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Not behind the 8-ball

Sony has put its weight behind large sensors in small cameras. This is the RX100 III, the third camera in the RX100 series to use a 1-inch sensor. Even though the sensor itself is the same 20-megapixel BSI model as found on the Mark II, the Bionz X image processor is shared with the mirrorless A7 and A7R cameras.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Lexy Savvides/CNET

Shine bright like an f/1.8 diamond

The RX100 III has a brand new lens. While the previous RX100 cameras started out at a bright f/1.8 aperture, they closed down pretty quickly as the focal length increased. This model speeds things up with an f/1.8 lens stopping down to f/2.8 at the telephoto end. It's roughly equivalent to a 24-70mm lens, which means optical zoom is only around 2.9x.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Lexy Savvides/CNET

Gone in a flash

Are you a fan of bounce flash? That's possible on the Mark III. However, it's at the cost of the option to attach an external flash via hotshoe, because the design has had to compensate for the addition of something rather useful -- as you'll see on the next page.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Lexy Savvides/CNET

Ready for your close-up

The RX100 now includes an OLED electronic viewfinder. It pops up from the top of the camera thanks to a dedicated switch on the side. Pull out the finder towards you to see the image. The EVF boasts a resolution of 1.4-million dots.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Lexy Savvides/CNET

Video and the codec star

Delve further into the menus and, beyond your standard options, the Mark III also gets the ability to record video in XAVC S, a trait shared with the recently-unveiled A7s mirrorless camera.

AVCHD and MP4 recording is also available for 1080/60p (or 50p for PAL) up to 50Mbps. Slow-motion fans will enjoy the Mark III's ability to record in 120/100p in XAVC S, though you need an SDXC card to cope with the demanding transfer rate.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Lexy Savvides/CNET

Read the manual

There's a shooting mode for every discerning photographer on this camera, accessed from the dial at the top. Full PASM control, plus Sony's sweep panorama and various automatic modes.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Lexy Savvides/CNET

Tilt and shout

Though I highly doubt the target audience for the Mark III will be taking selfies, the camera has a tilting screen that flips 180 degrees for your self-portrait needs. Unlike the viewfinder, this is just a standard LCD screen with a resolution of 1.229-million dots.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Lexy Savvides/CNET

Connected moments

Like a batch of other cameras on the market, the RX100 has NFC (for Android only) and Wi-Fi connectivity for hooking up to a smartphone or tablet.

The camera also has the ability to download a number of apps from the (mouthful of a name) PlayMemories Camera Apps website. First seen on the NEX cameras, these apps are downloaded directly to the camera itself and open up some extra shooting options such as star trail effects or time-lapse photography.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Lexy Savvides/CNET
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