Canon lover switched to RX-100, and it was terrible! Need advice....

Started Feb 1, 2013 | Discussions
jeffreyrdiamond
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Canon lover switched to RX-100, and it was terrible! Need advice....
Feb 1, 2013

I have always loved reading this forum, and this is my first time asking for help.  I am not as sophisticated photographer as the folks on this list.  I've only used pocket cameras (although the highest end I could find.)  My main uses are taking videos of my daughter and taking landscape photos.  I value high image quality (why I don't just use a phone camera) and good video quality. Canon won me over a decade ago with the amazing quality of the S330, and my last camera was a Powershot SD950.  I was generally happy with the SD950, although I wish it were a bit faster, especially for video.

In 2012, I decided it was time to look for a new camera.  So naturally, I first tried Canon.  I was SHOCKED!  Not A SINGLE pocket camera camera offered had acceptable quality!  (OK, the S110 was OK, but not a significant upgrade from my SD950).  Why did no one seem to notice this?  The quality was almost as poor as cell phone cameras!  I later was to learn that since I bought the SD950, sensors went CMOS, and that meant noise.  All the photos were so grainy as to be unusable as native resolution - like drawing a photo in sand...

At this time the media juggernaught praised the RX-100 as the best pocket camera of 2012, and it well may be.  So I bought it - and I was horribly disappointed!  I spent months with this camera, working on manual settings, doing side by side comparisons with my old SD950.  And what I found was that almost everything I hoped to get form the RX-100 was WORSE, not better than the SD950.  Although this was contrary to most media hype, I then spotted more thorough reviews that noted issues with the RX-100, such as excessive camera noise beyond base ISOs.  And as I started researching CMOS sensors, I found that it wasn't surprising that the 1/1.7 CCD sensor in the old cameras could outperform the RX-100's on backlit CMOS sensor.

Here's what I found:  Consider this an honest, genuine review from a real user who wanted to make this work more than anything in the world!  (I mean, I saved over a year to buy it.)

PICTURE QUALITY:  The RX-100 was a little better, but compared to the old CCD cameras, had more graininess (noise) than I could tolerate.  Comparing a native resolution patch of an image to that of a cell phone camera, the results were similar.  Sure, shrinking the image to a 2 megapixel web image looked perfect, but it does on most cameras!

LIGHT SENSITIVITY:  The RX-100 was dramatically worse in light sensitivity - and I did endless tests to confirm this, with my SD950 side by side.  Forget night shots, or even dark rooms.  Compared to the RX-100, my old camera seemed like a pair of night vision goggles.

CONTRAST:  The RX-100 had worse contrast than my old camera, as a result of the sensor noise and low light sensitivity.  Because of this, even manually overexposing images could not bring back the darks in a scene.

FOCUS:  Most of the time, the RX-100 missed focus, creating a slightly blurry image.  I don't think this was due to poor lens quality - it was probably that the software wasn't hitting the exact target.  It might also have been due to camera vibrations that couldn't be fixed by image stabilization - not an issue on my old camera...  This also I believe is one source of the noise issues - this camera defaults to an insane 1/1000th of a second shutter, and I believe this is to try to reduce blur from camera motion.  Unfortunately, it also means the sensor can't overcome the noise.

THE FLAW WITH IMAGINE RESOURCE / COMPAROMETER:  How could you get such a different impression from reading imaging resource, a website I've long relied upon?  Because the typical comparison shot is an indoor photo of a high resolution poster.  I wouldn't have understood why this matters before, but since the RX-100 forced me into manual mode, I now understand that this shows each camera only in its BEST POSSIBLE PERFORMANCE - not its real world performance:

-> Long focus depth costs.  You have to use a high aperture number, which drops the incoming light and causes massive noise on the RX-100.  Most of the people on this list love the blurry background effect, but for my personal uses, most of the time I want the whole scene in focus.  This is why a photo of a poster can't cut it - because shallow depth of focus is the easiest part!

SPEED:  Absolutely incredible!  Compared to the super slow Canons, this was a miracle.  It is so fast sometimes I'd accidentally hit the shutter button and fire off 3 photos by mistake, and it didn't even matter!

