I have just spent a little time with the RX100 I got as a wedding gift for my friend. I have also realized that this camera gets a lot of comparisons to m4/3 or APS-C mirror-less cameras. But size-wise it is truly in a compact camera category and as I have the little GRDIII I though that a short comparison to RX100 would not hurt:
Size & controls:
I am obviously used to GRDIII, but even if I try to filter that out the Ricoh has batter controls layout (and more dials & buttons) - so one does not need to dive in the menus too often. It also has 3 user setting memories directly on the main control dial - that is GREAT.
The main control dial on Sony is not lockable, but gives a very reasonable resistance so I do not expect it to turn by accident.
As the cameras are nearly of the same size (the Sony is a few mm thicker) one would expect very similar feel in hand - that is not the case. The 'lens barrel' of the GRDIII is smaller so it leaves more space for the grip and for your fingers. Also on the back side (thanks to smaller display) the Ricoh leaves more space for your thumb. However what really makes the difference is the surface finish - the Ricoh has an 'anti slipper' grip and one can hold (and shoot) it safely with one hand. The RX100 - while the surface feels very strong - feels less safe in your hand - there is not much space to hold the camera. An additional grip would help - I have already ordered one from Richard Franiec, but will have to have a few weeks to get it.
So - this is how they look side-by-side:
Image quality - landscape:
Note: unless explicitly stated none of the photos included were sharpened on color-corrected. All of the images are out of camera JPGs taken in Auto white balance mode. I did on occasion adjust the levels and/or the curves if the scene was too flat.
Of course - as everybody could expect - the image quality of the RX is 'better' thanks to is (much) larger sensor. To show what that means see the few crops below:
The following two images are 100% crops from center and bottom-center part of an image (taken from our balcony). I have also added a resized RX100 crop so a direct comparison to Ricoh is possible.
Full size photos from both cameras:
(very bottom of the frame). It seems in this one that the Ricoh is too soft - might be that my camera has softer bottom edge - I did not notice it before. The center (above) seems fine to me.
I know I could have gone for ISO 1600, but well this is what I managed to get. I may try higher ISO, but expect the results to go apart more. Both cameras were wide-open and hand held. I too several shots to get the sharp ones.
I have included 100% crops too - (follow the link to get 100% crops)
Please follow the following links (flickr) to get to full size samples at ISO 800 from GRDIII and RX100 (large files saved at high quality setting):
Wide open close-up & DOF:
as the sensor sizes are different one expect (at the same effective focal length of 28mm) to get different DOF. So let's see how these two perform. I tried to get more-less the same composition (I really did). I was about 30 cm from the focus point (the painted egg)
(follow the link to get 100% crops that are included in the corners)
Again - two more (full size) shots of a teddy-bear - wide open ad about 60 cm from the focus point:
As I have spent very little time with the camera so I would not give any serious conclusions here. Right now I feel
that this may not be the camera for me - maybe too small (and not so comfortable or safe to hold) for a serious camera and I would like to have more controls. But I would base my decision on the performance and there I have seen too little to tell. But what I have seen looks good and the enthusiasm about this camera one may see on internet has its reasons.
But Sony is onto something here - it is amazing what they managed to get into body this small. Price is high, but I would say that it will probably sell well. I hope other camera companies will take a note - the RX100 may be a good starting point for other interesting designs.
I Hope you enjoyed this little review.