Fujifilm X-T5 Review

The Fujifilm X-T5 | Evolution First

Note:

It’s my first long and very detailed initial review on a Fujifilm X-T camera. So, you might need a (lot of) coffee now… 😉

As usual: For all those who don’t have time or don’t feel like reading all this, there’s the jump to my first impressions, pros and cons or my final words on the X-T5. And for all those who at least want to skip my general babble, it goes on here with the facts.

For those who don’t want to read this in English, I can recommend the review by Florian Renz.

Prologue

In biology, we know the term “reductive evolution”. This is a process in which characteristics regress or are lost altogether. At first glance, one might think that the Fujifilm X-T5 is such a case. Hey, the camera even shrunk physically. Somehow, especially on the Internet, the assumption persists that the X-T5 really has lost some features compared to the X-T4. Fujifilm itself has virtually brought this impression into the world with the slogan “Photography First”.

But is that really the case?

A first short look on the Fujifilm X-T5

No, that’s not the case – the X-T5 hasn’t really lost any features. But what about the rotatable display? That hasn’t been lost, but Fujifilm has replaced it by a three-way tilting LCD we already know from the X-T3 or many other cameras. This one is simply more popular with photographers in the majority.

What about the missing battery grip for the X-T5? That’s true… however, it is pretty much the only point where a “feature” is gone. And you might have to ask yourself whether it’s really a feature of the camera or a question of the accessories. Anyway, if you want one this may not be your camera.

Apart from that, the X-T5 hasn’t “lost” anything compared to the X-T4 – except for some size and weight. Fujifilm has neither touched the very smart switching between video and photo mode, nor have they taken away any other technical features from the camera.

The family tree

I can hardly believe that the X-T5 is already the fifth-generation model of the X-T series. Somehow, the introduction of the X-T1 doesn’t seem that long ago. And in fact, that introduction was only eight years ago, in 2014, but connoisseurs of the Fujifilm universe surely know that there’s another reason for that.

Screenshot from the official Fujifilm X website

The X-T4 has somehow been a kind of intermediate model – also related to the temporal product cycle. Until then, the X-T and X-Pro series ran roughly in parallel. But since the X-H1 did not have the desired success (imho not quite fair) and the X-T3, at least as a hybrid top camera, did not have the necessary features, Fujifilm probably wanted to act in between. And so, they developed the X-T4 as the actual new top model of the X series.

The X-T4 kept the processor and sensor of the X-T3 and the X-Pro3, but was equipped with a slightly better AF algorithm and especially with IBIS. And it got that display mechanism, which is not so popular with most photo-oriented users…

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The facts

After the preliminary babble, I finally come to the facts, whose evaluation and importance, however, everyone must consider for themselves. As always, I evaluate these points in the following from my own point of view…

Build and Design of the X-T5

We don’t have to talk about the build quality of Fujifilm cameras for long – it is always very good. For the X-Pro, X-T and X-H line, this is even an understatement: The devices are downright robust, weather resistant and have an extremely high-quality build. The X-T5 is no exception here!

The body

As I said earlier, the X-T4 and X-T5 would be very similar – especially in the arrangement of buttons and dials. Unlike the unfortunately otherwise too frequent change in the location of the controls between cameras and their versions, this has remained completely the same here between the fourth and fifth generation. I wish Fujifilm would be a bit more consistent here with the other cameras as well

Fujifilm X-T5 vs Fujifilm X-T4
X-T5 on the left, X-T4 on the right

In contrast, the changed display design is not only immediately noticeable, but it also affects the handling of the camera. We will go into this in detail later.

I didn’t expect to notice the physical downsizing of the X-T5 straight away – but I did. Compared side by side you also can see it quite clearly. I personally like that very much, since I prefer my devices to be compact, light and inconspicuous. A professional camera that weighs 557g is a revelation for me and my back.

Fujifilm X-T5 vs Fujifilm X-T4
Size comparison seen from above, X-T5 at bottom

By the way, the camera has not become too small for me either – and I am two metres tall with hands to match!

Visually, the reworking of the grip is hardly noticeable at first, at least when viewed from the front. Only at second glance you will notice that the shape is different. At least for me, it makes the camera feel better in my hand. I think it is the steeper grip and the sharper edge that make the difference, even if the shape looks more ergonomic at first with the X-T4.

Some people prefer the much larger handgrip of the X-H2(S), but I prefer this one. Perhaps partly because my biggest and heaviest lens is the new XF56 1.2 WR – which is still quite light at 445g.

Fujifilm X-T5 with XF56mm F1.2 R WR
X-T5 with XF56mm F1.2 R WR

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The coatings

Personally, I like my X-Pro and X-T cameras any colour – as long as it’s black. Only the X100 series I’ve had in silver in every version I’ve owned. Each time I considered buying this camera in black as well… only to end up not doing it. For whatever reason…

Anyway, like many of its predecessors, the X-T5 is again available in two colours: black and silver. Needless to say, I opted for black… 🙂

By the way, at least the black coating is a little different than on the X-T4 (and X-H2(S)) – somehow finer in structure. Some say it’s more robust, but I can’t say anything about that yet (and don’t believe it). Does it look better? Hm, maybe a little… at least to my eyes.

