you're reading...
Gear Discussions, Tech Talk

Sony Cyber-shot RX100 vs. Fujifilm X20: A Comparison

Sony Cyber-shot RX100 vs. Fujifilm X20: A Comparison

I don’t usually do this sort of comparison post – I haven’t done anything of the sort before – but when I think back to how undecided I’ve been when comparing these two cameras side by side, and the rather big claims I made when reviewing each, I think it’s time to be a bit more direct – leave things away from their individual reviews – and find out which is really the best compact there is out there

UPDATE: This was written before the announcement of the new Sony RX100 II, so it’s directly a comparison between the original RX100 and the Fuji X20. A few things have changed in the RX100 II, so the comparison between it and the X20 will be slightly different, but I believe for the most part, this post will still apply. Hope that makes sense – and if it doesn’t, you can always ask me directly! 

Why am I asking the same question again, you ask? If you’ve read my review on the RX100, you’d know that I consider the Sony to be the best compact camera on the market. If you then read my X20 review, you would’ve seen that while I consider the Sony to be right up there with the Fuji, I replaced my RX100 with the X20 – so what does that say? Right. So why am I still trying to compare these two?

Well, after a couple of weeks (or has it been a few months already?) of using the Fujifilm X20, while the experience has mostly been good, I’m finding a few issues with it that I didn’t find with the RX100 – issues that made me actually miss the Sony. Luckily for me, I had given my Sony to a friend to use until I could sell it, so getting it back isn’t a big deal – but do I actually want the RX100 back? Is the X20 really not that good enough for me any more? Read on!

Specifications: Basic Comparison

Ok, I’m not going to compare every single spec I usually list out – no comparison of exposure modes and scene modes and all that – I’m just going to put the more important aspects of both cameras side by side and see what it looks like


  • Sony RX100: Compact, aluminum
  • Fujifilm X20: Compact, magnesium alloy


  • Sony RX100: 20.2 mega pixels
  • Fujifilm X20: 12.0 mega pixels

Sensor Size

  • Sony RX100: 1”
  • Fujifilm X20: 2/3”

Sensor Type:

  • Sony RX100: EXMOR CMOS
  • Fujifilm X20: X-Trans CMOS II


  • Sony RX100: Zeiss 10.4-37.1mm f1.8-4.9 (28-100mm equivalent)
  • Fujifilm X20: Fujinon 7.1-28.4mm f2.0-2.8 (28-112mm equivalent)

ISO Range

  • Sony RX100: 100-25600
  • Fujifilm X20: 100-12800

Built-in Flash/Hot-shoe

  • Sony RX100: Yes, pop-up (with flexible head)/no hot-shoe
  • Fujifilm X20: Yes, pop-up/hot-shoe

Autofocus System

  • Sony RX100: Contrast Detect (25 points)
  • Fujifilm X20: Contrast/Phase Detect Hybrid (49 points)

Macro Range:

  • Sony RX100: 5cm (at 28mm)
  • Fujifilm X20: 1cm (at 28mm)


  • Sony RX100: 3.0” LCD (1.228m dots, non-articulated, non-touch)
  • Fujifilm X20: 2.8” LCD (460k dots, non-articulated, non-touch)


  • Sony RX100: No viewfinder
  • Fujifilm X20: Optical viewfinder (85% coverage) w/ electronic info overlay

Max Drive Speed

  • Sony RX100: 10fps
  • Fujifilm X20: 12fps


  • Sony RX100: 102 x 59 x 36mm / 240g (with battery)
  • Fujifilm X20: 117 x 70 x 57 / 353g (with battery)

Sony RX100 vs. Fujifilm X20

So there you have it – the specs of each camera compared – and on paper, at least, the Fuji X20 seems to win rather comprehensively. It appears to come out on top in almost every aspect I’ve listed above, doesn’t it? It only falls short in a couple of areas, and one of these is something that I consider absolutely crucial in any digital camera: the sensor size. Its sensor is significantly smaller than the RX100’s (half the size, to be precise) and this means a lot to me. In terms of size too, and a few other minor (but important) features, the RX100 does a bit better – but what makes a better camera? Well I’m afraid that is something only you can decide. This post here is just a breakdown of why I prefer this camera over that. You may disagree, you may agree, but know that this is just my opinion of things, based on how I use my camera

Don't use it as a size comparison, these are merely stitched. Images from Sony/Fujifilm

Don’t use it as a size comparison, these are merely stitched. Images from Sony/Fujifilm

Alright, now that that’s out of the way, let’s proceed. How I’m going to do this is I’ll break down the comparison into a few sections, and talk about how I felt each camera performed in each of these sections – much like every other comparison of anything, I know – and which camera I personally felt did better in these areas. After that, I’m sure I’ll have a winner. In fact, I know the winner already

Looks & Build Quality

Looks are not really important in a camera, but they DO add to the overall experience of using and owning one. For example,  I’d be far more happy and proud to say I use a sleek NEX instead of the boxy EOS M. Right

