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580 of 593 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An improved RX100M
(Update Dec 6th 2014)
I highly recommend this book for the RX100M3 by Gary Friedman. I bought it and love it (http://friedmanarchives.blogspot.com/2014/12/lots-of-announcements.html?m=1)

I bought this camera because of its faster lens (f/1.8 to f2.8), which means, to me, more light entering onto the cameras sensor which, in turn, means to me slightly...
Published 6 months ago by Richard

versus
30 of 37 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Good photos, but I would not recommend this camera or any Sony product after my experience. Buy something else!
I was excited when I bought the new Sony RX100M3 Camera brand new from Amazon about 3 months ago. I used it for a week on vacation and took about two thousand pictures. I have also used it for a couple day trips since then with no issue. I turned it on last week and to prepare it for my Christmas trip, format the SD cards, and set some of the presets. The camera...
Published 19 days ago by ENX


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580 of 593 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An improved RX100M, June 20, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Sony DSC-RX100M III Cyber-shot Digital Still Camera (Electronics)
(Update Dec 6th 2014)
I highly recommend this book for the RX100M3 by Gary Friedman. I bought it and love it (http://friedmanarchives.blogspot.com/2014/12/lots-of-announcements.html?m=1)

I bought this camera because of its faster lens (f/1.8 to f2.8), which means, to me, more light entering onto the cameras sensor which, in turn, means to me slightly better images than previous models. Which translate to a shallower depth of field available. And that's exactly what I like and want in this model, and precisely why I bought it, even though I also have the previous M2 model. One thing I want to note here before I go on. The Aperture seems to move quite fast from 1.8 to 2.8 thru the smaller zoom range. In that, a case could be made that this lens is more of a steady 2.8 thru out the zoom range.

So then what exactly did I get with this upgrade from my M2 to my new M3? Well, you've got the newer Bionz X processer. The new 180 degree LCD (for Selfies if you are so inclined). The pop-up EVF (which is an innovation in and of itself, and a help with image stabilization when pressed against my face). Zebra pattern and focus peaking which is available on my RX10 and now the M3.

I feel the 24mm-70mm lens (though not the same reach as my previous M2 model - 28-100mm) is a good walk-around lens. And since I have been using this same zoom range for a long time on my DSLRs, I feel very comfortable with this zoom range in a very capable and now compact camera. When I use this for portraits at the long end of 70mm I expect to shoot mostly 1/2 to 3/4 body shots to full body shots. As opposed to the previous models zoom range of 28-100mm where I used it up to head and shoulder shots at the long end.

This camera has the same Bionz X processor that Sony has in their A7 line of cameras (one of which, the A7R, that I have). That was another plus for me in buying this camera. As far as image stabilization, it is important to compact cameras today and thus, to me. And I find that holding the camera up to my face while using the EVF gives me the 'feel' of a more stabilized shot. And my pictures look better to me. This is important to me because now that I am in my 60's, try as I might, holding the M2 or my smartphone without an EVF - is not as steady as I'd like it to be or as I remember it was when I was younger. And I need image stabilization in lower light. And this EVF on my new compact M3 seems to provide that for me. The only 'unofficial' (perhaps non-technical) test I could do with this camera was to zoom it out to 70mm, and hold the shutter half-way to see how much 'lock' I had on the image. Then I tried it with my M2. My observation was that I did see an improved difference with the M3.

There is a slight difference in camera size from the previous model (which I also have). The thickness of this model is about 2mm more. And the weight is about 8 to 9 grams more. What this also means in terms of fitting a leather case to it is that my previous models Sony leather case will not fit this camera. You're going to need the Sony LCJRXF/B Premium Jacket Case (Black). This new case will fit all previous models as well as this model. Just as the Sony LCJRXC/B Premium Jacket Case (Black) would only fit the M2 as well as the M1. Some people think that the case for the M2 will also fit the M3. It will not. I have tried it. I also recommend the custom camera grip by Richard Franiec (camera accessories by Richard Franiec). This goes for about 35$ and is worth its weight in gold - to me. It is far better than the Sony grip that I used on the M2 for 15$. Its made of metal (anodized aluminium) is sleek looking, feels good quality and solid, and gives you a good grip on the camera while still maintaining the cameras pocketability (because it doesn't protrude past the lens assembly). Of course with the camera grip added, the M3 will not fit in the Sony Leather camera case. So it is either one or the other. So to get around this I ordered another OP/TECH USA Soft Pouch Digital D-Micro (Black) for my M3 which I also have for the M2. And it fits great.

If my review was any help with your decision to purchase, and I hope I was of some help, kindly choose 'Yes' in the comments section below. Thank You. Richard
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191 of 199 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Very Nice Upgrade from Sony - Update 6/22/14, June 20, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Sony DSC-RX100M III Cyber-shot Digital Still Camera (Electronics)
I bought the RX100 in its original configuration a few years ago when it first came out. I liked the camera from the outset and have taken more than a few pictures with it that I am really happy with. It is my choice for backing up my Nikon D4 or D800 when I can't deal with taking along two large DSLRs. I took a look at DXO mark and they rate the sensor the same as the sensor for my old D200 which may sound like damning with faint praise but the D200 was a workhorse and shot a lot of great stuff. I will say at the outset that I like the M3 a lot. I am happy I upgraded from the original but I think that if you have the M2 you may not need this update. The faster lens is a noticeable improvement. Indoor shots without flash at reasonable ISO's are much more feasible now.

