Studio scene comparison (Daylight)

This is our standard studio scene comparison shot taken from exactly the same tripod position. Lighting: daylight simulation, >95% CRI. Crops are 100%.

Note: this page features our new interactive studio shot comparison widget. Click here to find out more.

Under our studio scene's daylight-balanced lights, the RX100 II renders fine detail well at lower ISOs, making legible about half of the small print in the blocks of text just above the scene’s center. The spools of thread show it producing a good tonal range, though the red channel looks a bit clipped.

Comparing the RX100 II's JPEGs to the Canon PowerShot G16's (a compact bearing a 1/1.7” CMOS sensor) is a little unfair since the Sony’s sensor is much larger, but Canon’s G-series has traditionally held a spot near the top of the enthusiast compact class. The RX100 II is able to render more fine detail in our studio scene at low ISOs with less evidence of noise in darker parts of the scene. The Fujifilm X20 fares a bit better in terms of detail, with its 2/3” sensor, though it doesn’t quite match the RX100 II as evidenced in areas of very fine detail.

Stepping up to a comparison with larger-sensor interchangeable lens cameras like the Sony Alpha NEX-6 will demonstrate the difference between the RX100 II’s sensor and an APS-C sized sensor. The two are closely matched in terms of fine detail resolution at ISO 100, though the NEX-6 takes a lead at ISO 200 and looks somewhat better at 400 and above.

The RX100 II’s JPEG image quality takes its biggest hit at ISO 1600 when most very fine detail is obscured by noise and an attempt to suppress it. Some fine print throughout the scene is still legible, including the first few lines of the white-on-black text just above the center of the frame. At ISO 3200 that text and most other detail in the scene looks hazy, though it would still be suitable for prints - you can see this effect by selecting the 'print' resolution option at the top right of the above widget. The NEX-6 shows a definite advantage in fine detail, but the RX100 II is doing extremely well for a compact camera.

The RX100 II’s Raw files look fairly sharp up to ISO 400, at which point noise becomes more noticeable in shadow tone. At ISO 1600 noise becomes significantly more prominent, and in the two settings above that becomes progressively overwhelming to the scene.