“I thought you were done this year,” I told our Fujifilm rep as we strolled through Chelsea, NY, while using the brand new Fujifilm XT5 camera. Apparently, so does he. No one thought Fujifilm would make another announcement after the 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 sibling. But in many ways the XH2 looks down on the XT5 like a French nobleman from its balcony over the street peasants below.
Fujifilm says this camera is a throwback. Besides the retro style, the camera has two SD card slots: a difference from the single CFExpress Type B and the single SD card. That alone sets the Fujifilm XT5 up for some of the major differences. But otherwise, the Fujifilm XT5 in Boost mode performs much like the XH2 in normal mode. Fujifilm users would understand this the most, but this statement is about a specific increase in autofocus and screen refresh performance.
Editor’s note: Fujifilm has reached out to a small group of members of the press and YouTubers to use this product. We did not charge them for hotels or travel and we covered all expenses. All we took from Fujifilm was a bottle of water. Transparency statements like this are important to us and help us let you know that we are very trustworthy. You can consult our Editorial policies which we have held on to for 13 years in this business.
- 0.8x evf with 3.69 dots
- 40MP sensor
- 740 images for battery life
- 100 fps without blackout 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
- AF subject detection
- This is the XH2 sensor.
- Up to 7 ibis stops
- Better battery life than the XH2
- XH2 has better raw processing when it comes to buffer due to card types
- AI white balance
- 40MP X Trans 5 sensor, same as XH2
- Same X5 processor 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 is smaller than most of its predecessors
- New LCD screen that tilts and tilts to the side like the Fujifilm GF camera series.
- 3.69 million dot EVF
- 740 images are claimed for battery life
- -5 Diopter adjustment to +3
Here is the Fujifilm XT5 seen from the front. Trust us, it really doesn’t look much different from most other Fujifilm XT series cameras. We chose the silver one because life deserves more happiness.
What do we have upstairs? Well, on one side of the EVF is the ISO dial; which is wonderful. And then there is also the diopter which is incredible. We will talk more about this part later.
On the other side is the shutter speed dial, viewfinder adjustment knob, hot shoe, exposure compensation, threaded shutter release, programmable button and on/off switch. Plus, below the shutter dial, there’s even more control.
The Fujifilm XT5 has a programmable button, and there’s also the front dial if you want to use it.
On the back, you’ll find the giant LCD screen, EVF, and various buttons that do different things. There is also a D-pade, which for me is a bit strange. But that’s exactly what this audience wants.
Notice where the joystick is. It’s the same as the previous camera, and it feels weird.
The screen tilts outward and to the side. So it is certainly very useful.
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 take home the award for building the most durable cameras and systems, Fujifilm isn’t too far behind according to our previous tests.
Other than the weather resistance, the camera overall feels pretty good in my hands. Last weekend I held a Fujifilm XT3, which seems to have more metal on top than the Fujifilm XT3. The dials and body elements look much more like a retro product meant to be passed down to another generation with the XT3. According to the specifications, this is verified. The XT3 weighed 132.5 grams while the Fujifilm XT5 weighed 129.5 grams. It’s also the smallest of all previous iterations by a hair here and there.
Although it feels great in the hand, there are a few things that bother me. One of the reasons I never bought the XT series of cameras is that I don’t like the retro-SLR style. I like it more than the modern SLR style, that’s for sure. 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 around the back of the camera to get there. A bigger handle wouldn’t help this situation. And honestly, I don’t think the Fujifilm XT5 needs a bigger grip.
I see how many people will buy the Fujifilm XT5 for sure. But this one is not for me.
Ease of use
The new updates come with some important new features. The Fujifilm XT5 has the longer menu system of the Fujifilm XH2 and XH2s. However, it won’t include the extensions that Frame.IO will give XH2s in 2023. That means there’s stuff like scene detection AI, and more. Like the XH2, this menu is non-touch; and it’s incredibly boring.
With fewer buttons than the XH2, the Fujifilm XT5 is also less likely to make you want to use scene detection easily. Fujifilm’s scene detection is a painfully agonizing process in terms of usability. They divide the detection of animals and birds into two different parameters. And if you want to switch between them, you have to go to the menu system. It’s unlike Sony and OM System where all you have to do is push a button and then fiddle with a dial. This means that you will probably also lose photos due to the operation of the focus system. If you’re casually shooting street photography and the camera is set to human face detection, all scene modes are disabled. But if you then see a cute dog and want to ask the owner for a photo of said dog, you’ll probably want to manually select the focus point or quickly set the camera to animal detection. And both of these processes are painful. Instead, if you’re using the Fujifilm XT5, you really have to focus on the laser to get shots of what you want and nothing else. That is, unless you’re not using scene detection. And if so, you’re undoing one of the biggest upgrades to the Fujifilm XT5.
Personally, as a legally blind person, the Fujifilm XT5 really meets my needs. The diopter can range from -5 to +3 depending on the needs. For the record, I have kerataconus. You can more or less think of it as astigmatism that changes from second to second. So with that in mind, my vision can be very unpredictable and there are spots in my eyes where I see better than I can when looking straight ahead. It really means a lot to me.
I remember many years ago I felt belittled in a meeting when I asked Canon to help me provide their cameras to more visually impaired photographers. Panasonic was the first to start doing this with its diopters. Later, other companies also followed. Leica puts big, bright and beautiful diopters into the SL camera system. Sony has recently started adding more color codes and initiatives to help the blind. And Canon offers a very easy to use touchscreen menu without creating electronic viewfinders which really help like other brands do.
One day, I really hope the brand starts to understand that we can be visual creators too.
I spent 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 okay. But the experience doesn’t bring me the same joy as the X Pro 3 and that’s for a variety of reasons.
Editor Hillary Grigonis, who moved from Nikon to Fujifilm, will review the Fujifilm XT5 for us. She bought the XT4, and she’ll have the best idea of whether it’s really 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 it still loves its users, but also tries to pick on others. However, I think the bigger test will come later as we have yet to see how firmware updates continue to shape Fujifilm cameras. Earlier this year, Fujifilm annoyed a lot of customers by saying it was going to stop in the future. I can say that as a Fujifilm user who buys at least one new product a year, I’m pretty crazy about it. But we will see what will happen.
So far, we think the Fujifilm XT5 is a retro-styled variant of the XH2 that improves it in some ways and not others. I’m curious to see who the customer is buying it; but I have a pretty good idea who these people are anyway.
This camera is primarily intended for photographers. And I really hope the high ISO quality will improve further. It’s a high-megapixel APS-C sensor, and at ISO 6400 and 12,800 it really shows. We base ourselves on the Fujifilm XH2, we who have examined previously. So take a look to understand.