X20 vs X10 vs RX100 + more X20 and X100s reviews


I’ve announced it 2 days ago. This week could be an interesting “review-week”. We started yesterday with the first impressions of the X20 and X100s at riflessifotografici, and you should not miss the X-pert corner this Friday, with the X100s vs X100 article of Rico Pfirstinger (in the meantime check his Flickr set here).

This time two Spanish magazines tested the X20 and X100s, Dslrmagazine and quesabesde.

1) Dslrmagazine posted his X20 review here (translated version) and the X100s review here (translated version).

2) Quesabesde compared the performance of the X10, X20 and RX100. Click here (translated version). Can the X20 really compete with the Sony RX100? Now we know, the X20 is faster than the X10. Especially in low light conditions you’ll notice the faster AF-performance. The image quality is outstanding for an advanced compact camera. Of course the X20 beats the X10 also in terms of image resolution, details, ISO performance and more, but can the X20 really match the RX100? This comparison shows that the RX100 (with 20.2 MP and 1″ sensor) beats the X20 (with 12MP and 2/3″ X-Trans sensor). But Fuji did an “excellent work“, making it one of the “most desirable compact cameras“. At quesabesde you can also download the RAW files of the sample shots!

IMHO, the missing viewfinder on the RX100 is already reason enough to go for the X20. But I’m sure some of you would go for the RX100 (bigger sensor in smaller camera)… so feel free to add your own PROS and CONS (X20 vs RX100) in the comments and vote this poll:

Tilt screen

View Results

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X100s: AmazonUS / BHphoto / Adorama / AmazonDEAmazonUK / AmazonITA / DigitalRev
X20: AmazonUS (blacksilver) / BHphoto (blacksilver) / Adorama (blacksilver) / AmazonUK (blacksilver) / AmazonDE / AmazonITA / DigitalRev
Fuji X10: Amazon, Adorama, B&H, eBay Sony RX100: Amazon, Adorama, B&H, eBay

 image courtesy: quesabesde

 photo comparison_zps10065140.jpg

  • Autoy

    Two different philosophies as you say. For me the mechanical zoom automatically discards any other compact, I believe only Fuji seems to do these with no other alternative whatsoever. I find this and the rest of the ergonomics more important than shooting 6400, as I always shoot compacts up to 800-1600 max.

  • Jason

    That 3200 ISO alone makes this seems like a no-brainer. That said, I totally agree with the importance of the OVF. This is a tricky choice.
    The RX100 seems to resolve more detail in the middle of the frame, but the edges are pretty much the same. DR seems pretty close as well in real world settings.
    I personally like a little larger size for my camera which makes me lean toward the X20, but with a larger camera and smaller sensor, I’m left feeling like there’s a missed opportunity here.
    I’ve always been of the opinion that if you can’t decide on a camera, you really don’t need one. I guess that’s where I’m sitting for now.

  • I have pre-ordered the X20. That example at iso 3200 is an unfair comparison between the x20 and the RX100. If you zoom all the way in the RX100 provides an f/4.9 versus the f/2.8 of the fuji X20.
    To me that’s a huge difference and it’d be informative to compare those camera at that focal lenght (actually the X20 has a 28-112mm zoom versus the RX100’s 29-105mm, so better zoom range for the X20).
    When it comes to ergonomics, that to me is also very important, the X20 really beats the RX100 hard.

  • jlabate

    There is so much to love about the Fuji’s. Their design of all cameras is the most appealing to us more traditional photographers. But compared to the RX100, that’s not enough for me. A finder with 85% coverage? Why bother? And the RX100 shows impressive image quality and is truly pocketable.

  • David Cartier

    Surprise, surprise – Sony, usually accused of looking “digital”, here comes out definitely more “film-like” – with delicious colour saturation. Though, not mentioning how the jpegs were rendered throws it all up in the air ;-/

  • St.

    The poll choice between X20 and RX100 is tricky.
    I voted for X20, but speaking about IQ I would choose RX100. Size-wise too.
    X20 has more “real” photographic experience and I like the viewfinder and the overall design too.

  • bfherouser

    I have waited for the X20 for so long now and I just love ergonomics, the manual zoom and the viewfinder. Actually everything with it except the picture and video quality I have seen so far.
    Something must be very wrong with the X20.
    Take a look att these pictures (the X20 i the worst of them with RX100 in the top and X10 right behind and the X20 vay behind the other two):
    For example take a look at the oval window.

    I have seen other pictures like this one. Is the photographer doing something wrong? They don’t do the same misstake with X10 and RX100.

