[Wang TH] My Personal Review of the Sony RX10 III


Wang TH

Senior Member
Sep 2, 2012
907
10
18
Fernvale
#1
I have been playing with this camera for about 2 weeks now and would like do a short review of this camera. The RRP is $2299. Sounds expensive? Let's see what it has to offer.

The main selling point of this camera must definitely be the 600mm F4 lens. In fact, the 24-600mm F2.4 - F4 lens has such enormous focal length that it seems like really a one camera solution to everything. Coupled with a 1.0-type stacked CMOS sensor that many are familiar with, on paper, this camera have a lot to offer. 20Mpx resolution. Some of the features include 4K video, 14fps, silent shutter, Continuous Shooting with reduced blackout, horse shoe for external flash, 40X super slow motion, etc. The RX10 III lets you shoot a subject as close as a mere 3cm (wide end) or 72cm (telephoto end) away. The camera weighs similar to a dslr with kit lens but offers very good grip. There are 3 rings on the barrel of the lens. First one is the focus ring, then zoom ring and finally aperture ring. Unlike other super zooms, you can half press the shutter and zoom the lens at the same time. I have had some experience with other superzooms so I will be making some references here and there. Bear in mind that each of these superzooms have their own strengths and weaknesses.

Specs Summary
Resolution: 20.10 Megapixels
Sensor size: 1 inch (13.2mm x 8.8mm)
Lens: 25.00x zoom (24-600mm eq.)
Viewfinder: EVF / LCD
Native ISO: 100 - 12,800
Extended ISO: 64 - 25,600
Shutter: 1/32000 - 30 seconds
Max Aperture: 2.4
Dimensions: 5.2 x 3.7 x 5.0 in. (133 x 94 x 127 mm)
Weight: 38.6 oz (1,095 g) includes batteries

More info can be found here.
http://www.sony.com.sg/electronics/cyber-shot-compact-cameras/dsc-rx10m3?cid=[RX10M3]_SG_-_DSC_RX10M3:sem:goog:SG:txt_brand:sony_rx10m3&pkw=sony_rx10m3&gclid=CLufo8OA7s0CFQ-haAod8QAPpA

$rx10 iii.jpg


Now that I am done with the short introduction. Let's get down to the details. I will not be doing the standard ISO shots since it is available online. What I would like to show are the real world shots and also how well the camera works in the field. Do note the max aperture at each focal length.
24mm (F2.4), 27mm (F2.8), 35mm (f3.2), 56mm (F3.5), 100 - 600mm (F4)

I confirm that the contrast AF has some challenges when there is a lack of contrast, at 600mm, this might occur often as the object is very zoom in. To help with the af, make use of multi point instead of single point af. Switching to Large AF Point also helps. This will help find areas of contrast to lock the auto focus. While the AF is slower than the Lumix FZ1000 which has 400mm F4, we also need to be realistic, those who have used the FZ1000 would remember that its static AF is really fast. For slower or static objects, RX10 III will do just fine.

The images were sharp at 600mm F4. Hand holding is possible at 1/60sec. I tested 1/30sec and got a keeper rate of about 20%, still quite good considering that I was shooting at 600mm.

Without further delay, here are the first few shots.

The model here is very cooperative. Just in case it is difficult to focus, there is the DMF function, just move the focus ring a little and AF would lock.



DSC00550_LR
by Wang Teck Heng, on Flickr


DSC00561_LR
by Wang Teck Heng, on Flickr

Some landscape photos to share. When shooting with such superzooms, watch out for the lens flare when you shoot into the sun.


DSC00859_LR
by Wang Teck Heng, on Flickr


DSC00860
by Wang Teck Heng, on Flickr

My advice is not to get to worried about the flare, try to overcome it and work on your composition. Dynamic range of the image is reasonably good.

Here is one bracketed shot.


DSC00935-HDR-Edit_LR
by Wang Teck Heng, on Flickr
 

Last edited:

Wang TH

Senior Member
Sep 2, 2012
907
10
18
Fernvale
#3
Next test: Bird in Flight

I was not too hopeful actually. This is one area the DSLR has advantage. I do think while this is not the best tool for the job. You can get some BIF (Bird in Flight) shots. AF tracking can but frustrating but ask ourselves what is the hit rate if we use a DSLR. For fast birds, it is very very difficult. Slower birds or movements like people jogging, strolling, should be ok.

