Roundup: Enthusiast Zoom Compact Cameras

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Canon PowerShot G15

12MP | 28-140mm (5x) Zoom | $499 (US) £490 (UK) €550 (EU)

Canon's PowerShot G-series is one of the most iconic lines of digital compact cameras, with the original G1 having debuted back in September 2000. The resurgence of the market has seen Canon radically re-work the G even if its efforts are masked by the family resemblance to recent models. The G15 has a lens that's a whole stop faster across its range than its predecessors' was. It's also a smaller camera than recent G series model - foregoing the flip-out screen of the G12 in the name of portability. And, to top off the developments, the more svelte G15 gains full HD movie capture and significantly improved focus speed, helping ensure it can stand up against the latest competition.

Key Features

  • 12.0MP 1/1.7" CMOS sensor
  • 28-140mm (equivalent), F1.8-2.8 optically stabilized zoom lens
  • ISO 80-12800
  • Front dial, rear four-way dial and exposure comp. dial
  • 1080p30 video with stereo microphones
  • 3.0" LCD screen with 921k dots
  • 350 shot battery life (CIPA)
  • Built-in ND filter
  • Optical viewfinder
  • Hot shoe for external flash units
This latest model features a 28-140mm zoom with a fast maximum aperture of F1.8-2.8 mated with a Canon-made 12.1MP 1/1.7"-type CMOS sensor. The G15 features an ISO range of 80 to 12,800 and full HD movie recording at a frame-rate of 24 fps, with stereo sound from the built-in microphones.
The G15 is smaller than its predecessors but is still one of the largest cameras here...

...and that's mainly because of the viewfinder hump on top of the camera.

The G15 retains the exposure compensation dial introduced on 2008's G10 but the smaller body means it's now nested with the exposure mode dial. The G15 also has a front control dial, which makes it quick and easy to change exposure settings.

The G15 is one of the largest cameras in this group. In part because it has one of the longest lenses but also because it retains that rarest of things - an optical viewfinder. The viewfinder isn't terribly good (they never have been on compacts), but there are people, particularly those in sunny climes, who find them essential. The build quality is impressive, even in this company, with dense rubber grips and metal dials extending from the magnesium alloy case to give the sense that you're getting a durable, quality product.

The smaller body size has meant the mode dial and exposure compensation dial now overlap but the G12's front dial is retained to mean you still have plenty of at-your-fingertips control. That said, we found we had to adjust our hand position to adjust the front dial.

Performance and Image Quality

In our testing, we found that the G15's long but impressively bright lens is a real selling point compared to both its predecessor, and indeed most of its competitors. Having a maximum aperture of F1.8-2.8 combined with a useful 28-140mm (equivalent) zoom means that you've got a lot more flexibility in poor light, allowing you to set either a lower ISO sensitivity for cleaner images, or a faster shutter speed to avoid camera-shake or blurring due to subject movement.

Wide Angle (28mm Equiv.) Telephoto (140mm Equiv.)
The G15's lens does well at all but the extreme corners, where there's a slight loss of sharpness. Overall the color and exposure of the outdoor shots is good though.
The portrait shot has very slightly over-warm skin tones but not to a problematic degree. The background is nicely separated and the rendering of the out-of-focus regions isn't distracting - a good result. The flash shot has rendered skin tones in a pleasantly warm manner. There's slight over-exposure of the second greyscale patch on the colorchecker but it's generally pretty good. Little effort has been made to balance flash exposure with ambient lighting.
The G15's lens is very good at closer focusing distances. You'll get the most control over depth of field with subjects that are relatively small and close to the camera, as here. While it hasn't got nearly the reach of a dedicated superzoom camera, the G15 offers a longer lens than most of its rivals. The quality is also high enough to allow you to crop into the image if you want to get a slightly closer view.
The G15's metering system could easily have underexposed this shot but the camera has delivered a very well-balanced image.  At ISO 3200, detail capture from the G15 isn't as good as it is at lower ISO sensitivity settings, but it's still pretty impressive. 

Detail capture is high at the low end of its ISO sensitivity scale, and its 28-140mm lens is excellent, aided by a very effective image stabilization system that we've found can deliver sharp images at shutter speeds as low as 1/15sec at full zoom. The G15 gets noisier at its higher ISO settings, but even at ISO 3200 and 6400 image quality is good enough for small prints or web use. For more critical work, shooting in Raw mode will allow you to get the most out of the camera. 

Summary

All in all, the G15 is a great performer and a pleasure to use. The G15 is highly recommended for anyone who needs a general-purpose compact with lots of manual control that can deliver great quality images. The lack of an articulated screen will bother some people, and it makes the G15 less flexible when shooting from awkward angles, and when recording movies. Of course the flip-side is that the increased portability compared to earlier models, and competitors such as Nikon's Coolpix P7700, is very welcome. 

Studio and Real-World Samples (links open in new tab)

Studio Comparison Tool Canon PowerShot G15 Samples (49 images)

What we like: Excellent 'hands-on' ergonomics in a small, relatively portable body, optical viewfinder can be handy on occasion, very nice image quality, good, responsive operation. 

What we don't like: We miss the G12's articulated screen, and the lack of any meaningful manual control in video mode will frustrate budding filmmakers. 

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Canon PowerShot G15

Comments

Total comments: 417
123
toto435
By toto435 (Jan 5, 2013)

I have a question for the RX100 owners :

If you have the genuine Sony leather case, does it procure a better/suffisant grip with the half case on ? I Like this case...

Because the Richard Franiec grip don't fit in it. So I have to choose one of the two...

0 upvotes
kitchenlaid
By kitchenlaid (Jan 11, 2013)

Yes, I think you'll be quite happy with the case. I bought the Franiec grip but never applied it as the case was sufficient for gripping. IMHO of course.

1 upvote
toto435
By toto435 (Jan 12, 2013)

Thanks !

0 upvotes
Travels4Food
By Travels4Food (Feb 12, 2013)

I bought Franiec's grip but haven't received it yet. Good to hear that the case helps with grip, since it would also help with dropping the camera, which I fear I'm likely to do...

0 upvotes
jcminnesota
By jcminnesota (Jan 5, 2013)

The Sony RX100 is impressive.....I downsized from a Sony A55. Photo quality is exceptional as is low light performance. Video is also impressive. And you can go from full automatic with auto selection of scene....to full manual...or something inbetween. Buy the third party grip if you buy the RX100. It works very good. I would highly recommend this camera..........

1 upvote
cgarrard
By cgarrard (Jan 3, 2013)

Hey DPR guys... :)

On the S110, did you not skip that the rubber grip is missing on both the front and rear of the camera vs the S100? To me that's a major selling point for the S100. It's the best handling super compact I've used yet for exactly that reason.

Worth mentioning because to me the S110 (and I presume others too) is a down grade to the S100 missing those grips and GPS.

Carl

3 upvotes
airina
By airina (Jan 1, 2013)

I recently purchased XZ-2 (having read this review) and I have been extremely disappointed with its focus performance. It can't lock on most of the time indoors with low light levels. So I end up being forced to use manual focus - it works great, but definetely not for moving objects: by the time I'm done setting it up, the moment is gone (when taking pictures of my child).

Everything else in the camera works quite well for me.

The focusing problem is really bothering me though and I am looking to buy a different camera that would perform better indoors - in low light conditions. Could anyone recommend what to go with, out of your own experience?.. Any advise will be much appreciated!!

3 upvotes
Mr Sincere
By Mr Sincere (Jan 2, 2013)

I also just picked up an XZ-2, after reading this review and being quite impressed with the samples. And I have to agree completely with your comments about the terrible autofocus performance. And not just in low light. Even in average lighting, I find the camera hits focus maybe 50% of the time at full telephoto. One odd thing myself and someone in the forums noticed: Focus performance is much better when using multi-point autofocus, in comparison to single point (center point, in my case.). Which is pretty strange.

I was hoping I just had a defective camera, because I otherwise love the thing. But hearing you echo the same sentiments doesn't give me hope that another xz-2 will be any different.

Note: I'm comparing the xz-2 against the xz-1, nex-c3, x100, e-pl2 and countless other CDAF cameras I've used extensively over the years, and the xz-2 is way behind them all in AF performance. It definitely feels like a bug in the firmware, to me.

1 upvote
Mr Sincere
By Mr Sincere (Jan 4, 2013)

For anyone wondering about the autofocus performance of the xz-2, I've thrown together this short video demonstrating how bad the autofocus is when using a single, center point at full telephoto:

https://vimeo.com/56734277

As you can see, focus is much more snappy and reliable when using multipoint focusing (even though it's consistently choosing the same focus point I manually selected). In my opinion, this appears to be some sort of firmware bug.

Luckily, using the touch screen to chose a focus point is fast and easy, as is manual focus using the nice big focus ring and MF lever.

2 upvotes
airina
By airina (Jan 4, 2013)

Thanks for the video - that's exactly the problem I've been experiencing. For except i primarily use some other focus point than center and in that case it doesn't lock onto the manually selected point when in multipoint focus mode.

In this demo the camera manages to choose the subject correctly with all focus points selected - however in slightly more challenging circumstances it simply locks focus on some arbitrary spot in the frame. I'm no expert by all means, but it seems odd to me that if i am setting up a portrait shot, the camera chooses to focus on the chin / neck area... To answer my own concern, it probably locks onto wherever it can see most contrast in this case. Again, this is true for dimly lit indoor scenarios.

