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Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 III Review

June 23 2014 | By Richard Butler, Jeff Keller
Buy on GearShop$798.00


Review based on a production DSC-RX100 III running firmware v1.0

Few compact cameras have garnered as much attention as the Sony Cyber-shot RX100 and RX100 II. Sony had managed to squeeze a much bigger sensor into some cameras only a little larger than the Canon S-series enthusiast compacts. And, in common with the S-series and Fujifilm's XQ1 they struck a pragmatic balance between zoom range and lens speed. They could boast an F1.8 lens at the wide end of things, but were down to a less impressive F4.9 at the full extent of their zooms.

The RX100 III strikes a balance much more like that of Panasonic's LX series - a more consistently fast lens and wider angle starting point, with the trade-off of less reach at the telephoto end. On the RX100 III, Sony is using a new 24-70mm equivalent F1.8-2.8 lens, which is both faster and wider than what was on its predecessors, though at the expense of telephoto power. When you combine its fast lens and larger-than-average sensor size, the RX100 III promises stronger low light performance and shallower depth-of-field at the telephoto end than most other enthusiast compacts.

While the lens is no doubt impressive, the feature that will probably get the most attention is the RX100 III's pop-up electronic viewfinder which, as far as we know, has never been done before. Not only is it 'cool,' but it gives you the flexibility of having an EVF available at all times, without adding significant bulk to the camera. The inclusion of a viewfinder puts the RX100 III in very select company, even amongst enthusiast compacts.

Key Features:

  • 20.1 megapixel 1"-type Exmor R BSI-CMOS sensor
  • 24-70mm equiv. F1.8-2.8 Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T* lens
  • Pop-up SVGA OLED electronic viewfinder with 1.44M dots
  • 3-inch tilting WhiteMagic LCD with 1.23M dots
  • 1080/60p video with full sensor readout and 50Mbps XAVC S support
  • Clean HDMI output
  • Zebra pattern and focus peaking
  • Customizable front lens ring
  • 3-stop neutral density filter
  • Wi-Fi with NFC and downloadable apps
  • 320 shots per charge (CIPA standard)

As mentioned above, the lens on the RX100 III is considerably faster than its predecessors, though the telephoto end of the lens now stops at 70mm, instead of 100mm of the RX100 Mark I and II. What's impressive, though, is how Sony was able to create a much faster lens with only a small increase in camera size.

To allow those bright maximum apertures (along with the lower levels of diffraction and shallower depth-of-field they bring) over a broader range of circumstances, Sony has managed to fit in a neutral density filter. This can be engaged in bright light, when the 1/2000 sec maximum shutter speed isn't sufficiently fast. It also allows the use of wide apertures when using the long exposures that movie shooting requires.

There's a lot more to the RX100 III than just the lens and EVF, though - especially when it comes to video. The RX100 II was certainly no slouch in that department, and the Mark III offers some major improvement. The first is full sensor readout, which allows for higher resolution video than your typical compact (or interchangeable lens) camera, a feature we first saw on the Cyber-shot DSC-RX10. The RX100 III also supports the XAVC S codec, allowing for 1080/60p recording at 50Mbps, which is a considerable improvement over the 24 and 28Mbps rates on the Mark II. The RX100 III can also output 'clean' HDMI video over its HDMI port.

Something we didn't particularly care for on the previous two RX100's was the shooting experience. The user interface, cluttered controls, and, in particular, the 'clickless' wheel around the lens that gave no tactile feedback just took the 'fun' out of using the RX100 Mark I and II. While the EVF should make outdoor photography more pleasant and there have been minor tweaks to the UI, there hasn't been as much change as we were hoping for.

RX100 Series Comparison

Seeing how there are now three members of the RX100 family, we thought it would be a good idea to sum it all up in a table:

 
RX100 III
RX100 II
RX100
Sensor
20.2MP BSI-CMOS
20.2MP CMOS
Processor
Bionz X
Bionz
Lens focal range
24-70mm
28-100mm
Lens max aperture
F1.8-2.8
F1.8-4.9
LCD (degrees of tilt)
3" tilting (180/45)
3" tilting (90/40)
3" fixed
EVF
Built-in
Optional
No
Hot shoe
No
Multi-Interface
No
Max video bit rate
50MBps (XAVC S)
28Mbps (AVCHD)
Wi-Fi
Yes, with NFC
No
ND filter
Yes
No
Battery life (CIPA)
320 shots
350 shots
330 shots
Dimensions
102 x 58 x 41mm
102 x 58 x 38mm
102 x 58 x 36mm
Weight
290g
281g
240g

Add to this the Bionz X processor, and all the features it brings, and the RX100 III represents a much larger step forward than we saw between the original RX100 and the II.

The Bionz X processor brings three main changes to the camera's JPEG processing: more subtle sharpening ('Detail Reproduction Technology'), that is aperture aware ('Diffraction Compensation') and context sensitive noise reduction. On top of this, the latest processor brings the two-line, 12-item customizable function menus we saw in the a7 cameras, plus 'Zebra' over-exposure warnings and a more sophisticated 'lock-on' autofocus system. Finally, the latest version of Sony's user interface includes the option to install PlayMemories Camera Apps onto the camera itself, adding functions such as time-lapse shooting. A variety of apps are already available, some of which are free, others of which must be paid for separately.

That new lens

We've already told you that the RX100 III's lens is much more ambitious than those of its predecessors, offering a much-improved maximum aperture range and a wider starting point (if you don't mind the drop in telephoto reach). Sony is immensely proud of one of the technologies it has developed: the combination of two aspherical lens elements. This has been key to allowing such a wide and bright lens to be built into such a compact design. The lens can focus as close as 5cm at wide-angle and 30cm at the long end of the zoom.

Sony's optical designers have managed something that the company says has never been done before: bonding two aspherical elements together.

What does this mean in the real world, though? Have a look at the equivalent aperture comparison chart below:

Just like 'equivalent focal length,' equivalent apertures allow you to compare lens behavior side-by-side across cameras with different sensor sizes, by taking sensor size into account. The equivalent aperture figure gives a clear idea of how two lenses compare in terms of depth-of-field. It also gives an idea of low-light performance, since it also describes how much light is available across the sensor's area. However, differences in sensor performance mean this can only be used as a guide, rather than an absolute measure.

Between 24 and 28mm, only the G1 X Mark II has a larger equivalent aperture. The RX100 II comes into play at 28mm, and it's actually effectively 'faster' than both the G1 X II and RX100 III at first. After that, the G1 X II stays in the lead across the chart, with the RX100 III keeping up until it hits the 70mm telephoto end of its lens. At 70mm, the RX100 III is more than a full stop faster than its predecessors.

So when will you see this benefit? First, since the fast lens allows more light to hit the sensor, it improves image quality, particularly in low light. Also, the lower the equivalent aperture, the shallower the depth-of-field. While the RX100 III won't perform as well as the G1 X II in this regard (particularly since the Canon is at its best at longer focal lengths, which the Sony doesn't offer), it's still excellent by compact camera standards.

The 24-70mm lens range won't be to everyone's tastes, of course, and the graph above makes clear that 70mm equivalent means giving up quite a lot of reach, compared to its rivals (it never gets to the 85-135mm equivalent range considered ideal for portraiture, for instance). That said, 24-70mm has been a popular standard zoom range on full frame cameras for decades, so it's not exactly unprecedented, as a 'walkaround' focal length range.

Sony RX100 III overview video


If you're new to digital photography you may wish to read the Digital Photography Glossary before diving into this article (it may help you understand some of the terms used).

Conclusion / Recommendation / Ratings are based on the opinion of the reviewer, you should read the ENTIRE review before coming to your own conclusions.

We recommend to make the most of this review you should be able to see the difference (at least) between X,Y and Z and ideally A,B and C.

This article is Copyright 2014 and may NOT in part or in whole be reproduced in any electronic or printed medium without prior permission from the author.

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Comments

Total comments: 778
1234
BowShot

I really looked forward to adding this camera to my arsenal. I purchased one a couple of months ago. Images and video were of high quality IMO. They were even good in low light conditions. After a few days though I returned the camera (the store had a no hassle return policy). This camera is somewhat difficult to hold without any type of built-in grip. Someone else in this forum described it like holding a bar of soap - I somewhat agree. Also your left hand may normally rest where the diopter sight is located which for me was problematic when it was in use. Also, I didn't get much out of the zoom lens. I think that this camera would be better with a fixed lens - you also wouldn't have to wait for it to go through its motions of extending and retracting the lens each time the camera is turned on and off. While this camera was really of high quality IMO, it isn't a 'comfortable' camera to use. Are there any upcoming products with similar form factor and features worth considering?

