Sony RX1 and Fuji X100s - A Comparison (long!)

Ray Sachs

Legend
Sep 21, 2010
123
Not too far from Philly
you should be able to figure it out...
Thanks Don - you're way too kind, but I'm glad you find it helpful.

BTW, you might want to start by looking at the LX7. For only $300 (usually), its a wonderful little upgrade to the LX5, which was great to begin with...

-Ray
 

MB17

Regular
Jan 17, 2014
18
Rio de Janeiro
Marcos
Ray,

This is my first post. I have this very same doubt right now: I shall buy a new camera in May and am deciding between these two, RX1, X100S, unless something more interesting appear in the meantime, which doesn't seem likely...

After more than half a year from the last post, I would like to know if there is an update to your feelings towards these cameras or your post throughout the thread are still valid.

Thanks so much, wonderful thread.
 
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Ray Sachs

Legend
Sep 21, 2010
123
Not too far from Philly
you should be able to figure it out...
Ray,

This is my first post. I have this very same doubt right now: I shall buy a new camera in May and am deciding between these two, RX1, X100S, unless something more interesting appear in the meantime, which doesn't seem likely...

After more than half a year from the last post, I would like to know if there is an update to your feelings towards these cameras or your post throughout the thread are still valid.

Thanks so much, wonderful thread.
Hi Marcos,

My feelings haven't changed toward the RX1 since I wrote this initially. I liked the X100s so much I actually had one again for a short time along with the RX1, and that just heightened the contrasts. I ended up selling the X100s after just a couple of weeks. Again, the difference in IQ in good light is not that much and probably nothing to base a decision on. That said, processing the raw files from the RX1 is such a pleasure and gives you so much latitude that I'd still say it's an advantage. You can get great images out of either, but the RX1 is more forgiving. In low light, the RX1 is just amazing relative to anything else I've ever used. I think the Nikon D4 / Df 16mp sensor would be better in low light than the RX1, but it's already sooooo good that I'd never really want for more. The X100s is very good in low light - don't get me wrong, but the RX1 is simply sublime.

And I REALLY like the feel and controls of the RX1 a good deal more. Not to say the X100s is bad, but it's got a few quirks. There are only a couple of programmable buttons on the X100s compared to six on the RX1. And the aperture ring on the X100s still only has full stops, whereas the RX1 (and any other recent aperture ring I've used) has 1/3 stops. The RX1 just has a feel of quality like not a lot of cameras these days.

The primary thing I like more about the X100s is the viewfinder. First, it's built in and there's no hump - that's pretty big. But the combination of the OVF and EVF and the seamless integration between them is simply wonderful. The RX1's evf is very nice, but the overall viewfinder experience can't compare to the X100s.

Also, one thing to be aware of - the RX1 is actually notably wider than 35mm. I've seen estimates that it's closer to 31.5 or 32mm, but whatever it is, it's definitely wider. I've shot it back to back with a few different 35mm (ish) lenses and it's wider than any. This may be part of why I love this camera so much - 28mm is probably my favorite field of view and this is getting pretty close to that. But if you really want something that's as long as a 35, the RX1 isn't. So you should be aware of that too.

But, no, overall I'm still loving the RX1. It's still my go-to camera after almost a year. And probably will be until or unless the A7 or some other new full frame mirrorless system comes out with a range of lenses I like - I think that's a while off still. But I still recommend the X100s as a MUCH better value - the differences between the two really aren't wide enough to justify the difference in cost on any rational level. But if you really want full frame and have the $$ to do it, the RX1 is everything I thought it would be and more...

-Ray
 
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rbelyell

All-Pro
May 14, 2013
88
NY Mtns
ray has done such a fabulous job here, i am reticent to toss in my 2¢, but here goes just a couple of points:

i really want to emphasize just how good the sony evf is. i personally like articulating evfs, they just work well with my need for discretion, so ive had a lot of them with a lot of different cameras. the sonys is sleek, not blocky and clumsy like every other ive used. it has resistance in articulating, unlike any other ive used, and that imparts a quality feel to it. it has a clarity to it that imo is unparelleled.

lastly, whilst i agree that the rx1 is very well made and feels pretty good in hand, for me the addition of the RRS grip transforms is into an ergonomic monster. it just feels totally solid and really helps with technique, making it for me so much easier and more secure to hold.
 

