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Fujifilm X100 versus Sony A77

The Fujifilm FinePix X100 and the Sony Alpha SLT-A77 are two enthusiast cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in September 2010 and August 2011. The X100 is a fixed lens compact, while the A77 is a DSLR. Both cameras are equipped with an APS-C sensor. The Fujifilm has a resolution of 12.2 megapixel, whereas the Sony provides 24 MP. Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their size, their sensors, their features, and their reception by expert reviewers.

Body comparison: Fujifilm X100 vs Sony A77

An illustration of the physical size and weight of the Fujifilm X100 and the Sony A77 is provided in the side-by-side display below. Three consecutive perspectives from the front, the top, and the back are presented. All size dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter. If you prefer, you can also use the toggle button to switch to a comparison in percentage terms (in this case, the camera on the left side – the X100 – represents the basis for the calculations across all the size and weight measures).

Snapsort Fujifilm X100 vs Sony A77
Compare X100 versus A77 top
Compare X100 and A77 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Sony A77 is considerably larger (57 percent) than the Fujifilm X100. It is noteworthy in this context that the A77 is splash and dust-proof, while the X100 does not feature any corresponding weather-sealing.

The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete and possibly misleading, as the X100 has a lens build in, whereas the A77 is an interchangeable lens camera that requires a separate lens. Attaching the latter will add extra weight and bulk to the setup.

Concerning battery life, the X100 gets 300 shots out of its NP-95 battery, while the A77 can take 470 images on a single charge of its NP-FM500H power pack.

The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the two cameras alongside a broader set of comparators. If you want to switch the focus of the display and review another camera pair, just select a new right or left comparator from among the camera models in the table. Alternatively, you can also move across to the CAM-parator tool and choose from the broad selection of possible camera comparisons there.

Camera Body Specifications
  Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life
(CIPA)
Weather
Sealing
(yes/no)
Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Fujifilm X100» 5.0 in 3.0 in 2.1 in 15.7 oz 300 n Sep 2010 1,199- i
Sony A77« 5.6 in 4.1 in 3.2 in 25.8 oz 470 Y Aug 2011 1,999- i
Canon 6D« » 5.7 in 4.4 in 2.8 in 27.2 oz 1090 Y Sep 2012 2,099- i
Canon G1 X« » 4.6 in 3.2 in 2.6 in 18.8 oz 250 n Jan 2012 799- i
Canon T3« » 5.1 in 3.9 in 3.1 in 17.5 oz 700 n Feb 2011 449- i
Fujifilm X30« » 4.7 in 2.8 in 2.4 in 14.9 oz 470 n Aug 2014 599 i i
Fujifilm X100S« » 5.0 in 2.9 in 2.1 in 15.7 oz 330 n Jan 2013 1,299- i
Fujifilm X10« » 4.6 in 2.8 in 2.2 in 12.3 oz 270 n Sep 2011 599- i
Leica D-LUX Typ 109« » 4.6 in 2.6 in 2.2 in 14.3 oz 300 n Sep 2014 1,195 i i
Nikon D3100« » 4.9 in 3.8 in 3.0 in 17.8 oz 550 n Aug 2010 599- i
Nikon D3000« » 5.0 in 3.8 in 2.5 in 18.9 oz 500 n Jul 2009 599- i
Panasonic LX100« » 4.5 in 2.6 in 2.2 in 13.9 oz 300 n Sep 2014 899 i i
Panasonic GH1« » 4.9 in 3.5 in 1.8 in 13.6 oz 300 n Mar 2009 1,499- i
Sony A9« » 5.0 in 3.8 in 2.5 in 23.7 oz 650 Y Apr 2017 4,499 i i
Sony A7 II« » 5.0 in 3.8 in 2.4 in 21.1 oz 350 Y Nov 2014 1,999- i
Sony A77 II« » 5.6 in 4.1 in 3.2 in 22.8 oz 480 Y May 2014 1,199 i i
Sony A99« » 5.8 in 4.4 in 3.1 in 28.6 oz 500 Y Sep 2012 2,799- i

The price is, of course, an important factor in any camera decision. The listed launch prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The X100 was launched at a lower price than the A77, despite having a lens build in. 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. Then, after the new model is out, very good deals can frequently be found on the pre-owned market.

 

Sensor comparison: Fujifilm X100 vs Sony A77

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 associated with larger, more expensive camera bodies and lenses.

Both cameras under consideration feature an APS-C sensor, but their sensors differ slightly in size. The sensor area in the A77 is 2 percent smaller. 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.

Fujifilm X100 and Sony A77 sensor measures

Despite having a slightly smaller sensor, the A77 offers a higher resolution of 24 megapixel, compared with 12.2 MP of the X100. This megapixel 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 5.53μm for the X100). However, it should be noted that the A77 is a somewhat more recent model (by 11 months) than the X100, 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 X100 has no anti-alias filter installed, so that it can capture all the detail its sensor resolves.

