The Fujifilm X-T5 is the fifth model in Fujifilm’s X-T mirrorless camera series. I’ve reviewed most of the models in this series, starting with the X-T1. 1 At the time, the X-T1 was something quite new–one of the best of the early mirrorless cameras. Since then, the X-T series has improved in leaps and bounds, but the cameras have kept the same fundamental DNA.
They use vintage styling and combine retro controls, such as dials and an old-style mechanical shutter button, with modern digital camera interfaces such as touchscreen back screens and informational overlays on the electronic viewfinder. Some of the intervening models leaned more heavily into video, and their movie-shooting features advanced considerably. The X-T5 leans back into stills photography.
In terms of specs, the X-T5 has the latest sensor in Fujifilm’s APS-C X-Trans line (this one is CMOS 5 HR with primary color filter). In that, it packs in 40.2 megapixels, which produces images that measure 7728 by 5152 pixels (which comes out to around 39.8 effective).
Build & Handling
With its metal body and minimalist design, it’s squarely within Fujifilm’s design aesthetic. As with several others in their lineup, you can get it in all black or trimmed in silver. As you can see from the photos here, I’ve been using the silver version.
The X-T5 feels solid and is comfortable when you hold it. But this is a camera that, at least in terms of its ergonomics, sticks firmly to the basics. There are no fancy ergonomics here. There is a lightly styled and small grip for your right hand, but that’s about it. Making it any bigger would be unnecessary for a camera that is designed to be relatively compact and not bloat into DSLR size (although that would create space for a larger battery, which is rarely a bad thing…). But there’s also virtue in that trimmed-back approach, and it feels solid, responsive, and refined. I haven’t dropped it, but it feels as though it could take a beating and last as long as trusty old-school metal cameras with a similar look, cameras like the Nikon FM and Olympus OM-1 (the original film version is what I’m referring to, but the new digital version also hews closely to that build quality).
On the top of the X-T5 are several old-style dials. On the left is the ISO/sensitivity dial (you can also adjust sensitivity manually by setting that dial to C and using the rotating dial just in front of the shutter button). To the right is the manual shutter speed dial. Both of those also have rotating bases that offer further settings such as shutter drive mode or switching between movie and still modes. On the far right, is the exposure compensation dial.
These old-school dials are combined with more modern controls such as a 3-inch touchscreen back screen and navigation buttons on the back panel. I quite like the combination. Having started my photography journey back in manual film camera days, I find that dividing key controls up into different styles actually helps me remember more quickly and more intuitively how and where to change key settings. You’re not constantly scrolling through menu items to find the setting you want. Nor are you overwhelmed with numerous buttons and dials and trying to remember which is where. Overall, they’ve struck a nice balance here.
There’s also the obligatory wireless connectivity. In this case, via Wi-Fi (802.11b/g), Wi-Fi 4 (802.11n), Wi-Fi 5 (802.11ac), and Bluetooth.
And the X-T5 has dual SD card slots, both of which are UHS-II for high-speed SD cards.
So what is the Fujifilm X-T5 like to shoot with?
But first, I should mention that the X-T5 boasts impressive specs for shooting both photos and video. But given the camera’s emphasis on photography first, that’s where I’m focusing here. And I’m not trying out a laundry list of every advanced feature of the camera–and there are many. What I’m focusing on here is the kind of real-world shooting I do in general travel-type photography and how well the camera works as a tool to get the shots I want to get.
Image Capture & Image File Formats
The 40 MP sensor produces images that measure up to 7728 by 5152 pixels. And in addition to JPG and RAW (14-bit RAF files), it can also save the files as HEIF (4:2:2 10-bit) and TIFF (8-bit or 16-bit). For my regular shooting, I would normally shoot RAW exclusively. But for the purposes of reviews like this, I enable JPG+RAW so as to get the in-camera processed versions as well. I guess it’s nice to have extra formats available, but it’s not immediately clear to me what specific benefit the HEIF and TIFF versions offer here as capture formats. I guess the HEIF offers benefits to sports photographers and others who would otherwise capture in JPG because of its increased color depth. And TIFF might be good for reportage and instances where an unprocessed original is important to have for record-keeping or forensic purposes. But whatever virtues they have, they’re not virtues I currently find myself needing, so I haven’t used them here.
The camera has in-camera optical stabilization. Fujifilm says it’s up to 7 stops, which is impressive. Although it’s not quite that simple–it will depend heavily on the lens you put on (as well as the shooting conditions). That 7 stops is with the XF 35mm ƒ/1.4 R. But with longer focal lengths, like the 50mm ƒ/1.0 I’ve been using quite a bit, you’re probably going to lose a stop or two from that. And with wider lenses, like the 8-16mm ƒ/2.8 I’ve also been shooting with, it’s even more forgiving because of the very wide perspective.
This is one of the areas that’s hard to measure in any reliable way in real-world shooting. In cold or windy conditions, or when you’re shooting from a base that isn’t still, such as a boat or moving vehicle, hand camera shake is only one of your problems. Regardless, I found the X-T5’s image stablization to be both impressive and very useful–it wasn’t that long ago that gaining 2 effective stops was a big improvement. But being able to shoot hand-held at quite slow shutter speeds, and without reaching for very high ISOs, is something I found very useful–and I was doing quite a bit of pre-dawn shooting with this camera in very dark conditions.
