Ideal for hybrid shooters
The Fujifilm X-S20 is the successor to 2020’s X-S10. It has a hybrid design with a flip-up screen, similar to the brand’s XH series but at a more affordable price. The sensor has a lower resolution than the X-T5, but when it comes to other specs, the cameras match up.Benefits
- Lower price
- Faster electronic burst shooting
- Flip-up LCD screen for video shooting
- Similar video specs
- 1.17x crop at 4K60
- Lacks the signature retro dials
Ideal for photographers
The Fujifilm X-T5 is perhaps the brand’s most popular mirrorless body. It has classic Fujifilm styling, with retro dials and a tilting screen that’s ideal for street photography. The design puts photography front and center, but it’s certainly no slouch when it comes to video performance.Benefits
- High resolution sensor
- No cropping at 4K60
- Retro tactile dials
- Best electronic viewfinder
- No headphone jack
- Tilting screen can be limiting for video
Fujifilm has just launched its latest APS-C body, the X-S20. It retails for $1299, but despite being one of Fuji’s most affordable cameras, it packs specs that give the X-T5 a run for its money.
Externally, the two cameras look quite different, and the price difference is also significant. However, comparable abilities tell a different story.
So can you save the money and go for the new X-S20 or should you stick with the tried and tested X-T5? We studied the spec sheets, and here’s what we found.
Specifications, Pricing and Availability
The Fujifilm X-S20 was announced on May 25, 2023, it’s available for pre-order now and will land with customers on June 29, 2023. The recommended retail price is $1299 as a body only, a bit of a price hike compared to its predecessor, which launched at $999 in 2020.
The Fujifilm X-T5 was released in November 2022 and has been available for purchase ever since. It sells for $1699 as a body only.
Fujifilm X-S20 Fujifilm X-T5 Sensor size APS-C APS-C Video resolution 6.2K30/4K60 6.2K30/4K60 Photo resolution 26.1MP 40.2MP Battery NP-W235 NP-W235 Size 127.7×85.1×65.4mm 129.5x91x63.8mm lester 491g 557g Lens X-mount X-mount
- X-S20: flip-up screen and modern hybrid controls
- X-T5: Tilting screen and vintage ISO, Shutter and EV comp dials
The design of these two cameras differs quite drastically. For starters, the X-S20 is much smaller than the X-T5 and nearly 70 grams lighter. It’s not the biggest difference in the world, but it’s worth considering if you like to travel light.
The shape is quite different too. The X-S20 has a much slimmer body, with a handle that sticks out a lot more, while the X-T5 is thicker all over, so the handle sticks out less.
The other differences are pretty obvious. The X-T5 features Fujifilm’s signature retro dials on top of the camera, allowing you to manually select your ISO, shutter speed and EV compensation with their own dedicated controls.
The X-S20, on the other hand, opts for a more modern hybrid design – which will feel much more familiar to shooters coming from other brands. That means you get the usual mode-selection dial and three programmable wheels elsewhere.
The rear button layout is similar on both cameras, but the X-S20 simplifies things a bit, removing the direction buttons found on the X-T5. Both models feature an AF selection joystick and support touchscreen input.
The other major difference between these two cases is in the design of the LCD screen. The X-S20 offers a fully-folding LCD screen, which we’re used to seeing on modern mirrorless cameras. The X-T5 instead opts for a three-way tilting design.
Some people like tilting screens, they’re especially good for stealth street photography, but we’d say the flip-up style is more versatile overall. Especially if you love shooting videos and filming yourself vlog style.
Connectivity and screens
- X-S20: 3-inch LCD 1.84 million dots, OLED EVF 2.36 million dots
- X-T5: 3.0-inch 1.84 million-dot LCD, 3.69 million-dot OLED EVF
For the most part, the connectivity is the same on both cameras. They both have a USB-C port, micro HDMI, 3.5mm microphone jack and use SD cards for recording – although the X-T5 has two SD card slots, while the X-S20 only has one.
There are also other important differences. The X-T5 doesn’t have a headphone jack, and if you want to monitor audio you’ll need to use a USB-C dongle, while the X-S20 has a dedicated headphone port. However, it does away with the remote trigger port, instead consolidating it into the same 3.5mm jack, and you can choose between them in the menu.
