We just started testing cameras, and our test bench v0.7 is rather simplistic, so we decided to launch without text in the test boxes. If you have any suggestions on what to improve, let us know here. As we gather your suggestions, we plan on making more frequent changes to our methodology and we'll be able to add text to the reviews in the near future.

Sony RX10 IV Camera Review

Tested using Methodology v0.7
Reviewed Sep 27, 2021 at 10:21 am
Sony RX10 IV Picture
7.2
Travel Photography
7.9
Landscape Photography
7.9
Sport & Wildlife Photography
5.3
Vlogging
7.4
Studio Video
5.8
Action Video
Body Type
Bridge
Mirrorless
Yes
Sensor Size
1-inch
Tested Lens
Built-In Lens

The Sony RX10 IV is a premium bridge camera with a built-in superzoom lens. It has a full-frame equivalent focal length range of 24 to 600mm, giving you a lot of flexibility to zoom in on very far-away subjects or take wider-angle landscape shots. It feels very well-built and incredibly comfortable to use despite its bulky size, and its screen can tilt out to help you shoot from lower angles. Its autofocus system delivers exceptional tracking performance in video and reliably keeps moving subjects in focus, even when they're popping in and out of frame. It also has a very fast continuous shooting speed to easily capture brief moments of fast action. Overall image quality is amazing when shooting in JPEG, with excellent dynamic range and relatively minimal noise at higher ISO levels. However, its RAW noise handling capability is mediocre due to its smaller sensor, so it's not as well-suited to shooting in dimly-lit conditions.

Our Verdict

7.2 Travel Photography

The Sony RX10 IV is decent for travel photography. It's not the easiest to travel with due to its bulky size and weight, but it does feel incredibly comfortable to use. It also has good battery performance, though this can vary with settings and usage habits. Its built-in lens also has an incredibly long focal length, so you can easily zoom in on far-away subjects. Image quality is excellent, though it's not as well-suited to low light due to its smaller sensor and its lens' relatively narrow max aperture.

Pros
  • Good battery performance.
  • Excellent image quality.
  • Superzoom lens.
Cons
  • Bulky size.
  • Autofocus is only decent for photography.
  • Limited max aperture for low light.
7.9 Landscape Photography

The Sony RX10 IV is very good for landscape photography. It delivers excellent image quality overall and has amazing dynamic range to capture a wide array of details in high-contrast landscape shots. It also feels well-built and incredibly comfortable to use, with a bright screen that can easily overcome glare. It's also advertised to be moisture- and dust-resistant. However, it's very bulky and heavy, so it's not the most convenient to take to remote shooting locations.

Pros
  • Excellent image quality.
  • Amazing dynamic range.
Cons
  • Bulky size.
7.9 Sport & Wildlife Photography

The Sony RX10 IV is very good for sport and wildlife photography. The camera feels incredibly comfortable to use, although it's bulky. Its built-in lens also has a remarkably long focal length range, so you can zoom in on very far-away subjects or take extreme close-ups. Its continuous shooting speed is very fast, as it can shoot at an outstanding 21 fps when using its electronic shutter and a still excellent 11 fps when using its mechanical shutter. While its buffer empty time is quite long, it has a big capacity, so it's unlikely you'll fill it in regular use. Unfortunately, its autofocus system is only decent at tracking moving subjects.

Pros
  • Excellent image quality.
  • Very fast high-speed continuous shooting speed.
  • Superzoom lens.
Cons
  • Bulky size.
  • Autofocus is only decent for photography.
5.3 Vlogging

The Sony RX10 IV isn't well-suited for vlogging. You can't flip its screen around to face you, and it's very large and may be cumbersome to hold for vlogging, though it may be suitable for sit-down vloggers. It does a fantastic job tracking moving faces in 4k and FHD video, so you should remain in focus. However, its video quality is disappointing in FHD. It also does a poor job smoothing out camera shake in 4k, though it does a good job in FHD.

Pros
  • Good 4k video quality.
  • Incredibly effective autofocus tracking.
Cons
  • Bulky size.
  • Poor FHD video quality.
  • Poor video stabilization in 4k.
  • Can't flip screen around to face you.
7.4 Studio Video

The Sony RX10 IV is decent for studio video. It delivers good video quality when shooting in 4k resolution in brighter lighting conditions, and its low-light video quality is surprisingly good. However, there's noticeable rolling shutter effect when panning from side to side. It supports S-log picture profiles for more in-depth color grading in editing and has a range of inputs and outputs, including a microphone jack, headphone jack, and HDMI port with clean HDMI output if you want to connect an external recorder without overlays. Its autofocus system is fantastic at tracking moving subjects. Unfortunately, though, its menu system can be confusing and hard to navigate. Its FHD video quality is also disappointing.

