Roundup: Enthusiast Zoom Compact Cameras

Fujifilm XF1

12MP | 25-100mm (4x) Zoom | $450 (US) £320 (UK) €460 (EU)

The Fujifilm XF1 is the latest in its reputation-building 'X' series - with the company showing off what it's capable of doing. It's impressive in terms of specifications but it also tries to offer something distinctive in terms of design and technology. Conceptually the XF1 sits towards the Canon S-series end of the spectrum - prioritizing small camera dimensions over direct control or a bright lens (it's the X10's job to fulfil those needs).

Key Features

  • 12.0MP 2/3" CMOS EXR sensor (offering 6MP output with higher dynamic range or lower noise)
  • ISO 100-3200 (up to 12800, at reduced resolution, JPEG only)
  • 25-100mm (equivalent), F1.8-4.9 optically stabilized zoom lens
  • Rear clickable thumb dial and four-way dial
  • 1080p30 video with stereo microphones
  • 3.0" LCD screen with 460k dots
  • 300 shot battery life (CIPA)
  • Built-in ND filter
  • In-camera Raw conversion option
The XF1 is built around the same 2/3" sensor as the X10 - which means it's able to offer the clever pixel-combining EXR modes as its bigger brother. But, away from the technical specifications, the XF1's two great strengths are its user interface and its design. Fujifilm has worked hard to ensure the XF1 is both attractive and usable. It's one of the smallest cameras in this group, making it a clear contender for photographers for whom pocketability is important.The XF1 also has a very useful 25mm equivalent wide-angle end to the lens, making it impressively flexible, despite its relatively compact dimensions.
The XF1 is a beautifully understated camera. It's much more than simply a compact camera with classic styling - it's a well thought-out photographic tool Like the X10, the XF1 has a manual zoom. This means less battery drain and more precise control over framing, since it gives continuous, rather than stepped, control over the focal length.
Although the rear panel has very few direct controls, the E-Fn button at the bottom right helps the XF1 offer a pleasant shooting experience for shooters wanting to take control over the camera. Pressing the E-Fn button switches the function of each button on the camera to an alternate, user-defined setting - allowing quick access to all the settings you change most often.

Performance and Image Quality

The XF1 has three modes - a full resolution mode or two 6MP modes that combine pixels to improve either dynamic range or noise performance. Confusingly, the camera also has a second mode to capture more highlight information, but doesn't ever make it clear which you're using. And, while the EXR capability means the XF1 can capture 6MP images with unsurpassed highlight detail, for a compact, it imposes some limitations on the full resolution output. Shoot at 12MP or in Raw and you can't quite match the resolution performance of its more conventional peers. More problematically, fine detail - particularly fine green detail - is often rendered in a rather blurred, smudgy way.

However, the Fujifilm's images are pretty good unless you dig around at the pixel level - the camera behaves very well in terms of exposure and its color rendition is on the pleasant side of realistic. The imperfect corners of the lens at its widest setting, plus the camera's rather disappointing demosaicing mean the image quality doesn't live up to the standards set by many of its rivals.

Wide Angle (25mm Equiv.) Telephoto (100mm Equiv.)
The XF1's lens seems to feature a lot of correction at the wide-angle end of the zoom - the corners aren't a patch on the performance at the long end of the lens, where it's rather good.
The portrait test is perhaps a fraction too bright but doesn't clip any detail and still represents the subject's skin tone nicely. Sadly the fussy bokeh means that, while the slow maximum aperture at the long end of the zoom allows some subject/background separation, the effect isn't as attractive as some of its rivals. The flash result is one of the best of the bunch though. Nothing else in this group has done such a good job of balancing the ambient light with the flash output. Color rendition is good and the skin tone is attractively warm - a really good result.
The XF1's lens starts at a usefully wide 25mm equivalent focal length. This doesn't quite match the Panasonic LX7, Samsung EX2F or Canon S110 but is still pretty handy. The 6MP EXR modes can be useful - this DR800% image, shot straight into the sun, shows the kind of dynamic range that  is usually impossible in a single shot for more conventional cameras.

Summary

The XF1 is undoubtedly a pretty camera but it's also one that does a good job of balancing the needs of the different potential user - it works well as a stylish point-and-shoot but is still quick and enjoyable to take control over. The XF1's output lives up to the standard of its exterior design - the metering is reliable and the color rendition is attractive. The manual zoom lens, once you've figured it out, gives precise control over your framing in a way that powered zooms don't.

Ironically the one thing the XF1's interface doesn't do well is to give easy access to its EXR capabilities - one of the features that should help the camera stand out. Getting to the EXR features in anything but the EXR Auto mode is unnecessarily difficult, but the XF1 is still a pretty good camera, even if you choose not to use them. Overall, though, the XF1's slightly glitchy image quality takes the sheen off a camera that looks great and is a pleasure to use.

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

Studio Comparison Tool Fujifilm XF1 Samples (25 images)

What we like: Classy styling and good build quality. Useful lens range. Well-designed user interface. Flash performance.

What we don't like: Disappointing lens corner performance at wide-angle. Poor detail rendition in full-size images.

Related Links

131
I own it
15
I want it
6
I had it
Discuss in the forums

Comments

Total comments: 417
123
Florent Chev
By Florent Chev (Dec 19, 2012)

I was very happy to discover this review as I'm a DSLR user wanting a compact camera for travelling light.
I was about to go for a Canon G15 or S110, I didn't exactly know if I needed more the first's commands or the second's small size, but reading this made me appear that the Nikon P7700 is not bad choice at all. Add to that that I'm already a Nikon user, I can use my flashgun in case of need or more useful the ML-L3 remote (so told me the guy at the shop), and the possibility of adding a microphone is a plus.
I just hoped that more among this cameras were able to make in-camera crop like 3:2 or 1:1 and not only 4:3…

0 upvotes
ddtwenty
By ddtwenty (Dec 19, 2012)

My only one complaint to panasonic is that...
Please please do the next lx serie with the same 24 mm. Wide and put bigger sensor on them. Imagine if lx7 has larger sensor that can perfome better on high iso ... I think sony rx100 will hardly makes such phenomenon in this year.
And I think it dose not matter if pricing will go up high just like sony's.

1 upvote
Jacques Cornell
By Jacques Cornell (Dec 19, 2012)

There's a tradeoff involved with sensor size. Bigger sensor = bigger lens = bigger camera, OR same-size lens with smaller max aperture. Look at the LX7 vs GX1. The GX1 has a bigger sensor and consequently higher usable ISO, but the kit zoom lens starts at f3.5 vs. f1.4 for the LX7. Where you can shoot the LX7 at f1.4 and ISO 100, the GX1 will be at f3.5 and ISO 640. That's why I have both. LX 7 for pocketable every-day carry, and GX1 for planned shooting in good light for large (16"x24") prints.

0 upvotes
Timmbits
By Timmbits (Dec 19, 2012)

@Majik... now doesn't the RX100 perturb that statement! ;-)

2 upvotes
ddtwenty
By ddtwenty (Dec 19, 2012)

lx7 win me all my 300$ out of my pocket.

