Head to Head

Sony RX100-IV vs Sony RX100-III vs Canon G7X

**updated October 2015 to include the Sony RX100-IV **

Despite industry experts predicting the end of the compact camera, the top-end of the compact market has seen intense competition over the last three or four years.  With huge improvements in sensors & refinements in lenses, it's now possible to get astonishing image quality in a tiny body with a suite of full manual controls, not to mention features like wifi, touch screens and more.

The RX100 is credited with kick-starting the renaissance of the compact back in 2012 and really made people reconsider what a compact was capable of.  It's now onto its third iteration and as my review detailed, it again set a high benchmark for its rivals.  Canon recently fought back with their G7X and with two very impressive cameras it might be difficult to make a decision on which to choose.  I've put the two cameras head to head against each other comparing important features and highlighting the pros & cons of each to help you pick one.

Because the RX100-IV is so similar in most respects to the RX100-III, unless I make the distinction between them then the mk3 and mk4 are virtually indistinguishable

Round 1 - Package

  • Not including a battery charging unit in the box and relying on USB charging is a mistake in my eyes - Canon gives us everything you need right out of the box. Sony continue to omit this basic requirement

Winner:-  G7X

Round 2 - Battery

  • Though the G7X regularly gave me a full day's shooting, the RX100 undoubtedly had longer legs. A word of warning though, shooting 4k or HFR video on the RX100-IV will destroy your battery life

Winner:-   RX100

Round 3 - Controls

  • The RX100 surprised me by packing in a ton of controls while still being pretty straightforward to use and comfortable to hold.
  • The G7X is the clear winner - with the dedicated Exposure Compensation dial being a superb addition putting it head & shoulders ahead of the RX100.

Winner:- G7X

Round 4 - Features

  • Both are feature packed with minor differences that balance out but the RX100 has a huge bonus with its built-in viewfinder.

Winner:- RX100

Round 5 - Screen

  • This is a tougher one to call.  The G7X has a larger screen which is touch-sensitive but the RX100 has greater articulation, has higher resolution and is arguably a bit easier to use in bright sunlight.  On balance though the G7X touch-screen wins out, making it easier to shoot quickly & discreetly.

Winner:- G7X

Round 6 - Lens

  • Canon has smashed it here with the G7X's longer focal range and brighter aperture across the range completely outclassing the RX100

Winner:- G7X

Round 7 - Sensor & Resolution

  • Both cameras are excellent and equally matched, nothing at all to separate them here.

Winner:- TIE

Round 8 - Image Quality

  • Another tie - both cameras can produce outstanding images.
  • If video performance is your main motivator in choosing a camera then the RX100-IV wins hands down

Winner:- TIE

Round 9 - Form Factor

  • The RX100 is a few grams and a few millimetres smaller but not in any meaningful, discernible way.

Winner:- TIE

Round 10 - Price

  • The G7X is approximately £150/S$300 cheaper than the RX100.  Hard to argue with that!

Winner:- G7X

 

And the winner is...

We're in the fortunate position as photographers to have two outstanding compacts to choose from.  Both have a few niggling flaws but with some outstanding strengths - I can honestly say both are top quality cameras and I think the decision to choose between them will include a great deal of personal preference alongside specification comparisons & poring over image samples.

** Even with its new features I still think that for photographers the G7X is the better camera. It's cheaper, more versatile and image quality is great. For video, and if you can afford it, choose the RX100-IV **

That said, we need to have a winner and I need to make a recommendation!  It comes out ahead on features, its superb lens and yet somehow is still significantly cheaper... For this head to head my personal recommendation is the Canon G7X!