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Camera System Value Proposition: Sony A7R V vs Leica SL3 vs Fujifilm GFX100 II vs Hasselblad X2D

re: Leica SL3
re: Sony A7R V

Leica SL3
Sony A7R V

Some (eg Scott Adams) would say that the idea of “fairness” is for children and idiots. I suppose it depends on what you mean by it.

What is the “fair” comparison?

Similar cost?
Arbitrary naming conventions with no specific definition eg “APO”?
Manual vs autofocus?
Design or application intentions?
Lens speed eg is f/1.2 of greater value than f/2?
Totally subjective rendering style?

Hence... the children and idiots thing.

...

Hasselblad X2D
Fujifilm GFX100 II

If the $879 Voigtlander FE 50mm f/2 APO-Lanthar can match or beat the $5095 Leica 50mm f/2 APO-Summicron-SL ASPH, then what? And what about the autofocus Sony FE 50mm f/1.2 GM and/or Sony FE 50mm f/1.4 GM, having a full 1.5 stops and 1 stop lens speed advantage and smaller and lighter too.

If the $949 Voigtlander FE 35mm f/2 APO-Lanthar can match the $5195 Leica 35mm f/2 APO-Summicron-SL ASPH, then what? And what about the Sony FE 35mm f/1.4 GM? The Voigtlander outperforms it, but the Sony 35/1.4 is a darn fine lens and autofocus and a stop faster than the Voigtlander and the Leica.

See Roy P’s comments below on the relative sharpness of the Sony/Voigtlander vs Leica APO. And the regular leica 35mm and 50mm Summicron-SL lenses are grossly inferior to the APO versions.

CLICK TO VIEW: Leica SL3 35mm and 50mm System

CLICK TO VIEW: Sony A7R V 35mm and 50mm System

CLICK TO VIEW: Fujifilm Medium Format

CLICK TO VIEW: Hasselblad X2D Medium Format

Value

Sony is by far the best value.

Did I mention Sony Pro Services and Fujifilm Professional Services Program? Leica has nothing remotely comparable in service (as of 2024-March). Lame. Although there is a one-year warranty extension for registering your Leica gear (transferrable?).

And then there is the king-of-the-hill Sony FE 12-24mm f/2.8 GM vs Leica’s cheap knockoff 14-24 (seems to be a Sigma 14-24/2.8).

Where’s the value in paying a massive price premium for a Leica SL3 that does not even achieve feature parity and has glaring omissions vs the Sony A7R V?

A 100MP Hasselblad X2D is compelling vs a Leica SL3—fantastic Hasselblad XCD lenses that cost ~half as much. A Fujifilm GFX100 II system also some standout lenses like the Fujifilm GF 55mm f/1.7 and Fujifilm GF 20-35mm f/4... at half the price of Leica APO but without the fussy naming—massively superior value.

The way it works: buy Leica, then rationalize the choice—works every time!

System cost for various camera brands as of 2024-03-16 at bhphoto.com

Reader comments

Sylvester W writes:

I agree 100% with your opinion on this topic. It is exactly as you describe in your tests.

I'm just glad that so many reviewers don't see this scale and every time a new camera appears, they scream with delight as if it were some miracle. I'm not using any brand names here. We know perfectly well what this is about. The role of each reviewer should be to show the reliable side of the product in relation to the price we have to pay, the role of the manufacturer is advertising. By being subjected to any pressure or enthusiasm in a product review, the whole thing loses logic and sense. I hope that there is still a "free press" in this field, I wish you good luck and thank you for your reliability.

DIGLLOYD: see my compare/contrast of Sony vs Leica.

Roy P writes:

Absolutely. 

In my head to head comparisons at the same f-stops between the Leica 50 f/2 APO-Summicron-SL and the Sony 50 f/1.2 GM, the two things that really stood out were (a) the Sony 50 GM is as sharp as the Leica APO-Summicron, and (b) the Sony actually has a shallower DOF than the Leica.  So the transition into out of focus is actually noticeably better with the Sony, if shallow DOF is your goal (e.g., people, subject isolation). 

OTOH, if max DOF is your goal (landscapes, cityscapes), then the Voigtlander FE 50 f/2 APO Lanthar (for Sony E mount) is as good as the Leica, perhaps even a tad superior.  So much so that when I first tested the CV 50 f/2 APO, I suspected Cosina might be cheating, pushing an f/2.8 or f/3.5 lens as an f/2, so I actually took test shots at the same ISO with the CV and another 50mm lens to verify that both lenses took the same exposure times!  (I think I had mentioned this to you a few years ago).

At any rate, a Sony A7R V + one extra Sony battery + Sony 50 f/1.2 GM + a CV 50 f/2 APO Lanthar VM for a total of about $6760 is $5,500+ less than the cost of the body of the SL3 ($6995) + BP-SCL6 battery ($170) + $5095 for the Leica 50 f/2 APO-Summicron-SL, which add up to $12,265.  That $5500 can buy a slightly used Sony A1 in 9+ condition in the B&H Photo Used department, or finance more than two thirds of a Fuji GFX 100 II ($7500).

DIGLLOYD: yep.


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