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MAARTECH | Monday June 1, 2020

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Sony RX100M4 hands on review

Sony RX100M4 hands on review

| On 07, Oct 2015

For the last four years, Sony has released a new version of the RX100 to coincide with a summer holiday trip. Although this year’s new model – the M4 – didn’t make it in time to join us in France, it did come along for a couple of weeks on Prince Edward Island and a week-long trip through Southwestern Ontario.

The review is all in the video – the following are behind the scenes production notes. I don’t comment on the details I observe in every scene, but provide the examples for your analysis. If you like, I’m happy to provide the original video and RAW image files – post a comment below.

If you’d like to see the images in more detail, and check out their EXIF data, nearly all photos used in the review are available on flickr. I say “nearly” as flickr rejected some that it felt were not “photos”. No explanation.

On Prince Edward Island, scenes were shot at The Dunes, a really interesting shop/café with spectacular gardens. One of my favourite locations. We stay with our dear friends Rowena and Hank near Oyster Bed Bridge – where the sunset and star trails were recorded.

The canoeing scenes were shot at Point Pelee National Park with our friends Diane and John – they also assisted with the focus and face detection scenes shot in the Retro Suites in Chatham. John shot the scene of me talking about the viewfinder on the Port Stanley Terminal Railway.

Bob and I went paddle-boarding (that’s me falling off the board) at Kim’s godfather’s cottage near Peterborough, where Rob obliged by hitting a few golf balls into the lake. The scenes at Skydome (now known as The Rogers Centre) are shot from a suite rented by Sony, who invited several journalists for a game and the chance to try some cameras and lenses. Alexandra was gracious enough to allow me to record her jumping. The Parliament buildings are in Ottawa.

The video is in 4K, using 4K video shot with the RX100M4 and a Panasonic G7 (my next review).The scenes shot in HD and up-sampled have an HD bug in the top right.

I’m always happy when a camera provides live and dirty (including menu overlay) HDMI out, which enables me to attach an Atomos Ninja Star to record screens. Not all features appear on the HDMI out (like Beauty Shot editing in playback) and were recorded directly from the screen with the G7. Screen captures are edited, condensed and sometimes have their speed adjusted to make the images fit the script.

The first and last on-camera scenes (HD) were recorded on a Sony NEX VG20 with the SEL 16-70 (the G7 didn’t make it to PEI). VO recorded using a Rode NT-USB.  On camera, I use the Sennheiser ew-2 wireless system. I use the x-rite colorchecker passport for white balance and colour reference. Thom Varey did the colour grading of the picture profile scenes using Slog2.

Edited on an iMac using Final Cut 10.2.2. Images processed in Lightroom CC 2015.1.1

The RX100 (and G7) kit was on loan, and has been returned. I am not affiliated with or compensated by Sony, Panasonic, any other camera or device manufacturer.

As always, if there are any details I’ve overlooked, I welcome (and reply to) your comments and questions.


  1. Maartin
    Very nice review of the DX100m4. As an m3 owner I’d recommend your longer review and tutorial of of the m3 as valuable background to intrepid first time DX100 owners jumping in atvthe m4 level. They also had music which I liked! The m3 review left me with a greater appreciation of the advances of the m4 with its upgraded sensor. I hope some of the usability and firmware will make it back into the previous m versions. Sony is going so fast with new models I hope they understand how important the owners of the previous series are in expanding the market value of their products. Your homily to the older models and the apps is right on. I’m investing in Zony lenses for my A7 II with a keen interest in what happens after the A7r/s II models. My folks retired in Otis Oregon on the coast and my mom was Audibon so Ive spent evenings watching the Otis owel fishing salmon in Panther Creek and calling in the night to their gossling. The Otis series lens isn’t quite at the level of the bird in flight but it does harken to that ideal as do I. In the mean time I can contemplate a second DX100 m4 since my wife has appropriated the m3 and the A7II is not always at hand.
    etfide vivo

    • Maarten

      Thanks for the kind words, and the insight – always good to hear from someone with personal experience.

  2. Marcel

    I have see the video and it was very helpfull for me. But I have q question, what must I use standard neutral, vivid. I can’t choise . I use now standard 1-1-1

    • Maarten

      You must use the one that pleases you, that makes the image look the way you’d like it to look. There is no right and wrong, no better or worse, only personal preference. If you find standard 1-1-1 to be pleasing, then please use that with full confidence.

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