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Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 III Review

June 23 2014 | By Richard Butler, Jeff Keller


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: 749
1234
Bilgy_no1
By Bilgy_no1 (2 weeks ago)

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?

0 upvotes
Interceptor121
By Interceptor121 (1 week ago)

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
By rrobbi (2 weeks ago)

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.

1 upvote
Dinarius
By Dinarius (4 weeks ago)

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
By Interceptor121 (1 month ago)

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
By CMurdock (1 month ago)

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.

4 upvotes
Bhima78
By Bhima78 (1 month ago)

Shoot RAW then?

4 upvotes
petpen
By petpen (1 month ago)

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!

2 upvotes
eivissa1
By eivissa1 (1 month ago)

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

1 upvote
Bhima78
By Bhima78 (1 month ago)

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.

1 upvote
ChapelThrill23
By ChapelThrill23 (3 weeks ago)

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.

3 upvotes
showmeyourpics
By showmeyourpics (1 week ago)

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
By MrRiver (1 week ago)

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
By giaco689 (1 month ago)

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
By KenFL74 (1 month ago)

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
By petpen (1 month ago)

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
0 upvotes
Papayaman00
By Papayaman00 (1 month ago)

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
By Apom (1 month ago)

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
By FredBarnes (1 month ago)

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
By NightLights (1 month ago)

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
By pujangga (1 month ago)

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

0 upvotes
Timmbits
By Timmbits (3 weeks ago)

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
By Jeff73 (1 month ago)

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
By Rob Klein (1 month ago)

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.

1 upvote
Papayaman00
By Papayaman00 (1 month ago)

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!

1 upvote
Timmbits
By Timmbits (3 weeks ago)

@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
By Timmbits (3 weeks ago)

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
By Blackwell (1 month ago)

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!!

1 upvote
lbahoshy
By lbahoshy (1 month ago)

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
By Richard Shih (1 month ago)

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

2 upvotes
lbahoshy
By lbahoshy (1 month ago)

Perfect! Thank you.

0 upvotes
rgnewell
By rgnewell (1 month ago)

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

3 upvotes
damian5000
By damian5000 (1 month ago)

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
By 2eyesee (1 month ago)

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
By satureyes (3 weeks ago)

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.

2 upvotes
Timmbits
By Timmbits (3 weeks ago)

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
Hombrito
By Hombrito (1 month ago)

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
By Dr Tone (1 month ago)

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
By 2eyesee (1 month ago)

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

1 upvote
pujangga
By pujangga (1 month ago)

wow great IS review

0 upvotes
Timmbits
By Timmbits (3 weeks ago)

@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
By calking (1 week ago)

@ 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
By Thomas Hoven (1 month ago)

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
By 2eyesee (1 month ago)

I've got it and it works well.

0 upvotes
Orileyuk
By Orileyuk (1 month ago)

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

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
dehenderson
By dehenderson (1 month ago)

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
By dwl017 (1 month ago)

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
By Dan Marmot (1 month ago)

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.

0 upvotes
Rick Evertsz
By Rick Evertsz (1 month ago)

- 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
By hrt (1 month ago)

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
By Timmbits (3 weeks ago)

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

There is LIGHTZONE that is a free Lightroom alternative.

0 upvotes
hrt
By hrt (1 month ago)

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
By Timmbits (3 weeks ago)

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
By R Thornton (1 month ago)

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
By 5andi (1 month ago)

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.

6 upvotes
ChapelThrill23
By ChapelThrill23 (3 weeks ago)

Excellent point.

0 upvotes
Timmbits
By Timmbits (3 weeks ago)

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
By freakpix (1 month ago)

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

1 upvote
LaFonte
By LaFonte (1 month ago)

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
By Timmbits (3 weeks ago)

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
By hrt (1 month ago)

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
By rashoop (1 month ago)

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.

3 upvotes
hrt
By hrt (1 month ago)

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
By jjlmoose (1 month ago)

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
By hrt (1 month ago)

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
By hip2 (1 month ago)

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
By LaFonte (1 month ago)

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
By hrt (1 month ago)

"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
By Timmbits (3 weeks ago)

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

1 upvote
okashira1
By okashira1 (1 month ago)

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
By Richard Butler (1 month ago)

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

We will certainly consider a low light test.

