Fujifilm X-E1 vs Sony A5100
The Fujifilm X-E1 and the Sony Alpha A5100 are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in September 2012 and August 2014. Both the X-E1 and the A5100 are mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras that are equipped with an APS-C sensor. The Fujifilm has a resolution of 16 megapixels, whereas the Sony provides 24 MP.
Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.
Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Fujifilm X-E1 and the Sony Alpha A5100? Which one should you buy? Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their body size, their imaging sensors, their shooting features, their input-output connections, and their reception by expert reviewers.
The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Fujifilm X-E1 and the Sony A5100. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three consecutive views from the front, the top, and the rear side are shown. All width, height and depth measures are rounded to the nearest millimeter.
The X-E1 can be obtained in two different colors (black, silver), while the A5100 is also available in two color-versions, but different ones (black, white).
If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Sony A5100 is notably smaller (28 percent) than the Fujifilm X-E1. Moreover, the A5100 is markedly lighter (19 percent) than the X-E1. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the X-E1 nor the A5100 are weather-sealed.
The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete since they do not consider the interchangeable lenses that both of these cameras require. Yet, since both cameras are based around an APS-C sensor, their respective lenses will tend to have similar dimensions and heft. You can compare the optics available for the two cameras in the Fujinon X Lens Catalog (X-E1) and the Sony E-Mount Lens Catalog (A5100). Mirrorless cameras, such as the two under consideration, have the additional advantage of having a short flange to focal plane distance, which makes it possible to mount many lenses from other systems onto the camera via adapters.
Concerning battery life, the X-E1 gets 350 shots out of its NP-W126 battery, while the A5100 can take 400 images on a single charge of its NP-FW50 power pack. The power pack in the A5100 can be charged via the USB port, which can be very convenient when travelling.
The adjacent table lists the principal physical characteristics of the two cameras alongside a wider set of alternatives. If you would like to visualize and compare a different camera combination, you can navigate to the CAM-parator app and make your selection from a broad list of cameras there.
|1.||Fujifilm X-E1||129 mm||75 mm||38 mm||350 g||350||n||Sep 2012||999|
|2.||Sony A5100||110 mm||63 mm||36 mm||283 g||400||n||Aug 2014||549|
|3.||Fujifilm X-E3||121 mm||74 mm||43 mm||337 g||350||n||Sep 2017||899|
|4.||Fujifilm X-T20||118 mm||83 mm||41 mm||383 g||350||n||Jan 2017||899|
|5.||Fujifilm X-A10||117 mm||67 mm||40 mm||331 g||410||n||Dec 2016||399|
|6.||Fujifilm X-E2S||129 mm||75 mm||37 mm||350 g||350||n||Jan 2016||699|
|7.||Fujifilm X-A2||117 mm||67 mm||40 mm||350 g||410||n||Jan 2015||399|
|8.||Fujifilm X-T10||118 mm||83 mm||41 mm||381 g||350||n||May 2015||799|
|9.||Fujifilm X-A1||117 mm||67 mm||39 mm||330 g||350||n||Sep 2013||399|
|10.||Fujifilm X-E2||129 mm||75 mm||37 mm||350 g||350||n||Oct 2013||999|
|11.||Fujifilm X-M1||117 mm||67 mm||39 mm||330 g||350||n||Jun 2013||699|
|12.||Sony RX100 IV||102 mm||58 mm||41 mm||298 g||280||n||Jun 2015||999|
|13.||Sony A5000||110 mm||63 mm||36 mm||269 g||420||n||Jan 2014||449|
|14.||Sony A6000||120 mm||67 mm||45 mm||344 g||360||n||Feb 2014||599|
|15.||Sony NEX-3N||110 mm||62 mm||35 mm||269 g||480||n||Feb 2013||499|
|16.||Sony NEX-6||120 mm||67 mm||43 mm||345 g||360||n||Sep 2012||999|
|17.||Sony RX100||102 mm||58 mm||36 mm||240 g||330||n||Jun 2012||649|
|Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.|
Any camera decision will naturally be influenced heavily by the price. The manufacturer’s suggested retail prices give an idea on the placement of the camera in the maker’s lineup and the broader market. The A5100 was launched at a markedly lower price (by 45 percent) than the X-E1, which puts it into a different market segment. Usually, retail prices stay at first close to the launch price, but after several months, discounts become available. Later in the product cycle and, in particular, when the replacement model is about to appear, further discounting and stock clearance sales often push the camera price considerably down.
