I think I need some help with this

Discussion in 'The Watering Hole' started by Jock Elliott, Mar 30, 2012.

  1. Jock Elliott

    Jock Elliott SC All-Pro

    Jan 3, 2012
    Troy, NY
    Like, I suspect, a lot of the folks here, I am constantly engaged in "foreplay" on my possible next camera purchase.

    Recently I was on DPreview, comparing the G1X to some other cameras.

    [​IMG]

    While DXOmark rates the G1X sensor at 60, the M9 at 69, and the Olympus at 40, it seems to me that the G1X looks better than all of them, and that the XZ-1 doesn't look too bad. In other words, I don't see a close correlation between the sensor ratings and the observed results. What am I doing wrong?

    Also, I've heard complaints that G1X is too big. But if you were willing to tote an M9 around all day, check this out:

    [​IMG]

    The G1X is smaller.

    Anyhow, can someone straight me out on correlating sensor scores with actual images?
     
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  2. Armanius

    Armanius Bring Jack back!

    Jan 11, 2011
    Houston, Texas
    Real Name:
    Jack
    Disclaimer: I'm no expert on DXO, sensors, cameras, etc.

    DXO supposedly rates the sensor and the sensor alone. In other words, it evaluates the RAW images produced by the sensor, and doesn't take into account the camera's JPG engine capabilities.

    On the DPreview comparometer screen shot that you posted, we are looking at JPG's. I can confidently tell you that the M9's JPG engine stinks worse than a dead rotten skunk. Moreover, the M9's sensor doesn't handle high ISO noise very well and has limited dynamic range. However, what it does well is provide extremely high resolution and contrasty images. Combine that with lenses that are generally better than their counterparts, and that's why a lot of people like the M9 (other than the red dot allure).

    That being said, the G1X has the newest sensor of the bunch and the latest JPG engine. It also has a near APS-C sized sensor, which is bigger than the small sensors on the X10 and XZ1.

    Here's a screenshot of the RAW images at ISO800. I substituted the NEX5n for the X10 as DPR doesn't have RAW samples for the X10, and the NEX5n's sensor is generally considered one of the best.

    [​IMG]

    Without the JPG engines, you are seeing much more closely to what DXO is "seeing."

    JPG engines also reduce noise at the cost of detail. So if you look at other areas of the XZ1's high ISO JPG samples like the tree on the label for one of the bottles, you will see that the XZ1's photo is smeared and lacks detail. Even looking at the JPG of the coins, on both the X10 and XZ1, the coins look smeared. The M9's JPG also looks smeared, but the M9's RAW looks really good.

    In my opinion, looking at the coins portion of the DPR samples can be misleading, because the noise in photos is generally found on the shadows or dark areas. So it's always best to look at different areas of the DPR sample photos.
     
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  3. Armanius

    Armanius Bring Jack back!

    Jan 11, 2011
    Houston, Texas
    Real Name:
    Jack
    As far as the size of the cameras, everything is relative. Leica M users like to say that the Leica M's are small compared to DSLR's. I suppose if we compare the M9 to a Nikon D4, the answer is yes. But not so much when compared to a Nikon D3100. I think some people say that the G1X is "big" because they are comparing with other "serious compacts." But in reality, the G1X isn't even that much bigger than the G12. But it's big compared to a S100.
     
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  4. Jock Elliott

    Jock Elliott SC All-Pro

    Jan 3, 2012
    Troy, NY
    Armanius,

    Thanks for both your comments. I guess I can stop lusting after an M9 now . . . I hardly ever shoot raw.

    Cheers, Jock
     
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  5. Lili

    Lili SC Hall of Famer

    Oct 17, 2010
    Dallas, TX
    Real Name:
    Lili
    I find odd how our definition of too large has changed.
    I carried my Hexar AF everywhere in my film days, yet now I would find it far too big!
    We have become spoiled I guess.
     
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  6. Armanius

    Armanius Bring Jack back!

    Jan 11, 2011
    Houston, Texas
    Real Name:
    Jack
    Jock, if you like to use JPG only, but like a Leica "looking" camera, the X100 is simply awesome. On the X100, the JPGs are so good that I don't waste time shooting in RAW and converting to JPG. From what I am seeing so far with the XPro1, it seems like those JPGs are also very good. Unlike the Leica M9, both the X100 and XPro1 handle high ISO well.
     
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  7. krugorg

    krugorg SC All-Pro

    Sep 26, 2011
    Minnesota USA
    Real Name:
    Kyle Krug
    My buddy just got a G1X and I like the handling, etc. He really digs the twisty screen and uses this a lot. It is definitely chunky, though, for a compact. It is really more in the size range of larger m4/3 bodies.

    The only other comment I would make is that you would need to think about the speed of the lens and not just compare ISO to ISO. You would get a faster lens with the X10 and, of course, with m4/3 prime lenses.
     
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  8. Jock Elliott

    Jock Elliott SC All-Pro

    Jan 3, 2012
    Troy, NY
    I'm spoiled too. I used to carry a bag with a couple of Pentaxes, lenses, etc.

