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Unveiled: Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10 III Goes All the Way to 600mm

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Sony is expanding the reach of its respected RX-series of point-and-shoots with the 25x optical zoom of the Cyber-shot DSC-RX10 III Digital Camera. Sporting a 24-600mm equivalent Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T* zoom lens with a bright maximum aperture range of f/2.4-4, it will satisfy shooters in a wide variety of situations. Besides the new glass, much has remained the same compared to its predecessor, including the fast 20.1MP 1" Exmor RS Stacked BSI CMOS sensor and BIONZ X processor combination, which supports 14 fps raw stills and UHD 4K video recording.

With such a vast range of 24-600mm, the RX10 III is a great option for travelers, wildlife, and sports photographers and documentary filmmaking, since it lets you capture wide landscapes and distant action with ease. Ensuring optimal image quality, this zoom lens has a bright f/2.4-4 variable aperture and incorporates eight ED glass elements, including two ED aspherical and one Super ED element, and one advanced aspherical element, which combat aberrations for crisp, clean imagery. A Zeiss T* anti-reflective coating further improves image quality by reducing flare and ghosting for high contrast in all lighting.

The 24-600mm equivalent zoom also benefits greatly from Optical SteadyShot image stabilization that can compensate for up to 4.5 stops of shutter speed. An added feature of this lens is the ability to get as close as 1.2" at 24mm or 28" at 600mm for magnifications of 0.42x or 0.49x, respectively. And, a circular nine-blade diaphragm ensures super smooth bokeh throughout the commonly used f/2.4-11 aperture range.

While internally the camera isn’t much different from its predecessor, there are many points worth mentioning again, especially the UHD 4K video recording options and Fast Intelligent AF system. On the stills front, the camera will focus as quickly as 0.09 seconds and it can shoot raw photos continuously at a rate of 14 fps with reduced blackout. It also has an Anti-Distortion Shutter and Silent Shooting setting that allows users to shoot at incredibly fast shutter speeds up to 1/32,000-second without any noticeable rolling shutter artifacts.

Videographers and filmmakers will benefit from the RX10 III's inclusion of UHD 4K recording at up to 100 Mbps using Sony’s XAVC S format. It also incorporates S-Log2 gamma for wide dynamic range scenes. Another benefit is slow motion in Full HD with standard recording options at up to 120 fps. Super slow motion up to 40x, or 960 fps, is available at lower quality for more specialized applications. A built-in stereo microphone and external mic jack will support high-quality audio capture while a headphone jack will assist with monitoring.

Externally, the RX10 III is very similar with a 2.36m-dot 0.39"OLED Tru-Finder EVF and a tilting 3.0" 1,228.8k-dot LCD screen. Also, it has a plethora of physical buttons and dials, many of which can be customized as needed by the shooter. The lens barrel itself is equipped with three separate rings, one each for focus zoom, and aperture, for the ultimate in tactile control. The aperture can also be de-clicked for smooth operation in video. The magnesium-alloy body is designed to be durable with moisture- and dust-resistant construction, and it has the Multi Interface Shoe for attaching flashes and other accessories.

Many other features are packed into the compact body, including Wi-Fi with NFC connectivity for wireless connection to a tablet or smartphone, various focus and shooting assists such as peaking, Eye AF, and more. The RX10 III will be an appealing camera for many photographers looking for excellent image quality and long zoom in a compact, durable form.

