I Have A Fujifilm X-T5!

Wow! It’s been crazy the last several days. Fujifilm released the X-T5 on the 17th. Not everyone got their orders.

Let’s back this up. Amazon apparently listed the X-T5 too early on announcement day. By contract, everyone is supposed to go live no earlier than a certain time, but Amazon jumped the gun. I preordered an X-T5 on Amazon because I had reward points that I wanted to use. When the 17th came around, some people received their preorders that day. For others it shipped that day, and arrived in the next day or two. For me? Nothing. Those who ordered on Amazon were left in the dark. What I didn’t know is that Fujifilm decided to punish Amazon for their sins and not give them any cameras to sell; sadly, only Fujifilm photographers who ordered through Amazon were actually punished. Is it Amazon’s fault? Yes. Is it Fujifilm’s fault? Sure—they could have done something else to teach Amazon a lesson, while still allowing people to receive the cameras they ordered. Is it my fault? No. Is it your fault? No. But you and I didn’t get our gear when others did. I know this is a first-world problem, and in the grand scheme of things it doesn’t matter, but it is something that many people have experienced.

Amazon is a huge company, and Fujifilm sales are a tiny drop in a massive bucket. If Fujifilm stopped selling to Amazon altogether, it wouldn’t hurt Amazon in any way, shape, or form. I get that Fujifilm has to hold them accountable. I get that it wasn’t fair to their other retail customers. But let’s be real: crap rolls down hill. Who ended up with the crap? Me. You, if you, too, ordered through Amazon. Fujifilm’s customers are who got punished, not Amazon. I’m sure Amazon gave two seconds to this situation, and hasn’t cared one iota since. When they get their cameras, they’ll sell every single copy, and it will have such a small impact on the bottom line that you need a powerful magnifying glass just to see it. Those trying to be patient with their Amazon preorders might have to be extremely patient—I’ve heard that it might be sometime in January before orders are shipped. I don’t know that for a fact, but it’s what I have heard, and it may or may not be true—I hope it isn’t true.

So how did I get my X-T5? I called around to local camera stores, and I found one in stock. Luckily, Foto Forum in Phoenix had a body-only copy, plus one bundled with the 18-55mm f/2.8-f/4 kit zoom. I purchased the one with the lens. If you are still waiting for yours to ship, maybe call around to local camera stores to see if they still have an X-T5 in stock, and if so purchase from them instead.

That’s my story. What about you? Did you buy a Fujifilm X-T5? Did it arrive or are you still waiting?

People have already begun asking me for my impressions on this camera. I think a number of you are waiting to learn a little more about it before spending so much money. It’s way too soon to provide you with anything valuable. I’ll tell you my way-too-soon initial impressions, but please take them with a large grain of salt. I’ve only barely begun to use the camera and really haven’t had a chance to properly test it. I’ll give a full review later.

First, let’s talk about megapixels. Do you need 40? If you crop deeply, print posters, or just love to pixel-peep, then maybe. But if you don’t crop deeply, don’t print posters, or don’t pixel-peep, then you definitely don’t need 40mp—it’s way overkill. Fortunately, it doesn’t seem to negatively affect the speed of the camera or even the file transfer speed when using the Fujifilm Cam Remote app. Unfortunately, it does take up more space on the SD Card, phone/computer, and storage, and uploads to my cloud storage are noticeably slower. There’s pluses and minuses to 40mp; I don’t anticipate the pluses coming in handy for me very often. For some of you, though, it is an important upgrade.

I haven’t put the autofocus improvements to the test whatsoever, but through three days of shooting, I haven’t noticed it being any more snappy than my X-E4. The only thing I noticed is that face detection locked onto a face that was far away, which I wouldn’t expect to happen on my X-E4. Since I wasn’t trying to photograph the person, it actually wasn’t a positive thing, but I can see this being an improvement. I haven’t even attempted continuous tracking or anything like that yet, so I can’t speak of it.

I was really excited for HEIF, but discovered that it disables Clarity. That’s disappointing. No HEIF for me, since I use Clarity a lot. Speaking of Clarity, I was also very disappointed that it isn’t any faster on the X-T5, and the Storing pause is identical to X-Trans IV. Fujifilm should have spent some time speeding this up, in my opinion. Oh, and somehow I keep bumping the drive switch, and accidentally switching to CL or HDR, both of which disable Clarity—I’ll have to figure out how to not bump that switch.

