X10 v. X100 v. GRD IV

Discussion in 'Fuji X100 Forum' started by ziggy, Dec 21, 2011.

  1. ziggy

    ziggy SC Rookie

    12
    Dec 21, 2011
    Here's yet another comparison question, but hopefully an interesting one.

    I have been a GRDII user for several years now, and am a firm supporter of this series of cameras. I don't dislike much of anything about the camera, but with a crack in the screen, and messed up focus issues, I may be in the market to replace the beloved little one.

    I've spent a fair part of the day doing some research, as I don't often prowl camera news and reviews, and I'm intrigued by the Fuji X10 and X100, although ordinarily I wouldn't look far beyond the GRD line, or in this case, the GRD IV (or even III).

    Let me start off by describing my needs in a camera:

    • Manual shooting options -- I need to have customization, and ideally, that customization should happen easily and quickly.
    • Zoom lens? Don't really care for it. I rather have a fast, sharp wide lens -- in this case, the X10 does not post any extra benefit with its zoom lens. I am fine with having a fixed lens.
    • Small -- the smaller, the better, generally speaking. A pocketable camera is preferable, but not a deal breaker. I used to shoot with Bess rangefinders (heavy in comparison to most compact digitals), and actually, the aesthetics of the X100 appeal to me because it reminds me of my Bessa. Really, though, the size of any of these three cameras is fine. Generally speaking, I prefer discreet and silent shooting.
    • Video quality: believe it or not, I am hoping to have a still camera with decent video quality. It would be great to be able to shoot short HD clips to use for my business ventures (promoting natural building practices)... The GRDII (my current camera) does nothing for me in the video department. It looks like the GRD IV is lacking there as well.
    • Cost: Damn... the X100 is pretty much the max of what I can afford, if not beyond what I can afford. The price tag is a pretty big drawback for me, and that's actually why I've included the X10 in this comparison.

    Let's summarize.

    I want a compact, manual feature-rich camera that is discreet, with excellent image quality, and has a respectable video option. Ideally, the camera cost NOT be $1000+, but if there is some compelling reason to pursue the X100 (good video quality?), I might be able to make it work.

    I nearly exclusively shoot with manual focus, so it's important that the MF be intuitive and relatively quick to operate.

    A quality VF is appealing to me, and actually something I miss with my current GRDII. I don't want to depend exclusively on the LCD screen, although to be honest, it's what I end up using most of the time anyway.

    That about sums it up. Thoughts?

    By the way, you can view my photo work here: Flickr: ziggy fresh's Photostream

    Thank you for your time.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  2. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs SC Legend

    Sep 21, 2010
    Not too far from Philly
    you should be able to figure it out...
    Sounds like the X10 may be the sweet spot. It's not as small as the GRD, but is smaller than the x100. The IQ is better than the gRD (particularly once you figure out how to use the Exr capabilities) but not as good as the X100. It probably has the best video of the three. None of them are great for pure manual focus, but both the X10 and GRD are great for zone focus, with the GRD a bit better because of the "snap focus" feature. The x100 is pretty bad for most any type of manual focus. They all have great manual controls, but each is a bit different, so it's sort of down to personal preference on that. The X10's zoom is pretty nice to have on occasion, even if you almost never use it. I keep it on either 28 or 35mm almost always, but not quite always.

    Sounds like the best set of tradeoffs to me, but you might feel differently after trying each of them. I have all three, but I'm obviously an idiot, so you might not want to listen to me on this. :cool:

    -Ray
     
    • Like Like x 4
  3. krugorg

    krugorg SC All-Pro

    Sep 26, 2011
    Minnesota USA
    Kyle Krug
    Have you considered the GXR with 28mm module? It has the great Ricoh interface that you seem to like, excellent IQ, great snap focus, APS-C sensor, and the option to add modules later if you want . It is smaller than the X100 and, I believe, would even be smaller than the X10 in at least 2 out of 3 dimensions (maybe even close in the 3rd, depth).

    I am not a big video guy, so I can't comment on the GXR's capability, but not sure if any of the models you are looking at excel in that category.
     
  4. ziggy

    ziggy SC Rookie

    12
    Dec 21, 2011
    Hrm.... I have not seriously considered the GXR. I've not been terribly interested based on what I've read.

    Unfortunately, I don't have the opportunity to get to try any of these in person, so I basically need to be confident about what I want to pursue, and get that.

    I am realizing now that the video mode is actually pretty important to me, strangely enough. That the camera have at least good video quality is a major plus.

    I do some amount of video production (with a Panasonic DVX100B), but I am totally over the miniDV tape workflow, and it's the biggest reason why I can't be bothered to take out the otherwise excellent video camera to do video work these days.
     
  5. Iansky

    Iansky SC Top Veteran

    782
    Dec 8, 2011
    Cotswolds, UK
    Ziggy,

    Your reasoning / requirements pretty much rules out the X100 due to size / cost and the X10 due to the zoom lens.

    Have you looked at / considered the GRD4 yet?, it may be just what you are after - I know you say the video does not offer you what you want.

