Sony RX0 vs RX100 III
The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX0 and the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 III are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in August 2017 and May 2014. Both the RX0 and the RX100 III are fixed lens compact cameras that are equipped with an one-inch sensor. The RX0 has a resolution of 15.4 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 RX0||Sony RX100 III|
|Fixed lens compact camera||Fixed lens compact camera|
|24mm f/4.0||24-70mm f/1.8-2.8|
|15.4 MP, 1" Sensor||20 MP, 1" Sensor|
|1080/60p Video||1080/60p Video|
|ISO 125-12800||ISO 100-12800 (80-25600)|
|No viewfinder, LCD framing||Electronic viewfinder (1440k dots)|
|1.5" LCD, 230k dots||3.0" LCD, 1229k dots|
|Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)||Tilting screen (not touch-sensitive)|
|5.5 shutter flaps per second||10 shutter flaps per second|
|Waterproof body (nom)||Not weather sealed|
|240 shots per battery charge||320 shots per battery charge|
|59 x 41 x 30 mm, 110 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 Cyber-shot DSC-RX0 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.
An illustration of the physical size and weight of the Sony RX0 and the Sony RX100 III is provided in the side-by-side display below. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three consecutive perspectives from the front, the top, and the back are available. 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 larger (145 percent) than the Sony RX0. Moreover, the RX100 III is substantially heavier (164 percent) than the RX0. It is worth mentioning in this context that the RX0 is splash and dust resistant, while the RX100 III does not feature any corresponding weather-sealing. More than that, the RX0 is water-proof up to 10m and can, thus, be used for underwater photography.
The battery packs of both cameras can be charged via USB, which can be very convenient when travelling.
The following table provides a synthesis of the main physical specifications of the two cameras and other similar ones. 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 RX0»||2.3 in||1.6 in||1.2 in||3.9 oz||240||Y||Aug 2017||699||Sony RX0|
|Sony RX100 III«||4.0 in||2.3 in||1.6 in||10.2 oz||320||n||May 2014||799||Sony RX100 III|
|Canon G7 X« »||4.1 in||2.4 in||1.6 in||10.7 oz||210||n||Sep 2014||699||Canon G7 X|
|Panasonic ZS100« »||4.4 in||2.6 in||1.7 in||11.0 oz||300||n||Jan 2016||699||Panasonic ZS100|
|Sony RX0 II« »||2.3 in||1.6 in||1.4 in||4.7 oz||240||Y||Mar 2019||699||Sony RX0 II|
|Sony RX100 VII« »||4.0 in||2.3 in||1.7 in||10.7 oz||260||n||Jul 2019||1,199||Sony RX100 VII|
|Sony RX10 IV« »||5.2 in||3.7 in||5.7 in||38.6 oz||400||Y||Sep 2017||1,699||Sony RX10 IV|
|Sony RX10 III« »||5.2 in||3.7 in||5.0 in||37.1 oz||420||Y||Mar 2016||1,499||Sony RX10 III|
|Sony RX100 V« »||4.0 in||2.3 in||1.6 in||10.5 oz||220||n||Oct 2016||999||Sony RX100 V|
|Sony RX10 II« »||5.1 in||3.5 in||4.0 in||28.7 oz||400||Y||Jun 2015||1,299||Sony RX10 II|
|Sony RX100 IV« »||4.0 in||2.3 in||1.6 in||10.5 oz||280||n||Jun 2015||999||Sony RX100 IV|
|Sony RX10« »||5.1 in||3.5 in||4.0 in||28.7 oz||420||Y||Oct 2013||1,299||Sony RX10|
|Sony RX100 II« »||4.0 in||2.3 in||1.5 in||9.9 oz||350||n||Jun 2013||749||Sony RX100 II|
|Sony RX100« »||4.0 in||2.3 in||1.4 in||8.5 oz||330||n||Jun 2012||649||Sony RX100|
|Note: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.|
Any camera decision will naturally be influenced heavily by the price. The manufacturer’s suggested retail prices give an idea on the placement of the camera in the maker’s lineup and the broader market. The RX0 was launched at a somewhat lower price (by 13 percent) than the RX100 III, which makes it more attractive for photographers on a tight budget. 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. All other things equal, a large sensor will have larger individual pixel-units that offer better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and richer color-depth than smaller pixels in a sensor of the same technological generation. Moreover, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more control over depth-of-field in the image and, thus, the ability to better isolate a subject from the background. On the downside, larger sensors tend to be associated with larger, more expensive camera bodies and lenses.
Both cameras under consideration feature an one-inch sensor and have a format factor (sometimes also referred to as "crop factor") of 2.7. Within the spectrum of camera sensors, this places the review cameras among the medium-sized sensor cameras that aim to strike a balance between image quality and portability. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.