While the X-T5 is smaller than the X-T4, and just a little bigger than the X-T1 and X-T30, it is definitely heavy. Seems like a similar weight to the X-T4—not sure if it is or isn’t, but it’s hefty. I personally prefer the weight of the X-T1 or X-T30, but if you use large lenses a lot, you might appreciate the solid base of the X-T5.

The reason that I purchased the Fujifilm X-T5 is because this camera has the new Nostalgic Neg. film simulation. What do I think of it so far? If Eterna and Classic Chrome had a baby, it would be Nostalgic Negative. It has some similarities to both of those film simulations, with soft gradations in the shadows similar to Eterna and with some Eterna-like colors (particularly the warm colors), and with contrast, saturation, and an overall palette more similar to Classic Chrome. I’m not a huge fan of default straight-out-of-the-box Nostalgic Neg.—I was actually initially disappointed—but with some adjustments it can become magical. I love it! Nostalgic Neg. is another analog-esque film sim from Fujifilm that’s sure to become a classic. Expect some recipes soon!

I don’t have any other observations yet. I hope to do some more serious experimentations soon, and when I do I’ll share those impressions with you. In the meantime, here are some straight-out-of-camera Nostalgic Neg. pictures that I captured with my Fujifilm X-T5:

Two Ducks – Lynx Lake, AZ – Fujifilm X-T5
311 – Lynx Lake, AZ – Fujifilm X-T5
Caution: Nature – Lynx Lake, AZ – Fujifilm X-T5
Believer – Lynx Lake, AZ – Fujifilm X-T5
Cat Clock – Prescott, AZ – Fujifilm X-T5
Dusk Blazer – Buckeye, AZ – Fujifilm X-T5
Spiderweb Rocks – Buckeye, AZ – Fujifilm X-T5
Don’t Shoot – Buckeye, AZ – Fujifilm X-T5
Warning – Buckeye, AZ – Fujifilm X-T5
Golden Light Chair – Buckeye, AZ – Fujifilm X-T5
Red & Gold – Prescott, AZ – Fujifilm X-T5
Going Out of Business – Prescott, AZ – Fujifilm X-T5
Hyundai – Prescott, AZ – Fujifilm X-T5
Short Train – Buckeye, AZ – Fujifilm X-T5
Around the Bend – Arlington, AZ – Fujifilm X-T5
Lakeview – Lynx Lake, AZ – Fujifilm X-T5
Log on the Lake – Lynx Lake, AZ – Fujifilm X-T5
Private Dock – Lynx Lake, AZ – Fujifilm X-T5
Can’t See the Forest – Lynx Lake, AZ – Fujifilm X-T5
Irrigation Mist – Buckeye, AZ – Fujifilm X-T5

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

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

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

Just Announced: Fujifilm X-T5!!!

Fujifilm just announced the brand-new X-T5!

What makes this camera special? Who should buy it?

To understand the X-T5, one has to go back in time a few years. The X-H1 was Fujifilm’s original flagship, but due to poor timing on its release and an overly aggressive initial MSRP, it didn’t sell well. Fujifilm thought this camera was going to be a huge hit, but instead it flopped… at least until it was heavily discounted. Those who own an X-H1 love the camera, and regard it as one of Fujifilm’s best, a true workhorse. The X-T3, which was announced just months after the X-H1 was released, more or less killed the X-H1, just because it was the first X-Trans IV camera while the X-H1 was the last X-Trans III model. The X-T3 would become Fujifilm’s top selling camera of all time, and was only recently discontinued. The X-T4 came out when the X-T3 was just over a year old, and Fujifilm sold them both at the same time because the X-T4 wasn’t really the X-T3’s successor, but instead was another attempt at a flagship model, kind of a cross between the X-H1 and X-T3 (but with compromises that both X-T and X-H users weren’t thrilled about). Now that Fujifilm has released the X-H2 and X-H2s cameras, there isn’t a “need” for the X-T4, and it’s being discontinued. That brings us to the X-T5, which is the successor to both the X-T3 and X-T4, but is more like the X-T3 than the X-T4, yet sharing a legacy with both models. Make sense?

