
|Sony RX100 II« »||-||n||3.0||1229||tilting||n||2000||10.0||Y||Y||Sony RX100 II|
|Sony NEX-5R« »||-||n||3.0||920||tilting||Y||4000||10.0||n||n||Sony NEX-5R|
|Sony NEX-5N« »||-||n||3.0||920||tilting||Y||4000||10.0||n||n||Sony NEX-5N|
|Sony NEX-C3« »||-||n||3.0||920||tilting||n||4000||5.5||n||n||Sony NEX-C3|
The reported shutter speed and shutter burst refer to the use of the mechanical shutter. In addition, the RX100 IV features 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 RX100 and the RX100 IV have zoom lenses built in. The RX100 has a 28-100mm f/1.8-4.9 optic and the RX100 IV offers a 24-70mm f/1.8-2.8 (focal lengths in full frame equivalent terms). Hence, the RX100 IV provides a wider angle of view at the short end than the RX100, but less tele-photo reach at the long end. Both cameras offer the same maximum aperture.
Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the RX100 and the RX100 IV write their files to SDXC or Memory Stick PRO Duo cards.
Connectivity comparison: Sony RX100 vs RX100 IV
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 and Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 IV and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
|Sony RX100»||-||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||-||-||-||Sony RX100|
|Sony RX100 IV«||-||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-||Sony RX100 IV|
|Canon G9 X Mark II« »||-||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||Y||Canon G9 X Mark II|
|Canon G9 X« »||-||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-||Canon G9 X|
|Canon G7 X« »||-||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-||Canon G7 X|
|Panasonic FZ1000« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-||Panasonic FZ1000|
|Sony RX100 V« »||-||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-||Sony RX100 V|
|Sony A5100« »||-||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-||Sony A5100|
|Sony A6000« »||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-||Sony A6000|
|Sony RX100 III« »||-||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-||Sony RX100 III|
|Sony RX10« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-||Sony RX10|
|Sony RX100 II« »||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-||Sony RX100 II|
|Sony NEX-5R« »||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||-||-||Sony NEX-5R|
|Sony NEX-5N« »||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Sony NEX-5N|
|Sony NEX-C3« »||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Sony NEX-C3|
It is notable that the RX100 IV offers wifi support, which can be a very convenient means to transfer image data to an off-camera location. In contrast, the RX100 does not offer wifi capability.
Both the RX100 and the RX100 IV have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The RX100 was replaced by the Sony RX100 II, while the RX100 IV was followed by the Sony RX100 IV.
Review summary: Sony RX100 vs RX100 IV
So what conclusions can be drawn? Which of the two cameras – the Sony RX100 or the Sony RX100 IV – has the upper hand? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.
Reasons to prefer the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100:
- More tele-reach: Has a longer tele-lens for perspective compression and subject magnification.
- Less heavy: Is lighter (by 58g or 19 percent) and hence easier to carry around.
- Longer lasting: Can take more shots (330 versus 280) on a single battery charge.
- More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (35 percent cheaper at launch).
- More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in June 2012).
Advantages of the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 IV:
- Better image quality: Scores markedly higher (4 points) in the DXO overall evaluation.
- Better low-light sensitivity: Can shoot in dim conditions (0.6 stops ISO advantage).
- Better video: Provides higher definition movie capture (4K/30p vs 1080/60p).
- Easier framing: Has an electronic viewfinder for image framing and settings control.
- More flexible LCD: Has a tilting screen for odd-angle shots in landscape orientation.
- More selfie-friendly: Has an articulated screen that can be turned to be front-facing.
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (16 vs 10 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- Less disturbing: Has an electronic shutter option for completely silent shooting.
- Wider view: Has a wider-angle lens that facilitates landscape or interior shots.
- Easier file upload: Has wifi built in for automatic backup or image transfer to the web.
- Easier device pairing: Supports NFC for fast wireless image transfer over short distances.
- More modern: Reflects 3 years of technical progress since the RX100 launch.
If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the RX100 IV is the clear winner of the contest (12 : 5 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.
