The Sony Cyber-shot RX10 Mark III is the third version of the RX10 bridge camera from Sony, with the latest version featuring a 25x optical zoom lens with a bright f/2.4 to f/4.0 aperture, and a zoom range equivalent to 24 to 600mm in 35mm terms. The camera features the same "stacked" 20 megapixel BSI CMOS sensor as the RX10 Mark II, which enables high speed continues shooting as well as high speed video.
Sony Cyber-shot RX10 Mark III Features
The Sony Cyber-shot RX10 Mark III is a premium priced ultra-zoom bridge camera with an impressively bright Zeiss 25x optical zoom lens that gives the equivalent of a 24-600mm telephoto zoom lens. Optical SteadyShot (optical image stabilisation) ensures sharp photos when shooting in low light or when using a lot of optical zoom.
The 20 megapixel BSI CMOS sensor used in the RX10 III is the latest version of Sony's 1inch sensor, and is a "Stacked" design, which enables faster sensor readout, including high speed video, and 14fps continuous shooting. Other benefits of the new sensor include:
- Super fast electronic shutter (1/32000s)
- Super slow motion up to 1000fps (max 2 or 4 seconds)
- 4K movie with full pixel read-out without pixel binning
- Simultaneous still image recording up to 17MP during movie recording
- 14fps high speed continuous shooting without display blackout
- Anti-distortion shutter
If you're looking for an ultra-zoom camera, with a larger than normal 1inch sensor, then there are a number of alternatives to consider, all featuring a 20 megapixel 1inch sensor. Compared to the Canon Powershot G3 X, Panasonic Lumix FZ1000 and Nikon DL24-500 (not yet available, and then cancelled):
|Sony Cyber-shot RX10 III
||Canon Powershot G3 X
||Panasonic Lumix FZ1000
|25x optical zoom
||25x optical zoom
||21x optical zoom
||16x optical zoom
|3inch tilting screen
||3.2inch tilting touch-screen
||3inch vari-angle touch-screen
||3inch vari-angle touch-screen
|2359k dot EVF
||No EVF (optional)
||2359k dot EVF
||2359k dot EVF
|Wi-Fi / NFC
||Wi-Fi / NFC
||Wi-Fi / Bluetooth
||Wi-Fi / NFC
|Mic / headphone sockets
||Mic / headphone sockets
||300 shot battery life
The camera offers an automatic shooting mode, numerous scene modes, plus full manual controls so that you have control over the shutter and aperture speeds. There is a manual aperture ring available around the lens, and this can be switched to clickless if required. There is side access to the memory card slot, which accepts either Sony Memory Sticks or SD / SDHC / SDXC cards.
The weather-sealed body resembles a Digital SLR (with a top LCD screen as well), and the camera has a weight of 1095g (with battery and memory card). The camera features diffraction-reducing technology, designed to maintain clarity even when using smaller apertures.
Wi-Fi and NFC is built-in so that you can connect the camera to your smartphone or tablet using Sony PlayMemories Mobile (available for Android and iOS). You can also download additional Sony PlayMemories apps, which are available either for free or a small fee. The apps add additional functionality and features that can be used directly on the camera.
4K video is available at 25fps with optical zoom and stereo sound, and you'll also find microphone and headphone sockets on the side. High speed video is available at 250fps (1824 x 1026), 500fps (1676 x 566) and 1000fps (1136 x 384), for a limited amount of time, which can be extended when shooting at a lower resolution.
- 20.1 megapixel 1inch BSI CMOS sensor
- 25x optical zoom lens, f/2.4-4.0, Optical Steadyshot
- 24-600mm equivalent in 35mm terms
- Tilting 3inch 1288k dot screen
- Electronic Viewfinder (XGA OLED)
- 14fps continuous shooting
- 3cm close macro performance
- Electronic shutter (up to 1/32000s)
- 4K UHD video recording (3840x2160)
- High speed video recording
- Triple lens ring (focus, aperture, zoom)
- Dust and moisture resistance
- Wi-Fi / NFC connectivity
Sony Cyber-shot RX10 Mark III Handling
Build quality and handling is excellent with the camera featuring a large rubber hand grip surrounding the right hand side where you hold the camera, and on the back this continues all the way round to where there is a shaped area for your thumb to grip. Above the thumb is where you'll find the exposure compensation dial. Holding the camera with two hands is recommended due to the size and weight of the camera which is now 1095g. The left hand side of the camera (viewed from the rear) also features a rubberised grip that goes round to the front of the camera. There is also a focus hold button on the left hand side of the lens.
The Mark III features one custom mode ("Memory Recall"), plus an "HFR" mode, which stands for High Frame Rate (Video) on the mode dial. The delete button is customisable as the third custom button (C3), with two customisable custom buttons on top (C1 and C2).
Surrounding the lens is the focus ring, zoom ring, and a manual aperture ring. The zoom ring controls the power zoom lens, and the aperture ring lets you set the aperture between f/2.8 and f/16, making the camera feel like a more traditional camera. In addition the aperture clicks can be switched off, letting you smoothly and silently change aperture during video recording. You can set the shutter speed using the rear scroll wheel, for manual control over exposure.
The top left of the camera features the mode dial, and the camera features a sensor plane marking so you know where the sensor sits in the camera. On this side you'll also find the covered microphone and headphone sockets, as well as the Multi(USB) connection and HDMI port. The Sony multi-interface hotshoe means the camera is compatible with a number of Sony accessories.
A small pop-up flash is included, as well as a good size LCD screen (with illumination button above it), which gives shooting information, as well as remaining shots and battery life. The shutter release features a thread for a screw in shutter release cable, and there is a zoom rocker surrounding the shutter release button, with the on/off switch behind.
On the back, the tilting rear screen has a high resolution of 1288k dots, and is clear to see, with a recessed gap to make it easier to pull the screen out when you want to tilt it. The electronic viewfinder features a 2360k dot resolution, dioptre correction, as well as an eye-detection sensor so that when it's held up to your eye it will automatically switch to the viewfinder. The viewfinder is clear and bright and updates smoothly and is of a good size, even when wearing glasses.
The menus are clearly laid out and resemble the menus from other Sony Cyber-shot / Alpha cameras, making it easy for anyone familiar with other Sony cameras to switch over to this camera. The function button brings up a set of options on screen, that can be quickly changed without having to go into the menu system, and these options can be customised.
On top are two custom buttons that can be customised, and the 4-way direction pad on the rear can also be customised, along with the AEL button, Delete / C3, and control wheel on the back. The focus point can be set over a wide area of the screen, almost into the far corners, although this would be made easier if the screen was a touch-screen.
Wi-Fi features - The body features NFC (Near Field Communication) and built-in Wi-Fi so that you can simply touch the camera to a compatible NFC enabled smartphone to setup the connection. The Sony PlayMemories Mobile app will then allow you to remotely control the camera, as well as download and share photos from the device. You can download additional apps to use on the camera, and there are a number of free or paid apps available.
Battery life - Battery life is rated at 420 shots according to Sony / CIPA test results, which is a slight improvement over the RX10 Mark II. The camera battery is charged using a MicroUSB cable with the battery in the camera. This means you can easily find somewhere to plug in and charge the camera, although if you wanted to charge a spare battery you'd need to buy a separate charger.