What makes the X-T5 special is that it walks back some of the unwanted “improvements” of the X-T4—yet improves upon the appreciated features of the X-T4—while in a package more similar to the X-T3, and with the new sensor and processor of the X-H2. So is it better than the X-T3? In many regards yes, in some regards it is a wash (not better or worse), and in a couple of regards no. Is it better than the X-T4? This depends on your definition of better, because the X-T4 was actually a more premium model, but with curious design choices that some don’t appreciate—if that’s you, then, yes, the X-T5 is better, but if you really like the X-T4, the X-T5 might be seen as a step backwards in some ways. I will say this: my wife has an X-T4 that she really loves, but she would prefer the screen of the X-T3/X-T5, so that makes it potentially a better camera for her. I say “potentially” because the screen is just one factor. If the X-T4 handles heat better—say, if the X-T5 has overheating issues when recording video—then that wouldn’t work out well, because she uses it more for for video than stills. “Better” is a subjective term, anyway, that’s perceived much differently depending on the person and how they use their gear. What’s “better” for one person might not be “better” for another—at all depends on your point-of-view.

But isn’t X-Trans V better than X-Trans IV? X-Trans IV was such an outdated sensor and overall technology, while X-Trans V is the pinnacle of APS-C camera technology advancements—doesn’t that mean it’s unquestionably better? That’s tough to say. I’m reminded of when Syndrome, in the movie The Incredibles, describes his new-and-improved superhero-destroying robot. “It’s bigger, it’s badder, ladies and gentleman,” Syndrome announces, “and it’s too much for Mr. Incredible!” Similarly, there’s no doubt that the X-T5 is metaphorically “bigger and badder” than the X-T3 and X-T4 (physically, it’s smaller than the X-T4), but perhaps “it’s too much for” most photographers. While some have decried the X-T3 and X-T4 as disappointments or not “good enough” for some reason, for the vast majority of photographers, both of those models are well above and beyond anything that they actually need. And, of course, with more megapixels come additional challenges—sometimes less is more. The point of this paragraph is that, yes, the technology of X-Trans V is surely an improvement, but, at a point of diminishing returns, do you really need those improvements? Some of you do, many of you don’t—and for those who don’t, the improvements of the X-T5 are really paper improvements and not something that will likely affect your photography in any practical way.

What I just stated is important because some of you right now are trying to decide if you should upgrade, and everyone’s telling you that you should. There’s a whole lot of hype—some FOMO and GAS even—and you’re not sure what to do. I will give you my advice as someone who has never touched or seen in-person an X-T5. Take it for what it’s worth, which is probably not a lot.

If you have an X-T2 and have been thinking of upgrading for awhile, but the X-T3 was too similar to the X-T2 (not enough of an upgrade), and the X-T4 had that darn flippy screen you didn’t like, then you’ll likely really appreciate the X-T5. If you have the money and desire, just do it and get it—I feel like this is the group that the X-T5 makes the most sense for. Those with an X-T3? I have a hard time with this one, because it might be a big difference for you, or it might be pretty much the same thing that you already have, depending on how you use the camera. Those who shoot JPEGs will likely find it significantly different with the new film simulations and JPEG options (although it doesn’t appear to be a whole lot different than the X-T4 in this regard). If you print your pictures poster-sized, those extra megapixels will come in handy. If you somehow find the autofocus lacking, that’s been improved. Use it for video? There’s some improvements there, too. Need IBIS? It has it. But if those things don’t matter that much to you, the X-T5 isn’t all that much different than the X-T3, and won’t necessarily be an improvement for you. So my suggestion to those considering upgrading from the X-T3 to the X-T5 is to think long and hard about how you use your camera and where you find it lacking, if you find it lacking at all. Those with an X-T4, the X-T5 is only an upgrade for you if you hate the flippy screen, if you somehow find the autofocus lacking, print posters, or need a slightly smaller body (apparently the X-T5 is just larger than an X-T1); otherwise, the X-T5 isn’t really an upgrade for you, and I don’t recommend getting the new camera. Still using an X-T1? Buy a used X-T2 or X-T3—there’s about to be a whole bunch of them. So to summarize, the X-T5 makes the most sense as an upgrade for those who currently have an X-T2; it’s 50-50 for those with an X-T3, depending on how you use your camera; many of those with an X-T4 will likely not trade in for the new model, although some will, obviously.

