Unveiled: Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 III Digital Camera

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In spite of the decrease in the number of point-and-shoot cameras currently being released, Sony has carved out its own niche: the RX100-series, that pairs a well-liked compact form factor with advanced imaging capabilities and control akin to interchangeable-lens cameras. The newest member of this series is the Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 III. Evolving from its predecessor, the RX100 II, the RX100 III is most notably characterized by its incorporation of an electronic viewfinder, faster lens, and enhanced video-recording capabilities.

The RX100 III features a similar Exmor R sensor to the previous model, a 20.1MP 1" CMOS sensor featuring a back-illuminated design that gives it high native sensitivity to ISO 12800, which can further be expanded to an effective ISO 25600 through the use of Multi-Shot Noise Reduction. Along with Sony's Column A/D Conversion, area-specific noise reduction, and use of their newest BIONZ X image processor, rich image detailing with smooth color and tonal gradations are also noted endowments of this series. This refined processor also avails a wealth of performance-related attributes throughout the camera, including the ability to record up to 10 fps in Speed Priority mode and 2.9 fps continuous shooting with single-shot AF, as well as a fast 0.008-second shutter-lag time.

The Lens

The RX100 III retains the same Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T* designation as its predecessors, but shortens the zoom range to a 35mm equivalent 24-70mm. Nine aspherical elements, including two cemented AA (Advanced Aspherical) element, are incorporated into the optical design to minimize chromatic aberrations throughout the zoom range and also contribute to marked image sharpness and clarity. While losing a bit of reach at the telephoto end, and gaining a bit at the wide end, the new lens features a substantially faster design with an f/1.8-2.8 maximum aperture. Whereas the RX100 II had a maximum aperture of f/4.9 at the long end, the RX100 III's f/2.8 aperture at the 70mm end offers more flexibility for working in difficult lighting conditions. The new version also incorporates a selectable 0.9 neutral density filter into its design, which provides a three-stop reduction in exposure. Neutral density filters allow you to photograph with wider apertures in bright light, for greater selective-focus control, or with longer shutter speeds than normally required, for greater control over how subject movement is rendered. Additionally, Optical SteadyShot image stabilization is also incorporated into the camera to minimize the appearance of camera shake, which helps a great deal when you're working in difficult lighting conditions and with telephoto magnifications.

A distinct feature from previous RX100 cameras, the RX1000 III incorporates a manual control ring surrounding the lens that enables intuitive manual adjustment over several camera controls, including zooming and aperture value, as well as seamless transitioning between different Picture Effects. A new step-zoom function can also be controlled by the ring, which permits instant selection and switching between different focal-length positions. A dedicated Custom button is also incorporated into the design, which permits instant one-touch access to up to 42 different user-programmable functions.

The Electronic Viewfinder

A first for the RX100-series, this camera also sees the integration of a 0.39" 1,440k-dot SVGA OLED Tru-Finder EVF and, like the camera's lens, the EVF's optics feature a Zeiss T* anti-reflective coating to enhance visibility. The viewfinder's design revolves around a unique pop-up mechanism, similar to the built-in flash, and can be completely concealed while carrying, or when you choose to use the rear LCD. This pop-up design helps to retain the RX100 III's overall compact form factor, while still availing a new, more precise way to compose your images. Additionally, for a quickened workflow, the camera can be turned on simply by popping up the viewfinder. The larger, rear 3.0" 1,229k-dot Xtra Fine LCD screen is carried over from the previous version, but its tilting design has been updated to permit a full 180° of upward tilt for increased convenience when working from low and front-facing angles. It can also tilt 45° downward, for shooting from high angles, and it features WhiteMagic technology for improved visibility in bright conditions. If working with both viewing means, a built-in eye sensor on the EVF detects when it is in use and permits quick switching between the viewfinder and rear LCD.

Built-In Wi-Fi

Further extending the handling capabilities of the camera, built-in Wi-Fi connectivity avails remote camera control along with live-view monitoring from a linked mobile device using the Smart Remote Control feature. Additionally, along with the ability to pair to Android devices using Near Field Communication (NFC), this Wi-Fi connectivity also enables seamless sharing of imagery between devices for instant uploading online. Offsetting the host of stock shooting modes, Wi-Fi access also permits users to install a variety of PlayMemories Camera Apps for personalizing certain features of the camera, including the ability to record time-lapse imagery, create motion shots, or other modes specifically suited to portraiture, sports photography, and close-ups.