We think it’s a smart move, as you’ll rarely need to use a remote shutter and headphones at the same time, so the design saves space without sacrificing a lot of functionality.
The X-S20’s USB-C port is also slightly different. It can be plugged into a computer and used as a webcam, up to 4K60, with no software or capture card needed. The X-T5 also has webcam functionality, but you’ll need to use Fujifilm’s X Webcam app, which is a bit trickier.
The LCD screens are the same on both cameras, apart from their articulation, which we covered in the last section. Electronic viewfinders, however, differ much more.
The X-S20 features a 0.39-inch OLED EVF with 2.36 million dot resolution, 100Hz refresh rate and 31 degree diagonal field of view. The X-T5 has the top EVF, which measures 0.5 inches, has 3.69 million dot resolution, 100Hz refresh and 39 degree FOV.
In practice, this means the X-T5 EVF will appear sharper and larger through the eyepiece, so it’ll be easier to nail your manual focus shots while using it. However, the increased resolution also means it will drain the battery a little faster when in use.
- X-S20: 8 fps mechanical burst shooting, 30 fps electronic burst shooting (1.25x crop)
- X-T5: Mechanical burst shooting at 15 fps, electronic at 20 fps (1.29x crop)
The biggest difference between these two models, when it comes to still photography, is that the X-T5 is capable of shooting at a much higher resolution – 40.2MP versus just 26.1MP.
So if you know you’ll need images for large format printing, or just like the flexibility to crop after the fact, then the X-T5 is probably the way to go.
However, elsewhere the differences are not so clear cut. The X-T5 offers faster burst shooting when using the mechanical shutter, but the X-S20 is faster when using the electronic shutter.
The X-S20 can take electronic bursts up to 20fps without cropping, while 30fps bursts are subject to 1.29x cropping. Comparatively, the X-T5 can shoot up to a maximum of 20fps bursts, with a larger 1.29x crop, and caps out at 13fps if you want to avoid cropping.
It’s also worth noting that the X-T5’s higher-resolution sensor means it has a lot more autofocus points, although the X-S20 debuted a larger autofocus system. updated as a whole. The X-T5’s firmware can be updated to take advantage of the new autofocus modes, so there won’t be too much of a difference in reality.
- X-S20: up to 6.2K 30fps / 4K 60fps (1.18x crop) / 1080p video 240fps
- X-T5: up to 6.2K 30fps / 4K 60fps / 4K HQ 30fps / 1080p 240fps video
On paper, it might seem like both cameras can shoot at the exact same video resolutions, but there’s a bit more to the story than that. It’s true that both max out at 6.2k 30fps (door open) and both max out at 60fps in 4K, but the X-S20 needs a 1.18x crop at higher 4K frame rates at 30p, while the X-T5 has no crop.
A 1.18x crop is manageable enough, at least for us, but what might be more important is the fact that the X-S20 loses the 4K HQ mode. On the X-T5, this mode upsamples from 6.2K, to give a cleaner and more detailed 4K image.
The X-T5 has a digital zoom feature that uses its high-resolution sensor to enable up to 2x zoom with very little loss of quality when shooting in 4K. The X-S20, with its relatively low-resolution sensor, can’t do that.
What the X-S20 does offer, however, is a new vlog mode. This simplifies controls for new shooters and moves more controls to the touchscreen so you can access them while filming yourself. It also adds a Product Priority autofocus mode, which makes it easier to showcase products when shooting a review.
Otherwise, the cameras both offer up to 10-bit 4:2:2 internal recording and can output ProRes RAW and Blackmagic RAW via HDMI. The IBIS system is the same on both cameras (as well as the X-H2 and X-H2S).
So which one should you get? As always, it depends on what you need from a camera and how you like to take pictures. We’re hybrid shooters, shooting as much video as photos, and for us the X-S20 is the most appealing camera.
It comes at a lower price, has controls and screen geared more towards shooting video, adds a headphone jack, and even takes faster bursts with the electronic shutter.
However, we can also see the appeal of the X-T5. Especially when it comes to photos. There’s no competition when it comes to resolution, and if you need images of that size, the X-S20 can’t do much to compete.
The vintage-style controls and tilting screen will also appeal to many shooters. Not only do they look cool, but they’re highly functional, especially once you develop the muscle memory to change them on the fly.