VIDEO: I *LOVED* the RX-100 video!  I am so addicted to it, I don't know if I can do without it.  There are minor issues of course.  It still suffers from lack of contrast and poor low light performance, but focusing the entire 1" sensor on 2 megapixels virtually eliminated noise!  And I had to buy a new computer to play AVCHD in real time, and software to convert the file format to m4v.  But MAN it was good - 60fps is a godsend, the Full-HD was great, the fast autofocus excellent, and the ability to optically zoom while filming without noise was unmatched!  I thought the 29 minute limitation would be a bummer, but I so rarely need more...

MENU:  Contrary to reports, I found the menu system quite intuitive and easy to use, and nothing beats a dedicated movie button.

BUT... as much as I love video, I also like usable photos, and to pay $650 for a camera that's only good at video is tough...

=====================================

SO WHAT SHOULD I DO NOW?

I'm tempted to get an S95 for my pocket, which also won't be a lot better than my SD950, but OK for those spontaneous shots.  I don't feel great having to do this - it's like sticking with Windows XP forever because Vista was so bad.  I'd much rather find a modern camera that's good.

For premeditated photography, I'm prepared to try ANYTHING, even my first non-pocket sized camera!  Only catch?  I've been looking around, and I'm not sure if they're enough improved over the RX-100 to be worth 3x the price!  They still use CMOS sensors, even if they're larger.  In comparing video quality, many had a slight edge on the RX-100, but not enough to justify the cost.  So it comes down to photo quality, features, and image noise..

Can any of you recommend camera models I might like, knowing that I like noise/grain free images at native resolution, good low light performance (by 2008 standards, not 2012 standards), and optical zooming while filming video?  I was thinking the Canon G1X might be a possibility, but in this new CMOS world I have no idea.  I realize that some of you on this list might not be sensitive to image noise, especially when printing.  But my whole life I've been use to WYSIWYG photography - you see it with your eyes, you take the photo, it matches - not images drawn in sand.

-- hide signature --

Sorry if this email was long and drawn out.  But this has been the culmination of 6 months of despair, trying to make an RX-100 as good as an old CCD camera by any means.  I don't really understand why such relative few people seem to have an issue with camera noise.  Why waste hard drive space with a 20 megapixel image if really it's only useable at 4-5 megapixels at best?  Sure, I could just suck it up, and say, "2 megapixels was good enough for me in 2001, so it should be good enough now."  But desktops are already at 4-5 megapixels in resolution, and might go higher in the future...  Also, I found that even when I post-processed RX-100 images and shrunk them down 4:1, I couldn't remove the noise.  Again, this isn't just me here - professional have noticed it as well.

While I'm still a bit partial to Canons, now that I've tried a Sony and found it not such a big deal to switch brands, I'll try anything up to around $1,500.  (I can't justify more than that for my needs.)

Thanks so much.  For those of you that loved the RX-100, or think current Powershots are fine, please don't be defensive - I'm just sensitive to different issues.

- Jeff

Canon PowerShot S110 Canon PowerShot S95 Panasonic Lumix DMC-S3 Sigma SD9
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jeffreyrdiamond
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Re: Canon lover switched to RX-100, and it was terrible! Need advice....
In reply to jeffreyrdiamond, Feb 1, 2013

I guess there was a size limit - sorry for so much text.  it cut off the end of my post.

But just to add, I know not everyone has the same issues, and if you love the RX-100 and current Powershot models, please don't be defensive.  I just can't stand image noise, and just once I'd like to be able to film a night time event.

Thanks for your thoughts.

Sincerely,

- Jeff

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Steen Bay
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Re: Canon lover switched to RX-100, and it was terrible! Need advice....
In reply to jeffreyrdiamond, Feb 1, 2013

jeffreyrdiamond wrote:

I guess there was a size limit - sorry for so much text. it cut off the end of my post.

But just to add, I know not everyone has the same issues, and if you love the RX-100 and current Powershot models, please don't be defensive. I just can't stand image noise, and just once I'd like to be able to film a night time event.

Thanks for your thoughts.

Sincerely,

- Jeff

Today's CMOS sensors have much less noise than the CCD sensor in you SD950, especially at higher ISOs, so don't quite understand why you think that CMOS sensors are more noisy. Anyway, maybe something like the G15 is what you're looking for. It has a fast lens that's very helpful in low light.

