X20 and RX100 - a subjective POV

Discussion in 'Fuji X10, X20, X30, XF1, and X-S1' started by ermethic, Feb 3, 2013.

  1. ermethic

    ermethic FujiXspot Rookie

    15
    Feb 1, 2013
    With the X20 almost out, and a lot of pretty advanced previews published all over the web, a somewhat objective preliminary comparison can be made, I think.
    As an architect, I used to carry a DSLR around all day for years, but recently I have started looking towards more travel-friendly and lighter options, as in better quality compacts. I've been reading on the issue a lot, and the subject is definitely starting to become a favourite among both professional photographers and enthusiasts, and in my opinion DSLR is going to loose a lot of ground in the next few years if more and more compacts emerge that are giving DSLRs a run for their money.
    The RX100 was a definitely a hit, as it's praised all over the web. It truly seems to stand as a milestone in the compact world as a remarcable technical feat, although there are a few shortcomings that make it somehow unappealing to me. And all of those shortcomings are addressed directly by the upcoming X20.
    Now, considering that the RX100 image quality is undeniably great, the X20 has some pretty large shoes to fill, so I am going to write down a few of the pros/cons of each from *my* point of view, in an attempt to get a more clear picture of which of them would be the more suitable camera for me. Hopefully your contributions will help me and others with a similar dilema to make an informed choice. And as always I'm gonna put the cons first :p

    Sony RX100
    cons
    - no VF
    - ergonomy really suffers, settings are all scattered through menus instead of being accessible through shortcuts or dedicated hard-buttons, time to reach and set various parameters is not quite on par with the compact "take out and shoot" philosophy, K.I.S.S.-principles are not the strongpoint of Sony as far as the software is concerned
    - no VF
    - depressing f4.9 at tele
    - did I mention no VF ?

    pros
    - outstanding image quality, mostly because of the bigger sensor
    - really compact, seems really easy to pocket
    - very solid build quality, seems to be able to take a beating, long-term fiability is extremely important for me
    - more than decent video, although for my use, this isn't necessarily a turning point, more like a good thing to have
    - impressive f1.8 at wide

    Fuji X20
    cons (more like concerns, as I only have the data provided by some previews)
    - battery life - seems to take the same battery as the X10, and I cannot see how they would manage to get significantly better battery life considering the better features, but tests should hopefully prove me wrong
    - smaller sensor -> hopefully won't mean that big of a quality hit, considering the Xtrans tech
    - not really pocketable
    - i'm NOT concerned about the orb issue, and please don't mention it, I'm sure that the Fuji guys won't do the same mistake twice

    pros
    - OVF
    - i REALLY love the ergonomics, I LOVE the feel that old film cameras gave me, from the way they feel in your hand, to the fact that most of the essential parameters can be set in an instant, either a button away, or by shortcuts... also the "no bullshit" software menus are a big plus
    - OVF
    - the Fuji out of the camera, no post-look is awesome, I love the colors, seem to go best with my kind of photography
    - seems to be very solidly built, again, it's really important for me to haul the camera everywhere and not to throw it away in 2 years
    - really awesome speed both in wide and tele ends
    - AF speed seems extremely promising
    - image quality due to the Xtrans sensor also very promising, and even if it would be not at the same level of the RX, hopefully won't be that much of a difference
    - plain sexy looks
    - did i mention the viewfinder ? :)


    So far I'm quite strongly inclined towards the X20, even if there are no extensive reviews yet. To be honest even if it would be only for the camera-feel in your hand, I missed the old film-cameras so much, it'd be enough to compensate most of the cons :) but that's just me. Oh and while on that subject, I'd LOVE a dummy film-advance lever, just for old-times sake, even if it has no actual functionality.

