RX10 IV custom settings revisited
Mar 6, 2021

Or: When manual isn't

Some of you may recall that in the far distant past I created a thread on custom settings for the RX10 IV HERE . And for the past 2 years+ I have pretty much stuck with the latest revisions in that post.

Until today.

What drives one to make changes this far down the road you might ask? Well, in this case it started with a friend and fellow RX10 IV photographer sending me an e-mail with a question about shutter speed in the "Auto ISO" settings. In practice it gives SOME control but really not much: you can select a fixed shutter speed (not ideal) or Shutter speed slower, slow, normal or faster. But while helpful, those are really not very powerful or specific.

In the e-mail thread discussing this, my brother (a Panasonic FZ1000 user) asked but why not define both Aperture and shutter speed (which was what we were debating) and using Auto ISO. To which I responded: you can't! You can use Aperture mode (in which you control the aperture and lightly influence shutter speed with Auto ISO settings), you can use Shutter speed mode (in which you control the shutter speed and the rest is lightly influenced) or Manual, in which case case you have to fix everything because (as I thought), you cannot use Auto ISO because that is not a manual setting.

But that set me to thinking: is that REALLY the case? I checked... and no, that is NOT the case! It turns out that in Manual, you CAN use Auto ISO with upper and lower limits! Who'da thunk it? That was not what I was expecting in Manual hence I never even looked! Classic case of man with faulty parachute jump to conclusion....

So: now my BIF settings are stored in M1 as:

Manual mode

Shutter speed 1/2000th


Auto ISO, lower limit 100, upper limit 3200 (this one will likely attract some comments)

Wide AF, continuous

Center metering (pretty much accepting that I almost invariably using some EC)

High burst rate

And my PERCHED BIRDS settings are stored in M2 as:

Manual mode

Shutter speed 1/1000th


Auto ISO, lower limit 100, upper limit 1600

Small Flexible Spot AF, continuous

Spot metering

Medium burst rate

In both cases it it dead simple and almost instantaneous to change any of aperture (on the lens, duh!), shutter speed  (with the control dial) and ISO (with the control wheel).

I have programmed these approximate settings to Custom Hold 1 and 2 as well. I normally walk around with the camera in the MR1 position (BIF) because  these are the opportunities that tend to give you the least warning and opportunity to get the shot. As a consequence, Focus Hold 2 (Perched birds) is the Hold I use most often. Because that it the most commonly used I used to have my Perched bird Custom Hold setting programmed to the Focus Hold button on the lens as I thought that was the most convenient. However: I have recently come to the conclusion that I can better control the camera while pressing the AEL button while shooting rather than the Focus Hold button. So I have now mapped Custom Hold 2 (perched birds) to the AEL button and Custom Hold 1 (BIF) to the Focus Hold button.

Not really huge changes but hopefully some incremental improvements. I will be trying these settings for the next little while and report back how it works out for me in practice.