I finally upgraded to the Fujifilm X-T5 after getting my hands on one through Fujifilm’s loan programme. Everything seemed right about this camera – improved resolution, in-body image stabilisation and a few tweaks in line with my preferences, all wrapped in a stylish body. Upgrading means this now tops my list of travel photography gear.
The Fujifilm X-T5 isn’t Fujifilm’s flagship camera, but it’s a big hitter when you consider what you get in a tiny, lightweight body at a decent price point. The X-T5 is good value for money, especially compared to Sony and Canon’s high-end cameras. And Fujifilm has rolled back the size and weight of the X-T5, which I also welcome. So, how does it perform as a travel photographer’s camera?
Fujifilm X-T5 Review
Within the first couple of weeks of getting my hands on the X-T5, I’d taken it to Lincoln, Trentham Monkey Forest, Brussels, Roupell Street and Portobello Road and given it a good run out to put it through its paces, and below are my thoughts and feelings about the camera, plus a few technical bits for you kit pests out there.
What I love
+ Small & light
+ Great design
+ Impressive In-Body Image Stabilisation
+ 3-Way tilt screen
+ Super fast shutter speed
What I don’t love
– Q button & Stills to Movie dial locations
– Huge files
– Photometry (metering) linked to AF detection
Fujifilm X-T5 Review First Impressions & Notes
First impressions are nothing less than I would expect from Fujifilm. Having been a Fuji user for a long time and fluent with the Fuji X-T2, the X-T5 felt at home in my hands. Despite some differences between the X-T2 and the X-T5, I could turn the camera on and get on shooting without any faff. That’s one of the things I love about Fuji – they are generally no-nonsense.
Interestingly, Fujifilm has also stopped rolling out stand-alone battery chargers with the X-T5. Instead, you charge the camera via a USB-C cable. I suppose this bit depends on how you feel about not having a charger, but for me, it’s helpful because it means I require less equipment to keep the camera functioning. My other devices are USB-C, and I can plug the cable into the camera and charge between shoots from a plug socket, battery pack or even in the campervan.
Fujifilm X-T5 Build
The X-T5 has 56 weather-sealed points to keep dust and moisture out and can operate in temperatures as low as -10°C, meaning it can go most places with you. The camera also retains the classic look and feel of the X Series, with its top dials. This feature makes you instantly cool, of course. It’s also a feature I love about Fujifilm – their styling is somewhat iconic.
One of the factors that prevented me from upgrading to the X-T4 was the fully articulating screen. So, Fujifilm has made a good move with the X-T5 by removing it and replacing it with a 3-way tilting screen. Fuji claims the X-T5 to be a ‘photography-first’, which is music to my ears. I’ve never got on with the fully articulating screen on my work Canon R5. It requires more effort to get out, put away and use and is more of a hindrance than a help when shooting. I’m not a vlogger or videographer, or rarely in front of the camera. I’m a photographer, and I prefer the simplicity of a 3-way tilting screen. So, well done, Fujifilm.
However, screen protection concerns me, given I’ve smashed a screen before, and the 3-way tilting screen is constantly exposed. To solve this, I bought a screen protector, just like on my mobile phone, which has done a great job protecting the screen.
They’ve also rolled back the size and weight from the X-T4, knocking a whopping 50 grams off. Ha! It doesn’t sound much, and it isn’t, but any weight removed can only be a good thing for a travel photographer. This is one of the best factors for me. Fuji put the fun into shooting because they are so small and light, yet provide high performance and quality results. I take my camera almost everywhere with me, and not once has the weight been an issue, unlike my work full frame cameras, mirrorless or DSLR.
But it’s not all good news, of course. Fuji has made some mistakes with the body, which I’m not a massive fan of, which is buttonology. They have placed the Q (Quick) button right by the thumb rest, which is sometimes annoying. It’s easily pressed, which brings up the Quick menu. It’s easily remedied by half-pressing the shutter release to get rid of it, but it’s annoying nonetheless. This change came on the X-T4, and Fuji hasn’t seen the sense of changing it back to how it was on the X-T3 and X-T2.
