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Archive 2013 · Ricoh GR vs Sony RX100
  
 
millsart
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p.2 #1 · p.2 #1 · Ricoh GR vs Sony RX100


Some update for those who have been interested in this thread, whether it be to see how these two camera's compare, if simply to gain some additional user feedback on a model of choice.

I took them both, (along with my RX1) to the state fair for a bit of late afternoon/night shooting in some real world conditions. Was able to sometimes shoot the same image with both, other times just simply try to work with whatever was in my hand at the time and see the images I could get.

So should have some interesting results to share, along with my impressions of what worked and what didn't and when, in the context of how I shoot (your mileage can and probably will vary)

Nothing like some crowded places to really stress test camera models though, be it knowing you've got mere seconds to get the shot focused before more walkers pass through your shot, or trying to quickly get a shot of a cute kid in a livestock barn seeing their first cow, or grabbing a quick grab shot of a carnie, etc.

So look forward to that tomorrow, too late to go through SD cards and process files from 3 different cameras and about 7 hours of shooting



Jul 31, 2013 at 03:08 AM
evilgeniusdan
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p.2 #2 · p.2 #2 · Ricoh GR vs Sony RX100


^ Updates on this? Would love to hear from this.


Aug 02, 2013 at 08:38 PM
millsart
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p.2 #3 · p.2 #3 · Ricoh GR vs Sony RX100


evilgeniusdan wrote:
^ Updates on this? Would love to hear from this.



Working on going through all the images still I'm afraid. I'm the official city photographer and we have been having this 4 day day long Irish festival where I live, so I've been spending about 12 hours a day working on that so I'm in a bit of an image backlog right now to say the least.


I can share a few quick observations at the very least in the event that helps.

Of the cameras, I enjoyed shooting with, and thus took the most images with the GR first, the RX1 (since I had it with me) second and then the RX100.

As far as IQ, the RX1 far and away was the winner, especially at higher ISO, but that was no surprise. I mean a f2.0 lens on a state of the art 24meg full frame sensor vs a f2.8 lens on APS-C, not a fair fight.

So that said, I'm sure more are interested between the RX100 and the GR, as those are more realistic choices/competition.

GR hands down was the champ as far as handling and shooting enjoy. It frankly mopped the floor with the RX100, but, the RX100 did at times prove the more useful camera.

For example, they had some draft horses with all the harness stuff etc and they would all come charging into the show arena. Really cool shot getting a team of draft horses coming right at you full speed.

Well, needless to say, your not going to be able to get that shot with a 28mm equiv lens, so in that regard, the RX100, zoomed into 100mm, and shooting at 9fps or whatever its top speed is sure came in handy and got some pretty cool shots (D3s and a fast zoom would be better, but no way I want to carry that around for pleasure shooting)

Now other than that though, I basically used the RX100 at its widest setting, so its a case of where the zoom really isn't useful very often, BUT, when you do need it, its good to have.

As far as handling goes though, the RX100 felt a bit frustrating. It doesn't have a min shutter speed with auto ISO, so its always too slow, so I'd get some motion blur on subjects, even though the IS kept the camera steady. You could shoot manually but then that is a bit of hassle going in and out of buildings with changing light etc.

GR on the other hand let me select my min shutter speed and I could just let it ride the ISO as needed. Works so much better and such a simple little thing.

Likewise, changing settings on the Sony would require some button pushes, go into menu's, spin dials etc. On the GR, I could quickly access ISO, my snap focus distance, etc, all as I had them set up ahead of time.

Sony has some cool bells and whistles like HDR mode, but I also missed some shots because it was still in that mode and I'd miss what I wanted messing with trying to get it out.

GR never once frustrated me in terms of its handling, and if it did, I'm sure I could change that behavior with a custom tweak.

So on the basis of handling alone, GR, no questions asked.

HOWEVER, I will say, the GR did give me a lot of OOF shots, and/or hunt for focus. The RX100 is much quicker and almost always achieved focus.

I don't know if its just my GR, but a lot of times I'd focus, it would seem to lock, but then on viewing them later on the PC, the focus isn't really spot on, though it looked sharp enough on the LCD.

Luckily the camera has the snap focus modes, which come in pretty useful as I wouldn't call the GR that reliable otherwise in terms of AF. Its kind of like a X100 from Fuji used to be. It can work, but it can also miss, even when the light seems decent etc. That was kind of frustrating.