The best-looking compact camera in today’s market, for me, is the X20. Not just in this comparison but in the entire market. Fujifilm just nailed the retro styling of the body in every sense, and just made it look gorgeous. There’s no comparison here. That’s not to say the RX100 is an ugly camera. I think it looks great too. And it’s different, going for the sleek, modern look instead of going old-school, and most importantly, the design of this camera makes it truly compact, and that’s a huge benefit. In fact, this is so important that I’m going to modify this section from “Looks & Build Quality” to “Looks, Size & Build Quality” – the X20 wins hands down on looks, but the RX100 is by far the smaller of the two

Build quality? They’re both built really, really well. Nothing more to say

Controls & Handling

One of the reasons I was almost eager to switch from the RX100 to something from Fujifilm is that I didn’t really like the controls on the Sony. That’s not to say that they were bad. I just felt really comfortable using my original Fuji X10 and its lovely control layout that I started to feel a bit restricted with the RX100. The Sony is that much smaller, so I’m not complaining about lack of dedicated buttons to everything – and the seven-layered Fn button is a great addition – but I guess my biggest gripe with the RX100 is the poorly implemented control wheel. Why? If you’ve read my review, you’ll know: it’s just not responsive enough! For zoom, for aperture, for anything. It’s not responsive in two ways – firstly, it takes a bit of movement of the ring before it registers you’re moving it, and secondly (this is when used as a zoom ring) it’s not sensitive enough, taking nearly a complete turn of this large ring to zoom from 28mm to 100mm. After the first week, I just stopped using it altogether. I’m still hoping for a firmware fix, is there one?

Again, the images are not to scale, but you can compare the button layout, right?

Again, the images are not to scale, but you can compare the button layout, right? Images from Sony/Fujifilm

The control layout on the X20, just like my original experience with the X10, is fantastic. Everything from the manual zoom ring to the perfectly-placed host of dedicated buttons to the AF selector switch in front – it’s all perfect. Controls & handling is another hands-down victory to the X20

Performance: Overall Speed, AF Speed, Burst Capabilities, etc.

I’m not talking about image quality performance here, but overall speed of the camera. First, autofocus performance

The RX100 is superfast, it really is. It nails focus accurately, and almost instantly in daylight. In lower light, it’s naturally slower, but still very fast. And it’s almost always accurate, and rarely fails to lock focus if you know how to use autofocus!

The X20, with its fancy hybrid AF system, is also blazing fast in daylight, and very accurate. In lower light, I’m afraid it really comes down rapidly. It’s still good, and can achieve focus in very dark conditions, but it’s noticeably slower than the Sony, in my experience. It also fails to lock focus quite often. I’m not complaining about the AF system as much as I’m pointing out that the RX100 just performs better in low light. In daylight they’re on par with each other. Sony wins

Burst shooting? The RX100 does 10fps at full resolution, the X20 does 12fps. Guess who wins

Overall performance? Both cameras have fantastic processors running the system, and keep things going very smoothly. Write speeds etc. are very fast on both cameras, and unless you do a direct comparison on this, it’s hard to pick a winner – I’m going to call it a tie

Yeah, so it’s not really fair to bunch all of these under one heading – so I’m calling the RX100 the AF winner, the X20 the continuous shooting winner, and yes, a tie for overall performance 

Image Quality

And now for the big one. I admit, it was very even until now. This is where my mind was swayed, this is where I made the decision. Image quality. It’s all that finally matters, isn’t it?

And to put it simply, with it’s large, 1” sensor, twice the size of the X20’s, the RX100 wins quite clearly. I hinted at this when I reviewed the X20 – but I was so excited with the beautiful Fuji colors, and the overall look of the images the X-Trans sensor produced (and they ARE beautiful) that I didn’t realize how much better the RX100’s pictures are, in terms of resolution, detail, and of course high ISO noise control, and I just glossed over it in that review

Don’t get me wrong, the X20 produces great images. Like I said, the Fuji colors and the entirely different look the sensor gives makes for some beautiful photographs – in some aspects, you could say they sometimes look nicer than the Sony’s images – but the RX100’s 1” sensor just allows so much more resolution and detail to be captured, it’s very, very noticeable

And that’s in daylight. The X-Trans sensor and it’s lovely colors, and all that, compares very well with the Sony (except for resolution/detail) in daylight and well-lit conditions. In low light, where the ISO goes up, there’s not much of a comparison. The large sensor of the RX100 is almost DSLR-like, while the X20 starts to look embarrassingly like a compact point-n-shoot all of a sudden. It’s simple, the larger sensor just handles noise better. Sure, the X20 has a faster lens, but it doesn’t help too often. In addition to that, the X20’s flash isn’t that great, whereas the RX100’s flexible pop-up makes for some great bounce flash effects, and I used this a lot when shooting at night indoors. With the X20, I avoided the flash at all costs

Yes, image quality: RX100 wins. The X20 makes very good images, but the RX100 is just better. And that is my final decision. Until something vastly superior comes up – I doubt it’ll be any time this year – I’m keeping my Sony (UPDATE: the just-announced RX100 II has spoiled the effect of this post a bit!)


