Arjun Kartha is one of India’s best known wedding photographers and the co-founder of Twogether Studios. Having helped pioneer the new wave of wedding photography in 2008, Arjun is best known for his contemporary and off-beat approach to shooting Indian marriages. Arjun is also the founder of the Wedding Photographer’s Association of India, a collective for the most innovative and path breaking wedding photographers in the country.
Bringing the X factor, 5 times over
I still remember picking up a Fujifilm mirrorless camera for the first time sometime in 2016. At that time I was used to using a other brand, and whilst that was a beast of a camera, it certainly took its toll when in the field on a 12 hour shift. My first experience with FUJIFILM camera was with the X-T2, and I remember thinking (albeit slightly myopically at the time) that there was no way this toy of a camera would ever enter my professional workflow, and certainly would not replace traditional DSLR cameras.
And that of course was until I started actually using it. From the get go there was something intangible when using a FUJIFILM X camera. A feeling that is hard to define but starts at the tip of your fingers and works its way up to your brain that makes you feel that man and machine are one. A feeling that’s tactile and yet incomprehensible. It’s a feeling that only an artist or a creator feels when you know that you are ready to create. And you’re inspired to create. When a tool that you use to create feels just right in your hands and everything is balanced. It’s harmony. It’s chi. Within a few weeks I remember picking up the X-T2 more and more when I had to go out into the field. It was a decision my brain took without even really checking in with the rest of me. The camera felt like an extension of my arm and before long my fingers moved with muscle memory. A few turns of the three main dials, and hey presto, I was able to make adjustments to shooting settings without even thinking about it. The images were just right, and they were so easy to create.
In the years that followed, I upgraded to the X-T3, the X-H1 and eventually the X-T4. Frankly the X-T4 still seemed like a “new” camera with the good folks at Fujifilm came along and gave me a pre-production prototype X-T5 to toy around and test out. This was supposed to be a more “photography focused” camera, and that sounded great. Though we shoot a lot of video at Twogether Studios (for which we’re big fans of the X-H2S), having a camera that just did one thing, and did it well sounded great.
On the surface it still felt like the same camera and didn’t really look drastically different from my trusted X-T4, so it didn’t really feel like I needed a learning curve to get used to the new body. The ISO dial and the front and back dials where exactly where I wanted them to be and within a few minutes I was confident that I could use this camera in the field.
The increase in the amount of data this camera stores per image (40 megapixels) was immediately apparent once I brought the images from the card onto a computer. Everything looked better and sharper as compared to the X-T4. The faster autofocus with the new 5th generation processor made shooting that much easier and resulted in more usable images overall. Having started shooting on manual analogue cameras more than two decades ago, I’ve always been one of those photographers who scoffed at image stabilisation and rely on steady hands, but I have to say it makes life that much better. It’s very clear that Fujifilm has invested time and energy into refining their IBIS, and with the X-T5, the difference in being able to take your shutter speed WAY lower than I’d normally be comfortable with is very very apparent. And last and not the least I love that they’ve listed to some of the feedback I’ve given over the years and gone back to the articulating screen which tilts upwards like it did on the X-T3.
Subject and face detection is still something I don’t use much but my initial impressions with the new X-T5 is that it works and is something I’m probably going to try and get the hang of in the months to come.
Overall, I’d rate the XT-5 as a huge step up from the X-T4 (which was a great camera to start with) and will be something that Fujifilm shooters are going to be extremely pleased with. It’s also a great camera to switch to if you’re considering migrating from a D-SLR or any other brand of mirrorless camera, especially if you’re planning on using it for only photography and not video.
FUJIFILM is definitely bringing the X-factor with this one. Five out of five!