0 upvotes
okashira1
By okashira1 (1 month ago)

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
By Timmbits (3 weeks ago)

good point Okashira1

0 upvotes
GlobalGuyUSA
By GlobalGuyUSA (1 month ago)

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
By Timmbits (3 weeks ago)

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

0 upvotes
GlobalGuyUSA
By GlobalGuyUSA (2 weeks ago)

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
By Craig Atkinson (2 months ago)

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
By dpmaxwell (2 months ago)

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

4 upvotes
jjlmoose
By jjlmoose (1 month ago)

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
By bouncingb (2 months ago)

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
By Craig Atkinson (2 months ago)

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
By Rob Klein (2 months ago)

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

0 upvotes
GH Cardenas
By GH Cardenas (2 months ago)

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
By Craig Atkinson (2 months ago)

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
By seans1969 (2 months ago)

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
By munro harrap (2 months ago)

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!

6 upvotes
Boky
By Boky (2 months ago)

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
By NZ Scott (1 month ago)

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
By Zeisschen (1 month ago)

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
By Les Hall (1 month ago)

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
By Timmbits (3 weeks ago)

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
Orileyuk
By Orileyuk (2 months ago)

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
By mosc (2 months ago)

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
By JeremiahCamera (1 month ago)

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
By Antonio Antunes (1 month ago)

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
By pujangga (1 month ago)

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

0 upvotes
TomCak
By TomCak (2 months ago)

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
By Timmbits (3 weeks ago)

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
By jjlmoose (2 months ago)

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
By Antonio Antunes (1 month ago)

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
By Timmbits (3 weeks ago)

@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
By Rob Klein (2 months ago)

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.

4 upvotes
Timmbits
By Timmbits (3 weeks ago)

LOL

0 upvotes
Rod McD
By Rod McD (2 months ago)

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
By Mike FL (2 months ago)

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
By Mike FL (2 months ago)

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
By white shadow (2 months ago)

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
By vesperlindt (2 months ago)

Interesting comments...

0 upvotes
Dougbm_2
By Dougbm_2 (1 month ago)

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

0 upvotes
white shadow
By white shadow (1 month ago)

@ 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
b534202
By b534202 (2 months ago)

Any comments about the steadyshot?

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

0 upvotes
dpmaxwell
By dpmaxwell (2 months ago)

"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
By wsalopek (2 months ago)

Thanks...

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
2 upvotes
GriffinMI
By GriffinMI (2 months ago)

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
By dpmaxwell (2 months ago)

"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
By zodiacfml (2 months ago)

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
By Mike FL (2 months ago)

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
By Antonio Antunes (2 months ago)

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

4 upvotes
Jan Hemels
By Jan Hemels (2 months ago)

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
By AbrasiveReducer (2 months ago)

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
By stern (2 months ago)

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
By Everlast66 (2 months ago)

@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
By stern (2 months ago)

@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
2 upvotes
Everlast66
By Everlast66 (2 months ago)

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
By Everlast66 (2 months ago)

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
By Everlast66 (2 months ago)

@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
By snapa (2 months ago)

@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
By lolopasstrail (2 months ago)

"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.

5 upvotes
2eyesee
By 2eyesee (2 months ago)

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
By Edgar_in_Indy (2 months ago)

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
By Mike FL (2 months ago)

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
By rpm40 (2 months ago)

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
By Richard Butler (2 months ago)

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
By 2eyesee (2 months ago)

@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
By Mike FL (2 months ago)

"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
By Richard Butler (2 months ago)

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
By Juhaz (1 month ago)

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
By Merel (2 months ago)

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
By probert500 (2 months ago)

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

14 upvotes
Everlast66
By Everlast66 (2 months ago)

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

16 upvotes
JABB66
By JABB66 (2 months ago)

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

2 upvotes
Everlast66
By Everlast66 (2 months ago)

@JABB66

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

3 upvotes
JABB66
By JABB66 (2 months ago)

@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
By Everlast66 (2 months ago)

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
By theswede (2 months ago)

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
By Everlast66 (2 months ago)

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
By theswede (1 month ago)

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
By Everlast66 (1 month ago)

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
By John _ Finn (2 months ago)

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
By armandino (2 months ago)

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

2 upvotes
iPh0to
By iPh0to (2 months ago)

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.