I can’t say anything about the silver versions, I’ve never even had a silver X-T in my hand.

The display

A lot of photographers consider the X-T5’s return to the familiar three-way tilting display a blessing and celebrate it. To be honest, I don’t have a final opinion on this yet. Yeah, I agree that for shooting, this display is better. But since I continue to use the X-T5 as a hybrid camera – alongside the X-Pro3 – I do miss the X-T4’s rotatable display sometimes a bit. Frankly, I also like the possibility to close it completely.

Fujifilm X-T5 display

The display mechanism makes a very stable and high-quality impression mechanically. I honestly can’t remember my X-T3, which I only had for a short time. But I think the mechanism was essentially the same. The LCD display itself is of course much newer and higher resolution than the one on the X-T3 back then. It’s now a 3.0-inch touch screen colour LCD monitor with a resolution of approx. 1.84 million dots. This is much better than on the X-T3, but also a bit better than the 1.62 million dots of the display on the X-T4.

One clever side aspect is worth mentioning here: As with the X100V, the eye sensor does not switch off the folded-out display when you hold the camera in front of your chest. The X-T4 is not that clever due to its rotatable display for understandable reasons… but neither is the X-Pro3 for reasons that cannot be understood!

All in all, the display is standard for today’s cameras and nothing to rave about. It is very good. Period.

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The button and wheel layout

What I like

There are two points for me here that I would like to highlight.

First, as mentioned before, thank you Fujifilm for keeping the button layout the same as with the X-T4. It’s nice that I don’t have to get used to it (again!). I’m not terribly old yet, but even for me this kind of brain jogging is getting a bit tiring. There are better ways to keep my brain young – when it comes to photography, I want to be able to operate my cameras blindly.

Secondly, the basic operating concept has remained the same. Actually, I wanted to buy an X-H2. But after holding both and trying them out for a while, I decided to go for the X-T5 for several reasons. And those reasons were not the top dials, as they probably are for most fans of the X-T series. The speed dial is nice, but honestly, I shoot in aperture priority mode about 98% of the time. I find the ISO dial rather handy, but I almost always set it to A anyway.

Fujifilm X-T5 vs Fujifilm X-T4
X-T5 on the left, X-T4 on the right

Apart from that, I like the possibility to assign the front and rear dials with custom functions. I also prefer the old AF mode selector over the new button on the X-H2(S). And I still like the smaller joystick much better. The size of the joystick on the X-H2(S) and the GFX100S gives the impression of better operability, but unfortunately this is not the case (for me). I find it much more imprecise and difficult to use than the small joystick.

In contrast to the GFX100S, on the X-H2(S) this joystick has also moved up further. So even for my rather long thumb, it has moved to a place where I don’t want it, at least with the camera at my eye.

What I like less

I still think it’s a bit unfavourable that two of the buttons are placed on the left side. In practice, however, the position of the delete button there is OK and you have enough possibilities to assign the play function to another configurable function button – as I have placed it on FN2. In this respect, this is not that important and certainly makes the camera’s right side cleaner, especially since the X-T5 has fortunately kept the D-pad.

A small but sometimes annoying point: The on/off switch is slightly moved backwards and thus harder to grab, and it’s a little stiffer than on the predecessors. Not so serious, but still a bit unnecessary…

Fujifilm X-T5 controls

Neutral, but maybe worth mentioning

One small thing I noticed immediately: all the dials feel different in operation (and noise) compared to the X-T4. The upper dials turn more easily and the click is also quieter – and a little more hollow. I appreciate this change with the exposure compensation dial, as it was very stiff on the X-T4. With the camera at my eye, it’s now easier to operate with my thumb. It has also become minimally larger in diameter.

A possible disadvantage is that it now adjusts more easily. The even better solution would have been here: Make it as smooth as it is now, but with a locking knob like the other two wheels.

The front and rear wheels are also quieter and feel somehow different, but for me rather smoother and better than before.

Last point here: the option to “double-click” (first click edit focus area, second click return to centre) on the joystick to reset the AF point to the centre is gone. However, there are several alternatives, so it’s not so bad… I just have to get used to it for a while.

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Tech and specs

Up to this point, I think everyone will be asking, why should I upgrade from the X-T4? Except maybe those who don’t like the X-T4’s display. Apart from that, there seem to be no dramatically differences, which would only correspond to a very gentle evolution. But the real story is just beginning…

The processor

The first part of this story is the processor. In contrast to the upgrade from the X-T3 to the X-T4, this time we also see a new generation of processor – the new X-Processor 5. Fujifilm claims a doubling of the processor power. A new processor in a digital camera sounds… let’s say not overly sexy. Unlike the sensor or, in former times, the film used, a processor seems so disjoint from the photography it’s actually about. That’s not entirely true either, but the point is a different one anyway.

