Sony has tweaked its RX100 to install a pop-up EVF in the Mark III version u2013 spurred on by 7% annual growth in the premium compact arena.

In a recent survey, Sony customers said that a built-in EVF was at the top of their feature wish-list for new models, alongside a ‘bright telephoto’.

The company seems to have listened.

Like its predecessors, Sony RX100 III houses a 1in-type Exmor R CMOS, back-illuminated, imaging sensor.

However, the new 20.1-million-pixel model also includes a new Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T* f/1.8-2.8 zoom, built to deliver the 35mm viewing angle of a 24-70mm lens. The previous model featured a 28-100mm f/1.8-4.9 zoom.

The lens contains nine aspherical elements and an AA lens, plus a built-in ND filter and a T* coating designed to reduce flare and ghosting.

Also containing a Zeiss T* coating is the new retractable OLED Tru-Finder EVF which offers a resolution of 1,440k-dots and automatically switches the camera on when it pops up.

An eye sensor is designed to automatically switch between the EVF and LCD monitor.

There is no accessory shoe but there is a pop-up flash.

Also installed is Sony’s latest imaging processor, the faster Bionz X.

The macro setting has also been improved, now allowing close-up focusing down to 30cm, compared to 55cm on the previous incarnations.

And the 3in (1,229k-resolution) LCD monitor is more flexible than before – able to tilt up by 180° (down 45°) ‘for easy selfies’.

New features also include the ability to record video as MP4 files, at the same time as Full AVCHD, so users should more easily be able to share image files.

ISO sensitivity ranges from 125-12,800.

There is also a new ‘lock-on AF’ function and a ‘zebra’ mode. The latter has nothing to do with wildlife photography, however. As used on many video cameras, a zebra-like black & white stripe pattern is displayed on the camera’s screen and viewfinder, to help prevent overexposure.

Customisation has also been refined, says Sony, adding the ability to assign settings to the control ring and function button, for example.

Sony hopes photographers will use the RX100 III as a back up camera, or even to replace their system camera. It also hopes to win over those who want to upgrade their compact.

Photographers can output 4K-quality still images to a compatible TV.

At 290g, the RX100 III weighs nine grams more than its predecessor the RX100 Mark II.

  • The RX100 III was unveiled to journalists in the somewhat incongruous setting of a former Masonic Temple, near Liverpool Street Station in London. The marble-lined room, now used to stage events and part of a hotel chain, lies in a building that once housed the Great Eastern Hotel, which dates back to 1884 – the year Amateur Photographer magazine was born