We’ve talked about upgrading from a like-model, but what about those who have some other camera? If you’ve been using an X-T20 or X-T30 and wanting a more premium model, the X-T5 might be just that for you. I don’t think it should be underestimated how many will be moving up from one of those models to an X-T5, or perhaps a used X-T3 or X-T4. I suspect that a used X-T3 will be pretty easily found for $700-$800 in the coming months—they’re still exceptional cameras, and that will be very tempting for those who don’t have $1,700 to drop on an X-T5. For those with an X-H1, I think the X-T4 is just as much (if not more so) of an “upgrade” as the X-T5 (for those who don’t consider the X-H2 and X-H2s to be the “real” successors), and obviously neither are really upgrades, so I don’t see the X-T5 as particularly appealing to the X-H1 owners, although I’m sure some will take the bait. I do believe that those who own an X100V as their only Fujifilm camera (and that’s a significant group… it really is a gateway into the Fujifilm system) will take a long look at the X-T5, as they should, and some will buy.

You might think, reading all of this, that I’m not especially excited for this camera, but you couldn’t be more wrong. I believe that Fujifilm is trying to do the right thing with the X-T5. Fujifilm walked back a lot of the changes that they made to the line with the X-T4, because those changes weren’t appreciated by the majority of X-T users. They did what they should have done (and what I previously suggested that they should do) and make the X-T5 more like the X-T3 and less like the X-T4. Bravo! I think the X-T5 is an important camera for Fujifilm, and a lot hinges on its success. I truly hope it’s a smashing success for Fujifilm, and I think it will be. With that said, I don’t work for Fujifilm, and I want to give good advice—honest advice—to my community, and the best advice I have is this: you shouldn’t upgrade with every new model release, experiences are more valuable than gear, and new gear will not make you a better photographer. On the flip side, if you have the money, and the X-T5 will help your photography in some way or make it more fun, then it definitely might be worth the expense. Only you can decide that for yourself. Trust your gut, and either go for it or pass, and feel good about that decision, whatever it is.

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

Orders will apparently ship on November 17.

Additional Thoughts on the Fujifilm X-T30 II (& X-T3 WW)

Fujifilm officially announced the X-T30 II today. This “new” camera is just like the “old” camera (including the X-T30 nameplate on the front… it says “X-T30” and not “X-T30 II”), except for a few key things. The rear screen is higher resolution. The camera has some additional built-in memory. It has (basically) the same firmware as the X-T4, X-S10, and X-E4. Otherwise, the two models are identical.

In my article Thoughts on the Upcoming Fujifilm X-T30 II I basically blasted Fujifilm for not offering a firmware update to the X-T30, but selling that firmware update as a “new” camera. I also stated:

It is possible that the X-T30 doesn’t have the internal memory, processing power, or heat dispersion capacity to receive this firmware update. It is possible that there is a hardware limitation that prevents it.

It seems that “internal memory” was indeed an issue, although I believe that the memory issue has more to do with the video side of things than still pictures. That’s just my opinion, not anything I have any evidence for. So the X-T30 II firmware can’t just be uploaded onto the X-T30, but a scaled down version, perhaps without the improved video features, certain could, and definitely should! It’s long, long overdue.

Fujifilm, if you happen to read this, please visit the comments section of my previous article. These are your customers, and those are their opinions.

The X-T30 II will be available on October 21, and if you have been thinking about getting an X-T30, you are better off waiting until October and buying the X-T30 II. I assume that the “original” X-T30 will be discontinued and discounted around that time, so perhaps a good deal on that model will be coming soon.

Also announced was the X-T3 WW, which is an X-T3 without a battery charger, and a $100 cheaper price-tag. The X-T3 and X-T3 WW are 100% identical. If you don’t need a battery charger, this might be a good option to save a little money.

Thoughts on the Upcoming Fujifilm X-T30 II

I told you a couple weeks ago that Fujifilm was going to release one more X-series camera before the end of the year, and I speculated what it might be. Fujirumors has let the cat out of the bag, and now we know it will be the X-T30 II, which will be an X-T30 but with “firmware on steroids.” I have a lot of thoughts (and emotions) on this, which I’ll share below.