    • Anton

      what’s wrong to your mind with http://images.quesabesde.com/camaras_digitales/noticias/fuji_x20_dscf9071.jpg photo? to my eyes it’s not worst than rx100 photo.

      • bfherouser

        Well, maybe my computer and screen is lying to me but the RX100 picture is crisp and in focus where the X20 picture is fuzzy and appears not to be in focus. Just take an extra look at the center of the picture (I have hownloaded both to my computer).
        This is sad because I really love the X10 and X20 design. But picture quality is just as important.

        • Bev

          I saw exactely the same; the X20 picture of the cathedral is dramatically soft ! Out of focus ? The X10 one is better
          On some other pictures (the tourists for example) the faces have no details, as if they had been heavily noice processed. That’s not the first time i remark this…
          Early (unfortunately bad) samples ???

          • bfherouser

            Exactly. Hope this is just early bad samples. Really want the X20 to be a good one.

            Check the GX1 vs X10 video here:
            Indoor the X10 is better. Hope the X20 will be even better (incl. auto focus).

  • Anon

    Even as a Fuji guy, the RX100 is a no brainer for me. It is my goto for times when I really only want a camera that I can slide into my back pocket. Not going to happen with the X20.

  • Ernie

    I own an x10 and a rx100. i enjoy the ability to carry the rx100 in a cell phone type case on my belt and the rx100 seems to me to have better IQ than the x10 ? However I prefer using the x10 even if the viewfinder is limited. the improved viewfinder will push me to get a x20…

  • Mikey

    X20 vs Rx100 is a question of usage and needs vs image quality.

    The X20 feels like a real camera with a viewfinder and manual zoom lens. It won’t fit in your pocket though.

    The RX100 has the advantage of fitting in your pocket and for some, that may be a huge advantage.

    If I were going to own one camera I would pick the X20 and never look back.

    I have a m43rda system though, so for a supplemental camera, the RX100 wind out.

  • Peter

    Difficult choice indeed. My choice: neither!

    At around 500 euros both of them are too expensive for me to “just” buy. And neither of them fill my needs enough. So I’ll stick to my GH-1 with 14-150mm for now.

    Things I like about the Sony: the big sensor and the fact that you can charge the battery using a USB charger. Very small and light weight. Not so good: no viewfinder, lack of manual buttons, slow lens at tele.

    The X20 has a great user interface with its manual zoom and many controls and the f/2.8 at its tele setting compensates for its smaller sensor. The viewfinder is a big of a mixed bag: great that it has one (esp. with display of the settings), but 85% is just barely useful IMO.

    Regarding image quality: I’m still undecided; I’d say the Sony has the advantage but the Fuji compensates somewhat with a faster lens.

    Anyway, my ideal travel camera:
    1″ sensor (12M pixel would be enough for me, make it excel at ISO 800)
    24-120mm (equivalent) f/2.8 – 4.0 lens with IS (or sensor-shift)
    threads for mounting a polarizing filter and a hood
    manual zoom, good manual controls (would love a ISO dial)
    electronic or 95%+ optical viewfinder
    long life battery, with USB charging

    The first contender with a 24mm wide setting would probably empty my wallet ;-) Maybe next year…

  • Regarding styling and form factor, Fuji’s XF1 is the actual competition of the RX100: pocketable, sleek, no viewfinder (and as good/bad as the X10 regarding IQ). It’a also less expensive than the RX100, and it offers mechanical zooming. Interestingly, customers hate that, they prefer a cheapo electronic zoom and a standard on/off switch. So it seems like the XF1 was targeted at the more stylish and demanding RX100 crowd, but only the cheapo P&S crowd is actually interested and, at closer inspection, doesn’t like the concept very much. So the XF1 appears to be a tough sell, witnessed by the fact that unlike the X10 and RX100, the XF1 is a rare subject in blogs and forum discussions.

    • autoy

      Perhaps it’s selling to normal people instead of geeks who write in forums. Only Fuji knows how successful it is.

  • sav

    Horses for courses.

    The RX100 is a true compact. I have an X10 and love it, but it and its XF1 sibling cannot appreach the quality of the RX. The only bit that X10 does better is low light tele shots due to the brighter lens.

    But in all fairness, the Fuji equivalent of the RX100 is the XF1. And for a pocket cam, I don’t see the electric lens zoom as a problem. I mean, the things are supposed to be easy to operate with one hand. That said, it seems that the jump from 2/3 to 1″ is a big one, I think the RX100 is an awesome little camera.

    What would be a nice move from Fuji would be to fit an 1″ sensor in a package similar to the X10, something like Canon’s GX1. I almost got that one, the only thing that put me off was the size. If Fuji kept the zoom lens within reasonable limits it could be quite small though.

