The Sony RX10iv in many ways is the best camera answer of all time for me.
I knew it would be good from all the reviews I have studied. It has some unique features that aren’t available in other form factors at this price point. It is commonly stated that it’s expensive. But expensive compared to what? It has a 24-600mm lens which cleverly adapts to 1200mm with something Sony call ‘clear image zoom’. At 1200mm there is no degradation of quality which is generally pretty stunning across the whole zoom range. Video either in HD or 4k is really, really good. I also bought an inexpensive ultra wide angle adapter and there is no degradation of quality, except that it vignettes slightly at the widest end. But I can sort this out with editing software. Fortunately there is a tiny crop in 4k and there is no vignetting with the ultra wide angle adapter which is handy. 24mm is considered wide but getting it under 20mm for me is the holy grail. The Sony autofocus system is as good as it gets. 2-3 years ago there was no such thing but now you really can be a one man film crew. Sony don’t have fully articulated screens for self videography but the wifi/nfc/Bluetooth works well to use a mobile phone as a viewing screen. This camera has a killer feature being proxy recordings for 4k video. This covers off on the price of admission in so many ways and is ultimately why I bought it, even though I have a similar duplicate Panasonic camera. The only thing the Sony RX10iv doesn’t have is a built-in ND filter. I purchased a screw on after market nd filter and I am not as confident it will autofocus 100% of the time. But everything has a work around so I am investing the time to learn the best ways to use it as is. The Sony menu takes time to learn and set up properly on the custom menus and buttons. But during that process I learnt all about the camera to make quick and efficient changes. Most other cameras are using touch screens for all sorts of adjustments but with this Sony you can only use it for autofocus. But the customizability is done differently on a Sony and I have quickly gotten used to it. I bought it mainly for video even though I have been photographically centric in the past. This camera is so versatile for photography in a way that a much more expensive dslr or mobile phone could every be. The zoom lens is kind of brilliant. The 24 frames per second shooting capability has to be experienced to be believed. HDR photos are super impressive. Being a one inch sensor theoretically means it is not optimized for low light photography but learning to use it, suggests to me I am going to get some sensational low light results if I need them. I have seen plenty of youtube videos that have convinced me of that. Ultimately it is getting back to the quality of lens that makes this camera special and from a price point of view, for the quality of the output, it is much much cheaper than a good dslr with multiple lenses. Having said all of that, I have no need of the 600mm end of the lens ... or do I now that it has opened up a whole new world to me? I have done distant photography and test videos of all manner of fast moving cars, people and architecture and I am really happy with the prospect of how my photography will evolve. In the past I have had multiple lenses for dslr and micro 4/3 cameras and I have never used them because it’s a pain with lots of equipment. But in the Sony RX10iv it’s all in the one camera and it does everything very well. And yes, it’s a bridge camera which is not associated with professional work. But I can see how this can be used professionally so it’s a keeper and a steal for what it does. Yes you can buy cheap cameras and really good mobile phones like a Galaxy S9 which I use all the time for professional web based photography. The S9 for me is amazing but it can’t cover all the bases like the Sony RX10iv does.
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