Fuji X100s versus RX1…an unfair comparison :)


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Yesterday Quesabesde posted the full Fuji X20 review. Today Quesabesde (translation here) posted the full Fuji X100s test. And they also compared the X100s performance with the more than twice as expensive Sony RX1 Full Frame camera. Quesabesde writes: “Although the RX1, equipped with a full-format CMOS 24 megapixels and a Carl Zeiss 35mm f2, represents the pinnacle of quality in a compact camera, Fujifilm’s new model is able to hold the stake.

I am not sure there is really a market for a Full Frame compact model a là RX1. But I imagine A Fuji X1s model with FF sensor could outperform the Sony RX1. But, let me know…

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Fuji X100s price and in Stock status check at Amazon, Adorama, B&H, eBay.
For reference: RX1 price check at Amazon, Adorama, B&H, eBay.

  • Hexx

    So they’re comparing jpeg engines – useless in my opinion

  • Camaman

    Diminishing returns… you can see it here.

    When they showed the difference between X20 and RX100 the difference was more than obvious in favor of RX100

  • David

    But I would pay $3000 for a Fuji FF interchangeable lens body in about the same size as the X-Pro1 … provided Fuji could produce lenses with the same quality and at the same rate as they have done for the X-mount.

    • kuishinbou

      I agree- I would pay about $2000 – $2500 for a full frame interchangeable lens Fuji in a size comparable to the x-pro 1. However, until then, I would love to have an X-E1s with the the new sensor and features that are in the X100s. Steve Huff just posted a preview of the X100s, and according to him, the hybrid AF system has resolved the AF issues that have undoubtedly hurt the previous Xseries cameras with regards to performance and sales. So, they would be beyond stupid, which I don’t think they are, to hesitate in upgrading the X-E1 and the X-Pro 1. They should do so in the next few months, as I am sure there are a lot of people waiting…

      • Till

        I agree, it would be smart to offer an upgraded X-E1 and X-Pro 1 sooner rather than later – if only to give those expecting an upgrade in the near future a reason to come off the fence and buy an X camera now. They could keep most of the specs of the current cameras, and offer a real second generation with improved resolution, improved EVF / OVF etc. some time next year.

    • Earl Alleyne

      Agreed FF Xpro-1 or XE-1 I would pay the money for. Something I don’t think Fuji would consider, it would mean a new lens line up.

  • St.

    I would love to have a FF Fuji camera. I would pay the price – even up to $3000, but it has to have the X100 design, hybrid VF, and excellent lenses for it.
    Till then I’ll enjoy my upcoming X100s

  • Vladimir

    Fuji x E-1+ FF sensor – Lens = 1500 Euro.

  • hexx

    I would possibly pay up to £2200 for FF X series Fujifilm camera. But on the other hand, I wouldn’t mind FF NEX9 ;) whoever releases interchangeable lens full frame mirrorless camera will get my money.

    I’m actually thinking now about selling my X-Pro1 (bought it in November) with 18 and 35 lenses and keep only X100, add X100S and I also have Leica M6. I didn’t mind using X100 for over a year, I don’t feel limited by using only one lens and that’s the case of X-Pro1 too, hardly ever changed lens while out and shooting. For flexibility and when it’s needed I might change the lens on M6.

    So yes, if Fuji releases FF camera I would buy it but for max £2200, not more. UK price for RX1 is a joke – honestly.

  • Igor

    Inflated ISO again?
    X100s – ISO200, f/5.6, 1/8
    RX1 – ISO200, f/5.6, 1/13

    • Hendrick

      Yes, the ISO has inflation. You can see the same result on DPReview comparison tool. Fuji needs more light for the same ISO setting in order to get the same brightness in a photo.

      This test only tells you that any Fuji cam is actually displaying the wrong ISO value.

      I don’t understand why people get so enticed about this big lie.

      • António

        When we gather information about digital cameras ISO equivalencies and the different ways allowed to manufacturers indicate their values it doesn’t seem that strange anymore.

        They indicate ISO values that would be real for film but for digital camera are just “equivalent to ISO x or y”. When you compare two, one can be “inflated” but do you know how much of the difference can attributed to the “deflation” of the other one?

