Wednesday, 18 February 2009

Ricoh GX200 Review – Part 3

Image Comparison GX200 vs. GX100, GX and R10

This part will focus on the image quality at ISO 100 between the GX200, GX100, GX and R10.

All pictures are taken at 28mm in A-mode at f5.4 (GX100 & GX200), f4.7 (GX) and f5 (R10), all cameras were set to Auto WB and ISO 100. All JPGs are unprocessed and the cameras were set to the ‘Normal’ image setting.

Picture 1

Looking at the crops here we see that the GX underexposed the image way too much but is quite good otherwise, it can't display small details due to the low MP sensor. The R10 shows the way too strong noise reduction which smears fine details. The GX200 has same problem but the noise reduction is not as strong and due to the 12MP sensor it does manage to resolve the most details. The GX100 however is the winner here since it has the least amount of noise or detail smearing and also has the highest dynamic range.

Picture 2

These crops show plainly that the R10 suffers from massive detail smearing due to the noise reduction, Ricoh really needs to get away from this or they will get the same reputation for smeary pictures that Panasonic had a while ago. The GX has the most noise and the lowest resolution so falls back here, it again underexposed the picture. The GX200 is very good but due to the stronger noise reduction can't quite match the much better GX100 files.

Picture 3

For some reason I could not read the GX picture here but wanted to use this picture to show the different dynamic range and also how the cameras handle chromatic aberrations.
The GX100 and GX200 are very similar and don't show much difference, the GX200 lens exhibits less fringing so it seems Ricoh has improved the coating or processing. The R10 has the lowest dynamic range and shows quite a lot of fringing but this is an extreme situation and during the time I used it for the review it was never really a problem.

Picture 4

This picture shows how the cameras perform late afternoon on an overcast day with not much available light. The focus was set to infinity on all cameras.
The GX has again underexposed the picture and shows still quite a lot of fringing. The R10 has a moderate amount of fringing but handles this quite well otherwise. The output from the R10 is a bit smeary but by no means worse than the GX100. The GX200 is clearly the best camera in this situation, resolving most details and showing the highest dynamic range. It is interesting to see how much distortion the GX100 and GX200 have at 28mm when compared to the GX and R10.

Overall, if you keep the ISO low the GX200 performs very well although the noise reduction is too strong at times and so it loses out to the GX100 when it comes to the JPG quality. The R10 has a even bigger problem with the noise reduction, it has the least distortion however. The GX has clearly a problem with the exposure but this could be my unit, it performs ok but can't really compete with the newer models.

Click here to continue to Part 4...

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