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Fujifilm X100 versus Sony A9

The Fujifilm FinePix X100 and the Sony Alpha A9 are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in September 2010 and April 2017. The X100 is a fixed lens compact, while the A9 is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera. The cameras are based on an APS-C (X100) and a full frame (A9) 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 A9

The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Fujifilm X100 and the Sony A9. Three consecutive perspectives from the front, the top, and the back are presented. All size dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter. You can also use the toggle button to switch to a percentage comparison if you prefer that the measures are being expressed in relative terms (in this case, the camera on the left – the X100 – represents the basis or 100 percent across all the size and weight measures).

Snapsort Fujifilm X100 vs Sony A9
Compare X100 versus A9 top
Compare X100 and A9 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Sony A9 is notably larger (29 percent) than the Fujifilm X100. It is noteworthy in this context that the A9 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 A9 is an interchangeable lens camera that requires a separate lens. Attaching the latter will add extra weight and bulk to the setup. You can find an overview of optics for the A9 and their specifications in the Sony FE Lens Catalog.

Concerning battery life, the X100 gets 300 shots out of its NP-95 battery, while the A9 can take 650 images on a single charge of its NP-FZ100 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 A9« 5.0 in 3.8 in 2.5 in 23.7 oz 650 Y Apr 2017 4,499 i 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 A7 III« » 5.0 in 3.8 in 2.9 in 22.9 oz 610 Y Feb 2018 1,999 i i
Sony A7R III« » 5.0 in 3.8 in 2.9 in 22.9 oz 650 Y Oct 2017 3,199 i i
Sony A7R II« » 5.0 in 3.8 in 2.4 in 22.0 oz 290 Y Jun 2015 3,199- i
Sony A7S II« » 5.0 in 3.8 in 2.4 in 22.1 oz 370 Y Sep 2015 2,999 i i
Sony A7 II« » 5.0 in 3.8 in 2.4 in 21.1 oz 350 Y Nov 2014 1,999- 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 A9, 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 A9

The size of the imaging sensor is a crucial determinant of image quality. A large sensor will tend to have larger individual pixels that provide better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and richer color depth than smaller pixel-units in a sensor of the same technological generation. Furthermore, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more possibilities to use shallow depth-of-field in order to isolate a subject from the 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 X100 features an APS-C sensor and the Sony A9 a full frame sensor. The sensor area in the A9 is 127 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.

Fujifilm X100 and Sony A9 sensor measures

With 24MP, the A9 offers a higher resolution than the X100 (12.2MP), but the A9 nevertheless has larger individual pixels (pixel pitch of 5.94μm versus 5.53μm for the X100) due to its larger sensor. Moreover, the A9 is a much more recent model (by 6 years and 7 months) than the X100, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that further enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixel-units. 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 A9 MP

For most cameras, data on sensor performance has been reported by DXO Mark. This service determines an overall sensor rating, as well as sub-scores for low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and color depth ("DXO Portrait"). Of the two cameras under consideration, the A9 offers substantially better image quality than the X100 (overall score 19 points higher). The advantage is based on 2 bits higher color depth, 0.9 EV in additional dynamic range, and 1.8 stops in additional low light sensitivity. The table below summarizes the physical sensor characteristics and sensor quality findings and compares them across a set of similar 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 A9« Full Frame 24.0 6000 40004K/30p24.913.3351792
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 A7 III« » Full Frame 24.0 6000 40004K/30p25.014.7373096
Sony A7R III« » Full Frame 42.2 7952 53044K/30p26.014.73523100
Sony A7R II« » Full Frame 42.2 7952 53044K/30p26.013.9343498
Sony A7S II« » Full Frame 12.0 4240 28324K/30p23.613.3299385
Sony A7 II« » Full Frame 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.913.6244990

Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but also of capturing video footage. Both cameras under consideration have a sensor with sufficiently fast read-out times for moving pictures, but the A9 provides a better video resolution than the X100. It can shoot movie footage at 4K/30p, while the Fujifilm is limited to 720/30p.

