Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 III Compact Camera

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82% Gold Award
The breadth of the RX100 III's capabilities, from its bright, flexible lens and handy viewfinder, through to its class-defining image quality and well-supported, high-quality video capture mean there's nothing to really match it.”

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Key Features

  • 20.9 MP 1"-type Exmor R CMOS sensor
  • 24-70mm equivalent F/1.8-2.8 lens
  • Continuous shooting up to 10 FPS
  • Pop-up electronic OLED viewfinder with 1,440,000 dots
  • ISO 160-12800, expandable ISO 100, 125, and 25,600
  • 3.0 inch tiltable TFT LCD with 1,229,000 dots
  • 1080 60p/24p HD video with full exposure control (MPEG-4/AVCHD)
  • Raw/JPEG/ Raw+JPEG
  • Steady-Shot image stabilization
  • Rear control dial and customizable front control ring
  • Built-in WiFi and NFC for sharing and remote camera control

Product Description

The RX100 III is the most premium of pocketable premium enthusiasts compacts from Sony. Built around a 1" CMOS sensor and a 24-70mm equivalent F1.8-2.8 Zeiss lens, it promises sharp images even in low light. Other than the redesigned lens, the Mark III differs from its other RX100 siblings by including a built-in and retractable OLED viewfinder with the same T* coating as the camera's lens to reduce flare and ghosting. The RX100 III also features built-in Wi-Fi and NFC connectivity for both wireless image sharing and camera control via smartphone, and a multi-angle WhiteMagic LCD display. The new compact is the first Cyber-shot model to offer high-resolution HD video recording in the XAVC S format, which allows for full HD recording at a data rate of 50 mbps with lower compression for improved video quality.

Specs

Body type
Body type Compact
Sensor
Max resolution 5472 x 3648
Other resolutions 3:2 mode: 3888x2592, 2736x1824; 4:3 mode: 4864x3648, 3648x2736, 2592x1944, 640x480; 16:9 mode: 5472x3080, 2720x1528; 1:1 mode: 3648x3648, 2544x2544, 1920x1920
Image ratio w:h 1:1, 4:3, 3:2, 16:9
Effective pixels 21 megapixels
Sensor photo detectors 20 megapixels
Sensor size 1″ (13.2 x 8.8 mm)
Sensor type BSI-CMOS
Processor Bionz X
Image
ISO Auto, 125-12800
White balance presets 9
Custom white balance Yes
Image stabilization Optical
Uncompressed format RAW
JPEG quality levels Extra fine, fine, standard
Optics & Focus
Focal length (equiv.) 24–70 mm
Optical zoom 2.9×
Maximum aperture F1.8 - F2.8
Autofocus
  • Contrast Detect (sensor)
  • Multi-area
  • Center
  • Selective single-point
  • Tracking
  • Single
  • Continuous
  • Face Detection
  • Live View
Digital zoom Yes (5.8x)
Manual focus Yes
Normal focus range 5 cm (1.97)
Macro focus range 5 cm (1.97)
Number of focus points 25
Screen / viewfinder
Articulated LCD Tilting
Screen size 3
Screen dots 1,228,800
Touch screen No
Screen type WhiteMagic TFT-LCD
Live view Yes
Viewfinder type Electronic
Viewfinder coverage 100%
Viewfinder magnification 0.59×
Viewfinder resolution 1,440,000
Photography features
Minimum shutter speed 30 sec
Maximum shutter speed 1/2000 sec
Aperture priority Yes
Shutter priority Yes
Manual exposure mode Yes
Subject / scene modes Yes
Built-in flash Yes
External flash No
Continuous drive 10.0 fps
Self-timer Yes (2 or 10 sec, self-portrait, continuous)
Metering modes
  • Multi
  • Center-weighted
  • Spot
Exposure compensation ±3 (at 1/3 EV steps)
AE Bracketing ±3
WB Bracketing Yes
Videography features
Resolutions 1920 x 1080 (60p/60i/24p), 1280 x 720 (60p/30p/24p/120p), 1440 x 1080 (30 fps), 640 x 480 (30 fps)
Format MPEG-4, AVCHD, XAVC S
Videography notes Supports XAVC S with 50MBps bit rate
Microphone Stereo
Speaker Mono
Storage
Storage types SD/ SDHC/SDXC, Memory Stick Pro Duo/ Pro-HG Duo
Connectivity
USB USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)
HDMI Yes (micro-HDMI)
Microphone port No
Headphone port No
Wireless Built-In
Wireless notes 802.11b/g/n with NFC
Remote control Yes (with RM-VPR1 wired remote)
Physical
Environmentally sealed No
Battery Battery Pack
Battery description NP-BX1 lithium-ion battery & USB charger
Battery Life (CIPA) 320
Weight (inc. batteries) 290 g (0.64 lb / 10.23 oz)
Dimensions 102 x 58 x 41 mm (4.02 x 2.28 x 1.61)
Other features
Orientation sensor Yes
Timelapse recording No
GPS None

