Sony RX100M3 Review – The Best Point & Shoot Camera

5 Posted by - Family & Faith, Photo & Video, Reviews & Buyers Guides, Travel Hacks & Gadgets

160320 Update: Freshly back from European travels and this tiny camera has never failed to impress. Updated this review with pics shot in full manual mode and edited in Lightroom with Motibodo to give a good idea of how much detail can be held in the shadows and highlights with decent exposure. Click here to jump to the new pics.

160104 Update: Still loving this amazingly pocketable camera. Updated the review below with uncorrected, hand-held video footage shot on a sunny (and shady) winter’s day. Very impressed with the dynamic range and auto-adjustments. Click here to jump to the video.

150810 Update: With Sony’s release of the RX100M4, I’ve gotten a lot of questions about whether I think it’s worth it to upgrade. After reading up on new features and updated hardware I’ve decided it’s not a worthwhile upgrade for most (including me). Here’s a great hands-on review which comes to the same conclusion.

150128 Update: Thanks to kReN’s comment, I was reminded to check for firmware updates. Firmware update v1.2 can be downloaded here. Not many specifics given on included improvements, but the focus seems to be a bit faster, and I can now reliably execute the hack of keeping the camera on when closing the electronic viewfinder by pressing and *holding* the power button just before closing the viewfinder.

140915 Update: Added Con/Wishlist regarding multiple-shot self-timer mode.

140915 Update: For my Youtube friends: the software I use to make AVCHD video codec mac-friendly is called ClipWrap.  Super-fast and easy.

140915 Update: Added link to mindmap of this post here


It’s kind of embarrassing to admit how excited I was to hear the Sony RX100M3 was in-stock at my local camera shop just days before we were to leave for our next destination wedding. It’s not that I don’t already have capable cameras, but the RX100M3 isn’t just any camera.

So of course I picked one up, along with an extra battery and charger.

Below is an unboxing video of all the goodies:

What’s the big deal?

You’d think I wouldn’t be interested in lugging yet-another camera around when we already have four DSLR’s lovingly packed in carry-on. But having a great point and shoot on my hip during travels makes it easy to document life in stills and video as it happens without the incriminating “look at me!” when lugging out the Big Guns.

The Sony RX100M3 is a pocketable powerhouse. With a 24–70 f1.8–2.8 lens, a large-ish 1″ sensor, great high-ISO performance, stabilized and excellent video recording, the icing on the cake is a combination of an 180 degree articulating LCD (great for recording videos & ultimate selfies) and a pop-up electronic viewfinder.

Say what?

Yup. How they crammed all these features and an electronic viewfinder into this tiny camera is amazing.

Oh yeah: they also have the best WiFi implementation I’ve experienced – transferring images to my iPhone is painless, fast and the camera is smart enough to cut the WiFi signal when it’s done sending the images.

Smart. Very smart.

Sony_DSC-RX100M_III_Cyber-shot_Digital_Still_Camera__Amazon_ca__Camera___Photo

Who’s it for?

The RX100M3 solves a lot of problems, and I can see it appealing to a LOT of people.

Pros will love full manual control and the addition of the new electronic viewfinder. For those of us who grew up framing with SLR’s, it’s wonderfully natural to compose an image with the camera to the eye.

But the Sony RX100M3 also shines in its amazing Auto-modes, making it one of the best literal “Point and Shoot” cameras I’ve used. The usual suspects like Program mode, Aperture and Shutter priority are provided on the main dial. But it’s the combination of a well-implemented matrix metering system and great high-ISO sensor that makes the Auto-ISO and Auto-Neutral Density settings totally usable.

Of course no camera is perfect, so Sony smartly gives the user customizable hardware to control the Exposure Compensation (details on how we setup our camera are below).

Video lovers will be equally happy: the match of hi-end video recording modes like the mac-friendly high-bitrate 50Mbps XAVC S codec with the 180 degree articulating LCD make it one of the best pocketable video recorders available. Add in the excellent 5-axis stabilization modes and you can see why it’s become my travel camera/video recorder of choice.

Below is our hands-on video review:

Pros and Cons

Pros:
  • Compact and Lightweight
  • 1″ Sensor – larger than most Point & Shoots
  • Built-in Electronic Viewfinder
  • 180 degree articulating LCD screen
  • Very responsive AF and shutter
  • Stealthy silence – barely audible shutter
  • Well implemented 5-axis image stabilization for both stills and video
  • Great low-light High-ISO stills and video
  • Versatile and high-bitrate video recording quality
  • Excellent Auto-modes, Auto-ISO and Auto-ND
  • Well implemented WiFi sharing to smartphones with smart battery management
  • Video: smooth zooming and consistent exposures when using auto-ISO
  • Customizable buttons and menu system
  • Battery can be charged in-camera with micro-USB cable
Cons:
  • f1.8 only at widest 24mm setting – quickly stops down to f2.8 by 33mm
  • Aggressive noise reduction noted at high ISO’s
  • No external battery charger included + slow-ish internal battery charging
  • Videos show “Rolling Shutter” artifacts when shooting fast-moving objects or panning
  • Colour rendition of JPEG’s SOOC not as pleasing as our Fuji X100s
  • Tripod socket placement not balanced – combined with heavy-ish aluminum build  makes for an unstable camera on lightweight tripods.
  • “Deactivate Monitor” menu option still allows LCD to draw power – would be better to allow Electronic Viewfinder use and kill all power to LCD to save battery and increase stealth (fixable with firmware update?)
  • Video zooming: slight stall when zooming beyond 70mm (i.e. when switching from optical to digital zoom). (fixable with firmware update?)
  • Auto-image review implementation in Single-shot AF mode when locking focus by keeping shutter depressed 1/2-way and taking multiple images: last image obscures framing when shutter kept depressed to lock AF. Better implementation would be not to show reviewed image until shutter fully released to allow shooter to most quickly frame next image when locking auto-focus (fixable with firmware update?)
  • Camera turns off when Electronic Viewfinder closed (fixable with firmware update?)
  • Multiple-shot Self-timer option takes 3-5 images in quick burst mode.  I prefer Canon’s S-series implimentation where it waits a couple of seconds between shots to allow for different poses/expressions and allows up to 9 shots in succession.    (fixable with firmware update?)
  • No external mic input – having such great video quality is crippled by the fact you cannot record better sound with an external mic.

