Tag Archives: Sony DSC-RX100 III

Sony Releases Upgrade to Firmware Version 1.20 for RX100 III Camera

Within the past few days, Sony released an upgrade to the firmware of its DSC-RX100 III camera, sometimes referred to as the RX100M3. This new firmware update, Version 1.20, addresses a problem that caused the camera to take an unusually long time to start up from being powered off, after the Smart Remote Control app was downloaded to the camera. The update does not add any new features, but this correction for the startup-time issue is a welcome one. The improvement in the time for the camera to start up with the new firmware version was dramatic for my camera.

Here is a link to a page at Sony’s support site, where you have to choose the operating system of the computer you will use for installing the update:

http://esupport.sony.com/US/p/model-home.pl?mdl=DSCRX100M3&LOC=3#/downloadTab

The procedure is explained at Sony’s site. Basically, you have to download and install on your computer a firmware-updating program, then, when prompted, connect the RX100 III camera to the computer using the camera’s USB cable, and follow the instructions on the computer and camera screens. The update will take several minutes to install. I initially was not able to install the updater program using my Macintosh running the new Yosemite operating system, which was not  compatible with the first release of the update. I eventually succeeded using a computer running Windows 8.1. However, Sony later added a “driver loader” to help with the installation.  Look for this message on the firmware download page for the Mac:

” IMPORTANT: For OS X version 10.10, please ensure the Mac OS X 10.10 Driver Loader has been installed before continuing to update your firmware.”

If you install that extra file before upgrading the firmware, my understanding is that the firmware will now work with a Mac running the Yosemite OS.

To determine whether you need this update, you can go to the Setup menu and select the Version item; if the Version is 1.00 or 1.10, then you need the update, which changes the Version to 1.20.

Using External Flash with the Sony DSC-RX100 III Camera

The Sony DSC-RX100 III camera has many great features, including a pop-up electronic viewfinder, a great lens with a wide aperture, a tilting LCD screen, and Wi-Fi capability. One feature it lacks is a flash shoe. So, in order to use an external flash unit with this camera, you need to use a flash with optical slave capability. I have put together a short video that demonstrates the use of an external flash with the optical slave feature. Here is the link to the video on YouTube:

For more information about using an optical slave flash with the RX100 III, or for general information about the camera’s features and operations, see Photographer’s Guide to the Sony DSC-RX100 III, available through this site and through various sellers.

Apple iPhone 6 Has NFC But Does Not (Yet) Support its Use for Connecting with Cameras

In my books about two of Sony’s compact cameras with Wi-Fi features, the DSC-RX100 II and the DSC-RX100 III, I discuss the fact that, with many Android smartphones and tablets, you can use those devices’ built-in NFC capability to establish a Wi-Fi connection with the Sony camera. NFC stands for near field communication, a feature involving the use of a radio antenna inside the device. When the camera and the phone or tablet are placed in physical contact with each other, their NFC antennas establish a Wi-Fi connection automatically so you can transfer images from the camera to the phone, and control the camera remotely using an app on the phone.

If the phone or tablet does not have NFC, then you have to establish the connection by going to the Settings app on the phone or tablet and selecting the Wi-Fi network that is generated by the Sony camera. The first time you do this, you also have to enter the password for the network. So, NFC cuts through one or two steps, and makes it considerably easier to get the camera connected with the phone or tablet over the Wi-Fi network.

In both of those books, Photographer’s Guide to the Sony DSC-RX100 II and Photographer’s Guide to the Sony DSC-RX100 III, I discuss the point that many Android devices include NFC capability, but iOS devices such as the iPhone and iPad do not.

With the recent release of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, both of which were said to include NFC features, I was hopeful that the new iPhone models would be able to use NFC to connect directly to these two cameras (and other cameras that have similar features). But no such luck. It has been disclosed that, at least for the near future, Apple is limiting the use of NFC to its new Apple Pay service, which will let you pay for purchases using the iPhone by pointing it at a device in a store or business that has the necessary equipment. For the time being, Apple is not permitting the NFC capability to be used for other purposes, such as communicating with camera apps.  Here is a link to an article that explains the situation.

I will continue to monitor developments in this area, and, when and if Apple permits the iPhone’s NFC capability to be used for connecting to cameras, I will post an update on this site.

Sony Releases Firmware Update 1.10 for DSC-RX100 III Camera

Sony has just released an update of the firmware for the DSC-RX100 III camera, also referred to as the DSC-RX100M3. This update, which is numbered Version 1.10, does not add any new features or make any major changes to the way the camera operates; according to Sony, the update “resolves an issue where the camera may not power on in certain situations.”

Also, the update appears to address an issue with the use of the Soft Skin Effect option when recording video. With the original firmware release, when recording video in Intelligent Auto mode with Face Detection turned on, the camera activated the Soft Skin Effect setting and you could not turn it off. Many users found it undesirable to have that effect turned on, and they found it difficult to achieve good autofocus on faces with Face Detection turned off. With the firmware update, it is now possible to have Face Detection turned on but Soft Skin Effect turned off, when recording video in Intelligent Auto mode. I have not found a huge difference in the actual appearance of videos shot after this update, but that may just be because of the particular conditions I was shooting under. In any event, you now have the option of turning Soft Skin Effect off, which gives you more flexibility in your settings for recording video.

I installed the update using my Macintosh computer; the process took about 15 minutes. When the process was finished, I checked the Version item on screen 6 of the Setup menu, which confirmed that the camera now had Version 1.10 installed, instead of the original Version 1.00. I have not noticed any changes in the operation of the camera, but I’m always glad to have the latest version of the firmware installed.

To get the update, you can visit Sony’s site at http://esupport.sony.com and search for the camera’s model number, DSCRX100M3.  Here is a link to the page where I found the update.

You need to be careful to follow the instructions carefully, by, for example, having a fully-charged battery in the camera, removing the memory card, and connecting the camera to the computer using the Sony USB cable when prompted by the firmware updating software.

For general information about the RX100 III camera, see my book, Photographer’s Guide to the Sony DSC-RX100 III, available through this site and various online sellers.