Not because panasonic gives me money to tell this.

It Because of
- 24 mm. Lens that offer great coverage over landscape shooting that put other cameras fall down here.
- very appealing video control and performance.
- brigthest lens on the market.
- shorter zoom range never bother me as long as the quality of images from that shorter zoom will result in excellent camera optic performance.
Not to mention the very attractive pricing that I do not concern much here.

PS. I plan to buy the lx7 on february. :)

1 upvote
calmwaters
By calmwaters (Dec 19, 2012)

Now that Sony and Olympus have partnered I see great things in the future for Olympus cameras.

0 upvotes
JagK
By JagK (Dec 19, 2012)

Completely agreed with the conclusions.

XZ-2 is an amazing camera with excellent images. I have the XZ-1, now if only olympus would tweak their JPEG engine a bit for the XZ-1, not sure if this can be done by a firmware update.

The lens same for XZ-1 and XZ-2 is amazing all the way from the center to the corners. None of the others can match this.

When in doubt pull up the image comparison tool and see for yourself.

1 upvote
calmwaters
By calmwaters (Dec 19, 2012)

I agree, I have the ZX-1 also and love the camera. Now if they could take the sensor from the RX100 and put that in the XZ-3 we might have the perfect compact.

2 upvotes
Dpreviewmember
By Dpreviewmember (Dec 19, 2012)

Agree 100%, if they also manage to keep the marvellous iZuiko Olympus little lens on the XZ-3 ;-)

All in all my current decision lies with XZ-2, as the reviewer also concluded.

At the end what matters is what a camera can deliver in variable conditions and how enjoyable it is to use, also how expandable, adding to the review that buying the CLA-12 adapter tube you can attach 55mm tele converters, fisheye lenses, filters.
You also have a pair of flexible macro LED lights that are very handy.

If want to see what the Olympus XZ-2 can really do in several conditions check out this 3 part great review by Robin Wong,
it has links to the two previous parts at the begining :

http://robinwong.blogspot.com.br/2012/10/olympus-stylus-xz-2-review-macro-and.html

Cheers

0 upvotes
sjogro
By sjogro (Dec 19, 2012)

I'm mainly a creative amateur, not a pro in the photography field and not very experienced with different camera's. I shoot all my stuff in JPEG unless It's a planned shooting for photomontage/heavy editing in Photoshop. My last compact was the Panasonic LX3. I had a blast with it, the wide angle, the in-camera creative settings. It gave a real kick to carry it around walking and make creative shots. The controls felt logical to me. The wide angle has the ability to make every shot look edgy. It just felt great.
Now obviously I have an eye on the LX7 but I'm kind of disappointed it didn't make it into the conclusions. Now I followed your link here. Some of the shots in that review are impressive, I like the unsharp backgrounds and the detail in faces. Also the coloring is really nice. Do you think the Olympus has the creative capabilities to get me just as enthusiastic as the LX3 got me in 2009?
Also, which do you think will perform better in lowlight, small venue concertphotography?

0 upvotes
ijustloveshooting
By ijustloveshooting (Dec 19, 2012)

i had G15 and Rx100 for about a month to decide which one to go for,,,in terms of IQ- even at base iso-, shutter lag, sharpness,clarity,,RX100 was way superior to G15,,, with RX100, you can still get tempting photos at iso3200, however other compacts fall short even at iso400, clarity, details are gone at iso400...i still don't get it how you can compare RX100 to the others....RX100 is playin at another league...

2 upvotes
Revenant
By Revenant (Dec 19, 2012)

There's more to a camera than just the sensor. I value the lens and the ergonomics more than the sensor.

0 upvotes
pizzolog
By pizzolog (Dec 19, 2012)

Tues, Dec 18, 2012
I agree with topstuff, The Sony RX100 is truly in a different class.
In spite of the fact all of these cameras and The RX100 are put together in this same article, dpReview also agrees with the premise topstuff puts forth, dpReview will not allow the RX100 to be compared with any of the other eight cameras on the RX100 conclusion page.
The Sony RX100 is an engineering marvel.
Sony has performed the unimaginable astonishingly well, but apparently blundered in doing the easy things badly, such as:
Vague clickless control dial
Unpredictable flash metering
Lack of ND filter
No lens filter option
Confusingly playback stills, MP4 and AVCHD
Irksome lag zoom in playback.
No hard copy manual.
These apparent quirks, on paper at least, seem to keep the RX100 from being the GEM it should be.
I hope that the RX200 overcomes all of these relatively simple shortcomings; then perhaps I would not mind spending $649.
The $299 Lumix LX7 is the better purchase and a great camera.

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
5 upvotes
ric63
By ric63 (Dec 19, 2012)

I completely agree. Sony does have a habit of making something that should be perfect, "almost" perfect.
Has anyone had a good look at some of the parts of the comparison test?
The Queens face is a shocker, the Kodak logo is soft as, but there are some other gems that are very superior IQ?
So going by this I am not so sure about overall IQ.

Saying that, I would love to give one a go :-)

1 upvote
YiannisPP
By YiannisPP (Dec 19, 2012)

The Queen is out of focus!
So many people are drawing the wrong conclusions based on those tests shots, I'm surprised DPR doesn't take some action...

0 upvotes
Jacques Cornell
By Jacques Cornell (Dec 19, 2012)

The RX100 RAW files look soft. Yes, the test images appear to be somewhat front-focused relative to some other cameras, but even objects near the front, like the watch, look soft and show less resolution than the GX1. In terms of practical resolution of fine detail, it doesn't appear to be any better at low ISO than even the 10MP LX7. I think the hype around the RX100's 20MP is overblown. If I really need to make high-resolution prints larger than 12"x18", I'd rather have a GX1. For prints up to 12"x18", I'd rather have the LX7 with its faster & sharper lens (especially at the tele end) and superb interface.

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

The RX100 doesn't perform at its best at the close-focus distances we use for our test scene (which is exactly why we're developing a new test scene).

We shot it many, many times at different distances, focal lengths and focus positions to try to get the best results. Sadly even those best results are not ideal. I'll add a note to make this clear as we did in the original review.

0 upvotes
_sem_
By _sem_ (Dec 19, 2012)

The G1X and DSLR kit lenses have even less close-focus abilities, that's likely directly related to the larger sensors (longer extension needed to get up close).

> I think the hype around the RX100's 20MP is overblown.
I think RX100 needs 20MP for better software correction of lens distortion.

0 upvotes
RStyga
By RStyga (Dec 19, 2012)

I have the impression from the test scenes that last-generation Fujifilm sensors RAW output present weird artifacts, something between moire-gone-wrong and AA artifacts. I tend to assume that the industry RAW conversion software has not yet properly grasped the Fujifilm sensors structure in order to produce artifact-free images.

0 upvotes
Tee1up
By Tee1up (Dec 19, 2012)

I would love to have that RX100 for a week, just to see if I could get used to no viewfinder. That is really my only complaint with that unit.

