The Sony A7iii vs Fujifilm X-T3

Introduction

I caught up with a good mate over the weekend. As a Fujifilm user, he had the latest X-T3, so we decided to swap cameras to allow us to play around and get our thoughts. He’s already penned his thoughts here so feel free to have a look at the different perspectives.

It was an excellent opportunity to see where the camera designs were going, and I put together my thoughts on the two. This isn’t a feature comparison, just some ideas comparing where the two cameras are in their life cycle.

Some of these photos are snapshots, the review wasn’t intended to showcase the best of these cameras, it was a casual outing with a friend and our kids in bright midday sunlight, not exactly ideal conditions, but I have thrown in some other samples as well.

My knowledge of shooting video is somewhere between zero and nothing, so please don’t expect any video related comparisons.

It’s worth remembering that these cameras aren’t entirely comparable. The Sony is nearly 50% more expensive, and it’s also offering a best of breed full-frame sensor and IBIS. It’s an unfair comparison, but it is one that will come up time and time again, and despite the price difference, I think users will be comparing these to cameras as potential options, after all, the $500 difference may not be a big issue for some buyers.

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This is my mate, Greg, one of the nicest people you will ever meet

First impressions

Firstly off, grabbing the Fujifilm after 3 weeks of Sonyland still felt familiar, so in some respects it was disappointing. It may sound like a negative comment, so let me be clear, it’s not intended to be this way.

Ultimately the vast majority of the changes were internal, and the X-T series has a good design. With switching to Sony, I was presented with a completely new camera, because obviously, a Sony is different from a Fujifilm.

As a result, it was always going to seem more “new”. If I was coming from the Sony A7ii to the A7iii, it is likely it would have been the same.

This skews the first impressions because I think the only honest way to get first impressions is to get someone who has used neither and unfortunately that’s not the case for me.

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The A7iii with Batis 85mm

The looks

From a looks perspective, you have to give it to Fujifilm, they are good-looking cameras. Taking a stock photograph of a Fujifilm is easy, as my Instagram account can attest to. The X-T3 looks retro like the X-T2, a little more timeless and I suspect if you looked at both cameras in 10 years, the Fujifilm would still look exactly as good as it did now.

The Sony, on the other hand, is likely to look dated. It’s the difference between a sports car that still looks as good in 20 years (like the Porsche 911) and those that don’t. Fortunately, I have no intention of keeping my A7iii longer than about 5 years so I should be okay in that regard, but for those that feel that looks are important, the Fujifilm cameras will be popular. In my case, as an ugly middle-aged old man, having good-looking cameras might make me look worse so the Sony might be a better fit.

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This is me with the X-T3, I’m not grumpy because I’m holding a Fujifilm, this is my happy face. Unlike the Fujifilm, I won’t be winning any awards for my looks and have accepted my career as a model stopped before it started

Size

For some odd reason, I actually thought the X-T3 (or X-T2) was smaller than it is. I did some size comparison between the X-H1 and the A7 a while back, but when you put the X-T3 alongside the A7, you realise what an incredible job Sony did with the size of the A7. It is a phenomenal feat of engineering. Put the A7iii with the Zeiss 35mmF2.8 alongside the X-T2 with a 23mmF2, and the size difference is almost indistinguishable.

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When you compare the size of the images at camerasize.com, The Sony is longer in some areas and shorter in others. More incredibly, Sony shoved in a battery with twice the battery life and full-frame sensor. Whatever your thoughts are on Sony, that is damn impressive from an engineering perspective.

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Quality/Construction

Looking across both cameras, they are both outstanding quality, and you have to nitpick to complain about the quality in any areas. I think the construction on both is excellent, however, the one area where Sony has let itself down is the covers for the USB-C which are dangly and have a really low-quality feel. Overall, it’s a letdown to a camera which is otherwise pretty top-notch.

Fujifilm have almost nothing complain about from this perspective so they really have met the brief from a quality perspective and I have to give this to them.

