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CSC : Digital Compact System Cameras - This new category of digital Compact System Cameras with interchangeable lenses was mislabeled for a time as "Mirrorless Cameras" by those forgetting about "Mirrorless" Rangefinder cameras.  Such confusion is easily understandable, since interchangeable rangefinder cameras were only recently introduced in 1932.  hmm.    CSC or Compact System Camera is probably the best category description to date, although I am fond of the old RFF desigation of  CEVIL  indicating Compact Electronic Viewfidner Interchangeable Lens.   This forum is here at RFF because via adapters these cameras offer an inexpensive way to use rangefinder lenses on digital cameras -- in addition of just about every 35mm SLR lens you can think of.  All  offer the photo enthusiast an incredible array of adopted lenses which was not possible before these new digital formats.   This group continues to grow in popularity and new camera models! 

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Sony VS Fuji Mirrorless Comparison
Old 07-29-2015   #1
CameraQuest
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Sony VS Fuji Mirrorless Comparison

Sony and Fuji arguably lead the interchangeable lens "mirrorless" race - at least for the time being.

What do you see as the relative strengths and weaknesses of each system?

Where does each system need to improve?

What is your own favorite and why ?


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Old 07-29-2015   #2
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Sony: Excellent sensors, good viewfinders, jumble of junk menus, clunky cameras, oddly-unbalanced lens portfolio, variable quality control.

Fuji: Weird and difficult to process sensor raw data, (X-Ti) good to excellent viewfinder, decent body, weird but mostly useable menus, excellent lenses, above average build consistency.

The 'clunky camera' part of the Sonys kills them for me. The weird Fuji sensor data kills them for me. I own neither at this time.

IMO, the Micro-FourThirds system (combination of Olympus and Panasonic bodies/lenses plus third party lenses) is the most consistent and most extensive in the "mirrorless race," such as it is, and, to me, it is the leader. They have their faults too, but none that get in my way as much as what I found with the Fuji and Sony gear. I continue to use my Olympus E-M1 nearly every day: it has not yet failed to produce the results I was after.

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Old 07-29-2015   #3
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Image quality from the Fuji bodies are currently at least a generation behind Sony APS-C bodies, since they still use a base Sony design from 2011. Four years is a long time in the digital world. That to me alone is a deal-breaker. But Fuji seems to have cracked something about Jpegs that no other brand has. The Fuji in-camera profiles produce consistently good results. Sony's Jpegs have improved, but are still hit-and-miss.

The only two decent E-mount APS-C lenses are the 24mm F1.8 and 16-70mm F4. Fuji on the other hand has a full lineup of good to excellent optics. That said, I can mount many more lenses on a E-mount camera and use them to full potential. Fuji doesn't have an equivalent for either my 135mm STF or my 15mm ZM Distagon.

I think the centralized Sony philosophy is that it never hurts to provide more options. The controls are highly customizable and you can find niche functions for a wide range of user scenarios. People who like to be in control of technology and have the full range of options will prefer this option. Fuji focuses on core aspects of the photography experience. The downside is that the experience feels, at least to me, oddly limiting.

I may be a bit partial to Sony, but in the long run, my opinion is that the challenges Fuji needs to overcome are much greater than the ones for Sony. The X-mount not supporting full frame is one. How many people will be willing to invest in APS-C when FF prices drop to the $500 range? The other is that being the proverbial small fish in the pond, they won't have access to the latest OLED panels and sensors. That means sensor performance will remain a step or two behind the big players.

Sony needs to continue to improve its professional service solution. They also need more lenses. The A7S is close to perfection for a reportage camera - so where's the 24mm F1.4 and 5x zooms? Flash systems remain fairly pitiful for both brands, but Sony's is particularly jarring because of the hot shoe change. I also don't like the trend of heavier full frame cameras - why isn't Sony squeezing the A7 sensor into a NEX-7 design?
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Old 07-29-2015   #4
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Sony has a huge strength in video. Quite a few of us, I'm sure, still have NEX-5s kicking around because they are such good video machines. I can't say the same for my various Fujis.

