I thank Ivan Joshua Loh from Fujifanboys for lending me this handheld cage for a short review. Before I begin, allow me to clarify, I am not a videographer so I cannot speak about how good the handling of this product is while filming. What I will share is my first impression of it, my apologies.
What’s in the box
It comes with many things in this package and I will list them below:
HDMI & USB-C cable clamp
Hot shoe cover (with leveling)
Shutter button adapter
Side lock adapter
M2 screw (1 x short and 1 x long)
M3 screws x 2
From its first look, it gives a compact and very strong retro steampunk vibe design (hence, the name). While the overall cage design is very much the same as the usual handheld cage design, this retro design set it apart from the norm. The brass-like cage with the brushed-off finished texture is so beautiful. Not forgetting the stitched leather handgrip is so beautifully curved along the grip.
Being a cage, it has to include several accessory mounting points right? So it comes with ARRI 3/8″-16 locating hole, a 1/4″-20 threaded hole, a 3/8″-16 threaded hole, a NATO rail, and also a cold shoe mount. And of course, this cage also comes with Arca-Swiss quick-release plate at the bottom.
Build Quality & Handling
The materials used here are mainly aluminum alloy, silicone, leather, and stainless steel. Overall, it gives a very sturdy and strong build. (I mean no one is expecting to have flimsy parts for a cage, right?)
It comes with a top handle, which gives a very good texture look and is comfortable in holding it.
The grip has a very deep contour and is very comfortable to hold for big hands like mine. With this huge grip design, SmallRig has even included a shutter button adapter to overcome the problem of reaching out to the shutter release button comfortably. How thoughtful they are. (But my long finger is still able to reach out for the shutter button.)
There is a press-and-flip mechanism on the screw-on HDMI & USB-C cable clamp. This allows the videographer easily access to the camera interface cover without the need to remove the clamp.
If there are videographers who wish to wrist strap the camera, the cage comes with a wrist strap hole too.
At the base of the cage, there is a magnetic wrench/key which saves us a lot of time finding the right tool to loosen/tighten the screws.
In my own words
At 199 USD, it is the most expensive cage ever sold in SmallRig but I think it is totally worth it. I am sold by its retro design. It probably will seek some attention from the surrounding. But I feel that this retro cage does fuse well with the beautiful X-T5 too. Not only do they blend so well with each other, but the cage does also hold comfortably well. Thanks to its look, I might even consider getting this without the top handle. (Yes, SmallRig also sells without the top handle and cable clamp.) If you are looking for a beautifully crafted cage and do not mind spending a bit more, I think you can consider this.
Thank you for reading.
Disclaimer: 1. All the shots taken here are shot by me. 2. Most of the shots are straight out of the camera with some shots edited via In-Camera Raw Processing or Capture One. 3. The opinions are based on my experience. If there is any mistake, please kindly drop me a message and I will gladly make the amendment. 4. I reserve ownership of these images, if you wish to use my images, please notify me.
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My most anticipated camera is finally here. I skipped X-T4 not because it is not a worthy camera to upgrade. An improved battery and In-Body Image Stabilization are most welcome. But something I am unexpected back then is that it came with a fold-out fully articulated screen. Partly because I love how the 3-way tilting screen works for me and if I used a similar screen configuration like the X-T4 and X-S10, I have some parallax error when I fold out the screen for low-angle shots. Nevertheless, at that point in time, the choice of having an articulated screen is the best option as the X-T4 was positioned as a hybrid flagship camera.
Now, X-T4 has 2 indirect successors, X-H2S and X-H2. They are the new generation hybrid flagship cameras in the Fujifilm line-up. Now it is time for Fujifilm to give us photographers a photography-centric camera and that’s true. During the X Summit Tokyo 2022, Yuji Igarashi san mentioned “FujiFilm will never forget photograph, which means, we will never forget its photographic cameras.” This is where I think Fujifilm is clear and remain committed to photographers like us and of course, hearing our voices and caring about our feedback.
Before I continue further, I would like to thank Ms. Carmen, Marketing Manager of Fujifilm Singapore, for arranging and loaning the X-T5 for review. By the time this post is online, the camera unit had returned back to Fujifilm Singapore.
Design, Build Quality, Handling & The Shutter…
X-T5, in general, maintains the same good retrospective design. It obtains many similarities to X-T2/T3 such as a 3-way tilting LCD screen and compact size (actually a tad smaller). Not only that, but it also takes something good (and bad) from the X-T4 too.
The camera still has the same magnesium alloy build quality as its predecessors. Fantastic build quality. Nothing bad to comment on this department.
Dials, dials, and dials. This should be one of the many reasons why we love Fuji. And the dials aren’t disappointing us. They are good to turn and give one of the best tactile feedbacks thus far. But there is one dial that I am not sure fits the “Photography first” philosophy and that is the “Still/Movie mode dial”. How I wish that X-T5 has the same “Metering” dial placement as the X-T3 instead of the “Still/Movie mode dial” found in the X-T4. But I guess, one needs to know how to be contented. (Metering mode can be accessed via the “Up” selector button.)
With the redesign of the camera grip, it now feels better to hold than the X-T3. But if you have big hands like me, I will suggest you get a handgrip to have that extra confidence to hold the camera.
The shutter seems to take from X-T4. It has very similar gentle and satisfying mechanical shutter feedback as the X-T4 and I quite like it.