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meland
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Re: Canon lover switched to RX-100, and it was terrible! Need advice....
In reply to jeffreyrdiamond, Feb 1, 2013

I'm sorry to learn of your disappointment but I confess I'm also a little puzzled by it. Early CMOS sensors could be quite noisy but it's really not an issue now.  I admit I have not used a Powershot SD950 but a Powershot G5 that I had which had a CCD sensor, well that was almost unusable at ISO 400 due to noise.  My last G series, a G11, was infinitely superior to the G5 and the latest G15 seems to have moved the game on still further and that uses a CMOS sensor.  But perhaps you're sensitive to something visual that I just don't notice or mind?

May I ask at what level of ISO are you finding noise objectionable?

jeffreyrdiamond wrote:

I have always loved reading this forum, and this is my first time asking for help. I am not as sophisticated photographer as the folks on this list. I've only used pocket cameras (although the highest end I could find.) My main uses are taking videos of my daughter and taking landscape photos. I value high image quality (why I don't just use a phone camera) and good video quality. Canon won me over a decade ago with the amazing quality of the S330, and my last camera was a Powershot SD950. I was generally happy with the SD950, although I wish it were a bit faster, especially for video.

In 2012, I decided it was time to look for a new camera. So naturally, I first tried Canon. I was SHOCKED! Not A SINGLE pocket camera camera offered had acceptable quality! (OK, the S110 was OK, but not a significant upgrade from my SD950). Why did no one seem to notice this? The quality was almost as poor as cell phone cameras! I later was to learn that since I bought the SD950, sensors went CMOS, and that meant noise. All the photos were so grainy as to be unusable as native resolution - like drawing a photo in sand...

At this time the media juggernaught praised the RX-100 as the best pocket camera of 2012, and it well may be. So I bought it - and I was horribly disappointed! I spent months with this camera, working on manual settings, doing side by side comparisons with my old SD950. And what I found was that almost everything I hoped to get form the RX-100 was WORSE, not better than the SD950. Although this was contrary to most media hype, I then spotted more thorough reviews that noted issues with the RX-100, such as excessive camera noise beyond base ISOs. And as I started researching CMOS sensors, I found that it wasn't surprising that the 1/1.7 CCD sensor in the old cameras could outperform the RX-100's on backlit CMOS sensor.

Here's what I found: Consider this an honest, genuine review from a real user who wanted to make this work more than anything in the world! (I mean, I saved over a year to buy it.)

PICTURE QUALITY: The RX-100 was a little better, but compared to the old CCD cameras, had more graininess (noise) than I could tolerate. Comparing a native resolution patch of an image to that of a cell phone camera, the results were similar. Sure, shrinking the image to a 2 megapixel web image looked perfect, but it does on most cameras!

LIGHT SENSITIVITY: The RX-100 was dramatically worse in light sensitivity - and I did endless tests to confirm this, with my SD950 side by side. Forget night shots, or even dark rooms. Compared to the RX-100, my old camera seemed like a pair of night vision goggles.

CONTRAST: The RX-100 had worse contrast than my old camera, as a result of the sensor noise and low light sensitivity. Because of this, even manually overexposing images could not bring back the darks in a scene.

FOCUS: Most of the time, the RX-100 missed focus, creating a slightly blurry image. I don't think this was due to poor lens quality - it was probably that the software wasn't hitting the exact target. It might also have been due to camera vibrations that couldn't be fixed by image stabilization - not an issue on my old camera... This also I believe is one source of the noise issues - this camera defaults to an insane 1/1000th of a second shutter, and I believe this is to try to reduce blur from camera motion. Unfortunately, it also means the sensor can't overcome the noise.

THE FLAW WITH IMAGINE RESOURCE / COMPAROMETER: How could you get such a different impression from reading imaging resource, a website I've long relied upon? Because the typical comparison shot is an indoor photo of a high resolution poster. I wouldn't have understood why this matters before, but since the RX-100 forced me into manual mode, I now understand that this shows each camera only in its BEST POSSIBLE PERFORMANCE - not its real world performance:

-> Long focus depth costs. You have to use a high aperture number, which drops the incoming light and causes massive noise on the RX-100. Most of the people on this list love the blurry background effect, but for my personal uses, most of the time I want the whole scene in focus. This is why a photo of a poster can't cut it - because shallow depth of focus is the easiest part!

SPEED: Absolutely incredible! Compared to the super slow Canons, this was a miracle. It is so fast sometimes I'd accidentally hit the shutter button and fire off 3 photos by mistake, and it didn't even matter!

VIDEO: I *LOVED* the RX-100 video! I am so addicted to it, I don't know if I can do without it. There are minor issues of course. It still suffers from lack of contrast and poor low light performance, but focusing the entire 1" sensor on 2 megapixels virtually eliminated noise! And I had to buy a new computer to play AVCHD in real time, and software to convert the file format to m4v. But MAN it was good - 60fps is a godsend, the Full-HD was great, the fast autofocus excellent, and the ability to optically zoom while filming without noise was unmatched! I thought the 29 minute limitation would be a bummer, but I so rarely need more...

MENU: Contrary to reports, I found the menu system quite intuitive and easy to use, and nothing beats a dedicated movie button.

BUT... as much as I love video, I also like usable photos, and to pay $650 for a camera that's only good at video is tough...

=====================================

SO WHAT SHOULD I DO NOW?

I'm tempted to get an S95 for my pocket, which also won't be a lot better than my SD950, but OK for those spontaneous shots. I don't feel great having to do this - it's like sticking with Windows XP forever because Vista was so bad. I'd much rather find a modern camera that's good.

For premeditated photography, I'm prepared to try ANYTHING, even my first non-pocket sized camera! Only catch? I've been looking around, and I'm not sure if they're enough improved over the RX-100 to be worth 3x the price! They still use CMOS sensors, even if they're larger. In comparing video quality, many had a slight edge on the RX-100, but not enough to justify the cost. So it comes down to photo quality, features, and image noise..

Can any of you recommend camera models I might like, knowing that I like noise/grain free images at native resolution, good low light performance (by 2008 standards, not 2012 standards), and optical zooming while filming video? I was thinking the Canon G1X might be a possibility, but in this new CMOS world I have no idea. I realize that some of you on this list might not be sensitive to image noise, especially when printing. But my whole life I've been use to WYSIWYG photography - you see it with your eyes, you take the photo, it matches - not images drawn in sand.

-- hide signature --

Sorry if this email was long and drawn out. But this has been the culmination of 6 months of despair, trying to make an RX-100 as good as an old CCD camera by any means. I don't really understand why such relative few people seem to have an issue with camera noise. Why waste hard drive space with a 20 megapixel image if really it's only useable at 4-5 megapixels at best? Sure, I could just suck it up, and say, "2 megapixels was good enough for me in 2001, so it should be good enough now." But desktops are already at 4-5 megapixels in resolution, and might go higher in the future... Also, I found that even when I post-processed RX-100 images and shrunk them down 4:1, I couldn't remove the noise. Again, this isn't just me here - professional have noticed it as well.

While I'm still a bit partial to Canons, now that I've tried a Sony and found it not such a big deal to switch brands, I'll try anything up to around $1,500. (I can't justify more than that for my needs.)

Thanks so much. For those of you that loved the RX-100, or think current Powershots are fine, please don't be defensive - I'm just sensitive to different issues.

- Jeff

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GeraldW
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Re: Canon lover switched to RX-100, and it was terrible! Need advice....
In reply to jeffreyrdiamond, Feb 1, 2013

Jeff,

I'm a former owner of an SD950IS, and just bought a second one, because I missed having one.

I'm really surprised at your comments about the Sony RX100.  First, not all the I-R comparitor shots are posters.  The "still life" with the bottles, crayons and fabric panels is shot live.  You can tell, as the objects sometimes move a little from camera to camera.  Second, I think the shots with the mannekin are also shot live, for the same reason.  The "house" and the resolution charts are posters.

Before posting here, I did visit the I-R comparitor and compared the SD950IS to the RX100.  Other than image size, the SD950IS does well in comparison at ISO 100.  But at ISO 400, the RX100 is far better in terms of noise.  Further, I don't see any real difference in contrast.  In the past I have made a lot of camera comparisons on my own, and have always found that the I-R shots correspond well to my own findings.  So why are your results so different?

Have you looked at I-R's EXIF data to see hown they set the RX100?  It might be worth duplicating their settings to see what you get.  You might also consider two other possibilities.  1) the camera is defective, and 2) it's not a genuine Sony.

