Sony RX10 III First Shots: The Big, Bad, 24-600mm eq. bridge camera lands in our lab


posted Wednesday, April 27, 2016 at 12:09 PM EDT


Just to be clear from the get-go for anyone who's not yet looked into this camera, the Sony RX10 III is not a replacement of the venerable RX10 II released last summer. According to Sony, that model is still current, and frankly the two are not quite the same animal. They're more like brothers... one a middle-weight contender and the other a heavyweight, each intended to address different needs.

While the RX10 III's lens offers an amazing 25x / 24-600mm eq. focal length range compared to the relatively modest 24-200mm eq. range of the RX10 II, the newer model weighs in at 38.6 ounces, compared to the significantly lighter 28.7 of the RX10 II. So if you want the extra reach, you get the extra weight and a slightly beefier body as well (but oh what a reach you get!).

So the all-important question to enthusiast readers is "How's the image quality?" With a lens so complex, this is surely an important factor in the decision-making for interested buyers. We'll bring you more results as we fully test this production-level sample including at wide and tele ends, but for now we offer our standardized lab test First Shots to allow you to see how the image quality fares across the ISO range at an intermediate focal length (85mm eq.). And of course, as you seasoned regulars know full well, this also allows the RX10 III to be compared side-by-side across the ISO spectrum against the long zoom competition in our Comparometer.

How does it compare to the Sony RX100 II at our standard lab test focal length range? Or how about the Canon G3X with its similar sensor and zoom range, or to the popular 600mm eq. Panasonic FZ300? Below are a few 1:1 crops from our Comparometer to get you started.
(Note: The difference in apparent size between the FZ300 and RX10 III test images is due
to the difference in resolution, 12.1mp vs 20.1mp, respectively.)

Sony RX10 II vs Sony RX10 III

Sony RX10 II                       Base ISO                        Sony RX10 III

Sony RX10 II                       ISO 1600                       Sony RX10 III

Canon G3X vs Sony RX10 III

Canon G3X                       base ISO                       Sony RX10 III

Canon G3X                       ISO 1600                       Sony RX10 III


Panasonic FZ300 vs Sony RX10 III

Panasonic FZ300                     Base ISO                        Sony RX10 III

Panasonic FZ300                    ISO 1600                        Sony RX10 III

Dive in below for a myriad of Sony RX10 III research options!

Sony RX10 III OverviewLab SamplesBeta Gallery

Sony RX10 II vs Sony RX10 III

Canon G3X vs Sony RX10 III

Panasonic FZ300 vs Sony RX10 III

Sony RX10 III Best Prices

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Canon G3X                       base ISO                       Sony RX10 III

Canon G3X                      ISO 1600                       Sony RX10 III