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Fujifilm X-T30 Beats Sony a6400 in Autofocus Stills Tracking, but Sony A6400 Better for Video and Vice Versa

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Fujifilm X-T30 vs Sony A6400 – Part 1

Gerald Undone has often critiqued Fujifilm quite hard and never recommended to buy Fujifilm, except for the Fujiflim X-T3. He now reviewed the Fujifilm X-T30 and compares it to the Sony A6400.

Interesting to note that he gets better autofocus tracking results in stills with the Fujifilm X-T30 over the Sony a6400. But the a6400 is the better choice for video autofocus.

Down below are the key points of his comparison.

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Fujifilm X-T30 Review

  • less video features than Fujifilm X-T3
  • overheats much faster than X-T3 in video, hence shorter recording limit
  • X-T30 is a serious upgrade from X-T20
  • Mic/USB-C/HDMI ports are to close together. If you use one, you block access to the other. You don’t have this problem with Fujifilm X-T3
  • X-T30 battery life lasts 65 minutes when shooting 4K. You can 90 minutes when shooting 1080p
  • When used with external video recorder, the camera shuts down due to overheating after 31 minutes
  • to extend video-life up, turn boost mode off (it affects mainly brightness and EVF refresh rate), pull the LCD screen away from body, mount it on tripod (no hand-holding), less AF-C. He got up to 69 minutes recording this way
  • X-T3 is definitely worth the money if you shoot lots of video. But for shorter family/travel videos, the X-T30 is great

X-T30 Pros

  • Sony lenses tend to be a bit larger, hence X-T30 system is smaller
  • in video the X-T30 has higher bit rate (200 Mbps) whereas the A6400 shoots at 100 Mbps. But higher bit rate does not mean automatically better image quality

A6400 Pros

  • Sony A6400 tripod mount does not block access to battery door
  • A6400 has a better screen design (flippy selfie screen)
  • A6400 lasts longer when it comes to overheating and with high temperature setting enabled, it can last for hours
  • no recording time limits, so no external recorder required
  • true 120 fps at 1080p
  • 3.5 mic jack (X-T20 has 2.5mm mic jack)
  • Sony wins for overall video recording usability
  • battery life is similar, but Sony is a little bit better (around 10 to 15 minutes longer recording time and 50 more stills)
  • A6400 Sony’s RAW buffer is about twice at large

Autofocus in Video

  • for Video, the Sony wins by a little bit
  • X-T30 offers eye detection in video (the Sony A6400 only face detection), but the X-T30 is just a tad slower to catch up to a subject when moving in and out from the camera. The Sony manages to maintain the focus better
  • Both are great, but side by side, you can see the X-T30 autofocus drift a little
  • You can improve this on the X-T30, by increasing autofocus speed, but then it makes focus transition a bit too jumpy. The Sony has a nice balance of offering nice transitions while still locking on the face

Autofocus in Stills

  • in burst photo shooting continuous focus, the Fujifilm X-T30 beats the Sony A6400. The Fujifilm X-T30 hit a 100% hit rate in his test, whereas the Sony A6400, even with more expensive full frame glass, hit about 80%. The X-T30 consistently nails focus

NOTE: the Fujifilm X-T3 will get the same new AF algorithm in a firmware update in April. This means Tony Northrup’ eye-AF comparison between the Fujifilm X-T3 vs Sony A6400, Sony A6500, Sony A9 and Sony A7rIII will be obsolete soon and I hope he will retest it.

Noise and Image Quality

  • likely due to the lens he used, he got sharper results with the Sony A6400. He used the Sigma f/1.4 contemporary crop lens vs the Fujinon XF23mm f/2 [admin note: he uses Adobe, too. If he played with the RAW files, then Capture One Pro 12 or the new Adobe enhance detail feature would have given different results]
  • Fuji is 1 stop noisier, when equalizing the image brightness [admin note: comment about it below]

Conclusions

  • He recommends the Sony A6400 due to more flexibility: selfie screen, better battery life, better video capabilities, deeper grip etc.
  • X-T30 might be the better travel camera, since more compact

Fujifilm X-T30 vs Sony A6400 – Part 2

Also The Slanted Lens compares the Sony a6400 to the Fujifilm X-T30 (video below).

Opposite results in this case, with the Fujifilm X-T30 giving worst AF-tracking results in still (but I wonder if they didn’t make a very common error, not to turn on boost mode, which Fujifilm sadly has turned OFF by factory default).

Image Quality

  • very similar (they also corrected for exposure)
  • optimistic ISO on the Fuji
  • pulled at -3 EV the Sony a6400 has a bit more noise
  • pulled at -4 EV the digital noise is more pronounced on the Sony
  • pushed at +2 EV the Fuji X-T30 holds better. Not as blown out
  • pushed at +3 EV very similar
  • overall X-T30 seems to have a bit better dynamic range

Autofocus

  • A6400 has long buffer, X-T30 shorter buffer
  • tracking works better on Sony and tracks from further away

Video

  • Sony LOG is flatter
  • Fuji seems more neutral, whereas Sony has a yellowish look to it
  • Fuji a little sharper out of the box
  • Sony has more color noise in the shadows
  • due to only 100 Mbps, the Sony struggles to put more information into less space. Fujifilm X-T30 files look better (200 Mbps)

ISO

  • Fuji gives 1/2 stop darker images
  • at 12,800 the Sony looks better, but to be comfortable and have a nice images they would not go above ISO 1,600 on both

Ergonomics

  • X-T30 has nice retro feel
  • X-T30 is too tiny, so accidentally hit buttons
  • small grip, so harder to hold
  • A6400 feels great in the hand due to larger grip so they prefer Sony ergonomics
  • X-T30 no selfie screen

Overall

  • No clear winner

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Fujifilm X-T3 (save up to $200): BHphoto, AmazonUS, Adorama, Focuscamera
Fujifilm X-T30 (save up to $300): BHphoto, Adorama, AmazonUS, FocusCamera
Sony A6400 (pay full price): BHphoto, Adorama, AmazonUS, FocusCamera

FujiRumors Notes Regarding Fake ISO

Long before Tony Northrup made his video (embedded below) saying that ISO is completely fake, we already told you in two different articles, that ISO comparisons are kind of useless:

  • fujirumors.com –  About Fuji’s High-ISO performance (and the Myth of Fuji Cheating)
  • fujirumros.com – Debunking Fujifilm X-Trans Myths: Purple Flare, Wormy Artifacts, High ISO Cheating, Waxy Skin Tones & More

In short: I’d not say like Tony that ISO is totally fake, but that ISO is a more or less arbitrary concept (especially for brands like Canon or Nikon that are using the REI standard as opposed to the more “objective” SOS standard used by Fuji and Olympus).

A good reviewer is of course aware of these different standards, and will take them into account when comparing cameras.

So did for example admiringlight here. He compared the Sony A7II with the Fujifilm X-Pro2, and he adjusted the camera settings to bring the REI and SOS standard at the same level. The ISO noise difference was only less then half a stop in favor of the Sony FF sensor, which also had more false colors and banding than the X-Pro2. For more check out this article.

In addition to the different ISO standards, modern sensors are ISO-less (or ISO-invariant), also something we here on FujiRumors discussed long before dpreview started making their ISO-invariance tests and Tony talked about it.

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