Gubrz

O.* Gonzo's & Bentley's Dad
Jun 5, 2012
103
Austin, TX
Eliot
ray, are you hoocapping it still?
im still using mine and loving it! i wish there was one for the pl25/1.4 lol

the lens on the rx1 is so crispity creamy, i looooooveeeeet! the falloff from sharp to oof is amazing.
 

Ray Sachs

Legend
Sep 21, 2010
123
Not too far from Philly
you should be able to figure it out...
ray, are you hoocapping it still?
im still using mine and loving it! i wish there was one for the pl25/1.4 lol

the lens on the rx1 is so crispity creamy, i looooooveeeeet! the falloff from sharp to oof is amazing.
Yeah, I am Eliot. I don't particularly like the way it looks, but I like the way it functions and it takes up less room in the bag than the regular cap and hood I'd been using.

-Ray
 

Gubrz

O.* Gonzo's & Bentley's Dad
Jun 5, 2012
103
Austin, TX
Eliot
Yeah, I am Eliot. I don't particularly like the way it looks, but I like the way it functions and it takes up less room in the bag than the regular cap and hood I'd been using.

-Ray
agreed
i wish there were a sleek matte metal version that was a bit slimmer! id be very generou$ mr hoocap engineer ;) wink wink, nudge nudge!

lol
 

MB17

Regular
Jan 17, 2014
18
Rio de Janeiro
Marcos
Hi Marcos,

My feelings haven't changed toward the RX1 since I wrote this initially. I liked the X100s so much I actually had one again for a short time along with the RX1, and that just heightened the contrasts. I ended up selling the X100s after just a couple of weeks. Again, the difference in IQ in good light is not that much and probably nothing to base a decision on. That said, processing the raw files from the RX1 is such a pleasure and gives you so much latitude that I'd still say it's an advantage. You can get great images out of either, but the RX1 is more forgiving. In low light, the RX1 is just amazing relative to anything else I've ever used. I think the Nikon D4 / Df 16mp sensor would be better in low light than the RX1, but it's already sooooo good that I'd never really want for more. The X100s is very good in low light - don't get me wrong, but the RX1 is simply sublime...

-Ray
Thanks so much. You are very thorough in your posts and this helps a lot!!!

When you say RX1 is "more forgiving", this is very important for me. I'm not that experienced and kind of lazy, and my perception is that the photos I see around from the X100S are much more dependent on the photographer than the RX1 (I'm not talking about composition, but the other parameters:color, contrast, DR, definition....). Is my assumption correct?

Concerning the FOV, I like it a little wider anyway, specially because I saw some comparisons and RX1's little wider angle did not come at the expense of distortion, is this also correct?

If so, it looks more and more the RX1 to me. Actually, I included the X100S as an option after starting research on the RX1 (out of seeing so many "pleasing" RX1 photos; I say pleasing because some came from lesser photographers, but still looked good; the X100S were not as GENERALLY awesome, though many were)...

Of course it is nice to spend less money, and much of my indecision comes from "how much" the difference is worth, but in my case, once I make up my mind, money is not going to be an issue. My only other grip about buying the RX1 and not the X100S would be some fear that because of its size (depth, bigger lens) I would end up using less the RX1 than I would the X100S because of portability.
 
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rbelyell

All-Pro
May 14, 2013
88
NY Mtns
ya' know, theres nothing wrong with considering the original x100. it produces outstanding jpegs ooc because of its different sensor, and is fine up to iso 3200. youd certainly save a boatload and still make some nice music. i still cant bring myself to sell mine even though im loving my rx1.
 

Gubrz

O.* Gonzo's & Bentley's Dad
Jun 5, 2012
103
Austin, TX
Eliot
ya' know, theres nothing wrong with considering the original x100. it produces outstanding jpegs ooc because of its different sensor, and is fine up to iso 3200. youd certainly save a boatload and still make some nice music. i still cant bring myself to sell mine even though im loving my rx1.
i still have and use my x100 orig as well
still love it! and with either option, consider a gariz finger loop. ive got 3 of them on my cams, rx1, x100, and epm1
and i have the em1 and the rx1, i got all 1s, the year 2000 1's! (anyone get that reference? lol)
 