Updated 6/24/14 - I thought I would add a comment about a statement from the dpreview piece on the M3. Dpreview praises the cameras abilities and then go on to say that it is not "fun" to shoot with. I guess an old SX-70 may have been more fun with all the whirring and spitting of prints but beyond that I am at a loss. I have had great creative session with both the M1 and M3. In fact, one of my favorite things about the camera is that is so easy and transparent to handle.

Pros:

Articulating LCD - I think this is a huge improvement over the original RX100. The ability to easily shoot high or low angle pictures is a great advantage. I have always liked using compact cameras from the ant's eye view and this makes it a lot easier to do. Like most of the construction of the RX100m3, the articulating LCD feels well built but clearly this is not a ruggedized camera. Care must be taken with the flash, EVF and LCD or damage could result. Things don't feel cheap they just don't feel "battle ready"

Picture Quality - I really like the output of the RX100M3. The pictures are sharp, vivid and relatively free of noise at moderate ISO settings. One of the big improvements in the area of low light is the enhanced widest aperture of the lens. One can pixel peep any lens into a corner (no pun intended) but Sony has done a very respectable job here. I will discuss this more later but by going with a fast, modest zoom with a nice wide end, Sony has created a more enthusiast oriented camera. As Robert Capa said, "If your pictures aren't good enough, you're not close enough."

Zoom - As mentioned above the zoom range is modest. I just really like the ability to use 24mm equivalent at the wide end. The zoom speed is quite good. Again, I think it compares favorably to other high-end compacts that I have used.

EVF - When I opened the EVF for the first time and look through it was terrible. Then I adjusted the diopter and it was beautiful. Seriously beautiful. This is my first EVF and I like it very much. I can see using it a great deal with this camera.

Shutter - The shutters drops very quickly without any undue lag. I really like the burst mode on this camera with the shutter sounds turned off. It is a great way to get very natural candids of friends and family.

Neutrals:

Weight - The RX100M3 is noticeably heavier than the original. Noticeably but not significantly heavier. Yes, when you pick it up you are just a touch more cognizant of gravities pull but nowhere near the point where you would leave on the table because it's too heavy to deal with. When carrying and using the camera the extra weight never crossed my mind.

Size - Certainly related to weight but also a function of adding goodies like the EVF and articulating LCD. I wear a lot of clothes with big pockets and I have never been one to just stuff a compact camera in a pants pocket on an ongoing basis. I have a very small Lowepro belt case for my original RX100 and the new one fits perfectly even with an extra battery tucked inside. The size and weight differences are certainly discreet.

Added 6/22/14 The current implementation of the Fn button is very nice. I really didn't use this button in the past but now it brings up a very clear, easy to follow UI for the some of the most commonly accessed functions. I really like this feature.

Added 6/22/14 I am growing very fond of the artificial horizon in the EVF. Despite 30+ years of photography I am still amazed how often in Lightroom I have to straighten the horizon. Maybe my head is just tilted. Whatever the cause, the artificial horizon really helps and as a result I am not losing any of the frame having to rotate in post.

Cons:

Menus - While the menu system on the M3 is improved and certainly better than the old NEX software it could still use improvement. My biggest complaint has to do with navigating between menu categories and sub-menus. To me the UI manipulation is not intuitive but is certainly workable.

Functions - Marketing people are wonderful and I know scene modes and scene recognition must be important to some segment of customers but I am not in that demographic. I suppose there is little harm in all the bells and whistles but it is very funny that Sony includes both an Automatic and Superior Automatic mode. When does one say, "I don't want the superior results, let me kick this baby down to stinky normal Automatic mode."

Items on which the jury is still out.

Wi-fi - I know there are people who can't wait for the favorite camera to come out with built in wi-fi so it can't be dismissed. I would only say that thus far my experience with the RX100M3's wi-fi functions have been cursory and I will amend this review when I am able to be more definitive about my experience.

Would I recommend this camera?

For a lot of people yes I would. If you are an enthusiast this is a credible compact contender. If you are an ultralight traveller who likes good photos this is also a good choice. If you are thinking of some for an adventure vacation with water, snow, sand or surf, probably better to look at a ruggedized compact. Up until the RX100 all my compacts had been Canon's and they were great. I am happy with the move to Sony and believe I will be happy with the M3 for several years.
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171 of 179 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars BEST. COMPACT. EVER. Seriously. -Edited 07/26/14, June 23, 2014
This review is from: Sony DSC-RX100M III Cyber-shot Digital Still Camera (Electronics)
I have been waiting over a month for this camera and I am excited to say, "I LOVE IT!". Best quality I've seen on a COMPACT CAMERA. Even on some DSLRs I've tested out. I have been bouncing back ENDLESSLY between getting a Sony A7/r, an a6000, an RX1/r (yikes!), or this camera. Keep in mind that I am not a professional photographer. On we go...