    • Obviously, in order to make a 1″ camera, Fuji needs a competitive 1″ sensor. Maybe that’s the first problem: obtaining such a sensor. It’s not uncommon that new technology is made available on an exclusive basis for a certain amount of time. For example, even Sony could not use their 36 MP sensor in their own SLTs due to an agreement with Nikon, who wanted the sensor exclusively for the D800(E) for the first year., It may be similar with Nikon and the sensor for the Nikon 1, and Sony itself may be protective of their 1″ sensor in the RX100. This is all just speculation, but it’s a possibility. With the 2/3″, Fuji has a partnership with Toshiba, who are making the X10, XF1, X-S1 and X20 sensors, while Sony is manufacturing the Fuji’s APS-C sized sensors.

      • Bob G

        Interesting points, Rico, thanks. For me the X20 ergonomics win the day. I’m coming from a Canon G10 which has some dials but too many controls pushed into menus. The X20 improves on the physical controls but the RX100 goes in the wrong direction for my tastes (obviously not for everyone’s). I’m glad to see both the X20 and RX100 with better operational speed then the Canons.

      • Peter

        Fuji makes its own (X) sensors, so that shouldn’t be the problem. Thing is, you have to design a new lens, new housing etc. when you change the sensor size. Besides, a bigger sensor might eat sales from the aps-c sized cameras. That’s why I highly, highly doubt there’ll ever be a 1″ compact by Olympus or Panasonic, it’s just to close to the 4/3 cameras.

        Personally, I think a fixed-lens 1″ camera would be an excellent complement for an aps-c sized camera system with removable lenses (and Sony seems to agree)

        • Tim

          Fuji makes its own sensors in the same way that Apple makes its own iPhones (and the processors within).

          It might be Fuji’s design, but likely someone else makes them. And therein lies a commercial agreement of some nature regarding said design and any patented technology used in the production.

        • sav

          I think that the only reason the stayed at 2/3 was that this did not warrant a redesign of the body. They basically improved the X10 getting away with the absolute minimum they could do.

          However, the bold thing to do would be to stick a 1” sensor and provide a fast (i.e. f2 to f2.8) 28-90 lens. These cameras are supposed to be rangefinder look-a-likes, give them the typical rangefinder lens package and a big enough sensor to be creative. I’m afraid that the X10’s and X20’s sensor (which I love by the way due to mostly handling) just cannot cut it.

          One has to see what the RX100 can do to believe it, especially considering size.

  • cript

    Why I vote for the X20: because of the real viewfinder and the mechanical zoom! And the fact that Fuji (rightly, IMHO) left the “I have many small pixels, so I am better” philosophy for the others.

  • Dr

    Well, this is a sad day :(

    I pre-ordered the X20, but I’m on the verge of changing the order to the RX100:

    1. IQ is not really comparable between these two, especially if higher ISO is required.
    2. I much prefer 2:3 format images to 3:4
    3. As a backup and hike camera, size and weight are important. The RX wins again.

    In operation, the X20 creams the RX, but why go to all that effort and have such a tradeoff in the core of the camera when it is clear that a larger sensor could be specified. The RX100 is way behind, yes, but it still has enough to satisfy someone needing a small size with lots of configurability and high image quality.

    If Sony can do this, then so can Fuji. Sadly, the XF1 might be the format competitor to the RX100, but it is not the image quality competitor to the RX100 by any means.

    Hopefully, there are some fixes in the pipeline from Fuji to bridge the gap, or another larger sensored compact that can stand beside the RX100. I can’t wait till then, so my money goes to Sony this time.


  • jose

    It is clear every X20 fanboy is confussing cuality versus usability. At the end what all photograp want is the best photo-cuality available the reality is that the rx100 have beter Dr beter ISO beter IQ han the x20. Ie : I prefer select some menú actions and have the best photo than having one viewfinder.

  • Crinosil

    I’m a big fan of the fujifilm X series . Have the X100s and Xpro1. Love the view finders. But for my compact I chose the Sony RX100. Why? Well, it’s right there in the word “Compact”. If I’m ok carrying the camera around my neck I bring either of the X’s I own…. In all other cases I want the highest quality in the smallest body I can get…. That, my friends, is the RX100.

  • Haiku

    I had the rx100 and did sell it due to handling. IQ was really good. Now I have the XF1. Totally underrated camera and its tonality is much better in 6mp DR400 mode than the sony. Resolution is not all. I have the old S5pro and it is as well much better in tonality and roll-off than other cameras
    AF is quicker as well and I love the manual zoom.

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