Did I Buy the Fujifilm X-T5? Should You?

Just yesterday Fujifilm announced the brand-new X-T5, and I’ve been inundated with questions of whether I’ve preordered it or not. Before I give my answer to that, I want to share my opinion (and it’s just an opinion) on who should buy the X-T5 and why, and who should pass on it. I’m sure many of you are considering purchasing it and are on the fence, so hopefully this helps you.

I think it’s important to have some perspective. New cameras come out all of the time, and each time there’s a lot of hype, which causes FOMO (fear of missing out) and GAS (gear acquisition syndrome), neither of which are good things. I’ve often said that it’s better to invest in experiences than gear—what kind of epic journey could you embark on with $1,700?—and the gear you already have is more than good enough. “Better” gear will never make you a better photographer, but using your gear more often will, especially if you can make an honest evaluation of your photographs and really consider what lessons they have to offer—each exposure, whether failed or successful, is a learning opportunity if you are open to it. It’s always a good idea to take the new-camera hype with a large grain of salt by keeping a healthy perspective.

The Fujifilm X-T5 looks like and seems like a very wonderful camera. Fujifilm listened to those who complained about the X-T4, and made the X-T5 more like the X-T3. That’s good, unless you like the X-T4 more than the X-T3 (there are some who do), then you might not appreciate the X-T5; otherwise, you’re likely to consider the X-T5 to be a nice improvement. Are those nice improvements enough that you should consider purchasing it?

If you print your pictures poster-sized, the X-T5 is for you, because it has all that extra resolution. If you crop extensively, the X-T5 is for you, because—you know—40mp and all. If you find the autofocus on your current model to be insufficient, then the X-T5 is for you, because they improved that. Need to shoot 6K video? The X-T5 is for you. Need IBIS? The X-T5 has it. If your camera is too big and you’d prefer something smaller, depending on the camera you have and how small you want to go, the X-T5 might be for you. Just got to have Nostalgic Negative and “improved” Auto White Balance? Well, the X-T5 has it. None of those things apply to you? Then I would suggest passing on the X-T5.

A lot of times when a new camera is released, it takes two steps forward and one step backwards. I think this is so some future iteration of it can add it back in and call it a new feature or improvement. For the X-T5 it is the optional vertical battery grip, which isn’t an option for the new camera. For most people this is no big deal, but for some this is a dealbreaker, so it is worth pointing out. I have a feeling that once the X-T5 is released, we’re going to start getting reports of overheating issues, so keep that in mind, too.

Hummingbird Feeder Along a Wall – Buckeye, AZ – Fujifilm X-T1 – “Classic Kodak Chrome” – I captured this picture today

I started a new short-term project: I’m photographing exclusively with my Fujifilm X-T1 from the announcement date of the X-T5 (yesterday) until the release date (the 17th). The X-T1 started the X-T line and is such an important camera in Fujifilm’s X-series heritage. It’s eight-years-old now (almost nine), so it can’t be any good, right? Well, no surprise to me, it’s still a highly capable camera worthy of use in 2022. In fact, the X-T1 has one advantage over all other X-T cameras, including the X-T5: the file sizes are smaller. That means I can capture more pictures on an SD card, it takes less time to transfer the pictures from the camera to my phone, the pictures take up less space on my phone, the pictures upload more quickly to my cloud storage, the pictures use less cloud data, and the pictures download from cloud storage more quickly. Less is more sometimes. Even though the X-T5 is capable of saving in HEIF, which saves space, the files will still be significantly bigger than those from the X-T1. Certainly, though, the pictures from the X-T1 aren’t good enough for printing, though, right? Nonsense! Some of my favorite pictures that I’ve ever printed were captured on a Fujifilm X-E1, which is even older than the X-T1.

Now I’ll answer the opening question: did I preorder the Fujifilm X-T5? Yes, I did. The silver one. Why? One reason, and one reason alone: Nostalgic Negative. I don’t think this new film simulation is going to be my favorite. I don’t think I’ll like it as much as Classic Negative, Classic Chrome, Eterna, or Acros. But I really want to try it and see what Film Simulation Recipes I can create with it. I think it will be fun to do that. Which brings me to another point: if some new gear will bring you joy, even if it isn’t meeting any other need, then it might be worth it. Maybe. It could be short term joy, and later you’re asking yourself why you didn’t use the money to visit a National Park or something instead, so you better be sure that you’ll really enjoy it for some time to come. The X-T5 doesn’t meet any other need for me. I don’t need the extra resolution, and, in fact, I’m not looking forward to that aspect of it. I don’t need the improved autofocus, as I find the autofocus of the X-T1 to be good enough for me, and the X-H1, X-T30, X100V, and X-E4 that I own are even better. I don’t shoot video (my wife does on her X-T4), and I have no need for 6K. I don’t consider IBIS to be important for any of my photography, but if for some reason I do need it (such as a long telephoto lens in dim light), I use my X-H1, which has IBIS. I have a lot of smaller camera bodies already, so I don’t need another—in fact, I suspect that bigger and heavier lenses will balance better on the X-T3 and (especially) X-T4 than the X-T5. The new and improved Auto White Balance is intriguing, and I’m curious how that affects recipes, but that’s definitely not a selling point for me. The only thing about the X-T5 that makes me want to buy it is Nostalgic Negative, which I’m really uncertain if that’s a good reason to spend so much money (my brain says no, my heart says yes), but I really look forward to using Nostalgic Negative and experimenting with it—I’m quite excited for that!