Since I'm upgrading from my iPhone, I didn't want anything too big or too drastic of a change. For me, I knew I would get frustrated with having to decide what kind of lens I want, bringing the lenses, etc. But I kind of wanted that same high quality look to the pictures I was taking...something you can no doubt get with a DSLR at half the price of this camera. So it's really up to your affordability and what you're willing to sacrifice in terms of the ability to change lenses or the ability to have something compact. If you want something a bit of both, I recommend getting the a6000. A camera I was very close to getting until I found out about the RX100M3. The a6000 is the same price as the M3 INCLUDING the lens. Some notes:

WiFi: I used the WiFi a LOT with this camera. I used it while I waited in line at Disneyland and during down time at sporting events. I uploaded them quickly onto my Instagram/Flickr account. It's pretty easy to set up...just make sure to read the instructions carefully. You can select the pictures you want to send to your phone/iPad and it only takes a few seconds.

VIEWFINDER/LCD: One of the only reasons I bought this camera over the previous RX100 models and the RX1/r is because the viewfinder is built in instead of buying an extra $400 accessory. The viewfinder is clear and almost exactly what you see when you take the picture. I kind of wish you were able to pull out the viewfinder a bit more because my cheek touches the screen and so my makeup ends up getting on it. BUT I was still able to see the LCD screen in broad daylight with no problem. So those of you who want the cheaper RX100s and don't really need a viewfinder...by all means get the previous models. It's not that different in terms of picture quality. And the LCD is almost perfect. I just wish it was touchscreen so I can easily navigate through the different tabs on the menu screen. But other than that, I love that you can flip it 180 degrees for selfies ;)

MENU: As I said in the previous paragraph, I wish I was able to touch where I want to go instead of constantly clicking through the different tabs. But the menu is pretty self-explanatory.

FLASH: The pop-up flash is useful instead of buying a flash like you have to do with the previous models . Haven't found a flaw with it yet.

BATTERY: Taking about 50-100 shots a day and the battery was still halfway-3/4 full. I did notice that it drained the battery significantly if I did continuous action shots.

HANDLING: There is no grip on this camera, so it might be hard for people with larger hands to hold this. Sony sells an attachment grip (really a sticker) that you can put on the front. It's about $15. But I'm kind of iffy on sticking something on an $800 camera. The weight of this camera is heavier than a usual compact, but I like that. Its a good balance for my hands. Sony does sell a leather jacket case for this camera for a whopping $85. Unfortunately, you can't use both the attachment grip and the case with this camera.

QUALITY: I think I've already established how great the quality is on this camera. It's comparable, if not better, than some DSLRs out there. At 20.1 megapixels, this thing is a monster. In a good way.

In the end, this camera gives me everything I want and more. Ever since I've had an iPhone, I've rarely used a REAL camera...besides my GoPro (is that considered real?). And I didn't want to lug around a huge DSLR either. Now that I have this camera, I know I'll be taking this everywhere I go. I'd recommend this to anyone whether they're a beginner or not. I know some people who already have DSLRs that will purchase this as a second camera because it's so compact yet the picture quality isn't sacrificed. If you're somewhat of a beginner like me and love to learn about how things work, definitely read up on apertures, shutter speeds, ISO, etc. You'll love your camera a lot more. Anyways, can't wait to start scrap booking! :)

Side note: If you plan on taking video with this camera, you have to get the 64GB Sony memory card because it records in XAVC S format. They normally retail for about $145, but I was able to get it for half off for $73. On the box: "Use SDXC card of Class 10 or faster to take movies in XAVC S format."

*Update 07/26/14
Took my camera on a recent trip to Hawaii. My review for the camera is still the same. If not, better. What I wanted to update you all on is the leather jacket case that Sony sells as well as the software I use to edit my photos. For the case priced at around $90 USD (including tax), I've got to say it wasn't really worth it. Since it was rainy and windy in Hawaii, I had to keep my camera in the case for most of my time. When I wanted to take pictures, it was a hassle to keep unbuckling the case from my camera and buckling it back on just so I can protect it. Just a tad inconvenient. I really do love the retro look of this case though. Just wish it was easier to take pictures with. You can unbuckle one part of it and let the top part case hang, but it would get in the way of my picture taking. I think I'd rather just buy a grip for this camera ($15), put on a camera strap, and just use a cheaper case for when I'm not using the camera. Also, buy a lens cap. If anyone has any suggestions for that, let me know!

