Someone asked me for advice: should they sell their Fujifilm X100V (plus the wide and tele conversion lenses) and buy an X-T5 (plus some f/2 Fujinon lenses), or just keep the X100V? They really like the X100V, and it works well for their photography, but they think the X-T5 might be better. I was going to answer this question personally, but I can’t find the email or DM (sorry); instead, I will answer the question publicly, and hope they find it. Maybe it will also be helpful to some of you considering a similar scenario.
Because there is so much demand for and so little supply of the X100V, they’re selling for an inflated price right now. If a camera like the X-T5 is financially out-of-reach, yet you can get a good amount for your X100V, now the X-T5 is a possibility. But is it worth it?
I have a Fujifilm X100V. It was a birthday gift from my wife over three years ago, and it’s been my favorite camera ever since. Even though my X100V is far from new, it is still such a great camera, and I use it all of the time. I feel like it is the perfect tool 90% of the time, 8% of the time it’s not ideal but can be made to work, and 2% of the time it is just the wrong tool for the job. That’s for my photography. You might find it to be perfect 100% of the time for yours, or only 50%, or something else entirely. Each person is different. My opinion is that, while the X100V is my favorite camera, it is best when you have an interchangeable-lens option for those situations when it is not ideal.
I have a Fujifilm X-T5. I purchased it when it was announced so that I could try the new Nostalgic Neg. film simulation. The X-T5 is such a great camera, too—very wonderful! Fujifilm did an excellent job with this one. But I don’t like it nearly as much as the X100V. If I put the two models next to each other, most of the time I’d grab the X100V and not the X-T5. Let me give you five reasons for this.
Before I do—just real quick—I want to make it clear that this article is not about bashing the Fujifilm X-T5 or any other camera. I’m sure for some of you the X-T5 is your all-time favorite model, and you’ve never been happier. It could be that if you purchased it, you’d find the perfect camera for you. Each person will have their own preferences because we’re all different, and we have some excellent options to choose from. I’m simply speaking about my personal experiences and preferences.
First, the Fujifilm X-T5, while still fairly small and lightweight, is bigger and heavier than my X100V. This matters a lot to me, because the X100V rarely gets in the way, while the X-T5 can and sometimes does. After awhile of carrying around, the X-T5 gets tiring a lot quicker than the X100V. Also, I have a travel kit that I really like, and the X100V fits really well in it, while the X-T5 doesn’t.
Second, the Fujifilm X100V has some features that I find especially useful, such as the built-in fill-flash that works incredibly well (thanks to the leaf shutter and Fujifilm’s programming) and a built-in ND filter. The X-T5 has IBIS, which is also a useful feature, so this isn’t completely lopsided in favor of the X100V, but I use the fill-flash and ND filter fairly frequently, while IBIS is only occasionally useful for me—you might find the opposite to be true for you.
Third, the Fujifilm X-T5 is designed like an SLR, and the viewfinder is in the middle; the X100V is designed like a rangefinder, and the viewfinder is on the corner. When I use the X-T5, my nose gets smooshed against the rear LCD, and often leaves a smudge. With the X100V, my nose sits next to the camera completely unsmooshed (did I just make up a new word?), and the rear LCD remains smudgeless (another made-up word?).
Fourth, the X100V has more manageable file sizes than the X-T5. The 26-megapixel images from the X100V are plenty for me. I’ve printed 2′ x 3′ from straight-out-of-camera JPEGs, and they look great. I don’t print larger than that, so I don’t really need the extra resolution. If I needed to crop deeply I could with the X-T5, but since it’s an interchangeable-lens model, I’d simply change the lens as my first option. The X-T5’s 40-megapixel pictures fill up an SD card and my phone’s storage noticeably quicker. Sometimes more resolution means more problems.
Fifth, the Fujifilm X-T5 is subject to dust on the sensor. Technically, it’s possible to get a dirty sensor on the X100V (and that would be a big problem), but it would take a combination of a crazy scenario (I’m thinking haboob) and mishandling (no filter attached). I’ve never had a single dust spot (knock on wood) on my X100V, but it’s a constant battle with my X-T5 (and my other interchangeable-lens models).
So my recommendation is to keep the Fujifilm X100V, and not sell it to fund the purchase of an X-T5. That’s my advice, but it is up to each person to determine what is most appropriate for their unique situation. What’s best for me may not be what’s best for you.
With that said, I do think it makes a lot of sense to have an interchangeable-lens option to go with the X100V. I have a Fujifilm X-E4 that I especially love, and I use it more often than the X-T5. Yes, you heard that correctly: the X100V is my most used camera, the X-E4 is number two, and the X-T5 is in third place right now. They’re all wonderful options, and you should be happy with any of them. In the specific situation I was asked about, I do believe that cost is a significant consideration, and I’d look into a used Fujifilm X-E3 as a companion to the X100V, since the X-E4 might be too expensive or difficult to find.
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