I love the camera, and i am torn between the option of exchanging it for either p7700 or G15, each most likely having their own problems, or just keeping it and using workaround solutions (just that for its price it's a shame to have this limitation!).

1 upvote
Mr Sincere
By Mr Sincere (Jan 4, 2013)

Thanks for contributing to the discussion Airina. It makes sense you'd find the same thing occurring when you manually select a focus point in multipoint focus mode. In that case, the camera is probably temporarily reverting to single point focus after you selected the focus point. If I get bored tonight, I'll try to run the same test manually selecting the focus point.

You're absolutely correct in you assessment of how difficult it can be to work with multipoint focus. I personally can't stand having the camera try to guess where I want to focus, which is why I've never even tried to use it until I started experimenting with this issue. You're probably correct thought that the camera looks for the area of most contrast.

I also love the camera, and can't seem to think of a good replacement, for my purposes (the P7700s raw write times would be a deal killer for me). Hopefully this is something Olympus can fix in a firmware update.

1 upvote
Timmbits
By Timmbits (Dec 31, 2012)

In the conclusion: "The Fujifilm X10 is also worth a look for two reasons - its excellent lens, and an EXR sensor which offers the option of incredibly good dynamic range and somewhat better high ISO image quality than its peers. The tradeoff is that you only get these benefits if you're happy to shoot at 6MP, and the way in which the EXR functionality is implemented can be confusing."

That overlooks the third EXR mode at 12MP, and more importantly, overlooks the Advanced "PRO LOW-LIGHT" Night Mode which combines 4 exposures to give great 12MP images.

DPR, could you please confirm that these modes are common to both the XF1 and the X10, just to make sure? Thanks.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 2 minutes after posting
2 upvotes
Richard Butler
By Richard Butler (Dec 31, 2012)

The HR mode essentially isn't an EXR mode, in that it's just doing what almost all other cameras do (it doesn't make use of any special properties of the sensor or colour filter array, it's just a full-res demosaic).

The Pro Low-Light mode is on both the X10 and XF1 but we didn't have the time or space to go into every single feature on every single camera. Multi-shot noise reduction (which is what Pro Low-Light mode essentially is), isn't unique to the Fujifilms which put it beyond the scope of this roundup.

0 upvotes
Timmbits
By Timmbits (Dec 31, 2012)

With so much emphasis on lens brightness plus sensor size for good low light performance, it might be a test parameter to be added, so as to compare cameras' night scene modes' performance, as they vary immensely from one model to another. Beyond basics, this should be of interest to many.

Comment edited 44 seconds after posting
7 upvotes
Eugene CH
By Eugene CH (Dec 27, 2012)

I noticed that in 99.99% of tests or when a camera is presented, the lens cover is NO shown!!! Why?! For example, for me a major issue is to take the camera in my pocket ready for unexpected street photo. In such case, I need only to pull the camera out, to turn the button "on" and take photo. In case of Panasonic LX7, there is NO integrated lens cover, therefore I have to take out the manual cover, to put it aside, and only after to take photos. Hopefully the manual cover will not be lost! With this example I try to understand why, in 99.99%, no camera is shown with the closed cover, manual or integrated, it would be possible to have already information on how the lens is protected. In our specific case, LX7, needs a manual cover thet is NOT in delivery scope! Eugen-CH

0 upvotes
FrankK-F
By FrankK-F (Dec 30, 2012)

The solution to your problem is an add-on filter ... like a skylight filter: it costs very little in terms of light to the sensor ... AND ... it protects the lens. When it gets smudged wash with warm water and liquid soap, rinse well in distilled water, blow off and presto ... clear eye.
I have had this since my Kodak P880, later my LX3 and works very well with my LX7. BTW instead of a skylight filter I use a "bandpass" filter that cuts off on both ends of the visible spectrum .. UV and IR. I don't now if it's available via normal consumer camera outlets, but is used with industrial/scientific cameras ... ''BP550' x thread size' from midopt-dot-com.

2 upvotes
Timmbits
By Timmbits (Dec 31, 2012)

although I get your point, I doubt you'd settle for a bad camera just because it has a cover - otherwise you wouldn't even be reading this section. an elegant solution for you, are those add-on auto-retractable covers.

0 upvotes
FrankK-F
By FrankK-F (Jan 1, 2013)

Timm ... the filter serves two purposes -- 1) protects the lens, and, 2) improves the image capture at very little cost in terms of light. Auto-retractable covers are great in that there is no impediment to the light reaching the lens, YET, they do not protect the lens when the camera is used.

Given a choice I prefer my solution, based on my experience.

0 upvotes
lxlex
By lxlex (Dec 26, 2012)

I have printed images from my Panasonic LX3 at 36x24 inch and the image was very good. This is a jpeg straight out of camera no pp Sure if you put your nose up to it it the image wasn't as clean but from a metre or 2 it was very good! A raw file would have been perfect! Just putting it out there.

Now how often would I print that big, very rare if ever so printing from the LX3 at 20 inches is no problem at all. Even a raw file at 50 inches would be doable. I haven't tested that but will one day at work.

Now I have my new LX7 and it is a super camera with images better than myLX3! So the statement that the LX5 produces exactly the same images as the LX7 I find hard to believe! My LX7 easily betters the images of my LX3 and I love my LX3, with the LX7 I question wheter I will use the LX3 as often? The lens and images are just must sharper!

All this talk about my sensor is bigger than yours is a bit overdone if I must say so myself! A camara is much more than a sensor!

Lex.

0 upvotes
Sad Joe
By Sad Joe (Dec 24, 2012)

Love my S90 which is simply brilliant (yes I know it has a Sony sensor) if it was lost I'd get another quick as (or its updated replacement) it's just so quick and direct - it puts my Canon & Nikon DSLR's to shame...

2 upvotes
Tinjaw
By Tinjaw (Dec 23, 2012)

I know this isn't the best/appropriate place to ask, but please forgive me as I want to get people to answer this that have read this guide.

I have never owned a "real" camera. I don't know how to use one. I have decided to buy the Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX7 as B&H had it for $299 (oddly the white versions was $449).

I am going to buy a book and some online courses to learn how to use it and take photos.

*My Question is* What low cost flash should I purchase that will work with this camera that will be good enough to use while learning? I have no idea what I need/should buy.

0 upvotes
Reg Natarajan
By Reg Natarajan (Dec 24, 2012)

Just my two cents: you're doing it backwards. Shoot your shots. See if you need a flash. These days, the low light capability of modern cameras makes flash photography unnecessary most of the time. If you find you do need one, the built-in flash of the DMC-LX7 might well be enough. One of the biggest lessons to learn in photography is to buy the gear you need, not to invent needs to justify buying gear.

8 upvotes
mytake
By mytake (Dec 26, 2012)

@ Reg Natarajan

Brilliant post...where were you thirty years ago?

3 upvotes
Thomas Traub
By Thomas Traub (Dec 27, 2012)

At the beginning you should consider that all Cams (from 50€-8.000€) don't do anything else than: measure the light (in different ways), regulate the shutter-time, the aparture and the focus and sometimes they change the iso-settings. The different cams do that in 1 million different ways.

I would recommand you to use the manual-modus. And try a little bit, check the cam and the results (that you can immediately see on the screen). Use the histogramm on the display.

Flash: dont' buy a cheap flash. The flash of the Panas work realy well and is enough for short distances and for fill-up-light.
Only if you realy need more flashpower than buy a good one (not a cheap one). At the beginning the on-bord-flash should be enough.

Another advise: go through the manual, page per page. Usualy the manuals of the manufaturers are realy good to learn about the cam AND about photographing itself.

Goot luck with your LX7 - it's a real good cam!

2 upvotes
Timmbits
By Timmbits (Dec 31, 2012)

You might be interested in National Geographic's book "Complete Photography".

2 upvotes
Tinjaw
By Tinjaw (Jan 5, 2013)

Thanks for the replies and tips. Camera arrived and I am anxious to play with it, but I have too much work to do. I hope to find some time during the week to cuddle up with the manual and read it before even turning the camera on.

0 upvotes
DanLeigh
By DanLeigh (Jan 12, 2013)

Get the Metz 24AF dedicated for Olympus/Panasonic. It's not expensive. Guide number 24 is just about the minimum for bouncing light off ceilings, and you gain the extra benefit of decent TTL metering. Bounce flash looks natural. It's also brilliant for close-ups of small things, using a couple of reflectors.
You can of course use the flash straight ahead indoors for a bit more reach.
External flashes of any description will save your camera's battery, too. A flash gun using AAs might drain those cells after 120 shots, although it varies a lot because the flash won't be firing at maximum power all the time. All you want is a touch of light, so it doesn't look like flash.
Don't waste money on any flash that won't tilt. Large ones that both swivel sideways as well as tilt are better, and more power is better for bouncing, but they would be larger and considerably more expensive.
Once you start using bounce flash you'll not want to be without it.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 14 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
JavierDiaz
By JavierDiaz (Dec 22, 2012)

Of course many good cameras had to be left out of this short list, but I'm surprised at the choice of the Canon G15 over the Canon G1X (ignored).

