When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Here’s how it works

Home / Reviews / Cameras / System Cameras / Fujifilm X-T50 hands-on review: dial F for film simulation

Fujifilm X-T50 hands-on review: dial F for film simulation

Highlights what Fuji cameras are quickly becoming best known for

Fujifilm X-T50 hands-on review lead

Initial Stuff Verdict

A brilliantly capable CSC that puts Fuji’s excellent film simulations front-and-centre. The Fujifilm X-T50 will be many enthusiasts’ ideal mirrorless camera.

Pros

  • Sharp, detailed images from 40MP sensor
  • Dramatic, dynamic film simulations in easy reach
  • Compact dimensions but plenty of manual controls

Cons

  • Considerable price rise from previous generation
  • Tilt-only touchscreen
  • Body isn’t weather-sealed

Introduction

CSC converts have plenty of reasons to flock to Fuji mirrorless cameras – but the firm has also managed to lure smartphone snappers with its extensive collection of Film Simulations. The Fujifilm X-T50 is the first system camera to put them front-and-centre, with their own dedicated dial.

It’s smaller and lighter than the flagship Fujifilm X-T5, yet has the same 40.2MP X-Trans CMOS 5 HR sensor and X-Processor 5 image processor. In-body image stabilisation is new for the X-Txx series, but battery life matches that of the outgoing X-T30 II. Autofocus has also taken a big step up from that model.

So, however, has the price. The X-T50 is going on sale from June 17 for $1399 / £1299 / €1499 body-only, or $1799/£1649/€1899 with Fuji’s new 16-50mm kit lens. That’s a big jump from the X-T30 II, which launched at $899/£749 body-only – and remains on sale as the unofficial ‘entry-level’ X-series. I spent a few days testing the X-T50 out in a range of lighting conditions, to see how it stacks up – and whether those film simulations are worth the outlay.

How we test cameras

Every camera reviewed on Stuff is tested in a range of lighting conditions, with a variety of subjects and scenes. We use our years of experience to compare with rivals and assess ergonomics, features and general usability. Manufacturers have no visibility on reviews before they appear online, and we never accept payment to feature products.

Find out more about how we test and rate products.

Design & build: smaller, similar

The Fujifilm X-T50 has the firm’s familiar layout, with a modest hand grip and distinctive top plate filled with control dials. You get three, plus two customisable command dials within easy reach of your right thumb and index finger. The dials are single-stacked here, instead of the double-stacks seen on the firm’s pricier models. The new film simulation dial takes pride of place on the left side.

At the rear, X-T30 veterans will find most of the buttons are that little bit larger now. They stick out a bit further too, which makes them easier to find and press while wearing gloves. The touchscreen LCD tilts in two directions for high- and low-angle shooting, but it doesn’t flip out for vlogging – or rotate inwards to protect the LCD while the camera is in a bag.

You won’t find a dedicated video recording button anywhere on the camera either, highlighting Fuji’s thinking that it will mostly appeal to stills snappers. A 3.5mm microphone input and micro HDMI out means it can get the job done, of course, but 3.5mm headphone monitoring has to be done via a USB-C adapter.

You can pick up an X-T50 in black, silver, or charcoal silver colours; I thought the latter struck a great balance between the subdued black and more retro-tastic silver. It’s smaller than the X-T5 in every dimension, and at just 438g without a lens, this is a wonderfully compact system camera. I had no trouble slinging it over my shoulder for a day of shooting, even with a sizeable zoom lens bolted on. Pancake lenses won’t give you much to grip onto, though, so a strap – either the freebie included in the box or a third-party one – would be a wise investment.

This isn’t a weather-sealed camera; for rain protection you’ll need to step up to the X-T5, although that’s only a concern if you’re willing to get wet to get your shot.

Features & battery life: life’s a simulation

The new film simulation dial replaces the X-T30 II’s Drive dial, with drive modes being relegated to a button on the rear of the camera. Personally I think this is a great move; it’s the same setup I have on my personal camera (a Fujifilm X-S20), albeit without the useful icons to represent the various simulation options.

Here you can quickly scroll through seven different colour treatments (eight if you also count the standard Provia recipe), configure a further three FS presets, and assign a single Custom mode. There’s currently no way to assign your own custom-recipes to the three FS stops, though. Fuji’s newest simulation, Reala Ace, is of course present and correct, with twenty total to choose from.

I also like the Auto lever built into the shutter speed dial; Fuji knows many X-T50 customers aren’t always going to want to set up their shots manually, just pick a film simulation and press the shutter button – flicking this lever is a fast way to do that. It was the same on the X-T30 II, of course, but I think is even more relevant now.

There’s just a single SD card slot at the bottom of the camera, inside the battery compartment. For on-the-fly backups, you’ll need to use Fuji’s X-App smartphone companion app, via the X-T50’s built-in Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connections.

