GXR P10 vs. CX4 vs. CX3 vs. CX2

Discussion about Ricoh GXR system

Re: GXR P10 vs. CX4 vs. CX3 vs. CX2

Postby waloszek » Fri Oct 15, 2010 9:22 pm

Pavel,

I know that this is a question that might better fit to a personal e-mail, but maybe some other forum readers might also be interested in it...

I am considering buying a CX4 for my wife who currently owns a CX1 (with a dust issue - we will send the CX1 to Pirmasens). There are three reasons for buying a CX4 that come to my mind:
- Longer tele range (300mm instead of 200mm)
- Better image stabilization, which would make it better suited to low light photography and might also help for 300mm photos - any experiences yet???
- Better macro abilities - I will explain this below...

Macro: My wife takes a lot of macros but usually at wide angle for maximum magnification. However, this forces her to get very, very close to the subject. On a hiking tour, we observed that with my P10 it was much easier to take macros in the tele range, allowing larger distances from the subject.

For comparison, just a few numbers indicating minimum distance, as the cameras display it:
P10, 300mm: 27 cm
P10, 200mm: 10cm; CX1: 25cm
P10, 135mm: 7cm; CX1: 15cm
P10, 105mm: 4cm; CX1: 10cm
P10, 85mm: 2cm; CX1: 6cm
P10, 50mm: 1cm; CX1: 1cm

Thus, above 50mm, the P10 allows to get much closer to the subject, resulting in larger magnification.

My question: How does the CX4 behave??? You need not check all the distances above, just 200mm.

Thanks in advance & best regards, Gerd
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Re: GXR P10 vs. CX4 vs. CX3 vs. CX2

Postby odklizec » Fri Oct 15, 2010 11:04 pm

Hi Gerd,

I did not check the CX4 macro yet (not detailed) but the minimum focus distance at 200mm is the same as in case of P10: 10cm.

As for the improved CX4 image stabilization, just today I made a quick CX3, CX4 and P10 IS test taking a series of 10 photos at 85, 135, 200 and 300mm. I have yet to process all photos, but judging from the enlarged camera preview, CX4 seems produce highest ratio of sharp or nearly sharp photos. On the other hand, I don't think there is a dramatic difference. I hope to process all photos and post somewhat more detailed numbers during this weekend ;)
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Re: GXR P10 vs. CX4 vs. CX3 vs. CX2

Postby waloszek » Sat Oct 16, 2010 2:01 pm

Thank you, Pavel!
I think that the macro behavior of the CX4 is comparable to that of the P10 as the minimum distance of 10cm at 200mm suggests. I think, I will not make a research paper out of this, but perhaps whether I will check whether it is really true that magnification is at maximum at the shortest focal length (for the P10, 1cm is stated already at 50mm - the same is true for 28/31mm -> I think that in this case 1cm is not 1cm...).
Best regards, Gerd
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Re: GXR P10 vs. CX4 vs. CX3 vs. CX2

Postby odklizec » Sun Oct 17, 2010 6:41 pm

Hi Gerd (and everyone), I posted the CX4 vs. CX3 vs. P10 IS test here:
viewtopic.php?f=47&t=5385

Hope you find it useful? ;) If the time (and Lucia) will allow next week, I will try to redo the Macro test I posted some time ago here. I'm too curious what's currently the best Rcioh camera for Macro. But I somehow feel it's not the A12 50mm ;)
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Re: GXR P10 vs. CX4 vs. CX3 vs. CX2

Postby waloszek » Sun Oct 17, 2010 7:52 pm

Hi Pavel,
Thank you for all your work! I really appreciate it!

I did some macro tests myself this weekend, but with my primitive approach, it was hard to exactly measure the width of the section that the camera photographs. However, I could confirm that magnification is at maximum at the longest focal length that still allows for a distance of 1cm. For the CX1 and the P10 this is about 55mm equiv.
So, I decided to create a MY-setting for my wife with zoom set to step zoom, focal length set at 50mm, and macro on. This saves her the need to make a lot of settings... While she may not need the largest magnification, she can add a few cm of shooting distance this way (preventing shade...).

I stopped my first attempts with a 50 ct coin after finding that Guy Parsons had already done such a test for some Ricohs (with millimeter paper)...
http://homepages.ihug.com.au/~parsog/ri ... macro.html
The CX4 and the P10 seems to be similar to the CX3 that he lists. My wife's CX1 seems to work analog to the R6/R7 that someone else tested for Guy. While the focal lengths have been slightly increased, the "pattern" seems similar for the CX1 (and probably R8 and R10).
I also tested the A12 to find out how much it magnifies - it's way lower than for the compact cameras.

Maybe, I will find the time to post my "results" on my Website some day...

