Basic Specifications
Full model name: Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10 III
Resolution: 20.10 Megapixels
Sensor size: 1 inch
(13.2mm x 8.8mm)
Lens: 25.00x zoom
(24-600mm eq.)
Viewfinder: EVF / LCD
Native ISO: 100 - 12,800
Extended ISO: 64 - 25,600
Shutter: 1/32000 - 30 sec
Max Aperture: 2.4
Dimensions: 5.2 x 3.7 x 5.0 in.
(133 x 94 x 127 mm)
Weight: 38.6 oz (1,095 g)
includes batteries
Availability: 05/2016
Manufacturer: Sony
Full specs: Sony RX10 III specifications
25.00x zoom 1 inch
size sensor
image of Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10 III
Front side of Sony RX10 III digital camera Front side of Sony RX10 III digital camera Front side of Sony RX10 III digital camera Front side of Sony RX10 III digital camera Front side of Sony RX10 III digital camera

RX10 III Summary

Sony created the large-sensor, long-zoom camera segment, and now it provides its object of desire. The Sony RX10 III is a bright-lensed, beautifully-built DSLR alternative with triple the zoom reach of its sibling, the RX10 II. Jam-packed with features and offering great image quality, there's no question it's a heck of a camera, but it has a pricetag to match. Is it worthy of its considerable cost? Find out in our in-depth Sony RX10 III review!


Versatile all-in-one replacement for a DSLR or mirrorless camera; Great handling and build; Excellent image quality; Spectacular zoom reach; Swift performance with generous buffer depths; Extremely capable video capture; Comprehensive remote control; Quick-and-easy image sharing


Extremely expensive for a fixed-lens camera; Fairly heavy for fixed-lens camera; Somewhat soft in the corners at wide-angle or tele; Noise reduction intrudes at higher sensitivities; No built-in ND filter; Not as fast when shooting raws; Slow buffer clearing

Price and availability

Available from May 2016 in the US market, the Sony RX10 III is priced at US$1,500. In Canada, list pricing is in the region of CA$2,000.

Imaging Resource rating

4.5 out of 5.0

Sony RX10 III Review

by Mike Tomkins
Review posted: 07/27/2016
Last updated: 02/02/2017

With a powerful 24-600mm f/2.4-4 zoom lens and a high-resolution 20.1-megapixel image sensor, the Sony RX10 III takes the large-sensor RX-series into ultrazoom territory for the first time. It comes with a hefty pricetag, but boasts performance, features and image quality to match. But can it compete against its large-sensor, long-zoom rivals which cost barely more than half as much? Find out below in our Sony RX10 III field test! You'll also want to check out our performance test results, and browse our extensive gallery of real-world sample images.

If you're looking for our full Sony RX10 III overview, please click here to jump further down the page.


Sony RX10 III Field Test

More zoom (and horses) than you can shake a stick at!

by Mike Tomkins |

Last summer, I wrote our review of the Sony RX10 II, a followup to the original RX10 which I'd also reviewed a couple of years earlier. I really loved both cameras, and own an RX10 II myself.

Like the RX10 before it, the Sony RX10 II really made for a great all-rounder camera when I didn't want to pack a larger-sensored body and some interchangeable lenses. (In our current era of increasingly expensive baggage fees and stringent weight limits when traveling, that's been rather often in my experience.)

The RX10 III's launch was much earlier than I'd expected, but made a lot of sense
When I first heard that Sony was preparing to launch the RX10 III a few months back, though, my initial reaction was one of surprise. Not because I couldn't think of anything I'd improve in its predecessor, necessarily, but more because it came so hot on the heels of the much-praised RX10 II.

Sony RX10 III Image Quality

How does Sony's large-sensor long-zoom compare to its rivals?

by Mike Tomkins |

Below are crops from our laboratory Still Life target comparing the Sony RX10 III's single-shot image quality to its shorter-zoomed sibling, the RX10 II, as well as to its nearest 1"-sensor rivals, the Canon G3X and Panasonic FZ1000. By way of comparison to other sensor sizes, we've also included the Panasonic FZ300 as an example of a smaller-sensored camera based around a 1/2.3" sensor, and the Sony A6300 as an example of an interchangeable-lens camera based around an APS-C sensor.

NOTE: These images are from best quality JPEGs straight out of the camera, at default settings including noise reduction and using the camera's actual base ISO (not extended ISO settings). All cameras in this comparison with the exception of the Sony A6300 have fixed zoom lenses. The A6300 was shot with our very sharp FE 55mm F1.8 ZA reference lens. Clicking any crop will take you to a carrier page where you can click once again to access the full resolution image as delivered straight from the camera. For those interested in working with the RAW files involved: click these links to visit each camera's respective sample image thumbnail page: Sony RX10 III, Sony RX10 II, Canon G3X, Panasonic FZ1000, Panasonic FZ300 and Sony A6300 -- links to the RAW files appear beneath those for the JPEG images, wherever we have them. And remember, you can always go to our world-renowned Comparometer to compare the Sony RX10 III to any camera we've ever tested!