0 upvotes
bchalifour

It's fast enough; definitely faster than the S95.
HOWEVER before you buy one weigh the following point:
> I had an RX 100 and loved it, especially as I could photograph in RAW + JPG in black and white (see my square BW images on the screen and know I could always go back to the full-frame color RAW image if needed.
Now, the RX 100 III does not authorize the recording of the RAW image wit the bw JPG one. If one shoots JPG bw one only gets the JPG bw.
In my opinion this is a very stupid change in software for a camera that taps into an audience that would rather use raw and the possibilities of multiformat BW images (while photographing, and NOT in front of one's computer) than their cell-phones. Kinda ludicrous move!!!

0 upvotes
bigdog2

Is the rx100 fast at taking pictures? I have a canon S95 and ready to upgrade to something better but I would like a point a shoot that can take pictures quicker than the S95 with and without flash. From the time I press the button and when the pictures get taken. Cell phones drive me crazy since theres such a delay for the autofocus, always miss the picture moment.

thanks

1 upvote
schmudge

SONY Can you please bring out the RX100 4 T.I.T.S. so we can finally have a decent compact camera which finally includes telephoto, including timelapse and shitt. tbh my one +1 has better features. I just had to rip out the sim.

0 upvotes
ferrarinigel

Can somebody tell me the difference between the ordinary Sony RX-100 mk111 and the Sony DSC-RX100 mk111
Thanks.....

0 upvotes
bchalifour

??? between an apple and an apple?

0 upvotes
Hans Kruse

I got one and like the IQ and size which makes it a camera go everywhere. The EVF doubling as an on/off switch is quite irritating with no option to turn this function off. I wonder if Sony is listening ;)

0 upvotes
rfreund719

Image quality is amazing. It would have been nice if in any of the many reviews raving about the camera that they mentioned that you can't use the viewfinder if you wear glasses. It must be so obvious that it does not get mentioned. However if you are nearsighted and wear glasses it is a waste of time to think the view finder is something you can use.

0 upvotes
Richard Butler

What is it about the viewfinder you find unusable?

I wear glasses and didn't find it a problem.

0 upvotes
LarryK

I wear Glasses too, and I didn't have a problem either.

Did you find the diopter adjustment lever?

0 upvotes
Lin Evans

"the RX100 III offers the best image quality of any pocketable camera we've ever seen."

I guess you haven't seen Sigma DP Merrill cameras then....

Lin

0 upvotes
Richard Butler

We have seen the DP Merrill, wouldn't consider it pocketable in the same sense and couldn't make broad-ranging statements about its image quality (no matter how much you may like some aspects of its IQ, it should be apparent that you need to include some caveats).

0 upvotes
Lin Evans

I might agree that the DP Merrill cameras are a bit larger than the RX-100 III but they do fit in my pocket. As for image quality, unless you have something other than the images posted in the review, they are not even in the same universe in terms of IQ with my DP2 Merrill. I use lots of cameras from high end Nikons and Canons to Pentax, Olympus, and also a good number of Sony's. Frankly, other than resolution I wouldn't trade my Sony R1 for this new RX-100 III if the best it can do for IQ is what you have posted in the review samples. Not a single landscape image has decent sharpness in distant foliage and the edge distortion is quite apparent. Maybe I'm missing something, but I wouldn't trade my little Nikon 1V1 images for what I'm seeing. I'm seriously uncertain how you see these images as having superior IQ - sorry but that's my unvarnished opinion....

0 upvotes
Richard Butler

You're welcome to your opinion but I'm struggling to think of any clothing I own that has pockets that can fit a Sigma DPm.

At which point, I stand by my statement about image quality. The lens is very good for a zoom, the Raw dynamic range and noise characteristics are genuinely class leading.

2 upvotes
gmke

Camera comparisons are often apples and oranges, which is to say, there are always trade-offs. The companion to the axiom is, the trade-offs you like best are not usually available for a song and dance. Me, I have a hard time loving any camera I can stick in my pocket even when so many "things to like" make for a compelling package. The RX100-iii is a very tempting concoction indeed. The aperture handily counters the ISO limit. The Sigma does little to sway me because I already have a camera with prime lenses that satisfy immensely. The lack of zoom on a handy-size photo shooter misses the target. The Sony can be an awful lot of things to many people. The bang for the buck is a benchmark. The Sigma is niche.

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
0 upvotes
iudex

I´d say RX100 III and DPm is like VW Golf GTI vs. Caterham Super 7: it is obvious Caterham is faster, provides much more driving pleasure and involvement... on sunny days on dry road. Since it has no roof it is a car you cannot really use anytime but only in good weather. Wheras Golf is a universal car without any caveats. Of course it is not so fast, not so fun to drive, but it is still very fast and what is more, it is usable all year long.
Sigma DP with its usable ISO 400 maximum and f2,8 is only a camera for the sunny days. When there is lets say 3 EV of light on the scene your Sigma is useless, unlike the RX100. So Sigma is just like the Caterham: unbeatable in ideal conditions, unusable in any other.

Comment edited 9 minutes after posting
2 upvotes
Lin Evans

That's a fairly accurate analogy. Of course the Sony is a compromise as well. I had to laugh when I read the DXO review on the RX100 II and they compared it with the Nikon 1V3 and gave it a considerable higher "sports" rating. No photographer in their right mind would use the RX100 II (or RX100-III) for sports while the 1V3 can be an exellent sports camera since it takes virtually the entire line of Nikon lenses, has superb fast autofocus, etc. It's all a compromise. The DPM Sigma cameras take superb landscape and super high resolution images for their intended use. I'm certain that the RX-100 III will be very successful as a general purpose tool, but the IQ isn't remotely comparable with the Sigmas.

Comment edited 6 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
gmke

The car analogy feels good to me. Are we a class of gizmo freaks? Cars one day, cameras the next? I also agree that the Nikon 1 is the best for sports photography of the one-inch category, although I am not sure that is saying much. If you already had lots of Nikon lenses well suited to sports (lots of bucks, yeah?) why would you not use a DSLR body? So, for me, the sports worthiness of the 1 series is candy for somebody who is not thinking clearly.

0 upvotes
Lin Evans

Because you can do things with the little Nikon which would cost thousands to do with a dSLR like shooting with a 600 F4 at 1620mm?So you use a good APS C with a 1.5 crop, add a 600 F4 and a 2X tele converter and you are at F8. Is it that much better than the 1V3 at F4? http://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/54292895

0 upvotes
gmke

Your point is correct. In a sense it is six to one half-a-dozen to the other in the situation noted and many others too. There are a minority of situations where the bigger sensor with faster and much more expensive glass will give a superior result. What percentage of the time that turns out to be the case varies, and what you are willing to pay for it, they are individual questions that will be answered differently. As I am a three-camera person, I look to the one-inch category solely to provide a range-finder style, second camera. I don't need a one-inch camera with interchangeable lenses or sports credentials. Some people prefer a one-system setup. That's fine too.

0 upvotes
marcpol

No IR Remote???

0 upvotes
Bilgy_no1

Is there something strange going on with the NR on the M3? Looking at the noise samples on p. 11 of the review, the M3 does very poorly compared to the M2. Look at the highest ISO12800 setting, and the difference is shocking!

However, the M3 sample of the stamp also looks more enlarged than the M2 sample. Strange, because they have the same resolution...

Anyone have an idea?

1 upvote
Interceptor121

Sony has redesigned the noise reduction algorithms in the Mark III
Performance compared to the mark II is worse not sure this is what you were expecting but that is clear.
The different stamp size may have to do with focal length and working distance

0 upvotes
rrobbi

Flash diffuser question -- I have been using the original RX-100 since it came out, and have found that it takes great pictures, but using the flash indoors never produces good pictures unless (1) I bend the flash back (which sometimes works if the distances and angles work out correctly, but sometimes produces unevenly lit or underexposed pictures) or (2) I use a Ping-Pong ball that I have cut open so that I can fit it over the flash as a diffuser (which actually works pretty well, but I always have to explain and defend why I'm fooling with a Ping-Pong ball). Is there a more elegant way to improve flash performance that I'm missing? Will the RX-100 III require the same fiddling to try to get a decent image with the flash? I'm running out of Ping-Pong balls.

3 upvotes
Dinarius

With the changes to the video - XAVC and no more Dolby - is it now possible to edit video in Photoshop CS6?

