Sony A7R III versus Fujifilm X-E2
The Sony Alpha A7R III and the Fujifilm X-E2 are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in October 2017 and October 2013. Both the A7R III and the X-E2 are mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras that are based on a full frame (A7R III) and an APS-C (X-E2) sensor. The Sony has a resolution of 42.2 megapixel, whereas the Fujifilm provides 16 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: Sony A7R III vs Fujifilm X-E2
The physical size and weight of the Sony A7R III and the Fujifilm X-E2 are illustrated in the side-by-side display below. 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. 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 A7R III – represents 100 percent across all the size and weight measures).
If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Fujifilm X-E2 is notably smaller (21 percent) than the Sony A7R III. Moreover, the X-E2 is substantially lighter (46 percent) than the A7R III. It is worth mentioning in this context that the A7R III is splash and dust resistant, while the X-E2 does not feature any corresponding weather-sealing.
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. A larger imaging sensor will tend to go along with bigger and heavier lenses, although exceptions exist. You can find an overview of optics for the two cameras in the Sony FE Lens Catalog (A7R III) and the Fujinon X Lens Catalog (X-E2). 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.
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|
|Sony A7R III»||5.0 in||3.8 in||2.9 in||22.9 oz||650||Y||Oct 2017||3,199|
|Fujifilm X-E2«||5.1 in||3.0 in||1.5 in||12.3 oz||350||n||Oct 2013||999||-|
|Fujifilm X-E3« »||4.8 in||2.9 in||1.7 in||11.9 oz||350||n||Sep 2017||899|
|Fujifilm X-E2S« »||5.1 in||3.0 in||1.5 in||12.3 oz||350||n||Jan 2016||699||-|
|Fujifilm X-T10« »||4.6 in||3.3 in||1.6 in||13.4 oz||350||n||May 2015||799||-|
|Fujifilm X-M1« »||4.6 in||2.6 in||1.5 in||11.6 oz||350||n||Jun 2013||699|
|Fujifilm X-E1« »||5.1 in||3.0 in||1.5 in||12.3 oz||350||n||Sep 2012||999||-|
|Hasselblad X1D« »||5.9 in||3.9 in||2.8 in||25.6 oz||..||Y||Jun 2016||8,995|
|Sony A7 III« »||5.0 in||3.8 in||2.9 in||22.9 oz||610||Y||Feb 2018||1,999|
|Sony A9« »||5.0 in||3.8 in||2.5 in||23.7 oz||650||Y||Apr 2017||4,499|
|Sony A99 II« »||5.6 in||4.1 in||3.0 in||29.9 oz||490||Y||Sep 2016||3,199|
|Sony A6500« »||4.7 in||2.6 in||2.1 in||16.0 oz||350||Y||Oct 2016||1,399|
|Sony A7R II« »||5.0 in||3.8 in||2.4 in||22.0 oz||290||Y||Jun 2015||3,199||-|
|Sony A7S II« »||5.0 in||3.8 in||2.4 in||22.1 oz||370||Y||Sep 2015||2,999|
|Sony A7 II« »||5.0 in||3.8 in||2.4 in||21.1 oz||350||Y||Nov 2014||1,999||-|
|Sony A7R« »||5.0 in||3.7 in||1.9 in||16.4 oz||340||Y||Oct 2013||2,299||-|
|Sony A99« »||5.8 in||4.4 in||3.1 in||28.6 oz||500||Y||Sep 2012||2,799||-|
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 X-E2 was launched at a markedly lower price (by 69 percent) than the A7R III, 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. Then, after the new model is out, very good deals can frequently be found on the pre-owned market.
Sensor comparison: Sony A7R III vs Fujifilm X-E2
The imaging sensor is at the core of digital cameras and its size is one of the main determining factors 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. 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 are more costly to manufacture and tend to lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.
Of the two cameras under consideration, the Sony A7R III features a full frame sensor and the Fujifilm X-E2 an APS-C sensor. The sensor area in the X-E2 is 57 percent smaller. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 1.0 and 1.5. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.
With 42.2MP, the A7R III offers a higher resolution than the X-E2 (16MP), but the A7R III has smaller individual pixels (pixel pitch of 4.52μm versus 4.80μm for the X-E2). However, the A7R III is a somewhat more recent model (by 4 years) than the X-E2, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time that enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixels. Coming back to sensor resolution, it should be mentioned that neither of the two cameras has an anti-alias filter installed, so they are able to capture all the detail the sensor resolves.