Sony RX10 III Conclusion

It's pricey, but does it have what it takes to justify the cost?

by Mike Tomkins |

Over the last couple of years, we've reviewed both the groundbreaking Sony RX10 and its followup, the RX10 II. And in both cases, we've found them to offer a whole heck of a lot of camera. In many ways, the RX10 II -- which went on sale a year ago this month -- has continued to lead the field in the segment which its predecessor created.

In one respect, though, both cameras trailed their nearest rivals. The original RX10 and its successor both shared the same zoom lens, and while its constant-aperture design was really bright, it had much more limited telephoto reach than cameras like the Panasonic FZ1000 and Canon G3X. The Sony RX10 III aims to resolve that. It doesn't replace the RX10 II, but rather complements it, with the two selling side-by-side in a new, broader RX10-series lineup.

Between both cameras, Sony gives potential owners a choice which its rivals don't offer: Do you want a bright, constant aperture while still retaining a very useful 8.3x zoom range, or would you favor even more telephoto reach at the expense of that constant aperture?


Sony RX10 III Review -- Overview

by Mike Tomkins
Preview posted 03/29/2016

In July 2015, Sony released its RX10 II digital camera, a follow-up for the original RX10 model which first shipped at the very end of 2013. Now, just eight months after the RX10 II hit the market, the next-generation Sony RX10 III has arrived and sells alongside that camera, offering a whole lot more zoom reach in a slightly bigger package!

The mighty ultrazoom lens is the really big news

The big story here is the Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T*-branded lens. Where the Sony RX10 and RX10 II shared the same 24-200mm-equivalent optic, the RX10 III opts for a much more powerful 24-600mm zoom with f/2.4-4 maximum aperture across the zoom range. Actual focal lengths range from 8.8 to 220mm. This much greater reach suggests that rather than being a replacement for the RX10 II, the RX10 III is instead intended to sell alongside the existing camera. (And indeed, we've received confirmation from Sony that this is indeed the case.)

Despite its huge zoom range and wide aperture, the lens has low to very low chromatic distortion, especially towards the wide end of the range. Sony has really pulled out all the stops in lens design for this zoom-monster, and the lens not surprisingly has a very complex formula. Compared to the earlier 14-element, 11-group design with seven aspheric elements, the Sony RX10 III instead opts for a whopping 18-element design with a total of 13 groups. That includes no less than eight ED glass elements, of which there's one super ED glass element, five ED glass elements and two ED aspherical elements. A nine-bladed aperture provides attractive bokeh; Sony didn't provide details on the aperture of earlier models, suggesting this figure is likely upgraded too.

As you'd expect in a lens this far-reaching, image stabilization is included. Sony rates the Optical SteadyShot system in the RX10 III as good for a 4.5-stop corrective strength. Focusing is possible to as close as three centimeters at wide-angle, or 72cm at telephoto. Maximum magnification at the telephoto position is 0.49x.

Aperture, zoom and focus rings are included on the lens barrel, providing an SLR-like shooting experience. There's also a focus hold button on the left side of the lens barrel near its base, making it easy to stop autofocus operation if you want to reframe before image capture. There are also 72mm filter threads on the front of the lens, should you wish to mount creative or protective filters.

A bigger and heavier camera, but not as much as you might expect

Not surprisingly, given its impressive new lens, the Sony RX10 III is both larger and heavier than is the RX10 II, but the change in size is rather less significant than one might expect. With dimensions of 5.2 x 3.7 x 5.0 inches, the RX10 III has grown by about a tenth of an inch in width, two tenths in height, and an inch or so in depth compared to the earlier camera.

With a loaded-and-ready-to-shoot weight of 38.6 ounces, the RX10 III is significantly heavier than its 28.7-ounce sibling, doubtless due in large part to all the glass in its new lens. That makes the RX10 III about one-third heavier than the RX10 II.

Like the RX10 II before it, Sony describes the RX10 III's body as being both dust and moisture-resistant, but provides no information on the number or location of seals. Nor does it provide any specific rating indicating the degree of sealing provided.

A new sensor, but with familiar specifications

The 1"-type, backside-illuminated image sensor itself also looks to be new, although sensor resolution is essentially unchanged from that of the earlier models. With an effective pixel count of 20.1 megapixels, the Sony RX10 III's sensor does differ just fractionally from the 20.2-megapixel chips of its siblings, however. As in the RX10 II, the sensor uses a stacked design with DRAM chip, and its output is handled by a BIONZ X-branded image processor. This provides performance enough to allow for extreme high frame-rate or 4K video capture.