Alright, so I guess I jumped the gun when reviewing the X20, calling it equal in every way to the Sony, and sort of replacing my RX100 with the Fuji. But sometimes, doing test shots, while a good way to get a feel for the camera and how it performs, doesn’t tell the full story. That was the case with the Fujifilm X20 for me. When testing it, I wanted to like it, I wanted to keep this camera, this camera that handles that much better than the Sony RX100, that looked better, and all that – and wanting it so much, I didn’t completely realize its faults: the slow AF at night, the poor high ISO performance when compared to the Sony, and so on. Now that I have, I’ve ‘re-decided’ on the Sony RX100, and that’s what I’m keeping. If I caused any confusion, I’m very sorry indeed!

Ok, so there are a few aspects that I didn’t talk about – for example, the X20 packs a hot-shoe and OVF, the RX100 doesn’t, and remains smaller for it – but I think I covered the most important side of things, the side of things that I looked into before making my final, complex, hit-and-miss, trial-and-error decision. Sure, if a hot-shoe is important for you, if the OVF is important to you, think about the X20. If not, think about the RX100. You get the idea. Like I said, it’s all about what you want. I rarely use an OVF in a compact, I never use a hot-shoe in a compact, so while I don’t mind having these on my camera, I didn’t even think about them while choosing my camera. The aspects I talked about are what I looked at, and that’s the decision I came to. If you’re in a similar conundrum, try listing out the areas that you find most important in a camera, and compare how each one performs there. You might not have the luxury of trying out both for weeks before making your decision, but you could always do some research on it (or ask me!)

UPDATE: This was written before the announcement of the new Sony RX100 II, so it’s directly a comparison between the original RX100 and the Fuji X20. A few more points regarding the benefits of the X20 (the hot-shoe, for instance) have been wiped off by the new and awesome RX100 II!

That’s it for today. Leave a comment if you have one! Thanks for reading. Until next time

Did you know that I’m currently working on this site full-time? Please consider making a small donation if you can – thank you!

If you enjoy this blog, you can subscribe, via RSS or via email. You can also follow pixelogist.me on Facebook, or on Twitter!

By Heshan Jayakody
All content in this post is my own - except images, which are from Sony/Fujifilm
Enhanced by Zemanta


67 Responses to “Sony Cyber-shot RX100 vs. Fujifilm X20: A Comparison”

  1. I have both cameras. Your review is absolutely correct and I will probably sell the X20. I am waiting to see more reviews of the new Fuji X-M1 as a possible alternative to both cameras.

    Posted by Lawrence Mendelsohn | July 2, 2013, 07:25
    • Thanks, Lawrence 🙂 Good to hear I’m not the only one who feels this way! The X-M1 looks very good too. I did a quick preview post on it, but haven’t been able to test it yet, so no review yet. My plan is to sell off both and get mysel fan RX100 II. I really like the look of that. And in addition to my system cameras, I really want to have a compact that is capable of really good shots – and the RX100 (and the Mk II) is the only camera right now that can give you such good image quality in such a small package

      Posted by pixelogist | July 2, 2013, 08:02
    • I have both and will keep both because I enjoy both! Putting the RX100 in my pocket is significant plus and this is why I bought it. Until then, I had not fully appreciated it’s other strengths. The X20 satisfies my strongly held wish for an OVF. I believe that Fuji is an exceptional photo brand accelerating past the competition. Hence my additional X100 and XS1 ownerships. (All this is against a background of Leica Digilux-3 and C-Lux 2.)

      Posted by Ron Kennett | October 29, 2013, 00:05
      • Yeah well, if you have that option, it’s not a bad way to go 🙂 I agree with the comment on Fujifilm – their X-series is exception indeed. I love my X-E1. The selection of lenses makes it stand out even more

        Posted by pixelogist | October 29, 2013, 06:57
  2. That was an interesting read. I always thought that the X20 was right up there in image quality, and won out for the looks and the buttons and zoom ring and all that so it was a better camera overall. Now I’m a bit undecided 🙁

    Posted by Jerry | July 5, 2013, 06:56
    • I know – I was surprised too. But it’s true – after using the X20, it just made me miss the RX100’s lovely image quality. I still maintain the X20 handles much better, of course – but in the end, it’s having the best image quality in a pocketable size, that’s what I want from a compact. And here, the RX100 wins hands down. That’s why I’m still using it (and will probably upgrade to the Mk II ASAP!)

      Posted by pixelogist | July 5, 2013, 16:12
  3. I’m surprised to read this. I thought it was the other way around, or at least similar and not much of a difference – and picking one of these two was just about which body you liked/which price you liked. I’m quite surprised

    Posted by Vick | July 5, 2013, 15:40
    • No, definitely not the other way around. The X20 has a sensor size half that of the RX100, so at best it matches the Sony, in certain conditions, but in most other conditions it’s not nearly as good

      Posted by pixelogist | July 5, 2013, 16:27
  4. Well, well. I know exactly what you mean. Spot on. Really, that’s exactly what i felt. I didn’t get the chance to use the cameras long-term, but I had an X10, and was thinking of one of these 2 to upgrade to. And while testing in the shop (I copied the images and took them home to examine) I clearly noticed the Sony being much better, especially in high ISO…and also day shots too. Thanks for posting this!