First, I do not think this is the smartest move by Fujifilm. Last year I said, “If Fujifilm were to update the firmware on the X-T3 and X-T30 to breathe new excitement into these models, these cameras could still be sold for another two years easily.” Some people are looking for an excuse to upgrade from the X-T10 or X-T20 (and maybe a few other models), and whether the camera is the X-T30 II or an X-T30 with a major firmware update doesn’t matter to them. They’ll buy either. Those with an X-T30 aren’t likely to upgrade to the X-T30 II (I know I won’t).

All this does to X-T30 owners is make unhappy customers. I know that Fujifilm has no obligation to offer firmware updates. I was very happy with the my X-T30 when I bought it almost two-and-a-half years ago, and I’m still happy with it. But when a company does a certain practice (such as Kaizen firmware updates) for so long, it becomes expected. It’s not only expected that Fujifilm would do this, it makes sense for them to do so, as it creates happy customers, which means they’re more likely to be repeat customers and even unofficial brand ambassadors. Offering a major Kaizen firmware update to the X-T30 would thrill X-T30 owners and make them very happy customers (a.k.a. repeat customers who tell their friends how awesome Fujifilm cameras are), and it would breathe new life of excitement into the X-T30, increasing sales from those looking to upgrade from older models. It’s a win-win!

Instead, X-T30 owners will have to shell out $900 (or whatever the X-T30 II will cost) to get the firmware update that they’ve been hoping for. They won’t—I won’t, anyway. It seems like a greedy move. Fujifilm painted themselves with a seemingly negative light. They did it to themselves, I’m just pointing out the obvious that everyone sees.

That is, if indeed the X-T30 II is an X-T30 with nothing more than a firmware update. It is possible that the X-T30 doesn’t have the internal memory, processing power, or heat dispersion capacity to receive this firmware update. It is possible that there is a hardware limitation that prevents it. Maybe Fujifilm was attempting to do this firmware update when they realized they couldn’t, and thus the X-T30 II was born. I have no idea if this is the case or not. Emotionally I hope it is (because it means that Fujifilm isn’t driven by mere greed). Logically I hope it is not (because it means that a firmware update is still possible for the X-T30, although that seems unlikely at this point). Internally the X-T30 II might not be 100% identical to the X-T30—it’s impossible to know right now, but either way there’s a negative aspect to it for Fujifilm customers.

The X-T30 II is actually a much-needed camera in the Fujifilm lineup. Really, the X-T30 with a Kaizen firmware update is what was needed, but since that’s apparently not happening, X-T30 II will serve as a stop-gap between the X-T30 and future X-T40. You see, there are people who don’t want the X-S10 because of the PASM dial and non-retro design, who don’t want the X-E4 because it doesn’t have enough dials, switches and knobs, who don’t want an X-T4 because it is too big and expensive, and who don’t want the X-T30 because it doesn’t have all of the JPEG options that those newer cameras have. The X-T30 II will be the camera of choice for those people.

There’s also an implication here for the X-T3. Those who have an X-T3, like those with an X-T30, have been hoping for a Kaizen update for nearly two years. Since the X-T30 isn’t getting one, the X-T3 isn’t likely to get one, either. Want a firmware update for the X-T30? Buy an X-T30 II! Want a firmware update for the X-T3? Buy an X-T4! That’s the message, unfortunately.

The Fujifilm X-T30 II will be announced on September 2, the same day that the Fujinon 33mm f/1.4 will be announced.

I don’t think that Fujifilm regularly reads this website. I don’t think they were even aware of Fuji X Weekly until a little over a year ago. I do believe that they have mixed feelings about this blog, because I often use a competitor’s brand name (Kodak, Kodachrome, Portra, etc.), which seems silly to me as Kodak hasn’t been a major player in photography in awhile, yet I bring them a lot of new customers due to the film simulation recipes. They also don’t like articles where I mention yet-to-be-announced products (such as this one). I don’t have a voice at the company, but I wish that I did because I do believe I have a pretty good pulse of their customers—thanks to you, the greatest community in all of photography! In the off chance that Fujifilm reads this article, I would like your opinions to be included. If you’d like Fujifilm to release a firmware update for the X-T30 and X-T3, let them know by commenting. They might not ever read your thoughts and ideas, but they might, so please let them know, and maybe—just maybe—it will make a difference.

