Many of us owned or wish to own a good compact camera along their bigger siblings. I tried many Compact cameras through out the years. And I always found something very special using one of those. The user experience of those compact can definitely be an advantage over any compact system camera as you tend to compose differently due to their compact size and close focus distance. I remember the time when I had the Lumix LX7, what a wonderful compact it was back then; You can check my LX7 flickr album HERE. Today, the compact camera segments has grown with many options and with larger sensors, from 1″ to four third to apsc to full frame sensors.

Today I will be comparing 4 of the all time best cameras with zooms: Fujifilm X30, Sony RX100V,  Sony RX100VI and Panasonic Lumix LX100.

Among those 4 cameras, I own today the RX100V and RX100VI. The 2 others are loners. Since I got the RX100VI last year I barely used the RX100V. The later is mostly used by my daughter today. I used to have the Leica DLux 109 which is identical to the LX100, and sold it couple of years ago. 

You can check my X30 Flickr album HERE

You can check my RX100V Flickr album HERE

You can check my DLux 109 Flickr album HERE

EVCP1620
from right to left: RX100V, RX100VI, LX100, X30
RECD7189
from right to left: RX100V, RX100VI, LX100, X30

 

Fujifilm X30 key Features:

  • Introduced in August 2014
  • 12MP 2/3″-type X-Trans CMOS II sensor (8.8 x 6.6mm)
  • 28-112mm equiv. F2.0-2.8 lens with manual zoom adjustment
  • Hybrid (contrast + phase detection) autofocus system
  • ISO 100-3200, expandable to 12800 (JPEG only)
  • 2.36M dot EVF with 0.65x magnification
  • 3.0″ 920k dot 3:2 tilting LCD
  • 12 fps continuous shooting
  • Macro Focus Range : 1cm
  • Full HD movie recording (1080/60p, 36Mbps bit rate), with built-in stereo microphone and external mic input
  • Built-in Wi-Fi including remote control from a smartphone or tablet

 

Sony RX100V key features

  • Introduced in October 2016
  • 20MP 1″-type stacked BSI-CMOS sensor
  • 24-70mm equiv. F1.8-2.8 zoom lens
  • ISO 125-12800 expandable to 25600
  • Retractable 2.36M-dot EVF with 0.59x equiv. magnification
  • 24fps burst shooting in JPEG + Raw, with full AF and AE
  • Macro Focus Range : 5cm
  • 315-point phase-detection autofocus system
  • Detailed 4K video capture with well-controlled rolling shutter

 

Sony RX100VI key features:

  • Introduced in June 2018
  • 20.1MP 1″-type stacked CMOS sensor
  • F2.8-4.5, 24-200mm equiv. zoom lens
  • ISO 125-12800 expandable to 25600
  • Retractable 2.36M-dot EVF with 0.59x equiv. magnification
  • 24 fps burst shooting (with continuous autofocus)
  • Macro Focus Range : 8cm
  • UHD 4K video at 30p and 24p, 1080p slow-motion capture
  • 5-axis image stabilization
  • 3″ touchscreen LCD
  • On-sensor phase-detection autofocus
  • Wi-Fi with NFC for quick image transfer to mobile devices

 

Panasonic LX100 key features

  • Introduced in September 2014
  • 16MP Four Thirds CMOS sensor (Up to 12.7MP used)
  • 24-75mm equiv. F1.7-2.8 lens
  • ISO 200-25600, expandable to 100-25600
  • Multi-aspect feature maintains diagonal angle-of-view at 4:3, 3:2, and 16:9
  • 2,764,000 dot EVF with 1.39x magnification
  • Aperture and control dials around lens, shutter speed dial on top plate
  • 3″ 921k dot LCD
  • 11 fps continuous shooting (6.5 with C-AF)
  • Macro Focus Range : 3cm
  • 4K video recording at 30p and 24, Full HD at up to 60p
  • Wi-Fi with NFC

 

User Experience

Both Sony have identical ergonomics, and I would say they have the worst ergonomics among all. they are tiny in the hands, grip-less (I would certainly add a grip or a case to the RX100 for better user experience) , and they don’t have enough customizable buttons. Nevertheless they are the only 2 that have a 180 degrees tillable screens for selfies. Their tiny size could be an advantage if you want to carry them in your jeans pocket; The X30 and LX100 cannot fit in your jeans pocket as they both are larger than the RX100 series. Only the LX100 have a fixed screen. The LX100 have all the physical manual controls a photographer might need with its shutter speed dial, aperture ring and customizable buttons, the only downsize is the lack of a tillable screen though. The X30 gives the best user experience with its manual zoom, somehow larger body size for a ⅔ inch sensor – it is a bit larger in size than the LX100 which has a much larger four third sensor. 

Winner : X30

VDMO7790
from lower left anti-clockwise:: RX100V, RX100VI, X30, LX100

 

 

Image Quality 

Sensor size:  We are dealing with 4 cams with 3 different sensor size here. The X30 has the tiniest sensor ( a ⅔ inch sensor ) , the two RX100 have a 1″ sensor and the LX100 has the largest sensor (a four thirds sensor) in quite a small package. LX100 has also the fastest lens with an aperture ranging from f1.7 to f2.8 which helps in low light situations and can give a shallower depth of filed than the other 3 cams.  Due to its larger sensor the LX100 give you the best IQ in different situations. In good light situations all 4 cams perform very well.

Winner: LX100

Metering: The Metering of the RX100V is the most inconsistent by the way. Surprisingly the X30 metering and rendering are still very pleasing for a 6 years old camera with a discontinued sensor. The LX100 delivers the more balanced metering among all. And the RX100VI comes very close to the LX100 in metering consistency.

