I don't hide that I'm a Fujifilm fanboy. My last article described how it's the perfect system for me. I purchased two Fujifilm XT-5 camera bodies the day they were released and used them at weddings just a few days later.
The camera has already been reviewed extensively, so I'm not getting technical. Instead, I want to share my views on using the X-T5 for my day job.
Over the last two wedding seasons (Covid stole the one before from us), I've been using two Fujifilm XT-3 cameras. Although they were a few years old, the cameras worked brilliantly for my wedding work. The 26mp resolution was perfectly adequate, and the autofocus worked almost all the time. However, they were getting a little tired from lots of use, and I felt left behind regarding the cameras Fujifilm currently offered.
The Elephant in the Room, X-H2 & X-H2s
So if I knew the cameras were ready to be upgraded, why didn't I do it sooner? Fujifilm released two cameras earlier in the year, either of which would have been a significant upgrade to my trusty X-T3. The Fujifilm X-H2s with its lightning-fast operation, or the Fujifilm X-H2 with an impressive 40mp sensor.
The issue with both of the cameras was mine and not a reflection on the bodies. After years of using small bodies, The two X-H cameras were too big for me. However, I understand that, for some people, this is what made the cameras comfortable.
And so I was left waiting to see what Fujifilm would release next. The options were either a new X-T camera or a new X-Pro. We also were yet to find out which of the two new sensors the next release would have. Truthfully, for my almost 100% candid wedding photography style, I would have been upgrading to any of these options.
I resize my photographs before I deliver them to my clients, usually to 4,500 pixels on the long edge of the image. That equates to 13.5 megapixels, and I never have any issues with print resolution. So why would a 40-megapixel sensor be of any use to me? I wondered if it might be an unwelcome addition that I would pay for in storage space.
But I remember having those same thoughts when I moved from my old 16-megapixel cameras. In the end, I loved the extra resolution, so I was open-minded. After my first import into lightroom, I was confident I had made the right decision.
I especially love the cropping freedom I now have. I can 'punch in' to a photograph whilst still being able to export at my required resolution. JPEG shooters can take this one step further with the camera's digital teleconverter. I'd love this feature in my RAW photographs to remove one step in post.
The photographs look crisp and clear, especially with the Fujifilm 18mm f/1.4 and the Fujifilm 33mm f/1.4 lenses.
Another area I was apprehensive about was the performance in low light. I pushed my X-T3 sensors to their limit in low light. I have always preferred to deal with some noise before I pull out the artificial lighting, often shooting wedding images at up to 12,800 ISO. I was worried that the higher-resolution sensor would push the noise past my comfort levels. But, again, the files I opened put my mind at ease. Yes, the high ISO images have noise, but if you could deal with the levels on the older cameras, you'll be happy with the X-T5.
The image below was shot at ISO 5000, quite typical for an indoor wedding at night in the UK.
I've become accustomed to the colors from all Fujifilm cameras. As expected, the X-T5 carries on the trend.
How much I enjoy using a camera is essential to me. It isn't a subject we talk much about. We talk about handling, which is close, but how a camera makes you feel when you use it comes under a different title.
Fujifilm has long excelled in this area over most other brands. Without spending a few extra thousand on a digital Leica, no other brand concentrates its efforts on how much fun a camera is.
I love that I have a dial or button for most settings I need for a typical wedding. The fact I can reprogram almost every button to my liking is invaluable. Retro styling has always been appealing. Fujifilm manages to pair the style with functionality. The X-T3 size was perfect for small hands like mine, and this feels even better. The grip is deeper but not as profound as the X-T4.
There is no battery grip available. I've never used one, but it may be necessary for you. On that subject, however, I am yet to change a battery at a wedding. I shoot in boost mode, but I switch the camera off and back on when it's in use. This adds to the enjoyment, too, as it's one less thing to worry about. The camera feels solid in my hands, and improvements have been made over the X-T3. For example, the exposure compensation dial is easier to reach and turn with one finger (or thumb), and the layout of some buttons is more intuitive. I would have loved the photometry setting to be on a physical dial, but we can't have it all! So it's a minor niggle for me, but a personal one.
