You will like it! First impressions of Fujifilm XT5

“I thought you were done this year,” I told our Fujifilm representative as we walked through Chelsea, NY using the brand new Fujifilm XT5 camera. Apparently he did. No one thought that Fujifilm would roll out another announcement after the Fuji X Summit. However, the Fujifilm XT5 is the retro-SLR-esque version of the Fujifilm XH2. In some ways it is better than its flagship brother. But in most respects, the XH2 looks down on the XT5 like a French nobleman from his balcony on the peasants in the street below.

Fujifilm says this camera is a return to their roots. In addition to the retro styling, the camera has dual SD card slots: a departure from the single CFExpress Type B and Single SD card. This alone makes the Fujifilm XT5 show some of the key differences. But otherwise the Fujifilm XT5 works in Boost mode just like the XH2 in normal mode. Fujifilm users are the ones who would most understand that, but that statement refers to a specific performance increase for autofocus and screen refresh.

Editor’s Note: Fujifilm met with a small group of press members and YouTubers to use this product. We didn’t make them pay for hotels or travel and we took care of all expenses. The only thing we brought from Fujifilm is a bottle of water. Transparency statements such as these are important to us and help us understand that we are highly reliable. You can take a look at our Editorial Policy which we have adhered to in this industry for 13 years.

Technical specifications

  • 15 fps
  • 0.8x EFF with 3.69 points
  • 40MP sensor
  • 740 frames for battery life
  • 100 fps blackout free evf
  • $1,699.95 body only price
  • With 18-55 is $2,099.95
  • With 16-80mm is $2,199.95″
  • Same processor as the XH2
  • Lighter than the XT4
  • Focus to -7 ev
  • Subject Detection AF
  • It is the sensor of the XH2
  • Up to 7 stops from ibis
  • Better battery life than the XH2
  • XH2 has better raw processing when it comes to buffer because of the card types
  • AI white balance

Biggest Updates

  • 40MP X Trans sensor 5, same as the XH2
  • Same X processor 5 as the XH2
  • Scene detection autofocus with AI for animals, birds, airplanes, trains, bicycles, cars
  • It’s lighter than the XT4
  • Same AI white balance as the XH2
  • It is smaller than most of its predecessors
  • New LCD screen that tilts out and tilts to the side, like the Fujifilm GF series cameras.
  • 3.69 million points EFF
  • 740 frames are claimed for battery life
  • -5 Diopter adjustment to +3

Ergonomics

Here’s the Fujifilm XT5 from the front. Trust us, it doesn’t look much different from many of the other cameras in the Fujifilm XT series. We chose the silver because life deserves more happiness.

What do we have upstairs? Well, on one side of the EVF is the ISO dial; which is great. And then there’s the diopter which is incredible. We’ll talk more about that part later.

On the other side are the shutter speed dial, viewfinder adjustment dial, hot shoe, exposure compensation, threaded shutter release button, programmable button, and the power switch. Plus, there’s even more control under the shutter button.

The Fujifilm XT5 has one programmable button and there is also a dial on the front if you want to use it.

On the back, you’ll find the giant LCD screen, the EVF, and several buttons that do different things. There is also a D-pade, which I find a bit odd. But that’s exactly what this audience wants.

Look where the joystick is. This is the same as the previous camera, and it feels weird.

The screen tilts out and to the side. So this is certainly very useful.

Build quality

The Fujifilm XT5 is weatherproof through and through. In fact, Fuji’s cameras have traditionally been some of the most durable we’ve used. While Leica and OM SYSTEM took home the award for building the most durable cameras and systems, Fujifilm isn’t too far behind in our previous testing.

In addition to the weather resistance, the camera generally feels pretty good in my hands. Last weekend I held a Fujifilm XT3, which feels like it has more metal on top than the Fujifilm XT3. Things off the dials and body feel a lot more like a retro product meant to be passed down to another generation with the XT3. From the specs, that’s right. The XT3 was 132.5 grams, while the Fujifilm XT5 is 129.5 grams. It is also the smallest of all previous iterations with a hair here and there.