0 upvotes
rgm3
By rgm3 (Dec 19, 2012)

The lack of a viewfinder is partially offset by its "white magic" lcd display which users on the dpr forum feel make it quite visible even in bright sunlight.

1 upvote
sierra_vista
By sierra_vista (Dec 19, 2012)

Check out this handy little 3rd -Party accessory for the RX-100 called the Clearviewer (http://www.clearviewer.com/Products.html).

I have the RX-100 fitted with the Clearviewer and I find that I prefer it to an EVF. I do not have any financial or personal involvement with the person that makes this product.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
1 upvote
backayonder
By backayonder (Dec 19, 2012)

I don't want one, I don't want one, I don't need one, Doh!

1 upvote
Jim in Hudson
By Jim in Hudson (Dec 19, 2012)

Great and informative review. No question they are all very good cameras but what became apparent to me is the LX-7 is the steal of the bunch if you can find it at $300 (which you can).

Comment edited 23 seconds after posting
1 upvote
tkbslc
By tkbslc (Dec 19, 2012)

s100 and s110 are about there, too.

0 upvotes
rickysio
By rickysio (Dec 19, 2012)

S100 has a lot of lens issues, hope it's resolved in the S110.

1 upvote
SylvainBdg
By SylvainBdg (Dec 19, 2012)

I don't understand this review..where is Fuji? How comes canon scores well? There no doubt Sony comes first but then...

0 upvotes
jcmarfilph
By jcmarfilph (Dec 19, 2012)

Fuji will never make it to DPR's list anymore. Ever!

There is no such thing as excellent built, handling, manual zoom and IQ consideration anymore but only slippery brick and sluggish motorized zoom.

Comment edited 20 seconds after posting
3 upvotes
Richard Butler
By Richard Butler (Dec 19, 2012)

It's a little hard to believe that you've read the text, to be honest. We give Fujifilm credit for many of these things but you'll struggle to argue that IQ comes out unequivocally in Fujifilm's favour. We also highlight the X10 in the conclusion.

However, the competition is really strong and your characterisation of the other cameras is, at best, simplistic.

5 upvotes
Carbon111
By Carbon111 (Dec 19, 2012)

The Fujifilm X10 is not only included, its given props in the "Best All-rounder" category in the Conclusion.

0 upvotes
Carbon111
By Carbon111 (Dec 19, 2012)

R Butler beat me to it. :)

0 upvotes
Pat Cullinan Jr
By Pat Cullinan Jr (Dec 19, 2012)

Read the text? What?

1 upvote
jcmarfilph
By jcmarfilph (Dec 19, 2012)

Looks at ISO-1600, S110 is horrible and smeary in detail ex. Mr. Robot and the hair beside it. The hair on the right of the beetle. G15 is not even better on some parts of the scene versus X10. They are all included on the list but on the recommendation, Fuji has no place in DPR. Why not put a separate category for manual zoom and with OVF cameras?

0 upvotes
cgarrard
By cgarrard (Dec 19, 2012)

The X10 is a frustrating tool to use. Too many things you have to recall or remember in order to know the camera well, or to its full potential. The histogram is a nightmare, blown highlights are a serious issue. EXR mode, way too much to remember on the fly when you can and cant use it and for what ISO etc etc. For all it promises in its beauty and excellent build, it falls down on its face with the firmware and menu implementation. Such a pity too, I really wanted to like that camera.

0 upvotes
Expat Nomad
By Expat Nomad (Dec 19, 2012)

Useful comparison. Indeed, a good time to be a camera buyer.
Would love to see some sort of comparison related to possible print sizes, and an opinion of what the output looks like.

0 upvotes
Zigadiboom
By Zigadiboom (Dec 19, 2012)

Great and very relevant review... although it would have been nice to see the Canon G1X included as it is definitely within the same category of camera in terms of pricing, performance, size and target market. The overall assessment of a somewhat unique camera such as the G1X can only really be measured when compared to its peers.

I thought the equivalent aperture graph was a great inclusion and it would have been interesting to see how the Canon G1X with its very large sensor but relatively slowish lens performed within this group in relation to blurring backgrounds at the various focal lengths. When viewed in comparison to something like the Panasonic LX7 it would have also addressed a popular issue concerning small sensor/fast lens vs large sensor/slow lens.

Comment edited 3 minutes after posting
4 upvotes
CarstenKostrzewa
By CarstenKostrzewa (Dec 19, 2012)

In terms of bakground blur at 90mm equiv. the G1 X and the LX7 are pretty much the same (as you indicated small sensor/fast lens vs large sensor/slow lens) and the same should be true for shorter focal lengths. Though I can't tell from the specs how the exact graph would look like, anyway max tele and wideangle end point create the same background blur. The G1 X has a little extra zoom though.

0 upvotes
ppastoris
By ppastoris (Dec 19, 2012)

Thank you guys for (finally) posting equivalent aperture graph!

10 upvotes
Henrik Herranen
By Henrik Herranen (Dec 19, 2012)

Yes. Equivalent aperture is very useful, because at the end of the day it also tells the _total amount of light_ that the lens-sensor combination is capable of receiving.

Example: A sensor with a size X and at f/2 receives the same amount of light as a sensor size 4 times X at f/4. And whaddayaknow, both of these combinations would have the same equivalent aperture!

So, equivalent aperture is not only relevant in telling blurring capability, but as a measure of the system's total capability of receiving light it sets the limit for how low-noise an image can be in given conditions. With same generation cameras, it gives a pretty good image on limits of low-light performance. You of course still have to verify by looking at test and real-life images, but it gives a basic idea of what's even possible.

5 upvotes
ppastoris
By ppastoris (Dec 19, 2012)

Henrik, completely agree (if you are referring to the sensor area in your example of course :)).

DPReview indeed mentioned that as well, though they didn't explain why it is the case. It may be a wise decision -- the explanation is usually too confusing for most "non-technical" readers :).

1 upvote
DPVoyageur
By DPVoyageur (Dec 18, 2012)

The review says "it also offers the highest video specifications in this group. Indeed if you're at all serious about capturing video, there's nothing in this company to touch the RX100's 1080p60 capability"

The LX7 also offers 1080p60. Was there some other aspect of the RX100 video capability that caused the "best video in class" comment?

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

The stepless control dial is also a major benefit for video shooting.

0 upvotes
marike6
By marike6 (Dec 19, 2012)

I do agree that it's a bit of an exaggeration to say "nothing can touch the RX100's 1080p60 capability". The RX100 probably has the best overall video image, but both have excellent video quality. DR is a weakness of the LX7 so highlights are not nearly as forgiving as with the RX100. Both have effective stabilizers, and very nice AVCHD 1080p60. The one advantage of the LX7 is the built in ND filter making it easier to keep your shutter speed at twice the frame in bright light or with the lens near max aperture if you want some subject isolation.

There are those who would argue that the 1080p24 of the G15 is much more interesting than 60p as slow-mo gets boing fast, and 30p looks too smooth, un-film like. Unfortunately the G15 doesn't have full manual video controls.

