Equipment

Finding an Alternative to the Fujifilm X100VI – My Time with the Fujifilm X-T5

Published April 18, 2024

I’ve never really found much use for walkaround cameras. Believe me, I want to love them, but as a commercial photographer, I don’t feel super comfortable carrying my camera around with me – it has always been a tool for the work I produce. As a photographer, I’ve always believed in purposeful shooting. I try to only take the amount of photos as needed to convey my message, and having a walkaround camera conflicts with those principles. Furthermore, with cell phones constantly improving their sensor quality and editing software, I’ve never felt too limited when it comes to using my phone as my “walkaround camera” as needed. And so, the hype behind the Fujifilm X100VI has been something I’ve never really related to or understood – and so I decided I should look into that further.

For those who don’t know, the Fujifilm X100VI is the latest from Fujifilm in their X100 platform, and will likely end up being one of the most popular cameras of 2024. With its fixed 23mm lens and film camera aesthetics, it has become a huge hit with Gen Zers and Millennials alike; pairing that with Fuji’s already exceptional color profiles and film simulations, it makes a lot of sense for how this modern camera generates some false nostalgia to the film era while maintaining the comforts of digital. However, because of the outrageous demand for the Fujifilm X100VI, and my admittedly cynical look at the camera, this article isn’t about that camera at all, but rather a far superior platform in my opinion – the Fuji X-T5.

This past week, I spent 10 days bouncing between San Francisco and Santa Cruz as I helped Indian Motorcycles put together a massive press event for their latest Indian Scout motorcycle. I wasn’t hired as a photographer for the event, but rather, with logistics and behind-the-scenes stuff, so it didn’t make sense to bring my Fujifilm GFX100S and lighting equipment with me to this event – especially if I was going to be spending some of the time riding a motorcycle. So instead, I rented out the Fuji X-T5 and the Fuji XF 35mm f/1.4 lens to work as my carry-along camera, and as what I consider a better alternative to the Fujifilm X100VI. While I must admit, my first few days with the camera were met with more frustrations than excitement, by the end of my ten days with the Fuji X-T5, I finally had a better appreciation for what Fujifilm is doing to shake up the industry with their rangefinder-esque cameras.

The Camera

The camera itself is nothing particularly new. Released back in late 2022, the Fuji X-T5 is still a staple in the Fuji X-Series lineup. While their lineup is admittedly a bit complicated, the Fujifilm X-T5 offers a 40-megapixel crop sensor paired with the Fujifilm X-Processor 5 giving you seven stops of IBIS, shutter speeds maxing out at an impressive 1/180,000 a second, and 6.2K30 video functionality. If you’re patiently waiting for your Fujifilm X100VI to arrive, you’ll know those numbers and features are virtually identical between the two cameras – except the Fujifilm X-T5 offers an X-series lens mount, whereas the Fujifilm X100VI pairs with a fixed 23mm lens. To further the comparisons, I’ve put together a small table to show just how similar these two cameras are.

 Fujifilm X-T5Fujifilm X100VI
Sensor Size23.8 mm × 15.6 mm BSI CMOS APS-C23.8 mm × 15.6 mm BSI CMOS APS-C
Resolution40.2 Megapixel40.2 Megapixel
Processor EngineX-Processor 5X-Processor 5
CIPA image stabilization rating7 stop(s)6 stop(s)
Maximum shutter speed (electronic)1/180000 sec1/180000 sec
Continuous drive15.0 fps11.0 fps
Flash X sync speed1/250 sec1/4000 sec
Video Resolution4K 60p, 6.2K 30p 4:2:2 10-Bit Video4K 60p, 6.2K 30p 4:2:2 10-Bit Video
USB ConnectivityUSB 3.2 Gen 2 (10 GBit/sec)USB 3.2 Gen 2 (10 GBit/sec)
Battery Life (CIPA)580 Shots450 Shots
Size130 x 91 x 64 mm (5.12 x 3.58 x 2.52″)128 x 75 x 55 mm (5.04 x 2.95 x 2.17″)
Price$1,699 (Body Only)$1,599

As for the design of the camera, Fujifilm continues its tradition of making modern cameras while sticking to the older design elements that you would have seen on 35mm and rangefinders from the 60s. Instead of relying on the thumb stroll wheels, Fuji relies on an old-school dial on the top, with the ability to adjust in 1/3rd increments through the use of the thumb wheel. The same element lives in the ISO adjustment on the other side of the camera, allowing you to scroll to your desired ISO (though you have the full range of ISO through the use of the index finger wheel). While my time and experience with the pre-digital SLR era of cameras is admittedly limited, I must say that the Fujifilm X-T5 is quite a beautiful camera – particularly in its silver design. However, if you’re looking for something more discrete, they also offer a body in all-black.

