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Sony RX10 II vs RX10 III

The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10 II and the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10 III are two enthusiast cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in June 2015 and March 2016. Both the RX10 II and the RX10 III are fixed lens compact cameras that are equipped with an one-inch sensor. Both cameras offer a resolution of 20 megapixels.

Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.

Headline Specifications
Sony RX10 II   Sony RX10 III
Sony RX10 II Sony RX10 III
Fixed lens compact camera Fixed lens compact camera
24-200mm f/2.8 24-600mm f/2.4-4.0
20 MP, 1" Sensor 20 MP, 1" Sensor
4K/30p Video 4K/30p Video
ISO 100-12800 (64-25600) ISO 100-12800 (64-25600)
Electronic viewfinder (2359k dots) Electronic viewfinder (2359k dots)
3.0" LCD, 1229k dots 3.0" LCD, 1229k dots
Tilting screen (no touchscreen) Tilting screen (not touch-sensitive)
14 shutter flaps per second 14 shutter flaps per second
Weathersealed bodyWeathersealed body
400 shots per battery charge420 shots per battery charge
129 x 88 x 102 mm, 813 g 133 x 94 x 127 mm, 1051 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10 II and the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10 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.

Body comparison: Sony RX10 II vs RX10 III

An illustration of the physical size and weight of the Sony RX10 II and the Sony RX10 III is provided 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.

Size Sony RX10 II vs Sony RX10 III
Compare RX10 II versus RX10 III top
Comparison RX10 II or RX10 III rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Sony RX10 III is notably larger (10 percent) than the Sony RX10 II. Moreover, the RX10 III is markedly heavier (29 percent) than the RX10 II. In this context, it is worth noting that both cameras are splash and dust-proof and can, hence, be used in inclement weather conditions or harsh environments.

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.

Camera Body Specifications
  Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life
(CIPA)
Weather
Sealing
(yes/no)
Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Camera
Model
 
Sony RX10 II» 5.1 in 3.5 in 4.0 in 28.7 oz 400 Y Jun 2015 1,299- i Sony RX10 II
 
Sony RX10 III« 5.2 in 3.7 in 5.0 in 37.1 oz 420 Y Mar 2016 1,499 i i Sony RX10 III
 
Canon 80D« » 5.5 in 4.1 in 3.1 in 25.8 oz 960 Y Feb 2016 1,199 i i Canon 80D
 
Canon G3 X« » 4.8 in 3.0 in 4.1 in 25.9 oz 300 Y Jun 2015 999 i i Canon G3 X
 
Leica V-LUX Typ 114« » 5.4 in 3.9 in 5.2 in 29.3 oz 360 n Sep 2014 1,349 i i Leica V-LUX Typ 114
 
Panasonic FZ2500« » 5.4 in 4.0 in 5.3 in 32.3 oz 350 n Sep 2016 1,199 i i Panasonic FZ2500
 
Panasonic FZ1000« » 5.4 in 3.9 in 5.2 in 29.3 oz 360 n Jun 2014 899- i Panasonic FZ1000
 
Sony RX10 IV« » 5.2 in 3.7 in 5.7 in 38.6 oz 400 Y Sep 2017 1,699 i i Sony RX10 IV
 
Sony RX0« » 2.3 in 1.6 in 1.2 in 3.9 oz 240 Y Aug 2017 699- i Sony RX0
 
Sony RX100 V« » 4.0 in 2.3 in 1.6 in 10.5 oz 220 n Oct 2016 999 i i Sony RX100 V
 
Sony RX100 IV« » 4.0 in 2.3 in 1.6 in 10.5 oz 280 n Jun 2015 999- i Sony RX100 IV
 
Sony RX100 III« » 4.0 in 2.3 in 1.6 in 10.2 oz 320 n May 2014 799- i Sony RX100 III
 
Sony RX10« » 5.1 in 3.5 in 4.0 in 28.7 oz 420 Y Oct 2013 1,299- i Sony RX10
Note: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.

Any camera decision will obviously take relative prices into account. 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 RX10 II was launched at a somewhat lower price (by 13 percent) than the RX10 III, which makes it more attractive for photographers on a tight budget. Normally, street prices remain initially close to the MSRP, but after a couple of months, the first discounts appear. 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.