The size of the imaging sensor is a crucial determinant of image quality. A large sensor will generally have larger individual pixels that offer better low-light sensitivity, provide wider dynamic range, and have richer color-depth than smaller pixels in a sensor of the same technological generation. Further, a large sensor camera will give the photographer additional creative options when using shallow depth-of-field to isolate a subject from its background. On the downside, larger sensors tend to be more expensive and lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.
Both cameras under consideration feature an APS-C sensor, but their sensors differ slightly in size. They nevertheless have the same format factor of 1.5. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.
Technology-wise, both cameras are equipped with CMOS (Complementary Metal–Oxide–Semiconductor) sensors.
Despite having a slightly smaller sensor, the A5100 offers a higher resolution of 24 megapixels, compared with 16 MP of the X-E1. This megapixels advantage comes at the cost of a higher pixel density and a smaller size of the individual pixel (with a pixel pitch of 3.91μm versus 4.80μm for the X-E1). However, it should be noted that the A5100 is a somewhat more recent model (by 1 year and 11 months) than the X-E1, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time that partly offset its pixel-size disadvantage. Coming back to sensor resolution, it should be mentioned that the X-E1 has no anti-alias filter installed, so that it can capture all the detail its sensor resolves.
The resolution advantage of the Sony A5100 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the A5100 for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 30 x 20 inches or 76.2 x 50.8 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 24 x 16 inches or 61 x 40.6 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 20 x 13.3 inches or 50.8 x 33.9 cm. The corresponding values for the Fujifilm X-E1 are 24.5 x 16.3 inches or 62.2 x 41.5 cm for good quality, 19.6 x 13.1 inches or 49.7 x 33.2 cm for very good quality, and 16.3 x 10.9 inches or 41.5 x 27.6 cm for excellent quality prints.
The A5100 has on-sensor phase detect pixels, which results in fast and reliable autofocus acquisition even during live view operation.
The Fujifilm X-E1 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 200 to ISO 6400, which can be extended to ISO 100-25600. The corresponding ISO settings for the Sony Alpha A5100 are ISO 100 to ISO 25600 (no boost).
Since 2007, DXO Mark has published sensor performance measurements that have been derived using a consistent methodology. This service is based on lab testing and assigns an overall score to each camera sensor, as well as ratings for dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), color depth ("DXO Portrait"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"). The following table provides an overview of the physical sensor characteristics, as well as the sensor quality measurements for a selection of comparators.
|12.||Sony RX100 IV||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||4K/30p||22.8||12.6||591||70|
Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but also of capturing video footage. Both cameras under consideration are equipped with sensors that have a sufficiently high read-out speed for moving images, but the A5100 provides a faster frame rate than the X-E1. It can shoot movie footage at 1080/60p, while the Fujifilm is limited to 1080/24p.
Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the X-E1 has an electronic viewfinder (2360k dots), which can be very helpful when shooting in bright sunlight. In contrast, the A5100 relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. The table below summarizes some of the other core capabilities of the Fujifilm X-E1 and Sony A5100 in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar cameras.