1 upvote
cheenachatze
By cheenachatze (Dec 18, 2012)

I think that it's the first time ever, that a group test had so many strong performing cameras. This is really great for the industry and for the consumers. Great review, guys!

14 upvotes
viking79
By viking79 (Dec 18, 2012)

Thanks for including the effective aperture graph, that is a nice idea and helps compare the RX100 quickly with the others. Of course its larger sensor will always be nicer when you are pushing low or high ISO limits, it is still nice to see all the cameras on the same chart in an easy to read format.

6 upvotes
dylanbarnhart
By dylanbarnhart (Dec 18, 2012)

While the XZ-2 and RX100 deserver praises, I picked the LX7 over them because:

. LX7 vs XZ-2: 24mm at the wide end of the LX7 is so much more useful than the tele end of XZ-2.

. LX7 vs RX100: The Sony lens is 2 stops of light darker at the tele end, negating the low-light advantage of its larger sensor, not to mention 1/2 stop darker at the wide end too. I still like the Sony a little better for its higher resolution, but it's not worth double the price, as I got the LX7 for $299.

One usability flaw with the LX7 is the aspect ratio manual switch. I have to constantly switch back and forth between 16:9 for video and 3:2 for photo. Sometimes I forget and I would get a longish photo or a video that doesn't fit an HDTV.

With LX7 video, focus tracking tends to wander into the background when the subject is near the camera and is moving a little. Using face detection focus is much more reliable for video. Audio level is a little too low, perhaps reduced by the wind cutter.

7 upvotes
john Clinch
By john Clinch (Dec 18, 2012)

I think that this is a great little set of reviews. The conclusion seem intelligent and balanced.

I'm glad that the RX100 is not seen to bulldoze all that stand in its way. Its a great camera and may be one day I'll own one. But it would be sad for the industry if no one else could compete or if IQ was seen to trump user experience every time. I think its great that Olympus have got things right again. Ive played withthe previous model and thought it was great

I look forward to DXO mark catching up with some numbers!

Comment edited 54 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
alexzn
By alexzn (Dec 19, 2012)

Why is it bad for the industry if one camera bulldozes the competition? It is a wake-up call for the other guys and an incentive to catch up. IPhone has bulldoze the competition when it was released and look how far the smartphone industry came.

1 upvote
curtmill22
By curtmill22 (Dec 18, 2012)

I really enjoy my RX100 but the thought of having a built in neutral density filter with the LX3 makes me want to have two pocket cameras. LOL. Curt on Cape Cod

0 upvotes
Somonica
By Somonica (Dec 19, 2012)

LX3 build-in ND filter!? eh?

0 upvotes
curtmill22
By curtmill22 (Dec 19, 2012)

Oops, I have the LX3. I am lusting for the LX7 with its built in ND filter.

0 upvotes
marike6
By marike6 (Dec 18, 2012)

It annoys me that Fuji makes these beautiful cameras like the X10 and XF1, but don't bother to figure out the RAW conversion with software vendors. I would buy an XF1 (it's $399 on Amazon) in a second if they had the RAW IQ figured out.

Now I'm thinking G15 or P7700. Or I'm just going to buy an E-PM2 an put my 20 1.7 on it.

2 upvotes
viking79
By viking79 (Dec 18, 2012)

I would have liked to see a bit about how the ND filter works in the Samsung EX2f. It would be nice to know how well it works, if it is an optical type, etc. I think the feature is unique to all the tested cameras.

Eric

0 upvotes
Richard Butler
By Richard Butler (Dec 18, 2012)

It's far from unique - the S110, G15, EX2F, XZ-2, P7700, LX7 and XF1 all have optical ND filters that can be inserted into the optical path to allow those bright apertures to be used outdoors.

It's a necessary feature if you're to take all the benefits of a bright lens. (We've listed it towards the end of the Key Features section for each camera, where appropriate).

Comment edited 13 minutes after posting
6 upvotes
viking79
By viking79 (Dec 18, 2012)

Thanks, so it is in fact optical? Not some digital gimmick? Which is where I was going with my question. I didn't realize all those cameras had them :)

Comment edited 28 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
jonikon
By jonikon (Dec 19, 2012)

Internal ND filters are a kludge compared to having a super fast electronic shutter with speeds of 1/16000 sec, like the Nikon 1 cameras have.

3 upvotes
rickysio
By rickysio (Dec 19, 2012)

Sometimes you want a ND filter so you can use slower shutter speeds...

2 upvotes
cancerrak
By cancerrak (Dec 18, 2012)

our hipster gained some weight.... seriously, Fujifilm x10 is something I would recommend just for having fun and to discover photography once again as I did recently.

7 upvotes
clchanhk
By clchanhk (Dec 19, 2012)

I would say, after shooting in DSLR for all these days, I did discover photography once again with X10. It give me back the feel of what photography used to be.

2 upvotes
cancerrak
By cancerrak (Dec 19, 2012)

That is exactly what I meant. I am into DSLR for long time but this little camera made me think in more creative way while taking pictures....
No touch panels, high resolutions, super clear pixels etc. are needed for that...

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 2 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Reg Natarajan
By Reg Natarajan (Dec 21, 2012)

I feel exactly the same way. My X10 makes photography both fun and real again. Photography isn't my business. It's my hobby. Carrying a DSLR rig has no place in my real world. Carry my X10 is easy. It's also the best looking compact anywhere, at least to my eyes.

2 upvotes
peevee1
By peevee1 (Dec 18, 2012)

You are concentrating on portrait work on 100 mm eq, with background blur etc, but who takes those boring contextless portraits on compacts? They are NOT for use in a portrait studio, they are for use on vacations and such, to take pictures of places you have been and companies of your friends. Take a look at what kind of focal lengths is used in cameras where only one focal length exists (like cellphones), and you will know which one is most important BY FAR. It is of course WIDE END, 24 to 35 mm eq. And at that by far most important wide end, there is NOTHING in this group even close to RX100. Not even remotely. You'll have to go all the way to APS-C DSLR or mirrorless with kit lens to get that kind of ability.

0 upvotes
Richard Butler
By Richard Butler (Dec 18, 2012)

We're not concentrating on it, but the degree to which you can achieve subject/background separation is relevant to some people, so we've demonstrated it.

We've also included shots taken at the wide-angle end of each of the cameras to help you draw conclusions about that, too.

2 upvotes
noirdesir
By noirdesir (Dec 19, 2012)

I guess all people who only own compacts and want to take head and shoulder portraits actually use their compacts for this.

2 upvotes
tkbslc
By tkbslc (Dec 19, 2012)

It is a measure of versatility. Nothing more, nothing less. Who wants a camera where every image comes out looking the same?

