Sony RX100 vs Fujifilm X10 vs Canon S110 vs Canon G15 mega shootout by Ron Martin: He prefers the Fuji X10 for most situations, and his wife agrees.

This is the follow-up to Ron's RX100 review from a week ago:

"I like the RX100 and feel like it makes great images. If you do a comparison of the RAW images you’ll quickly find that it has great RAW images that are hampered by fairly poor in-camera processing compared to the other cameras I’ve tested. At low ISO’s it’s not an issue and they are quite good, but as the ISO’s climb the poor in-camera noise reduction really hurts. As a result, my “always keep your raw images” applies more for this camera than any of the others I’ve tested.

I wanted the RX100 to be a small sensor RX1 with a zoom, but it’s not. I wanted it to have NEX-7 like performance and Canon s110 like ease of use – but it doesn’t have that either. Instead what you get is a nice s110 size camera with an excellent lens, great low ISO performance, above average battery life and great video. All of those things make it a compelling camera that I think will satisfy buyers who live in the automatic modes, but anyone who likes control over their camera will find that the RX100 comes up short – very short. Given the high price of this camera, that’s unacceptable, but hopefully enough people will ignore these realities and buy it anyway so that Sony will be encourage to release a new model that hopefully addresses some of my concerns.

If you are a RAW only shooter then you’ll be much more satisfied than if you are someone who likes to use the JPEG whenever possible and the RAW is only a backup (which is my preference for cameras in this class). As a result, all of these little issues and the price have caused me to pass on getting the RX100 (which I had intended to buy before I tested it) and stick with my X10. It looks like my hope for a replacement now will rest on the X20 which I hope to review soon."

Based on my subjective opinion, here’s how I am seeing how these cameras compare:

At lower ISO’s, the best overall image quality favors the RX100
It’s my opinion, that the RX100 seems to have the sharpest lens of the bunch
In-camera noise reduction on the RX100 is terrible and gets horrific after ISO 800
The in-camera meter likes to underexpose compared to the others and switching metering modes didn’t help in the bookshelf test. Despite indicating a proper exposure, the ISO6400 shot was very underexposed. None of the other cameras exhibited this issue.
The RX100 and s110 are nearly identical in design, but the s110 is more feature rich and easier to use.
While none of these cameras have great flashes, I preferred the RX100’s flash performance the most.
The RX100 LCD was the hardest to use outdoors, but its battery performance was the best so perhaps that was an intentional trade-off by Sony.
Ease of use wise, I still prefer the Canon G-series (especially the G12) over the RX100
Camera that frustrated me the most in the field – RX100
Camera my wife most enjoyed – X10, but she loved the one hand ease-of-use of the RX100.
Best mixed-light camera (i.e., drastic differences between foreground & background) – Fujifilm EXR mode found on the x10. DRO and even the HDR performance of the RX100 wasn’t even close
Best macro camera – x10
Best pano performance – RX100
Best video – RX100
Best stabilization – RX100
Best in-camera high ISO performance – s110
Best value – s110
Worst value – RX100 (overpriced IMHO for what you get)
If I could only have one – Fujifilm x10 (because of EXR mode)
If advising a friend, I’d still suggest the x10 but if size is an issue I’d say the s110 or RX100

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