|1.||Fujifilm X-E1||2360||n||2.8 / 460||fixed||n||1/4000s||6.0||Y||n|
|2.||Sony A5100||none||n||3.0 / 922||tilting||Y||1/4000s||6.0||Y||n|
|3.||Fujifilm X-E3||2360||n||3.0 / 1040||fixed||Y||1/4000s||8.0||n||n|
|4.||Fujifilm X-T20||2360||n||3.0 / 1040||tilting||Y||1/4000s||8.0||Y||n|
|5.||Fujifilm X-A10||none||n||3.0 / 1040||tilting||n||1/4000s||6.0||Y||n|
|6.||Fujifilm X-E2S||2360||n||3.0 / 1040||fixed||n||1/4000s||7.0||Y||n|
|7.||Fujifilm X-A2||none||n||3.0 / 920||tilting||n||1/4000s||5.6||Y||n|
|8.||Fujifilm X-T10||2360||n||3.0 / 920||tilting||n||1/4000s||8.0||Y||n|
|9.||Fujifilm X-A1||none||n||3.0 / 920||tilting||n||1/4000s||5.6||Y||n|
|10.||Fujifilm X-E2||2360||n||3.0 / 1040||fixed||n||1/4000s||7.0||Y||n|
|11.||Fujifilm X-M1||none||n||3.0 / 920||tilting||n||1/4000s||5.6||Y||n|
|12.||Sony RX100 IV||2359||n||3.0 / 1228||tilting||n||1/2000s||16.0||Y||Y|
|13.||Sony A5000||none||n||3.0 / 461||tilting||n||1/4000s||3.5||Y||n|
|14.||Sony A6000||1440||n||3.0 / 922||tilting||n||1/4000s||11.0||Y||n|
|15.||Sony NEX-3N||optional||n||3.0 / 460||tilting||n||1/4000s||4.0||Y||n|
|16.||Sony NEX-6||2359||n||3.0 / 921||tilting||n||1/4000s||10.0||Y||n|
|17.||Sony RX100||none||n||3.0 / 1229||fixed||n||1/2000s||10.0||Y||Y|
One differentiating feature between the two cameras concerns the touch sensitivity of the rear screen. The A5100 has a touchscreen, while the X-E1 has a conventional panel. Touch control can be particularly helpful, for example, for setting the focus point.The A5100 has an articulated screen that can be turned to be front-facing. This characteristic will be appreciated by vloggers and photographers who are interested in taking selfies. In contrast, the X-E1 does not have a selfie-screen.
The X-E1 writes its imaging data to SDXC cards, while the A5100 uses SDXC or Memory Stick PRO Duo cards. Both cameras can use UHS-I cards, which provide for Ultra High Speed data transfer of up to 104 MB/s.
For some imaging applications, the extent to which a camera can communicate with its environment can be an important aspect in the camera decision process. The table below provides an overview of the connectivity of the Fujifilm X-E1 and Sony Alpha A5100 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
Mic / Speaker
|1.||Fujifilm X-E1||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|2.||Sony A5100||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|3.||Fujifilm X-E3||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||Y|
|4.||Fujifilm X-T20||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-|
|5.||Fujifilm X-A10||-||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||-||-|
|6.||Fujifilm X-E2S||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-|
|7.||Fujifilm X-A2||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||-||-|
|8.||Fujifilm X-T10||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-|
|9.||Fujifilm X-A1||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||-||-|
|10.||Fujifilm X-E2||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-|
|11.||Fujifilm X-M1||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||-||-|
|12.||Sony RX100 IV||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|13.||Sony A5000||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|14.||Sony A6000||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|15.||Sony NEX-3N||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||-||-||-|
|16.||Sony NEX-6||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||-||-|
|17.||Sony RX100||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||-||-||-|
It is notable that the X-E1 has a hotshoe, while the A5100 does not. This socket makes it possible to easily attach optional accessories, such as an external flash gun.
The A5100 is a recent model that features in the current product line-up of Sony. In contrast, the X-E1 has been discontinued (but can be found pre-owned on eBay). As a replacement in the same line of cameras, the X-E1 was succeeded by the Fujifilm X-E2. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Fujifilm and Sony websites.
So what conclusions can be drawn? Is the Fujifilm X-E1 better than the Sony A5100 or vice versa? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.
Reasons to prefer the Fujifilm X-E1:
- Maximized detail: Lacks an anti-alias filter to exploit the sensor's full resolution potential.
- Better sound: Can connect to an external microphone for higher quality sound recording.
- Easier framing: Has an electronic viewfinder for image composition and settings control.
- Better lighting: Features a hotshoe and can thus hold and trigger an external flash gun.
- More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in September 2012).
Advantages of the Sony Alpha A5100:
- More detail: Has more megapixels (24 vs 16MP), which boosts linear resolution by 23%.
- Better moiré control: Has an anti-alias filter to avoid artificial patterns to appear in images.
