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Sony A7 vs Fujifilm X-T1


Mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras are set to take the market by a storm since they are aiming to be the first-hand choice of all photographers, but the progress will take a while. In the meantime, we have seen some excellent mirrorless models that were pretty much perfect at delivering amazing photographs, lightweight bodies, attractive prices and overall amazing solutions for secondary cameras.

While almost all the manufacturers have delivered some excellent mirrorless models, Sony and Fuji have done it for a long time know and their models are the gold standard in this category. Especially Fujifilm models that are amazing in terms of their classic 80’s designs that are iconic, plus on top of that, they have been the first-hand choice for a large number of street photographers since they are lightweight cameras but still very durable. On the other side, Sony has delivered one of the most capable interchangeable lens mirrorless models in the market, with its A7 series, and what is the most interesting, its mirrorless lineup has taken several hints from Fujifilm’s cameras, but this is not a bad thing per se, because they are implemented excellently.

Without further ado let’s take a quick look at our cameras for today.

First off we have the Sony A7, a full-frame mirrorless interchangeable lens camera that was released in October 2013. It was released as Sony’s first full-frame mirrorless model and since it has been one of the most capable cameras in the market. Its successors have been branded as the best mirrorless models, and I can comfortably say that the original A7 that we are going to speak today is still great even for today’s standards.

On the other side, we have the Fujifilm X-T1, a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera that was released in January 2014. Compared to the Sony model, it is a very modest camera, but it can still deliver excellent photographs, thanks to its wide range of controls and its prowess for capturing flawless moments. It is a pretty speedy shooter and has a wide range of lenses available for its small body. If you are a fan of 80s style cameras but want performance as well, this one is your best option.

Let’s get on with the comparison and see which comes out on top and whether it is for you or not.

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Head To Head Comparison

Sony A7

As I mentioned earlier the Sony A7, is the first full-frame mirrorless camera in Sony’s lineup, and it came with two other amazing cameras, the ultra-advanced A7R and the videography focused A7S. Critics were a little skeptic about these cameras, however, Sony did a perfect job in its first go at the technology, and since then they have never looked back. If you want a full-frame model and get the most bang for your buck, the base A7 series is the perfect option for you.

Since the release of the A7 series, Sony has hit the sweet spot and has been a synonym for innovation in the camera market. It has used new technologies boldly and it has established itself as the leader of the mirrorless camera market. As we already know the A7 was released 6 years ago now, and due to that the price has dropped significantly and in my opinion, it makes itself an amazing full-frame mirrorless camera that can perform amazingly. It has a pretty sophisticated autofocus system, amazing image processor, durable body and countless other features, that were unseen when it was released and even today they are pretty relevant.

This camera is an indirect successor of the NEX mirrorless cameras, which was a Sony subsidiary, however, even the NEX cameras resemble pretty closely to the Fujifilm camera designs which are truly iconic. But the A7 is revamped as it is a little more contemporary than retro, it features a pretty deep handgrip, great aesthetic vibes, and one-handed operation thanks to its lightweight body that weighs in at 474 grams in total. The whole body is weather and dustproof and the build quality is amazing since it was released as a flagship model.

The Sony A7 is equipped with a 3-inch LCD on its back, rocking an aspect ratio of 4:3 with a resolution of 1230k dots, resulting in plenty of sharpness, and thanks to its excellent brightness it is visible even outdoors, it can also be tilted upwards and downwards. It is equipped with an excellent OLED XGA electronic viewfinder with a 0.74x magnification and a resolution of 2400k dots. On top of all these the controls are pretty good and rich, delivering plenty of customizability and intuitive control.

This incredible machine is equipped with a pretty sophisticated hybrid autofocus system that makes use of 117 phase-detect and 25 contrast-detect autofocus points. When it was released this autofocus system was the most sophisticated in the market, as it achieved directional and distance focus, making it a pretty fast shooter. In continuous autofocus mode, it delivers a solid performance, making it excellent for videography, tracking your subjects closely.

