Fujifilm X-Pro3 vs Sony A99
The Fujifilm X-Pro3 and the Sony Alpha SLT-A99 are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in October 2019 and September 2012. The X-Pro3 is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera, while the A99 is a DSLR. The cameras are based on an APS-C (X-Pro3) and a full frame (A99) sensor. The Fujifilm has a resolution of 26 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-Pro3 and the Sony Alpha SLT-A99? 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 physical size and weight of the Fujifilm X-Pro3 and the Sony A99 are illustrated in the side-by-side display below. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three successive views from the front, the top, and the rear are shown. All width, height and depth measures are rounded to the nearest millimeter.
The X-Pro3 can be obtained in two different colors (black, silver), while the A99 is only available in black.
If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Sony A99 is notably larger (39 percent) than the Fujifilm X-Pro3. Moreover, the A99 is substantially heavier (63 percent) than the X-Pro3. In this context, it is worth noting that both cameras are splash and dust-proof and can, hence, be used in inclement weather conditions or harsh environments.
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. Hence, you might want to study and compare the specifications of available lenses in order to get the full picture of the size and weight of the two camera systems.
Concerning battery life, the X-Pro3 gets 440 shots out of its NP-W126S battery, while the A99 can take 500 images on a single charge of its NP-FM500H power pack. The power pack in the X-Pro3 can be charged via the USB port, so that it is not always necessary to take the battery charger along 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-Pro3||141 mm||83 mm||46 mm||497 g||440||Y||Oct 2019||1,799|
|2.||Sony A99||147 mm||111 mm||78 mm||812 g||500||Y||Sep 2012||2,799|
|3.||Fujifilm X100V||128 mm||75 mm||53 mm||478 g||420||Y||Feb 2020||1,399|
|4.||Fujifilm X-T4||135 mm||93 mm||64 mm||607 g||500||Y||Feb 2020||1,699|
|5.||Fujifilm X-A5||117 mm||68 mm||40 mm||361 g||450||n||Jan 2018||399|
|6.||Fujifilm X-T3||133 mm||93 mm||59 mm||539 g||390||Y||Sep 2018||1,499|
|7.||Fujifilm X-H1||140 mm||97 mm||86 mm||673 g||310||Y||Feb 2018||1,899|
|8.||Fujifilm X-T100||121 mm||83 mm||47 mm||448 g||430||n||May 2018||599|
|9.||Fujifilm X-Pro2||141 mm||83 mm||46 mm||495 g||350||Y||Jan 2016||1,699|
|10.||Fujifilm X-T2||133 mm||92 mm||49 mm||507 g||340||Y||Jul 2016||1,599|
|11.||Fujifilm X-T1||129 mm||90 mm||47 mm||440 g||350||Y||Jan 2014||1,299|
|12.||Samsung NX1||139 mm||102 mm||66 mm||550 g||500||Y||Sep 2014||1,499|
|13.||Sony A9 II||129 mm||96 mm||76 mm||678 g||690||Y||Oct 2019||4,499|
|14.||Sony A99 II||143 mm||104 mm||76 mm||849 g||490||Y||Sep 2016||3,199|
|15.||Sony A77||143 mm||104 mm||81 mm||732 g||470||Y||Aug 2011||1,399|
|16.||Sony A850||156 mm||117 mm||82 mm||895 g||880||Y||Aug 2009||1,999|
|17.||Sony A900||156 mm||117 mm||82 mm||895 g||880||Y||Sep 2008||2,999|
|Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.|
The price is, of course, an important factor in any camera decision. The retail prices at the time of the camera’s release place the model in the market relative to other models in the producer’s line-up and the competition. The X-Pro3 was launched at a markedly lower price (by 36 percent) than the A99, 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 sensor inside a digital camera is one of the key determinants 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.
Of the two cameras under consideration, the Fujifilm X-Pro3 features an APS-C sensor and the Sony A99 a full frame sensor. The sensor area in the A99 is 132 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 1.5 and 1.0. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.
Despite having a smaller sensor, the Fujifilm X-Pro3 offers a higher resolution of 26 megapixels, compared with 24 MP of the Sony A99. 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 3.76μm versus 5.96μm for the A99). However, it should be noted that the X-Pro3 is much more recent (by 7 years and 1 month) than the A99, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that make it possible to gather light more efficiently. Coming back to sensor resolution, it should be mentioned that the X-Pro3 has no anti-alias filter installed, so that it can capture all the detail its sensor resolves.
