The Sony RX10 III was introduced in March of this year, a little over six months after the announcement of its predecessor, the RX10 II, which the company claims the RX10 III does not replace. The most notable modification is the addition of a mega zoom lens with a variable aperture (f/2.4-4) and a reach of 600mm (25x optical and 100x digital zoom). As a result, the size and weight of the camera have significantly increased.
[Update: The RX10 III has been succeeded by the RX10 IV, which has a variety of enhancements, the most notable of which is the increase in burst shooting speed to 24 frames per second and an upgraded AF system. However, the fundamental aspects of the camera, such as its design and the built-in 24-600mm lens, have not changed.
As with the RX10 II, the RX10 III is geared toward the severe enthusiast segment of the market. This segment includes photographers searching for bridge-style cameras with the highest possible picture quality and telephoto reach.
Sony RX10 III Features
The RX10 III has the same 20.1MP 1-inch stacked Exmor CMOS sensor as the RX10 II, delivering superb 4K video capabilities. In addition, most features and functionalities are identical, and the Zeiss 24-600mm lens is the primary talking point.
Comparing bridge cameras with 1-inch sensors, only the Canon Powershot G3 X has the same reach; the far older Panasonic Lumix FZ1000 only goes to 400mm.
The minimum focusing distances of this lens is outstanding, ranging from 3 centimeters at the wide end to 72 centimeters at the long end. Moreover, this lens has a variable aperture that ranges from f/2.4-4, making it still a relatively fast lens compared to the competition.
Various shooting settings and photo modes are provided, including 3:2, 4:3, 16:9, and 1:1 aspect ratios for raw and JPEG photographs. This feature is similar to that of other Sony compact and bridge cameras.
The maximum resolution in its natural 3:2 format is 5472 pixels wide by 3648 pixels tall. The sensitivity may be expanded up to ISO64-25,600 and ranges from ISO100-12,800.
There is the option for single-shot autofocus (AFS), continuous autofocus (AFC), direct manual focus (DMF), and complete manual focus (MF). In addition, the choices for focus magnification and focus peaking provided by Sony make it simple to utilize the manual focus modes, especially the full manual focus mode.
Sony RX10 III Build Quality
When I pulled the Sony RX10 III out of its packaging, the first thing that stood out to me was how much more extensive and heavier it is compared to other bridge cameras that I have used. It seems more like a DSLR due to its weight, slightly over a kilo (1050g or 2.3 lbs with the battery and SD card included).
It has dimensions of 132.5 x 94.0 x 127.4 mm (5.25 x 3.75 x 5.12 inches) and feels much more extensive and heavier than comparable cameras, such as the Canon G3X. The enormous glass included within the 24-600mm equivalent, 72mm diameter lens is a significant part of this.
Although it has a plastic-like texture, the design is reassuringly sturdy. The camera’s wide, protruding-front grip and rounded body shape allow for a stable and comfortable hold no matter how long you use it.
There is a possibility that individuals with smaller hands will discover the grip to be a touch too large, yet, it does feel proportionate to the size of the camera. The ergonomics were excellent, and the buttons and dials were positioned in a way that was comfortable for my hands to use.
The on/off switch is a toggle integrated into the shutter button on top of the front grip. It is simple to use and provides a comforting click when activated. You may zoom in and out of the image with the lever that is located in front of this.
Because the button that triggers the shutter is threaded, you may use an older-style cable release. The RX10 III turns on quite quickly, but there is always a little pause when the lens expands to the 24mm position it has to be in before it can begin functioning correctly.
Sony RX10 III Performance
Because of my previous work with the RX10 II camera model, I had high hopes for the new 24-600mm lens that comes standard with the Sony RX10 III, and I was not let down by its performance in this regard.
The lens works well over the entirety of its zoom range. The details may not be relatively as straightforward as those captured by the lens of the RX10 II, but this is to be expected considering this lens’s far longer focal length.
The lens is exceptionally crisp even when its aperture is wide open at most focal lengths. At its widest point, I did detect some blurring on the far left side of the frame, which made me suspect that my review camera was off-center in some way, given that the right side was quite crisp. At telephoto focal lengths, however, the image maintains an astonishing level of clarity over the entirety of the frame, all the way up to 600 millimeters.