Pros
  • Good 4k video quality.
  • Incredibly effective autofocus tracking.
Cons
  • Bulky size.
  • Poor FHD video quality.
5.8 Action Video

The Sony RX10 IV isn't suitable for action video. It's very bulky and isn't designed for mounting on action cam rigs. While it's advertised to be sealed against dust and moisture, it isn't waterproof. 4k video quality is good, but FHD video quality is disappointing. It can't shoot at high-speed frame rate in 4k, but it has a 'High Frame Rate' mode in FHD that can capture remarkably high-speed frame rates for slow-motion playback.

Pros
  • High frame rate mode in FHD.
  • Good 4k video quality.
  • Incredibly effective autofocus tracking.
Cons
  • Bulky size.
  • Poor FHD video quality.
  • Poor video stabilization in 4k.
  • Not waterproof.
  • 7.2 Travel Photography
  • 7.9 Landscape Photography
  • 7.9 Sport & Wildlife Photography
  • 5.3 Vlogging
  • 7.4 Studio Video
  • 5.8 Action Video
  1. Updated Sep 27, 2021: Review published.
  2. Updated Sep 22, 2021: Early access published.

Test Results

perceptual testing image
Design
1.6
Design
Portability
Height 3.8" (9.7 cm)
Width 5.6" (14.2 cm)
Depth 6.0" (15.3 cm)
Volume
125.6 in³ (2,057.5 cm³)
Weight
2.46 lbs (1.12 kg)
Weight With Lens
2.46 lbs (1.12 kg)

You can compare the camera's portability with its lens cap and lens hood here, its lens hood and lens fully extended here, its lens hood, lens fully extended, and flash popped up here, with lens fully extended here, and with the lens cap on and lens hood reversed here.

8.5
Design
Build Quality

  • Body is made of sturdy-feeling plastic.
  • Inputs and outputs are covered by hinged doors
  • SD card compartment is covered by a locking, hinged door
  • Buttons and dials feel sturdy and give good tactile feedback
  • Screen mechanism and pop-up flash mechanism feel sturdy
  • Camera is sealed against moisture and dust

Design
Body
Water Resistance
Weather-Sealed
Rugged
No
Hot Shoe
Yes
Customizable Button
Yes
Command Dial
3
Tripod Mount
Yes
Lens Mount
No Lens Mount
Built-In Flash
Yes
Design
In The Box

  • Sony RX10 IV camera
  • Lens cap
  • Lens hood
  • Hot shoe cap
  • Shoulder strap
  • Battery
  • AC adapter
  • USB-A to Micro-USB cable
  • User manual

9.0
Design
Ergonomics & Comfort
Hand Grip: Small Hand
Yes
Hand Grip: Medium Hand
Yes
Hand Grip: Large Hand
Yes
Hand Grip: Extra-Large Hand
Yes

  • Large, textured handgrip gives you a secure hold on the camera
  • Threaded shutter button so you can attach a cable release or soft release button
  • Easy to adjust settings like aperture and shutter speed, as well as drive mode and ISO by using physical controls
  • Some buttons are customizable and can be remapped to suit user preferences
  • Menu button is a bit poorly placed on the left side
  • Small display on top of camera shows you relevant settings and remaining battery life
  • Plenty of space on both the handgrip and the back hand rest, so you don't press anything by accident
  • Camera tends to pull forward a bit due to weight of built-in lens, but it's fine once you get used to it
  • Can access SD card compartment while mounted on a tripod

6.5
Design
Menu System
Guide Mode
Yes
App Name
Imaging Edge Mobile

  • Menu system is hard to navigate and has a learning curve
  • Can't navigate menu using touchscreen, which may be inconvenient
  • Certain buttons are customizable, including the back wheel functions and the lens dial, as well as the Fn menu
  • Can create your own custom options menu
  • Some options are only available when customizing a button
  • You can create your own custom menu
  • There's a 'Tile' menu setting that simplifies the menu categories
  • Guide mode helps explain features and settings