0 upvotes
rinkos
By rinkos (2 months ago)

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
By armandino (2 months ago)

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
By white shadow (2 months ago)

@ 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
By white shadow (2 months ago)

@ 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
By armandino (1 month ago)

@ 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
beavertown
By beavertown (2 months ago)

The image quality this camera produces putting the entire Nikon 1 super expensive series to big shame.

7 upvotes
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (2 months ago)

Have you tried the Nikon with the better Nikon 1 system lenses?

2 upvotes
Banloma
By Banloma (2 months ago)

My experience since replacing this week the DSC-100 Mark I with the new Mark III is remarkable. Low light shooting without flash is so quick, resulting in tack sharp images with a relatively low ISO and great colour rendition. Superb that Adobe bought out a simultaneous Camera Raw DNG Convertor for Lightroom and Photoshop CC that enables you to shoot in everything Raw and then perfect in post production processes. Whilst my Nikon D800 and lenses will remain as my pro -kit, the Mark III will as the Mark I always was, it will always be with me, attached to my belt - light, unobtrusive and remarkable for its picture quality and ease of use especially for the quick unexpected shot that we usually miss.

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
9 upvotes
Daniel Stehura
By Daniel Stehura (2 months ago)

Great Combo Sony DSC 100/NIKON D800. This was my conclusion for traveling. I prefer shooting on a Scooter in Asia, For one I see more at low speeds and for two it it is much easier to get off and shoot. Long distance of course I take a car. The Sony is a perfect night camera, and people are not intimidated by a Big DSLR in their face. The Sony allows you to shoot stealth. I use the Nikon 28mm f1.8 for night shots with tack sharp results I use the D 800 giving me medium format quality. Why is Canon taking so long to give us the correct amount of pixels? Do the really have to milk their buyers for the small Pixel increments?

2 upvotes
utomo99
By utomo99 (2 months ago)

when Olympus will release XZ-3 ?
Olympus XZ-1
Announced Jan 6, 2011 • 10 megapixels | 3″ screen | 28 – 112 mm (4×)

Olympus XZ-2 iHS
Announced Sep 17, 2012 • 12 megapixels | 3″ screen | 28 – 112 mm (4×)

I hope Olympus releasing the XZ-3 Soon. I hope they start with 24mm and also slimmer body

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Angus Rose
By Angus Rose (2 months ago)

Why are you posting your questions about Olympus here?

8 upvotes
DaveE1
By DaveE1 (2 months ago)

@Angus Rose : Because the smart people are here. Just joking. (I just know someone will take me serious - sorry)

4 upvotes
47872Mike
By 47872Mike (2 months ago)

And because Sony invested 50bn yen in Olympus and the two companies are increasingly sharing resources.

0 upvotes
dpkform
By dpkform (2 months ago)

have tried every version of RX100 vs my Canon S110 and S120 and the RX100 series never completely wins me over... just got my RX100M3 yesterday and still not blown away
RX100M3 pros
-yes the flash still tilts up to the ceiling and auto flash gets it right most of the time
-the flip up LCD flips up in a single motion - excellent - not the absurd 3 point twist I have to do with my Olympus E-PL5
-very nice display to look at
-the mode dial feels just right - best feeling mode dial ever
RX100M3 not so great
-okay, so it has a viewfinder, but even compared to my Olympus EM10 the one on the Sony is puny - I would only use it when necessary whereas on my EM10 I use it almost all the time
-the Canon S120 is half the size, much more elegant than the clunky mini-brick which is the RX100M3
-Canon S120 still MUCH nicer camera to shoot with, better buttons, nice touch screen controls
-unless actively pixel peeping the difference in quality between S120 and RX100M3 not typically noticeable

3 upvotes
Jákup
By Jákup (2 months ago)

I have to disagree. I have the S120 & and had the RX100m1, and the quality on the Sony pictures where much better. I'm selling my S120 and buying eighter this RX100M3 or the Panasonic LX8 with 1" sensor, that will be announced on the 16 of July.

