It's hard to know how Sony could improve on previous generations of RX cameras as they were already providing class leading photos. With that in mind, Sony has decided to focus on videography this time so that the new cameras' video skills match their photo skills.
Here's Sony's press release about the new RX100 IV and RX10 II:
New Compact RX100 IV and High-Zoom RX10 II Models Boast World’s First Stacked 1.0 type CMOS sensor with a DRAM memory chip, 40x Super Slow Motion Capture, 4K Video Shooting, High-speed Anti-Distortion Shutter and more
Sony has today announced two of the most advanced, versatile Cyber-shot cameras ever to come to market, the compact RX100 IV (model DSC-RX100M4) and high-zoom RX10 II (model DSC-RX10M2) cameras.
The two new models both feature the world’s first 1.0 type stacked Exmor RS CMOS sensor with advanced signal processing and an attached DRAM memory chip. The high speed signal processing and DRAM memory chip work together to enable more than 5x faster readout of image data[ii] and are responsible for a variety of standout features that have previously been available in only a select few professional-level video cameras. These impressive capabilities include 40x super slow motion video capture at up to 1000fps,[iii],[iv] an ultra-fast Anti-Distortion Shutter with a maximum speed of 1/32000 second, high resolution 4K movie shooting[v] and more.
Up to 40x Super Slow Motion Shooting
A first for Sony consumer cameras, the new RX100 IV and RX10 II both have the ability to record super slow-motion video at up to 40x slower than the standard rate, allowing users to capture and replay fleeting moments of action with incredible detail, resolution and clarity.
Prior to shooting, users will have the ability to choose among 1000fps, 500fps and 250fps frame rates and among 50p and 25p[vi] playback formatsiii,iv to optimise the recording to fit the speed of the moving subject, with the option to use the movie record button as a ‘start trigger’ to begin recording once button is pressed or ‘end trigger’ to record footage up until the button is pressed. The ‘end trigger’ mode lets shooting begin 2 to 4 seconds before the movie button is pressed, enabling shooters to capture the decisive moment with much more consistency and accuracy. For reference, two seconds of movie footage shot at 1000fps and 25p would take about 80 seconds to play back.
High Speed Shutter, High Speed Shooting
The impressive speed and power of the 1.0 type stacked Exmor RS CMOS sensor with an attached DRAM chip allows the new RX100 IV and RX10 II to perform exceptionally well while capturing fast-moving subjects.
Specifically, it’s fast processing capability results in continuous speeds at up to 16 fps on the RX100 IV and up to 14 fps on the RX10 II for an extended period of time.
Additionally, the ultra-fast readout of the image sensor is responsible for the high speed Anti-Distortion Shutter (maximum speed of 1/32000 second), which allow the new cameras to capture sharp, crystal clear images with a wide open aperture at brightness levels up to EV19[vii]. It also minimises the “rolling shutter” effect commonly experienced with fast moving subjects. This allows photographers and videographers to capture beautiful content with sharply focused subjects and defocused backgrounds under some of the most difficult, bright lighting conditions.
High Precision Direct 4K Movie Recording
The new RX100 IV and RX10 II models are the first Cyber-shot cameras to offer the advantages of 4K (QFHD 3840x2160) movie recordingv. The cameras utilise full pixel readout without pixel binning to ensure that all the finer details of 4K video are captured with minimal moire and ‘jaggies’. These high-quality results are achieved through use of the XAVC S codec, which records video at a high data rate of 100 Mbps during 4K recording and 50 Mbps during full HD shootingv.
The capacity for shooting 4K differs slightly on each of the two cameras, as the more professionally styled RX10 II can shoot 4K video at extended lengths (up to 29 minutes in Europe), while the more casual, pocket-friendly RX100 IV can shoot 4K clips at up to about 5 minutes in length. Additional professional calibre video features on both of the new cameras include Picture Profile, S-Log2/S-Gamut, and more.
Both cameras also have advanced dual video recording functionality, allowing shooters to capture 16.8 MP still images during 4K video recording in any of 11 different composition patterns simply by pressing the shutter button.
Versatility in Design, High Speed AF
The new RX100 IV maintains the compact, pocket-sized design of the RX100 family, and has a ZEISS® Vario-Sonnar T* 24-70mm (35mm equivalent) F1.8-F2.8 lens, while the new RX10 II maintains the same body design as the original RX10 and has a ZEISS® Vario-Sonnar T* 24-200mm (35mm equivalent) F2.8 lens.
