Initial impressions: Fuji X100s vs. Sony RX1

Started 8 months ago | Discussions
Daniel Lauring
Veteran MemberPosts: 7,375Gear list
Like?
Initial impressions: Fuji X100s vs. Sony RX1
8 months ago

I've only had the RX1 a week so I'm still figuring it out, but these are some first impression from the perspective of Fuji X100s user, for others who might be swayed by that big FF sensor and Carl Zeiss lens of the RX1.  RX1 prices have dropped considerably with the introduction of the A7/A7r.  They can be found for about $1000 less than they cost new...still a big chunk of change more the X100s.

First the good stuff.

Sharpness and resolution:  The RX1 clearly wins here.  The extra resolution is apparent everywhere but even more so at the edges wide open.  Fuji's lens is sharp.  Sony's is sharper, and produces beautiful star patterns from light sources.  Ditto for low light performance.  The Sony's larger sensor definitely has less noise, or better signal to noise ratio at lower light levels.

Speed:  The Sony seems a little quicker with regard to shutter lag and picture processing.

Focus:  Neither of these cameras is great.  They are pretty similar in focus performance.  In some cases the Fuji acts better, in others the Sony.  One oddity of the Sony is it focuses at selected aperture, which causes it to have more issues when stopping down in lower light.  It is easy to work around this but odd that it does it.

Leaf shutter:  They both have leaf shutters.  The Sony's shutter performs a little better with regard to high speed flash sync and minimum aperture.

Exposure compensation:  Sony has a +/- 3 EV dial, Fuji only 2.

Video:  Sonys better.  I don't care.

Now the not so good.

ND filter:  Miss the built in filter.  It means something else that needs to be carried around in the bag.

Size:  The lens sticks out a lot further on the RX1.  This makes it much less pocketable.

Handling:  The Sony's smaller size makes me really miss it not having a grip.  I find I get motion blur much more easily from it, than the Fuji which I attribute to holding it in closer to the center...and the forward heavy lens.

No EVF/OVF.  I've got the add-on EVF but, of course that adds considerable cost and size to the camera, and it doesn't even lock in place (though it does seem to stay put pretty well.)

The very bad.

Flash (specifically low speed sync/fill flash):  Not sure if the flash is just limited to a certain minimum power, or if Sony's engineers just don't know what they are doing, but the low speed sync is broken.  When you turn the flash on it changes the exposure, boosts the ISO, or increases the shutter speed....very frustrating.  You can switch to manual mode and manual ISO, but then the flash just blows out everything up close.  Turning the flash compensation down doesn't work well...possibly because you hit the lower limit of flash power.  The only possible fix I see is to add some type of diffuser in front of the flash to limit it's power and shoot in full manual mode (including manual ISO.)  Going to try attach a little piece of plastic/cloth to the flash with a rubber band when using it inside for fill...something that one should never have to do with a professional camera.

Firmware:  It would be great if Sony could fix the flash with a firmware update, but their record of providing firmware updates is the opposite of Fuji.  They are more inclined to fix things on the next release.

 Daniel Lauring's gear list:Daniel Lauring's gear list
Fujifilm XF 55-200mm F3.5-4.8 R LM OIS
Fujifilm X100S Sony Alpha 7 Sony RX1
If you believe there are incorrect tags, please send us this post using our feedback form.
Daniel Lauring
Veteran MemberPosts: 7,375Gear list
Like?
Re: Initial impressions: Fuji X100s vs. Sony RX1
In reply to Daniel Lauring, 8 months ago

A couple more comments I forgot.

Battery life: Those that are disappointed in X100s battery life they are going to be really disappointed in the RX1. The battery life is the worst I've ever experienced. Today I ran out of juice after about 40 shots (partly due to the cold conditions...but still way less than the X100s)

Focal length: The RX1 is a little wider.

Macro: The RX1's lens externally extends for macro distances. It has a more limited macro range but seems better at grabbing onto what you really want to focus on (the close stuff.) The X100s can get considerably closer but because it doesn't have the resolution of the RX1, especially up close and wide open, it doesn't seem to pull much if any more detail from subjects.

