Since the launch of the X-T1 in 2014 Fujifilm have a range of cameras that appealed to both amateur and professional photographers alike. So with its 40MP APS-C sensor and up to 7 stops of IBIS is the new Fujifilm X-T5 the best in the range and should you consider upgrading?
I had an inkling that this camera would be in great demand and probably on backorder as well but thanks to the fabulous folks at Ffordes Photographic in Beauly I managed to get my hands on the Fujifilm X-T5 on the day of release and have been shooting relentlessly with it ever since, just to see if it's as good as it's cracked up to be. Photographing everything in my view from the TV screen to the L bracket off my old camera, waiting (yet not hoping) there was a flaw or a disappointment with any of the images. Except for the random subject matter that I shot with the camera every image delighted me with its quality.
Yes, I am a Fuji fan and so admittedly biased in that respect, but for the purposes of a review, it would be disrespectful to you the reader to wax lyrical about something when actually it's not worthwhile. Included in the article are a range of subject matters taken on various outings to test the camera, all unedited except for the applied film simulations so that you can see the images as they are.
Build and Handling
If you are a Fuji shooter you know exactly what to expect from this camera and it doesn't disappoint. It's slightly smaller than the X-T4, but to be honest, I never even noticed which I think is due to the more pronounced grip. Normally I'll have an L bracket attached which helps bulk the size for my hands anyway. The grip is substantial but the Smallrig grip I had on the X-T3 and X-T4 provided me with just the correct grip size for my hands, and after a few days of using the camera I did feel I needed one.
The Fujifilm X-T5 has a 40MP APS-C sensor, a lower ISO of 125, sensor-shift image stabilization, 3690k dot electronic viewfinder, and better battery life, all housed within a solidly constructed weather-sealed body. The doors are back to the same as the X-T3 in that they are hinged unlike the soft rubber of the X-T4. If you are an X-T3 shooter you would honestly think it's the same camera only supercharged as there is minimal weight and size difference between these two with the X-T5 being 18g heavier.
A 425-point autofocus system with 7 stops of in-body image stabilization means you can get the best out of any shooting conditions. The auto-focus system is fast and can be set to detect animals, birds, cars, and motorcycles as well as eye and face detection. I've been using the Fujinon 18-135mm 3.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR lens with the camera and I am noticing a much-improved autofocus speed, and I expect with the newer lenses this will be even better. So it's time to start saving again.
Gone is the fully articulating screen of the X-T4, replaced with the popular tilt and flip screen that was on the X-T3. This camera is definitely aimed at photographers more than an address to camera vloggers and videographers, but don't let that put you off considering this camera as there is a useful and inexpensive piece of kit from Ulanzi that can be used for this purpose that connects to the hot shoe mount.
The pronounced knurled dials have the same good friction as previous incarnations and the movie stills switch under the shutter speed dial has been carried over from the X-T4. I do feel the diopter dial is more pronounced, although this probably isn't the case, if it is that's not a bad thing.
For me, the main reason I upgraded from the X-T4 was the 40MP from an APS-C camera. I also shoot with a Nikon Z 7ii and I enjoy the image quality it provides so I was very interested to see what the X-T5 could do in terms of image quality considering the megapixels. I'm not comparing a full frame to a crop frame sensor with that statement, only how well can an APS-C sensor use the 40MP. The pixel shift shooting could also be very useful for some of the composite work I do. Macro and product photographers I think will benefit greatly from this in terms of image quality.
Most of the images below are jpg direct from the camera with only a film simulation applied. The town buildings and the marram grass are raw files again with only a film simulation applied. The pixel shift image of the Bronica consists of 20 images stitched together in Fuji's own Pixel Shift Combiner software which is freely available on their website. The pixel shift feature uses the camera's IBIS to move the image sensor to get a high-resolution image from a series of 20 raw files. This is more suitable for indoor or product photography rather than landscape unless you have a very calm and still day as any movement can result in soft blurry pixels. If you do use it remember to turn it back off after shooting as it stays engaged in the menu, which I discovered the next time I came to shoot with it.
The noise with a sensor of this size can be an issue so I set up a quick piece with a single light source, the led paw, some pebbles, the book, and the lamp for reflections hoping I'd covered most surfaces in this quick test. Shooting at f/8 I zeroed the exposure compensation meter for each shot and no editing has been applied to the images. I'll let you judge for yourself.
The X-T5 is also a very capable camera when it comes to filming and can produce 4K 120p, 6.2K 30p, FHD 240p 10-Bit Video. However, I'd like to focus on that solely in another article with footage examples to show what it is capable of.
What I Like
- Sensor - 40MP APS-C with sensor-shift stabilization.
- Size - Sits comfortably in my hands thanks to the larger grip. Larger hands may require an additional grip.
- Weight - This is a comfortable weight for everyday photography and longer hikes.
- Faster Focusing
- Construction - solid and weather-sealed.
- Dial Operation
- Three-way tilting LCD
What I Didn't Like
There is actually nothing that I don't like about this camera for my photography. Selfishly, the lack of a battery grip doesn't affect my photography so I can't even say that this is an issue, although it may be for some. However, should you require a battery grip there are other cameras in the range built with that purpose in mind.
I've now owned a few cameras in the XT range, the X-T1, X-T3, and X-T4, and now this and each one I have enjoyed using immensely. Fuji I feel has been building towards this camera as it contains in my opinion everything you would want from a camera in this price range. Sure it's not full frame but do you need that with a 40MP sensor, perhaps you might, and if so there are plenty of other options out there. For myself, I am very happy with what this camera brings to the table in terms of functionality, sensor size, and yes aesthetics as I love the silver retro look.
It's an easy carry size for everyday shooting yet small and light enough for longer hikes. So far I've had no issues with anything not working as it should, and yes it's still very early days but if its predecessors are anything to go by I'm quite confident moving forward with it. I've yet to get into the studio for some portraiture but that's been booked for the coming weeks so I'm looking forward to seeing how it performs there.
If you thinking about upgrading from any of its predecessors I do believe you will be pleasantly surprised. If the non-articulating screen for video selfies puts you off but the 40MP sensor is enticing, remember there are low-cost solutions out there. The Fujifilm X-T5 in my opinion feels like a supercharged X-T3 and that's not a bad thing.