Each of the cameras is equipped with a new high-contrast XGA OLED Tru-Finder™ with approximately 2.35 million dots of resolution, ensuring true-to-life image preview and playback functionality. The RX100 IV maintains the convenient retractable EVF with ZEISS® T* coating from the RX100 III model that debuted last year.
Both of the two new models feature an upgraded Fast Intelligent AF system that enables high-speed, high-precision contrast detection of a moving subject in as little as 0.09 seconds[viii]. Sony’s proprietary AF algorithm allows them to recognise and lock-in on a subject with a simple half-press of the shutter button at a much more efficient rate compared to previous models. The new cameras are also Wi-Fi® and NFC™ compatible and can access Sony’s growing range of PlayMemories Camera Applications. Learn more at www.sony.net/pmca.
Aesthetically, both of the new models feature a variety of customisable controls and buttons to fit any shooter’s style. The RX10 II adds dust and moisture resistance as well.
There is also a new stylish soft carrying case for, model LCS-RXG, that has been introduced. Made of quality natural leather and available in brown and black colours, it is an ideal complement to the sleek designs of all the RX100 series cameras including the new RX100 IV model.
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The world’s first as 1.0-type sensor with memory-attached design, as of announcement date, according to Sony survey
[ii] Compared to previous RX100 III and RX10 models. According to a simulation of the same electronic shutter of up to 1/32000 sec. combined with the Exmor R CMOS sensor employed with RX10 or RX100 III
[iii] Sound cannot be recorded when shooting slow motion. An SDXC memory card of Class 10 or higher is required
[iv] In PAL. PAL / NTSC is switchable in the menu system
[v] An SDXC memory card with a Class 10 or higher speed rating is required for XAVC S recording and UHS Speed Class 3 is required for recording at 100Mbps
[vi] 960fps, 480fps and 240fps at 60p, 30p and 24p in NTSC mode
[vii] Using a built-in ND filter
[viii] Measured with RX10 II model, CIPA standard, internal measurement, at 8.8mm (Wide), EV7.0, Program Auto, AF area: Wide, in NTSC mode.
It's also worth noting that Sony has improved on already one of the best cameras in the world by launching the new Alpha7R II. Here's their press release:
Sony’s Flagship Mirrorless Camera Features 42.4 MP Back-illuminated CMOS sensor, In-camera 5-axis Image Stabilisation, Internal 4K Video Recording, Silent Shooting, Fast Hybrid AF and more
Sony today introduced their new flagship full-frame mirrorless camera, the α7R II (ILCE-7RM2).
The new α7R II interchangeable lens camera features the world’s first back-illuminated full-frame Exmor R CMOS sensori, which delivers high resolution (42.4 MP approx. effective megapixels), high sensitivity (expandable up to ISO 102400) and high speed AF response up to 40% faster than the original α7R thanks to 399 focal plane phase detection AF points.
The camera also includes a 5-axis image stabilisation system borrowed from the acclaimed α7 II model and can shoot and record 4K video in multiple formats including Super 35mm (without pixel binning) and full-frame format, a world’s first for digital camerasi. Additionally, it has a newly refined XGA OLED Tru-Finder with the world’s highest (0.78x) viewfinder magnification[ii].
High Resolution, High Sensitivity and High-Speed Response
The newly developed 42.4 MP back-illuminated CMOS sensor is the most advanced, versatile and highest resolution full-frame image sensor that Sony has ever created, allowing the α7R II to reach new levels of quality, sensitivity and response speed. In the past, many photographers have been forced to choose between high-resolution and high-speed or high resolution and high sensitivity when selecting a camera. The new α7R II eliminates that sacrifice thanks to its innovative image sensor.
The 42.4 MP sensor combines gapless on-chip lens design and AR (anti-reflective) coating on the surface of the sensor’s glass seal to dramatically improve light collection efficiency, resulting in high sensitivity with low-noise performance and wide dynamic range. This allows the camera to shoot at an impressive ISO range of 100 to 25600 that is expandable to ISO 50 to 102400ii.
Additionally, the sensor’s back-illuminated structure, with an expanded circuit scale and copper wiring design, enables faster transmission speed and ensures content can be captured in high resolution without sacrificing sensitivity. Data can also output from the sensor at an approximately 3.5x faster rate compared to the original α7R.
An ideal match for Sony’s extensive collection of FE lenses (35mm full-frame compatible E-mount lenses), the new α7R II features a high-speed BIONZ X image processing engine that allows images and video from the camera to be captured with supreme details and low noise. There is also no optical low pass filter on the camera, ensuring that scenery and landscapes are captured in the highest possible resolution and clarity.
