Sony α7 III first impression from a Fujifilm X-T2 owner

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lélé Regular Member • Posts: 368
Sony α7 III first impression from a Fujifilm X-T2 owner
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Hello!

FOREWORD:

I am a Fujifilm shooter. I own a Fujifilm X-T2, FUJINON XF 56mmF1.4 R, XF 56mmF1.2 R and XF 90mmF2 R LM WR. Occasionally, I also borrow the FUJINON XF 18-55mmF2.8-4 LM OIS of my girlfriend for landscapes and videos (because of OIS).

I recently bought a Sony α7 III, taking advantage of a good discount. Purpose is to:

  • Complement the Fujifilm system for specific tasks: videos (waiting for an hypothetical Fujifilm X-H2 to be released, I think it is not the good moment to go for the X-H1...) and specific lenses (in particular adapted 'speciality' lenses for which the crop factor of the Fujifilm can be an issue, like a CANON TS-E 17mm f/4L).
  • Give another try to the SONY system - I used to have a SONY α7 but I was not satisfied with the camera, nor with the system at the moment (2015-2016). Time has passed though, the system has evolved and my needs/wishes too. Eventually, it may - or not - replace my Fujifilm system.

DISCLAIMER:

Those are first impression only. Take them with a grain of salt!

FIRST IMPRESSIONS:

  • Handling is much better than it was with the α7. Deeper grip and better positioned (and numerous) controls. It is somewhat 'intermediate' between a very compact and lightweight body like the X-T2 and a large DSLR. I would be curious to test Canon and Nikon mirrorless bodies though!
  • Ergonomics have been drastically enhanced since the α7. Not very difficult though, α7 ergonomics were a disaster... That said, I still think the Fujifilm control system is a marvel. Maybe not the most efficient, but extremely pleasant to use IMO (even if there are a few quirk, like the speed dial with only full stop steps requiring to use another dial in addition/complement for finer adjustments).
  • Menus are very complex, but coming from Fuji's menus I cannot tell which one is worse.
  • It was expected, but the viewfinder is disappointing. Pixel count and magnification are similar to my X-T2, but for some reason it seems to show more aliasing. It also shows more latency and judder. (Note: my X-T2 is always in 'boost mode', with 100fps EVF refresh rate). It is also strange that the camera close the iris to the selected aperture (is there an option?); the X-T2 only does that when the shutter button is pressed halfway. That causes more grain/noise and latency in the EVF in low light scenarios… The difference with the Fuji' is obvious in such cases!
  • IBIS is REALLY nice to have, especially for videos! Fuji', please release a X-H2 with IBIS!
  • Eye AF (tested with Sony FE 85mm f/1.8) seems to do a better job than with the X-T2, but I shall test it with more lenses to give a more robust assessment.
  • The Sony FE 85mm f/1.8 mounted on the α7 III seems to perform better than the FUJINON XF 56mmF1.2 R. Sharpness is clearly better both wide opened and AF smoother and quicker. Fuji, you need to update that lens! Low light performance with these lenses is quite similar by the way: I have to close by a stop more on the FF to get the same DoF which is basically killing the DR and noise advantage. Base ISO IQ is better on the α7 III (what was expected), but I not sure it will make a big difference in real life outside of pixel peeping scenarios or shots requiring to pull drastically the shadows.
  • I really miss the aperture ring of the FUJINON lenses! Also the metal casing of the primes, which has a nicer feel.
  • Fujifilm JPEG are unbeatable colorwise. I don't see myself sharing OOC JPEG like I do with the Fuji...

All in all, that's a mixed bag.

Some points are better on the green side, some are better on the orange side, some are just different.

Most of the differences were expected, except the EVF that I found really disappointing. Is there an option to prevent iris closing?

Regards,

Fred

Fujifilm X-H1 Fujifilm X-T2
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