Tips and Techniques

Out of the box the camera isn’t bad, but I found it a bit slow to actually use.  Also, even the best of technology and auto-modes galore can’t read my mind. Thankfully, Sony made the RX100M3’s hardware and menu system amazingly customizable to improve its response time and general usability.

Below is a video with the nitty gritty geeky details of our menu and hardware settings that help make the Sony RX100M3 a more responsive machine:

Unretouched Sony RX100M3 Images

They ain’t art, but the images below document our lives over the past couple of days and are shown as-is to give you a sense of the quality and colour you can expect from the Sony RX100M3.

Images are Straight Out Of Camera (SOOC) – saved in-camera as medium JPEG, extra-fine with logo added in PhotoMechanic.  Most images could use some minor tonal adjustments but for a point & shoot camera, the out of camera JPEG’s are more than decent.


Foodie Instagrammers REJOICE!  Great shallow depth of field when shooting food up close.

Poutine by Sony RX100M3 ISO1000, f2, 1/500

Poutine – ISO1000, f2, 1/500 – Manual

Boogies Burger by RX100M3 - ISO1000, f2, 1/250

Boogie’s Burger – ISO1000, f2, 1/250 – Manual

Lazy Monkey Noodles - ISO100, f2.8, 1/60 - Program +0.3EC

Lazy Monkey Noodles – ISO100, f2.8, 1/60 – Program +0.3EC

Thanks to great Auto-modes and its 180 degree LCD screen, The Sony RX100M3 lets you take the Perfect Selfie every time ….

Nevis Selfie - ISO125, f5, 1/30 - Aperture Priority +0.3EC

Mount Nevis Selfie – ISO125, f5, 1/30 – Aperture Priority +0.3EC

Pre-Trip Car Selfie - ISO80, f2.2, 1/40 - Program

Pre-Trip Car Selfie – ISO80, f2.2, 1/40 – Program

ISO125, f4.5, 1/80 - Program

Post-First Kyu Brown Belt Grading Sweat – ISO125, f4.5, 1/80 – Program

Leaving Nevis - ISO125, f3.5, 1/250 - Program

Leaving Nevis Selfie – ISO125, f3.5, 1/250 – Program

Carrying this camera on a night out at the park was unobtrusive and let us document every-day life with minimal effort and fuss.

Boys with Balls - ISO125, f4, 1/800 - Program -0.3EC

Boys with Balls – ISO125, f4, 1/800 – Program -0.3EC

Rock skipping? - ISO125, f4, 1/400 - Program -0.3EC

Skip dat rock! – ISO125, f4, 1/400 – Program -0.3EC

ISO125, f3.5, 1/500 - Program -0.3EC

Mama’s Boyz – ISO125, f3.5, 1/500 – Program -0.3EC

ISO125, f3.5, 1/320 - Program -0.7EC

Walk in the Park 1 – ISO125, f3.5, 1/320 – Program -0.7EC

ISO125, f3.5, 1/125 - Program -0.7EC

Walk in the Park 2 – ISO125, f3.5, 1/125 – Program -0.7EC

ISO125, f3.5, 1/250 - Program -0.3EC

Walk in the Park 3 – ISO125, f3.5, 1/250 – Program -0.3EC

Breakfast View - ISO80, f4, 1/800 - Program +0.3

Caribbean Breakfast View – ISO80, f4, 1/800 – Program +0.3

ISO80 Actual pixel crop of above image:

140716-Sony-RX100M3-13-CROP

ISO80 Actual Pixel Crop (Medium JPEG)

Note: below pic of random people at the airport was easily taken without notice.  The Sony RX100M3’s stealthy size and silence make it a great everyday-walkabout camera. (Editors note: I would prefer to convert this image to B&W but left it  SOOC just for you).

DFW Airport Rush & Wait - ISO125, f4, 1/8 - Shutter Priority -0.3EC

Airport Rush & Wait – ISO125, f4, 1/8 – Shutter Priority -0.3EC

Nevis Lookout - ISO125, f5, 1/80 - Aperture Priority +0.3EC

Nevis Lookout – ISO125, f5, 1/80 – Aperture Priority +0.3EC

Note: it was nice to be able to have my nightly chitchat with my Son without him caring or noticing me taking pics of him as he looked out on the rainy night.  The image is slightly brighter than real-life.

