Sony Cyber-Shot RX100 III Review

Review Date : Wed, 18 Jun 2014

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Sony RX100 III product shot 15
Sony RX100 III product shot 15 Sony RX100 III product shot 14 Sony RX100 III product shot 10 Sony RX100 III product shot 8 Sony RX100 III product shot 9 Sony RX100 III product shot 7 Sony RX100 III product shot 5 Sony RX100 III product shot 6 Sony RX100 III product shot 2 Sony RX100 III product shot 13 Sony RX100 III product shot 12 Sony RX100 III product shot 3 Sony RX100 III product shot 4 Sony RX100 III product shot 11 Sony RX100 III product shot 1

Sony Cyber-Shot RX100 III Review - The Sony Cyber-Shot RX100 III is the manufacturer's latest enthusiast compact, following on from a pair of award winning models and looking to improve with a new pop-up EVF and redesigned lens

Pros: Addition of integrated EVF; Increased maximum aperture; Image Quality
Cons: Removal of Multi-interface shoe; Lacking ability to manually select AF points on rear screen.

When we first reviewed the Sony Cyber-Shot RX100 around this time two years ago, we were really impressed with what Sony had achieved. The combination of a large sensor and premium lens in such a relatively compact body meant it scored strongly across the board, gaining a host of awards in the process.

The Sony Cyber-Shot RX100 III is, as the numerical designation suggests, the third model in the series and it retains several core elements of the model's specification which made it such an impressive model. These include the larger-than-average sensor for a compact and an impressive optical capabilities.

The lens itself has been improved - with the maximum aperture extended - while it also now features an innovative pop-up EVF. But have these new features done enough to improve on what was an already hugely impressive compact?

Sony RX100 III front view

Sony Cyber-Shot RX100 III Review - Features

One of the main areas of improvement is the camera's lens. On the face of it you could view the new optic as actually being somewhat of a regression for the RX100 series - where the previous model featured a zoom which covered a focal range from 28-100mmin equivalent terms, the RX100 III now covers a much shorter focal range of 24-70mm.

Closer inspection reveals that this is actually a positive move, as it results in an increase the maximum aperture at the tele end of the zoom. On the previous model the maximum aperture at the tele end decreased to f/4.9 from f/1.8, whereas on the new RX100 III this maximum aperture remains useful at f/2.8.

The real impressive new feature however is the camera's new built-in EVF. Somewhat unsurprisingly a viewfinder is often the one feature that those looking for an enthusiast compact really long for, and this is something Sony appear aware of with its addition to the RX100 series.

Sony Cyber-Shot RX100 III with EVF

EVF addition

An EVF is seen on both the Panasonic LF1 and TZ60, although that on the RX100 III features a much better resolution of 1.3-million dots. Furthermore, the EVF itself is innovative in it's implementation, popping up from the camera's body much like a flash unit.

This design has resulted in the loss of the camera's Multi-Interface Shoe - previously used to attach the optional EVF, flashgun or external microphone adapter - and as such its loss won't be entirely welcomed.

Elsewhere, there are some similarities between the RX100 III and its predecessor. Notably the model retains the same 20.2MP 1in CMOS sensor seen on the RX100 II, thus offering a larger sensor than those seen in some of its competitors.

The sensor is paired with a new Sony Bionz processor which, Sony claims, will not only deliver fast processing speeds but will also aid the general appearance of JPEG files through improved processing.

The processor also allows for a fairly impressive bust shooting rate of 10fps with a burst buffer of some 12 shots in JPEG or 10 frames when shooting JPEG and Raw.

Vari-angle screen

In terms of the model's LCD screen, the RX100 III is fairly impressive in that department. It measures in at 3in in size with a resolution of 1.229m-dots, while it also features vari-angle functionality to allow for tilting through 180-degrees to be viewed from in front of the lens for selfie-shooting and shooting from awkward angles.

Completing the specification is both Wi-fi and NFC connectivity, allowing the camera to be connected to either smartphone or tablet for remote control and wireless transfer of images.


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Price as reviewed

£749.00

Scores

WDC-goldaward
Scores
Design 18/20
Image Quality 19/20
Performance 19/20
Value 18/20
Features 19/20
Overall Score 93%

User Score