Note:  Previously, when discussing how the RX1 changes the exposure when slow sync flash is selected I said "boosts" the ISO.  I meant the opposite.  It reduces the ISO.

 Daniel Lauring's gear list:Daniel Lauring's gear list
Fujifilm XF 55-200mm F3.5-4.8 R LM OIS
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
unknown member
(unknown member)
Like?
Re: Initial impressions: Fuji X100s vs. Sony RX1
In reply to Daniel Lauring, 8 months ago

Daniel Lauring wrote:

A couple more comments I forgot.

Battery life: Those that are disappointed in X100s battery life they are going to be really disappointed in the RX1. The battery life is the worst I've ever experienced. Today I ran out of juice after about 40 shots (partly due to the cold conditions...but still way less than the X100s)

Focal length: The RX1 is a little wider.

Macro: The RX1's lens externally extends for macro distances. It has a more limited macro range but seems better at grabbing onto what you really want to focus on (the close stuff.) The X100s can get considerably closer but because it doesn't have the resolution of the RX1, especially up close and wide open, it doesn't seem to pull much if any more detail from subjects.

I shot my RX1 for 5 hours today on one battery, it's not overly cold here in the UK at the moment though, I have mine set to EVF only and auto brightness.

so what made you switch from the x100s to the RX1? or do you still have both?

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
unknown member
(unknown member)
Like?
Re: Initial impressions: Fuji X100s vs. Sony RX1
In reply to Daniel Lauring, 8 months ago

DL, Thanks! for a reasonable (in other words, NOT a hair-on-fire fanboy rant / flame session) comparison.

Although I'm a hopeless sucker for the X's retro design brief, I'd be the first to recognize it is at a disadvantage empirically vs. a FX-sized sensor.  Like most things, there are guys that will smoke the RX with an X100S, and vice-versa, it can depend a lot 'who's behind the wheel'.  Got to admire that Zeiss lens as well.

For me personally, it's a non starter, as

A) it's another one of these 'brick' form factor cameras that allows a hotshoe flash or an add-on EVF, but not both, a problem hardly unique to Sony. . . .

B) and I really hate plugging in the camera to recharge.  Have they offered spare batts / offboard charging ?

C) maybe not a factor considering the buy-in price of the camera, but the accessory prices are just obscene.

And I doubt Sony will be anywhere near as attentive as Fuji in offereing continuing software updates, but then, I can hardly think of anyone else who does so on the scale that Fuji has.

A remarkable and properly celebrated camera, just not for me.   And I have no Sony axe to grind:  I'm VERY interested in the RX10.

JW

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Graham Hill
Senior MemberPosts: 1,355Gear list
Like?
Re: Initial impressions: Fuji X100s vs. Sony RX1
In reply to Daniel Lauring, 8 months ago

Daniel Lauring wrote:

Firmware: It would be great if Sony could fix the flash with a firmware update, but their record of providing firmware updates is the opposite of Fuji. They are more inclined to fix things on the next release.

Simply not true. Sony NEX and Alpha cameras have had numerous firmware updates. 7 if their numbering sequences is fully accurate.

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Limburger
Senior MemberPosts: 3,825Gear list
Like?
Re: Initial impressions: Fuji X100s vs. Sony RX1
In reply to Daniel Lauring, 8 months ago

Could it be the Sony typically sets the iso low to give the GN as defined in the manual? IOW a typical fill flash at short distance?

Sounds to me it's set to expose with as much ambient light as possible.

-- hide signature --

Cheers Mike

 Limburger's gear list:Limburger's gear list
Fujifilm FinePix X100
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Daniel Lauring
Veteran MemberPosts: 7,375Gear list
Like?
Re: Initial impressions: Fuji X100s vs. Sony RX1
In reply to Limburger, 8 months ago

Limburger wrote:

Could it be the Sony typically sets the iso low to give the GN as defined in the manual? IOW a typical fill flash at short distance?