While the two cameras under review share the same sensor size, the RX100 III offers a higher resolution of 20 megapixels, compared with 15.4 MP of the RX0. This megapixels advantage translates into a 14 percent gain in linear resolution. On the other hand, these sensor specs imply that the RX100 III has a higher pixel density and a smaller size of the individual pixel (with a pixel pitch of 2.41μm versus 2.74μm for the RX0). Moreover, it should be noted, that the RX0 is much more recent (by 3 years and 3 months) than the RX100 III, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that further enhance the light gathering capacity of individual pixels.
The resolution advantage of the Sony RX100 III implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the RX100 III for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 27.4 x 18.2 inch or 69.5 x 46.3 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 21.9 x 14.6 inch or 55.6 x 37.1 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 18.2 x 12.2 inch or 46.3 x 30.9 cm. The corresponding values for the Sony RX0 are 24 x 16 inch or 61 x 40.6 cm for good quality, 19.2 x 12.8 inch or 48.8 x 32.5 cm for very good quality, and 16 x 10.7 inch or 40.6 x 27.1 cm for excellent quality prints.
The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX0 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 125 to ISO 12800. 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 determines an overall sensor rating, as well as sub-scores for low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and color depth ("DXO Portrait"). The Overall DXO ratings for the two cameras under consideration are close, suggesting that they provide similar imaging performance. The table below summarizes the physical sensor characteristics and sensor quality findings and compares them across a set of similar cameras.
|Sony RX0||1-inch||15.4||4800||3200||1080/60p||22.4||12.4||548||68||Sony RX0|
|Sony RX100 III||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||22.4||12.3||495||67||Sony RX100 III|
|Canon G7 X||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||23.0||12.7||556||71||Canon G7 X|
|Panasonic ZS100||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||4K/30p||22.8||12.5||559||70||Panasonic ZS100|
|Sony RX0 II||1-inch||15.4||4800||3200||4K/30p||..||..||..||..||Sony RX0 II|
|Sony RX100 VII||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||4K/30p||21.8||12.4||418||63||Sony RX100 VII|
|Sony RX10 IV||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||4K/30p||..||..||..||..||Sony RX10 IV|
|Sony RX10 III||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||4K/30p||23.1||12.6||472||70||Sony RX10 III|
|Sony RX100 V||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||4K/30p||22.8||12.4||586||70||Sony RX100 V|
|Sony RX10 II||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||4K/30p||23.0||12.6||531||70||Sony RX10 II|
|Sony RX100 IV||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||4K/30p||22.8||12.6||591||70||Sony RX100 IV|
|Sony RX10||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||22.9||12.6||474||69||Sony RX10|
|Sony RX100 II||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||22.5||12.4||483||67||Sony RX100 II|
|Sony RX100||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||22.6||12.4||390||66||Sony RX100|
Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but can also record movies. Both cameras under consideration are equipped with sensors that have a sufficiently high read-out speed for moving images, and both provide the same movie specifications (1080/60p).
Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the RX100 III has an electronic viewfinder (1440k dots), which can be very helpful when shooting in bright sunlight. In contrast, the RX0 relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. The adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Sony RX0 and Sony RX100 III along with similar information for a selection of comparators.
|Sony RX0||none||n||1.5||230||fixed||n||..||5.5||n||n||Sony RX0|
|Sony RX100 III||1440||n||3.0||1229||tilting||n||1/2000s||10.0||Y||Y||Sony RX100 III|
|Canon G7 X||none||n||3.0||1040||tilting||Y||1/2000s||6.5||Y||Y||Canon G7 X|
|Panasonic ZS100||1166||n||3.0||1040||fixed||Y||1/2000s||10.0||Y||Y||Panasonic ZS100|
|Sony RX0 II||none||n||1.5||230||tilting||n||..||5.5||n||n||Sony RX0 II|
|Sony RX100 VII||2359||n||3.0||921||tilting||Y||1/2000s||90.0||Y||Y||Sony RX100 VII|
|Sony RX10 IV||2359||Y||3.0||1440||tilting||Y||1/2000s||24.0||Y||Y||Sony RX10 IV|
|Sony RX10 III||2359||Y||3.0||1229||tilting||n||1/2000s||14.0||Y||Y||Sony RX10 III|
|Sony RX100 V||2359||n||3.0||1229||tilting||n||1/2000s||24.0||Y||Y||Sony RX100 V|
|Sony RX10 II||2359||Y||3.0||1229||tilting||n||1/3200s||14.0||Y||Y||Sony RX10 II|
|Sony RX100 IV||2359||n||3.0||1228||tilting||n||1/2000s||16.0||Y||Y||Sony RX100 IV|
|Sony RX10||1440||Y||3.0||1229||tilting||n||1/3200s||10.0||Y||Y||Sony RX10|
|Sony RX100 II||optional||n||3.0||1229||tilting||n||1/2000s||10.0||Y||Y||Sony RX100 II|
|Sony RX100||none||n||3.0||1229||fixed||n||1/2000s||10.0||Y||Y||Sony RX100|
One difference between the cameras concerns the presence of an on-board flash. The RX100 III has one, while the RX0 does not. While the built-in flash of the RX100 III is not very powerful, it can at times be useful as a fill-in light.The RX100 III has an articulated screen that can be turned to be front-facing. This characteristic will be appreciated by vloggers and photographers who are interested in taking selfies. In contrast, the RX0 does not have a selfie-screen.