Finally, as far as IQ.... Fairly close, though the GR does have a bit sharper lens in the corners, and also does do better, but not by a huge margin at higher ISO. Frankly the GR isn't a great high ISO cam if you want really clean files. It has a grain, and it looks good for black and white though. Its just not the best APS-C can offer these days, but still pretty good.

The difference between f1.8 and f2.8 though did do a bit to equalize them really.

GR does have nicer SOOC jpegs with the high contrast b/w and sepia. Color nod goes to the Sony with a little richer color, but I personally love the in camera b/w stuff, and what else is cool is you can bracket it to give you a couple versions with each click of the shutter.

Again, a little frustrating though because the images looked so good on the LCD, but then on my 27" monitor they would be a little softer.

I guess in the end its a bit of a wash. GR handles better, but RX100 AF's better. GR does have better IQ at the same settings, but the RX100 has a faster lens to let you stay at a lower ISO. RX100 also does have the zoom, which not widely used, is a lot more useful than a 35mm crop mode.

The GR handling really does go a long way towards the enjoy of the camera though. It really is as good as people rave it is. Its not a perfect camera, but its a nice pocket carry.

I will say too, that being able to slip either the RX100 or the GR into my pocket was really nice for when I sat down to eat etc. Just beats having to set the RX1 on the table and keep an eye on it or having to try to hang onto it on a ride etc. Out of sight/out of mind sometimes is a nice camera feature when it can go into a pocket.

In the end I really don't know if I'll keep the GR or not. I mean the RX100 I already own and it works pretty good, but I rather do enjoy shooting with the GR and its just a likeable camera.

Further throwing a wrench into the works is I got a Nikon V1 recently at the blowout prices and darn if that little camera didn't amaze me (and every photographer I showed it to at the Irish festival) with its spot on AF and exposure. Added the 18mm f1.8, which is a 50mm equiv, and you can just shoot away like crazy, even little kids running around etc, with its PDAF af system. Its a really brilliant street camera except the IQ is a bit wanting at higher ISO. I'm rather enjoy using it and honestly today wondering why I'm carrying around 20lbs of Nikon DSLR's at the festival.

So hope that helps a little, and I'll try to get some IQ samples soon as I can, as I said though, not a huge difference due to lens speed.

If you shoot the RX100 at f2.8 then it is noiser by about 2 stops, but naturally you'd use it at f1.8 (or at least I do) so it kind of washes out.

Handling vs zoom and other features is really what it boils down to IMHO




Aug 03, 2013 at 04:59 AM
suey11
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p.2 #4 · p.2 #4 · Ricoh GR vs Sony RX100


Thank you just found this thread and great observations thanks for sharing.


Aug 03, 2013 at 06:57 PM
Makten
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p.2 #5 · p.2 #5 · Ricoh GR vs Sony RX100


millsart wrote:
Both are clearly pocket camera's, no question about it, as they will fit into jeans, dress pants etc.


Ummm, I guess fashion is not the same in the US and Europe. I can definitely NOT fit the RX100 in the pockets of any of my pants.



Aug 03, 2013 at 09:42 PM
rsolti13
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p.2 #6 · p.2 #6 · Ricoh GR vs Sony RX100


Makten wrote:
Ummm, I guess fashion is not the same in the US and Europe. I can definitely NOT fit the RX100 in the pockets of any of my pants.


Us Americans are too fat to wear that tight of pants. My pockets are big enough for a 7" tablet, both the GR and RX100 fit great . The RX1 though does not fit



Aug 04, 2013 at 02:03 AM
rscheffler
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p.2 #7 · p.2 #7 · Ricoh GR vs Sony RX100


millsart wrote:
I'm rather enjoy using it and honestly today wondering why I'm carrying around 20lbs of Nikon DSLR's at the festival.


Job preservation? Once clients get wise to the fact a photographer only needs a $300 camera system (or a smartphone), there's no way you can charge a decent professional rate.

Of course it's not that simple, but I do believe there is some value (and client expectation) in showing up to jobs with 'professional' equipment. Even though you could be just as photographically creative with a much cheaper system.

BTW, I've found this thread very informative. My first Ricoh was the GXR. And while it's a really slow camera shot to shot, it really impressed me with the user interface and customizability. My impression about the GR is it needs a serious firmware update to address the slow and from your accounts, inconsistent, AF performance. I think it's enough of an issue to keep me on the fence about it for awhile. If Sony could copy some of Ricoh's UI, the RX cameras would be that much better.



