Sony RX100 III Camera Questions & Answers – Unofficial

May 21, 2014

In this post I want to answer some of the questions that people might ask about the new Sony RX100 III. This will give you more in-depth understanding about some of the key features and specification explanation, so you’ll get a better understanding about the RX100 III capabilities. This is an unofficial Q&A post.

How big the Sony RX100 III sensor is?

The Sony RX100 III features the same exact 1-inch sensor as its predecessor, the RX100 II.  A 1″ sensor is equivalent to 13.2×8.8 mm in size. Some photography related websites refer to the RX100 III camera as a large-sensor compact camera. The reason for that is that the RX100 III has a relatively large sensor compared to a conventional compact point-and-shoot camera.

1-inch sensor vs 1/2.3-inch sensor size comparison illustration

1-inch sensor vs 1/2.3-inch sensor size comparison

A large sensor (or better to say larger pixels) have the ability to capture more light, and therefore produce better image quality and lead to improved low-light / high ISO performance. This is one reason why so many people opt for the RX100 III instead of a regular P&S and even as an alternative to a DSLR camera.

What is the lens equivalent aperture on 35mm camera?

apertureThe Sony Rx100 III feature a Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T* 24-70mm (equivalent) F1.8-2.8 2.9x optical zoom lens.  On a 1″ sensor (cropped sensor), the  equivalent exposure-aperture will be the same as that of a F1.8-2.8 lens on a full frame camera with 35mm sensor.

However, a 1″ sensor has a 2.7 crop factor, which means it’s 2.7 times smaller than a full frame sensor.  Therefore, the f/1.8-2.8 equivalent DOF-aperture (DOF = depth of field) is approximately f/4.9-7.6 on a full frame camera with an equivalent F1.8-2.8 lens.

This gives you very good control over the depth of field and the ability to achieve quite prominent background blur effect (aka shallow depth of field). The shallow depth of field depends on the actual focal length of the lens, the equivalent aperture and the distance from the subject.  Just for comparison, a Canon 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS II lens on an APS-C body, let’s say the Canon Rebel T3i / EOS 600D (1.6x crop factor) is equivalent to 18-55mm f/5.6-9 DOF-aperture, but the same f/3.5-5.6 in terms of the equivalent exposure-aperture. So with the RX100 III you can achieve even shallower depth of field effect than the Canon 18-55mm lens on an APS-C body!

Why there is no Multi-Interface shoe mount on the RX100 III, but there is on the RX100 II?

I haven’t found an official answer, but I assume that Sony had to dropped the MI shoe out to make room for the pop-up viewfinder.

RX100 III pop-up electronic viewfinder

RX100 III also features a pop-up electronic viewfinder

As you can see from the above image, there just isn’t any empty space to put the multi-interface shoe on the RX100 III. The pop-up viewfinder takes its place and even then, Sony had to move the on/off switch a bit to the left to make more room for the viewfinder’s compartment.

Does the RX100 III has 5-axis optical image stabilized lens?

The 5-axis compensation and Sony frame analysis technology (aka Intelligent Active Mode) refers to the electronic video stabilization, some call it digital stabilization, not the optical stabilization mechanism of the lens. This is not an 5-axis sensor shift stabilization like the one that can be found on Olympus OM-D E-M5 for example.

What is the Zeiss T* coating on the viewfinder for?

The Zeiss T* coating for the built-in viewfinder is the same coating that the RX100 III has on some of its lens elements. It was used to dramatically reduce internal reflections and flare (aka Anti-reflective coating) and enhance clarity. This dramatically improved visibility when shooting in bright daylight, allowing clearer view of the scene and the subject.

More in this video:

“Losing up to half of the light transition without the coating..”. Oh well, we need to be glad that we have this T* coating, but not just on the lens, but also in the viewfinder as well!

Why do I need an SDXC memory cared with Class 10 or higher speed for XAVC S recording?

XAVC S is s video format available for high quality video recording on the RX100 III. The video is recorded at 50 Mbps, a relatively very high bitrate. This means a higher quality video image quality.  The RX100 III needs a card that can record data at a very high speed, and in order to do so, the camera needs at least a SDXC card with Class 10 speed rate in order for the camera to be able to record the video data to the card.

For example, you can but the Sony 64GB SDXC Class 10 UHS-1 R40 memory card for around $35 on Amazon (price as of 5/21/2014).

Is there a grip for the RX100 III?

Yes, you can buy the Sony AGR1 hand grip for RX100 series. It fits both the RX100, RX100 II and RX100M3 cameras. It’s made of a durable rubber-like material that gives a good secure grip of the camera. If you have sweaty hands or just have a better hold of the camera with a small grip, get the Sony AGR1 — it’s also cheap, around $11 the last time I’ve checked on

Sony RX100 with the official Sony hand grip


More question and answers coming soon.. so don’t forget to bookmark and visit this page again. Thanks for reading…

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