Sony RX10iv for Point and Shoot Nature Photography Guide

I have completed my Guide to using the Sony RX10iv for Point and Shoot Nature Photography. You can download it below. 

And, if you enjoy the booklet and would like to contribute to my Sony RX10v fund (if and when), click here: to go to my Coffee page. 🙂 No contribution is necessary, but all contributions are appreciated.

34 thoughts on “Sony RX10iv for Point and Shoot Nature Photography Guide”

  1. Excellent book Steve. I did find two typos that I thought you might want to correct. Page 17 in the Focus area paragraph, you had “tacking”. I think you meant “tracking”
    And on Page 18 in the creative style paragraph, you referred to “waste” where I believe you really wanted “waist”.

    It was a great read, and I am going to definitely try out some of your suggested settings.
    Thanks so much for doing this.

    1. Hi Steve,
      I am a keen bird photographer and have so far struggled with the RX 10 IV settings for capturing birds in flight. I hope to follow your instructions to improve my shots.

      Question:- As you are an experienced photographer why do you prefer JPEG settings.
      I have used RAW for years and would like your feedback on why you prefer to shoot in JPEG settings as I have always been advised not to use it.
      I tried the JPEG setting the other week shooting gannets of cliffs in Bempton, Yorkshire. It allowed me to use the digital clear image zoom of which I thought came out quite well but noticed a lack of detail. This was maybe due to not using correct settings like you have set out out in your book.

      1. I prefer JPEG because I use many of the features that are only available in JPEG (Clear Image Zoom, DRO, HDR, etc.) and because, given correct exposure (which the camera produces 95% or more of the time in Program), I have never been able to produce a “better” image from RAW than from a JPEG. I am not sure RAW has an advantage with a small (ish) sensor like the one in the RX series. But that is just my opinion.

        1. Thanks for the reply,
          Quite a few top photographers still shoot in JPEG for the exact same reason ascyou have explained.
          I tend to agree as I started out using JPEG on a less quality bridge camera as it didnt have RAW option and the photos where really good.
          At least with the RX 10 IV you have both opptions. I have set up my camera for the Birds, Birds in motion and HDR Lanscape settings along side my RAW settings.
          Cant wait to see the results after reading and using the information from your excellent book.

  2. Wonderful resource. I purchased your general P&S Nature book, and was hoping you’d release something specific to the RX10iv…the recommended settings are very helpful to those of us just beginning to learn about this camera. Thanks again!

    PS One other minor correction…I believe you mean ‘patent’ and not ‘patient’ near the end where you’re discussing the beanbag monopod, etc. 🙂

  3. I have read your Sony RX10 iv article and it’s so clear and informative! I have highlighted all over it. I just got the camera. I don’t have an account with Paypal, so how else can I send you a donation? I’d be happy to do that.

    I just got your Point & Shoot book, and it’s terrific. Detailed explanations of why each setting is recommended. This is the first time I’ve read so much about the camera I’m using.

    Also, sorry you won’t be at the Florida Birding Festival. (I was going to sign up for your classes). Ever do anything in the Everglades?

    Anyway, thank you for all you do.

  4. This is just what I’ve needed–specific settings for the type of photography I like to do and much better than another e-book I have that doesn’t go into the settings detail. Thank you so much

  5. Thank you so much for your blog and the excellent guide to the SONY RX10M4 both of which have been a great help in providing the best settings for nature photography. I’ve found the refinements you have made over the past year or so, based on your travels, have been particularly beneficial. I’ve had real difficulty using PayPal to make a donation. Have you any other suggestions?
    Best wishes

    1. If Paypal is not working for you, don’t worry about it. I am happy to be of help to anyone using my favorite camera. I do have a book on, Point and Shoot Nature Photography which might be helpful to you. It is not specific to the Sony RX10IV, but has lots of useful information on composition and post processing. 🙂

  6. Hi Stephen, thank you for being so understanding. I had already purchased your book and found it very useful. I’m in my mid-70’s and, whilst I’ve tried to follow the Sony manual, without much joy. Your guidance specifically addressing my passion for wildlife has meant that I’m now taking photos that I’m really proud of. Thank you so much as until I happened upon the PSNP web-site I was about to give up
    Best wishes

  7. Hi Stephen,

    I first downloaded a copy of your booklet this time last year just before heading off on a trip to Colombia with my brand new RX10 iv. I read it on the plane on the way out from the UK and by the time I arrived, had set up my camera ready for action. It still took me a while to get comfortable with the camera, but I have no doubt my pictures are much better than they would have been as a result of your settings.

    I’ve just downloaded the newest version and see you now have your name on the cover, but I’m sure you didn’t mean to describe yourself as ‘The Point and SHOT Nature Photographer’. (Damn typos).

    Great book though.

  8. Thank you so much for this information! I just ordered the RX10iv and this is exactly what I needed. Blessings to you for sharing your amazing images and the time you spend teaching us to capture the beauty of the wild things.