See also: Additional Thoughts on the Fujifilm X-T30 II

Fujifilm X-E4 Thoughts….

I wasn’t intending to write this article. I had other things that I wanted to talk about. There are a couple new film simulation recipes I’ve created that I plan to share. I want to give my thoughts on the new GFX100S. I want to talk more about the GFX-50S that Fujifilm sent me to use. There are a couple of lens reviews that I’ve been procrastinating on. The Android version of the Fuji X Weekly App is edging closer to being finished. But, the upcoming Fujifilm X-E4 has been turning inside my brain all day, so that’s why I’m writing about it instead.

I think a lot of people had high hopes and expectations for the Fujifilm X-E4, and nobody really predicted what it ended up being. It’s like when the X-Pro3 was announced, and everyone was scratching their heads. With the X-Pro3, even though so many didn’t understand it, I think there was a pretty large curiosity towards it, and a lot of people came around to it after awhile. The X-E4 has a similar lack of understanding surrounding it, but it doesn’t carry that same curiosity, so it will likely be fairly ignored. It’s already been overshadowed by other gear announcements.

There was a post I published back in July called Shrinking Camera Market: What Fujifilm Should Do in 2021 & Beyond. I suggested that Fujifilm should make a less-expensive 100MP GFX camera. Guess what? They did! Another thing I suggested is that Fujifilm should do more to differentiate the X-E4 from the X-T30 (and the eventual X-T40) because the X-E3 and the X-T20 were so very similar (aside from camera shape). Well, it looks like they did that, too. My apologies.

The question is: what was Fujifilm thinking when they designed the X-E4? What was their vision? That’s tough to know until the tell us, if they tell us, as they might not. Until then, we’re left guessing, and most of the guesses seems to be along the lines of, “They cheapened the X-E line.” I really don’t believe that was their intention.

As I’ve thought about this, I believe the X-E4 is intended to be a minimalist’s “just shoot” camera. Looking at all of the aspects of an X-E3, the designers asked themselves, “Is this necessary?” If the answer was yes, it stayed, perhaps repositioned or redesigned. If the answer was no, to the chopping block it went! I question if the rear wheel and focus-type-selector were really unnecessary, because I think they’re both quite handy. But someone obviously didn’t think so. An ISO dial on the shutter knob (like the X100V) would have been a great addition, but that didn’t happen, unfortunately. I do believe the design of the X-E4 was very intentional, and there was a purpose to the decisions, even if I don’t fully understand them myself.

Besides being a “just shoot” camera, I think the X-E4 was intended to be a smaller pocketable-ish camera, like the X100V or the X70. Remember the X70? It was the short-lived baby-brother to the X100T, with an 18.5mm fixed-lens. Sony suddenly stopped production of the X-Trans II sensor, which the X70 used, and that killed the camera. The X-Trans III sensor was too hot to place inside the small X70 body, so an X80 never happened. Is the X-E4 actually an interchangeable-lens X80? Maybe. Attach one of Fujifilm’s pancake lenses—the 18mm f/2 or 27mm f/2.8—to the X-E4 and it could pass as an X70 successor. It wasn’t very long ago that Fujifilm said there would be no X-E4, that the X-E3 was the end of the line, so maybe the initial vision of this camera wasn’t X-E at all. Just a thought.

Where I think the Fujifilm X-E4 makes the most sense is as a lightweight, compact, carry-everywhere camera. It could nicely complement the X100V. It might be a good option to replace an aging X70. Or, if you never purchased an X70 but always wanted to, this might be a solid alternative. Maybe the XF10 never interested you because of its sluggish performance, Bayer sensor, and PASM dial, but you’d love a compact X-Trans option. Well, now you have one.

My opinion is that if you can make peace with the minimalistic redesign, and you get yourself the 18mm f/2 and/or the 27mm f/2.8—maybe even use a wrist strap instead of a neck strap—this camera could be a very nice travel/street/have-with-you-wherever-you-go option. Is it perfect? No, but what camera is?

