Sony RX10 IV boasts 24fps burst shooting and world’s fastest autofocus

Sony has unveiled the fourth-generation of its RX10-series, the RX10 Mark IV. The bridge camera, which pairs a long zoom and fast performance inside a compact body, touts the world’s fastest AF speed for the class, Sony claims. Designed to suit a variety of photographers, the camera goes on sale in October for $1,700.

The RX10 IV uses a 1-inch-type, 20.1-megapixel, stacked CMOS sensor and BIONZ X processor, paired with a 24-600mm f/2.4-4 fixed Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T lens (25x). This is the same as the RX10 III, but Sony seems to be squeezing greater performance out of these components. The RX10 IV acquires autofocus at 0.03 seconds, and handles 24 frames per second (fps) of full resolution continuous shooting with AF/AE tracking. (The Sony A9 mirrorless camera, as an apples-to-oranges comparison, tops out at 20 fps).

This level of performance is commendable on any camera, but is particularly impressive for a superzoom (and we thought the 0.09-second speed and 14 fps of the RX10 III was already a feat in itself).

The camera uses Sony’s Fast Hybrid AF system that combines 315 phase-detection points — covering 65 percent of the frame — with a contrast-detection AF system. In addition to the 0.03-second focus speed, Sony claims improved tracking performance for keeping up with moving subjects in AF-C mode, and boasts the autofocus speed in video mode is twice as fast as the RX10 III.

“This kind of performance and compactness is difficult to put together with [an interchangeable lens camera],” said Mark Weir, a Sony senior manager. But as with any modern Sony camera, the still photography features are only half of the equation. The RX10 IV’s video-shooting capabilities are equally robust.

The camera can capture 4K Ultra HD (3,840 x 2,160) footage at 24p or 30p and 100 megabits per second in the XAVC S Codec. It uses full-pixel readout to capture the entire width of the sensor, recording 1.7 times more data than required for 4K, leading to a sharper output. In super slow motion mode, the camera can capture up to 960fps at reduced resolution for short bursts. The camera features both headphone and microphone jacks, and advanced users can also take advantage of time code and S-Log3 gamma for improved dynamic range.

Usability improvements have been added, starting with a new 3-inch touchscreen that now tilts for high and low angle shots. A new My Menu option allows users to create a customized menu, selecting from 30 different menu options. You can learn more about the RX10 IV on Sony’s Alpha Universe.

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