As for my photo editing software (need I remind you I am a beginner), I did the 30-day trial for Adobe Lightroom and I love it. Took a while to get used to, but that's what Youtube is for! I will definitely purchase it. If you want to take a look at my Flickr to see how my photos have turned out, here's the link: flickr.com/photos/lorealparis

Let me know if you have any questions!
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41 of 42 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An astonishing little gem of a camera . . approaching APS-C and M4/3 image quality in a compact camera footprint, July 30, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Sony DSC-RX100M III Cyber-shot Digital Still Camera (Electronics)
This is my fourth Sony camera and easily my 10th digital and roughly 20th camera (counting both film and digital). It's a beauty, and as many have commented on these pages and elsewhere (such as DPReview), a significant improvement on the earlier generations of the RX100 (better sensor in RX100ii, better lens now in 100iii plus an EVF). I thought it would be hard to top the Sony RX1 as the perfect travel camera (please see my detailed review of the RX1 on Amazon), but I think on balance, this is a better travel camera than even that brilliant piece of full frame ingenuity. Not a better camera mind you, but a better travel camera, when space and size are at a great premium. Its lens and sensor produce images that are not quite as sharp as the RX-1's - but they are not that far off either. And the RX100-III does beat the RX-1 in one critical functional area, in terms of having a useful range of wide to mild telephoto focal lengths. No more zooming with just the feet . . .

Although the RX-100M3 cannot beat the RX-1 or any other full frame camera in overall photo image quality, it is superior in relationship to video quality to the RX-1/A99/A77-65 (and many other APS-C and FF DSLRs), where the improved Bionz X processor in the RX100III allows for a way better sampling heuristic (instead of the clumsy line skipping approach done in the RX1, A99, and all the other recent APS-C cameras). It's also astonishingly flexible in terms of shooting modes and operational styles, and additionally, Sony's improved image stabilization gives it a ~2 stop advantage, narrowing the low light performance gap between this sensor and a full frame sensor but without image stabilization (such as seen in the RX1) to basically nothing by allowing the RX100-III to shoot at slower shutter speeds, and thus keeping ISO lower. I'm able to shoot wide open at a 24 mm equivalent in low light at 1/5 second shutter speed, often without any image blurring, keeping my ISO relatively low and basically wiping out much of the low light advantage of the RX-1 FF sensor. It still of course doesn't quite create images that are as breathtaking as full frame equipment (still less dynamic range and color depth) - that is not a hittable or realistic performance target, but it comes amazingly close, and with only slightly more noise as ISO rises compared to the APS-C Sony sensor in a Sony A65 (although that camera was clearly no low light phenom). It might be slightly less noisy in RAW than the A65 at 3200 and 6400 - but they are certainly close. This is mighty impressive, given that this sensor is much smaller than an APS-C chip (but RX100's sensor is newer than the A65's). It's not quite one stop noisier than the newer Sony APS-C sensor in my A77II in head to head testing (The new A77ii is roughly 1 stop better sensor in terms of noise compared to the previous generation chip in the A65). This is still a mighty fine performance.

What this means is that there is a (roughly) one stop noise jump from these various levels of sensor size: most cell phone sensors > most compact cameras > RX-100 (and several other large sensor compacts) > newer APS-C (A6000/Nikon5300) > full frame (FF) RX1/Nikon600 > Sony A7s. Each level is a significant jump in low light performance, and thus impacts and limits you on exposure, shutter speed, and the whole range of shooting options. While noise/high ISO performance initially sounds like a lot of techno-obscurity that only geeks would care about or understand, it's really indicative of what basic physical restrictions there are on your creative options as a photographer. Not only that, and less appreciated by the average person, as noise does up, dynamic range, color depth, and virtually every other parameter that might index picture quality goes down in a linear and direct ratio. That's why noise and high ISO performance is so important. All this underscores also that the size of the sensor is critical - and kudos to Sony for its continual efforts to stuff the biggest sensor it can into smaller (and smaller) camera bodies.

All this just means simply that this camera has phenomenal low light performance, FOR ITS SIZE. Its low light performance is simply way ahead of every other compact its size, and is reasonably competitive with much larger cameras (such as m4/3 and APS-C where its noise is roughly one stop poorer than the best of the m4/3-APS-c crowd, and about two stops poorer than a typical FF pro-cam). The formal noise testing that I just did (comparing this to both an A77ii and RX1 in RAW) confirms this and shows it almost exactly two stops behind an RX-1. This is still mighty impressive, and with Sony's improved IS system giving it a 2+ stop advantage, I can do quite a bit of low light shooting, without worrying about noise (or heavy-handed noise reduction in the JPEG engine) wiping out details. I have to really want low light performance and/or slightly more resolution to lug the big A77ii around with me, and I mostly take the RX100 everywhere. That it has displaced as exceptional a camera as the RX1 speaks volumes.