Reviews

DPReview Conclusion

Scoring is relative only to the other cameras in the same category at the time of review.

Score Breakdown
Poor Excellent
Build quality
Ergonomics & handling
Features
Metering & focus accuracy
Image quality (raw)
Image quality (jpeg)
Low light / high ISO performance
Viewfinder / screen rating
Optics
Performance
Movie / video mode
Connectivity
Value
Gold Award
Gold Award
82 %
Overall Score

The RX100 III is the most capable compact camera we've ever seen. With its built-in viewfinder and consistently fast lens, there's nothing that can provide better image quality in such a small package. It's not the perfect camera to take shot-to-shot control over, but its capability means it justifies its high price tag.

Good For

Getting excellent quality images and video, on the go.

Not So Good For

User Reviews

3.94628 out of 5 stars
  • Jon Ingram, Jun 25, 2014 GMT:
    Sony Rx100 III: My Initial Impressions

    After reading some criticism regarding the handling of the RX 100 III, I was truly worried. However, after receiving and using the camera for a day, I can say my worries have been put to rest. My background: I generally shoot Nikon Dslr's for event photography. I've never found a use for a compact camera before now. Handling Overall: Heavy for it's size, in a good way. Feels reassuring in the hand. Super-small. Coming from Dslr's, it's so small that I had to practice how to hold my hands to ...

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  • M4schler, Jun 26, 2014 GMT:
    The little wonder

    OK, I'm not a professional, but in my journey from cheap glass and cameras to the highest quality Canon L glass you can buy I've been on a constant search for "the" image, no matter where I shoot. From Kansas City to Bangkok, I've not found a more capable camera than this one. This would be my equivalent of "on a deserted island and could take only one thing" camera. It just does it all - quickly, quietly, and effortlessly. Shooting one handed in the Chinese markets of Bangkok? Check. ...

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  • Aero1, Jun 30, 2014 GMT:
    Lovely little travel companion

    Bought the Mark 3 to replace the Mark 1. Compared to my usual heavy DSLR kit this is a real joy to use and the new EVF is wonderful. I've never been convinced by cameras which only have rear screens for composing and reviewing. The Sony allows you to compose and shoot easily in bright sunlight and adds a degree of steadiness to the shot with the camera held against the eye rather than stretched out in front of you and subject to the problems of extended arm shake! Image quality is good and ...

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  • numerix, Jun 30, 2014 GMT:
    Now I only use this one. Great camera !

Questions & Answers

QUESTION

RX100M3 - knurled lens barrel ring next to camera body?

I posted the photo below to the RX100M3 filter thread .  I just noticed that there's a knurled ring around the lens barrel right next to the camera body.  Neither the original RX100 nor the RX100M2 have this ring.  I'm not talking about the control ring (which can be used for manual focus, zooming, aperture control, and other functions).  The control ring is near the end of the lens barrel, not right next to the body. I tried to turn it, but it doesn't move. (I didn't expect it to.) Any thoughts about why Sony put knurling on that part of the camera? My only thought about its function is that it may allow a service department to more easily remove the lens when repair is needed.  (E.g. sensor cleaning.)  Anyone else have a guess (or actually know)? RX100 III.  Zoom in and note knurled ring next to camera body.