The α7R II has a new highly durable reduced-vibration shutter that delivers 50% less vibration from shutter movements compared to its predecessor, and has a cycle durability of approximately 500,000 shots[iii]. The camera can also be set to Silent Shooting mode in order to shoot images quietly without any sensor vibration or movement.
The new image sensor features 399 focal-plane phase-detection AF points – the world’s widest AF coverage on a full-frame sensori – that work together with 25 contrast AF points to achieve focus response that is about 40% faster than the original model. The α7R II utilises an advanced motion-detection algorithm combined with this Fast Hybrid AF system to achieve up to 5fps continuous shooting with AF tracking.
Additionally, the focal plane phase-detection AF system on the α7R II works well with Sony A-mount lenses when they are mounted on the camera using an LA-EA3 or LA-EA1 mount adapter. This allows users to enjoy the wide AF coverage of 399 focal plane phase-detection AF points, high-speed response and high tracking performance with a wider range of lenses. This marks the first time that the AF system of a mirrorless camera can achieve high performance with lenses originally designed for DSLRs.
5-Axis Image Stabilisation Optimised for 42.4 MP
The new flagship α7R II model is equipped with an innovative 5-axis image stabilisation system that has been fine-tuned to support its high-resolution shooting capacity. Similar to the system launched on the acclaimed α7 II model, this advanced form of image stabilisation corrects camera shake along five axes during shooting, including angular shake (pitch and yaw) that tends to occur with a telephoto lens, shift shake (X and Y axes) which becomes noticeable as magnification increases, and rotational shake (roll) that often affects video recording. This camera shake compensation system is equivalent to shooting at a shutter speed approximately 4.5 steps faster[iv].
Additionally, the 5-axis stabilisation works cooperatively with Sony α lenses with optical SteadyShot™ (OSS) to provide maximum stabilisation and clarity, while also performing admirably via a compatible mount adapter with Sony α A-mount lenses[v] without on-board stabilisation. Effects of the stabilisation can be previewed via live-view on the LCD or OLED viewfinder of the camera.
Unrivaled 4K Movie Shooting Performance
The impressive video credentials of Sony’s new α7R II camera include the ability to record movies in 4K quality (QFHD 3840x2160) in either Super 35mm crop mode or full-frame mode.
In Super 35mm mode, the camera collects a wealth of information from approximately 1.8x as many pixels as 4K by using full pixel readout without pixel binning and oversamples the information to produce 4K movies with minimal moire and ‘jaggies’.
In full-frame mode, the α7R II utilises the full width of the 35mm sensor for 4K recording, allowing users to utilise the expanded expressive power of the sensor. It is the world’s first digital camera to offer this in-camera full-frame format 4K recording capacityi.
The camera utilises the advanced XAVC S[vi] codec during video shooting, which records at a high bit rate of 100 Mbps during 4K recording and 50 Mbps during full HD shooting.
Additionally, the α7R II model features a variety of functions to support a professional video workflow including Picture Profile, S-Log2 Gamma and S-Gamut, 120fps high frame rate movie shooting in HD (720p), time code, clean HDMI output and more.
Enhanced Design, Operability and Reliability
The new full-frame α7R II has an upgraded XGA OLED Tru-Finder™ with a double-sided aspherical lens that delivers the world’s highest viewfinder magnificationiii of 0.78x for crystal clear image preview and playback across the entire display area. ZEISS® T* Coating is also utilised to reduce unwanted reflections that interfere with the shooting experience.
The camera has an extremely solid, professional feel in-hand thanks to its light, rigid magnesium alloy design, and has a re-designed grip and shutter button compared to its predecessor. There is also a new mechanism to conveniently lock the mode dial, and an expanded range of customisable functions and buttons to suit the most demanding photographers.
The new α7R II camera is Wi-Fi® and NFC compatible and fully functional with Sony’s PlayMemories Mobile™ application available for Android™ and iOS platforms, as well as Sony’s growing range of PlayMemories Camera Apps™, which add a range of creative capabilities to the camera. For example, there is more creativity available now for time-lapse photography thanks to a new “Angle Shift add-on”[vii] app allows users to easily add pan, tilt and zoom to time-lapse images without any additional shooting equipment or PC software required. Learn more at www.sony.net/pmca.
Sony has also introduced a new LCD monitor model CLM-FHD5, an ideal companion to the α7R II for video shooting. A compact 5.0 type Full HD (1920x1080p) LCD monitor, the CLM-FHD5 features enlarging and peaking functionality for precise focusing, false color and video level marker for adjusting exposure and S-Log display assist to assist S-Log shooting.
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