The X-Pro3 has on-sensor phase detect pixels, which results in fast and reliable autofocus acquisition even during live view operation.
The Fujifilm X-Pro3 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 160 to ISO 12800, which can be extended to ISO 80-51200. The corresponding ISO settings for the Sony Alpha SLT-A99 are ISO 100 to ISO 25600, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 50-25600.
Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for many cameras. 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.
| DXO |
|2.||Sony A99||Full Frame||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||25.0||14.0||1555||89|
|13.||Sony A9 II||Full Frame||24.0||6000||4000||4K/30p||25.0||14.0||3434||93|
|14.||Sony A99 II||Full Frame||42.2||7952||5304||4K/30p||25.4||13.4||2317||92|
|16.||Sony A850||Full Frame||24.4||6048||4032||none||23.8||12.2||1415||79|
|17.||Sony A900||Full Frame||24.4||6048||4032||none||23.7||12.3||1431||79|
Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but also of capturing video footage. The two cameras under consideration both have sensors whose read-out speed is fast enough to capture moving pictures, but the X-Pro3 provides a higher video resolution than the A99. It can shoot video footage at 4K/30p, while the Sony is limited to 1080/60p.
Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. The two cameras under consideration are similar with respect to both having an electronic viewfinder. However, the one in the X-Pro3 offers a substantially higher resolution than the one in the A99 (3690k vs 2359k dots). The following table reports on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Fujifilm X-Pro3, the Sony A99, and comparable cameras.
|13.||Sony A9 II||3686||n||3.0||1440||tilting||Y||1/8000s||10.0||n||Y|
|14.||Sony A99 II||2400||Y||3.0||1229||full-flex||n||1/8000s||12.0||n||Y|
One differentiating feature between the two cameras concerns the touch sensitivity of the rear screen. The X-Pro3 has a touchscreen, while the A99 has a conventional panel. Touch control can be particularly helpful, for example, for setting the focus point.The A99 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-Pro3 does not have a selfie-screen.
The reported shutter speed information refers to the use of the mechanical shutter. Yet, some cameras only have an electronic shutter, while others have an electronic shutter in addition to a mechanical one. In fact, the X-Pro3 is one of those camera that have an additional electronic shutter, which makes completely silent shooting possible. However, this mode is less suitable for photographing moving objects (risk of rolling shutter) or shooting under artificial light sources (risk of flickering).
The Fujifilm X-Pro3 has an intervalometer built-in. This enables the photographer to capture time lapse sequences, such as flower blooming, a sunset or moon rise, without purchasing an external camera trigger and related software.
The X-Pro3 writes its imaging data to SDXC cards, while the A99 uses SDXC or Memory Stick PRO Duo cards. Both cameras feature dual card slots, which can be very useful in case a memory card fails. The X-Pro3 supports UHS-II cards (on both slots), while the A99 can use UHS-I cards.
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-Pro3 and Sony Alpha SLT-A99 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
| WiFi |
| NFC |
|13.||Sony A9 II||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||micro||3.1||Y||Y||Y|
|14.||Sony A99 II||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||micro||2.0||Y||Y||Y|
It is notable that the X-Pro3 offers wifi support, while the A99 does not. Wifi can be a very convenient means to transfer image data to an off-camera location.
Both cameras feature a PC Sync terminal to control professional strobe lights, which will be appreciated by studio photographers.
Travel and landscape photographers will find it useful that the A99 has an internal geolocalization sensor and can record GPS coordinates in its EXIF data.
The X-Pro3 is a recent model that features in the current product line-up of Fujifilm. In contrast, the A99 has been discontinued (but can be found pre-owned on eBay). As a replacement in the same line of cameras, the A99 was succeeded by the Sony A99 II. 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 is the bottom line? Is the Fujifilm X-Pro3 better than the Sony A99 or vice versa? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.
Arguments in favor of the Fujifilm X-Pro3:
- Maximized detail: Lacks an anti-alias filter to exploit the sensor's full resolution potential.
- Better video: Provides higher definition movie capture (4K/30p vs 1080/60p).
