Should you Upgrade to the X-T5

1 year, 6 months ago 8
Posted in: blog



I just received my Fujifilm X-T5. and the question is;  if  you are shooting any of the other X-T versions the 1, 2, 3 or 4 should you upgrade?  Let’s talk about it!


First, a little history of my using the Fujifilm System.  I was introduced to the X-Pro 1 the year it was introduced (2012) by Nick Coury.  While attending a photo show, he offered to let me try his out, and I accepted.  I was working for Nikon as a NPS rep at the time and tried to go out and shoot it clandestinely!  To be honest it was a little on the clunky side, (not ready for prime time yet, and I was not impressed the day I shot it, however that evening when I returned home and downloaded the images, I was stunned, I loved the files!  The color and sharpness beat anything had experienced before!  That is how I got started with the Fujifilm system, though I had bought their little X10 months before and really loved it, but it wasn’t going to replace my big Nikons, but this camera could!


Over the last 10 years I’ve bought and owned almost every model in the X Series line and 90%  of all the lenses they’ve released.  So I have a very good knowledge base on the evolution of the X Series!  In addition to that I was made a X-Photographer way back near the beginning and that has further opened the door for me to be in communication with the company and it’s representatives, all the way up to the President of Fujifilm Japan!


If you want a rundown of specs or a repeat of Fujifilm’s marketing info you can find dozens of Youtube videos covering all of that, so instead, I will make this all about; do you need to trade up to this new camera and if you do, why!



First, will a new camera make your photography results better?  Not necessarily, the image above was made with the original X-T1, (16 megapixels), and I have no issues with it!  It’s the loose nut behind the viewfinder, (the photographer), that makes the difference!  Does better tech make it easier to make great image, in many cases yes!


The X-T5 is lighter and smaller than the XT-4, very much like the original X-T1 that I first fell in love with.  Fujifilm went back to the same style LCD panel from the X-T3 and for me, a still shooter, I love it! It is higher resolution too!  The function buttons are larger and have a better click feel and I like that.  The viewfinder is the same resolution as the X-T4 but with a faster refresh rate and  better magnification, which is noticeable and nice. The shutter sound is quiet just like the X-T4, something I loved.  The shutter release is also a near perfect touch as was the X-T4.  I keep referring to the X-T4 which I had and just sold, so why did I not want to keep it?  I hated the fold put LCD screen, I could never get used to it, not being a video person it served no purpose for me, except frustration.  Other than that I loved the X-T4.


So the big question is: does the 40 megapixel sensor really provide noticeably better images?  Before getting mine, my only experience was seeing some images made by a guest at our Smokies Fall workshop, he has a Fujifilm X-H2 with th same sensor.  When his images went on the screen I knew I had to get the X-T5 when it came out, I was that impressed.  I tested the X-T5 for resolution compared to previous sensors and for noise performance at high ISO settings, my two biggest concerns.


Let’s start with noise at High ISO:



The top image was shot with a X-H1 at ISO 400 the one on the bottom the X-T5 at ISO 400. I can’t see any difference.





This time the X-H1 is on top at 3200 ISO and the X-T5 on the bottom at ISO 3200 once again I think they are equal in noise, and both pretty clean!






This time I will let you guess!  Yes the bottom shot on the X-T5 at 12,800 ISO is much noisier than the X-H1 on the bottom at 12,800 ISO.  So my fear that at the highest ISO settings on the 40 mega pixel sensor will suffer with more noise, but it was not apparent until 6400 and only slightly there, but beyond that the X-T5 has more noise by comparison.  You have to ask yourself how much you plan to shoot at the highest ISO setting.


How much resolution gain is there?



This Junk sign is tack sharp at full size.  When blown up to a 4 foot X 6 foot size file it still looks pretty impressive below!



Two more at full image and 4 X 6 foot, impressive resolution.


O.K. So my final thoughts are these:

If you prefer the fold down style of LCD panel and have been longing for a smaller XT Series body with the latest tech, I would say go for it, I’m glad I did, however PLEASE READ this next part very carefully!


This camera has a 40 megapixel sensor so to get the best results and resolution from it you MUST:


  1. Tighten up your technique: practice squeezing off your shutter release, even better, use the self timer at 2 seconds with good support!
  2. Use a tripod, a good one and carefully!  Remember technique!
  3. If you must shoot handheld shoot at a shutter speed twice the equiv. of your focal length  Example  If you are using a 23mm lens (35mm equiv.) shoot at a lowest speed for 1/60th of second.  A 80mm lens (120mm equiv.) shoot at 1/250th of a second.  Yes it has great Image stabilization, which will help, but only so much! Can you shoot it handheld with success?  Yes, but it is harder than with a 26 megapixel camera!
  4. Be extra vigilant with focusing, make sure your camera and lens are giving you pin point accurate focus.  When you can, use the peak focusing feature to assure accuracy.
  5. If you can, for absolute best results use the list of lenses recommended by Fujifilm:
  • Fujinon XF 16mm f/2.8 R WR
  • Fujinon XF 18mm f/1.4 R LM WR
  • Fujinon XF 23mm f/1.4 R LM WR
  • Fujinon XF 23mm f/2 R WR
  • Fujinon XF27mmF2.8 R WR
  • Fujinon XF 33mm f/1.4 R LM WR
  • Fujinon XF 35mm f/2 R WR
  • Fujinon XF 50mm f/1.0 R WR
  • Fujinon XF 50mm f/2 R WR
  • Fujinon XF 56mm f/1.2 R WR
  • Fujinon XF 80mm f/2.8 R LM OIS Macro
  • Fujinon XF 90mm f/2 R LM WR
  • Fujinon XF 200mm f/2 R LM OIS WR
  • Fujinon XF 8-16mm f/2.8 R LM WR
  • Fujinon XF 16-55mm f/2.8 R LM WR
  • Fujinon XF 18-120mm f/4 LM PZ WR
  • Fujinon XF 50-140mm f/2.8 R LM OIS WR
  • Fujinon XF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 R LM OIS WR
  • Fujinon XF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR
  • Fujinon XF 150-600mm f/5.6-8 R LM OIS WR

