Sony's crazy expensive RX10 IV superzoom gets a speed boost

Steve Dent
Sony's camera theme over the last year has been "speed," especially with the arrival of its ultra-fast RX100 V compact.

Sony's camera theme over the last year has been "speed," especially with the arrival of its ultra-fast RX100 V compact. That notion continues today with the launch of the RX10 Mark IV, a 24-600mm f/2.4-f/4.4 superzoom, which gets a big shooting speed bump from 14 fps to a top-notch 24 fps. Like its sibling, all of this extra speed is thanks to the new BionZ X image procesor and 1-inch, 20.1-megapixel Exmor RS CMOS stacked image sensor, which has a built in DRAM chip to buffer all those frames.

Sony says that "for the first time in a Cyber-shot camera," it uses high-density tracking autofocus borrowed from its high-end mirrorless models. The superzoom can focus at 0.03 seconds, with full AF and exposure tracking, with a buffer limit of 249 images. Sony also offers a new electronic, anti-distortion shutter that reduces "rolling shutter" distortion, and can you can fire photos completely silently in all modes, including the continuous high-speed ones.

Other features, including 4K video and 960 fps super slow mo (for up to 4 seconds), remain the same as before. The model also keeps the superb, f/2.4-4, 24-600mm equivalent Zeiss zoom lens with optical stabilization. ISO range is limited to 100-12,800, expandable to 25,600, as before.

Now let me break the bad news to you. The Sony RX10 IV costs a mind-blowing $1,700 (£1,800 in the UK), which is even more expensive than the $1,500 RX10 III, and we thought the pricing on that was ridiculous. As we pointed out then, for the same sum, you could get a pretty decent mirrorless camera and several cheap zoom lenses. What you're effectively spending the money on with the RX10 IV is the portability and, it has to be admitted, a pretty damn fast 600mm f/4 zoom. It arrives in the US and UK in October.