Sony has introduced the Cyber-shot RX100 III, based on the same design as the RX100 and RX100 II models, with a new Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T* 24-70 mm (equivalent) f/1.8-2.8 lens and OLED viewfinder with Zeiss T* coating.
The camera utilizes the same 20.1-megapixel back-illuminated CMOS image sensor as the existing RX100 II model, and adds the BIONZ X processor featured in several high-end Sony cameras including the full-frame alpha7, alpha7R and alpha7S models.
The f/2.8 lens aperture allows it to gather about twice as much light as the RX100 and RX100 II models (at 70 mm), and the lens will focus as close as 30 cm. There’s also a built-in 3-stop (1/8) neutral density filter.
Sony says the new lens delivers outstanding corner-to-corner sharpness, with nine total aspherical glass elements including two advanced aspherical elements that have been cemented together – a world’s first in lens manufacturing, notes the company. The T* coating minimizes flare and ghosting and a seven-blade circular aperture enhances ‘bokeh’ background defocus.
Largely based on feedback from RX100 and RX100II owners, the new camera adds a high-quality OLED Tru-Finder electronic viewfinder for “exceptional brightness and clarity” to the overall framing and viewing experience, and handily pops in and out of the top of the camera body based on shooting preferences. This allows the camera to operate in the traditional ‘rangefinder’ style without sacrificing any of its portability or compactness. Sony advises.
The unique new EVF also features a specially-designed eyepiece lens with Zeiss T* coating, dramatically reducing reflections that can interfere with clear viewing. The viewfinder achieves exceptional corner-to-corner clarity, and includes an eye sensor that automatically switches between viewfinder and monitor display.
About three times faster than the processing engine in the RX100 and RX100 II models, the new one employs detail reproduction, diffraction-reducing and area-specific noise reduction technologies that allow the camera to produce amazingly detailed images and Full HD videos in all types of lighting conditions.
The new camera is the first Cyber-shot model to offer high-resolution HD video recording in the XAVC S format, which allows for full HD recording at a data rate of 50 mbps with lower compression for improved video quality. Additionally, Sony claims the camera is able to read, process and output data from all of the sensor’s pixels during video recording, ensuring it produces the highest quality video possible by eliminating aliasing, moiré and false colour artifacts.
Other video features include a ‘clear’ HDMI output for reviewing footage on an external monitor, 120 fps recording at 720p HD resolution, and zebra patterning on the LCD and built-in EVF. The camera also has dual video recording capability (XAVC S / AVCHD files along with MP4 files), which allows users to shoot a high bit-rate video for storage or editing purposes while also recording a lower bit rate video that’s optimized for sharing via Wi-Fi.
The camera also has Intelligent Active Mode which utilizes Sony’s frame analysis technology and 5-axis compensation to dramatically reduce the effects of camera shake while shooting movies.
The RX100 III features many opportunities to adjust common shooting settings, including a ‘Fn’ key, customizable control ring and a “C” custom button with more than 40 assignable functions.
New to the RX series, the RX100 III features an articulated LCD that can tilt upward by about 180 degrees for self-portraits and all the way downward to approximately 45 degrees for high-angle shots.
The camera also can output still images in 4K resolution with full wide-gamut TriLuminous Color support when connected to compatible 4K televisions.
The camera has built-in Wi-Fi, giving one-touch connection with Xperia or NFC-compatible Android smartphones or tablets for instant image transfer and sharing. A single touch also activates Smart Remote Control, linking the camera with a smartphone or tablet for a live image preview, to fire the shutter from a distance and to review shots instantly.
For devices without NFC one-touch capabilities, users can wirelessly transfer images and videos and activate Smart Remote Control through Sony’s free PlayMemories Mobile app, available for the iOS and Android platforms.
The camera is also the first Cyber-shot RX series model to feature compatibility with Sony’s downloadable Sony PlayMemories Camera Apps.
The Sony Cyber-shot RX100 III compact camera will be available in June for about $900.