I brought the cameras listed above with me on my trip home this summer and I thought it might be interesting to put up a few samples from four very different cameras. The test went something like this, I went to a few of my favorite vantage points around West Seattle and shot the same scene back to back with each camera. Each camera was set to the same metering mode and shot in aperture priority. All of the photos were taken handheld. Nothing too scientific here, I just wanted see how broad of a range we would get from these four cameras.
*All of the images with the exception of the iPhone’s photos were converted from raw files without edits. All of the photos are full sized, unedited photos.
The basic specs for each camera:
- Sony RX1r: 24mp, full frame CMOS sensor (without AA filter), 35mm lens (approximately 10mb jpeg files)
- Ricoh GR: 16.2mp, APS-C CMOS sensor (without AA filter), 28mm lens (approximately 15mb jpeg files)
- Sigma DP1 Quattro: 29mp, APS-C Foveon X3 CMOS sensor, 28mm lens (approximately 7mb jpeg files)
- Apple iPhone 6: 8mp, 1/3″, 29mm lens (approximately 2mp jpeg files)
The next set of photos was taken from Seacrest Park just a few minutes later. This and the following sets will include photos form the iPhone 6.
This next set of image was a tough scene because of the high dynamic range between the sunset and the shadows on the right side of the image. And yes, those crooked horizons are killing me.
There were a few things that I expected to find before even shooting. 1. The Sony RX1r would probably give me the best dynamic range. 2. The Sigma DP1 Quattro would probably give me the best color reproduction and probably the best sharpness. 3. The Ricoh GR would mostly likely fall behind in every category, but by how much? 4. The iPhone 6 has a great camera, for a phone, but wouldn’t stand a chance compared to the others.
My quick thoughts.
Every one of these cameras has its sweet spot, but the one with the broadest range of capabilities is probably the Sony RX1r. There are a number of reasons for this: it’s compact for a full frame camera, it easily has the broadest and most acceptable ISO range and finally, it has an unbelievably nice lens.
The bargain of the bunch is the little Ricoh GR. I still feel like this little camera punches way above its weight and can hold its own against some much larger, much more expensive cameras. It is compact/discreet, sharp, sweet 28mm lens and very customizable.
In the right conditions nothing can touch the Sigma DP1 Quattro for sharpness, color and generally rich files. The problem is that the right conditions are sometimes hard to come by and are often out of our control.
The little iPhone 6 doesn’t really belong here, but it’s a camera category that we can all relate to and for 90% of the work most of us do with our photos, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter… it’s just fine and in some cases surprisingly good.