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on February 19, 2015
I've had nothing but trouble with this bundle..

First off I'll mention the good. The camera does have a lot of features and takes great pictures. I'm new to higher end cameras, and this one seemed like a good choice for getting a lot of setting and quality, while still keeping the small form factor. But then again, it's only a good camera when it works...

The bundled gear is pretty good. The charger, extra batteries, and memory card seem to work well enough. The memory card is SDHC, not SDXC, so you can't use it to take the highest quality video with this camera, so I had to buy another card. I planned to use the bundled one as extra, regardless. The case is awful and I bought a different one, and the tripod is a standard $3 tripod. Nothing special there. The screen protectors are handy, but get scratched up and you can see it in the sunlight. I ended up buying another brand of this as well.

Now on to the troubles..

I bought this around the holidays, which is good, because that meant I had more time to return it. I saw that this bundle was about the same price as the camera itself, so it seemed like a no-brainer. After about 2 days of playing with the camera, being very careful with my new purchase, I noticed an issue. When I turned the camera on, the lens cap shutter wouldn't open all the way. If I gave the side of the camera a little tap, or if I moved it by hand, it'd spring back to being completely open. It would close ok when I turned it off, but just wouldn't open. We had a trip coming up that I wanted to use it on, so I figured we'll try it out there. After another week of using it, this problem would intermittently go away (as in it would work fine), but the problem was still there. It was annoying to have to make sure it was open when I used it, and there were a number of times I had forgotten and can see part of the tops and bottoms of my pictures cut off with diagonal black bars from the shutter not opening all the way. By the time I got back from the trip, I was pretty fed up with it.

I contacted Amazon and Beach Camera about exchanging it, but since it was in a bundle, I needed to send everything back rather than just get a replacement. Luckily nothing had gone missing and I still had the box it came in, so I packed everything up and sent it back. I still liked the camera, so I ordered another one - the same bundle - to give it another try. After looking online and not seeing much about this issue, I thought it was an isolated case.

I got the new bundle, same as before. Everything was pretty much exactly the same, though the replacement batteries were a different knock-off brand. No big deal. I turned it on and was thrilled to see the lens cap shutter open all the way!

I continued to use this camera, trying to be super careful with it. It always went right back into the case and was careful with where I put it. Everything seemed to be going great.

Then, about 3 weeks after receiving it, I turn it on and get an error message "Unable to read memory card. Reinsert memory card." I hadn't done anything to it since I had used it last, hadn't opened the battery/card door or jostled it or anything. I tried reinserting the card and restarting it a few times and got the same thing. I took the battery out for a while, which seemed to help it, but 20 minutes later it was giving me the same error, and this time nothing I did would help it. I tried different cards, I tried formatting the cards, nothing worked (luckily all my data was ok, as the cards were just fine). By this time I was out of the time range to return it to Amazon, so I called Sony. After going through the whole process of cleaning the contacts, resetting the camera, etc. They ended up coming to the conclusion that there's something wrong with the camera, so now I need to go through the process of sending it to sent (on my dime) to go through the warrantee process to get it fixed. This is where I stand now.

I don't know if these problems are from the camera or from the batch that Beach Camera is sending out, but one way or another, this camera is 2 for 2 in failures, which is pretty unacceptable in my mind when it comes to something this expensive.

In the end, if this camera will work, I'll be happy with it. There are a lot of nice features and the picture quality is great. Am I glad I bought it in this bundle? Absolutely not. The only thing that was really usable in the bundle are the extra batteries and charger, but since they're off brand, who knows how well they'll last. I believe that if I bought this out of a bundle, this whole return process would have gone a whole lot smoother, and I may have even gotten a better camera from the batch.

So in the end, my suggestion to you, is yes, this is a nice camera (when it works). Buy it out of a bundle in case something happens to it. For something this expensive, I suggest buying a different case for it (Sony LCSCSJ Soft Carrying Case works really well), buy a larger SDXC memory card (the 64GB PNY Elite I bought with it seems to be very fast and works well), and get a better screen protector for it (the LARMOR is a really nice one, quite easy to re-adjust if you get any bubbles and it's hard to tell it's even there). All of my accessories were purchased on Amazon. You'll probably want another battery as the life isn't great on it (though I haven't run it out before I could get back to charge it), though an extra charger isn't necessary unless you really use it a lot.

I plan to revise this post if any other problems arise. If Sony handles the repairs well, I'll also come back and give them some credit for it. But if more than a month passes and I don't edit this, that means my opinion hasn't changed.

Edit 3/16/15

Well, this nightmare has continued.. I sent this camera in for repair under the standard Sony warrantee. First of all, the amount of wrong information given to me was actually impressive. Over the span of 5 days and as many phone calls, they made some pretty glaring mistakes. First, they told me the wrong case number, so when I called back, they needed to look me up by my address. Second, the person on the phone told me to send in just the camera, while the print out I was sent told me to include everything it came with. I was also given a link to a form to fill out, but the website was broken (tried it on 3 computers), and when I called in again to ask about it, they said to ignore it because it was 'down for updates.' I've had better luck dealing with Comcast, and that's really saying something.