0 upvotes
peevee1
By peevee1 (Dec 20, 2012)

Again, the question is about priorities, and you are way off on priorities.
People take most pictures when traveling, and in their pictures they want to preserve the place as well as the people they are with.
People also take a lot of pictures on various gatherings, indoor, under electrical light. Did you try to test for those conditions, with kids and/or pets running in a typical room (or something moving at a steady rate to represent it)? Try to set the camera on auto, wide end, and see what comes out. Try "Running kids" scene mode. Then try to set it to Shutter Priority, 1/200s, and see what comes out. The cameras you recommend as equals to RX100 (S110?? Really??!) will produce blurry noisy (and possibly underexposed) mess as they hit their ISO limiters hard.
By testing only static scenes on Manual you avoid testing a lot of systems and algorithms in the cameras real buyers of the cameras actually use.
The contextless heads - their place is on passport photos once in 10 years.

0 upvotes
raizans
By raizans (Dec 18, 2012)

It's great that you compared the amount of background blur at ~100mm with the lens wide open.

How about comparisons of macro performance at 50-100 equiv. in the future? I not interested in how close you can focus the lens at wide angle.

0 upvotes
APenza
By APenza (Dec 18, 2012)

Went to the camera shop to buy the canon G15 to replace my 5 yr old G9. I've only owned Canon digital cameras, call me a fanboy. When I came home with the Sony RX100 my wife was suprised at my choice. After seeing some 11 x 17 prints that this little gem produced she said "WOW". I didn't think I would buy a camera without a viewfinder but I'm happy with my decision.

13 upvotes
Richard Butler
By Richard Butler (Dec 18, 2012)

The RX100 is a hell of a way to enter the market.

I think you'd have been impressed by the G15 too - it's a good time to be a camera buyer.

13 upvotes
LAlowlight
By LAlowlight (Jan 7, 2013)

HELP! Ok I am truly suffering from "analysis paralysis." Because I can't afford an interchangeable lens system, of any sort, I am stuck between the RX100, G15 and LX7. My uses in order of priority are 1. vacation photos, 2. urban landscapes at night, 3. boudoir just for kicks. Yes I know that is probably impossible for a point and shoot. As you can tell I know nothing about photography but that won't change until I get started, so . . . please lend me your suggestions among the three given the objectives - price is not an issue.

I got an RX100 here California for $529.00 as an untouched but open box item, hence the discount and why I bought it before deciding on the other options, I have 30 days to return it.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
harry cannoli
By harry cannoli (Dec 18, 2012)

I have to admit I'm a little bummed that the LX7 failed to stand out in any meaningful way, despite the fact that I'm a hardcore DSLR shooter who adores this little camera. Sheesh, I am a fanboy.

I suppose the big sensor in the Sony means so much more than the beautiful, super-fast, pin sharp lens in the LX7?

The lens makes the magic, the sensor records the magic made by the lens. The Sony sensor does an absolutely fantastic job of recording images created by it's plain vanilla lens. Of course the magic created by the lens is a personal judgement, but that Panny lens stands out, heads and shoulders above the pack. How can I see this and the respected, highly competent reviewers barely acknowledge the outstanding flavor of that Panny lens?

Oh, never mind. I'm a fanboy :(

Thank you Richard for getting this done. Good job.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 3 minutes after posting
3 upvotes
Richard Butler
By Richard Butler (Dec 18, 2012)

The LX7 is a lovely camera (which is why we gave it plenty of space on the conclusion page), but there's some tough competition. The Olympus XZ-2 is a clearer competitor to the LX7 and its JPEG engine and in-camera Raw conversion give it the edge, I reckon.

Thanks for your kind words - both Barney and I worked hard to make this as useful as possible.

7 upvotes
piratejabez
By piratejabez (Dec 18, 2012)

Agreed... I don't think that lens quite gets its due. That said, I do find the image quality a bit lacking, and am excited to see how the market responds to the RX100 in the next year or two.

0 upvotes
peevee1
By peevee1 (Dec 18, 2012)

"Of course the magic created by the lens is a personal judgement, but that Panny lens stands out, heads and shoulders above the pack. "

Too bad that lens only illuminates the tiniest circle of them all, about 4 times smaller than RX100.

0 upvotes
Flashback
By Flashback (Dec 18, 2012)

Have to agree with you Harry. I had the RX100, great video but was never happy with the still images. I eventually sold it. Now I have the LX7.

Much, much happier with these new images. There is something special going on in that Leica lens...

1 upvote
harry cannoli
By harry cannoli (Dec 18, 2012)

Thank you. I've been validated.

I appreciate that DPReview uses accepted scientific methodology when doing their reviews, but that's a two edged sword. There are certain qualities to a lens that can't be measured, they can only be appreciated. What's a reviewer to do? Evaluate those nebulous qualities by offering a subjective opinion? That won't work, either.

Reviews are a great place to start, but I would never buy anything based solely on a review conclusion. I look at the pictures. Full size RAW's that I can download and play with.

There are very expensive lenses that are just so-so. There are fabulous Sigma's that cost just a few hundred bucks. The qualities that make or break a lens can only be measured to a point. Looking at what a lens or a camera does in the real world is the most important metric, IMO. Same thing for cameras. Noise? Sharpness? Artifacting? Useful information, but information to be taken with a grain of salt.

I am babbling. Sorry..

2 upvotes
Flashback
By Flashback (Dec 18, 2012)

Maybe the RX100 is just another case of the 'The Emperor's New Clothes'

1 upvote
graybalanced
By graybalanced (Dec 19, 2012)

I sat on the fence about my next enthusiast compact for a while, and I have no doubt that the RX100 is superior to the LX7. But that was only if all other things were equal, which they aren't. When the LX7 temporarily went to $299 around the country, that sealed it. The RX100 and ZX-2 are simply outside my budget. I'll never pretend the LX7 is better than an RX100 but for what I paid the LX7 is an excellent deal I'll have no regrets about, especially with all of the useful options Panasonic builds in.

0 upvotes
DStudio
By DStudio (Dec 19, 2012)

The lens is the reason I bought the XZ-1 18 months ago, and it's the reason I'd consider the XZ-2 and LX7 if I were buying today.

Because of its other class-leading characteristics I think it's fair to put the Sony in the top 3 as well, but I still prioritize the lens.

As impressive as the LX7 lens is, keep in mind that the XZ-2 has less variance in the maximum aperture, yet does so over a wider zoom range. Because of this the XZ-2 should be less than 1/3 stop slower than the Panasonic's at equivalent focal lengths, and about equal at 90mm.

Comment edited 3 times, last edit 11 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
avgcitizen
By avgcitizen (Dec 18, 2012)

BTW the Powershot S100 is now available for $250 (amazon).

I bought one to replace my S90 and I am really appreciating the wide end and video quality.First thing I did was test lens sharpness across the frame and it was fine. Best buy!

2 upvotes
Jim
By Jim (Dec 18, 2012)

On e again, the Canon G1X gets overlooked. Bummer.

3 upvotes
Joachim Gerstl
By Joachim Gerstl (Dec 18, 2012)

The problem is that this year the result is clear. There is no alternative to the RX100. I think they caught the others like Canon and Panasonic with their pants down. Next year it will be much closer again.

7 upvotes
Richard Butler
By Richard Butler (Dec 18, 2012)

Depending on your needs, both the G15 and XZ-2 are credible alternatives to the RX100. But the Sony adds something that wasn't available before, and one that will suit a lot of people.

