choosing between X-T1 and Sony A7

Started Feb 1, 2014 | Discussions thread
arcaswissi99 Regular Member • Posts: 105
Re: choosing between X-T1 and Sony A7

Arn wrote:

I posted this also to a thread on the Sony forum, but I want to hear both sides of the story, so naturally I am also post here to hear your opinions.

I've recently gotten tired of lugging DSLR gear around and I'm intent on getting a compact mirrorless camera system that can be considered a true photographer's tool and can provide good image quality. Travel photogprahy is a high priority. I always shoot RAW. Video is something I rarely do. I only use AF lenses.

I already have an APS-C system - the Samsung NX20 with 10mm fisheye, 12-24/4.5-5.6, 30/2 (pancake), 45/1.8, 18-55/3.5-5.6 which are all pretty good quality. But I want to compliment that system with another system that has higher overall quality (mechanical and image quality) and faster lenses. My biggest gripe with Samsung NX is, is that it doesn't have a fast 35mm equivalent lens.

So, I'm trying to choose between the full frame Sony A7 and Fujifilm X-T1. Can't see much other choise than these two... (no, I absolutely do not consider micro43 a choise and I will not get the NEX-7 or 6). The X-T1 provides the best image quality from an APS-C sensor (though not as good as a FF sensor) and Fujifilm has the best lens selection with fastest primes.

My favourite single focal length is 35mm, though I shoot with anything from 15mm-300mm.

The problem with the A7 is, that I want a camera that I can fully use right now (or within the next 3 months). The only fast lens that Sony has on FE-mount, is the 55/1.8 (though it is a very high quality lens, though costs around $1000). At 35mm there is only 35/2.8 which is nicely compact (120g), but undeniably slow. In comparison, Fuji has the 23/1.4 (equivalent to ~ 35mm f/2.1) which is faster and can produce a more shallow DOF than the A7 with it's FF sensor, though it is a bit heavier.

distinct points on X-T1

  • direct controls with buttons and wheels, which I much prefer over menu settings.
  • I like that the wheels have locking buttons (I simply hate it with my 7D/5DII, that the wheels constantly rotate when I take the camera out of the bag). Now, I believe that A7 is not as bad as big DSLRs, which are in tight contact with the camera bag's walls, but the X-T1's solution is just perfect.
  • fast and good quality 35mm equivalent 23mm/1.4
  • pretty good quality kit zoom 18-55/2.8-4
  • also available the 56mm f/1.2 (equivalent to ~85/1.8), wide angle primes, wide angle zooms, telezooms, etc etc. All quite high quality.

distinct points on A7

  • better contrast, sharpness, noise from sensor than X-T1
  • Faster at ~50mm and better DOF control with the 55/1.8, but not with other lenses. FE 55/1.8 and X-mount 23/1.4 are equally expensice
  • overpriced 24-70 zoom and sadly not offered as a kit, people seem to say the 28-70/3.5-5.6 is not a very good lens
  • limited lens selection (just 35/2.8, 55/1.8, 28-70/3.5-5.6, 24-70/4 that does not sell as a kit and costs $1200) , more lenses coming in 1-2 years... wonder about the pricing.
  • slow and pretty expensive 35/2.8 (though the Fuji 23/1.4 is even a bit more expensive)

I actually wonder if the FE mount will ever get faster lenses than the Fujifilm X-mount and at the same time keep the lenses compact and lightweight (and reasonably priced). After all, Fuji already has fast quality lenses: 23/1.4 (~35/2.1), 35/1.4 (~52/2.1), 56/1.2 (~85/1.8). Sony FE only has the 55/1.8, which admittedly is faster than the Fuji's 35/1.8 (but only slightly) and from the testes I've seen so far produces better image quality. But there it ends at the moment.

So, the way it looks to me, the X-T1 will be probably the nicer camera to shoot with, giving a more intuitive shooting experience and the A7 will give better image quality in good light. The lack of a fast AF 35mm on FE pains me the most. It seems that in low light, Fuji's fast primes even out the sensor size advantage of the A7. Am I right or utterly mistaken? I'm keen to hear opinions. If you even managed to read this far, you have my respect.

Hi Arn,

I've tested A7r and A7 intensively and finally have decided to invest in Xt1. For me the following facts have turned the balance towards Fuji: lenses - with the recently released 56mm I can get everything what I need now! including 14mm, 23/1,4 and 55-200 ar a reasonable price in perfect quality. Sony, you can buy the 55 and hope for better times. Besides that I am still not sure if  there will be any cornersharp wide angle lenses in the future. Everything what I've seen from the 24-70 until now is disappointing. If ever lenses of the same quality will exist, you will have to pay double the price for lenses with at least one if not 2 f-stops slower. On the other hand because of the shutter you have to use faster speed not to produce blurry images. Thus I'd say with Fuji you can take Iso 200 whereas you have to take 1600 to 3200 with the a7(r). Do you believe that the result still will be better than?

The Dof advantage - and not always smaller Dof is an advantage at all! you can only have with lenses still as large as Dslr lenses costing you a small fortune and I really don't believe that within the next years there will be any change to this because of physics.

Ergonomics from the Sonys - shutter placement, menu button, menu system, shutter release and some more put me off.

Conclusion:  you are a tripod guy composing every shot and are willing to spend a lot of money in still to come lenses, with IQ the unique selling point, go with the Sony, else....

Just my 2 cts.

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