Sony DSC-RX10 MIV versus Canon G3-X
In 2015 I bought the Canon G3-X and not much later I sold my SLR cameras and lenses. Many photographers apparently think that for certain functions you necessarily need a system camera with interchangeable lenses. Nothing could be further from the truth, I could also set all the settings and functions that I had on my Canon EOS 5D MkIII on the G3 X.
In 2019 I wanted to add a second camera and I would have preferred a G3 X Mk … but unfortunately, there was still no successor after 4 years. That’s why I took a look at the internet to see which bridge cameras were available with the same super zoom range and a 1 “sensor. I ended up with the Sony DSC-RX10 MIV and after reading several reviews on the internet I decided to buy this camera.
After being loyal to Canon for over 40 years, this was a big step! (in 1978 bought my first Canon SLR, the F1)
The ideal camera does not exist and every camera has advantages and disadvantages. That is why I started to compare both cameras on setting options, ease of operation, and recording quality. For a description of the Canon G3-X, I refer to the article elsewhere on my website. Click here to read it.
Sony DSC-RX10 MIV
With the Sony DSC-RX10 MIV (usually called Sony RX ten mark four), there are three things that quickly catch the eye: There is a ring on the lens for (also) zooming manually, manual focusing is done with the second ring nice and fast and you set the aperture with a third ring on the lens.
When you are used to Canon it is not easy to immediately find the right buttons and settings. For example, with Canon, you have the settings C1 and C2 on the program selector button under which you can save a combination of presets. At Sony that is MR and in the menu you can save and recall 3 combinations of presets. There are also 3 extra buttons on the camera to which you can assign a menu function of your choice. In addition, on almost all other buttons, you can change the default assigned function at your own discretion.
For the focus area, you have a choice of 7 options, whereby the automatic focus on the eyes can also be set for animal eyes.
The viewfinder is built-in, leaving the hot shoe free for an external flash. I had to buy a new cable release because it works with Sony with the micro USB input. The micro USB input has three functions, cable release, external power supply and you charge the battery with it. The latter is the reason that no battery charger is included with the purchase of the camera.
The maximum standby time of the camera is 30 minutes, only with an external power supply via the micro USB, the camera does not switch off automatically. This means that if you want to control the camera remotely via your smartphone or tablet, you must connect a power pack or other external power supply via micro USB.
The remote control has a disadvantage, you can not see on the screen of your smartphone or tablet which part of the photo the camera focuses on. That is possible at Canon.
If you would like to use this camera in combination with a camera trap (IR trigger or something similar), it turns out that this is unfortunately not possible because, like the external power supply, it needs the micro USB port. There are simply no two cables in one USB port and a camera trap with a camera that switches off after 30 minutes is of course also not an option.
Of course, not every photographer uses this kind of frills and I like to fall back on my Canon G3-X in those situations.
As usual with all cameras nowadays, it also comes with only a very limited manual. After some searching on the internet, I found out that the extensive manual has the curious name “help guide“.
Of course, I also use the Canon close-up lens with this camera for macro photography. Click here to see why I chose this close-up lens.
The camera can, if desired, save the location data of the place where the photo was taken. To activate that, you need to pair it once with your smartphone. Read the instructions in the Sony help guide.
The shortest possible setting distance of this camera on the extreme telephoto position (600 mm) is about 68 cm, which is of course fantastic. However, if you zoom out a bit, something unexpected and strange will happen; the shortest setting distance increases and even increases to almost 130 cm at 250mm and then quickly decreases again to about 2 cm when set to 24mm. Everything measured from the front of the lens.
I made a diagram of both the Sony RX10 and the Canon G3-X, click on one of the pictures below for a larger view.
With both cameras, with the same settings and at the same distance from the same subject, I made test shots at the extreme zoom position of 600mm. Click on one of the photos below to compare.
I have two external flashes, Nissin Di700A, one for Canon and one for Sony, and also a Nissin Air1 commander for Canon and another one for Sony.
The nice thing is that both flashes, although brand bound, can still be used with the Air1 commander for both cameras.
The Air 1 is proprietary, but the flashes, which both have a different connection for the hot-shoe of the camera, are not brand-bound with wireless control next to the camera.
Below the plus + and minus – points of both cameras.
Canon PowerShot G3-X
Price January 2020 incl viewfinder € 1,023 (without viewfinder € 800).
+ Standard cable release.
+ External power supply possible with dummy battery.
+ Standby time unlimited.
+ Flash is on the top left, nicer than on the top center.
+ Servo AF tracking system works better than with Sony.
+ Viewfinder EVF-DC1 can also be used as angle viewfinder.
– Not sharp in the corners.
– Slow AF
– Very slow MF, you literally turn around.
– Combination AF and MF is hidden too far away somewhere in a menu.
– Few choices AF method.
– Slow automatic switching from display to viewfinder.
– External flash cannot be used on the camera in combination with the
– Aperture f / 2.8 to f / 11, with telephoto f / 5.6
– Still no Mark II after its introduction in 2015.
– No ring for manual zoom.
– Only one phone or tablet can be set up for remote control.
Sony DSC RX10 IV
Price January 2020 € 1.700, –
+ Fast AF.
+ MF as with a normal lens.
+ Lots of choice AF method.
+ Fast automatic switching from display to viewfinder.
+ Excellent sharpness, also in the corners.
+ Built-in viewfinder, leaving the hot shoe free.
+ Buttons can be personalized.
+ Manual focusing is just as fast as with an interchangeable lens.
+ You can zoom electrically, but also manually with the zoom ring.
+ Aperture f/2.4 to f/16, with telephoto f/4.
+ Combination AF and MF possible with focus selector on the front left of the camera.
+ Multiple phones or tablets can be set up for remote control
– Cable release via micro USB.
– Standby time up to 30 minutes, can only be switched off by using external power via micro USB.
– Not to be used as a camera trap because the cable release also uses the micro USB.
– When operating via smartphone or tablet no possibility to see and move focus point.
– Strange course of shortest setting distance.