X-10 or P7100... With a Catch

Discussion in 'Open Gear Talk' started by Biro, Dec 29, 2011.

  1. Biro

    Biro SC All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Aug 7, 2011
    Jersey Shore
    Real Name:
    Steve
    Much to my surprise, a relative presented me with a $150 Best Buy gift card for Christmas. Now, Best Buy carries a lot of things but I can't see frittering away the money on a series of tiny purchase like CDs, DVDs or memory cards, etc. But Best Buy only carries so many things that a serious photo enthusiast would want.

    As you can see in my signature, I have a nice micro four-thirds kit and a couple of compacts. But a couple of cameras have struck me as attractive for different reasons. One is the Fuji X-10 for obvious reasons and the other is the Nikon P7100, which my brother has gotten surprisingly good results with.

    Both cameras, as we all know, have very nice external controls and solid construction. Both offer excellent image quality for their class - but not quite on the level of the larger-sensored mirrorless cameras. In fact, on DPreview's web site, image quality between the two cameras is quite similar - although it's possible many X-10 fans may dispute that. :smile: Of course, the finishing of the X-10 is delightful and it has that fast lens - but it only goes out to 112mm. The Nikon goes out to a very attractive 200mm. Camera size is not significantly different.

    So here's my question: Given the current prices for these cameras at Best Buy today - $599 for the X-10 and $408 for the P7100 - a $150 credit will score me an X-10 for $449 and a P7100 for $258. Which would you go for?
     
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  2. drd1135

    drd1135 SC Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Jul 13, 2011
    Southwest Virginia
    Real Name:
    Steve
    Well, I paid $599 for my X-10, so my vote would be obvious :smile:
     
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  3. Armanius

    Armanius Bring Jack back!

    Jan 11, 2011
    Houston, Texas
    Real Name:
    Jack
    I love my X10, but if you need the extra zoom, the P7100 is the way to go. I like the form factor of the P7100 a lot as it reminds me of the G12. Plus, you'd be saving yourself a big chunk of change there!
     
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  4. Isoterica

    Isoterica SC Hall of Famer

    Dec 6, 2011
    I got a G12 for about 375... specs are about the same as the Nikon :)
     
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  5. Biro

    Biro SC All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Aug 7, 2011
    Jersey Shore
    Real Name:
    Steve
    I think I'm leaning in this direction. I'm looking for a general all-rounder that I take anywhere without needing to worry about bringing lenses - but with reasonable quality and easer access to photographic controls than I can get with my SX 230 HS.
     
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  6. demiro

    demiro Serious Compacts For Life Subscribing Member

    523
    Dec 15, 2011
    Biro, I'll give you the obvious answer "You really have to try them both". I've never used the Nikon, but have owned the somewhat similar Canon G11, and am a current X10 user. I know the G11 can take great shots, but I really didn't like the camera much at all. At the end of the day it just felt like a P&S camera with a bunch of nice external controls. The X10 feels like a different beast altogether to me.

    It is tough to justify the difference, but a cheaper camera that doesn't really compel you to use it is hardly a bargain in my book. That may be a load of crap, but it's how I justify a $600 P&S! ;)
     
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  7. kyteflyer

    kyteflyer ~@¿@~

    Jan 31, 2011
    Newcastle, Australia
    Real Name:
    Sue
    The lens on the X-10 is faster, at f/2, and the sensor is larger at 2/3, balanced against the zoom of the Nikon. I guess you need to work out which is more important. Being as how you have all those others, including an LX3 and the SX230, I'd probably recommend the X10 (what was I saying.. Nikon? NO)
     
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  8. Armanius

    Armanius Bring Jack back!

    Jan 11, 2011
    Houston, Texas
    Real Name:
    Jack
    Ahhh. Didn't notice you have the 230. That's a travel zoom eh? So you may have long range covered already. Would the P7100 give you significantly better IQ over the 230?
     
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  9. retow

    retow SC All-Pro S.C. Charter Member

    Jul 24, 2010
    If you want a great deal, go for the Nikon 7000 for around USD 230. After FW upgrades I hear it performs at the level of the 7100. Compared to the X10, the Nikon lens is quite a bit slower, one stop at the wide and even more at the long end. The X10 sensor is slightly larger and newer (don't know what that EXR stuff really does) and coupled with the faster lens low light performance of the Fuji will be better.
     