    Posted by Eric | July 7, 2013, 17:05
    • Oh, you feel the same way too – good to hear! And that’s a very smart way of testing photos, btw – taking your own SD card and copying your test shots and viewing ’em at home before you buy. In daylight, the Sony still had more resolution, but with the Fuji colors and all that we talk about, the X20 matched the RX100 here – but in low light, it dropped off so dramatically in comparison. Slow AF too

      Posted by pixelogist | July 8, 2013, 07:35
  5. Which camera makes you feel like shooting

    Posted by Michel Gohler | July 7, 2013, 17:52
    • Excellent question. I thought that the X20 would make me want to shoot. The handling and all that, right? Yeah, but after the first few times shooting, especially shooting in low light, and being let down in comparison to the Sony, I really felt drawn back to the Sony; and I guess it’s the RX100 that really makes me want to go out and take pictures. It just responds to me, and takes the exact sort of image that I want it to take, if you know what I mean

      Posted by pixelogist | July 8, 2013, 07:28
  6. Such a shame about such a perfectly crafted machine. All the controls are where and how it should be, now even with info overlay in the OVF, but that sensor … All we can do now is hope for a 1″ sensor X30. And no doubt such rumors are already brewing, because what else would they do, i doubt they’d stick their heads in the sand at this point.

    Posted by MJr | July 7, 2013, 19:37
    • Goodness, a 1″ sensor in the X20 would’ve been magic. It is indeed a perfectly crafted machine – everything is near-perfect. But the image quality, while much better than an average compact, is noticeably inferior to the RX100. The 2/3″ sensor was great at the time of the X10 – but now, if it wants to be back on top again, it has to do better

      Posted by pixelogist | July 8, 2013, 07:24
  7. And the cost of the RX100 vs. the X20? If ultimate IQ is the aim, larger sensor must win, but as a package?

    Posted by John C | July 7, 2013, 19:44
    • The cost depends on where you are, I guess. On B&H Photo the RX100 is around $50 more ($599 vs $648) but over here, they’re both selling for around the same price. So I really didn’t figure it comes much into the equation. If it’s a significant difference in your local camera store – well, you’re still going to have to ask yourself if that difference isn’t worth it

      The complete package? Both are pretty complete. They match each other up in every way except for a few which I’ve noted. So unless you really need one of these particular features that only one of these two cameras have, each option is quite a complete one – so that’s what I meant when I said the RX100 wins – it wins all-around

      Posted by pixelogist | July 8, 2013, 07:23
  8. Hi, I Made some test with both. Well if you came from analog photografy like me you Will chose the X20. The lens of X20 is much faster. The sony lens is F4.9 at tele end!

    Posted by Domenico | July 8, 2013, 03:00
    • That’s an interesting way of looking at it, but I don’t feel that coming from analog photography (I shoot a lot of film too) means you will choose the X20 simply because of the faster lens. You might choose the X20, coming from analog, for the more analog-style controls and handling of the X20. But even analog uses love better image quality, right? 🙂

      And as for the f4.9 of the RX100, yes it’s slow – but the RX100’s sensor produces better images at ISO 3200 than the X20’s at 1600 (or maybe even at 800!) so that really doesn’t make much of a difference in practical use. DOF is around the same too, thanks to the double-size sensor!

      Posted by pixelogist | July 8, 2013, 07:16
  9. Fantastic comparison. Appreciate your honesty in breaking down these two. I felt the RX100 was always better but I wasn’t sure. Very interesting read, this

    Posted by Nad | July 9, 2013, 22:06
    • Thanks 🙂 I was pretty excited with the X20 and thought it’d do better in comparison with the Sony, but sadly, while it did very well in other areas, the RX100 and it’s large sensor was just much better

      Posted by pixelogist | July 10, 2013, 07:00
  10. you mention this comparison is before the RX100 2 was released. if you had to compare the RX100 2 vs the X20 (even though this might be a bit unfair) what would be the key points that are different? I assume the verdict would be the same anyway

    Posted by James | July 17, 2013, 16:16
    • Hmm, a comparison with the RX100 II and the X20 isn’t unfair at all, considering they were released just a few months apart. And yeah, the verdict would definitely be the same, and will be a much stronger win for the Sony: even better image quality, faster performance, the inclusion of the hot-shoe, built-in WiFi/NFC, and a tilt-LCD. It kinda hammers the X20 out of the picture, for me. The only issue is the price

      Posted by pixelogist | July 18, 2013, 07:20
  11. this must be the best comparison between these two often-compared cams that i’ve read yet. thanks for sharing all this great ‘personal’ info, if you know what i mean. i know exactly what you mean. cheers

    Posted by Carl | July 17, 2013, 19:25
    • Thanks for the kind words, Carl! 🙂 I hope this helped you make a decision in which one to buy. Writing this, it sure helped me decide! 🙂

      Posted by pixelogist | July 18, 2013, 07:29
  12. It all comes down to personal preference. For me the Fuji x20 is the better choice overall and it’s fun to use…

