Mirrorless cameras are an extremely interesting alternative to DSLR cameras, and mirrorless tech just keeps getting better. If you’re in the market for a new high-end or pro-grade camera and are considering mirrorless, you’ve probably run across the Fujifilm GFX 100S
and the Sony a7R I
. Both are excellent mirrorless cameras in their respective categories.
While they’re both high-end mirrorless cameras, there are plenty of differences between the two. Wondering which one is right for you? This guide can help you make your choice.
Later, once you make that choice, be sure to grab an Upsie extended camera warranty
to protect your significant investment. Your camera will travel with you and therefore is at an elevated risk for bumps and drops just by the nature of how cameras are used. Protecting yours with Upsie is the smart play.
Fujifilm GFX 100S: A Deeply Impressive Medium Format Mirrorless Camera
Fujifilm’s GFX 100S isn’t revolutionary: much of what’s here was available in the GFX 100
(though this newer model adds much better image stabilization). But still, the 100S is deeply impressive. Fujifilm has crammed a ton into a relatively small body, including a stellar medium format image sensor that produces 102 MP images and 4K video capture.
There’s an excellent combination of camera hardware and on-camera image processing. Together, these are a powerful pair that produce gorgeous, large images.
Mirrorless cameras can be much smaller than DSLRs thanks to the lack of a mirror and pentaprism mechanisms. But medium format cameras, on the other hand, are quite large. So what Fujifilm has managed to do here is impressive! The GFX 100S is an excellent medium format camera that’s quite similar in size to most comparable DSLR cameras.
This is thanks both to the mirrorless tech and considerable effort on Fujifilm’s part to shrink the size from its predecessor, the GFX 100.
Sony a7R IV: A Fourth-Gen High-End Full Frame Mirrorless Camera
Sony’s a7R IV produces gorgeous 60.2 MP images thanks to its full frame image sensor. It’s a beautiful camera that could pass as a DSLR to the untrained eye. In addition, it’s loaded to the hilt with capabilities, like a superior autofocus tracking system, 10 fps burst shooting, and an interesting Pixel Shift mode that can produce 240MP files of still scenes.
The video feature set is better than the GFX100s, but not as good as high-end DSLRs.
For its type, the a7R IV is a solid mirrorless camera— even more so if you’re already invested in the Sony ecosystem.
Format: Full Frame vs. Medium Format
For many, the purchase decision here comes down to one thing: do you want a full frame camera or a medium format one? This is far and away the biggest differentiator between these cameras.
Full frame is arguably the more common and popular. It’s the kind of camera just about any beginner or hobbyist will buy when purchasing their first serious camera. Image quality is good, but full frame image sensors are smaller compared to medium format.
On the other hand, medium format can produce stunningly gorgeous photos with a distinct look and feel thanks to the larger image sensor. You’ll often see pros using medium format in certain scenarios at least, including fashion, portraits and commercial photography. Of course, it’s also worth mentioning that medium format almost always means a lot more money. (More on that later.)
If you aren’t sure which one is right for you, you’ll want to consult some more in-depth resources
to help you decide.
The Sony a7R IV has an MSRP of $3,499, though it’s common to find it for cheaper now that the camera has been out for a few years. For a camera of this quality, you should expect to pay prices like these—even if it feels a bit steep.
The Fujifilm GFX 100S, on the other hand, has an MSRP of $5,999 – and you won’t find it much cheaper. Compared to the Sony, the Fujifilm camera is significantly more expensive, but this is normal when jumping from full frame to medium format.
The GFX 100S is actually significantly cheaper than its predecessor, the GFX 100. That older and larger camera has some advantages over the 100S, but it also retails for a whopping $9,999. Compared to that price, the 100S seems like a bargain.
Another consideration between the two cameras is whether you already have any compatible lenses. The GFX 100 features the Fujifilm G lens mount, which is compatible with a range of Fujifilm lenses and some third-party lenses. Similarly, the Sony a7R IV uses a Sony E mount, which is compatible with primarily Sony lenses.
If you’re already invested in compatible lenses from either brand, you should probably stick with that brand this time, too.
Protect Your New Mirrorless Camera with Upsie
If you’re like most photographers, your camera accompanies you to all sorts of places in search of the perfect shot. The uncomfortable truth is that damaging a camera is pretty easy to do. And repairs can be costly when not covered by a manufacturer warranty.
Learn More About Camera Protection: