EDIT 4 March 2023. This post was written before the release of the X-T5, and with me having shot exactly one small concert with the camera. Since then we have filmed a movie with me using the X-T5, embedded below, and I have shot 30-40 concerts with 2 x X-T5s, check out photo essays like Hugorm, Jada and Saveus. The original blog post follows after the movie and I can say all my initial impressions still hold true, the X-T5 is a fantastic camera!
X-T5 – first impressions from 2 Nov 2022
The Dark Side SWIVEL-Screens were taking over the universe. But there was hope, a small group of Rebels armed with X-T3 CAMERAS and tilt-screens fought back and now there were rumours of a new camera that would again bring balance to The Force...
“YESSSSSSS. The good old beloved classic X-T tilt-screen IS BACK on the X-T5. And all my favourite dials and buttons are still there. It’s perfect already!”. That was my first impression after unboxing the X-T5 that the wonderful people of FUJIFILM Nordic sent me. I know I joke and overload on the Star Wars references but it’s just to keep it light and poke fun at the Screen Wars (of which I myself happily fought in!) All being said and done it is just gear, it is a tool and it is much more important what you make with it. But I take my work and passion in music photography extremely seriously, and that’s where the tool must fit my way of working. It must feel so intuitive that it becomes invisible while working, just like an instrument.
And yes, I have had the pleasure of being an official X-photographer for FUJIFILM for almost 10 years, so of course I am biased, I like using FUJIFILM cameras. This is not a review, just my impressions, and I would never tell anyone what to buy. Get any camera, make awesome stuff, that’s my advice.
For my work as a professional music and event photographer, I have shot concerts and events with the X-T series since 2014. For the past 4 years the X-T3 has been my favourite camera, a camera that I can now operate purely on muscle memory. The classic X-T three-way tilt-screen is a fantastic tool that I use all the time during a gig, I constantly shoot with the camera raised over my head and the screen tilted back, either because the stage is tall or I am shooting over the audience from the back. The swivel-selfie screen of the X-T4 is dark side evil and sucks for this, but fortunately the X-T5 is here, strong in the Force and sees the Return of the Tilt-Screen! The X-T5 also keeps all the dials and buttons I use every day, so already I am happy – and there are many more upgrades in this fantastic camera such as:
- 40MP 5th generation sensor
- 5th generation X-processor, twice as fast as previous generations
- 15 Frames per second in mechanical shutter
- Up to 7 stops of Internal Body Image Stabilisation (IBIS)
- AI autofocus just like the X-H2, frigging fast and with much improved face recognition
- 160MP Pixel Shift Multi Shot
- 6K/30p video
- Up to 1/180.000s max shutter speed using electronic shutter
X-T5 First Impressions
I am a fulltime still-photographer and use the camera in a very specific way for a specific purpose. So this is by no means a review, purely my initial thoughts on the little corner of the camera’s capabilities that I use. I have only used the camera at one gig so far (pictures further down) so there is much more to come as I now will use the X-T5 as my everyday work camera.
- I love the resolution of the 40MP files, concerts are hazy and low light so to have a very high resolution sensor it means you get a lot more details in the hazy stage area.
- The 40MP sensor is also useful to me because I often have to crop and deliver two or three formats out of 1 picture and just like the GFX, now there are plenty of megapixels to do this.
- High iso ISO6400 and above seems to look just at least as good as the X-T3, which is awesome considering the X-T5 has nearly double the amount of pixels and so physically much smaller pixels on the sensor. But the processor seems to make up for this perfectly.
- The EVF with 3.69MP is great, same as the X-T4 (I think). Super high res and fast refresh rate. I honestly doubt with my old eyes that I could see the difference if they added any more megapixels to the EVF, the refresh rate at low light is much more important to me and I would not want any higher resolution in the EVF it if means a slower EVF.
- Autofocus is FAST and compared to the X-T3 it is a bit of a revolution, especially as it is so much better at continuous autofocus with face detection during a concert.
- EV dial is flatter and much wider, like X-T1 and X-T2, I feel it’s easier to grip, I like it.
- The grip and the body feels great. It is an improved version of the X-T4 body which I really liked (I liked almost everything about the X-T4 except the screen) and it was very comfortable during a whole day’s of shooting at a gig.
- Movie/still mode switch is fine, I don’t shoot much video at all but I like having the stills/movie mode switch. I can map metering mode to any button so this works fine for me.
- MCS switch is something I use constantly during a concert and I was worried it would be removed, but fortunately it is still here! I mean, it works ok as a button like on the X-H2S, but having a manual MCS switch means I can change it with one click while working without interrupting the shoot at all.
- Back button focus is something I use all the time and it is awesome, the X-T5s AF button is just like the X-T4 and the best AF button of any X-T camera so far.
- They managed to make the camera a bit smaller than the X-T4 but fortunately with a really good grip, so it doesn’t become too small to use comfortably for many hours.
- The NP-W235 battery is a major upgrade, now I don’t have to carry 6 spare batteries in my pocket. I shot 1200 pictures during the day with the band Joyce (see below) and used about half the battery!
- X-T5 has no vertical battery grip option. I never used the grip so I don’t mind but I do understand how that can be a big missing feature for some.
- And I don’t do pro video at all anymore, so I am skipping all the video stuff, have not tested it at all.
A concert with the FUJIFILM X-T5
I had the opportunity to use the X-T5 at a concert a few days ago photographing the Danish band Joyce. There is nothing like testing the camera during an actual gig, you cannot fake or recreate the actual working environment of a concert. I loved using the X-T5 for this gig, some thoughts:
- I could pick up and work with the X-T5 with zero adjustments to my way of working because the body and controls etc. are so similar to the X-T3, no disruption, the camera stayed invisible.
- The speed and quality of the autofocus is such a massive improvement, especially the face detection was just spot on 99% of the time, even in super strong backlight. This is a huge help, I can focus even more on the composition, capturing the emotion and energy, and trust the camera to keep the focus on the subject. Focusing is boring, I love it when the camera can do it for me or at least react super fast when I use backbutton focus and the X-T5 can do all of this with ease.
- The 40 megapixel sensor picks up a lot more detail (naturally) and this a noticeable improvement especially when doing wideangle pictures of the whole band and stage covered in haze.
I have a new favourite camera
I will be back with a more in-depth review in the coming months after I put the X-T5 through many more concerts, big and small. I have some exciting huge Arena shows coming up that I cannot wait to capture on the X-T5. Follow my instagram for many more X-T5 pictures and stories.
I used the X-T1 from 2014-2016 and the X-T2 from 2016-2018. For the last four years the X-T3 was my camera of choice and I am quite sure I will happily use the X-T5 for the next four years!
PS. We won the Screen Wars!
Joyce – gallery
If you don’t know my style, be aware all the motion blur and grain is intentional, I shoot concerts like I feel them, a blur of grain, haze, emotion and energy l and often keep the shutter speed slow and add grain in post. Joyce’ music is punk, it’s pop, it’s rock and they have a high energy attitude on stage and I want my pictures to reflect that. I’m never after clean pictures, I am after pictures where you can hear and feel the music!
All pictures shot on FUJIFILM X-T5 and XF16-55mmF2.8 lens, in RAW, and developed in Lightroom (version 12 supports X-T5). Most of them are ISO 6400-12,800 – check the exif if you want more info.
Follow my SoMe channels for more X-T5 pictures and stories.