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Unlike Fujifilm that has limited lens options, Sony has a wide variety of third party vendors that offer great lenses like the Tamron 28-75mm F/2.8

Controls/Ergonomics

The controls/ergonomics side is an interesting one. I suspect long-term DSLR users will probably prefer Sony for the simple reason the default handling will be in line with what they are comfortable with. It’s not to say that it can’t be replicated to the Fujifilm, but that people won’t try because they revert to the dials and are probably not aware of the customisation on the X-T3.

So where are my thoughts on this? I’m still undecided. I do like having controls on the body, but in the same respect, it comes with both positives and negatives. For example, the option of having dials as opposed to physical controls with values on them is that you can pre-define multiple custom modes not available on the X-T2 Q Menu.

I’ve never been a big fan of the Fujifilm Q menu, and most people I know don’t actually use it, so I think it’s something Fujifilm needs to rethink or dump completely. With Sony, you could create a custom mode for landscapes with maximum aperture, minimum ISO and a default shutter, or one for sports with specific focus settings. The Q Menu fails in this regard.

As a result, on the ergonomics, I think that splits it, half and half, the ergonomics are good on both cameras and will appeal for different things, they both have pros and cons.

 

The Sigma Art 135mm – There is a reason they call it the Art series

Menus and functionality

Menu usability falls to Fujifilm, but I think Sony has better features and functionality available that Fujifilm doesn’t have. As an example, Fujifilm doesn’t allow you to customise minimum shutter to anything other than the focal length, which is essential for some of my friends who have had issues with shaky hands.

That’s just one example, there are plenty of other features on Sony that simply don’t exist on Fujifilm, but Fujifilm does have Kaizen that will add many features through future iterations. I would love to say this results in more stable cameras at release, but some recent releases from Fujifilm have been more shakey than Sony, so I don’t think this is the case.

From a features perspective, Sony definitely wins, but Fujifilm gets the nod from a menu usability perspective.

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Autofocus

There has been a bit of talk about the improvements with AF, and I’ll say the X-T3 is substantially better than the X-T2 and X-H1 in this regard. Does it match the A7iii? Some have said they think it’s as good, but I don’t know how qualified those opinions are, as I don’t think it does.

There seems to be some lag when the subject moves. It could still be keeping it in focus, but there is a delayed response on the movement of the eye focus, which seems to indicate not. I also find that Fujifilm appears to need more to get the Eye-AF like it needs a whole head. It doesn’t just find a single eye and go with it, so it seems like Fujifilm lacks slightly there.

The AF options on the Sony are a little more advanced, more options to go with, but I like Fujifilm’s ability to scroll between them by pushing in the joystick which I think Sony need to add to theirs.

There are other options I prefer on Sony, like the ability to select whose eye it focuses on, the ability to make it start “zone style” focusing on something specific along. It just seems there are more option to cater to every user on the Sony.

The Sigma 135 ART has AF that is fast enough for sports

Aside from these, where I still see noticeable problems with Fujifilm is the lack of usability of the eye and face detect. With Sony, you hold your AF point over a face, and that’s where your face and eye priority will be given. With Fujifilm, well, let’s just say that sometimes not even God knows why Fujifilm has picked a face, and you can’t change it if you disagree with it.

Even with face detect, you can’t pick the faces you want. Sony also has built-in face priority, so if you have kids, or you are shooting a wedding where you want to focus on the bride, you can ask it to give priority to trained faces.

In short, I think Fujifilm as given flexibility where users probably don’t want it, like the autofocus customisation. Users don’t want to touch this or have to set it up. On the converse, they have taken away the flexibility where they do need it, like more autofocus options (force it to start focusing on the object you select) or selecting which face you want to focus on.

Overall, I’d give the edge to Sony, but I think Fujifilm has caught up a bit which will keep Fujifilm users happy.

The A7iii with 135mm ART

IBIS

Yeah, we know, the X-T3 doesn’t have IBIS, but my question is why not? It’s as large as the Sony, with an APS-C sensor, and the Sony still has a bigger battery and a full-frame sensor. It’s something I think Fujifilm needs to take a hard look at. Obviously, Sony gets the nod here, but it shouldn’t, Fujifilm should have this, it can be done as Sony have shown.

EVF

The X-T3 EVF kills the A7iii, not much more we can say about it than that. It’s newer higher res, better refresh rate like comparing the A7Riii to the A7iii. I think this is one of the areas where Sony kept their costs down to deliver such a good camera at a low price.

