Sony RX100 final race: III vs. IV

Just one year after the release of the Sony DSC-RX100 III the next version was announced this month: Sony DCS-RX100 IV. As the body and the lenses are the same, I asked myself if it is worth to buy the new IV or get a decently prices III in August 2015.

Sony’s press release, some first reviews at the new camera and dpreview, a side-by-side feature comparison and picture quality comparison are already out. The difference in image quality is probably not there. I would like to add a complete list of differences in the following tables based on the specification RX100 III and RX100 IV at Sony. The first part of the table depicts major advantages of the IV vs III:

RX100 IV

RX100 III

Major Improvements
Movie Recording Resolution

4k Video:

XAVC S 4K: 30p 100M
3’840 x 2’160

HD Video:

XAVC S: 30p 50M

1’920 x 1’080

Video High Frame Rate (HFR)
“slow motion”

1’000 fps for 2″

30 fps for ?“

60 fps for 30″

30 fps for ?“

Shutter speed

1 / 2’000 s

1 / 2’000 s

Shutter speed electronic

1 / 32’000 s

Automatic expose

30″ – 1 / 32’000 s

2″ – 1 / 2’000 s

Shooting speed:speed priority / continuous

16 fps /

5.5 fps

10 fps /

2.9 fps

Viewfinder OLED

2’359’296 dots

1’440’000 dots

Minor Improvements
Autofocus speed

AF system used in α7 series

Movie file size max battery life

4 GByte

2 GByte

Shooting functions (additional)

Timecode (TC) / User Bit (UB) / Photographer
Name & Copyright / ISO Auto Minimum Shutter Speed / PC Remote
Control

Minor Impairments
Weight

298g

290g

Power consumption
LCD / viewfinder

1.9 W /

2.3 W

1.7 W /

2.3 W

Battery life: images
time imagestime video

280 images

140 Min

45 Min

320 images

160 Min

50 Min

Difference not clear to me
Picture Profile

Off/PP1-PP7 (Black Level, Gamma (Movie, Still,
Cine1-2, ITU709, ITU709 [800%], S-Log2), Black Gamma, Knee, Color
Mode, Color Level, Color Phase, Color Depth, Detail, Copy, Reset)

?

Self-Time addtionally

5s start delay,
5s and 2s inter shoot delay

USB power supply

“Playback requires Sony charger AC-UD10”,
but would any USB charger or computer work, too?

Focus Area

“Expanded Flexible Spot”, what is this for?

Exmor RS
“stacked CMOS sensor“

Speed improvements are clear but is low light
performance at high ISO also better?

Smartphone connectivity, Smart Remote Embedded, Wi-Fi, NFC

Any improvements?

Market introduction

07/2015

06/2014

Price

List price at market
intro

1’150

849

Street price 07/2015

?

680

The heavy price tag of additional € 470 is worth if you are

  • using video: the 4k video and slow motion of 40x is something special in the market and especially for a camera of this small size and weight;
  • high speed shutters: the 32’000 is an incredible shutter speed allowing 1.8 aperture at bright light if you want to control depth of field or to get high speed sharp
    images.

The better viewfinder, hopefully faster and more accurate autofocus, and the hopefully better performance at higher ISO, longer automatic expose times probably do not justify the price difference. Anyway, I will spend the extra money as I have finally found my
“point-and-shoot” camera.

Still, there are a few things that I will miss with the RX100 IV:

  • GPS function build in the camera, optionally available to turn & off for each shoot
  • USB 3.0 support
  • Better protection of the Zeiss lens, while it is closed

Even Sony figured out that additional items can be sold with such a small camera. Picking the right accessors is the next part of the hobby. Sony has a nice web page for this:

  1. Additional battery NP-BX1 or the ACC-TRDCX charging Kit
  2. Memory card, fast, and big 😉 64GByte 280 MB/s e.g. SanDisk
  3. Maybe, the extra grip AG-R2
  4. Camera bag like LCS-RXG

Update: There is a comparison also done now by dpreview here.

Do you have some more insights on this? Any experience yet? Just share it…

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