The G1X has an almost APS-C sized sensor while the G15 features about the same small one than its predecessors G11 and G12 albeit with more resolution. Worse, the G15 reintroduced the fixed LCD long fased-out on the G series.

Granted, the G15 has a faster lens than the G1X (not by much, mind you), but as a current owner of a G1X and formerly of a G11, I'd always choose a larger sensor over a big aperture.

DPReviews's choice seems weird to me indeed.

3 upvotes
Harry Stone
By Harry Stone (Dec 24, 2012)

Faster lens, longer lens, cheaper price, The G15 fits this grouping well.

Comment edited 53 seconds after posting
1 upvote
toto435
By toto435 (Dec 24, 2012)

And the G1X is known for being quite sluggish and for having poor macro capabilities.

0 upvotes
tbcass
By tbcass (Dec 24, 2012)

It is strange the G1X wasn't included in the comparison (too big? too expensive? you tell me) but according to the reviews it's poor AF speed is a big draw back.

0 upvotes
awb1000
By awb1000 (Dec 27, 2012)

The G1X doesn't easily fit in a pocket. The old saying that "the best camera the one you have with you" defines this class of camera. I picked the G15 because it's pocketable and has a OVF (as limited as it may be). I've got other cameras for higher IQ.

0 upvotes
Tord S Eriksson
By Tord S Eriksson (Dec 22, 2012)

This can't be right, is it: "The LX7 has done well here, balancing the subtle ambient light from outdoors (just after sunset) with flash to expose our subject. Colors are a little cool, but the resulting image is nice. "

Low sun, but hardly sunset, with that sunshine?!

Nice review, otherwise!

The RX100 and the XZ-2 seems very attractive, both and the Nikon P7700 seems to have a really nice lens ;-)!

0 upvotes
Harry Stone
By Harry Stone (Dec 22, 2012)

Thanks for a nice review, kids. Due to physical problems I have to give up my beloved Canon 40D and EFS 17-55 f2.8 and EF70-200 f4. The Nikon P7700 will, I believe, allow me to continue shooting with only a minimal loss of quality.

2 upvotes
Tord S Eriksson
By Tord S Eriksson (Dec 22, 2012)

There is also another compact camera to consider:

I'd propose the V1 instead (that now is for sale at a very friendly price), with the needle-sharp 18.5/1.8 (equals 50/1.8 on a full frame), and the superb 30-110 VR (equals approx. 80-300), as a superb kit that weigh very little, and with a good viewfinder!

The V2 is better organized (button-wise), but quite a lot more expensive!

0 upvotes
Harry Stone
By Harry Stone (Dec 25, 2012)

Thanks, Tord, I really appreciate your advice. My spine is my primary problem and an eyelevel view finder is not as valuable to me as an articulated screen.

0 upvotes
BrianSaunders
By BrianSaunders (Dec 25, 2012)

The Nikon P7700 is a good choice. I have the P7100 which has a tilt screen, I'd rather have articulated. I would give up the viewfinder for articulation.

1 upvote
Ben O Connor
By Ben O Connor (Dec 21, 2012)

Whats the biggest kept secret of DPR ?

" The Olympus XZ-2 Review"

oh yes ...

3 upvotes
Digital Lurker
By Digital Lurker (Dec 21, 2012)

Just curious... Wasn't this review posted a few days ago? Were there significant changes with this repost?

0 upvotes
toto435
By toto435 (Dec 21, 2012)

Will the XZ2 get a full review in the near future ?

3 upvotes
Reg Natarajan
By Reg Natarajan (Dec 21, 2012)

Anyone know if the X-F1 has the Advanced Low Light mode of the X10? Not the EXR High ISO mode, but the Advanced Low Light mode that combines multiple images into one final image. That mode is far superior for handheld night time street photography in my experience.

0 upvotes
Timmbits
By Timmbits (Dec 31, 2012)

I believe it does. Download the manual and check.
there is EXR Auto (it selects for you according to scene)
exr Resolution Priority (12MP file)
exr High iso & Low Noise (6MP file)
exr D-Range Priority (6MP file)
And under the Advanced menu, you should find
"Pro-Low-Light" where it combines 4 images... but did you say "handheld", for 4 images?

I think this is one thing that DPR might like to include in their reviews: night/low light modes comparison.
Not all cameras' low light modes actually produce acceptable results, while some do a great job. (for example, P7000 was great, XZ1 was horrible)

Comment edited 5 times, last edit 11 minutes after posting
2 upvotes
jeffcpix
By jeffcpix (Dec 21, 2012)

Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX7

10MP | 24-90mm (3.75x) Zoom | $300 (US) £355 (UK) €460 (EU)

WOW -- someone needs a currency calculator!

2 upvotes
BBsLX5
By BBsLX5 (Dec 21, 2012)

You're absolutely right! And about that, camera companies prices have got to become more standardized. I know they're going to charge whatever the traffic will bear, but really, other than that, what's their rationale for charging literally twice as much for the same camera in Great Britain and in European Union countries than they'll sell them for in the United States?

0 upvotes
WXYandZ
By WXYandZ (Dec 21, 2012)

I think Panny was running a special on the LX7 in the US for $299. But it wasn't clear how long the special would last until it expired the other day. I saw B&H advertising it at $299 while Amazon has it at regular $449, so I went to B&H and bought it immediately. The price went back to $449 on B&H's site literally that evening. Maybe they still have it at $299 at the store, call them up!

While I was at B&H, I did spend the time to check out most of the cameras above, plus Nikon V1, which is not much bigger w/ the 10mm lens. Nikon is giving it away at $299 w/ 1 lens, $399 w/2, plus $149 for an additional lens with purchase. The Panny GX1 is $449! I bought the LX7 because of the deal and I don't want to deal with changing lens. It's meant for quick snapshots. I like to have additional control over it, but not too much. It's NOT meant to 'replace' my DSLR. I like the RX100, but extra $ can be used for a decent prime. In a year, there will be another test like this one! :)

0 upvotes
john10001
By john10001 (Dec 23, 2012)

probably higher taxes?

0 upvotes
lolopasstrail
By lolopasstrail (Dec 21, 2012)

Declaring a best all rounder without taking acquisition price into account is delivering only a partial review.

These are consumer products. Toys like this are a major expense for people, and going out on a limb to buy toys they can't afford are a major problem for people.

Let's have a new attribute to include in reviews. Let's call it the price/performance ratio. Take you quality metrics, your imaging ability metrics, and whatever other subjective ingredient to throw into the stew, and divide it by today's actual acquisition price.

And then let us determine the best all-arounder. Is an LX-7 with a ppr (price/performance ratio) of 8.3 better than the Sony with a ppr of 4.8? Or whatever.

Because without real world, practical business attributes shared, this is just soft core spec porn.

2 upvotes
YiannisPP
By YiannisPP (Dec 21, 2012)

What price? In what country? We would need many ratios, it would become cumbersome:) by the way, if you happen to think the US prices are representative at least relating one camera to the next, think again. Canon for example charges 85% more for the G15 in the UK than it does in the Us, Sony only charges 11% more for its RX100. RX100 is cheaper to buy in the UK than the G15.

0 upvotes
ThePhilips
By ThePhilips (Dec 22, 2012)

> Declaring a best all rounder without taking acquisition price into account is delivering only a partial review.

This is markedly "enthusiast" round-up.

Price is very important for "consumer" level selection - not so much for the "enthusiast" level.

> [...] this is just soft core spec porn.

That's intentional. Lion share of enthusiast level gear is designed specifically to appeal to that. :)

> Let's call it the price/performance ratio.

As you yourself highlight, there is no singular "performance" metric. Thus the "PPR" benchmark would end up being as skewed as the conclusion on the last page.

Some German car reviews use fancy scheme where car is rated on number of metrics, then the weigh quotients are applied to the ratings and they are summed up to produce a singular number. User can also adjust the quotients to give different weigh to particular rating, if they place special important on it. Probably that can work here too.

1 upvote
Timmbits
By Timmbits (Dec 31, 2012)

That is a rather easy exercise for your to do: can't afford the RX100, get the LX7.

1 upvote
clcochrane
By clcochrane (Dec 21, 2012)

The P7700 is the only camera I have really got excited about since I swapped my Canon G3 for a 30D. Fast (relative to other longer zoom compacts) lens, longer zoom range, flip out screen and lots of external control. Shame about the processor it seems. Come on Nikon, give us a faster processor and I'm in! But if Canon bring back the flip out display next time round it would be a tough call.
I'd love a bigger sensor like the G15 but I frequently use the 140-170mm range of my 24-105 +30D combination, physics can be really inconvenient sometimes! So I'll save my pennies and wait for the G16 vs P7800.

1 upvote
robmanueb
By robmanueb (Dec 26, 2012)

It's fine shooting J-pegs which is what I shoot all the time. Just bought the P7100 and quite happy with it so far.

0 upvotes
Timmbits
By Timmbits (Dec 21, 2012)

Looking forward to the day, when this category, will have a roundup of compact cameras that all have larger sensors, like today's RX100. When more cameras have larger sensors, the test and comparison results will be much more interesting.
Reading all the comments, I feel that we are having to choose between the sensor we want, versus the lens characteristics we want, all debating which is better. With the competition catching up, we won't be stuck between a rock and a hard place.