Sounds to me it's set to expose with as much ambient light as possible.

-- hide signature --

Cheers Mike

That is the problem.  With fill flash you don't want the maximum guide number...certainly not indoors.  You want something much less to brighten the subject and add a little catch light in the eyes.  A good flash system should not blow out the subject.

 Daniel Lauring's gear list:Daniel Lauring's gear list
Fujifilm XF 55-200mm F3.5-4.8 R LM OIS
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Daniel Lauring
Veteran MemberPosts: 7,375Gear list
Like?
Re: Initial impressions: Fuji X100s vs. Sony RX1
In reply to Gaijin Tourist, 8 months ago

Gaijin Tourist wrote:

A) it's another one of these 'brick' form factor cameras that allows a hotshoe flash or an add-on EVF, but not both, a problem hardly unique to Sony. . . .

That isn't a big problem for me because I don't see myself mounting a huge flash on a small camera like the RX1 or the X100s for that matter. I want the built in flash to add a little fill or to trigger an off camera flash. Both of these are going to be difficult with the lack of flash control in fill.

B) and I really hate plugging in the camera to recharge. Have they offered spare batts / offboard charging ?

Sony offers an optional charger which, unlike the rest of the accessories, is not overpriced. Better still there are lots of aftermarket batteries and chargers available as the RX1 shares batteries with the RX100.  Also, having the option of USB charging is really nice.  You can charge the camera with the same charger you charge your cell phone with.  It can save bringing along a charger on a short trip.  All cameras should offer in camera USB charging as an option.

C) maybe not a factor considering the buy-in price of the camera, but the accessory prices are just obscene.

Of course you don't have to buy Sony's accessories...except for the EVF which is obscenely priced.

And I doubt Sony will be anywhere near as attentive as Fuji in offereing continuing software updates, but then, I can hardly think of anyone else who does so on the scale that Fuji has.

Sony has a disappointing record with firmware updates (except for the mentioned NEX), RX1 included. More troubling is how Sony will do something brilliantly innovative only to not follow the product, just let it die on the vine. They've done this several times with cameras (for example the R1.)

A remarkable and properly celebrated camera, just not for me. And I have no Sony axe to grind: I'm VERY interested in the RX10.

The sensor is fantastic. The lens as good as a $1000 professional prime lens. If Sony had the flash technology of Canon or Nikon or even Fuji I wouldn't be second guessing keeping it.

 Daniel Lauring's gear list:Daniel Lauring's gear list
Fujifilm XF 55-200mm F3.5-4.8 R LM OIS
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
BillyInya
Senior MemberPosts: 1,249Gear list
Like?
Re: Initial impressions: Fuji X100s vs. Sony RX1
In reply to Graham Hill, 8 months ago

Graham Hill wrote:

Daniel Lauring wrote:

Firmware: It would be great if Sony could fix the flash with a firmware update, but their record of providing firmware updates is the opposite of Fuji. They are more inclined to fix things on the next release.

Simply not true. Sony NEX and Alpha cameras have had numerous firmware updates. 7 if their numbering sequences is fully accurate.

Just looking through your posting history and have to ask, are you a Sony employee or some Sony social media marketer? There's a pattern to your postings that always seems negative toward Fuji but positive about Sony.

 BillyInya's gear list:BillyInya's gear list
Nikon D7000 Fujifilm X-E1 Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6G ED-IF Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 17-55mm f/2.8G ED-IF Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR II +8 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Daniel Lauring
Veteran MemberPosts: 7,375Gear list
Like?
Re: Initial impressions: Fuji X100s vs. Sony RX1
In reply to Graham Hill, 8 months ago

Graham Hill wrote:

Daniel Lauring wrote:

Firmware: It would be great if Sony could fix the flash with a firmware update, but their record of providing firmware updates is the opposite of Fuji. They are more inclined to fix things on the next release.

Simply not true. Sony NEX and Alpha cameras have had numerous firmware updates. 7 if their numbering sequences is fully accurate.

