Wednesday, November 12, 2014

The Sony RX100 M3 is a Triumph... and the Best Compact Camera of All Time

The first version of the RX100 released by Sony two years ago was a huge hit from day one and acclaimed by almost everyone who owns it and tech blogs, including by the one of David Pogue who, in the New York Times, did a long review explaining why he thought the RX100 was simply "the best compact camera ever made". And, boy, did i agreed with him! Like everyone who had the good idea to buy the first version i was stunned by the quality of the pictures, due to the amazing Sony 20M pixel sensor, the quality of the lens giving amazing sharpness of each image, etc... all this in a such small camera.

And recently, after Sony released last year the Mark 2 version of the RX100, they've released the third version, the RX100 M3 and this latest one beats them all and will please both enthusiasts amateurs and professional photographers... If just like me you're looking for a camera which is at the same time small, light, and can shoot pictures of an amazing quality - almost like a DSLR - then the Sony RX100 M3 is for you, as it's case - all in magnesium - is as small as a pack of cigarettes, it weights only 290G - battery include - and yes, it's a real "pocket camera"!

Not only its design is pure and beautiful but the new RX100 M3 has all the numerous great options, settings, manual controls and capabilities which existed in the M1 and M2 but it comes with much more as you will see. First, the Zeiss lens is now a 24 -70 mm ( instead than 28 - 100 on the M1 and M2 ) and although some might regret that it don't goes up to 100mm the fact that it starts at 24mm instead than 28mm is invaluable. And by the way, you can always get closer to the subject you're shooting... or use the digital zoom which is amazingly good for a digital zoom. Have a look at the pictures below shot in wide angle. By the way, please click on each picture of this article to see them in big size as they've been uploaded in almost real size for each file.

As always the quality of the "pixel" is stunning, thanks to the new EXMOR R CMOS sensor so if you need to zoom in post production in the image without losing quality you'll be able to do it easily. The contrast is always perfect, and colors are vibrant without being over saturated.

Among all the numerous options / functions available on the RX100 you can of course choose to do everything manually but the "Auto" or even better the "Intelligent Auto" mode is doing a great work, really. And, in the SCN ( scenes ) options there is my favorite which is the "Hand Held Twilight" mode. This one is here normally to shoot great pics at twilight without a stand but i use it too when it's full night, or when i am inside a place where there is not too much light and the result is stunning. Basically, the camera shoot 10 pics in one second and make the best out of them. The result is almost 100% of the time a picture incredibly sharp with great colors and all this hand held without a stand. Have a look at some examples below, all shot in the Quai Branly Museum in Paris, beautiful but the lighting is incredibly dark! Also note that the ISO sensitivity can go up to 25600 ISO.

There is of course also several options to shoot in black and white, and the rich tone B&W or high contrast mode will give you great results with always amazing sharpness. Below, a picture of paris Eiffel tower in B&W.

Also new on this Mark 3 version, the new codec video as not only the RX100 M3 shoot great pictures but it also film HD 1080p video and the new XAVC-S codec mean less compression than with the previous AVCHD and so better quality. Just remember that you can record in XAVC-S only on a SDXC card, not on a SDHC, which is no big problem as you can find SDXC memory cards easily.

But what tops it all what is new in the RX100 M3 is the amazing viewfinder that Sony engineers succeeded to include in a such tiny camera. And an electronic viewfinder with a gorgeous definition which will be very helpful if you can't see well in the 3" display screen because there is too much sun or it's too dark. The viewfinder pop-up when you need it and when you don't you just put it down so it couldn't be more simple. Because of that the flash is now in the center with the viewfinder on the left, and it's even better to have the flash in the center.

Talking about the 3" screen this one too have something new as it can move and be adjust up to 180} which will be perfect for those who're looking to shoot some selfies.

The battery last 3 hours, even if you shoot a lot, but as always it's always better to have one more battery with you, just in case. Now, you can charge the battery directly inside the camera but if you prefer - like i do - to charge it on an external charger, Sony is doing one that you can buy.

The camera do have WIFI so you can easily download the pics on your phone or iPad to see how they look on a bigger screen while you are in vacation. And if you have a HDTV with a usb connection you can connect the RX100 directly to the TV and watch pics and movies instantly, very easily.

I'd like to find something going wrong on this camera but, honestly, each version has been from the start a delight to use with such satisfactory results that i can hardly find one. Okay, here is one: if you buy this RX100 M3, think to buy too the leather case that Sony is doing. Why? Because although the camera is remarkably small it's almost a little bit too small, and the case will add 6mm more in large and give you a better grip on the camera, and of course a perfect protection.

The Sony RX100 M3 official price is $799 which might look to you a bit high, but believe me, it's the best pocket camera money can buy and you'll love it instantly, and won't regret one cent! Have  a look below at a series of pictures shot when i was in Paris recently, all shot day or night without a stand! And for a complete list of its specification jump HERE to the Sony website.

Another version of this article, with different samples pictures, all shot at Disneyland Paris has been posted on my Disney and more website HERE. Check it out!

In conclusion, and knowing that Christmas is coming soon, this Sony RX100 M3 would be a perfect gift for the one you love or, more simply, yourself! You won't be disappointed by this amazing and powerful 20M pixels camera!

All pictures: copyright Alain Littaye : No reproductions of any kind and in any way allowed without written authorization.

1 comment:

  1. Dear Alain Littaye,
    I would like to use one of the pictures you posted in this blog. How can I contact you?
    Thank you very much for your help!
    Heiko Schmidt