    Now I want it all in a package that can hang around my neck comfortably under my jacket.

    Cheers, Jock
     
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  9. Jock Elliott

    Jock Elliott SC All-Pro

    Jan 3, 2012
    Troy, NY
    Armanius,

    The XPro1, especially with the middle focal length 1.4 lens, looks very tempting. I'd love to have the X100, but I use the zoom on my G12 all the time, so perhaps I would not be happy with the X100's single focal length.

    Cheers, Jock
     
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  10. adanac

    adanac SC Veteran

    386
    Sep 30, 2011
    Vancouver, BC
    For me "too big" is more of a threshold than an actual size.

    The camera with a single mounted lens needs to fit in a relatively small shoulder bag that doesn't look like a camera bag, and said bag/camera must still be compact enough to slide into a day pack without consuming all the usable space needed for food and other gear. Any camera that can do that is not too big for me.

    If they made DSLR's in a size similar to my quite compact Contax 139 film SLR, then maybe I could even consider a DSLR for an every day carry camera, but I'm not aware of any that could quite do the job; the other aspect of "too big" for me has to do with what defines a full kit. I can comfortably carry all day in a still relatively trim bag a camera like the GXR or M9 or NEX with four or five rangefinder lenses (and a 5N as a spare body no less), but would not do the same with a full DSLR kit.
     
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  11. Jock Elliott

    Jock Elliott SC All-Pro

    Jan 3, 2012
    Troy, NY
    Krugorg,

    You're right: the speed of the lens(es) matters. The X10 temps me as well, but I definitely want to see how the resolution of "the orbs" problem works out. The other camera that temps me is the OMD, particularly because, with the kit lens, it is weather resistant.

    I got caught in a rainstorm with my G12, and that got me thinking seriously about "environmental" issues. Now, at a minimum, I usually stick a plastic bag in my pocket to protect the camera. It's not a real classy solution, but it works!

    Cheers, Jock
     
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  12. kyteflyer

    kyteflyer ~@¿@~

    Jan 31, 2011
    Newcastle, Australia
    Real Name:
    Sue
    I'm back on the "I only want a "big" sensor camera" trail. This discussion has helped cement my decisions. I absolutely detest the smearies. So, with that, I'm probably going to get the G1X after all, in spite of its horrid VF, or the X-10, when its available with the new sensor. Its going to depend on whats available when I have the readies. New iphone first :)
     
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  13. kyteflyer

    kyteflyer ~@¿@~

    Jan 31, 2011
    Newcastle, Australia
    Real Name:
    Sue
    I have a "snoot" bag for my K-5 + kit zoom. The snoot is too big for the camera plus prime lens: with a prime (usually the FA43 or DA35), I carry it in a small bag which normally fits my Pansonic FZ-100. And then it (or the snoot) gets thrown into my normal (that is, in use every day) cloth shoulder bag. The shoulder bag does have a huge capacity so I usually have a couple of other cameras in there as well. If I have the 18-55 attached, I'll sometimes carry one of the primes as well, depending on what I am planning. The strap on the shoulder bag can be extended for cross-chest use or just hanging from one shoulder. I usually just have it across the chest. Its easier. Pentax lenses tend to be physically smaller and lighter than their counterparts from other brands, with the exception of the DA* lenses which dont use the screw drive, and are more weighty because of the motor inside. I prefer small and light so the older Pentax screw drive system suits me perfectly. If I am going to want to do "more" and carry more gear, I have a Lowepro Passport sling bag which fits everthing I need, plus wallet, keys, phone... and still doesn't really look like a camera bag.
     
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  14. nippa

    nippa SC Top Veteran S.C. Charter Member

    561
    Aug 7, 2010
    Cheshire UK
    Real Name:
    Dennis
    The DPReview of the G1X is very good but I'm not sure that they're showing the best of the lens.

    The test piece has been shot at 110mm ( symbol on the bottom right of each picture shows the lens used ) and at the probable distance it would be necessary to go into Macro Mode.
    I think that's what they try to say in the accompanying text when they explain why the corners are a little soft.

    The point is that the lens is exceptional and I put it up there with that on my Leica X1.,, seems like Popular Photography agrees.

    IQ is better than my m4/3 kit 14-45 mm lens although the Lumix G3/GF3 would have been my preferred compact camera had the Lumix X lenses been better.
     
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  15. Luckypenguin

    Luckypenguin SC Hall of Famer

    Dec 24, 2010
    Brisbane, Australia
    Real Name:
    Nic
    However it was DPReview tested the G1X, the edge softness of the studio shots is not representative of the way the camera/lens performs in real world conditions. One thing though; no matter how good the G1X's high ISO performance and image stabilisation system is, it is not primarily a camera for low light conditions, not compared to an interchangable lens camera sporting a sub f/2 prime lens anyway. The maximum aperture on the G1X closes down very quickly as you zoom in.