Sony CyberShot RX100 III – A Short Hands On Experience

The Sony CyberShot RX100 Mark III was recently announced and it was awesome that I was able to get to see, touch, feel and test the Sony RX100 III for a few hours during an exclusive hands-on session organised by Sony Singapore! I will be sharing details and information along with my short hands-on experiences, thoughts and views with the Sony RX100 III during that time. One of the cameras that I reviewed was the Sony RX100 II, the predecessor for the the Sony RX100 III and it does help me in differentiating between the Mark II and Mark III and the target markets that the Sony RX100 III is targeting. The Sony RX100 III is a lightweight, portable and powerful compact digital camera that can be easily kept in your pocket.

Crafted in tough, travel-friendly aluminium for lightness and looks, the Cyber-shot™ RX100 III builds on the acclaimed reputation of its predecessors. An uprated lens and speedy image processor are complemented by a retractable OLED Tru-Finder™ with ZEISS® T* coating, enhanced movie features and a 180-degree tilting LCD – all in a stylish fixed-lens camera that’s truly pocket-sized.

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Brighter and wider than before, the ZEISS® Vario-Sonnar T* 24-70mm F1.8-2.8 lens captures everything from expansive landscapes to soulful portraits. Thanks to a large F2.8 maximum aperture at its telephoto end, subjects stand out crisply against smooth background bokeh. The lens’s impressive light-gathering power also allows faster shutter speeds to freeze fast-moving subjects. A built-in 3-stop (1/8) Neutral Density filter gives even more creative flexibility with sun-drenched exteriors or intentionally-blurred shots of moving water.

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Another eagerly awaited addition to the Cyber-shot™ RX100 III is its high-contrast retractable OLED Tru-Finder™ that offers bright, detailed viewing with the camera held to your eye. The viewfinder’s optical surfaces include a ZEISS® T* coating that dramatically reduces reflections and delivers exceptional corner to corner clarity. There’s also a handy eye sensor that automatically switches between viewfinder and monitor display.

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From detail-packed stills to vibrant Full HD movies – everything’s beautifully clear thanks to the new camera’s 20.1 effective megapixel 1.0-type back-illuminated Exmor R CMOS image sensor. Far larger than the sensor in regular compact cameras, it’s the key to breathtaking stills and video with beautiful background defocus effects.

Offering excellent low-light sensitivity and low noise, the sensor is complemented by Sony’s latest-generation BIONZ X processing engine. Three times faster than its predecessor, it powers detail reproduction technology for natural reproduction of fine textures, diffraction reducing technology for enhanced quality at small apertures and area-specific noise reduction that maintains clarity in dimly-lit regions of indoor and night-time shots.

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The speedy BIONZ X processor also powers exciting new video features. In a Cyber-shot™ first, the RX100 III now supports the efficient XAVC S format. Based on the professional XAVC standard, it records stunning Full HD video footage at up to 50 Mbps with minimal artefacts and noise – even with busy, movement-packed scenes. Want to capture every nuance of that golf swing, tennis serve or balletic leap? HD footage can be recorded at 100 fps[1] in XAVC S mode for silky smooth slow motion replays via an application like Sony’s PlayMemories Home application.

[1] 100 fps for PAL models and 120fps for NTSC models. Intelligent Active Mode and Active Mode cannot be used when recording at 100 fps.

Specifications Sheet

Model RX100 III (DSC-RX100M3)
Image Sensor 1.0-type (13.2 x 8.8mm) Exmor R™ CMOS sensor, aspect ratio 3:2(Effective resolution) Approx. 20.1 megapixels
Image processor BIONZ X
Lens ZEISS Vario-Sonnar T* Lens, 10 elements in 9 groups (9 aspheric elements including AA lens)f=8.8-25.7mm / 35mm format equivalent (Still Image 3:2) f=24-70mm

Maximum apertureF1.8(W)-2.8(T)

