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Sony RX100 IV Review - Lens, Performance and AF Review


Sony RX100 IV – Lens

As feature-packed as the camera is, there are only so many miracles Sony can pull off. The Sony RX100 IV has a fairly modest zoom range, and you should check out the Sony RX100 VI if your requirements exceed the range offered here.

It’s a 24-70mm equivalent lens, which is perfect range for landscape shots, street photography and portraits. Going on safari? You really need greater range, but it offers decent flexibility for most situations regardless.

This is also a very “bright” lens, with impressive maximum aperture just like the RX100 III. At 24mm you get max aperture of f/1.8, reducing to f/2.8 further down the zoom. It’s an high-end lens, and you can even choose the speed at which the zoom operates. This is handy for video.

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Sony RX100 IV – Features

The Sony RX100 IV offers plenty of features, some you might not expect given its stature. On the more predictable side, it has Wi-Fi and NFC, letting you hook up the camera to a phone for image transfer and remote shutter control.

There’s a 3-stop ND filter too, enabling you to cut down the amount of light that travels through to the sensor. This allows for longer exposure times during daylight, and use of the full capabilities of the lens wherever you’re shooting. The one weak point is battery life, which at 280 shots per charge isn’t too hot. However, this is something that affects all cameras in this class.

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Charging the Sony RX100 IV is simple. It has a micro-USB slot, enabling you to use your phone charger – or even a portable battery used to top-up your phone or tablet.

We’ve not even touched on the parts specific to the Sony RX100 IV, though. These are all about supreme speed.

Sony RX100 IV – Performance and AF

The Sony RX100 IV is a fast camera, whose stacked CMOS sensor design and new processor/DRAM combo mean it’s still one of the fastest cameras around for handling lots of image data. On the traditional end of shooting speed, this gets you a burst mode capable of reaching 16fps.

In comparison, the Sony RX100 III manages an until-now-impressive 10fps. While it’s since been overtaken by its two successors’ 24fps mode, the Sony RX100 IV’s speed means it’s still one of the most capable ultra-pocketable action cameras out there. It’ll shoot 44 top-quality JPEG shots at 16fps before the buffer runs out, or 29 RAW files at 9fps.

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It’s fast to focus too, much as it relies on a contrast-detection AF system, rather than a more advanced hybrid one that also includes phase-detection points. Sony’s claim for the system is that it focuses in 0.09 seconds.

A lack of phase detection gives Sony something to work on for the Sony RX100 V, but focusing speed doesn’t let the camera down. It feels fast.

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