    Failing that, I would also consider Micro 4/3rds - I have been using a Panasonic GF1 for over 2 years and it is a superb camera that produces brilliant street images (my street with GF1 + 20mm lens is at - Iansky Photosite).

    The GF1 finally has a successor in the GX1 that has a better sensor, is more rubust and will offer full HD video - this may just be worth considering and I have one on order that will arrive in Jan and so far image quality looks to be pretty close to that of the Fuji X100 - worth a look, and cheaper!
     
  6. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs SC Legend

    Sep 21, 2010
    Not too far from Philly
    you should be able to figure it out...
    Is video is important, I'd seriously take a look at the LX5. Its not quite the stills camera that the X10 is, although its on par with the GRD3 or 4. It has a zoom, but I don't see that as a DOWNside, just unnecessary. And its video is really quite amazing for a little camera like that. I'm not a video guy, but I was reading up on the video capabilities of these various small cameras and it seemed like the LX5 was pretty advanced compared to most. Its also smaller than anything you're considering other than the GRD3 (and not too much bigger than that). Maybe worth a look anyway... Other than that I still think the X10 is probably the closest thing to the best compromise in the areas you're interested in.

    -Ray
     
  7. ziggy

    ziggy SC Rookie

    12
    Dec 21, 2011
    Ok... in the grand new hierarchy of all things considered, here are my latest thoughts.

    If the GRD IV had a worthwhile video mode, it would be my ideal. I've really enjoyed the GRD2 and would love to stick to that line, but dang, the video mode just ain't cutting it for me. Hrm. Actually, if I hadn't been thinking about this video issue recently, I probably wouldn't have even looked very far beyond the GRDIII or IV in my quest.

    The X100... the price is hard to swallow, considering the lackluster video mode. If the video mode were more robust, this might be my top pick. I gotta say, it's easy to be swayed by its appearance, though... I'm a big fan of the rangefinder look and feel. I'd be choosing to have excellent image quality and a beautiful camera over a fuller video mode if I went this route.

    The X10? More in my price range, comparable to the image quality I'd be getting with a GRD, but better video. Not as compact, but it looks pretty swell, so I could live with that. A potential contender. A better choice than the GRD III or IV, it seems.

    Ok, this GX1 is a new possibility. It's on the upper end of my price limit. I would have to understand the differences between the power zoom lens and the non-power version, and if there is a nice prime 28mm equivalent lens. I'd actually prefer a prime to a zoom, even if its my only one, actually. Also, I'd want to know if the video mode offers any advantages over the LX5.

    The LX5.... not my favorite looker, but a good price, and the video mode sounds quite good, and with image quality comparable to the GRDIII and IV? That sounds about good enough for me. Haven't seriously considered this one either until now.
     
  8. HeatherTheVet

    HeatherTheVet SC All-Pro

    Apr 23, 2011
    Scotland
    Heather
    Devils Advocate - have you looked in to the NEX series but instead of the 18-55mm lens it's usually displayed with, using the 16mm pancake? NEX-5 shoots incredible HD film. In the price range. With the pancake lens it's pretty small too. Manual focus is easy to handle too with the peaking functions, automatic magnification when focusing, grid lines if desired, 14x zoom at touch of a button. You can also programme the soft keys, customising your own settings.

    Sounds like it fits the bill to me...
     
  9. HeatherTheVet

    HeatherTheVet SC All-Pro

    Apr 23, 2011
    Scotland
    Heather
    Except the silent/discreet bit. I don't know about the newer ones but the NEX 3 and 5 are pretty loud
     
  10. krugorg

    krugorg SC All-Pro

    Sep 26, 2011
    Minnesota USA
    Kyle Krug
    Good suggestions for Panasonic, especially good at video.

    The Panasonic 14mm (28mm equiv) pancake is a great little lens.
     
  11. Iansky

    Iansky SC Top Veteran

    782
    Dec 8, 2011
    Cotswolds, UK
    Ziggy,

    You can purchase the GX1 body only and subsidise that with the Panasonic 14mm f2.5 Aspherical lens - should prove a great combination for what you want.

    Your other lens choices are:
    1. Original metal mount 14-45mm f3.5 with OIS ( a superb lens )
    2. Current plastic mount 14-42mm f3.5
    3. New metal mount 14-42X lens

    Depending on how much you have to spend and if you can find one used in good condition, the original 14-45 is a great choice and robust. I have read that the plastic mount 14-42 that was launched as a cheaper kit lens with the GF2 is not as robust and not as sharp.

    The new 14-42X lens is expensive, new, has metal mount and features that work well and compliment the GX1 but currently has a few minor issues that Panasonic claim to have fixed with the current firmware update.

    The difference between still / video from the GX1 in comparison to the LX5 will be a point to consider ( I have the GF1 and a friend has the LX5, it is a great quality but nowhere matches the still/video IQ of the GF1 so the GX1 gap should be even greater)

    Good luck with your decision.
     