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Old 07-29-2015   #5
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Aesthetically, I prefer the RF body style unless the SLR body actually has an OVF, I cant stand shooting EVF.
The X-Pro1 is probably the nicest looking mirrorless camera for me and felt at home right away.

In terms of IQ and DR, Sony wins hands down with 24MP+ and Full Frame sensors.
X-Trans2 files are brutal and painfully slow to work on, original X-Trans was fine though and was really impressed from my X-Pro1 shots back in the day.

In terms of UI, both are not the greatest but will do, however I found the X-Pro1 more intuitive than the A7.

I agree with the clunky sound that the A7 makes, one more thing that I sure don't miss on the Sony cameras.

Tempted on getting another X-Pro1 as a side-kick of the M240 now though..hmm
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Old 07-29-2015   #6
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Put the A7S sensor in the XP1 body with the X100T finder and I won't bother anyone ever again.
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Old 07-29-2015   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by burancap View Post
Put the A7S sensor in the XP1 body with the X100T finder and I won't bother anyone ever again.
Give me the A7RII sensor with the Leica Q's EVF / Fuji OVF inside a X-Pro1 body and I'd be very happy for a few years... or just give me a 50mm Leica Q.

I loved using Fuji for many years, but I find them dated compared to everything else right now when it comes to responsiveness. My favorite lens, the 35mm 1.4, was just too slow on every Fuji body I had tried. I switched to the Sony A7R and then A7II and find them to be a lot more responsive, but I miss the ergonomics and haptics of the Fuji X-Pro1. Fuji has a pretty nice lens line-up too. Sony is lacking in small AF primes.
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Old 07-29-2015   #8
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I wanted AF, high iso performance, good range and quality in native mount lenses, and less weight/size than a dSLR. Got all four with Fuji XF.

Most pleasing system to shoot: Leica M
Most resolution and IQ in a system to shoot: Sony Alpha
Most compromises in a system to shoot: Fuji X

That's where I'm at. I can live and shoot well with Fuji.
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Old 07-29-2015   #9
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methinks Panasonic also makes great mirrorless cameras as well, though am not using one personally.

went recently Sony path, because they have full frame option, and great sensors. so Sony should handle my future needs as well. for now RX10 as general purpose, and a5100 with 1.8/35mm for people/street - cover my traveling photography. staying in one brand helps: same UI, batteries & charging, raw post processing, smartphone connection etc.

am not having anything against Fuji, but it was clearly pricier option that I could not justify from performance pov.
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Old 07-29-2015   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Godfrey View Post
The 'clunky camera' part of the Sonys kills them for me.
What do you mean by clunky cameras?

Quote:
Originally Posted by YYV_146 View Post
The only two decent E-mount APS-C lenses are the 24mm F1.8 and 16-70mm F4.
What about these: 10-18/4, 35/1.8, 50/1.8? I really like my copies of these. Fuji lenses may be slightly better, but these are nice to

Don't know much 'bout the Fuji's. I like my Sony Nex F3 and I have an A6000 on the way.
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Old 07-29-2015   #11
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Sony left Fuj behind with FF.
But Sony will never made their cameras as sexy as hot Fuji bodies!
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Old 07-29-2015   #12
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This one is easy: Full frame vs. ... well ... not full frame.
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Old 07-29-2015   #13
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I agree with Godfrey and think the micro-four thirds system is a strong contender. The array of lenses availble from the various M43 manufacturers is impressive, and Olympus's IBIS implementation is very well regarded. -- martin
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Old 07-29-2015   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Addy101 View Post
What do you mean by clunky cameras?


