Sony A3000 vs RX100 III
The Sony Alpha A3000 and the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 III are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in August 2013 and May 2014. The A3000 is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera, while the RX100 III is a fixed lens compact. The cameras are based on an APS-C (A3000) and an one-inch (RX100 III) sensor. The A3000 has a resolution of 19.8 megapixels, whereas the RX100 III provides 20 MP.
Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.
|Sony A3000||Sony RX100 III|
|Mirrorless system camera||Fixed lens compact camera|
|Sony E mount lenses||24-70mm f/1.8-2.8|
|19.8 MP, APS-C Sensor||20 MP, 1" Sensor|
|1080/60i Video||1080/60p Video|
|ISO 100-16,000||ISO 100-12,800 (80 - 25,600)|
|Electronic viewfinder (202k dots)||Electronic viewfinder (1440k dots)|
|3.0 LCD, 230k dots||3.0 LCD, 1229k dots|
|Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)||Tilting screen (not touch-sensitive)|
|2.5 shutter flaps per second||10 shutter flaps per second|
|470 shots per battery charge||320 shots per battery charge|
|128 x 91 x 85 mm, 411 g||102 x 58 x 41 mm, 290 g|
Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Sony Alpha A3000 and the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 III? Which one should you buy? Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their body size, their imaging sensors, their shooting features, their input-output connections, and their reception by expert reviewers.
The physical size and weight of the Sony A3000 and the Sony RX100 III are illustrated in the side-by-side display below. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three consecutive views from the front, the top, and the rear side are shown. All size dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.
If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Sony RX100 III is considerably smaller (49 percent) than the Sony A3000. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the A3000 nor the RX100 III are weather-sealed.
The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete and possibly misleading, as the RX100 III has a lens built in, whereas the A3000 is an interchangeable lens camera that requires a separate lens. Attaching the latter will add extra weight and bulk to the setup. You can compare the optics available for the A3000 and their specifications in the Sony E-Mount Lens Catalog.
Concerning battery life, the A3000 gets 470 shots out of its NP-FW50 battery, while the RX100 III can take 320 images on a single charge of its NP-BX1 power pack. The battery packs of both cameras can be charged via USB, which can be very convenient when travelling.
The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the two cameras alongside a broader set of comparators. If you want to switch the focus of the display and review another camera pair, just select a new right or left comparator from among the camera models in the table. Alternatively, you can also move across to the CAM-parator tool and choose from the broad selection of possible camera comparisons there.
|Sony A3000||128 mm||91 mm||85 mm||411 g||470||n||Aug 2013||329|
|Sony RX100 III||102 mm||58 mm||41 mm||290 g||320||n||May 2014||799|
|Canon G5 X||112 mm||76 mm||44 mm||353 g||210||n||Oct 2015||799|
|Canon G7 X||103 mm||60 mm||40 mm||304 g||210||n||Sep 2014||699|
|Nikon D3300||124 mm||98 mm||76 mm||430 g||700||n||Jan 2014||499|
|Panasonic FZ1000||137 mm||99 mm||131 mm||831 g||360||n||Jun 2014||899|
|Sony A6400||120 mm||67 mm||50 mm||403 g||410||n||Jan 2019||899|
|Sony RX100 IV||102 mm||58 mm||41 mm||298 g||280||n||Jun 2015||999|
|Sony A5000||110 mm||63 mm||36 mm||269 g||420||n||Jan 2014||449|
|Sony A5100||110 mm||63 mm||36 mm||283 g||400||n||Aug 2014||549|
|Sony A6000||120 mm||67 mm||45 mm||344 g||360||n||Feb 2014||599|
|Sony A7||127 mm||94 mm||48 mm||474 g||340||Y||Oct 2013||1,699|
|Sony RX1R||113 mm||65 mm||70 mm||482 g||270||n||Jun 2013||2,799|
|Sony RX100 II||102 mm||58 mm||38 mm||281 g||350||n||Jun 2013||749|
|Sony NEX-6||120 mm||67 mm||43 mm||345 g||360||n||Sep 2012||999|
|Sony RX1||113 mm||65 mm||70 mm||482 g||270||n||Sep 2012||2,799|
|Sony NEX-7||120 mm||67 mm||43 mm||400 g||430||n||Aug 2011||1,349|
Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.
(1) Number of images that can be taken on a full battery charge according to the CIPA-standard; (2) Official announcement.