Unlike the X-E2, the A7R III has the capacity to capture high quality composite images by combining multiple shots after shifting its sensor by miniscule distances. This multi-shot, pixel-shift mode is most suitable for photography of stationary objects (landscapes, studio scenes).
Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for most cameras. 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. The adjacent table reports on the physical sensor characteristics and the outcomes of the DXO sensor quality tests for a sample of comparator-cameras.
|Sony A7R III»||Full Frame||42.2||7952||5304||4K/30p||26.0||14.7||3523||100|
|Fujifilm X-E3« »||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||4K/30p||-||-||-||-|
|Fujifilm X-E2S« »||APS-C||16.0||4896||3264||1080/60p||-||-||-||-|
|Fujifilm X-T10« »||APS-C||16.0||4896||3264||1080/60p||-||-||-||-|
|Fujifilm X-M1« »||APS-C||16.0||4896||3264||1080/30p||-||-||-||-|
|Fujifilm X-E1« »||APS-C||16.0||4896||3264||1080/24p||-||-||-||-|
|Hasselblad X1D« »||Medium Format||51.3||8272||6200||1080/25p||26.2||14.8||4489||102|
|Sony A7 III« »||Full Frame||24.0||6000||4000||4K/30p||25.0||14.7||3730||96|
|Sony A9« »||Full Frame||24.0||6000||4000||4K/30p||24.9||13.3||3517||92|
|Sony A99 II« »||Full Frame||42.2||7952||5304||4K/30p||25.4||13.4||2317||92|
|Sony A6500« »||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||4K/30p||24.5||13.7||1405||85|
|Sony A7R II« »||Full Frame||42.2||7952||5304||4K/30p||26.0||13.9||3434||98|
|Sony A7S II« »||Full Frame||12.0||4240||2832||4K/30p||23.6||13.3||2993||85|
|Sony A7 II« »||Full Frame||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||24.9||13.6||2449||90|
|Sony A7R« »||Full Frame||36.2||7360||4912||1080/60p||25.6||14.1||2746||95|
|Sony A99« »||Full Frame||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||25.0||14.0||1555||89|
Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but can also record movies. Both cameras under consideration are equipped with sensors that have a sufficiently high read-out speed for moving images, but the A7R III provides a higher video resolution than the X-E2. It can shoot video footage at 4K/30p, while the Fujifilm is limited to 1080/60p.
Feature comparison: Sony A7R III vs Fujifilm X-E2
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 A7R III offers a substantially higher resolution than the one in the X-E2 (3686k vs 2360k dots). The following table reports on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Sony A7R III, the Fujifilm X-E2, and comparable cameras. If you need more detail on the specs, you can find comprehensive listings, for example, in the dpreview camera hub.
|Sony A7R III»||3686||n||3.0||1440||tilting||Y||8000||10.0||n||Y|
|Fujifilm X-E3« »||2360||n||3.0||1040||fixed||Y||4000||8.0||n||n|
|Fujifilm X-E2S« »||2360||n||3.0||1040||fixed||n||4000||7.0||Y||n|
|Fujifilm X-T10« »||2360||n||3.0||920||tilting||n||4000||8.0||Y||n|
|Fujifilm X-M1« »||-||n||3.0||920||tilting||n||4000||5.6||Y||n|
|Fujifilm X-E1« »||2360||n||2.8||460||fixed||n||4000||6.0||Y||n|
|Hasselblad X1D« »||2360||n||3.0||920||fixed||Y||2000||2.3||n||n|
|Sony A7 III« »||2359||n||3.0||922||tilting||Y||8000||10.0||n||Y|
|Sony A9« »||3686||n||3.0||1440||tilting||Y||8000||20.0||n||Y|
|Sony A99 II« »||2400||Y||3.0||1229||full-flex||n||8000||12.0||n||Y|
|Sony A6500« »||2300||n||3.0||922||tilting||Y||4000||11.0||Y||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|
|Sony A7R« »||2400||n||3.0||1230||tilting||n||8000||4.0||n||n|
|Sony A99« »||2359||Y||3.0||1229||full-flex||n||8000||6.0||n||Y|
The A7R III is a current model that online retailers, such as amazon, will have in stock. In contrast, the X-E2 has been discontinued (but it can be found pre-owned on eBay). As a replacement in the same line of cameras, the X-E2 was succeeded by the Fujifilm X-E2S.