Full HD Video

One of the most marked improvements of the RX100 III, compared to previous iterations, is its enhanced feature set for recording Full HD movies. As with past models, the new camera can record at 1920 x 1080/60p. However, the new model offers the ability to work in the high-quality XAVC S format with full-pixel readout and 50Mbps recording. Additionally, clean HDMI output also enables uncompressed 60p, 60i, or 24p movie recording to an optional external recorder. Recording can also be done in the AVCHD format, ideal for Blu-ray Disc burning and HDTV viewing, as well as the Internet-friendly MP4 format. Alternatively, dual recording is also possible, permitting the simultaneous recording in both XAVC S and MP4 or AVCHD and MP4 in order to gain both a high-quality format and a sharing format of the same footage.

With this introduction of the third model in the series, Sony appears to now be focused on adding to an already strong feature set, carried over from the RX100 III's predecessors. To help improve your image-making experience, with the first-time inclusion of an electronic viewfinder, as well as a faster lens and improved video-recording capabilities, these new and refined technologies are being added to a tried-and-true system that is well known as the compact camera capable of delivering a high degree of performance and control.

  RX100 III RX100 II
Image Sensor 1" Exmor R CMOS sensor (13.2 x 8.8mm) 1" Exmor R CMOS sensor (13.2 x 8.8mm)
Effective Pixels 20.1MP 20.2MP
Total Pixels 20.9MP 20.9MP
Image Processor BIONZ X BIONZ
Maximum Resolution 5472 x 3648 5472 x 3648
Aspect Ratio 3:2, 4:3, 16:9, 1:1 3:2, 4:3, 16:9, 1:1
Still Image File Format JPEG, RAW (ARW) JPEG, RAW (ARW)
Storage Media Memory Stick Duo, PRO Duo, PRO Duo High Speed, PRO-HG Duo, XC-HG Duo
SD, SDHC, SDXC
Memory Stick Duo, PRO Duo, PRO Duo High Speed, PRO-HG Duo, XC-HG Duo
SD, SDHC, SDXC
Card Slot 1x Dual Compatibility Slot 1x Dual Compatibility Slot
Lens Type Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T* Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T*
Focal Length (35mm Equivalent) 8.8-25.7mm (24-70mm) 10.1-37.4mm (28-100mm)
Optical Zoom 2.9x 3.6x
Aperture Range f/1.8-2.8 to f/11 f/1.8-4.9 to f/11
Lens Construction 10 elements in 9 groups (including 9 aspherical elements) 7 elements in 6 groups (including 4 aspherical elements)
Diaphragm Blades 7 blades 7 blades
Minimum Focusing Distance W: 2" / 5cm to infinity; T: 11.8" / 30cm to infinity W: 2" / 5cm to infinity; T: 1.8' / 55cm to infinity
Digital Zoom Clear Image Zoom: 5.8x; digital zoom: 11x Clear Image Zoom: 7.2x; digital zoom: 14x
Image Stabilization Optical SteadyShot image stabilization Optical SteadyShot image stabilization
Viewfinder Type Pop-up type; 0.39" SVGA OLED Tru-Finder (1,440,000 dots) None
Frame Coverage 100% N/A
Magnification Approx. 0.59x with 50mm lens at infinity N/A
Eyepoint Approx. 20mm from eyepiece N/A
Diopter Adjustment -4.0 to +3.0m-1 N/A
Shutter Speed 30-1/2000 sec., bulb 30-1/2000 sec., bulb
Drive Modes Single, Continuous, Speed Priority Continuous, Self-timer, Self-timer (cont.), Single-bracketing, Cont.-bracketing, White balance bracketing, DRO bracketing Single-shot, Continuous, Speed Priority Continuous, Self-timer, Self-timer (Cont.), Self-portrait One-person, Self-portrait Two-person, Bracketing
Top Continuous Shooting Rate 10 fps in Speed Priority Continuous Mode; 2.9 fps with AF-S 10 fps in Speed Priority Continuous Mode
