Sony RX100 III sample gallery images: Small in the pocket, Big on the trail


posted Wednesday, June 11, 2014 at 2:52 PM EST


I think you could say Sony's on a roll. The A6000 has been all the rage on our site this year, and there is no shortage of other Sony models vying for attention in their respective categories. But the RX100 line has become the dominant force in premium compact cameras since the launch of the line in the late summer of 2012.

If the numbers of you who have visited our Sony RX100 III First Shots news post or Samples Page is a good indication, the RX100 III is on the short shopping list of many a hungry photographic eye these days, ranging from those of you wanting to trade up in the RX100 line, nab a second camera as a smaller option to your primary camera, or by those of you who have yet to take the plunge into the premium compact world and are still shooting with a smaller-sensored point-and-shoot (or are simply frustrated by the limitations of your smartphone).

Whatever your background or experience level, we'll do our best to arm you with as much information as possible in making your own decision, and today's offering is our first set of real-world gallery images.

I was fortunate enough to have a nice Saturday to take my kids to the Appalachian Trail for a morning summer stroll, and we'd just received the RX100 III - a natural fit. I knew that I'd eventually be carrying not only my backpack but also my 4-year-old son as well, so I certainly wanted to travel light. Below are a few shots from the trail, as well as additional examples such as higher ISO shots and special filter modes, re-sized to fit this page and not otherwise altered unless noted. You can access all of the images on our RX100 III Gallery Page, and by clickling any of the thumbnail images you can access the full resolution image, EXIF data and more.

31mm eq. / 1/80s / f/2.5 / ISO 125
Getting my bearings on the trail and with the RX100 III.

40mm eq. / 1/60s / f/7.1 / ISO 125
Viewing the full resolution version of this image will show far more detail than a smartphone or traditional smaller-sensored compact could ever hope to achieve.
26mm eq. / 1/30s / f/2.0 / ISO 200 [HDR lvl 4]
Using HDR level 4 I was able to achieve a more interesting shot than a standard shot
(the non-HDR version is also in the RX100 III gallery).

70mm eq. / 1/80s / f/2.8 / ISO 250 [DRO lvl 5]
With a moving subject I was less likely to achieve good results using HDR, as that requires
multiple images to be fired. Because the background was so blown out here in comparison,
I used the Dynamic Range Optimizer cranked up to level 5 to bring out my subject (and his obsession with potato chips).

70mm eq. / 1/400s / f/2.8 / ISO 400 [HDR Painting (mid level)]

Certain subject matter can yield itself to effects that don't look hokey, and I felt this shot
using the HDR Painting filter looked intriguing enough to post here.

Once back from our mountain excursion I set out to find a few more interesting subjects for the gallery. Once I got used to the RX100 III it certainly was an enjoyable little camera to have along. I miss the additional zoom range of the previous models (100mm eq. for them vs 70mm eq. for this model) but understand that sacrifices are required in outfitting this model with the larger aperture across the available focal range.

70mm eq. / 1/60s / f/8.0 / ISO 400 [HDR lvl 2]

I tried a lower HDR setting on this shot to bring out the leaves in the foreground a bit.

70mm eq. / 1/60s / f/2.8 / ISO 160

In general I was very pleased with how the RX100 III renders natural and accurate color,
and the bokeh is quite pleasing given that it's a relatively smaller-sensored camera.

70mm eq. / 1/6s / f/2.8 / ISO 1250

This was literally shot at true dusk - maybe 9pm. The larger aperture at this zoom range helped
as compared to the previous RX100 versions, and the image stabilization also assisted given that
the shot was handheld (as were all in this series) and at a fairly slow shutter speed.

50mm eq. / 1/30s / f/2.8 / ISO 800 [Handheld Night Shot]

Like the HDR mode, Handheld Night Shot fires several images in succession in order to yield a
sharper image at a given ISO and settings than would otherwise be possible. Looking at the 
full resolution image shows the rather remarkable results. Below is a 1:1 crop from the image.

1:1 crop from the image above

Our Sony RX100 III sample unit ships out today to the competent and experienced hands of Mike Tomkins, one of our senior and most respected reviewers. Stay tuned for much more to come in his RX100 III shooter's reports!

[quick links: Sony RX100 IIIGalleryFirst Shots]