KBKB asked
1 month ago

ANSWERS

QUESTION

RX100 iii – stabilization improvement or not?

Where does Sony explicitly claim that RX100 iii stabilizer is improved over the other models? I have read here and there, and some folks repeat it, that there is a 5 axis stabilization system, or more correctly, 3 (optical) + 2 (digital). As far as i know the first RX100 had this as well. This is not the Olympics 5 axis stabilization. So, what is improved here factually? I assume that the 24mm appears less shaky due to wider angle. So stabilization is improved indeed.

zoranT asked
5 months ago

ANSWERS

An IS extends the time you can hand-hold a sharp image, whatever you are able to achieve without. You are missing the point here. Continue Reading

falconeyes answered
5 months ago

The 5-axis thing is firmware-based, only applies to video, and has nothing to do with the physical OSS that gets used for stills. Read the Imaging-Resource preview if you want this more officially. I haven't seen a single word from Sony itself, or from anyone reporting on what Sony is saying, that indicates that improved OSS is one of the Mk3's features. Anecdotal accounts from those, like Vince, who have used the pre-production untis are all we'll have to go on until review sites and users have hands-on experience with production copies of the camera. Continue Reading

Dale Cotton answered
5 months ago

We don't know yet. Where I've read it, it always was in the context of video. Wrt to efficiency, CIPA established a norm how to measure #stops improvement. After release, it made many SLR vendors lower their claims by 1 stop (what used to read 4 stops now reads 3 stops etc.). Only very recent expensive Canikon glass and Olympus seems to be able to do 4 stops. I observe that Sony omitted the CIPA rating for stabilization while they put the CIPA battery rating. That's no good sign. It probably means stabilization is as bad as 2 or even 1 stop. Unfortunately, the only service I know which tests stabilization on a regular base (French Labo Fnac) excludes this test from their compact dossier which includes the RX100. But many tests show an effect of stabilization only for long shutter times like 1/15s or less. This points to a lack of precision hardware  (gyro sensors or lens motor) in said cameras. Continue Reading

falconeyes answered
5 months ago

QUESTION

RX100M3 bug? Video has soft skin effect, can't be turned off.

Hi all, as the title says, the video has soft skin effect when "Face Detection" is turned on, and nothing I do can turn this off, tried resetting, formatting...etc Tried turning off soft skin effect for photos too, but it only applies to...photos. Any help?

J Ding asked
3 months ago

ANSWERS

Well this is interesting. I took a couple of video clips of my face close up - one with Face Detect on and the other with it off. As reluctant as I am to parade my facial features in all their 'glory' (it's all for the greater good, after all :-) ) here are couple of 100% crops of my forehead from video stills: As you can see, the effect is quite dramatic - and unnatural looking too. And as the OP says, you can't turn the skin smoothing effect off - you have to turn Face Detect off altogether. I'm surprised there hasn't been more discussion on this. Thanks to the OP for drawing it to my attention. Continue Reading

2eyesee answered
2 months ago

Just letting everyone know that the soft skin effect with face detection on in video has been resolved in the 1.10 firmware update for the RX100M3! It's not documented in the update, but I've installed it on the chance that Sony may have slipped other enhancements into the update and was absolutely delighted to see no skin smoothing with face detect on! My number one annoyance with the RX100M3 has been fixed by Sony, which is something I never thought would happen, given that they've never released a firmware update for an RX100 series camera before. I posted about this issue on the Sony forums and I know others on this thread did too. I also alerted my Sony rep who passed my concerned up the chain. I guess we'll never know if it was our calls that Sony responded to, but if it was, thank you Sony for listening. Continue Reading

2eyesee answered
2 months ago
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