The Cyber-shot RX10 III features a 24-600 mm Zeiss Vario-Sonnar f/2.4-4 lens, 20.1-megapixel 1-inch stacked Exmor RS CMOS sensor, BIONZ X image processor, internal 4K video recording, and super slow motion capabilities (up to 960 fps), plus an ultra-fast anti-distortion shutter with a maximum speed of 1/32000 second.
Sony says the lens delivers “outstanding” image quality throughout the entire zoom range. The aperture unit itself has nine blades designed to create a near perfect circle in the f/ 2.4-11 range, for beautiful bokeh.
The lens features eight ED glass elements including one super ED glass element, five ED glass elements and two ED aspherical lenses, which all work together to minimize chromatic aberration and deliver high-contrast, ultra-sharp image quality. It also has Zeiss T* Coating for minimizing flare and ghosting and delivering accurate, faithful colour reproduction, says the company.
The built-in Optical SteadyShot (OSS) image stabilization is equivalent to shooting at a shutter speed approximately 4.5 stops faster than the current setting of the camera.
Minimum focusing distance is 72 cm (2.36 ft) with 0.49x maximum magnification at a fully extended 600 mm.
Sensitivity range is ISO 64-12800 and is said to produce images with exceptionally low noise, even at higher sensitivity settings.
The rear of the sensor has a DRAM chip that allows it to read and process large volumes of data exceptionally fast, enabling the camera to shoot super slow motion video at up to 960 fps. The chip also allows the RX10 III to shoot continuously at up to 14 fps with minimal blackout.
The electronic shutter offers silent shooting at all settings and speeds.
The camera offers 4K (QFHD 3840×2160) movie recording. In 4K video mode, the camera utilizes full pixel readout without pixel binning, capturing approximately 1.7x more information than is required for 4K movie output to enhance image detail and minimize moiré and jaggies, says the company. It uses the XAVC S codec, which records video at a high data rate of up to100 Mbps during 4K recording and up to 50 Mbps during full HD recording.
The new camera also has a variety of other pro features including Picture Profile, S-Log2/S-Gamut, Gamma Display Assist, and Time Code, as well as input for external microphone and output for headphone monitoring.
In “HFR” (high frame rate) setting, the camera offers the option to choose among 960 fps, 480 fps and 240 fps frame rates and among 60p, 30p and 24p playback formats with the option to use the movie record button as a start/stop trigger.
The autofocus system has spatial object detection, allowing the camera to detect and predict motion of a subject before the shutter button is pressed. This helps the camera achieve an incredibly fast and efficient AF response when the shutter is halfway pressed, enabling it to lock on to a subject in as little as 0.09 seconds, Sony claims.
The RX10 III features a number of upgrades compared to existing RX10 models including triple lens rings for focus, zoom and aperture for direct, precise control. The hand grip shape has also been optimized to enhance stability when holding the camera at eye level. There is a new focus hold button on the lens barrel as well, allowing the focus to be easily locked on a subject while the shooter reframes the image.
The new model features a high-contrast XGA OLED Tru-Finder with approximately 2.35 million dots of resolution. The camera is also dust and moisture resistant and both Wi-Fi and NFC compatible, with the ability to access Sony’s PlayMemories camera applications.
The Sony Cyber-shot RX10 III will be available in May for about $2,000.