  Cyber-shot DSC-RX10 III Digital Camera Cyber-shot DSC-RX10 II Digital Camera
Image Sensor 1" (13.2 x 8.8mm) Exmor RS Stacked BSI CMOS 1" (13.2 x 8.8mm) Exmor RS Stacked BSI CMOS
Effective Pixels 20.1MP 20.2MP
Total Pixels 21.0MP 21.0MP
Maximum Resolution 5472 x 3648 5472 x 3648
Aspect Ratio 3:2 3:2
Still Image File Format JPEG, raw JPEG, raw
Storage Media SD, SDHC, SDXC, Memory Stick Duo, Memory Stick PRO Duo, Memory Stick PRO Duo (High Speed), Memory Stick PRO-HG Duo SD, SDHC, SDXC, Memory Stick Duo, Memory Stick PRO Duo, Memory Stick PRO Duo (High Speed), Memory Stick PRO-HG Duo
Card Slot 1 x SD/Memory Stick 1 x SD/Memory Stick
Lens Type Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T* Optical Zoom Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T* Optical Zoom
Focal Length (35mm Equivalent) 8.8-220mm (24-600mm) 8.8-73.3mm (24-200mm)
Optical Zoom 25x 8.3x
Aperture Range f/2.4-4 to f/16 f/2.8 to f/16
Lens Construction 18 elements / 13 groups 14 elements / 11 groups
Diaphragm Blades 9, circular 7, circular
Minimum Focusing Distance Wide: 1.2" / 3 cm
Tele: 2.4' / 72 cm
Wide: 1.2" / 3 cm
Tele: 9.8" / 25 cm
Digital Zoom 50x, 100x 33x
Image Stabilization Yes, Optical SteadyShot Yes, Optical SteadyShot
Viewfinder Type 0.39" 2.36m-dot XGA OLED Tru-Finder EVF 0.39" 2.36m-dot XGA OLED Tru-Finder EVF
Shutter Type Electronic & Mechanical Electronic & Mechanical
Shutter Speed Mechanical: 1/2,000 to 30 sec., bulb
Electronic: 1/32,000 to 30 sec.
Mechanical: 1/2,000 to 30 sec., bulb
Electronic: 1/32,000 to 30 sec.
Drive Modes Single-shot, Continuous, Speed Priority Continuous Single-shot, Continuous, Speed Priority Continuous
Top Continuous Shooting Rate 14 fps 14 fps
Self-Timer 10, 5, 2 sec. 10, 5, 2 sec.
Metering Method Multi Pattern, Center-Weighted, Spot Multi Pattern, Center-Weighted, Spot
Exposure Modes Auto, Program, Aperture Priority, Sutter Speed Priority, Manual Auto, Program, Aperture Priority, Sutter Speed Priority, Manual
Exposure Compensation ±3 EV in 1/2 or 1/3 EV steps ±3 EV in 1/2 or 1/3 EV steps
ISO Sensitivity Auto, ISO 100-12800 Auto, ISO 100-12800
Autofocus System Fast Intelligent AF Fast Intelligent AF
Focus Modes Single-shot (AF-S), Continuous (AF-C), Direct Manual Focus (DMF), Manual Single-shot (AF-S), Continuous (AF-C), Direct Manual Focus (DMF), Manual
Built-In Flash Yes Yes
Flash Modes Auto, On, Slow Synchro, Rear Sync, Off, Wireless Auto, On, Slow Synchro, Rear Sync, Off, Wireless
External Flash Interface Multi Interface Shoe Multi Interface Shoe
White Balance Modes Auto, Daylight, Shade, Cloudy, Incandescent, Fluorescent (Warm White, Cool White, Day White, Daylight), Flash, C.Temp, Filter, Custom Auto, Daylight, Shade, Cloudy, Incandescent, Fluorescent (Warm White, Cool White, Day White, Daylight), Flash, C.Temp, Filter, Custom
Movie Recording UHD 4K (3840 x 2160): 30p, 25p, 24p
Full HD (1920 x 1080): 120p, 100p, 60p, 50p, 30p, 25p, 24p
HD (1280 x 720): 30p, 25p
HFR Full HD (1920 x 1080): 960p, 1000p, 480p, 500p, 250p, 240p 
UHD 4K (3840 x 2160): 30p, 25p, 24p
Full HD (1920 x 1080): 120p, 100p, 60p, 50p, 30p, 25p, 24p
HD (1280 x 720): 30p, 25p
HFR Full HD (1920 x 1080): 960p, 1000p, 480p, 500p, 250p, 240p 
File Format XAVC S, AVCHD, MP4 XAVC S, AVCHD, MP4
Audio Recording Yes, stereo via built-in microphone or external mic Yes, stereo via built-in microphone or external mic
Audio File Format XAVC S: Linear PCM 2ch
AVCHD: Dolby Digital AC3 2ch
MP4: MPEG-4 AAC-LC 2ch
XAVC S: Linear PCM 2ch
AVCHD: Dolby Digital AC3 2ch
MP4: MPEG-4 AAC-LC 2ch
Maximum Recording Time 29 min., 59 sec. 29 min., 59 sec.
Monitor 3.0" / 7.5 cm 1,228.8k-dot tilting LCD 3.0" / 7.5 cm 1,228.8k-dot tilting LCD
Interface 1 x Multi-Terminal/Micro-USB
1 x Micro HDMI
1 x 3.5mm stereo microphone input
1 x 3.5mm stereo headphone output
1 x Multi-Terminal/Micro-USB
1 x Micro HDMI
1 x 3.5mm stereo microphone input
1 x 3.5mm stereo headphone output
Wi-Fi Yes, built-in with NFC Yes, built-in with NFC
GPS None None
Power Source 1 x NP-FW50 Rechargeable Li-Ion Battery Pack (7.2V) 1 x NP-FW50 Rechargeable Li-Ion Battery Pack (7.2V)
Battery Life Still Images: 420 shots (monitor), 370 shots (EVF)
Video: 210 min. (monitor), 185 min. (EVF)
Still Images: 400 shots (monitor), 360 shots (EVF)
Video: 200 min. (monitor), 180 min (EVF)
Operating Environment Temperature: 32 to 104°F / 0 to 40°C Temperature: 32 to 104°F / 0 to 40°C
Dimensions 5.2 x 3.7 x 5.0" / 132.5 x 94.0 x 127.4mm 5.1 x 3.5 x 4.0" / 129.0 x 88.1 x 102.2mm
Weight 2.4 lb / 1095 g with battery and memory card 1.8 lb / 813 g with battery and memory card

Discussion 36

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I think this camera feets very well as a traveler's camera, however there is no GPS, is there a reason why this feature was omitted ? 

