Sony has just officially announced the third iteration of its popular Cyber-shot RX100 high-end compact point-and-shoot camera – the Mark III. The RX100 III keeps the same general design of its predecessors but at the same time receives a few pretty big changes both internally and externally.
First off, the new RX100 III features a new lens – in place of the previous f/1.8-4.9 28-100mm zoom lens is a new ZEISS Vario-Sonnar T* f/1.8-2.8 24-70mm lens. The new lens is faster and brighter at the expense of a shorter zoom. It is also wider and has increased macro performance. Sony has also put in a 3-stop ND filter that will help when shooting in bright environments.
Shooting in bright environments will also be easier due to Sony’s innovative move to equip the RX100 III with a pop-up EVF (electronic viewfinder). The pop-up EVF, placed where the pop-up flash would be in the older models of the RX100, is a high-quality OLED Tru-Finder with a 1.4-million dot resolution. With the EVF taking the place of the flash on the camera, the RX100 III’s pop-up flash is now in the top center of the camera and the hot shoe previously found on the Mark II is now gone.
The old image processor found on the original RX100 as well as the Mark II is also gone and replaced with Sony’s latest BIONZ X processor which the company has been putting in all of their cameras lately. The BIONZ X sensor enables the RX100 III to shoot “pro-quality” full HD videos at a data rate of up to 50mbps with support for the XAVC-S codec and frame rates of up to 120fps.
The Sony RX100 III also features a new articulated LCD that can now tilt upward by about 180-degrees for self-portraits and downward by about 45-degrees for high-angle shots. The rest of the new camera’s features remain the same as its predecessors including the same 1-inch type 20.1-megapixel Exmor R CMOS Sensor, 10fps continuous shooting speed, contrast-detection AF, and battery life. The new camera also shoots a bit slower now with a maximum shutter of speed of 1/2000.
“Sony continues to push the modern limits of engineering and innovation with our Cyber-shot RX family of products” said Patrick Huang, director of the Cyber-shot business at Sony Electronics. “With the new RX100 III model, we’ve added a brighter, wider aperture lens and an impressive retractable OLED EVF, while also utilizing the latest Sony imaging technologies to boost the camera’s processing speed and efficiency. And we’ve done this without sacrificing any of the true ‘pocketability’ of our RX100 line, creating an especially unique compact camera unlike anything else in market today.”
The RX100 III will start showing up on store shelves and online stores sometime in June for an SRP of $800. A new range of accessories for the camera will also be released near its launch.