    Posted by John | July 18, 2013, 14:01
    • Absolutely, it always comes down to personal preference. But if you personally require the best image quality out there in a compact, I think we’d all agree that the Sony edges out the Fuj in this department – in some aspects of IQ, by quite a margin

      But yeah, a camera is a very personal thing 🙂

      Posted by pixelogist | July 18, 2013, 15:47
  13. Just bought the x20 myself after selling my rx100. Yes the iq and low light performance is better on the sony but the x20 is way more responsive and fun to use for me. Can’t put it down to be honest it just fits my shooting style that much more. There are no perfect cameras and the one you’ll use is best. I’ve seen shots taken with 3 megapixel
    cameras that are amazing cause its subject matter and composition that matter most and after all is said and done its only a tool that some can use better than others.

    Posted by Hank. | July 22, 2013, 00:08
    • Indeed, what you feel is best is what’s best for you 🙂 Being ‘responsive’ is subjective I guess – and you’re probably not referring just to speed, but how the camera responds to you – but I felt just the opposite when comparing the X20 and RX100

      However, of course I agree the X20 is a fine camera, and it’s definitely going to take you some great pictures if you know how to use it

      Posted by pixelogist | July 22, 2013, 07:04
  14. I actually really like what HANK has posted. Personally I am comparing RX100 and X20 myself, so I read many reviews about them and I tried them at local shops as well. The best camera is the one you will use as much as you want, and you have a joy from it. Well I also feel the X20 even with a smaller sensor size is perfect tool for great imagery. I am a Nikon shooter, and believe me I had returned the D800 with its faulty AF, LCD etc issues back to Nikon in the middle of the wedding season and kept my D700 and D3s which with their “archaic” 12 MP sensors are only a 1/3 of the D800 36MP but trust me, the results I am getting out of them are more than enough for my clients, and they never let me down on a job. I really like this X Fuji concept and I dig Zach Arias sold his full frame Canons and sticked with these smaller cameras… Just a personal view, as everyone is different but Fuji hit is spot on with these series 🙂 Thanks for the review.

    Posted by Jozef Povazan | July 31, 2013, 10:47
    • Thanks for your comment 🙂 Well, like I said many times in this post, all of what I talk about is based purely around my opinion. Hank (and you) are absolutely right when you talk about the best camera being the one that makes you want to shoot. But naturally it is impossible for me to know what camera that everyone who reads this finds perfect! Haha. So yeah, some may find the the X20 to be the better camera for them – but I found the RX100 to be superior. And I think technically, the RX100 edges the X20 on image quality – that’s almost a fact, even though this might not factor into your personal decision

      I know that it’s not great to read a post like this if you’ve actually gone ahead with the X20, and some feel the need to defend their decision on a post like this – I understand perfectly, I used to do the same – but you’re absolutely right with the general idea of your comment: the best camera is the one that you feel is the best!


      Posted by pixelogist | August 3, 2013, 17:56
  15. Great review, thanks. I’m currently in the unenviable position of having to decide which one I want as a birthday present and your comparison made the decision a bit easier for me… almost. Manual controls are very important to me so I would have loved to see a comparison about the manual controls on these two cameras and how accessible they are, especially on how quickly I can get at and use the manual focus in practice. For example, with my current compact camera, it’s so annoying when I try to autofocus on something, locking the focus, and it focuses not on the butterfly but on the leaf in front of it, grrr.

    Posted by Martina | August 6, 2013, 16:25
    • Hi Martina. I’ll try to make your decision a bit easier, but going by your questions, I think you’ll be in the same place as before after I’m done! Let me tell you what I know:

      Manual controls? The X20 has more buttons – so the accessibility to various controls is just better on the X20. That’s the best part about the Fuji – it’s design, controls, and handling

      But manual focus? The RX100 is the best compact camera for manual focusing I’ve ever used. It’s almost as good as a DSLR, thanks to its smooth control ring that you use to focus manually and its focus peaking. The X20 is good too, but the RX100 wins here

      As you can see, again it is sort of like 1 point to each camera

      But you mention autofocus – here, both cameras are on par. They’re both really, really good at focusing, and you shouldn’t have any problem locking focus on the correct subject very fast, assuming the user knows how to use AF! But in your example of shooting a butterfly, it could be that you’re shooting macro and the subject is too close? If this is the case, the X20 will do better, as its macro capability is better – it can shoot subjects up to 1cm from the lens, as opposed to 5cm that is the RX100’s minimum distance

      If I were you, I’d go for the RX100, but as many have pointed out, it all comes down to opinion and what is best for your purpose. I hope I’ve given enough to help you decide! Good luck 🙂

      Posted by pixelogist | August 6, 2013, 16:55
  16. Thanks for your quick response – you’re a star! I was already leaning towards the RX100, although I really like the X20 as well; it looks so much like my old rangefinder [sigh] and the controls, as you said, seem to be very neatly arranged for accessibility. But I think it’ll be the RX100 in the end. It will sit quite nicely next to my Canon Eos 550D, but be more useful to take with me on hols, due to hand luggage restrictions. The airport security made me unpack all my gear last time I flew, although I ‘only’ had my DSLR, one Canon Speedlite and one telephoto lens with me. Oh and a little Panny camcorder. The cheek… ; )

    Posted by Martina | August 6, 2013, 20:16
    • Cheers! Good choice 🙂 Yeah, the RX100 complements a DSLR very well. On my last vacation, I left all my heavy gear at home and just took this Sony with me – and got some really good shots that are up on my gallery even now.

