Ricoh GR vs Sony RX100M2 (overall, but focus on video differences)...

Discussion in 'Other >= 1" Sensor Cameras' started by dafreedm, Jul 31, 2013.

  1. dafreedm

    dafreedm New to SC

    1
    Jul 30, 2013
    [New member and first-time post; good to meet you!]


    Hi all,

    I'm having a tough time deciding between the Ricoh GR and the Sony
    RX100M2, and would appreciate insight and advice here. I posted an
    earlier request for input on FredMiranda (FM), where I've been a member
    much longer, and received a lot of valuable guidance (including from
    'aleksanderpolo', whom I note is a contributor here as well).

    My earlier posting from FM is repeated below, for context. Since that
    time, I've eliminated the Nikon Coolpix A (due to inaccessibility of
    video setting deep in menus, deficiencies in user-interface and
    haptics, and, to a lesser extent, the $300 premium over the Ricoh GR).

    So, now it's between Ricoh GR and RX100M2. If I were convinced that
    the image-quality of the videos from the GR were equal to those from
    the RX100M2, I would almost surely go with the GR (given its superior
    still IQ, and better UI/haptics). However, it seems that they are
    not... aleksanderpolo responded to my FM thread by stating: "[video]'s
    pretty bad with lots of artifacts, not smooth at all." Also, since my
    FM posting, I've found another review:

    Ricoh GR Digital Camera Review - DigitalCameraInfo.com

    that described the video issues in much greater detail than Ming Thien
    and other still photographers did in their reviews. This review
    stated:

    "Video quality was decidedly sub-par. Even when shooting in the
    maximum 1080/30p setting and with good light, videos were soft
    (maxing out at 525 lp/ph) and riddled with distracting image
    artifacts. Trailing was an obvious issue and videos weren't very
    smooth, even compared to typical 1080/30p clips. The camera's
    autofocus system also tries to refocus far too often, resulting in
    jittery footage of static scenes; we recommend shooting in manual
    focus or snap focus mode to avoid this issue. Better yet, just
    ignore the video mode altogether."

    That being said, I'm still drawn to others who can compare it directly
    with RX-100M2. I was gratified to note that an SC regular (LindenW
    --- hi!) owns all three and has done a detailed comparison:

    https://www.photographerslounge.org/f103/comparison-test-ricoh-gr-nikon-coolpix-sony-rx100-19944/

    As great a comparison as it is, it seems to focus only on the still capabilities...

    Linden, any possibility you might kindly comment on video performance
    among the two or three compacts, even if not comprehensively (due to
    time)? Others?

    Thanks so much!

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------

    My original FM post (Advice on large-sensor, ultra-compact camera... - FM Forums)

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------

    I'm trying to decide between a couple of enthusiast (ie, large-sensor)
    ultra-compact cameras, and would appreciate guidance from folks that
    have used one or both of the ones I'm considering, especially those
    who have similar preferences, use-case scenarios as mine. No strict
    price limit, and all the ones I've looked at are similar enough in
    price (sub $1200, let's say), that it's not an issue.

    Some background --- I'm a long-time amateur DSLR shooter (formerly,
    D-70, more recently D-7000 and D-3 with 85/f1.4, 105/f2D, etc) but the
    primary (though, definitely not sole) user of the camera will be my
    wife. She's very much a novice at this, and not particularly
    interested in increasing her photography / camera knowledge or
    skill-set; she currently uses, and loves, her Canon SD870is. We're
    looking to upgrade to get better overall image-quality, faster
    operation, and HD video. So, the camera should have straight-forward
    usability for her (even if she does not obtain optimal IQ output, by
    simply using it as a P&S), but I'll likely often borrow it (when I
    don't feel like carrying my heavier gear).

    Primary usage scenario (her only scenario) is to take pictures and
    videos of our children --- mainly, daily activity and portraits, but
    not really sports. Environmental conditions are about evenly split
    between outdoor (assume sunny, say EV 12-15) and indoor (say, EV 5-7,
    but usually not low-light).

    An absolute requirement is:

    Pocketability (compact-size)

    (which understandably greatly restricts options, of course). For sake
    of comparison, all M4/3's are definitely too large to meet this
    criteria; to give some point of comparison, even the Fuji X100s is too
    big (at 127x74x54mm). So, I'm looking for something that's only a bit
    larger than the SD870is she has (93x59x26mm). This rules out all
    cameras with OVF/EVF, but I'm okay with that.

    Top priorities (in explicit order of importance) within this class
    of compact cameras is:

    (1) Image quality
    (2) Quality and speed of autofocus
    (3) Video capabilities (see below)
    (4) Intuitiveness of user-interface and handling
    (5) Depth of buffer when shooting RAW+JPG

    Things I explicitly do *NOT* care about (among others, likely):

    (1) Viewfinder or hot-shoe capability
    (2) Wifi / NFC capability
    (3) Using flash as wireless commander

    The video capabilities are important (ranked #3, as above), since my
    wife captures so many clips of our children on video; however, she's
    not sophisticated enough to do fancy controls during shooting (pulling
    focus, zooming [if camera has zoom], etc.), so let's limit the
    comparison of video capabilities to quality of video, with controls
    constant across length of clip.

    A chief issue not outlined above is our potential requirement for zoom
    or, instead, our appreciation for just a good fixed lens. Personally,
    I think I'm fine with just a prime (and shoot mainly that on my
    DSLRs). I suspect my wife would likely prefer the flexibility of a
    zoom. However, I've recently examined (programmatically) 1000s of
    photos she took with her SD870is over the past few years, constructed
    a histogram of the various focal-length settings of them, and found
    that she took ~50% of them at 28mm (FX-equiv), and only 10% at each
    of five or so other settings all the way up to the max of 105mm
    (FX-equiv) present on the SD870. So, this leads me to believe (and to
    be able to convince her) that a fixed-length lens would be a viable
    option for her demonstrated past shooting preferences.

    The list of possible cameras is actually pretty small (given my
    extreme demands of compactness and sensor-size/image-quality). In
    fact, so far, my attention has focused strictly on the Ricoh GR, Nikon
    Coolpix A, and Sony RX-100M2. The Fuji XF1 could potentially also be
    included, but it's 2/3" sensor (and DxO of 49) is sufficiently far
    from the other three to exclude it (in my opinion). So, let's set the
    sensor-bar, then, at CX or above (DX). If there are any other models
    I should be considering, please let me know... If not, would appreciate
    help in deciding between above three.

    Sources I've already consulted, so far, to understand the situation:

    (1) Ming Thein's excellent reviews and comparisons:
    (a) The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 – a somewhat comparative review – Ming Thein | Photographer
    (b) Review: The Nikon Coolpix A – Ming Thein | Photographer
    (c) Review: The 2013 Ricoh GR (digital V) – Ming Thein | Photographer
    (d) Battle of the 28mm compacts: Ricoh GR vs Nikon Coolpix A – Ming Thein | Photographer

    Ming does not explicitly review the RX100M2, nor compare the
    RX100 with the DX compacts, but I suspect he would favor either
    of the DXs due to their improved IQ, and his expressed interest
    in 28mm-prime shooting. As above, my situation is a bit more
    nuanced, but not much --- with the exclusion of a better
    understanding of how either of the DXs compare in
    ("constant-control") video against the RX100M2.

    More interesting to me, the issues that Ming mentions with GR
    color handling in its RAW files appear to possibly be related to
    some issues with ACR, rather than to anything in the camera
    itself. This would be quite comforting to learn (assuming that
    they would then disappear in later revisions of said software
    program).

    (2) DP Review:
    (a) Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 II Hands-on Preview: Digital Photography Review
    (b) Nikon Coolpix A Hands-on Preview: Digital Photography Review
    (c) Ricoh GR Hands-on Preview: Digital Photography Review

    (3) Thom Hogan
    (a) 2013 Nikon News and Comments by Thom Hogan (under "The A Problem")
    (b) http://www.gearophile.com/cameras/camera-reviews/nikon-coolpix-a-review.html

    I think my first goal is to decide whether I want to trade additional
    IQ (moving from CX to DX sensor) for the ability to zoom. In making
    that decision, I would then either purchase, or exclude, the RX-100M2.
    Right now, I'm leaning to better IQ, with the significant caveat that
    I can also obtain better video from the DX cameras. (I know / suspect
    that the RX100M2 is more adept at the *control* of the video, probably
    allowing for pull focus, easy recomposition during video, etc. As I
    mention above, let's put all those capabilities aside, since I know my
    wife will never use them. Instead, let's just consider the IQ of the
    video from the RX-100M2 against that of the A and GR. For example,
    what is the impact of the video codec?)

    Once that is decided, I'll either have chosen the RX-100M2, or have to
    decide between the A and the GR. At that point, I think it's a much
    closer decision... Thoughts?

    Regardless, I very much appreciate any insights on above.

    Thanks!
     
  2. Darthpnoy88

    Darthpnoy88 SC Regular

    94
    Feb 1, 2013
    Southern California
    Rain
    I've personally owned the RX100M1 and sold it to upgrade to a GR, in terms of video the Sony is still better than the GR even better with the M2 I'm certain. Though for me since I do more photos than video 90% photos/10% video so I didn't matter to me that the GR's video capability isn't the best and was shooting more in the 28mm focal length. Another consideration to take into mind is be certain you're going to be comfortable shooting with just 28mm for the GR, otherwise the RX100 has a more versatility. But either one you can't go wrong.
     
  3. dsiebeck

    dsiebeck New to SC

    1
    Jul 31, 2013
    Germany, Stuttgart
    I have both cameras at home at the moment to compare them because I am in a similar situation as you are. As far as I understood you are more interested in comparing the video capability?

    If video is important to you, you can imediatley stop comparing the GR and the RX100II... there is such a HUGE difference, the RX100II is maybe one of the best video cameras for this money. The GR has absolutely no chance against the RX100II... auto focus, frame rates, color, ... etc. But the most amazing feature of the Sony for video is its in build image stabilization. If you watch the videos, it looks like you have used a tripod! You can even walk with the camera hand held... there is minimal movement in the movie.
    The tiltable screen is also very handy for video shooting.

    Video important -> SONY RX100II period!

    You might have to consider one of the biggest week points of the RX100II, which is handling... it is simply too small to hold it and if you have larger hands then women size... you will have problems to hold the camera without touching buttons.

    The GR feels so much more natural in your hands and it is a joy to hold it.

    Personally I have alreday thought about keeping the Sony for video only and the GR for still fotos.... but this would be a bit costly ;-)
     
  4. Chrisnmn

    Chrisnmn SC Veteran

    405
    Jul 8, 2012
    Auckland, New Zealand
    Chris Leskovsek
    IF video is key. forget about the Ricoh or Fuji (just in case).

    The GR is a photo dedicated camera. not saying the Sony is not, but the Sony will have OTHER functions that the GR doesnt. that is both good and bad.

    If you care about the WIFI, Ricoh didnt forget about it, and though is not "in camera" it is mentioned in the camera instruction manual, and Ricoh recommends using Eye Fi Xpro2 cards if you want wifi. I just got my card this morning and is working perfectly. So now i have wifi if i want to.

    this are my recommendations to you, based i own the GR. and im super happy with it. the camera is fast, snappy, and made with photographers in mind. and i love that. also, did i say the sensor and IQ this thing pulls is TOP SHELF stuff.
     
  5. Archiver

    Archiver SC Top Veteran

    619
    Jul 11, 2010
    Melbourne, Australia
    It really depends on how important it is to have good quality video. The GR's video "capability" (and I use that word very loosely) is distinctly secondary to its superlative stills quality. Ricoh have never been known for video quality, and in almost all of their cameras, the quality makes it look like it was tacked on just to say, 'it has video, too'.

    Exposure is about 1-1.5 stops darker than it should be, there's a lot of jitter in the movement and there's a lot of noise and blotches in the shadows. GR video "quality" just isn't up to scratch. But the stills quality is amazing, and between the Panasonic GH3 for video and the Ricoh GR for high quality images, I have barely touched my Leica M9 for weeks and weeks. It's obviously much more convenient to have it all in one camera, but the GR slips into a pocket while the GH3 is around my neck.

    The video I've seen from the original RX 100 looks very good, indeed. Brandon Li of Run, Gun, Shoot uses the RX100 all the time, and with some good editing, the results can look marvellous. It is definitely a great camera for pocket sized video, and the stills are quite good, too. They won't have the same richness and sharpness of the GR, but they are more than passable for most situations.