- Better video: Provides higher movie framerates (1080/60p versus 1080/24p).
- Better live-view autofocus: Features on-sensor phase-detection for more confident autofocus.
- Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (3.0" vs 2.8") for image review and settings control.
- More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (922k vs 460k dots).
- More flexible LCD: Has a tilting screen for odd-angle shots in landscape orientation.
- Fewer buttons to press: Has a touchscreen to facilitate handling and shooting adjustments.
- More selfie-friendly: Has an articulated screen that can be turned to be front-facing.
- More compact: Is smaller (110x63mm vs 129x75mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
- Less heavy: Has a lower weight (by 67g or 19 percent) and is thus easier to take along.
- Longer lasting: Gets more shots (400 versus 350) out of a single battery charge.
- Easier travel charging: Can be conveniently charged via its USB port.
- Easier file upload: Has wifi built in for automatic backup or image transfer to the web.
- Easier device pairing: Supports NFC for fast wireless image transfer over short distances.
- More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (45 percent cheaper at launch).
- More modern: Was introduced somewhat (1 year and 11 months) more recently.
If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the A5100 is the clear winner of the contest (17 : 5 points). However, the relative importance of the various individual camera aspects will vary according to personal preferences and needs, so that you might like to apply corresponding weights to the particular features before making a decision on a new camera. A professional sports photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a street photog, and a person interested in family portraits has distinct needs from a landscape shooter. Hence, the decision which camera is best and worth buying is often a very personal one.
How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Fujifilm X-E1 and the Sony A5100 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Camera listing whether the two cameras rank among the cream of the crop.
In any case, while the comparison of technical specifications can provide a useful overview of the capabilities of different cameras, it says little about, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance of the X-E1 and the A5100 in practical situations. User reviews that are available, for instance, at amazon can sometimes shed light on these issues, but such feedback is all too often partial, inconsistent, and inaccurate.
This is why expert reviews are important. The adjacent summary-table relays the overall verdicts of several of the most popular camera review sites (amateurphotographer [AP], cameralabs [CL], digitalcameraworld [DCW], dpreview [DPR], ephotozine [EPZ], photographyblog [PB]). As can be seen, the professional reviewers agree in many cases on the quality of different cameras, but sometimes their assessments diverge, reinforcing the earlier point that a camera decision is often a very personal choice.
|1.||Fujifilm X-E1||4/5||+ +||..||79/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2012||999|
|2.||Sony A5100||4.5/5||+||..||..||4.5/5||5/5||Aug 2014||549|
|3.||Fujifilm X-E3||4.5/5||+||4.5/5||84/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2017||899|
|4.||Fujifilm X-T20||5/5||+ +||5/5||82/100||5/5||4.5/5||Jan 2017||899|
|5.||Fujifilm X-A10||..||..||..||..||4/5||4/5||Dec 2016||399|
|6.||Fujifilm X-E2S||4.5/5||..||..||77/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jan 2016||699|
|7.||Fujifilm X-A2||4/5||..||..||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jan 2015||399|
|8.||Fujifilm X-T10||4.5/5||+ +||..||80/100||5/5||5/5||May 2015||799|
|9.||Fujifilm X-A1||..||..||..||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2013||399|
|10.||Fujifilm X-E2||4/5||..||..||80/100||4.5/5||5/5||Oct 2013||999|
|11.||Fujifilm X-M1||3/5||+||..||77/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jun 2013||699|
|12.||Sony RX100 IV||4.5/5||+ +||..||85/100||4/5||4.5/5||Jun 2015||999|
|13.||Sony A5000||3/5||+||..||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jan 2014||449|
|14.||Sony A6000||5/5||+||4.5/5||80/100||4.5/5||5/5||Feb 2014||599|
|15.||Sony NEX-3N||3/5||..||..||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2013||499|
|16.||Sony NEX-6||5/5||+ +||..||78/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2012||999|
|17.||Sony RX100||5/5||+ +||..||78/100||4/5||5/5||Jun 2012||649|
|Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.|
The review scores listed above should be treated with care, though. The assessments were made in relation to similar cameras of the same technological generation. Thus, a score needs to be put into the context of the launch date and the launch price of the camera, and rating-comparisons among cameras that span long time periods or concern very differently equipped models make little sense. It should also be noted that some of the review sites have over time altered the way they render their verdicts.
