Why I sent my Sony RX100 M3 back

For a long time I’ve been wanting to get a secondary camera to bring with me everywhere. There are times when its just not possible to bring my heavy DSLR with me, so after much research and reviews I’ve settled on the Sony RX10 M3. I decided against the new Mark 4 because I didn’t feel the added 4K video and “slightly” better stacked sensor was really worth the extra $300. I found one used on eBay, I didn’t feel like paying for a new one in 2016 at nearly $800 for a camera that came out in 2014.

Anyways, I paid $550 for the camera from a seller that had a 100% feedback score and a lot of feedback. This camera didn’t come with the orginal box, but I didn’t care about that. I just wanted the camera and the battery. The LCD screen was scratched, no problem. Don’t care. At the time of purchasing, this was the best cheapest one available on eBay so I decided to just take the chance and get it.

When I got the camera it was as described….until I decided to go out and take some photos with it.

Nearly every picture I took was SEVERELY overexposed. I’ve did a factory reset on the camera, spent hours learning the menu system and understand all its functions. I only shoot in RAW so many of the features were disabled because they don’t apply to raw files. I even watched videos on YouTube about all of this, but the results I was getting seemed to be way from what I was seeing in the viewfinder or on the LCD. I also had Live View enabled which allows you to see your adjusts in real time, it’s pretty much like you see what you get. But despite my settings, nearly every picture I took looked like the one below and same results even in other exposure modes like aperture priority, shutter priority, manual and auto modes.

1/2000th of sec, f/8.0, ISO 125 @ 8.8mm
1/2000th of sec, f/8.0, ISO 125 @ 8.8mm

I started to get worried that I got a defective RX100 M3. I took another picture but set the exposure composition to -3EV and got this result.

1/320th of a sec, f/8.0, ISO 125 @ 8.8mm
1/320th of a sec, f/8.0, ISO 125 @ 8.8mm

Looks normal right? Well that’s because of the -3 EV exposure compensation, but instead of the shutter speed getting faster, the image is getting darker. The problem with shooting -3 EV is that the EVF and LCD is so dark that you can barely make out anything in them unless you turn off the Live View mode.

At this point, I started to get a little frustrated. I started to Google this issue and found that there was a few people who have had this exact same issue on DPreview, almost identical problems. They sent their camera back and got a new one and the new one worked absolutely perfectly.  One had sent it back to Sony for repair and Sony said it was a faulty lens causing the issue.

I made a video explaining the problem I’m having. As you can see in the video, I have taken 3 images at completely different settings, yet they were all nearly the same exposure.

There is something faulty with the camera either hardware or software based…I’m leaning toward software. The camera just isn’t apply the setting I choose properly. The images should be what the LCD are showing, but they are completely different.

However, surprisingly, when recording the video it exposes just fine and the video looks great, this also was also mentioned by another user who had the same issue as me.

It’s a shame because I really did like this camera but it’s defective.  I’ve talked to the seller and he agreed to refund me when I send the camera back. I decided to take the risk and order another RX100 M3 on eBay. Stupid I know, but there is no camera better around this price range. The chances of getting another faulty camera is slim to none.

I’ll make an updated post when I get the new camera.

Fingers crossed.

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