Time was we were convinced compact cameras were destined for the rubbish bin of history. Stuck between ever improving mobile phones and lower priced mirrorless systems, it looked as though compacts were as likely to survive as an icicle at Christmas. Then we started seeing snappers like the Cybershot RX series from Sony, and a comeback was clearly on the cards: small, powerful and keenly priced the whole format started to look more attractive again.
Last night, Sony announced its new flagship RX100 III. It’s a follow-up from the RX100 and RX100 II models, and features a specially developed ZEISS Vario-Sonnar T* 24-70mm1 F1.8-2.8 lens and adds a built-in OLED viewfinder with ZEISS T* coating for super sharp focussing and scratch resistance.
Using the same 20.1 MP 1.0-type back-illuminated CMOS image sensor as the previous RX100 II model, it adds a BIONZ X processor. While the RX100 III is a compact camera, the processor is the same that can be found in full-framed models such as the a7 and a7R models.
“With the new RX100 III model, we’ve added a brighter, wider aperture lens and an impressive retractable OLED EVF, while also utilizing the latest Sony imaging technologies to boost the camera’s processing speed and efficiency,” Patrick Huang, director of the Cyber-shot business at Sony Electronics said in a press statement, “And we’ve done this without sacrificing any of the true ‘pocketability’ of our RX100 line, creating an especially unique compact camera unlike anything else in market today.”
A major feature for the RX100 III is the new Zeiss lens, which covers the 24 -70mm focal length with a wide F1.8 – F2.8 aperture. According to Sony, the wide aperture at 70mm allows the lens to let in about twice the amount of light as the RX100 and RX100 II models.
“The new ZEISS lens realizes outstanding corner-to-corner sharpness, with nine total aspherical glass elements including two advanced aspherical elements that have been cemented together – a world’s first in lens manufacturing,” Sony concluded.
The RX100 III is expected to go on sale in June and will retail for about $800, South African pricing TBC.