A key thing to keep in mind with these lenses is that it does NOT mean unlisted Fujifilm XF format glass won’t give a superior performance with the X-T5. Even lenses that can’t take full advantage of the whole 40.2MP will still out do the image resolution they could manage with previous Fujifilm 26MP APS-C sensor technology. However, they might only resolve 30, or ,32 or 35MP of the total 40 available.


Having said all for that, the X-T5, to me, is the best XT series camera yet, it benefits from everything they learned in the first four iterations of the series. It is light and compact but the controls are the best implemented yet.  The autofocus is a big improvement over even the X-T4, but, can it compete with Canon, Nikon and Sony, for demanding users,  yes, but for the absolute most demanding ofsports or wildlife shooters it’s getting closer, but still not quite there yet. If you are a Fujifilm user and need that kind of autofocus performance try the X-H2s, it just might just be the ticket to ride!  So, Bottom Line:  If you need more resolution and the old style LCD panel, go for it, otherwise enjoy the great X-T2, X-T3, or X-T4 you are enjoying now!
Today I went out and shot some images handheld, as that was a fear of mine, just how hard would it be to get super sharp results doing just that, you can be the judge!
All these images shot with the 90mm f 2 lens.
the pilgrim


8 Responses

  1. Carl says:

    Thanks – Clears up a lot of “hype” for me.

    Love it when there is an overwhelming leap forward!

  2. Bill+Fortney says:

    I think I’m going to enjoy it with both the advantages and limitations of that much resolution!

  3. Bill+Fortney says:

    I was asked what lenses I used in an email, the first three sets with the 60mm Macro the last two sets with the 90mm F 2.

  4. Chris says:

    I shoot with X-T3 and love it overall so I was excited at the prospect of 40 mp rez. However, my photography is evolving in a couple different directions, one of which is nature-bird stuff. Needless to say, I’m looking toward a super telephoto lens someday (still in the fantasy files). But it’s hard to invest further in a system (wonderful though it may be) that does not make such a lens.

  5. Dick+Ginkowski says:

    I’m with Chris on waiting for a big gun from Fuji. Wow! (I am NOT impressed with Canon’s mirrorless offerings. I see less sharpness in many shots and not much size/weight reduction).

    Thank you, Bill, for another honest review (although you got me into this Fuji money pit years ago). I have learned quite a bit since then. The pandemic helped a bit as I went back and reworked images taken with Canon and Fuji gear over the years that I overlooked. I also slowed down my gear acquisition.

    I bought the X-T3 but seldom use it. One of the reasons for not buying the X-T4 is the new battery in the X-T4 (more to lug around) and the X-T3 was a competent camera on its own. But why wasn’t I using the X-T3?

    The X-T30. One of the most underrated Fuji cameras. The “II” update, if you can call it that, should have been a firmware blast. Great image quality, especially for landscape work. Easy to carry and transport. Threaded cable release and Bluetooth option.

    But then there’s the X-T2. It is my 70-300mm and 100-400mm “to go” body. And my main “backup.” The shutter release button fell off once (pricey repair — ugh!) but other than that the old Timex watch keeps on ticking and shoots some great images. If I beat it into submission some day I will have gotten my money’s worth out of it.

    These two bodies are my “go to” cameras.

    I passed on the X-S10. I was hoping those features would make it into an X-T40 but the X-S10 design was bigger and more quirky. Of course Fuji never rolled out the X-T40. Maybe there will be an X-T50 with the X-T5 sensor. Maybe not. But the waiting game (exacerbated by Fuji putting all of its eggs in the X-T5 basket to the point where almost all of its other cameras are backordered) hasn’t turned my existing cameras into pieces of stone. (And I still have the X-T3 and a couple of X-T20s and the X-E3.)

    So how did I resolve this “waiting game” exacerbated by the X-T5? (Paul Harvey moment.)

    I bought an extra new X-T30 body at a fire sale price. The 70-300 that resides on the X-T2 will also work nicely on it as will any of my macro lenses.

    Sorry, Fuji. I listened to Bill and asked myself if I really needed the X-T5. Or even the X-T4.

    I’m sitting the out. But if the X-T50 comes out with the X-T5 sensor and X-S10 feature set I’ll order one in a New York minute.

    And if I was in the Fuji HQ I’d be looking at Sony’s sales figures.

    Happy Thanksgiving, my friend. And I keep thinking of what Don Nelson would say about all of these megapickels.