After months of rumors and speculation, Sony has finally announced its new compact camera, the RX100 III, as a replacement for last year’s RX100 II.
We can finally say that it is here! The long-rumored and sought-after Sony RX100 III has become official with a lot of new and exciting features added to the critically-acclaimed RX series.
Sony RX100 III compact camera unveiled with 20.1-megapixel sensor and BIONZ X processor
Although the sensor is identical to the one found in the RX100 II, the new compact shooter is now powered by the BIONZ X image processor. It is faster as well as better than the older version, but it will only allow users to shoot 10fps in continuous mode, just like the other RX100 models.
The advantages of the BIONZ X processor consist of faster processing, improved detail reproduction, and better noise reduction when shooting stills and videos.
Brand new Zeiss 24-70mm f/1.8-2.8 lens added into the Sony RX100 III
One of the key tools of the new Sony RX100 III consists of its lens. The compact camera comes with a newly-designed optic which goes by the name of Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T* 24-70mm f/1.8-2.8.
The previous models offered a 35mm equivalent lens of 28-100mm with a maximum aperture of f/1.8-4.9. Sony’s new lens is wider, albeit shorter at the telephoto end. Still, it is twice as bright at 70mm thanks to the f/2.8 aperture, allowing photographers to capture beautiful portrait shots with bokeh-filled defocused background.
Additionally, the new Zeiss lens comes packed with an integrated neutral density filter. When turned on, the ND filter provides 3-stop less light, so now you can capture improved photos even in very bright conditions.
The minimum focusing distance is set at 30 centimeters when using the optic in macro mode.
RX100 III is the first RX series camera with a built-in viewfinder which records XAVC-S videos
A couple of new additions to the RX series are the pop-up electronic viewfinder and the ability to record movies in the XAVC-S format.
The RX100 III comes with a 1.4-million-dot OLED Tru-Finder electronic viewfinder that pops-up from the camera when you need it. This means that the camera remains pocketable, while allowing photographers to frame their shots like professionals.
The OLED EVF sports Zeiss T* coating, just like the new 24-70mm f/1.8-2.8 lens. This way, reflections are reduced and a clear line-of-sight is provided. The EVF comes with an “eye-sensor” that switches the view to Live View mode when it does not detect an eye looking through it.
On the other hand, the Sony RX100 III is capable of recording full HD videos at 60fps in the XAVC-S format at a 50Mbps bitrate. Sony’s full frame E-mount mirrorless camera, the A7S, does the same thing, so you can capture footage as a pro.
Nevertheless, the compact camera records in both XAVC-S and MP4 formats. The former is uncompressed and can be post-processed in a better way, while the latter is great for sharing footage on social networks via WiFi. In addition to WiFi, the RX100 III features NFC, meaning that it can connect to a smartphone or tablet with a single touch.
In another premiere for the RX100 line-up, the new compact shooter features Intelligent Active Mode when shooting videos that includes 5-axis optical image stabilization reducing camera shakes.
Sony adds 180-degree tilting LCD screen to the RX100 III for selfie enthusiasts
Another first for this series consist of the LCD screen. The RX100 III features a 3-inch 1,228K-dot tilting LCD screen. Minor downwards tilting abilities have been added to the RX100 II, but the newer model can also be tilted upwards by 180 degrees, which means that you can finally capture selfies in a proper way using a Sony RX camera.
The compact shooter offers a shutter speed range between 30 seconds and 1/2000th of a second, while the ISO sensitivity will range between 125 and 12,800.
As usual, content will be stored on a SD/SDHC/SDXC card. The RX100 III can be connected to a PC via USB 2.0 cable as well as to an HDTV via a microHDMI cable.
Release date and price details of the new Sony RX100 III
The total weight of the camera, including the battery, stands at 290 grams, while its dimensions are 4.02 x 2.28 x 1.61-inches / 102 x 58 x 41mm.
Sony will release the RX100 III in June 2014 for a price tag around $800. Amazon is already offering the compact shooter for pre-order at a price of $798.