I’d honestly prefer to pay an extra $200 for this camera and have a better EVF, but obviously, I’m not Sony’s sole customer. In some respects, I am disappointed that there isn’t a better 24MP EVF option without going to the A9, but I think this will change in time as the EVF cost comes down.

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The Fujifilm is no slouch for image quality and anyone who says APSC isn’t capable enough is kidding themselves

The Mount

It’s been interesting to go to Sony after an extended period of Fujifilm where your options were essential Fujifilm, Fujifilm or Fujifilm…and maybe Samyang and Laowa if you were okay with a manual focus lens.

The Fujifilm glass is excellent, with some downright spectacular options but, you have no alternatives because there aren’t any non-Fujifilm options. If you aren’t happy with the slow focus speed of the 56mmf/1.2…unlucky for you.

With Sony, you have the native mount which is fairly extensive with the collaboration with Zeiss. While there are mediocre lenses, there are also some very good lenses that match Fujifilm on both quality and price.

You have the likes of the Sigma ART available that is optically superb (although damn heavy), along with lightweight beasts like the Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8 that is lighter than the Fujifilm 16-55 and offers a full-frame f/2.8 mid-range zoom.

And then there is Zeiss, the Batis range, an incredible high-quality range of lenses if the standard lenses aren’t good enough.

If that still isn’t enough for you, Sony offer adapters to Canon mount that allow you to use lenses like the 50mm f/1.2.

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What it highlights is that Fujifilm can’t do it on their own. Fujifilm needs to open up their mount with AF options because Sony is winning here by a fair margin. You can find virtually any option you want and the only thing really missing is some of the f2.8 primes to compete with Fujifilm’s compact Fujicron range if someone wants to maintain a small set of gear. With Sony, I’d also like to see a really nice thin pancake, with about half the length of the 35mmf/2.8.

Just to be clear, I’m not saying Fujifilm has bad glass, I think they have the most complete APSC glass offering and lenses like the 90 and 80 are on par with the best, but they aren’t alone. Sony, Nikon and Canon all produce good glass, and I think in today’s world, creating good glass isn’t enough.

I think they would benefit from a bigger selection because some of the third party manufacturers are offering some really nice alternatives that Fujifilm doesn’t offer at a fraction of the cost. I also think they would benefit from some AF based adapters, which would allow people the ability to migrate to Fujifilm at a lower price.

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Image quality and colours

Someone made me aware that I missed the colours side, so I thought it was worth addressing as it is a valid point.

From an out of camera JPG perspective, I think Fujifilm is simply unmatched in the market, and for those looking to avoid post-processing, I don’t think there is a better camera to use. If you ask me what I will miss, it’s that because there were days I was producing photos where I could take plenty of photos as-is. Film Simulations like Classic Chrome are amazing and realistically, if I take Fujifilm simulations and put them in my Sony tomorrow, I would. Sony produces adequate image quality, but the colour accuracy just simply isn’t on the same level. To get the best, you really have to do some post-processing, mould it to fit what you want, but their out of camera rendering is frankly dismal by Fujifilm standards. For a lot of photographers shooting raw, that won’t be a problem, but I actually went out of my way to find ways to replicate some of the Fujifilm simulations for those times I don’t feel like doing heavy processing.

Fujifilm isn’t without its own set of problems. I haven’t tried the latest Capture One raw engine with Fujifilm, but before that, there were a lot of complaints about Fujifilm’s raw processing in applications like Lightroom. I’m not a pixel peeper, so it was never an issue for me, but for those that pixel peep, the difference between Sony and Fujifilm is noticeable, with Sony producing slightly sharper images. Hopefully, the collaboration with Capture One fixes some of those issues.

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As far as noise and DR are concerned, Sony is supposed to be one or two stops better. Unless you are actively taking photos of Hussain Bolt in a stadium at dusk, I think even the baseline Fujifilm will be more than enough. I still believe that if people spent half the time focusing on composition as they do on pixel peeping ISO25600 photos of their kids or cat in terrible conditions where even clean photos at ISO1 million probably wouldn’t make a difference.

