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Love at First Touch | My New Fujifilm X-T5

It’s the most wonderful time of the year and I am feeling like a million dollars cause I’m loving my early Christmas present, my magnificent X-T5.

I’ve been very excited since the moment Fujifilm announced the latest in their X-Series lineup, but reviews in the YouTube world had been mixed. The time it took for the camera to arrive in my hands felt like an eternity and I was pretty anxious as to whether I was going to love it or not. 

Two days before the last episode of SOOC I finally got to collect my X-T5. Returning home, camera box in hand, I made it just before a big afternoon thunderstorm broke (the relevance of which I will reveal just now). 

I had read the owner’s manual online at least twice in the weeks prior (which is definitely a first for me) and had watched unboxing and first look videos, but I still felt nervous about my own unboxing experience. 

The time had finally arrived – I tore open the shrink wrap and opened the lid of the very familiar looking black X-Series box. I was greeted by a “Welcome to the Family” message which is a nice, unexpected touch added by Fujifilm South Africa. Even though, in my case, it should probably say something like “Welcome back!” or “Oh look, it’s you again!” or “Howzit – Here’s another one for your collection!” Anyway, well done Fujifilm South Africa on that personal touch! 

And then, after removing the top layer of the box, there it was. My silver X-T5. I removed it ever so gingerly from its wrapping and was instantly relieved that it felt really nice in my hands. My main concern had been that it would feel too light, which may sound strange for some, as I do like a bit of weight in my hands. This was because after hearing other people comment on it being so very light, I was anxious that it would have the same “light” feel as the X-E4 (which is a camera that I like a lot). Much to my relief, the X-T5 is quite a bit more substantial and felt fabulous on first touch. 

Never have I ever spent so much time on deciding what colour my camera should be – doing so was always an obvious choice for me. My first Fujifilm camera was an X100s which only came in silver and I loved the look. Prior to that, my work cameras had always been black because in the DSLR days, there was never a choice. And when Fujifilm’s X-T-Series started out with the X-T, it was only available in black. Its successor, the X-T2, was mostly produced in black too with only a limited silver edition that was released after I had purchased my black one. Even though this was the case, it never even occurred to me to opt for this silver finish for my work camera. My black X-H1 and black X-T3 were a natural choices my work cameras, in the same way my silver X100F replaced my silver X100S as my personal camera.

Easy times. 

But now, after a long period of testing and shooting on a number of other Fujifilm cameras (the X-E4 and X-Pro3 to name a few) it was the first time that I felt I had to make a difficult decision. Initially, I thought I would order my X-T5 in black – after all, it would be my “serious” work camera. But I had seen the silver version in many more ads and reviews and for the first time it seemed to be a real choice to make. The X100-Series in silver is a no brainer for me and I love the finish, but other models are not so convincing to my eye. Anyway, after much debating and tossing and turning at night I decided to go for silver. It wasn’t until I saw it with my own eyes and felt it with my fingers that I knew I had made the right decision. It’s a serious looker and I love it.

Back to my unboxing story. My new beautifully silver X-T5 was now sitting in front of me and I was ready to bring it to life, but I knew that the batteries came uncharged. And even though I also knew that the latest Fujifilm cameras no longer include a battery charger, I didn’t really think about what that would mean until then. This is were the raging thunderstorm which was still underway, comes back into play. Electricity supply in South Africa isn’t to be trusted blindly and plugging a device directly into the mains brings with it the real danger of damage by brown outs (unhealthy fluctuations in the power supply). On top of that, Johannesburg is notorious for major lightning storms which regularly hit and trip the mains in our house – adding to this risk. So now there I sat with my brand new, lifeless camera in my hands with instructions that tell me to take the 2-pin plug that comes with it, plug that into the mains and connect directly to my camera. The mere thought of that made my stomach turn… this was not going to happen. Not a chance. So, instead, I went online and ordered an external battery charger.

The not-so-new anymore NP-W235 batteries take up to 3 hours to charge, which in itself is not an issue, but with load shedding (scheduled power outages) looming on top of the ongoing lightning, there was no way the battery was going to get charged that evening. So, after a long wait and much excitement, I had to abandon my plans, put the camera back in its box and hope for more luck the next day. Such is life in South Africa. 

The next day we woke up to sunny skies and a kind load shedding schedule so I wasted no time getting the camera battery charged. And finally, finally, finally the moment arrived …..I could turn the pretty silver power button and start my meet and greet.

Everything that followed was very familiar which was nice and expected. I ran through the well-known Fujifilm menu and set up all the options to my taste. Once I had punched in all the overall settings I turned to the Q-Menu which was the most exciting task for me because I already had a list of Film Simulation Recipes I wanted to dial in – all 18 Fujifilm film simulations, including the much talked-about Nostalgic Negative. 

Ritchie over at Fuji X Weekly had been hard at work with his also new X-T5 and had already created a number of recipes for the X-Trans V sensor. So I had a few immediate choices at hand. In addition, I had a list of recipes which we were going to recommend in the next episode of SOOC, so the Custom 1-7 menus filled up in no time flat. 

And then, after many weeks of waiting, debating and struggling (it’s what we call serious first world problems) the moment to press the shutter of my own, brand new X-T5 for the first time, arrived!

I admit that I cranked up the level of this event to somewhat ridiculous new heights, but hey?! I was about to take my first-ever picture on a 40 megapixel sensor so I felt like celebrating the moment. 

Set up in Timeless Negative as the recipe for my first shot, I framed my pretty proteas and did the deed… and I instantly loved the sound and feel of the shutter. To be honest, I didn’t expect it to feel all that different, but it really did. I’m such a shutter sound nerd… 

Happiness is… 

I was chuffed with my first jpegs straight out of camera and super excited with my first overall impression. 

Since then I’ve shot with it in our very own home-made SOOC recipe “Mystery Chrome” which was created live during the last episode of SOOC. These are the sample shots I took “the morning after”:

The X-T5 also had its first couple of outings – a GSP club event which lent itself to some pretty landscape shots:

And shortly thereafter, an excursion to a farm that left me with images that felt like a real eye-opener:

These images definitely show more resolution and detail and just look… better.

There is obviously a lot more to test and try and experience but for now I’m super stoked and happy that I’ve made the decision to upgrade from my trusty X-T3. So I’m out of the gate now and feverishly shooting away on my X-T5. As time goes by and as I settle down to it properly, I will return to share my more considered thoughts, experience and of course, images that showcase its full range and capability.

All images shared in this post are jpegs straight out of camera.