Fujifilm’s latest entry-level model gains the latest tricks, with a 40MP sensor, in-body stabilisation, and subject detection autofocus. Andy Westlake takes a first look at this new camera to see if it belongs in with the best Fujifilm cameras.

At a glance:

  • 40.2MP APS-C X-Trans sensor
  • ISO 125-12,800 (standard)
  • 8fps shooting (20fps electronic shutter / 1.3x crop)
  • 2.36m-dot, 0.62x electronic viewfinder
  • 3in, 1.84m-dot tilting touchscreen
  • 6K 30p, 4K 60p, Full HD 240p video
  • In-body image stabilisation, up to 7 stops
  • Available in silver, black, or charcoal grey
Fujifilm X-T50 colours. Photo JW/AP

Fujifilm’s double-digit X-T series cameras have long been among our favourites in the highly competitive entry-level class. Ever since the original X-T10 appeared in 2015, they’ve offered a winning blend of compact size, engaging handling and excellent image quality. Now, the new Fujifilm X-T50 promises to continue in the same vein.

Following on from the three-year-old X-T30 II – itself a relatively minor iteration to the X-T30 from 2019 – the X-T50 gains essentially the same improvements that we recently saw in the popular X100VI fixed-lens compact. Major updates include a 40MP sensor, 6K video recording, in-body image stabilisation, and subject detection autofocus. Together, these place it right at the top of its class in terms of core specifications. The X-T50 doesn’t officially replace the X-T30 II in the firm’s line-up, with the older model remaining on sale at a much more affordable price.

Fujifilm X-T50 in hand. Photo AP

Fujifilm X-T50 Features

In essence, the X-T50 takes the same core imaging hardware as the higher-end X-T5 and the X100VI, and places it in a compact body that’s styled like a traditional SLR. So you get Fujifilm’s 40.2MP X-Trans CMOS 5 HR sensor, which not only represents a significant boost over the 26.2MP sensor in the older X-T30 II, but also provides higher resolution than other manufacturers’ APS-C models. In concert with the X-Processor 5, this also enables 6K video recording at 30fps, 4K at up to 60fps, or Full HD at 120fps.

Key photographic specs include a sensitivity range that covers ISO 125-12,800 as standard, expandable to ISO 64-51,200. Timed shutter speeds run from 15min to 1/4000sec, or as fast as 1/180,000sec using the electronic shutter. Continuous shooting is available at up to 8 frames per second with the mechanical shutter, or up to 20fps using the electronic shutter with a 1.29x crop.

Fujifilm X-T50 Highlights:

  • Film dial – The dial on the top left provides direct access to Fujifilm’s popular Film Simulation colour profiles
  • Stabilisation – The in-body image-stabilisation promises up to 7 stops shake reduction while adding little to the body size and weight
  • Subject detection – The autofocus system can be set to recognise and track people, animals, and vehicles
  • Analogue Controls – Shutter speed and exposure compensation dials are found on top, while most Fujifilm lenses have aperture rings
Fujifilm X-T50 sensor. Photo JW/AP

Thanks to the new processor, the camera gains subject detection for autofocus. As on Fujifilm’s other cameras, this encompasses animals, birds, cars, motorbikes, airplanes and trains. Face and eye detection for people is also included but accessed via a separate setting.

Another major significant update is the addition of in-body image stabilisation, which makes an appearance for the first time in this series. Like on the X100VI, Fujifilm has managed to add this while adding minimal extra bulk, with the body gaining only a few millimetres in depth and a little over 50g in weight. Even so, the camera is still attractively compact and lightweight, at approximately 124 x 85 x 49mm and 438g. Indeed if anything, it’s more comfortable to hold, thanks to a slightly bulked-up handgrip.

For power, the camera uses Fujifilm’s familiar NP-W126 battery, which charges in-camera via USB-C and should be good for 390 shots per charge. A single SD card slot occupies the same compartment in the base and supports fast UHS-II type cards for extended burst shooting. There’s a 3.5mm stereo microphone input, which doubles up as a remote release socket, along with USB-C and micro-HDMI connectors. As usual, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth are built in for smartphone connectivity.