Nightly chitchat - ISO3200, f2, 1/320

Nightly chitchat – ISO3200, f2, 1/320

ISO3200 Actual pixel crop of above image:

ISO3200 actual pixel crop (Medium JPEG)

ISO3200 actual pixel crop (Medium JPEG)

Obligatory Airplane Window shots (sunrise and sunset) reveals decent dynamic range.

5AM flight - ISO125, f3.2, 1/60 - Shutter Priority -2.3EC

5AM Sunrise Flight – ISO125, f3.2, 1/60 – Shutter Priority -2.3EC

Sunset - ISO500, f2.8, 1/80 - Program -0.7EC

8PM Sunset Flight – ISO500, f2.8, 1/80 – Program -0.7EC

Note: the below image is brighter than it appeared to the eye. The second, darker image, is more true to the darkness of the actual scene.

Dock at Night 1 - ISO5000, f2.8, 1/50 - Aperture Priority -0.7EC

Dock at Night 1 – ISO5000, f2.8, 1/50 – Aperture Priority -0.7EC

ISO5000 Actual pixel crop of above image: Aggressive noise reduction noted even at Low NR setting but hey: remember this is a point and shoot shooting at ISO FIVE THOUSAND!!

ISO5000 Actual Pixel Crop (Medium JPEG)

ISO5000 Actual Pixel Crop (Medium JPEG)

Note: Both the previous and this image were both taken at Aperture Priority with same amount of Exposure Compensation (EC), so yeah: auto-mode isn’t consistent but one of the best I’ve used nonetheless.

Dock at Night 2 - ISO2000, f2.8, 1/40 - Aperture Priority -0.7EC

Dock at Night 2 – ISO2000, f2.8, 1/40 – Aperture Priority -0.7EC


Uncorrected Sony RX100M3 Video

Handheld and shot against sun and shade, this uncorrected video gives a good idea of how the Sony RX100M3’s built-in image stabilization deals with real-world video shooting scenarios including sun flare and zooming.


Retouched Sony RX100M3 RAW Stills

The Sony RX100M3 proved to be an excellent companion on our recent European adventure. Small, silent and super-fast to focus, it was always by my side and rarely left me wanting for more camera as we wandered the streets of Spain and Belgium both day and night. Here are images shot in RAW manual mode and edited in Lightroom using Motibodo. While it doesn’t hold as much detail in the shadows (or highlights) as our DSLR’s of choice, it is infinitely more pocketable and still my favourite point and shoot ever. I love this camera 🙂

View from my room in Ubeda, Spain - Sony RX100M3 at ISO800, 1/2000 and f3.5

View from my room. Ubeda, Spain – Sony RX100M3 at ISO800, 1/2000 and f3.5

Walking through the streets of Ubeda, Spain - Sony RX100M3 at ISO80, 1/200 and f1.8

Walking through the streets of Ubeda, Spain – Sony RX100M3 at ISO80, 1/200 and f1.8

Quin sharing her mad image retouching skills at our Masterclass in Ubeda, Spain - Sony RX100M3 at ISO400, 1/160 and f1.8

Quin teaching her mad image retouching skills at our Photography Masterclass. Ubeda, Spain – Sony RX100M3 at ISO400, 1/160 and f1.8

The cutest puppy in Ubeda, Spain - Sony RX100M3 at ISO2500, 1/160 and f1.8

The cutest puppy in Ubeda, Spain – Sony RX100M3 at ISO2500, 1/160 and f1.8

Sight-seeing with friends. Ubeda, Spain. Sony RX100M3 at ISO320, 1/250 and f3.2

Seeing the sights with friends in Ubeda, Spain. Sony RX100M3 at ISO320, 1/250 and f3.2

Sony RX100M3 self-timer 5-shot selfie at ISO320, 1/640 and f3.5

Sony RX100M3 self-timer 5-shot selfie at ISO320, 1/640 and f3.5

Jonatan lying down on the job - Sony RX100M3 at ISO320, 1/125 and f3.5

Jonatan lying down on the job – Sony RX100M3 at ISO320, 1/125 and f3.5

Sony RX100M3 at ISO320, 1/160 and f4

Sony RX100M3 at ISO320, 1/160 and f4

Friends - Sony RX100M3 at ISO320, 1/100 and f3.5

Friends – Sony RX100M3 at ISO320, 1/100 and f3.5

The toast - Sony RX100M3 at ISO2000, 1/80 and f1.8

The toast – Sony RX100M3 at ISO2000, 1/80 and f1.8

Wine with friends - Sony RX100M3 at ISO2500, 1/100 and f1.8

Wine with friends – Sony RX100M3 at ISO2500, 1/100 and f1.8

Sony RX100M3 at ISO200, 1/1000 and f1.8

Main Square. Ubeda, Spain – Sony RX100M3 at ISO200, 1/1000 and f1.8

Olive trees of Ubeda, Spain - Sony RX100M3 at ISO320, 1/800 and f2.8

Olive trees. Ubeda, Spain – Sony RX100M3 at ISO320, 1/800 and f2.8

Plaza Mayor in Madrid, Spain - Sony RX100M3 at ISO200, 1/320 and f1.8

Plaza Mayor. Madrid, Spain – Sony RX100M3 at ISO200, 1/320 and f1.8

Morning coffee in Madrid, Spain - Sony RX100M3 at ISO400, 1/1000 and f1.8

Morning coffee. Madrid, Spain – Sony RX100M3 at ISO400, 1/1000 and f1.8

Couple crossing. Madrid, Spain - Sony RX100M3 at ISO400, 1/640 and f3.2

Couple crossing. Madrid, Spain – Sony RX100M3 at ISO400, 1/640 and f3.2

Wonder Woman - Sony RX100M3 at ISO80, 1/40 and f3.2

Wonder Woman. Madrid, Spain – Sony RX100M3 at ISO80, 1/40 and f3.2

the most amazing mozzarella. Madrid, Spain - Sony RX100M3 at ISO800, 1/320 and f1.8