7 for which camera?  What percentage of Sony high end cameras have had firmware upgrades?  Why isn't there one for the RX1 yet?  How about the RX100?

My comment is historically accurate.  It goes way back to the days of buying laptops.  My Dell, Toshiba, IBM laptops all got multiple bios upgrades over their lifetimes.  Some to improve performance, some for fixes, some to add compatibility with new devices.  I owned two Sony laptops and neither got a single bios update, despite complaints and despite Sony releasing a follow-up laptop the next year that looked nearly identical with many of the fixes in it's bios that were asked for on the previous model.  That and my other Sony laptop experience swore me off Sony computers forever.  The battery died on my 3 week old Sony laptop and their reply was that batteries weren't covered under warranty.  I guess that is technically true and it makes sense for an expendable battery to not have the same warranty as the rest of the laptop, but no warranty at all!!!  They wanted me to buy a new battery for $200.  Luckily, after much cajoling, the store I bought it from replaced the battery themselves.  It was sad too, because Sony released some really dynamite hardware.

 Daniel Lauring's gear list:Daniel Lauring's gear list
Fujifilm XF 55-200mm F3.5-4.8 R LM OIS
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
polarizer
Contributing MemberPosts: 832Gear list
Like?
Re: Initial impressions: Fuji X100s vs. Sony RX1
In reply to Daniel Lauring, 8 months ago

i used to have x100s and now have Rx1 (I still shoot fuji with x-e1/x-e2)

i liked using and the handling of x100s better but i get better results from RX1 (except colors and AWB which need work n post)

wrt RX1 flash, I use manual mode and fix ISO and use fill in flash setting with some negative flash exposure bias and get good results

 polarizer's gear list:polarizer's gear list
Sony Alpha 7 Sony FE 35mm F2.8 Sony FE 55mm F1.8
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Randy Benter
Senior MemberPosts: 1,832Gear list
Like?
Re: Initial impressions: Fuji X100s vs. Sony RX1
In reply to BillyInya, 8 months ago

BillyInya wrote:

Graham Hill wrote:

Daniel Lauring wrote:

Firmware: It would be great if Sony could fix the flash with a firmware update, but their record of providing firmware updates is the opposite of Fuji. They are more inclined to fix things on the next release.

Simply not true. Sony NEX and Alpha cameras have had numerous firmware updates. 7 if their numbering sequences is fully accurate.

Just looking through your posting history and have to ask, are you a Sony employee or some Sony social media marketer? There's a pattern to your postings that always seems negative toward Fuji but positive about Sony.

Just looking through your posting history and have to ask, are you a Fuji employee or some Fuji social media marketer? There's a pattern to your postings that always seems negative toward Sony but positive about Fuji.

Yin and Yang...Graham and Billy....opposite, but yet so alike.

 Randy Benter's gear list:Randy Benter's gear list
Leica X2 Fujifilm X100S Leica M8 Leica M9 Fujifilm X-Pro1 +32 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Daniel Lauring
Veteran MemberPosts: 7,375Gear list
Like?
Re: Initial impressions: Fuji X100s vs. Sony RX1
In reply to polarizer, 8 months ago

polarizer wrote:

i used to have x100s and now have Rx1 (I still shoot fuji with x-e1/x-e2)

i liked using and the handling of x100s better but i get better results from RX1 (except colors and AWB which need work n post)

I really like the extra detail that is pulled from RX1...especially outdoors.  Been pretty pleased so far with the RX1's auto white balance, though Fuji really knows how to make colors pleasing.

wrt RX1 flash, I use manual mode and fix ISO and use fill in flash setting with some negative flash exposure bias and get good results

I can only get this to work if I fix ISO to below what the camera would naturally choose without flash or if I've got enough distance from the subject (+4 feet.)  For example, if the shot would have been taken at ISO 6400, I can get away with maybe ISO 3200 (vs. the ISO 100 the camera chooses by itself) and -3 flash compensation.  It is frustrating because it seems the flash could go lower but doesn't...like it's ignoring the subject in the foreground.  If I'm 2 feet away (crowded room/head & shoulders shot) the subject gets over exposed despite -3 on the flash compensation.  Try it and tell me if you can take a shot at ISO 6400, with the flash, that doesn't get overexposed.  It is frustrating to have the camera choose +6 EV (the difference between ISO 100 and ISO 6400) on slow sync, which leaves the background completely underexposed.

