Recently, I sold almost all my gear (even my a6000 and a7II), so I can upgrade to an all Sony a9 gear setup. As much as I love my new setup, the a9 for me is my “work” camera. My issue now is that I am left without a smaller camera that I can use around the house or the occasional trip — you know, a camera for “play”. The a6000 used to serve that purpose for me. Without it, I now have to choose between bringing around my a9 everywhere or buying a smaller, but still capable camera. I opted to do the latter and picked up a Sony RX100IV from my local camera shop. I’ll cut to the chase, this is such a fun and powerful little camera. It packs more usable features per square inch than any other camera I’ve ever owned. I’d like to go over some of the things that impressed me about it and share a few images along the way.
If you’ve read my blog before, you may already know that my favorite “fun” camera is the Sony RX1, so you might be asking why I didn’t just bring that. Problem is, the week before the camping trip, the lens focusing motor on my four-year-old RX1 jammed. Great timing, right? The quote I got for repairing the problem was the same price as a brand new RX100IV, so it was a no brainer to pick up this point-and-shoot. This little camera met all the qualities I was looking for in a replacement:
- Super-compact design
- Manual controls but simple enough so that my other family members can use it if necessary
- RAW image capture
- Excellent zoom lens
- Good video quality in case I need to film something
My First Impression
The moment I held the RX100IV, I was instantly impressed. It felt great in my hands, the quality and finish of the materials felt like a premium product. The LCD screen and viewfinder were both super-sharp. Focusing felt snappy, and for the most part, it focused where I wanted to focus even while using the unpredictable wide focus mode. I’m quite used to the standard Sony camera layout, so I just turned the camera on and hit the ground running. It handles quite a bit like its older siblings, but in a much smaller form factor. It felt like I had a shrunken down a7II with a 24-70mm lens in my fanny pack. It felt cool. Even cooler than rocking your fanny pack in the front.
It’s A Point-and-Shoot, But Not Really
To me, the RX100IV is a point-and-shoot by name and size, but that’s about it. In just about every other department, it’s a professional-level tool. I liken it to a pro-grade Swiss army knife. The image quality from this camera is astounding. One night over a campfire, I decided to get a star field shot. Mounted on a collapsible tripod, I took a few 15-second exposures with th camera and my jaw dropped from what I was able to capture.
I am delightfully impressed by this little camera. Many thanks to Ryan Watamura from my local camera shop, Horn Photo, for recommending this camera to me. He told me it was the professional’s point-and-shoot and he was on point (pardon the pun). The day after my kids and I got back home from the camping trip, I printed over 200 photos that I took with the camera. Each and every one of them looked like it might have been taken with a bigger but just-as-capable DSLR. The proof is in the pudding, this camera is keeper.
Have Any Questions?
Mirrorless photography is the next big thing, and it’s here! If you have any questions about switching to or starting with a mirrorless camera system, please feel free to ask by using the form below. I also reach out to my readers occasionally through a newsletter containing special content such as previews of new gear, videos, tutorials, and more. Use the same form to sign up and get advanced notice on all the exciting news.