the most amazing mozzarella. Madrid, Spain – Sony RX100M3 at ISO800, 1/320 and f1.8

used book store. Madrid, Spain - Sony RX100M3 at ISO640, 1/320 and f1.8

used book store. Madrid, Spain – Sony RX100M3 at ISO640, 1/320 and f1.8

the old post office. Madrid, Spain - Sony RX100M3 at ISO1600, 1/80 and f2.8

the old post office. Madrid, Spain – Sony RX100M3 at ISO1600, 1/80 and f2.8

Madrid, Spain by night - Sony RX100M3 at ISO100, 4 and f5

Madrid, Spain by night – Sony RX100M3 at ISO100, 4 and f5

Ghent, Belgium - Sony RX100M3 at ISO100, 1/640 and f4

Ghent, Belgium – Sony RX100M3 at ISO100, 1/640 and f4

Medival Castle. Ghent, Belgium - Sony RX100M3 at ISO160, 1/1600 and f2.8

Medieval Castle. Ghent, Belgium – Sony RX100M3 at ISO160, 1/1600 and f2.8

Chilling with friends in Ghent, Belgium - Sony RX100M3 at ISO100, 1/1250 and f2.8

Chilling with friends. Ghent, Belgium – Sony RX100M3 at ISO100, 1/1250 and f2.8

Birthday kiss. Ghent, Belgium - Sony RX100M3 at ISO2000, 1/60 and f2.2

Birthday kiss. Ghent, Belgium – Sony RX100M3 at ISO2000, 1/60 and f2.2

Fish. Ghent, Belgium - Sony RX100M3 at ISO2000, 1/50 and f1.8

Fish. Ghent, Belgium – Sony RX100M3 at ISO2000, 1/50 and f1.8

Pig brains on toast. Ghent, Belgium - Sony RX100M3 at ISO2000, 1/50 and f1.8

Pig brains on toast. Ghent, Belgium – Sony RX100M3 at ISO2000, 1/50 and f1.8

Photography Masterclass. Ghent, Belgium - Sony RX100M3 at ISO3200, 1/160 and f1.8

Photography Masterclass Lighting Demo. Ghent, Belgium – Sony RX100M3 at ISO3200, 1/160 and f1.8

Photography Masterclass. Ghent, Belgium - Sony RX100M3 at ISO800, 1/250 and f1.8

Photography Masterclass. Ghent, Belgium – Sony RX100M3 at ISO800, 1/250 and f1.8


Wishlist and Recommendation

Pretty Please Sony ….

The Sony gets a lot of things right and the “cons” list is pretty small considering this is a sub $1000 point and shoot camera aimed squarely at those desiring great stills and video even in low light. But the feature I miss most on the RX100M3 is an external mic input.

Having such great video quality and multiple high-bitrate formats to choose from is great. Heck, they even included uncompressed video output via its mini-HDMI! But the weakest link in its video chain is the omission of an external mic input. There’s a saying that video is 80% audio, and I agree. The stereo mics are only good when speaking directly at them at close range – as soon as you get a couple feet away they are useless as is the wind noise reduction menu setting. Adding a 3.5mm mic input would make this awesome point and shoot awesomer … Or awesomest. It’s a shame the RX100M3’s doesn’t give us the option of adding great audio capture to match its great video capture.

the Ultimate Pocket Point and Shoot Still/Video Camera

Though not perfect, it’s amazing what Sony has managed to pack into the little RX100M3. I’m hopeful they can make improvements to usability via firmware updates, and perhaps even entertain my desire for an external mic input in a Mark 4 version (!?!). But even as-is the Sony RX100M3 the very best point and shoot I’ve ever used.

Two big thumbs up!

140716-Sony-RX100M3-01

Recommended Point & Shoot Gear

Thanks for reading and if you’re planning to make any Amazon purchases, would love your support by using the links below. Happy shopping and shooting!

52 Comments

  • ethan August 18, 2014 - 6:20 am

    please i wish to buy a camera and the budget is not my problem but the problem is that i don’t wish to buy any more camera after i buy any i wish to buy now and i don’t know anything about cameras but when i went to buy a camera the sony rx100m3 i had a chnage of mind when some dslr camera were shown to me,like the canon 70d, so please i will like your help, and i need a camera i can use for great pic and also in dark areas with low light without using the flash and also good quality videos for like dancing in a night club and much more ,so please give me our advice on what camera you think i should get ,please the price is not the problem but i would also love a touchscreen camera and also nice for selfie that is why i like went for the canon 70d ,thanks and hope to here from you soon

    • Dave August 18, 2014 - 3:56 pm

      Hi Ethan,

      there’s no “one camera fits all” that I know of. This has a smaller sensor than the 70d, but is likely better for taking selfies. The Sony is a very capable camera, but does not replace a full DSLR kit. Really depends on if you’re looking for a pocketable take-everywhere camera or a larger sensor with interchangeble lenses. The Sony lacks a touch screen, so if that’s a requirement, you’ll need to look elsewhere. Taking good quality video in a dance club might be a challenge for both. No definitive answer, and definitely depends on your needs.