 Daniel Lauring's gear list:Daniel Lauring's gear list
Fujifilm XF 55-200mm F3.5-4.8 R LM OIS
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Graham Hill
Senior MemberPosts: 1,355Gear list
Like?
Re: Initial impressions: Fuji X100s vs. Sony RX1
In reply to Daniel Lauring, 8 months ago

Daniel Lauring wrote:

Graham Hill wrote:

Daniel Lauring wrote:

Firmware: It would be great if Sony could fix the flash with a firmware update, but their record of providing firmware updates is the opposite of Fuji. They are more inclined to fix things on the next release.

Simply not true. Sony NEX and Alpha cameras have had numerous firmware updates. 7 if their numbering sequences is fully accurate.

7 for which camera?

Either the Alpha or NEX series cameras.   I found it searching with Google.  I'm not a Sony user so I can't know all the details although I do recall a big blast of excitement with one NEX firmware update that made the NEX cameras "useable".

What percentage of Sony high end cameras have had firmware upgrades?

Dont know.  I dont own any Sony cameras.

Why isn't there one for the RX1 yet? How about the RX100?

Why isnt there a firmware update for my XF1?  The in-camera RAW converter is useless as designed?  Why arent all the other bugs fixed?  It's been a year since the XF1 has been released.

My comment is historically accurate. It goes way back to the days of buying laptops. My Dell, Toshiba, IBM laptops all got multiple bios upgrades over their lifetimes. Some to improve performance, some for fixes, some to add compatibility with new devices. I owned two Sony laptops and neither got a single bios update, despite complaints and despite Sony releasing a follow-up laptop the next year that looked nearly identical with many of the fixes in it's bios that were asked for on the previous model. That and my other Sony laptop experience swore me off Sony computers forever.

I dont know anything about Sony computers.  I use a Mac.

The battery died on my 3 week old Sony laptop and their reply was that batteries weren't covered under warranty.

I went to Sony's support site and see nothing about batteries being excluded under their warranty. Nothing at all.  Without such text, BY LAW, their batteries are covered, at least in the US.

I guess that is technically true and it makes sense for an expendable battery to not have the same warranty as the rest of the laptop, but no warranty at all!!! They wanted me to buy a new battery for $200. Luckily, after much cajoling, the store I bought it from replaced the battery themselves. It was sad too, because Sony released some really dynamite hardware.

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Graham Hill
Senior MemberPosts: 1,355Gear list
Like?
Take a Look
In reply to BillyInya, 8 months ago

BillyInya wrote:

Graham Hill wrote:

Daniel Lauring wrote:

Firmware: It would be great if Sony could fix the flash with a firmware update, but their record of providing firmware updates is the opposite of Fuji. They are more inclined to fix things on the next release.

Simply not true. Sony NEX and Alpha cameras have had numerous firmware updates. 7 if their numbering sequences is fully accurate.

Just looking through your posting history and have to ask, are you a Sony employee or some Sony social media marketer? There's a pattern to your postings that always seems negative toward Fuji but positive about Sony.

Is that really your view?   You want to stick with that?  Would a Sony employee set up and photograph his gear in his living room if this is what it looked like?

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Graham Hill
Senior MemberPosts: 1,355Gear list
Like?
Re: Initial impressions: Fuji X100s vs. Sony RX1
In reply to Randy Benter, 8 months ago

Randy Benter wrote:

Yin and Yang...Graham and Billy....opposite, but yet so alike.

A bigger insult to me and my character I cannot imagine.