Technical Sony wins this, but if you need the difference between these two, you probably should be asking yourself whether you actually need it, or you’re pixel peeping.

Battery Life

I left this area for last, but this is my biggest issue with the X-T3. Some people would say that Fujifilm has maintained the same form to try to keep their cameras small or try to maintain consistency with the cameras, but the Sony is proof that you can put a battery that is twice the size, a full-frame body and stabilisation in a body the size of the X-T3 and that alone means Fujifilm has room for improvement, because Sony is shoving a whole lot more in.

Fujifilm has this approach of not swaying the apple cart from a battery form perspective, but I think it’s a lazy out. As an easy example, there are AAA to AA battery adapters, and there is absolutely no reason why Fujifilm couldn’t put in a larger capacity battery with an adapter to allow cross-compatibility for W126S users.

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On top of that, the exorbitant pricing of Fujifilm’s batteries is a big problem for them. In Australia, you can pay AUD$132 for an original Fujifilm W126S battery or AUD$119 for an original Sony NP-FZ100 which has twice the CIPA ratings in the A7. I’ve seen them cheaper in other countries, but the reality is Fujifilm isn’t big enough rockstars in the battery game to be pricing their gear at the same cost as the Sony battery. Simply put, their batteries are mediocre at best, not good.

Yes, you can get third-party batteries for cheaper, but that also works the same for Sony. It will cost you more twice as much from a battery perspective to fulfil the same target photo count. If I was a wedding or event photographer needing 5 extra batteries instead of 10, that almost makes up for the difference in the A7iii cost and they get IBIS and a full-frame sensor. It doesn’t make sense.

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As long as Fujifilm have substandard battery life compared to their competition, I would seriously consider discounting battery costs to consumers. We know their cost is less than a 5th of the battery price, so selling batteries at half the Sony cost would at least match Sony’s output indirectly.

The little things that show Sony’s maturity

The problem with quick comparisons between cameras is you often miss the small things that make a big difference, so I wanted to highlight some of these.

While the Fujifilm X-T3 is great, there are a couple of the smaller areas, in particular around flash, that Sony has a substantial upper hand and may impact the selection between these systems.

My big challenge with Fujifilm and flash is their implementation of TTL is workable, but dismal compared to the competitors. If you put your camera on TTL with auto ISO, it will bump up the ISO before it bumps up the flash power, an implementation which is a mystery to me and one I highlighted on my previous site.

There is also no way to segregate ambient from the subject with exposure compensation perspective. Auto ISO isn’t possible, nor can you configure TTL for fill or ambient.

This is where Sony shines. Firstly, you can segregate ambient and fill flash, and you can decide whether you want the exposure compensation linked. On top of that, Sony has added the smarts in their system that automatically switches off the exposure preview when a flash is attached so you don’t have to switch this off or assign it to a button.

The problem with exposure preview is that you generally have to switch it off for flash because you can’t see anything through the viewfinder because the preview can’t cater for flash. Sony’s system isn’t perfect, you can’t switch on exposure preview with the flash on, but switching off the flash or trigger will disable this, so it’s no worse than assigning it to a button.

I would still like to see the option to manually bypass it, but I think this is a good implementation of it.

Final thoughts

The A7iii is a better camera, and for about US$500 more that’s not entirely unexpected given how much camera you can buy for $500. The X-T3 has improved some of the key areas that users were unhappy with. It’s finally offering better autofocus with eye AF that is usable, but the battery life is still the bear in the woods, and that needs to be addressed sooner rather than later. Companies like Sony are improving, and battery life will continue to be an issue for users.

That said, aside from the battery and potentially the IBIS, there is nothing wrong with the X-T3 and most users will feel it’s a worthy upgrade if they have an existing investment in Fujifilm. From a personal perspective, I’d be happy with either.

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What it comes down ultimately is whether the X-T3 will stop some of the bleeding from Fujifilm to Sony and I think it will. Unless someone has a requirement to move to full-frame, the X-T3 is more than enough camera for most people, but I think Fujifilm will need to release an X-H2 as quickly as possible or the X-H range will die based on the X-T3 and A7iii, both of which are substantially better cameras.

