• SPECIFICATIONS
  • Sensor: 20.1MP Exmor R CMOS Sensor
  • Display: 3.0-inch multi-angle X-tra Fine LCD
  • Processor: Sony BIONZ X
  • Video Recording: 4K
  • Storage: SDHC, SDXC
  • Connectivity: HDMI, USB, WiFi, NFC
  • Pros:
  • Great image and video quality
  • Feature-packed
  • Cons:
  • Price
  • No flash hotshoe
  • EVF not glasses-friendly

Pocket Rocket Camera

Recently, Sony went all out in launching brand new cameras, signalling their intent to capture a wide swath of the prosumer market with their offering. One of them is a renewed version of an old favourite of ours, the Sony RX-100 MkIV point and shoot camera that punches well above its weight.

The previous iteration of the Sony RX-100, the MkIII was one of our favourite compact cameras ever. It sported optics and components more commonly found in DSLR, but packaged in a compact package that affords users both portability and performance as well. The RX-100 MkIV is no different, although it does pack more features this time around.

The RX-100 MkIV sports a brand new stacked Exmor RS CMOS 1 inch backlit sensor that can capture more light, thanks to the fact that all the circuitry in the camera is pushed to the back of it. This means that the RX-100 MkIV features an aperture of f1.8, with a Carl Zeiss lens that goes from 24mm to 70mm at full tilt.

The camera itself sports a pop-up flash, an electronic viewfinder and PASM dial that are all strategically placed for ease of use. The EVF, while useful for things like focus-peaking and such, is not very glasses-friendly, as in our experience of using it, is very blurry. For camera buffs who like to play with shutter speeds, the RX-100 MkIV is capable of going as low as 1/32,000 sec., for that split-second photography, such as sports and activities that involve a lot of movement.

As far as photo quality goes, the RX-100 MkIV is as impressive, if not even more impressive than its predecessor. Even under low-light conditions, the camera takes some pretty immaculate photos, retaining as much details as possible even when the ISO is cranked up to considerably high levels.

A new feature built into the camera of course is the ability to record videos in 4K. Recording in such a large resolution comes with a few bumps. Although the video quality is quite gorgeous, and comes with some stabilisation technology, you can only record several minutes worth of videos at any given time because the sensor will overheat, not to mention that the high bitrate nature of 4K videos means that not only do you need a card with high storage capacity, you also need one that is capable of supporting said high bitrates, namely, a UHS-1 SD card.

CHIP CONCLUDE: The Sony RX-100 MkIV camera is an amazing point-and-shoot camera that packs a lot of punch in its compact body. It’s a bit on the pricey side, but for what you pay for, it’s almost like having a professional-grade camera in your pocket.

(previously published in issue November 2015)

Sony RX-100 MkIV