Sony launched the pocket-friendly but powerful RX100 III this morning, which is the follow-up to our favorite pocket camera of 2013. Those are some pretty big shoes to fill for a camera that’s just 1.5-inch thick and weighs around 10 ounces.
The Sony RX100 III is not an overhaul of RX100 Il — thankfully, since that was a very well designed little camera — and even uses the same 20.1-megapixel 1.0-inch back-illuminated CMOS sensor as its predecessor. It also has about the same dimensions as the previous model — 4.0 x 2.3 x 1.5 inches — though is slightly thicker.
The new Sony RX100 III does, however, add some significant new features — particularly relating to the lens — including the following highlights:
• Zeiss-branded Vario-Sonnar T* 24-70mm (35mm equivalent) F1.8-2.8 lens
• Nine aspherical glass elements in the lens including two advanced aspherical elements that have been cemented together (Sony claims this is a first in lens manufacturing.)
• ZEISS T* lens coating designed to minimize flare and ghosting
• Seven-blade circular aperture designed to enhance ‘bokeh’ background defocus
• Built-in, 3-stop (1/8) neutral density filter
• Pop-up OLED electronic viewfinder (EVF) on top with ZEISS T* coating and 1.4 million dots of resolution
• Powered by Bionz X processor found in Sony’s high-end A7, A7R and A7S models
• First Cyber-shot model to offer 1080p HD video recording in the XAVC S format, which allows for full HD recording at a data rate of 50 mbps with lower compression for improved video quality
• 3-inch articulating LCD that can tilt upward by about 180 degrees for “selifes” and down to 45 degrees for high-angle shots.
• Camera can output still images in 4K resolution with full wide-gamut TRILUMINOUS Color support when connected to compatible 4K televisions
• Wi-Fi and NFC support
• Ships in June 2014 for around $800