      If you don’t mind spending a bit more (well, around $100 more), the RX100 II (or RX100M2) is a terrific update to what is already a beautiful camera. The image quality (and AF speed) is improved, and a hot-shoe is added. The rest of the thing looks the same – but I’d say it’s worth it!

      Posted by pixelogist | August 6, 2013, 21:01
  17. Image quality with the Sony is great…, but no eye level viewfinder kills it for me. Just can’t stomach the screen for composing when I photograph.

    Posted by Jim | August 25, 2013, 18:13
    • Fair enough! The X20 does have an improved optical viewfinder that is very useable, and that’s great. For me, compact digital cameras just seem to handle better when using the LCD, with your arms reaching outwards etc. if you know what I mean – the optical VF being just for some cases when I really really need it – but I definitely understand that some people really feel uncomfortable composing with the LCD. The X20 would appeal to guys like you for sure!

      Posted by pixelogist | August 25, 2013, 18:36
  18. How does the rx100 compare to the x100s then? That much better with Fuji sensor to warrant the extra bulk of the Fuji system?

    Posted by Kevin | September 18, 2013, 00:54
    • Well, that wouldn’t really be a fair comparison as the RX100 and X100S are completely different cameras altogether, really. They’re both fixed lens, but one is a regular ‘point-n-shoot’ style camera with a fixed zoom lens, while the other (the Fuji) is a very unique (for the time, at least) fixed lens, fixed focal length, not-so-compact camera with an APS-C sensor. The Fuji goes for around twice the price of the Sony

      But if you want a direct comparison between the two regardless, the X100s will win on pure image quality. It also has a great viewfinder. And better handling. Focusing speed and burst shooting will be better on the RX100, I’d say – and of course, the Sony has the zoom lens. And it’s way more compact

      Posted by pixelogist | September 18, 2013, 07:24
  19. Which camera in your opinion gives the best colours? I’m not one for shooting RAW as I don’t want to mess around in Lightroom after the fact tweeking photos to get the exact look. I want the camera to do it for me and give me great JPEGs. I have a Nikon D90 and had a Panasonic Lumix LX5 (until it got stolen). While the D90 would obviously give much better quality photos, I loved the clours of the LX5. They just seemed rich and warm. I’m sure I could get the same from the D90 but that would require time in post. I’ve read that the Fuji has great colours, and I particularly like the ability to bracket using the different film simulation modes. I’m looking for a camera that will produce good quality everyday photos of family and friends with nice rich and warm colours. Would appreciate your thoughts.

    Posted by Sean | October 14, 2013, 16:55
    • Hi Sean. Both cameras produce great JPEGs in terms of colors, really. The X20 does have that Fuji look in terms of color, but this doesn’t mean it’s ‘better’ as such – it just looks different and unique. Very pleasing, sure – but the RX100 colors look beautiful too

      As I found the RX100’s JPEGs to look better overall, in terms of color as well as noise and sharpness and all that, I’d recommend you go with the Sony. But if you compare the sample images I’ve shot using both (check out my individual reviews of each) and notice you like one better than the other, that’s the one you should go for 🙂 Let me know if you have any more questions!

      Posted by pixelogist | October 14, 2013, 17:46
  20. Hi, very interesting read! Did you notice much of a difference while doing bokeh with the rx100 vs. the x20? It would be interesting to see in how far the bigger sensor size does have an impact on the smaller depth of field and thus ability to blur the background while doing profile photos. Or is there not much of a difference from your point of view? Thanks in advance!

    Posted by Tina | December 31, 2013, 06:12
    • Hi Tina…to be honest, I couldn’t tell much of a difference in terms of shallow depth of field, when comparing these two cameras. At the wide-angle end, the Sony is slightly faster (f1.8 vs f2.0) and thanks to the much larger sensor, the RX100 has shallower DOF here. As you start to zoom in, though, the Sony’s aperture slows a bit, ending at f4.9, while the Fuji is still fast at f2.8 when fully zoomed in, so the aperture and sensor size sort of cancel each other out, meaning DOF is around the same throughout the rest of the zoom range on both cameras.

      I’d still say the Sony has the edge in the first half of the zoom range though (28-55mm or so)


      Posted by pixelogist | December 31, 2013, 07:43
  21. Hi! Your review helped me a lot in choosing between the two (right now I am considering the rx100 mk2). Besides the great looks and ergonomics, I feel that the best thing in the Fuji camera is their colors, all the pictures in the daylight look so beautiful in terms of colors. I have also seen lots of rx100 pictures, and for me the low light performance is quite important because to many times it happens that you want to shoot something indoors or the light is not right. The rx100 is just better in this area.