Pros:

1) Simply the best photo and video image quality for its size without any question, no contest, end of discussion. Not even debatable.
2) Very sharp video, rivaling Canon full frame 5DII and Panasonic GH2/3/4, and with new video codecs (XAVC-S) that will allow 50mb bit rate. Reduced moire and yet still very sharp.
3) Fast Zeiss lens (1.8-2.8) with a 3X zoom range, covering the essential wide-angle 24 mm to 70 mm equivalent. Some loss of zoom reach relative to prior editions of the RX 100, but in exchange, the lens is significantly faster and goes to 24mm (highly useful), and allows F2.8 shooting at a moderate telephoto 70mm. This extra lens speed/brightness is more important for most individuals than the extra telephoto reach (but some may find this restricting and a bad tradeoff - see cons).
4) Lens is sharp in the corners from F4.0 and up and is decently sharp in the corners even wide open.
5) Comprehensive and flexible menu/operating system structures with considerable customizability. Way better there than previous generation Cybershot models. I'm totally baffled by the DP Review feedback that the camera is 'uninvolving' - might be the most friendly compact camera for the intermediate-to-advanced user, and can be easily pushed into many shapes and styles of operating.
6) Fits in your shirt pocket. Try that with your m4/3 or APS-C camera.
7) Wifi and NFC (but see cons). Here's a real head twister: the version of Play Memories software that runs on this camera is orders of magnitude better and more useful than the version that runs on the A77II (Sony's flagship APS-C system).
8) Excellent image stabilizing in both video and stills, with highly flexible IS in video (three levels with associated progressively larger crop factors). This also means that video can be shot at a ~ 100mm perspective (albeit with modest loss of resolution). Excellent photo IS that is transparent and highly effective.
9) Terrific little EVF with decent apparent view size (~0.6 - while the flagship A99 EVF is 0.7), and with adjustable brightness and display features vis a vis the LCD. Very neat and highly useful.
10) Bright and accurate LCD panel for viewing results (and shooting, if you don't like composing with the EVF).
11) Many aids for the videographer, including adjustable zebra to see areas of overexposure, option to change ISO and aperture on the fly with smooth front ring control while shooting, and HDMI output to an external recorder, but see last con (omission of 4K).
12) As an undocumented but very neat feature, flash head can be tilted up by hand to create impromptu bounce flash, with its usual smoothing of light and more natural appearance (but with limited range and power - see cons).

Cons:

1) Limited telephoto reach and of course no option to change lenses. Partially mitigated by modest digital zoom capacity (smooth segue from 1.1-2.0) but with predictable/proportional loss of resolution. Obviously will not compete with compact superzooms in this area. Not the camera for bird watchers and wildlife buffs!
2) Cost - this might be one of the most expensive cameras on a dollar per pound basis on the market.
3) Modest battery life, esp if you use the neat little EVF much, and once again, Sony did not provide a second battery. I thought initially Sony finally provided an external charger but its clear now that I jumped to conclusions. Still no option for external charging - (but check out Wasabi power!)
4) Did I mention it's $800?
5) No option that I can find for scaling the zoom speed, which is a bit confining and unexpected in a premium compact camera
6) Audible motor noise in the video during zooming (but at fairly low level).
7) Slightly hesitant auto focus in low light with some annoying hunting.
8) It is so compact that those with large hands may find it hard to manipulate.
9) Flash seems a bit underpowered for those coming from larger equipment. Will not adequately illuminate objects 6-8 ft away at ISO 100. No option for outboard flash, as hot shoe sacrificed for EVF.
10) Real disappointment that 4K video not included, as on new Panasonic superzoom using this Sony chip. Firmware update probably can't provide this. Suspect Sony didn't want to take sales away from their new and pricy 4K camcorder.
11) Sony AWB still struggles with fluorescent and tungsten lighting? You would think that they would have this figured out by now??
12) Mildly annoying automatic camera shutoff when retracting the EVF - commented on by many - probably easily fixed in firmware update as toggle function. Also, rather short time frame to retract lens when looking at existing images. Also easily fixed with user adjustable setting.
13) No touchscreen, which is a disappointment to those fond of such a control interface.
14) Clickless control dial in front? Again, a matter of personal taste and preference.

Conclusions:

Having as many cons as pros doesn't mean that I don't absolutely love this camera. Most of the cons are minor, while most of the pros are big. Several are huge (great video, great photos, and highly flexible and configurable OS). Still not perfect (no technology is without compromises), but this is clearly the most powerful photographic and videographic instrument of its size that anyone has ever made. Time will tell, but I think that this camera threatens the established order and the doctrine that all reasonably serious shooting requires big honkin' DLSR gear as much as anything Sony has done previously, even including the RX1/A7/A7r platforms (their elite FF mirrorless alternatives). And please, all you FF folks, don't get all bent out of shape - I'm not remotely suggesting that this little camera will supplant or compete with pro equipment in still photography. But it will mean that outside of the most critical and hi quality still shooting, this camera will provide a very credible alternative for those who want to travel (extra) light and still get very good stills - leaving a slim margin between this and large APS-C gear . . . with a slightly greater margin between this and even larger FF gear. Those modest IQ (image quality) margins now look like they have a really punitive weight penalty, still obviously worth paying for really critical shooting, but how many people want 20-30lbs of extra gear on vacation, toting it all through security lines? Not too many who aren't shooting for a living. And in terms of great video, this camera competes favorably with any FF system. Even those who love their big pro gear and would never dream of moving off of FF entirely are probably going to buy one for days when they just can't (or don't want to) lug the 30+lb bag of big gear and bigger lenses. This camera continues Sony's brilliant success in shoehorning the biggest possible sensor they can cram into a small body, like their fine effort in the RX1, but bests even that brilliant effort in flexibility, portability, 'zoomability' and video-ability. Overall, this little camera is a tour de force in digital technology and is likely to represent a TARDIS-like benchmark in the evolution of digital photography. Highly, highly recommended!