Comment edited 20 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
LAlowlight
By LAlowlight (Jan 4, 2013)

I agree. The choice between lens and sensor is very frustrating. I want a flexible travel camera that also lends itself to some low light creativity. Understandably I guess that's too much to ask. But it would look like an LX7 with double the zoom and an articulating lcd screen.

0 upvotes
Tord S Eriksson
By Tord S Eriksson (Jan 12, 2013)

To me, the choice is other CX-senored cameras, like the Nikon 1 series cameras. I like the V1, others like other variants!

0 upvotes
Timmbits
By Timmbits (Dec 21, 2012)

@DPR: you're welcome for the idea of the aperture graph! ;-)

1 upvote
Timmbits
By Timmbits (Dec 31, 2012)

I'm referring to, of course, the graph that I made and published here when the RX100 came out.

0 upvotes
ARTASHES
By ARTASHES (Dec 20, 2012)

nobody mentions LX7 raw NR above 800 ISO, and it's sensor inferiority (just compare it to XZ2)

0 upvotes
Lanski
By Lanski (Dec 20, 2012)

Excellent - really enjoyed reading this. I'm choosing between the RX100 and the LX7. I primarily want the camera for underwater use (yes, with a housing...), but I also want a pocketable camera for when I don't want to bring my Canon 7D. With housings (Ikelite), they both end up at a similar price (the LX7 housing is more expensive due to the ergonomics).

Advantages of the RX100:
- Awesome light gathering at the wide angle (it's the wide angle i need underwater)
- 20MP
- Great DR and noise control
- Good AF, I think...
- Truly pocketable for non underwater use
- I've fallen in love with the spec sheet - sorry!

Advantages of LX7:
- Wider wide angle
- Superfast shooting (is this RAW?)
- Camera will be the cheaper part of the underwater setup (useful in case i fail to seal the housing properly.

They both look like great cameras. I'm probably leaning towards the RX100 (could you tell?) but was wondering if anyone had any useful info or opinions to share.

Cheers!

0 upvotes
YiannisPP
By YiannisPP (Dec 21, 2012)

If you see the underwater videos and photos taken by the RX100 on the web, you will be in no doubt:) They are SPECTACULAR.

Comment edited 33 seconds after posting
1 upvote
Timmbits
By Timmbits (Dec 21, 2012)

Lab tests are one thing, but what are the challenges that you run into in real life? Yesterday I was filming my little daughter's Christmas show, and a camera I was using was constantly hunting to focus and the pictures came out pretty bad (noisy). When the going gets tough, which of these cameras will deliver? I suspect that sensor size will trump all, as they all have relatively fast lenses in this roundup.

There's also another option you can consider: just spending the extra money on an underwater camera. That's what I did, for a Pana TS3 (although, when not shooting underwater, I'm not impressed with DPR's award winning underwater camera).

0 upvotes
Travels4Food
By Travels4Food (Feb 12, 2013)

Thanks for the Ikelite rec - am taking my RX100 to the Galapagos in April, and now it looks like I'll get to take it underwater, too.

I adore the RX100. I was an avid Canon fan for many years and really didn't want to like the Sony, but it's just about everything I'd want it to be: small but substantial, fast, versatile, and really quite a lot of fun, at least for someone with small hands. I'd strongly recommend getting Alexander White's guide to the RX100 unless you enjoy camera manuals: it helped me familiarize myself with the camera tremendously.

Also, if you're not crazy about the no-grip style, Richard Franiec made a gorgeous, light, metal alloy grip for this camera that costs $34.95 plus shipping. I should be getting it soon, and I think it will make a big difference in my confidence handling the camera.

1 upvote
abc60
By abc60 (Dec 20, 2012)

Is RX100 actually the best camera? I cannot see it with my eyes.
Try to use the studio shot comparison tool and compare RX100 with any other compact camera (I tried P7700) and with a top Reflex for reference (any brand, it does not matter). Now look at the top left quarter of the clock quadrant. RX100 is not able to separate the white dashes of 10, 11 and 12 (at any ISO). It seems incredible, even a 50$ camera can, but it is true. I have no explanations. I found other problems, but not so evident.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 5 minutes after posting
2 upvotes
YiannisPP
By YiannisPP (Dec 21, 2012)

The explanation is that those tests shots are not representative of the RX100 real world output.

1 upvote
mcshan
By mcshan (Feb 19, 2013)

Yiannis is correct. Someone screwed up the RX100 test shooting.

1 upvote
Magic Man
By Magic Man (Dec 20, 2012)

My god look how far we have come....all excellent choices.

5 upvotes
randyckay
By randyckay (Dec 20, 2012)

The LX7 has also another interesting function worth mentioning: Time lapse.

2 upvotes
PlainOrFancy
By PlainOrFancy (Dec 21, 2012)

Ditto for P7700 -- lots of fun :-)

3 upvotes
FrankK-F
By FrankK-F (Dec 30, 2012)

Yes, a welcome addition ... BUT ... need more. User should be able to dial in how many shots maybe up to 256, and need more intervals, e.g., 1sec, 2, 3, 4, 5, 10, 20, 30 in addition to those in the menu.

Comment edited 31 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
QuarryCat
By QuarryCat (Dec 20, 2012)

Sony and Canon are built like a piece of soap - no good to hold. Most of the lenses are very slow at the tele-position. The only winner for me, with the best viewfinder from all small and mirrorless cameras: Panasonic LX7 - easy choise.

3 upvotes
Travels4Food
By Travels4Food (Feb 12, 2013)

Buy the Franiec grip and there's no longer a contest.

0 upvotes
Pedro Caminante
By Pedro Caminante (Dec 20, 2012)

Well... I can only say that I have had the RX100 since September and apart from no optical veiwfinder I really cannot fault this amazing machine. Getting used to managing without veiwfinder and it really doesn't bother me at all now. Size and build quality are superb, perfect even ! The image quality is fantastic, even low light high ISO shots come out brilliantly. A friend of mine has the Nikon and he is considering changing. This is my first Sony camera ( Nikon DSLR ) and it is an ongoing great experience, still learning from it and I love it !! For me it is the perfect combo, pocket size and DSLR image quality, and with a zeiss lens and great build.... well ! I did a lot of research before parting with my cash.... and I am not dissapointed at all, money v well spent ! Get one !

1 upvote
Alberto Battelli
By Alberto Battelli (Dec 23, 2012)

Just sold mine. Hated it.

0 upvotes
Panasonicus
By Panasonicus (Dec 20, 2012)

If you check out the Canon G12 on Amazon you wll see that its price is soaring as the G15 goes in the opposite direction. The G12 is now $10 more than the newer model which may suggest the loss of the articulated screen, loss of direct access to ISO and questionable IQ (on some reviews) make the older model more attractive. Had the G15 given us a Contax G2 viewfinder and retained the articulated screen with 24mm at the wide angle I would have bought in an instant. None of the current crop offer what I am looking for--the LX-7 is close with the 24mm but the tele end is well below par and the CMOS is too tiny. Overall, the Nikon P7700 is looking good because it has the reach and is the ideal travel camera for the growing number of us who are gettng tired of carring a DSLR and lenses on vacation.

3 upvotes
iluvmyd800
By iluvmyd800 (Dec 20, 2012)

I recently bought the Nikon 7700, and have been very pleased with how it generally performs, except in low light. But, I did not buy it for that; I bought it for an upcoming trip to Brasil and I am not keen to take my big DSLR and some lenses lest they get stolen! The range on this little camera is remarkable, and it takes brilliant photos in good light. I could not be more pleased. There is a lot of buzz about the Sony RX-100, but I found it to be too small, that it's optical zoom is limited, and that it is slippery in the hand and too expensive for what I wanted. I managed to find my little Nikon for $C450 with tax.

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
2 upvotes
Timmbits
By Timmbits (Dec 20, 2012)

have you tried it yet on it's night mode setting? my P7000 was remarkable, compared to others with the same sensor size.

0 upvotes
harrisoncac
By harrisoncac (Dec 20, 2012)

Totally agree on you.
The P7700 is Nikon's first good looking enthusiast compact camera.

1 upvote
Ian.O
By Ian.O (Dec 20, 2012)

I was mostly happy with my G12, but yearned for a little more zoom and most of all the ability to easily fit filters (polarising in particular). I saw the P7700 and it had a FLIP 'N TWIST SCREEN!!! Absolutely essential IMHO, my last 4 cameras had them, can't imagine working without it. The G12 had a viewfinder but I had only used it twice in 2 years, so going without it for filters and more zoom was a no-brainer!
I've had some problems learning Nikon's UI's quaint ways, inevitable with a brand change, but nothing unsurmountable. I love this camera.

3 upvotes
bobbarber
By bobbarber (Dec 20, 2012)

The travel zooms are nice cameras for, well, travel.

I have a Canon SX30HS, and while the Nikon 7700 will surely beat it pixel peeping at equivalent focal lengths, the 480mm equivalent gets a lot of shots that I would not get even with 200mm equivalent, such as flowers on balconies, details of ornaments on buildings, etc. Also, at 8x10, I bet there is no difference in the prints between the two cameras. There probably is at 13x19, but I rarely print that size.

I thought the travel zooms were crap, but there is a place for them. The Canons, Panasonics, etc. fit in my pocket without a problem. Just a thought.