3 upvotes
Angus Rose
By Angus Rose (2 months ago)

I've had an S90 for years, and had been contemplating getting the S120. Altough, I'm still not entirely sold on the RX100III.

2 upvotes
mcshan
By mcshan (2 months ago)

I have the S90 and S95. My RX100 is a much better camera with higher IQ. Maybe just a figure of speech but the Canons are not "half the size".

The Sonys are in a another class when compared to the Canon S series. Not a knock on the Canons but they fall far short of the RX100 series.

3 upvotes
dpkform
By dpkform (2 months ago)

I should clarify what I mean by the quality difference not normally being noticeable between the S120 and RX100M3. If you LOOK for the quality difference will you see it? Yes of course. But when you are doing that you are PIXEL PEEPING. Simply flipping through photos on my computer., a 13 inch 2013 Retina display MacBook Pro, you know ENJOYING pictures for their CONTENT, like a normal person, not an technically absorbed photo geek, the difference between the S120 series and RX100 series does NOT leap off the screen. By comparison, the difference in quality between a picture taken with my iPhone 5, and either the Canon S120 or the Sony RX100 series even at a quick glance when simply enjoying the content, is obvious. When enjoying a picture for its CONTENT, rather than its PIXElLS, the difference between the Canon and the Sony is typically meaningless. If I take a great picture with the Canon I don't lament the fact it was not taken with the Sony, it is meaningless.

3 upvotes
dpkform
By dpkform (2 months ago)

A response to size. The original RX100 is the smallest of the RX100 series. The M2 and the M3 even more so are larger than the original RX100. S120 is 100x59x29mm = 171K square mm, vs RX100M3 102x58x41mm = 243K square mm, so the RX100M3 is 42 % greater by rectangular volume to be exact. But it feels twice the size, the difference is VERY noticeable. The Canon has a mild understated elegance, the Sony is to me clunky and utilitarian. Don't get me wrong, as an ONLY camera I would take the Sony RX100s over the Canon S120. But as a secondary camera, the "rough" clunky nature of the RX100 series makes them less appealing. The point of a secondary camera is for it to be convenient and effortless that a primary camera. Between my Olympus EM10 or even my EPL5, the convenience benefits of the RX100 are not that huge, I would normally rather just take one of the Olympus cameras instead of the RX100 series. The Canon S120 OTOH slips into a pocket without a thought, and is easier to use.

3 upvotes
ChrisSwiss
By ChrisSwiss (2 months ago)

I have both the S120 and the RX100M3. I will sell the S120, because the picture quality is that much better on the RX100 and the EVF is an excellent addition!

2 upvotes
mcshan
By mcshan (2 months ago)

Hi, You find it "clunky" but clearly many don't. I own the S90 and S95 and an RX100 and I find the Sony just as easy to use. The RX100 series has the better IQ so it remains the better choice for a pocket camera for those fortunate enough to have the extra money. Your posts are long and overly defensive. This is just a camera forum and replies to your posts are not personal attacks. Have fun out here! Life is good and cameras are fun.

1 upvote
dpkform
By dpkform (2 months ago)

Relax moshan there are no personal attacks here.... Just differences of opinion... Clarifications.... Expansion of comments.... That IS what.a forum is all about. No one is name calling. I have a new positive experience to report with the RX100 M3 today. I learned I can change exposure compensation DURING a movie clip. That is great for outdoor movies with subject in and out of shade. Also the MP4 movie format which still claims to take movies in 1440x1080...actually now produces 1920x1080 movies on the M3, This and the easy flip up screen are winning ,me over potentially. For me these are bigger benefits than the viewfinder.

0 upvotes
dpkform
By dpkform (2 months ago)

@moshan.... You mention the s90 and s95.. Nit sure if those older models have a touch screen.... The touch screen on the S120 makes a HUGE improvement to the user interface. If the Sony continues to have a fatal flaw is is the lack of a touch screen. With the S120 so many settings are available at the flick of a finger that require menu diving on the RX100... Even the nearly identical Canon g16 interface really sucks compares to the S120 due to lack of touch screen. This is the one area where to Sony is still an epic fail, ESPECIALLY for focus pulling in movies a touch screen is a HUGE benefit. Also the buttons on the back of the RX100 are less than half the size of the main buttons on the S120. I like both cameras, I'm just saying the S120 has a lot of major advantages over the RX100 but the same holds true in some ways in reverse.

1 upvote
armandino
By armandino (2 months ago)

I'll buy for $500

4 upvotes
schmudge
By schmudge (2 months ago)

cant believe they forgot TIME LAPSE what next, forget the lens

4 upvotes
2eyesee
By 2eyesee (2 months ago)

Why include something free in firmware that you can charge for by selling as an app?
https://www.playmemoriescameraapps.com/portal/usbdetail.php?eid=IS9104-NPIA09014_00-000003

0 upvotes
trunksye
By trunksye (2 months ago)

there is a app for that and it's free

4 upvotes
Erwin Harkink
By Erwin Harkink (2 months ago)

Oh? Tell me more? I only know the playmemories version (which I btw can't install due to an weird error message).

0 upvotes
Peter K Burian
By Peter K Burian (2 months ago)

Some of the Sony apps are free; others are not. You can see both types at https://www.playmemoriescameraapps.com/portal/

0 upvotes
Erwin Harkink
By Erwin Harkink (2 months ago)

Yes, but time-lapse ain't free.

0 upvotes
Deardorff
By Deardorff (2 months ago)

NO built in intervalometer?

0 upvotes
JABB66
By JABB66 (2 months ago)

The Casio EX-100 has it.
12 MP, 1/1.7", 28-300 (Multi SR Zoom extends it up to 600 mm equivalent with better quality than other cameras optical zoom), constant aperture 2.8, ND filter, up to 30 fps (between 3 and 6 fps with AF) , up to 25 images prerecorded before full press of shutter in High Speed bursts, shutter speed between 1/20,000 - 250 s, shooting interval of 0.25 second (even after a 30 image burst, RAW shot, long exposure or a shot combining multiple images like HDR and Night Shot modes)

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 2 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Zeisschen
By Zeisschen (2 months ago)

can be downloaded as an app

2 upvotes
Valiant Thor
By Valiant Thor (2 months ago)

What!
No built-in radiation detector?
No built-in air ionizer?
No built-in UFO or ghost detector?
C'mon Sony, what gives?

6 upvotes
arcane93
By arcane93 (2 months ago)

I bought the RX100 II when it came out last year, and I've loved it enough that I would have actually considered upgrading to the new model this year with the right set of new features. The improvements in aperture by themselves would have been enough to sell me, but a loss of 30mm at the long end? That's a deal breaker as far as I'm concerned. I use my RX100 II a lot for concert shooting (one of my main reasons for buying it, actually), and I need all of the telephoto range that I can get. If anything, I wanted more, not less. Maybe next time, Sony!

1 upvote
2eyesee
By 2eyesee (2 months ago)

In low light I'd rather crop 70mm at f/2.8 than shoot 100mm at f/4.9. Sure, you'll end up with a 10MP image by cropping to 100mm, but that image will be much better because you're ISO will be 1.6 stops lower, meaning less noise and more dynamic range.

Of course if you need much more reach then there are better options out there, but I guess you need something small enough to get into concerts. Is the Olympus Stylus 1 too big?

7 upvotes
arcane93
By arcane93 (2 months ago)

Honestly? I've been shooting with the RX100 II for a year now and it's been just fine. It can end up a bit grainy if the light is too low, but honestly not too bad -- I wouldn't want to use them for print, but for web they're fine. And you'd be surprised how often the results are comparable to what I see from other photographers shooting with DSLRs. I have been.

But part of it too is that at the size/distance of some stages, sometimes it's necessary to crop even a 100mm to get a good composition. At 70mm, it would be way too much of a crop to be usable. After the specs on the RX100 III were announced, I tried limiting myself to no more than 70mm to see how it would work out, and found it just wasn't workable.

The Olympus Stylus 1 might be ok size-wise, but I'd feel like the trade-offs that would come with the smaller sensor, lower resolution, and lower usable ISO range would likely be too much of a trade-off. What I really want is an RX10, but that would probably be pushing it.

0 upvotes
arcane93
By arcane93 (2 months ago)

If you want to see what I've been able to do with the RX100 II at concerts, I post my photos here:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/arcane93/sets

Depending on a lot of factors (in particular lighting and distance from the stage) results vary greatly, but overall I've been happy with what I've gotten from it. And for now I'll just have to remain happy with it for another year, and hope they come to their senses and expand the zoom range again on the RX100 IV. ;)

0 upvotes
2eyesee
By 2eyesee (2 months ago)

I see from your Flickr photos that you are very close to the stage in most of them. My comment about the Stylus 1 was only really if you needed something that would reash 200-300mm, which clearly you don't need.

Great photos, and they certainly work at this web size, as you say. I personally wouldn't go over ISO3200, where a lot of yours are ISO6400 - but of course shutter speed would then be less so you would then get more motion blur.

I still think the RX100M3 would be a good option even if it meant more cropping at 70mm. Remember the RX100M2 at 100mm is 1.6 stops slower than the M3 at 70mm, so that's like comparing ISO5000 on the M2 to ISO1600 on the M3. So while the M3 crop will give you less resolution, it will have much less noise and about 1 stop more dynamic range with its lower ISO.

I noted with interest the Neil Finn photos - he's a music legend from my part of the world (New Zealand).

0 upvotes
Dougbm_2
By Dougbm_2 (2 months ago)

Yes they should now bring out a MkIII T (Telephoto) with a longer zoom (28-200).

2 upvotes
avicenanw
By avicenanw (2 months ago)

The laws of physics dictates that there has to be a trade-off between zoom range and aperture to retain the compact size of the camera which is the hallmark of the RX100 series. Most of us prefer large aperture wide angle with shorter zoom than small aperture with longer zoom. Thank you Sony for listening.

0 upvotes
Herschel
By Herschel (2 months ago)

Just got M3, but for concerts (and other wildlife ;-) am considering RX-10.

0 upvotes
arcane93
By arcane93 (2 months ago)

2eyesee: Yeah, it's a trade-off. I tried limiting it to ISO3200, but found in a lot of circumstances that I had to lower the shutter speed to the point that the motion blur was unacceptable. I'd rather have a clear shot with a bit of extra noise than a blurry shot with a bit less noise. Personal preference to an extent though, I guess. Regardless, I'm still amazed to see ISO6400 that's as clear as this is -- a few years ago that would have been unthinkable.

I dunno... I'd love to give the RX100M3 a try, but at $800 it feels like a bit of a stretch. I think at this point I'm more inclined to put the $800 toward the DSLR upgrade that I'd like to do for this year, and see what happens with the RX100 next year. Less instant gratification, but I probably should try to squeeze at least two years out of my $750 camera... ;)

Of course what I *should* probably do is try to go "pro" (if that's what you call shooting for blogs, heh) so that I can get photo passes and bring my DSLR in...

0 upvotes
arcane93
By arcane93 (2 months ago)

Herschel: Yeah, I'd love to get an RX-10 for concerts, and I've actually seriously considered it, but I'm concerned that the form factor looks a little too much like a DSLR. A better camera isn't going to do me any good if they won't let me in the door with it! That's honestly why I picked the RX100M2, it was (at the time, at least) the best camera that I was sure that I could get in the door with me at all of the local venues.

0 upvotes
Dougbm_2
By Dougbm_2 (2 months ago)

avicenanw. Thanks for speaking for everyone - NOT!