Like a lot of you, I’m disappointed that the Fujifilm X-E4 isn’t the camera that many of us thought it could or should be, but as I’ve pondered what it is exactly that Fujifilm created, I can see its place and it does make some sort of sense. If you embrace it for what it is, and perhaps think of it more as an interchangeable-lens X80 than an X-E camera, than I think the X-E4 could actually be a wonderful and fun option.

I say all of this, but I’ve never used or even held an X-E4, so this rant should be taken with a grain of salt. I was initially bummed by the camera because my expectations were off, but now that I’ve had time to dwell on it I’m actually beginning to warm up to it. I think the X-E4, like many of the X-E cameras that came before, will go under the radar and will be under appreciated, but for those who own one, it will be a joy to use.

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

Fujifilm X-E4 (Body Only)   Amazon  B&H
Fujifilm X-E4 (w/27mm f/2.8)   Amazon  B&H

New: Fujifilm X-E4

Fujifilm just announced the brand-new X-E4. This will be the smallest interchangeable-lens camera in the X series, and comes in at a modest $849 (body only) price tag. Plenty has been said about it, and I wanted to add my own quick opinions.

The X-E4 is a camera that I am excited for. Why? Because my Fujifilm journey began with the X-E1, and I love the X-E line. I appreciate the size and design. The X-E4 is the X-Pro3’s and X100V’s little brother; sometimes little brothers get overlooked. I could be wrong, but I bet this will be last camera with the X-Trans IV sensor, and the next Fujifilm X camera will feature a new X-Trans V sensor.

This latest version of the X-E camera, which will be released on March 11, is the smallest. It’s also the first with a tilting screen. There are some curious design choices. I’m not surprised that the D-Pad was removed, but I am surprised that the back wheel and some other buttons have been taken away. Fujifilm really embraced a minimalist camera back, which I suppose fits a philosophy that helps to separate this camera from the X-T30 and X-S10, but I wonder if that was actually a good idea. I’m personally disappointed the shutter speed knob doesn’t have an ISO dial like the X100V. It’s still such a beautiful camera body!

The GFX100S, which was announced the same day and really has received most of the attention online, and perhaps deservedly so, was given a new film simulation, called Nostalgic Negative. Strangely, the X-E4 won’t have this new film simulation (but it will have Classic Negative and Eterna Bleach Bypass). This puzzles me because 1) my assumption is that the majority of GFX users shoot RAW and not JPEG (although there are certainly many who do) and 2) this could have been a selling point for the X-E4 and would have generated more excitement for the camera. It would have made more sense to me to have included this film simulation on both cameras, or if it was going to be on only one it should have been the X-E4. My guess is that we’ll start seeing Nostalgic Negative on whatever X series camera comes after the X-E4.

I haven’t preordered the X-E4, but I’m considering selling my X-T30 and replacing it with the X-E4. I don’t think that’s necessarily an upgrade (maybe arguably in some sense, and maybe arguably a downgrade in some other sense, but mostly roughly a lateral move overall), but I just love the X-E line. I haven’t decided yet what I’ll do.

The X-E4 is a compact, lightweight Fujifilm X camera that embraces minimalism, simplicity and retro goodness. It seems like such a fun camera that’s especially great for travel or street photography. Introduced at the same time is the new 27mm f/2.8 pancake. This one is weather sealed (the X-E4 isn’t) and has an aperture ring (both are great upgrades!) yet with the same great image quality, so it’s a lens that I hope to add to my collection someday. You can buy the X-E4 bundled with the Fujinon 27mm pancake lens for $1,050.

If you’d like to preorder the camera, you can use the links below:

Fujifilm X-E4 (Body Only) Amazon B&H
Fujifilm X-E4 (w/27mm f/2.8) Amazon B&H

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

New: Fujifilm X-S10

It seems like everyone is talking about the newly announced Fujifilm X-S10, an upcoming mid-range interchangeable-lens mirrorless camera with in-body image stabilization (IBIS). This new camera will be released on November 19 for $1,000 for the body-only.