Other camera comparisons
Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? If you would like to see a different side-by-side camera review, just make a corresponding selection in the search boxes below. Alternatively, you can follow any of the listed hyperlinks for comparisons that others found interesting.
- Canon 1300D vs Fujifilm X-E1
- Canon 1Ds Mark III vs Fujifilm X-E1
- Canon M50 Mark II vs Sony A5100
- Fujifilm X-E1 vs Nikon D2X
- Fujifilm X-E1 vs Nikon D3000
- Fujifilm X-E1 vs Nikon D80
- Fujifilm X-E1 vs Panasonic G7
- Leica M Typ 262 vs Sony A5100
- Nikon B600 vs Sony A5100
- Olympus E-30 vs Sony A5100
- Olympus E-M10 IV vs Sony A5100
- Ricoh WG-60 vs Sony A5100
Specifications: Fujifilm X-E1 vs Sony A5100
Below is a side-by-side comparison of the specs of the two cameras to facilitate a quick review of their differences and common features.
|Camera Model||Fujifilm X-E1||Sony A5100|
|Camera Type||Mirrorless system camera||Mirrorless system camera|
|Camera Lens||Fujifilm X mount lenses||Sony E mount lenses|
|Launch Date||September 2012||August 2014|
|Launch Price||USD 999||USD 549|
|Sensor Specs||Fujifilm X-E1||Sony A5100|
|Sensor Format||APS-C Sensor||APS-C Sensor|
|Sensor Size||23.6 x 15.6 mm||23.5 x 15.6 mm|
|Sensor Area||368.16 mm2||366.6 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||28.3 mm||28.2 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||16 Megapixels||24 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||4896 x 3264 pixels||6000 x 4000 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||4.80 μm||3.91 μm|
|Pixel Density||4.34 MP/cm2||6.55 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||no AA filter||Anti-Alias filter|
|Movie Capability||1080/24p Video||1080/60p Video|
|ISO Setting||200 - 6,400 ISO||100 - 25,600 ISO|
|ISO Boost||100 - 25,600 ISO||no Enhancement|
|Image Processor||EXR Processor||BIONZ X|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||..||80|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||..||23.8|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||..||12.7|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||..||1347|
|Screen Specs||Fujifilm X-E1||Sony A5100|
|Viewfinder Type||Electronic viewfinder||no viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||100%|
|Viewfinder Resolution||2360k dots|
|LCD Framing||Live View||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||2.8inch||3.0inch|
|LCD Resolution||460k dots||922k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Fixed screen||Tilting screen|
|Touch Input||no Touchscreen||Touchscreen|
|Shooting Specs||Fujifilm X-E1||Sony A5100|
|Focus System||Contrast-detect AF||On-Sensor Phase-detect|
|Manual Focusing Aid||Focus Peaking||Focus Peaking|
|Max Shutter Speed (mechanical)||1/4000s||1/4000s|
|Continuous Shooting||6 shutter flaps/s||6 shutter flaps/s|
|Fill Flash||Built-in Flash||Built-in Flash|
|Storage Medium||SDXC cards||MS or SDXC cards|
|Second Storage Option||Single card slot||Single card slot|
|UHS card support||UHS-I||UHS-I|
|Connectivity Specs||Fujifilm X-E1||Sony A5100|
|External Flash||Hotshoe||no Hotshoe|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||mini HDMI||micro HDMI|
|Microphone Port||External MIC port||no MIC socket|
|Wifi Support||no Wifi||Wifi built-in|
|Near-Field Communication||no NFC||NFC built-in|
|Body Specs||Fujifilm X-E1||Sony A5100|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||350 shots per charge||400 shots per charge|
|In-Camera Charging||no USB charging||USB charging|
129 x 75 x 38 mm
(5.1 x 3.0 x 1.5 in)
110 x 63 x 36 mm
(4.3 x 2.5 x 1.4 in)
|Camera Weight||350 g (12.3 oz)||283 g (10.0 oz)|
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