        • Hendrick

          But the practical consequence is more obvious in Fuji. I want a minimum of 1/50th of a second and my lens only opens till f2, on Fuji I need ISO 3200 and on Canon/Sony/Nikon I need 2000?

          So comparing ISO’s, actually, you say it is to compare only what the manufacturer says it is ISO XXXX but not what it really is. DxO already showed that with the X100 where the actual value of its ISO was always under any other manufacturer.


          1/3 of a stop at any given value in difference.

          • António

            1/3 is within the tolerance band given to any manufacturer according to any of the admitted ways to measure ISO equivalence. This makes digital cameras ISO a value that is not that precise when you compare the readings with the ones of a calibrated external light meter.
            The most important thing ends up to be that you camera’s meter keeps its readings consistent. If you get the same “inflated” across the ISO range, in the case you refer the camera doesn’t need ISO 3200, if it is exposing the scene correctly it just “says” that as the readings are done at the same real sensitivity as the other ones.
            Another aspect is how correct light readings are, but those deviations are independent from the indicated nominal ISO precision.

          • Hendrick

            Your explanation doesn’t affect the ultimate practical value of using the camera, where if a photographer wants to keep a min shutter speed of 1/XX and it’s lens is already at its max. aperture, someone using Fuji would have to crank up the ISO further.

            Another comparative is to see DPReview’s sample images where:

            X Pro 1: ISO 800, f8, 1/125
            5D mk 3: ISO 800, f11, 1/100
            RX1: ISO 800, f11, 1/100

            X Pro 1: ISO 1600, f8, 1/250
            5D mk 3: ISO 1600, f11, 1/200
            RX1: ISO 1600, f11, 1/200

            X Pro 1: 3200, f8, 1/500
            5D mk 3: ISO 3200, f11, 1/400
            RX1: ISO 3200, f8, 1/400

            X Pro 1: ISO 6400, f8, 1/1000
            5D mk 3: ISO 6400, f11, 1/800
            RX1: ISO 6400, f11, 1/800

            Here, Sony and Canon expose with the same value for the same brightness but Fuji needs 1/3 or 2/3 (in the last sample) more light to expose the same brightness. When doing ISO comparisons, comparing ISO 800 to ISO 800 on Fuji is not the same. It should rather be ISO 800 (any manufacturer) and ISO 1000 for Fuji up until ISO 6400 where another manufacturer can have 2/3 of a stop lower ISO for a similar light gathering sample.

            The comparison by the website above is not good only because the competition it is pitched against and the conclusion it draws from its ISO performance suggests that Fuji can have a close performance to a FF sensor with an APS-C sensor at the same ISO. But it is not the same ISO.

  • vam

    I think I would pay for it only if it had a 50mm lens. I’m absolutely certain I would pay if it had a 50mm lens integrated with a rangefinder and manual focus only.

    • MarcoSartoriPhoto

      Agree with you: I’ve lost interest in Sony RX1 immediately after having seen it has no integrated viewfinder. Classic 35mm would be fine, but I would love a 50mm as well. Fast. 2500 € would be an acceptable price.

  • b3j4

    you can say that i’m bad at comparing these images, but i did a pixel-to-pixel comparison for the pics from the review and i didn’t find any obvious differences between the pics taken by x100s and rx1 other than the BW difference. in fact i’m surprised by this result. rather than saying i’m pleased with x100s’ image quality, i’d say that i’m disappoited with rx1’s result. should’ve been better. am i missing anything here?

    • Hendrick

      ISO is inflated. It gets worse from 1600 onwards where any Fuji cam (X Pro and X E too) has a difference between 2/3 to a full stop that needs more light to yield the same quality photo. I don’t know why people dont notice this more often.

      • AG

        If you measure light with the Fuji all the time does it matter that much.

        If the camera need more exposure time it means that when you tell it to measure at its ISO 1600 the sensitivity is already 2/3 EV bellow, and the same goes at 3200 but the relation is kept.

        If you want to adjust sensitivity to the “nominal” ISO value just give it +2/3 EV compensation. When we deviate from the base ISO we’re just dealing with electrical regulations for the signal to be recorded.

        If you’re working with a calibrated external light meter you can also introduce the compensation and it will return you either the correct aperture or exposure time to adjust the camera manually.