 

Sensor comparison: Sony RX10 II vs RX10 III

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. 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 more expensive and lead to bigger and heavier cameras 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.

Sony RX10 II and Sony RX10 III sensor measures

The two cameras under review do not only share the same sensor size, but also offer an identical resolution of 20 megapixels. This similarity in sensor specs implies that both the RX10 II and the RX10 III have the same pixel density, as well as the same pixel size. It should, however, be noted that the RX10 III is a somewhat more recent model (by 9 months) than the RX10 II, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time.

The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10 II has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 12800, which can be extended to ISO 64-25600. The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10 III offers exactly the same ISO settings.

RX10 II versus RX10 III MP

Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for many cameras. 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 following table provides an overview of the physical sensor characteristics, as well as the sensor quality measurements for a selection of comparators.

Sensor Characteristics
  Camera
Model
Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
Camera
Model
 
Sony RX10 II» 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p23.012.653170Sony RX10 II
 
Sony RX10 III« 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p23.112.647270Sony RX10 III
 
Canon 80D« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p23.613.2113579Canon 80D
 
Canon G3 X« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p21.412.352163Canon G3 X
 
Leica V-LUX Typ 114« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p----Leica V-LUX Typ 114
 
Panasonic FZ2500« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p----Panasonic FZ2500
 
Panasonic FZ1000« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p22.111.751764Panasonic FZ1000
 
Sony RX10 IV« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p----Sony RX10 IV
 
Sony RX0« » 1-inch 15.4 4800 32001080/60p22.412.454868Sony RX0
 
Sony RX100 V« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p22.812.458670Sony RX100 V
 
Sony RX100 IV« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p22.812.659170Sony RX100 IV
 
Sony RX100 III« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p22.412.349567Sony RX100 III
 
Sony RX10« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p22.912.647469Sony RX10

Many modern cameras cannot only take still pictures, but also record videos. The two cameras under consideration both have sensors whose read-out speed is fast enough to capture moving pictures, and both provide the same movie specifications (4K/30p).

 

Feature comparison: Sony RX10 II vs RX10 III

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The RX10 II and the RX10 III are similar in the sense that both feature an electronic viewfinder, which is helpful when framing images in bright sunlight. Moreover, their viewfinders offer an identical resolution of 2359k dots. The table below summarizes some of the other core capabilities of the Sony RX10 II and Sony RX10 III in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar cameras.

Core Features
  Camera
Model
Viewfinder
(Type or
'000 dots)
Control
Panel
(yes/no)
LCD
Size
(inch)
LCD
Resolution
('000 dots)
LCD
Attach-
ment
Touch
Screen
(yes/no)
Mech
Shutter
Speed
Shutter
Flaps
(1/sec)
Built-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Built-in
Image
Stab
Camera
Model
 
Sony RX10 II»2359 Y 3.0 1229 tilting n 1/3200s 14.0 Y Y Sony RX10 II
 
Sony RX10 III«2359 Y 3.0 1229 tilting n 1/2000s 14.0 Y Y Sony RX10 III
 
Canon 80D« »optical Y 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/8000s 7.0 Y n Canon 80D
 
Canon G3 X« »- n 3.2 1620 tilting Y 1/2000s 5.9 Y Y Canon G3 X
 
Leica V-LUX Typ 114« »2359 n 3.0 921 swivel n 1/4000s 12.0 Y Y Leica V-LUX Typ 114
 
Panasonic FZ2500« »2360 n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 12.0 Y Y Panasonic FZ2500
 
Panasonic FZ1000« »2359 n 3.0 921 swivel n 1/4000s 12.0 Y Y Panasonic FZ1000
 
Sony RX10 IV« »2359 Y 3.0 1440 tilting Y 1/2000s 24.0 Y Y Sony RX10 IV
 
Sony RX0« »- n 1.5 230 fixed n .. 5.5 n n Sony RX0
 
Sony RX100 V« »2359 n 3.0 1229 tilting n 1/2000s 24.0 Y Y Sony RX100 V
 
Sony RX100 IV« »2359 n 3.0 1228 tilting n 1/2000s 16.0 Y Y Sony RX100 IV
 
Sony RX100 III« »1440 n 3.0 1229 tilting n 1/2000s 10.0 Y Y Sony RX100 III
 
Sony RX10« »1440 Y 3.0 1229 tilting n 1/3200s 10.0 Y Y Sony RX10

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, both cameras under consideration feature an 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).