  12. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs SC Legend

    Sep 21, 2010
    Not too far from Philly
    you should be able to figure it out...
    If you start considering m43, the GX1 is a good choice, but there are other very good options that you might prefer. The Panasonic GF3 and the Olympus EPL3 and EPM1 are all a good bit smaller than the GX1 (not that the GX1 is large, but its larger than these other three). I have the EPL3 and with the 14mm pancake lens, its about the same size as the GRD3/4 with the lens extended. The EPM1 and GF3 are a bit skimpy on external controls but most who have them seem very happy with their ability to get around and make adjustments. The EPL3 has a pretty nice set of controls and also has a flip up rear screen which, as a street photographer, I consider about the greatest feature ever. These are all competent video cameras too, as I understand it. And any of them could be fitted with the Panasonic 14mm lens, which is a 28mm equivalent and the smallest of the m43 lenses. Its not super fast, but f2.5 with a larger sensor isn't bad. All three of these cameras have very fast AF, on par with the GX1. None of them are QUITE as good as the GX1 in low light, probably about a stop worse, but are at least as good as the compacts you're considering (although not nearly as good as the X100). And all three are a good deal less expensive than the GX1, even if you have to buy them with some sort of kit lens. But it would leave you more money for the 14mm prime lens, which you might choose never to take off of the camera.

    Just more to think about...

    -Ray
     
  13. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs SC Legend

    Sep 21, 2010
    Not too far from Philly
    you should be able to figure it out...
    Oh, no, and you just missed out on a screaming deal that lasted one hour on Amazon - the GF3 with the 14mm pancake lens for $379. But, alas, its gone. Jeez, that would be like buying the lens and getting the camera for another $50 or so...

    -Ray
     
  14. ziggy

    ziggy SC Rookie

    12
    Dec 21, 2011
    Haha.

    Well... I'm gong to have to start to axe some of the candidates here. The NEX-5 is not terribly appealing, as I historically have shied away from Sony products. (Is that a good enough reason? Maybe, maybe not... but I have to start limiting somewhere!) Plus I don't like the looks of it.

    I'm also going to eliminate the GF3 from the pool, and the EPL3. The EPL3 has some more attractive features than the GF3, but neither tips the scale compared to the others. Same for the GRD IV/III. Sorry Ricoh.... I still love you.
     
  15. ziggy

    ziggy SC Rookie

    12
    Dec 21, 2011
    Well, shoot.... A light just went off and blew my mind.... and I may have found my answer.

    I could use the Voigtlander lenses I already have, if I go the M4/3 route (such as the GX1)!

    I've got the Voigtlander 40mm/1.4 Nokton, and the 25mm Snapshot Skopar... two excellent lenses. Why the heck would I sell these quality guys and replace them?

    Here'e the adapter I need: Adapters: Micro 4/3

    I just don't quite understand how the manual focusing of these lenses would work with a m4/3 body. And how the experience of using lenses not specifically designed for these cameras actually works, in general.
     
  16. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs SC Legend

    Sep 21, 2010
    Not too far from Philly
    you should be able to figure it out...
    The manual focussing would work just like on any other camera. The thing to remember is that the 40mm Voightlander is gonna have the field of view of an 80mm and the 25mm Skopar will have the field of view of a 50mm, given the m43 sensor's 2x crop factor. If that works for you, sounds like a plan...

    -Ray
     
  17. ziggy

    ziggy SC Rookie

    12
    Dec 21, 2011
    Humph. I guess that was the catch I was waiting to hear... definitely not ideal. I prefer wide.

    EDIT: Damnit, I just went ahead and starting reading about the NEX-7.... the video mode appears to be about as good as it gets, not to mention all of the other excellent features.... $__$
     
    • Like Like x 1
  18. ray*j*gun

    ray*j*gun SC Rookie

    16
    Dec 18, 2011
    I have read all of this thread and I just have to ask some basic (for me) questions.

    First, regarding the sensors, what is an Micro 4/3 sensor and how does it compare to the X100, X10 and (OMG) my D90.

    I have a LOT of Leica glass (mostly LTM that I use with adapters on my M2) for my film cameras (mostly RF's), I see that some Digi's will accept those lenses.

    Are the Leica M's the only Digi's that have a full sized sensor (whatever that is). What cameras have what sensors?

    Sorry for the basic newby questions but I knew this would happen when I joined this group.

    Ray J
     
  19. BBW

    BBW Administrator Emeritus

    Jul 7, 2010
    betwixt and between
    BB
    No problems at all asking these questions, Ray J. I'm going to let one of our more technically astute members give you the answers to your questions. If it takes a day or two for people to get back to you it's because they're busy with holiday stuff...
     
  20. ray*j*gun

    ray*j*gun SC Rookie

    16
    Dec 18, 2011
    Np at all I will be busy with Holiday things as well.

    I have been trying to do my own research and have some idea what this sensor stuff is all about but I really need someone to help me catagorize the cameras. When I bought my D90 is was based on practical, hands-on usage and I didn't know much beyond the Ken Rockwell info from his site. If I'm going to get into using non-film equipment, I need to understand the technical side much better.

    Thanks again great site!

    Ray J
     
    • Like Like x 1