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  10. Biro

    Biro SC All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Aug 7, 2011
    Jersey Shore
    Real Name:
    Steve
    Yes, I have the SX 230 HS and it works well enough, but it handles like a point and shoot, the zoom is kind of slow and going into any kind of manual or custom mode seems a bit fussy to me. But here's the interesting thing: I'm not completely sure either the X-10 or the P7100 will offer significantly better image quality than the SX 230.

    If one checks out the image comparison tool used in camera reviews at DPReview, there doesn't appear to be a significant difference - even at higher ISOs. I'm only guessing here, but I suspect the SX 230's backside-illuminated sensor is helping. Both the G12 and the P7100 share the same older (but not too old) sensor. Perhaps DPreview isn't using the EXR technology in those comparison shots. But wouldn't they have to at the higher ISOs?

    X-10 owners, keep me honest here. Take a look at this page from the G12 review. Go down to the four-panel 100% enlargement image comparsion. You can use the dropdown menu in each photobox to select other cameras. Add the P7100 the X-10 and the SX 230. If you go back to the near the top of the page, you can change the ISO for the whole group with a single setting change. Tell me what you think.

    Canon Powershot G12 Review: 5. Compared to: JPEG: Digital Photography Review
     
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  11. Armanius

    Armanius Bring Jack back!

    Jan 11, 2011
    Houston, Texas
    Real Name:
    Jack
    I haven't looked at the comparometer yet, but I'd guesstimate that the X10 would not be significantly better than other enthusiast level P&S cameras in terms of pixel level sharpness and being noise-free. After all, the X10 is a P&S. While its sensor is a bit bigger than the standard P&S, it's not that much bigger.

    What separates the X10 from other cameras (other than styling) is the fast lens in a fairly usable focal length. I believe the XZ1 is the only P&S out there with a faster and equally flexible/usable focal length. But to me, I prefer the ergonomics and customizability of the X10 over the XZ1. I never bonded with the XZ1, and the auto iSO was really annoying. In any event, with the X10 (and XZ1), you can get away with shooting at lower ISO whereas you'd need to bump it up with the 230 and the 7100 or G12.

    As for the EXR, IMO, the EXR helps more with dynamic range than with noise reduction. My thought is that the reduction in noise levels that I see on EXR photos is more of a result from downsampling a 12 mp photo to a 6 mp photo, rather than the EXR technology itself. BUT, the "pro low light" mode does work wonders in noise reduction while retaining excellent details. So that's a definite big PLUS for the X10.
     
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  12. Armanius

    Armanius Bring Jack back!

    Jan 11, 2011
    Houston, Texas
    Real Name:
    Jack
    For your question about having to go to EXR at high ISO, that is not the case. EXR has its own mode dial selection. And according to some folks, EXR is also triggered if one uses 6 mp files in any of the PASM modes and sets the DR (dynamic range) option to "auto". I am thinking that the comparometer likely used full sized 12 mp files, which then does not have the benefit of EXR's noise reduction scheme. All EXR files are 6 mp's, with the exception of EXR "HR", which is for high resolution at 12 mp, and which pretty much means that there is no EXR being used. Thumbs up to marketing scheme there!
     
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  13. BBW

    BBW Administrator Emeritus S.C. Charter Member

    Jul 7, 2010
    betwixt and between
    Real Name:
    BB
    Just jumping in here to say welcome, demiro! I'm big on enjoying a camera enough to use it, too.:biggrin: Please stop by our Welcomes and Introductions forum when you can!

    Now back to our regularly scheduled, evolving discussion.:thumbup:
     
  14. Biro

    Biro SC All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Aug 7, 2011
    Jersey Shore
    Real Name:
    Steve
    Yes, this is what I'm thinking... because the test shots show no real advantage over the other cameras while most people who use the X-10 in the real world say it offers high ISO performance closer to micro four-thirds cameras than others with sensors of about the same size. I may have to think about this a bit more.

    Also, Aramius, any issues with the white "globes" from your X-10?
     
  15. demiro

    demiro Serious Compacts For Life Subscribing Member

    523
    Dec 15, 2011
    Biro, one other thought from me, relative to the SX230 (which I also own). There is no comparison in IQ between it and the X10. I like the 230, and in good light with few challenges it will produce very nice images. The X10 will go way beyond that in terms of low light though, and I don't think you have to go all that low to bump in to the limitations of the 230.
     
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