  • Dave August 21, 2014 - 2:59 pm

    I am looking to buy this Sony RX100M3 and was told by a customer service rep that the issue you mentioned Camera turns off when Electronic Viewfinder closed (fixable with firmware update?) was fixed by Sony. I haven’t seen that information posted anywhere but can you look into it to see if that’s true. Would make a huge difference for me?

    Still undecided if I am going to purchase this camera or the older M2 version
    In your opinion is the $150 price difference worth the upgrade?
    Not a professional just someone looking to take great pictures of the family at home and on vacation.

    Thanks

    • Dave August 23, 2014 - 12:02 am

      Hi Dave, Haven’t heard of the firmware update but am pretty sure it’s a fix that has been on their radar so would not be surprised if the next firmware update includes it.

      Re: RX100M3 vs RX100M2. I’ve never used the RX100M2, but both are great for their respective price points on paper. Personally, I’d really really miss the 180 degree LCD screen which is great for taking selfies of the family. If you long for a more SLR experience, the pop-up electronic viewfinder is another reason the $150 is more than worth the price of the M3.

      Hope this helps!

  • Jaz August 22, 2014 - 9:28 pm

    What a great family you have! Thanks so much for all the info, especially your look at the camera menu; it was very in-depth and helpful.

    • Dave August 23, 2014 - 12:03 am

      Thanks for the kind words and glad it helped Jaz! Blessings and thanks for watching and reading 🙂

  • John September 14, 2014 - 6:40 pm

    Great review of the RX100 M3! Hey – I wasn’t able to locate the AVCHD software for Mac you mentioned in the 3rd video. If I missed it, my fault – please point me in the right direction. If not, could you post a link or let me know what it is? Thanks!

    • Dave September 15, 2014 - 9:38 am

      Thanks John! Sorry for missing that link. The AVCHD re-wrapper is called ClipWrap and can be purchased here: https://itunes.apple.com/ca/app/clipwrap/id553085183?mt=12 (not affiliated). Love its speed and ease of use! Happy shooting and sharing 🙂

      • John September 16, 2014 - 7:51 pm

        Thanks!!!

  • Paul Campbell October 7, 2014 - 12:36 am

    Dave, thanks for the review, but particularly the tips and techniques video, which was refreshingly clear and instructive. it will give me a real head start when my MkIII arrives later this week. I can’t wait!

    Regards from the UK,
    Paul

    • Dave October 7, 2014 - 11:40 am

      Thanks for taking the time to write and for the kind words! Have fun with your RX100M3 and happy shooting 🙂

  • OE October 9, 2014 - 1:09 pm

    A friend just informed me about the camera as I am looking for a good quality camera to replace my nikon P300. I was looking for a camera to take detailed pics and video(for interviews I plan on shooting for a blog I’m working on. Given what you said about the lack of a jack for mic, what do you recommend for quality audio capture? I’ve never really cared about the audio quality until now.

    As I’m on the verge of purchasing this camera, is there any hope for audio? Thanks so much in advance!

    • Dave October 9, 2014 - 9:50 pm

      Hi OE, thankfully there are quite a few options. I have the relatively inexpensive Zoom H1 (http://amzn.to/1yex9uC) which can do the job. The mics aren’t very directional, so when recording interviews, you’ll need to have the mic situated close to everyone who is speaking. If you plan to record outdoors, you’ll want to get a windscreen. I’d also suggest putting the mic on a tripod of some sort as there is lots of handling noise. I should note the auto-gain feature is mostly useless, so you’ll have to compress your audio after recording for sure. If you want something better, I’d look at the newer Zoom H5 (http://amzn.to/1yexNrU) It’s a bit bigger, but has more options and built-in compression which will (hopefully) make the audio sound better too. Most software apps like Final Cut Pro can auto-sync the audio to video, but it’s still a pain compared to rolling it all into one. Hope this helps!

  • Paras November 22, 2014 - 8:20 pm

    Hello Dave,

    I hope you are doing well …. Firstly you have a great family … GOD BLESS YOU & YOUR FAMILY !!!

    I bought my RX100 Mark III yesterday … Saw all 3 videos of yours on this camera and thanks for sharing them.

    I want to ask you that which Memory Card will be good for this camera to capture best photos & videos ???

    I am considering

    Sandisk Extreme Pro SDXC 64GB 95MB/s UHS-I Card
    or
    SanDisk Extreme PLUS SDXC 64GB 80MB/s UHS-I card

    Looking forward for your reply ……

    Thanks !!!

    • Dave December 3, 2014 - 11:52 am

      Thank you for the kind words and BLESSINGS! Re: SD card. I think the one I linked to (80MB/s) is the best price/performance ratio at the moment and does not slow down the cam in any way. Just came back from a European family vacation and loved how the RX100M3 performed with that card. Cheers and please use the links here to purchase.

  • Neat-O December 14, 2014 - 4:06 am

    Great review of the product. I was bouncing around between the Sony RX-100 M3 and the Panasonic Lumix LX100. I ended up getting the Sony and it’s been a lot of fun. It’s great being able to take pictures and have fun with the family without worrying about a ton of gear. I was wondering if you have tried any of the Sony PlayMemories Apps that you can downloand?

