USER REPORT: The Sony RX100 III, a very quick first look
by Rob McKay
Picked up the Sony RX100 III (At B&H or Amazon) for my pocket/travel/biking digi rig and love it!
I mainly shoot Leica, and especially love shooting film through my MP and M3 but still need a small digi for quick docu shots and instant chimping satisfaction. My fav pocket digi has to be the Ricoh GR, but the smaller RX100 with its 21mm f/1.8 to 70mm f/2.8 zoom lens can be a bonus and a great range (for me). Unlike the 4/3rd or NEX setups that need the lenses to be taking off (zooms) before truly making them compact/pocketable, the RX100 III is almost flat when turned off.
First impressions, love it, but time will tell.. Attached a few snaps of the bike trails I recently used the camera on.
Great site and keep up the great work!
Click images for larger and better viewing
Have the RX100 and recently added the RX100M3. Both are great lightweight pocketable cameras, and since they are so easy to carry around I find I am shooting a lot more pictures with whichever one I happen to have with me at the time. Opportunities present themselves and the quality of the pics is certainly very good to make poster sized prints (have done that with a skateboarder, even cropped out of the photo).
First, let me say I really enjoyed your images – fantastic shots in a wonderful landscape!
About the camera: Though I’m with retow as to the usability and IQ advantages of the GR, I had an opportunity to handle a RX100 III yesterday and was very, very impressed. Not sure if it’s for me though, in spite of its merits.
I didn’t find it difficult to hold – cradling the suffiently substantial lens barrel came naturally (I hardly ever shoot one-handed – for stability’s sake).
But I felt the EVF was a little small and awkwardly placed (for me – I’m a left-eye shooter only), so it wasn’t quite the revelation I had hoped it would be; it was also a little darker than I’d’ve liked, though I wasn’t able to adjust brightness. But still, the ones in the E-M10 and V1 are both way superior.
I also found the lens ring unintuitive to use – I think videographers will love it for the fact that it’s clickless; for me, however, its laggy response was quite irritating. You can’t be sure what it’s actually doing without visual confirmation – that’s not how I like my controls – it sort of contradicts the paradigm for me. I shoot my cameras in aperture priority mode, so that’s an issue. Thankfully, the thumb wheel worked very well, so I could sort of circumnavigate that, but it’s a pity nonetheless. Coming from the (clearly less capable) Canon S95 I own, it’s a downright shame.
All in all, the camera felt and looked great, and apart from the slow start-up and the annoying lens ring, it was responsive and gave me very pleasing results, even given the less-than-ideal conditions. It’s very, very close to being the perfect compact, and the IQ is already there.
That said (and in response to an earlier question), the RX100 III doesn’t beat a GX7 kit (any!) expect for size.
thanks everyone for your comments, much appreciated!
Great shots taken by a photographer. The RX100M3 supported it with nice files and a decent zoom lens. I have the little Sony since a few weeks and it`s easy the best of the versatile pocket cameras I ever used (and I had too many). If excellent lens, IQ and best UI are priority, the Ricoh GR can`t be beat, though.
Nice photos, well done. Did you do much post processing? The colours look much better than the earlier RX100’s. In fact, the colours look much nicer than Sony cameras in general (IMO).
It seems that the camera is great, but the photographer is certainly fantastic.
Nice landscapes! I’m not even surprised by the IQ because it’s become clear what smaller sensors can do these days!
Nice landscapes – are you willing to superimpose the settings used?
This cam at an opportune time for me as I’m about to spring for either the RX100 III or the Panasonic GX7.
Is pocketability all it has going for it that beats out M43.
I am aware of most of the GX7 & RX1000 III differences but since I don’t have an opportunity to test before buying, I am wondering how the Image Quality compares. (assuming similar focal length/aperture/iso etc setup). If and when I get a good shot I want to be able to make a really good quality large-ish print – say 20+ inches in the long dimension.
Any comments from folks who may have used both?
…p.s. I should have added (and there’s no way I see to edit my post) that my primary ‘work’ camera is a 5D2 with L primes so I am spoilt with great IQ
I am very pleased with mine.No regrets. Every photographer needs a P/S for just running around with and this one is really a good one.
All RX100-s share the same issue: they are too small and very slippery. The ones on ebay have most probably been dropped several times…
Sony makes a nice rubber stick on grip for them, works great.
Have a look at the Richard Franiac accessory grip….a quality add on for around $30 that fits superbly, looks great & doesn’t affect the pocketability. I have one on my Mk I & haven’t dropped it once in 15 months.
I’ve long wanted to comment about people whining about small cameras being slippery and easy to drop. Seems like people want a small camera, then buy huge ‘grips’ or huge ‘battery packs’. I never have dropped a small, slippery camera. Of course, I have smaller hands. However, I always use the wrist strap, never a neck strap, even on my RX1. I attach one of those little stretchy, colored things that women use to tie up pony tails. I double it and double it and double it over the wrist strap until just the right tension so it holds in place on the strap, yet is easy to cinch up to the wrist. Then when I take the camera out of its small belt pack (or small fanny pack for RX1), I ALWAYS, FIRST, put the wrist strap on wrist, and with my other hand cinch up the ‘pony tie’ until snug around my wrist, and only THEN do I pull the camera out of its pack. Never a problem with a small camera, and no big ‘grip’ to carry around. Battery pack. Forget it; i just carry an extra battery in the tiny pack. Also, using this pony tie trick, you can carry the camera around, dangling from your wrist, all day, with never a worry about dropping it. Try it; it’s a fabulous procedure. Maybe a whole bunch of hand grips will show up on Craig’s list.
I got mine a couple of weeks ago and took it to NYC for a week. I had both the RX100 and RX100m2 previously. The RX100 gave me sharp pics but I always found the JPEG colors too cool. The RX100m2 gave better colors but still a little cool and my copy was not as sharp as the original RX100. The RX100m3 finally hits the sweet spot with georgeous JPEG colors, sharper images compared with RX100m2 and better image stabiliztion.
I’m curious about your comment “…better image stabilization”. Is that really true? I mean, I bought the M3, and think it’s a huge improvement over the M1 (which I sold as soon as I heard the M3 was coming out)–and one of the reasons I bought it was IS, which is sorely lacking in Sony cameras–but as it turns out, the IS is mostly (or maybe ALL) for video. I’ve looked on several sites that have done previews of the M3, but some of them don’t even mention IS. Is there real, not fake (‘optical’) IS in the M3 for still shots? I still don’t know the answer! But it’s a great little camera.
Question: I know both these cameras are not meant for shallow DoF but can the RX100 M3 get more shallow dof than the Ricoh GR despite sensor size since its a sharper lens?
As ever the DOF depends on the aperture and focal length as well as the distance between the camera and the subject. Assuming you shot a subject from the same distance you could get shallower DOF with the Sony, but the image you got would’ve caught a much narrower angle of view.
I was puzzling why your shot of the odd jumble of beer bottles looked different to me. Then it dawned on me, they are all full! :D)
Nice write up and photos (what did you use to process?), Rob! I picked one of these up at launch and am loving it as well. For something that is actually pocketable I am very impressed. One thing Rob didn’t mention is the new XAVC-S codec (yes I know this is a photo site) which is probably my favorite upgrade from jumping from a Mark 1 to 3.
That is an impressive feat coming from a 1″. But then, this is Rob you are talking about!
I think you could give Rob a $3 disposable camera and he’d make it look stunning…but I have to agree, the RX100 III looks like the perfect “photographers” P&S.
haha, thx Patrick
Its actually 24 to 70, not 21 to 70.
Yes, thanks, typo/long day/finished those beers 😉