“I thought you were done this year,” I said to our Fujifilm rep as we walked around Chelsea, NY while using the brand new Fujifilm XT5 camera. Apparently, so did he. No one thought Fujifilm would be rolling out another announcement after Fuji X Summit. However, the Fujifilm XT5 is the retro-SLR style version of the Fujifilm XH2. In some ways, it’s better than its flagship brother. But in most ways, the XH2 looks down on the XT5 like a French nobleman from his balcony upon the peasants in the street below.
Fujifilm says this camera is a return to their roots. Besides the retro styling, the camera has dual SD card slots: a deviation from the single CFExpress Type B and Single SD Card. This alone sets the Fujifilm XT5 up for some of the major differences. But otherwise, the Fujifilm XT5 in Boost Mode operates very much like the XH2 in normal mode. Fujifilm users are the ones who’d understand that the most, but that statement pertains to a specific autofocus and screen refresh performance hike.
Editor’s Note: Fujifilm met with a small group of press members and YouTubers to use this product. Phoblographer staff did not have Fujifilm pay for hotels or travel; we took care of all our own expenses. All we took from Fujifilm is a bottle of water. Transparency statements like this are important to us, and help you to you realize we’re trustworthy. You can take a look at our Editorial Policies that we’ve been holding ourselves to for our 13 years in this business.
- 0.8x evf with 3.69 dots
- 40MP sensor
- 740 frames for battery life
- 100 fps blackout free evf
- $1,699.95 price for body only
- With 18-55 is $2,099.95
- With 16-80mm is $2,199.95
- Same processor as the XH2
- Lighter than the XT4
- Focus down to -7 ev
- Subject detection AF
- It’s the XH2’s sensor
- Up to 7 stops of ibis
- Better battery life than the XH2
- XH2 has better raw processing when it comes to buffer due to the card types
- AI white balance
- 40MP X Trans sensor 5, same as the XH2
- Same X processor 5 as the XH2
- Scene detection autofocus with AI for animals, birds, planes, trains, bikes, automobiles
- It’s lighter than the XT4
- Same AI white balance as the XH2
- It’s smaller than most of its predecessors
- New LCD screen that tilts out and tilts to the side like the Fujifilm GF series of cameras.
- 3.69 million dot EVF
- 740 frames are claimed for the battery life
- -5 Diopter adjustment to +3
Here’s the Fujifilm XT5 from the front. Trust us, it really doesn’t look very much different from many of the other Fujifilm XT series cameras. We chose the silver one because life deserves more happiness.
What have we got up top? Well, on one side of the EVF is the ISO dial; which is wonderful. And then there’s also the diopter which is incredible. We’ll talk more about that part later on.
On the other side is the shutter speed dial, the viewfinder setting button, the hot shoe, exposure compensation, threaded shutter release, programmable button, and the on/off switch. Plus, under the shutter dial is even more control.
The Fujifilm XT5 has one programmable button, and there’s also the front dial too if you want to use that.
On the back, you’ll find the giant LCD screen, the EVF, and various buttons that do different things. There’s also a D-pade, which to me is a bit odd. But that’s just what this audience wants.
Notice 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 very useful for sure.
The Fujifilm XT5 has weather resistance through and through. In fact, Fuji’s cameras have traditionally been some of the most durable we’ve used. While Leica and OM SYSTEM take the prize of building the most durable cameras and systems, Fujifilm isn’t too far behind according to our previous tests.
Besides weather-resistance, the camera feels overall pretty good in my hands. This past weekend, I held a Fujifilm XT3, which feels like it had more metal on top than the Fujifilm XT3 does. Things from the dials and the body feel much more like a retro product meant to be passed onto another generation with the XT3. From the specs, that checks out. The XT3 was 132.5 grams while the Fujifilm XT5 is 129.5 grams. It’s also the smallest of all of the previous itererations by a hair here and there.
While it feels good in the hand, there are a few things that annoy me. One of the reasons why I never bought into the XT series of cameras is because I don’t like retro-SLR styling. I like it more than modern SLR styling for sure. But I’m happiest with rangefinder style cameras like the X Pro 3. And with the X Pro 3, I’ve got a joystick exactly where I need it. With the Fujifilm XT5, my thumb needs to move around the back of the camera to get there. A bigger grip wouldn’t help this situation. And honestly, I don’t think that the Fujifilm XT5 needs a bigger grip at all.
I see how a lot of folks will be purchasing the Fujifilm XT5 for sure. But this one isn’t for me.
Ease of Use
With new updates comes a few new big features. The Fujifilm XT5 has the longer menu system of the Fujifilm XH2 and XH2s. However, it won’t include the expansions that Frame.IO will give the XH2s in 2023. This means that there’s stuff like scene detection AI, and so much more. Like the XH2, this menu isn’t touch capable; and that’s incredibly annoying.
With fewer buttons than the XH2, the Fujifilm XT5 also is less likely to make you want to use scene detection easily. Fujifilm’s scene detection is a painfully agonizing 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 into 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 probably also going to lose shots at times because of how the focusing system works. If you’re doing street photography casually and have the camera set to human face detection, all scene modes are turned off. But if you then see a cute dog and want to ask the owner for a photograph of said dog, you’ll probably want to either manually select the focusing point or set the camera quicky to animal detection. And both of these are painful processes. Instead, if you’re using the Fujifilm XT5, you truly need to go in and be laser focused on getting photos of what you want and nothing else. That is, unless you’re not using scene detection. And if that’s the case, you’re negating one of the biggest upgrades to the Fujifilm XT5.
Personally, as a legally blind man, the Fujifilm XT5 is really catering to my needs. The diopter can go from -5 to +3 as needed. For the record, I have kerataconus. You can more or less think of it as an astigmatism that changes second to second. So with that in mind, my vision can be very unpredictable and there are spots in the eyes where I see better than I can when looking straight forward. This truly means a lot to me.
I remember many years ago, I felt belittled in a meeting when I asked Canon to help cater their cameras to more visually impaired photographers. Panasonic was the first one to start doing it with their diopters. Later, other companies followed too. Leica puts big, bright, 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 while not making EVFs that really help like the other brands do.
One day, I really do hope that brand start to understand that we can be visual creators too.
I spent maybe around 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 that the autofocus is just okay. But the experience doesn’t bring me the same joy that the X Pro 3 does and that’s for various reasons.
Reviews Editor Hillary Grigonis, who switched over from Nikon to Fujifilm, will be reviewing the Fujifilm XT5 for us. She bought the XT4, and she’ll have the best idea as to whether or not this is truly worth the upgrade.
Here are sample images from the Fujifilm XT5. This was a pre-production unit.
The Fujifilm XT5 is the company’s way of showing that they still love their users, but are also trying to go after others. However, I think the biggest test will come later on because we have yet to see how firmware updates continue to shape Fujifilm cameras. Earlier this year, Fujifilm annoyed a lot of customers by saying that that’s going to stop in the future. I can say that as a Fujifilm user that’s bought at least one new product per year that I’m pretty mad about it. But we’ll see what happens.
So far, we think that the Fujifilm XT5 is a retro-styled variant of the XH2 that improves on it in some ways and doesn’t in others. I’m curious to see who the customer is that buys it; but I’ve got a pretty good idea of who those folks are anyway.
This camera is aimed mostly at photographers. And I really hope that if anything, the high ISO quality improves more. This is a high megapixel APS-C sensor, and at ISO 6400 and 12,800 it truly shows. We’re basing this off the Fujifilm XH2, we which reviewed previously. So take a look to get an understanding.