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

Started Apr 1, 2013 | Discussions thread
Ray Sachs
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ISO question...
In reply to Tony Bonanno, Apr 1, 2013

Tony Bonanno wrote:

- 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.

I assume you were downsampling the Sony 24mp files? I haven't gotten ahold of an X100s yet, but I've done some very low light comparisons between the RX1 and my X-Pro (which seems to do better with raw in LR 4.4 than the X100s is reported to so far) and I'm finding a pretty clear advantage for the Sony at 6400 and above and possibly even a bit at 3200 (although both are very good at 3200). I'm shooting western skies at night over a lighted courtyard so there's an illuminated area and a very dark area (appears black to the naked eye, but both cameras pull some blue out of it). I'm viewing each at full size on a 27" Mac monitor so there's some down sampling of both but more on the Sony which starts with half again more pixels. I don't tend to print much larger than 12x18 or 16x20 and if something looks good full screen it looks fine at those print sizes. Of course at 100%, the Sony shows quite a bit of fine noise, but at comparable resolution to the Fuji, it looks very clean.  In the dark skies that both cameras are pulling some color out of, the Sony is actually quite workable at 12,800 while the Fuji is a bit of a noisy mess even at 6400. The well lit courtyard looked pretty good with both, but that's not really asking much of high ISO.  Of course, the Fuji only shoots raw up to 6400 and the Sony does up to 25,600 (a step too far except for grainy B&W), and the focal lengths aren't matched, but I found the low light usefulness of the RX1 quite a bit better. I should get an X100s later this week, so I look forward to shooting that back to back with the RX1 quite a bit. I'm enjoying the RX1 a lot more than I'd expected to. As a Fuji user from the X100 forward, I know I'll like the OVF of the X100s better than the EVF on the Sony, but other than that the Sony is handling everything I've thrown at it.

I'm not the most technical mind out there, so I very well may not have been accounting for something, but I'm finding the Sony quite a bit better in low light shooting. Not that the Fuji isn't excellent, but the RX1 is kind of astounding.

-Ray
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