Aug 04, 2013 at 05:26 AM
aleksanderpolo
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p.2 #8 · p.2 #8 · Ricoh GR vs Sony RX100


I can AF in ISO6400 1/60s consistently, provided that there is enough contrast for it to lock on. Otherwise, the GR would be in an extra slow hunting mode, I think that's when the AF consistency is less reliable. It also doesn't turn on the focus assist light in those situation when it is needed.

In those cases, I usually switch to MF mode, turn on mode 2 focus assist and magnification of full screen, use the AF lock button to AF, half press shutter will momentarily switch back to normal screen for metering and compose. It's pretty spot on and seldom miss that way and I think the AF box is even smaller than the pin point AF.

Of course snap focus is always instantaneous.



Aug 04, 2013 at 06:16 AM
fredmirandafan
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p.2 #9 · p.2 #9 · Ricoh GR vs Sony RX100


Hi millsart, thanks for posting the comparisons. I also have the GR and RX100M2 so it's really helpful to see my observations confirmed regarding handling, focus, and color.

Very similar to you, I really prefer shooting with GR because of its amazing handling (especially the minimum shutter speed setting). But sometimes I'm not sure of its focus or when subject is out of range, I take out the RX100M2 for AF and alternate framing. In the end, I find GR constantly frustrating me due to OOF images and RX100M2 constantly surprising me because its colors (even in RAW) are amazing.

One thing I haven't noticed in your reports is how the RX100M2 RAW files come out much softer than GR (due to AA filter?). I find it necessary to always add 20 clarity or dial up sharpening in Camera RAW/Lightroom to compensate for this.

PS. Could you also talk about how RX1 compliment your GR and RX100? I've been considering its purchase to shoot 35mm exclusively, but afraid that I might be annoyed by the lack of "minimum shutter speed" setting. I know in M mode, shutter speed can be fixed while Auto-ISO is enabled, but this is still not as intuitive as GR's "minimum shutter speed" mode. How have you overcome this issue?



Aug 07, 2013 at 01:02 AM
millsart
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p.2 #10 · p.2 #10 · Ricoh GR vs Sony RX100


the RX1 does not (notice a trend with Sony's) let you set a minimum shutter speed, however, they rather wisely set it to 1/80th of a second, which for me works well as that is about what I'd set otherwise on my own. The camera has such a clean high ISO that you can pretty much just not even think about ISO.

Also nice is that the camera can do auto ISO in M mode, and still give you the EC control, so that is rather the best of both world's giving you total control and just riding the ISO.

The RX1 and RX100 share a common battery and the mkII version can share the EVF, so it really dose make sense for a RX1 owner to maybe pick up a RX100. Can't say that is equal the other way around lol, but shooting with the RX1 as a primary camera, the RX100 makes a nice pocket backup/2nd camera for shots that need a zoom etc.

When I was on vacation, I would always carry both, and when someone offered to take a picture with me in it, I'd just hand them the RX100, so I didn't have to worry about them dropping a $2800 RX1.



Aug 07, 2013 at 01:27 AM
 

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Ulff
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p.2 #11 · p.2 #11 · Ricoh GR vs Sony RX100


Thanks a lot for sharing your experiencing so well, millsart! I follow(ed) them with great interest and they helped me to better figure out what camera may fit my needs.


Aug 07, 2013 at 05:42 PM
millsart
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p.2 #12 · p.2 #12 · Ricoh GR vs Sony RX100


Ulff wrote:
Thanks a lot for sharing your experiencing so well, millsart! I follow(ed) them with great interest and they helped me to better figure out what camera may fit my needs.



Glad I was able to help. Everyone is different of course, so what works for me may be totally wrong for someone else, or vice versa, but I always enjoy hearing of other peoples experiences with a camera, so try to do my part and share my thoughts on camera's I've got.

A lot of the formal reviews you can find on the net always seem to focus so much on image quality or the features a camera has, and that is certainly very important, but I've always found that what sounds good reading a spec sheet, or what looks great in a review, doesn't always translate to actual shooting, at least based on how I tend to use a camera.

Its like on the RX100 for example, yes its pretty cool it has all the DRO and HDR options, and they can work pretty well (in the right situations) so that sounds like a nice thing to have, but, what they never talk about is how you access those features.

