Sony RX100 III Conclusion
Sony RX100 III Conclusion
It's not very often that we go into a review with access not just to the camera we're reviewing, but also every prior version in the line. We had that rare privelige with the Sony RX100 III, though, and it made for a very interesting side-by-side comparison. Initially, we were offput by the gradual increase in size and weight across the line, but it actually turned out not to be a big deal at all, although we'd definitely recommend an accessory grip for the Sony RX100 III.
Once we got used to the size and realized that this camera really does still fit in your pocket, though, we had a whole lot of fun shooting with the RX100 III. And shooting with it side-by-side with the earlier models, we really grew to appreciate some of the thoughtful changes. Little things like the tidier menu system end up making quite a big difference to the overall experience, but it was the increase in performance that really grabbed our attention, coupled with much more generous burst depths.
The brighter lens and more generous wide-angle position were also quite handy, but that's not to say we didn't have any regrets. We did find ourselves wishing for more telephoto zoom now and then, most notably. Of course, the high resolution of the RX100 III's image sensor means that you can still crop, but it's equally obvious that you're trading away print size when you have to do so. And we weren't thrilled by the RX100 III's new noise processing, which to our mind is a bit too heavy-handed.
Still, on balance there were far more positives to the Sony RX100 III experience compared to those of its siblings than the few negatives. And while we didn't find ourselves using its new electronic viewfinder most of the time, on the occasions when we did use it -- under harsh sunlight when even the RX100 III's bright LCD monitor was a bit challenging to see, for the most part -- it was a complete life saver. The improved movie mode was also a big plus, showing noticeably more detail at Full HD resolution, and we really quite enjoyed playing with the Smart Remote Control app, even if the other apps didn't do much for us.
Really, the Sony RX100 III is an incredibly easy camera to recommend -- at least, if you can justify its cost. There are no two ways about it: by fixed-lens camera standards, this is a pretty pricey little device. That's true for a reason, though, because other than its own siblings, this camera really doesn't have any clear rival. Image quality is in a different league to anything else this portable and pocket-friendly, and performance is superb too.
If you can stretch to its pricetag -- and it's definitely worth doing so -- we think the Sony RX100 III should be right at the top of your shopping list. It's a clear Dave's Pick, just as were its predecessors, and we think it's pretty clear that the Sony RX100 III is the best pocket-friendly compact on the market today.
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