    Keep up the good work. Happy Holidays.

    • Dave December 14, 2014 - 12:10 pm

      Thanks and yes: I use the Playmemories app to transfer images to my iPhone to post on Instagram. I spoke of the setup in the video and love the simplicity of Sony’s wireless setup compared to others I’ve tried (Nikon DSLR’s and WiFi SD cards). Merry Christmas and happy snapping this holiday season 🙂

  • mit December 18, 2014 - 12:45 pm

    Hi Dave,

    Very good review! I especially appreciate your menu tutorial, very illuminating!

    What do you think about rx100m3 vs a6000? I read a6000 has better video control. But it also appears to have some very annoying overheating problem (that it would shut itself off after 10-20 minutes of filming). What about rx100m3 in that regard? I’d be interested in hearing your take on rx100m3 vs a6000 in general. Thanks!

    • Dave December 18, 2014 - 1:20 pm

      Thanks for the kind words mit! Re: RX100M3 vs a6000. I’ve heard good things about the a6000 but can’t give meaningful feedback since I haven’t tested it myself. One big reason the RX100M3 appeals to me is the compact nature and built-in zoom with great optics. I use Nikon full-frame DSLR’s for professional work, so the a6000’s ability to change lenses is not a selling point for me. But YMMV. Either way, it’s an exciting time to be a photographer with better and more options than ever before. Happy shooting and let me know what you decide 🙂

  • kReN January 28, 2015 - 6:13 am

    Hi, Dave. I just purchased the M3 and I am anxious to set up my customizable menus and settings. Your videos are a gold mine of information! and I am so glad I found you. More “how to” videos for beginners like me, please! How will I hear about a firmware update? k

    • Dave January 28, 2015 - 10:04 pm

      Glad you found us and so happy you’re here 🙂 Re: firmware update. Good question. I’m wondering if Sony contacts you if you register your product online? At any rate, thanks for the reminder to check: firmware v1.2 has been released 🙂 I just updated and look forward to seeing what they’ve changed. Happy shooting!

  • kReN January 28, 2015 - 6:59 am

    Dave, I wouldn’t mind some hints for customizing settings if you aren’t into video and almost always shoot stills. Or maybe if you need auto video settings in a pinch. Should have mentioned that above. Thanks. k

    • Dave January 28, 2015 - 10:26 pm

      Hi kReN, I actually mostly shoot stills so my recommendations would remain the same. Aside: I just recorded a new video with the RX100M3 and Nikon D750 and look forward to comparing the two systems.

  • […] + The amazing Sony RX100M3. Freshly back from family travels in Germany and Vienna and this unassuming camera continues to earn its praise of being the best point and shoot I’ve ever used. Read our full review here. […]

  • kReN February 2, 2015 - 2:40 pm

    I know that you, as a professional photographer, don’t mind carrying a tripod around everywhere. When we are traveling, I do mind. I looked at the Tamrac Zipshot because it folds and could be put in a backpack easily. However, now that I saw your video about how the camera can tip over, I don’t know if the Zipshot would do the job. I know I wouldn’t be able to leave it and would probably need to use a remote.
    Thanks for all your tips on the M3. Great info and keep it coming….like must-have accessories…

    • Dave February 2, 2015 - 7:48 pm

      For personal travels I also don’t like having to cart around a tripod. But if you’re talking about this Tamrac TR404 it should be able to hold the Sony RX100M3 without issue since it is rated up to 3lbs. I wouldn’t trust it for long-exposure work, but should be stable enough for quick grip-and-grin shots 🙂

  • Vabhru February 7, 2015 - 12:57 am

    Hi Dave,
    Supernice review and the ooc jpegs are a real help.
    But you have put me into serious dilemma.
    I have a nikon d5000 kit + 55-200 which I love but its now outclassed by most cameras. Also the DSLR form reallu deters the time I can spend with it.
    So I thought of replacing it and gettong myself a more modern and compact camera.
    I was very conviced of going in for the fuji x100t till I read this review.
    Now I am confused between the two and thinking can the fujis image quality really trump the amazing versatility of the sony ?
    What would you say ?

    • Dave February 7, 2015 - 10:13 am

      Glad you found us here Vabhru 🙂 Re: Nikon vs Fuji vs Sony RX100M3. Really the Sony RX100M3 won’t be able to create shallow depth of field like larger sensors, but it does so many things so well, and is so perfectly pocketable, that I’ve found myself taking more personal pictures than ever before. The Fuji indeed has better JPEG’s SOOC and the larger sensor and wonderful lens all add up to a spectacular camera. But the larger size, sluggish performance and bad battery performance makes it a chore to use. Personally, I’m glad to have our Nikon DSLR’s as well as the Sony RX100M3: full size sensor + pocketable low-light amazingness is a great combo 🙂

      A small aside: I also did my first video with the RX100M3 alongside my Nikon D750 and was amazed at the quality it produced. You can view it here: http://notsoancientchinesesecrets.com/best-travel-charging-gear/

      Let me know what you decide and please use the links on this site to shop 🙂

  • David March 18, 2015 - 10:19 pm

    Greetings Dave,

    Thank you for the great videos. I am looking at the Sony RX100m3 and the Canon G7x. I realize your review is on the sony but wonder if you have heard any info or have had a chance to use the Canon G7X. I am new to photography somewhat, I do have a Nikon D5300 but would like a smaller camera for my travels. Like you said it is nice to not have the larger camera hanging from my side all the time. Any input would be appreciated. Thank you again and Blessings to you and your beautiful family.