Design
Viewfinder
Type
Electronic
Advertised Coverage
100%
Advertised Resolution
2.359 million dots
Advertised Magnification
N/A
7.3
Design
Screen
Screen Articulation Type
Tilting
Screen Max Brightness
1,071 cd/m²
Advertised Resolution
1.44 million dots
Size
3.0" (7.5 cm)
Touchscreen
Limited
Design
Sensor
Sensor Type
Exmor RS CMOS
Advertised Effective Pixels
21 MP
Processor
BIONZ X
Extended ISO Minimum
64
ISO Minimum
100
ISO Maximum
12,800
Tested Firmware
Ver.2.0

Note: The Sony RX10 IV has a native ISO range of 100-12800, but it's extendable to ISO 64 and ISO 80. You can also extend its maximum ISO to ISO 25600 by using the 'Multi Frame NR (Noise Reduction)' mode, which shoots multiple frames and combines them into one image with reduced noise.

7.7
Design
Battery
Battery Type
Sony NP-FW50
USB Charging
Yes
Use When Charging
Yes
Advertised Battery Life In Photo
400 photos
Tested Battery Life In Video
90 min
7.0
Design
Lens
Lens Type
Built-in
Maximum Aperture
2.4 - 4.0
Max Aperture (Full Frame Equivalent)
f/6.8
Minimum Focal Length
8.8 mm
Maximum Focal Length
220 mm
Max Focal Length (Full Frame Equivalent)
600 mm
Luminance
77.1%
Light Falloff
63.1%

Note: To get a sense of this camera's focal length range, you can see a sample photo taken at its minimum 24mm equivalent focal length and the same scene taken at its maximum 600mm focal length.

Photo
Photo
Photo Features
JPEG File Format
Yes
RAW File Format
ARW
Shutter
Electronic and Mechanical
Minimum Shutter Speed
30 s
Maximum Shutter Speed
1/2,000 s
Silent Shooting
Yes
HDR
Yes
Focus Peaking
Yes
Zebra Pattern
Yes
Histogram
Yes
Time Lapse
No
7.6
Photo
Shooting Speed
Low Speed Continuous
4 fps
High Speed Continuous
21 fps
Silent Shooting Continuous
21 fps
Raw Buffer Size
136 RAW Photos
JPEG Buffer Size
10,000 JPG Photos
Buffer Empty Time
29 s

Note: The high-speed continuous shooting mode is only available when using the electronic shutter. Its fastest speed using the mechanical shutter is 11 fps ('Mid' setting).

7.1
Photo
Autofocus
Advertised Coverage
65%
Advertised Focus Points
315
Manual Focus Assistance
Yes
Face Detection Distance
187" (476 cm)
Eye Detection
Yes
Face Tracking Success Rate
57.3%
Object Tracking Success Rate
55.7%
8.0
Photo
Image Stabilization
In Body Image Stabilization
No
Minimum Shutter Speed Achieved
1/10 s
8.5
Photo
Image Quality
Dynamic Range At ISO 100
9.24 f-stops
Color Accuracy (dE2000)
5.99
JPEG SNR 18% At ISO 800
37.96 dB
JPEG Sharpness At ISO 800
1.847 pixels
JPEG SNR 18% At ISO 1600
37.36 dB
JPEG Sharpness At ISO 1600
1.818 pixels
JPEG SNR 18% At ISO 3200
34.11 dB
JPEG Sharpness At ISO 3200
2.182 pixels

ISO Setting Sample Photo
ISO 100 Photo
ISO 200 Photo
ISO 400 Photo
ISO 800 Photo
ISO 1600 Photo
ISO 3200 Photo
ISO 6400 Photo
ISO 12800 Photo

6.3
Photo
Luminance Noise
RAW SNR 18% At ISO 100 38.89 dB
RAW SNR 18% At ISO 200 36.78 dB
RAW SNR 18% At ISO 400 34.38 dB
RAW SNR 18% At ISO 800 31.65 dB
RAW SNR 18% At ISO 1600 28.75 dB
RAW SNR 18% At ISO 3200 25.88 dB
RAW SNR 18% At ISO 6400 23.89 dB
RAW SNR 18% At ISO 12800 20.4 dB
RAW SNR 18% At ISO 25600 N/A
RAW SNR 18% At ISO 51200 N/A
Sample Gallery
Sample Gallery
The Skate Park