I can’t be the only person who isn’t keen on its positioning. Thankfully, you can change the Q button to another and disable the inconveniently located one. Then there’s the Stills / Movie dial, which I’ve knocked once or twice and flicked the camera to video. A minor but annoying point nonetheless. I would prefer a lock on it, like the top dials, which have a button to lock or release the dial.
Fujifilm X-T5 Performance
There are no complaints about the Fujifilm X-T5’s performance. The X-T5 performs well; there’s no doubt about that, and it performs how I would expect it to – better than any previous model. The higher-resolution sensor is excellent. It keeps up with market trends and offers generous enough resolution for ample cropping. The sensor also kicks out classic Fuji colours, which these cameras have become renowned for. And even at high ISOs, it provides useable results.
Fujifilm says, “The high-resolution 40.2MP X-Trans CMOS 5 HR sensor has an enhanced image-processing algorithm that boosts resolution without compromising the signal-to-noise ratio, delivering astonishing image quality.” Does it? Who knows, but it’s a good sensor. It’s also a BSI sensor, which stands for Back Side Illuminated sensor. Amazing stuff.
Having said that, I have one small problem with the sensor: the file sizes. They are huge! An average raw file is 80-100MB, which I don’t like. Thankfully, the X-T5 offers three levels of raw files – uncompressed, lossless compressed and compressed. Is there a difference between the files? Not one that you will notice other than the size. Thankfully, the compressed versions offer all the flexibility of editing an uncompressed raw file, such as adjusting the white balance, but the beauty of a smaller file size.
Of more interest to me – the Fuji X-T5 will allow you to shoot up to 180,000th of a second using the electronic shutter. Why is that important? Because, if you’re anything like me who shoots almost exclusively wide open, it allows you to shoot wide open on fast lenses, like the Sigma 56mm, in really bright conditions without the need for a neutral density filter.
Eye Detection and Autofocus Tracking
Let’s talk autofocus. The X Series has never been known for its autofocus. It’s never been bad, maybe just not as good as the likes of Sony’s. Standard AF has always been solid, but the tracking has never been so great. However, The Fujifilm X-T5’s autofocus is better than any previous X-T model. And let’s face it – it’s possible to shoot great pictures on older cameras with less capable autofocus, but decent AF makes things a bit easier.
There are many things to consider with eye-tracking autofocus and your need for it. The lens has to have decent autofocus, too. Then there’s the aperture and depth of field to think about, and then there’s the speed at which your subject is moving, plus its direction. A subject travelling from left to right doesn’t require the autofocus to refocus like it does when travelling towards you. Do you want it to track moving subjects or pick up an eye on a static subject, for example?
So, is the Fujifilm X-T5 eye-tracking autofocus good? Yes, it appears it is. Consider the picture of the pigeon below, taken in Brussels. Pigeon heads move when they walk, a bit like a chicken. The photo was also taken at the lens’s widest possible aperture of f/1.4, and it was also taken at relatively close proximity. As you may know, the factors that affect depth of field are focal length, distance to subject and aperture. In this case, the depth of field is narrow, yet the Fuji X-T5 did a great job focusing on the pigeon’s eye.
And here are some macaque monkeys playing around at Trentham Monkey Forest. The Fuji X-T5’s autofocus did a great job of capturing them playing around. Not every shot was sharp, but most were, and the camera provided more than enough useable results. And it’s done an excellent job with my cats. It captures the eyes perfectly every time.
I’ve noticed that eye-tracking only works near where your autofocus point is. It won’t focus when single-point autofocus is selected and the subject is too far away from the AF point. The smaller the single point, the closer the proximity needs to be, too. On that note – I like how you can change the size of the AF point. And interestingly, the camera disregards what it can’t recognise, too. That means it won’t focus on another animal’s eye if it’s set to birds and can’t see birds, which is what it should do. I always thought these things were a bit of a gimmick, but it appears they aren’t!