The Lens

I originally chose the Fujifilm XF 27mm f/2.8 as my lens for this comparison, as it’s very small in form factor and a closer comparison to the 23mm lens found on the Fujifilm X100VI. But with the massive hype in the X100VI, also comes with hype falloff for the comparative equipment, and so, all of our Fujifilm XF 27mm f/2.8 are in limited stock, and not available for this trip. Still, the XF 35mm f/1.4 offered a great lens for comparison and despite being one of Fujifilm’s oldest lenses in the XF lineup, still has excellent sharpness and snappy autofocus.

Despite its age, the Fujifilm XF 35mm f/1.4 proved to be a very reliable option with this camera – easily handling the 40-megapixel resolution and giving me bright and sharp images, with excellent color. Its size put it a bit over the fair comparison of size and shape with the X100VI, but that would be mitigated with the previously mentioned Fujifilm XF 27mm f/2.8.

The Experience

As for my experience with this camera, I must admit my first day or two with it was a frustrating experience. As a photographer who shoots in mostly studio and commercial environments (and shoots an occasional event), I want my camera to be quick and nimble with adjusting settings. I’m used to using my finger dials for all of my settings on my Fuji GFX 100s, and the same holds true with my previous time with Canon DSLRs. So having large dials to adjust shutter speeds, and maintaining the f/stop selection left me feeling like I was fumbling with the camera.

However, what that also did was slow me down, and once I got a feel of it, I was able to adjust to the settings needed fairly quickly. But most importantly, this adjustment of settings got me back into a place where I excel the most – purposeful shooting. It’s easy to pull out a camera, setting it to Aperture Priority mode, and firing off a few thousand photos in a day to cull through and find the best couple dozen later. However, the Fujifilm X-T5 encouraged me to take a pause, set my settings, and ask myself why I chose the specific aperture or shutter speed – beyond just getting the correct exposure. This beat, albeit short, allowed me to ask myself the purpose of the images I was taking. As a commercial photographer, it’s usually to meet the needs of a creative director and marketing team, but as a personal experience, it allows me to build memories through vignettes of what I saw and experienced on my trip.

The Conclusion

In total, I only took a couple hundred photos during my week and a half in San Francisco and Santa Cruz – averaging less than 20 images a day. But each image (aside from the dozen that were to fix the composition of images), provides me with a feeling and memory of a chaotic but enjoyable week and a half. I went into this comparison, to let the Fujifilm X-T5 shine as a better camera option over the immensely popular Fuji X100VI, but left with a deep appreciation for having a camera to help capture your memories and tell a story, even if it’s one only you might understand.

So do I feel like the Fujifilm X-T5 is a superior camera and option over the Fuji X100VI? Yes, the pragmatic side of me still thinks this is the better option of the two. But more importantly, I think I learned that having a camera, any camera, to help excite the feeling of documenting your life is abundantly important, and often forgotten.


Related Reading

Author: Zach Sutton

I’m Zach and I’m the editor and a frequent writer here at Lensrentals.com. I’m also a commercial beauty photographer in Los Angeles, CA, and offer educational workshops on photography and lighting all over North America.
Posted in Equipment
  • Mark Gholson

    On my X-t1 I can set the shutter dial to T, and then use the front command dial for scrolling through the shutter settings, all the way up to the maximum shutter.

    Perhaps this works on the X-t5 also.

  • Save private Brian

    I tried that. The noisy slow focussing of the 28mm and Ok but not spectacular IQ (I’ve had both versions) just made me want to put another lens on even if a bit bigger on my x-t3.

    The x100v performed similarly with autofocus, but with better IQ and will also fit in a jeans or shorts pocket and is a lot more disarming than any x-t combo. People are intrigued by the camera and are just so much more themselves. Sulky kids don’t sulk or shy away like with the bigger camera, even with a pancake on. It oozes fun and is the camera I grab when I otherwise wouldn’t have taken one.

    Upgraded to the VI, because it’s a better sensor in many ways having used it on the x-t5. And upgrading not only didn’t cost me anything, it put a decent amount of money and accessories in my pocket, too.

    Would I have paid €1800? Probably not for a second camera. I thought I overpaid when I spent €1100 on the V before the hype kicked off. It does feel a lot more solid than the x-t5, though, so there’s no doubt it earns it’s price, but as a second camera that’s a lot when you could in theory just buy a lens.

    But it’s the whole package. It comes nearly everywhere where I want a compact option and simply wouldn’t have taken the x-t5 even with a pancake. And because it looks good, it’s simply on the sideboard at home. An objet d’art of classic modern design that even the wife doesn’t object to who has no interest in photography. That means it’s always on hand for spontaneous use, to grab and go. And for the kids to use like I did my 110 camera as a kid.

    I do like the ergonomics and UX of the x-t5 better, and it’s my first choice for most travel with a trio of usually fast primes. But both earn their spot.

    One thing’s for sure, the 27 2.8 is no substitute.

  • Get a Fuji Fujifilm XF 27mm f/2.8 R WR on your XT-5 and you will forget all about getting an X100VI.

Follow on Feedly