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

Started Feb 1, 2013 | Discussions
YiannisPP
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In reply to jeffreyrdiamond, Feb 1, 2013

Have you heard of Johnny Mac?

In his words then, you cannot be serious!!!

Seriously, get your RX100 back to the shop and ask for another one. Or if you want to be sure, why don't you post what you wrote here on the Sony forum, all nice people there, together with 3-4 test shots, OOC jpegs and ask them if they think your RX100 seems healthy. Better yet, why don't you take the same test shots with the SD950 and post those as well?

Or really, just return it and get something else.

For what it's worth, I rave about the RX100 and I have one, even per pixel the IQ is better than all the other compacts I've had before. I had the sd950 as well, great camera for sure, too bad mine had a decentered lens. And it got stolen.

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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 Robert Anderson, Feb 1, 2013

Robert Anderson wrote:

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

Thanks, this is awesome, Robert.  I have to run out for a few hours, but when I get back, I'll look through these and decide how atypical my RX-100 might be.

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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 Grobb, Feb 1, 2013

tron555 wrote:

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!

Thanks.  The RX-1 definitely got my attention, but sadly, I don't think I can afford it.  

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SHood
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S100 vs SD950
In reply to jeffreyrdiamond, Feb 1, 2013

I don't have any experience with the SD950, but this person compared it and the S100 with 100% crops. The s100 looks noticeably better than SD950 at all ISOs, even at web size (better detail and less noise). And I know from my experience the RX100 is much better than the s100. So I don't really understand how you came to your conclusion. It would be great if you posted comparision shots of the same scene from the same time.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/sfsnj/sets/72157631756665273/with/8081769585/

S100 ISO200

s100 ISO200

SD950 ISO200

s100 ISO800

SD950 ISO800

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jimr
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Jeff...Clearly Your Experience With The Sony Is Far Out Of Line With The Norm...So...Either A
In reply to jeffreyrdiamond, Feb 1, 2013

defective camera or user error is almost surely the cause....

This is clearly not the norm....or the expected...

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I2K4
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Re: Canon lover switched to RX-100, and it was terrible! Need advice....
In reply to jeffreyrdiamond, Feb 1, 2013

Can't make heads or tails of your comparisons.  For all the obvious passion, no references whatsoever to lighting situations, subjects, specific settings, anything for an experienced shooter to get teeth into (not asking for images but descriptions.)  Best I could make of it is that RX100 defaults to fast shutter high ISO sometimes and produces unacceptably noisy images - no surprise there - but it's a very sophisticated machine with a plethora of manual settings and a comparatively huge sensor.

The sd950 was a highly regarded camera and bless Canon had an OVF.  I recently bought a radically discounted Ixus 300 as my miserly experiment with LCD only and CMOS (backlit for it) and while I won't buy another camera without a viewfinder, and don't like the "scenes" that default to high ISO, I am impressed with what CMOS and use of Av or Tv modes can do.  I tend to give credit to Canon for better out of camera image quality under similar settings and circumstances than competitors, until proven otherwise, and suggest you look at the G series.

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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

Often it's the thickness dimension that makes the camera uncomfortable or un-pocketable.  Moreso than the height and width.

If I were you, I'd go for the S95 over the S90, simply because of some minor controls tweaks.  Check KEH for used ones.

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Jerry

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

Just buy a Panasonic LX7.  It take beautiful images, incredible videos, handles like a camera should and has been discounted as low as $299 (list price $500) over the last couple of months.

End of your problems.

Joel

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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 Grobb, Feb 1, 2013

tron555 wrote:

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!

I guess you can't win all the time, even with a $3K camera... Here's an RX-1 image with significant noise outside the very shallow focal depth:

http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8030/8028155554_47427dda6c_o.jpg

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RedFox88
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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?

So says the sony fanboi here to "defend" sony.

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Re: Canon lover switched to RX-100, and it was terrible! Need advice....
In reply to jeffreyrdiamond, Feb 2, 2013

After reading all of your posts, I still can't figure out what is your point?  Perhaps you should read up on digital sensors and imaging and understand the laws of physics a bit.  There are finite limits to what processors and lenses can achieve, and photography is a means to create images of beauty and power, not to waste time and energy on minute imperfections in the output while pixel peeping.

Why bother if your focus is on "noise" as opposed to focusing on creating quality images?

Joel

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Rod McD
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Have you considered the G1X?
In reply to jeffreyrdiamond, Feb 2, 2013

Hi,

I don't know if you will be able to sort out any issues with your own RX100, but if you can't, and want Canon's highest IQ, least noisy, compact camera, the G1X is it.  Period.  Don't believe me - check out the DPR comparison tool.  It's zoom range is similar to the RX100 (28-112 FF equiv).

Despite the G1X's IQ, not everyone likes it - it's one of those cameras that polarises opinion.  I do.  It has a terrific lens/sensor/image engine.  It's very well featured, and is reliable and glitch free.  Its AF is very accurate but with the drawback of being somewhat slow.  Between shot times in AFS are longer than average.  So, it won't do sports and action well.  It also doesn't focus to macro without an accessory, but if you use the Canon 250D close up lens it's as good as any DSLR with a kit lens.  It's definitely not pocketable.  If you can live with these few limitations, it excels as a travel/landscape/hiking/general purpose camera.  There's no better IQ short of going to an APSC compact system camera, and none of them is as small as the G1X with the lens retracted for carrying.

