Sony RX10 IV vs Canon 5D MkIV – Which One Should You Get?

It may seem a little strange to compare two different style of camera, one a bridge camera and one a DSLR, but photographers weighing up their next buy may well see a number of specifications that are similar and want to know more about each camera.

Sony’s RX10 IV was launched in September 2017 and has a fixed lens with a massive focal length. Canon’s 5D MkIV is a DSLR camera and was launched in 2016. It can offer big megapixels and a high ISO range, but let’s dig a little deeper into the specs sheets to discover further similarities and differences…

The 5D MkIV features a large fixed 3.2-inch LCD, while the RX10 IV offers a 3-inch tilting LCD.

Design and ergonomics:

As you’d expect from two different camera systems, there’s some major differences in the design of each camera. The Sony is build around a 1-inch Exmoor sensor that’s paired with sony’s powerful Bionz X processor and delivers 20-megapixels of resolution. The Canon 5D MkIV’s CMOS sensor is much bigger, in fact it’s full-frame and delivers 3-megapixels of resolution. The Sony is a superzoom or ‘bridge’ camera, meaning the the lens is fixed in place and not interchangeable.

To compensate for that, the Sony RX10 IV offers a versatile 25x zoom, which gives an equivalent focal range of 24-600mm from the f/2.4-4 ZEISS Vario-Sonnar T optic. In comparison, the 5D MkIV features a typical DSLR design, operating with interchangeable lenses and uses Canon’s EF lens mount, meaning users benefit from a huge amount of optics to select from. Both cameras feature a pronounced handgrip for comfortable handling and the Sony has a dedicated Focus Mode switch on the front that enables photographers to select from Single shot focus, Continuous focus or manual focus at the turn of the dial. Maybe somewhat surprisingly, the Sony RX10 IV is the heavier of the two cameras, tipping the scales at 1095g, while the 5D MkIV weighs in at 890g.

Both cameras boast weather sealing, meaning you can keep on shooting when the rain starts to fall. On the back of the cameras, the Sony sports a 2359k-dot electronic viewfinder and a 3-inch touch-sensitive LCD, while the Canon uses an optical viewfinder and has a fixed 3.2-inch touch-sensitive LCD with 1620k-dot resolution.

The full-frame 5D MkIV offers dual card slots, while the RX10 IV offers one.

Image quality:

The Canon 5D MkIV offers an amazing amount of resolution. In fact, with 30-megapixels to play with, photographers can print well in excess of A3, or crop heavily without a significant compromise in image quality. While the Sony RX10 IV can only offer 20-megapixels, this should still be enough to make decent A3 prints, though you won’t be able to crop as heavily as you could with the Canon 5D MKIV. In terms of ISO levels, the Canon offers ISO 100-32000 (expandable to 50-102400), while the Sony offers an expanded range of ISO 62- 25600 – meaning both cameras will enable you to shoot handheld when light levels fall.

The Sony features a superzoom lens with 60x magnification.


The video specifications are a key reason why a photographer would add both of these cameras to their shortlist because both cameras offer ultra high-quality 4K modes. On top of this, both cameras can record HD footage at high frames rates so it can be used to create dramatic slow motion sequences and both cameras feature ports for headphones so audio can be monitored and an external mic, so videographers don’t have to rely on the camera’s built-in mic.

One benefit the 5D MkIV has over the RX10 IV in the video stakes is that it can instantly make a back-up of the footage to the second of two memory card slots (one SD/one CF), while the Sony only has the one memory card slot for an SD or Memory Stick Pro. So with options for high-quality footage and enhanced audio, there is plenty to interest videographers on both cameras.

Extras and verdict:

While both these cameras offer similar video specifications, there’s a lot that separates them, too. Interestingly, there’s a few areas where the superzoom Sony comes out on top and, in fact, the RX10 IV serves up more AF points than the 5D MkIV with the Sony shooters enjoying a 315 AF-point system, compared to the Canon’s 61-point – although it should be noted that the 5D MkIV benefits from Canon’s Dual Pixel AF technology to help deliver fast and accurate autofocus.

Speed also plays a part in the Sony’s key features, with the RX10 IV able to capture up to 24 frames per second – more than triple the 7 frames per second the Canon can manage. However, as you’d expect, there are many areas where the 5D MkIV excels, including the larger LCD, a far better battery life (900 shots v 400 shots), a faster maximum shutter speed (1/8000sec v 1/2000sec) and inclusion of a time-lapse recording mode. The Canon can also extract 8-megapixel JPEGs from the 4K video footage too. These are indeed very different cameras and both are excellent in their own right. Both cameras are suitable for videographers who wish to make movies in ultra-high-quality 4K while being able to monitor the sound and use an external mic for enhanced audio.

The Sony RX10 IV features a 315-point autofocus system and can shoot at 24 frames per second.

The Canon is more suited to everyday working photographers who shoot landscapes or portraits, and those who will wish to shoot with different lenses that boast fast apertures. But the Sony obviously has a market too. Being able to cover focal lengths from 25-600mm and shoot up to 24 frames per second with 315-AF points will interest wildlife and sport photographers who need to travel light.

Canon 5D MkIVSony RX10 IV
Price$ 2,139.00$ 1,709.00
Sensor30-megapixel Full-frame20-megapixel 1-inch CMOS
ISO range (expanded)50-10240062- 25600
AF Points61315
Continuous shooting7FPS24FPS
Max shutter speed1/8000sec1/2000sec
External mic port
Headphone jack
LCD3.2-inch fixed touchscreen3-inch tilting touchscreen