0 upvotes
PlainOrFancy
By PlainOrFancy (Dec 21, 2012)

I love the fact that I can put a screw-on filter on the P7700 right out of the box. I've hardly used the lens cap since I got the camera; it's always ready to shoot.
You'd think every manufacturer would want to do this -- it isn't magic.

0 upvotes
fuland
By fuland (Dec 21, 2012)

I have Oly C5060 (I like it) and Canon G11 (I do not like it, but the low light performance, of coarse, and lens cap is better than Oly).
My priority is a fully tiltable LCD.
I am planning to buy a Nikon P7700.
I do not understand how a camera can be sold without this.
Do you like crawling in the mud?
And a camera without filter screw?

0 upvotes
Mike604
By Mike604 (Dec 20, 2012)

Canon G15 best all around IMO!

4 upvotes
PhilipY
By PhilipY (Dec 20, 2012)

IMO too!

0 upvotes
YiannisPP
By YiannisPP (Dec 20, 2012)

Compare the sample G15 wide angle shot here with the RX100's. It's not even funny how much better the RX100 is. Far more detail, less noise, better DR, better microcontast, you name it.

5 upvotes
Bob Walters
By Bob Walters (Dec 20, 2012)

Yes, but the RX100 doesn't have a hot shoe, optical viewfinder, or manual flash like the G15 and my old G10. However, I just replaced my G10 with the RX100 (rather than a G15) because the extra features already exist (in better ways) on my DSLR. The RX100 is a fantastic genuinely small camera with great IQ. If you already have a DSLR, the Sony wins hands down.

1 upvote
sroute
By sroute (Dec 20, 2012)

Judging all the cameras ONLY on the wide angle shot, the P7700 to me looks like it is delivering the best optical performance, nudging out the RX100 by a hair or nose or some other body part.

Haven't looked at other image comparisons yet.

Comment edited 17 seconds after posting
3 upvotes
CAcreeks
By CAcreeks (Dec 19, 2012)

RAW images processed by ACR are far too yellow for both P7700 and G15. If you are trying to convince me to shoot JPEG, you are succeeding.

0 upvotes
rrr_hhh
By rrr_hhh (Dec 21, 2012)

ACR raw conversion are too yellow for a LR of cameras when you are using the Adobe standard option. For those cameras that have other picture styles available from the manufacturer, like the Canon DSLRs the results are better. But I find it prblematic for the other cameras, like all the mcro four thirds cameras.

0 upvotes
mpgxsvcd
By mpgxsvcd (Dec 19, 2012)

The LX7 is now a $270 camera from Panasonic Direct. It wins hands down.

3 upvotes
Kodachrome200
By Kodachrome200 (Dec 19, 2012)

http://shop.panasonic.com/shop/model/DMC-LX7K $499

0 upvotes
bobbarber
By bobbarber (Dec 19, 2012)

@Kodachrome200 I didn't check, but maybe you have to like them on Facebook to get the deal? That's how it used to be, anyway.

0 upvotes
imprez25
By imprez25 (Dec 20, 2012)

$499 here to... Show me $299 amd I'll buy it now...

0 upvotes
bobbarber
By bobbarber (Dec 20, 2012)

Guys, again, I didn't check, because I'm not buying the LX-7, but to get the special prices from Panasonic in the past, you had to like Panasonic on Facebook, then go to the Panasonic Facebook page and click "Fans-only deals" or "Friends-only deals" (something like that), at which point you saw the special deals. I'm not saying it still works that way, but it did when I was shopping for a GH2 and FX150 . Maybe OP is full of it with this price, I don't know.

0 upvotes
Ryan Crognale
By Ryan Crognale (Dec 20, 2012)

You guys just missed a bunch of deals on the LX7 at that $300 price point. B&H had it for around that as did J&R. J&R was at $290 actually. Picked it up and ditched the XZ1 for it.

1 upvote
Bruce Edwards
By Bruce Edwards (Dec 20, 2012)

No FB silliness. Just a coupon code, which put it at $275 shipped. incredible! If I didn't already have the LX-5, that would have been a no brainer.

0 upvotes
tombell1
By tombell1 (Dec 19, 2012)

For me with a fixed lens .... I would want 24mm wide angle ... so that alone shortens the list ....

Then with no viewfinder I would want some form of articulated screen

Only Samsung left ....

1 upvote
Vince P
By Vince P (Dec 20, 2012)

Exactly, only 3 cameras here have 24mm which is an absolute must for me, they are all great. I agree the handling and fold out screen of the samsung just shade it out of those 3.

Comment edited 3 times, last edit 1 minute after posting
0 upvotes
Jefftan
By Jefftan (Dec 19, 2012)

I download all the wide angle pic and conclude that the best are from
RX100 and P7700

A high cost and low cost pic

1 upvote
Richard Butler
By Richard Butler (Dec 19, 2012)

So long as wide-angle image quality is your sole criterion. I'd argue there's more to a camera that that, which is why it took 12 pages to reach a more nuanced conclusion.

5 upvotes
Jefftan
By Jefftan (Dec 19, 2012)

Hi, reviewer
I wish dpreview will answer the age old question of whether one should buy an Enthusiast Compact or mirrorless with kit lens (NEX-F3,E-PL5...etc)

They are about the same price and what will give you better IQ?

0 upvotes
Timmbits
By Timmbits (Dec 19, 2012)

The larger sensor will. Consider the RX100 as a fixed zoom lens & pocketable version of the Nikon-1 system. In some reviews (ex: RX100) DPR gives a table of relative apertures to guesstimate control over depth of field. The sensor isn't as large as 4/3, but it is multiples larger than the tiny sensors in the rest of this category.
Low light: might I add, I owned a Nikon P7000 (1/1.7"), a Olympus XZ1 (1/1.7"), and now have a Fuji XS1 (2/3"), all of which have a relatively small sensor. But there was a world of difference between the night mode on the Nikon (amazing) and the Olympus (crappy), yet both use a 1/1.7" sensor.
In the fixed lens category the Sony is a safe choice, as it can outperform some f3.5 kit lenses.
If you go a bit larger, a Samsung NX1000, 20MP, APS-C, with 30mm f2 is a great choice (a poor man's version of a Sony RX1).
It all depends on your personal preference... if you don't mind carrying a camera bag & think you'll get serious, or really want it in your pocket.

Comment edited 12 minutes after posting
1 upvote
bobbarber
By bobbarber (Dec 20, 2012)

I think it depends on what you want to do with the camera.

My favorite compact ever was the Olympus C7070. I shot with it for 5 years. It had a magnesium body (tough!), lots of exterior controls, and it took a lot of accessories. I OFTEN used it with wide-angle adapter, exterior flash, underwater case, etc. It also had a fold-out screen that could be used at almost any angle.

If you are looking for something to put in your pocket and shoot landscapes with, that's it, then I think the Sony wins. But if you ever use external flash, etc., then maybe you should look at a camera that can take more accessories and do more things. I am looking more at the Canon and Nikon offerings this time around, as well as the XZ2.

In my opinion, these cameras have gotten TOO small. My C7070 had four little plastic feet. I could sit it on a table as a tripod. Let's see the RX100 do that. I am not a teenage girl that has to fit a camera in her tight jeans. A LITTLE bulk in a camera is useful.

1 upvote
rrr_hhh
By rrr_hhh (Dec 21, 2012)

Nowadays, my choice would (indeed is) a mirrorless camera. They have become so tiny that they are as convenient as a compact. If I had to pick one, it would be the Olympus XZ2, but an E-Pm2 isn't that much bigger when used with a pancake lens.. You can even put a 28-84mm power zoom pancake on it ! Or the 15mm body lens cap.

0 upvotes
Michael_13
By Michael_13 (Dec 21, 2012)

There is no clear winner regarding IQ between compact and mirrorless.
I currently compare a Nikon V1 and an XZ-1 and the former really struggles... Indoors - where you need lots of DOF - bright compacts can be excellent.
But then there are those superb mFT lenses...
One of my priorities is size and weight and an XZ-1/2 offers excellent versatility in a small and light package.

0 upvotes
Travels4Food
By Travels4Food (Feb 12, 2013)

I was deciding between a compact and a mirrorless, and I chose the Sony RX100, mainly because for me, nothing beats the ease of not having to change lenses, and the RX100 seemed to have similar quality with a fixed lens. I'm extremely happy with my choice so far.

1 upvote
DPVoyageur
By DPVoyageur (Dec 19, 2012)

Ignoring the RX100, it looks as if this review might say the same thing about all-around-best cameras that the last DPR comparison piece on enthusiast cameras did -- Olympus first (if you do mainly stills) and Panasonic first (if video matters to you).

The full review on the LX7 brought out a couple of issues that I am wondering whether a firmware fix will address -- red eye worse than its peers, and quite visible vertical striping in sweep panoramic shots. Any idea whether a firmware fix will address these issues, or are we waiting for an LX8 (hopefully not 2 years this time)?