A powerful processor in a modern digital camera is the central requirement for being able to utilize the power of the sensor and the software used. Not to mention the autofocus, which is also linked to the processor’s performance. This, in turn, has a lot to do with the process of taking pictures. All in all, this is a very good development and the X-T5 becomes lightning fast at actually everything.

Unfortunately, one small problem of the software could not yet be solved with the new processor: the time needed for processing when using the clarity function. The calculation and saving of the files still take a similar amount of time, and the viewfinder remains black.

Blackout while processing and storing files with clarity function

It’s a pity, because this is a great function – and I always use it in my Lightroom presets. It would also be great for the JPGs. Maybe the programming has to be adapted to the new processor and after one of the next firmware updates this problem will be gone. Hope dies last… 😉

To HEIF or not to HEIF?

The possibility to choose between JPG and HEIF is a good thing – the future certainly belongs to the latter. The files are significantly smaller and have a colour depth of 10 instead of only 8 bits. If only there wasn’t a “tiny” problem with the present.

Some systems/programmes still do not support the (Fujifilm) HEIF (.HIF) files – for example Adobe! I don’t know whether Fujifilm or Adobe should be blamed for this, and I don’t care. But come on, even MS Paint is supposed to be able to open these files… I hope this will be fixed asap.

By the way, there’s another interesting side aspect: the use of the clarity function does not work with the HEIF format.

Software and menu

Maybe I’m getting old, but slowly the possibilities of the software and the menu are beginning to challenge me. I have found Fujifilm’s menu navigation to be OK so far, at least better than with some other manufacturers – except Olympus. But my goodness, by now the options are getting really demanding. On the X-T5 you could now assign 15(!) FN buttons or swipe functions individually, which you can select on now ten(!) menu pages.

As the range of functions increases, one weak point becomes more and more obvious. The terminology in the menu is slowly getting so incomprehensible that I no longer understand many of the functions just from their titles. By the way, this gets even worse in the German translation. Together with the unsightly compression of the letters for terms that are too long, the menu is becoming increasingly unattractive. Fujifilm should urgently keep an eye on this and pay more attention to the UI design.

The menu has been extended by one category, namely the network/USB setting. This is convenient, since nowadays one needs these settings quite often. One point that has often annoyed me with the Fujifilm menu is finally solved with the X-T5. After calling up the menu again, you arrive at the point where you were last. Hallelujah!

Improved custom settings

One of the previously somewhat annoying points of the custom settings has finally been addressed: how to simply turn them off. Fujifilm has now created the option to switch off the custom settings – basically as an eighth option in the same menu. Until now, I had to programme one of the seven settings as the standard setting (Provia without any further adjustments) in order to achieve this. This has now been solved – fortunately.

Versatility vs simplicity

So, I don’t want to complain… that makes the X-T5 my camera chameleon at the moment. It’s changeable and adaptable until your head smokes. Sometimes, when I deliberately renounce the hustle and bustle and the admiration of technology, I just wish for an X-Pro without any buttons – similar to what Eric Bouvet said with a wink about the X-Pro3 in Camera Punk (at 25:18).

But seriously… this hybrid versatility is the strength of the X-T5… more about that at the end in my last words about the camera.

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The sensor (part I)

Obviously, the new X-Trans CMOS 5 HR sensor we already know from the X-H2 is maybe the biggest innovation. Since the update from the first to the second generation, there has been no (significant) difference in sensor resolution of the X series. The step from 26 to 40 megapixels now is quite a big one. Many people will wonder whether this is a good thing or whether Fujifilm has perhaps overshot the mark. Aren’t 40 megapixels on an APS-C sensor actually too much? Will it noticeably affect the noise performance?

Well, I’ve been wondering that a little bit, too. And to be honest, I wouldn’t have needed these 40 megapixels that badly. For me, the GFX100S would still be the right choice if I really needed a higher resolution. With this camera, you see the difference not only in the number of pixels, but also in their quality. That’s really a class of its own…

On the other hand: why make a problem where actually none is. The image quality of the new sensor is excellent, and the noise has remained at about the same level as with the X-T4, according to my impression. So, we have 40% more pixels and no worse noise performance, isn’t that great?

That “issue” with the noise

To anticipate angry comments straight away: Yes, of course you will see more noise with the new sensor when looking at the images at 100% on your screen. If you expected to be able to make 40% larger prints with the same noise behaviour at high ISO, you will be disappointed. But that was not to be expected. Even Fujifilm has not yet managed to override the laws of physics, and pure technological progress cannot completely compensate for this.

However, this comparison makes absolutely no sense (in practice). For me, it depends on how an image of the same size(!) looks on the monitor or in print. Everything else would just be pixel peeping.