The price is, of course, an important factor in any camera decision. The listed launch prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. Usually, retail prices stay at first close to the launch price, but after several months, discounts become available. Later in the product cycle and, in particular, when the replacement model is about to appear, further discounting and stock clearance sales often push the camera price considerably down. Then, after the new model is out, very good deals can frequently be found on the pre-owned market.
The size of the imaging sensor is a crucial determinant of image quality. A large sensor will tend to have larger individual pixels that provide better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and richer color-depth than smaller pixel-units in a sensor of the same technological generation. Further, a large sensor camera will give the photographer additional creative options when using shallow depth-of-field to isolate a subject from its background. On the downside, larger sensors tend to be associated with larger, more expensive camera bodies and lenses.
Of the two cameras under consideration, the Sony A3000 features an APS-C sensor and the Sony RX100 III an one-inch sensor. The sensor area in the RX100 III is 68 percent smaller. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 1.5 and 2.7. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.
Despite having a smaller sensor, the RX100 III offers a slightly higher resolution of 20 megapixels, compared with 19.8 MP of the A3000. This megapixels advantage comes at the cost of a higher pixel density and a smaller size of the individual pixel (with a pixel pitch of 2.41μm versus 4.25μm for the A3000). However, it should be noted that the RX100 III is a somewhat more recent model (by 8 months) than the A3000, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time that partly offset its pixel-size disadvantage.
The Sony Alpha A3000 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 16000. The corresponding ISO settings for the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 III are ISO 100 to ISO 12800, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 80-25600.
For many cameras, data on sensor performance has been reported by DXO Mark. This service is based on lab testing and assigns an overall score to each camera sensor, as well as ratings for dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), color depth ("DXO Portrait"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"). Of the two cameras under review, the A3000 provides substantially higher image quality than the RX100 III, with an overall score that is 11 points higher. This advantage is based on 1.3 bits higher color depth, 0.5 EV in additional dynamic range, and 1.1 stops in additional low light sensitivity. The adjacent table reports on the physical sensor characteristics and the outcomes of the DXO sensor quality tests for a sample of comparator-cameras.
|Sony RX100 III||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||22.4||12.3||495||67|
|Canon G5 X||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||..||..||..||..|
|Canon G7 X||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||23.0||12.7||556||71|
|Sony RX100 IV||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||4K/30p||22.8||12.6||591||70|
|Sony A7||Full Frame||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||24.8||14.2||2248||90|
|Sony RX1R||Full Frame||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||25.0||13.6||2537||91|
|Sony RX100 II||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||22.5||12.4||483||67|
|Sony RX1||Full Frame||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||25.1||14.3||2534||93|
Many modern cameras cannot only take still pictures, but also record videos. Both cameras under consideration are equipped with sensors that have a sufficiently high read-out speed for moving images, but the RX100 III provides a faster frame rate than the A3000. It can shoot movie footage at 1080/60p, while the A3000 is limited to 1080/60i.
Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. The two cameras under review are similar with respect to both having an electronic viewfinder. However, the one in the RX100 III offers a substantially higher resolution than the one in the A3000 (1440k vs 202k dots). The table below summarizes some of the other core capabilities of the Sony A3000 and Sony RX100 III in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar cameras.
|Sony RX100 III||1440||n||3.0||1229||tilting||n||1/2000s||10.0||Y||Y|
|Canon G5 X||2360||n||3.0||1040||swivel||Y||1/2000s||5.9||Y||Y|
|Canon G7 X||none||n||3.0||1040||tilting||Y||1/2000s||6.5||Y||Y|
|Sony RX100 IV||2359||n||3.0||1228||tilting||n||1/2000s||16.0||Y||Y|
|Sony RX100 II||optional||n||3.0||1229||tilting||n||1/2000s||10.0||Y||Y|
Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the A3000 and the RX100 III write their files to SDXC or Memory Stick PRO Duo cards. The RX100 III supports UHS-I cards (Ultra High Speed data transfer of up to 104 MB/s), while the A3000 cannot take advantage of Ultra High Speed SD cards.
For some imaging applications, the extent to which a camera can communicate with its environment can be an important aspect in the camera decision process. The table below provides an overview of the connectivity of the Sony Alpha A3000 and Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 III and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
| WiFi |
|Sony RX100 III||-||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|Canon G5 X||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|Canon G7 X||-||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|Sony RX100 IV||-||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|Sony RX100 II||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
It is notable that the A3000 has a hotshoe, while the RX100 III does not. This socket makes it possible to easily attach optional accessories, such as an external flash gun.