Both the RX10 II and the RX10 III have zoom lenses built in. The RX10 II has a 24-200mm f/2.8-2.8 optic and the RX10 III offers a 24-600mm f/2.4-4.0 (focal lengths in full frame equivalent terms). Hence, the RX10 II and RX10 III provide the same view at the wide-angle end, but the RX10 III has more tele-photo reach at the long end. The RX10 III offers the faster maximum aperture.

Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the RX10 II and the RX10 III write their files to 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.

 

Connectivity comparison: Sony RX10 II vs RX10 III

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-RX10 II and Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10 III and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.

Input-Output Connections
  Camera
Model
Hotshoe
Port
Internal
Microphone
Internal
Speaker
Microphone
Port
Headphone
Port
HDMI
Port
USB
Type
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
Camera
Model
 
Sony RX10 II»YstereomonoYYmicro2.0YY-Sony RX10 II
 
Sony RX10 III«YstereomonoYYmicro2.0YY-Sony RX10 III
 
Canon 80D« »YstereomonoYYmini2.0YY-Canon 80D
 
Canon G3 X« »YstereomonoYYmini2.0YY-Canon G3 X
 
Leica V-LUX Typ 114« »YstereomonoY-micro2.0YY-Leica V-LUX Typ 114
 
Panasonic FZ2500« »YstereomonoYYmicro2.0Y--Panasonic FZ2500
 
Panasonic FZ1000« »YstereomonoY-micro2.0YY-Panasonic FZ1000
 
Sony RX10 IV« »YstereomonoYYmicro2.0YY-Sony RX10 IV
 
Sony RX0« »-stereomonoY-micro2.0Y-YSony RX0
 
Sony RX100 V« »-stereomono--micro2.0YY-Sony RX100 V
 
Sony RX100 IV« »-stereomono--micro2.0YY-Sony RX100 IV
 
Sony RX100 III« »-stereomono--micro2.0YY-Sony RX100 III
 
Sony RX10« »YstereomonoYYmicro2.0YY-Sony RX10

The RX10 III is a recent model that features in the current product line-up of Sony. In contrast, the RX10 II has been discontinued (but it can be found pre-owned on eBay). As a replacement in the same line of cameras, the RX10 II was succeeded by the Sony RX10 III. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Sony website.


Review summary: Sony RX10 II vs RX10 III

So what is the bottom line? Is there a clear favorite between the Sony RX10 II and the Sony RX10 III? Which camera is better? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.


Advantages of the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10 II:

  • Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/3200s vs 1/2000s) to freeze action.
  • Less heavy: Is lighter (by 238g or 23 percent) and hence easier to carry around.
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced segment (13 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in June 2015).


Reasons to prefer the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10 III:

  • Better light gathering: Has a lens with a wider maximum aperture (f/2.4 vs f/2.8).
  • More tele-reach: Has a longer tele-lens for perspective compression and subject magnification.
  • More modern: Was introduced somewhat (9 months) more recently.

If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the RX10 II comes out slightly ahead of the RX10 III (4 : 3 points). However, the pertinence of the various camera strengths will differ across photographers, so that you might want to weigh individual camera traits according to their importance for your own imaging needs before making a camera decision. 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.

RX10 II 04:03 RX10 III

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Sony RX10 II and the Sony RX10 III place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best Travel-Zoom Camera and Best Superzoom 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 RX10 II or the RX10 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.

Expert reviews: Sony RX10 II vs RX10 III

This is where reviews by experts come in. The adjacent summary-table relays the overall verdicts of several of the most popular 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.

Review Scores
  Camera
Model
cameralabs dpreview ephotozine imaging-resource photographyblog Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Camera
Model
 
Sony RX10 II»+ +82/1004.5/54.5/54/5 Jun 2015 1,299- i Sony RX10 II
 
Sony RX10 III«+84/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Mar 2016 1,499 i i Sony RX10 III
 
Canon 80D« »+ +84/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Feb 2016 1,199 i i Canon 80D
 
Canon G3 X« »+-4.5/53.5/54/5 Jun 2015 999 i i Canon G3 X
 
Leica V-LUX Typ 114« »----5/5 Sep 2014 1,349 i i Leica V-LUX Typ 114
 
Panasonic FZ2500« »+82/1004.5/54.5/55/5 Sep 2016 1,199 i i Panasonic FZ2500
 
Panasonic FZ1000« »+ +82/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Jun 2014 899- i Panasonic FZ1000
 
