Sony has just announced the release of the Sony RX10 III camera that is capable of capturing 4K and has an impressive 24-600mm zoom lens and a 1-inch 20.1-million-pixel stacked sensor.

Sony has just announced the new Sony RX10 III camera which sees a number of improvents over its predecessor. The key selling point is a longer zoom lens, which has a focal length ranging from 24-600mm (equivalent). This is a big increase from the 24-200mm lens found on previous incarnations of the RX10 series, and the f/2.4-4 apeture range is equally impressive. This put the Sony RX10 III way ahead of the Panasonic FZ1000 and its 25-400mm lens, which has now be around since June 2014. The announcement of the RX10 III comes as a surprise, with previously it being a few years between the original RX10 and its successor, which was released just last year.

Sony RX10 III

Front view of the Sony RX10 III


Overall the Sony RX10 III has many of the same video features as its predecessor, namely 4k resolution capture, as well as the impressive 250-1000fps slow motion modes – you can see more of these in action here.

The Sony RX10 III 600mm lens and HFR slow motion mode in action

New Lens Rings

There have been a few tweaks to the way that the camera handles, with the new lens having an additional control ring. There is now one for zoom, one for focusing and one for aperture control. This should deliver true manual exposure capabilities that feel far more akin to using a traditional camera and lens setup, which is great news for videographers. Of course these are electronic ‘fly-by-wire’ rings, so a lot will depend on just how well these are set up as to how useful they are for shooting video.

Example of the 4K quality from the RX10 III

Video Features

As you would expect from any current Sony camera it has S-Gamut colour and S-Log2 contrast modes available through its Picture Profiles menu. This allow you to match the colour between different Sony cameras, which makes the RX10 II a very interesting option as a secondary camera to something like the Alpha 7S II or even the FS5.

With such a large lens it is no surprise that the RX10 III features image stabilisation, again making the camera a good option as a ‘run and gun’ B-camera.

Like the recent Sony Alpha 6300 the camera actually oversamples the video footage – recording the full readout from all 20.1-million pixels on its 1-inch size CMOS sensor. It then downsamples this to 4k resolution, which should mean that it has excellent sharpness, colour rendition and detail, with no sign of the jaggies/aliasing that you can get on edges when cameras pixel bin their footage (for example, by reading alernate lines rather than the whole sensor, or area of a sensor)

 A sample of the 1000fps High Frame Rate mode of the Sony RX10 II

As with eth RX10 II and RX100 IV, the RX10 II features a High Frame Rate (HFR) mode that allows footage to be captured at 250, 500 or 1000fps. The footage is saved at a 1920 x 1080p resolution, but it is upscaled from a lower resolution of…

250fps – 1,824×1,026
500fps – 1,676×566
1000fps – 1,136×384

This is in the Quality Prioirty, where image quality comes ahead of recording time, which is only a few seconds.

Standard recording at 4k can be done at 24, 25 or 30fps, whilst 1080p can be recorded at 60fps.

In terms of power the RX10 III takes the standard NP-FW50 battery that is used in the Sony Alpha 7 (and NEX) series of cameras, and very useful indeed is the fact that the camera can be powered (and charged) via a USB. Tis should be good news for videographers, especially those shooting interviews or timelapse footage.

Sony RX10 III – Key Video Features:

  • NEW – Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T* 24-600mm f/2.4-5 equivalent lens
  • 1-inch – 20.1-million-pixel stacked CMOS sensor
  • BIONZ X Image processor
  • 4K video without pixel binning
  • Full pixel readout – collects approx 1.7x as much data.
  • 1000fps 40x Super Slow Motion
  • S-Gamut/S-log2 mode
  • Picture Profile image modes
  • NEW – Three lens rings  – focus, zoom and aperture can all be controlled smoothly
  • NEW – Focus hold button on the lens barrel
  • Dust and moisture resistance
  • Microphone input
  • Headphone output
  • Micro HDMI
  • NFC and Wifi

We hope to test the camera when a review sample is available in the coming weeks.

The RX10 III will be available in the UK from April priced at £1,250.

From the Press Release

High Quality 4Kiii Movie Recording

The RX10 III records video in 4K[xi] quality at a high bit rate[xii] in the highly efficient XAVC S format with full pixel readout and no pixel binning. This means that it captures approximately 1.7x more information than is required for 4K movie output and this oversampling effect enhances image detail as it minimises moiré and jaggies. The newly developed lens means that the camera can shoot high-quality 4K movies between 24-600mm, enabling huge flexibility in the types of shooting situations that can be captured. Furthermore, the inclusion of a high-speed front-end LSI assists the BIONZ X high-speed image processing engine in significantly reducing the rolling shutter phenomenon that can often distort how fast-moving subjects appear in 4K movies.

To enable compatibility with a professional video workflow, the RX10 III supports a variety of movie functions that are typically found on professional video cameras. The functions include Picture Profile, S-Gamut/S-Log2, Gamma Display Assist, enhanced Zebra function, clean HDMI output, TC/UB, REC Control, Dual REC, and Marker function.

New innovations

The RX10 III features a number of other upgrades compared to the current RX10 models. These include triple lens rings for focus, zoom and aperture, each operable on the side of the lens for smooth operation. The handgrip shape has been optimised for the new high-magnification large-aperture lens, particularly to enhance grip security when holding the camera at eye level. A new Focus Hold button on the lens barrel allows the focus distance to be locked when it pressed and can also be assigned as a custom function button. A new soft carrying case, LCJ-RXJ, will also be available for the new camera.