Self-Timer 10- or 2-sec. delay, 3 or 5 frames with 10 sec. delay 10- or 2-sec. delay
Metering Method Multi Pattern, Center Weighted, Spot Multi Pattern, Center Weighted, Spot
Metering Range 0-20 EV 0-20 EV
Exposure Modes Superior Auto, Intelligent Auto, Program Auto, Aperture Priority, Shutter Speed Priority, Manual, Memory Recall (1, 2, 3), Movie Mode (P, A, S, M), Panorama, Scene Selection Superior Auto, Intelligent Auto, Program Auto, Shutter Speed Priority, Aperture Priority, Manual, Scene Selection, Movie, Sweep Panorama, Movie (P, A, S, M)
Exposure Compensation +/- 3 EV in 1/3 steps +/- 3 EV in 1/3 steps
ISO Sensitivity Auto, ISO 125-12800 (expandable ISO 80, 100); ISO 25600 with Multi-Frame NR Auto, ISO 160-12800 (expandable ISO 100, 125); ISO 25600 with Multi-Frame NR
Autofocus System Contrast-detection Contrast-detection
Number of Focus Points Not specified by manufacturer 25
Focus Modes Single-shot AF, Continuous AF, DMF, Manual Focus Single-shot AF, Continuous AF, DMF, Manual Focus
Autofocus Sensitivity 0-20 EV 0-20 EV
Built-In Flash Yes; pop-up Yes; pop-up
Flash Control P-TTL P-TTL
Flash Modes Not specified by manufacturer Auto, Fill-flash, Slow Sync, Rear Sync, Off
Flash Compensation +/- 3 EV in 1/3 steps +/- 2 EV in 1/3 steps
External Flash Interface No Multi-Interface Shoe
White Balance Modes Auto, Daylight, Shade, Cloudy, Incandescent, Fluorescent (Warm White, Cool White, Day White, Daylight), Flash, Color Temp./Filter, Custom Auto, Daylight, Shade, Cloudy, Incandescent, Fluorescent (Warm White, Cool White, Day White, Daylight), Flash, Color Temp./Filter, Custom
Movie Format XAVC S, AVCHD ver. 2.0, MP4 AVCHD ver. 2.0, MP4
Movie Recording XAVC S:
1920 x 1080; 60p, 30p, 24p (50Mbps)
1280 x 720; 120p (50Mbps)
AVCHD:
1920 x 1080; 60p (28Mbps)
1920 x 1080; 60i, 24p (24/17Mbps)
MP4:
1440 x 1080; 30p (12Mbps)
640 x 480; 30p (3Mbps)
AVCHD:
1920 x 1080; 60p (28Mbps)
1920 x 1080; 60i, 24p (24/17Mbps)
MP4:
1440 x 1080; 30p (12Mbps)
640 x 480; 30p (3Mbps)
Audio Recording Built-in stereo microphone Built-in stereo microphone
Audio File Format Linear PCM (2 channel), Dolby Digital (AC-3), MPEG-4 AAC-LC (2 channel) Dolby Digital (AC-3), MPEG-4 AAC-LC (2 channel)
Maximum Recording Time 29 minutes 29 minutes
Monitor 3.0" 1,229k-dot Xtra Fine TFT LCD 3.0" 1,229k-dot Xtra Fine TFT LCD
Monitor Adjustment Angles 180° upward, 45° downward 84° upward, 45° downward
Interface Micro-USB, micro-HDMI (Type D) Micro-USB, micro-HDMI (Type D)
Wi-Fi Built-in; IEEE 802.11b/g/n (2.4 GHz band) Built-in
Power Source NP-BX1 rechargeable lithium-ion battery NP-BX1 rechargeable lithium-ion battery
Battery Life Approx. 320 frames with LCD or 230 frames with EVF Approx. 350 frames with LCD
Operating Environment 32-104°F / 0-40°C Not specified by manufacturer
Dimensions 4.0 x 2.3 x 1.6" / 101.6 x 58.1 x 41.0mm 4.0 x 2.3 x 1.5" / 101.6 x 58.1 x 38.3mm
Weight 10.2 oz / 290 g with battery and memory card 9.9 oz / 281 g with battery and memory card

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Looks great. I expect it will have good low light capability w the low f-stops throughout the range. I would be willing to pay what is really a lot of money for a compact camera if you hadn't shorteded the telephoto capabilities. Too bad. Well, hopefully the RX 100 IV will make up for this; however, if the ios-6 comes out with an incredable camera, I'll go in that direction There's only so much room in my pocket. We'll see, but I appreciate your efforts to make a better camera and it looks like you have (with one exception).