When slowing down ever-so-slightly, there is a slight but discernible improvement in sharpness, yet, the gap is still relatively large. By the time the aperture is set to f/11, diffraction has become more apparent, yet, details can still be lovely with a little bit of additional sharpening. As you might anticipate, there is a noticeable decline in quality once you reach f/16. Thus, it is best to stay below this aperture if feasible.
Sony RX10 III Image Quality
Since the release of the RX100, Sony’s RX series of cameras have been known for their continuously high-performance levels; thankfully, the RX10 III is not an exception to this trend.
JPEG photographs display a sharpness and clarity across the whole focal length of the lens, becoming ever so slightly softer at the furthest reach of the lens, but not to the extent that it is cause for concern.
If the optical zoom of 25 times isn’t quite enough to reach you, you can also use “Clear Zoom,” a form of digital zoom that produces some excellent results. Unless essential, however, it is strongly recommended that you refrain from using the standard digital zoom.
The colors display a significant level of vibrance, but they don’t go too far into terrain that isn’t natural. The colors are also vibrant and punchy, fresh from the camera. When working on your photographs in post-production, you will find that the corresponding raw files are a little more subdued, which is to be anticipated and helpful.
JPEG pictures have high noise performance and resolution practically everywhere over the whole spectrum. This is especially true for detail resolution. Around ISO 1600, noise starts to become more apparent. Still, it doesn’t significantly impact the image quality unless the subject is pixel-peeping at 100 percent or the photographer plans to print a huge image.
The maximum setting of ISO 12800 should be avoided unless necessary (or if you only intend to view or print very small), as there is a significant loss of detail at that setting. ISO 3200 and ISO 6400 are both respectable settings; however, as with most digital cameras, the top set of ISO 12800 should be avoided.
If you look at the raw files corresponding to this image, you’ll notice that a sizeable amount of noise reduction has been applied. As a result, if you’ve photographed an object that contains a great deal of minute detail, you may recover some of this detail by editing the raw files after the photo.
I discovered I needed to use the exposure compensation slider less frequently once I switched to all-purpose metering. It worked so well to provide proper exposure in most lighting situations.
The Dynamic Range Optimiser from Sony is a helpful tool that can help bring out detail in shadow in JPEG images that may otherwise be lost. You can set it to different levels in the main menu; choosing automatic or one of the lower values tends to produce the best results, as the highest setting can lead to somewhat of an unnatural look. The Dynamic Range Optimiser can be found in the main menu if you have a Sony camera.
Under artificial lighting, the automatic white balance feature is excellent and produces photographs with highly accurate colors. Other lighting conditions, such as cloudy or brilliant sunny days, also made colors that were true to life.
Sony RX10 III Specs
|Body type||SLR-like (bridge)|
|Body material||Magnesium alloy, composite|
|Max resolution||5472 x 3648|
|Other resolutions||4864 x 3648, 5472 x 3080, 3648 x 3648, 3648 x 2736, 3648 x 2592, 3648 x 2056, 2544 x 2544, 2736 x 1824, 2592 x 1944, 2720 x 1528, 1920 x 1920, 640 x 480|
|Image ratio w h||1:1, 4:3, 3:2, 16:9|
|Effective pixels||20 megapixels|
|Sensor photo detectors||21 megapixels|
|Sensor size||1″ (13.2 x 8.8 mm)|
|Sensor type||Stacked CMOS|
|Color space||sRGB, AdobeRGB|
|Color filter array||Primary color filter|
|ISO||Auto, 100 – 12800 (expands to 64-25600)|
|Boosted ISO (minimum)||64|
|Boosted ISO (maximum)||25600|
|White balance presets||9|
|Custom white balance||Yes|
|JPEG quality levels||Extra fine, standard, fine|
|File format||JPEG (DCF 2.0, EXIF 2.3)Raw (Sony ARW 2.3)|
|Optics & Focus|