- Better live-view autofocus: Features on-sensor phase-detection for more confident autofocus.
- More detailed viewfinder: Has higher resolution electronic viewfinder (3690k vs 2359k dots).
- More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1620k vs 1229k dots).
- Fewer buttons to press: Is equipped with a touch-sensitive rear screen to facilitate handling.
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (8 vs 6 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- Less disturbing: Has an electronic shutter option for completely silent shooting.
- Easier time-lapse photography: Has an intervalometer built-in for low frequency shooting.
- More compact: Is smaller (141x83mm vs 147x111mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
- Less heavy: Is lighter (by 315g or 39 percent) and hence easier to carry around.
- Easier travel charging: Can be conveniently charged via its USB port.
- More legacy lens friendly: Can take a broad range of non-native lenses via adapters.
- Faster data transfer: Supports a more advanced USB protocol (3.1 vs 2.0).
- Easier file upload: Has wifi built in for automatic backup or image transfer to the web.
- Easier wireless transfer: Supports Bluetooth for image sharing without cables.
- Faster buffer clearing: Supports a more advanced SD data transfer standard (UHS-II vs UHS-I).
- More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (36 percent cheaper at launch).
- More modern: Reflects 7 years and 1 month of technical progress since the A99 launch.
Reasons to prefer the Sony Alpha SLT-A99:
- Better moiré control: Has an anti-alias filter to avoid artificial patterns to appear in images.
- Better sound control: Has a headphone port that enables audio monitoring while recording.
- More complete view: Has a viewfinder with a larger field of view (100% vs 95%).
- Larger viewfinder image: Features a viewfinder with a higher magnification (0.71x vs 0.52x).
- Easier setting verification: Features a control panel on top to check shooting parameters.
- More flexible LCD: Has a full-flex screen for odd-angle shots in portrait or landscape orientation.
- More selfie-friendly: Has an articulated screen that can be turned to be front-facing.
- Longer lasting: Gets more shots (500 versus 440) out of a single battery charge.
- Sharper images: Has stabilization technology built-in to reduce the impact of hand-shake.
- Easier geotagging: Features an internal GPS sensor to log localization data.
- More heavily discounted: Has been around for much longer (launched in September 2012).
If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the X-Pro3 is the clear winner of the match-up (19 : 11 points). However, the relevance of individual strengths will vary across photographers, so that you might want to apply your own weighing scheme to the summary points when reflecting and deciding on a new camera. A professional wildlife photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a family photog, and a person interested in architecture has distinct needs from a sports 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-Pro3 and the Sony A99 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Camera and Best DSLR Camera listings whether the two cameras rank among the cream of the crop.
In any case, while the specs-based evaluation of cameras can be instructive in revealing their potential as photographic tools, it remains incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the X-Pro3 or the A99 perform in practice. 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], 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-Pro3||4/5||+||85/100||4/5||..||Oct 2019||1,799|
|2.||Sony A99||5/5||..||84/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2012||2,799|
|3.||Fujifilm X100V||5/5||+ +||86/100||5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2020||1,399|
|4.||Fujifilm X-T4||5/5||+ +||..||5/5||5/5||Feb 2020||1,699|
|5.||Fujifilm X-A5||..||+||..||4/5||3.5/5||Jan 2018||399|
|6.||Fujifilm X-T3||5/5||+ +||88/100||5/5||5/5||Sep 2018||1,499|
|7.||Fujifilm X-H1||..||+||86/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2018||1,899|
|8.||Fujifilm X-T100||4/5||+||79/100||4/5||4.5/5||May 2018||599|
|9.||Fujifilm X-Pro2||..||+||83/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jan 2016||1,699|
|10.||Fujifilm X-T2||5/5||+ +||86/100||4.5/5||5/5||Jul 2016||1,599|
|11.||Fujifilm X-T1||5/5||+ +||84/100||5/5||5/5||Jan 2014||1,299|
|12.||Samsung NX1||5/5||..||87/100||5/5||5/5||Sep 2014||1,499|
|13.||Sony A9 II||..||..||90/100||5/5||5/5||Oct 2019||4,499|
|14.||Sony A99 II||..||..||85/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2016||3,199|
|15.||Sony A77||5/5||91/100||81/100||..||5/5||Aug 2011||1,399|
|16.||Sony A850||3/5||..||75/100||..||4.5/5||Aug 2009||1,999|
|17.||Sony A900||..||+ +||+ +||4.5/5||5/5||Sep 2008||2,999|
|Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.|
The review scores listed above should be treated with care, though. The ratings were established in reference to similarly priced cameras that were available in the market at the time of the review. A score, therefore, has to be seen in close connection to the price and market introduction time of the camera, and comparing ratings of very distinct cameras or ones that are far apart in terms of their release date have little meaning. Also, please note that some of the review sites have changed their methodology and reporting over time.