The X-S10 is a new line, not just a new camera. Fujifilm obviously didn’t listen to my advice (I highly doubt they ever saw it). Really, Fujifilm should have added IBIS to the X-T30 and called it the X-T40, at least that’s what I suggested. Instead they made a new camera from scratch (is that what the “S” stands for?). Internally, the X-S10 is an X-T4 (Fujifilm’s high-end model). Externally, this is an X-T200 (Fujifilm’s low-end model) with a grip (I assume the grip is for heat dispersion more than anything). It seems like they put a Porsche engine inside a VW Bug.

The X-S10 is the X-T4, except smaller, lighter, not weather sealed, with only one memory card slot, and in a body similar to the X-T200 (but with a hand-grip). You get a pretty darn solid camera for a pretty decent price. But, you also get a PASM dial instead of the shutter and ISO dials. It’s what’s on the inside that counts, right? On the inside the X-S10 is a great camera, no doubt about it!

I don’t like the name, though. Did Fujifilm put their hand in a Scrabble bag and pull out an S? What does the S stand for? When I think of S10, I think of cheap Chevy trucks with questionable reliability and presumably lots of rust. That’s not a good association! Of course, if you say the full name, it sounds like “Excess 10” which perhaps is appropriate but not necessarily great from a marketing point-of-view. Maybe the S stands for Sony-killer, which is what I think Fujifilm hopes that this camera becomes. It seems pretty obvious that the Fujifilm X-S10 and the Sony A6500 will be direct competitors. The A6500 is aesthetically uninspiring, so despite my misgivings about the X-S10’s body design, it still wins hands down over the Sony model, in my opinion. Most likely, the S stands for stabilized, as this camera joins a small list of Fujifilm cameras that have IBIS.

Interestingly, Fujifilm also announced a new 10-24mm f/4 lens, which is simply an update to a lens they’ve had for awhile. The new version is weather-sealed. There are a few other small improvements, but weather sealing is the big one. Apparently at some point you’ll be able to buy the X-S10 bundled with the new 10-24mm lens, but the X-S10 isn’t weather sealed, so you might be better off buying the old version of the lens instead, if you plan to use it with that camera.

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

Fujifilm X-S10 Amazon B&H

Announced: Fujifilm X-T200

Fujifilm X-T200

Fujifilm just announced the upcoming X-T200, which is the successor to the X-T100. While the X-T200 looks a lot like the camera that it’s replacing, and some of the specs might seem identical, this is definitely an improved model. Essentially, it’s a Fujifilm X-A7 that looks like an X-T100, but with some brand new features. The camera will ship on February 27, but you can pre-order now.

The main upgrades on the X-T200 are auto-focus, video, and the rear screen. For still pictures, there’s not much to distinguish this camera over the previous model. Auto-focus got a very nice boost, with the same capabilities as the X-A7. This camera also now has the same rear screen as the X-A7. Video is a night-and-day difference. The X-T100 has disappointing video capabilities, while the X-T200 overflows in this department.

One of the interesting new features is called “digital gimbal” which essentially crops the image slightly to make a smooth video without image stabilization. It’s similar to what GoPro has on their new models. It’s a great addition for those who plan to use the camera for video.

Who is it for? The X-T200 would make an excellent first interchangeable-lens camera for someone new to photography. It could be a great second body for someone who already has another Fujifilm X camera. Those who vlog or make YouTube videos might especially appreciate this model.

The X-T100 was clearly a step-down from the X-T20, both in price and features, while the X-T200 keeps up with the X-T30 quite well, and is a little cheaper, but not by a huge amount. It is a Bayer sensor camera and not X-Trans, and because of that it’s missing some of the options that the X-T30 has, yet the X-T200 has some features that the X-Trans model doesn’t. I would recommend the X-T30, but if you want to save a little money, the X-T200 is a surprisingly solid alternative. The X-A7 doesn’t have the “digital gimbal” feature found on the X-T200, but it’s also a little cheaper, so if you don’t need it, you might as well buy the X-A7 instead, because it’s essentially the same camera, just in a different shape. For still photography, the X-T100 is basically just as good as the X-T200, and you can pick it up for much less, but if video is important to you, the X-T200 is the camera to buy.

This post contains affiliate links. I will be compensated a small amount if you make a purchase after clicking my links.

Fujifilm X-T200 (Body Only) $700   B&H   Amazon
Fujifilm X-T200 w/15-45mm lens $800   B&H   Amazon