Ok, I'll be honest. I bought the rx10III super zoom camera out of curiosity. I didn't need it. I heard about it's epic zoom and 4k video and thought that it would be a fun fling to experiment with. I never thought I would fall in love, ha! You see, I am a very blessed girl with a lot of fun toys. I have the Sony a7sII, a7rII, a6300, and many high quality lenses. For most of my career I have considered myself a prime girl, with my 35mm 1.4 being my go-to lens. It was my I-only-can-take-one-lens-to-a-desert-island, lens. The only trouble is that philosophy rarely jived with my real life. Clients and sessions, yes, family?--not so much. My husband has the habit of poking me and telling me to--take a picture of that, ok? Um, sorry dear, my focal length is too short for that. Sorry, babe. Don't you have a zoom? he says. Yes, but only 200mm, I'm sorry, dear. And you call yourself a photographer. Sigh.
When I heard of the rx10III, I sized it up as capable point and shoot, but not really something that would take precedence over my 'real' gear. That was until I actually started using it. I will admit that I had a bit of a bumpy learning curve. I love and live by BBF (back button focus) with toggling, and I rarely use zooms, so I continually forgot to zoom the lens. I worried about the smaller sensor, and it took some tweaking to figure out how I liked best to focus. It turns out I love the Lock on AF: Flexible Spot Small and continuous auto focus. Yes, it was an adjustment, but when I also mapped in the Eye AF and Face Detection, things got MUCH easier. :) The focus hold button on the left side of the lens also turned out to be pretty cool too.
At first, I used the camera for a few minutes each day. I started taking little video clips to see what 4k video looked like. I will admit that all it took was a movie button in a natural location to make me interested. Shallow, but true. I never could get the flow with the little button on the side of the a7 series cameras. Then, I started to chase anything and everything with the zoom. I was clumsy, and I continuously got my fingers caught in the zoom as it went to sleep--my bad, and no harm done as it pops right back out, but it could only be better if it was an old fashioned zoom powered by a rotation of the wrist. I still do not have the hang of finessing the power zoom, but again, you are talking to a prime girl who rarely zoomed with anything but her feet. I'm a novice. Please, cut me some slack. :)
The image quality has surprised me. Especially the straight out of the camera prints. I set my camera up to the Standard Creative Style, jpeg Extra Fine, and I tend to use Cloudy, Shade, or Custom white balance (I remapped white balance to the C2 button). Yes, I know I should shoot raw. I DO shoot raw normally. I even teach raw processing, but jpeg snaps put the fun back into photography for me and make shooting less work for off duty memory making. I also have a house full of teenagers who think my cameras are their cameras and my cards fill up fast with random selfies and cat pictures. The raw files are quite lovely, but the above recipe gets me by in my lazier moments.
Manual exposure has been a bit of a challenge. I am used to dialing in my exposure and using manual focus lenses. I am not used to the exposure changing when I zoom, so it took a bit of time before I remembered that the variable aperture (even the small spread of 2.4 -4mm) was enough to require tweaking before taking the shot. I would prefer the constant aperture of the rx10II, but I would definitely miss the loooong zoom of the mark III.
Here are a few random jpegs (and a few slight Lr edits) of this do-it-all wonder. Keep in mind that I have not done many shoots in raw and that I am only in my first few weeks with this camera. My final analysis is that I have unwittingly started going steady with this camera. I find myself grabbing it as I head out the door, in spite of my beautiful collection of amazing cameras and lenses. :) My other cameras will just have to take my infidelity in stride.
This image would not have been possible without this lens length. I was on the road, hanging out the passenger window, and all the cows began to move away with my intrusion, even from many yards away. I tucked myself back in and then extended my lens all the way out. The cows remained interested, but less fearful, and started to resume their grazing. This tangle of cows is one example of why I grab this camera when I do not know what I will encounter. :)
This bunny was so far away that my poor eyes could not even recognize it as a bunny. My husband's eagle eye let me know she was there and I took the shot, again with the lens racked out full length. Is this not the funniest thing??? I just love how the chipmunk is taunting Mr. Tips with his cheeks full of apricot. This image would not have been possible without a very long lens!