Fujifilm X-T50 rear screen with Quick menu, and larger play/AF-on buttons. Photo JW/AP

Video features

When it comes to video, the X-T50 carries across many of the same features as the X-T5. It’s capable of internal 6.2K 30p recording in 4:2:2 10-bit colour, or alternatively can output raw video over HDMI in 4:2:2 12-bit, with a choice of ProRes or Blackmagic formats. The camera is also capable of operating as a plug-and-play webcam at 4K 60p resolution.

The small body size does however restrict recording times before over-heating. At 25°C, it’s rated to 60 minutes in 4K 30p, or 30 minutes when shooting in 4K 60p. Recording times will be reduced further at higher ambient temperatures.

New Film dial

In terms of controls, the X-T50 is a close match to its predecessor, with one major exception. The dial on the top left of the body, which previously controlled the drive mode, now provides direct access to the firm’s popular Film Simulation colour profiles. Thankfully the drive mode is still readily accessible via the Delete button on the top left.

Fujifilm X-T50 film dial. Photo JW/AP

There isn’t space on the film dial for all available options, so only the most popular ones get their own slots (Provia, Velvia, Astia, Classic Chrome, Real Ace, Classic Neg, Nostalgic Neg and Acros). There are also three custom slots (FS1…) where users can place their personal favourites, plus a C position that gives access to the complete set via the Q menu. Users can, if they like, assign one of the colour filter emulations to the Acros slot (yellow, red, or green).

The custom slots (FS1, FS2, and FS3) can be set to one of the Fujifilm Film Simulations, however, these can’t be used to store your own “Film Recipes” setup, which feels like a missed opportunity.

This dial is sure to polarise opinion among photographers. Film simulations have proven to be very popular among users who want to share their images directly from the camera, so it makes sense for Fujifilm to make them easier to access. However, those who only shoot in raw, and then edit all their shots on a computer afterwards, might be frustrated to have a dial dedicated to a setting they don’t use. This also makes it slightly slower to get to the video mode, as you need to press the Drive mode button, and then go up (or down) through the options.

Fujifilm X-T50 battery and memory card compartment. Note the improved tripod socket position compared to the X-T30 II. Photo JW/AP

Build and handling

Elsewhere, the main controls remain the same. You get top-plate dials for shutter speed and exposure compensation, while an electronic dial on the front is used to change ISO. A small joystick on the back is used to position the focus point and navigate settings and menus. Most Fujifilm lenses have dedicated aperture rings, but with the firm’s cheaper XC lenses, the aperture is controlled using the front dial. Clicking it inwards toggles between aperture and ISO setting. Many third-party autofocus lenses from the likes of Tamron and Sigma work in the same way.

Fujifilm X-T50 top dials give direct access to manual controls. Photo JW/AP

For composing and viewing your images, there’s an electronic viewfinder that’s similar in size and resolution to before, at 2.36m-dot and a 0.62x magnification. This is rather small, but that’s just one of the compromises you often have to make with cameras at this level. Below it, the 3-in, 1.84m-dot screen tilts up and down, but it doesn’t have a third hinge for portrait format shooting. It can’t be set facing forwards for selfies or vlogging, either. This reinforces the X-T cameras’ positioning as being mostly for stills photography, with the X-S10 and X-S20 aimed more at hybrid users.

Compared to the Fujifilm X-T5 and X100VI

Inevitably, when compared to the higher-end Fujifilm X-T5, the X-T50 gives up a fair few features. Most obviously, it lacks a physical ISO dial, has a smaller viewfinder, and its screen only tilts in two directions rather than three. It also makes do with a smaller battery, a single card slot rather than two, and no weather-sealing. The X-T5 can shoot twice as fast at full resolution (15 fps vs 8fps) and supports tethered shooting.

These are all entirely sensible compromises in exchange for the X-T50’s smaller size and lower price. However for more advanced users, there’s still plenty in favour of the X-T5.

Some photographers might also consider the X-T50 as an interchangeable-lens alternative to the X100VI. While it will never be quite as portable, except perhaps with the ultra-compact XF 27mm F2.8 R WR ‘pancake’ lens, it does have a very similar feature set and will take pictures that are every bit as good. Plus, of course, you get interchangeable lenses, and the kit lenses allow you to zoom. So despite all the hype around the X100VI, the X-T50 is likely to be a more practical option for many users.