Sony RX10 IV« »+84/1004.5/5-5/5 Sep 2017 1,699 i i Sony RX10 IV
 
Sony RX0« »--3.5/5-4/5 Aug 2017 699- i Sony RX0
 
Sony RX100 V« »+ +83/1004/55/54.5/5 Oct 2016 999 i i Sony RX100 V
 
Sony RX100 IV« »+ +85/1004/54.5/54.5/5 Jun 2015 999- i Sony RX100 IV
 
Sony RX100 III« »+ +82/1004.5/54.5/55/5 May 2014 799- i Sony RX100 III
 
Sony RX10« »+80/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Oct 2013 1,299- i Sony RX10
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. Hence, a score should always be seen in the context of the camera's market launch date and its price, and comparisons of ratings among very different cameras or across long time periods have little meaning. Also, please note that some of the review sites have changed their methodology and reporting over time.

Sony RX10 II:
Check Ebay offers
Sony RX10 III:
Check Amazon price

Other camera comparisons

Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? In case you are interested in seeing how other cameras pair up, just make a corresponding selection in the search boxes below. Alternatively, you can follow any of the listed hyperlinks for comparisons that others found interesting.

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    Specifications: Sony RX10 II vs Sony RX10 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 Specifications
    Camera Model Sony RX10 II Sony RX10 III
    Camera Type Fixed lens compact camera Fixed lens compact camera
    Camera Lens 24-200mm f/2.8 24-600mm f/2.4-4.0
    Launch Date June 2015 March 2016
    Launch Price USD 1299 USD 1499
    Sensor Specs Sony RX10 II Sony RX10 III
    Sensor Technology BSI-CMOS BSI-CMOS
    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
    Crop Factor 2.7x 2.7x
    Sensor Resolution 20 Megapixels 20 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 5472 x 3648 pixels 5472 x 3648 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 2.41 μm 2.41 μm
    Pixel Density 17.18 MP/cm2 17.18 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability 4K/30p Video 4K/30p Video
    ISO Setting 100-12800 ISO 100-12800 ISO
    ISO Boost 64-25600 ISO 64-25600 ISO
    Image Processor BIONZ X BIONZ X
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) 70 70
    DXO Color Depth (bits) 23.0 23.1
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) 12.6 12.6
    DXO Low Light (ISO) 531 472
    Screen Specs Sony RX10 II Sony RX10 III
    Viewfinder Type Electronic viewfinder Electronic viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 100% 100%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.70x 0.70x
    Viewfinder Resolution 2359k dots 2359k dots
    Top-Level Screen Control Panel Control Panel
    LCD Framing Live View Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.0 inch 3.0 inch
    LCD Resolution 1229k dots 1229k dots
    LCD Attachment Tilting screen Tilting screen
    Shooting Specs Sony RX10 II Sony RX10 III
    Autofocus System Contrast-detect AF Contrast-detect AF
    Manual Focusing AidFocus PeakingFocus Peaking
    Max Shutter Speed (mechanical) 1/3200/s 1/2000/s
    Continuous Shooting 14 shutter flaps/s 14 shutter flaps/s
    Electronic Shutterup to 1/32000sup to 1/32000s
    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 UHS-I UHS-I
    Connectivity Specs Sony RX10 II Sony RX10 III
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port micro HDMI micro HDMI
    Microphone Port External MIC port External MIC port
    Headphone Socket Headphone port Headphone port
    Wifi Support Wifi built-in Wifi built-in
    Near-Field Communication NFC built-in NFC built-in
    Body Specs Sony RX10 II Sony RX10 III
    Environmental SealingWeathersealed bodyWeathersealed body
    Battery Type NP-FW50 power pack NP-FW50 power pack
    Battery Life (CIPA)400 shots per charge420 shots per charge
    In-Camera Charging USB charging USB charging
    Body Dimensions 129 x 88 x 102 mm
    (5.1 x 3.5 x 4.0 in)
    133 x 94 x 127 mm
    (5.2 x 3.7 x 5.0 in)
    Camera Weight 813 g (28.7 oz) 1051 g (37.1 oz)

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