Format Link
JPEG Photo
RAW Photo

Sample Gallery
The Polish Church

Format Link
JPEG Photo
RAW Photo

Sample Gallery
The Studio

Format Link
JPEG Photo
RAW Photo

Sample Gallery
The Stairway

Format Link
JPEG Photo
RAW Photo

General Video
General Video
Video Feature
Full HD Video
Yes
4k Video
Yes
6k Video
No
Clean HDMI Output
Yes
Advertised Max Chroma Sampling Over HDMI
Not Advertised
Advertised Max Bit Depth Over HDMI
N/A
Log Picture Profile
Yes
Recording Light
No
General Video
Audio
Audio Test Sample
Audio Recording
Stereo
Microphone Level Display
Yes
General Video
Video Exposure Assistant
Zebra Line
Yes
Histogram
Yes
Waveform
No
General Video
Recording Format And Compression
MP4 H.264 / MPEG-4 AVC
No
MP4 H.265 / HEVC
No
MOV H.264 / MPEG-4 AVC
No
MOV H.265 / HEVC
No
AVCHD H.264 / MPEG-4 AVC
Yes
All-I Compression
No
4k Video
6.1
4k Video
4k Frame Rate
240 fps In 4k
No
120 fps In 4k
No
60 fps In 4k
No
30 fps In 4k
Yes, with a Crop
24 fps In 4k
Yes, with a Crop
Crop At Max Available fps
1.1 x
9.8
4k Video
4k Video Autofocus Performance
Eye Detection In 4k
Yes
Face Detection In 4k
Yes
Face Tracking In 4k
9.5
Object Tracking In 4k
10
6.0
4k Video
4k Video Stabilization
In Body Video Image Stabilization In 4k
No
Walking Test In 4k
16.50 pixels/frames
Running Test In 4k
37.10 pixels/frames
Crop
1 x
7.3
4k Video
4k Internal Recording
Bitrate Maximum In 4k
95 Mbps
Bitrate Minimum In 4k
56 Mbps
Chroma Sampling In 4k
4:2:0
Bit Depth In 4k
8 bits
Record Time Limit 29 min
Overheat Recording Interruption
No
7.4
4k Video
4k Video Quality
Low Light Capability In 4k
8.5
Test Scene Extract In 4k
7.6
4k Rolling Shutter
6.52°
Full HD Video
10
Full HD Video
FHD Frame Rate
240 fps In FHD
Yes
120 fps In FHD
Yes
60 fps In FHD
Yes
30 fps In FHD
Yes
24 fps In FHD
Yes
Crop At Max Available fps
1 x

Note: The Sony RX10 IV has a 'HFR' (High Frame Rate) mode that lets you capture super slow-motion footage in FHD. It can capture 240, 480, or 960 fps video for slow-motion playback only, with 24, 30, or 60 fps playback options. You can see an example of this mode here, which was recorded at 960 fps with a 60 fps playback speed.

9.8
Full HD Video
FHD Video Autofocus Performance
Eye Detection In FHD
Yes
Face Detection In FHD
Yes
Face Tracking In FHD
9.5
Object Tracking In FHD
10
8.0
Full HD Video
FHD Video Stabilization
In Body Video Image Stabilization In FHD
No
Walking Test In FHD
6.05 pixels/frames
Running Test In FHD
10.13 pixels/frames
Crop
1.17
7.7
Full HD Video
FHD Internal Recording
Bitrate Maximum In FHD
94 Mbps
Bitrate Minimum In FHD
41 Mbps
Chroma Sampling In FHD
4:2:0
Bit Depth In FHD
8
Record Time Limit 29 min
5.8
Full HD Video
FHD Video Quality
Low Light Capability In FHD
8.0
Test Scene Extract In FHD
5.4
FHD Rolling Shutter
6.99°
Storage And Connectivity
Storage And Connectivity
Storage
Card 1 Slot
SD Card UHS-I
Card 2 Slot
No 2nd Card Slot
8.8
Storage And Connectivity
Input / Outputs
USB
Micro USB
HDMI
Micro (Type D)
Headphones
Yes
Microphone
Stereo
Wi-Fi
Yes
Bluetooth
Yes

Note: The Sony RX10 IV also has type-3 NFC capability for one-touch sharing and one-touch remote use.

Differences Between Sizes And Variants

The Sony CyberShot RX10 IV comes in one color variant: 'Black'.

Let us know if you come across a different variant or your Sony RX10 IV doesn't correspond to our review, and we'll update it.

You can see our unit's label here.

Discussions