Fujifilm X-T50 Performance and Image Quality

Giraffe photo taken with the Fujifilm X-T50 and 16-50mm lens. Velvia mode. Photo JW/AP
X-T50 · f/4 · 1/160s · 16mm · ISO125

I spent time shooting with the Fujifilm X-T50, and used the new 16-50mm lens, along with other lenses. The 16-50mm lens offers a compact zoom lens option with a relatively bright F2.8 aperture at the wide-end, and F4.8 at the telephoto end.

With weather-resistance you can pair it with weather-sealed cameras (like the X-T5) for added protection. Unfortunately the X-T50 doesn’t feature weather-sealing, but around this price point, weather-sealing is quite rare, with the OM System OM-5 being one camera that does feature this.

I also used the X-T50 with Fujifilm’s 150-600mm lens, and whilst the camera body seemed a little bit small when used with the 150-600mm lens, it still delivered great image quality.

Rhino photo taken with the Fujifilm X-T50 and 150-600mm lens. Photo JW/AP
X-T50 · f/6.4 · 1/900s · 305.2mm · ISO1000

Colour reproduction is very pleasing, with the camera delivering the strong punchy colours expected from Fujifilm cameras. With the Film Simulation dial you can quickly change to a different colour (or film) mode if needed, and switching to Velvia, for example, will boost the colour saturation further.

Noise levels remain low at the lower ISO speeds. As the ISO speed increases the level of detail captured drops a little bit, particularly in terms of fine detail, but as seen on other Fujifilm cameras, the noise pattern looks relatively pleasant.

Small monkey photo taken with the Fujifilm X-T50 and 150-600mm lens. Photo JW/AP
X-T50 · f/8 · 1/800s · 600mm · ISO3200

Autofocus performance was generally very reliable, with the camera finding the subject quickly. When photographing animals, the animal detection focus was particularly helpful, as this would lock on to the eye(s) of the subject, ensuring the correct focus point. This was also of real benefit when taking photographs of animals in a zoo, meaning that I could shoot through fences without too much worry. The only real downside was having to go into the menus to switch between animals and birds, when the subject changed. It would be really nice to see the camera automatically detect the subject.

First impressions

Having spent some time with the Fujifilm X-T50 before its launch, it is a very attractive camera indeed. It continues with everything we like about the series, but adds some extremely useful extra features such as subject recognition, in-body image stabilisation (IBIS) and a 40MP sensor. Fujifilm has certainly been on a roll recently, and the X-T50 looks set to be another winner, and for fans of Fujifilm’s Film Simulation, the new mode dial will be a particularly useful feature, making it easier to change settings.

Looking at Fujifilm’s X-series range of mirrorless cameras, it’s difficult to see any other company offering such a comprehensive and compelling range of cameras. Not only do you get excellent handling, design and controls, but you also get in-body image stabilisation, and a high resolution 40MP sensor, that no other APS-C camera brand can match. In fact, it’s a higher resolution than a lot of full-frame mirrorless cameras, and considerably cheaper than the most of them. Combine all this with the wide-range of relatively compact Fujifilm X-mount lenses, and you have a real winner here.

Fujifilm X-T50 Full Specifications

Sensor40MP X-Trans CMOS 5, 23.5mm x 15.7mm (APS-C)
Output size7728 x 5152
Lens mountX-mount
Shutter speeds30 sec – 1/4000sec (mechanical); 30sec – 1/180,000sec electronic
SensitivityISO 125-12,800 (standard), ISO 64-51,200 (extended)
Exposure modesPASM, Auto
MeteringMulti / Spot / Average / Center Weighted
Exposure comp+/- 5EV on 0.3EV steps
Continuous shooting8fps (mechanical shutter); 20fps with electronic shutter and 1.29x crop
Screen3in, 1.84-dot tilting touchscreen
ViewfinderElectronic 2.36m-dot, 0.62x OLED EVF
AF points117 or 425
Video6K 30p, 4K 60p, Full HD 240p
External mic3.5mm stereo
Memory cardUHS-II SD
PowerNP-W126S Li-ion
Battery life305 shots (390 shots economy mode)
Dimensions123.8 x 84 x 48.8mm
Weight438g (inc battery and memory card)

Article: Andy Westlake, Joshua Waller