Sony RX100 III Shooter’s Report I: Up, up and away with the bright-lensed beauty


posted Wednesday, June 18, 2014 at 11:04 AM EDT


Late last week, the Sony RX100 III landed on my desk, fresh out of the lab and already generating quite some excitement with our first shots and a real-world gallery from production editor Dave Pardue. The timing couldn't have been more fortuitous: The hot little Sony with its impressively-bright lens had arrived just in time for a once-in-a-lifetime photo opportunity. (Or, as things would turn out, twice in a lifetime.)

What did I have planned for my first shoot with the Sony RX100 III? Well as it happened, the Experimental Aircraft Association's 85-year old, 1929 Ford Tri-Motor airliner was in town, and I'm something of an airplane buff. And this wasn't just a static exhibit, either -- the EAA was offering 15-minute flights in the Tri-Motor as part of their flight experience program, which tours the eastern half of the USA. (They also have a Boeing B-17G Flying Fortress which tours the country, as well as two 1920s biplanes and a Bell 47 helicopter that stay back home at the grass-strip Pioneer Airport in Oshkosh, Wisconsin.)

The Experimental Aircraft Association's classic 1929 Ford Tri-Motor came to Knoxville over the weekend. So did the Sony RX100 III, a bright-lensed followup to the RX100 and RX100 II. What better pairing could there be for some once-in-a-lifetime photos?

This was not an opportunity I was going to pass up, and the Sony RX100 III seemed like a great match for shooting the event. Doubly so because I own one of its predecessors, the original Sony RX100, and am gently batting around the idea of an upgrade myself. So last Friday and Saturday -- the experience was too cool not to repeat, while I had the chance -- I took to the skies in one of the earliest all-metal, closed-cabin passenger aircraft with the Sony RX100 III, keen to shoot some great photos and see how this bright-lensed beauty performed in comparison to my own RX100.

You'll find my initial thoughts on the camera -- not to mention a selection of my shots from the weekend -- in my just-published Sony RX100 III Shooter's Report Part I. And don't forget to take a look at the gallery as well. There were far more keepers among my shots than I could fit in the Shooter's Report, so there are dozens more shots in the gallery, not to mention Dave Pardue's earlier shots from an Appalachian Trail hike!

This wasn't just a static display, either. The EAA's pilots take paying passengers up for 15-minute flights that really let you soak up the vintage experience!

Got any requests for features you'd like me to test in upcoming Shooter's Reports, or questions you want to ask about the camera? (I have all three versions -- Sony RX100, RX100 II and RX100 III on my desk, so I can make side-by-side comparisons.) You can reach me in the comments section below, or at the end of the review itself.

While we haven't yet finished our review of the RX100 III, we have prepared an in-depth shootout of all RX100s and match-up reviews for the RX100 II vs RX100 III, RX100 vs RX100 II and (just for fun) the RX100 vs RX100 III.

And don't forget to check back soon for Part II of the Shooter's Report, where I'm planning to take a look at low-light / high ISO shooting, make some side-by-side comparison shots with the earlier cameras, try out the video-capture quality, and more...