    An other key factor for me is portability – the Sony camera is easy to put in a pocket, so it means that I will carry it around more. At the time I have a DSLR that is bulky and am not taking it out only when I really want to take pictures in a certain place. The only issue is the price, right now the Mk2 costs more than some mirrorless cameras, but I feel that I will be using this compact more than a scaled down DSLR just because of its size and good image quality.

    Your review is excellent, I liked how you honestly pointed out the qualities of both cameras. Thanks!

    Posted by George | January 19, 2014, 06:01
    • Thanks George 🙂 Glad to hear this review helped you out! You’ve understood the pros and cons of these cameras (in my opinion) spot-on. The Fuji works great in daylight (maybe even just a bit better than the RX), and the controls/handling is something I love. The RX100 (Mk I or II) is much better in low light, its great in daylight, its got higher resolution with far more detail, and its actually compact and pocketable. I know what I’d go for (the RX100 Mk II) and I think that’s what you’re going for too 🙂 Cheers

      Posted by pixelogist | January 19, 2014, 07:39
      • I was very excited when I read rumors about a Fuji X30 that will be announced next month or in March. I read that it might have a larger sensor than 1 inch, and many more improvements. I hope that this year you will do a X30 vs Rx100 Mk II to see who will win. But I feel that can’t wait until the new Fuji will come on the market… in the mean time I think that will have lots of fun time shooting with the Sony 🙂
        P.S. For checking how pocket-able is a camera I have found this web site: http://camerasize.com/compare/#467,396

        Posted by George | January 19, 2014, 15:39
      • A Fuji X-Trans sensor that is 1″ or bigger would be stunning. I love Fujifilm’s new stuff – my main camera at the moment is the Fuji X-E1 and a few lenses- so it’s not that I don’t like the X20, it’s just that, with a sensor that is half of the RX100’s size, it’s not really possible to match up to that quality. But if the X30 DOES have a large sensor, that’s gonna tighten things a lot. I still might be tempted coz of the RX100’s size, which is a huge factor. If I can carry around a bag (I needed a bag for the X20) I just might take my X-E1 or DSLR

        And yeah, I use camerasize.com too – I linked it on my homepage – it’s a super-useful site, isn’t it?

        Posted by pixelogist | January 19, 2014, 18:41
  22. I bought the Fujifilm x a1 but I decided not to keep it because I didn’t like the colours. My daughter was wearing a greenish sweater and it looked blue in the pictures, definitely not the right colour. Now I’m considering the x20 or the rx100ii. Does the x20 produce the same colours as the x a1? After reading your review, I think I’ll buy the rx100ii. Thanks in advance for tour comments. Marian

    Posted by Marian | January 20, 2014, 16:52
    • Hi Marian. The X-A1 is actually a more capable camera than the X20 or the RX100 II. It has a much larger sensor, it can change lenses, and, apart from the size, is a better camera than the X20/RX100. The problem you had with the X-A1 can happen with any camera, really. That’s not anything to do with the camera and its sensor and the colors it produces – it sounds simply like a white balance issue. Try adjusting the white balance on your X-A1 and take the same shot again – it should look more accurate. White balance is a simple thing to adjust, and can be controlled in Photoshop/Lightroom etc. as well, very easily. Don’t switch cameras because of this. Many other cameras might give you the same results, especially if the light was not really suitable for your shot, in the case you mentioned. I have a post on White Balance, check it out if you like 🙂

      And to answer your question: both the RX100 and the X20 might give you the same problem as well. So don’t go changing the camera just yet. But if you had to choose between the two, the RX100 ii is a better camera than the X20

      Hope this helps!

      Posted by pixelogist | January 21, 2014, 08:29
  23. Super reviews, many thanks!

    I tried the X20 and the Rx100 and totally agree that the image quality of the Sony is superior in low light. But the Fuji colours really impress so it came down to handling and looks and here the Fuji won. It is a beautiful camera and it felt right in my hands. The Sony felt slippery and I was not comfortable using it especially at arms length. But I must admit that it is a design/size triumph and, owning both Fuji and Sony cameras, I did want to try both and compare. The X20 is on its way and it will be interesting to compare it to the rather wonderful Fuji X-M1 I bought at Christmas using the Amazon UK offer. It was a no brainer at effectively £229 after the rebates, and whilst it’s plastic body and lens might put some off, it’s image quality is stunning.

    Posted by Pat | January 25, 2014, 15:47
    • Yeah, the handling of a camera is really important. I was able to get used to the feel of the Sony quite fast, so that was why I stuck with it. The X-M1 and its kit lens is a great little package, and is very capable. Coming from that, the X20 will seem very familiar. However, having this camera, I’m not sure how useful the X20 will be, as the X-M1 will take better pictures, and the X20 isn’t THAT much smaller – and definitely won’t fit in your pocket

      Posted by pixelogist | January 26, 2014, 10:38
  24. I have an X10 and am thinking of selling it for the RX100 as its price has come down recently. Stupid? I’m trying to figure out if I’ll notice an improvement in image quality : /

    (My X10 is my compact camera, my usual camera is a D700)

    Posted by Nicky Graham | February 14, 2014, 03:46
    • Of course 🙂 Like I said in this post, the RX100 wins clearly in terms of image quality, compared to the X20. And since the X20 was a slight improvement over the X10, I’m sure you’d notice even more of a difference if you switch to the RX100

      Posted by pixelogist | February 14, 2014, 07:28
  25. I agree to your comment about sensor size. Bigger sensor leads to cleaner images. But then a MILC with APSC sensor should have better image quality than RX100?