Hi Cesar,

As the previous models never had GPS I wouldn't say they "omitted" the feature, but I see your point. It seems that Sony does not find this to be a critical feature for their target market and chose not to implement it here for reasons unknown to us. Over the last few years there has been discussion from customers and interviews with Sony managers that mentioned the possibility of a GPS module for the Multi Interface Shoe, but at the moment nothing official. Hopefully this product does eventually come out, as we have seen a lot of dicussion on it.

This camera seems perfect for a trip through African reserves, especially the ability to shoot stills and video... but I am concerned about dust proofing. Is there any indication of how dustproof the camera is, and if there is anyway for the sensor to be cleaned in the field? Or should I be looking at other options?

I have the Sony HX 50 and HX 90 which collect dust into the optics rendering the camera all but useless after a couple of days in a dusty environment.... no matter how hard I try to keep it clean.

Hi James -

A robust magnesium-alloy body design is both dust- and moisture-resistant to support use in harsh environments.

Hello James,

The body is stated to be dust and moisture-resistant, though in an exceptionally dusty environment I'm not sure if any camera would hold up over extended periods of use. This is a higher end body, so I would expect it to perform much better than your current options. One downside to point-and-shoots is that you cannot clean the sensor in the field (or by yourself without serious deconstruction of the camera), but it also means that the sensor is better protected from dust than interchangeable lens options. Hope this helps.

does this camera have the creative picture effects or scene modes of other Sonys?

Hi Katherine,

The RX10 III will have a variety of scene modes and special effects for users to take advantage of, much like other cameras in the lineup.

Cinema5D just did an initial review from a video perspective.  It was not favorable at all.  I was a bit surprised.

Is this camera made in Japan or China?

Thank you

Andy

Unfortunately, Sony has yet to provide us with that information.

I currently own the FZ1000, can you explain the difference in the 2 sensors, I presume with the better glass the capture will be much better at the long end, the FZ makes them softer than I would like at full zoom.

Hi Jim,

The newer sensor found in the RX10 III has a "Stacked" design compared to the standard BSI design of the FZ1000. This stacked design means that there is DRAM on the backside of the chip as well, which helps with data processing and faster movement of data through the system. This is what enables the faster performance, slightly better IQ, and super slow motion video capabilities.

Does anyone know if the zoom is constant or variable? I own the first RX10, and my disappointment was the zoom not being variable, and the jerkiness that often occurs while zooming and capturing video. I use the RX10 almost exclusively for video.

Perhaps the PXW-Z150 is a better solution, although it's a much larger camera, but it's a true video camera.

Hi Dan,

Would you mind clarifying exactly what you mean by variable or constant zoom in this case? Generally those terms refer to aperture settings but it seems you may be talking about something different, especially since the constant f/2.8 aperture on the RX10 and RX10 II is a huge advantage of those cameras. In terms of aperture the RX10 III is variable with a maximum aperture of f/2.4-4. Also, if you are almost exclusively a video shooter, a video camera is usually a better choice due to the difference in ergonomics and controls.

Regarding the constant vs. variable zoom. When using the zoom control the camera has constant zoom speed; in other words it's just a single speed zoom. I bought the Sony remote RM-VPR1 from B&H hoping the zoom would be variable, but it still works as a single slow speed zoom. I now control zoom manually using the ring, but sometimes there's jerkiness while panning in or out and believe it's related to the electronic zoom control vs. a true manual zoom. 

I use the RX10 for shooting weddings and it's mostly used with a Steadicam, so zooming really shouldn't be done anyhow. I've used video cameras for the most part, but the RX10 is superior in low-light so it's a great camera at the reception, which often is low-light. Thanks for your help.

Got it. I would expect this model to function in a similar manner as previous options, though due to the longer range it may have more options for speed and control. We will have to wait until a sample is available for testing to find out. The PXW-Z150 does use the same sensor, so it should have very similar performance in low light. You can also see a review a fellow writer did of that camera right here if you are interested.

I saw one review where it says this camera does not have a changable lens this review indicates it does  which is it.