Comment edited 3 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
bzanchet
By bzanchet (Dec 19, 2012)

Benn using the RX-100 for 2 months, I.Q. is really impressive, the video performance is the best I've seen, but the pictures' colors are so cold and dark on auto mode. I could see a huge difference in this test with the real world samples against the other competitors, the Sony is the only one with a wierd color.
On P mode and after a extensive research I manage to make it a little better, but still misses warmth and live. I hate post processing, so JPEG are essential to me. But my wife thinks is really boring to wait for me to find the perfect setup for each photo...
I had a S100 but exchange due lens error and the 24fps video (terrible without tripod), but the pictures colors were nicer than RX-100.
Size is also essential to me so the Fuji XF1 maybe could be the last option for me, but the powering system is too anyoyng...
Maybe next year the perfect camera for me might show up :)

0 upvotes
Timmbits
By Timmbits (Dec 19, 2012)

My Samsungs tended to be cold too, so I bought Skylight 1a filters for all my lenses. (filters half the UV (better than nothing) and adds warmth to skintones etc.). You might like to check if you can get that for a RX100.

Comment edited 56 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
Richard Butler
By Richard Butler (Dec 19, 2012)

@bzanchet have you tried setting the RX100 to always bias the white balance a tiny bit towards the Amber end of the scale?

It's not the perfect solution but worth a try.

Comment edited 18 seconds after posting
3 upvotes
bzanchet
By bzanchet (Dec 20, 2012)

Mr. Butler I`m flattered to receive a reply from you thank you very much!! I'll try it tomorrow and post the results. I'm also using the contrast -1 or -2, it really improved the dark images... still I could not find the ideal setup for the creative style, on standard the colors seems dull, portrait is amazing for self pics and landscape is also very good for distance pics, but it's a bit anoyng to change this setting every time ;)
I have had a lot of camers in the past years since I can sell them in Brazil for twice the price, and I know it may sound stupid, but the best camera I have ever had till know is an old Sony DSC-N1 (excpt of course the limitations like 35mm wide, slow lens and and bad video), it is the best 100% crop I have ever seen, the sensor is a CCD 1/1.7... just a thought I'd like to share!

0 upvotes
rick01
By rick01 (Dec 19, 2012)

opps, i wrote too soon, the comparisons are there. sorry.

0 upvotes
rick01
By rick01 (Dec 19, 2012)

I've been considering the panasonic fz200 and I'm wondering if the sensor size in it would be smaller due to its larger zoom range then some of these cameras ? And how does the quality of the images compare? I can't seem to compare the images of the Panasonic fz200 to the Sony rx100 or olympus x2 in the full review on the Panasonic.

0 upvotes
Richard Butler
By Richard Butler (Dec 19, 2012)

Try clearing your cache - that should force your browser to update the list of available cameras.

The FZ200 has a 1/2.3" type sensor, which is around 6.17 x 4.55 mm - around 1/3rd smaller than the 1/1.7" type used by most of these models.

0 upvotes
Timmbits
By Timmbits (Dec 19, 2012)

Same zoom range but with a much larger sensor, 2/3", is the Fuji X-S1.

0 upvotes
Dougbm_2
By Dougbm_2 (Dec 20, 2012)

Looking at the images on the web the FZ200 consistently outperforms the XSi due to having a better (brighter and sharper) lens nullifying the sensor size difference.

0 upvotes
Timmbits
By Timmbits (Dec 31, 2012)

@Doughbm2: where did you get that information? both have a f2.8 on the wide end. contrary to popular belief, the pana is not f2.8 throughout - leaving out the tele number is just misleading advertising. it's maximum opening is f2.8... and as you go tele, that becomes a smaller proportion of total length, hence the number increases and aperture regresses - it's a mathematical equation - you can't circumvent that.

0 upvotes
Dougbm_2
By Dougbm_2 (Jan 26, 2013)

@Timmbits: "...where its predecessor had a variable aperture of f2.8-5.2, the new model boasts nothing less than a constant aperture of f2.8 throughout the entire focal range. Yep, that's right, the FZ200 offers f2.8 all the way to its maximum equivalent focal length of 600mm." from Cameralabs review. ps: no h in my nickname

0 upvotes
Wolffy
By Wolffy (Dec 19, 2012)

I am sure all of these cameras can and will take great quality images but 1 thing I must have is a viewfinder. That leaves only the Canon and the Fuji x10
If no viewfinder then an articulated LCD would be nice Nikon and Samsung
ever tried using one of these LCD screen only cameras out in the sun?
your better off with your cell phone

0 upvotes
logbi77
By logbi77 (Dec 19, 2012)

You can buy an EVF for the LX7 and the XZ-2 although that means you get an additional cost for the setup.

0 upvotes
Mal_In_Oz
By Mal_In_Oz (Dec 19, 2012)

This is a very useful review, but I would like to see a section on viewfinders. In Australia or anywhere there is harsh light, a viewfinder is an important consideration. They can also be useful at performances where a bright screen might be distracting.

My VF2 viewfinder was originally purchased for $200 to fit an m43 camera, but I can also use it on my XZ-1, and presumably on the XZ-2 as well, so the cost is amortised over a longer period. Something to consider.

0 upvotes
Timmbits
By Timmbits (Dec 19, 2012)

ROTFL - ever tried using your cellphone inthe sun? ;-p

0 upvotes
Ian.O
By Ian.O (Dec 20, 2012)

Even with a G12 viewfinder available, I found it OK to just cup my free hand over the articulated screen in bright light. Only once in 2 years did I find it too bright and that was a Central Otago (NZ) blue-dome high noon that was making my skin prickle.
The other use of a view-finder was when I was trying to get pix of my grandson. The only way was to put the camera on 'motor drive' and follow him in the viewfinder. No camera's digital screen can keep up with a 4-year-old.

0 upvotes
Dougbm_2
By Dougbm_2 (Dec 20, 2012)

Agreed. One of the reasons I replaced my G11 with an X100.
Hope the X-101 or X200 has a small fixed zoom (28-90 would do).

1 upvote
Timmbits
By Timmbits (Dec 19, 2012)

I'm really skeptical at their "conclusions". They seem to have simply "forgotten" that the Samsung has a f1.4 lens, like the LX7. Both of these should have rated better than the S110, and the Samsung been a better alternative to wifi which the canon has.
Also, I find that DPR is confusing EXR mode with Night mode. EXR isn't just "night". A subtle "mistake" to slam the manufacturer and favor another? Either this is going on, or the reviewers aren't paying attention. Pick one. Neither bodes well for an eroding reputation.

0 upvotes
Richard Butler
By Richard Butler (Dec 19, 2012)

With regards the Fujifilms, please let me know where you think we've mistaken EXR for night mode. I wrote the EXR sections on the XF1 and X10 and I discussed both the SN and DR modes so I'd be interested to know where you think we've gone wrong - I'll clarify the text if needed.

However, when it comes to the EX2F, we're not going to agree. You're welcome to be as skeptical as you like, but us not agreeing with you is not evidence of bias.

The problem is that it's not as good as its specifications suggest. Simply having a F1.4-2.7 lens doesn't automatically make you the winner, or we could have saved all the time we spent waiting for the cameras, testing and shooting with them, and just declared a winner based on numbers.

The S110 is, without a doubt, a better camera than the EX2F, if you want something small (the area we highlighted it in). The EX2F is considerably bigger, meaning it has to compete with the LX7 and XZ-2, both of which are also better cameras.

5 upvotes
Timmbits
By Timmbits (Dec 19, 2012)

Because you wrote that it is only 6MP. that is pretty much night scene. EXR isn't just all about night scene.

I confess that I haven't tried the EX2F. I think my point was more to give attention to good lenses and sensor size.

I do think though, that not pitting the S110 against the others because it's a bit smaller, is really splitting hairs on camera size.

Plus, I think that you may be going about things the wrong way. In the vast "compact" category, it may be more pertinent to split the categories along sensor size, instead of body size. This has two advantages: it educates the general public, beginners, about the importance of a good sensor, and placing it more in the forefront tells manufacturers to up their game instead of complacency and withholding progress. If a compact camera has a bigger sensor, brighter lens, and gives you all the manual controls of a larger camera, why would the unnecessarily large one be sheltered from comparison with it?

Comment edited 12 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Richard Butler
By Richard Butler (Dec 19, 2012)

EXR is only 6MP - the cameras can do a DR enhancing mode in 12MP images, but it's not EXR, it's a different system more like Highlight Tone Priority on a Canon DSLR (it halves the shutter speed and uses a different tone curve to pull the exposure back to the correct brightness).

3 upvotes
Richard Butler
By Richard Butler (Dec 19, 2012)

With regards lenses and sensors, we tried to make clear that the S110 is limited in comparison to the opposition, in that it has a slower lens than any of the others. However, it is nice to use and is /significantly/ smaller than the opposition. Hence we recommended the RX100 or, for a cheaper option, the S110 /if/ your priority is having a really small camera.

If you're willing to accept a larger camera, then the others come into play and significantly out-muscle the S110. We've tried to make that clear.

1 upvote
Timmbits
By Timmbits (Dec 20, 2012)

People don't come here to be told that a camera is better because of the size - that is the one parameter even a blind person can figure out for themselves. We come here to have the rest, more technical stuff, presented. That being said, good thing you're there to clarify some stuff.
In the DPR's specs sheet section on the XF1, I don't see it mentioned that EXR mode halves resolution. For the life of me, I can't find it anywhere - not on their website, specs, features, not even in the user manual. You'd think this is an important detail that people would want to know.
Thanks for your good nature and for the clarifications.
Might you be able to share with us, where Fuji mentions this very important detail?

