RX100 or my trusty Canon S95

Started Nov 10, 2012 | Discussions thread
Tom Hoots
Tom Hoots Veteran Member • Posts: 6,073
Re: RX100 or my trusty Canon S95

Joel wrote:

I shoot mostly landscapes and street scenes in my frequent travels, so the focal range of either is fine. My main question is whether I will see a significant improvement in IQ and DR on my images when viewed on my 27" iMac or friends' computers when I share my travel photos with them.

...the new Sony RX100 seems like an excellent small camera, but will it actually produce noticeably better images in my usage?

The answer is yes, yes, yes.  I replaced my S95 with the RX100, and I usually "publish for viewing on a monitor" -- and I can see a difference for the better at any ISO setting.

In fact, I essentially "replaced my NEX-7 with the RX100," as I definitely preferred the image quality from the RX100 over the NEX-7, mainly due to the RX100's JPEG color, which I preferred to the NEX-7's.

I have a high-quality 24-inch IPS monitor, and I often crop my images to fit its 1920 x 1200 resolution.  Or, I'll just resize to 1200 pixels high, but the bottom line is that I usually save to fit as full-screen as I can on this monitor.  And it's quite easy to see differences between different cameras at such sizes.

I think the RX100 has somewhat more "neutral" JPEG color than many other cameras, and there's plenty of detail to go along with it.  It's definitely a far more "mature" kind of image quality compared to the S95, which, unless you tone down the saturation and such things, can border on "cartoonish," I think.

And beyond simple image quality, the RX100 has all of Sony's multi-image and other technologies -- its Dynamic Range Optimization (DRO) works very well and rather imperceptibly -- Canon's equivalent fundamentally changes the nature of the JPEG image, whereas Sony's just brightens shadows and/or darkens highlights, without changing any other aspect of the image.  Plus, the RX100 has the superbly useful in-camera HDR processing, which doesn't produce artificial-looking results -- it just takes three shots and optimizes the dynamic range with great results.  If you want that kind of "HDR look" to images, it has an "HDR Painting" picture effect that'll give you that kind of look.

And so on.  The RX100 is a far more capable camera than the S95, it is magnitudes of speed faster shot-to-shot than the S95, and it really does have image quality that rivals the DSLR and mirrorless cameras of the day.  Plus it has features that will allow it to get shots where the S95 just couldn't possibly produce a decent shot.  I recommend it highly.

Tom Hoots

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