Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10 III Digital Camera

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Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10 III

The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10 III blends fast performance with long reach. It's a versatile digital camera optimized to create multimedia images shooting in a broad array of situations. Featuring a large 20.1 megapixel 1" Exmor RS CMOS sensor, which makes use of both back-illuminated and stacked technologies, an immense image quality can be attained, with extraordinary clarity, diminished noise, and sensitivity up to ISO 12800. The sensor's design also incorporates a dedicated DRAM chip to deliver faster readout speeds that, when used in combination with the BIONZ X image processor, provide fast continuous shooting up to 14 frames per second. This also helps to slash unwanted distortion created by rolling shutter, and allows recording UHD 4K30 video internally, along with slow motion Full 1080p HD video at 960 frames per second. Just as impressive as the photo capabilities, the RX10 III is also symbolized by its Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T* 25x zoom lens, which covers an impressive 24 thru 600mm equivalent focal length and uses Optical SteadyShot image stabilization to diminish the effects of camera shake. Its optical engineering uses eight extra-low dispersion elements along with six aspherical elements to control an array of aberrations throughout the zoom range, while its f/2.4-4 maximum aperture is an advantage when working in low-light situations. Combining speed and reach, the RX10 III is ideal for the photographer or videographer seeking an all-in-one camera to cover a variety of working environments.

Beyond its imaging capabilities, the camera is also memorable for its robust physical layout that features both a 2.36m-dot OLED electronic viewfinder plus a tilting 3.0 inch 1.228m-dot LCD monitor. The intuitive design also contains three dedicated control rings on the lens. There is a zoom ring, a manual focus ring, plus an aperture ring which can be de-clicked for smooth, silent adjustments to the aperture. The magnesium alloy body is also weather-sealed to empower working in trying environments. In addition, for sharing and control flexibility, built-in Wi-Fi plus NFC is also includes for sharing images wirelessly an controlling the camera from a linked smartphone or tablet.

20.1MP 1" Exmor RS BSI CMOS Sensor and BIONZ X Image Processor

A large 1" 20.1MP Exmor RS CMOS sensor pairs with the BIONZ X image sensor to realize a high degree of image clarity with reduced noise levels to support working in a wide array of environments with sensitivities up to ISO 12800. The Exmor RS sensor employs a unique stacked structure with a back-illuminated design for efficient light gathering abilities, as well as faster performance. The design also incorporates a dedicated DRAM chip on the back of the sensor to facilitate quick image processing in order to boost signal capacity and readout speeds for quick continuous shooting, up to 14 fps with reduced blackout, and slow motion video recording at up to 960 fps. An Anti-Distortion Shutter is also a product of the fast readout speeds, and helps to greatly reduce unwanted distortion caused by rolling shutter effects.

The sensor and processor also contribute to fast autofocus performance that benefits both stills shooting and video recording. This Fast Intelligent AF system is able to achieve precise focus in as little as 0.09 seconds to suit working with quickly moving subjects. By continuously tracking and assessing subjects, the focusing system is able to quickly lock onto subjects prior to half-pressing the shutter button and a subject detection algorithm then intelligently predicts the proper point of focus to aid in acquiring sharp imagery of moving subjects.

Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T* 25x Zoom Lens

Pairing with the imaging assets, the RX10 III is most distinctly characterized by its expansive 25x zoom lens. This Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T* lens spans a 24-600mm equivalent focal length range, and has a variable maximum aperture of f/2.4-4 for adept performance from wide-angle to super telephoto. The optical design incorporates five extra-low dispersion elements, two extra-low dispersion aspherical elements, and one Super ED element to control a range of chromatic aberrations throughout the zoom range for increased clarity and color accuracy. An advanced aspherical (AA) element and five aspherical elements are also featured to reduce spherical aberrations for improved sharpness and resolution. Additionally, the esteemed Zeiss T* anti-reflective coating has been applied to individual elements to reduce flare and ghosting for increased contrast when working in strong lighting conditions.

Complementing the lens' reach, Optical SteadyShot image stabilization also helps to minimize the appearance of camera shake by up to 4.5 stops for sharper handheld shooting. The lens also sports a rounded nine-blade diaphragm to produce smooth bokeh, and, despite its long reach, can also focus as closely as 1.2" with a 0.42x maximum magnification for working with close-up subjects.

