Sony has revealed the latest iterations of its impressive pocket-friendly and big-zoom RX cameras with the Cyber-shot RX100 IV and RX10 II. While the cameras each look a lot like their respective predecessors, the new models boast a new 1-inch-type stacked Exmor RS CMOS sensor along with some nifty high-speed, slow-motion and 4K shooting skills.
Sony Cyber-shot RX100 IV
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The Sony RX100 IV (model DSC-RX100M4) is the follow-up to the RX100 III, which was already arguably one of the best zoom lens compact cameras available. As such, it's not overly surprising that there are no major design changes. The familiar-looking camera still uses a fast F1.8-F2.8 24-70 mm (equivalent) lens and a one-inch-type (13.2 x 8.8 mm) sensor to produce high quality images.
However, there are a few key enhancements which boost the performance of the RX100 IV, most notably that the effective 20.1-megapixel sensor is now a stacked Exmor RS CMOS offering advanced signal processing and an attached DRAM memory chip. This can deliver a 5x faster readout of image data and enables a number of speed-related improvements.
The new camera is capable of rattling off up to 16 fps (frames per second) in speed priority continuous shooting mode, and has an ISO range of 125 to 12,800. It also boasts a new Anti-Distortion Shutter with a maximum speed of 1/32000 second which allows the camera to be used in bright lighting conditions and minimizes the "rolling shutter" effect commonly experienced with fast moving subjects.
4K video recording (QFHD 3840 × 2160) is possible at 30/25 fps, though only for five minutes at a time, or Full HD 1080p at up to 60/50 fps if you want to shoot for longer. High quality results should be possible thanks to the use of the XAVC S codec which records at 100 Mbps during 4K recording and 50 Mbps during Full HD. A new 40x super slow motion mode can capture video at up to 1000/960 fps for slowing action right down in playback.
Elsewhere, the camera features an improved pop-up electronic OLED viewfinder which now has 2,359k dots, and an upgraded AF system that enables high-speed contrast detection of a moving subject in as little as 0.09 seconds. As before the camera has a tilting rear LCD screen with 1,229k dots, a control ring around lens, and built-in Wi-Fi for sharing content or remote control.
Sony Cyber-shot RX10 II
The new RX10 II (model DSC-RX10M2) offers similar improvements over its big-zoom RX10 predecessor as it also benefits from the new stacked Exmor RS CMOS sensor with the one-inch-type (13.2 x 8.8 mm) sensor giving an effective 20.2-megapixels. This time the camera has a 14 fps top shooting speed, with the same 100 to 12,800 ISO range and 1/32000-second maximum shutter speed.
On the video front the camera is again capable of 4K (QFHD 3840 × 2160) video recording at 30/25 fps, though this time not limited to five minute periods. Full HD 1080p is again possible at up to 60/50 fps, and the 40x super slow motion recording at up to 1000/960 fps will give smooth slow motion footage. The camera also benefits from the upgraded autofocus system and the new high-contrast OLED electronic viewfinder with 2.35 million dots.
Things staying the same from the RX10 include the 24-200 mm (equivalent) F2.8 lens and the body design, though the new model does gain new dust and moisture resistance properties. On the rear of the camera is a 3-inch tilting LCD with 1,229k dots and built-in Wi-Fi and NFC offer the usual wireless connectivity.
The new RX cameras will be available in July priced at US$1,000 for the RX100 IV, and $1,300 for the RX10 II.
You can check out some promo videos for the RX100 IV and RX10 II below.