Sensitivity ranges from ISO 64 to 12,800-equivalents, also unchanged from the RX10 II. Continuous burst shooting is possible at a maximum of 14 frames per second with focus locked from the first frame, again unchanged from the RX10 II. Even with AF active between frames, the RX10 III is capable of up to 6.3 frames-per-second burst capture. (Our test target for this is static, yielding this maximum figure; Sony rates the RX10 III as capable of five fps.)

Swift autofocus using contrast detection

Just as in the RX10 II, the Sony RX10 III focuses using a contrast-detection autofocus system, branded by Sony as Fast Intelligent AF. Subject-detection algorithms operate even before a half-press of the shutter button, and are said to be able to determine a focus lock in as little as 0.09 seconds.

The same viewfinder as the RX10 II...

Sony has retained the same excellent electronic viewfinder from the RX10 II for the new Sony RX10 III. Based around an Organic LED panel with a 0.39-inch diagonal and a total resolution of 2,359,296 dots, the finder has 0.7x magnification (35mm-equivalent), and a 21.5mm eyepoint from the eyepiece frame. Manufacturer-rated coverage is 100%, and a dioptric adjustment for eyeglass-wearers spans the range from -4 to +3 diopters. As well as automatic brightness control there is also a five-step manual brightness adjustment provided.

...and the same dual-LCD design

On the rear and top decks of the Sony RX10 III, there are separate LCD displays, just as in the RX10 II. The rear-panel 2.95-inch display has a resolution of 1,228,800 dots, and as well as those specifications being unchanged from the earlier RX10 II, so too is the articulation mechanism. This will allow tilting upwards by 107 degrees, or downwards by 42 degrees. The top-deck LCD, meanwhile, is a small monochrome status display providing basic exposure and operational information, again just as in the RX10 II.

Made with movies in mind

Like the RX10 II before it, the Sony RX10 III was clearly made with movie capture in mind. For one thing, there is no Full HD limit here: The RX10 III can capture 4K video at rates of either 30, 25 or 24 frames per second, and with bitrates as high as 100Mbps using full-pixel readout with no binning. You can, of course, opt for Full HD or HD capture if you don't need this resolution, and here capture rates top out at 120 fps.

Sony RX10 Mark III 4K video #1
3,840 × 2,160, 30 fps, H.264, MP4
Download Original (263.9MB)

Sony RX10 Mark III 4K video #2
3,840 × 2,160, 30 fps, H.264, MP4
Download Original (355.1MB)

Sony RX10 Mark III 4K video #3
3,840 × 2,160, 30 fps, H.264, MP4
Download Original (356.9MB)

And like the RX10 II before it, the Sony RX10 III also allows high frame-rate capture at rates up to 960 fps, although the rather frustrating requirement to have clips upsampled to Full HD resolution in-camera post-capture remains, meaning that you may potentially miss shooting a subsequent clip if the camera has yet to finish rendering the previous one. (We continue to hold out hope that Sony will eventually allow saving at the actual capture resolution, as there's little advantage to upsampling in-camera.)

Wireless connectivity

The Sony RX10 III includes both in-camera Wi-Fi wireless networking and NFC radios, just as did the RX10 II before it. This allows both for remote control and capture, and also for cable-free transfer of photos to your Android or iOS smartphone or tablet. We've found Sony's implementation to be one of the more impressively easy to use, with Android users in particular enjoying the ability to send a photo to their phone simply by viewing it in playback mode on the camera, and then bumping the two devices' NFC antennas together.

Wired connectivity

Of course, there's all the wired connectivity you'd expect, too. Just as in the RX10 II, the Sony RX10 III includes a USB 2.0 High-Speed data connection to get photos and movies onto your computer, and a Micro HDMI connector to let you see them on your TV. There's also Sony's proprietary Multi Interface Shoe, which doubles as a hot shoe for Sony strobes and an attachment point for various other accessories. And catering to video capture, there is both external microphone and headphone connectivity, too.


The Sony RX10 III draws power from the exact same 7.2-volt NP-FW50 lithium-ion rechargeable battery pack as did the earlier RX10 and RX10 II. Battery life is rated at 420 shots on a charge when using the LCD monitor, or 370 shots on a charge with the electronic viewfinder. That's 20 frames more with the LCD, or 10 more with the viewfinder, than was possible on the RX10 II. That's pretty impressive given that the RX10 III has triple the zoom range of the earlier cameras, and the CIPA test used requires that the camera rack across the entire zoom range once after every shot.


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