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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 sensor. The Fujifilm has a resolution of 12.2 megapixel, whereas the Sony provides 24 MP.

Body comparison

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).

Fujifilm X100 vs Sony A9 front
X100 versus A9 top view
X100 and A9 rear side
Body view (X100 on the left)

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.

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 comparisons there.

Camera Body Specifications
Camera Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life
(CIPA)
Weather
Sealing
(y/n)
Camera
Launch
(year)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(amazon)
Used
Price
(ebay)
Fujifilm X100 (⇒ rgt) 126 mm 75 mm 54 mm 445 g 300 no 2010 1,199discont. check
Sony A9 (⇒ lft) 127 mm 96 mm 63 mm 673 g 650 YES 2017 4,499 latest check
Canon G1 X (⇒ lft | rgt) 117 mm 81 mm 65 mm 534 g 250 no 2012 799discont. check
Canon T3 (⇒ lft | rgt) 130 mm 100 mm 78 mm 495 g 700 no 2011 449discont. check
Fujifilm X30 (⇒ lft | rgt) 119 mm 72 mm 60 mm 423 g 470 no 2014 599 latest check
Fujifilm X100S (⇒ lft | rgt) 127 mm 74 mm 54 mm 445 g 330 no 2013 1,299discont. check
Fujifilm X10 (⇒ lft | rgt) 117 mm 70 mm 57 mm 350 g 270 no 2011 599discont. check
Leica D-LUX Typ 109 (⇒ lft | rgt) 118 mm 66 mm 55 mm 405 g 300 no 2014 1,195 latest check
Nikon D3100 (⇒ lft | rgt) 124 mm 96 mm 75 mm 505 g 550 no 2010 599discont. check
Nikon D3000 (⇒ lft | rgt) 126 mm 97 mm 64 mm 536 g 500 no 2009 599discont. check
Panasonic GH5 (⇒ lft | rgt) 139 mm 98 mm 87 mm 725 g 410 YES 2017 1,999 latest check
Panasonic LX100 (⇒ lft | rgt) 115 mm 66 mm 55 mm 393 g 300 no 2014 899 latest check
Panasonic GH1 (⇒ lft | rgt) 124 mm 90 mm 45 mm 385 g .. no 2009 1,499discont. check
Sony A7R III (⇒ lft | rgt) 127 mm 96 mm 74 mm 650 g 650 YES 2017 3,199 latest check
Sony A6500 (⇒ lft | rgt) 120 mm 67 mm 53 mm 453 g 350 YES 2016 1,399 latest check
Sony A7 II (⇒ lft | rgt) 127 mm 96 mm 60 mm 599 g 350 YES 2014 1,999 latest check
Sony A77 (⇒ lft | rgt) 143 mm 104 mm 81 mm 732 g 470 YES 2011 1,999discont. check

The listed 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

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
Sensor size

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
Sensor resolution

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
(Megapixel)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
Fujifilm X100 (⇒ rgt) APS-C 12.2 4288 2848 720/30p 22.9 12.4 1001 73
Sony A9 (⇒ lft) Full Frame 24.0 6000 4000 4K/30p 24.9 13.3 3517 92
Canon G1 X (⇒ lft | rgt) 1.5-inch 14.2 4352 3264 1080/24p 21.7 10.8 644 60
Canon T3 (⇒ lft | rgt) APS-C 12.2 4272 2848 720/30p 21.9 11.0 755 62
Fujifilm X30 (⇒ lft | rgt) 2/3 12.0 4000 3000 1080/60p - - - -
Fujifilm X100S (⇒ lft | rgt) APS-C 16.0 4896 3264 1080/60p - - - -
Fujifilm X10 (⇒ lft | rgt) 2/3 12.0 4000 3000 1080/30p 20.5 11.3 245 50
Leica D-LUX Typ 109 (⇒ lft | rgt) Four Thirds 12.7 4112 3088 4K/30p - - - -
Nikon D3100 (⇒ lft | rgt) APS-C 14.2 4608 3072 1080/24p 22.5 11.3 919 67
Nikon D3000 (⇒ lft | rgt) APS-C 10.0 3872 2592 no 22.3 11.1 563 62
Panasonic GH5 (⇒ lft | rgt) Four Thirds 20.2 5184 3888 4K/60p 23.9 13.0 807 77
Panasonic LX100 (⇒ lft | rgt) Four Thirds 12.7 4112 3088 4K/30p 22.3 12.5 553 67
Panasonic GH1 (⇒ lft | rgt) Four Thirds 12.0 4000 3000 1080/24p 21.6 11.6 772 64
Sony A7R III (⇒ lft | rgt) Full Frame 42.2 7952 5304 4K/30p 26.0 14.7 3523 100
Sony A6500 (⇒ lft | rgt) APS-C 24.0 6000 4000 4K/30p 24.5 13.7 1405 85
Sony A7 II (⇒ lft | rgt) Full Frame 24.0 6000 4000 1080/60p 24.9 13.6 2449 90
Sony A77 (⇒ lft | rgt) APS-C 24.0 6000 4000 1080/60p 24 13.2 801 78

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

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
(Y/n)
LCD
Size
(inch)
LCD
Resolution
('000 dots)
LCD
Attach-
ment
Touch
Screen
(Y/n)
Shutter
speed
(1/sec)
Shutter
flaps
(1/sec))
Build-in
Flash
(GN)
Build-in
Image
Stab
Fujifilm X100 (⇒ rgt) 1440 no 2.8 460 fixed no 4000 5.0 9 no
Sony A9 (⇒ lft) 3686 no 3.0 1440 tilting YES 8000 20.0 no YES
Canon G1 X (⇒ lft | rgt) optical no 3.0 922 Swivel no 4000 1.9 7 YES
Canon T3 (⇒ lft | rgt) optical no 2.7 230 fixed no 4000 3.0 9.2 no
Fujifilm X30 (⇒ lft | rgt) 2360 no 3.0 920 tilting no 4000 12.0 7 ..
Fujifilm X100S (⇒ lft | rgt) 2360 no 2.8 460 fixed no 4000 6.0 9 no
Fujifilm X10 (⇒ lft | rgt) optical no 2.8 460 fixed no 4000 10.0 9 YES
Leica D-LUX Typ 109 (⇒ lft | rgt) 2764 no 3.0 921 fixed no 4000 11.0 no YES
Nikon D3100 (⇒ lft | rgt) optical no 3.0 230 fixed no 4000 3.0 12 no
Nikon D3000 (⇒ lft | rgt) optical no 3.0 230 fixed no 4000 3.0 12 no
Panasonic GH5 (⇒ lft | rgt) 3680 no 3.2 1620 swivel YES 8000 12.0 no YES
Panasonic LX100 (⇒ lft | rgt) 2764 no 3.0 921 fixed no 4000 11.0 7 YES
Panasonic GH1 (⇒ lft | rgt) 1440 no 3.0 460 swivel no 4000 3.0 10.5 no
Sony A7R III (⇒ lft | rgt) 3686 no 3.0 1440 tilting YES 8000 10.0 no YES
Sony A6500 (⇒ lft | rgt) 2300 no 3.0 922 tilting YES 4000 11.0 6 YES
Sony A7 II (⇒ lft | rgt) 2400 no 3.0 1230 tilting no 8000 5.0 no YES
Sony A77 (⇒ lft | rgt) 2359 YES 3.0 921 full-flex no 8000 12.0 12 YES

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.

Summary

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.

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. The full reviews are available, respectively, at cameralabs.com, dpreview.com, ephotozine.com, imaging-resource.com, and photographyblog.com.

Review scores
Camera camera
labs
dp
review
ephoto
zine
imaging
resource
photography
blog
Camera
Launch
(year)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(amazon)
Used
Price
(ebay)
Fujifilm X100 (⇒ rgt) - 75/100 Silver 4/5 4/5 5/5 2010 1,199discont. check
Sony A9 (⇒ lft) .. 89/100 Gold 5/5 5/5 5/5 2017 4,499 latest check
Canon G1 X (⇒ lft | rgt) 79/100 Rec 76/100 Silver 4/5 4/5 4.5/5 2012 799discont. check
Canon T3 (⇒ lft | rgt) 80/100 69/100 4/5 4/5 4.5/5 2011 449discont. check
Fujifilm X30 (⇒ lft | rgt) - 76/100 4.5/5 4/5 4.5/5 2014 599 latest check
Fujifilm X100S (⇒ lft | rgt) HiRec 81/100 Gold 4.5/5 4/5 5/5 2013 1,299discont. check
Fujifilm X10 (⇒ lft | rgt) - 76/100 Silver 4/5 3.5/5 4.5/5 2011 599discont. check
Leica D-LUX Typ 109 (⇒ lft | rgt) - - 4.5/5 - 4.5/5 2014 1,195 latest check
Nikon D3100 (⇒ lft | rgt) 84/100 HiRec 72/100 Silver 4.5/5 5/5 4.5/5 2010 599discont. check
Nikon D3000 (⇒ lft | rgt) 80/100 Rec 72/100 HiRec 4/5 3.5/5 4.5/5 2009 599discont. check
Panasonic GH5 (⇒ lft | rgt) HiRec 85/100 Gold 4.5/5 5/5 5/5 2017 1,999 latest check
Panasonic LX100 (⇒ lft | rgt) HiRec 85/100 Gold 5/5 4/5 5/5 2014 899 latest check
Panasonic GH1 (⇒ lft | rgt) 89/100 HiRec 72/100 HiRec 4.5/5 5/5 4.5/5 2009 1,499discont. check
Sony A7R III (⇒ lft | rgt) HiRec 90/100 Gold .. .. .. 2017 3,199 latest check
Sony A6500 (⇒ lft | rgt) HiRec 85/100 Silver 4.5/5 5/5 4.5/5 2016 1,399 latest check
Sony A7 II (⇒ lft | rgt) Rec 82/100 Silver 4.5/5 5/5 5/5 2014 1,999 latest check
Sony A77 (⇒ lft | rgt) 91/100 81/100 Silver - 4.5/5 5/5 2011 1,999discont. check

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 comparisons

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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