What about these: 10-18/4, 35/1.8, 50/1.8? I really like my copies of these. Fuji lenses may be slightly better, but these are nice to

Don't know much 'bout the Fuji's. I like my Sony Nex F3 and I have an A6000 on the way.
In fairness, those are nice optics and give plenty of performance on the dollar. But they aren't perfect for critical work on 24mp APS-C sensors. The upgrade from the 50mm F1.8 to the 55mm Zeiss would be highly visible at F1.8-2.8, especially for printing.
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Old 07-29-2015   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by burancap View Post
Put the A7S sensor in the XP1 body with the X100T finder and I won't bother anyone ever again.
⇧. Perfectly said.
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Old 07-29-2015   #16
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I had an A7 and sold it for the XT1.
For me it was the Fujis native lens line up with more promised on the roadmap that won me over. Not to mention their practice of continually improving their products even after they have taken your money.
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Old 07-29-2015   #17
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For me Sony it the company that chases whatver they think is hot right now. And drop it tomorrow for whatever reason that came up when they got out of bed. Plenty of brilliant ideas, lousy execution, abysmal client service. It's not their cameras but the company that I don't like.
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Old 07-29-2015   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Addy101 View Post
What do you mean by clunky cameras?
...
Awkwardly placed controls that are sometimes re-assignable as to function, but other times not; noisy, annoying shutter; cheap feel and poor fit of components; lens mount too lightweight for intended use; overall decent viewfinder with insufficient adaptivity for bright conditions. Et cetera. Overall, a $2000 camera with the unsophisticated rough edges of an economy grade camera. Clunky.

G
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Old 07-29-2015   #19
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When I gave up on film I was looking for bodies to put the M lenses on. I tried the NEX bodies. Great but I hated the out-of-camera jpeg. Yeah, yeah, shoot raw. I'd rather drink snot. Spending time dragging sliders around is my idea of hell. Dante has spoken correctly. Fuji hits it with their jpegs. Sony doesn't. It's too bad because it struck me as a camera, once set up, that simply got out of the way. The fact that the Fuji is outdated is meaningless to me. I don't try new cameras constantly. Or even more than rarely; usually it's when something needs replacing because it's broken. I still shoot D3 bodies with pretty vanilla Nikon glass. But most of the time I'm working with an X100 and an iPhone. When I need a long shot I have a little Panasonic GX1 with a 90-200 equivalent. I find the magenta cast out of the GX1 frustrating. But perhaps most here are shooting digital B&W. I don't know. Colour for me is paramount. Sony, when I was trying the NEX cameras, just seemed to make very blue jpegs, no matter what I did with WB.
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Old 07-29-2015   #20
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Many here have touted Sony because they are full-frame. But the size of Sony full-frame lenses is a killer for me. Fuji body/lens size is better for me. And the m4/3 body/lens sizes are great. But this raises a question... why can't someone other than Leica make a full frame camera with lenses that are as small as Leica's? If its just all the auto-focus junk that adds size, give me manual focus lenses that're small!!
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Old 07-29-2015   #21
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Quote:
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this raises a question... why can't someone other than Leica make a full frame camera with lenses that are as small as Leica's? If its just all the auto-focus junk that adds size, give me manual focus lenses that're small!!
Well said...!
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Old 07-29-2015   #22
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Quote:
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Many here have touted Sony because they are full-frame. But the size of Sony full-frame lenses is a killer for me. Fuji body/lens size is better for me. And the m4/3 body/lens sizes are great. But this raises a question... why can't someone other than Leica make a full frame camera with lenses that are as small as Leica's? If its just all the auto-focus junk that adds size, give me manual focus lenses that're small!!
You probably know this, but you can have a Sony Alpha body modded by Kolari to play nicer with M-glass (the wider FLs).
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Old 07-30-2015   #23
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Fuji X - best overall value IMO. All superb optics in small sizes due to slightly smaller sensor, excellent build quality, simple menus and traditional ergonomics. Due to the traditional dials you can operate the camera without needing to look at the screen or into the EVF. X-trans sensor is excellent, not really subpar to any of the current full frame sensors from sony especially when you factor in colors the camera produce (classic chrome anyone - also available in RAW files with acr). Overall size and handling is best compromise. Video is pretty rubbish.