The weight of the X-T5 is slightly heavier than X-T3, 557 grams against 539 grams (both with battery). In practice, it is hard to tell which one is heavier with them holding onto your hand. But definitely lighter than X-T4’s 607 grams.
Since X-T5 inherits almost everything internally from X-H2, I will not discuss much over here. It comes with the X-Trans CMOS sensor 5 HR and the X-Processor 5. In short, the photography performance is identical during my test (except for the videography).
That also means it also includes the new base ISO 125 and the new maximum electronic shutter speed of 1/180,000 seconds.
Since it has the same sensor and processor so everything should be the same, right? In my opinion, yes. Or at least I do not see anything different. One word: awesome!
Based on my camera usage, I feel that the autofocus performance is (almost) no different from the X-H2. Of course, it is also depending on which lenses you are using. Combining X-T5 with newer lenses makes the overall experience snappier, locking onto the subject faster and more accurately. While the older lenses (particularly without Linear Motor), are slower but are still not far off too.
How about comparing both X-T3 and X-T5? In my opinion, you can really feel the difference in AF performance and accuracy rate between both of them, regardless of the newer or old lenses.
X-T5 can also achieve up to 7 stops compensation with some lenses up to 5 stops. Yes, the same as X-H2 and X-H2S. So technically I should be able to obtain a good 1/2-second result like the one I did in X-H2 and X-H2S. Well, close enough. I manage to get a 1-second hand-held shot.
According to CIPA, the battery life of NP-W235 on X-T5 can achieve 580 shots while 680 shots on X-H2. In my test, I spend about 40% of the battery life in return for 350+ shots. Doing some mathematics calculations, it should achieve about 700 shots or more. Of course, we need to include many factors like how we use the camera, the environment, etc.
But for me, the combination of X-T5 and the new battery is really impressive. It could easily last me a whole day with just one battery.
With the advantage of 40 megapixels, I hope they will update X-T5 (and X-H2) with more aspect ratios such as X-Pan 65:24 and any other ratios that GFX gets to enjoy. Although cropping can be done in post, but it will be even better if we have this option right from the camera.
I have mentioned this before in my X-H2 review but I want to highlight it here again. 40 megapixels is a big resolution and I believe not everyone who upgrades to X-T5 wishes to have kept the 40-megapixel raw file. I hope to see if there is an option as to what raw resolution (i.e. large, medium, small) we want to keep, similar to other brands with such offerings. This can be done easily via firmware updates.
If Fujifilm reads this, I hope they can consider these as future firmware updates.
Something worth taking note of:
When you turn the ISO dial, make sure that the Drive dial is not turning together with the ISO dial. Because in my testing, I do turn the Drive dial by accident. Thanks to my big fingers. So if goes unnoticed, you will be taking an HDR shot.
The 3-way tilting LCD screen has a good resolution pump. This does help a lot especially when I do I use focus peaking for my manual lens shooting and also improves viewing the image sharpness.
Unfortunately, the EVF resolution remains the same but I am still happy.
There is a 160-megapixel pixel-shift capability too. A good add-on from the X-H2. Unfortunately, I did not spend time testing out this.
Who is this for?
For photographers who have been using Fuji X-T1, X-T2, and X-T3 or X-Txx series, or even the X-Txxx series and are keen to look for a camera body upgrade. This is the camera you can consider getting and I believe it should last us many years ahead.
For X-T4 photographers, you may consider if you really need to upgrade. Personally, I think it is still a good camera to shoot with.
For beginners, this camera is no doubt a great camera to pick up if you have the budget. Photography is an expensive hobby. The investment you put in is not only a camera body and a lens. There are many accessories that need to be filled too. If you have a tight budget, my suggestion is to get a lower-end body with a better lens(es). Because glass is always more important.
In my own words
There are many influencers ranting about why X-T5 overlapping X-H2 and many other things about X-T5. But I can see why and what all this ranting is about. Simply they are not familiar with Fujifilm and Fujifilm’s new directions. They choose to rant than spend time understanding what Fujifilm has changed and the decision Fujifilm made and why X-T5 exists in the first place.
In my opinion, this camera definitely has the biggest upgrades for photographers who are still using X-T3 and earlier models. Gives us the 3-ways tilt screen, IBIS, a good AF system, a new processor, 40 megapixels resolution, and a sleeker retrospective design. From a photography perspective, Fujifilm is not skimmed on the functionalities of the X-T5. In fact, all the X-H2 photography functionalities are packed into X-T5.
This camera checks all the upgrades and I believe this is the camera that many Fujifilm fanboys and fangirls will be upgrading with. All because X-T5 is worthy.
I have placed my order and so do some of my friends. Do you think X-T5 is a good camera? Share with me and discuss.
Thank you for reading.
Disclaimer: 1. All the shots taken here are shot by me. 2. Most of the shots are straight out of the camera with some shots edited via In-Camera Raw Processing. 3. The opinions are based on my experience. If there is any mistake, please kindly drop me a message and I will gladly make the amendment. 4. I reserve ownership of these images, if you wish to use my images, please notify me. 5. The camera firmware is 1.42. 6. The photos are resized to 30% of the original size except for cropped ones. If you wish to see the original file, contact me and I am happy to share it with you.
If you like my works, please follow me on either one of the 2 Instagram accounts: