Sony's RX10 III is a powerful however overly costly digital camera

Superzoom cameras aren’t precisely probably the most thrilling class if you’re taking a look at images gear. They’re often virtually as giant as a DSLR however do not supply the benefit of interchangeable lenses. However Sony’s simply-introduced RX10 III made me sit up and concentrate — it might look almost equivalent to the mannequin Sony launched final September, however there’s a completely totally different piece of glass on this digital camera.

You are caught with one lens, however what a lens it’s: it covers an insane focal vary from 24mm to 600mm (35mm equal) and has a powerful f/2.eight – f/four most aperture vary. That gives considerably extra zoom functionality than the 200mm lens on final yr’s mannequin. It comes at a price, although: the RX10 III will set you again a whopping $1,500. That is some huge cash for a digital camera with a hard and fast lens, even one as spectacular because the one within the RX10 III (at the least on paper). Fortuitously Sony let me take the digital camera out for a spin on the San Francisco Zoo together with a bunch of different journalists to see the way it stands up.

This is not a full evaluation, however I received a superb sense of the digital camera’s capabilities within the two hours I acquired to spend with it. First, the excellent news: the RX10’s new lens is certainly very spectacular. A zoo is an ideal place to check out that lengthy telephoto functionality, and I got here away with some pretty spectacular footage of the creatures I encountered. I not often shoot with a lens this lengthy, so it was lots of enjoyable making an attempt to get sharp and detailed shut-ups of the various animals across the zoo, and the digital camera largely delivered.

Sony's RX10 III is an impressive but overly expensive camera


The telephoto lens mixed with a fairly intuitive management scheme, strong viewfinder and quick focus meant I got here away with some fairly good photographs (you might be the decide by wanting via the gallery under). The digital camera luckily consists of picture stabilization know-how to go together with its lengthy lens, and there are many dials for shortly adjusting the aperture and shutter velocity on the fly in case you wish to shoot in guide mode. I am not a wildlife photographer, and I do not use lenses like this fairly often, however this digital camera looks like it may flip in strong outcomes.

That stated, there are some plain drawbacks to the RX10 III, they usually’re primarily the identical as people who have existed all through the earlier fashions. In all probability crucial is that the digital camera solely has a 1-inch sensor, considerably smaller than you will discover in all DSLR and mirrorless cameras with interchangeable lenses. Sensor measurement is a key think about picture high quality, together with its dynamic vary and efficiency in low mild. Whereas I did not get an opportunity to check the latter, the digital camera did wrestle to resolve all the small print in scenes the place there was loads of distinction within the mild. Most of my capturing with the digital camera got here within the late afternoon beneath a really vibrant solar, and a number of the brighter elements of the photographs felt a bit blown out to me.

Then there’s the query of worth — does it make sense to spend $1,500 on a digital camera with a tiny picture sensor and a lens you’ll be able to’t swap? Positive, it helps that the lens is extraordinarily versatile, however a lens that covers that vast of a focal vary will definitely make some tradeoffs in picture high quality. To me, it looks like anybody investing that a lot cash right into a digital camera system will need one thing with a much bigger sensor and / or extra flexibility when it comes to lens selection. For $1,500, you might purchase the wonderful Fujifilm X-T10 together with its 18-55mm f/2.eight-four lens together with a fifty five-200mm lens for when it’s worthwhile to go telephoto. Or if you’d like a DSLR, you may decide up the most recent Canon Insurgent with a package lens for a paltry $549 and have almost a grand left to play with for lenses. And in case you outgrew the Insurgent, all your funding in lenses would carry over to your subsequent digital camera.

Sure, the RX10’s zoom lens is a powerful feat of engineering, and sure you possibly can take wonderful pictures with the digital camera. However I am simply unsure who’s going to spend that a lot cash on it. Superzooms have confirmed they’ve a spot within the digital camera market, however I am unsure they deserve a spot at a $1,500 worth level.

To view full-decision pattern pictures present with the Sony RX10 III, click on right here.

On this article: cameras, gear, palms-on, rx10, rx10III, sony, superzoom

Nathan is a senior editor at Engadget and was previously an editor at The Verge. A semi-current San Francisco resident by means of Boston, Nathan covers Google, gaming, apps and providers (particularly music), bizarre web tradition and rather more. He’ll assessment nearly any odd piece of hardware that comes his method. In his spare time, Nathan enjoys the superior meals SF has to supply and loves taking pictures round northern California.