  9. Thank you so much for this information! I just ordered the RX10iv and this is exactly what I needed. Blessings to you for sharing your amazing images and for the time you spend teaching us to capture the beauty of the wild things.

  10. On page 15 setting 2 it references ISO Minimum SS: Set to Fast.

    I don’t have that option; I have “Standard” and then all the actual values.

    1. Check your menu again. Note the little arrows next to “standard”. In the Sony world those mean that there are other choices for that item which you access using the left and right edges of the control wheel on the back of the camera. 🙂

  11. I purchased the P&S Nature Photography and found it informative and helpful. I also downloaded the manual specific for the Sony RX10. I still have many moments of frustration and wish at times I could sit and talk through some things with a knowledgeable person.
    Two things . When following your set up directions at the end you say something like- set the lens at 600. Is this a setting in the menu?
    When using my pc it is possible to see the properties of each photo.
    I have not found this feature on my iPad Air. Do you know if this is possible.
    Sorry for the questions . It has been a bit of a challenge switching both camera and computer systems.

    1. Happy to talk. You can email me at lightshedder at gmail dot com. “Set the lens to 600mm” as you would normal zoom. That way the camera remembers it was last at 600mm and will zoom out to that setting when first turned on. On your iPad Air, look for an App in the store called ViewEXIF. It is a stand alone app with a photo browser, but it also has an “extension” that is active in the Apple Photos app. To view the data on any photo, open the photo to full screen, select the share icon, scroll down and choose ViewEXIf, and you will get a floating panel with all the data in it. 🙂

  12. This is NOT a “point and shoot” camera. It is a highly capable, versatile piece of equipment loaded with advanced DSLR features, including a magnesium alloy body and 100% manual control. It is ridiculous to call it a P&S and I could care less what “those in the business” who are trying to make a buck, think.

    1. All you say is true…but that does not prevent the Sony Rx10iv from being an excellent camera for the point and shoot method of nature photography 🙂

  13. Nice work Stephen!
    I learned a lot. I apreciate that you share how the camera “thinks” that increases my understanding of the RX10. However when I program my RX10 IV with your settings. I understand that you have not upgraded to firmware 2.0. Maybe it´s time now? The new face recognition changes posibilities for photo BIF, birds in flight.

    1. I am on firmware 2.0. Unfortunately Sony says eye-focus is not designed to work on birds and my testing shows they are right 🙁 It works best on pets…okay on large mammals, but it is not programed for birds.

      1. Sorry, I have been ignorant. I took for granted that birds are animals! After your comment and some googeling I understand that Sonys new flagship A1 have a bird eye recognition. So I just hope that we soon can lay our hands on a new RX10 V with bird eye tracking features!

  14. Hi, I have recently acquired an RX10iv, having dithered for ages. I have always shot in JPEGs, and was just wondering what you used in post processing. Thanks for the RX10iv guide. Take care and stay safe.

    1. I shoot only in jpg, because I use many of features only available in jpg. I am currently using Pixelmator Photo and Apple Photos for post processing. I have used Polarr extensively in the past, but it lacks an intelligent “enlarge” function and the current emphasis on filters stored on the cloud is not to my liking. Lightroom is good too…but they have not added the super resolution feature in the iOS version…and I work exclusively with the iPad Pro. 🙁

  15. You are my hero! I just bought the RX10 iv and am leaving on safari in Africa this week. I was about to get overwhelmed by all the settings when I came across and read your guide. Thank you so much for this!!!

  16. Hi Steve,
    Just wanted to say a big thank you for your RX10 IV ebook and settings. I bought the camera last month and have been walking and looking for our Herons along the creek ever since. A friend came by a few days ago to walk for exercise and I grabbed my camera, but didn’t really take the time to make sure of all the settings. Of course, I finally saw just the head of one of the Herons through a gap in deep brush between the walkway and the creek he was in. I struggled to get an in-focus shot of his head and I started to check out my settings. Just at that moment, my friend shouted, “he’s taking off”. I remembered to hold down the Focus Hold button and started shooting away. (I had set it as you suggested for BIF.) Thank goodness. I got 10-12 good photos, one great one…and then noticed I had the camera AF setting dial on M(annual), not even DMF. Had I not set up the Focus Hold for BIF, I would have not gotten a single shot in focus. I was actually worried that it wouldn’t override the BIF custom save settings due to the M selection, but it did. YEAH.

  17. Quick note to say thanks for everything you’ve put online about the way you shoot, and especially about the RX10 IV in particular. I’m heading off for three weeks in Kenya and Tanzania next week and mostly due to your information chose to buy the RX10 IV rather than lug around my DSLR and a bunch of lenses.
    I’ve been shooting with it a lot to get used to it, and even accounting for the curve making the leap from a lifetime of Canon gear to the Sony menu system, it’s quickly become my favourite camera.

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