By the way, how large do you print? I print up to A2 at home… and even if I needed something bigger, there’s still a lot of potential with both the X-T4 and X-T5.

By the way, even with the X-Pro2 it was no problem to print images in high quality for an exhibition 😉

So, if that’s a problem for you, the only way to go is to get a significantly bigger sensor… so GFX again. In no case this means a deterioration compared to the old sensor.

After my initial slight scepticism, I am already completely relaxed about the 40 megapixels. And not only that: according to my first impressions, the image quality has really increased a bit. Somehow the pictures look crisper… but maybe that’s just my imagination. At least no one should get worried…

The sensor (part II) – One word about “lensgate”

Let’s move on to supposed elephant in the room: the use of the “old” Fujinon lenses with the new 40-MP sensor. I think this topic causes a lot of confusion and sometimes resentment – not least because Fujifilm itself has published a list of recommended lenses for the maximum benefit from the sensor.

Recommended lenses for full resolution with the X-T5 sensor
Screenshot from the official Fujifilm X website

What does that mean now? Strictly speaking, this question is already answered with the text of the * below the list. But who reads the small print? 😉

In principle, this is nothing more than a list of lenses that really support the full resolution at open aperture and from edge to edge. That the other lenses also benefit from the 40 megapixels… is then no longer read. The problem is already in the world, and some people are thinking that the old lenses are not good enough for the new sensor and that new ones are needed. The fact that some very popular lenses, such as the XF10-24 WR, the (old) XF56mm F1.2 or the XF16mm F1.4, are also missing on the list doesn’t make things any easier.

My opinion on this: Much ado about nothing!

Even though I think that Fujifilm has not done itself a great favour by publishing this list – it doesn’t really matter. Of course, the other lenses are not worse now and will also lead to better results on the new sensor. It’s just that they won’t be able to transmit the resolution at open apertures and at the outer edge – just as many lenses from other manufacturers with the latest sensors won’t. They just don’t publish such a list…

Nevertheless, for sure some pixel peepers will complain about this in 100% views on the computer and get upset about it on the net. That’s life… stay relaxed and continue to enjoy all available lenses. I own quite a few Fujinon lenses outside of this list, including the ones mentioned above, and don’t see any problems with them. Even the underrated XF18mm F2 still works fine with the X-T5, of course. Its optical weaknesses (often completely unimportant in real-world use) compared to the XF18mm F1.4 simply remain, nothing more.

If this is really(!) crucial for your work, just use the right lens for the job. This has always been the way, with Fujifilm and elsewhere.

The fact that I recently have updated some of my lenses (e.g. XF23 1.4, XF33 1.4 and XF56 1.2) has nothing to do with the new sensor. I would have done that even without the new sensor in the X-T5 for some other reasons.

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The autofocus (part I)

The Internet is a wonderful “place” that gives us almost unlimited opportunities for information and creativity. However, as we all know, it is sometimes also a strange place where anonymous or at least impersonal and thus very protected criticism is very popular. This gets serious and bad when it paves the way for bullying and hatred. Far less serious, but very popular, however, is also the badmouthing of things and products.

In the camera sector, we know all about this from the tiring discussions about sensor size. The differences that exist are often exaggerated to the maximum or made into an almost religious issue. Since AF systems have become more complex and more algorithm based, I feel that the focus has shifted to AF.

The Problem discussed

Updated 23-01-02:

The current thesis on many pages/channels on the web is: Fujifilm’s AF-C on the X-T5 (and X-H2) works poorly in connection with face or eye detection.

Sometimes obscure tests are shown as proof. In other cases, however, series of pictures of moving objects are presented that seem quite elaborate at first glance. Apparently, you can see there how the AF-C seems to stumble with face detection on the new Fujifilm cameras. Often the systems from Canon and especially Sony are used as comparison, which – admittedly – seem to be very good at this.

I remain rather sceptical here for the time being. I was not there and have not tried it out in exactly this way. However, the very fact that the reviewer, even according to his own statement, had not switched on the focus priority with AF-C makes this test at least questionable. The configuration of modern AF systems is not exactly under-complex these days, particularly when it comes to the fine details that can make all the difference.

So, what is the truth of the criticism?

The autofocus (part II)

To be honest: I can’t say for sure. Especially not according to scientifically or procedurally correct tests or standards. I don’t have a new Sony A or Canon R, have never worked with them and can’t compare. That said, of course, the critics in their videos can be completely right, at least for the situations and examples shown. Perhaps the X-T5 is no match for the best competition on the market here. But the decisive question is and remains: What does that mean for me?

For sure, I can only answer this question from MY point of view, MY practical use and MY needs! Yours can differ significantly from this.

At the moment, I can’t confirm this very faulty-looking behaviour of the face tracking with AF-C on the X-T5. At least the first series with someone coming towards me worked fine.

One reason to update

For my needs and way of working, the X-T5’s autofocus ist great. I’ve never had a real problem with the AF-S of Fujifilm cameras since the generation of the X-Pro2 / X100F – and I actually almost always used only this mode. I don’t need ultra-fast continuous shooting for model shoots – simply because I don’t do any and I’m not interested in that at all.

To my surprise, however, I recently encountered the limits of the AF(-C) on the X-T4 and especially the X-Pro3 during a project in Greece. It certainly wasn’t a showstopper and of course I was still able to complete the project. But in fact, even for documentary work, the sense of a good AF-C including face detection has become somehow conscious to me for the first time.

This is very helpful, when people also move quite fast and jerky at work and you cannot just say “stop”. With a chainsaw in front of your face, you don’t want to have to pay too much attention to commands from the stupid photographer… 😉

Made with the X-T4 for sure…

I had my difficulties getting the pictures I wanted and sometimes missed the shot as well. It’s just a fact that the AF-C with face tracking on the X-T4 just doesn’t really work very well – not to mention the X-Pro3. As I said, so far I’ve been fine without it… but when it does work, you’re happy.

To put it bluntly: with the X-T5 this all works sooooo much better, no comparison. In this area it is a real game changer.

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The IBIS

According to Fujifilm, the IBIS has been further improved and is now said to account for an advantage of 7 f-stops. I think it’s strange how the manufacturers come up with this figure… but they all refer to the CIPA standard. At least in my mind, 7 f-stops would mean that with a 35mm lens, for example, I can still get sharp pictures with 2sec(!) instead of 1/60sec exposure time. No way! That’s definitely not the way to understand it… but how else? This remains a mystery to me…

Freehand shot with 2 sec. exposure time

No, seriously, I even looked at this CIPA standard to understand how this is measured. What can I say? Measurement protocols and formulas are one thing, but reality is somehow another. In reality, 7 f-stops according to the CIPA standard does not mean what one could understand by an advantage of 7 f-stops…

Nevertheless, the IBIS is really very good and even better than in the first two generations. In practice, I would still use 3 to in some situations maybe 5 f-stops as a value. I find the reliability more noticeable… but without having tested it. I have neither the desire nor the time for such comparisons…

By the way, I hope so much that the X-Pro4 will also finally get IBIS.

Shutter type and speed

Actually, it’s never been an aspect or a category in my reviews… except, of course, for the leaf shutter of the X100 series. Here, however, there is at least one remarkable development to announce. The shortest shutter speed of the X-T5’s electronic shutter is 1/180000sec! It may sound exaggerated at first, but that certainly replaces the ND filter here and there at open aperture.

The X-T5’s mechanical shutter is very quiet, as with the X-T4. And the durability is now stated by Fujifilm at 500000 releases. At least I don’t think I’ll ever get there…

The EVF

As I understand, the EVF is the same as in the X-T4 – at least that’s what the technical specs suggest. It is still an OLED colour viewfinder with 3.69 million dots. Whether it’s a newer version despite the same specs, I don’t know – but I suspect not. It’s a pity that the higher resolution EVF of the X-H2(S) didn’t make its way in here.

It is worth mentioning that more settings for the EVF boost have been added. You can now select a total of four boost settings – whereby I mainly choose between low light priority and 100P frame rate setting, depending on the situation.

Another good news: Apparently, the basic optical redesign of the viewfinder system was adopted from its sisters of the X-H2 line. The eye point moved only one millimetre to now 24mm, but the magnification increased significantly from 0.75x to 0.8x. In addition, the dioptre adjustment was extended to a range of -5 to +3.

What is really decisive, however, is the clear improvement in optical quality. The image is clearer, you don’t have to look in so exactly in the centre to see the viewfinder displays also quite sharply and without distortions. Well done!

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Video

This is an area that I will address in detail in a separate post when the time comes. Up to now, with all cameras I have always written I have no idea and don’t use the video function. This is now changing more and more – but I’m still not experienced enough to say anything substantial about it.

But one thing should be clear: The X-T5 can of course do video, and at a very high level. You’ll have to find out for yourself whether this is enough for your needs or take a look at other reviews that can describe the subject better than I can.

Film simulations

Here we come to a very important point for me. At the same time, this has become a somewhat annoying issue in recent years, but more on that shortly.

I love Fujifilm’s film simulations and use them a lot for my images – even though I usually edit them in Lightroom from the raw files. These film simulations are really unique in the market and if you only want to use the JPGs with them, hey, you really get insane quality and colouring with them. That company is not called Fujifilm without reason. 😉

The X-T5 does not come with a new film simulation, but at least all 19 currently possible simulations (with variants) are on board. And that brings me to my point of criticism. Where are the newer film simulations for at least the current cameras, e.g. the X100V and the X-Pro3?