Cheers, Rod

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B1ackhat
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Re: Canon lover switched to RX-100, and it was terrible! Need advice....
In reply to jeffreyrdiamond, Feb 2, 2013

Much like old relationships, people tend to primarily remember the good things as time passes.  If you look back at the sample photos from the DPR review, you will see that there is a ton of visible noise even in the reduced images at base ISO.  The S110, while a step behind the S95, is worlds ahead of the IXUS 330 and most certainly not even in the same universe as my iPhone 4S, which is generally considered to have a good camera by mobile standards.  Yes, CMOS sensors are noisier than CCD all else being equal, but when comparing an S110 to either of the 2 models you mentioned, I'll take the S110 any day.  That said, I agree that the S95 has better IQ, though after spending a couple weeks with the S110 I was quite pleased with it and would be willing to live with the slight reduction in IQ for some of the other improvements it offers.  Unfortunately I had an issue with mine and had to return it, but I will likely be picking up another one.

The IS in the RX100 has to work a bit harder due to the size of the sensor (and perhaps Canon does have a better IS than Sony as well).  Also, I have found on previous Sony cameras that they tend to overexpose so I can understand that as well.  However, as far as low light goes, the RX100 most certainly beats the SD950, so I'm not sure how you've come to the conclusion you did.  Having reviewed countless RX100 samples, I think there's little question as to whether the RX100 provides the best IQ ever from a pocket cam.  Still, I can't bring myself to spend $600 on one considering the reportedly poor IS and unreliable auto WB.

In the end, if you prefer the old cameras, then stick with them.  I love my S95 and wouldn't even be looking for a new one if senor dust hadn't appeared on my S95.

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"We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals." ~ Immanual Kant

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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 2, 2013

Of course, that RX-1 shot was worse than most I came across.  Most of the RX-1 photos had far less noise than the RX-100.

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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 Joelartino, Feb 2, 2013

Joelartino wrote:

After reading all of your posts, I still can't figure out what is your point? Perhaps you should read up on digital sensors and imaging and understand the laws of physics a bit. There are finite limits to what processors and lenses can achieve, and photography is a means to create images of beauty and power, not to waste time and energy on minute imperfections in the output while pixel peeping.

Why bother if your focus is on "noise" as opposed to focusing on creating quality images?

Joel

That is a very fair question, and one I've been asked by many people, including those that say I should just use a phone camera because its about making memories, not surveillance photos for the CIA.  So here is my point:

1) I love high resolution photos - just like high color saturation makes me physically feel good when I look at it, so does seeing clear, crisp images.  I've always been able to see pixels - I can't help it.  Some people see no difference in retina displays, but to me it's like we finally landed on the moon after 20 years of dreaming.

2) It's always depressing to me if you have to take a step backwards.  If after a decade of picture quality always getting better, it has to get worse again.  Of course, it's never getting worse in every dimension - people wouldn't accept that.  But the tradeoffs start getting harder.

If I have to accept it, I will accept it and move on.  But I have come to you kind folks, ones with real experience, to see if there are in fact some better alternatives for me.  And I have not been disappointed at all - thank you all so, so much.  Not to mention the folks who kindly posted their own RX-100 photos that make me think perhaps there *is* something wrong with mine...

Incidentally, before my first digital camera I used 35mm film for all kinds of shots, and I blew a great deal of my photos into posters as big as 48"x36".  I loved making my own posters.  It's a lot harder to do that now.  My fear is that in the not too distant future, whenever there's an awesome photo to be seen, people will say, "it's a shame that ordinary people can't ever make photos like that.  That's just something professionals do with thousand dollar cameras." It's gotten to the point where if I'm watching a movie, I'll see some ordinary scene of someone walking around the corner of a stone house, and I'll think, "Good God, I have no way of taking a photo like that anymore..."

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toomanycanons
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Re: Canon lover switched to RX-100, and it was terrible! Need advice....
In reply to jeffreyrdiamond, Feb 2, 2013

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.

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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

Yikes, what a post.  Without reading any of the replies I'll say that part of your problem is thinking the S110 doesn't produce better pics than your SD950.   Given that's where you're coming from, I can discount anything else you say.  Sorry.

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Robert Garcia NYC
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Re: Canon lover switched to RX-100, and it was terrible! Need advice....
In reply to toomanycanons, Feb 2, 2013

Get a G15 or a G1X then. I have a RX100 (and lots of Canon gear up the wazoo) and your experience is one of a kind you should be getting great shots right from the jump like most of us but of course there are exceptions to the rule. I would wait for the new Fuji X20 and the Pentax MX1 to come out these also seem like fine cameras.

If only damn F*#@ing Canon would release a G2X (a way way faster version of the G1X) that would be the answer.

http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/thread/3376076

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krugman
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Re: Canon lover switched to RX-100, and it was terrible! Need advice....
In reply to jeffreyrdiamond, Feb 2, 2013

If you don't like the camera, you don't like the camera and you needn't justify your opinion to anyone.

May I suggest that you look at some of the following: the Canon G1X, the Canon G15, the Canon G12, and two cameras that will be available in a month or so: the Nikon V2, and the Fuji X20. Each has desirable features that may appeal to you.

Hope this helps,

Krugman

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YiannisPP
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LOL... nt
In reply to RedFox88, Feb 2, 2013
No text.
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brianj
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Re: S100 vs SD950
In reply to SHood, Feb 2, 2013

SHood wrote:

I don't have any experience with the SD950, but this person compared it and the S100 with 100% crops. The s100 looks noticeably better than SD950 at all ISOs, even at web size (better detail and less noise). And I know from my experience the RX100 is much better than the s100. So I don't really understand how you came to your conclusion. It would be great if you posted comparision shots of the same scene from the same time.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/sfsnj/sets/72157631756665273/with/8081769585/

Thanks, that looks like the first piece of real evidence in this long thread.

Brian

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