Update Oct 2014

New Canon PowerShot G7X (first real competition for the RX-100 III) finally has some formal testing. Scores slightly better than the RX100 in DxO testing (but the difference is not likely to be meaningful in terms of anything one can see in actual photos). Clearly has a Sony sensor (Canon probably got tired of people grousing about their poor scores in DxO testing.) Sony will sell their sensors to anyone, even their stiffest competition.

Advantages of the Canon G7X

1) $100 cheaper
2) Longer reach/brighter lens
3) Better IS (worth ~ 3 stops!)
4) More external control options (dedicated control dials)
5) Touchscreen (big for some, just not for me)

Advantages of the Sony RX100-III

1) EVF vs. just an LCD view screen
2) Better movie support/video quality and shooting options (Zebra, focus peaking, 24perf, 120p, XACS codecs)
3) Slightly faster focusing and ~ maybe slightly sharper lens (but not by much)
4) WAAAAY better battery life
5) Way better smartphone interface and WiFi functionality

So if you need the reach, don't need or want the EVF, and movies are largely a secondary or even minimal consideration, or want a slightly brighter lens (which combined with the better IS might give you ~ a 1.5 stop advantage in low light) the Canon looks like the better deal and the better camera. If, on the other hand, you like composing in the EVF (I do), like to shoot lots of movies and get really high quality video (ditto), and don't care that much about the loss of telephoto reach, or you need more battery life, or want good smartphone control, the Sony might be the better choice. It's great to have options.

In any case, Sony finally has competition in this segment! Competition is good for everyone. Keeps prices down and quality up. Maybe it will force Sony to lower their price, just as they had to do with the RX-10 after the Panasonic FZ1000. Bravo Canon!!
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32 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The perfect little camera when I want high quality and RAW but don't want to carry around DSLR's, July 12, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Sony DSC-RX100M III Cyber-shot Digital Still Camera (Electronics)
This is the camera I have been waiting a looooong time for.

I am a professional photographer who does a lot of work overseas. So I find myself traveling with all of my camera gear packed into my Thinktank rolling bag and always have liked to have a small fast camera to use in case I saw something I wanted to shoot. Be it something that just peaked my interest or even if I was on a flight where the flight attendant decided to strip naked, swig a bottle of champagne, and then deploy the emergency shoot and run away (no that has not really happened on any flights I've been on, but, you know, it could).

I wanted to be able to make a picture of something if I needed/wanted to without having to drag my roller out of the overhead and pull a camera out or feeling like the image quality would suffer because of the compromise of having a smaller point and shoot camera. But every other P/S camera I have used over the years left me feeling just that way... it was an image quality compromise either because the sensor was not very good or because the lens was slow, or the camera was painfully laggy.

So I usually ended up carrying one of my Canon 5d mkIII bodies over my shoulder with the 24-70 on it... which is also not an ideal solution because you have to take it through security and try to keep it from swinging around while carrying bags, etc... then you have to find somewhere to put it once you get on your flight.

Then I saw this camera... and fell in love with it. The image quality is amazing. It has a sharp and fast Zeiss lens 24-70 f1.8-2.8, fast and accurate autofocus, great fps rate (if you need it), and absolutely knockout image quality. I actually used this to shoot some work for a client (alongside my regular pro gear) and a liked a couple of the images so much that they made it into the edit and it is hard to tell the difference between the images shot with pro dslr's and the RX-100M III.
This is also the perfect vacation camera or for trips with the kids where I don't want to lug my work gear. It is small and light but is good enough to shoot just about anything that they end up doing on a daytrip/vacation.
I have been very pleased with the battery life on this camera. It seems to go an awfully long time for such a small battery.
I also like how easy it is to operate settings like exposure compensation, flash modes, etc. on this camera. It takes seconds and minimal button pushing to reach most of the features one regularly accesses on a small camera like this. Sony really thought this through when designing it.
I can't say enough about how good the image quality is. I have not shot the camera in jpg mode, only in raw, but in some very tricky lighting situations (kids in mid-day sun wearing hats on carnival rides) where you would expect a point-and-shoot to stumble, the Sony produces an image with more than enough latitude to burn and dodge a bit to end up with an amazing image. Color looks good as does the contrast. It seems to do a great job with white balance in less than ideal light, too.

Finally, the perfect carry-around small camera to compliment my pro gear has arrived.
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly capable little camera, November 20, 2014
This review is from: Sony DSC-RX100M III Cyber-shot Digital Still Camera (Electronics)
As a serious hobbyist photographer, I've been looking for a camera that can replace my DSLR when traveling. While DSLR will give you unrivaled photo quality, the biggest trade-off is the equipment size and weight that you have to carry with you. Initially, I used to carry 3 lenses with my DSLR all the time: 14-24, 24-70, and 70-200mm. After a few years of traveling, I reduced it to carrying only the 24-70 lens. I feel like this mid-range zoom provides me with the best photography coverage, from landscape to portrait. And that's the reason I decided to get the Sony RX100. I bought a used one from Amazon a couple of weeks ago and took it with me to Singapore on my recent business trip. What a joy. It was a great feeling to finally able to travel without carrying a big DSLR on my shoulder. I feel like I enjoyed my travel better because of this.