Review summary: Sony A7R III vs Fujifilm X-E2
So how do things add up? Is the Sony A7R III better than the Fujifilm X-E2 or vice versa? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.
Arguments in favor of the Sony Alpha A7R III:
- More detail: Offers more megapixels (42.2 vs 16MP) with a 62% higher linear resolution.
- High quality composites: Can combine several shots after pixel-shifting its sensor.
- Better image quality: Features a larger and more technologically advanced imaging sensor.
- Better video: Provides higher definition movie capture (4K/30p vs 1080/60p).
- More detailed viewfinder: Has higher resolution electronic viewfinder (3686k vs 2360k dots).
- More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1440k vs 1040k dots).
- More flexible LCD: Has a tilting screen for odd-angle shots in landscape orientation.
- Fewer buttons to press: Is equipped with a touch-sensitive rear screen to facilitate handling.
- Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (8000/sec vs 4000/sec) to freeze action.
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (10 vs 7 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- Longer lasting: Can take more shots (650 versus 350) on a single battery charge.
- Better sealing: Is weather sealed to enable shooting in dusty or wet environments.
- Sharper images: Has hand-shake reducing image stabilization build-in.
- More modern: Reflects 4 years of technical progress since the X-E2 launch.
Reasons to prefer the Fujifilm X-E2:
- More compact: Is smaller (129x75mm vs 127x96mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
- Less heavy: Has a lower weight (by 300g or 46 percent) and is thus easier to take along.
- Easier fill-in: Has a small integrated flash to brighten shadows of backlit subjects.
- More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (69 percent cheaper at launch).
- More heavily discounted: Has been around for much longer (launched in October 2013).
If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the A7R III is the clear winner of the match-up (14 : 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.
In any case, while the comparison of technical specifications can provide a useful overview of the capabilities of different cameras, it says nothing about, for example, the handling, responsiveness, and overall imaging quality of the A7R III and the X-E2 in practical situations. 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 hands-on reviews by experts are important. The table below summarizes the assessments of some of the best known camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, photographyblog). You can find the full text of the reviews by clicking on the site logo in the table header.
|Sony A7R III»||HiRec||90/100||4.5/5||5/5||5/5||Oct 2017||3,199|
|Fujifilm X-E2«||-||80/100||4.5/5||-||5/5||Oct 2013||999||-|
|Fujifilm X-E3« »||Rec||84/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2017||899|
|Fujifilm X-E2S« »||-||77/100||4.5/5||-||4.5/5||Jan 2016||699||-|
|Fujifilm X-T10« »||HiRec||80/100||5/5||4/5||5/5||May 2015||799||-|
|Fujifilm X-M1« »||Rec||77/100||4.5/5||-||4.5/5||Jun 2013||699|
|Fujifilm X-E1« »||HiRec||79/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2012||999||-|
|Hasselblad X1D« »||rev||-||-||-||4/5||Jun 2016||8,995|
|Sony A7 III« »||HiRec||89/100||5/5||-||5/5||Feb 2018||1,999|
|Sony A9« »||HiRec||89/100||5/5||5/5||5/5||Apr 2017||4,499|
|Sony A99 II« »||-||85/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2016||3,199|
|Sony A6500« »||HiRec||85/100||4.5/5||5/5||4.5/5||Oct 2016||1,399|
|Sony A7R II« »||HiRec||90/100||5/5||4.5/5||5/5||Jun 2015||3,199||-|
|Sony A7S II« »||Rec||-||4.5/5||5/5||5/5||Sep 2015||2,999|
|Sony A7 II« »||Rec||82/100||4.5/5||5/5||5/5||Nov 2014||1,999||-|
|Sony A7R« »||HiRec||82/100||4.5/5||5/5||5/5||Oct 2013||2,299||-|
|Sony A99« »||-||84/100||4.5/5||rev||4.5/5||Sep 2012||2,799||-|
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. It should also be noted that some of the review sites have over time altered the way they render their verdicts.
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