Sony RX10 III Performance


Timing and Performance

Generally excellent performance for its class, but buffer clearing is slow.

Startup/Play to Record

Power on
to first shot

~2.1 seconds

Time it takes for LCD to turn on and lens to deploy and capture a picture.

Play to Record,
first shot

~1.0 second

Time until first shot is captured.

Startup to first shot time was about average for its class, while Play to Record switching was good.

 

Shutter Response (Lag Time)

Full Autofocus
Center-area AF
Wide Angle

0.196 second

Time from fully pressing shutter button to image capture, zoom lens at wide angle position.

Full Autofocus
Center-area AF
Telephoto

0.218 second

Time from fully pressing shutter button to image capture, zoom lens at telephoto position.

Full Autofocus
Center-area AF
Flash enabled

0.277 second

Time to capture while forcing flash to fire, zoom lens at medium focal length.

Manual Focus

0.101 second

For most cameras, shutter lag is less in manual focus than autofocus, but usually not as fast as when the camera is "prefocused".

Prefocused

0.024 second

Time to capture, after half-pressing and holding shutter button.

The Sony RX10 III's full autofocus shutter lag when shooting the same target multiple times was fast for its class. The RX10 III's full AF shutter lag clocked in at about 0.20 second at wide angle using center AF mode. Full AF shutter lag was only a touch slower at full telephoto, at about 0.22 second. Enabling the flash raised shutter lag to 0.28 seconds, to account for the metering preflash. Manual focus shutter lag was fast at 0.1 second, and prefocused shutter lag was quite fast at only 24 milliseconds.

 

Cycle Time (shot to shot)

Single Shot mode
Large Extra Fine JPEG

< 0.3 second

Time per shot, averaged over a few frames (we no longer test for buffer depths in single-shot mode).

Single Shot mode
RAW + LF JPEG

< 0.3 second

Time per shot, averaged over a few frames (we no longer test for buffer depths in single-shot mode).

Early shutter
penalty?

YES

Some cameras don't snap another shot if you release and press the shutter too quickly in Single Shot mode, making "No" the preferred answer.

Speed Priority Continuous mode
Large Extra Fine JPEG

0.07 second (14.18 frames per second);
44 frames total;
31 seconds to clear

Time per shot, averaged over buffer size of 44 frames. Then slows to an average of 0.73s or 1.36 fps when buffer is full.

Speed Priority Continuous mode
RAW

0.12 second (8.03 frames per second);
29 frames total;
15 seconds to clear

Time per shot, averaged over buffer size of 29 frames. Then slows to an average of 0.63s or 1.59 fps when buffer is full.

Speed Priority Continuous mode
RAW + LF JPEG

0.13 second (8.00 frames per second);
25 frames total;
24 seconds to clear

Time per shot, averaged over buffer size of 25 frames. Then slows to an average of 0.93s or 1.07 fps when buffer is full.

Continuous mode
Large Extra Fine JPEG

0.16 second (6.25 frames per second);
51 frames total;
31 seconds to clear

Time per shot, averaged over buffer size of 51 frames. Then slows to an average of 0.75s or 1.34 fps when buffer is full.

Continuous mode
RAW

0.16 second (6.25 frames per second);
31 frames total;
15 seconds to clear

Time per shot, averaged over buffer size of 31 frames. Then slows to an average of 0.63s or 1.58 fps when buffer is full.

Continuous mode
RAW + LF JPEG

0.16 second (6.25 frames per second);
26 frames total;
23 seconds to clear

Time per shot, averaged over buffer size of 26 frames. Then slows to an average of 0.92s or 1.08 fps when buffer is full.

Flash recycling

2.7 seconds

Flash at maximum output.

*Note: Buffer clearing times measured with a SanDisk Extreme Pro 95MB/sec UHS-I SDHC memory card. Slower cards will produce correspondingly slower clearing times. Slow cards may also limit length of bursts in continuous mode. ISO sensitivity also affects cycle times and burst mode performance, with higher ISOs generally increasing cycle times and reducing burst performance.

Single-shot cycle times were so fast that they were difficult to accurately measure as they depend on the tester's nimbleness and ability to maintain an optimum rhythm, so your results may vary. (Note that we no longer test single-shot mode with just RAW files, as the results are usually somewhere in between. Also note that the Sony RX10 III does not support capturing JPEGs using highest quality Extra Fine compression when shooting with RAW files, dropping JPEGs down to Fine quality.)

The Sony RX10 III's Speed Priority continuous shooting mode burst rate was outstanding when shooting just Extra Fine JPEGs, averaging about 14.2 frames per second in our test, slightly faster than Sony's spec. When shooting RAW files, the RX10 III's burst speed slowed to about 8 frames per second for RAW or RAW+JPEG files, but that's still quite fast. Do note that Speed Priority Continuous mode locks autofocus at the first frame of a burst, though, however it can be setup to adjust exposure between frames.

The Sony RX10 III's standard continuous mode tested at 6.3 frames per second no matter the file type in the lab, significantly faster than Sony's 5 fps spec, however our target is static for this test (continuous AF is supported in this mode).

Buffer depths were excellent at about 44 best quality JPEGs, 29 RAW or 25 RAW+JPEG files in Speed Priority mode, and 51, 31 and 26 frames respectively in standard continuous mode.

Buffer clearing was slow, though, taking 31 seconds after a max-length burst of best quality JPEGs, 15 seconds for RAW, and 23 or 24 seconds for RAW+JPEG files with our 95MB/s UHS-I SDHC card. (Unfortunately, the Sony RX10 III does not support faster UHS-II cards.) The RX10 III does however let you take additional shots and adjust settings while the buffer is clearing, however you cannot view just-shot pictures until buffer clearing has finished.

The built-in flash took an average of 2.7 seconds to recharge after a full-power discharge, which is good.

 

Bottom line, the Sony RX10 III's performance was generally excellent with fast AF, low shutter lag and an outstanding 14.2 fps full-res burst speed when shooting JPEGs in Speed Priority mode. It does slow down to 8 fps when shooting RAW files, but that's still quite fast. Buffer clearing was however quite slow, taking up to 31 seconds after a max-length burst of Extra Fine JPEGs with a fast UHS-I card and the RX10 III doesn't support faster UHS-II cards.

Battery

Battery Life
Good battery life for its class.

Operating Mode Number of Shots
Still Capture
(CIPA standard, LCD Monitor)
420
Still Capture
(CIPA standard, EVF)
370

The Sony RX10 III uses a custom NP-FW50 rechargeable lithium-ion battery for power, and the battery is charged in-camera via the USB port. CIPA-rated battery life is a bit higher than average for its class at 420 shots when using the LCD monitor, though it drops a bit to 370 shots when using the electronic viewfinder. We recommend you pick up a spare battery for extended outings.

The table above shows the number of shots the camera is capable of (on a fully-charged rechargeable battery as appropriate), based on CIPA battery-life and/or manufacturer standard test conditions.

(Interested readers can find an English translation of the CIPA DC-002 standards document here. (180K PDF document))

 



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