    Would love to hear your opinion about this, and maybe some more speculation on what you expect out of the X20, what's hot and what's not from your point of view.
    I'm not trying to make this into a X vs Y thread, as my mind is mostly made up, but I'm trying to find SUBJECTIVE views from different kinds of photographers, concerning this new camera. Also strictly technical comparisons are not necessarily interesting, as I would rather love to see shots made in similar situations with both cameras. That is if and when anyone has an X20 in his possession.


    thank you for reading
     
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  2. Biro

    Biro Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    517
    Feb 1, 2013
    Jersey Shore
    Steve
    I suspect you may have already answered your own question, as you mentioned yourself. It's pretty clear you prefer the Fuji form factor over the RX100. I don't blame you. So here's a question: If the X-20's image quality was only slightly better than that of the X-10 (and, of course, there'd also be no orbs), would you still go for the Fuji over the Sony?

    Take a look at some of the images from the X-10 on this site and others and then be honest with yourself. Unless you require total pocketability, I think you already know the answer. The thing is, we're in a period in which sensor technology is improving leaps and bounds with each generation. Only two years ago, we would have no right to expect the kind of image quality we can now get from the better compacts.

    My own subjective view? The RX100 is a great device and if pocketability was at or near the top of my list of priorities, I would have no problem buying one. But, I've handled one and, as others have written elsewhere, the camera is a bit uninvolving. It is true that the "White Magic" technology does help compensate for the lack of a viewfinder. But I still prefer the viewfinder and user interface of the X-10.

    The RX100 may technically offer higher image quality than the X-10 or X-20, but I suspect the Fujis are good enough for my needs. You'll have to determine if they are for you as well.
     
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  3. porchard

    porchard FujiXspot Regular

    80
    Feb 3, 2013
    Devon, UK
    I had an x10 until a few weeks ago. The Fuji X- range really seems to chime with me (I also have an X100). I really liked the X10... but for one aspect. Missing focus. I don't know whether I simply had a bad example, but it missed focus far too often. One day whilst using it, I got so bad-tempered with it that I resolved to ditch it, and get an RX100.

    In my experience, your list of pros and cons regarding the RX100 are pretty much on the money, and as none of us has an X20 yet, we can only use the X10 as a basis for comparison. The RX100 has quite superb image quality - especially for a camera which fits easily into a jeans pocket. However, in use it isn't very "involving", and seems somewhat lifeless. If you can accept this aspect, then when you look at the results on-screen, you can certainly be wowed.

    Of course, the X10 also has excellent IQ - not as good pure technical IQ, but it has the "Fuji look", which I find very appealing. The fast zoom from wide to telephoto is also an advantage over the RX100. In many ways I miss the X10... if it hadn't given me so many focus problems, I would still own it. That said, I'm impressed with the RX100, and of course it is truly pocketable, in a way that the X10 simply isn't.

    Now... along comes the X20! I must say that, potentially, it appeals to me greatly, and the write-ups that I have seen suggest improved focus performance. If this turns out to be correct, then I can see it being irresistible. However, then I have to decide whether to sell the RX100 to fund the X20:confused:. The jury will remain out on that, until I have tried an X20... but I am certainly waiting for the release of the X20 with great interest.
     
  4. Richard

    Richard FujiXspot Regular

    69
    Feb 1, 2013
    Marlow, UK
    This is an interesting thread for me, as I'm planning to buy an RX100 in the near future. But now the X20 has caught my attention and I find that I need to make a decision between the two.

    I need a camera which is truly compact, so it will slip into a jacket pocket without difficulty, and can be taken walking and cycling with me. I've owned too many cameras in the past which have stayed at home on the shelf because I didn't want to be encumbered by their size and weight. The RX100 is smaller and more easily stowed than the X20 so that's a big factor in my decision. I'm also drawn to the larger sensor (1 inch vs 2/3 inch) and the wider aspect ratio (3:2 vs 4:3) of the Sony. It's cheaper too - currently hovering around the £400 mark online whereas I believe the X20 will sell for close to £600 at launch.

    I'm not too bothered about the absence of a viewfinder on this occasion, but I hear what you're all saying with regard to the simplicity of the Fuji controls in comparison to those of the Sony, and how the camera feels in the hand. I think the X20 looks nicer too.