    David

    • Dave March 18, 2015 - 11:40 pm

      So glad you found me here David. I haven’t handled the Canon G7x so can’t give a meaningful comparison to my beloved RX100M3. I also have the Nikon D5300 and am quite surprised as to the dynamic range AND low light sensitivity of the RX100M3. Sorry to not be of more help, but really believe the RX100M3 is in a class of its own … For now 🙂

  • Brandon March 26, 2015 - 2:19 pm

    I just bought this camera as a replacement for the dslr while I travel and agree it’s wonderful. I’m amazed you didn’t mention the single biggest deal breaker for me with the camera. It defaults to 1/30th a second exposures when in aperture priority mode. It will adjust iso to keep it no slower then that… But won’t ramp up iso to keep it faster. Sony could add a “minimum shutter speed” to its auto iso feature (best) or at least I’d suggest 1/60th as a default minimum shutter. Seriously people don’t come out clear at 1/30.and with this camera, it’s the one in your pocket at the event or gathering… You’ll be shooting people. This is a firmware issue for sure.

    Lastly how on earth do you control the shutter speed and aperture independently in manual mode. Both my focus ring and the rear dial always control the same parameter. Either aperture *or* shutter. I customize one and the other follows it everything I switch out of and back into manual. A bug? User error? Mine?

    • Dave March 26, 2015 - 8:40 pm

      Hi Brandon. Re: Aperture priority. Agreed: annoying that 1/30th is chosen as an acceptable option. This is why when I want “auto-ish” behaviour I still choose manual mode and set my aperture and shutter while enabling Auto-ISO. I get far better results this way.

      Re: manual mode operation. You simple press down on the 4-way toggle to switch between shutter and aperture and turn the dial to change the current setting.

  • […] are a lot of reasons why the Sony RX100M3 is my favourite point and shoot camera ever.  It’s so light it’s ideal for an every-day carry camera you won’t be […]

  • Carlos May 17, 2015 - 2:56 am

    Hi Dave, hi all,

    I found this blog after watching Dave´s youtube videos and hope I can get some advice here on the following issue:

    I really like taking self portraits of my friends and me when travelling.
    And I have to say that I experienced “massive” distortion especially in cases of close up self pictures of a group of people (means: me holding the camera directed at me and the group which is at one armlength up to two meters away from the camera). Faces which happen to be in the outter third of the picture are kind of distorted. Faces in the center and the middle two third of the pictures are fine. Also distant objects (buildings, nature, people) are fine and not distorted.

    I think the very first picture of the ones posted here by dave kind of shows a bit what I mean – the one with daves wife eating cheese fries. Her ear gets streched almost spock style. 😉

    Can anyone tell me why that distortion happens and how I can fix this?

    (Never had problems like that with my old Canon Ixus 800IS.)

    Thanks,

    Carlos

    • Dave May 18, 2015 - 12:22 am

      Carlos,

      That distortion happens when shooting with a wide-angle lens. Your Canon lens was a 35mm equivalent (which wouldn’t keep much more than a couple heads in the frame at arms length) whereas the Sony RX100M3 has a 24mm wide angle lens. It allows you to keep a lot more in the frame from arms length, but will also widen at the edges. The wide-angle distortion gets worse on (a) cheaper and (b) wider lenses, but the Sony RX100M3 actually has a really nice lens on it and it doesn’t overly distort even compared with some DSLR prime lenses I’ve shot with. If you’re taking selfies, wider is nicer to have more in the frame, but you’ll have to live with more distortion at wider angles.

      If you want to get rid of it, zoom in. That’s why “portrait lenses” are often on the longer side (85mm-200mm): less distortion and more compression into the background.

      This all being said, I don’t mind the distortion and love the wide-side of things. But YMMV

  • Michele May 18, 2015 - 12:03 am

    Dave,

    I am going on a cruise of the Mediterranean. Greece, turkey, and Italy all have beautiful scenery as well as wanting to take pictures of the people and antiquities. I think the Sony 100rxiii would be a great addition. I’m am used to using a push here dummy (PhD) camera, but want some things a bit better. I found rx100miii open box at Best Buy for ju Under$600. Is this a good camera for what I need or am I getting over my head? Do you have any advice or suggestions on getting used to the camera or setting changes I should consider?

    • Dave May 18, 2015 - 12:26 am

      Two thumbs up for your next travel trip! The only thing lacking will be extra reach at the zoom-side. 70mm is nice, but won’t get you super-close to far-away action or landscapes. But this being said, I LOVED carrying this camera everywhere during our family travels through Germany and Austria.

      2 tips: Just be sure to bring at least 1 extra battery as they don’t last long. Also enough memory cards so you don’t run out of space at just the wrong time 🙂

      Re: camera settings. Definitely review the video here on setup. It’s a lovely camera even in full auto-mode, but getting to know your camera and personalizing it before your trip will hopefully help get the technical things out of the way so you can enjoy your trip and shooting all the more 🙂

  • Andrae July 20, 2015 - 10:41 am

    Dave,

    It was refreshing to watch your blog post on the Sony RX100M3 and also to learn about ClipWrap – one of the issues that was causing me concern as the video format.