UHD 4K Video Recording

Internal video recording is possible in a range of resolutions up to UHD 4K30 as well as high-speed recording in Full HD 1080p at 120 fps. Recording is done using full pixel readout, without pixel binning, in order to avoid the occurrence of moiré and jaggies, and the fast readout speeds of the sensor help to avoid moving subject distortion due to the effects of rolling shutter. Both 4K and Full HD recording is possible in the 100 Mbps XAVC S format, which is contained within an MP4 wrapper, with 4:2:0 color sampling when recording internally, or 4:2:2 sampling with the use of an optional external recorder via HDMI output.

Making use of the back-illuminated sensor design, customizable picture profiles, color settings, and gamma controls are also available to effectively extend the possible dynamic range. Users can adjust the gamma, black level, knee, color level, and more. Also users can use the same S-Log2 Gamma Curve that is found on high end Sony Cinema cameras that squeezes up to 1300% more dynamic range into the video signal than traditional REC709, for increased post-production flexibility. Multiple timecode recording and user bit options are also provided to suit different editing workflows.

Beyond UHD 4K recording, the RX10 III also makes use of the fast readout speeds by way of availing a range of high frame rate (HFR) recording settings, with the ability to record Full HD movies at up to 960 fps for 40x slow motion playback.

Body Design and Built-In Wi-Fi

A bright, high-resolution XGA OLED Tru-Finder sports a 2.36m-dot resolution for clear eye-level monitoring of the scene, as well as the ability to preview exposure adjustments prior to shooting. Alternatively, a rear 3.0" 1.228m-dot Xtra Fine TFT LCD is available for monitoring and review, and features a 107° upward, 42° downward tilting design to benefit working from high and low angles. The screen also uses WhiteMagic technology for improved visibility in bright conditions. A robust magnesium-alloy body design is both dust- and moisture-resistant to support use in harsh environments. The manually-operated aperture ring permits intuitive tactile control over exposure settings, and the ring can be de-clicked for smooth, silent performance to suit video applications. Manual focus and zoom rings are also incorporated in the lens' design. A top LCD panel can be used to quickly check key exposure and other settings. A range of customizable function buttons can be assigned to any one of 58 different custom functions. The included NP-FW50 rechargeable lithium-ion battery offers approximately 420 shots per charge when working with the LCD monitor, or 370 shots per charge when working with the EVF. Both an external microphone jack and a headphone jack are available for using optional external mics and monitoring your audio in real time. Built-in Wi-Fi with NFC permits wirelessly sharing imagery to a linked mobile device for instant sharing online, and also allows a smartphone or tablet to remotely control the camera or display a live view image. Mobile devices can be paired via NFC or via a QR code displayed on the camera for non NFC-enabled phones or tablets. PlayMemories Camera Apps are also supported via the built-in Wi-Fi connection, and allow you to personalize the camera's features depending on specific shooting styles. Apps are available to suit creating portraits, detailed close-ups, sports, time lapse, motion shot, and other specific types of imagery.

Other Camera Features Zoom Assist can be assigned to a custom function button and used to automatically zoom out from the scene in order to re-locate a subject, and then released to quickly return to the zoomed-in position. Step Zoom lets you configure the zoom ring to only cycle through fixed popular focal lengths as the ring is rotated, including 24, 28, 35, 50, 70, 85, 100, 135, 200, 300, 400, 500, and 600mm. Quick Zoom, on the other hand, can be assigned to a custom function button and lets you move throughout the zoom range in a fluid, seamless manner by rotating the zoom ring. A Silent Shooting mode makes use of an electronic shutter function for completely silent performance that is ideal for photographing in noise-sensitive areas. This electronic shutter also permits working with shutter speeds up to 1/32,000 sec. for photographing in bright conditions. Clear Image Zoom can be used to magnify the center of scenes by 2x to effectively extend the reach of the lens. This digital zoom technology uses an intelligent interpolation process to minimize the amount of image degradation in order to produce realistic, high-quality images. Eye AF is a dedicated autofocus mode that bases focus on recognized subjects' eye for portraits, and can be configured to prioritize either the subject's right or left eye. White balance adjustment can be finely controlled using detailed sliders that span the amber-blue and magenta-green axes for more precise control over how color tones appear in various lighting conditions. Benefitting manual focus operation, Manual Focus Assist can be used to magnify a portion of the scene for making more precise, detailed adjustments. Peaking is also available to highlight strong edges of contrast for more objective determining over sharp focus. A Dual Rec mode allows you to record 17MP stills, without pixel binning, while simultaneously recording video. Auto Dual Rec takes this process further by automatically recording stills at a chosen frequency or when a new composition or subject is recognized. When recording in UHD 4K, 8MP still frame grabs can be saved during playback for use as a still image. If working in Full HD, 2MP stills can be taken from video files. Scene Selection: Portrait, Sports Action, Macro, Landscape, Sunset, Night Scene, Handheld Twilight, Night Portrait, and Anti Motion Blur. Picture Effect: Toy Camera, Pop Color, Posterization, Retro Photo, Soft High-Key, Partial Color, High Contrast Mono, Soft Focus, HDR Painting, Richtone Monochrome, Miniature, Watercolor, and Illustration. Creative Style: Standard, Vivid, Neutral, Clear, Deep, Light, Portrait, Landscape, Sunset, Night Scene, Autumn Leaves, Black & White, Sepia, and Style Box.

