THE Telling Conclusions X10...

Started Nov 7, 2011 | Discussions thread
Brooks Lester Senior Member • Posts: 1,865
frvdv - I was responding to blackfjord's mention of m4/3 and NEX, not the XZ-1

I wasn't comparing the X10 to the XZ-1.

However, the XZ-1 is a very nice camera and I've considered owning one, having tested several examples during the last couple of months. I felt it was the best of the bunch til the X10 came on the scene, and it's still very competitive.

In terms of the sensor and ISO response, even if the X10 is "only" a stop better than the XZ-1, that is a huge difference - it means one can shoot the same exposure in half as much light - folks forget how much of a difference one stop makes.

Thom Hogan's review said this about the XZ-1:

"The sensor and noise reduction let it down a bit"

" The superb lens is let down a bit by the sensor, which forced Olympus to choose noise reduction in all JPEGs"

As you point out, the XZ-1 lens is definitely its strong point, and may still be the best lens in this class of camera, but the X10 certainly has a pretty good lens in its own right, no doubt.

In terms of color response, I find Fuji S5, X100, and in early looks, the X10 skin tone rendering of Caucasians, ironically, to be more like Kodak Portra than the Fuji stocks. I shot both Fuji and Kodak film and my favorite, by far, for skin tones was Portra. I love peaches and cream skin tones and the Fujis I mention above deliver in spades. The Fuji S3 and 5 were, and still are, celebrated for their pleasing flesh tone rendition, as is the X100. It's one of the main reasons I bought an X100 and the X10 appears to do skin tones in the same fashion.

I find that my E-PL3 has nice jpeg color response in good light, but as levels go down, especially indoors, colors are not as pleasing, with somewhat of a "burned" look with reds going to brown, and this is present in the RAW files as well. When I tested the XZ-1 color was good, not great. Flesh tones are nicer than most of its peers, but are a little more pink/magenta than Fujis and in low light jpegs had noticeable smearing.

I find that the Fuji skin tone renders more peach with appropriate pink, and with a higher luminance value while Olympus tends to render just pink/purple/magenta with less of the "cream" in comparison. I'm not saying the Olympus doesn't do a good job, I just feel that Fuji is better.

This is what Imaging Resource had to say about the XZ-1's skin tones:

"... lighter skin tones have a more decided pink/purple shift. Overall though, color looks pretty good, but the pinkish skin tones will be noticeable."

So the XZ-1 isn't perfect - though it's very good. What we're taking away from the early reports on the X10 is that is has a very good lens, at least a pretty good sensor, and color seems to be similar to the high-end Fuji's such as the X100; three very good reasons why is may be the best of the bunch - for now.

 Brooks Lester's gear list:Brooks Lester's gear list
Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX3 Fujifilm X10 Olympus OM-D E-M5 +4 more
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