    At the end of the day, I suspect either camera would be a pleasure to own and would make great images. I still favour the RX100, but I'll be following this thread with interest to see what other people think.

    -R
     
  5. porchard

    porchard FujiXspot Regular

    80
    Feb 3, 2013
    Devon, UK
    The X10 fits reasonably well into a jacket pocket, but not (comfortably) into a trouser pocket. The RX100 fits easily into a trouser pocket.


    True!:)
     
  6. Amin Sabet

    Amin Sabet Administrator

    792
    Jan 31, 2013
    Boston, MA (USA)
    I wouldn't necessarily say that the RX100 has better image quality than the X10 or X20, because the X10/X20 lens seems to be a better performer than the RX100 lens. The Fuji lens delivers sharper edges/corners in general and lets you use lower ISO values at telephoto, all of which figures into image quality.

    The only thing holding me back from getting an X20 is that "No new cameras" was a New Year's resolution for 2013. Trying to hold strong, but the will is weak. I didn't count on starting a Fuji site when I made that resolution. Does that make the resolution invalid?
     
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  7. porchard

    porchard FujiXspot Regular

    80
    Feb 3, 2013
    Devon, UK
    Good points, and these aspects can easily create a win for the X10. I find that - when low light doesn't hamper the RX100 (due to its slower lens) - then its (technical) IQ is a whisker better. However, as I said above, the Fuji "look" can go quite some way in overriding that. It really is just very nice.:)

    This is the stuff of madness, surely?!!;)
     
  8. ermethic

    ermethic FujiXspot Rookie

    15
    Feb 1, 2013
    :D best NY resolution ever.

    The more I do the reading, the more I'm convinced that the X is the right choice. The biggest fear that remains is is the battery life though, as I've read it's quite abysmal on the X10. Anyone got any more detailed info on that ? (for example how much does a charge last on a X10, in specific shooting conditions)



    I don't think there's any way to get the Sony cheaper than the X20's gonna be. Check the prices again :p

    The LCD may be white magic or however it's called, but it still has its flaws shooting in the sun, as any other LCD.
     
  9. Biro

    Biro Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    517
    Feb 1, 2013
    Jersey Shore
    Steve
    Absolutely. If you're going to host a Fuji site, you have to be familar with the product. ;)
     
  10. the sardonic iconic

    the sardonic iconic FujiXspot Veteran

    218
    Feb 2, 2013
    NYC
    I second this motion.
     
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  11. Biro

    Biro Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    517
    Feb 1, 2013
    Jersey Shore
    Steve
    You're stressing way too much over this. Firstly, where are you reading this? Do that many people have the X-20 yet? And, even if we assume what you've read is correct, consider this: The X-10/X-20 battery has been around for a long time in many different cameras. It is not unique to Fuji. One battery comes with the camera. I always buy in a second battery for any camera I own. In this case, I would buy a third. Or even a fourth. They're not that expensive. Problem solved.
     
  12. Amin Sabet

    Amin Sabet Administrator

    792
    Jan 31, 2013
    Boston, MA (USA)
    Like many things, this is a personal factor. Having to charge more than 1-2 batteries can be a hassle for some. To me, the X10 battery life is good enough to not be an issue. With some other cameras like the Sigma DP2M, I would feel burdened.
     
  13. flysurfer

    flysurfer X-Pert

    Feb 1, 2013
    Nuremberg
    Rico Pfirstinger
    I don't have a X20 (of course, this will change soon enough), so I'm at a loss judging the IQ of this camera. I can't do this based on speculation.

    As for the X10, I do prefer it over the RX100 because of the viewfinder (RX100 has none), the internal RAW converter (RX100 has none) and available dynamic range. For a comparison of the latter (considering various DR expanding modes), have a look at dpreview's DR page.