Best regards, Gerd

PS: My guess is that the CX2-4/P10 range is best regarding magnification - image quality is another thing...
PS2: The 50 ct test can also be used in a different way, asking at which focal length you can still squeeze the coin (24mm diameter) into the photo. For the CX1, this works only up to 50mm (step zoom), for the P10 up to 200mm (step zoom) - quite a difference!
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Re: GXR P10 vs. CX4 vs. CX3 vs. CX2

Postby Schaki » Tue Oct 19, 2010 12:59 pm

odklizec wrote:I'm not surprised by the CX2 softness. CX2 uses much stronger noise reduction "successfully" killing all fine details. Starting from CX3, Ricoh added an option to turn the NR OFF. It still does certain NR processing, but it's much lighter than the hardwired CX2 NR. This and the adoption of new BIS CMOS (since CX3) definitely helped with details.


I don't think that it is all about stronger NR that we see here. Sure it makes a difference but not that big and that zoom is known for sample variation. http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/readf ... e=35261682
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Re: GXR P10 vs. CX4 vs. CX3 vs. CX2

Postby odklizec » Wed Oct 20, 2010 12:31 pm

Yes, the sample variation can make some difference in this test. However, I'm pretty sure the CX2 softness is mainly caused by stronger NR. The argument supporting my opinion is the fact that CX2 does not have the option to turn the NR OFF. All other cameras in this test are equipped with such functionality and I set them all to NR OFF. There is still some NR performed, even with NR set to OFF. However, the level of NR at OFF is definitely lower than default level of NR done by CX2 (which cannot be changed by user).
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Re: GXR P10 vs. CX4 vs. CX3 vs. CX2

Postby alorenzen » Fri Nov 12, 2010 11:01 am

Hi,

I have decided for a GXR P10 mid-year and reading frequently through this forum for a while. I am not that professional/commited on photography, but still it is important for me. I just run frequently in to an issue which is best explained by the shots presented by Pavel. Especially the DNGs looking often a bit "foggy/milky". Something I am experiencing under different weather conditiions, sunny or cloudy. Working with in Lightroom it needs a lot of effort to get to an acceptable result. Formerly owning a Olympus E-500 with an 14-54 lens I never experienced such things.
Would be great if someone could explain the issue here or what I am doing wrong and lead me into the right direction.

Thx in advance
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Re: GXR P10 vs. CX4 vs. CX3 vs. CX2

Postby odklizec » Fri Nov 12, 2010 12:22 pm

Hi alorenzen and welcome on the board!

I know what you mean by foggy/milky look of some P10 photos. From my own experience with this behavior, it happens in case of incorrect focus and mainly above 135mm. And it seem, that the distance from the photographed subject plays a role too. Unfortunately, P10 AF (at zoomed distance) sometimes fail resulting to milky/foggy look.

I found the P10 lens (zoomed at 300mm) performing best at the distances around 1-3m. At the longer distances, the tele photos generally does not look very good. In my opinion, the problem is partially caused by the lens itself and partially by the tiny P10 sensor. This is the price we pay for 10x zoom with 1/2.3" sensor and this all packed in a very tiny package. In short, you cannot expect the same or even similar performance from tiny sensor camera if compared with E500 equipped with several times bigger sensor and much shorter lens (14-54mm on E500 is an equivalent of 28-108mm on P10).
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Re: GXR P10 vs. CX4 vs. CX3 vs. CX2

Postby alorenzen » Mon Nov 15, 2010 12:37 pm

odklizec wrote:Hi alorenzen and welcome on the board!

I know what you mean by foggy/milky look of some P10 photos. From my own experience with this behavior, it happens in case of incorrect focus and mainly above 135mm. And it seem, that the distance from the photographed subject plays a role too. Unfortunately, P10 AF (at zoomed distance) sometimes fail resulting to milky/foggy look.

I found the P10 lens (zoomed at 300mm) performing best at the distances around 1-3m. At the longer distances, the tele photos generally does not look very good. In my opinion, the problem is partially caused by the lens itself and partially by the tiny P10 sensor. This is the price we pay for 10x zoom with 1/2.3" sensor and this all packed in a very tiny package. In short, you cannot expect the same or even similar performance from tiny sensor camera if compared with E500 equipped with several times bigger sensor and much shorter lens (14-54mm on E500 is an equivalent of 28-108mm on P10).


Hi Pavel,

I never expected the GXR to be like a MFT with a real good lens. :mrgreen:
BUT I did not expect errors like this. This should not happen, even not for a 1/2.3 sensor and a company focusing on its Quality.
When you are telling me it works fine for 1 - 3 m, to be honest, that is not anything why I am usually looking for a 300mm for.
But despite this general discussion - did you find any situation where it not happens? Or any other solution making this situation better?
As mentioned before I decided for P10 to use the 300mm really as a tele. I tried to use spot measure, does not help a lot.
Is Ricoh aware of this issue?
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