I shoot the X-T5 parallel with the other cameras and have assigned all seven custom settings with personalised film simulations. Unfortunately, one of my settings is based on Bleach Bypass, another on Nostalgic Neg. And with that, both the X100V and the X-Pro3 would be out of the running for a shooting – at least as far as the JPGs and the viewfinder view are concerned. What a pity! Fortunately, there is a way to get around this disadvantage with a hack in Lightroom, at least for the raw files.

For non-printed documentary work, I sometimes really love Bleach Bypass

What about Kaizen?

Where is the Kaizen? I can understand that Fujifilm might not want to transfer all currently possible settings and algorithms to slightly older cameras. After all, they also want to sell new cameras. But the film simulations should already – as far as always technically possible – be added. Especially when, as with the X100 and X-Pro series, there are no more up-to-date cameras yet. Come on Fujifilm, pull yourselves together!

It would be a great pity if Fujifilm lost its Kaizen mojo completely…

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Storage

Fortunately, unlike the X-H2(S), the X-T5 has retained the two SD card slots as storage solution. I can understand Fujifilm’s decision towards a CFexpress card slot on the X-H series (faster frame rate and advantages in video), but I don’t need it.

Instead, I have a lot of advantages on the plus side. SD cards are much cheaper, I already own several of them and – most importantly – I don’t need an external card reader because Apple has finally integrated an SD slot into its Macbooks again.

One last word about the raw files. Until now, I had always set the X cameras to “uncompressed” – not because of a possibly better quality (which is not the case), but because of the accompanying preview of the files on the computer. With the GFX100S and also the X-T5 I have changed this and now use the “lossless” option. The uncompressed files are simply too large and take up too much unnecessary storage space to be compensated for by the small disadvantage of the missing preview.

Battery life

Good news.

The already stronger battery introduced with the X-T4 is now even better. Well, not the battery itself of course, that has remained the same. According to Fujifilm, the new processor in the X-T5 is so energy-efficient that we can take about 20% more pictures with it. That is of course quite a statement: stronger processor, less consumption.

Personally, I’ve never had much of a problem with battery performance on Fujifilm cameras – I’ve simply had enough batteries with me. In fact, since the X-T4, I rarely needed a second battery in a day… and now that’s even better. Great!

Fujifilm will probably never again change the lack of a charger – and I still won’t stop complaining about it. That’s an absolute no-no!

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First impression on the X-T5

I have written a lot and in so much detail up to this point that I will try to be very brief. Fortunately, the X-T5 also allows this.

Very briefly: The X-T5 is a fantastic camera, especially for photographers with very different or often changing needs. It is small, handy and light, but at the same time really powerful. The processor and sensor are up to date, so it is very fast and delivers very high-quality images. Furthermore, the X-T5 is very individually configurable and, from my point of view, its (classic) operating concept is outstanding.

It is the most mature and logical X-T camera to date, which cleverly combines the genes of the series with technical innovations. In doing so, it does not bring any new, revolutionary features, but improves and reworks many things, both small and large. This might explain the subtitle of this post about the X-T5 more clearly: Evolution First!

Fujifilm X-T5 Review

By which I do not mean to express disappointment, quite the opposite. An already very good camera has become substantially better!

Who is this camera for?

The X-T5 is for photographers who want an extremely versatile and fast camera with classic controls that is also very portable and very ergonomic to use. At the same time, it is by far “hybrid enough” to also be able to produce videos at a very, very high technical level.

Who is this camera not for?

The X-T5 is rather less suitable for people whose absolute focus is on very dedicated, professional videography. Here the X-H2(S) is certainly the better choice, not only because of its rotatable display, but also because of other features (e.g. battery grip, intern ProRes output, fan cooler as an accessory) and better connections (e.g. large HDMI port, headphone jack).

Photographers whose focus is on action, sports or wildlife should also better go for the X-H2S. For these use cases, the X-H2S is perhaps not only the best camera in the Fujifilm system at the moment, but maybe even beyond.

What you may want to consider

There is one point I would like to mention here, even though it obviously did not play the decisive role for me. In some respects, the X-H2 is the better camera. And it doesn’t cost that much more! So, if you don’t see the advantages in the X-T5 as I do (size, weight, control concept, display, SD cards)… you should at least consider whether you would be better off with the X-H2.

Just saying… 😉

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Pros and Cons

For the very impatient and as a really concise summary of the strengths and weaknesses of the X-T5 from my personal point of view (graded from ++ to –).

What I like

  • Improved autofocus (++)
  • Size and weight (++)
  • Very good ergonomics and controls (++)
  • Speed and versatility (++)
  • New sensor and processor (++)
  • Two SD card slots (+)
  • Update of optical elements in viewfinder (+)
  • Many improvements in small details
  • Three-way tilting display

What I don’t like

  • Complex menu navigation with unclear terminology (-)
  • With clarity function still too slow in processing and saving (-)
  • The on/off switch is a bit too stiff und not grippy enough
  • Honestly, nothing else… 😉

Final words

The very compact X-T5 is a wolf in a sheep’s coat. Its performance and internals are far more in line with the X-H2 than with the X-T4. That’s a very good thing…

Is the X-T5 worth the upgrade over the X-T4? I think so, but I don’t feel the difference is as huge as some reviewers on the web suggest.

