Compact System or Compact camera?


mattie

Link Posted 12/05/2014 - 19:56
I finally got into a camera shop to have a look - sadly, no MX-1s or Ricohs to play with!

I did have a try of the Canon Powershot, the viewfinder was as bad as Jon had suggested, utterly dreadful. The Fuji X10 was much, much nicer, but there is some concern over image quality of its RAW files (for some reason, these are poor but JPEG OK) - I may have a look at an X20 and get some test images. I'll also stop talking about other brands on a Pentax forum!

I'll try to get into town this weekend, in the hope there's some MX-1s kicking around the have a play with.

johnriley

Link Posted 12/05/2014 - 20:37
Why not order one and take a chance? Everybody seems to like it, so the risk is pretty low!
Best regards, John

JonSchick

Link Posted 12/05/2014 - 21:09
mattie wrote:
I finally got into a camera shop to have a look - sadly, no MX-1s or Ricohs to play with!

I did have a try of the Canon Powershot, the viewfinder was as bad as Jon had suggested, utterly dreadful. The Fuji X10 was much, much nicer, but there is some concern over image quality of its RAW files (for some reason, these are poor but JPEG OK) - I may have a look at an X20 and get some test images. I'll also stop talking about other brands on a Pentax forum!

I'll try to get into town this weekend, in the hope there's some MX-1s kicking around the have a play with.

Having used the X10, X20 and MX-1, I'd say the Fuji's deliver nice colour and better Auto White Balance performance (although the latter is not an issue for raw shooters). The nicer colour is not necessarily more realistic though - actually I think the Pentax gets closer to reality.

With the X10, you need to learn how to use the EXR sensor to get the most out of the camera (and that means sticking to 6MP images to get some seriously good dynamic range - there are ways of doing it in raw but it's painful). At full image size, it blows highlights quite easily and has particular issues with reds - which rapidly turn lurid pink in some artificial lighting conditions. I felt like a beta tester with mine and I think it had a few too many rough edges that have been sorted out with the X20 (including a more useful viewfinder with information on things like shutter speed, aperture, and focus confirmation).

The X20 is better than the X10 for JPEG and raw images. Finding a good raw processor for the X Trans sensor is not easy though - Adobe haven't quite got there yet, although I can still squeeze more out of the images at base ISO using LR than I can get with out of camera JPEGs. Even with NR turned down to the minimum, the JPEG engine in the X20 smears detail at ISO100.

Obsessive pixel peeping suggests my X20 is about one stop brighter than the MX-1 when set to identical aperture, shutter speed and ISO with all other enhancements turned off, so it's possible that part of the explanation for the MX-1's comparatively good high ISO performance may be a slightly optimistic view of its reported ISO. Nevertheless, I think the MX-1 image quality stands up extremely well compared to the X20, with less noise (at reported ISO) and sharper, crisper detail. This is true in raw and JPEG.

The X20 and MX-1 are both great cameras although the latter appears to be planning on going inter-railing with my daughter soon.... I wouldn't buy the Fuji expecting better IQ or general performance though - it would need to be based on your view of handling and other features.
Jon

Some occasional random stuff at The Photographers Block: link

JAK

Link Posted 13/05/2014 - 00:19
If you're used to Pentax DSLRs, the menu system on the MX-1 is very similar - the options are where you've got used to. Using another make compact can get you guessing where the options you want are, which doesn't help the creative process. Performance wise? No grumbles unless an optical viewfinder is essential (and note there is no hot shoe to add one to the camera like one can on the Q.)
John K
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