        • Hendrick

          The disparity of comparison of a Fuji cam to another cam is there, however. As shown above, For any Fuji value of ISO, the other manufacturer should be compared against Fuji with a lower ISO value.

          For example, so showcase Fuji’s ISO 1000, you can compare to Canikon ISO 800.

          • jon burtoft

            I always remember my previous cameras having skewed iso ratings, the canon 350d stated a lower value than it was and the panny G1 was higher than stated. In each case i just used the camera and didnt worry about the iso differences, now i have the xpro1 i dont worry about iso inflation in comparison to other brands, i just use it and live with it, i have never been in a situation where i have not managed to get a shot because the iso rating was different than stated. For me the differences in isos are measurable but seldom relevant in practice.

            The difference in image quality to my previous cameras is considerable, i never shot above 800iso with the canon 350d and 400iso with the G1. My canon 40d was good to 1600. I believe we are truly spoilt by the recent cameras irrespective of the iso’s stated.

        • Miyamato Musashi

          That would be well for most STATIC scenes. But imagine what it means for scenes where subjects move and/or if you shoot handheld.

          X-series cameras wouldn’t cut the cheese where other cameras would due to the lower shutter speeds needed. Or you are force to UNDEREXPOSE your shots to avoid motion or handskae blur, which at high ISO means SEVERLY degraded image quality compared to correctly exposed shots.

          • Jon burtoft

            Indeed, if you want to take photos of people in the dark it would be tricky. The difference is so small and would only affect a very small percentage of incredibly specific situations, it is a non issue, for me at least, maybe I have steadier hands and good technique. I take a lot of street shots at night under artificial light, my settings are usually iso6400 I get sharp images which are exposed properly, in practical use the differences really arent a problem, in theory you are correct.

  • LeGO

    I would downscale the 24mp image from the RX1 to the 16mp image from the X100s to get a proper comparison.

  • David Cartier

    Who needs full frame – put 6.3 X20 sensors together and you can have an X-trans II APS-C sensor of 75MP ;-)

  • RichRich

    These comparison photos clearly stated Full frame is the way for future high end digital cameras. When there is a choice, buyers would always go for full frame rather than Fuji X half frame. Fuji needs to go full frame, do not waste time in the current 1/2 frame X mount. Buyers like me hesitate to buy into 1/2 frame knowing full frame will be the answer soon or later.

    Price of $3000 or not, is a function of projected numbers of cameras sold. Please say “Yes” to it, so Fuji will price low for bigger demand.

    My first digital DSLR was the $3500 Fuji S1 of year 2000, before it, I had 0.5 million resolution kodak digital. In 1992, a high end Digital camera(called electronic camera by then) retail priced for $30,000 would delivery high resolution of 0.3M. Press thrilled at show with it.

    Full frame Fuji will be affordable soon

  • David Cartier

    If price is the issue and full frame is the object then Samsung should be the one to watch.
    With way more resources than Fuji – and Sony – they for sure won’t do it coooool, but they will definitely do it cheaper.

  • Takemusuaiki

    The thing that the review missed is the awesome colors, the excellent uncorrected lens quality, and the user experience of the Fuji. The obvious difference is in how the camera reacts as a tool of art. Yes, the Sony has a full frame sensor with obvious benefits, but it has an ok lens, no viewfinder, boring color, and loads of submenus to change anything.

  • camel

    I saw some suspicious blue color in the supposed-white characters in the pic taken by X100s, in the X100s vs. RX1 comparison, especially the ISO6400 case but also in the ISO 100 case, too. A problem of X-Trans sensor?

    • jon burtoft

      Indeed, under intense scrutiny, looking at a severely cropped image, you may see some strange colour artifacts which could just be chroma noise which can be sorted with a touch of reduction. In the real world these artifacts are irrelevant. I find the high iso image quality of 6400/ 3200 to be superb in all new cameras, the RX1 is a high iso monster and to my eyes looks better, however the advancements in sensor technology and software over the last couple of years has made shooting at high iso’s a possibility with little major affect on image quality.

  • Without a doubt I would p it and buy it. Sony has been in my sights but the lack of viewfinder and inability to change lenses for such an expensive system has held me back. With the new rx1r, I might go for it. But I was hoping fuji would launch a full frame x pro 1 camera with 5 lenses.

    Xmas would be so nice.

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