Sony has an update ready to their RX100 compact camera line. The RX100 III is the successor to the RX100 II, and while some things have remained the same, there are enough upgrades here to consider the newer version over the older model.
The RX100 cameras are distinguished by being compact, fixed-lens cameras with high-end hardware. To that end, the RX100 III has the same 20.1 MP 1.0-type CMOS sensor as the RX100 II, but now is backed up by Sony’s BIONZ X image processor, which you would previously only find in Sony’s full-frame cameras. There’s also a brand new Zeiss lens – a Vario-Sonnar T* 24-70 mm F1.8-2.8 offering that has a few advantages over the lens on the RX100 II. At 70 mm, the lens will be able to take in twice as much light as before, and a new Zeiss T* coating cuts down on ghosting.
Also new on the RX100 III is an OLED Tru-Finder. The electronic viewfinder has a 1.4 million dot resolution, so you should have a pretty good idea of what you’re shooting before you see the final results.
Meanwhile, the new BIONZ X image processor has enabled 1080p video recording in the XAVC S format, a first for Sony’s compact, fixed-lens cameras. That format allows for faster write speeds, meaning less compression and a more accurate representation of the event you’re recording. You can also choose to record in AVCHD or MP4 at the same time, so you can have the XAVC S for editing and the more compressed formats for quick sharing – similar to the difference between RAW and JPEGs for stills. Speaking of stills, it’s possible to get 4k-quality still images with the RX100 III.
There’s also plenty of options for tweaking camera settings – it’s not quite as robust in this area as a full-sized DSLR, but it’s pretty close. Rounding out the details are an HDMI-out port, 120 fps recording at 720p, Wi-Fi, NFC, and compatibility with Sony’s suite of PlayMemories apps.
The Sony RX100 III will drop in June for $800.