By Zack Smith
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SonyTheir RAW photos are lossy and therefore not truly RAW, because being RAW implies being lossless. However it gets worse: Sony's RAWs include extensive posterization defects, which are horizontal stripes that are somewhat hard to perceive with the eye but some photos bring them out. Sony was asked to recognize this problem and allegedly stated it has no intention to fix it. This suggests to me it's a hardware flaw. And that Sony as a company still suffers from bad management. Article about posterization defect.
FujifilmTheir button layout is atrocious. Their cameras are unnecessariy heavy. Their patented sensor pixel layout are only slightly better than standard Bayer sensors. Bayer sensors produce quite dishonest, and Fujifilm's sensors are less dishonest. No Macintosh RAW support.
One review showed the RAW photos are not as sharp as the JPEGs.
RicohTheir GR produces wonderful photos, but dust tends to get into the camera when the lens retracts, or gets in during manufacturing, and there is no dust removal system. The cost to remove dust is at least $80 and is performed by a private company by mail. There's no word on whether the GR II addressed the dust issue. Ricoh does not appear to be addressing the problem.
The solution is: Don't make the fixed lense go in and out. If Ricoh could just adopt that solution, the Ricoh would be the best camera on the market. It is as light as a cell phone. It has no antialiasing filter so photos are sharp. There is supposedly Moire reduction possible in camera.
SigmaThe Sigma DP Merrills were expected to be excellent, but the DP1 has purple fringing at the edges and many Merrills initially had a problem with vertical
banding. Sigma supposedly fixed the banding problem in Merrills.
Photos from Quattros are low-resolution in green and red, therefore useless. People buy Sigma cameras for the sharpness, which Quattros do not have except in the blue layer.
As a company, Sigma has the usual Japanese unresponsive, top-down model. I've been told they do not take input from customers.
Sigma encrypts their photo files, so only their software can be used to process Sigma DP photos. That software, called Sigma Photo Pro, is bad. Previewing photos is fast but Photo Pro requires 15 seconds to load one photo to the point where it is editable. In fairness, many large RAW files are slow to load for editing.
Sigma cameras do not have a sensor cleaning system so in theory they are at risk of having the same dust problem as the Ricoh GR, but I have seen no complaints about Sigma. This suggests Ricoh's problem is dust getting in during manufacturing.
Sigma fanboys often behave like they joined a cult-- they can be paranoid, rude, opinionated, out of touch.
AppleThe iPhone's sensor is made by Sony. Apple's noise reduction is heavy-handed and results in photos that look quite awful when you zoom in. Despite this the same photos can look quite accurate and sharp if reduced to 1/4 resolution (50% width, 50% height).
The sensor remains tiny and therefore the dynamic range is narrow.
Apple refuses to allow RAW photos from the sensor, whereas Google's Android does allow RAW.
CanonTheir mirrorless EOS M cameras are now obtainable and previous models had slow and unreliable auto-focus. In a RAW test shot, I found a great deal of colorful fringing.
Canon's DSLRs are heavy, but the SL1 is not too burdensome with a fixed 40mm lense on it.