The RX100 has gained a fine reputation by realizing usability and performance. And, now it has become truly practical and capable. There're many difference between this model and the predecessors, but the major differences are the winder Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T* lens and the organic EL viewfinder. And, the compact pop-up built-in EVF is very SONY. The more experienced you are, the better you understand the meaning of looking into the viewfinder.

( Photography : Z II / Text : 48 )

Further improvement to the acclaimed lens performance

The lens has an extreme construction. Out of the 10 elements in 9 groups, it has 9 aspherical elements. The 3X 27-72mm zoom lens (in 35mm equiv.) has lower zoom magnification, but it has become 4mm winder and faster (f1.8-2.8) than the RX100/RX100M2 with the 28-100mm (f.1.8-4.9). It can be used like a prime standard zoom lens, and together with the proverbial backside illumination 1-inch CMOS sensor and the latest image processing engine, it delivers the best picture quality among its category. It also has the variable ND filter (up to -3 stops), so you can shoot wide open even in the daytime.

Even though it's just 4mm, wider is always better. We can get a teleshot by cropping, but we just have to rely on the wideness of the lens to get a wide shot. It's very sharp isn't it?

The tilting LCD assists low angle shooting and the 180 degree rotating panel lets you shoot yourself. In addition, the built-in pop-up organic EL viewfinder will let you focus on shooting. The magnification ratio is smaller, but who cares and who doesn't want the convenience of a built-in viewfinder? And, did you notice that it also has the Carl Zeiss T* coating?

And, I don't really think the shorter tele-end will bring inconvenience. The longer the focal length is, the more chance for camera-shake.

We usually step down in a situation like this one, but I shot wide open to see the potential. And, I found it's sharp across the corner.

The Carl Zeiss T* coating delivers rich color. I advise you to shoot a little under to get richer and vivid colors.

While the minimum focus distance at the wide-end remains to be 5cm, the one at tele-end became 30cm, which is much shorter than the 55cm of the predecessors. Together with the faster f2.8 maximum aperture, it facilitates table shots. And, of course, you can share images by linking it with a smartphone via NFC and Wi-Fi.

This is another close-up shot wide open at the tele-end. Depiction is degraded at this close range, but it's always nice to have the capability because there're so many things that we want to draw near in our daily life.

I shot the magic time after the sunset by mounting it on a tripod. Even in the adverse low light condition, it reproduced the light and beautiful sky tone. And, it's sharp from near to far.

This camera does have a great high ISO performance, but you don't always have to raise ISO thanks to the fast lens. It does a great job particularly when shot under. Bokeh is nice and natural, don't you think?

The ultimate compact camera packed with essential functions

The high quality solid body is still as small as the predecessors and it feels great in hand. The EVF with the "T*" coating is never big, but it provides a great view and it will be valued by enthusiasts. Although it takes two actions to use (pop it up by a lever and pull it to the front by hand), you'll get use to it shortly. When it's stored, the power is turned off automatically. Isn't it enthusiastic? And, just look at sleek shape with the straight line of the top cover with the flash and the EVF stored. SONY knows cameras, don't you think?

Compared to interchangeable-lens cameras, there're not many choices for high-end compact cameras. As a main camera, they must be highly usable and generate top quality pictures. And, as a sub camera, they should outperform ordinary compact cameras that smartphones could replace. In these points, the RX100M3 is a leading camera in its category. It's a good time for the RX100 (1st model) users to upgrade as well as for those who have been curious about the predecessors.

Without a camera, you can't take pictures. Then, which one can meet your expectation even though it's handy? Imagine the days when you go out with the RX100M3.

( 01.06.2014 )