15 upvotes
brunobarolo
By brunobarolo (Dec 18, 2012)

Actually, at the long end, the XZ2 more than compensates for the Sony's larger sensor with its faster lens. Just saying...

7 upvotes
marike6
By marike6 (Dec 18, 2012)

There are no alternatives for you. Many of us have owned a variety of these cameras. I've used the RX100, X10, GRD III, XZ-1, et al. The IQ and video quality of the RX100 are first rate. But as an enthusiast compact the RX100 really doesn't compete well with the others, IMHO. It's small, but feels like a P&S (not in a good way) where the X10 (and LX7, GRD III) feel like proper cameras with grips, VFs and tons of external controls. All are a means to the same end, but the X10, LX7, and XZ1 are more serious, enjoyable photographic tools. Choose whichever you prefer shooting with as they all have excellent IQ.

6 upvotes
tkbslc
By tkbslc (Dec 19, 2012)

I can't even consider the Sony because it has a 28mm lens instead of 24. So yes, there are alternatives.

And honestly as today's prices, I would get a Nikon 1 series over the rx100 easily. Same size sensor, half the price.

1 upvote
LeeR
By LeeR (Dec 18, 2012)

Slow-motion video:

I know the Pany LX-7 can shot slow-motion video. Does anyone know if any other camera on this list can also do that?

0 upvotes
marike6
By marike6 (Dec 18, 2012)

The LX-7 can shoot 120 fps but I think at 720p right? It's actually pretty cool. Of course if you cut the normal 1080p60 in half you'll also have slow-motion, and it will be 1080 Full HD. Nice camera.

0 upvotes
graybalanced
By graybalanced (Dec 19, 2012)

I've been playing with this a little. The LX-7 can shoot at 120fps at 720p or 60fps at 1080p. If you use the 120p option the end result is a 30fps slo-mo file, 4x the duration of real time. Other cameras save the video in real-time with the higher frame rate in the metadata. It's the same number of frames either way, it only affects your workflow as to whether you need to leave it as is or slow it down yourself. Also, in 120fps mode the stabilization is disabled and it goes full auto, although you do have exposure compensation and white balance.

It's kind of fun.

0 upvotes
taotoo
By taotoo (Dec 18, 2012)

I thought this was a very well written article. Seemingly gone are the days of rating cameras on the numbers that they produce in a laboratory. Great efforts are made to explain that an individual's specific circumstances may make any or all of these cameras a good or poor choice for them. Well done DPReview.

Now what I would like to see is a massive diagram illustrating the depth of field obtainable in real world situations with various classes of camera/lens, from 3x compacts to full frame cameras with fast telephoto lenses. Just like the photos on the first page, but with many more cameras. It can be 5000 pixels high if necessary. We need to see that if your particular requirements are to photograph your kid at 10 metres with a wall 2 metres further afield, e.g. f/2.5 or f/4.0 on a small sensor are much of a muchness. EDIT: and what you really want is a FF camera with a 135mm f/2.0 lens.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
CarstenKostrzewa
By CarstenKostrzewa (Dec 18, 2012)

If you are interested in how background blur relates to aperture, sensor sized and distance and not just for compact cameras, you might want to take a look at the article I wrote here on dpreview: http://www.dpreview.com/articles/6091822765/background-blur-and-its-relationship-to-sensor-size
There are also a couple of sample shots on page 2 ... no portraits, but sample shots of flowers to illustrate how background blur varies across the various settings.

0 upvotes
taotoo
By taotoo (Dec 19, 2012)

Nice article, but what I am looking for is real world examples with a variety of cameras. It could also include low light indoor photography too. The idea is somebody might think if they get a compact with a f/2.0 lens all their problems will be solved, when in reality they may still be struggling..

0 upvotes
PPW
By PPW (Dec 18, 2012)

Next year, please post this review before Thanksgiving.
Would be so much more helpful.

0 upvotes
Richard Butler
By Richard Butler (Dec 18, 2012)

Sadly that wasn't possible. By the time we'd received all the cameras, tested all the cameras and finished writing all the other things we were trying to get ready before Thanksgiving, we were already into December.

That's partly why we published an article recommending several of these cameras just before Thanksgiving - so that you weren't left without information.

3 upvotes
taotoo
By taotoo (Dec 18, 2012)

These american's and their funny holidays...

5 upvotes
Cy Cheze
By Cy Cheze (Dec 18, 2012)

Here's a pitch for the underdog LX7:

The control ring is limited to aperture selection, but it has dedicated wheels for shutter and ND filter. Each ratchets precisely. The RX100 ring lurches about. The LX7 offers time lapse, which the others do not. Its aperture is fastest across the full zoom range. One can suppress digital zoom in video, which one cannot with the Sony. Plus, it is intermitently offered at a $299 price, which is hard to beat. Can the RX100 be worth more than twice that? It too will sell for less when the RX200 (or the Samsung KX100!) draw nigh. But people who elect to spend more money, or get a tatoo, find ingenious ways to be cheerful they did.

6 upvotes
topstuff
By topstuff (Dec 18, 2012)

Nah ... RX100 is truly in a different class as far as picture quality is concerned. I swear it is as good as APSC was just a couple of years ago.

I'm looking at a A3 print from the RX100. No way this came from a compact camera. The files are as good as the D300 Nikon I used to have.

Amazing sensor on the Sony. It's a game changer.

9 upvotes
Shunda77
By Shunda77 (Dec 18, 2012)

"The files are as good as the D300 Nikon I used to have."

Yes, and pigs orbit Saturn on the 5th of each month.

7 upvotes
Martin87
By Martin87 (Dec 18, 2012)

Topstuff is right. I own the RX100 and the image quality is indeed better than the Nikon D300.

7 upvotes
topstuff
By topstuff (Dec 18, 2012)

There is a picture thread on Fred Miranda for the RX100 that illustrates the surprising quality. Sensor tech has evolved over the past few years and Sony are leading the way.

2 upvotes
Ron Outdoors
By Ron Outdoors (Dec 18, 2012)

Most people are not going to spend $650 on compact camera. Especially when we already own more expensive equipment, and the compact will only be used occasionally. Plenty of reasons to consider other cameras in the the roundup.

5 upvotes
taotoo
By taotoo (Dec 18, 2012)

It doesn't change the game when you want a viewfinder, fast autofocus, or narrow depth of field though of course. Or just to capture a moment before it has passed.

0 upvotes
maboule123
By maboule123 (Dec 18, 2012)

I thought they orbited Saturn on the 6th of each month...
Are you sure you have the right data?
I need an answer, please!!

1 upvote
topstuff
By topstuff (Dec 18, 2012)

If you want the best picture quality possible that will fit in your pocket , it's the RX100 and it costs $650.

If you don't want the best IQ in a compact camera, then have something not as good.

And the RX100 is selling well judging by the number my local shop has been selling !

Sony surprised Canon and Nikon with this. This time next year they will have copied the RX100.

3 upvotes
curtmill22
By curtmill22 (Dec 18, 2012)

You might be right but I just could not help myself. There it was and I had to have it. I have "mostly" concentrated on MFT for the last couple of years and mostly Panny for my compacts (LX3 etc which I loved). But there you go! The RX100 is such an easy choice when I want to slip a camera into my pocket in the evening. The recent office xmas party is a good example. I got great photos. But it is a difficult camera to love as it is fiddly and a lot of menu button presses to get what I want. But oh those pictures. Curt on Cape Cod

0 upvotes
topstuff
By topstuff (Dec 18, 2012)

RX100 image quality is unequalled, but it is right to say that the shooting experience is pure point and shoot. It needs some learning to get the best from it. Some people may want a more "real feeling" camera rather than a P&S.

There are a LOT of features buried in it. Auto HDR, multi frame stacking for high ISO noise free images, face recognition, and a function button that lets you scroll through exp comp, white balance, and lots and lots of preset picture effects.

It does need some learning but once you've mastered it , it does start to reward. I'm surprised at the AF too. Managed to catch some fast moving action.

0 upvotes
Pat Cullinan Jr
By Pat Cullinan Jr (Dec 18, 2012)

>pigs orbit Saturn on the 5th of each month

Those are pigs?! Not anteaters?

And is that a Saturnian month or a Tellurian month?

Help me out here! Work with me!

1 upvote
photo nuts
By photo nuts (Dec 18, 2012)

Funny how some people just look at sensor quality while they ignore everything else: lens aperture range, ergonomics etc. The Olympus XZ-2 gets my vote for all round performance: its lens speed 2 more than makes up for the < 1 stop advantage the RX100 sensor brings.

2 upvotes
marike6
By marike6 (Dec 18, 2012)

Have a look at DxOMark, you'll see the D300 gets about 1 full stop better low-light/high ISO performance, with the same 12 EV DR. It's kind of a stretch to say the RX100 outperforms a D300 or D300s. Put it against a D7000 or K-5 and you'll see even more of a gap in IQ. When the Nikon 1 camera out, many users boasted DSLR quality. But you have to look at some pretty old DSLRs to make such a claim re: RX100 and Nikon 1.

2 upvotes
harry cannoli
By harry cannoli (Dec 18, 2012)

Yep, give me a great lens and a dated sensor, you can keep the great sensor and so-so lens.

2 upvotes
topstuff
By topstuff (Dec 19, 2012)

I hear what you are saying. But I've got D300 and RX100 prints right in front of me. Similar images too.

The Sony prints are at least the equal of D300. They may even resolve more detail. Both are shot at 400 iso.

I wouldn't pretend it will always be an equal comparison but come on, we are talking about a camera that fits in your pocket . That's real progress !

1 upvote
nrshapiro
By nrshapiro (Dec 19, 2012)

At base ISO, I agree it's as good as an APS-C SLR, maybe better. Both a great sensor and a wonderful Zeiss lens have me very interested in Sony / Zeiss now.

I went out to shoot landscapes with my D7000, my usual Sigma 10-20 wide angle, the 24-70 f2.8, and the RX100. On the way home the fog rolled into the valley and we stopped to shoot -- I used both the RX100 and the 24-70. The RX100 shots are as clean and sharp as the $1800 24-70...maybe not quite edge to edge, but incredible detail throughout. And don't forget that's comparing it to the highly regarded 24-70 F2.8.

BTW - I had a LX-5 for 18 months or so before buying the RX100. Yes, the RX100 is expensive, and I already had an "equivalent camera". But it was worth every penny.

0 upvotes
pizzolog
By pizzolog (Dec 19, 2012)

Tues, Dec 18, 2012

Comment edited 4 times, last edit 5 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Jerra
By Jerra (Dec 18, 2012)

Sony RX100 vs. Olympus XZ-2? What would you choose in which situation and why? And yes, I do care about ergonomics and stuff.

0 upvotes
Ulfric M Douglas
By Ulfric M Douglas (Dec 18, 2012)

Canon G1X : too old for this review?
Not compact enough?

0 upvotes
Barney Britton
By Barney Britton (Dec 18, 2012)

That's a hard camera to classify - we excluded it from this roundup because it's so dissimilar to the other cameras that we're covering, in both technology and price.

1 upvote
sbansban
By sbansban (Dec 18, 2012)

Exactly my question (and my question still remains - even after reading the co-author's answer). The G1X is also always excluded from the camera comparisons from the conclusions page using the same lame logic - as many have pointed out - even after selecting all camera categories.

2 upvotes
Roland Karlsson
By Roland Karlsson (Dec 18, 2012)

I think G1x belongs here. Its a non removable lens with a reasonable compact size and not totally out of the blue price. Its definitely an enthusiast zoom compact camera.

2 upvotes
noirdesir
By noirdesir (Dec 18, 2012)

As is the Ricoh GRX with the S10 module and the Ricoh GRD. As with the Canon G1X, they are somewhat different. GRX + S10 is older and more expensive, the GRD only has a prime. But if we looked at physical size and IQ (sensor size + fast-ish lens), they would fit in. But then the Leica X2 might fit in in regard to size (and certainly IQ) as well (though not in price) and two Sigmas as well.

One has to draw a line somewhere, and here it was done in size at the upper end and features (zoom) at the 'lower' end.

1 upvote
noirdesir
By noirdesir (Dec 18, 2012)

The question remains, if we include the G1X, why not include the DP1/2? The G1X and the DP1/2 are much closer in sensor size than any of the 1/1.7" cameras and the G1X.

0 upvotes
DPVoyageur
By DPVoyageur (Dec 19, 2012)

Ignoring the RX100, it looks to me as if the judgment for all-around cameras might be a lot like the last time DPR did a comparison piece on enthusiast models -- Olympus first (still photography) or Panasonic first (if video matters very much).

The full LX7 review brought out a couple of things that I have been wondering whether will get fixed in a firmware update -- flash redeye issues and vertical striping in sweep panorama mode. What's the chance of firmware fixes, or are we to wait for an LX8?

0 upvotes
fed2man
By fed2man (Dec 18, 2012)

On the Sony RX100 I should have added.

1 upvote
fed2man
By fed2man (Dec 18, 2012)

In terms of telephoto zoom capacity, the review overlooks the fact that because of the considerably larger sensor and more megapixels, you can crop to get the same coverage as a 200mm and still be ahead of all the others.

3 upvotes
YiannisPP
By YiannisPP (Dec 18, 2012)

You have it wrong there, the RX100 equivalent tele at 12MP is around 130mm, not 200. Still you have a good point.

0 upvotes
anchorite64
By anchorite64 (Dec 18, 2012)

How did you calculate that?

0 upvotes
bobbarber
By bobbarber (Dec 19, 2012)

Wrong.

Megapixels are area.

Consider a 1 pixel image, and a 4 pixel image. The first is 1x1 pixels, the second is 2x2 pixels. In the second image, you have 4 times the pixels, but only twice the change in length in one dimension. Megapixels are area, and reflect the change in length in one direction SQUARED.