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. As an alternative, you can also directly jump to any one of the listed comparisons that were previously generated by the CAM-parator tool.
Specifications: Fujifilm X-Pro3 vs Sony A99
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-Pro3||Sony A99|
|Camera Type||Mirrorless system camera||Digital single lens reflex|
|Camera Lens||Fujifilm X mount lenses||Sony A mount lenses|
|Launch Date||October 2019||September 2012|
|Launch Price||USD 1,799||USD 2,799|
|Sensor Specs||Fujifilm X-Pro3||Sony A99|
|Sensor Format||APS-C Sensor||Full Frame Sensor|
|Sensor Size||23.6 x 15.6 mm||35.8 x 23.8 mm|
|Sensor Area||368.16 mm2||852.04 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||28.3 mm||43 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||26 Megapixels||24 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||6240 x 4160 pixels||6000 x 4000 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||3.76 μm||5.96 μm|
|Pixel Density||7.05 MP/cm2||2.82 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||no AA filter||Anti-Alias filter|
|Movie Capability||4K/30p Video||1080/60p Video|
|ISO Setting||160 - 12,800 ISO||100 - 25,600 ISO|
|ISO Boost||80 - 51,200 ISO||50 - 25,600 ISO|
|Image Processor||X-Processor 4||BIONZ X|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||..||89|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||..||25.0|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||..||14.0|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||..||1555|
|Screen Specs||Fujifilm X-Pro3||Sony A99|
|Viewfinder Type||Electronic viewfinder||Electronic viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||95%||100%|
|Viewfinder Resolution||3690k dots||2359k dots|
|Top-Level Screen||no Top Display||Control Panel|
|LCD Framing||Live View||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||3.0inch||3.0inch|
|LCD Resolution||1620k dots||1229k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Tilting screen||Fully flexible screen|
|Touch Input||Touchscreen||no Touchscreen|
|Shooting Specs||Fujifilm X-Pro3||Sony A99|
|Focus System||On-Sensor Phase-detect||Phase-detect AF|
|Manual Focusing Aid||Focus Peaking||Focus Peaking|
|Max Shutter Speed (mechanical)||1/8000s||1/8000s|
|Continuous Shooting||8 shutter flaps/s||6 shutter flaps/s|
|Electronic Shutter||up to 1/32000s||no E-Shutter|
|Time-Lapse Photography||Intervalometer built-in||no Intervalometer|
|Image Stabilization||Lens stabilization only||In-body stabilization|
|Fill Flash||no On-Board Flash||no On-Board Flash|
|Storage Medium||SDXC cards||MS or SDXC cards|
|Second Storage Option||Dual card slots||Dual card slots|
|UHS card support||Dual UHS-II||UHS-I|
|Connectivity Specs||Fujifilm X-Pro3||Sony A99|
|Studio Flash||PC Sync socket||PC Sync socket|
|USB Connector||USB 3.1||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||no HDMI||mini HDMI|
|Microphone Port||External MIC port||External MIC port|
|Headphone Socket||no Headphone port||Headphone port|
|Wifi Support||Wifi built-in||no Wifi|
|Bluetooth Support||Bluetooth built-in||no Bluetooth|
|Geotagging||no internal GPS||GPS built-in|
|Body Specs||Fujifilm X-Pro3||Sony A99|
|Environmental Sealing||Weathersealed body||Weathersealed body|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||440 shots per charge||500 shots per charge|
|In-Camera Charging||USB charging||no USB charging|
141 x 83 x 46 mm
(5.6 x 3.3 x 1.8 in)
147 x 111 x 78 mm
(5.8 x 4.4 x 3.1 in)
|Camera Weight||497 g (17.5 oz)||812 g (28.6 oz)|
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