Fujifilm X-E3 vs Sony a6300

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After my comparison of the Sony A7II with Fujifilm many of you pointed out that a better comparison would be that to Sony’s a6xxx APS-C lineup. At first I dismissed it as my goal was to help choosing between A7 and Fuji systems focusing on those two as companies’ flagship products, but then it got me thinking. On the one hand, Sony A7II indeed has much larger sensor, but on the other it is a much older technology (from the era of the X-Trans II), and so I chose to compare Fujifilm X system to a newer but also ‘smaller’ camera – the a6300.

  1. Size an built

Both cameras are more or less the same size and weight.

  • Both are also rangefinder style cameras with EVF on the left side of the body.
  • Sony has a tiltable screen whereas Fujifilm’s is fixed.
  • Fujifilm has a touchscreen (only a6500 has it in Sony lineup)
  • Sony has a wheel (D-pad) and Fuji uses touch screen controls. Sony’s solution is much better in the field and especially when using gloves.
  • Both camerad do not have in body image stabilisation. You will find more stabilised lens for the Sony, especially in primes department.
  • Sony’s screen is in 16:9 format, so you will see better when capturing videos, but worse with stills when in comes to back screen.
  • there are no moving parts on both cameras (built quality for Sony improved significantly over the a6000 whereas Fujifilm maintains its high standards), but due to how strange the Fujifilm joystick protrudes, I would say that Sony is sturdier.

  1. Menu

Although most of youtubers really hate the Sony menu, I don’t really find it that confusing. It is all ordered into groups, you can switch between them quite fast and seamless. Having said that I have to admint that Fujifilm menu was much easier to learn and it took me much less time in the beginning to find what I want. After a while of usage, it doesn’t really make a difference. The point that surely skews this for Fujifilm is the ability to compose My Menu (only available in the mk3 A7 cameras for Sony)

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  1. Ergonomics

If you set your Fuji up correctly, you can have dials for all major settings at a ready (front wheel being the one designated for ISO). Coupling this with joystick and a dedicated focus mode dial, you can really not go into menus at all and set everything up to capture what you need. With Sony it is very different. Everything has a double function, every button and dial behaves differently depending on what other functions are set.

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On autoexposure, Fujifilm images (on the left) come out significantly darker.

Sony has a grip which helps in holding the camera firmly. I always found the Fuji lineup (really every camera up until X-H1) to be very difficult to operate handheld because of the lack of grip. This, connected with the fact that Fujifilm decided to put aperture rings on the lens, makes it virtually impossible to operate the camera while holding a speedlight in hte other hand which, if you’re shooting portraits, can really be a show stopper.

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Both cameras perform well as far as sharpness goes, with an advantage to the X-E3
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This is of course a matter of a lens and not the camera, but in the edges Fuji beats Sony hands down. Fujifilm lens lineup really is top quality

On the other hand, another show stopper for many people will be a lack of joystick on the Sony.  Although there is a great improvement over the a6000 (and A7II in my opinion) in the sturdiness and overall operation of the wheel, it is very inferior to the joystick, which should be a standar in any camera for years now, no matter how basic the model. Having said that the Fujifilm joystick leaves much to wish for – it is very fiddly and esasy to bump, is is delicate and I cannot get over the feeling that it might break just from carrying the camera in my back.

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  1. Image quality/RAW

Overall if you want to create images that have artistic feel to them, deep shadows and creative colors, and you’re not interested in landscapes, go for Fuji. If accurate representation is more your thing, Sony is the one for you. When in comes to JPEGS Fujifilm has some amazing engine, especially when it comes to sharpening. On the other hand the colors will not be natural, shadows will tend to go completely dark and you will need to ‘overexpose’ the image to get proper exposure according to histogram. This of course will lead you to shoot at higher ISOs and loose dynamic range, which, at 12 stops, is really terrible and Fujifilm has no excuse for selling people such cameras in 2018. Even the 5 year old 16Mpix micro four thirds sensor had 12,7 stops, and it is already an obsolete technology. Another thing – Fujifilm RAF files will be painfully slow. In my experience it takes lightroom 2-3 times longer (granted, with only 8GM RAM), when compared to Sony. When using Ipad, you will not see previews of your files unless you shoot JPEG + RAW. Also, without multi tier processing using a couple different softwares, you will get artifacts like worminess and terrible shadow recovery in Lightroom.

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Sony on the other hand has none of those problems. It uses a standard Bayer sensor, its ARW files are fast and very malleable.

When it comes to image quality, after extended use I have to say taht Sony beats Fuji hands dowsn, especially when it comes to landscapes. This being said Fujifilm can easily take over given its lens lineup, if only they made a pro camera from th XA series with Bayer sensor. X-Trans is really a technology that has ran its course and as long as Fuji refuses to acknowledge this (their X-H1 2018 model also has only 12 stops DR, which is simply a slap in the face for their loyal fanbase)

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Fuji seems to get the upper hand in low light
  1. Functions

Both cameras are very capable and modern pieces of equipment, offering more or less everything you need for stills. Both have 24mpix sensor, producing similar amount of detail. When it comes to JPEGs (and RAWs in post production as well), Fujifilm offers you an array of film simulations, giving your images different looks as far as color palette and shadows are concerned. Sony on the other hand gives you files that are faster to process and can be viewed on any device (you will not see previews from Fuji on most your devices unless you shoot RAW+JPEG).

The fact that Fujifilm offers those simulations has many upsides, but also one major downside, which Fujifilm could easily get rid of but somehow they don’t. It is about previewing their images. Even if you shoot RAF only, what you will see on your camera screen will still be a JPEG with film simulation. This is of course true also with Sony, but their JPEGs stive for a neutral look witch fully resembles their RAW look, but with more contrast and saturation. Fuji JPEGs on the other hand are completely different and resemble much more a file fully processed in Lightroom. Shadows and images overall are much darker in JPEG than RAF, also colors are different and this is true even of the PROVIA standard simulation. You simply need to remember that if you use RAWs, what looks underexposed in camera will look normal in Lightroom and what looks normal will in realitsy be overexposed. this is simply what Fuji does and you have to learn to live with it.

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Sony has more dynamic range

Another difference is exposure preview when using flash. Sony turns it off automatically whereas with Fuji you need to do it manually each time you want to use flash. In X-E3 you can add this to your “my menu” but e.g. in X-T20 you cannot.

Fujifilm has a built in timer that can go up to 15 minutes, whereas Sony only goes to 30 seconds. Fuji has timelapse built in, with Sony you need to use their stupis app store to get it, and this only of r their older models. The new mk3 ones do not even have that. You always need a remote if you want to shoot timelapse with the new Sony cameras. Having said that the app itself works much better for Sony, with Fuji I had considerable problems with ISO and did not manage to conenct the app on Android to my phone at all. Sony functions quite fast, although without in camera apps its functionality will only be limited to transferring files.

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eye AF – continuous eye AF on the Sony a6300 is fast and reliable, fully functionable in the field. It simply changes the portrait game. The one on Fuji X-E3 simply does not work, it is a gimmick and a proof of concept for them, but reliability is so bad that you will never use it in practice.

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