CNET First Look
The Cyber-shot RX100 IV is a fast, 4K compactSony's RX100 IV carves a video niche for itself with 4K and tons of video friendly settings.
[BLANK_AUDIO] For a variety of reasons, I'd classify the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 IV [LAUGH] as an advanced compact for video enthusiasts rather than a straight-up advanced compact like the M3, at least until the price drops a bit. Though it's more expensive and adds a plethora of video capabilities, it pretty much delivers roughly the same photo quality and design. I'm Lori Grunin for CNET, and this is the Sony Cyber Shot RX100 IV. The M4 remains one of the most pocketable cameras of its type with its still ingenious pop-up viewfinder. The only change from the previous model is on the mode dial. It finally merges the three auto modes into a single auto to make room for the high frame rate option. Otherwise it has the same great design which includes the pop-up view finder, a tiltable flash, a flip-up LCD and a control ring on the lens for adjusting selected settings. On the other hand, some of the negatives remain. The gripless body's still slippery. I don't know the small, flat movie button. And it lacks a hot shoe. New for the RX100 line, is 4K recording, with tons of video friendly settings, like framing markers, control or resume speed. Time code and user bit options, and the ability to simultaneously record to card, and send clean HDMI out to a recorder. Like the M3, it supports picture profiles, which allow you to control tonal range rendering in movies. And unlike previous models, the M4 also supports tethered shooting via Sony's Remote Camera Control software. It also has a high frame rate mode for capturing two or four seconds to create short slow motion videos. It's both a fun and frustrating feature and seems ill suited for spur of the moment recording. Camera has excellent single shot auto focus performance and decent continuous auto focus. It's tested rate of 5.7 frames per second for jpegs and five frames per second for raw. Both for at least 30 shots and with auto-focus. That's very good for its class. And the limited number of situations where you can forego auto-focus and and auto-exposure, usually when people are standing in one place and moving just parts of their bodies, Sony Speed Priority Continuous can do 10 frames per second with the mechanical shutter and 16 frames per second with electronic. Despite using the completely new but the same size and resolution sensor, the images from the M4 look quite similar to those from the M3. It has slightly better noise performance in low light with more detail preserved in dark areas. But there are no real obvious enhancements. So, the photo quality's quite good but still not best in class. The video though, looks excellent and the picture profile gives you significant control over the tunnel range. I still had trouble getting the highlight to keep from blowing out in bright light, that's typical though. If you're looking for the best pocket camera for video experimentation, this is currently the best option, but there are also cheaper choices which may suit those purposes as well. For the full review, hop on over to cnet.com. I'm Lori Grunin for Cnet and this is the Sony Cyber Shot DSC RX 104.