Its when you take the camera out and find that you have to press a button, then spin a dial around to turn it off, and then find you spun it one notch too far, and have to do it over, and by then you've missed what you've wanted to shoot (or not) that you get a feel for how well you can really get along with a camera.

Some people don't find a few button presses an issue at all, others may simply have it drive them crazy. I usually fall somewhere in the middle, but for sure some little aspects of a camera can have a big factor on how I enjoy using it. So that is the type of experience I like to share.

Cheers



Aug 07, 2013 at 06:07 PM
Ulff
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p.2 #13 · p.2 #13 · Ricoh GR vs Sony RX100


You give so much details that I haven't found in others reviews yet, especially regarding the direct comparison of the cameras.

I'm using for 90% of my images a Canon 5D2, but need a tiny cam with very good IQ for occasions where a DSLR is oversized. Last year I bought a Sony NEX 5n and am using it with with a lot of different manual focus lenses (mostly Leica M 35 2.5, Zeiss 28 2.8, Minolta 58 1.2, Leica R 90 2.8, Canon FD 50 1.8) and mit the great Metabones adapter to simulate a full frame camera. I like the size and handling (especially the tiltable touchscreen) of the camera a lot. The IQ is okay and I see no point in upgrading it to a newer NEX until FF becomes real.

But in the end the ratio of really good images I am getting from the 5n camera is quite low compared to the 5D2, which is probably mainly due to the fast that I don't trust the 5n in critical shots. If people are involved, manual focus and reaching the appropriate menus is too slow to be really useful. For architecture it is too much of a hassle to correct the lens distortions manually. Regarding size, the camera is only really pockatable with the Leica Summarit, but due to the crop it acts like a normal lens. What I really want is at least one very good, small and relatively fast (f2.8 or less) lens with an effective focal lenght somewhere between 20-35mm. And this doesn't exist for the NEX. The 12mm Zeiss is attractive, but more than I'm willing to pay for a crop system.

So what I'm looking for is a pockatable camera with great sensor and lens IQ, a wide angle lens, fast operation and not too expensive, because it will be used at locations where I don't want to bring expensive cameras. I really would love to have a RX1 (because of the sensor and lens), but in the end it would be too expensive, not pockatable and the my 5D2 + Zeiss 35 2.0 is for my purposes similar enough to justify it. The RX100 is feature wise very attractive (and I agree completely with your reasoning), but I usually work a lot with raw-files and this essentially rules out cameras with smaller sensors, even if it is as good as the RX100. A Sigma DP1 is out of question because fast operation is nothing where it really shines. Therefore I will opt for the Ricoh, because it seems that it will fit my needs the best and I like everything I hear from it. My Sony 5n will stay and can nicely complement the Ricoh because I takes normal or portrait lenses very well.



Aug 08, 2013 at 08:23 AM
Kit Laughlin
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p.2 #14 · p.2 #14 · Ricoh GR vs Sony RX100


tagging to join in. I like everything about the Ricoh except its len's FL.

GR with 50mm EFOV? I'd be first to buy.



Aug 08, 2013 at 01:01 PM
vovkinson
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p.2 #15 · p.2 #15 · Ricoh GR vs Sony RX100


they both look bad. save $$ get yourself RX1


Aug 08, 2013 at 02:36 PM
millsart
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p.2 #16 · p.2 #16 · Ricoh GR vs Sony RX100


vovkinson wrote:
they both look bad. save $$ get yourself RX1


"bad" how ? I have a RX1 and its a great camera, but its 3-4x the price, doesn't fit in a pocket, and comes with its own limitations as well as strengths.

To simply write off cameras like the GR totally misses the whole point



Aug 08, 2013 at 04:25 PM
cjrpostma
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p.2 #17 · p.2 #17 · Ricoh GR vs Sony RX100


Would you rather have high pixel quality or higher picture quality? I'd pick having a nice picture every single time. I think the Ricoh is the more successful camera in that sense due to ergonomics, snap focus, etc.


Aug 08, 2013 at 04:53 PM
millsart
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p.2 #18 · p.2 #18 · Ricoh GR vs Sony RX100


cjrpostma wrote:
Would you rather have high pixel quality or higher picture quality? I'd pick having a nice picture every single time. I think the Ricoh is the more successful camera in that sense due to ergonomics, snap focus, etc.