Sony - Great ideas with sometimes weird execution. Excellent sensors, limited native AF lenses. The good lenses are superb, but massive due to slightly larger sensor. Menus a bit smartphone like, and ergonomics are closer to DSLR, if you like twiddling nondescript wheels and watching a screen to change settings. Video is superb.

m4/3 - Excellent bodies in top line (em5ii/em1 especially), great sensors severely handicapped by sensor size (if you care about some level of subject separation). All the high end lenses are excellent, and smallest of the mirrorless bunch. Menus are an absolute nightmare of proprietary terms and wanky unnecesary options. IS tech in top bodies is a BIG plus. Video is superb.
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Old 07-30-2015   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jamie Pillers View Post
why can't someone other than Leica make a full frame camera with lenses that are as small as Leica's? If its just all the auto-focus junk that adds size, give me manual focus lenses that're small!!
You answered your own question!
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Old 07-30-2015   #25
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SONY doesn't appeal because, as Godfrey described, it's clunky. I wouldn't enjoy a camera with those ergonomics. SONY seems to spit out new products all the time.They just seem unstable to me. Perhaps it would be more accurate to describe their marketing philosophy as too dynamic. Obviously I am not interested at all in videography.

The OVF on the Fujifilm bodies is enjoyable. It's not that tricky to set the camera up such that it's operation is minimalistic and simple. The X-T1 EVF is well... an EVF. There are many generations of EVFs and the newest technologies outperform the older ones. For commercial work I prefer the EVF to DSLR OVFs. For action photography EVFs require anticipation and shutter bursts. DSLR OVFs are superior for action. For candid work I prefer the OVF. But with practice the EVF is not limiting.

The APS-C sensor size is not a significant handicap because the Fujinon lenses' focal lengths mean you can use the system just as you would use a 24 X 36 mm system with traditional focal lengths. Those who require the shallowest possible DOF and work in extreme low light will benefit from the increased sensor area.

Otherwise the physics of equivalence applies. Equivalence is a controversial topic due to its complex nature. It's relevance is even brand dependent because read noise is brand dependent. Equivalence levels the playing field for m4/3, APS-C and 24 X 36 mm camera bodies. This is especially the case for cameras with ISO-invarient data streams.

For me, after using film lens lenses with APS-C sensor bodies and 24 X 26 film and digital bodies, I did not enjoy using the APS-C bodies. I honestly feel differently when using lenses designed for APS-C sensors. However I don't curate lenses. I'm sure I'd think about sensor area quite differently if I had an emotional attachment to lenses I acquired and enjoyed over decades.

The Fujinon lenses are one the three reasons I am, and will remain, a Fujifilm owner. The second is I can simulate (not duplicate) the RF usage experience. Third, the Xtrans data stream's signal-to-noise ratio meets all my needs. I have no issues rendering the raw files. In terms of making progress on my projects, the Xtrans sensor is neither a positive or negative factor.
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Old 07-30-2015   #26
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I think Fuji focuses on the photographer's needs (great output) and how to get there (well designed and different bodies, wide range of glass).

Sony is driven by core engineering (sensors, sensors, sensors) and marketing platforms that hold their creations.

m4/3s should have more of my attention than it does as Olympus seems to do as good a job at Fuji does with well thought through bodies.

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Old 07-30-2015   #27
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The full frame sony cameras have gotten a bit too big I think, especially the A7ii--not quite "clunky" but I think they've forgotten why we all went down this mirrorless path in the first place. I think they'll improve the form factor (and shrink--I hope) in another year or two--and get cheaper. I jumped in with the NEX 7 and have felt no compelling reason to change. I think they perfected the form factor of that design with the NEX 7 and tri-navi (after several iterations!) and I have yet to try another camera I prefer. Every new camera feels a bit weird at first. Size and weight make the most difference to me in the end. Both the Fuji XT and the Oly OMD have gotten too heavy for such small cameras. The first Fuji X cameras felt too light and got dinged for feeling "cheap" and I think they over-compensated. And why make small-sensor cameras so big? The Sony FF definitely wins in IQ, but all these cameras can make beautiful pictures. I think for me having the shared APS-C/FF mount will ultimately be the deciding factor to stay with Sony. I can haul out the big one when I need immaculate IQ, and carry around the little APS-C when I want to be small (most of the time), and use the same lenses on both. And by the way, the Zeiss Loxia 50 F2 is an excellent small (but heavy) manual focus FF for the e-mount--and it magnifies the instant you touch the focus ring. The best focusing system I've ever used. Faster and better than AF at getting exactly what you want in focus.
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Old 07-30-2015   #28
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Quote:
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For me Sony it the company that chases whatver they think is hot right now. And drop it tomorrow for whatever reason that came up when they got out of bed. Plenty of brilliant ideas, lousy execution, abysmal client service. It's not their cameras but the company that I don't like.
So true... the part that rankles the most is the total abandonment of the customer past the initial purchase. Ok, ok - that and not including a battery charger with a $2800 camera. Seriously, Sony???