Winner: LX100

Optics:  the 4 cameras have all very good Optics. I was positively surprised how Sony managed to fit a 24-200mm lens in the tiny RX100 body. This lens is very sharp at all focal lengths, even wide open. The LX100 compact lens with a very fast f1.7-2.8 apertures come with some compromises though. It’s not the sharpest here. The optics in the RX100V are also very good, but unless you are shooting in dim situations, I do prefer the flexibility of the zoom in the RX100VI. The X30 have a very beautiful 28 to 112mm f2.0 – f2.8 manual zoom lens and it delivers very decent sharpness for a ⅔ inch tiny sensor in good light situations. 

Winner: RX100VI

White Balance and Colors : Even with its small sensor, the X30 delivers the most accurate White balance and the most pleasing colors and contrast among all, as seen in the sets below.

Winner: X30

 

SET no 01

DSCF0179
X30
_DSC2573
RX100V
_DSC2676
RX100VI
_1000455-2
LX100

 

SET no 02

DSCF0183
X30
_DSC2577
RX100V
_DSC2679
RX100VI
_1000458
LX100

 

SET no 03

DSCF0192
X30
_DSC2587
RX100V
_DSC2689
RX100VI
_1000467
LX100

Close ups: I mostly enjoy shooting close ups with the 1cm focus range of the X30, even with a smaller sensor. Both RX100 are not ideal for close up shots with a 5cm and 8cm focus range distance. Due to its larger sensor. fast aperture and the minimum focusing distance of 3cm, the LX100 performs very well here. I only wished it had a tilt screen for those close up low angle shots. 

Tie: LX100 / X30

SET no 04

DSCF0189
X30
_DSC2584
RX100V
_DSC2686
RX100VI
_1000464
LX100

Depth of field: As expected, the larger sensor in the LX100 can give you the shallower depth of field here. With 3cm Macro Focus Range, It can deliver some nice shallow depth of field for close up shots. Even at 75mm it can give you a nice separation due to its max aperture of f2.8. The X30 can focus as close as 1cm, and can deliver beautiful close ups images. You can achieve nice portraits with the RX100VI at the longer focal range of 200mm with f4.5 aperture, as well as with the RX100V at 70mm at f2.8. 

Winner: LX100

SET no 05

 

 

 

DSCF0190

_DSC2586

 

_DSC2688

_1000466

 

Portrait: Shooting at 70-75mm focal length the LX100 will give you the most appealing portraits. Not the sharpest though. The beautiful lens of the RX100VI might give you nicer portraits when you shoot at 200mm. Surprisingly, the X30 delivers very nice portraits for a camera with a small sensor. to my eyes the RX100VI delivers the sharpest images here with an incredible lens. Here again we notice the inconsistency of the RX100V metering. On the other hand, we can notice some softness in the LX100 images. 

Tie: LX100 / RX100VI

SET no 06

DSCF0188
X30
DSCF0188-2
X30 100% Crop
_DSC2583
RX100V
_DSC2583-2
RX100V 100% Crop
_DSC2684
RX100VI
_DSC2684-2
RX100VI 100% Crop
_1000463
LX100
_1000463-3
LX100 100% Crop

 

 

ISO Performance

Here again, The X30 surprised me with a very decent ISO performance up to ISO 3200. It’s normal though that the larger sensors in the RX100s and the LX100 perform better. Here are 3 sets of images taken at ISO 3200, Original and 100% crop, shot in jpg.

Winner: LX100

SET no 07

DSCF0186
X30
DSCF0186-2
X30 100% Crop
_DSC2580-2
RX100V
_DSC2580
RX100V 100% Crop
_DSC2682
RX100VI
_DSC2682-2
RX100VI 100% Crop
_1000461
LX100
_1000461-3
LX100 100% Crop

 

SET no 08

DSCF0184
X30
DSCF0184-2
X30 100% Crop
_DSC2578
RX100V
_DSC2578-2
RX100V 100% Crop
_DSC2680
RX100VI
_DSC2680-2
RX100VI 100% Crop
_1000459
LX100
_1000459-3
LX100 100% Crop

 

SET no 09

DSCF0185

DSCF0185-2
X30 100% Crop
_DSC2579
RX100V
_DSC2579-2
RX100V 100% Crop
_DSC2681
RX100VI
_DSC2681-2
RX100VI 100% Crop
_1000460
LX100
_1000460-3
LX100 100% Crop

 

 

AutoFocus Performance

No Contest here, the Sony camera have the fastest AF performance and the smartest AF algorithms among all, both in stills and video. The LX100 has a very snappy AF performance that might struggle a bit in low light conditions and in tracking mode. The X30 comes last in the AF performance here. 

Winner: RX100VI

 

Video Features

Personally, Video features are the least I care when picking up a camera. nevertheless, the Sony RX100VI has the best video features among all. 

Winner: RX100VI

 

Battery Life

The X30 is the best here with around 400-500 images in real life experience. LX100 comes second with 350 to 400 images. If you choose one of the RX100 make sure you buy a good set of extra batteries as one battery can only shoot around 200 + images.

Winner: X30

 

Conclusion

It’s really very hard to pick a winner here. On paper the LX100 might be the winner because of the larger sensor and faster lens. It really depends on what you want in a compact camera though. If you want the best user experience and the best macro features, I would pick the X30. If you want the best pocketable all rounder, I would pick the RX100VI. If you want absolutely the best Image Quality and the best ISO performance, the LX100 is clearly the winner here. If you want a pocketable camera with decent low light performance, I would pick the RX100V.

If I have to choose only one of those as a compact option to go along my larger camera system gear, I would certainly choose the RX100VI. If I have to choose 2 cameras, I will add the classic X30. If I have to choose one camera and I don’t have other camera system, the LX100 (or better the newer LX100II) might be my choice. 

 

 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s