20 megapixels compared to 12 megapixels is about a 1.3:1 difference in length of the image. It will not come close to erasing the difference between a 200mm vs. 120mm equivalent magnification, let alone with room to spare!

2 upvotes
Cheng Bao
By Cheng Bao (Dec 18, 2012)

in "Key Specifications Compared"

RX100 is BSI CMOS? I am pretty positive it is not

although I suspect LX7 is BSI cmos, panasonic never claim it is BSI

0 upvotes
Barney Britton
By Barney Britton (Dec 18, 2012)

Fixed, sorry about that.

0 upvotes
Ron Outdoors
By Ron Outdoors (Dec 18, 2012)

I'm don't see a mention of video quality.

Also, the page menus, usually on the right, are not there. Makes it a little hard to navigate. Maybe I'm missing the video page.

2 upvotes
Barney Britton
By Barney Britton (Dec 18, 2012)

We were really concentrating on still image specification and quality in this article, since we wanted to keep it nice and focussed.

The page navigation is different from a 'normal' review because this piece was created using our new (ish) articles system. We know it needs improving for longer multi-page pieces and this will be a priority for next year.

3 upvotes
Dan Tong
By Dan Tong (Dec 18, 2012)

These days video features are, in my opinion, so much a part of the versatility of these smaller cameras that leaving it out is a terrible mistake.

Imagine a review of smartphones with little or no mention of still and video capabilities, even though the primary function is telephony.

As for the navigation for this review, once again, you have chosen for your convenience not for the viewers convenience.

Your new article system may make publishing these articles more convenient, but if the reader would like to re-read a section of the review without having to hunt page by page for a particular camera she/he is out of luck.

Does it take all that much work effort to have a table of contents for each camera and the conclusion section?
Do you think you have done your best to make the presentation excellent?

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 7 minutes after posting
2 upvotes
Barney Britton
By Barney Britton (Dec 18, 2012)

Video is mentioned, where there's something relevant to say about it, but we weren't focussing on video spec or performance in this piece. Every product in this article either has or will have a full review, which will cover video in more depth.

3 upvotes
topstuff
By topstuff (Dec 18, 2012)

Having been through a similar selection process myself, I chose the Sony RX100.

Oh my, it is better than I ever imagined.

All the hype around the RX100 is IMO justified. I have printed out decent sized prints that are better than files taken with a Nikon D300 a couple of years ago.

A truly outstanding camera.

12 upvotes
taotoo
By taotoo (Dec 18, 2012)

Try taking a photo of a dog running around with it.

1 upvote
topstuff
By topstuff (Dec 18, 2012)

I have - its pin sharp even when heavily cropped ! I will post it in the cyber shot forum later. It is a gun dog running fast toward me and its sharp. Really sharp, right on the eyes... I was and still am surprised.

0 upvotes
jonak2
By jonak2 (Dec 18, 2012)

why would you let your dog run around wth a camera ?

11 upvotes
jonak2
By jonak2 (Dec 18, 2012)

I also chose RX100 , criteria just being IQ and pocket size

4 upvotes
BG_CX3_DPREVIEW
By BG_CX3_DPREVIEW (Dec 18, 2012)

Congrats for the good work,
sorry for me asking,
i always wonder how you decide which sets are in and which are out, i could easily list a few more that should be in, but for some reason if now find the list too limited, could you for instance at leas list the others, and briefly mention why they are not in?

In other words; your review title suggests yo list the super zooms, but you don't.

Still congrats for the review

0 upvotes
Pat Cullinan Jr
By Pat Cullinan Jr (Dec 18, 2012)

>why would you let your dog run around wth a camera ?

This takes the larf prize.

Has anyone tried shooting running anteaters?

0 upvotes
Richard Butler
By Richard Butler (Dec 18, 2012)

We're just looking at enthusiast zoom compacts (which usually implies a larger-than-1/2.3" sensor). We felt there were few obvious direct competitors to those and every camera you add to the group adds significant complexity to the process.

Ricoh GRD IV is relevant but doesn't have a zoom. Canon G1 X is related but bigger and more expensive (you have to draw the line somewhere and the G15 was a better fit for this group). There are few bridge-style superzooms or compact superzooms that offer the image quality or level of direct control these models offer. You have to stop somewhere.

I'm sorry if there was a model you were considering that we've not included, but this group seemed logical and fairly comprehensive.

2 upvotes
piratejabez
By piratejabez (Dec 18, 2012)

Wow, the RX100 really does seem to meet or beat D300 quality... http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/studio-compare#baseDir=%2Freviews_data&cameraDataSubdir=boxshot&indexFileName=boxshotindex.xml&presetsFileName=boxshotpresets.xml&showDescriptions=false&headerTitle=Studio%20scene&headerSubTitle=Standard%20studio%20scene%20comparison&masterCamera=sony_dscrx100&masterSample=dsc00492.acr&slotsCount=4&slot0Camera=sony_dscrx100&slot0Sample=dsc00492.acr&slot0DisableCameraSelection=true&slot0DisableSampleSelection=true&slot0LinkWithMaster=true&slot1Camera=nikon_d300s&slot1Sample=nikond300s_iso3200-acr&slot2Camera=oly_xz2&slot2Sample=pb190016.acr&slot3Camera=panasonic_dmclx7&slot3Sample=p1040040.acr&x=-0.4731472801246239&y=0.11514101142004407

0 upvotes
marike6
By marike6 (Dec 19, 2012)

What's all this D300 talk? The D300 was released in 2007 and the RX100 still doesn't equal it's IQ as the D300's sensor is almost twice as sensitive. Put it up against a modern APS-C camera or even a m43 ILC like the E-PM2, and it still stuggles, especially in low-light performance. Amazing that we are comparing the P&S with such cameras, but let's be accurate. Aside from the whole DOF issue, it's a stretch to say "DSLR quality in a P&S" when talking about the RX100. It's very good for what it is, don't get me wrong.

http://www.dxomark.com/index.php/Cameras/Compare-Camera-Sensors/Compare-cameras-side-by-side/(appareil1)/812%7C0/(brand)/Sony/(appareil2)/440%7C0/(brand2)/Nikon

Comment edited 4 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
topstuff
By topstuff (Dec 19, 2012)

It's easy to compare. Just compare prints. I'm looking at comparable images on A4 color prints from the same printer.

RX100 matches D300. Maybe even edges it for detail. It is what it is, whatever DXo says. You can't really tell which camera produced which. They are that close.

0 upvotes
sbansban
By sbansban (Dec 19, 2012)

"There are few bridge-style superzooms or compact superzooms that offer the image quality or level of direct control these models offer. " - Mr. Butler, did you really mean "few" = hardly any or "a few" = some? In case you inadvertently left out the "a", (I am guessing the latter, since you added "You have to stop somewhere" again at the end), would you like to expand on that and name them please (in each of the two categories you mentioned) - I would definitely be interested. I can think of FZ200 among the bridge superzooms but in the compact superzoom category I am not sure if Sony HX20V, Canon SX260 HS or the Panasonic TZ30 would have comparable IQ - unless you have some other compact superzooms in mind.

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