Should you buy the X-T5? That’s a question only you can answer. I can offer my best advice, but you should take it with a grain of salt, because everyone’s wants and needs are different. I can offer my perspective, but I would recommend getting advice from others, and go with whichever one makes the most sense to you.

This post contains affiliate links, and if you make a purchase using my links I’ll be compensated a small amount for it.

Preorder your Fujifilm X-T5 in black:  Amazon  B&H
Preorder your Fujifilm X-T5 in silver:  Amazon  B&H

23 comments

  1. Stephen.Wells · November 4

    Nice write-up, and congrats on your new camera. I appreciate your logic. My heart is begging my head to order one, but so far the head is winning. No doubt the head will eventually succumb but alas, my older cameras will surely keep me content.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Ritchie Roesch · November 4

      I appreciate it! Now I just have to figure out what I’m going to part with in order to afford it. 🤣

      Like

  2. stuartshafran · November 4

    I think this was a wise decision, it looks like being a fantastic upgrade for all the reasons you’ve stated. But you’re absolutely right, the older cameras are still just as good as they ever were so I’ll probably hold off on replacing my XT3 for now. I’ll be very interested in reading the reviews of this new camera though when people have had the chance to put it to real-life use.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ritchie Roesch · November 4

      I think for the X-T3, it’s a flip of a coin on whether the upgrade is worthwhile. Probably better to wait unless you just “need” it. I’ll definitely chronicle the camera as it’s put through its paces, so stay tuned for that. I appreciate the comments!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. bart1965 · November 4

    Xt 5…not for me thank you, I just got an Xt 1 looking as new with an almost brandnew fotobag which cost more than 100€ I got this two things for just 200€.
    Lately I’m having lots of fun with my Xe 1 ,the xt 1 now and ofcourse the filmrecipes.
    Years ago I printed some photograps on 90cm x almost 70 cm no one could believe these things came out of a 16 Mpixel Xt1.
    I’m not going to spend 1999 € on an Xt 5 just for Nostalgic Negative, no way….
    But reading about all the specs watching this “piece of art” makes me realising Fujifilm did a damn good job and maybe after 10 years I’ll buy me an Xt 5… with “Nostalgic Negative”

    Liked by 2 people

    • Ritchie Roesch · November 4

      The X-T1 is a great camera! I’m shooting only with it (as in, all the other cameras are shelved) from two days ago until the 17th, just to demonstrate that it is still very excellent. I appreciate the input!

      Like

  4. leodelatorre · November 4

    Fotografiar con el corazón… para comprar, usar la cabeza.
    Saludos

    Like

  5. Onno · November 4

    Can totally see where you’re coming from, Ritchie. As the owner of FujiXweekly, you probably just “have to” buy an important new camera like this, in order to be able to provide new recipes, advise people on gear and to remain in touch with the community. It’s just par for the course. Look forward to seeing your recipes using the XT5, even if I won’t be able to use them (sticking to my XT4); they will still be inspirational!

    Like

    • Ritchie Roesch · November 4

      That definitely is a factor. I have received a lot of messages and comments asking about X-Trans V, and recipes in particular, and without personal experience it is difficult to give good advice, and, really, to stay relevant. If that wasn’t the case, I’d certainly pass on the X-T5 and wait for the X-T40 instead, which I believe will be released in the spring or summer of next year.

      I’m fairly confident that X-Trans V recipes are likely going to be compatible with the X-T4, outside of those that use Nostalgic Negative. Also, I think it’s a good call to stick with the X-T4. I appreciate the comment!

