Camera comparisons, Mirrorless

Midrange Mirrorless Shootout – Fujifilm X-T30 vs Sony a6400

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Both Sony and Fujifilm have recently released hotly-anticipated updates to a couple of their most popular cameras; the extremely long-lived Sony a6000 was revamped into the a6400 and the relatively newer Fujifilm X-T20 is being replaced by the X-T30. Both cameras are available in a similar kit at the same price point, so which is the better option?

Fujifilm X-T30 ($999.95 with 15-45mm lens kit)

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Fujifilm has always embraced a retro/film camera inspired aesthetic with their mirrorless products, and the X-T30 carries on that tradition. The design is largely unchanged from the X-T20, with only some minor differences in the rear control area. They moved the “Q” button location (which was too easily pressed accidentally) and added the superior AF point selection joystick from the X-T3.

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What has also been improved from the previous model are the low-light/high ISO performance and the autofocus speed – The X-T30 gains the new  X-Trans IV 26.1 MP sensor and the hybrid autofocus system that is shared by the X-T3. Video shooters will also appreciate its newfound abilities to shoot in Fuji’s F-log output, as well as the Eterna film simulation setting which many videographers enjoy.

Sony a6400 ($999.95 with 16-50mm lens kit)

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At first glance, the Sony a6400 appears largely unchanged from its precursor the a6000. The screen is identical in size, but adds a new 180-tilt capability and touch screen. The body itself is also slightly different, with a deeper grip, reinforced lens mount, and added weather sealing.

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Sony’s top plate is much sleeker, flatter, and less cluttered than the Fuji. While it’s nice to have quick access to things like shutter speed it’s largely an aesthetic choice for Fuji (the dedicated exposure compensation dial is a nice feature, however). The a6400 also gains the newest iteration of Sony’s BIONZ X processor which allows for a native ISO range up to 32,000 (and can be extended up to 102,400).

Body Comparison

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For whatever reason, Fujifilm chose not to include the excellent tilt and side-articulating screen from their lower-end X-T100 camera, in favor of a tilt only design. Sony obviously had vloggers in mind with their improved tilt design that allows the screen to flip 180-degrees to face the subject. Both are touch-enabled. Right-eye shooters will appreciate Sony’s viewfinder placement all the way to the lefthand side, while Fuji placed the viewfinder directly in the center of the camera.

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Ergonomically, the Sony has a much deeper grip and a more comfortable location for the shutter release. The Sony is also the more compact option overall, including the lens itself. Surprisingly, they are almost the exact same weight, within about a gram of each other including the lens and battery.

It may seem as if the Sony is the clear winner here, and it probably is, at least on paper; however, the Fujifilm X-T30 has many selling points of its own. For one, it’s available at a slightly higher price point with a vastly superior kit lens, the 18-55mm f2.8-4. For the purposes of this writeup the 15-45mm lens was used as it is a more direct comparison in terms of size and price, but for anyone looking to purchase an X-T30 the 18-55mm would be a highly recommended alternative.

Fujifilm also offers their excellent film simulation modes, which we find to have a better straight-out-of-camera look to them than Sony’s “Creative Style” or “Picture Effect” settings. The other major selling point for those considering the Fujifilm system is their wider selection of relatively inexpensive lenses, especially primes. In addition, at the time of this writing Fujifilm is offering an extremely aggressive instant rebate of $300 off their 23mm f2, 35mm f2, and 50mm f2 when purchased with an X-T30.

Ultimately, the best way to decide between these two cameras is to get them both in your hands! Because the feature sets are so similar, for many people the choice will probably come down to ergonomics which can be different for everyone. Several of our staffers actually shoot both systems simultaneously for different purposes, so if you’re looking to step into a midrange mirrorless camera stop by and we’d be happy to walk you through the differences in person!

 

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The Webbcam 2013 Holiday Gift Guide

Under $50

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Holga 120N ($35)

Nothing beats a Holga for getting started in lo-fi, medium format photography. The photos have a very distinctive look and feel courtesy of the Holga’s plastic lens – owning a Holga is a must for every photographer!

Don’t forget the film!

kata-d-light-grip-14Kata Grip 14DL ($39)

One of our bestselling bags due to it’s sleek design and midrange size which accommodates most DSLRs and basic lenses. The holster-style design includes a shoulder strap and a rain cover.

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Phottix 32″ 7 in 1 Reflector ($46.95)

The 7-in-1 Light Mulit Collapsible Reflectors are a great addition to studio or on location work. The reflectors have 7 changeable colors: White, Black, Silver, Translucent, Golver, Green and Blue and collapse into a 12″ circular carrying case.