Thanks.

D.

0 upvotes
Interceptor121

I am not sure how the comparison has been done but having just done it myself side by side on video it looks like the Mark III is a clear step back compared to the Mark II to the point I actually returned the new one.
I would like to know how that resolution sample was shot as from what I can see the resolution has actually decreased even at the highest bitrate. There is a lot of functionality that is useful but this is no good if the overall quality is worse. It also looks like the new stabiliser mode has only a correction for rolling shutter and there is no 5 axis system of any sort. Poor

1 upvote
CMurdock

The Sigma Merrill cameras have the best image quality of any pocketable camera, but DPR won't review them. I wouldn't dream of buying a camera (like this one) that has aggressive sharpening of JPGs that can't be turned off.

5 upvotes
Bhima78

Shoot RAW then?

6 upvotes
petpen

okay but why Sigma is not providing the equivalent. I am not going to buy 3 sigma... Sony has created a nice camera taking on board several features... a good compromise!

4 upvotes
eivissa1

Right, but the camera is not useable, if you know what I mean.

2 upvotes
Bhima78

Honestly I don't. Who buys a $1,000+ camera to shoot JPEGs? I can understand maybe shooting a few here or there because you want to suck it down onto a friends comp real fast, but, you pay that kind of money to squeeze out some good IQ. Why hinder that by shooting JPEG most of the time.

2 upvotes
ChapelThrill23

I used to be a RAW shooter but I've switched mostly to JPEGs now and I'm happy for that. What draws me to photography is the process of going out and taking photos. I enjoy the framing, the composition, the finding angles, the finding subjects, the engaging with subjects, etc. Thats what draws me in. Good modern cameras configured properly can produce fantastic JPEGS that are worthy of the gallery of any art museum or the cover of any magazine and I'd rather not spend time inside sitting at a computer processing raw files.

7 upvotes
showmeyourpics

Hi ChapelThrill23, I am a seasoned part-time fine art photographer and shoot Raw + jpeg, develop my Raw pics for printing and use jpegs for web posting. My personal experience shows that there is no in-camera jpeg processing engine that can come reasonably close to a well developed Raw file in term of absolute IQ (i quickly reprocess even my jpegs before publishing them). Squeezing all the potential IQ out of a Raw file requires not only a mastership of camera technology and software capabilities but also a clear understanding of human visual perception. I interact with NYC professionals on a regular base and find that VERY few are familiar with the latter. Just one example is the exceptional influence of local contrast. In my experience, the algorithms built into camera processing engines do not take these key IQ drivers into consideration and are not able to properly differentiate between the different processing needs of diverse subjects (often presenting similar histograms).

0 upvotes
MrRiver

Here here, I buy expensive point and shoots so I can shoot jpegs 75% of the time. The odd raw here and there doesn't hurt but all the time spent editing is better spent on making love!

0 upvotes
giaco689

I just bought this compact but recommended to use that card to record video at 120fps? I now use a sony sd class 10 94MB / s just that I'm not registered

0 upvotes
KenFL74

I am in need of some information that I cannot figure out from reading details about RX100 M3. Can this camera be operated with a wall charger. I am planning on longer timelapses and battery will not last. SO I need an external charger, USB or whatever solution Sony is offering. This will be my decision point between RX100 M3 and some other camera (not sure which one yet) Would anyone know if there is an external wall charger that can run the camera for longer shootings (6-8 hours) I truly appreciate any information. I am very desperate and I am hoping the rx100 m3 can be operated with a wall charger.

2 upvotes
petpen

you may buy one ... the pack comes with a usb cable and a power unit to be connected to the camera... another thing to buy to protect the camera is the leather jacket LCJRXCB. I truly recommend it... the rx100m3 is a jewel and needs to be protected...

Comment edited 27 seconds after posting
1 upvote
Papayaman00

Unfortunately no, I've owned numerous Sony cameras and none of them have this ability to use the camera when its charging! It is really frustrating, how hard can it be to implement this??

2 upvotes
Apom

I have the same question, some people seem to say shoot when connected to the USB port but it wont allow you to operate the camera in this mode. (Other than having one USB charger for all your items when you are travelling light, whats the point of having a USB charging point if you cant have the thing turned on at the same time!)

1 upvote
FredBarnes

There are some third party solutions that have a module that plugs into the battery compartment and connects to the AC power source. Here is a link to an example: http://www.bestbatt.com/Sony-DK-X1-Coupler-and-AC-Power-Adapter-Kit-p/bbdkx1.htm?Click=247697&vfsku=BBDKX1&gpla=pla&gclid=CjwKEAjwl7ieBRCK2rCtqcCS7jESJACZKQFKAGxiHeGIVBCv74UF_yibPg31hf3YcW7ftoEH44HJ4BoCtFLw_wcB

Comment edited 8 minutes after posting
1 upvote
NightLights

Read the manual, available online at Sony, there are a couple of wall-chargers available. That said, you won't be able to record anything longer than 29minutes video if continuous (they claim it's the FAT format 2GB limit). I have yet to try and see if I can exceed this, they neglected to sell me the right card for high rate video and waiting on my order from another vendor. Sony also make downloadable software programs for the camera (for a cost unfortunately) that will do time lapse well, I am debating wasting the money for the app to see how it does.

0 upvotes
pujangga

No it can't . When you connect it to wall charger it displayed message to turn-off camera to charge.

0 upvotes
Timmbits

I think their A7 might be able to do that ;-)

@FredB thanks! that's a great solution! it's on special for only $20 now.

Comment edited 8 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Jeff73

I have two weeks to make a decision on a new camera. For both budget and mobility reasons I am not interested in DSLR or mirrorless. At this point, it is down to the difference between Canon G1X Mark II versus the Sony RX100 III. Based on reviews and comments, the choice seemed easy: the Sony RX 100 III. I finally looked at the side-by-side studio comparison, however, and I’m surprised to see the Canon seemly doing better (except for moire effects). My interest is mostly architectural photography, with some street, landscape, and sports mixed in. I’m not a portrait or macro guy. I like a clean intuitive interface. Any feedback out there?

0 upvotes
Rob Klein

I have had the camera for almost 3 weeks and I also considered the Canon, but the viewfinder on the Sony sold me. I have used it for some of my newspaper assignments and found the images to be great. The camera does have a couple of quirks. Yes, the jpegs are sharpened in camera quite a bit and secondly, the EVF can be disabled when it brushes up against your glasses, as an example, and the result is you do not see clearly what you are shooting. It would be nice if it snapped into place and stayed there until being released. But that aside, the lens is super fast and the images are very clean up to 3200. The price is up there, but I love the thing and it is truly pocketable, which the Canon is not. My two cents.

2 upvotes
Papayaman00

I own the Sony RX10 which is like the bigger bro of the RX100 with same sensor and I can tell you this camera can do very very well outside photography!

2 upvotes
Timmbits

@Jeff, technically, this is a mirrorless - but I get what you mean, not ILC mirrorless. ;) If both are within a size that is acceptable for you, consider that the Canon's larger sensor and much larger photosites, will allow it to perform in certain situations where the smaller photosites might not do as well especially in higher ISOs.

The longer zoom on the Canon will come in handy sometimes.

Moiré can be countered by varying the angle of your camera (ie, off horizontal). But for sure, a higher resolution, or a Fuji Xtrans sensor would help reduce moiré. But how many photos do we see of buildings where moiré is really an issue or noticeable if you're not pixel peeping? What if you use software to eliminate the occasional moiré? Would that not reduce the compromise you have to make?

A lot of good has been said about the Canon interface, not so much Sony's.

The RX100iii is critiqued for it's focusing, and the Canon for it's sensor not being as good as other APS sensors.

Comment edited 35 seconds after posting
1 upvote
Timmbits

PS: not so long ago, professional cameras were 8MP (Hasselblad) and produced quite stunning results. Don't even factorthe mega-pixels into your equation. Although one would think that they could compensate for the shorter zoom, in the end, you would be cropping an image that is not as good as one taken with good glass on a longer zoom with less megapixels (but larger photosites).

psps: the pop-up viewfinder is really cool. not sure if it's a good one, but cool for sure. in bright sun, it could come in handy.

Comment edited 3 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Blackwell

Who did this review? the raw advantage images were photographed from the vantage point of my house. I'm sitting here looking at the window at the same view!!

2 upvotes
lbahoshy

Does the miii have the ability to "bounce the flash " by holding it at an angle like the original rx100 and the rx100mii ? The pop up flash is in a different location on this latest one

0 upvotes
Richard Shih

Yes, you can pull the flash back so it's tilted up to bounce it.

3 upvotes
lbahoshy

Perfect! Thank you.

0 upvotes
rgnewell

I took the DSC-RX100II to Patagonia in February. The still and video images are fantastic. I just bought the III. Meantime the Canon 7D SLR and Sigma 10-20 mm lens I bought a year ago just sit. I haven't compared the two cameras, but a SLR system is just too heavy to be carried on a trip.

Roger Newell

5 upvotes
damian5000

What about video shooting time. The technology sounds great, but fairly useless if it only lasts 15 minutes. How long can it record 1080p video for?

0 upvotes
2eyesee

Well mine cut out at 29 minutes the other day...much to my dismay! (I was recording a performance at my kids school).

I understand 29 minutes for video is a typical limit for still cameras.

0 upvotes
satureyes

It's not a technical reason. It's to do with taxes. Any recording over 30min and the device is classed as a video recorder and subject to a differs import tax. That's why it's set to cut out.
To record more in one hit look at connecting the hdmi out of the sony into a separate recorder like the atomos ninja blade.

3 upvotes
Timmbits

regarding satureyes' comment:
surely the taxes issue varies from country to country...
and maybe someone will come up with a hack.
are ALL cameras limited to 30min? I had no idea.

0 upvotes
probert500

I thought the 29 minutes was a European Union tax regulation.

0 upvotes
Timmbits

maybe it is... but if it were, surely there would be versions of the camera made available elewhere that did not have this limitation?

0 upvotes
Hombrito

Any image stabilization data for Rx100 III? It is time image stabilization is tested on high end compact cameras as a standard review feature.

Poor image stabilization for Rx 100 I (Sony weakness which was not made clear in otherwise respectable reviews, including on this site) caused me to return Rx 100 in favor of Canon. I estimated Canon had 2-3 stops advantage vs. Sony, which partially compensated for Canon's smaller sensor.

I suspect no improvement.

Why no 1080p 30fps video mode?

2 upvotes
Dr Tone

From what I've read it has a brand new 5 axis IS system. How much better it is I can't say.

0 upvotes
2eyesee

Stabilisation is much improved - see my thread here:
http://www.dpreview.com/forums/thread/3690539

2 upvotes
pujangga

wow great IS review

0 upvotes
Timmbits

@Hombrito, what Canon is it you favored over this, that has a smaller sensor? just curious (not actually interested in anything smaller than 1")

@2eyesee, wow that is great! thanks for doing that! a real eye-opener.

Comment edited 6 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
calking

@ Hombrito

Total horsehockey. The IS on the RX1 is very, very good. The IS on this M3 is even better.

Try getting the same IS from a DSLR compared to the RX1 -- you wont.

0 upvotes
Thomas Hoven

Just got a tip in the forums that time-lapse can be acquired as a separate app:
https://www.playmemoriescameraapps.com/portal/usbdetail.php?eid=IS9104-NPIA09014_00-000003

Did anybody try this? (This could be a reason for me to upgrade my RX-100, Ihave not found a time-lapse app for the first RX-100.

1 upvote
2eyesee

I've got it and it works well.

0 upvotes
Orileyuk

@ dehenderson; Just to ask , where did you purchase and where was it made ?

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
dehenderson

I got a Sony RX100 iii this week and have found it very underwhelming despite all the hype. Makes me wonder if I got a faulty RX100 iii:

- Image quality is okay but not great. Similar to a Canon S-95.

- There apparently are no codec files, as yet, for its RAW images. So, it's useless with Lightroom.

- Image write time is very slow even with a high-speed Sandisk Extreme 16GB card. About 5-6 sec write time.

- The instruction booklet is obtusely written by someone with English as a second language, lacking detail and not helpful in learning such a complex camera with so much packed inside.

- Syncing to my iMac and/or Wifi just does not happen despite hours of attempts. It does not sync via WiFi in my opinion.

All-in-all, I would give it a marginal C-grade for such a pricy camera.

Anyone have thoughts for an alternative?

4 upvotes
dwl017

Your thoughts are spot on. I have the original RX100 and yes its a nice little camera but in no way the best camera ever made. Im still using my little Oly XZ1 and Samsung EXF2 which are all about the same as my RX100 not a game changer as many would say.

Samsung EXF2 Footage shot last night arounr 9pm
https://vimeo.com/100011599

If you really want photos that pop and want a small camera try the Samsung NX300 with a pancake lens, amazing! and a full size APS-C sensor.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 6 minutes after posting
3 upvotes
Dan Marmot

Got one a week ago. Some things I've found
- Lightroom does support the RAW images; you do need Lightroom 5.5
- Image writing for me is fine and feels the same as my RX100M2; I'm using a SanDisk Extreme SDXC U1 Class 10 card that says "45MB/sec" on it

The video support is more interesting
- Lightroom 5.5 won't import or show movies recorded in the XAVCS format from the camera or card, so you have to transfer them manually
- iMovie 10.0.4 does let you view and edit those XAVCS movies, and QuickTime Player can view them as well. VLC has stuttering problems though

Time for me to poke around those video settings and figure them out.

1 upvote
Rick Evertsz

- Lightroom has handled m3 RAW files for a while now.
- WiFi works fine for me (transferring to iPhone and iPad). Worked first time and has been flawless (unlike Eye-Fi card, that sometimes erroneously thinks it's already transferred pics). Have a look on the forum for discussions amongst people, who like you, were initially stumped by its WiFi. I think it's straightforward, but as always, if you expect it to work differently, it can be confusing (hint: the camera is the hotspot).
- Card write times are fast for me (on 15MB/s write SanDisk).
- Like the m1, I find the image quality to be astounding for such a small camera. S-95 doesn't come close, unless there is heaps of light. Try shooting ISO3200 RAW. Have a look in Lightroom. I had the m1 for 2 years, and I am still blown away by how good the high ISO RAW files are for such a diminutive camera.
- I give it a A++++++++++ (as they say on eBay!)

2 upvotes
hrt

Possible alternative: take your M3 to a service center or to the store where you have purchased for replacement.
Sony has always been innovative, but their product quality management in my experience has never been first grade - not only with cameras but also with their other products.

0 upvotes
Timmbits

so you need lightroom 5.5... uh! the dreaded subscription!

There is LIGHTZONE that is a free Lightroom alternative.

0 upvotes
hrt

The way Sony has developed its lens for this model is truly admirable, which became a reason for me to purchase this camera.
But where did the goodies of previous M2 model go ? Namely, flash connectivity, longer zoom range and battery endurance ?
How is the reliabilty (especially durability) of this camera, relative to its new components (ex. digital viewfinder) ????

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
1 upvote
Timmbits

When you are going with a brighter lens (bigger opening) you are more limited and it becomes harder, and more expensive, to produce longer bright zooms - the lens gets significantly more complex to get all that into focus at all zoom levels.

The lens becomes significantly larger as well.

So it's both a size and cost-savings issue.

I cannot help but wonder if poorly-written manuals are an indication of the company's philosophy on attention to quality and detail...

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
1 upvote
R Thornton

I cannot for the life of me understand why it is possible to build in GPS and WiFi in cameras, and not RF flash trigger. For GPS and WiFi - or even a hotshue - I do not care, but if the camera had an RF wireless flash trigger built in Sony could, rather sooner than later, also sell me an appropriate speedlight or two... to fully make use of this function.

Comment edited 37 seconds after posting
5 upvotes
5andi

I guess this camera is marketed as a device which you can carry around in your pocket. If you're going to be carrying around a speedlight or two then you probably won't mind carrying around an SLR and you'll end up with better photos as a result.

8 upvotes
ChapelThrill23

Excellent point.

0 upvotes
Timmbits

5andi you are right on the money.

not to mention, that you can buy flash-triggered speedlights and your problem is solved! (unless you are NOT a customer for future speedlight purchases because you already own the RF-trigerred ones)

1 upvote
freakpix

Seriously, I wish it would have come with 4K, perhaps RX IV ...

1 upvote
LaFonte

What would you do with a minuscule P&S camera that does 4K? Most consumers wouldn't be even able to edit it or do anything with 4K at all.

1 upvote
Timmbits

LaFonte, very true. Good point.
I certainly wouldn't know what to do with 4K.. I'd need to buy a very expensive computer just to handle and edit the files...
But, what do you think the purpose of 4K in the FZ1000 is for? I suppose it is not a factor to consider when shopping/comparing the RX10 with the FZ1000...?

