Sony is one camera manufacturer that has a clearly defined ‘professional’ line-up of compact cameras. The RX-series, consisting of three distinct line-ups, the RX100, RX10, and the RX1, has broken new grounds in image quality when it comes to compact cameras. The RX10 III (officially known as the RX10 M3) is an improved version of the RX10 II with an extension of 3x optical zoom and improved video and low-light performances.
Design and Build Quality
The Sony RX10 III has a polycarbonate exterior moulded around a magnesium alloy chassis. This makes the camera robust, yet a pleasure to handle with the contoured exteriors. The lens is obviously bulky owing to the wide aperture and the zoom range and is heavy too. The camera feels like a D-SLR, complete with a deep grip. The camera has a metal tripod receptacle. The RX10 III kit includes a lens hood, which is necessary.
The Sony RX10 III uses a 1.0-inch Type (13.2 mm x 8.8 mm) Exmor RS Backilluminated Stacked CMOS sensor with approximately 20.1 million pixels. The camera uses a ZEISS Vario-Sonnar T* 24-600mm equivalent f/2.4 – 4.0 lens. The lens has a 9-bladed iris diaphragm and is constructed with 18 elements in 13 groups including six aspheric elements including an AA (Advanced Aspherical) element. The lens has a focus range of approximately 3cm to infinity at the wide-angle end and approximately 72cm to infinity at the telephoto end. Filter diameter is 72mm. The lens features SteadyShot image stabilisation which has an optical as well as an electronic component. During still image shooting, it activates optical image stabilisation, while in Movie Mode, it switches to Intelligent Active Mode which is optical type with electronic compensation, which is Anti Rolling type to compensate for rolling shutter effect in videos. Sony claims an advantage of up to 4.5 stops for this stabiliser. The camera features Singleshot AF (AF-S), Continuous AF (AF-C), Direct Manual Focus (DMF) and Manual Focus. Focus Area options are Wide, Centre, Flexible Spot (S/M/L), Expanded Flexible Spot and Lockon AF. Lock-on AF further provides options such as Wide, Centre, Flexible Spot (S/M/L) and Expanded FlexibleSpot.
The RX10 III provides the the usual three metering modes namely Multi Pattern, Centre Weighted and Spot. Exposure can be compensated up to +/- 3.0 EV in 1/3-EV steps. Sensitivity ranges from ISO ISO 100 to 12800, which is expandable up to ISO 64 in Still Mode. Auto ISO is also availble. White Balance options are Auto Daylight, Shade, Cloudy, Incandescent, Fluorescent (Warm White, Cool White, Day White, Daylight), Flash, Custom Temperature, Filter and Custom. White Balance micro adjustment is available. The RX10 III offers a mechanical and an electronic shutter. The mechanical shutter offers shutter speeds from 30 to 1/2000 sec, while the electronic shutter provides a total shutter speed range of 30 to 1/32000 sec. Still images are recorded in Raw or JPEG (Extra fine, Fine, Standard) formats with an option to record both simultaneously. Movies are recorded in XAVC S, AVCHD or MP4 format while movie audio track is recorded in LPCM 2ch (XAVC S), Dolby Digital (AC-3) 2ch (AVCHD), or MPEG-4 AAC-LC 2ch (MP4). Images are recorded with the best resolution of 5,472 x 3,648 while videos are recorded with a maximum of 4K resolution.
The camera uses a 3.0-inch, 1,228,800 dots Xtra Fine TFT LCD monitor with an adjustable angle. The angle can be adjusted up by approximately 107° and down by approximately 42°. The electronic viewfinder is a 1.0-cm XGA OLED display with 2,359,296 dots.
The camera provides Dynamic Range Optimiser (Auto/ Level 1-5) and Auto HDR (Auto Exposure Difference, Exposure Difference Level (1.0-6.0 EV, 1.0 EV step)). Shooting modes available are Auto (including Intelligent Auto and Superior Auto), Program Auto, Aperture Priority, Shutter Priority, Manual, MR (Memory Recall, with 3 memories), Movie, HFR (High Frame Rate), Panorama and Scene selection. Movie mode further provides options of Program auto, Aperture priority, Shutter Speed priority and Manual exposure. Scene selection options include Portrait, Sports Action, Macro, Landscape, Sunset, Night Scene, Handheld Twilight, Night Portrait, and Anti Motion Blur.
You can shoot continuous still images with a maximum speed of approximately 14 frames per second. Self-timer can be set for 10, 5, 2, 3 or 5 consecutive shots with 10, 5, or 2 sec delay. Drive modes featured are Single, Continuous, Speed priority continuous, Self-timer, Self-timer (continuous), Continuous bracketing, Single-bracketing, White Balance bracketing and DRO bracketing. The camera offers Picture Effects such as Toy camera, Pop Colour, Posterisation, Retro Photo, Soft High-key, Partial Colour, High Contrast Mono, Soft Focus, HDR Painting, Richtone Monochrome, Miniature, Watercolour and Illustration in the Still mode and Toy camera, Pop Colour, Posterisation, Retro Photo, Soft High-key, Partial Colour and High Contrast Mono in movie mode. Creative Style modes are Standard, Vivid, Neutral, Clear, Deep, Light, Portrait, Landscape, Sunset, Night Scene, Autumn Leaves, Black & White, Sepia and Style Box.
The built-in flash has a range of approximately 1.0 to 10.8m (W) and approximately 1.0 to 6.5m (T) at ISO100. Flash modes offered are Auto, Flash On, Slow Synchro, Rear Sync., Flash Off and Wireless (with optional compatible flash). The camera accepts a Memory Stick Duo/PRO Duo/PROHG Duo or SD/SDHC/SDXC memory card for external storage.
The camera provides connectivity options of Multi, Micro USB Terminal, Hi-Speed USB (USB2.0), Micro HDMI, Microphone (3.5 mm stereo minijack), Multi Interface Shoe and Headphones, NFC and Wi-Fi. The device is powered by an NP-FW50 battery pack (supplied). It can be charged using USB. The camera has dimensions of 132.5 x 94.0 x 127.4 mm (W x H x D) and weighs approximately 1051g.