Is there an eye sensor to detect placement of the eye near the EVF.

The RX100 III's SVGA does have an eye sensor to detect when you put the viewfinder up to your eye, yes.

¿Cuántos disparos garantiza SONY el Obturador? Muchas gracias.

Lamentablemente Sony no nos provee con la informacion de la vida del obturador, esta informacion por lo general los fabricantes de estas camaras no lo proveen.

It seems this new model lacks external stereo mic input, so not a good choice as a stand-alone video camera for pro type projects requiring minimal remote field carried gear. My web page sonicstudios.com/videomic.htm describes the need for camera's have external mic input features.

I guess SONY decided to add an EVF and omitted the MIS...glad I didn't wait and purchased the Alpha6000!

        I already have a Cybershot WX5 camera that I am very pleased with. However, the list of new specifications (above) for this camera is so impressive that I would like to see some examples of what this camera can do that  the WX5 can not do.      Thank You

You took away the flash shoe!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Shame, Shame, Shame!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Give me a wifi enabled flash and end of story for flash shoes

Use a small slave flash.  Like the Canon slave the size of a lighter.  

All cameras are compromises, but the RX100III seems to have moved very much closer to what I would call the ultimate pocket camera. The inclusion of a built-in EVF and the wider, faster lens are very positive moves IMO. The previous versions were impressive. This incarnation may prompt me to get off my wallet!

I just bought the rx100 ii a couple mths ago and I love it, but I really like the idea of a pop up view finder on the new model! I think the lack of a hot shoe is a big enough reason for me to pass on it though. Looks like a great camera nonetheless!!!

I have the original DSC-RX100, which I am still very content with. Something that is "missing" for me (or else I just do not know how to do it), is the lack of manual focus. Can the RX-100 III do that?

The lack of hotshoe on this incredible camera does give me pause though. My personal preference would be to retain the hotshoe and lose the new pop-up EVF - if that were an either/or.

The other thing I would like to see (fantasy?) as Sony/Zeiss continues to evolve their technology is a zoom range of 24-85 (35mm equivalent) with the same f/1.8-2.8 aperture range.

YES.

There is manual control -

Focus ModesSingle-shot AF, Continuous AF, DMF, Manual Focus

Both the RX100 and RX100 III can be manually focused. 

Seriously ??? why you took away the external flash shoe ????  

I didn't notice any capability of plugging in an external stereo microphone, which is important for making videos of musicians or soloist singers.  Or did I miss it?

Unfortunately, the RX100 does not have an external mic jack.  To use an external mic, you would need to use an audio recorder and sync sound in post.

No external mic jack?  Built-in mics are unsable for anything above party clips on social media.

In a modern feature-laden camera designed for advanced video formats, to omit a mic jack is equivalent to leaving the radio out of a $30,000 new car. 

It is a *huge* omission.  But the EVF is also a huge addition.  There really must be a way to fit the hot shoe on that camera though, as the last version had.  I'd suggest simply having the flash pop out somewhere else other than at the top!  But if it is impossible, there's no excuse to not have a mic jack.  

Hola Amigos: Lo unico que no me gusta de esta camara es lo corto del zoom, hoy es inpensable una camara que al menos tenga un zoom de 24-100mm , y porsupuesto que mantenga las aperturas de este modelo F1.8-2.8.- Me parece una muy buena opcion como camara de respaldo o de viaje, pero como dije anteriormente con un zoom que en la parte tele sea un poco mas largo.

This model is nearing the perfect camera - the one quality high-performance camera you can have with you at all times.  I carry the smallest interchangeable lens camera I can buy, the Olympus OMD M10 in a small shoulder bag and the Leica C in a belt pouch.  I have just sold my SONY Alpha A58 beacause it is just too big and cumbersome and I am trying to sell my RX100 for the lack of a viewfinder.  The Leica C replaced the Sony RX100 and the M10 the Sony A58.  As a photo enthusiast all of these cameras would deliver acceptable 5 x 7 prints or SmileBox e-mail slide shows but not the super enlarged "framers".