I also have the G15, and one of the factors in my decision to get the G15 was a comparison to the RX100.  Both are CMOS; but I felt the G15 gave better looking images at higher ISO.  That has since been bourne out in use.  The G15, delivers crisp looking images at ISO 800 and 1600.  I have only shot JPEGs with the G15 so far, and right away found that it needed +1 step of in camera sharpening; but so does the SD950IS.

As to what to buy next, I have a couple of suggestions.  I sold my first SD950IS after comparing it to my S90.  First, the S90 was quite soft at default, so I added one or two steps of in-camera sharpening.  The S95 has the same processor, sensor, and lens; but has higher levels of default sharpening and contrast, so it looks crisper.  The big differences between the S90 and SD950IS were much less noise at higher ISO, and higher dynamic range in the S90.  Much less prone to highlight clipping.  Making borderless 8.5" x 11" prints from both cameras, I cannot see any difference with my reading glasses on at ISO 100.  With a strong magnifying glass, the SD950IS does resolve a little more fine detail because of the extra 2 MP.  At ISO 400 the prints still look the same to the naked eye; but with a normal magnifying glass you can see more shadow noise on the SD950IS; but still slightly more fine detail.  From 400 up, the S90 rules.

If you decide to sell the Sony, I can suggest a couple of alternatives.  An S95 is one, the G15 is the other.  My G15 does fit in a shirt pocket; but I sure wouldn't put it in a pants pocket because of the stress when you sit.  However, I find that since I got the G15, I'm using the S90 a lot less.

The S90/95 needs a front grip just as the RX100 does.  I used a Franiec grip on mine and it makes a huge difference.

-- hide signature --

Jerry

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GeraldW
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Re: Canon lover switched to RX-100, and it was terrible! Need advice....
In reply to GeraldW, Feb 1, 2013

Here's a picture of the S90 with the Franiec grip, and in the foreground the SX230HS with a Flip-bac grip which was cut down a little to fit.  The Franiec grip is machined aluminum, the Flip-bac is silicone rubber, so it can be easily cut with a sharp knife or scissors.  They do make a Franiec grip for the RX100.



Grips on the S90 and SX230HS

Lensmate rear wheel protector ring on SX230HS and S90

The lower shot shows the protector rings which go a long way to preventing inadvertant settinngs.  For $5, it's a deal.  They were made for the S90/95; but they fit many other cameras, including my SD950IS.

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Jerry

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joonlee
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Re: Canon lover switched to RX-100, and it was terrible! Need advice....
In reply to GeraldW, Feb 1, 2013

Hmm, it could be that your RX100 was faulty but my copy is fine. My main camera is Canon 6D /w 24-105 f4 L but I love using RX100 as my everyday camera. IQ of RX100 up to iso 3200 is amazing. I tried Canon S110 but I decided to return it due to an inferior IQ compared to RX100. Also RX100 AF and writing speeds are much faster than S110. However, S110 or 100 is a fine camera especially for the price.

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shuttervelocity
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Re: Canon lover switched to RX-100, and it was terrible! Need advice....
In reply to jeffreyrdiamond, Feb 1, 2013

I look at my 3 MP pictures of my baby (now a 6 yr old) taken with a Canon A80 and it still brings me so much joy.  Yes, I agree, CCD's are much better than CMOS.

As a guitar player you have no idea how much we chase the tone in the back-breaking heavy tube amps with 1940's technology costing thousands of dollars. Digital amps with way better features cost way way cheaper but no, people still want those heavy beasts.  Why? There is a 10% difference in tone. But its a fact that digital amlplifiers have taken over and will be the future.  Its the same with CMOS.  CCD is going, going...gone.  CMOS is the future and we better learn to accept it.  

the S95 was the last great canon CCD camera, but there is no optical zoom in video.  if not, I would have bought it and called it a day.  Canon could have done that with the S100, but they pulled a fast one on all of us.

Have you tried/read about the Nikon P7700?  Its got great reviews as well and people compare it with the G15.

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Sam

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Robert Anderson
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Re: Canon lover switched to RX-100, and it was terrible! Need advice....
In reply to jeffreyrdiamond, Feb 1, 2013

I recently upgraded from Canon s95 to the Sony RX100 and my experience has been just the opposite of yours. I find the RX100 to be far superior in every case, especially noise.

Could you please post some sample images that you are unhappy with? I am curious to see them.