    Unfortunately, I need a lot DR when shooting one-handed from a moving horse, and I also need a fast lens in order to keep the ISOs low while maintaining fast shutter speeds. The RX100 offers neither. What I don't need is 20 MP in a compact camera, I am actually completely happy with 6 MP. It's more than sufficient for blogging, emailing images, producing cards and leaflets or for our yearly Let's Ride! calendar. Personally, I would be happy with an X20 offering only 10 MP with bigger pixels in order to yield even better DR and low-noise qualities. However, I understand that the compact camera market is still megapixel driven for marketing reasons.

    Even though X10 DR is high with JPEGs coming directly from the camera, Lightroom/ACR offers additional leeway. I have set up a comparison between high DR shots developed with the camera's internal RAW converter and Lightroom. Both methods lead to pleasant results, so I can choose between a quicker JPEG or a more advanced external RAW workflow, depending on my needs or time constraints.
     
  14. porchard

    porchard FujiXspot Regular

    80
    Feb 3, 2013
    Devon, UK
    Yes, I would certainly prefer that the RX100 had a viewfinder - but overall I'm not too bothered. However, your point about the internal Raw converter is a very good one. I use it on my x100 frequently, and the only improvement that I could wish for is a select-and-batch conversion function.

    Agreed - 10MP is easily enough, and the advantage conferred by the larger pixels is well-established. It's a pity that the mega-pixel race still persists in the compact market, whereas the enthusiast and pro markets have (mostly) come to their senses in this regard.
     
  15. olli

    olli FujiXspot Regular

    40
    Feb 5, 2013
    Since we're doing subjective here and since I have an RX100 my observations on ermethic's list of cons is as follows.

    No VF - Not something I worry about since a VF would make the camera larger and its compact size is one of its strongest features. I do appreciate though that for some users the lack of an option even to add an accessory VF is an issue.

    f4.9 at 105 (eq.) - Yes the lens is a little on the slow side at the long end (and the IQ does take a hit out here too). Personally I would have preferred them to stop at 90mm or even 70mm (eq.) and aim for somewhere in the region of f3.5.

    I'll just say that ermethic's statement that on the RX100 'settings are all scattered through menus instead of being accessible through shortcuts or dedicated hard-buttons' does not correspond to my experience after using the camera for the last six months. I find the RX100 a very simple camera to use since the flexibility it gives me to set it up as I want means I never go near the menus. In fact, for me the RX100 actually excels when it comes to shortcuts. One push of the function button takes me directly to seven different settings (users selected and organised from a range of 17 options) all of which can be directly modified from the rear wheel. Taken together with four customizable hard buttons (actually three plus the lens ring) everything I need is easily and quickly accessible and set up as I wish it. To me ease of control is one of the camera's strengths.

    The resolution is excellent as is the general IQ but I have said it before on other forums and I'll say it again here: for smaller (i.e. less that 12-13" wide) prints and onscreen use, it makes little difference. I have cropped images from my old LX3 shot at 800ISO framed at 12" x 8" on the wall and no-one has ever complained yet about the IQ.

    I'm afraid I can't offer you any X20 shots but you can see a few of my RX100 shots on my blog.
     
  16. ermethic

    ermethic FujiXspot Rookie

    15
    Feb 1, 2013
    In the end it was a hard decision, since in the meantime i read the somewhat praising review of the RX100 by mingthein, which on a sidenote is one of the photographers I admire the most, with both great talent and exceptional coherence...
    ...but I finally bit the bullet and preordered the X20 :) and a shitload of accessories so I'm sure not to change my mind :p
     
  17. Edgar

    Edgar New to FujiXspot

    1
    Mar 11, 2013
    Well, if it makes you feel any better, Ming sold his RX100. Apparently it didn't connect with him either. :)
     
  18. ermethic

    ermethic FujiXspot Rookie

    15
    Feb 1, 2013
    Haha, didn't know that...
    A Ming review of the new X20/X100s series would be nice to see, since I saw he wasn't very appreciative on the old X100, it would be interesting to see if he feels any definitive improvement in the X100s over the old one.
     
