Sony Popular Photography posted their RX100 review

Ray Sachs

Legend
Sep 21, 2010
123
Not too far from Philly
you should be able to figure it out...
Wow, those noise results surprise the hell out of me. Out here in the real world, away from the test lab, I find the noise acceptable up to 3200. Now I have to decide whether to believe their test results or my lyin' eyes...

-Ray
 

krugorg

All-Pro
Sep 26, 2011
123
Minnesota USA
Kyle Krug
Wow, those noise results surprise the hell out of me. Out here in the real world, away from the test lab, I find the noise acceptable up to 3200. Now I have to decide whether to believe their test results or my lyin' eyes...
Does the RX100 have a very low noise reduction by default?

"After shooting, we convert the RAW images into TIFF files using the software provided by the manufacturer, and with the manufacturer’s default noise-reduction settings. We then process the resulting image with the most recent version of DxO Analyzer software from DxO Labs. The software generates the average standard deviation, which we report."

Popular Photography: How We Test | Popular Photography

I had looked up their test methods when I noticed that their noise results for the OM-D looked really good at base ISO compared to the big dog FFs. :rolleyes:
 

wt21

Hall of Famer
Aug 15, 2010
123
I was going to suggest it has to be RAW.

The pixel level noise has to be better than the S100 (just given the larger sensor) and worse than the larger sensored compacts. I'd be shocked if it wasn't. But you've got 20MP to play with, and the jpg output is OUTSTANDING. Detailed, with little to no smearing up to ISO3200, based on my tests to date. I haven't gone beyond 3200 (not even sure if it's goes higher) and haven't tested RAW.
 

olli

Super Moderator Emeritus
Sep 28, 2010
123
Sofia, Bulgaria
olli
Does the RX100 have a very low noise reduction by default?
I thought the usual critique of Sony was that they had too aggressive a level of noise reduction. Far be it from me to question the reviewer's competence but perhaps he's referring to the effects of noise suppression rather than the effects of noise. Certainly a 3200 ISO jpeg is ugly as a consequence of NR but I would imagine once we can work with RAW's things will improve.
 

Ray Sachs

Legend
Sep 21, 2010
123
Not too far from Philly
you should be able to figure it out...
I've gone to 6400 and I wouldn't use it unless I needed to, but I'd use it for B&W images that didn't need that much detail. But 3200 seems incredibly good, particularly in marginal light when you need it to keep the shutter speed up, rather than extremely low light. In extremely low light, its useable, but starts to fall apart a bit. I'm only shooting jpegs so far, with NR turned down as far as I can turn it, which is to low, but you can't turn it off. And then I sometimes re-apply just a touch in LR in post, but not a lot. Then again, here's a 6400 shot in very low light (much darker than the photo appears) and it doesn't suck. There are some artifacts at the pixel level, but even at full screen on a 27 inch monitor, its quite passable, let alone a small display like this:

View attachment 57195

Bottom line is I find this camera plenty clean at base ISO (although I've never really had a problem with any camera here, so I'm not terribly picky) and incredible at high ISO for a compact, and I AM picky about high ISO...

-Ray
 

Biro

Super Moderator
Aug 7, 2011
124
Jersey Shore
Steve
If this is typical of what you can get at ISO 6400, then there is nothing wrong with the RX100. Some people get their jollies viewing at 100%. Personally, I don't have time for that. And, coming from the film era, a little grain won't upset me.
 

Ray Sachs

Legend
Sep 21, 2010
123
Not too far from Philly
you should be able to figure it out...
If this is typical of what you can get at ISO 6400, then there is nothing wrong with the RX100. Some people get their jollies viewing at 100%. Personally, I don't have time for that. And, coming from the film era, a little grain won't upset me.
Right, I see so many reviews that tell me a particular camera is terrible in an area it looks quite good to me or great in an area I can't get decent results out of it at all. And I read them with interest, but I ultimately believe the images I'm able to make and my level of satisfaction with them. And this type of performance at ISO 6400 - up until a bit over a year ago with the X100 I'm not aware of ANY compact that could touch this performance at 6400, and that required an APS chip. I just think this level of low light capability is crazy good and is basically quite new in small-ish cameras, let alone TINY cameras. In the film days we'd push Tri-X to 800 and call it good, but it was grainy as hell. I liked it, but this is a different world...