The reported shutter speed information refers to the use of the mechanical shutter. Yet, some cameras only have an electronic shutter, while others have an electronic shutter in addition to a mechanical one. In fact, the RX0 only has electronic shutter, which makes completely silent shooting possible. However, this mode is less suitable for photographing moving objects (risk of rolling shutter) or shooting under artificial light sources (risk of flickering).
The RX100 III is equipped with a zoom lens, while the RX0 comes with a built-in prime. The RX100 III has a 24-70mm f/1.8-2.8 optic and the RX0 offers a 24mm f/4.0 (focal lengths in full frame equivalent terms). Hence, the RX0 and RX100 III provide the same view at the wide-angle end, but the RX100 III has less tele-photo reach at the long end. The RX100 III offers the faster maximum aperture.
The RX0 writes its imaging data to micro SDXC or Memory Stick Micro cards, while the RX100 III uses SDXC or Memory Stick PRO Duo cards. Both cameras can use UHS-I cards, which provide for Ultra High Speed data transfer of up to 104 MB/s.
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 Cyber-shot DSC-RX0 and Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 III and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
|Sony RX0||-||stereo||mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||Y||Sony RX0|
|Sony RX100 III||-||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-||Sony RX100 III|
|Canon G7 X||-||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-||Canon G7 X|
|Panasonic ZS100||-||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-||Panasonic ZS100|
|Sony RX0 II||-||stereo||mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||Y||Sony RX0 II|
|Sony RX100 VII||-||stereo||mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||Y||Sony RX100 VII|
|Sony RX10 IV||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-||Sony RX10 IV|
|Sony RX10 III||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-||Sony RX10 III|
|Sony RX100 V||-||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-||Sony RX100 V|
|Sony RX10 II||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-||Sony RX10 II|
|Sony RX100 IV||-||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-||Sony RX100 IV|
|Sony RX10||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-||Sony RX10|
|Sony RX100 II||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-||Sony RX100 II|
|Sony RX100||-||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||-||-||-||Sony RX100|
It is notable that the RX0 has a microphone port, which is missing on the RX100 III. Such an external microphone input can help to substantially improve the quality of audio recordings when a good external microphone is used.
Both the RX0 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 RX0 was followed by the Sony RX0 II. 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 what is the bottom line? Is the Sony RX0 better than the Sony RX100 III or vice versa? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.
Arguments in favor of the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX0:
- Better sound: Can connect to an external microphone for higher quality sound recording.
- Less disturbing: Has an electronic shutter option for completely silent shooting.
- More compact: Is smaller (59x41mm vs 102x58mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
- Less heavy: Is lighter (by 180g or 62 percent) and hence easier to carry around.
- Better sealing: Is weather sealed to enable shooting in dusty or wet environments.
- Water-proof: Is rugged and sealed and can thus be used for underwater photography (up to 10m).
- Easier wireless transfer: Supports Bluetooth for image sharing without cables.
- More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced segment (13 percent cheaper at launch).
- More modern: Reflects 3 years and 3 months of technical progress since the RX100 III launch.
Advantages of the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 III:
- More detail: Has more megapixels (20 vs 15.4MP), which boosts linear resolution by 14%.
- Easier framing: Has an electronic viewfinder for image composition and settings control.
- Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (3.0" vs 1.5") for image review and settings control.
- 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 5.5 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- Better light gathering: Has a lens with a wider maximum aperture (f/1.8 vs f/4.0).
- Longer lasting: Gets more shots (320 versus 240) out of a single battery charge.
- Sharper images: Has stabilization technology built-in to reduce the impact of hand-shake.
- Easier fill-in: Has a small integrated flash to brighten shadows of backlit subjects.
- Easier device pairing: Supports NFC for fast wireless image transfer over short distances.
- More heavily discounted: Has been around for much longer (launched in May 2014).
If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the RX100 III is the clear winner of the contest (13 : 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 wildlife photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a family photog, and a person interested in architecture has distinct needs from a sports 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 RX0 and the Sony RX100 III place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best Prime Lens Compact Camera and Best Travel-Zoom Camera listings whether the two cameras rank among the cream of the crop.
