X100s vs RX1

Started Mar 16, 2013 | Discussions thread
Ray Sachs
Ray Sachs Forum Pro • Posts: 10,580
Re: X100S / RX1 / Leica M 240

Pelicashka wrote:

I have an X100s preordered, however I’m still on the fence. I am completely amazed by photographs taken by RX1 which are available on Flickr in abundance. However, I am still to see any really great X100s samples. I’ve seen some good examples but they were subject to extensive processing. What I’m eager to see are some clean OOC images which would show off great colours, buttery bokeh and high level of detail. There are just a handful maybe on Flickr out of 300-something images.

I’m yet to be blown away by X100s image quality, however I find the RX1 IQ crazy enough to justify the extra one thousand euros.

Any great samples to share?

I don't think you have to worry about a lack of great photographs showing up from the X100s yet - its not really out in wide circulation yet. Wait a few weeks. But having owned an X-100 and now owning an X-Pro and reading what I've read about the X100s, it will be an amazing camera. I suspect its handling will be more to the liking of those who are more drawn to things like the built in OVF/EVF and smaller profile lens. And in good light, it sounds like the X100s will redefine Fuji's auto-focus performance.

I've been shooting with a loaner RX1 for a few days now and my experience tells me the image quality from that camera is pretty amazing. A step above the X-Pro for sure, so I'd expect a similar comparison with the X100s. I've never worked with files like those I'm getting from the RX1 before. In low light, the X-Pro absolutely blew my mind last year compared to anything I'd shot with before, only the X-100 being sort of close. The RX1 probably isn't quite as big a jump over the X-Pro as the X-Pro was over a lot of the available mirrorless cameras a year ago, but its definitely something to see. The way it handles colors and shadow areas at high ISO is pretty incredible. One other difference in favor of the RX1, based on what I know firsthand and what I've read about the X100 so far, is that in low light, the RX1 is actually likely to auto-focus better than the X100s. While the X100s appears to be incredibly fast in good light, it doesn't sound like its improved on the previous X-cameras in low light. Which, in my experience means an awful lot of hunting. Still reasonably fast when there's adequate contrast, but a lot of hunting in marginal contrast situations. After just a couple of days with the RX1, I'm pretty amazed with its ability to lock focus in low light in very low contrast situations. Its a hair slower than the 18mm len on the X-Pro, faster than the 35. But in situations where those lenses hunt, it locks on without any hunting. The caveat is you have to remember to keep the aperture open - it doesn't automatically focus wide open and if you leave it stopped down to something like f8 (not that you would in a low light situation), THEN it will hunt even in decent light.

These differences amount to tradeoffs to me, rather han one camera being better or worse. If you want the ultra in IQ, the RX1 will give you that. And even though I don't think the X100s will match the RX1, particularly in low light, its will still be an EXCELLENT low light camera, as the X-Pro and XE1 are. Just not quite AS excellent. Whether this difference is worth the extra money is question for each to answer on their own. If you want quicker handling and reactions in good light, no doubt the X100 will give you that. If you hate bolt-on viewfinders, you'll prefer the X100. The controls are great on the Fuji cameras, they're the slightest bit smoother and better balanced on the RX1.

But we're talking really finite measures of wonderfulness here. These are two great cameras. Breath-taking photos from the X100s will start turning up soon enough. Which set of strengths and weaknesses appeals to you is for each to determine. I'm gonna shoot with both of them a lot and may buy one or the other or maybe one and the Coolpix A. Or maybe neither - I'm not hurting for good cameras right now. The RX1 would really up the maximum image quality capability that's in my bag, but whether it'll be worth the extra money I just don't know yet. But its a monster little camera, no question. And the X100s will just be a slightly different type of monster, less capable in some areas, more capable in others.


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