Under $75

ImageBlackrapid Straps ($39.95-124.95)

Not the cheapest strap, but by far the most comfortable! Often imitated but still the best, Blackrapid offers several models to accommodate different sizes of cameras and shooting styles. For most DSLRs check out the Curve (RS-7), our best selling model.

ImageGary Fong Lightsphere Collapsible Speed Mount ($59.95)

The #1 selling flash diffuser here at Webbcam, Gary Fong’s Lightsphere Collapsible has been improved with a new velcro strap mount borrowed from the Universal model making it the best of both worlds. Check out Gary’s awesome Youtube channel for great tips on how to get the most out of your on camera speedlite!

ImageFuji Instax Mini 8 ($74.95)

A great way to capture Christmas morning memories! Fuji’s Instax cameras have taken over where Polaroid left off and become a worldwide sensation. There’s nothing like instant film photography for parties, weddings, vacations or anytime you want to pass around actual, physical prints with your friends.

Under $100

ImagePocketwizard Plus X ($99.95 less $15 instant rebate)

The best wireless flash trigger system just got better, and cheaper! Pocketwizards are the industry standard and the new Plus X Transceiver makes them more affordable than ever. Just $85 per unit after the instant rebate, and they now include many of the connection cables that were previously sold separately!

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Westcott Modern Vintage Backdrops ($79.95)

Westcott’s new Modern Vintage backdrops are a great alternative to a flat solid color background or dated looking crush-dyed fabric. They come in many different styles and color combinations and add a new look to your portrait or product photography!

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Manfrotto Advanced Active Backpack 1 ($99.95)

A new and improved design of one of our all time best selling bags. The new Manfrotto Active Backpack series is a great daypack for carrying your DSLR body with a couple lenses in a sleek form factor with enough room up top to store your hoodie, laptop, and whatever else you need while out and about.

Under $199

ImageTamron 18-200mm f3.5-6.3 XR Di II ($199.95)

Looking to upgrade your basic kit lens, or increase your max focal length without carrying a second lens? The Tamron 18-200 is a very compact superzoom at an extremely affordable price – plus a $20 mail in rebate until the end of the year!

MePhoto_Trans_Group_Coll[2]Mefoto Backpacker ($139) & Roadtrip ($189) Tripods

The new Mefoto tripod series is a staff favorite here, and for good reason. The Backpacker model folds up to only 12.6″ for nearly effortless transportation, and all Mefoto tripods include a padded carrying case!

4aCanon 40mm f2.8 EF Pancake lens ($219, $169 after rebate)

A great alternative to the “nifty fifty” that upgrades the build quality with a stainless mount, and cuts down on the size! This lens is awesome on the new Rebel SL1 and makes a great, lightweight walkaround lens on any body.

videomic_03Rode Videomic ($159)

If you’re serious about shooting video on your DSLR, you’ve probably run into the limitations of the on-camera mic. The Rode Videomic eliminates a lot of these issues by stabilizing the mic in their proprietary Rycote® Shock Mount system, minimizing unwanted noise created by vibrations or autofocus. The highly directional microphone also isolates your subject from distracting surrounding noises.

Under $500

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Phottix Mitros TTL Speedlite ($299)

Another Webbcam favorite, the Phottix Mitros is hands down the best third-party alternative to the pro level Nikon or Canon speedlites. With a feature set that rivals the SB-910 or 580EXII the Mitros is a very well constructed flash at a great price.

sigma_30mm_f14Sigma 30mm f1.4 DC Art Series lens ($499)

Sigma’s new Art Series of lenses has caused quite a stir in the photographic community over the past year, with the introduction of their fantastic 35mm 1.4, revolutionary 18-35mm 1.8 and the revamped 30mm 1.4 for crop sensor cameras. Roughly equating to a ~50mm on APS-C sized sensors the Sigma 30mm f1.4 is a sharp, fast lens that works wonders for shooting in low light or capturing your subject with a shallow depth of field.

d3200Nikon D3200 DSLR Kit w/ 18-55VR lens ($599 less $100 instant rebate)

The best value in an entry level DSLR right now. With a 24.2 megapixel CMOS and the new EXPEED 3 processor this camera is incredibly powerful for the price. If you are looking to step into the DSLR world from your point and shoot/iPhone etc, the Nikon D3200 is the way to get started.

dlcrigDLC HDSLR Rig ($399)

At only $399, DLC’s HDSLR rig is cheaper than many other companies follow focus units alone! In addition to including a follow focus, the rig also comes with a matte box, quick release plate and uses industry standard rail sizes for easy additions or replacement of components.

mn_mt190xpro3Manfrotto 190XPRO3 ($219)

The newest version of the 190 series of tripod legs improves on the leg locks and streamlines the design of the center column rotation feature that cuts down on the size a bit. One of the best, midsize/midpriced tripods just got better!

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