If you follow my Instagram @william_patino, you’ll know that over the past few weeks I’ve taken along with me on my travels a couple of Sony’s RX model cameras, these being the RX100V and the RX10IV. This post isn’t a technical spec review, more some real-world feedback from a landscape photographer who’s out in the field most days of the year. In this blog are my thoughts, experiences, stills and videos whilst using these cameras.

RX100V

Sony RX100V in Iceland
Sony RX100V Iceland sunset

I’m going to admit straight up that I absolutely love the RX100V, which is the camera I used the most out of the two. Using the A7R models since their release, it was certainly a different ball game going back to such a compact, fixed lens camera, but thankfully Sony’s similar on screen display and menu layout made the transition easy enough.

Seeing as I could carry this camera around in my pocket, I was a little sceptical at first as to how it would perform, but once I found out I could shoot RAW files in full manual mode, I was sold. This is my preferred way to shoot but for those just starting out, there’s still a full range of auto modes capable of handling any scenario.

On the road in New Zealand and Iceland, I always kept the RX100V on me whilst running my workshops, pulling it out when any opportunity arose. I’ve always been one to get close to the elements when shooting and I decided not to hold back with this camera. Beneath waterfalls, out in sub-zero temperatures, blasted by salty sea spray and black sand in gale force winds, you name it, the RX100V handled it. I honestly expected to kill this camera, but aside from a few scuff marks, it’s still going strong.

Iceland Crepuscular Rays

For a full range of specs, you can head here but some of my favourite features are the inbuilt neutral density filter, 24fps still shooting, wide f/1.8 aperture and the ridiculously fun 1000fps shooting in video mode. Oh, and of course being able to carry this camera around in my jacket was a real perk.

Below are a range of raw images you can download if you want to have a play with the files yourself.

Overall, the RX100V makes a great first camera for someone wanting to step outside the mobile photography realm and take things to the next level. For those already shooting with a professional or semi-professional camera, this model makes for a great second body and travel companion, something that I’ll now be taking with me on every trip and using most days around the house to quickly snap portraits of the kids.

Motion Pan technique

RX10IV

Slightly larger than the RX100V, the RX10IV is what’s known as a ‘bridge-camera’ – bridging the gap between ‘point and shoot’ to full-frame cameras. With an impressive 24-600mm f.2.4-4 lens, 20mp sensor, touch screen, 4k video, 1000fps video, 24fps stills, 315-point AF and weather sealing, this camera doesn’t leave much to be desired.

Manapouri sunset RX10IV

To me, this camera feels like the big brother to the RX100V, with the stand out feature being the lens. Having the ability to shoot wider scenery at 24mm, family portraits within the mid-range and distant mountains peaks from 400-600mm. Covering such a broad focal length all in one lens is incredibly handy, particularly when travelling. Like most telephoto lenses, optimal clarity was around the mid-range but images and video were certainly usable at all lengths. Below are images at either extreme, both 600mm and 24mm.

Once again, I didn’t hold back with this camera and certainly carried it through some extreme conditions, particularly in heavy rain on a few occasions. It held up fine. Another point worth mentioning is how good this camera feels in hand. The weight, design and button layout is very intuitive and not overly daunting for someone looking to purchase a larger body like this. It should be noted that the aperture is controlled by a ring on the lens itself, not by a dial or button on the body.

Like the RX100V, the video capabilities on this camera are very impressive and once again, I just love being able to shoot super slow motion at 1000fps, particularly when zoomed tight on distant subjects like waterfalls or birds. When filming at such a fast frame rate, it’s ideal to be in a well-lit environment to avoid having to boost the ISO too high, although I found the noise quite tolerable on this camera.

I shoot in manual focus quite often and the ‘focus-peaking’ on this camera is an incredible handy feature on this camera that makes doing so much easier. This is something I left on and found particularly helpful when shooting video, to stop the AF from hunting whilst filming.

Ultimately, it’s hard to really fault the RX10IV. As I mentioned, it does a great job ticking a lot of boxes for people who want to shoot video and most genres of photography. A big limitation with a lot of fixed-lens cameras is the lack of zoom, which is where this camera really excels, allowing the user to capture unique perspectives on places. The fast frame rate along with a 20mp sensor make this an ideal all-rounder for those wanting to take their photography a little more serious and yield high quality results along the way.  

Below are a range of raw images you can download if you want to have a play with the files yourself.

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