On the enjoyability scale, the X-T5 matches my older X-T3. It beats the X-T4 and anything from Sony, Canon or Nikon. It also beats my older Olympus digital cameras, but the gap is narrower. The only modern contenders are the Fuji X-pro line, X100v, and the Leica Q2 or M11. Somebody in the comments will shout at me for saying that!
I need to add a note. I only have experience with this camera at weddings. I'm yet to test the advanced tracking options; I've only used it on people moving at a walking or dancing pace. However, the autofocus is better than what I'm used to with the X-T3, and as good as I could need it.
My typical settings are single shot rather than continuous. However, If a person is about to move in a photo, I'll move the front switch over to C. I'm also using the newer Fujifilm lenses with fast linear motors. I struggle to watch the image focus when I press the shutter release in single autofocus. It's just that snappy. I don't know how else to describe it.
I've been using face detection more in this camera. The main reason is the new way to control it. The camera will prioritize the face closest to the single focus point. This small and quiet function changed the entire system's predictability for me, making it usable. Lots of other reviews show the camera's tracking ability, and the X-H2s is faster for the sports shooters out there. However, my hit rate is higher than ever for my average wedding.
In low light, the camera also performed respectably.
If you have previously shot weddings on Fujifilm cameras, I think you'll struggle to make a better decision than the X-T5. There's much more to these cameras than I have mentioned. These are my thoughts after two weddings. I'm sure I'll find more to comment on, and I'm yet to test the IBIS or any video functionality. Other reviewers have tested this extensively, but my thoughts on the camera as a whole remain positive so far.
fuji and lightroom? jesus..
It works just fine now with Fuji uncompressed raws, I moved back to Lightroom a few months ago and its great. Just cant use compressed raw but if I’m shooting raw I’m not shooting compressed anyway.
I’ve used Lightroom since I started shooting photographs professionally. I continued when I moved to fujifilm and have never had a problem.
Likewise, a client has never said “oh you use Lightroom with Fuji files… I want my money back”.
Fujifilm and lightroom can work decently, though in some cases, certain fine details can have demosiacing problems where you may notice a weird pattern. In those cases if it is noticeable, then tools in lightroom and ACR such as "enhance details" can correct those artifacts. In most cases, you will not have any issues with lightroom though.
Sadly after they moved to the subscription model, Adobe has been very slow to develop new versions of their raw engine, (still on camera raw process version 5), thus no fixes on a more fundamental level to better handle different CFAs.
Recently moved from C1 to LR as C1 wasn't meeting my needs anymore. I initially changed as LR quality was poor few years back.
Today, it appears to be great for my workflow.
You need to turn that IBIS on in low light, you’ll be able to shoot indoor low light shots at 1600-6400 iso with ease at useable shutter speeds especially if you stack a lens with IBIS as well. It’s game changing, you’ll just have to carry extra batteries as it chews them up about 25% faster when high volume shooting.
I will probably use it more moving forward, but I do try to keep my shutter above 1/250 because people move… so this mostly eradicates camera shake for me.
Does the face/eye detection still take over the metering? I’ve been quite frustrated with the XT3—when it locks onto the eye it will treat it as almost a spot meter and throw the exposure off.
Paul, I dont get the business about the XH2 and s being too big. The only difference in dimensions vs the XT series is the depth of the grip. The width of the XH2 over the XT5 is only 4 mm different, and the weight is barely noticeable 100g different. I have traded from the XT4 to the XH2 and it is so much more comfortable in hand, and better balanced
It’s a personal thing which is more to do with me. I’ve grown accustomed to using the smaller cameras and being able to reach certain dials (mainly the joystick) when shooting one handed. With my smaller hands, the deeper grip stopped me from shooting and controlling the camera the way I like to.
I know plenty of people who welcome the deeper grip, but I’m not one of them.
Fair enough. The other issue for me with the XT4 was the failure of the retro knobs. I had failure (twice) in the XPro 2 (Iso knob jammed) and same with the XT4. Failed during a remote trip, and that was it for me
Oh that's a shame! Not something I've experienced but I can see your frustration.