  19. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs FujiXspot Veteran

    485
    Feb 1, 2013
    Near Philadephila
    I've posted this opinion often enough in various places, but I guess not here. I owned an X10 for quite a while and the RX100 for a much shorter while. The RX100 has a better sensor - a notably better sensor. Based on the initial reports on the X20 sensor, it sounds like something of a wash with the X10, doing some things better and other things not quite as well. So I'd say the RX100 likely retains a pretty notable sensor to sensor advantage over the X20.

    But in every other way than the sensor, I found the X10 to be a vastly better camera. The RX100 is very capable - with enough time to wrestle with it, I could get it to do most of what I wanted, but after two months it never felt intuitive or enjoyable to shoot with, there was always an element of trying to remember where a certain setting or combination of settings lived. I just never enjoyed shooting with it. That's mostly subjective but its not an uncommon conclusion. And the X10/X20's lens is a whole lot better IMHO than the RX100, which just tries to stuff too much into too small a space to work with that fairly large sensor. The RX100 has got an awful lot of software correction which leads to corner softness which, honestly, never bothered me at all. I thought the image quality was pretty great. But the lens is quite slow by todays standards, doing just fine at the wide end at f1.8 but quickly going downhill to f4.9 at the long end while the X20 is still f2.8 at the long end, largely erasing the RX100's sensor advantage at the longer focal lengths.

    I gave the RX100 to my wife who shoots it on IAUTO and loves it. She shoots her kids in her classroom a lot and needed better low light performance than the cheap compact she had before and this works great for her - she doesn't even try to interact with the controls - she just points and shoots.

    I ended up with the LX7 instead of either but that's a separate discussion based mostly on not caring how good my compact handled low light (not that it handles it badly). I have higher end cameras for really challenging situations so I'm not looking for a compact to do EVERYTHING well and the LX7 is, for me, even more fun to shoot with than the X10 was, and I liked the X10 a lot. If one of these was going to be my only camera, I might go for the X20, but I'm just not looking for that in a compact.

    -Ray
     
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  20. ci-lee

    ci-lee FujiXspot Regular

    29
    Feb 12, 2013
    As a fellow cyclist and former X10 owner (sold it and pre-ordered the X20), thought I'd offer my insight...

    I am on my bikes a lot, particularly when going out around town on my fixed gear to take pictures. When I still had my X10, I had it wrapped in my Gariz half case and Gun Shot strap which I slung over my shoulder, pocketed a couple of spare batteries in my pocket and went. On more dedicated rides on my road bike, I'd remove the strap (still have the Gariz thumb strap for handling) and throw the camera in my (small) handlebar-mounted bag, along with my phone, keys , etc. On occasions when I'd be wearing a hydration backpack or a messenger, having the camera on the Gun Shot strapped on my shoulder as well would occasionally be inconvenient, i.e. sometimes the camera would get caught on the bag but this was rarely an issue. Having been a bike courier a couple summers in my teeanage days, I am very comfortable riding and having the shoulder strap solution, I am able to even snap shots on occasion while riding (don't recommend it, it's not safe but if you've ever been a courier, you know that we're a little bit crazy anyway).

    Lastly, the direct controls/superior ergonomics of the X10/20 make pulling over on your bike, snapping a picture with all the right settings and resuming your ride a much more efficient process than with something like the RX100...I can attest to this as I used to own a Canon S90 which handles similarly to the Sony shooter. This can be important if you're riding with a group and trying to keep a consistent pace. Also, the VF and hybrid autofocus may end up being very important features while cycling as you'll likely encounter a wide variety of lighting conditions which can be a challenge for you if only viewing from the screen and for the camera's AF which may hunt a bit ...

    Whatever you end up getting, enjoy it, share your experience with the camera, hopefully the X-cam since this is a Fuji site ;), and to avoid GAS, avoid the rumors portion of sites like this for a while so you don't second guess/pine away for something else :)