|Focal length (equiv.)||24–600 mm|
|Autofocus||Contrast Detect (sensor)Multi-areaCenterSelective single-pointTrackingSingleContinuousFace DetectionLive View.|
|Autofocus assist lamp||Yes|
|Digital zoom||Yes (4X)|
|Normal focus range||3 cm (1.18″)|
|Macro focus range||3 cm (1.18″)|
|Number of focus points||25|
|Screen type||TFT LCD|
|Minimum shutter speed||30 sec|
|Maximum shutter speed||1/2000 sec|
|Maximum shutter speed (electronic)||1/32000 sec|
|Exposure modes||AutoProgram autoAperture priorityShutter priorityManual|
|Scene modes||PortraitSports ActionMacroLandscapeSunsetNight SceneHandheld TwilightNight PortraitAnti Motion Blur|
|Flash Range||10.80 m (at Auto ISO)|
|External flash||Yes (Multi-interface shoe)|
|Flash modes||Auto, fill-flash, slow sync, rear sync, off|
|Drive modes||Single-shotContinuousSpeed priority continuously-timerAE/WB/DRO Bracketing (single, continuous)|
|Continuous drive||14.0 fps|
|Self-timer||Yes (2 or 10 sec, continuous)|
|Metering modes||MultiCenter-weighted spot|
|Exposure compensation||±3 (at 1/3 EV steps)|
|Resolutions||3840 x 2160 (30p, 25p, 24p), 1920 x 1080 (120p, 60p, 60i, 24p) ,1440 x 1080 (30p), 640 x 480 (30p)|
|Format||MPEG-4, AVCHD, XAVC S|
|Videography notes||High-speed modes at 240, 480, and 960 fps|
|Storage types||SD/SDHC/SDXC, Memory Stick Duo/Pro Duo/Pro-HG Duo|
|USB||USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)|
|HDMI||Yes (micro-HDMI with 4K still and uncompressed HDMI output)|
|Wireless notes||802.11b/g/n with NFC|
|Remote control||Yes (via smartphone)|
|Battery description||NP-FW50 lithium-ion battery and charger|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||420|
|Weight (inc. batteries)||1051 g (2.32 lb / 37.07 oz)|
|Dimensions||133 x 94 x 127 mm (5.24 x 3.7 x 5″)|
Sony RX10 III Verdict
With a magnificent 24-600mm f/2.4-4 zoom lens and an exceptionally bright and detailed electronic viewfinder, the Sony RX10 III is a highly pleasurable camera in most scenarios. It has industry-leading picture quality for still photographs and movies, and it is loaded with features and capabilities that appeal to fans of both still photography and video.
It is somewhat let down by its autofocus, and its relatively large size and weight may put some off; however, as long as action photography isn’t high on your list, the RX10 III is difficult to beat as an all-in-one and travel camera, albeit one that comes at a price. However, it is essential to note that the RX10 III does not come without a cost.
Sony RX10 III FAQs
Is Sony RX10 III good?
Those in the market for a high-end point-and-shoot camera that features a telescopic lens that can adapt to various shooting situations and can produce high-quality videos should consider purchasing the Sony RX10 III.
When did Sony RX10 Mark III come out?
May of 2016 saw the launch of the third generation of the Sony RX10 camera.
Is Sony RX10 III a DSLR?
The Sony RX10 III is not a DSLR, contrary to popular belief. Instead, this camera has a sensor that is 1 inch and uses a fixed lens.
Is Sony RX10 III full frame?
The sensor on the Sony RX10 III is only one-inch square, so it is not a full-frame camera.
What is the zoom range of RX10 III?
The RX10 III has a zoom range of 24-600mm, giving photographers access to a diverse selection of focal lengths for various photography situations.
Is Sony RX100 III good for vlogging?
The Sony RX100 III can capture video in a high resolution and has a screen that can be flipped up, but it does not have an input for a microphone and has a battery life that is not very long. This could make it less than optimal for serious video bloggers.
Is Sony RX100 III worth buying?
Your requirements and financial constraints will determine whether or not the Sony RX100 III is a worthwhile investment for you. However, it is a high-end portable camera with fantastic zoom and high-quality images.
Is Sony RX100 III suitable for beginners?
Even though the Sony RX100 III’s sophisticated features may be too much for some newcomers to handle, it is still an excellent camera for learning new techniques and experimenting with different configurations of the camera’s settings.