Sony RX100 III evaluate: a implausible level-and-shoot, nevertheless it’ll value you

Sony RX100 III review: a fantastic point-and-shoot, but it'll cost you

There are good cameras that look cute, take satisfactory footage and do not value an arm and a leg. After which there are unimaginable cameras that may actually do all of it, however come together with comparatively astronomical worth tags. The Sony RX100 is the latter — the unique mannequin, which value $650 and first appeared in 2012, was already wildly widespread with digital camera lovers, and 2014’s model cashes in on two further years of R&D. The result’s a extra succesful level-and-shoot that is even pricier, at $800, however nonetheless value each penny: It is the RX100 III.

Gallery | 22 Pictures
Sony RX100 III evaluate

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Sony

Sony RX100 III

Execs

  • Wonderful picture and video high quality
  • Built-in pop-up EVF
  • Devoted digital camera controls
  • Good battery life
  • New XAVC S codec for improved 1080p video

Cons

  • No touchscreen
  • Restricted WiFi management
  • Costly

Abstract

At $800, Sony’s RX100 III is a very costly level-and-shoot, however it’s a superb purchase if in case you have the money to spare.

There are a number of main modifications within the third iteration. For some photographers, probably the most vital is the brand new pop-up OLED viewfinder that is out there if you want it, however retracts utterly into the housing when you do not. Sony eliminated the complete-measurement scorching shoe to accommodate the brand new EVF, however that is a commerce-off few will thoughts. One other massive swap is the brand new 24-70mm lens, which sports activities an f/1.eight-2.eight most aperture vary, supplying you with extra bokeh and higher low-mild efficiency when zoomed all the best way in. Lastly, there is a new video codec on board, referred to as XAVC S. On paper, it isn’t tremendously thrilling, however it does end in some fairly spectacular video footage, rivaling what you’d get with a better-finish (and far bigger) rig, assuming you add on the obligatory Class 10-plus SDXC card.

Hardware

Sony RX100 III review: a fantastic point-and-shoot, but it'll cost you

You will nonetheless get higher efficiency from a prime-of-the-line mirrorless digital camera or DSLR, however these aren’t almost as moveable, they usually’re definitely not sufficiently small to hold in your pocket. The RX100 is lots succesful, however its biggest power is its measurement. Whereas heavier than many different level-and-shoots, it isn’t a lot bigger. Its highly effective 24-70mm f/1.eight-2.eight Vario-Sonnar T* zoom lens does make it fairly a bit thicker than your run-of-the-mill compact, however assuming you possibly can cope with a average bulge, it could slot in a pants pocket.

You will extra doubtless be dangling the RX100 III out of your wrist, utilizing the included band, or from a 3rd-social gathering neck strap (the requisite adapters are within the field). Regardless of its small measurement, nevertheless, the digital camera presents all the crucial buttons and dials, together with a devoted mode dial, a video report button, a scroll wheel (for adjusting aperture and/or shutter velocity) and a button for accessing the built-in WiFi mode, which helps you to transmit photographs from the digital camera on to a smartphone or a pill.

Sony RX100 III review: a fantastic point-and-shoot, but it'll cost you

This time round, the best engineering feat is the pop-up digital viewfinder. It is situated on the far-left nook, and extends up about one inch when in use. The intelligent design features a slide-out magnifier, full with a diopter adjustment dial. The digital camera powers on as quickly as you prolong the EVF utilizing the discharge change on the left aspect of the housing, although it additionally turns off once you push it again down. Like most different EVFs, there is a proximity sensor that prompts the finder and disables the LCD whenever you increase it to your eye. In fact, grazing the viewfinder with a finger or different appendage has the identical impact, however you possibly can merely push it again into the housing to get rid of the difficulty.

As a result of the EVF takes up fairly a little bit of area inside the housing, Sony needed to transfer the pop-up flash a bit to the correct. It is now centered simply above the lens, although it extends far sufficient to succeed in past the zoom, even on the widest focal size. Provided that the flash has now taken over the actual property beforehand allotted to the complete-measurement scorching shoe, that element is a casualty of the RX100’s redesign, although (as talked about earlier) excluding maybe a couple of hardcore shooters, it doubtless will not be missed.

Consumer interface

Sony RX100 III review: a fantastic point-and-shoot, but it'll cost you

For a spell, Sony started together with touchscreens with its mirrorless cameras, such because the NEX-5N, however newer fashions, together with the Alpha 6000 and flagship A7s do not supply that function. All three RX100 fashions additionally lack contact performance, together with this yr’s iteration, which can be a disappointment to some. Then again, no touchscreen means Sony wanted to incorporate a variety of devoted controls and dials, which finally work to enhance the expertise. The commerce-off, in fact, is that you could’t faucet to focus, which many shooters have come to rely on when capturing video.