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MB17

Regular
Jan 17, 2014
18
Rio de Janeiro
Marcos
ya' know, theres nothing wrong with considering the original x100. it produces outstanding jpegs ooc because of its different sensor, and is fine up to iso 3200. youd certainly save a boatload and still make some nice music. i still cant bring myself to sell mine even though im loving my rx1.
Hi,

You mean buy X100 instead of the X100S and the RX1?
 

rbelyell

All-Pro
May 14, 2013
88
NY Mtns
i mean just buy an x100. look, i really enjoy the rx1, and it does produce amazing files, and in terms of resolution and malleability of files, its the winner in any shootout with any fuji.

but that doesnt mean what produced wonderful images last year all of a sudden doesnt. imo, id rather have the x100, which i do, than the x100s, because i like the files better. the jpeg engine gives great ooc images requiring little PP. there is no problem with the raw files, as opposed to the S. its great up to 3200, and you can pick up a nice one for $600 and be very happy.

look, the rx1 is better, no doubt. but my question has always been is it X-times the price better than camera Y? thats subjective, but theres a big price difference.
 

Ray Sachs

Legend
Sep 21, 2010
123
Not too far from Philly
you should be able to figure it out...
When you say RX1 is "more forgiving", this is very important for me. I'm not that experienced and kind of lazy, and my perception is that the photos I see around from the X100S are much more dependent on the photographer than the RX1 (I'm not talking about composition, but the other parameters:color, contrast, DR, definition....). Is my assumption correct?
When I say more forgiving, what I mean is you can do more to the files in post processing - NOT that they magically come out of the camera looking better. That's still down to how well you work out the various exposure parameters, focus, composition, etc. If you're somewhat handy at digital processing, you can recover all sorts of data from the shadows and highlights with the RX1 - most cameras are pretty good in this respect these days, but a good full frame sensor is just that much better. I wouldn't say it would be better for someone lacking experience because you'll get away with more, just that if you need to pull some magic out of the files, it's that much more likely there to be pulled out than with some other cameras. But if you're not into playing around with processing, no I don't think it will give you much better results out of the camera...

-Ray
 

rbelyell

All-Pro
May 14, 2013
88
NY Mtns
ray is exactly right about the rx1 files. and to your point, and my point, the original x100 will yield excellent ooc jpeg results.
 

MB17

Regular
Jan 17, 2014
18
Rio de Janeiro
Marcos
Thank you everybody. Taking all in.

rbelyell, Luke, I'll check out the X100 more.

What makes the choice harder is that I don't have the possibility, as Americans do, to play with the camera for a while and then make up my mind. I have to make it up with research and opinions. Luckily, I have some time.

To try to make it easier I'll take the money issue out of the question since I'll not have to make a big sacrifice to buy any of them. So price is out of my decision criteria. No matter the RX1 is double the x100s or 4x the X100, I'll only consider the other factors.

What I want is a camera that I can take some pictures that give me great satisfaction in the long run. I'm still very fond of the pictures I've taken some 15 years ago with a very basic 35mm SLR Pentax with its original ZOOM lens. I understand that the gear can not make up for the artisan behind it (I'm a professional filmmaker), but I am sure that with my so so knowledge that camera improved my photos a lot from previous 35mm and gave great pleasure. In the end, it was too big to carry on my trips, film died (kind of, I know), but now I want to get the same sort of satisfaction in digital in a smaller package. That's why I came down to these cameras to compliment my RX100M2. Sorry for the ramblings, but just for the sake of sharing my frame of mind concerning this purchase.

So, I'll keep taking notes on all your helpful insights. At this point, I now have 3 cameras to consider as opposed to the initial two! kkk And I'm not making fun of the suggestion, just smiling at the nature of research: the more you research the more complicated things may get!

Thanks again for the willingness to help.
 

MB17

Regular
Jan 17, 2014
18
Rio de Janeiro
Marcos
Just to say I took the plunge and bought a RX1r.

That was my tendency technically anyway, and I found an OK deal for Brazilian standards. Almost the same I would pay in the US, and here the X100S was not even 30% cheaper, as opposed to less than 50% of the RX1 over there. As i said, this was not a decisive point, but made the decision easier.

So, let's see. Will get it tomorrow.

Thanks for all the help here. You were all great. See ya in other threads!
 

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