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
1 upvote
Robert Mathews
By Robert Mathews (Dec 21, 2012)

I've been using the X10 for several months and I like both its feel and its photos. In EXR mode there are three possibilities plus Auto. In two- and ONLY two - of the three ("high ISO and low noise" and "D-range priority") the resolution is reduced to 6 mp. To learn all about the X10, see "Photographer's Guide to the Fujifilm X10" by Alexander S. White.

2 upvotes
Timmbits
By Timmbits (Dec 21, 2012)

They actually talk about it on this very website. 2 of the EXR modes are 6mp, one of the EXR modes is 12MP. But the way it was written in the conclusion of this roundup, suggests (to those who didn't weed through the original X10 review - which is most of us), that EXR does _only_ 6MP. Just seems a little biased.

Comment edited 3 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Nerval
By Nerval (Dec 23, 2012)

I did not understand you complaint till your last comment. When you talk about EXR, you refer to the sensor name, while in this review it appeared quite clearly to me DPR was talking about EXR modes. Beside it's in the spec sheet that the sensor can deliver 12mp images.

0 upvotes
JonHolstein
By JonHolstein (Dec 29, 2012)

It makes far more sense to split categories by body size over sensor size.
1st of all, sensor size, actually says nothing about image quality. How many pixels have they fitted, how tightly have they fitted them, what is the individual sixe of each pixel, and the sensor actually nay good at all. And then we have the optics, that could easily ruin a great big sensor.

2ndly, this is a review of "pro"-compacts, those are often used as complements to better cameras, and then size is often a prioroty, otherwise people would just bring the better camera they have.
or people are checking this out, cause they've understood that their mobiles dont give them much of low light performance, and thus are willing to invest in a pro compact to complement the mobile, and therefore want something they can pocket.

Sure, one can find size out for themselves, but there are thousands of cameras in DPs database, and really no way to filter out the best current pocketable ones for "pro" use.

0 upvotes
Timmbits
By Timmbits (Dec 31, 2012)

@JH... exactly the opposite has been argued time and time again: megapixels don't determine image quality, but sensor size does. they don't make tiny sensors with photosites as large as the ones in a sensor multiple times larger. do the math.
2ndly, if it were only "pro" compacts (btw are you kidding me, "pro"?), we wouldn't see a S110... nor any other tiny sensor compact in this roundup.
In fact, like DPR already outlined for us, everything has to be taken in context... although not pro quality, this is a category, and within which we can find winners as well as obsolescence.
Well, at least you are starting to appreciate how a camera can give you better IQ than your cameraphone.

Comment edited 4 times, last edit 9 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
lester11
By lester11 (Dec 19, 2012)

Comparing the studio scene shots, looking at the watch's 'Thursday', the Oly image simply stunning. But the Samsung image looks very soft, not sharply focused I guess, it surely can't be *that* bad a camera...?

1 upvote
KonstantinosK
By KonstantinosK (Dec 19, 2012)

I'm seriously thinking about buying a good, small camera. I'm looking for the best possible image quality in the smallest possible package. When money is no object, I feel that the answer to the previous equation can only be the RX100. When the price matters, I think the LX7 has the edge. The smallest m4/3 with the smallest possible lens is not enough pocketable for me.

0 upvotes
zos xavius
By zos xavius (Dec 19, 2012)

What about the pentax q? Its really rather cheap right now and is decent for a p&s sized 12mp sensor. I wouldn't make poster prints from it, but for a lot of people its more than enough. You can change lenses too....

1 upvote
zos xavius
By zos xavius (Dec 19, 2012)

I must add, the q is the size of a credit card roughly. Tiny. A three lens kit could easily fit in a pocket. You can clean the sensor too...I've had a few bridge cams get dust on the sensor....

1 upvote
jorg14
By jorg14 (Dec 19, 2012)

I don't think it's a matter of what camera is 'best' as I'm sure a lot of people choose a camera based on features. While the RX100 may have the best IQ, for my second camera I would like the 200 mm range, an articulated LCD and macro of at least 2cm. I carry two cameras so they compliment each other. This would let me shoot fast and without lens change from 15 -200mm. I now have a Canon G12 and have never used the optical viewfinder, so that's a non issue for me. Others find it essential.

0 upvotes
sbansban
By sbansban (Dec 19, 2012)

For the best possible IQ in the smallest possible package, RX100 is what you should choose if money is no object. However, the S100, (which still costs as much as $482 at some stores) is currently available for a mere $249 on Amazon and at Adorama. At that price, it's a steal. It's quite a bit smaller than even the RX100 and is totally shirt-pocketable. If I were you, I'd get both as both have great IQ to size ratio. LX7 is very good too - it's just that it's not that small - definitely not shirt or pant-pocketable and needs a much bigger case. I snared the S100 for $229 (one-day only lightning deal) and the LX7 for $299 from Amazon recently.

1 upvote
KonstantinosK
By KonstantinosK (Dec 19, 2012)

Thanks guys for your responses. The thing is I want a small and capable camera as a second, carry-everywhere, leave-it-mostly-at-Auto care-free point-and-shooter. I have a DSLR for when I try to be an enthusiast amateur. Right now my second small camera is a Panasonic TZ-5 which I REALLY like but carrying it with me for some years in my sports etc, it has gathered many dings and a partially black LCD, but otherwise it works brilliantly. So I'm thinking about giving the poor thing some rest as I don't want it to die. I feel the Q with its interchangeable lenses might not be quite robust for where I want to take it. So, for now I'm between the RX100 and the LX7. It's not urgent though, come spring I'll decide and choose.

0 upvotes
Timmbits
By Timmbits (Dec 19, 2012)

The Q has a tiny sensor! Don't expect too much from it. More like a toy interchangeable lens camera. If you're on a photography site like this, it is because you are a little more discriminating than what is offered in the cheap 1/2.3" sensor sizes.

0 upvotes
KonstantinosK
By KonstantinosK (Dec 19, 2012)

From around the internet I've got the impression that the Q's tiny sensor is a cut above than other tiny sensors in point-and-shoot cameras, so maybe it too could pass as an alternative choice of the small and the good. It's unfortunate DPreview hasn't reviewed it yet and give us their opinion. It's the interchangable lens that rule it out for me, not its size sensor. And by the way, if I'm on a site like this it's because I've seen many times in the challenges that great photographs can be taken even with cheap point-and-shoot cameras.

0 upvotes
D1N0
By D1N0 (Dec 19, 2012)

the rx100 is great, but you have to pay for it's greatness as well. I can't believe street prices for the canon's in pounds. They must really not want to sell these camera's in Brittain. In Holland an S110 is €369 300 pounds and a G15 €479 390 pounds.

Comment edited 4 minutes after posting
2 upvotes
Nikonworks
By Nikonworks (Dec 19, 2012)

I stopped several magazine subscriptions because their reviews became not much more than a re-print of the spec sheets from the manufacturers.
-
Where are the full reviews of these enthusiast cameras, reviews that they deserve.
-
We can make our own decisions once we get proper review.
-
Case in point: how could a reviewer include only one sentence when a particular enthusiast camera provides multiple off camera TTL flash?
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It is obvious the reviewers have no personal expierence with the merits and value of off camera flash.

2 upvotes
Andy Westlake
By Andy Westlake (Dec 19, 2012)

Have you ever stopped to think that this particular roundup format might have a space limitation? It's impossible to cover every aspect of a camera in detail on one page. You may also wish to consider the thought that not every user will consider multiple off-camera TTL flash as important as you do, especially on a compact camera.

12 upvotes
Nikonworks
By Nikonworks (Dec 20, 2012)

Precisely, if you provided full reviews of these cameras as DPReview did in the past, your excuse about space limitation in today's world of web pages is a rather weak response.
I may consider mutiple off camera flash is more important than others but that does not give a reviewr an excuse to not cover it.
As a reviewer give the facts, all the facts, we can then decide.
-
Your defensive posture to my sincerely given remarks to this article is a bit of a shock to me in what it reveals.
-
Stick to full proper reviews.

0 upvotes
Andy Westlake
By Andy Westlake (Dec 20, 2012)

This roundup article is an entirely different thing to 'full proper reviews', and complements rather than replaces them. It's a way of quickly summing-up and comparing the different models' strengths and weaknesses against the competition. Several of the cameras covered in this article have already been reviewed in full, a fact you appear not to have noticed; the others are in the queue.

The space limitation here is about readability - we're producing a short one-page summary of each camera. Any more detail and we'd turn readers off (we've produced enough group tests to know what gets read and what doesn't).

Finally, this idea that a reviewer needs an 'excuse' not to cover a feature that, however important to you, is unequivocally niche on a compact, is very strange indeed. How many P7700 buyers do you really believe will go out and add multiple Speedlights, let alone carry them around? Compacts are substantially about portability, after all.

5 upvotes
Nikonworks
By Nikonworks (Dec 21, 2012)

Solution: Clearly indicate in your 'round-ups' which cameras have and have not undergone a full review.
This way readers will not be mis-led by the incompleteness inherent in a 'round-up' of a partiular class of cameras.
And if I may, as a photojournalist, leave you a tip:
-'Make sure it is not the level of quality of your content that leads to your readers to having a short attention span ( as you have stated and so measured).
Respectfully, Nikonworks

0 upvotes
clcochrane
By clcochrane (Dec 19, 2012)

Am I missing something, or is there no way of navigating to the review you wish to read from within this otherwise very useful article?