I had and really enjoyed a Sony RX1 (and even still miss it sometimes) but it boggles the mind that they could not be bothered to release even a simple firmware update for it. The message from Sony has been pretty loud and clear: they want your money, and after that the relationship is concluded. They simply do not care about building customer loyalty or goodwill.
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Old 07-30-2015   #29
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I agree with Godfrey and think the micro-four thirds system is a strong contender. The array of lenses availble from the various M43 manufacturers is impressive, and Olympus's IBIS implementation is very well regarded. -- martin
I agree. Although I like the results I've seen from Fuji X100*, I haven't been persuaded to leave m4/3. The lens offerings are great, the AF on the Olympus E-P5 is lightening fast, and the IQ is more than good enough.
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Old 07-30-2015   #30
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So true... the part that rankles the most is the total abandonment of the customer past the initial purchase. Ok, ok - that and not including a battery charger with a $2800 camera. Seriously, Sony???

I had and really enjoyed a Sony RX1 (and even still miss it sometimes) but it boggles the mind that they could not be bothered to release even a simple firmware update for it. The message from Sony has been pretty loud and clear: they want your money, and after that the relationship is concluded. They simply do not care about building customer loyalty or goodwill.
What specific things are you looking to get through a firmware update? As far as I know the RX1 hasn't had glaring issues that need to be addressed. The NEX-7 got an update for the movie button placement issue. And the A7S got an update earlier this year for the 3-second startup time.

I would say that good customer support is address known issues and providing a good software solution from the start. If Fuji can "improve AF speed" in three different updates, one might wonder why they didn't bring AF to better speeds in the first place...
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Old 07-30-2015   #31
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I will invest the same amount of money for A7 II other than X-T1, 100%. Very close price range now (used market).

Fuji is more of a hype for me these days, CMOS is way too bad. Digital era, no oldies will be forgiven. Having the best raw means huge potential. If I like film I just shoot film. Just like how people opt for M240. M9 is great, but very limited comparing to the little brother.

I do find that the straight-out RAWs of Fuji have pleasant colors of most time. However, drawback is that the widely used LR/PS CC doesn't do great job to decode Fuji's Xtrans raw, so you might need other software/profile.

If you are good at post-processing, Sony allows more to be tweaked.

X-E1 was on part with nex6. But years later, X-E2 is still the same CMOS with slight AF improve. X-T1 is also the same CMOS; Sony's got A6k, and A7k is right near.

I can't even justify myself selling X100s to get X100T.
And ironically, X100/X100s really holds there values so well, still reminds me days that you need to pay more than MSRP for X100s. And look at the X100T, discounted almost day 1, they are $1099 quite often through authorized dealers.

Seriously if next Fuji X-pro X-E is still like this, I'm just totally done with Fuji.

FE lenses are great now, together with Zeiss Loxina/Batis. Zeiss is never a good manufacture in terms of sizes of lenses. Glass is superior, but always relatively bulky. So it happens to FE system.

