Fujifilm X-T5 Review: Retro Appeal

The Fujifilm X-T5 it’s the best camera the company has ever made. For the right photographer, it might be the best camera to buy right now.

It was once the flagship mirrorless camera in the X series, but that role is now taken over by the X-H2 ($1,999), which leaves the X-T5 free to become a great stills-oriented camera for photographers. It’s not perfect—the autofocus could be better—but if you love manual controls, the ergonomics of classic film cameras, and the distinctive color and character of Fujifilm’s X-series cameras, this is the camera for you.

Dead nature

The X-T5 represents a return to form for the XT line. It’s smaller and lighter than its predecessor, and doesn’t hold back much of the new video capabilities. Instead, it uses mostly photo-oriented features from the flagship X-H2, including the new 40-megapixel fifth-generation X-Trans sensor. better autofocus. and body image stabilization.

The new sensor is the highlight. This is the first APS-C sensor to match the image quality of my Sony A7RII. It’s not as big or high-resolution as newer full-frame cameras like the Sony 7R V, but it’s good enough that when editing images I never found myself thinking “I wish I’d shot this full-frame.”

Photo: Fujifilm

The X-T5 shoots surprisingly good video, but lacks some of the advanced features—like ProRes support (available via HDMI)—that you’ll find on the X-H2. Likewise, the vari-angle folding rear screen that was so handy for shooting video is missing (again, it’s been relegated to the XH-series cameras). The clear message is that if you want a high-quality hybrid camera, the X-H2 is the one for you. The new X-T5 is very much geared towards still photographers and manages to strike a near-perfect balance between the technical bits and what photographers call ill-defined ‘character’.

First, the technical chops. As noted, the 40-megapixel sensor is surprisingly detailed and doesn’t fall victim to the higher noise issues that sometimes come with more megapixels. That said, performance will depend somewhat on how and what you shoot. I tend to use fast lenses in low light and rarely shoot above 1600 ISO. In testing, I found that once you got past that, noise became more of an issue. While the 3200 is still usable, I wouldn’t go over it.

There’s also a new processor, which Fuji claims is four times faster than the previous model. This is part of the new autofocus system, which, while very good on Fuji’s X-series cameras, isn’t as great compared to what you get with Nikon or Canon systems. If you need super fast, fully accurate autofocus, you’re better off with Nikon, Canon or Sony. For most people’s purposes, though, the X-T5’s system is good enough. What bothered me more than the speed was that sometimes the autofocus was just lacking, especially with eye-tracking on. I’ve read that other reviewers have had similar experiences, which makes me hopeful that this is something Fujifilm will address in a future firmware update.

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