I did not pre-focus for this shot, taken at about 200mm, I was very surprised that most of the shots were locked on! Quite impressive.

DSC00956_LR
by Wang Teck Heng, on Flickr

Taken at 420mm, this crow just flew past and I raised the camera. AF lock pretty quickly. Same goes with the mynah.

DSC00988_LR
by Wang Teck Heng, on Flickr


DSC00980_LR
by Wang Teck Heng, on Flickr
 

Wang TH

Senior Member
Sep 2, 2012
907
10
18
Fernvale
#5
Here is a short clip taken in 4K. Enjoy!

[video=youtube_share;y6tHSJUWmlo]https://youtu.be/y6tHSJUWmlo[/video]
 

Wang TH

Senior Member
Sep 2, 2012
907
10
18
Fernvale
#6
One more!

[video=youtube_share;JiRxO1unXHI]https://youtu.be/JiRxO1unXHI[/video]
 

Wang TH

Senior Member
Sep 2, 2012
907
10
18
Fernvale
#7

Wang TH

Senior Member
Sep 2, 2012
907
10
18
Fernvale
#8
For birding, this is one mean tool! I find noise pretty manageable up to ISO 3200 if you do not crop or pixel peep. The lens is sharp at 600mm F4. Static focus is fast. I personally recommend single AF point medium size. Using small size, the AF point may hit an area without ample contrast and will hunt.


DSC01172_LR
by Wang Teck Heng, on Flickr


DSC01173_LR
by Wang Teck Heng, on Flickr

Here is a ISO 6400 shot and cropped. I wanted to get the exposure right for the bird and hence I overexposed a bit when I captured the image and I also needed the high shutter speed.


DSC01149_LR
by Wang Teck Heng, on Flickr
 

zaren

Moderator
Staff member
Oct 27, 2003
10,928
20
38
#9
impressive camera and excellent review. the birding and macro shots are particularly good!
 

Wang TH

Senior Member
Sep 2, 2012
907
10
18
Fernvale
#12
Last 3 shots before I do my conclusion.


DSC00945_LR
by Wang Teck Heng, on Flickr


DSC00975_LR
by Wang Teck Heng, on Flickr


DSC01457_LR
by Wang Teck Heng, on Flickr

Conclusion.
I had lots of fun with this camera. The grip, balance and weight of the camera is wonderful. I think this is a perfect travel camera. If they have attachments for wide angle and fisheye....its from ultra wide all the way to super tele! WOW! I really hope Sony comes up with something!

At first when I thought that the AF was not that fast, I realised it was pretty fast when I compare it to Canon 6D with Tamron 150-600mm. Therefore at 600mm, it was actually very good for single shot AF. The AF tracking was also not bad in fact, I recommend tracking at 400mm rather than 600mm, mainly because it is wider and I find the af works faster. Burst rate at 8 fps for raw or 14 fps for jpeg....awesome for action! And the 600mm F4 is going to help reduce your ISO together with the steadyshot, this is important as it gives you quality shots.

The thing I like about the 600mm is really the ability to use it in video, with images we can crop but handheld video at 600mm....possibly the best option if you need 4K video and portability. Make sure you get extra batteries if you need to be out for an entire day. For the high frame rate video, somehow I need to use manual focus, while it was easy with focus peaking, having a single shot AF would be perfect.

I might have remembered wrongly but I think in manual focus, it also did not show the focus distance. This is useful when shooting macro so that you know you are near minimum focus distance, and also when you need to set hyperfocus in landscape.

So the important question...is this worth $2200? Purist will argue that you only get a 1 inch sensor and lens cannot be changed and so on. Remember that this is a solution that is so complete! The focal length itself with the 1 inch sensor already open up a whole new world of opportunities. There is no need to change your lens when you notice something afar. Since the lens cannot be changed, I need not worry about sensor dust. Most importantly, my wife will not be complaining about the size of my camera bag. I love this camera totally....yes... Its a Sony!