I had to pay to send it in, which was another $9 I didn't want to spend. I sent it with tracking, and saw it arrived a few days after I sent it. I knew there was a 7-10 day lead time for the repairs, so I waited patiently. After 9 days, I decided to call Sony again. After looking things up, it turns out there had been 2 failed delivery attempts for them returning the camera. I was a little annoyed because I didn't get any notification (whether by phone or email), saying that the camera had arrived, had begun service, had ended being serviced, that it was being sent back, or any tracking information. In the end I had to drive to a FedEx and pick it up myself.

Yes it seems to be working now, but I first bought this camera at the end of December and now it's the middle of March. I find this completely unacceptable for a company of this size and for a purchase this expensive. After calling to complain, and telling them I won't be buying Sony products again, their remedy was to send me a gift card for the Sony online store (I'm still waiting to get the gift card in my email, no surprise there). Rather than products, I'll be using the voucher for an extended warrantee, since I don't trust this camera lasting me to June.

Edit 4/1/15

Still no voucher in sight from Sony. After calling back, again, they said it'll be up to 6 weeks before I get it, and I might not be able to use the voucher on an extended warantee.

All in all, this has been one of, if not the, worst buying experience I've had on anything for as long as I can remember. This will not be forgotten, and I hope others proceed with caution.
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on November 5, 2014
This review is for the kit, checkout the camera's main page (Sony DSC-RX100M III Cyber-shot Digital Still Camera) for more detailed reviews on that.

As of this purchase, this kit was the same price as a lone camera. "Basically Free" is the theme here. For that reason alone, you should get this or a similarly packaged kit. The 64GB Sony SD card included is a $30 value by itself. Just an aside: I did receive a Sony MICRO SDXC card w/ an adapter. I didn't have a compelling reason to reject this in place of the advertised (full size) SD card (same specs otherwise), but you might want to contact the seller beforehand if this is a concern. The battery was a decent Vivtar brand, and the mini tripod surpassed my expectations. The SD-USB adapter and the mini HDMI cable are nice additions, again, not the quality of product most people would choose to buy, but adequate.

The charger works and is pretty simple, it also includes a DC cable and a 2-prong (euro) adapter plug, which is nice for on-the-go and travel charging. One of my minor qualms with the RX100 is it's in-camera charging setup, not so much having to do it, but that the USB socket is covered with this cheap little plastic door and the socket itself feels fragile. I wouldn't want to have to rely on that all the time, so I feel like a battery charger like this is definitely preferable.

The not so great (keeping in mind that all of this was basically free): The camera case is pretty much garbage and I gave it away immediately. It would do if that's all you had, but I personally wouldn't trust my shiny new $800 camera in that thing. The screen protectors are cut-to-size universals, and aside from the usual screen protector application issues, they also would crease and wrinkle trying to apply them; forget about trying to get bubbles out.

All in all, this kit is a great deal. Even if you only keep a single item, you will still come out on top.