In any case, while the specs-based evaluation of cameras can be instructive in revealing their potential as photographic tools, it remains incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the RX0 or the RX100 III perform in practice. User reviews, such as those found at amazon, can sometimes inform about these issues, but such feedback is often incomplete, inconsistent, and biased.
This is why hands-on reviews by experts are important. The table below provides a synthesis of the camera assessments of some of the best known photo-gear 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.
The review scores listed above should be treated with care, though. The ratings were established in reference to similarly priced cameras that were available in the market at the time of the review. A score, therefore, has to be seen in close connection to the price and market introduction time 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. Also, kindly note that some of the listed sites have over time developped their review approaches and their reporting style.
Other camera comparisons
Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? If you would like to see a different side-by-side camera review, just make a corresponding selection in the search boxes 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 1Ds Mark III vs Sony RX0 II
- Canon 5D Mark III vs Sony RX0
- Leica M Typ 240 vs Sony RX100 III
- Leica S2 vs Sony RX0 II
- Nikon D50 vs Sony RX100 III
- Nikon D80 vs Sony RX100 III
- Olympus E-PL2 vs Sony RX100 III
- Panasonic GF7 vs Sony RX0
- Panasonic GH5s vs Sony RX0
- Pentax K-70 vs Sony RX0 II
- Ricoh WG-60 vs Sony RX0
- Sony H300 vs Sony RX0
Specifications: Sony RX0 vs Sony RX100 III
Below is a side-by-side comparison of the specs of the two cameras to facilitate a quick review of their differences and common features.
|Camera Model||Sony RX0||Sony RX100 III|
|Camera Type||Fixed lens compact camera||Fixed lens compact camera|
|Camera Lens||24mm f/4.0||24-70mm f/1.8-2.8|
|Launch Date||August 2017||May 2014|
|Launch Price||USD 699||USD 799|
|Sensor Specs||Sony RX0||Sony RX100 III|
|Sensor Format||1" Sensor||1" Sensor|
|Sensor Size||13.2 x 8.8 mm||13.2 x 8.8 mm|
|Sensor Area||116.16 mm2||116.16 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||15.9 mm||15.9 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||15.4 Megapixels||20 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||4800 x 3200 pixels||5472 x 3648 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||2.74 μm||2.41 μm|
|Pixel Density||13.22 MP/cm2||17.18 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||Anti-Alias filter||Anti-Alias filter|
|Movie Capability||1080/60p Video||1080/60p Video|
|ISO Setting||125-12800 ISO||100-12800 ISO|
|ISO Boost||no Enhancement||80-25600 ISO|
|Image Processor||BIONZ X||BIONZ X|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||68||67|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||22.4||22.4|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||12.4||12.3|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||548||495|
|Screen Specs||Sony RX0||Sony RX100 III|
|Viewfinder Type||No viewfinder||Electronic viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||100%|
|Viewfinder Resolution||1440k dots|
|LCD Framing||Live View||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||1.5 inch||3.0 inch|
|LCD Resolution||230k dots||1229k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Fixed screen||Tilting screen|
|Shooting Specs||Sony RX0||Sony RX100 III|
|Focus System||Contrast-detect AF||Contrast-detect AF|
|Manual Focusing Aid||Focus Peaking||Focus Peaking|
|Max Shutter Speed (mechanical)||..||1/2000/s|
|Continuous Shooting||5.5 shutter flaps/s||10 shutter flaps/s|
|Electronic Shutter||up to 1/32000s||no E-Shutter|
|Fill Flash||no On-Board Flash||Build-in Flash|
|Storage Medium||mMS or mSDXC cards||MS or SDXC cards|
|Second Storage Option||Single card slot||Single card slot|
|UHS card support||UHS-I||UHS-I|
|Connectivity Specs||Sony RX0||Sony RX100 III|
|External Flash||no Hotshoe||no Hotshoe|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||micro HDMI||micro HDMI|
|Microphone Port||External MIC port||no MIC socket|
|Wifi Support||Wifi built-in||Wifi built-in|
|Near-Field Communication||no NFC||NFC built-in|
|Bluetooth Support||Bluetooth built-in||no Bluetooth|
|Body Specs||Sony RX0||Sony RX100 III|
|Environmental Sealing||Waterproof body (10m)||Not weather sealed|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||240 shots per charge||320 shots per charge|
|In-Camera Charging||USB charging||USB charging|
59 x 41 x 30 mm
(2.3 x 1.6 x 1.2 in)
102 x 58 x 41 mm
(4.0 x 2.3 x 1.6 in)
|Camera Weight||110 g (3.9 oz)||290 g (10.2 oz)|
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