Here are some comparison shots I did:

http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/post/50584046

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SHood
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Re: Canon lover switched to RX-100, and it was terrible! Need advice....
In reply to jeffreyrdiamond, Feb 1, 2013

I had the s90 for 2 years and loved it.  I am now using the RX100 for the past 6 months and it has been a great upgrade, a big improvement over my S90.  At high ISO the RX100 has a big advantage over any previous small sensor CCD.

If you really like the output from CCD sensors at base ISO then maybe you should consider a used S90/S95 as they were the last CCDs.  Just remember the video will be a big downgrade from the latest CMOS sensors.

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Grobb
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Re: Canon lover switched to RX-100, and it was terrible! Need advice....
In reply to shuttervelocity, Feb 1, 2013

shuttervelocity,  I agreed with most everything you said except the G12 was the last great Canon CCD camera. The S95 although it was a very good camera, but not quite as good as the G12.

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jeffreyrdiamond
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Re: Canon lover switched to RX-100, and it was terrible! Need advice....
In reply to meland, Feb 1, 2013

meland wrote:


I'm sorry to learn of your disappointment but I confess I'm also a little puzzled by it. Early CMOS sensors could be quite noisy but it's really not an issue now. I admit I have not used a Powershot SD950 but a Powershot G5 that I had which had a CCD sensor, well that was almost unusable at ISO 400 due to noise. My last G series, a G11, was infinitely superior to the G5 and the latest G15 seems to have moved the game on still further and that uses a CMOS sensor. But perhaps you're sensitive to something visual that I just don't notice or mind?

May I ask at what level of ISO are you finding noise objectionable?

Hi Meland.  Thanks for commiserating.  

I went back to check my photos, and sadly, it didn't look like the ISO was in the metadata.  (Is there a formula to compute it based on the shutter speed and aperture?) However, I found that even in the best possible lighting conditions, which I recall being in the ISO 80-150 range, any part of the picture that wasn't in crisp focus looked dithered.   In looking at my photos, almost any scenario had noise, but some was more objectionable than others.  For example, in daylight shots where you'd expect a low ISO, the sky was typically quite dithered looking.  And of course, the night shots with higher ISO are really bad, but you even see that in the sample photos on Imaging Resource. Sorry I don't have detailed ISO numbers to compare, other than to say I didn't even bother with situations with ISO above 400, and I didn't get any shots where noise wasn't visible in the background - the foreground object could come out pretty well in good lighting and focus.

For a best case example, in my office, I did a simple imaging resource style comparison - in good light, I took a casual photo of my bookcase (with books) using my old SD950.  Then, I took about 100 shots with the RX-100 using every setting I could imagine to try to get as good an image as possible, including tripod exposures.  I found that if I forced the RX-100 to flash, and set it to max aperture F1.8 (with shallow depth of field), it could get reasonably close to the quality of the SD950*, but with more picture artifacts, like JPEG compression halos, and noise in the darker areas.  That wasn't a fair fight of course, and it showed the RX-100 needed a lot of light and shallow depth of field to be "normal" - part  of my theory that the auto settings were off calibrated, since it didn't think it needed a flash when it clearly did.  When doing night comparisons, it was obvious to me that a trick of the SD950 was over exposure.

Mind you, in the good photos, you only see the noise at 1:1 resolution.  When reducing to screen size it looks perfect. (Sony's have that darker washed out look, while Canon's have that bright saturated look.) So if I'm content with a few megapixels, then the only big issue is shots in lower light conditions.   But I also have an issue with lack of focal length, which on auto is sometimes so short I can't get the foreground object all in focus.  I had to use manual aperture settings to get even mid level depths of field, often with manual focus, and when I did that, the noise got much worse, although I can't recall what ISO it jumped to.

I guess my biggest question for those of you that have used the next larger class cameras, e.g. fixed lens cameras that don't fit in your pocket, or compact changeable lens cameras, is how much of a jump in picture quality do you see compared to high end pocket cameras?

From what I see these days:

-> The sensor technology seems the same (until you get into really high end pro cameras, which still use CCDs.)

-> The sensors are larger

-> I assume the optics are better

-> Probably a lot more manual features that I personally don't need.

- Jeff

P. S. Just t round out my review for people that don't have the RX-100:  I eagerly anticipated the in camera panorama feature, which is SO much simpler than using your computer.  However, handy as it is, I found it just for fun on the RX-100:

-> The algorithm was commendable, but made inexplicable errors - where hard edges, the kind easiest to line up, were staircased where stitched.