Is the X-T5 also the better camera than my beloved X-Pro3? Technically, absolutely, no question about it. But is it so much better that I would enjoy shooting more with the X-T5? No, it is not. I still love the style, handling and feel of the X-Pro3 more than I admire the technical superiority of the X-T5. But I’ll be honest – it’s a lot closer than it used to be.

For some tasks, especially when you need to go fast, the autofocus makes the difference or the IBIS becomes essential – there is really no way around the X-T5, even for me. For everything else, my love remains with the X-Pro3… and of course the already unrivalled X100V.

What does that mean now? Fujifilm, I want an X-Pro4 that is technically a real sister of the X-T5 inside. Just like the sibling pair X-Pro3 and X-T3 at the time. I want the same AF, the same sensor and processor, I want IBIS, all film simulations and, if possible, the same battery. The rest of the X-Pro4 can stay the same as on the X-Pro3. Well, OK, you can forget about the small rear display, but otherwise… do the Camera Punk again. 😉

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There is always light somewhere – go out and shoot!

23 Comments

  • Thanks, Peter for an excellent and practical review of the X-T5. Some reviews over-emphasise the nose issues and pixel peep to a level a real-world photographer will not.
    I am very much leaning towards an upgrade for my wedding and portrait work from the X-T3. I also have the T1, and T2 and they are used at weddings as well with excellent results.
    I must visit the dealers when they have stock.

  • Hi Anthony,

    thanks for reading and for your kind comment! Yes, I totally agree, the noise issue is really a non-issue. The step up from the X-T3 is quite noticeable in my opinion. The difference is pretty huge – in contrast to the X-T4, where I think it’s a bit overstated.

    Greetings to the beautiful island 😉
    Peter

  • A practical view of the lates XT avatar, avoiding the drum banging by folks who use special auto focus features. They’re like a hand-shy dog with a bone. I wonder how much they just shot, in series, without checking, expecting the machine to do the work.

    Much like Peter, I’ve not needed that sort of focusing so never used it. But there are tons of equally elegant feature in these cameras for shooters to count on. All’s fair.

    Not sure I have any use for 40MP, let alone 160. Not sure who does, really. I’m charmed by it, it is cool, but so much more data than I need. Emulations to create a “look”? Nope.

    But for me that is not quite the issue.

    That Fuji makes so many different cameras with so many different gizmos is problematic from a certain perspective.. Maybe it is about juggling for price point: cars are marketed with that in mind. The challenge with that model is that we cannot order cameras with the exact features we want. Lenses are satisfying that way.

  • Thank you, Michael, for stopping by and for your detailed comment. I share some of your thoughts, including those on resolution. With regard to today’s variety of cameras, it’s not so easy – it’s more of a “first world problem”. Strictly speaking, we shouldn’t worry too much about it – which I do too often. Basically, it doesn’t matter whether you use an X-H2 or an X-T5 or an X-S10 from Fujifilm – all very good cameras with which you can take brilliant pictures. I should also think more about the ubiquitous search for optimisation these days… 🙂

    Cheers,
    Peter

  • Hi Peter,
    This is a nice review!
    Finally a real world review without the tech blablablabla…
    I use this camera now for a month, and are very happy with it.
    It’s great photo taking machine, but for me the Xpro3 is the camera with a soul, combined with the 35mm 1,4 and the 18mm 1,4 it’s the ultimate camera set up.
    I do all of my commercial work with the XT5 and for video with the XH-2, but my XPRO3 is always on my site.
    Keep up the good work, and keep writing this kind of reviews!
    Kind regards,
    Martien

  • Hi Martien,

    thanks for your comment! I can only agree with your statement about the X-Pro3. Because of this camera, I keep the XF35 F1.4 and the XF18 F2… that’s my “combination of the heart”. The new XF18 F1.4 (what a fantastic lens!) and the XF33, which I have now bought together with the X-T5, won’t change that.

    Cheers,
    Peter

  • […] The lack of a linear motor (why, actually?) doesn’t make the overall impression any better. The AF is not very loud and not as clattering as with the first X lenses, but it is still audible. It’s not all that bad and the AF isn’t terribly slow either, but I had honestly expected more. And what has been said here already refers to the use in combination with the brand new Fujifilm X-T5. […]

