Sony has just announced the release of it’s latest camera, the RX10 Mark III. This is the third version of the RX10 camera, which is essentially a high-end, fixed lens point-and-shoot. It carries a 1 inch, 20 megapixel sensor, and is capable of shooting an impressive 14 frames per second.
Sony has always had a reputation as a innovator in electronics. Probably my all-time favourite birthday present was a bright yellow Sony Sports Walkman, which was completely waterproof. In the digital camera market, a market that’s been on the ropes since the advent of the smartphone camera, Sony has been pretty aggressive in it’s attempts to be at the forefront of innovation. With the RX10 III, Sony has unveiled a lens that is almost without precedent.
In terms of the feature set, the RX10 III is very similar to the RX10 II, but the zoom lens operates from a relatively wide-angle 24mm focal length all the way to an astonishing 600mm. If you’re sitting in the stands at a baseball game you can basically make portraits of the outfielders. If you’re on safari you can get close-ups of the lions that if you tried to get with your smartphone, would turn you into lunch!
One of the downsides of very long telephoto lenses is that they can easily suffer from camera shake when you get really zoomed in. Camera shake is caused by small motions of your hands and leads to blurry photos. The RX10 III comes with image stabilization to combat this problem, which can really help you in low-light situations.
Less Distortion – Greater Clarity
Another feature I’m impressed to see on the RX10 III lens is the T* coating. This is reserved for Sony’s premium Zeiss branded lenses, and it helps to reduce light distortion in your images and improve clarity. I’ve been super impressed with the results when I’ve had the chance to test Sony lenses in the past (the Sonnar T* FE 55mm f/1.8 ZA for example).
The RX10 III has an electronic shutter mode, which means you can shoot in complete silence and at a mind-bending shutter speed of 1/32000 of a second! I’m not 100% sure when you would need that kind of speed, but I’m impressed nonetheless.
The video capabilities are also pretty noteworthy. The RX10 III shoots 4k video, and it can also shoot at an amazing 960 frames per second, which gives makes for some gorgeous slo-mo shots. In order to do slo-mo properly you need those higher frame rates, or else you end up with blurry footage when you slow down video shot at regular frame rates.
Sony is trying to lure people away from their smartphones and back to real cameras with an offering that has a massive amount of potential and can really cover a huge range of uses from long distance to macro photography, with some impressive video capabilities to boot. The sample images look really impressive too, but as photographers we always like to get our hands on a camera and experience it for ourselves.