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MSRP $1499
Body type
Body type SLR-like (bridge)
Max resolution 5472 x 3648
Other resolutions 4864 x 3648, 5472 x 3080, 3648 x 3648, 3648 x 2736, 3648 x 2592, 3648 x 2056, 2544 x 2544, 2736 x 1824, 2592 x 1944, 2720 x 1528, 1920 x 1920, 640 x 480
Image ratio w:h 1:1, 4:3, 3:2, 16:9
Effective pixels 20 megapixels
Sensor photo detectors 21 megapixels
Sensor size 1″ (13.2 x 8.8 mm)
Sensor type BSI-CMOS
Processor Bionz X
ISO Auto, 100 - 12800 (expands to 64-25600)
Boosted ISO (minimum) 64
Boosted ISO (maximum) 25600
White balance presets 9
Custom white balance Yes
Image stabilization Optical
Uncompressed format RAW
JPEG quality levels Extra fine, standard, fine
Optics & Focus
Focal length (equiv.) 24–600 mm
Optical zoom 25×
Maximum aperture F2.4
  • Contrast Detect (sensor)
  • Multi-area
  • Center
  • Selective single-point
  • Tracking
  • Single
  • Continuous
  • Face Detection
  • Live View
Digital zoom Yes (4X)
Manual focus Yes
Normal focus range 3 cm (1.18)
Macro focus range 3 cm (1.18)
Number of focus points 25
Screen / viewfinder
Articulated LCD Tilting
Screen size 3
Screen dots 1,228,800
Touch screen No
Screen type TFT LCD
Live view Yes
Viewfinder type Electronic
Viewfinder coverage 100%
Viewfinder magnification 0.7×
Viewfinder resolution 2,359,296
Photography features
Minimum shutter speed 30 sec
Maximum shutter speed 1/2000 sec
Maximum shutter speed (electronic) 1/32000 sec
Aperture priority Yes
Shutter priority Yes
Manual exposure mode Yes
Subject / scene modes Yes
Built-in flash Yes
Flash range 10.80 m (at Auto ISO)
External flash Yes (Multi-interface shoe)
Flash modes Auto, fill-flash, slow sync, rear sync, off
Continuous drive 14.0 fps
Self-timer Yes (2 or 10 sec, continuous)
Metering modes
  • Multi
  • Center-weighted
  • Spot
Exposure compensation ±3 (at 1/3 EV steps)
WB Bracketing Yes
Videography features
Resolutions 3840 x 2160 (30p, 25p, 24p), 1920 x 1080 (120p, 60p, 60i, 24p) ,1440 x 1080 (30p), 640 x 480 (30p)
Videography notes High speed modes at 240, 480, 960 fps
Microphone Stereo
Speaker Mono
Storage types SD/SDHC/SDXC, Memory Stick Duo/Pro Duo/Pro-HG Duo
USB USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)
HDMI Yes (micro-HDMI with 4K still and uncompressed HDMI output)
Microphone port Yes
Headphone port Yes
Wireless Built-In
Wireless notes 802.11b/g/n with NFC
Remote control Yes (via smartphone)
Environmentally sealed Yes
Battery Battery Pack
Battery description NP-FW50 lithium-ion battery and charger
Battery Life (CIPA) 420
Weight (inc. batteries) 1051 g (2.32 lb / 37.07 oz)
Dimensions 133 x 94 x 127 mm (5.24 x 3.7 x 5)
Other features
Orientation sensor Yes
Timelapse recording No
GPS None



Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10 III Digital Camera


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Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10 III Digital Camera Reviewed by Gene Wright on . Rating: 5