    I have some further questions on the video format and would appreciate it if you would be so kind as to assist me with those (my email is set out above).

    Thanks

  • David August 9, 2015 - 3:57 pm

    Hey, great review. I know I am coming a bit late to the game, and the mark IV is out now, but I am not too worried about 4K video or the slow mo features that it adds. I am thinking about getting the rxIII. I noticed on a previous comment to bring enough memory cards. If you are taking pictures at the full resolution and the best quality, how many pictures would fit on a 64gb card?

    Thanks

    • Dave August 10, 2015 - 1:43 pm

      Hi David. Re: Memory cards. It depends if you shoot RAW or JPEG. I typically shoot medium/fine JPEG for day-to-day stuff, but if I’m traveling to a once-in-a-lifetime location, I’ll switch to RAW, which creates bigger files. There are a lot of variables which can change the number of images/GB, but my RX100 M3 estimates about 1400 RAW images on a 64GB card, over 2700 large/fine jpegs, and over 4700 medium/fine jpegs. Hope this helps.

      • David August 11, 2015 - 2:46 pm

        That is perfect! thanks so much!

        I am thinking about getting this camera… I’m going on a big trip to europe later this year and i want a good camera for that as well as potentially when i have kids in the next few years.

        I don’t believe I would ever get into photography enough to buy a dslr camera or a variety of lenses, but do you think this camera is enough of a gap over top smartphones (like galaxy s6 or lg g4) to warrant its purchase?

        • Dave August 11, 2015 - 3:11 pm

          Definitely will blow ANY smartphone out of the water. The only thing it doesn’t have is a super-zoom for reach. But when city traveling and with kids, the RX100 lens is great. Please use the links on this website when you’re ready to purchase and happy travels 🙂

  • dave h8fl September 11, 2015 - 1:23 pm

    Nice reviews!
    I just bought the rx100 IV and here is my issue. When will Adobe have ACR update for my new sweet camera? You have any juice with Adobe? It’s a pain using Capture One Express for sony. Lightroom is my app of choice.

  • Nico October 31, 2015 - 10:17 am

    Thanks Dave for your helpful tips. I hesitated a long time between the Panasonic DMC LX100 and the the Sony RX 100 III… Then between the RX100 III and RX 100 IV… Finally I had the same conclusion as you and I’ve bought the RX100 III. Last week I received my Sony and I started to play with it. Next week, I’m going to Namibia, I’m almost sure it will be a good trip mate.

    Nico from France

  • andrio November 15, 2015 - 10:17 am

    Hi Dave,

    excellent webiste and great review.. esp the last video on settings and tips..

    I have been using the gear for a while and so far very happy with oversall performance..
    However there is one issue I am facing when using playmemories mobile app.. I am not able to transfer videos at all ( I am using android phone kitkat os)
    have you come across the same issue ?

    • Dave November 15, 2015 - 2:35 pm

      Thanks for being here and the kind words! Re: playmemories mobile app. I haven’t used it to transfer video, but have come across the same issue with my Panasonic camcorder and it’s iOS app. I believe video is a LOT harder to deal in smartphones, since the recorded format (example: AVCHD) may not be compatible with common online and native smartphone OS’s.

  • RK January 28, 2016 - 1:48 pm

    Thank you for your excellent review of the Sony RX100-3. Very appreciated. Hoping you can help with a question: are in-camera crops possible with this camera? Some of the photos in your review were crops. Wondering if they were cropped in camera. If so, how? Or if you cropped these photos using another method, how was this accomplished? Hoping your reply can be thorough and clear as I am technically challenged.

    Enjoyed your photos, especially the ones of your family. Again thank you.

    • Dave January 29, 2016 - 12:34 pm

      There is a zoom, if that’s what you’re talking about. It is limited, but works well for street shooting. Hope this helps.

  • Adler April 16, 2016 - 12:46 pm

    Hi Dave,

    I was hoping you might be able to help with some random items. I am not an advanced user and usually default to auto settings.
    I take lots of landscape “drive-by” photos – out the window of a car or from a golf cart at slow speeds, etc. The camera will auto-focus on one area while the rest will have a low blur. Is there a way to maximize these types of shots?

    I also take a lot of photos thru my not-perfectly-clean windshield. The RX100-3 will always macro-focus on the windshield and not look “thru” the windshield. Any thoughts?

    I have fallen back on my Canon S95 which I always leave on “auto” and has always taken excellent shots based on my needs above.

    Much appreciated and great website!

    • Dave April 16, 2016 - 9:10 pm

      Re: lanscape drive-by’s. Best to choose a FAST shutter speed if you want to prevent blur. You can either try full manual, or Shutter-priority mode and select something like 1/500 or faster.

      Re: macro-focus. Clean your window 😉 And perhaps try a larger focusing point? The shots in this post of the olive groves in Spain were all shot through a fast-moving car’s window, but I did shoot a lot to get this one I liked best.

  • smolik March 8, 2017 - 4:32 am

    Hey Dave,

    Still the best review and I love the settings you mention in the tips & tricks video. Really helpful, thank you for that!
    Just bought the M3 replacing my really old DSLR, and it’s the begining of a beautiful friendship. Very best price / quality ratio (got the chance to buy it with discount).

    Best regards