-> You don't get a huge image out of it (my goal) - rather you get a fairly normal sized image. So really, it;s just a substitute for a wide angle lens, along with the curving distortions.  It's also of fixed physical size, so you can't choose how much of the scene goes into the panorama.  And while compressing a half a gigapixel into 20 megapixels eliminated noise, there could be significant blur due to the act of sweeping the camera.

Again, the RX-100 has obvious strengths as well.  The video I already mentioned, and the fast response time.

* Just to emphasize, I'm not boasting about the SD950.  I thought it was a decent camera, and held up the quality I was used to from the 330 at 12 megapixels, but I never thought it was the equal of pro cameras - although I've not yet experienced a pro camera.  Seems like most of the Canons used that same 1/1.7 CCD sensor from 2007-2010, and I don't know how much picture quality varied across the line.


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Grobb
Senior MemberPosts: 1,229Gear list
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Re: Canon lover switched to RX-100, and it was terrible! Need advice....
In reply to jeffreyrdiamond, Feb 1, 2013

Jeff, you said “Can any of you recommend camera models I might like, knowing that I like noise/grain free images at native resolution, good low light performance”. I hate to tell you this, but there is no camera available that will give you noise/grain free images and both the G15 and P7700 are full of both noise and grain from 800 ISO and up, as shuttervelocity suggested. Both have their good and not so good points, but it will be up to you to decide which does best for the kind of shooting you do most. Now, if you want to get a small size camera that has very little noise and grain, you might want to take a look at the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX1. Anyway, please let us know what you end up getting and what you think of it, thanks!

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YiannisPP
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Surely you're joking?
In reply to jeffreyrdiamond, Feb 1, 2013

Don't tell me you didn't think that there might be something wrong with your copy?

I mean everyone of your paragraphs read surreal, I can't believe you are serious. Similar to a cell phone? You seriously think that so many people writing about and praising the RX100 as the compact with the best IQ ever are just completely blind or gross liars?

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jeffreyrdiamond
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Re: Canon lover switched to RX-100, and it was terrible! Need advice....
In reply to jeffreyrdiamond, Feb 1, 2013

I just discovered something very interesting.  I went online and searched for raw RX-100 images at native resolution.  Most were in superior lighting, and might have employed a tripod and/or post processing.  But I can honestly say that in all cases, not only was the noise dramatically less than what I experienced, but the focal distance was much longer.  In fact,the only limitation they shared in common with my photos was lack of contrast.  I'm not sure what kind of post processing you can do to remove noise.  I tried the built in Sony software for noise reduction, but it didn't do very much.

Is it possible something could be wrong with my RX-100? Or do these people just get better results by using better setups, e.g. tripods?  I haven't found many examples of lower light photos yet.

- Jeff

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jeffreyrdiamond
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Re: Surely you're joking?
In reply to YiannisPP, Feb 1, 2013

YiannisPP wrote:

Don't tell me you didn't think that there might be something wrong with your copy?

I mean everyone of your paragraphs read surreal, I can't believe you are serious. Similar to a cell phone? You seriously think that so many people writing about and praising the RX100 as the compact with the best IQ ever are just completely blind or gross liars?

That phone comment wasn't a 1 on 1 comparison with a Cell Phone - camera - I was referring to comparing an equal sized image patch, e.g., 1/4 of an RX-100 picture with an entire cell phone image.  The artifacts were quite similar.

As I mentioned in my latest post, I am now seeing examples online of much better RX-100 photos and wondering what causes the difference.

best IQ ever are just completely blind or gross liars?

It is mysterious to be sure, but bear in mind that there tends to always be an "upbeat" slant to most camera reviews.  For example, I am quite sure that most of this year's Powershots have inferior photos, just based on the comparometer pictures posted, but do you ever see that really discussed?  I've already pointed out how unrealistic a lot of the quantitative tests of IQ tend to be. Let's face it - I've seen some BAD image noise examples shown in raving reviews.  Some serious reviewers have noted the noise issues in the RX-100, as well as the fact that even the current generation of CMOS sensors aren't really on par yet with CCD in image quality.  But these are not part of the initial round of happy, specs reviews, but the deeper ones that come a few months later.

