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Sony Debuts New Flagship Cyber-shot Camera, The RX10 IV

Sony today announced a new flagship Cyber-shot camera, the RX10 IV.

With this model Sony is claiming the mantle of the world’s fastest autofocus (AF) acquisition time, at 0.03 seconds,  with up to 24 fps continuous shooting with full AF/auto-exposure tracking.

According to Sony, 315 phase-detection AF points rival those of the fastest professional interchangeable-lens cameras (ILCs). With a versatile 24-600mm F2.4-F4 ZEIS Vario-Sonnar T* lens, the new RX10 IV model combines mobility and speed for an “all-in-one” solution, it added.  

The RX10 IV camera is equipped with a latest 1.0-type 20.1-megapixel Exmor RS CMOS stacked image sensor with DRAM chip along with a Bionz X image processor and front-end LSI. Sony said these key components all work together to maximize overall speed of operation and performance, ultimately ensuring the highest possible image and video quality throughout the entire range of the lens. 

 “Our customers have been asking for an RX10-series camera with Sony’s latest innovations in AF performance, and we’ve delivered with the RX10 IV model,” said Neal Manowitz, digital imaging VP. “With its unmatched combination of AF speed and tracking, continuous shooting performance, extensive range of up to 600mm and outstanding video quality, the RX10 IV delivers more flexibility in a singular package than anything else in market.”

For the first time in a Cyber-shot camera, the RX10 IV model employs High-density Tracking AF technology.  This technology, which had only been previously available in a select few of Sony’s Alpha (ILC) line, concentrates AF points around a subject to improve tracking and focus accuracy. Other AF improvements include an enhanced version of the popular Eye AF, Touch Focus and Focus Range Limiter, as well as multiple AF modes including AF-S, AF-C and AF-A, which can be adjusted based on user preferences and shooting situations.

With the improvements in processing power for the new camera, EVF display lag during continuous shooting has been substantially reduced, Sony said. Also, for convenience during image playback, continuously shot images can be displayed in groups instead of individual shots.

The RX10 IV also has a high-speed Anti-Distortion Shutter (maximum shutter speed of up to 1/32,000 second) that reduces the “rolling shutter” effect commonly experienced with fast moving subjects, and can shoot completely silently in all modes, including continuous high speed shooting, when electronic shutter is engaged. A mechanical shutter mode is also available. 

The Zeiss lens on the Cyber-shot RX10 IV features a large maximum aperture of F2.4-F4.0, helping it to maximize image quality throughout the entire zoom range, all the way up to ultra-telephoto. It includes a super extra-low dispersion (ED) glass element and ED aspherical lenses to minimize chromatic aberration, and Zeiss T Coating to minimize flare and ghosting.

The lens also has built-in Optical SteadyShot image stabilization that helps to reduce camera shake and image blur.  When the feature is activated, it is equivalent to an approximate 4.5 steps shutter speed improvement. 

The RX10 IV offers 4K (3,840 by 2,160) movie recording, with its Fast Hybrid AF system realizing about 2x faster focusing speed compared to the RX10 III. 

In 4K mode, the RX10 IV utilizes full pixel readout without pixel binning, capturing approximately 1.7x more information than is required for 4K movie output to ensure the finest details are captured accurately.

The new camera also has a variety of other professional-caliber video features, including Picture Profile, S-Log3/S-Gamut3, Gamma Display Assist, Proxy recording, Time Code/User Bit and more, as well as input for external microphone and output for headphone monitoring.

Super-slow-motion video recording is also available, with an extended duration of about four seconds (in quality priority mode) and seven seconds (in shoot time priority). This feature gives users the ability to choose among 960 fps, 480 fps and 240 fps frame rates and among 60p, 30p and 24p playback formats.

The RX10 IV will ship in October for about $1,700 at authorized Sony dealers.