Q&D printing experiment: RX100 v RX1

Started Aug 31, 2013 | Discussions thread
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Docno Veteran Member • Posts: 4,686
Q&D printing experiment: RX100 v RX1
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Q&D = 'quick and dirty'. I'm expecting some blowback on this thread, but I'll just have to grow some thick skin.

A couple of days ago, I started a thread about how good RX100 images look as prints. Today I photographed the a single scene (from my balcony) with the RX100 and RX1. Then I printed both images on high-quality glossy paper at A4 size using a Canon Pixma printer. The quality of the printed images at this size is almost indistinguishable in terms of detail, colour, dynamic range, micro-contrast, sharpness, fringing, edge sharpness....). Both looked fantastic.

Now, as I suggested, this was not a rigorous, scientific test. But I am amazed at how well the RX100 stands up to the RX1 when printed at would be the maximum size for most people (I know there will be the occasional person here who prints at larger sizes, but most of us are either viewing/sharing heavily downsized files or pixel-peeping for imperfections that might not be visible at 'normal' viewing sizes).

So the question I'm struggling with is whether the cost differences among cameras translates into substantive differences in image quality. Yes, I know that DOF is a factor that separates these cameras, and I like taking portraits, but I'm saying that real-world IQ differences (DOF aside) may not be as great as one would expect from the price. Just sayin'...

Of course, not really possible to demonstrate what I'm talking about here. But I'll try   Below are two attempts. In the first one, I put the two prints next to each other and took a photo of them with the RX1. An imperfect approach since the centre/edge differences in sharpness will have differential impact on the two images. For the second approach, I scanned the two images side by side. So there you have it...

BTW - don't be fooled by the different shadowing of the round tree in the middle of the images. The clouds were moving quickly today, and in the RX100 image, it was under a cloud shadow.

Photo of prints: Top is RX100, bottom is RX1

Scan of prints: Image on the left is RX1, on right is RX100

 Docno's gear list:Docno's gear list
Sony RX1 Sony RX100 IV Sony Alpha 7R II Sony 70-300mm F4.5-5.6 G SSM Sony 135mm F1.8 ZA Carl Zeiss Sonnar T* +6 more
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