Sony RX100 IV First Shots: the new souped-up, speed-demon RX pocket cam hits our lab!


posted Wednesday, June 24, 2015 at 3:14 PM EST


Sony's latest premium compact camera, the Sony RX100 IV, made its way into our lab, and we have our classic First Shot set of lab images ready for your perusal and scrutiny. As the RX100 family has eveolved, Sony's introduced noticeable technological improvements at every step. The Mark II brought a back-illuminated sensor, the Mark III then introduces a shorter-but-brighter zoom lens -- and pop-out EVF -- and now with the Mark IV, Sony's brought about a whole new sensor technology with their 1-inch-type stacked BSI CMOS sensor with on-board DRAM.

The name of the game with their new stacked sensor, called the Exmor RS, is all speed and performance. With five times the sensor readout performance, the RX100 IV is able to shoot with up to a 1/32,000s shutter speed with little to no rolling shutter distortion, provide 16fps continuous burst shooting with no EVF blackout, and provide lots of high-end video recording -- including 4K, clean HDMI, and super slow-motion video up to 960fps (40x slower).

But more on that later. Stationary lab shots aren't the most interesting in 16fps bursts or in super slo-mo. However, the still image quality of RX100 IV is undoubtedly very important. While image quality changes aren't a significant area for the Mark IV compared to the earlier Mark III model, Sony claims slightly improved image quality with the new sensor design and, as per customer requests, tweaked their in-camera noise reduction processing to be less aggressive and allow more detail resolution at higher ISOs.

Below are a couple 1:1 comparison crops with the new Sony RX100 IV against its Mark III predecessor, at base ISO at ISO 1600. We invite you to head over to the Sony RX100 IV Samples Page to view all our lab First Shots. Be sure to check out the Comparometer and match up the RX100 IV against RX100 III as well as its rival cameras, such as the Canon G7X, or any other camera model we've tested.

Base ISO (125): Sony RX100 IV (left) vs. Sony RX100 III (right)
ISO 1600: Sony RX100 IV (left) vs. Sony RX100 III (right)

We have a lot more planned with the Sony RX100 IV, so keep your eyes peeled for further RX100 IV testing from IR very soon!

Sony RX100 IV OverviewFirst ShotsTech Info

Sony RX100 IV vs Sony RX100 IIISony RX100 IV vs Sony RX100 IISony RX100 IV vs Canon G7X