 

Feature comparison: Fujifilm X100 vs Sony A9

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 A9 offers a substantially higher resolution than the one in the X100 (3686k vs 1440k dots). The table below summarizes some of the other core capabilities of the Fujifilm X100 and Sony A9 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 A9«3686 n 3.0 1440 tilting Y 8000 20.0 n Y
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 A7 III« »2359 n 3.0 922 tilting Y 8000 10.0 n Y
Sony A7R III« »3686 n 3.0 1440 tilting Y 8000 10.0 n Y
Sony A7R II« »2400 n 3.0 1229 tilting n 8000 5.0 n Y
Sony A7S II« »2400 n 3.0 1229 tilting n 8000 5.0 n Y
Sony A7 II« »2400 n 3.0 1230 tilting n 8000 5.0 n Y

The A9 is a current model that online retailers, such as amazon, will have in stock. In contrast, the X100 has been discontinued (but it can be found pre-owned on eBay). As a replacement in the same line of cameras, the X100 was succeeded by the Fujifilm X100S.

Review summary: Fujifilm X100 vs Sony A9

So how do things add up? Is the Fujifilm X100 better than the Sony A9 or vice versa? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.

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Advantages of the Fujifilm FinePix X100:

  • Maximized detail: Lacks an anti-alias filter to exploit the sensor's full resolution potential.
  • Ready to shoot: Has a lens build-in, whereas the A9 requires a separate lens.
  • More compact: Is smaller (126x75mm vs 127x96mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
  • Less heavy: Is lighter even though it comes with a build-in lens (unlike the A9).
  • Easier fill-in: Is equipped with a small onboard flash to brighten deep shadow areas.
  • More affordable: Was introduced at a lower price, despite coming with a build-in lens.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in September 2010).

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Reasons to prefer the Sony Alpha A9:

  • 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 substantially higher (19 points) in the DXO overall evaluation.
  • Richer colors: Generates noticeably more natural colors (2 bits more color depth).
  • More dynamic range: Captures a broader range of light and dark details (0.9 EV of extra DR).
  • Better low-light sensitivity: Can shoot in dim conditions (1.8 stops ISO advantage).
  • Better video: Provides higher definition movie capture (4K/30p vs 720/30p).
  • More detailed viewfinder: Has higher resolution electronic viewfinder (3686k vs 1440k dots).
  • 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 (1440k 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.
  • Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (8000/sec vs 4000/sec) to freeze action.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (20 vs 5 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • More flexible: Takes interchangeable lenses and can thus be used with specialty optics.
  • Longer lasting: Gets more shots (650 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: Reflects 6 years and 7 months of technical progress since the X100 launch.

If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the A9 is the clear winner of the contest (19 : 7 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 07:19 A9

In any case, while the comparison of the spec-sheets of cameras can offer a general idea of their imaging potential, it remains partial and cannot reveal, for example, the handling experience and imaging performance when actually working with the X100 or the A9. 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 hands-on reviews by experts 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 A9«HiRec89/1005/55/55/5 Apr 2017 4,499 i 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 A7 III« »HiRec89/1005/5-5/5 Feb 2018 1,999 i i
Sony A7R III« »HiRec90/1004.5/55/55/5 Oct 2017 3,199 i i
Sony A7R II« »HiRec90/1005/54.5/55/5 Jun 2015 3,199- i
Sony A7S II« »Rec-4.5/55/55/5 Sep 2015 2,999 i i
Sony A7 II« »Rec82/1004.5/55/55/5 Nov 2014 1,999- i

Care should be taken when interpreting the review scores above, though. The ratings are only valid when refering to cameras in the same category and of the same age. Thus, a score needs to be put into the context of the launch date and the launch price of the camera, and comparisons of ratings among very different cameras or across long time periods have little meaning. Also, kindly note that some of the listed sites have over time developped their review approaches and their reporting style.

 

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. Alternatively, you can follow any of the listed hyperlinks for comparisons that others found interesting. If you cannot find the camera you are interested in, kindly get in touch, and I will try to locate and add the respective data to the application.

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