In any case, while the comparison of the spec-sheets of cameras can offer a general idea of their imaging potential, it says nothing about, for example, the handling, responsiveness, and overall imaging quality of the RX100 and the RX100 IV in practical situations. 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: Sony RX100 vs RX100 IV
This is where reviews by experts come in. The following table reports the overall rankings of the cameras as published by some of the major 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.
|Sony RX100»||HiRec||78/100||4/5||5/5||5/5||Jun 2012||649||-||Sony RX100|
|Sony RX100 IV«||HiRec||85/100||4/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jun 2015||999||-||Sony RX100 IV|
|Canon G9 X Mark II« »||-||75/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jan 2017||529||Canon G9 X Mark II|
|Canon G9 X« »||HiRec||-||4.5/5||4/5||4.5/5||Oct 2015||529||-||Canon G9 X|
|Canon G7 X« »||HiRec||77/100||4.5/5||3.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2014||699||-||Canon G7 X|
|Panasonic FZ1000« »||HiRec||82/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jun 2014||899||-||Panasonic FZ1000|
|Sony RX100 V« »||HiRec||83/100||4/5||5/5||4.5/5||Oct 2016||999||Sony RX100 V|
|Sony A5100« »||Rec||-||4.5/5||4.5/5||5/5||Aug 2014||549||Sony A5100|
|Sony A6000« »||Rec||80/100||4.5/5||5/5||5/5||Feb 2014||599||-||Sony A6000|
|Sony RX100 III« »||HiRec||82/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||5/5||May 2014||799||-||Sony RX100 III|
|Sony RX10« »||Rec||80/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Oct 2013||1,299||-||Sony RX10|
|Sony RX100 II« »||HiRec||79/100||4.5/5||5/5||4.5/5||Jun 2013||749||-||Sony RX100 II|
|Sony NEX-5R« »||-||-||4.5/5||-||4.5/5||Aug 2012||749||-||Sony NEX-5R|
|Sony NEX-5N« »||HiRec||79/100||4.5/5||5/5||4.5/5||Aug 2011||699||-||Sony NEX-5N|
|Sony NEX-C3« »||HiRec||74/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4/5||Jun 2011||599||-||Sony NEX-C3|
Care should be taken when interpreting the review scores above, though. The ratings are only valid when referring to cameras in the same category and of the same age. A score, therefore, has to be seen in close connection to the price and market introduction time of the camera, and comparing ratings of very distinct cameras or ones that are far apart in terms of their release date have little meaning. 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 make a corresponding selection in the search boxes below. An an alternative, you can also directly jump to any one of the listed comparisons that were previously generated by the CAM-parator tool.
- Canon 1D Mark II N vs Canon T7i
- Canon 800D vs Sony A7 III
- Fujifilm X-H1 vs Sony A7R II
- Nikon D5100 vs Olympus E-M1 II
- Nikon D5600 vs Leica D-LUX Typ 109
- Panasonic GX8 vs Leica T
- Panasonic GX8 vs Sony RX100 VI
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- Panasonic LX10 vs Panasonic G85
- Panasonic LX10 vs Sony A6000
- Sony A7R II vs Nikon Df
- Sony NEX-5N vs Canon 5D
Specifications: Sony RX100 vs Sony RX100 IV
|Camera Model||Sony RX100||Sony RX100 IV|
|Camera Type||Fixed lens compact camera||Fixed lens compact camera|
|Camera Lens||28-100mm f/1.8-4.9||24-70mm f/1.8-2.8|
|Launch Date||June 2012||June 2015|
|Launch Price||USD 649||USD 999|
|Sensor Format||1" Sensor||1" Sensor|
|Sensor Size||13.2 x 8.8 mm||13.2 x 8.8 mm|
|MP Resolution||20 Megapixels||20 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||5472 x 3648 pixels||5472 x 3648 pixels|
|Pixel Size||2.41 μm||2.41 μm|
|Movie Capability||1080/60p Video||4K/30p Video|
|ISO Setting||100-6400 ISO||125-12800 ISO|
|ISO Boost||100-25600 ISO||80-25600 ISO|
|Viewfinder Type||No viewfinder||Electronic viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Resolution||n/a||2359k dots|
|Rear LCD Size||3.0 inch||3.0 inch|
|LCD Resolution||1229k dots||1228k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Fixed screen||Tilting screen|
|Maximum Shutter Speed||1/2000s||1/2000s|
|Continuous Shooting||10 shutter flaps/s||16 shutter flaps/s|
|Silent Shooting||no E-Shutter||Electronic Shutter|
|Fill Flash||Build-in Flash||Build-in Flash|
|Storage Medium||MS or SDXC cards||MS or SDXC cards|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||micro HDMI||micro HDMI|
|Wifi Support||no Wifi||Wifi built-in|
|Near-Field Communication||no NFC||NFC built-in|
|Battery Type||NP-BX1 power pack||NP-BX1 power pack|
|Battery Life||330 shots per charge||280 shots per charge|
102 x 58 x 36 mm
(4.0 x 2.3 x 1.4 in)
102 x 58 x 41 mm
(4.0 x 2.3 x 1.6 in)
|Camera Weight||240 g (8.5 oz)||298 g (10.5 oz)|
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