Today Sony released the fourth upgrade to the the RX10 camera with the RX10 IV, bringing 24 frames per second stills capture with a buffer limit of up to 249 images. The camera uses continuous autofocus tracking with 215 focal plane phase detection AF points that cover 65% of the frame. This enables the camera to lock focus in as little as 0.03 seconds.
Other AF improvements include an enhanced version of Eye AF, Touch Focus and Focus Range Limiter. AF-ON setting is also assignable, as well as multiple AF modes including AF-S, AF-C and AF-A, which can be adjusted based on your preferences and shooting situations.
One of the biggest and I do mean biggest features is the 24-600mm range zoom lens. With a large f/4.0 aperture on the long end and f/2.4 on the wide you basically have an entire lens kit in the palm of your hand. The lens also has built-in Optical SteadyShot image stabilization that helps to reduce camera shake and image blur. The lens focusing distance of 72 cm (2.36 ft) and 0.49x maximum magnification at a fully extended 600mm is capable of producing detailed tele-macro images.
Sony have also upgraded the RX10 IV sensor with a 1.0-type 20.1 MP Exmor RS CMOS stacked image sensor with DRAM chip. The camera uses the BIONZ X™ image processor and front-end LSI. Having a smaller sensor allows the RX10 IV to remain nimble and lightweight. Larger sensor equals larger heavier lenses to cover that sensor. Sony are making the following claims for the new sensor:
- World’s Fastest AF Speed, 24 fps Continuous Shooting with full AF/AE tracking
- 315 focal-plane phase-detection AF points covering approx. 65% of the frame
- ZEISS® Vario-Sonnar T* 24-600mm f/2.4-f/4 Large Aperture, High Magnification Zoom Lens
- 4K Movie Recording with full pixel readout without pixel binning
The RX10 IV has a high speed Anti-Distortion Shutter (maximum shutter speed of up to 1/32000 second) that reduces the rolling shutter or jello effect commonly experienced with fast moving subjects. This means it can shoot completely silently in all modes, including continuous high speed shooting, when the electronic shutter is engaged. A mechanical shutter mode is also available.
The new RX10 IV model shoots 4K (QFHD 3840 x 2160) movie recording, with a Fast Hybrid AF system that is about twice as fast to focus compared to the RX10 III.
In 4K mode, the new RX10 IV makes use of a full pixel readout without pixel binning, capturing approximately 1.7x more information than is required for 4K movie output to retain fine detail in the image. The camera utilizes the XAVC S codec, recording video at a data rate of up to 100 Mbps depending on shooting mode. Users have the option of shooting at either 24p or 30p in 4K mode (100 Mbps), or in frame rates of up to 120p in Full HD mode.
The RX100 IV has a variety of Picture Profiles including S-Log3/S-Gamut3, Gamma Display Assist, Proxy recording, Time Code / User Bit and more, as well as input for external microphone and yes output for headphone monitoring.
Super slow motion video recording is also available, with a duration of about four seconds (in quality priority mode) and seven seconds (in shoot time priority). This feature gives users the ability to choose from 960fps, 480fps and 240 fps frame rates and from 60p, 30p and 24p playback formats.
Pricing and Availability
The new Sony Cyber-shot RX10 IV camera will ship in October for about $1,700 US. With it’s long 600mm lens the camera would be an ideal camera to bring on trips or events that you don’t want to carry a lot of gear too but still want or need to get that shot from a far. For the price it seems like a reasonable investment for an all around portable hybrid camera. How does it stack up to you? Let’s talk in the comments section below.