And the Sony A7iii? It’s not hard to understand why this camera has been sold out for 6 months. Even with the Nikon and Canon releases, the Sony is still the better camera, and that says something about how good it actually is.

It’s a full-frame camera, that is the same size as an APSC camera, that combines IBIS, best in class full-frame sensor, and best in class AF, and does so at a price point that has to have the competition scratching their heads and asking “how did they do that?”.

18 comments

  1. Hello Athos,

    I have been following you sometime now, and really enjoy your papers. I also agree with you on the Fuji strategy with the XT3 vs H1 and the absence of ibis and tilting screen (for me).
    I also followed the same path as your: sold all my Fuji gear and bought sony: an A7RII, a sony zeiss 35mm 2.8 and a 85mm f1.8, all with with a double cashback from sony EU (offer for a few days only). i preferred the A7RII to the A7III, because I am more interested in the image quality and the cropping possibilities than in speed performances.
    It’s only a few days I got that equipment, with not much time to play with so far, but camera and lenses seems to hold what most reviews claim. Also struggling with the menus and the lack of sound information from Sony on these menus.

    As for the lenses, I could be interested by a standard range zoom. From what I read and hear in the reviews and videos, the zeiss f4 is not of a very high quality and with a low benefit/cost ratio. The sony G’s are better and faster, but much more expensive. Then there is the Tamron, which sells about the same price as the Zeiss, but is faster (2.8 instead of 4) and not much more bulkier nor heavier . But the reviews I have seen have mixed opinions relative to the image quality it delivers.
    Thus I hope you will soon share your experience and opinion on the Tamron.

    best regards

    francis

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    1. I have heard the same as your, very mixed responses on the 24-70 f4 and the general consensus amongst reviewers is that the 24-70 f/4 isn’t great. The Tamron on the other hand, oddly enough, I haven’t seen too many bad reviews and my initial perceptions of it are pretty good. They all say the same thing, pretty close to the gmaster with a little more corner softness and without the price tag. Most of that disappears by f4 and it’s the size of an f4 lens so for me personally, it’s a reasonable compromise.

      I haven’t done extension testing of the 28-75, it’s a recent addition to my set but my initial impressions are good. I’ll try get some good samples in the coming week.

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  2. I feel your comments are fair but somewhat Sony weighted. I also think the bleed you talk about is from all the big players, including Sony, TO Fuji not the other way round. I am a Sony user myself but am bleeding to Fuji imminently as It’s the best straight out of the camera. I am a fairly casual user so battery life is not an issue and for me stills quality is paramount. The £400 price difference is the tipping point and from my research most reviews are in favour of Fuji.

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    1. The bleed was prior to the X-T3, the X-H1 was a big disappointment compared to the A7iii, and Fujifilm lost a lot of users, where the bleed in forums like dpreview and facebook groups were noticeable. Prior to the A7iii, I never saw the amount of posts I saw of people leaving to go to Sony. The $400 difference is not actually that big when you consider that buying a couple of batteries would start to eat into that. Buying 1 extra battery with the Sony would 3 extras with Fujifilm to match.

      When you say it’s Sony biased, in what sense? Can you point me to a section that is incorrect?

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  3. I support you with 100%! Very thorough and real reviews compare to Dpreview where I don’t know if the reviewers are real photographers or pretending to be one because they all sound like tech reviewers. Your reviews and writing and comments just click and say that you’re a photographer not just some techie phone reviewer

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    1. Thanks, Yor. Much appreciated. I think the challenge for many writers is that reviews and blogs sometimes become a stepping stone for them to bridge into other areas, rather than having an active interest in photography. Over a period of time, you start to establish who the reviewers are, whether there is a level of bias (there often is through the nature of their preferences), what their skill level is and how to take their advice. The concern I am seeing at the moment, is that people who have put out negative reviews about some brands are not getting invited to brand events and with big brands, it is important to have access to reviews to maintain readership.

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  4. Interesting perspective. I own an A7RIII and a X-T3. While AF is markedly better on the Sony, I just vastly prefer shooting with the Fuji. Stabilized lenses make the IBIS issue mostly moot. I haven’t experienced many of the Fuji “limitations” you mention with flash and such. I just know 9 times out of 10, I grab my Fuji when I need a camera. Only when doing landscapes and needing to print large do I grab my Sony.