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Limburger
Senior MemberPosts: 3,825Gear list
Like?
Re: Initial impressions: Fuji X100s vs. Sony RX1
In reply to Daniel Lauring, 8 months ago

Daniel Lauring wrote:

Limburger wrote:

Could it be the Sony typically sets the iso low to give the GN as defined in the manual? IOW a typical fill flash at short distance?

Sounds to me it's set to expose with as much ambient light as possible.

-- hide signature --

Cheers Mike

That is the problem. With fill flash you don't want the maximum guide number...certainly not indoors. You want something much less to brighten the subject and add a little catch light in the eyes. A good flash system should not blow out the subject.

The Fuji (at least my X100) doesn't contribute flash to the exposure, the flash is part of the exposure (WB will be off but that's a different story).

The Sony could just add the flash to the exposure, does that make sense?

-- hide signature --

Cheers Mike

 Limburger's gear list:Limburger's gear list
Fujifilm FinePix X100
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Daniel Lauring
Veteran MemberPosts: 7,375Gear list
Like?
Re: Initial impressions: Fuji X100s vs. Sony RX1
In reply to Limburger, 8 months ago

Limburger wrote:

The Fuji (at least my X100) doesn't contribute flash to the exposure, the flash is part of the exposure (WB will be off but that's a different story).

The Sony could just add the flash to the exposure, does that make sense?

-- hide signature --

Cheers Mike

The Sony is not only adding the flash to the exposure, but a big dose of it.  That is not how slow sync is supposed to work.  Sony's implementation is just wrong.  It doesn't allow you to expose for the background scene and get a pop of flash in the foreground to brighten up and freeze the subject.

Trying to find an cleaner workaround than applying a diffuser to the onboard flash.  Also looking at mounting a small manual flash (Sunpak PF20XD) to the Sony and firing it on manual mode, minimum power or even adding a diffuser to that.

 Daniel Lauring's gear list:Daniel Lauring's gear list
Fujifilm XF 55-200mm F3.5-4.8 R LM OIS
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
EugeneC
Regular MemberPosts: 177Gear list
Like?
Re: Initial impressions: Fuji X100s vs. Sony RX1
In reply to Daniel Lauring, 8 months ago

"Firmware: It would be great if Sony could fix the flash with a firmware update, but their record of providing firmware updates is the opposite of Fuji. They are more inclined to fix things on the next release."

Fuji has more FW updates because of inadequate design. It's sometimes called backwards engineering.

I took my xe1 to the beach today. I could hardly see the EVF it was that dim. Shots were great but some were poorly centered just because of that little problem.

gene

 EugeneC's gear list:EugeneC's gear list
Nikon D800 Canon EOS 5D Mark III Olympus PEN E-P5 Fujifilm X-E2 Sony Alpha 7R +15 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Daniel Lauring
Veteran MemberPosts: 7,375Gear list
Like?
Re: Initial impressions: Fuji X100s vs. Sony RX1
In reply to EugeneC, 8 months ago

EugeneC wrote:

"Firmware: It would be great if Sony could fix the flash with a firmware update, but their record of providing firmware updates is the opposite of Fuji. They are more inclined to fix things on the next release."

Fuji has more FW updates because of inadequate design. It's sometimes called backwards engineering.

Generally firmware updates are because of design issues. Having said that, just because a company doesn't release firmware updates doesn't mean their design is adequate. The RX1's slow sync flash is definitely inadequate. Heck, it's downright broken and Sony has done nothing about it and probably never will.

I took my xe1 to the beach today. I could hardly see the EVF it was that dim. Shots were great but some were poorly centered just because of that little problem.

That is a hardware problem with a poor seal around the EVF. No firmware in the world is going to fix that. I've read about it but never experienced it myself with my E-X1 or E-X2 (which look on the outside, to be the same design.)

 Daniel Lauring's gear list:Daniel Lauring's gear list
Fujifilm XF 55-200mm F3.5-4.8 R LM OIS
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Keyboard shortcuts:
FForum MMy threads