Fujifilm has had a great year, but apparently it’s not over yet. According to some strong rumors, it’s planning to launch the Fujifilm X-T5 next month – and the mid-range all-in-one has the potential to be the most exciting camera of the year.
The source of this speculation is, as always, the reliable Fuji rumors (opens in new tab), with the site stating that Fujifilm will “announce the Fujifilm X-T5 in November” and that the camera will also launch in the same month. There is a degree of certainty about these claims that has rarely been misplaced.
So why is the X-T5 potentially the biggest camera launch of the year? After all, we’ve seen some brilliant news since January – and two of them were the Fujifilm X-H2S and the Fujifilm X-H2. Add in the Canon EOS R7 and Canon EOS R10 for stills, and the Panasonic Lumix GH6 and Sony FX30 for video, and it’s been 10 months for an industry seemingly beset by supply chain problems.
The great potential of the X-T5 is that, of all the big releases this year, it could be the best affordable hangout for photographers. Given that there haven’t been any major spec leaks for the X-T5 yet, the word ‘could’ is doing a lot of heavy lifting in that sentence. But the promise is very evident when you look at the models the XT is likely to borrow its talents from.
The current Fujifilm X-T4 remains high on our guide to the best cameras for photography. When it launched in 2020, our review stated that “no other camera in this class matches the low-light performance or resolved details of the X-T4”. That claim would now be disputed by the Canon EOS R7, but the X-T4 remains good value for its price of $1,699 / £1,549 / AU$2,999.
But the X-T5 will likely bring big changes, including a new sensor. According to Fuji rumors (opens in new tab), this will not be the ‘stacked’ APS-C chip in the X-H2S, but rather the 40MP one inside the X-H2. That’s good news; we’re finishing up our testing of the X-H2 and (spoiler alert) it sets a new benchmark for APS-C sensors.
So how does the X-T5 differ from the X-H2, which costs $1,999 / £1,899 / AU$3,399 (body only)? It looks like the main differences will be in the controls and the slightly more amateurish setup of the X-T5. The X-T5 is expected to adopt Fujifilm’s retro dials for changing settings like ISO and shutter speed, rather than the X-H2’s ‘PASM’ approach (Program, Auto, Shutter, Manual).
The mid-range X-T5 will also definitely be less pro-pro than the X-H2 in some key areas. Expect to see two SD card slots instead of the faster and more expensive CFexpress, plus a smaller grip, a lower electronic viewfinder (perhaps the 3.68 million dot on the X-T4), limited video recording times and no optional battery grip. All of these things should theoretically put the X-T5 within the X-T4’s estimated launch price of $1,699 / £1,549 / AU$2,999.
This mix of features wouldn’t exactly make the Fujifilm X-T5 unique. But its trump card compared to its rivals will likely be the range of high-quality glass available from Fujifilm and, increasingly, third-party brands…
The glass is greener
Choosing the right camera should always involve looking at the system’s lenses to see if they’re the best match for the things you love to shoot. Sony continues to offer the best range of glass for full-frame cameras, and Fujifilm is now moving to pole position for APS-C cameras.
The range of lenses available for the X-mount is certainly not perfect – there is a hole at the longer end for some telephoto lenses like an XF300mm f/4, XF400mm f/4 or an XF500mm f/5.6. And, more importantly for the X-T5, the system still needs a lot more ‘Mark II’ lenses like the recent XF56mm f/1.2 R WR to really take full advantage of that 40MP resolution, even if Fuji claims (opens in new tab) that 20 existing lenses can extract the “maximum benefit” of their extra details.
Still, some of the top X-series primes – including the XF23mm f/1.4 R LM WR and XF33mm f/1.4 R LM WR – have been updated. More importantly, the X-mount has now been opened up to allow third-party manufacturers to fill in some of the gaps or offer cheaper alternatives to Fuji’s own lenses. Viltrox, for example, recently released an excellent XF13mm f/1.4 lens for astrophotography, while Sigma started with three prime lenses of its own.
This is where the Fujifilm X-T5 could have an edge over one of its closest rivals, the Canon EOS R7. The EOS R7 is an excellent camera with excellent autofocus – an area the X-T5 might struggle to match – which makes it one of the best wildlife photography cameras for its price. But it’s also hampered by the lack of native lenses, along with Canon’s baffling decision to keep its RF mount closed to third-party manufacturers.
With Sony seemingly uninterested in making a mid-range mirrorless camera for photographers – even if a hybrid version of the Sony FX30 now seems likely – the X-T5 may well be the closest we’ve come to a powerful workhorse focused on photos at a reasonable price. price this year.
As always, the proof will be in the testing, and there are plenty of ways for Fujifilm to snatch mediocrity from the grip of greatness with the X-T5. But if you’re an astute photographer who’s in the market for a new camera, November can end the year with an unexpectedly loud bang.