Skip to main content

Sony’s third-gen RX10 bridge camera gets 25x long-zoom lens

If there is one complaint to be had about Sony’s Cyber-shot RX10 and RX10 Mark II, it’s the limited 8.3x zoom lens. Well, the company just shut us up with the new RX10 Mark III, its third-generation fixed-lens bridge camera in the RX series. With a newly developed 25x super-telephoto lens, we can truly call this camera a super-zoom.

Specs-wise, the imaging chips are carried over from the RX10 II, which unveiled some innovative camera technologies when the RX10 II was announced last June. These include the 1-inch, 20.1-megapixel “stacked” Exmor RS CMOS sensor with DRAM memory and Bionz X image processor. Together, they deliver speedy 0.09-second autofocusing (especially at full telephoto, which is a challenge for long-zoom cameras), 40x super slow motion at 960 frames per second, fast anti-distortion shutter at up to 1/32,000th of a second, and 4K video capture without pixel binning or artifacts. There’s Wi-Fi and NFC, as well. (Click here to read more about the components.)

RX10 III - Pro-grade precise 4K movie | Cyber-shot | Sony

But the highlight is the lens, which is the main difference between the RX10 III and RX10 II. In terms of size, the RX10 III doesn’t look any different than its predecessor, but it is heavier and has a redesigned grip. The lens has a much longer focal range of 24-600mm and aperture of f/2.4-4, which would require three or four interchangeable lenses on a DSLR or mirrorless camera, Sony says.

The RX10 II has a constant aperture of f/2.8, but the RX10 III is more flexible in its ability to perform capture, macro, wide-angle, and full-telephoto, and everything in between for stills and movies. And at full-telephoto, you have a max aperture of f/4, which Sony says is what makes it different from other long-zoom cameras.

The Zeiss lens (one super extra-low dispersion glass element, five ED glass elements, and two ED aspherical lenses) borrows technologies introduced in new Sony interchangeable lenses, and is coated to reduce flare and ghosting while preserving color accuracy. The lens has built-in Optical SteadyShot image stabilization, which comes in handy in keeping things still at full-telephoto.

The lens also has three manual control rings for adjusting aperture, zoom, and focus, as well as a focus hold button to fix the focus point. The focus ring can be set to smooth or click-step turning. Click here to see sample images.

The RX10 III will be available in May, for $1,500, a $200 premium over the RX10 II. The RX10 II’s strength is its constant aperture, but for users who want greater reach, there’s now an option.

RX10 III - Super Slow Motion with super telephoto- "SuperFormula" | Cyber-shot | Sony

The high-zoom category is one that Sony and other camera makers want to own. It’s an area in the business that’s seeing growth, even while overall camera sales are down. Consumers are interested in buying cameras with large sensors (1/1.7-inch or larger), and within this category, high-zoom camera sales are increasing. Sony also said that more than 50 percent of RX10 II sales were to professionals or “high amateurs,” and that 81 percent of RX10 II owners also own an interchangeable lens camera.

That means many pros and enthusiasts are using the RX10 II as a secondary camera (most bridge cameras use smaller sensors, and are geared toward casual photographers). The longer lens in the RX10 III gives the look, feel, and functionality of an ILC, but in a more compact camera. For general consumers, the RX10 III is expensive, but it’s a strong, flexible all-purpose camera that’s great for travel or shooting YouTube videos.

We’re currently taking a spin with the new camera. Check back for our hands-on first impressions.

Les Shu
Former Digital Trends Contributor
I am formerly a senior editor at Digital Trends. I bring with me more than a decade of tech and lifestyle journalism…
Best Camera Deals: Save on Canon, Panasonic, Nikon, and GoPro
fujifilm x t4 review set 2 dm 1

Whether you're looking for the best digital cameras or the best travel cameras, there are a ton of options out there, sometimes too many options, especially for those who aren't familiar with the photography world. Luckily, we've done a lot of legwork for you and collected a range of great camera deals across the spectrum, so even if you want something more sports-oriented, like a GoPro, there are a couple of deals for those too. So, let's jump right into it.
Today's Best Camera Deals
One of our favorite deals is the Canon EOS Rebel T7 going for $400, as it's one of the better DSLR cameras on the market, and it has a reasonably budget-friendly price on it, making it a great starter camera. Of course, if you've been in the game for a while and are looking for a powerful upgrade, the Sony Alpha 7R IV is one of the best full-frame cameras on the market, and while it still costs a hefty $3,200, that's still $300 off the usual $3,500 price tag. That said, if you're looking for something more portable and action-oriented, you can't go wrong with the GoPro HERO11 Black Mini, although if you're a professional content creator, the GoPro HERO9 Black 5K is probably the one to go for instead.

Do I Need a DSLR or a Mirrorless Camera?
Like most things, this really depends on what you're trying to do. Mirrorless cameras have fewer internal moving parts, which generally means they can capture images quicker, so if you're taking pictures of action-packed stuff like sports or animals in the wilderness, a mirrorless camera is a great option. On the other hand, DSLR cameras are great for low-light conditions and are great for anything from portraits to landscapes. DSLRs are also cheaper and have much better battery life, as well as having a decade or two worth of lenses to choose from.

Read more
How to blur a background in photos
A person photographed with iPhone 11's portrait mode.

Introducing a background blur to your photos can draw attention to a specific subject, such as an individual in a portrait or an item in a still life, while also adding a professional flair to your image. This beautiful background blur, also known as bokeh, can be achieved even after shooting your photo, thanks to advances in editing software. This guide will walk you through the process on iOS, Android, Windows, and macOS.

Read more
How to download Instagram photos (5 easy ways)
Instagram app running on the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5.

Instagram is amazing, and many of us use it as a record of our lives — uploading the best bits of our trips, adventures, and notable moments. But sometimes you can lose the original files of those moments, leaving the Instagram copy as the only available one . While you may be happy to leave it up there, it's a lot more convenient to have another version of it downloaded onto your phone or computer. While downloading directly from Instagram can be tricky, there are ways around it. Here are a few easy ways to download Instagram photos.

Read more