    Posted by Mansoor Ejaz | April 26, 2014, 04:30
    • Oh yes, of course any MILC with an APS-C sensor will (or should) take better quality images than the RX100. But that’s a whole different category – you’re comparing mirrorless system cameras with compact cameras. The RX100 is by far the best compact camera in the market. There are many other cameras that take better quality shots (some of them in the same price range, or cheaper)…but these won’t fit in your pocket 🙂

      Posted by pixelogist | April 26, 2014, 07:23
      • Except for EOS M with 22mm/f2 pancake lens perhaps… which is available new for like $350

        Posted by Mansoor Ejaz | April 27, 2014, 01:14
      • Hmm, not quite. I reviewed the EOS M a while ago, and it is definitely quite a small body, but when you add any lens to it, it just ceases to be pocketable. Even the 22mm pancake. Besides, then you’d be comparing a camera with a 22mm fixed focal length and a camera with a 28-100mm zoom lens.

        Here’s a look at the two cameras side by side: http://j.mp/1j0G8Xv – it might not look a lot bigger, but the difference is very significant when it comes to putting it in an average pocket

        There are some cameras that are overpriced for no reason at all – the Sony RX100 isn’t one of them. You pay for stellar image quality in a true compact size

        Posted by pixelogist | April 27, 2014, 06:14
  26. at first upon reading you review, i find it great.. but when it comes on replying on the comment, you really sounds like you’ve been paid by sony.. too bad.

    Posted by raymor | May 21, 2014, 18:49
    • Haha, I wish I was getting paid to say what I say. But I’m afraid the only way this site actually earns anything is from amazing people who use my links to buy their photo gear. If I sound like I’ve been paid off, it’s just me being (over)enthusiastic over a product I really love

      Posted by pixelogist | May 21, 2014, 19:34
      • Nevertheless, I like how comprehensive your review are! Though 1/3 is not the “half” of 1 that you keep insisting, and not much would use a higher ISO when it comes to taking pictures, 400 the max for me if you really are into “IQ” that you keep insisting.

        Posted by raymor | May 21, 2014, 20:53
      • If you’re referring to the sensor size difference between the RX100 and the X20, then there is no “1/3″ that YOU’RE talking about. The X20 has a 2/3” sensor, which has dimensions of 8.8 x 6.6mm, giving it a total sensor area of approx. 58 sq mm. The RX100 has a 1″ sensor, which has dimensions of 13.2 x 8.8mm, giving it a sensor area of approx. 116 sq mm. The X20’s 58 sq mm is half of the RX100’s 116 sq mm, is it not?

        As for ISO, this isn’t 2006 – cameras of today can safely go up to ISO 3200, or even 6400 in some cases, without noticeably affecting image quality. I am most certainly into IQ, as I apparently “insist”, but not stupidly so: photographs are never really viewed at 100% crops. If it looks stunning when viewed at full size, no matter what ISO was used, that’s all that matters. So here’s a tip for you: try shooting at higher ISO sensitivity – you’ll be surprised

        Anything else?

        Posted by pixelogist | May 21, 2014, 21:11
  27. and why should I shoot with high ISO?just try to balance it with shutter speed and proper aperture, “you’ll be surprised”.. if you do really “insist” better IQ, you know that lower ISO is better.

    Posted by raymor | May 21, 2014, 22:35
    • Do you actually shoot in real life or just in theory? If you do take pictures on a regular basis, you’d know that there are many instances, even in daylight, where there’s just not enough light to properly expose a photograph. Even a lens at f1.4 and ISO 400 will not give you a shutter speed that is fast enough to handhold. So unless you lug a tripod around everywhere you go – and even then, there are some cases where a slow shutter speed just won’t work – you’re in trouble

      It’s not a question of “lower ISO is better” – anybody who’s been using a camera for a week would be able to tell you that. It’s a question of knowing when to increase ISO sensibly, so you get a blur-free shot – and with modern camera makers putting so much research into (successfully) improving noise reduction algorithms, it just makes sense to increase your ISO when the scene demands it

      Posted by pixelogist | May 22, 2014, 06:09


  1. Pingback: miXed zone: “the best camera is…?”, X-reviews and Iridient | Fuji Rumors - July 7, 2013

  2. Pingback: Fujifilm X20: Review | pixelogist.me - November 7, 2013

  3. Pingback: What to do When your Luck is bad | This (not so) Boring Life - February 18, 2014

  4. Pingback: Sony Cyber-shot RX100 II: Review | pixelogist.me - February 26, 2014

Share your thoughts...leave a comment!

Follow Me on Pinterest


Feeling Generous?