Both the A3000 and the RX100 III have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The RX100 III was replaced by the Sony RX100 IV, while the A3000 does not have a direct successor. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Sony website.
So how do things add up? Is the Sony A3000 better than the Sony RX100 III or vice versa? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.
Reasons to prefer the Sony Alpha A3000:
- Better image quality: Scores substantially higher (11 points) in the DXO overall assessment.
- Richer colors: Generates images with noticeably better colors (1.3 bits more color depth).
- Better low-light sensitivity: Requires less light for good images (1.1 stops ISO advantage).
- Larger viewfinder image: Features a viewfinder with a higher magnification (0.47x vs 0.22x).
- Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/4000s vs 1/2000s) to freeze action.
- More flexible: Accepts interchangeable lenses, so that lens characteristics can be altered.
- Longer lasting: Can take more shots (470 versus 320) on a single battery charge.
- Better lighting: Features a hotshoe and can thus hold and trigger an external flash gun.
- More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in August 2013).
Advantages of the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 III:
- Better video: Provides higher movie framerates (1080/60p versus 1080/60i).
- More detailed viewfinder: Has higher resolution electronic viewfinder (1440k vs 202k dots).
- More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1229k vs 230k dots).
- More flexible LCD: Has a tilting screen for odd-angle shots in landscape orientation.
- More selfie-friendly: Has an articulated screen that can be turned to be front-facing.
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (10 vs 2.5 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- Ready to shoot: Has an integrated lens, whereas the A3000 necessitates an extra lens.
- More compact: Is smaller (102x58mm vs 128x91mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
- Less heavy: Has a lower weight even though it has a lens built in (unlike the A3000).
- Sharper images: Has stabilization technology built-in to reduce the impact of hand-shake.
- Easier file upload: Has wifi built in for automatic backup or image transfer to the web.
- Easier device pairing: Supports NFC for fast wireless image transfer over short distances.
- Faster buffer clearing: Has an SD card interface that supports the UHS-I standard.
- More modern: Was introduced somewhat (8 months) more recently.
If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the RX100 III is the clear winner of the contest (14 : 9 points). However, the relative importance of the various individual camera aspects will vary according to personal preferences and needs, so that you might like to apply corresponding weights to the particular features before making a decision on a new camera. A professional wedding photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a travel photog, and a person interested in cityscapes has distinct needs from a macro shooter. Hence, the decision which camera is best and worth buying is often a very personal one.
How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Sony A3000 and the Sony RX100 III place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Camera and Best Travel-Zoom Camera listings whether the two cameras rank among the cream of the crop.
In any case, while the comparison of the spec-sheets of cameras can offer a general idea of their imaging potential, it remains incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the A3000 or the RX100 III perform in practice. User reviews that are available, for instance, at amazon can sometimes shed light on these issues, but such feedback is all too often partial, inconsistent, and inaccurate.
This is why expert reviews are important. The following table reports the overall ratings of the cameras as published by some of the major camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, and photographyblog). As can be seen, the professional reviewers agree in many cases on the quality of different cameras, but sometimes their assessments diverge, reinforcing the earlier point that a camera decision is often a very personal choice.
|Sony A3000||+||..||4/5||4.5/5||4/5||Aug 2013||329|
|Sony RX100 III||+ +||82/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||5/5||May 2014||799|
|Canon G5 X||+ +||78/100||4.5/5||4/5||4.5/5||Oct 2015||799|
|Canon G7 X||+ +||77/100||4.5/5||3.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2014||699|
|Nikon D3300||+||77/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jan 2014||499|
|Panasonic FZ1000||+ +||82/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jun 2014||899|
|Sony A6400||+||85/100||4.5/5||..||4/5||Jan 2019||899|
|Sony RX100 IV||+ +||85/100||4/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jun 2015||999|
|Sony A5000||+||..||4.5/5||o||4.5/5||Jan 2014||449|
|Sony A5100||+||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||5/5||Aug 2014||549|
|Sony A6000||+||80/100||4.5/5||5/5||5/5||Feb 2014||599|
|Sony A7||+ +||80/100||5/5||4.5/5||5/5||Oct 2013||1,699|
|Sony RX1R||..||..||4/5||o||4.5/5||Jun 2013||2,799|
|Sony RX100 II||+ +||79/100||4.5/5||5/5||4.5/5||Jun 2013||749|
|Sony NEX-6||+ +||78/100||4.5/5||5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2012||999|
|Sony RX1||..||79/100||4/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2012||2,799|
|Sony NEX-7||+ +||81/100||4.5/5||5/5||5/5||Aug 2011||1,349|
|Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.|
Care should be taken when interpreting the review scores above, though. The assessments were made in relation to similar cameras of the same technological generation. Thus, a score needs to be put into the context of the launch date and the launch price of the camera, and comparing ratings of very distinct cameras or ones that are far apart in terms of their release date have little meaning. It should also be noted that some of the review sites have over time altered the way they render their verdicts.