0 upvotes
hrt

Why does Sony change its models so frequently ?
Does Sony think that consumers will continue to pay for such high frequency of model changes?

I love the RX100 M3 and have purchased it this time, but that doesn't mean that I will do it again.

What was the intention/meaning of launching RX100 M2 ????
Sony's management policy only (irrespective of buyers' actual needs) ????

Answer me please, Sony !!!!

3 upvotes
rashoop

As with all electronics manufacturers, Sony knows that with the evolution of a model, including important-enough changes and improvements is how you get people to upgrade from a previous model to a new one. Apple is famous for it (though with them, I take a "skip-a-generation" approach to their products, mainly because the changes/improvements are small enough that an upgrade with each new model doesn't make any sense).

The real lesson here is that keep using what still "works" for you as long as possible, and wait for the evolution of a model to get juicy enough to justify an upgrade. One example with this is that I have no plan to upgrade from my Sony NEX-6 to the A6000. The NEX-6 is still a better camera than I am a photographer, so I'll continue to use, and enjoy it for some time.

4 upvotes
hrt

Thanks for your comments, Rashoop,
The true meaning of my question was this:
So many things, including product development, are driven by economical anxiety - market competition, investment return, shareholder values, corporate cash-flow and so on.
Such anxiety is driving manufacturers to shorten their product life cycle.
As product life cycle shortens, the number of new product buyers diminishes, as the total sum of such buyers' purchase power is not infinite.
The flip side of shorter product life cycle is quality risks - speedy product development, less investment budget due to shorter time for cash return, etc., which render less time and money for new product testing - see what happened to Nikon's D600.
But companies will have to survive.
And for companies to survive, there must be a solid customer retention.
What then would be Sony's strategy for the foregoing ??

0 upvotes
jjlmoose

Why do you feel the need to purchase every new camera Sony makes? I had the same Nikon EM body for 20 years.. Sony is an innovator in digital photography, that means they need to stay out in front. I had a RX100M1 and now a M3...skipped the M2. Go to any of the Nikon/Canon forums and see how many people are complaining about models not coming fast enough! ...like that mythical D400. ;-)

0 upvotes
hrt

I have skipped the MP2 as well, but 2 years product life cycle for a high end (compact or whatever other size) product is not acceptable for quality reasons - sloppier product development, no time for quality improvement during the product's life cycle.
I won't say 30 years for cameras, but in case of cars, 30+ years of Porsche 911 or Mini Cooper is the kind of things I would also like to see from camera makers.
Model change every year is insane and waist of manufacturers' money, which gets charged against their products' quality.

0 upvotes
hip2

but the opposite is also true :
if a manufacturer gets new working technology that can better the life of their customers, why wait 10 years before making it available ?
if they followed slow product cycle, we would still have crappy sensors with very low resolution and laughable low light performance... nor would we have multiple sensor size experimentation (new systems !) or mirrorless cameras.

2 upvotes
LaFonte

It is simple, they can sell the same thing to the same people. Look at forums how many people "upgraded" from m1 to m2 to m3. I say "upgraded" because in many of the cases they still have them all, just not using them because they are so "old".

0 upvotes
hrt

"so old" or "too busy".
You know, I'm not complaining that Sony's product lifecycle isn't 10 years.
I'm just saying that only 1 year for a premium compact costing around 900 bucks is not justifiable for an average consumer like me. (right?)
For instance, if I am buying a Mercedes, I would love to drive it for 10 years (although I currently can't afford such an expensive car).
Likewise, if I'm paying 900 bucks for a premium-compact digital camera, I would want Sony to maintain their model unchanged for at least 2 years for the peace of my mind (= the peace of my wallet of course).
The fact is that my personal investment return for such $900 camera is by far inferior to/slower than Sony's speed of investment return, but how can Sony continue to invest like that if they wanted to sustain their business in the long term ?

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 15 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Timmbits

short answer: because they didn't get it right the first time... or the second time... or...? ;-)

1 upvote
probert500

They made it and you bought it - that's the meaning.

0 upvotes
okashira1

DPREVIEW,

How about a high ISO video still comparison?
ISO 3200 on the RX100 II vs III ??

Your video still comparison doesn't even list ISO!

2 upvotes
Richard Butler

The video comparisons are all shot at base ISO, at present.

We will certainly consider a low light test.

0 upvotes
okashira1

Thanks for considering it.
I have a good reason to ask for this. The full sensor readout should result in the Rx100 III blowing away the II at high ISO performance, more then the small detail sharpness difference at low ISO.

Comment edited 10 minutes after posting
1 upvote
Timmbits

good point Okashira1

0 upvotes
GlobalGuyUSA

I would like to see FUJI make a rival to this one.

Sony often forgets how users "feel," but Fuji is doing pretty good there.

When you say the Sony is heavy-handed in its processing -- is it able to be reduced through the software (to a degree whereby its not really heavy handed)?

4 upvotes
Timmbits

maybe in a software update... dare we dream?

0 upvotes
GlobalGuyUSA

That's too bad -- I think that's an area where FUJI also would be more responsive (I'm not trying to pit Sony against Fuji, I just would really like to see a Fuji competitor to this camera & see how much progress can be made). Sony is doing a good job with this one, and I think one or two worthy competitors always improves the product.

0 upvotes
Craig Atkinson

Further to my previous question...Does the M3 have any kind of scale indicator relating to the 35mm equivalent focal length. So, for example if you wanted 28mm, 35mm or 50mm, is there a way of knowing your there without guessing?

0 upvotes
dpmaxwell

Yes, there is a digital focal length scale that appears when you are zooming.

4 upvotes
jjlmoose

The M1 and M2 had it as well, had to set the ring to zoom and it would give you the 35mm equivalent. The M3 added the 35mm equivalent under the zoom x scale but it's way easier to land on your target if you use the ring.

0 upvotes
bouncingb

Putting the Sony RX100m3 Help Guide on an iPhone:
The online guide is only available online, of course. I put the guide locally on my iPhone5 as follows:
1) Install the Firefox add-on Scrapbook, which allows downloading an entire website tree. Do this (on a computer) from the top level of the Sony guide site. (The files are 18Mb, in a single directory).
2) Install an iPhone app called Files Pro ($4.99 from iTunes), that copies files between an iPhone and a computer.
3) Use Files Pro to copy the entire downloaded directory to the Files Pro "Public" folder on the phone (or to a subdirectory).
4) The Help Guide is now locally on the phone, accessed by clicking "index.html" in the Files Pro directory, exactly as it appears online. It can be bookmarked inside Files Pro.
I have not yet been able to make this bookmark an icon on the phone's home screen, and it is not accessible through Safari. Nevertheless, this gives complete access to the Help Guide website with or without a web connection.

1 upvote
Craig Atkinson

I've got a question! Sorry if it's been asked already; I have looked.

I doubt I'd use the wide end much, maybe 28mm but more 35mm equiv. Is there a way to set the camera to turn on at 35mm equiv - IE to auto zoom to that focal length?

That would be an amazing feature if it exists.

1 upvote
Rob Klein

Ah, no, I do not believe that you can do that.

0 upvotes
GH Cardenas

What you can do is set one of the MR slots. If your settings in the 1 MR slot, then keep the dial in the MR slot when turning on the camera. It will remember the focal length. I've even turned off the camera, switched to Aperture Priority, turned on, turned off, turned the dial to MR mode, turned back on and the RX 100 M3 remembered the focal length.

6 upvotes
Craig Atkinson

I wonder whether it's been considered. I imagine (he says!) it'd be an easy thing to implement as an option. Might add 0.5 second to start up but doing it by hand prob adds 5 secs.

0 upvotes
seans1969

This feature exists on the Panasonic LX7, its been around for about two years so you think that the R & D people at Sony would take a look at what the opposition has and equal or better it. Maybe a future firmware update.

Comment edited 28 seconds after posting
1 upvote
munro harrap

So, with this, the RX10, the A6000, and the A7 and A7R and S variants, Sony have easily the best overall range of digicams available on the market today. All in a decade from no cameras at all.

And of course without Sony there would be no Nikons either.....

This is a Leica of the old school neat fast pocketable with a separate optional viewfinder./ Looking at images from RAW here up to around 500 the grain is as good as Tri-X was and that was only monochrome.

A lot less boring than the World Cup, and fewer fouls!

7 upvotes
Boky

There will always be Nikons - just not with the Sony sensors.

Sony makes excellent sensors and the photographic gadgets.

Nikon and Canon still make photographic apparatus that make beautiful photos.