The consumer interface hasn’t modified a lot because the unique RX100. The menu format is kind of equivalent, although there have been some slight beauty tweaks. The fast-entry menu has been refined — it’s kind of extra simple to make use of now — however indicators and the digital camera’s basic workflow are according to previous fashions. Like with the RX100 II, you possibly can switch photographs over WiFi utilizing Sony’s PlayMemories Cellular app for smartphones and tablets, however in contrast to competing merchandise, you possibly can’t management the digital camera remotely.

Efficiency and battery life

Sony RX100 III review: a fantastic point-and-shoot, but it'll cost you

The primary mannequin on this collection was lauded for its extremely quick focusing, and the RX100 III performs simply as you’d anticipate. It focuses in a short time, and it is correct almost all the time. Focus searching is perceptible, notably with dim topics once you’re not utilizing the AF-help mild, however for those who miss a shot as a result of velocity, the digital camera in all probability will not be accountable. Granted, it isn’t the quickest gun within the West, nevertheless it’s undoubtedly top-of-the-line in its class. As with all compact digital camera with an influence zoom lens, it takes a second or two to get the digital camera powered on and able to seize its first shot. In case you’re anticipating an upcoming seize, it is best to go away the RX100 powered on — as soon as the digital camera’s standing by, shutter lag is barely noticeable.

As for battery life, I took the RX100 on trip and managed to get via three days of exploring with out charging up. On common, I in all probability used the digital camera for a couple of hours every day, so should you are likely to seize tons of of photographs and dozens of video clips throughout every day of touring, you will have to cost up in a single day. Throughout that interval, I used to be capable of snap greater than 500 stills and thirteen minutes of 1080p/60 video, which was captured with the excessive-bit price (and processor-intensive) XAVC S codec.

Picture high quality
Gallery | seventy one Photographs
Sony RX100 III pattern pictures

Since we’re already on the subject of video, I am going to begin with some evaluation there. The XAVC S codec obtainable with Sony’s newest cameras is a big step up from AVCHD. Video appears nice on the digital camera, in fact, however when evaluating footage on a laptop computer, it is onerous to consider this degree of high quality got here from a digital camera you possibly can slip in your pocket. The brand new f/1.eight-2.eight lens additionally deserves a few of the credit score, I am positive, however the enchancment is obvious. The one con is that you’re going to want to make use of a file converter to edit and output your footage utilizing a pc. I used Pavtube ($35), which labored very properly.

Sadly, as soon as you change footage and add it to the online (with additional compression), you lose a number of that captured element. The ensuing clips, as you will see within the footage reel above, look higher than what you’d shoot with another compact cameras, however until you are sustaining that prime 50 Mbps bit price, you will discover some degradation for positive. Within the reel above, publicity was spot-on, and the RX100’s built-in optical picture stabilization helped maintain issues regular, whilst I moved round.

Sony RX100 III review: a fantastic point-and-shoot, but it'll cost you

Shifting on to nonetheless pictures, the RX100 uncovered this late afternoon, backlit shot superbly, with an aperture of f/four and a shutter velocity of 1/640 second at ISO one hundred twenty five. Particulars are very sharp and colours are correct.

Sony RX100 III review: a fantastic point-and-shoot, but it'll cost you

This plate of cacio e pepe, a typical Roman dish, is barely underexposed, at f/four and 1/320 second, with a sensitivity of ISO one hundred twenty five. The digital camera might have been thrown off by the metallic fork, however it’s nothing a slight ranges tweak in Photoshop will not repair.

Sony RX100 III review: a fantastic point-and-shoot, but it'll cost you

I noticed dozens of vacationers capturing pill pictures every day throughout my brief journey to Rome. Moments like these come and go in just a few seconds, so this was an excellent check for the RX100. I used to be capable of flip the digital camera on and snap a couple of photographs as I walked by on the sidewalk. Particulars are sharp and colours are correct on this 1/200-second, f/5 publicity at ISO one hundred twenty five.

Sony RX100 III review: a fantastic point-and-shoot, but it'll cost you

That is the place gelato cups go to die. The digital camera opted for an publicity of 1/one hundred second at f/four right here, with a sensitivity of ISO one hundred twenty five. Particulars are sharp; colours are correct; and the publicity is spot-on.

Sony RX100 III review: a fantastic point-and-shoot, but it'll cost you

Just like the iPad shot above, that is one other alternative that got here and went in just a few seconds. Luckily, the RX100’s velocity enabled me to seize this sharp shot, at 1/50 second and f/2.eight, with a sensitivity of ISO one hundred twenty five.

Sony RX100 III review: a fantastic point-and-shoot, but it'll cost you

The Pantheon is remarkably dim, but the RX100 did a superb job of capturing this stranger with sharp particulars, assuming you are importing for the online. In-digital camera processing counteracts the excessive sensitivity of ISO 6400, however leads to softer particulars, as you possibly can see within the inset of this 1/60-second, f/2.eight publicity.

Sony RX100 III review: a fantastic point-and-shoot, but it'll cost you

The RX100 actually excels at night time, capturing persistently uncovered photographs with restricted noise. The digital camera’s optical picture stabilization helped maintain particulars sharp on this 1/20-second, f/2.eight publicity at ISO 800.

Sony RX100 III review: a fantastic point-and-shoot, but it'll cost you

I returned from Italy simply in time to seize this shot of New Yorkers making their method residence after the July 4th fireworks. With loads of vapor mild, colours are correct, consider it or not, although particulars are tender resulting from in-digital camera processing on this ISO 6400, 1/50-second, f/2.eight publicity.

The competitors

Sony RX100 III review: a fantastic point-and-shoot, but it'll cost you

Given all the options that Sony’s managed to pack into the RX100 III, together with a 1-inch sensor, an f/1.eight-2.eight lens, an LCD that flips ahead one hundred eighty levels and that one-of-a-variety pop-up viewfinder, that is at present the one digital camera you should purchase that features that similar function set. There are a couple of comparable choices available on the market, although, with Canon’s PowerShot G1 X Mark II providing probably the most comparable specs whereas nonetheless sustaining some extent-and-shoot type issue. That digital camera, additionally priced at $800, features a bigger 1.5-inch sensor and an extended 24-120mm f/2-three.9 zoom lens. And whereas there is no pop-up EVF, you possibly can connect one to the recent shoe.

In the event you’re on the lookout for much more energy, you are not going to seek out it in a pocketable type issue. As an alternative, contemplate stepping as much as a mirrorless digital camera or a DSLR. Our mid-vary decide within the mirrorless class, the Sony Alpha 6000, which additionally retails for $800, gives most of the similar options because the RX100, resembling an built-in EVF and loads of hardware controls, with the additional advantage of a bigger APS-C sensor and interchangeable lenses. You also needs to think about buying final yr’s RX100 II ($650) or the unique RX100 ($500) at a reduction. Each are wonderful cameras, they usually’re significantly inexpensive than this yr’s mannequin.

Wrap-up

Sony RX100 III review: a fantastic point-and-shoot, but it'll cost you

When Sony launched its first RX100 again in 2012, we have been very impressed. The digital camera provided large performance in a pocketable package deal. Then, when the RX100 II got here round final yr, Sony added WiFi together with a full-measurement scorching shoe (which may accommodate excessive-finish audio gear, amongst different equipment), besting the unique mannequin. This yr’s iteration is by far probably the most succesful but, with a superior lens, XAVC S encoding and a singular pop-up EVF. At $800, it is a vital funding, notably inside the level-and-shoot class, however when you want a ton of energy in your pocket and you do not thoughts paying for it, you possibly can’t do any higher than this.

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<a href=”http://www.engadget.com/merchandise/sony/cyber-shot/dsc-rx100/”> Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 </a>

  • Key specs
  • <a href=”http://www.engadget.com/merchandise/sony/cyber-shot/dsc-rx100/” title=”Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 critiques” goal=”_blank”> Evaluations 19 </a>
  • Costs
  • Discussions
  • Sort Level and shoot
  • Zoom three.6x (optical)14x (digital)
  • Decision (efficient) 20.2&#one hundred sixty;megapixels
  • Sensor measurement zero.fifty two x zero.35 inches
  • Picture stabilization Optical (sensor-shift)
  • Dimensions 2.29 x four x 1.forty one in
  • Weight eight.forty seven oz
  • Launched 2012-07

see all specs →

eight.7common consumer score
  • Picture high quality 9.7
  • Video high quality eight.6
  • Battery life 9
  • Design and type issue eight.9
  • Sturdiness eight.eight
  • Velocity (begin-up time, lag) eight.7
  • Ease of use eight.four

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