posted Friday, August 22, 2014 at 6:00 PM EST


In a very competitive market that's been eaten alive by the camera phone, it's hard for a compact camera to stand out from the crowd. That's precisely what Sony has managed with its RX100-series cameras, though. Now in its third iteration, the line started with the original RX100 (RX100 vs RX100 III) in mid-2012, followed by the RX100 II (RX100 II vs RX100 III) last year, and now the Sony RX100 III. To date, these three closely-related cameras have seen no close competition -- other than from each other, that is.

But if you're looking for the best compact camera in town, competition between these three cameras is fierce, and the decision which to buy is a tough one. We've been unusually well-placed to try and make that call for you, though. Between the Imaging Resource team, we personally owned both earlier cameras, so we could make a careful, side-by-side comparison, shooting the same subjects with all three models, and under the same conditions.


In my three in-depth shooter's reports, I took the Sony RX100 III with me on some really cool shoots, taking the pocket-friendly little beauty with me in a vintage Ford Trimotor aircraft, and on a spontaneous road trip to coastal Virginia. Finally, I followed up with an in-depth look at stabilization, flash, video, and the newly-added PlayMemories Camera Apps, answering reader questions along the way. The final verdict, though, had to wait just a little while, as some t's still needed crossing, and some i's dotted by Technical Editor Zig Weidelich, who was on a very well-deserved vacation in Europe.


Now that Zig's back in the hot seat, we've completed everything that remains, and finalized our Sony RX100 III review, complete with our much-anticipated verdict. So which camera should you order -- the RX100, RX100 II, or their brand-new sibling? Read our Sony RX100 III review conclusion, look at all our in-depth test results and image quality comparisons, and find out which is the best compact camera that money can buy!