Nick

2 upvotes
NZ Scott

This is a good point, Munro!

With regards to full-frame, the A7 series has a few problems but there seems no doubt that the second iteration will iron out those flaws and offer killer capabilities.

With APS-C, Sony has one of the best mirrorless systems - lagging behind m43 only in terms of lens availability, which will no doubt improve over time.

And now, with the RX100 III, Sony offers the best pocketable fixed-lens camera on the market.

1 upvote
Zeisschen

One thing for sure, Sony has always been better than their reputation among Canikon fanboys...

It always sounds like a "serious gamer PC" vs a "sleek playstation". I'll take the playstation portable, thanks!

2 upvotes
Les Hall

Boky - what nonsense. Photographers make the image not your chosen brand of camera. And Sony have been making cameras for decades - video cameras.

0 upvotes
Timmbits

OP: The nice thing about the competition, is that they are not limited to just the sensors they produce in-house. Nikon doesn't just use Sony sensors. ;-p

@NZScott: you are right... about twice as many. but the true question is, how many lenses do you need and want? if the majority of available lenses are crappy ones, who cares how many there are?
What I (and I think you and everyone else too) care about, is are the ones that I need/want available for that mount? I think the answer is yes. I use Samsung - just saying.

Comment edited 6 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
probert500

@Boky - pull the other leg it's got bells on it. Or, what are you talking about?

0 upvotes
NZ Scott

Timmbits:

Actually, the quality of the lenses is a strong-point for m43. Most of the lenses are excellent, and especially the primes. Sony has most of the normal focal ranges covered, but comes up short with fisheyes, macros, quality telephotos and weather-sealed pro lenses - all of which I own and use with m43.

Of course, with the passage of time I'm sure Sony will fill those gaps.

Comment edited 3 times, last edit 3 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Orileyuk

I am very impressed so far by many comments on the RX100 m3, samples ,video samples . I as many others as yet in the UK , can not physically check out the EVF . So , for yet another month we have to wait and rely on what we read . Apart from the huge price ( compared to an iPhone etc ) , it is the camera which will suit myself . My only concern is the EVF and it's last ability .
Would some of you guys who have the RX100 m3 share their experience with the EVF ?

0 upvotes
mosc

It's almost the exact same EVF as the one on the A6000 so there is plenty written about to look at.

0 upvotes
JeremiahCamera

I got one a week ago and it is very nearly everything I've ever wanted in a digital camera: truly pocketable, excellent low light ability, stunning images and 1080p 60 @ 50Mbps. The EVF does feel slightly wiggly when popped up, but it is sturdy nonetheless. It is also a pleasure to use when you do need/want it!

If you're like me, you won't use it all the time so I'm sure it will last you/me as long as I/we have our cameras. I did get the extra 3 year warranty that includes accidental damage, though, because I plan to have it with or on me most of the time (yay! again for pocket-ability!). My only quibble with the camera is the so-so bokeh in portraits at 70mm. A couple minutes in Photoshop, though, and the bokeh looks as good as any 9 bladed Nikkor glass. Get the camera and you won't be disappointed; I did a lot of research and was still surprised by it once I got my hands on mine.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
3 upvotes
Antonio Antunes

Another month in the UK? The physical/online photo shop where I pre-ordered my RX100M3 (colorfoto.pt) delivered it at my home in Lisbon last Friday. (They did phone asking me whether I was still interested because they had plenty of customers hovering around in the hope of getting the camera.) I've been shooting since then. I'm an amateur but I'm impressed. An important point is "pocketability". The camera is easily pocketable, but one should be careful about what's in one's pockets. I once permanently damaged a camera because there was sand in my pockets from a previous afternoon at the beach. As for the EVF, I too find the feature of turning off the camera when it is put back into its place annoying. In my view, the EVF is very good and I really like shooting with it (which, by the way, makes the mandatory shutdown of the camera even more annoying). The camera is perhaps a bit too small, although its weight feels utterly comfortable. All in all, I'm delighted with my purchase.

1 upvote
pujangga

the EVF is good. but i never use it. the back LCD is just perfect for me.

0 upvotes
TomCak

I agree totally with the last 2 comments. I have a D800E, Sony NEX-7, and the original RX-100. All I wanted in an improved RX-100 was an EVF.

All the whining about what it isn't are nitpicks.

What it is, is a marvelous piece of photographic gear. While i'm not advocating shooting with a compact like this as the primary tool, there are many images I've taken, all things considered, that are equal to DSLR images in IQ, unless doing extremely critical pixel peeping or enlarging far over the norm.

1 upvote
Timmbits

You are right TomCak.

But bear in mind, that with new possibilities, comes new criteria. ;)

This is the next entry-level point-and-shoot (the rest of the market just hasn't caught up with it totally, just yet, and the small-sensor PaS haven't quite all been eliminated by the smartphone just yet).

Many actually wonder if this can become their primary go-to camera for most of the time. They look carefully, and then think, for the price, why can't it have this or that... or why does it have this or that design shortcoming when it is at it's 3rd iteration?

1 upvote
jjlmoose

I'm really surprised the whole EVF shutting down the camera thing is getting so over blown... You simply pop it up when you need it and it's only active when you eye is up to it, therefore the only time you need to press it back down is when you're ready to put the camera back in your bag/pocket... i.e. when you're done shooting... Huh, kinda makes sense now doesn't it...

6 upvotes
Antonio Antunes

No it doesn't. In my opinion, you want to put the EVF down once you're done using it because it protrudes and you're affraid to damage it. This might be psychological but, hey, what can you do about it? This feature could and should be optional.

2 upvotes
Timmbits

@moose: that is also what the designers said.

but it seems that not everyone wants to keep it up. to me it's not a big deal - I'll press the flimsy thing down again to have it out of the way and then turn the camera back on - that is, if I ever buy one of these, which at the price, I doubt.

@Antonio: I see this coming in a software update. ;)

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
1 upvote
Rob Klein

The comments, especially after an in-depth review that are posted here on dpreview are often infused with what the camera isn't and questions about who in their right mind would even buy one. Well, I bought one based on many reviews and because it had the features that I wanted in a pocketable compact. The EVF was key for me, as well. Sure, Sony should have put the grip on instead of making it an option or having to seek out an after market one and yes, they should give you a battery charger. However, the bottom line is that it takes great pictures and is a hell of a lot of fun to use. After all, how can you be critical of a camera that has a scene setting called Gourmet and adds that it shoots food to look delicious? I rest my case.

5 upvotes
Timmbits
0 upvotes
Rod McD

Tried one in-store. A well featured camera and a remarkable achievement in miniaturisation, but as slippery as a bar of soap. Why the heck can't Sony add a grip rather than leave it to the aftermarket? Surely it would not make the camera any less pocketable if a grip as deep as the control ring was built in?

1 upvote
Mike FL

When Pana LX7 was rebadged to Leica LUX 6, Leica removed LX7's grip, and doubled the price. Most people think Leica LUX 6 looks much nicer than Pana LX7.

Sony thought Leica did it (and people like it), Why not my SONY?

Comment edited 4 minutes after posting
1 upvote
Mike FL

Just checked that Leica removed the grip from all the Pana (1/1.7" sensor) P&S cameras when rebadging them.

The camera looks more contemporary without grip, and Canon S line is another example - without grip.

Comment edited 20 seconds after posting
1 upvote
white shadow

I had a chance to take a closer look at the Mk3 today in a local Sony dealer.

For those who think that the built-in EVF is a great feature, think again or at least have a closer look yourself before you buy. My experience with it is not very positive. The EVF is tiny and would need one to squint one's eye while trying to see through it. It is not a comfortable feeling. Looking through the LCD screen is much more effective and faster. It is very unlike looking through a DSLR OVF.

The flip up and down and having to pull out the back piece before one can use it does not inspire confidence (at least for me). I have a strong feeling it is one of the weakest link.

The other aspect which I am not happy about is the user interface. You have to try it to know what I mean. However, if you are happy with the menu system, good for you.

So, beware!

7 upvotes
vesperlindt

Interesting comments...

0 upvotes
Dougbm_2

You obviously haven't checked out a Panasonic LF1 then (I have one and do occasionally use the 'emergency' evf)

0 upvotes
white shadow

@ Dougbm_2

I am aware of the Panasonic LF1 and have also tried it in a dealer.

Many people are too concern about not having an EVF. I am shooting extensivey in Hokkaido and Kyoto in Japan right now for a month and I am using my GM1 more than even my Canon 5DMk2. Most of the time, I find the LCD screen adequate or even more useful in certain circumstances and have not miss using a viewfinder. Obviously, in my case, I can use my 5DMk2 if I really need a viewfinder.

Comment edited 6 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Brette

I bought the RX100 but found the LCD screen useless outside in the California sunlight- not great for a $600 camera! So I bought the RX100ii with the swivel LCD screen. The sunlight still obliterated the LCD screen 60% of the time- no matter how I moved it-and by the time it took to move the screen, the action, if that was what I was going to capture, had moved by then. I haven't bought the RX100iii yet, but the EVF makes the camera available in all light conditions and would be a much welcomed.

Now, if Sony could just make an engineering leap and add significant zoom to the same size body, sensor etc -Wow !
Oh, and make the swivel LCD pull-out and 360% !
-The add on grip does not take away from the "sleekness" of the camera- I'm a designer, I think it adds to the "cameraness" look of the RX100iii, adds greatly to the function and diminishes concerns of dropping an expensive camera.

0 upvotes
b534202

Any comments about the steadyshot?

Can the LCD be turned off manually when using the EVF to save power?

0 upvotes
dpmaxwell

"Any comments about the steadyshot?"

http://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/53919439

"Can the LCD be turned off manually when using the EVF to save power?"

Yes.

1 upvote
wsalopek

Thanks...

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
2 upvotes
GriffinMI

Like a few others here, I decided to buy the camera even after reading this article.

From an engineering perspective, I completely understand the logic behind the viewfinder power-down operation. The pop-up mechanism no doubt has a finite cycle life and Sony wanted users to avoid over-use by suggesting that when you put the viewfinder down you are done shooting. Is that a major fault? - not anymore that acknowledging that operating the convertible top on a car 20 times a day will eventually wear out the motor.

There was a similar engineering decision with the lack of clicks on the front dial. While the smooth operation might be initially disconcerting for some coming from certain other cameras, adding detents on the dial while zooming video on this tiny and light camera could easily ruin the shot. That's a trade off that is easily justified in my view and not a sufficient hindrance to pan the many other advances this camera brings to the market.

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
4 upvotes
dpmaxwell

"The pop-up mechanism no doubt has a finite cycle life and Sony wanted users to avoid over-use by suggesting that when you put the viewfinder down you are done shooting. Is that a major fault? - not anymore that acknowledging that operating the convertible top on a car 20 times a day will eventually wear out the motor."

Complete speculative nonsense. So rather than build their mechanism to a higher tolerance, they add the "feature" of forcing you to turn off the camera when you close the EVF? Sorry, I don't buy it.

Oh, and - if I buy a convertible and decide I want to operate it 20 times a day, that is my business alone. If it fails in the warranty period, the company will have to replace it. If it fails outside the warranty period, then the problem is mine alone.

Anyway, wouldn't the analogy be - your car turns off every time you close the convertible top? You know, to help protect you from the possibility of the mechanism failing.

Comment edited 3 times, last edit 1 minute after posting
0 upvotes
zodiacfml

Yes, I agree. It's the first thing I thought when DPR mentioned this. It will never be a high cycle mechanism. Why increase cost, bulk, and weight for such a feature?
If you're out to shoot, you might as well leave the EVF up there to decrease time.

1 upvote
Mike FL

For viewfinder power-down operation:

- From user point of the view:
It is REALLY a bad design decision.

- From engineering point of the view
It could be make/design the "pop-up mechanism cycle life" = "shutter's cycle life". After wearing out the shutter, replace the shutter and the "pop-up mechanism.

Comment edited 25 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
Antonio Antunes

Bought this camera after reading this thoughtful, balanced and well-written review. Now it's time for shooting.

4 upvotes
Jan Hemels

I have the Original RX 100 and I experience great problems with the use of the screen in Sunny conditions so the viewfinder is a big step forward.
However I find it almost impossible to reach quality shots in the macro scene options as focusing remains a challenge

0 upvotes
AbrasiveReducer

This is classic DPR. Your RX100 may exhibit some soft corners or a soft edge but heck, blame it on the 20 megapixels. And besides, we can point to lots of compact cameras that aren't any better.

This translates roughly, to "It's the best you're gonna get in this size body but if you care enough about image quality to spend $800, and you insist on a zoom lens in a camera this size, don't expect miracles."

Comment edited 26 seconds after posting
1 upvote
stern

Roughly EUR 260/GBP 220 will buy you the Pentax MX-1. Corner-2-corner sharpness is better than on the RX and IQ is hardly distinguishable (o.k. if you are a pixel peeper you will notice some very minor differences in favour of the Sony, and yes, the Sony's sensor has more pixels...). Potential buyers of a compact should check out the "Studio Comparison" for a side-by-side comparison. I wouldn't dish out 800,- for this compact, especially because I prefer sharp lenses and crisp images (something the Pentax or an Oly ZX can do for less than half the price). If the price of the RX were appr. half, things might be different though.

2 upvotes
Everlast66

@stern
The Pentax MX-1 has a sensor that is half the size and much lower quality. If quality is of no concern for you just use your mobile, saving yourself GBP 220, or get a P&S compact for only GBP 60 to 100.

7 upvotes
stern

@everlast66:
its not about sensor size, its about image quality. as i have stated above, a handful of cameras less than half the price do an *almost* equal job: pentax mx1 and the oly zx which both come with lenses superior to the various sony rx iterations. as pertains to the sensor: yes, it is bigger, so what. if the lens doesn't do the job the camera output just won't be what it could be. especially when the sensor - although double in size - is packed with almost double as many pixels making sensor size differences more or less obsolete in real live). mobiles and tablets: come on, do you want to insult me? as i said before: do a side by side comparison on the "studio comparison" page just two clicks behind the "conclusions" page of this review. you will be astonished at how miniscule the differences are when it comes to iq, and how the pentax and oly exel especially in overall sharpness and detail for a fraction of the price.

Comment edited 12 minutes after posting
3 upvotes
Everlast66

You are right, its not about sensor size, but it usually gives you better quality, low light performance and shallow DOF if you need it.

In addition the RX100 gives you more features like EVF, ND filters, etc and manages to pack this in a much smaller body, that is REALLY pocketable, unlike the MX-1

http://camerasize.com/compact/#404,555,ha,t

2 upvotes
Everlast66

The MX-1 is actually closer in size to the APS-C A6000

http://camerasize.com/compact/#404,535.369,555,ha,t

1 upvote
Everlast66

@stern

As far as image quality goes did you try to up the ISO at all?

http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/image-comparison/fullscreen?attr18=daylight&attr13_0=sony_dscrx100m3&attr13_1=pentax_mx1&attr15_0=jpeg&attr15_1=jpeg&attr16_0=1600&attr16_1=1600&normalization=full&widget=103&x=0.3504335016324445&y=-0.09163078075266803

2 upvotes
snapa

@Stern... you are correct, most premium compacts with smaller sensors and better lenses are sharper than the RX100's at lower ISO levels, as seen her:
http://www.dpreview.com/galleries/2542779834/photos/2959389/comp1
If anyone disagrees, you need a better monitor or eye prescription.

0 upvotes
lolopasstrail

"all situations. Only Canon's G1 X II can trump the Sony in terms of low-light and depth-of-field terms"

the latter is not true. Smaller formats enjoy the advantage of more depth of field, just as 35mm cameras trumped the tyranny of narrow medium format depth of field.

Humans see everything they look at in focus; cameras have trouble in throwing distant/near objects out of focus. For people who want to look at the world, great depth of field is a plus. For people who want to make pictures that look like yet another photographic technique, I guess narrow DoF is ok.

DPR never met a camera at any price point whose price wasn't deemed "fully justified." I'd suggest the market is saying differently, given that presales are shipped and most major retailers have this sitting around in stock.

6 upvotes
2eyesee

I can understand the DOF comment as with a larger sensor you have the option to stop down to increase it. But I do take issue with the reference to the GiX Mark II 'trumping' the RX100M3 in low light.

In the Canon G1X Mark II review, Jeff Keller (who is also credited in this review) said:

"The point here is that while the G1 X II's sensor is much larger than that of the RX100 II, Sony's much more modern sensor performs much better than the Canon's, to the point where it cancels out that disparity."

I think DPR are paying too much attention to their aperture equivalence chart, which while useful for showing the amount of light received by difference sensor sizes, doesn't take into account sensor performance.