You’ll also want a speedy UHS-II type card for shooting RAW+JPEG bursts, or high resolution video. It can do 4K/60p in-camera, and with an external recorder connected it can manage oversampled 6K/30p footage in 10-bit, 4:2:2 RAW. Just keep in mind clip length is also thermally limited; with no external cooling fan accessory, it will do 60 minutes at 25 degrees, or just ten minutes in 40 degree heat.

Fuji says the X-T50 can last around 390 shots between charges – which is on par with the X-T30 II, despite the new camera gaining in-body stabilisation. That largely bore out in my initial testing, with performance mode and keeping the LCD on information draining a cell in four hours of continuous use.

Performance: X marks the spot

The X-T5 might maintain its position as Fuji’s flagship X-series CSC, but the X-T50 is a very close second place. Its X-Trans CMOS 5 HR sensor and X-Processor 5 combo up for an impressive base ISO of 125, allow for 180,000sec shutter speeds, and can also manage 8fps burst shooting with a mechanical shutter. Sports photographers will probably demand more, but I found it was plenty fast enough during a safari park walk-around, freezing animals that refused to sit still in brilliant sharpness.

That was partly down to the excellent autofocus system (there are 50% more phase-detection autofocus points here than you got on the X-T30 II) and partly Fuji’s eerily accurate animal subject detection. Even through chainlink fences, it could pick out moving monkeys, bears and deer, and would work in conjunction with the eye autofocus mode.

It helped that the 2.36million dot OLED electronic viewfinder was up to Fuji’s usual high standard, with a quick 100Hz refresh rate ensuring I didn’t miss any key moments. It’s not as high resolution as the X-T5’s, but there’s still plenty of detail on display.

The in-body image stabilisation made the biggest difference when shooting from a moving 4×4; even at extreme zoom ranges, the seven stops of stabilisation meant I got more usable snaps than I did duds. This alone is reason enough to consider the X-T50 over the cheaper X-T30 II, as far as I’m concerned. That it doesn’t harm battery life compared to the previous generation is a slam-dunk.

Image quality: animal magic

On paper, the X-T50 should deliver identical image quality to the fantastic X-T5; both have the same sensor and image processor, after all. That absolutely bore out in my testing, which was done with a mix of glass including the new XF16-50mm f/2.8-4.8 lens, which will be going on sale separately at the same time as the camera for $699/£699. And while I appreciate the huge 150-300mm f/5.6 is unlikely to be an X-T50 owner’s first lens purchase (it’ll set you back £1900), it let the sensor shine for wildlife photography.

The above samples have been resized from their original resolution, but show Fuji’s colour science is as retina-pleasing as ever. Noise is well maintained as ISO levels creep up and light levels drop, and sharpness is on point across the frame. As APS-C sensors go, it copes brilliantly in darker environments. JPEGs show plenty of dynamic range with ample shadow detail, while RAWs leave lots of picture information for further off-camera processing.

With film simulations being so easy to switch between, I used them more than I might’ve done with an X-T5 in my hands. Reala Ace, Nostalgic Negative and Eterna were already some of my go-to’s, and they worked to brilliant effect here as the sun began to set. Photographers that scoff at the thought of ‘digital filters’ need to get with the times; there’s a lot more nuance here than anything you’ll find on Instagram.

Fujifilm X-T50 initial verdict

Fujifilm X-T50 hands-on review verdict

After only a few days, I’m not yet ready to give a final review score – but first impressions are the Fujifilm X-T50 might be the new X-series sweet spot for a lot of photographers. Ones that think a fixed-lens camera like the X100 VI will be a little limiting, and who think the flagship X-T5 too far out of their price range – even if recent price drops mean there’s not as much clear air between the two as you might expect.

Yes, it’s costlier than its predecessor – but the X-T50 is so much more accomplished, courtesy of a higher resolution sensor, faster processor and in-body image stabilisation. The film simulation dial is also a welcome addition, putting one of the firm’s most popular features in easier reach. For quickly giving your photos dramatically different colour treatments, in-camera, nothing else comes close.

Fujifilm X-T50 technical specifications

Sensor40.2MP APS-C
Lens mountFuji X-Mount
ISO range125-25600
Continuous shooting8fps (mechanical)
Video recording6K/30, 4K/60, 1080p/240
Screen2-way, 3in LCD
Viewfinder2.36 million-dot EVF
StorageUHS-II SD
Connectivitymicro HDMI, USB-C, microphone in, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth
Weight483g (body-only)
Profile image of Tom Morgan-Freelander Tom Morgan-Freelander Deputy Editor

About

A tech addict from about the age of three (seriously, he's got the VHS tapes to prove it), Tom's been writing about gadgets, games and everything in between for the past decade, with a slight diversion into the world of automotive in between. As Deputy Editor, Tom keeps the website ticking along, jam-packed with the hottest gadget news and reviews.  When he's not on the road attending launch events, you can usually find him scouring the web for the latest news, to feed Stuff readers' insatiable appetite for tech.

Areas of expertise

Smartphones/tablets/computing, cameras, home cinema, automotive, virtual reality, gaming

Enable referrer and click cookie to search for eefc48a8bf715c1b 20231024b972d108 [] 2.7.22