First Impressions: Sony RX10 IV

Today Sony announced the newest addition to their RX10 camera series with the RX10 IV. The 20.1 megapixel camera has a 24-600mm f/2.4-4 lens, 315 phase-detection AF points which cover 65% of the frame, 24fps continuous shooting with full AF/AE tracking and anti-distortion shooting up to 1/32,000. Simply put, its a whole lot of tech crammed into a camera that at 2 lbs, remains considerably lightweight.

Based on our initial impressions in the field, its an impressive and versatile fixed zoom lens camera for sports and wildlife photographers.

Tech Specs:

-1.0-type 20.1 MP6 Exmor RS CMOS stacked image sensor with DRAM chip along with a powerful BIONZ X image processor and front-end LSI

-24fps continuous shooting with full AF/AE tracking for up to 249 frames

-315 focal-plane phase-detection AF points covering approximately 65% of the frame

-4.5-step optical images stabilization

-3.0-type 1.44M dot tiltable LCD screen with Touch Focus and Touch Pad function

-Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T* 24-600mm F2.4-F4 Large Aperture, High Magnification Zoom Lens

-High speed Anti-Distortion Shutter (maximum shutter speed of up to 1/32000 second)

-4K Movie Recording with full pixel readout without pixel binning

-Super slow motion video recording at 240/480/960 fps up  to 7 seconds for up to 40x super slow motion.

Ergonomics:

Ergonomically the RX10 IV feels great. The grip on the right side of the camera is substantial and and the placement of the controls is intuitive. The bulk of these controls are found on the top and the front of the camera.  On the front of the camera near the lens you will find the aperture click switch, the focus mode dial and the focus hold button. The controls on the top of the camera are similar in design to many recent Sony cameras: the mode dial, flash pop up button, a W/T zoom lever, shutter button, exposure compensation dial, on/off switch and two custom buttons.

The back of the camera features a large 3” tilting LCD screen, a bright XGA OLED Tru-Finder, a well-placed and slightly raised movie recording button, control dial, AEL button, Function button, Control wheel, Center button, a third custom button and the playback button.

The left side of the camera features a microphone jack, headphone jack, multi/micro jack and an HDMI micro jack. The memory card pops into the right side of the camera.

Build Quality:

The RX10 IV is apparently resistant to dust and moisture, but during our limited time with it we didn’t encounter either of these elements—but it certainly feels solid. We’re looking forward to putting this camera through additional tests.

Autofocus:

The RX10 IV model utilizes High-density Tracking AF technology, which in the past, has only been available on select a series interchangeable lens cameras—and the results are impressive! While shooting in the field we found the Autofocus on the RX10 IV very impressive while shooting fast moving birds of prey, agility dogs and professional soccer players.

The RX10 IV integrates EYE AF, Touch Focus and Focus Range Limiter—these three settings allowed us to lock onto our subjects in the field and produce sharp handheld images even at the 500-600 zoom range.

Ease of Use:

If you are familiar with other Sony cameras you will likely find the dials and menus on the RX10 IV very user friendly.

Image Quality:

Check out our image samples below

First Impressions:

After spending a few hours with the RX10 IV, we’re very impressed with this camera so far. The improved AF—perhaps its biggest selling point—was incredibly quick during our field tests. The 315 focal-plane phase-detection seemed to have no problem grabbing onto fast moving subjects and the promise of 24fps continuous shooting  up to 249 frames did not disappoint. There certainly seems like there is a lot of potential here. We’re looking forward to seeing what this camera can do when we have the time to fully review it.