X100 versus A77 MP

Since 2007, DXO Mark has published sensor performance measurements that have been derived using a consistent methodology. This service assesses and scores the color depth ("DXO Portrait"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports") of camera sensors, and also publishes an overall camera score. Of the two cameras under consideration, the A77 has a markedly higher DXO score than the X100 (overall score 5 points higher), which will translate into better image quality. The advantage is based on 1.1 bits higher color depth, 0.8 EV in additional dynamic range, 0.3 stops of reduced low light sensitivity. The adjacent table reports on the physical sensor characteristics and the outcomes of the DXO sensor quality tests for a sample of comparator-cameras.

Sensor Characteristics
  Camera Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
Fujifilm X100» APS-C 12.2 4288 2848720/30p22.912.4100173
Sony A77« APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.013.280178
Canon 6D« » Full Frame 20.0 5472 36481080/30p23.812.1234082
Canon G1 X« » 1.5-inch 14.2 4352 32641080/24p21.710.864460
Canon T3« » APS-C 12.2 4272 2848720/30p21.911.075562
Fujifilm X30« » 2/3 12.0 4000 30001080/60p----
Fujifilm X100S« » APS-C 16.0 4896 32641080/60p----
Fujifilm X10« » 2/3 12.0 4000 30001080/30p20.511.324550
Leica D-LUX Typ 109« » Four Thirds 12.7 4112 30884K/30p----
Nikon D3100« » APS-C 14.2 4608 30721080/24p22.511.391967
Nikon D3000« » APS-C 10.0 3872 2592-22.311.156362
Panasonic LX100« » Four Thirds 12.7 4112 30884K/30p22.312.555367
Panasonic GH1« » Four Thirds 12.0 4000 30001080/24p21.611.677264
Sony A9« » Full Frame 24.0 6000 40004K/30p24.913.3351792
Sony A7 II« » Full Frame 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.913.6244990
Sony A77 II« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p----
Sony A99« » Full Frame 24.0 6000 40001080/60p25.014.0155589

Many modern cameras cannot only take still pictures, but also record videos. Both cameras under consideration have a sensor with sufficiently fast read-out times for moving pictures, but the A77 provides a better video resolution than the X100. It can shoot movie footage at 1080/60p, while the Fujifilm is limited to 720/30p.

 

Feature comparison: Fujifilm X100 vs Sony A77

Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The two cameras under review are similar with respect to both having an electronic viewfinder. However, the one in the A77 offers a substantially higher resolution than the one in the X100 (2359k vs 1440k dots). The table below summarizes some of the other core capabilities of the Fujifilm X100 and Sony A77 in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar cameras. If needed, the dpreview camera hub, for example, contains further detail on the cameras' specs.

Core Features
  Camera Viewfinder
(Type or
'000 dots)
Control
Panel
(yes/no)
LCD
Size
(inch)
LCD
Resolution
('000 dots)
LCD
Attach-
ment
Touch
Screen
(yes/no)
Shutter
speed
(1/sec)
Shutter
flaps
(1/sec))
Build-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Build-in
Image
Stab
Fujifilm X100»1440 n 2.8 460 fixed n 4000 5.0 Y n
Sony A77«2359 Y 3.0 921 full-flex n 8000 12.0 Y Y
Canon 6D« »optical Y 3.0 1040 fixed n 4000 4.5 n n
Canon G1 X« »optical n 3.0 922 Swivel n 4000 1.9 Y Y
Canon T3« »optical n 2.7 230 fixed n 4000 3.0 Y n
Fujifilm X30« »2360 n 3.0 920 tilting n 4000 12.0 Y Y
Fujifilm X100S« »2360 n 2.8 460 fixed n 4000 6.0 Y n
Fujifilm X10« »optical n 2.8 460 fixed n 4000 10.0 Y Y
Leica D-LUX Typ 109« »2764 n 3.0 921 fixed n 4000 11.0 n Y
Nikon D3100« »optical n 3.0 230 fixed n 4000 3.0 Y n
Nikon D3000« »optical n 3.0 230 fixed n 4000 3.0 Y n
Panasonic LX100« »2764 n 3.0 921 fixed n 4000 11.0 n Y
Panasonic GH1« »1440 n 3.0 460 swivel n 4000 3.0 Y n
Sony A9« »3686 n 3.0 1440 tilting Y 8000 20.0 n Y
Sony A7 II« »2400 n 3.0 1230 tilting n 8000 5.0 n Y
Sony A77 II« »2359 Y 3.0 1229 full-flex n 8000 12.0 Y Y
Sony A99« »2359 Y 3.0 1229 full-flex n 8000 6.0 n Y

Both the X100 and the A77 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The X100 was replaced by the Fujifilm X100S, while the A77 was followed by the Sony A77 II.