This camera is capable of giving you the same picture quality that you can get from your DSLR if you know photography. Depending on what I shoot, I use a combination of manual, aperture, or shutter mode when I travel. When I was exploring the town at night, I set the camera to aperture mode with the lowest aperture available (2.8) and set the ISO to auto. That way, I only need to focus on getting the right composition.

I love the wifi sync feature of this camera as well. I use it to sync the photos that I took directly to my iPad, edit it with Snapseed, and post it directly to my Facebook and Google+ accounts.

To summarize, this little machine is capable of giving you great results if you know the principle of photography. Highly recommended.
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53 of 61 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bada-boom!, June 21, 2014
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This review is from: Sony DSC-RX100M III Cyber-shot Digital Still Camera (Electronics)
I'm now on my third DSC-RX 100 version: the Mk III. I also own a Canon 5D Mk III and a Leica M9, but the great truism is that your photo is only as good as the camera you happen to have with you. Hence a lot of photos today are taken using smartphones and every one of them is better than the photo you would never have taken if you didn't have a camera in hand!

The RX 100 is arguably the best compact camera on the market, on balance. And the Mk III outshines its predecessors in the following ways:

* The effective image quality is improved. It uses exactly the same sensor as the Mk II but it has a stop or more advantage as you zoom in and that simply means that a photo that would have been captured at, say, 400 ISO is now captured at 200 ISO. (The lower the ISO the less noise). Richard from Boston, respectfully: all three versions have the same F1.8 lens at the widest focal length. It is as you zoom that the maximum F stop decreases: from F4.9 in the prior versions at 100mm (35mm equivalent) focal length, to F2.8 in the current version but at a maximum focal length of only 70mm.

* The zoom range is reduced but extended at the wide angle end: 24mm-70mm (35mm equivalent) from 28mm-100mm in the prior versions. This is a big plus for me but maybe less so for others. I used to use Panasonic/Leica LX compacts (same friggin' camera but you pay at least 2X for the Leica label and Leica's product design - the plastic casing - is more than 2x better than Panasonic's) that had a 24mm-90mm (F1.4-F2.8) lens and I really missed the 24mm widest angle when I moved to Sony. So, why did it take so long for Sony to catch up with Panasonic? Fact is, Sony's sensor is much, much bigger than Panasonic's. This translates to superior performance, but makes it much harder to make bright zoom lenses for such a compact camera. (Consider how large lenses are on a DSLR.)

* The EVF is fantastic. I've been using SLRs for 50 years, literally, and the greatest advantage to a viewfinder in my opinion is that it anchors the camera to your face and you end up with a more stable camera and a lower required shutter speed which translates into a lower ISO and better image quality. This EVF is 'only' 1.44 megapixels, versus 2.44 in their higher end cameras, but both look absolutely 'real' (as if you were looking through an optical viewfinder for the most part with the larger pixel space simply 'looking' larger through the view finder.)

Other advantages include a better menu structure and a dedicated flash on button - which is a big deal from my POV. Also a rear screen that can flip up completely for selfies.

Any way you look at it, the Sony RX-100 is a fantastic camera in any version, but the Mk III is the most impressive.

Bravo, Sony!

PS: all there versions have a pivoting flash that allows one to bounce the flash off a ceiling. The results are so much better than direct flash. It really delivers vastly superior flash photos assuming you have fairly light and low ceilings. (Only really works in landscape orientation where the flash pivots up. The Mk III pivot also goes much further (beyond straight up), and the only downside of the whole line is the flash time which is on the slow side.
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29 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very pleased with image quality, flexibility, ease of use, July 8, 2014
This review is from: Sony DSC-RX100M III Cyber-shot Digital Still Camera (Electronics)
WHERE I'M COMING FROM
I would describe myself as an advanced beginner and (I confess) a pixel peeper. I was looking for a small camera that I can tuck into my purse when it's not practical to bring my Canon 70D for everyday still shots. I had picked up a used Canon PowerShot SX260 compact camera for this purpose; however, certain manual features (for example, focusing manually, setting a specific focus point, or locking exposure to recompose a silhouette) were not intuitive, slow to implement, or nonexistent, and I quickly got frustrated. I gave the SX260 to my husband, closed my eyes and took a deep breath, and wrote the hefty check for the RX100 III.

FIRST IMPRESSIONS
What I lost in the telephoto reach of the SX260 I gained in other technical aspects that are important to me at this time. Right out of the box, I could pop into aperture mode (for example), spin a dial to change aperture, press a button to set exposure compensation, and, using another button, quickly access other functions such as ISO, drive and focus mode, and white balance. When I wanted quick access to a function that wasn't on the Fn screen, I just replaced one of Sony's choices with one of my own. When I wanted a super-quick way to set a specific focus point, I just set a custom key to pop me right into the Flexible Spot focus area mode (how cool is that, for a compact camera?). This camera really seems like a full-fledged dSLR, in miniature.