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    1. I have no doubt this is true, I think the one thing a comparison can’t cover is something as simple as personal preference, because it’s illogical. I.e. not something based on a set of specifications you can compare. I think it also comes down to purpose, your individual genre, or the genre’s you focus on, just like the comparisons of DSLR vs Mirrorless being a preference thing.

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  5. Enjoyed your review and comments on the Sony A7iii. Surprised by your size comparison of Sony vs Fuji. Did not realize Sony was essentially the same size. Although I noticed you picked the tiny Sony-Zeiss 35mm to put on the A7. I have thought of buying that lens because of the size and quality.

    With regard to your comments. The size of the Fuji vs Sony is about the same with the small primes, but the Sony becomes much larger when you get into the zooms. My main issue with the Nikon D750 I had was I did not like the size and weight of the camera when adding zooms to it like the 24-120mm f4. The Sony 24-105 zoom is also up there in in size and weight.

    My negative feelings toward the Sony A7iii have mostly to do with the controls and handling compared to the Nikons I had. And some of that is because I had used the Nikons for quite a while and got accustomed to them. No doubt the crop body Nikon D5500 was light and very easy to set up and make adjustments to compared to the A7iii. It’s touch screen was much more usable than the Sony A7’s. When you used the menu you could touch scroll through it easily. And the D750 had the essential controls as marked buttons plus well thought out menus activated by the buttons. For example bracketing – Nikon D750 had a marked button that when you pushed it opened an easy to use menu that was intuitive. The D5500 you pushed the bracket on the touch screen and the adjustment was layed out for you. Easy. Sony = confusion. The dam bracket is so difficult to figure out I have just given up and am not using it. The D750 buttons controlled 90% of what I did and almost never used the menu. Not so with the Sony.

    Colors – With the updates to Lightroom Classic and Lightroom CC it has become so simple to edit raw I usually never bother with jpegs out of camera. Essentially I find the Sony and Nikon raws about the same, easy to work with in Lightroom.

    Using auto with Sony A7iii. Sony includes “intelligent auto” with the A7iii. It works really well and is intelligent. Yesterday at a Christmas party it found faces and co-ordinated everything without me touching any adjustment. This is a rare thing for me I usually always keep the camera in A mode or manual.

    To me the difference between the Sony A7iii and my Nikon D750 & D550 was that the Sony was designed by a group of people listing the specs they wanted in the camera and size, cost, and weight. The Nikons were designed by photographers and lens makers that made prototypes and then tested them in use before building them. In no way do I think the Sony A7iii is not a good quality piece of gear. It has operated for me flawlessly. And the Sony-Zeiss lens is a beauty. But it has been and still is a real struggle to operate the A7iii to get out of it what I want.

    Image quality. There is no or almost no difference in image quality between the A7iii, D750, D5500 on stills. Although the 750 and A7 focus much faster than the D5500. I often take detailed garden shots and sharpness, color, and bokeh are obvious when using Lightroom on a good monitor. I do prefer the depth of field for this type of close up work on flowers or portraits using full frame. On the other hand if I shot video with this camera often by far I would prefer the A7iii. No contest.

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    1. Thanks, sorry for the delay in approving your comment. WordPress was a little late in notifying me. Interestingly enough, the zooms aren’t a big size difference unless you go to the 2.8 zooms. The Fuji 16-55 f/2.8 is the equivalent of an f4 but the Tamron is actual almost the same size despite being a f/2.8 on full frame. The 70-200 f4 is the same size and weight as the fujifilm 50-140. The big issue is that Sony don’t really offer smaller glass options like f/2.8 primes that Fujifilm offer with the f/2’s. This still makes the Fujifilm a better travel option.

      Agree on the controls, although the controls I find a lot better than the terrible menu systems. I find if you customise the Sony controls, you can avoid the menus. There was a great video which showed where some of the usability issues could be resolved, but for now I can live with the issues because I have managed to set it up in such a way that I don’t have to touch the menu much.

      I do find the eye AF amazing. That has been a revelation to me. I did an entire portrait shoot (the Magmod Review) with eye AF and it was flawless. I think I must have had 2 or 3 photos out of a couple of hundred.