Zoom range Optical (still image/movie): 2.9x; Clear Image Zoom approx. 5.8x
Screen 7.5cm (3.0-type) (4:3) / 1,228,800 dots / Xtra Fine TFT LCD; adjusts up 180° / down 45° (approx.)
Viewfinder 0.39-type electronic viewfinder (OLED), 1,440,000 dots; magnification approx. 0.59x with 50mm lens at infinity, -1m-1(diopter) (35mm equiv.), retractable type
Image stabilisation (Still image) Optical SteadyShot(Movie) Optical SteadyShot Intelligent Active Mode, Optical type with electronic compensation, Anti Rolling type
Focus modes Single-shot AF (AF-S) / Continuous AF (AF-C) / Direct Manual Focus (DMF) / Manual Focus
Focus area Wide / Centre / Flexible spot S/M/L / Lock on AF (Wide/Center/Flexible Spot S/M/L)
Sensitivity (still image) Auto (ISO125-12800, selectable with upper / lower limit), 125/160/200/250/320/400/500/640/800/1000/1250/1600/2000/2500/3200/4000/5000/6400/8000/10000/12800 (Extendable to ISO80/100), Multi-Frame NR[1]: Auto (ISO125-12800), 200/400/800/1600/3200/6400/12800/25600
Continuous shooting Speed Priority Continuous Shooting: approx. 10 fpsContinuous Shooting: approx. 2.9 fps (AF-S)
Shooting modes Superior Auto, Intelligent Auto, Program Auto (Program shift available), Shutter Speed Priority, Aperture Priority, Manual Exposure, Scene Selection, Movie Mode(Program Auto, Aperture Priority, Shutter Speed Priority, Manual Exposure), Panorama
Picture Effect modes Toy Camera, Pop Color, Posterization, Retro Photo, Soft High-key, Partial Color, High Contrast Monochrome, Soft Focus, HDR Painting, Rich tone Monochrome, Miniature, Watercolor, Illustration
Other Shooting functions Eye AF, Face Detection, Face Registration, Smile Shutter, Quick Navi, Digital Level Gauge (pitch and roll), MR (memory recall), Single-bracketing, Cont.-bracketing, White Balance Bracketing, DRO Bracketing, MF Assist, Photo Creativity, Peaking, Zebra, Micref Level, Step Zoom, Self-portrait timer
Built-in flash Manual pop-up
Still image record [3:2mode] 20M(5,472×3,648) / 10M(3,888×2,592) / 5M(2,736×1,824) [4:3mode] 18M(4,864×3,648) / 10M(3,648×2,736) / 5M(2,592×1,944) / VGA [16:9mode]   17M(5,472×3,080) / 7.5M(3,648×2,056) / 4.2M(2,720×1,528), [1:1mode] 13M(3,648×3,648) / 6.5M(2,544×2,544) / 3.7M(1,920×1,920) [Sweep Panorama] Wide(12,416×1,856/5,536×2,160),Standard(8,192×1,856/3,872×2,160)
Movie record [AVCHD] 28M PS(1,920×1,080/50p) / 24M FX(1,920×1,080/50i) / 17M FH (1,920×1,080/50i) / 24M FX(1,920×1,080/25p) / 17M FH(1,920×1,080/25p)[XAVC S] 50p 50M(1,920×1,080/50p)/25p 50M(1,920×1,080/25p)/100p 50M(1,280×720/100p)

[MP4]12M(1,440×1,080/25fps) / 3M VGA(640×480/25fps)

Battery life (Still Image) Monitor: Approx. 320 / Approx. 160min., Viewfinder: Approx. 230 / Approx. 115min.(Movies actual shooting) Monitor: Approx. 50min., Viewfinder: Approx. 50min. (In [MP4 12M] mode, max. continuous shooting time is approx. 15 min. and max. file size is 2GB)
Dimensions (WxHxD) Approx. 101.6 x 58.1 x 41.0 mm (CIPA compliant)
Weight Approx. 290g (Battery and Memory Stick Duo are included)Approx. 263g (Body Only)
Supplied accessories Rechargeable Battery Pack NP-BX1, AC AdaptorAC-UB10C/UB10D, Micro USB cable, Wrist Strap, Strap Adaptor, Instruction Manual, AC Power Cord

[1] Achieved by overlay burst shooting.

The Cyber-shot™ RX100 III compact digital camera from Sony will be available in Singapore at all Sony stores and authorised outlets from June 2014 for S$ 1,199.00.

The Sony CyberShot RX100 II is still available in the market and the price has changed to $899.00. Both the Sony CyberShot RX100 II and III will still be sold together and consumers have the choices to choose between either one of them if they decide to go for the Sony CyberShot RX100 family series. With the introduction of the Sony CyberShot RX100 III, resulting in the price of the RX100 II to drop, this might just attract the buyers who are contemplating to just go for the RX100 II model instead of the RX100 III model.

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Why you will choose the Sony CyberShot RX100 III @ $1199.00

  • Bright, wide angle ZEISS® Vario-Sonnar T* 24-70mm F1.8-2.8 lens
  • Clear, retractable OLED Tru-Finder™ with ZEISS® T* coating
  • 20.1 effective megapixel back-illuminated 1.0-type Exmor R™ CMOS sensor and powerful BIONZ X processor
  • 50 Mbps high bit-rate Full HD movies with XAVC S support
  • LCD flips for easy selfies
  • 4K still image output
  • Evolved manual controls and new custom button
  • Support for PlayMemories Camera Apps

Why you will choose the Sony CyberShot RX100 II @ $899.00

  • You already have an intention to purchase the Sony CyberShot RX100 family and the Sony RX100 II is still a very good choice.
  • The OLED pop-up viewfinder in the RX100 III is not a must in your photography needs.
  • The longer zoom range is preferred (28-100mm) for your photography needs.
  • The hot-shoe on the RX100 II is part of your photography needs and workflow.
  • Affordable price and value for money compact digital camera.

During my short hands-on experience with the Sony CyberShot RX100 III, the experience was similar to the time when I was reviewing the Sony CyberShot RX100 II review unit. The OLED viewfinder is something that I will really want to have inside a compact digital camera and the Sony CyberShot RX100 III is targeted at photographers who are purists/traditional that compose and shoot through the camera’s viewfinder. Looking through the photographs that I took with the Sony RX100 III during the hands-on session, I do like the quality and output of the photographs taken with the Sony CyberShot RX100 III. Hopefully in the near future, I will be able to review the Sony CyberShot RX100 III and share with my friends and followers.

The Sony CyberShot RX100 III price is on the higher side for the class of compact digital camera, thus it would attract a niche group of photographers. If you a photographer that shoots primarily through the viewfinder and you want a camera that is lightweight and compact, the Sony CyberShot RX100 III is a very good consideration.

* Information and Pictures Courtesy of Sony Singapore and Waggener Edstrom Communications *

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