IMAGE QUALITY
I mostly shoot raw. This camera's .ARW files are recognized in Lightroom with the 5.5 update. I tried the RAW + JPG setting to compare the two formats; I'm impressed with the quality of the JPGs that come straight out of the camera.

I don't have a particularly steady hand, and I'm finding that I end up with more keepers using this camera than the 70D in similar situations, maybe because of its lighter weight and brighter lens. Even shots I took from the back of a motorcycle, at speed, came out surprisingly crisp.

My aim here is not to compare camera specs but to offer my impression of overall image quality and the ease with which I can obtain an image that pleases me, no matter which camera I'm using. I've spent countless hours viewing my images at 100% and beating myself up over shots that I missed because I moved, or focused on the wrong thing, or couldn't get the camera to do what I wanted at that moment. The point is that I'm pleased with the results I'm getting with this little camera, and now that I'm getting more consistent results I can stop obsessing over the technical aspects of my gear and concentrate on what I think making photographs is all about--composition, mood, and lighting. I'm excited!

OTHER RANDOM OBSERVATIONS
- The documentation for this camera is pretty sparse, but I've picked up some great tips from helpful contributors on various user forums.

- Personally, I don't mind that this camera "only" reaches a zoom of 70mm. I think it will make me a better photographer in the long run. In the meantime, I can crop in Lightroom if I missed an opportunity to get up close. I don't print larger than 8x10 prints, so cropping won't be a problem for me.

- I had gotten used to the touchscreen on my dDLR, but I don't miss having a touchscreen on the RX100 because accessing functions is speedy enough with the Fn button.

- I love the viewfinder and the control ring around the lens. I think these features help me hold the camera much steadier than having it positioned out at arm's length in front of me, like I was doing with the SX260.

- I like that the flash tilts so it can be bounced off of the ceiling instead of pointed directly at one's hapless subjects. It's a bit odd that the camera lacks a mechanism to hold the flash in a desired position, however. This makes it seem like a happy accident for Sony rather than a deliberate feature.

Hope this helps someone with similar expectations and shooting style make their purchase decision.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I've dragged my DSLR along with two or three lenses all over the world to grab that perfect shot. Until now, September 1, 2014
By 
Raymond Thomas "raymondthomas" (Cedar Hill, TX United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Sony DSC-RX100M III Cyber-shot Digital Still Camera (Electronics)
The image quality on this camera for both still and video images exceeded what I believed was possible in what appears to be a simple point and shoot camera. My needs are for casual family and travel photography. I've dragged my DSLR along with two or three lenses all over the world to grab that perfect shot. Until now, I never considered the numerous shots that I missed on days that I just didn't feel like lugging all that gear around.

Now, this is not a technical review. Consider it an observation from a casual user. With that understood, here's my take on who should consider buying the RX100 M3.

Who should buy this: If you are a casual/family type photographer with enough experience to know the difference between shutter speed and aperture, and feel comfortable making those adjustments and desire some creative control, then this is the perfect camera when your DSLR is not handy. No, it won't replace your DSLR but you'd be shocked at the quality you can achieve from this little thing.

One thing that I noticed right away is that the number of photos you take will increase dramatically. It's small enough to carry in your pocket or purse so all of those missed moments due to not having the DSLR around are history. I took the kids to the pool this afternoon. I would have never even considered bringing along my DSLR for such an outing but I carried my RX100 M3 in my pocket and have some amazing photos.

Things to consider: This model has the viewfinder and advance video features. The image quality is about the same for the previous models, so if you can do without the viewfinder and near 4K video, you can save money by buying the older model. Unless you're going to enlarge your photos to very large sizes, you'd be hard pressed to even notice a difference.

One downside to buying this is that I hardly ever bring out my expensive DSLR. I know there will be occasions that I'll need my old gear, especially for zoom shots, but that hasn't happened yet.
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Breakthrough capabilities for a pocketable camera - get 64GB SDXC, July 4, 2014
By 
This review is from: Sony DSC-RX100M III Cyber-shot Digital Still Camera (Electronics)
Have been through a dozen different digital cameras since 1999 - from DSLRs to pocket cameras. The RX100M3 strikes the best balance between portability and image quality yet. I noticed that my photo directories were becoming filled with mostly images from my Smartphone, just because I always have it with me. I wanted a camera I could have with me as much as my phone, but could capture images my phone never could. The RX100M3 is the answer. A note about taking an $800 camera everywhere - get a Pelican 1010 and a tiny Joby tripod. I stash these in my backpack, my tennis bag, my carryon - the M3 goes everywhere with me. Another note - you won't be able to use XAVC S video mode (including 720p slow-motion) without an SDXC card. If you buy even a 95MB/s Class 10 32GB, it's not an SDXC. Have to go to 64GB. Not sure why Sony requires SDXC vs SDHC, but I made the mistake of getting a 32GB SDHC card and had to buy a 64GB SDXC.
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