Sony RX10 III is a New 4K Camera with 24-600mm Zoom, S-Log2, and Super-Slow Motion

Not content with announcing new cameras at every major trade show such IBC and NAB, Sony are determined to fill every market segment possible by announcing new 4K camera and doing so at a breakneck pace every month. Last month Sony announced the PXW-Z150 pro camcorder (announced last month at BVE in London) plus the exciting and much more compact 4K APS-C mirrorless a6300, and now it’s time for an upgrade to the RX10 II. That’s right, Sony has just announced the RX10 III, a super-zoom 4K camera with a 1-inch 20 megapixel sensor and some impressive slow-motion capabilities. And even though this is not the sort of camera I’d expect to be announced at a major trade show, with less than 3 weeks to NAB, I am sure Sony have something really exciting up their sleeve in the pro camera department (FS5/FS7 range I’ve heard).

Sony rx10 iii 24-600mm zoom

As an RX10 II owner, my heart sank a little bit earlier when I saw the B&H notification email in my inbox… I thought to myself – What!? Sony is replacing my camera already? It hasn’t even been a year since the RX10 II started shipping! 

OK, so what is new with the RX10 III? 

Looking at the exterior, nothing much seems to have changed body-wise, the design seems the same – button placement, same – but at the front lays the big difference. Unlike the 8.3x zoom fixed Zeiss lens (24-200mm f2.8 in 35mm equivalent) on the previous model, the RX10 III boasts a gigantic 25x zoom – the lens is now a 24-600mm f2.4-4.0, which is a massive increase in range at the expense of a variable aperture, which even at f4.0 still remains rather decent.

As on the RX10 II, the new zoom lens is stabilised, but this time around features a larger 72mm front thread as it is a beefier lens. The RX10 II for comparison has a 62mm front filter thread.

Screen Shot 2016-03-29 at 21.58.27

There now appear to also be 3 rings on the lens – one for zoom, one for focus and an aperture one; the RX10 had one for zoom/focus and one for aperture. This is a nice touch for shooting video where you want to have as much manual control over these parameters as possible, although the focus-by-wire makes repeating focus almost impossible.

Going through the specs, I am no seeing any other changes – there is the same 20.1 Megapixel 1-inch sensor, 4K at 30p in XAVC-S, 1080/120fps and also 240fps/480 and even 960fps super-slow motion in burst cache intervals. I am not however seeing a built-in 1-stage 3 stop ND filter as on the RX10 II, which is very useful in video mode as Slog2 starts at ISO 800 and up.

On the side of the camera I see a headphone and a 3.5mm microphone input – a major plus for those planning on using the camera for run-n-gun applications such as documentaries or event work.

Sony RX10 III Frame rates/Resolutions

  • 4K/UHD 3840 x 2160 – 24/25/30p (XAVC-S 100Mb/s)
  • 1920 x 1080p: 60 fps, 30 fps, 24 fps
  • 1280 x 720p: 30 fps
  • 1920 x 1080p (upscaled): 960 fps, 480 fps, 240 fps
    • 1824 x 1026p: 240 fps
    • 1676 x 566p: 480 fps, 240 fps
    • 1136 x 384p: 960 fps, 480 fps
    • 800 x 270p: 960 fps

sony rx10 iii side

Sony RX10 III Features & Highlights – $1,498 at B&H

  • 20.1MP 1″ Exmor RS BSI CMOS Sensor
  • BIONZ X Image Processor
  • Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T* f/2.4-4 Zoom Lens
  • 24-600mm (35mm Equivalent)
  • 2.36m-Dot OLED Tru-Finder EVF
  • 3.0″ 1.228m-Dot Tilting Xtra Fine LCD
  • UHD 4K/30p Video, Full HD 1080p /120fps
  • S-Log2/S.Gamut
  • 240fps and above in reduced resolutions
  • Built-In Wi-Fi with NFC
  • ISO 12800 and 14 fps Continuous Shooting
  • Optical SteadyShot Image Stabilization

Here are a few video examples of the features and slow-motion capabilities of the new RX10 III produced by Sony:

Would I be upgrading my RX1o II to the III? The RX10 II is currently 1,298 USD at B&H, and the RX10 III costs just $200 more, but I doubt I would go for it – I really like my RX10 II, and I don’t think I need the 25x zoom range, as useful as it may be for sporting events and other applications.

At this stage, I find the Clear Image Zoom on the RX10 II to give me all the range I need. Plus, I still get to have a built-in ND filter and a more compact lens.

Sony RX10 II 4K to 1080p S-Log2 Test from 4K Shooters on Vimeo.

The Sony RX10 III will start at $1,498 at major authorized resellers such as B&H with pre-orders starting March 31st at 11:00 AM Eastern time.

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  • Pushbiker

    This camera is just a Panasonic FZ1000 with a couple of extra rings on the lens. Nothing new here move along

    • except that the fz1000 has a 16x zoom, no V-log and none of the 100+ frame rates

  • Rui Monteiro

    “I am sure Sony have something really exciting up their sleeve in the pro camera department (FS5/FS7 range I’ve heard).”

    A new pxw fs9 8k / Fs3/ or something new like a 7s2 in a body look´s canon c100 in a price range of 3500-4000$… will be nice 🙂

    • whatever it is they are competing with themselves. No new cinealta cameras though. No F65 successor, and no F55/F5 successors either, which is good for current owners. NAB 2017 will def see a refresh in the CineAlta range. This year its a new XDCAM – PXW camera, again… its so boring

  • Joseph Jobe

    I wonder if the RX10 2 will get a firmware upgrade to match?

    • as in what specifically? the rx10 2 has the same frame rates and all. just a shorter lens and built in ND which is a plus.

  • LAB 2.35:1

    Ogy – I’m with you on keeping the RX10ii and resorting to Clear Image Zoom for extra reach. Love mine and holding on to it. Wondering if you can answer this or make a suggestion: HFR… i’ve not used it as much as I should, and now that I am, I’m confused about the 180 degree shutter rule when shooting in HFR… If want to, for example, shoot at 240fps/24p… should I be looking at 1/500 shutter (using the Manual mode in HFR) or what’s the story here? Same for the other frame rates… 480fps/24p would logically ask for the 1/1000 at that point, which is obviously limiting… what am I missing???

    • shutter angle should be twice the frame rate to keep the 180 degree shutter. you are correct 240fps requires a 1/500th shutter speed. hence why you need quite a bit of light with super slow mo with any camera. Gettiing underexposed images in HFR is very often happening, but should be avoided if possible.

    • Rick Bogan

      “HFR… i’ve not used it as much as I should”, really. Seems to me everyone is over using HFR.