This thing right here is a point and shoot camera. And while you guys don’t see many of these things on the YouTube channel here on PhoneDog, this is a very special camera and it’s one of the best; if not the, best video camera for under $1000. Before I get into my review of the RX100 IV, I have to bring up this thing right here. This is a smartphone. In this case, it’s the Galaxy Note 5.
Like most typical flagship smartphones (excluding the iPhone), we have 4K UHD video recording as a feature. This one happens to be one of the best in the mobile business. Having 4K UHD video at 30fps, it delivers really good content. The problem is, it’s still a mobile phone. The sensor’s not very big, the low light performance isn’t spectacular, and the video has a small amount of over-sharpening filters. You probably get more array or these types of things that you really don’t want in your video. Now having UHD video on your mobile phone is very practical. It’s not the best result. And this camera is made for people who want the best result in 4K video.
So the story of the RX100 is very simple. I won’t bore you with all the specs of these things because most of you guys aren’t really big camera people. But I will mention one thing—this thing has an inch sensor, which is a lot larger than say your normal Samsung Galaxy Note 5 sensor. And secondly, it’s a stacked CMOS sensor which means means that everything is stacked on top of each other which lets more light in through the camera; which means low light in this camera is spectacular.
This camera isn’t really aimed at the professional photographer. It’s really aimed at people who like to make videos. If you do take photos, you’re not going to be disappointed but you’re also not going to be impressed of this camera. It does deliver 20.1MP photos and they do look really good for a point and shoot camera.
The real magic of this RX100 really lies in the videos. One, it does shoot 4K UHD video but what’s really different with this camera is it shoots 4K UHD video at 100 Mbps in the Sony XAVC format. It’s not the best format to work with but it’s definitely better than your 8Shot 264 or your AVC HD that used to be plaguing cameras like a couple of years ago. And the result is spectacular. The 4K UHD video looks really, really good.
A lot of you probably know that I used to shoot my videos on a Panasonic GH4 and I can’t believe I’m saying this about a Sony product because I’m not the biggest fan of Sony right now. But the 4K video off this thing is pretty much as good as or even slightly better than the GH4, especially in low light. One big party trick the RX100 IV has is the ability to shoot in log. If you don’t know what log is, don’t worry. If people do know what log is, you will really enjoy this. Basically what log is a flat profile that pushes up the shadows, crushes in the highlights. It kind of gives you a very ugly and not very pleasing video. For example, I’m shooting my video currently in a log profile which we go from graded (right now) to ungraded. You’ll probably like the graded image more.
The RX100 will deliver that to you, which means that you can actually go and post and start grading the video and it really won’t fall apart. I mean obviously if you push it a lot, it will still fall apart because it is a compressed Codec. But my most favorite part of the RX100 is this viewfinder. It has 2.3 million dots in it. It’s unbelievably good. It looks so good that it almost feels you to be an optical viewfinder. The only thing that I don’t like about the viewfinder is that it is pretty small and you have to kind of crunch your eye and it’s not very comfortable to use, it doesn’t have a big rubber eye cap. But it’s really amazing that they can fit one of these things in a camera so small.
Everything about the RX100 isn’t exactly solid. There are a couple of problems. One of them being you can only shoot UHD video at 5 minute increments not because the taxation of having a video camera in a camera—it’s more of the sensor and the heat dissipation. This thing gets really, really hot. 5 minutes of 4K video will make this thing maybe around 115 degrees. And while the sensor can’t handle all that heat inside such a small package so it will lock you out after taking 5-minute 4K UHD video. You can shoot longer video in 1080p but again, it won’t get that 4K UHD video quality.
And another chief complaint I had about the RX100 is the battery life. While taking photos and normal 1080p video, you can probably average around a couple hours of battery life. When you take 4K UHD video, like most of you will probably do, the battery will be dead in less than 45 minutes. Fortunately, batteries aren’t very expensive. You can buy spare ones. But it is kind of a hassle because if you have this thing mounted on a tripod, you have to dismount it from the tripod head, take out the battery and place a new one inside. It’s not side-mounted like SLRs. It’s very tedious to do that.
I know this isn’t a typical PhoneDog video with a camera like this. But it’s definitely a camera that I really do recommend if you like 4K video especially for a lot of tech people on YouTube that want to start their channel and go into 4K. and the good thing is, if you don’t need 4K right now, the RX100 III, RX100 II and even the RX100 I are still being sold right now and they’re less expensive than this camera. This one goes around $948 right now, which is a lot of money but you can get an RX100 III for a lot less.
RX100 IV: http://bhpho.to/1gXVGh8
RX100 III: http://bhpho.to/1PA8WEV