Why is Sony Rx100 famous

Sony Cyber-shot RX100 III review

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(Pocket-lint) - If you're looking for a high-end portable compact camera that has it all, it looks like Sony finally cracked it with the Cyber-shot RX100 III. This third generation model offers a large 1-inch sensor size but is rewriting the previous RX100 rulebook with a new 24-70mm f / 1.8-2.8 equivalent lens. It even squeezes a built-in retractable electronic viewfinder into the mix.

It all sounds great until you cross your eyes with the starting price of £ 700. But in the order of things Sony gets along with it: Since Canon and Nikon can't offer inspiring high-end compact devices - and the models with larger sensors are more expensive and not as precisely specified - the RX100 III seems like a step forward. Is it worth scraping together the heap of money required to buy it, and is the RX100 III really the new king of compacts?

Mark III: What's New?

If you have followed the RX100 series since its conception, you will understand the premise: a compact pocket device with an above-average sensor for first-class image quality. The second generation model, released a year after the original, updated the sensor, added a built-in hot shoe for accessories, and introduced a tilt angle mechanism on the back LCD screen. Both are still available at significantly lower prices than they either debuted.

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If you use the RX100 III, there is another new sensor update, despite maintaining the same resolution of 20.1 megapixels. However, the new model dispenses with the 28-100 mm equivalent lens of its predecessors and instead opts for a faster 1: 1.8 of 24-70 mm -2.8 equivalent. This wider but shorter zoom in the upper area, combined with the new retractable electronic viewfinder with 1.44 mm point, makes it the most comprehensive of the trio. But also the most expensive.

Small, smaller, smallest

After fishing the RX100 III immediately, the processing quality is immediately recognizable. The robust metal housing has a reassuring weight, which at 290 g is not too high. Although the Mark III model's 41mm depth is slightly wider than the Mark II model - there's an additional 5mm - it's still slim enough to fit in a pocket or pocket. This is one of the most attractive features of the RX100 III: It's not bulky like a Canon G12 and smaller than the Fujifilm X20.

READ:Fujifilm X20 review

However, the small size can also have disadvantages, particularly the small size of the buttons on the back. They're perfectly usable, but we found that the proximity of the rear d-pad to the raised edge of the LCD screen was annoying, and so was the little function (Fn) key.

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The Fn key is wonderfully useful, however. Use this option to bring up the on-screen quick menu. You can now access up to 12 different settings instead of a maximum of seven in the earlier Mark II model. A good step forward. However, there is no touchscreen function, so you need to learn how to use these little buttons.

Is it worth?

Despite the £ 700 price tag swirling around in our minds, the more we've used the RX100 III, the more sense it makes. It's £ 50 more than the RX100 MkII at launch and for the difference in price (although the MkII is much cheaper now) you get a great built-in electronic viewfinder that we think takes the series to a level of completion. We would most likely always choose to use this Sony instead of the more expensive Canon G1 X plus viewfinder accessory due to the physical size.

READ:Canon PowerShot G1 X MKII review

To use the Finder, simply pull the switch on the side of the camera and the viewfinder will pop out of the case. This is the first stage. After that, you'll need to pull out part of the viewfinder to align the elements and get a sharp preview focus. It would be better if the process were a single process, but we can live with the two-part "assembly" - it's quick and easy.

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The camera can be switched on by lifting the viewfinder, while pushing it back into the body - annoyingly - switches the camera off again. We'd like the option to control this through the menus as we don't always want the Finder to be exposed due to its eye level sensor, which means the rear window will turn off if something is too close to that sensor. Useful when you lift it to your eye to use, but not always desirable when it isn't. Hence, sometimes you want to stow it away but keep the camera in use.

The viewfinder is decent too, and we got along well with the side-facing orientation, as it avoids the typical collision of nose and LCD screen. The fully electronic scaling and refresh rate of 0.39 inches provides enough to deliver a consistently clear picture.

New lens

The main feature of the RX100 III is the new 24-70mm f / 1.8-2.8 lens. This is an interesting choice as it reduces the maximum focal length compared to previous models, but also offers a wide-angle equivalent of 24mm, which surpasses the previous limited equivalent of 28mm. Some will find the lack of long-end range to be a downside, but then this isn't a super zoom and a longer lens on this scale wouldn't be feasible.

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The new construction was chosen because it enables a much faster maximum aperture in the entire area. The maximum 1: 1.8 is only available at a wide angle of 24 mm and gradually decreases from 32 mm and above to 1: 2.8. So it's mostly a f / 2.8 lens. However, this is a big difference, making more available light available and giving more control over blurry background results and the camera settings used when shooting.

Other notable features

Just like the earlier models in the series, the slightly rotating front lens ring of the RX100 III is a highlight for adjusting settings or manual focus. We usually shoot in aperture priority mode, so the ability to slide between aperture settings is great - although a considerable amount of rotation is required to go from wide open to smallest, especially since the apertures are displayed in 1/3 stops . The lens ring also cannot be set to "click" like the Olympus Stylus 1's dual setup - it's just a gentle twist.

READ:Olympus Stylus 1 rating

The step zoom function also returns via the menus and allows you to switch between the classic focal lengths (28 mm, 35 mm, 50 mm and 70 mm) in twice the time. This is useful because the toggle control around the trigger to control the zoom doesn't fly right through the area.

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