-Ray
 

Luke

Super Moderator
Nov 11, 2011
214
Milwaukee, WI USA
Luke
If I remember correctly, Popular photo does not use a sliding scale for IQ and sensor size. So the noise ratings are absolute. The same ratings apply to a tiny point and shoot and a full frame monster. If a $5,000 full frame body created shots like this you would call the performance poor. We can adjust our expectations accordingly, but having the ratings be absolute and measurable for comparison's sake is important.
 

Ray Sachs

Legend
Sep 21, 2010
123
Not too far from Philly
you should be able to figure it out...
If I remember correctly, Popular photo does not use a sliding scale for IQ and sensor size. So the noise ratings are absolute. The same ratings apply to a tiny point and shoot and a full frame monster. If a $5,000 full frame body created shots like this you would call the performance poor. We can adjust our expectations accordingly, but having the ratings be absolute and measurable for comparison's sake is important.
Yeah, I get that. But its saying the RX100 has more noise at ISO 80 than the S100 does at ISO 400, which just seems questionable to me. The S100 didn't look more than marginally better than the S90/95 and those were pretty poor at 400. 80 isn't the native base ISO on the RX100 - 125 is. But still, it just doesn't sound right to me. Nonetheless, I don't really care - I know how I'm comfortable actually using it and that's my bottom line...

-Ray
 

krugorg

All-Pro
Sep 26, 2011
123
Minnesota USA
Kyle Krug
Then again, here's a 6400 shot in very low light (much darker than the photo appears) and it doesn't suck. There are some artifacts at the pixel level, but even at full screen on a 27 inch monitor, its quite passable, let alone a small display like this:
Looks pretty great to me, Ray. I probably would have guessed was ISO 1600.

If I remember correctly, Popular photo does not use a sliding scale for IQ and sensor size. So the noise ratings are absolute. The same ratings apply to a tiny point and shoot and a full frame monster. If a $5,000 full frame body created shots like this you would call the performance poor. We can adjust our expectations accordingly, but having the ratings be absolute and measurable for comparison's sake is important.
I wondered if it was NR or maybe based on a pixel-basis, but then I saw the E-PL3 and results and realized that PopPhoto.com is absolutely correct in their testing methodology and these results can help you accurately compare different cameras:

E-PL3 the new low noise champ:


better than X-Pro1!


on par with the D800
 

Ray Sachs

Legend
Sep 21, 2010
123
Not too far from Philly
you should be able to figure it out...
Looks pretty great to me, Ray. I probably would have guessed was ISO 1600.



I wondered if it was NR or maybe based on a pixel-basis, but then I saw the E-PL3 and results and realized that PopPhoto.com is absolutely correct in their testing methodology and these results can help you accurately compare different cameras:

E-PL3 the new low noise champ:

better than X-Pro1!
Again, that goes completely against my experience. I was OK with the EPL3 at 1600, but not above. The X-Pro is just amazing at 6400. Soooooo, they can say what they want and maybe they're right on some level, but it just doesn't match my experience...

-Ray
 

krugorg

All-Pro
Sep 26, 2011
123
Minnesota USA
Kyle Krug
Again, that goes completely against my experience. I was OK with the EPL3 at 1600, but not above. The X-Pro is just amazing at 6400. Soooooo, they can say what they want and maybe they're right on some level, but it just doesn't match my experience...

-Ray
Sorry I was just kidding about the E-PL3! :) My wife loved hers, but no way was it close to the X-Pro1 on noise. Maybe a combination of the E-PL3's default NR and sharpening resulted in a good test result here? Anyways... I don't know what value these noise tests are, when you can't compare them against anything.
 

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