What Sony (and Olympus and others) needs is a loyaty program.  I would love to stay with the inovative Sony camera designs but simply can't afford to keep buying new cameras every 6 months or so, but on the other hand I must have the latest model.  I would buy every new innovative design like the RX100 III in a heartbeat if Sony had a loyaty program offering a trade-in for say a minimum of 1/2 half the cost of the previous model. 

An everyday carry camera, sure, except such a thing needs some available zoom because the idea is to catch unexpected opportunties. Those aren't always right in front of you.  Unfortunately 2.9x is nothing, really. 

I have taken thousands of photos with the original DSC-RX100 and have been generally pleased with it.  Adding the "pop-up" EVF is genius -- new capability, same small camera.  Someone at Sony really seems to know how to design.  The only changes I would ask for are longer focal length, ability to focus closer at longest focal length, microphone input jack, and better manual focus (it's rather frustrating on the original DSC-RX100).  That's not a long list compared to what Sony gets right.

Fantastic. I love this new model but I have a question...the new lens, has it got macro too?

Yes, the camera has a Macro exposure mode, and the lens' minimum focusing distance at the widest focal is 1.97" (5cm) which is very close up to subjects.

Just finished renting the RX100m2 with finder really liked it gald I waited...Looks like this is the one to beat..

Hi, Please let me know, when this Camera is availablein your Store........Thank you.

We are currently expecting them around the end of June.

The lack of a hot shoe is a big enough reason for me to pass on it though.

Looks like a great camera tho.... bummer no hot shoe, & no mic :(

what's up with Sony not providing the focus point info???  why not give that info

This is definitely a step in my direction!  It was some time ago that I determined that never again would I buy anything without a viewfinder, and the RX100II made me question that resolution, but this is far more apealing to me.  If I needed to attatch an external flash, space would not be a concern, so I would likely have my A77 or Nex-7 on hand anyways.  I acquired my Nex-7 as an acceptable compromise between compact and professional.  At the time of purchase, compact cameras with a viewfinder just didn't seem to be popular products.  If the zoom range on this RX100III weren't so small, it appears that it would be the perfect compact camera - for me anyways.  

Is there a strobe sync?

There's no hot shoe.

How to connect a studio strobe?

This camera is not designed for studio type work.  It has neither a flash shoe, nor any inputs for strobe devices unfortunately.  It has a built-in pop flash for basic situations where flash is required.

I am fed up with Sony, I bought the A99 and then they released the smaller A7R. I gave my RX100 to my daughter and purchased a RX100ll last week and now Sony has the produced the best RX, the 100lll.  I wish I could trade the RX100ll back on the current model!.

Most companies have a 30 day return policy if your not satified with a product.  Try it !!!

I was able to do just that - I bought my II @ B+H in NY and the allowed me to send it back (within the 30 day return) in anticipation of the III - I guess I lucked out.

When looking through the view finder.... Can you see menu setting changes ?

The EVF will display basic information such as menu/exposure settings, yes.

Does the camera have a headphones jack?

The DSC-RX100 III does not have a headphone port.

I love my RX100m2.  I also hate it due to the horrible chromatic aberration on highlights and high (even medium) contrast edges.  Horrid.

Hopefully they fixed this on the RX100m3?  I'll wait to find out.  Otherwise, it's a brilliant camera.  XAVC-S, yep...... in the pocket, yep.  Awesome stills?  Yep.  Great stabilization, yep.  But the CA is simpy unacceptable.

Do we get 4K if we wait a yeat or so for the RX100m4?  Hmmm.....

Indeed cool, my first thought when I read it. And faster lens... Now all it's missing is a built in ND. It gets expensive though, compared to the original.

According to Sony website, there is a 3 stop ND filter built in.

I have been looking for a camera like this with a built in viewfinder for ages!

One question does the viewfinder have an adjustment to correct for people who need glasses? I think this is called a diopter correction. Without this I dont think I will be able to focus in the viewfinder properly without holding the camera away from me, which sort of defeats the whole purpose...

Thanks

The RX100 III viewfinder does have a diopter adjustment of - 4 to +3 m.

¿este modelo permite un micrófono externo distinto del que viene en la cámara?

¿ y un flash erxterno?

Lamentablemente la RX100 no tiene entrada de microfono, tampoco una zapata para usar flash externo.

When will be this camera available for sale in India and what would be the price ?

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