It's a bit frustrating having to guess which page of the article refers to the G15 or P7700, etc. Could you change the navigation to include shortcuts to the individual pages which include the camera's names please?

3 upvotes
bcalkins
By bcalkins (Dec 19, 2012)

If you hover over the 1, 2, 3, etc. buttons it has the name of the camera as a tooltip, which helps...

0 upvotes
Richard Butler
By Richard Butler (Dec 19, 2012)

We're aware the navigation system needs improving and it's on the (rather long) list of improvements.

In the meantime, we've put a list of cameras on the first page that links through to the relevant page. It's not ideal, but it should make life a bit easier.

2 upvotes
flangad
By flangad (Dec 19, 2012)

One question:

Most of those cameras are little bit "big" for a compact camera.
For a only slightly bigger package, you can get Panasonic GX1+14-42X pancake zoom or Sony NEX6 + 16-50PZ pancake zoom.
This give much larger sensors, but you loose wide apertune.... so, what is the best?

Do those "large sensor with extreme compacted zoom lenses" really bring better image quality than the compacts cameas of this review or not?

Comment edited 7 minutes after posting
1 upvote
RGWR
By RGWR (Dec 19, 2012)

Yes, my pocket camera is a Pana GF3 with the 14-42x. It's on the big side but it has the flexibility to use another lens if I want, and even with the x lens the quality is pretty good. I'd be interested in an answer to your question, though, as I haven't done the comparison.

Comment edited 32 seconds after posting
2 upvotes
Marty4650
By Marty4650 (Dec 19, 2012)

Yes, I completely agree.

My pocket camera is an Olympus EPL2 with 14-42mm lens and the 14mm Lumix pancake for real "pocketability."

For those who want maximum image quality you can do better than a Sony RX100.... for a lower price... by selecting a M4/3 camera with a smallish lens. Plus you now have multiple lens options.

It also might be interesting to see how the Nikon 1 or Pentax Q compares to these compact enthusiast cameras.

2 upvotes
Timmbits
By Timmbits (Dec 19, 2012)

1. @Marty: are you kidding us? pentaxQ has a TINY sensor, how could you even consider it in this comparison? especially with a RX100!!!
2. the RX100 has the same size sensor as the Nikon-1.
3. if you're going to go as large as 4/3, why not get something way better, an APS-C, for about the same size (for example, an NX210, NX1000).
MFT won't compete with APS-C in the long run with lens and housing systems getting more compact, but it does have a future competing favorably with the new 1" generation.

1 upvote
JonHolstein
By JonHolstein (Dec 29, 2012)

I've been searching for small interchangle lens solutions, but discovered that it doesnt really exist.
Or not on any kind of budget, at least.

Those pancake lenses you talk about they really dont retract that much, so its only when you compare the body against a compact that you feel it could be an alternative, but as soon as you start to look at lenses you discover, that with excaption for som fixed zoom lenses they are all too thick to be pocketeble in any way.

And then you look at the specs of those zoom lenses, and quickly discover that if you want decent aperature size, well they you have to pile up a lot of chash.

The retraction of the lens, goes a long way if you want to be able to pocket a camera.
But sure, some of these really are on the big side, but some users look at the "pro" compact category, because of the flexible zoom lenses, and as a way to not have to bring their more professional gear with them all the time, du to value or the size (including lens kit)

0 upvotes
Sdaniella
By Sdaniella (Dec 19, 2012)

Extra Mp (due to larger sensor area size) does offer more flexible creative crop options, it's more about the relevance of how well particular pixel sizes perform 'like-size-for-like-size'.

There is nothing about the Sony RX-100 that is a 'engineering marvel' at all, when all they do is resort to using slightly larger yr2012-pixels than all the rest, albeit plastered on a large enuf sensor size to ensure more Mp overall

Based strictly on predicting IQ on pixel density (pixels/mm of sensor), larger pixels should perform better than smaller (sensor size and Mp count notwithstanding):

Best to Worst, similar pixel densities, if same*, are truly pitted 'one-on-one'*:
1) RX100 @ 415 pixels/mm
2) FujiFilm X10/XF1 @ 455 pixels/mm
3) Pany LX7 @ 490 pixels/mm
4) Oly XZ-2 @ 533* pixels/mm
4) Nikon P7700 @ 533* pixels/mm
6) Canon G15/S110 @ 538 pixels/mm

If a sensor with SMALLER pixels happen to demonstrate superior IQ to others that are LARGER, then, it's the better pixel (superior tech).

Comment edited 3 minutes after posting
1 upvote
Nerval
By Nerval (Dec 19, 2012)

The question of pixel density is not exactly relevant.
Sure, lessening gap between pixels and between micro-lenses ensures more of the sensor surface is actually exposed to light, so as tech advances semi-conductors become more efficient.

But here the thing with the sony mainly is that the bigger imager (sensor) is less demanding in terms of optical glass resolving power and thus the combination produces more detailed images...

Also when we invest in a camera, it is first and foremost a system, and cannot be judged on a component alone, especially when we cannot change the lens on it...

How much does it cost?
What does it provide?
- Performances
- IQ : Sharpness, noise, DR, colour rendition
- And whatever feature is important to you

Otherwise, Nikon D800E and D3200 have to be the best there is given both these sensors provide high SNR with staggering MP count... Irrelevant to me...

In terms of practicality, it's just: what do we get for what we pay?

Comment edited 4 times, last edit 3 minutes after posting
1 upvote
Nerval
By Nerval (Dec 19, 2012)

Although I agree Sony's RX100 is no miracle.

But what's nice is that for a change they did produce something a bit out of the box.

A bit like Canon's G1X but more "pocketable".

While every other manufacturer sticks to the 1/2.3 1/1.7 format.

So no miracle, but well, it works.

2 upvotes
rickysio
By rickysio (Dec 19, 2012)

The SIZE.

1 upvote
Timmbits
By Timmbits (Dec 31, 2012)

the RX100 is remarkable, in that it sets new records for lens system size: consider the dimensions of the lens system, comparable to the sensor size that it services. consider distance from back of the lens to the sensor, the total volume of .the lens system, and it's just as compact as something servicing a sensor a third. the size.

1 upvote
Timmbits
By Timmbits (Dec 31, 2012)

Oh, and your calculations are wrong. You quote linear units, while we are dealing with surface (square area) units. Let me help:

We have sensor size, square area, divided by total pixels (and not image pixels because many do a crop of the total), giving us a total in micrometers, I assume. As you can see, the RX100's pixels, at 5.8 u2 are almost twice the size as the smaller ones in this roundup, the Nikon at 3.2 u2. Sensor sizes have even larger differences: Sony's sensor at 116.6 is almost triple the size of 1/1.7" sensors.

RX100
5472 x 3648
13.2 x 8.8 = 116.6 mm2
div/20 = 5.8 u2

XF1
4000 x 3000
8.8 x 6.6 = 58.8 mm2
div/12 = 4.8 u2

XZ2
3948 x 2976 = 11.7MP / 12.8 total Mpixels
7.44 x 5.58 = 41.5152 mm2
div/11.7 = 3.5 u2

G15
4000 x 3000
7.44 x 5.58 = 41.5152 mm2
div./12.1 = 3.4 u2

LX7
3468 x 2236 = 10.1MP / 12.7 total Mpixels
7.44 x 5.58 = 41.5152 mm2
div/12.7 = 3.3 u2

Nikon P7700
4000 x 3000 = 12MP / 12.8 total Mpixels
7.44 x 5.58 = 41.5152 mm2
div./12.8 = 3.2 u2

Comment edited 3 minutes after posting
1 upvote
Timmbits
By Timmbits (Dec 31, 2012)

In summary, the Sony, despite more pixels, still has pixels twice the size, and a sensor triple the size as the 1/1.7" sensors.

The Fuji is somewhere in the middle, with larger pixels than most, but not as large as the Sony. The Fujifilm XF1 has pixels 17% smaller than Sony's, and 41% larger than the 1/1.7" lot. It's sensor is almost exactly half the size as Sony's, while 41% larger on average than the smaller sensors.

Assuming you put the best quality optics possible in front of all these sensors, there is no arguing that the larger sensors and larger pixels will arguably produce better tones, nuances, and less dead spots (noise) than the smaller ones.

This gives us 3 sub-categories in this roundup:
Sony, larger sensor, larger pixels
Fuji
Others, smallest sensors, smallest pixels

the rest, is splitting hairs... as other factors will take over - like lenses, firmware, etc.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 15 minutes after posting
1 upvote
Timmbits
By Timmbits (Dec 31, 2012)

Correction for the XZ2 (not that it changes anything)

3948 x 2976 = 11.7MP / 12.8 total Mpixels
7.44 x 5.58 = 41.5152 mm2
div/12.8 = 3.24 u2

0 upvotes
Atsel
By Atsel (Dec 19, 2012)

Nikon P7700 seems to deliver the best per-pixel sharpness in this test.

0 upvotes
rickysio
By rickysio (Dec 19, 2012)

The operational speed and AF speed is an issue for street/sports/kids shooters etc. RX100 is blisteringly fast in comparison. S110, if it's anything like the S100, hopefully won't be burned by lens issues. The AF is also slower than the RX100's.

Can't say anything about the rest though, haven't tried them.

Comment edited 3 minutes after posting
2 upvotes
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