      Like

  6. Andrea DeMarco · November 4

    I want to buy this camera, as my first interchangeable lenses model. But there are also some good deals on the older X-T4 going around. EUR 700 vs EUR 2000! I’m torn – I’m sure I want all the film simulations I can get (coming from an X100F), and I also would love to start printing some of my photos at this point. This is not I camera I intend to change anytime soon, so I see it as a 5-10 year investment. For that purpose, having a new sensor and resolution is something I consider to be a plus. Of course, I’m not a professional photographer, so perhaps for the price I should be happy with the X-T4… but all the strong points you mention, including cropping/autofocus etc. are important to me. Tough choice.

    Liked by 1 person

    • bart1965 · November 4

      Don’t understand very well Andrea, you are not a pro….so why do you need a 40 Mpixel camera than ? For croping ? If you need to crop a lot your composition isn’t well done or buy a telelens that’s cheaper than a body for almost 2000 €…no ?

      Liked by 1 person

      • Ritchie Roesch · November 4

        I think the percentage of photographers who actually need 40mp is very small, definitely under 5%, maybe under 1%. It’s fun to pixel-peep, but even printed at 24″ x 36″, if you’re not comparing side-by-side, it’s not a big difference between 26mp and 50mp, and most photographers don’t print bigger than that (many, in fact, don’t even print that large). So if you don’t print posters, or crop to panoramas, there’s not a need for 40mp.

        https://fujixweekly.com/2021/01/17/medium-format-vs-crop-sensor-how-much-better-is-fujifilm-gfx-than-fujifilm-x/

        But it’s a good marketing gimmick to drive camera sales.

        Like

    • Ritchie Roesch · November 4

      I think, as long as the flippy screen or size of the X-T4 doesn’t bother you, then I would go with the X-T4. In some ways, it’s actually “more premium” than the X-T5. The X-T4 is such an excellent camera (the autofocus is really good—there are some who say it’s not, but I couldn’t disagree more), and it will be good for 5-10 years no problem. I hope this helps!

      Like

      • Andrea DeMarco · November 4

        All very valid points Ritchie/Bart 🙂 i will have a think about it 🙂 XT4 is such a killer deal at the moment, I will probably be 100% fine with it. I still love my 100F by the way, and have no intention of letting it go 🙂 the tiny size makes it really practical for a quick weekend trip living out of a backpack!

        Liked by 1 person

      • bart1965 · November 4

        Andrea why not going for the xt1 ?
        Ok, the autofocus isn’t superfast but the colors you’ll get from the sensor are superb,it’s a camera you should learn to work with…the xe 1 is even worse but the jpg colors from that camera are sooo beautiful….

        Liked by 1 person

      • Andrea DeMarco · November 7

        Went in for the X-T5…. I think I’m going to be happy with it 🙂 The deal I was looking at did not seem very legit, and the current X-T4 prices were around EUR 1600-1700, so really quite close to X-T5. And the new sensor, plus full range of simulations are making me feel happy inside 🙂 For a second I even considered the X-T3! But I’ve made my final decision now. Looking forward to snapping many great photos with it.

        Liked by 1 person

      • bart1965 · November 7

        Succes and lots of good shots !!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Ritchie Roesch · November 7

        I think it will be a very nice camera. And you only live once. Definitely don’t feel bad about your choice. 😀

        Like

  7. jamiechancetravels · November 4

    It’s definitely time for me to upgrade from the X-T2 – really missed out so far on these new film simulations!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ritchie Roesch · November 4

      It makes a whole lot of sense to me to upgrade from the X-T2 to the X-T5. Enjoy your new camera when it comes! 😀

      Like

  8. thephotomaker · November 10

    I have many X cameras for different reasons, work and fine art. All wonderful. I even invested in the GFX 50s for fine art and the images are awesome. I like printing large, but the GFX is a bit bulky and heavy for travel. So when I saw the new XT5 with 40 MP, I decided to order it in hope it will give me more detail than my XT3, and closer to my GFX image quality. I am not expecting it to be as good, but hope will be close. And, with the XT5, I have more choices of lenses than with my GFX 50s. I ordered it in silver, for the retro look (that’s just my own feeling). Many years ago, after buying the Fuji XPro1, I dumped all of my Nikon equipment and went with all Fuji. I did try the XH2, but it didn’t fit my shooting style and I liked that the XT5, is like using all my other XT bodies. I was an industrial corporate photographer, and had to shoot from very low angles, and many vertical. My XPro1 didn’t allow me to do this, so I also bought the XT2, then XT3, which both worked great for this. I’m getting excited to try this new camera.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ritchie Roesch · November 11

      I think you’ll really appreciate the X-T5. What I suspect you’ll find as the biggest difference between the GFX 50S and X-T5 is shadow rendering—I think the 50S will have more dynamic range in the shadows—otherwise it will be fairly similar. That’s, of course, being suggested without ever having used the X-T5, so take it with a large grain of salt. I appreciate the input!

      Like

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