0 upvotes
arcane93
By arcane93 (2 months ago)

avicenanw: I understand your point (even if I don't fully agree with it), but I have to wonder... and I'll readily admit that I don't know the details of the physics here... did the change to make it f2.8 all the way out to 70mm make it so that they *couldn't* extend the range any further, or was it just that they couldn't maintain f2.8 out any further? If it just wasn't physically possible to make range longer than 70mm to maintain f2.8 out that far, then I guess I understand the decision. On the other hand, if the range could have been longer but it just would have meant a smaller aperture out past 70mm, I'm less ok with it. If that's the case it would essentially mean that we lost 30mm in range to a marketing gimmick.

Comment edited 47 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
Dougbm_2
By Dougbm_2 (2 months ago)

arcane93: You make a good point BUT the shorter the zoom range the better the lens quality. Case in point Canon 70-200 range - Excellent IQ. Canon 24-105 very good. Canon 18-200 Pretty good. There is always a compromise and Sony seems to have chosen the best quality route and good for them too. With 20Mp to play with you can consider this a good 24-120mm camera.

0 upvotes
mosc
By mosc (1 month ago)

70mm f2.8 > 100mm f4.9. I'm sorry, but that's just simple math. The light gathering of the first choice at the same physical distance over the same subject area is greater on the "shorter" lens. The "shorter/faster" lens gets more light, with a crop, than the "longer/slower" lens, by a considerable margin.

And it's not 10mp at that crop, it's 14mp. 14mp is still a ton. You want to crop PAST 100 on both? you're still better off with the m3.

0 upvotes
brettstark
By brettstark (2 months ago)

Looking at this vs the GM1. About to choose the GM1 for flexibility. Think the IQ should be at least as good, perhaps better particularly in low light.

1 upvote
ET2
By ET2 (2 months ago)

GM1 should not be better in lowlight light with the kit lens. The kit lens is significantly dimmer.

2 upvotes
brettstark
By brettstark (2 months ago)

Yeh....seems reasonable....but sensor is bigger....

1 upvote
ET2
By ET2 (2 months ago)

It's not big enough to compensate 2 stops dimmer lens at telephoto end.

GM1's ISO 3200 is definitely not better than RX100's ISO 800

4 upvotes
brettstark
By brettstark (2 months ago)

Now you're making me rethink GM1!

0 upvotes
2eyesee
By 2eyesee (2 months ago)

Look how closely the RX100M3 sensor and GM1 compare:

http://www.dxomark.com/Cameras/Compare/Side-by-side/Sony-Cyber-shot-DSC-RX100-III-versus-Panasonic-Lumix-DMC-GM1___957_920

Then consider that the RX100M3 lens is 2 stops faster than the GM1's kit lens.

You're correct though that the GM1 does offer more flexibility as you can change lenses

0 upvotes
felicity
By felicity (2 months ago)

Well, I have the GM1 and I have found the flexibility is also the limitation. I have used the kit lens and the Oly 45mm prime. The Oly lens does make it a tad too big and the kit lens just isn't that great. That Oly also has a longer focusing point than ideal for me so I was going to switch it for the Oly 25mm. Neither of those lenses have IS which the GM1 lacks but the kit lens has. RX100.3 may just win. Question: does the additional pixel density make up for the slightly smaller sensor?

0 upvotes
brettstark
By brettstark (2 months ago)

It's not just slightly smaller....1/2 as small.

0 upvotes
ET2
By ET2 (2 months ago)

1/2 or not, even an APSC camera with 18-55mm kit lens isn't better in low light than RX100 III. The difference between F2.8 and F5.6 is 2 full stops.

I don't think APSC cameras's ISO 3200 is better than RX100's ISO 800

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
0 upvotes
lof
By lof (2 months ago)

http://www.dxomark.com/Cameras/Compare/Side-by-side/Sony-Cyber-shot-DSC-RX100-III-versus-Panasonic-Lumix-DMC-GM1___957_920

Wow, a dynamic range of 12.3 Evs for RX100 M3 - that's quite remarkable.

0 upvotes
Total comments: 749
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