I have discovered one thing I don’t like about the X-T5 eye detection and AF tracking. When eye, face or subject tracking is on, photometry (metering) can’t be changed. So, you can’t change it from matrix to spot, for example. It’s not been a problem most of the time, but I noticed the exposure changed rapidly when the lighting on the subject changed. Given the lighting, I assume the photometry set in a detection setting is spot. It’s a problem I have only seen once in very contrasty light, but a problem nonetheless, and I can’t understand why it exists. Why can’t the photometry be changed in these detection modes, Fujifilm?
In-Body Image Stabilisation (IBIS) is a game changer for me. Many prime lenses I use lack any form of stabilisation, so the IBIS is a great help, especially in low light. To put this into perspective, I can now handhold for half a second on the 35mm prime on a static subject.
Why is that useful? Because it enables me to shoot at far lower ISOs. As a general rule of thumb, shooting at the same shutter speed as the focal length helps reduce camera shake. So, in the best-case scenario on a 35mm lens, I can save four stops in ISO (assuming I start on 1/30 sec). For example, that could be the difference between shooting at 12800 ISO or 800 ISO. A significant difference, indeed.
Fujifilm X-T5 Specifications
Below are the basic specifications for the X-T5 in a handy table, plus a few other things that might interest you. Head to Fujifilm for the full spec breakdown.
- Dual UHS-II compatibility SD card slots
- HEIF image file format
- 19 film simulation modes
- 160MP Pixel Shift Multi-Shot
- F-Log2 video support
|Lens Mount||Fujifilm X Mount|
|Image Sensor||23.5mm x 15.7mm (APS-C) X-Trans CMOS 5 HR with a primary colour filter|
|Sensor Pixels||40.2 million|
|Image Processor||X-Processor 5|
|ISO Sensitivity||125 – 12800, extendable to 51200|
|Image stabiliser||7 stops, image sensor shift mechanism with 5-axis|
|Shutter Type||Focal Plane, mechanical and electronic|
|Shutter Speed||30 sec – 1/8000 sec (mechanical)|
30 sec – 1/180000 (electronic)
|Frames Per Second||Up to 20|
|Weight||Approx. 557g with battery and memory card|
|Touch Screen||Yes, Shooting, AF, Focus Area etc.|
|Viewfinder||Electronic, approx. 3.69 million dots|
|Monitor||3-inch 3-way tilting, approx. 1.84 million dots|
|Wireless||Yes, via the app|
|Battery life||Up to 740 frames in economy mode|
|Weather sealing||Yes, 56 points|
|What’s in the box?||Li-ion battery NP-W235|
AC power adapter AC-5VJ
Hot shoe cover
Sync terminal cover
The Fujifilm X-T5 is a great camera; there’s no doubt about that. It’s also a reasonable price for a camera that competes with other manufacturers’ high-end cameras at over twice the price. It’s also small and light, making it a great companion for any serious traveller or travel photographer. I’m glad I took the leap and upgraded. The extra features, such as the higher resolution sensor and in-body image stabilisation, offer a new level of flexibility that has already proven useful. If you’re looking to upgrade your camera and want high-end specs packed into a small body at a reasonable price that looks great, this camera might be the one for you.
Is it worth upgrading to the Fujifilm X-T5?
This would depend on your current camera model and what you require from an upgrade. The in-body image stabilisation, higher resolution sensor and size and weight are the most significant selling points of the Fujifilm X-T5, making it the perfect camera for travel photography.
If your body doesn’t have image stabilisation or you’re looking for a more user-friendly camera, the X-T5 might be for you.
Is the Fujifilm X-T5 a good camera?
Yes, the Fujifilm X-T5 is a superb camera. There are a ton of high-end features packed into a small and lightweight body that competes with the flagship cameras of other manufacturers at much higher prices. It’s not without a few minor faults, but no camera is, despite what the specs tell you.
Fujifilm X-T5 Review
- Fujifilm X-T5 Review
- Fujifilm X-T5 Review First Impressions & Notes
- Fujifilm X-T5 Build
- Fujifilm X-T5 Performance
- Fujifilm X-T5 Specifications
- Sample Images
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