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  6. An excellent and insightful comparison! As a Fuji X-T3 landscape and product photographer, I appreciate the stellar sharpness of Fujinon glass such as the XF80mm f/2.8 Macro (the sharpest lens I’ve ever used in 40 years of photography!), XF16-55. f/2.8 XF23 f/2, XF55-200 to name a few. However, I was interested in more elaboration of your comment that the “Sony is a bit sharper”. At what magnification (print size) do you think I’d notice this sharpness difference, and with what lenses? Thanks again!

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    1. In all honesty, the difference between them is so small you would only notice it at 100% magnification and when it comes to using lenses like the 80mm, you’d be hardpressed to tell the difference at all. The Sony 90mm macro incidentally is also the sharpest lens ever tested by DXOMark (out of any brand), so I say that with no intended malice towards the Fujifilm as I believe the Fujifilm 80mm would be comparable. With lenses like the 55-200 and 23 f/2.8, difference in sharpness would be impacted more by the photographers skill and the ability to work within the sweet spot of the lens.

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      1. Interesting, sir! I was thinking that simply by virtue of being FF compared to APS-C, the Sony a7III would be able to offer even beter sharpness and detail retention with images enlarged to 24″ x 36″, but then again, it has an AA filter while my X-T3 does not. So, perhaps that would make the sensor size difference moot (in terms of sharpness)? Please correct me if I’m wrong. And yes, I do always try to use the lens’ sweet spot (between f/8 and f/11), and a solid tripod. (You can see the kind of image quality I’m getting at my website.) Thanks again!

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      2. I think it’s that idea of “good enough”. Both cameras are better than 99.99999% of the photographers who use them so the sharpness difference is more of a case of people comparing for the sake of comparing rather than it having any realistic difference to the outcome of their photos. The 80mm Fuji is almost too sharp for portraits because its so sharp that it exposes too many of the flaws in the skin.

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  7. Great comparison. Thank you.

    I need further clarity as to which of the above camera would suit my requirement. I am looking for a camera for coloured gemstone photography specifically for emerald gemstone which is green in colour. I would like to know which camera could give me true colour and what lens should be used. I will be taking pictures in a light box photo studio with diffused lighting of 5500 kelvin.
    Below are the links of the light boxes I am considering to use –
    https://picupmedia.com/prod
    http://www.fourpro.com/inde

    https://gem2000.com/news/20
    the above link will explain the challenge I am facing in getting the true colour and liveliness of the gemstone.

    Most gemstone images are taken with telephoto macro lenses which compress (flatten) the image, visibly bringing any inclusions throughout the stone together into a single plane, and thereby appearing more heavily included in the image than in person.

    I am open to consider any brand camera and lens. Budget is not the criteria as it is going to be a one time investment. Any suggestions here would be helpful.

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    1. To answer some of your questions
      1. Colour – Most cameras are surprisingly similar despite what the critics say. If you look at some of the tests done, the biggest issue is actually the white balance difference which can be corrected in post processing with one click or using a grey card. Some cameras have a shift towards a particular colour, Canon know for it’s reds, but that also means that it’s not as good for other colours, so overall, I’d say they are mostly similar and not worth worrying about. I’d be clined to check how your white balance is set and potentially create some presets for different types of gem colours that might accentuate the specific colours. I.e. a green preset that saturates the greens a little more for green stones, another for red etc.
      2. From a camera perspective, both cameras would work fine. Both the 80mm Macro and the Sony 90mm macro are phenomenal lenses, probably some of the sharpest on the market and the 80mm has IBIS which essentially evens out the advantage that the A7iii would have with lower shutter speeds so that isn’t even an issue. Both have similar pricing ranges
      3. On the lightbox, I’d consider getting a rotating display point as well, although having never photographed gemstones, I don’t know if thats a requirement. Foldio do one http://orangemonkie.com/foldio360/

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      1. Thank you very much. It was very educative. Will definitely try out the tips you suggested on presets and white balance.

        Also if you help me out on this. Would you know of any turntable with a software compatible with DSLR camera for taking appx automatic 100 frames of a gemstone in different angles? It would be very helpful for me.

        Thank you.

        Like

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