Some Firsthand Observations with RX-1 and X100S Side by Side...

Started Apr 1, 2013 | Discussions thread
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Tony Bonanno
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Some Firsthand Observations with RX-1 and X100S Side by Side...
Apr 1, 2013

Hi Group,

One of my colleagues brought his Sony RX-1 over to the studio and we did several hours of testing / comparisons between the X100S and the RX-1.  We focused on lens performance, noise levels, AF speed, ergonomics, etc.  Not a scientific comparison with numbers and charts, but rather just a side by side pixel peeping exercise on a calibrated EIZO display and some real world AF testing, handling exercises, etc.  Test images all made on tripods with same subject, both with their fixed 35mm lenses.  All files were RAW and viewed in LR 4.4 RC.  Bottom line:

- Fuji DEFINITELY faster Autofocus and better AF accuracy.

- We all preferred the Fuji's ergonomics and handling over the Sony.  Sony's optional ($350) EVF is an essential accessory and ridiculously expensive.  I had been under the impression it was basically the same EVF module as in the new X100S, but the Sony's view is noticeably brighter and sharper than the EVF in the X100s.  Of course, it is an ugly add-on and we all preferred the Fuji viewfinder overall, especially the OVF option.

- Sony's Zeiss lens clearly better optically than the Fuji, even considering difference in resolving power between the 24MP Sony sensor and the 16MP Fuji Sensor.  Sony displayed better contrast, was sharper overall, and performed much better wide open.  Of course, considering the RX-1's price, we expected to see the Zeiss lens to be the prize.. and it was.

- Noise levels at ISO 800, 1600, 3200, and 6400.  Using default LR 4.4 RC values with Sony NR off and Fuji NR at "0" (actually it didn't make any difference as the RAW files are not affected by the NR settings in the camera).  X100S had lowest noise on our test subjects at ISO 800 and 1600.  Sony and Fuji were very similar at 3200, possibly just a hair better in the Fuji files.  At 6400, however, the Sony was a bit better.  Overall, we were very impressed by the low noise performance of the Fuji sensor.

- Other observations..  The Sony seemed to be underexposing about 1/3 to 1/2 stop compared to the Fuji.  This was determined by comparing histograms as well as visual screen observation (the EIZO display we used is "right on" as far as brightness / contrast/ color calibration).  When we set both cameras manually to obtain similar histograms / exposures, we found the values to be within approximately a half stop.  We concluded that the reported Fuji ISO inflation is not very dramatic, at least on our X100s sample.  LR 4.4 RC still reveals some detail smearing on certain subject matter (primarily vegetation) in the Fuji files, regardless of how much we tried to tweak the processing parameters.  We did, just for the fun of it, process a couple of Fuji RAW files in the latest final version of Accuraw, and found the detail rendering to be much better; on a par with the RX-1 files.  Perhaps Adobe should hire the guy that did Accuraw ;-).

Overall, as most of the folks on this forum would expect, the IQ is superior with the RX-1 with it's larger, higher resolution sensor, and perhaps more importantly, with the excellent Zeiss lens.  However, the Fuji was very close, and we were all impressed with its overall performance, especially the ergonomics, AF, and OVF/EVF.  Considering the price difference, the X100s really is a pretty special package.

Cheers,

Tony

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Tony Bonanno Photography, Santa Fe, New Mexico
ASMP General member
www.bonannophoto.com

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Fujifilm X100S Nikon D800 Nikon D800E Fujifilm X-E2 Fujifilm X-T1
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