While it feels good in the hand, there are a few things that annoy me. One of the reasons I’ve never bought XT series cameras is because I don’t like retro SLR styles. I definitely like it better than modern SLR styling. But I’m happiest with rangefinder style cameras like the X Pro 3. And with the X Pro 3, I have a joystick right where I need it. With the Fujifilm XT5, my thumb has to move across the back of the camera to get there. A bigger hold wouldn’t help this situation. And honestly, I don’t think the Fujifilm XT5 needs a bigger grip.

I see how many people will definitely buy the Fujifilm XT5. But this one isn’t for me.

Easy to use

With new updates come a few new big features. The Fujifilm XT5 has the longer menu system of the Fujifilm XH2 and XH2s. However, it does not include the extensions that Frame.IO will give the XH2s in 2023. This means there are things like scene detection AI, and a lot more. Like the XH2, this menu is not touch sensitive; and that’s incredibly annoying.

With fewer buttons than the XH2, the Fujifilm XT5 will also make you less likely to want to use scene detection. Fujifilm’s scene detection is a painfully painful process when it comes to usability. They split animal and bird detection into two different settings. And if you want to switch from one to the other, you have to go to the menu system. It’s unlike Sony and OM System where all you have to do is press a button and then manipulate a dial. This means that you’re also likely to lose photos due to the way the focusing system works. If you’re casually doing street photography and have the camera set to Human Face Detection, all scene modes are turned off. But then when you see a cute dog and want to ask the owner for a photo of that dog, you probably want to either manually select the focus point or quickly set the camera to animal detection. And both are painful processes. Instead, if you’re using the Fujifilm XT5, you really need to go in and be laser-focused on taking pictures of what you want and nothing else. That is, unless you don’t use scene detection. And if so, you’re denying one of the biggest upgrades to the Fujifilm XT5.

Personally, as a legally blind man, the Fujifilm XT5 really meets my needs. The diopter can range from -5 to +3 as needed. For the record, I have kerataconus. You can think of it more or less as an astigmatism that changes from second to second. So with that in mind my vision can be very unpredictable and there are places in the eyes where I see better than when looking straight ahead. This really means a lot to me.

I remember feeling belittled in a meeting years ago when I asked Canon to help target their cameras to visually impaired photographers. Panasonic was the first to do this with their diopters. Other companies followed later. Leica puts big, clear and beautiful diopters in the SL system of cameras. Sony has recently started adding more color coding and initiatives to help the blind. And Canon makes a very easy-to-use touchscreen menu without creating EVFs that really help like the other brands do.

One day I really hope that brand will start to understand that we can be visual creators too.

To focus

I spent maybe about an hour and a half with the Fujifilm XT5 pre-production unit. We used it with the new Fujifilm 23mm f1.4 R WR; which is one of my favorite lenses. And overall, I think the autofocus is just okay. But the experience doesn’t bring me the same joy as the X Pro 3 for several reasons.

Reviews Editor Hillary Grigonis, who switched from Nikon to Fujifilm, is going to review the Fujifilm XT5 for us. She bought the XT4 and she’ll have the best idea if it’s really worth the upgrade.

Image quality

Here are sample images of the Fujifilm XT5. This was a pre-production unit.

First impression

The Fujifilm XT5 is the company’s way of showing that they still love their users, but also try to go after others. However, I think the biggest test will come later as we have yet to see how firmware updates continue to shape Fujifilm cameras. Earlier this year, Fujifilm annoyed many customers by saying that it will stop in the future. I can say that as a Fujifilm user who buys at least one new product a year, I quite love it. But we’ll see what happens.

So far, we think the Fujifilm XT5 is a retro-style variant of the XH2 that improves on it in some ways and not in others. I’m curious who is the customer who buys it; but I have a pretty good idea who those people are.

This camera is mainly aimed at photographers. And I really hope if anything, the high ISO quality improves more. This is a high megapixel APS-C sensor, and at ISO 6400 and 12,800 it really shows. We base this on the Fujifilm XH2, which we tested earlier. So take a look to gain insight.

Leave a Comment