UPDATE: After about 8 months of abuse, the tripod is on its last legs. It performed admirably during its tenure, but ultimately the legs became loose and wobbly at the connection to the base. Oh well.
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on July 13, 2014
Great camera. So many features it is complicated to master them all. This bundle is great except that the SD card is SDHC whereas to take advantage of the XAVC S format for video you need an SDXC SD card. Having extra batteries is great. The case is fine. The RX100 III is small enough that I find I can carry it everywhere on my belt using the included case. While the camera fits in my pocket it is just a little big to carry it there routinely. The articulating screen is great. I have found myself taking quality selfies in the most unusual places, like with my dentist. The 24mm to 70mm zoom is great for most of my photos but I won't be getting rid of my DSLR anytime soon for the times I do need a longer telephoto.
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on July 29, 2014
The bundle of extras have come in handy but the camera itself is amazing. I took it to a martial arts tournament this past week, along with my 5D and my GoPro Hero. The range of controls is outrageous for a camera this size. multiple modes, f1.8, full manual mode. It does a lot and takes excellent pictures.
What I liked: the controls obviously. the pop up view finder fits how I like to shoot, I'm not an 'arms out' kind of guy.The size works, it fit in my front jeans pocket. I bought this for an upcoming trip to Italy. For me all travel is a photo expedition but no so much for my family. They like to look me in the eye at dinner - rather than see this big mono-eye attached to my face. So in the evenings I can drop this in my pocket, be good company to my family, and occasionally, if I see something that's really worth a picture I can pull this out and go to work.
At the tournament this weekend I set up both the GoPro and the Sony to shoot HD videos. The GoPro is a rugged camera and I have a lot more to do with it. But the Sony quality was off the charts good. It pulled focus better and faster than my 5D, kept up with the action and produced some beautiful footage. I'm not a serious videographer but I will definitely shoot more video with this camera than I ever did with my old vid cams. I'm also not a 'selfie' shooter but the tilt screen was useful in shooting video - especially when mounted on a low tripod.
What I liked less: It's a dense beast. They crammed a lot of stuff into a small package and you know it when its in your pocket. The fast lens is great but I found myself limited by the 70mm end of the zoom. I have to work on getting closer. the pop up fill flash does a good job of filling without blowing out the image. It feels fragile tho and I felt like I had to treat it gingerly in closing it. The tilt mechanism for the LED also seemed a bit fragile. Don't drop it while its tilted out! Better yet - don't drop it. Battery life was fair but not outstanding.
What was annoying: ARW file's! I had to update my LR5 to read them. No big deal in the end. I still cannot get the pano feature to work. Its user error but lots of less expensive cameras have this feature and its easy to use.
It looks like in reading this that there was a lot that I didn't like. The reality is that those are very minor issues for me. This camera is everything I hoped it would be and more. I keep learning little things like the manual focus image zoom. the more I use it the more I like.
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on February 4, 2015
This is one of those rare flawless products out there that really delivers exactly what you want, and you will feel good about purchasing. Image quality is top-notch, handling, features and speed are great. It focuses very quickly - and you get used to it fast. So fast in fact that when I grabbed my Canon S100 I thought it was broken it felt so slow. The RX100 m3 is everything you want from a compact pro camera and then some.
(As a sidenote, I totally recommend getting Sony's $15 rubber grip for it. It makes a huge difference in how firm you can hold the camera without adding any bulk to it.)
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on January 22, 2015
This is my 4th point and shoot digital camera. There is no comparison. Admittedly my other cameras were older than this one and not nearly as expensive. Still, what it can do is amazing. It has a fully automatic mode of course, so anyone can pick it up and take good pictures. It also is fully manual. You can even change manual type settings in automatic mode if you want. Even in very very dim rooms it can take a good picture. If you have the money, want an excellent camera and want to be able to fit it in your pocket (if you are a man) or purse, then this is the camera for you. SLRs will take better pictures but aren't nearly as portable. The only thing I wish this camera had is a bigger zoom. With a 20 megapixel sensor though, you can digitally zoom and crop it. So it isn't a huge deal. You will not be disappointed with this camera.

Edit. I should of course mention the extras that come with the camera. How could you go wrong really. It's basically free. All of the components are fine. The case isn't the best case, but it is better than nothing. The battery and charger are great. The memory card works as fast as it should. The tripod is exactly like every other tripod that looks like it. The rest is exactly what you'd expect. The shipping and packaging were fine and fast. I recommend the package.
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on July 30, 2014
Good value getting the SD card, battery and wall charger. The bag is very basic with no separate space for even a SD card. The screen protectors are useless. I used the squeegee to apply one on the camera and the protector was scratched pretty badly by the squeegee.
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on October 11, 2014
I don't really care for the rest of the items that came with the kit. I was after the extra batteries, external charger, and the memory card. The mini tripod I could get at the dollar store and the carrying case is ugly (but functional). All in all, it's a good kit. The camera itself is great, especially for a lazy non-photographer like me who just wants to use shortcuts to take great photos.
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on January 25, 2015
I am an amateur photographer who has been looking for a great small camera to bring along in addition to or instead of my SLR. The Sony RX100M III is the perfect camera, especially in low light settings where you do not want to use a flash. I took the camera to New York City and capture some outstanding holiday photos. The majority of pictures were taken at night, without a flash. The colors were outstanding the blurring was mostly nonexistent. The tree at Rockefeller Center, Tavern on Green, Lincoln Center, Russian Tea Room, and Times Square (pre-New Year) all came out perfectly in focus with vibrant colors. The zoom is adequate for my needs (that's what the SLR is for). The flash, when needed, provided plenty of light for close up shots. The view finder, (the use of which is optional) came in handy when framing certain shots. The only reason I have given this camera 4 stars is because the protective lens shutter does not always open completely when turning on the camera. This cause me to use my finger to fully open the shutter. This could cause me to "dirty" the lens. I have not played with all of the features yet, nor have I set up the WiFi photo download functionality as of yet, but I am looking forward to playing with some more.
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on January 23, 2015
The camera is almost all that I hoped it would be. My main "gripes" are (1) the meager grip space on the body, which is especially needed when using the viewfinder; there is little to hold on to! and (2) the lack of readily perceptible tactile distinction of the shutter button, the camera physically fine. As for the images, they are super. The camera was able to "see" images in very low light conditions that my eye struggled with. The range of controls is excellent. The "package" items provided by the vendor (tripod and sticky tapes to "protect" the viewing screen), although potentially useful, are, in reality, "junk."
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