Review summary: Fujifilm X100 vs Sony A77

So what conclusions can be drawn? Which of the two cameras – the Fujifilm X100 or the Sony A77 – has the upper hand? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.

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Reasons to prefer the Fujifilm FinePix X100:

  • Maximized detail: Lacks an anti-alias filter to exploit the sensor's full resolution potential.
  • Ready to shoot: Comes with a build-in lens, while the A77 requires a separate lens.
  • More compact: Is smaller (126x75mm vs 143x104mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
  • Less heavy: Is lighter even though it comes with a build-in lens (unlike the A77).
  • More affordable: Was introduced at a lower price, despite coming with a build-in lens.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in September 2010).

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Advantages of the Sony Alpha SLT-A77:

  • More detail: Has more megapixels (24 vs 12.2MP), which boosts linear resolution by 40%.
  • Better moiré control: Has an anti-alias filter to avoid artificial patterns to appear in images.
  • Better image quality: Scores markedly higher (5 points) in the DXO overall evaluation.
  • Richer colors: Generates noticeably more natural colors (1.1 bits more color depth).
  • More dynamic range: Captures a broader range of light and dark details (0.8 EV of extra DR).
  • Better video: Provides higher definition movie capture (1080/60p vs 720/30p).
  • More detailed viewfinder: Has higher resolution electronic viewfinder (2359k vs 1440k dots).
  • Easier setting verification: Has a control panel on top to check shooting parameters.
  • 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 (921k vs 460k dots).
  • More flexible LCD: Has full-flex screen for odd-angle shots in portrait or landscape orientation.
  • Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (8000/sec vs 4000/sec) to freeze action.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (12 vs 5 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • More flexible: Makes it possible to change lenses and thus to use specialty optics.
  • Longer lasting: Gets more shots (470 versus 300) out of a single battery charge.
  • Better sealing: Is splash and dust sealed for shooting in inclement weather conditions.
  • Sharper images: Has stabilization technology build-in to reduce the impact of hand-shake.
  • More modern: Was introduced somewhat (11 months) more recently.

If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the A77 is the clear winner of the contest (18 : 6 points). However, the pertinence of the various camera strengths will differ across photographers, so that you might want to weigh individual camera traits according to their importance for your own imaging needs before making a camera decision.

X100 06:18 A77

In any case, while the specs-based evaluation of cameras is instructive in revealing their potential as photographic tools, it remains incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the X100 or the A77 handle or perform in practice. At times, user reviews, such as those published at amazon, address these issues in a useful manner, but such feedback is on many occasions incomplete, inconsistent, and unreliable. This is why expert reviews are important. The adjacent table relays the overall verdicts of several of the most popular camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, photographyblog). The full reviews are available by clicking on the site logo in the table header.

Review scores
  Camera cameralabs dpreview ephotozine imaging-resource photographyblog Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Fujifilm X100»-75/1004/54/55/5 Sep 2010 1,199- i
Sony A77«91/10081/100-4.5/55/5 Aug 2011 1,999- i
Canon 6D« »HiRec83/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Sep 2012 2,099- i
Canon G1 X« »Rec76/1004/54/54.5/5 Jan 2012 799- i
Canon T3« »80/10069/1004/54/54.5/5 Feb 2011 449- i
Fujifilm X30« »-76/1004.5/54/54.5/5 Aug 2014 599 i i
Fujifilm X100S« »HiRec81/1004.5/54/55/5 Jan 2013 1,299- i
Fujifilm X10« »-76/1004/53.5/54.5/5 Sep 2011 599- i
Leica D-LUX Typ 109« »--4.5/5-4.5/5 Sep 2014 1,195 i i
Nikon D3100« »HiRec72/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Aug 2010 599- i
Nikon D3000« »Rec72/1004/53.5/54.5/5 Jul 2009 599- i
Panasonic LX100« »HiRec85/1005/54/55/5 Sep 2014 899 i i
Panasonic GH1« »HiRec72/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Mar 2009 1,499- i
Sony A9« »HiRec89/1005/55/55/5 Apr 2017 4,499 i i
Sony A7 II« »Rec82/1004.5/55/55/5 Nov 2014 1,999- i
Sony A77 II« »-80/1004.5/54/55/5 May 2014 1,199 i i
Sony A99« »-84/1004.5/5rev4.5/5 Sep 2012 2,799- i

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? In case you would like to check on the differences and similarities of other camera models, just make your choice using the following search menu. There is also a set of direct links to comparison reviews that other users of the CAM-parator app explored. If the camera you are interested in is not available, please contact me, and I will try to update the database with the necessary infos.

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