1 upvote
Edgar_in_Indy

I agree that a shallower depth of field is too often automatically considered a good thing. I own both an Olympus XZ-1 and an RX100-II, and I can use the XZ-1 at f1.8 and get a larger area in focus than with the RX100-II at f1.8. This can often be an advantage.

For instance, if I am taking a picture of a face at an angle, then the XZ-1 will get the whole face in sharp focus, while the RX100 may get half the face in focus. To get the whole face with the RX100 in focus, you are forced to stop down, which leads to other problems.

So while DOF differences should definately be noted, a more shallow DOF should not necessarily be considered an automatic advantage.

3 upvotes
Mike FL

Very well said, and shallow DoF may be very much a dis-advantage depending on how we use the camera.

I use cameras mostly for family traveling, and used F5.6+ more often from my SRL...

Now, for traveling light, I only use LX7 (with TG-2 as a backup for bad weather). The LX7's F1.4 is very good for low-light with GOOD amount of DoF as its F1.4 is more like DoF of F8 from FF...

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 5 minutes after posting
1 upvote
rpm40

Your eye does produce a limited depth of field naturally, so there will be out of focus areas- they're just not where your attention is, so you usually don't notice it. Hold up your thumb and focus on it- the bankground will be blurry. Now, focus on the background, and the thumb will be blurry.

Your eye's iris will open and close for more or less light, just like a lens, and the human eye has an aperture range roughly similar to f2-f8. There is a quick explanation here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/F-number#Human_eye

So narrow DOF isn't really only "yet another photographic technique" but in many instances it actually will give you a result closer to what you would see if you were there. Clearly, it can be overdone, but some background separation is quite natural.

4 upvotes
Richard Butler

There is no deep depth-of-field advantage to one format over another. If an aperture is small enough (in absolute, not F-number terms), to give you the depth-of-field you want, it'll exhibit the same degree of diffraction, regardless of the sensor.

Have a look at the G1 X II and the RX100 III in our studio tests (use the print view to compare at equal resolution), and the Canon does better than the Sony at high ISOs. Not by much, but it is better.

It's low ISO where the Canon struggles (as shown in the G1 X II review) - the RX100 III performs at least as well, despite being smaller, leaving low light and portrait-friendly reach/D-o-F as its only advantages.

There's no area in which the sensor in the MX-1 and XZ-2 performs any better than you'd expect for a sensor of that size. Those camera's great advantage is their bright lens (and the excellent ergonomics of the Olympus), which the RX100 III now betters.

1 upvote
2eyesee

@Richard
The ISO comparison may favour the G1X Mark II but the RX100M3's lens is 1/3 to 2/3 stop faster throughout its range, which would at least go some way towards negating this.

0 upvotes
Mike FL

"If an aperture is small enough...it'll exhibit the same degree of diffraction, regardless of the sensor."

This is one of the reason to use (build in) ND filter, to avoid diffraction.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Richard Butler

2eyesee - the equivalent aperture graph (low light is where it's most relevant), shows the RX100 III has only a slight aperture advantage, because its aperture is brighter almost precisely in proportion to how much smaller its sensor is.

If you then check on DxO, you'll see that the Color Sensitivity (which is probably the best measure of low-light performance), is slightly better for the Canon.

Overall the Canon isn't much better in low light but our shooting appears to confirm the theory that it is a little better. So this and its more portrait-friendly focal length range (with an aperture wide enough to give some background blur), are the only advantages it shows, despite being much bigger.

The point is that it can only out-perform the RX100 III in a couple of areas - much fewer than the specs would lead you to expect.

0 upvotes
Juhaz

The eye producing shallow DoF, while technically true is in practice largely irrelevant to what we actually SEE.

The brain is constantly doing metric shitload of post processing on the raw data from the eyes, among them "focus stacking" from eyes focused at multiple distances. What we see has a larger DOF than any one single snapshot from the eyes.

0 upvotes
Merel

It looks as I'm the only one very worried about the very last word of the Specification at page 2 ?
I'm not impressed. For that price I was expecting a YES.
Why do we buy a pocket format camera in the first place ? To take it to everywhere we travel, but afterwards not being able to remember where each of our most precious pictures were ever taken ?

4 upvotes
probert500

If you can't remember I'd suggest putting down the camera and looking around.

14 upvotes
Everlast66

If you can't remember where you've taken pictures you have FAR bigger problems than the features of your camera!

16 upvotes
JABB66

If you can remember every detail of each place where you have been, then why you need a camera? ;)

2 upvotes
Everlast66

@JABB66

To share with others what I've seen or what I wanted them to see.

3 upvotes
JABB66

@Everlast66
I agree, but sometimes you want to remember not only the city where you take the picture, but the exact point if you don't know the city and is not easy to guess through the image, or a landscape in the middle of nowhere, or those ruins you spotted while traveling on train.

0 upvotes
Everlast66

I agree that the more features the better, but if the chip and/or GPS antenna that is required added $10-20 that would be OK, but if this saved $50-100 off the price I am glad they didn't include it.
But I guess the actual problem here was lack of space in the camera body, since they increased the depth by 2mm to allow for the EVF, possibly the BionzX is larger as well and needs more cooling.

1 upvote
theswede

Considering the amount of travel I do in a year, both in work and private, and the amount of places I go to at each location, there is NO WAY I will remember where every photo I took was taken. Sometimes I will not even remember which continent they were taken on. GPS is a great tool for people who do large amounts of travel.

1 upvote
Everlast66

You need some sort of organisation anyway, then just have the photos from each location in a folder based on date ot location if more important, e.g.
year-month-date and then location, or
continent-location and date if this is more important

1 upvote
theswede

So how the heck am I supposed to create those directories in my cameras while traveling? Should I just excuse myself from a meeting and sit and create folders, or forego preparing a presentation and instead sit and sort images?

You seem to think I have all the time in the world to organize photos as I travel. You have absolutely no insight into a tight business travel schedule, and zero understanding for requirements or workflows not matching yours. A smidgeon of humility would suit you.

0 upvotes
Everlast66

Once a day, at a time when it is convenient for you, I assume you download them to a laptop or other device. You still remember the faces and places just sort them and rid of any useless ones. How are you otherwise going to get on top of your information at all?!?

0 upvotes
John _ Finn

I have the original Sony RX100 and I love it for its superb IQ and portability. I shot my successful Royal Photographic Society Associateship portfolio using it (print sizes 15 inches x 10 inches). Anyone considering buying this latest version should not hesitate - it's worth every cent.

8 upvotes
armandino

1" sensor, not sure if it is worth every penny.

2 upvotes
iPh0to

What's everyone's obsession with sensor size? There are very good small sensor cameras... and for macro/landscape shots, more DOF is good. I have everything from a PhaseOne IQ260 to a Canon S110, and my next camera will probably be a Panasonic GM1 simply because it takes amazing images and it's compact, not because of the sensor size.

1 upvote
rinkos

i prefer the panasonic solution ..a true 1" superzoom ..i have a dslr now but if i was just coming up from the superzoom 1/2.33 line i would get that one

2 upvotes
armandino

not a problem at all, actually I really like it, but everything has the right price. $800 for a compact camera with a 1" is too much.

1 upvote
white shadow

@ John_Finn

It is always the photographer that "make" the photo, whichever camera he maybe using. The Sony RX100 is quite a capable camera for its size but you could have done it too with another, even the Lumix LX7 or Canon G12. You can easily get A3 size print from them. For that extra bite, a full frame DSLR with a Zeiss lens would be better but in the hands of a non photographer, he would still fail miserably.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 3 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
white shadow

@ iphOto

If you are already owning cameras from a medium format to a Canon S110 compact, your best choice is the GM1.

After much hesitation, I bought a GM1 recently. I must say this cute baby is probably the best camera I have bought for a while. It will definitely out perform the Sony RX100 Mk3 and is fun to use. The interchangable lens capabilty is very important to me. Obviously, one cannot put it in a jeans pocket but its still small enough for a jacket pocket. For about the same price as the Mk3, one can buy the GM1 with the kit lens and the Oly 45mm f/1.8 lens. That's better long term value. Should the GM1 fail in a few years or sooner if you are unlucky, you still can use both the lenses on a new body.

Further, the Micro 4/3 sensor is about twice the size of the Mk3.

Comment edited 3 times, last edit 10 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
armandino

@ white shadows:
it is true the the photographer makes the pictures, it is also true that the tool represents the boundaries of the doability. At 1" sensor the boundary is greatly reduced (not to mention other limits imposed by design choices) and the price should reflect that. It is not just about how big your print gets.

0 upvotes
Total comments: 778
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