For its aforementioned awesome image quality this camera utilizes a 24.3MP full-frame CMOS sensor with OLPF, which delivers exceptional sharpness, amazing colors, simply put perfect photographs. However, what makes this camera impressive is its Bionz X image processor, which does a perfect job, to be precise, better detail retention and natural noise elimination in high ISO levels.

In terms of speed, this camera can deliver 5 frames per second in burst shooting mode and doesn’t need to buffer for large JPEGs, meaning that you can shoot until you fill out your SD card, or your battery runs out. Speaking of which it is a little poor at just 340 shots per charge, and I would suggest you invest in backup batteries.

Sony A7 Sample Footage:

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Fujifilm X-T1

Fujifilm has released amazing cameras throughout the years and it is one of my favorite brands. While there are tons of reasons behind that, the main thing is that its cameras are beautiful pieces of machinery that are aesthetically incomparable with other models, but they are not just pretty faces as they are capable of delivering excellent performance thanks to their amazing specs and features.

This time around we are going to take a look at the excellent Fujifilm X-T1, this is a perfect camera for street photographers in my opinion, since it is very speedy, has a durable build that will last you a lifetime, plenty of creative freedom thanks to its classic controls, and best of all amazing image quality, despite having a sensor that lacks megapixels. What is even better this camera has a pretty affordable price but delivers more than its price suggests.

If you have been a fan of the SLR camera technology in the 80s, or a fan of retro vintage design and aesthetics, this device is perfect for you since it has a pretty good and deep grip, and overall it looks like a pretty clever device that can capture amazing moments. You can get the all-black version, however, you can also opt for the perfect graphite version which is peak retro aesthetics in my opinion. This camera has a pretty amazing build quality that is weather and dustproof, making it a perfect camera for landscape and wildlife as well. It still has pretty small dimensions measuring 3.6×5.1×2-inches and it also has a pretty lightweight at about 0.97-pounds, making it a little lighter than the Sony model.

This camera is equipped with a perfect OLED electronic viewfinder covering 100% of the scene with its 0.77x magnification, also it has plenty of sharpness at 2360k dots and has plenty of brightness. It has a tilting LCD on the back that is 3-inches large and has a resolution of 1040k dots, with a nice refresh rate and brightness. In terms of controls its classic Fuji with its 3 control dials on the top plate, delivering plenty of creative freedom, allowing you to capture amazing photographs, but that is not all since it has tons of buttons as well accompanying those.

In the autofocus department this camera utilizes a phase-detection autofocus system which has delivered great results through its 9 central AF points, it focuses excellently on subjects that are near the center, however, if you want a sophisticated autofocus system this camera is not for you. This is better for enthusiasts that want to select their focus points themselves for more accurate results and these cameras autofocus modes work great with the whole system.

This camera uses a 16.3MP X-Trans CMOS II sensor that delivers amazing image quality, with its phase detection pixels. What is best about this camera is that it doesn’t use a Bayer-pattern color filter, but a homegrown color filter that delivers excellent colors eliminating plenty of moire problems and no anti-aliasing filters, for better and sharper images. The colors are excellent and for street photography, it is a perfect choice.

In the performance and speed department, the Fujifilm X-T1 can deliver 8 frames per second in burst shooting mode with great focus, and it has plenty of drive modes to support that kind of shooting, the exposure modes are also great and you can take great advantage of them. The battery life is about 370 shots which are poor but for the price it’s great.

Overall, it’s an amazing camera that can get the job done in any field. We listed it as the best all-purpose camera for photojournalism in our roundup.

Fujifilm X-T1 Sample Images:

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Sony A7 vs Fujifilm X-T1 Feature Comparison

  Sony A7 Fujifilm X-T1
Camera Type Full-Frame Mirrorless Mirrorless
Megapixels 24.2 16.3
ISO Range 100-51,200 200-6,400
Flip-Out Screen Yes Yes
AF Points 117 AF Points 9 AF Points
Viewfinder Yes Yes
Touchscreen No No
Video Recording Yes Yes
Sensor Size BSI-CMOS APS-C

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If you want the answer as to which is the best camera in this comparison, the answer is Sony A7 by a margin. However, it is also a pretty expensive model compared to the X-T1, and if you want the most bang for your buck opt for that.

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