Fuji's APSC lens line-up is unarguably better, but quite bulky too if you ask me. Turns out Sony's 35/50mm (APSC) is small, 24mm is long but only has a 49mm thread. Of course these are slower lens, inferior IQ.
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Old 07-30-2015   #32
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What specific things are you looking to get through a firmware update?
RAW's that retain all the information for a start. What's the use of a great sensor if you trow away information of it? Should be a simple firmware fix or extra option.
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Old 07-30-2015   #33
jsrockit
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Originally Posted by BillBingham2 View Post
Sony is driven by core engineering (sensors, sensors, sensors) and marketing platforms that hold their creations.
I'm not sure this is entirely fair to say. You make it sound like it wouldn't even be useful to a photographer. I think if people got past the lack of traditional dials and the shutter sound, they might find the Sonys are actually very good cameras.
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Old 07-30-2015   #34
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Originally Posted by jsrockit View Post
I'm not sure this is entirely fair to say. You make it sound like it wouldn't even be useful to a photographer. I think if people got past the lack of traditional dials and the shutter sound, they might find the Sonys are actually very good cameras.
I tried, I really did. And couldn't. The overall lack of coordination and sophistication in the A7 finally just made it such that I'd rather use something else.

"Lack of tradional dials" has never been a problem for me, as long as the design works. The E-1 and E-M1 both work, as did the G1 and as does the E-PL7. But all of these work in a coordinated and sophisticated fashion.

G
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Old 07-30-2015   #35
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For me in the end it was the Fuji X-T1 and the E-M1 that were the options and the knobs that so closely simulated my film on camera workflow were the main selling point for the Fuji. It was a very smooth transition in that respect. Still looking for the perfect grip though and I think an X-pro is calling my name- something about that camera.

Due to a series of bad customer service experiences with various products, including cameras, Sony was off the table for me before I ever got started.
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Old 07-30-2015   #36
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Well if you go used Sony A7, send it in for 400 to Kolari, you just spent 1100USD on a camera which will smoke all A7 models and can hang very close to M240 with M wides, let alone comparing it to the crop Fujis (which are perfectly nice and really good for what they are).

That A7 mod will still AF just fine if you need it.

Here is mine last night with 75 Lux and CV 35/1.2


DSC09781 by unoh7, on Flickr


Annabels by unoh7, on Flickr

I still prefer the M9, but the Sony mod does pretty well, and will focus close and shoot any lens ever made for 135 film.

To get A7.mod level performance from a stock A7x (excluding r2), you need batis 25/2; FE 35/2.8; and FE 55/1.8 and you better check them very very close for decentering. Even then I think the mod would still win.
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Old 07-30-2015   #37
Jamie Pillers
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Originally Posted by MCTuomey View Post
You probably know this, but you can have a Sony Alpha body modded by Kolari to play nicer with M-glass (the wider FLs).
Thanks, Mike. But wouldn't it be cool if Fuji or Sony started building a line of small manual focus lenses. They could hire Cosina to do it!
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Old 07-30-2015   #38
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Originally Posted by uhoh7 View Post
Well if you go used Sony A7, send it in for 400 to Kolari, you just spent 1100USD on a camera which will smoke all A7 models and can hang very close to M240 with M wides, let alone comparing it to the crop Fujis (which are perfectly nice and really good for what they are).
The problem is why should I have to do that? All other cameras I can use without having to do something similary.
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Old 07-30-2015   #39
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Originally Posted by Godfrey View Post
I tried, I really did. And couldn't. The overall lack of coordination and sophistication in the A7 finally just made it such that I'd rather use something else.

"Lack of tradional dials" has never been a problem for me, as long as the design works. The E-1 and E-M1 both work, as did the G1 and as does the E-PL7. But all of these work in a coordinated and sophisticated fashion.

G
Well, I know you have tried... but many others commenting here haven't. And let's not forget, you did like the A7 at one time (for your R lenses). I will admit that the Olympus E-M1 is a great camera...and feels better than the Sonys, but I don't like 4:3 aspect ratio though.
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Old 07-30-2015   #40
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The problem is why should I have to do that? All other cameras I can use without having to do something similary.
But that is not really true...except for Leicas.
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