Hands-on with Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10 III
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Hands-on with Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10 III

Our brief time with the camera so far has us impressed: the long reach, coupled with excellent 4K and slow motion video, and very effective image stabilization (particularly in video, where digital and optical stabilization work together for some compellingly steady footage) will make for compelling stills and video. Furthermore, advanced features like S-Log2 and zebras allow you to optimize the dynamic range of capture for interesting light and high contrast scenes, and Gamma Display Assist allows you to preview this footage in a manner a bit more representative of the post-grading result. These features alone make the RX10 III a powerhouse of a video camera.

On the stills side, focus speeds, despite benefiting from the 5X faster sensor readout of the stacked chip, can vary significantly: focus is fast on the wide end and continuous eye AF is great, but contrast-detect AF systems just aren't known for their performance at very telephoto focal lengths, where severely defocused objects don't give the contrast algorithms much to work with. This can force the camera into a (sometimes long) hunt. It doesn't help that if you've selected a smaller shooting aperture, the camera is reticent to open up the aperture during AF acquisition, which means the camera's AF sensors and algorithms can suffer from too little light, or too little change in contrast as the focus element is moved back and forth (due to enhanced depth-of-field) - all of which slow down AF performance.

Image quality-wise, though, the RX10 III does impress: Raw dynamic range and high ISO performance continues to be class-leading considering its sensor size, and Sony's latest JPEG engines exhibit uncanny detail retention even as light levels drop. We'll be posting images and video samples from the RX10 III as soon as we can - keep an eye on our homepage!