Camera Comparison – The Fujifilm X-H1 Versus the Sony a7R III

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Two of the hottest mirrorless cameras you can get your hands on right now are the Sony a7R III and the Fujifilm X-H1. My husband owns one and I have the other. In the past few months, we’ve been experimenting with our new cameras and have noticed quite a few similarities and differences. This is by no means a comprehensive camera comparison, but some of the main differences will be highlighted below.

Camera Comparison - The Fujifilm X-H1 Versus the Sony a7R III

The Fuji X-H1 left, and the Sony a7R III on the right.

Our Background

My husband and I are both photographers who have always been in opposite brand camps. We were Nikon versus Canon during the height of the DSLR. Now in the mirrorless world, we are Fujifilm versus Sony. I’m a full-time photographer specializing mainly in food and architecture photography, while my husband is a part-time assistant photographer.

Our differing photo needs and styles have partially dictated our camera brand loyalty. I prefer Sony for its higher megapixel count for architecture photos and also its more flexible lens selection. Meanwhile, my husband loves Fujifilm for their rangefinder design and film simulations.

One thing we can agree on is that we both have an interest in making more videos. That is why we specifically choose the Sony a7R III and Fujifilm X-H1 as our new cameras. Note that at the time, the Sony a7R III was the newest camera on the market–there wasn’t yet a Sony A7III or a Sony a7S III, both of which are arguably better cameras for video.

Camera Comparison - The Fujifilm X-H1 Versus the Sony a7R III

Fuji versus Sony

Common Features

Before we talk about differences, the Sony a7R III and Fujifilm X-H1 do have many features in common. First, both cameras have enhanced, on-par video recording capabilities. They shoot in 4K and 120 fps slow motion video, and both cameras offer in-camera image stabilization (IBIS). Built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth are available on both cameras to facilitate quick transfers to cell phones or tablets.

Physically, both cameras have dual SD card slots for more storage flexibility. There’s also focus peaking to help highlight areas that are in focus, which is especially helpful when using manual-focus lenses. Finally, there are tiltable touchscreens on both cameras. However, touchscreen capabilities are quite limited and you can’t perform full camera operation with them.

Here is the same scene, shot with both cameras for comparison.

Sony a7riii versus fujifilm x-h1 cameras

Fujifilm X-H1

Sony a7riii versus fujifilm x-h1 cameras

Sony A7rIII

Common Weaknesses

In terms of things that neither camera offer, the list isn’t terribly long. But ideally, both cameras would offer a more flexible tilt and swivel screen. Built-in GPS for geotagging photos is also missing.

Finally, both cameras come with hot-shoe mounts for attaching an external flash. However, neither camera comes with a built-in flash.

Camera Comparison - The Fujifilm X-H1 Versus the Sony a7R III

Sony a7R III

Sony a7R III Benefits

Larger Sensor, More Megapixels

The biggest difference exists in the cameras’ sensors. There’s a full-frame, 42.4-megapixel sensor on the Sony, while the Fujifilm has an APS-C 24.3-megapixel sensor. Currently, Fujifilm does not make any full-frame mirrorless cameras, although that will change when the X-T3 comes out in late 2018.

Depending on your photography style, more megapixels is a generally a good thing. Although, it does require using SD cards and hard drives with significantly more storage space for those large file sizes.

Super High-Resolution Composite (Pixel Shift)

Speaking of resolution, there’s a new feature on the Sony a7R III called Pixel Shift. In short, this increases image resolution by 4 times. You still have to shoot individual images and stitch them together in post-production using the included software. The result is a super high-res image that’s great for shooting landscapes or buildings.

forest scene with a river and bridge - Camera Comparison - The Fujifilm X-H1 Versus the Sony a7R III

A photo that was taken with Pixel Shift.

Longer Battery Life

Mirrorless cameras have long been criticized for having poor battery life. Luckily, Sony responded positively by putting a new Z-battery in the a7R III. This battery isn’t cheap, but it offers a much longer battery life than the X-H1 at 650 shots versus 310 shots.

Hyperlapse Filming Mode

One thing many Sony shooters miss from the a7R II is the PlayMemories App that added built-in features such as time-lapse shooting. However, time-lapse can still be taken on the a7R III if you use the S&Q setting.

This allows for shooting slow motion or fast (hyper-lapse). If you do the latter, this is essentially a hyper-lapse that is taken in camera. Just be sure to adjust the settings in the camera, as S&Q can be set to shoot slow motion or hyper-lapse videos.

Headphone Jack

Since recording accurate sound is a big part of video-making, it’s essential to have a headphone jack. This is present on the Sony a7R III but is oddly missing from the Fuji X-H1.

Sony a7riii versus fujifilm x-h1 cameras - Camera Comparison - The Fujifilm X-H1 Versus the Sony a7R III

Fuji left, Sony right.

Bigger Buffer for JPGs

The X-H1 is a faster camera when it comes to shutter speed and frames per second (more on that below). But the Sony has a leg up when it comes to JPG buffering, or how many more JPGs you can shoot before waiting in burst mode. It’s 82 shots on the Sony a7R III compared to 40 shots on the Fuji X-H1.

Higher ISO

Sony – The Sony a7R III has a native ISO sensitivity range of 100 to 51,200. When extended, the Sony can reach ISO 50 to 204,800 for stills, or 102,400 for video.

Fuji – Meanwhile, the X-H1 has a slightly smaller range of ISO 200 to 12,800 or an extended ISO range of 100 to 51,200 for stills or 25,600 for video.