  • I just received the XT5 so can’t comment on all the features, but I will comment on the body, having come from the XH1 used for landscape photos. I went with the XT5 for the tilt screen, and the focus mode lever. My attitude is that function shoud require as few manipulations as possible to execute and menu diving should be avoided.
    My initial impressions are:
    The texture on body is finer than the XH1, making it a bit more slippery in the hand.
    The grip is a 1/2 an inch shallower than the grip on the XH1 and its take-off is about 30 degrees away from perpendicular, meaning you just can’t hook your fingers to hold it, you have to GRIP it, especially of you have a long-ish zoom. And while shooting, most of the weight has to be on the left hand, keeping the right free to adjust controls while composing. I await an L-bracket grip extender to improve this situation.
    The back dial would control exposure compensation on XH1, but on the XT5 I have to use the top deck dial, which means adjusting the grip instead of just moving the thumb. The back dial on the XH1 could be given two functions and the monitor indicated which funciton was active (by clicking the wheel), but neither of these is on the XT5.
    I hope the body is as durable as the XH1 (my XH1 was toppled by the wind when sitting on a tripod, and crashed onto a rocky shore – only a single scratch resulted and has been working fine since).
    All fujis for years have the same flaw: despite the ISO dial being on the left and the Shutter dial on the right, the monitor displays these data in reverse on the screen: ISO on the right and the SS on the left.
    The menu location for AE/AF lock mode on page 2 while function settings for these buttons is on page 1. These and other topics and settings should have been better grouped.
    And less ambiguous terms should have been used: Focus Mode should be called focus box or area, and Focus Area should be called focus location.
    I know i’m beig picky but my OCD may be kicking in. 🙂

  • Hi Greg,

    thanks for stopping by and for your detailed comment. Looking at it, I wonder why you didn’t go for the X-H2. No offence intended, just an honest interest.

    Cheers,
    Peter

  • This review is the most balanced and practical look at the XT5 that I have read to date. I have been using it since November and really love everything compared to my XT3 with a few minor exceptions. I would have preferred the metering mode dial instead of the video/photo switch. I never shoot video so it’s now useless to me. I also don’t like the new custom settings menu which includes nearly the entire menu! But I have adjusted fairly easily.

  • I was heart broken when the XH2 was announced with a flippy screen 🙁
    I went with the XT5 for the tilt screen, and the focus mode lever, but mostly the tilt screen. A flippy screen is not safely compatible with an L bracket. And I didn’t see myself manipulating a flippy screen while balancing on a rock in the middle of stream or keeping the screen undamaged while hanging over the edge of a cliff to compose a shot. 🙂

  • Hi Greg,

    Ah, OK, so it’s the display more than anything else. As I wrote in the post, I could have lived with either solution.

    Peter

  • Hello Michael,

    thank you for your kind comment. Interesting, I couldn’t remember that the X-T3 didn’t have that switch for video mode. And regarding the (custom) menu, that’s exactly what I wrote… it’s getting a bit confusing… 😉

    Cheers,
    Peter

  • Hi Peter, I guess I could have lived with either as well if: I was not a user of L brackets with which flip screens are not compatible, or did not take pictures in precarious locations where manipulating an object protruding to the side risks either damage to that object or distraction from my already unsteady footing, or if my eye sight made me more dependent on a larger reviewing screen.

  • About the grip: “just can’t hook your fingers to hold it, you have to GRIP it, especially of you have a long-ish zoom. And while shooting, most of the weight has to be on the left hand”.

    For we geezers, we hold the weight of the camera in the left hand anyhow, allowing a light touch for he shutter button. The camera rests on the heel of the left hand with focus/zoom managed by thumb and middle finger.

    As an instructor I have noticed how common it is for students to bear the weight of the camera in the right hand, torquing the weight to make a camera horizontal and hanging the weight in a vertical position. That isa busy right hand that needs to mange shutter and controls. The left hand does very little unless it is needed for manual focus or zoom with the left, palm toward subject, adjusting with thumb and index finger. When I look at that it seems really awkward, jamming your elbow into your chest.

    While it may be a style, or lack of training, or a natural accommodation of the “grip” now integrated into the camera, I hesitate to instruct students to go “old school.” To me it makes sense to take the weight on the left hand, freeing the right hand, not bearing weight, to handle shutter and other controls. Also, heavy fast lenses effect the right hand much less.

    Just sayin”…

  • The left hand is ideally suited for adjusting the f-stop and focus manually. Not all lenses have their respective dials within reach of the first two digits while camera rests in that palm, nor does everyone have the required flexibility of those two digits. And since the two cameras (H and X) have different body designs (grip and shutter release), the roles of the two hands need to be different as well. That I find one less comfortable than the other, is a fact that transcends any teaching. Just sayin’.

  • Also, the reason I cite instruction is not in some absolute sense of truth but to suggest a much broader view of camera usage , that experiencing of hundreds of shooters, than any one idiosyncratic method. I’m a pro of 45 years and have learned to avoid such thinking as much as possible

  • Hi Nigel,

    Thank you very much for your nice comment. Glad you were able to do something with it.

    Cheers,
    Peter

  • Peter,
    Very well written and the most descriptive article I’ve read on the X-T5. I too am a non-professional but passionate about photography.

    Thank You

  • Hi George,

    Thanks for reading and for your nice comment, glad to hear it!

    Cheers,
    Peter

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