Other camera comparisons
Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? In case you would like to check on the differences and similarities of other camera models, just use the search menu below. As an alternative, you can also directly jump to any one of the listed comparisons that were previously generated by the CAM-parator tool.
- Canon G3 X vs Sony A3000
- Canon SX620 vs Sony RX100 III
- Nikon D1H vs Sony RX100 III
- Nikon Z6 vs Sony RX100 III
- Olympus E-M5 II vs Sony A3000
- Panasonic GH5s vs Sony A3000
- Panasonic GX80 vs Sony A3000
- Panasonic S1 vs Sony RX100 III
- Pentax KP vs Sony A3000
- Sony A3000 vs Sony NEX-3
- Sony A900 vs Sony RX100 III
- Sony HX95 vs Sony RX100 III
Specifications: Sony A3000 vs Sony RX100 III
|Camera Model||Sony A3000||Sony RX100 III|
|Camera Type||Mirrorless system camera||Fixed lens compact camera|
|Camera Lens||Sony E mount lenses||24-70mm f/1.8-2.8|
|Launch Date||August 2013||May 2014|
|Launch Price||USD 329||USD 799|
|Sensor Specs||Sony A3000||Sony RX100 III|
|Sensor Format||APS-C Sensor||1" Sensor|
|Sensor Size||23.2 x 15.4 mm||13.2 x 8.8 mm|
|Sensor Area||357.28 mm2||116.16 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||27.8 mm||15.9 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||19.8 Megapixels||20 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||5456 x 3632 pixels||5472 x 3648 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||4.25 μm||2.41 μm|
|Pixel Density||5.55 MP/cm2||17.18 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||Anti-Alias filter||Anti-Alias filter|
|Movie Capability||1080/60i Video||1080/60p Video|
|ISO Setting||100 - 16,000 ISO||100 - 12,800 ISO|
|ISO Boost||no Enhancement||80 - 25,600 ISO|
|Image Processor||BIONZ||BIONZ X|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||78||67|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||23.7||22.4|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||12.8||12.3|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||1068||495|
|Screen Specs||Sony A3000||Sony RX100 III|
|Viewfinder Type||Electronic viewfinder||Electronic viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||100%||100%|
|Viewfinder Resolution||202k dots||1440k dots|
|LCD Framing||Live View||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||3.0inch||3.0inch|
|LCD Resolution||230k dots||1229k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Fixed screen||Tilting screen|
|Shooting Specs||Sony A3000||Sony RX100 III|
|Focus System||Contrast-detect AF||Contrast-detect AF|
|Manual Focusing Aid||Focus Peaking||Focus Peaking|
|Max Shutter Speed (mechanical)||1/4000s||1/2000s|
|Continuous Shooting||2.5 shutter flaps/s||10 shutter flaps/s|
|Fill Flash||Build-in Flash||Build-in Flash|
|Storage Medium||MS or SDXC cards||MS or SDXC cards|
|Second Storage Option||Single card slot||Single card slot|
|UHS card support||no||UHS-I|
|Connectivity Specs||Sony A3000||Sony RX100 III|
|External Flash||Hotshoe||no Hotshoe|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||mini HDMI||micro HDMI|
|Wifi Support||no Wifi||Wifi built-in|
|Near-Field Communication||no NFC||NFC built-in|
|Body Specs||Sony A3000||Sony RX100 III|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||470 shots per charge||320 shots per charge|
|In-Camera Charging||USB charging||USB charging|
128 x 91 x 85 mm
(5.0 x 3.6 x 3.3 in)
102 x 58 x 41 mm
(4.0 x 2.3 x 1.6 in)
|Camera Weight||411 g (14.5 oz)||290 g (10.2 oz)|