Bigger Lens Selection

When it comes to lenses, Sony has a wider array of choices compared to Fujifilm. If you need traditional focal lengths such as the 16-35mm, 24-70mm, or 70-200mm, you’ll want to go with Sony.

Camera Comparison - The Fujifilm X-H1 Versus the Sony a7R III

Fujifilm X-H1 Benefits

Top LCD Display

The X-H1 takes on the look of a DSLR camera, departing a bit from Fujifilm’s more classic rangefinder design. Part of the DSLR look includes a top LCD display where you can easily see your camera settings. In practice, that may or may not be helpful since the pop-out LCD can also show your camera settings.

Faster JPG and RAW Shooting

Interestingly, the Fujifilm X-H1 is quite a bit faster than the Sony a7R III. The X-H1’s shutter is faster at 1/32,000th versus 1/8000th when shooting wide open in bright light. Also, the X-H1 has faster RAW and JPG shooting in burst mode (14 FPS for the Fuji as compared to 9 FPS on the Sony).

Longer Exposure

Despite being a crop sensor camera, the X-H1 is set up better for taking night photos. It has a long exposure of up to 900 seconds (15 minutes – in M and S shooting modes), compared to 30 seconds on the Sony a7R III.

Camera Comparison - The Fujifilm X-H1 Versus the Sony a7R III

Built-In Film Simulations

Fujifilm has been mastering color profiles long before digital cameras even existed. Many color profiles from film days have been added into digital cameras in the form of built-in film simulations. Six have existed until the X-H1 which saw the addition of the brand new Eterna film simulation. If you’re a fan of Fujifilm colors, this could be a big selling point.

Lower Price

Finally, the Fuji X-H1 is significantly less expensive coming in at $1,899 compared to $3,198 for the Sony a7R III.

In Conclusion

Here is a video comparison going over some of these things as well:

Both the Fujifilm X-H1 and Sony a7R III are fantastic digital photography tools that offer lots of features for those looking to up their photo or video game. Which is best for you depends largely on your photography style. What do you like to shoot, and what are the basic tools of the trade that you need to make that happen?

As a commercial architecture, food, and event photographer, I need the extra megapixels, ISO range, and lens choices offered by Sony. However, these features aren’t as critical to my husband, an editorial photographer who values the physical aesthetic and experience of shooting with a Fujifilm camera as much as the image quality.

Here are some more images of the same scene for comparison:

Sony a7riii versus fujifilm x-h1 cameras

Fujifilm X-H1

Sony a7riii versus fujifilm x-h1 cameras

Sony A7rIII

Read more from our Cameras & Equipment category

Suzi Pratt is an internationally published Seattle event and food photographer. Her photos appear regularly in Eater and Getty Images. She is also a blogger who teaches others how to run a successful photography business.

  • KirkCheated

    15 second long exposure limit for Sony? Better read the manual.

  • Joerg

    No, the X-T3 won’t be a full frame camera. You may want to have a closer look at the date of publication of the linked article 😉

  • Sorry! That’s a typo. I’ve definitely taken longer exposures on that camera.

  • KirkCheated

    Ughh…it isn’t a typo, it is incorrect information. No need to minimize it, everybody makes mistakes. Just fix it so others reading this post won’t be misinformed.

  • Matthew Willis

    The last two comparison photos of the sunset lake scene cannot be actual photos of the same scene unless you somehow got the birds to hover in the same spot while you changed cameras. If the comparisons were done with the two of you each taking the same shot at the same time, that is still not feasible as the timing and angles of view are identical. Are these both photos of another photo? Or what? In the night time city scene the cars are in different positions, so they are clearly two different photos.

  • For the night photo, we were standing side by side shooting intermittently, hand-held, so the scenes won’t match exactly.

    Sunrise photo, both cameras were on tripods set up right next to each other, shooting at the same intervals, so these two match more closely.

  • Matthew Willis

    Thanks Suzi – how did you match the perspectives, given the different sensor formats? Different focal lengths, I would imagine.

  • Yes; similar lenses, and we just eyeballed the focal length to match the scenes.

  • Matthew Willis

    Thanks Suzi. Like it seems half the enthusiast photographers out there I am going through a phase of trying to settle on a system (I have some Nikon APS gear, a Sony a6000 with a couple of lenses, and a couple of Oympus OM-Ds with a little set of lenses). I am currently selling off most of the APS and settling on the m4/3, but with a strong possibility of adding back in FF (Nikon or Sony) mainly to cover low light, which I do a bit of. These comparisons are really interesting – to my eyes and on this screen, once you get the FOV perspective lined up, there is not a huge amount of difference between these images (the Sony’s extra resolution shows up in some places, but overall…). Thanks and best wishes!

  • Completely true, Matthew. I’ve switched between 3 camera brands over the years and find that it almost always comes down to stylistic preferences more so than the camera tech specs.

  • One Photographer friend of mine has tried this Sony a7R III and the review was worth buying

  • Jack

    Which of you was the Nikon shooter. Since you shoot a lot (?) of video, why not just use a video camera to start with and do stills with the still camera? Aren’t these cameras pretty far apart in resolution and price to have a comparison?

  • GeminiConnect

    We both shot Nikon at some point. A better comparison would be between the Fujifilm X-H1 and the Sony A7III, which is actually quite close to the A7RIII.

  • Lawrence Jones

    “If you need traditional focal lengths such as the 16-35mm, 24-70mm, or 70-200mm, you’ll want to go with Sony.”
    The 10-24, 16-55, and 50-140 on the Fuji offer roughly the equivalent field of view. Did the author not know this? It is pretty basic.

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  • Kyle Wagner

    This was an odd comparison to make. These are wildly different cameras.

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