I wouldn't say people are "liars", but I think a lot of the reviews are extremely shallow.  Notice how rare it is these days to even see raw images in camera brochures.  Instead, they show you an 800x1200 shrink and it looks beautiful. So my first assumption was that maybe typical photographers don't care as much as I do about pixel level noise, just as I don't care as much about bokeh as they do? It certainly wouldn't effect prints.

One thing I *LOVE* about this Forum is that you guys do not fall for hype - you will say that a new version of a camera isn't as good as the old one, even if the specs are bettter.  What I did not see online was anyone raving about RX-100 image quality who had actually tried it themselves - it was all based on online reviews and specs comparisons.  IMO, you cannot really know about a camera until you hear about it from real people.

And I am MOST GRATEFUL for all your opinions, thoughts, and comments about my experience. Believe me - if you folks are shocked by my experience, imagine how I feel!  

- Jeff

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bocabob
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Re: Canon lover switched to RX-100, and it was terrible! Need advice....
In reply to jeffreyrdiamond, Feb 1, 2013

Sorry, but I got lost after the first 1000 words!

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jeffreyrdiamond
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Re: Canon lover switched to RX-100, and it was terrible! Need advice....
In reply to GeraldW, Feb 1, 2013

GeraldW wrote:

Jeff, I'm a former owner of an SD950IS, and just bought a second one, because I missed having one.

Thanks so much, Gerald. Based on what you and others have said, along with my natural Canon tendencies, I think I'll definitely check out the S95 and the G15.  I was attracted to the G1-X because I'm not immune to specs either, and the sensor was just so huge!  But such things can be deceiving, and many people thing the G15 is awesome.

Thanks to everyone for such thoughtful comments - I admit my RX-100 experience was surprising, to say the least, and I'm glad no one took offense of my honest observations.

Also, I want to clarify, when I said I thought the quality of modern Powershots looked bad, I didn't actually mean all powershots - I meant the in your jeans pocket ones... and then we're talking the SX models, not the S100/110.  I did fit the RX-100 in my jeans pocket, but it was uncomfortable enough that I noticed often didn't take it with me unless I knew I was going to take photos...

- Jeff


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jeffreyrdiamond
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Re: Canon lover switched to RX-100, and it was terrible! Need advice....
In reply to bocabob, Feb 1, 2013

bocabob wrote:

Sorry, but I got lost after the first 1000 words!

You're absolutely right!  I'm not good at concise posts, but here's my attempt to summarize:

-> Had an SD950, went shopping for a new Canon pocket camera, like the SX series.

-> Shocked to see the quality of the sample photos was so poor - image noise, graininess, blurriness, distortion, chromatic aberration - only the S100/110 was fairly similar to what I was used to.

-> Ran out, got an RX-100, expecting the world

-> Got similar or worse levels of camera noise, plus other issues, like poorer contrast, low light performance, poor depth of field.  Did some research.  Decided it was most likely the shift to CMOS around 2010 that was the issue.  (RX-100 did have some cool improvements.)

-> Asking for advice on how to get image quality as good as the old stuff.

Current consensus seems to be S95 & G15

Thanks.

- Jeff

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jeffreyrdiamond
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Re: Canon lover switched to RX-100, and it was terrible! Need advice....
In reply to shuttervelocity, Feb 1, 2013

shuttervelocity wrote:

I look at my 3 MP pictures of my baby (now a 6 yr old) taken with a Canon A80 and it still brings me so much joy. Yes, I agree, CCD's are much better than CMOS.

As a guitar player you have no idea how much we chase the tone in the back-breaking heavy tube amps with 1940's technology costing thousands of dollars. Digital amps with way better features cost way way cheaper but no, people still want those heavy beasts. Why? There is a 10% difference in tone. But its a fact that digital amlplifiers have taken over and will be the future. Its the same with CMOS. CCD is going, going...gone. CMOS is the future and we better learn to accept it.

the S95 was the last great canon CCD camera, but there is no optical zoom in video. if not, I would have bought it and called it a day. Canon could have done that with the S100, but they pulled a fast one on all of us.

Have you tried/read about the Nikon P7700? Its got great reviews as well and people compare it with the G15.

-- hide signature --

Sam

Awesome advice, guys!  I keep forgetting the S95 doesn't let you zoom during video..

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