Exactly! Which is one of the very reasons I'm loving my Nikon v1 so much, it gives me perfectly in focus and well exposed images every frame, even though they are a bit lacking in resolution and higher in noise. Its just so fast and responsive I don't miss a moment.


Somewhat I think it comes down to who we are shooting for, and who we are trying to impress, ourselves included.

Shots I take and share with family and friends on things like Facebook I have totally different image quality standards for than shots I take to post in the various image threads on this forum.

In a small sense, its kind of a "look how amazing my camera is, can you believe this was taken at ISO 12,800!" or "Look how this image pops off the page with its amazing shallow DoF" even if the image is of something a bit boring, like a post in the ground. The shot shows off the ability of the camera quite nicely though.

On the other hand, there are cameras, which still good technically, don't have much "wow" factor. They aren't that clean at high ISO, they don't do that shallow of DoF etc. There is basically nothing special about them on their own. As such, it really comes down to a great composition to make them something special.

GR, V1, RX100 are camera's like that. No one is going to "ooooh" and "ahhh" about how creamy the 'bokeh' is or wax poetic about the drawing style of the lens and how it reminds them a Leica pre-ASPH etc.

Good images from the camera, and I've seen plenty from all those models, are the results of simply being a great photo. Great light, great subject, great framing etc.

Now this doesn't mean that cameras like the RX1 can't product amazing photographs, the sure can, but in a way its almost "easier" to take something a certain crowd might like.

Let me put it this way.

I could walk out into my front yard, with the GR and the RX1 and snap a pictures of my mailbox, maybe focus on the flag in the up position.

I bet I would get far more positive comments on the RX1 image because it would have this really nice focus transition and "pop" than I would the GR taking the same shot.

However, that is in the context of a photo forum. Post those images both on Facebook and my non photographer friends probably wouldn't be impressed by either, because its a mailbox, and who cares if part of the image is out of focus, they can do that on instagram.

So its really something to consider when judging images/cameras and what your actually using as the benchmark for a "good" image. If people are impressed by you as the photographer, or if they are simply impressed by the technical quality of the camera.



Aug 08, 2013 at 05:14 PM
sflxn
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p.2 #19 · p.2 #19 · Ricoh GR vs Sony RX100


I have a GR and owned the RX1 for a short time before selling it off due to handling annoyances. The strength of the GR is the snap focus mode and great BW mode. It's a very specific camera and probably wouldn't appeal to anyone looking for a general purpose camera. For me, I've come to love the 28mm FOV, so much so that 35mm no longer feels wide enough. The GR is really designed to be a street shooter, which means shooting up close and personal, with it's 28mm lens and snap focus.

I'm not sure it's fair to compare general purpose cameras like the RX100 to the GR since you're not taking advantage of the GR's strengths. The GR is all about fast shooting (w/o AF), close and personal, and BW. They maybe close in price, but both cameras are very different. Ricoh's reputation is based on making shooter's cameras. Everything from handling, feature set, menu system, and ability to configure practically any buttons and dials are designed around this schtick. The GR is not the right camera for everyone. For those that it is targeted for, it's a brilliant implementation. For the style of shooting that the GR is targeted for, the RX100 and RX1 are not comparable.



Aug 08, 2013 at 05:26 PM
millsart
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p.2 #20 · p.2 #20 · Ricoh GR vs Sony RX100


That is certainly true, but at the same time, I've seen some really amazing street shooting images from the RX100, scroll halfway down the page and see some of the amazing work Bob has been posting http://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/topic/1139172/24

The RX100 has some really nice b/w in camera modes as well, and you can toggle AF/MF on off very easily, I have it assigned to the center button of the Dpad. It misses a nice scale, but you can just focus on something 1 or 2 meters away, switch to MF mode and you've got a hyperfocal shooter, especially with the smaller 1" sensor. Works great.

GR for sure has some advantages over the RX100, just as the RX has some advantages over the GR, but I rather think they are more similar than they are different in the overall sense, as both are about providing very good IQ (for their size) in a pocketable package.

I think they are all very comparible, because I've got all 3 (4 if you count the V1) sitting here and I still haven't been able to figure out which one I ultimately prefer. GR gave me great images and the RX100 gave me great images, just at different times and in sometimes different ways.

For me at least, they are about as evenly matched as two camera's can get, even though they do have some big differences on paper.




Aug 08, 2013 at 05:52 PM
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