Shutter Speeds & Burst Photos
The X-T5 has both a mechanical focal plane shutter and an electronic shutter. The mechanical shutter maxes out at 1/8000 second. The electronic shutter maxes out at a whopping (or tiny, depending on how you look at it) 1/180000 second. I would really have like to test this out more for freezing super-fast action, but that’s something I’m going to have to circle back on.
For burst photos, you can get up to 15-20 fps depending on whether you’re using a 1.29x crop or saving uncropped photos. Which is fast, but it’s not exceptionally so when some other cameras can make use of their electronic shutters to capture 30 or even 60 frames per second. Still, it’s rare that I need anything faster than 15 fps, especially in this type of camera (in an action camera like a GoPro, that’s a different matter).
In low light, the hybrid focusing system comes into play. It uses a combination of contrast and phase detection. In shooting in very dark conditions with the 50mm ƒ/1.0, it was rare that the camera had trouble locking onto focus. It really is impressive.
There are also various subject detection modes, such as locking onto a subject’s eyes or detecting animals or planes. Of these, the one I find the most useful is eye detection, which looks for subjects’ faces and locks focus on their eye (you can specify which in the settings).
Overall, I found the focus to be good and true. It’s faster on some lenses than others, but that’s normal.
Here are a few sample images. I’ve posted a much larger selection separately. I’ve also posted some high-ISO sample images as well as some side-by-side shots throughout the ISO range.
These were originally shot in RAW and have been lightly processed in Lightroom Classic. I haven’t applied any optical corrections to these, and I’d normally process these a bit more for final images. You can click on each image to open a full-resolution version.
As I said, I haven’t been shooting much video with it–my priority has been on stills images. But just because this camera leans back toward stills photography doesn’t mean Fujifilm has stepped backward in the X-T5’s video shooting capabilities. Here’s a quick overview of its video features:
- Bitrate: Maximum video bitrate of 360 Mbps
- Internally: up to 6.2K (6240 x 3140) in 4:2:2 10-bit color. H.265 / H.264
- Externally (via HDMI): 12-bit ProRes RAW & Blackmagic RAW
- Gamme Curve: FUJIFILM F-Log, FUJIFILM F-Log 2
- Special Features: 4K HQ mode (oversampling of 6.2K footage to improve 4K output)
Batteries & Charging
The battery for the X-T5 is model NP-W235.
Fujifilm rates it to around 580 shots with normal operation shooting photos. I didn’t test this specifically, and it’s obviously going to vary based on your shooting settings, how heavily you use features like image stabilization and crimping, and even the environmental conditions. But it rings true. I didn’t find myself running low on battery power as quickly as with some other mirrorless cameras.
Overall, I’ve really enjoyed shooting with the X-T5. There’s a lot to like about it. But as with nearly every camera, there are quirks and areas that could be smoother.
- It’s quite slow to power up. Okay, so this is something that affects many cameras in the mirrorless category that rely on an electronic viewfinder. It’s not a shutter lag, as such, but it can still lead you to miss a shot. I found this to be particularly a problem when the camera goes to sleep due to inactivity. There are ways to extend the time before it goes to sleep as well as things you can do to reduce the waking time, but this was something I found myself fighting against quite a bit. As I said, it’s not a specific issue with the X-T5–many mirrorless cameras suffer from it–but it’s a constant reminder of the virtues of cameras with optical viewfinders.
- ISO performance is good but not exceptional. Up to around ISO 3200, the image quality is excellent. But you quickly start ruining into a ceiling. In most cases, you probably wouldn’t want to go above ISO 6400 for most uses. Which isn’t bad, but it’s not in the same league as some of the full-frame offerings from Sony or Nikon, for instance. And, in many respects that there is the issue–comparing an APS-C camera to a full-frame camera when it comes to ISO isn’t an apples-to-apples comparison. And, to be clear, this is not a complaint–the X-T5’s high ISO performance is good. But I just wasn’t blown away by it. I’ve posted some high-ISO sample images separately.
- On the topic of high ISOs, the ISO sensitivity selection isn’t as intuitive as it could be. If you’re just using the Auto ISO function, you might never really run into this issue. And it’s great that there are three presets that you can set for the Auto ISO function. But the extended ISO ranges aren’t available to use in the Auto ISO presets. Nor are the highest ISOs available on the ISO dial, something that’s true of other cameras in the X-T line. It’s not that it’s hard to turn it on, but it’s just that it’s not necessarily obvious how to do it.
Bits & Bobs
- The exposure compensation option is unusually wide. Many cameras have plus or minus 2 stops. Or maybe even 3 stops. The X-T5 goes up to 5 stops in either direction. And while you might wonder whether that’s really necessary, I actually found it useful in some lighting condition to give expanded and quick control over the exposure without switching metering modes or making other adjustments. (The bracketing modes only go up to +/- 3 stops.)
Fujifilm X-T5 Price & Availability
The Fujifilm X-T5 is sold in several configurations, from body-only to bundles with kit lenses. It’s also available in all-black or with silver trim.
Check the current price and availability at: