Sony RX100 IV Performance


Timing and Performance

Generally excellent performance, but buffer clearing can be slow.

Startup/Play to Record

Power on
to first shot

~2.1 seconds

Time it takes for LCD to turn on and lens to deploy and capture a picture.

Play to Record,
first shot

~0.9 second

Time until first shot is captured.

Startup to first shot time was about average for its class. Play to Record switching was quite fast.

 

Shutter Response (Lag Time)

Full Autofocus
Center-area AF
Wide Angle

0.156 second

Time from fully pressing shutter button to image capture, zoom lens at wide angle position.

Full Autofocus
Center-area AF
Telephoto

0.228 second

Time from fully pressing shutter button to image capture, zoom lens at telephoto position.

Full Autofocus
Center-area AF
Flash enabled

0.292 second

Time to capture while forcing flash to fire, zoom lens at medium focal length.

Manual Focus

0.018 second

For most cameras, shutter lag is less in manual focus than autofocus, but usually not as fast as when the camera is "prefocused".

Prefocused

0.010 second

Time to capture, after half-pressing and holding shutter button.

The Sony RX100 IV's full autofocus shutter lag when shooting the same target multiple times was very fast for a compact camera. The RX100 IV's full AF shutter lag clocked in at about 0.16 second at wide angle using center AF mode. Full AF shutter lag was a little slower at full telephoto, at about 0.23 second, but that's still quite good. Enabling the flash raised shutter lag to 0.29 seconds, to account for the metering preflash. Manual focus shutter lag was incredibly fast at 18 milliseconds, and prefocused shutter lag was even faster at only 10 milliseconds.

 

Cycle Time (shot to shot)

Single Shot mode
Large Extra Fine JPEG

0.62 second

Average time per shot.

Single Shot mode
RAW + LF JPEG

0.61 second

Average time per shot.

Early shutter
penalty?

No

Some cameras don't snap another shot if you release and press the shutter too quickly in Single Shot mode, making "No" the preferred answer.

Speed Priority Continuous mode
Large Extra Fine JPEG

0.06 second (16.00 frames per second);
40 frames total;
30 seconds to clear

Time per shot, averaged over buffer size of 40 frames. We did not test buffer full speed.

Speed Priority Continuous mode
RAW

0.12 second (8.58 frames per second);
28 frames total;
14 seconds to clear

Time per shot, averaged over buffer size of 28 frames. Then slows to an average of 0.62s or 1.65 fps when buffer is full.

Speed Priority Continuous mode
RAW + LF JPEG

0.12 second (8.58 frames per second);
24 frames total;
20 seconds to clear

Time per shot, averaged over buffer size of 24 frames. Then slows to an average of 0.91s or 1.10 fps when buffer is full.

Flash recycling

4.5 seconds

Flash at maximum output.

*Note: Buffer clearing times measured with a SanDisk Extreme Pro 95MB/sec UHS-I SDHC memory card. Slower cards will produce correspondingly slower clearing times. Slow cards may also limit length of bursts in continuous mode. ISO sensitivity also affects cycle times and burst mode performance, with higher ISOs generally increasing cycle times and reducing burst performance.

Shot-to-shot cycle times were good in single shot mode, at about 0.6 second for Large/Extra Fine JPEGs or RAW+Large/Fine JPEG files. Note that the Sony RX100 IV does not support capturing JPEGs using highest quality Extra Fine compression when shooting with RAW files, dropping JPEGs down to Fine quality. We no longer test just RAW file cycle time in single-shot mode, as it's usually somewhere in between JPEG and RAW+JPEG.

The Sony RX100 IV's Speed Priority Continuous shooting mode burst rate was outstanding when shooting just Extra Fine JPEGs, averaging exactly 16 frames per second in our test. When shooting RAW files, the RX100 IV's burst speed slowed to 8.6 frames per second for RAW or RAW+JPEG files, but that's still quite fast. Do note that Speed Priority Continuous mode locks autofocus at the first frame of a burst, though, however it can be setup to adjust exposure between frames. We didn't test the RX100 IV's standard continuous mode in the lab; Sony rates it at about 5.5 fps and continuous AF is supported.

Buffer depths were excellent at about 40 best quality JPEGs, 28 RAW or 24 RAW+JPEG files. Buffer clearing was sluggish, though, taking 30 seconds after a max-length burst of best quality JPEGs, 14 seconds for RAW, and 20 seconds for RAW+JPEG files with our 95MB/s UHS-I SDHC card.

The built-in flash took an average of 4.5 seconds to recharge after a full-power discharge, which is fair.

 

Bottom line, the Sony RX100 IV's performance was generally excellent with fast AF, very low shutter lag and an outstanding 16 fps full-res burst speed when shooting JPEGs. It does slow down to 8.6 fps when shooting RAW files, but that's still quite fast. Buffer clearing was however quite sluggish, taking up to 30 seconds after a max-length burst of Extra Fine JPEGs with a fast UHS-I card.

Battery

Battery Life
Fair battery life for its size.

Operating Mode Number of Shots
Still Capture
(CIPA standard, LCD Monitor)
280
Still Capture
(CIPA standard, EVF)
230

The Sony RX100 IV uses a custom NP-BX1 rechargeable lithium-ion battery for power, and the battery is charged in-camera via the USB port. CIPA battery life is lower than its predecessors, but still fair for its class at 280 shots when using the LCD monitor, and 230 shots when using the electronic viewfinder. We strongly recommend you pick up a spare battery for extended outings.

The table above shows the number of shots the camera is capable of (on a fully-charged rechargeable battery as appropriate), based on CIPA battery-life and/or manufacturer standard test conditions.

(Interested readers can find an English translation of the CIPA DC-002 standards document here. (180K PDF document))

 



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