Hello Master Hughes,

The RX10 III has a fixed 24-600mm equivalent zoom lens. The camera is not interchangeable. Where the confusion may lie is that the video also discusses two new full-frame E-mount lenses that were released at the same time as the camera, but these lenses are for Sony E-mount cameras, not the Cyber-shot line. Hope this clarifies things.

Approximately when is the estimated release date?

Hi John,

For the most up-to-date information you should visit the product page here. As of now, the camera is expected to start shipping on Wed. May 4. However, this is subject to change and subject to availability. If you wish to receive the camera as early as possible, a pre-order is recommended.

From what I have seen this will be a nice addition to my camea bag....However, I would think for the kind of clarity shown at 600mm is sitting on a $500 plus tirpod......just a guess.

Do you or can you find out what a 600 or 400mm like being hand held....?

Hi Ken,

Shooting at 600mm and other super telephoto focal lengths is tricky. Ideally you will have a tripod, though for the RX10 III you wouldn't necessarily need a $500+ tripod, you would probably be find with something like this. The reason is that more expensive tripods are usually designed to hold bigger and heavier cameras and equipment, or have features that lower-end tripods don't. The RX10 III is relatively lightweight and a simple tripod should be more than adequate for most. I'm not saying that a 500 dollar tripod wouldn't be better, but I don't think that in general use many people will be able to see a difference in their images. You could also use a monopod if you needed to be on the move or track action and capture many sharp photographs. You will see many monopods on the sidelines of many professional sports along with big 400+mm telephoto lenses for DSLRs.

Also, handheld with the RX10 III should be much easier than DSLR equipment simply because the equipment is lighter and puts less strain on your arms when holding it for long periods of time. I expect image quality to be great, even handheld.

Hi Ken -

A fast shutter speed and the camera's built-in Optical SteadyShot feature should help minimiz or compensate fore the effects of any camera movement while hand-held shooting.  A basic monopod or tripod is typically all that might be needed:

Benro A38FDS2 Series 3 Aluminum Monopod with 3-Leg Locking Base and S2 Video Head

Manfrotto 294 Aluminum Tripod with 804RC2 3-Way Head

Please contact us via e-mail if you have additional questions:  AskBH@BandH.com

Yes you need a good tripod but spending $500 is unnecessary. I use the following with my A77ii and Tamron 150-600 and it's rock solid.

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1034139-REG/manfrotto_mt055xpro3_a...

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1034870-REG/manfrotto_mhxpro_3w_3_...

What about the jerky aperture stepping problem when zooming in or auto-exposing in video? 

Hey Michael,

Unfortunately, we will not have an answer to this question until production samples are made available.

Does the lens assembly wobble when zooming?  Has version 3 addressed this problem with earlier versions?

Hello Richard,

Unfortunately we didn't get any hands-on time with the sample model to answer this right now, but I am hopeful as this is a completely new optical construction. Hopefully we will be able to get a copy for review and address all of these concerns.

I very much like what I'm seeing with this third-generation RX10, as I was already enamored by the RX10 II's feature set and handy form factor. One unanswered question: Can it be used, perhaps via my Wein hot shoe-to-PC voltage isolator/adapter, to fire and properly sync with prosumer-grade studio strobes (in non-auto mode, of course)? This could be the deciding factor for me.

Hi Donald,

The Multi Interface Shoe of Sony's current cameras does have a standard center-pin for firing third-party flashes, triggers, and adapters. I use the one on my a7R II with a standard Profoto Air Transceiver. I would expect that you should have no problem with the hot shoe to PC adapter to sync with strobes, however, some users have reported issues with certain accessories in that they don't quite line up properly with the hot shoe. It may require some testing before being put into a professional workflow.

Question:  I own a Canon 70D and recently used a Sony RX10 MK II on a remote shoot.  I was incredibly impressed with the RX 10 Mk II, except for the use of the zoom motor which wasn't as smooth as we expected, and the lens tended to "fall" out of position while zooming. If the RX 10 Mk III fixes this problem, and if the zoom is smooth enough to actually use during a shoot, then it would be the camera to beat.  Image quality is fanastic, and the OLED viewfinder is a huge problem solver in bright light.  I don't know of another camera quite like it.

Two important points. Hopefully a reviewer will tell us if the zoom isn't smooth and the lens falls out of position during the zoom. Hint hint, B&H.

Hello Pinlight and Alton,

Unfortunately we didn't get any hands-on time with the sample model to answer this right now, but I am hopeful as this is a completely new optical construction. Hopefully we will be able to get a copy for review and address all of these concerns.

I use my DSC RX10 first generation more than any of my Sony cameras. More than my Nikon P900 even which has reach but loses quality when it's there. It looks to me like it's time to upgrade.

24-600 equivalent in a relatively fast lens is insane!

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