The Sony RX100M3 (RX100 Mark 3) has leaked quite a bit in the past 24 hours, but it is now officially announced by Sony. The new high-performance, compact camera comes out with a new lens which features a wider focal length and a better aperture (A Zeiss 24-70mm f1. 8-2.8, 7-blade iris diaphragm). It also have a built-in viewfinder and it’s fair to say that no-one wants to buy one of those as an accessory if that can be avoided – at least, that’s my opinion, so this is an awesome upgrade.
The RX100M3 is designed to allow for 180 degree selfie shots, which seems to be the new buzzword these days. More importantly, the RX100M3 comes with an upgraded image processor, which is the Sony BIONZ X which is widely used and proven in other camera of the brand (the 1” EXMOR image sensor remains the same as the RX100M2 and the RX10). The four features highlighted in bold represent the “meat” of this update, but there are a number of other details worth looking at.
Sony says that the noise reduction has been noticeably improved, which is nice, since this camera is supposed to be a low-light performer (ISO goes up to 25,000).
The inclusion of the 1440k-dot OLED viewfinder is a huge improvement, and probably adds the most value to the overall camera package, since the electronic improvements are not quite as easy to distinguish. This is particularly impressive because the camera body is so small.
The RX100M3 is also interesting in terms of video recording. First, it is the first in the series to support the XAVC S Movie format at full HD 60p/50p, 30p/25p, 24p and HD 120p. Secondly, It can use the full sensor resolution (20 Megapixel) to digitally zoom and crop on a subject, making it seem like you have a 140mm zoom, without using magnification.
"THIS IS AN AWESOME UPGRADE" Sony also points out that the RX100M3 comes with an Optical image stabilization system that works on 5-axis, which include up/down motion, but also rotation on all three axis. This is a big deal because improving the zooming capability requires doing the same thing about the ability to control handshaking that inherently happens.
With the new image processor, the RX100M3 is not capable of locking on a specific subject in the scene and continue to track it during the shooting session. There’s also support for the Zebra function which is used to point out areas that are over-exposed. I’ve seen this on the Sony RX10 as well, but to be honest, it’s not something that I use regularly yet.
All in all, the RX100M3 is a solid upgrade for a line of product that has received a lot of praise from the industry and the users.