Although they look quite different and occupy different price-points, the Fujifilm XS20 and XT5 actually share a lot of similarities when it comes to their key specifications and features, so much so that savvy buyers may be wondering if the newer model offers everything that they need coupled with the chance to save quite a lot of money
So we're bringing you this in-depth Fujifilm X-S20 vs Fujifilm X-T5 head-to-head comparison to help you choose between the two.
You can also read our detailed Fujifilm X-T5 review to find out exactly what we think of that camera.
The image sensor used in the new X-S20 is the 26 megapixel, APS-C sized, X-Trans 4 BSI CMOS sensor, which is also used by the X-Pro3 and X-T4 cameras.
The X-T5 ups the ante considerably to a 40.2 megapixel sensor, offering much greater resolution.
It actually uses exactly the same X-Trans CMOS 5 HR sensor as the more expensive X-H2 camera, with HR standing for High Resolution.
This is a BSI (back-side illuminated) sensor design that has much more of a focus on detail and resolution than out-and-out speed.
Both cameras benefit from using the latest X-Processor 5 processor, as also used in the flagship X-H2 and X-H2S models.
This primarily means that the XS20 is able to offer the same sophisticated auto-focusing and additional 6K video codecs which the XT5 also supports.
Pixel Shift Multi-shot
The X-T5 is the first ever X-T series Fuji camera to feature the special Pixel Shift Multi-Shot mode, which delivers 160 megapixel images for the ultimate quality when detail really matters.
Previously only seen on the company's GFX-branded medium-format cameras and on the recently introduced X-H2, in the Pixel Shift Multi-Shot mode the camera records 20 frames, shifting the sensor by 0.5 pixels between each frame.
The resulting images are automatically combined into one DNG RAW file, which can then be output to a desired file format using suitable RAW processing software.
The X-S20 does not offer this feature at all.
The native sensitivity range of the XS20 is ISO 160 to ISO 12,800, which can be expanded to ISO 80 to ISO 51,200.
The X-T5 has a slightly lower base sensitivity of ISO 125, which can be expanded down to ISO 64 and up to ISO 51,200.
Both cameras offer a highest quality rate of 6.2K/30p with a modest 1.23x crop recorded in 4:2:2 10-bit internally.
Both of them also support up to DCI 4K/60p recording but the X-S20 does so with a 1.17x crop factor, whereas the X-T5 doesn't apply any crop to its 4K/60p footage.
They can both can shoot 1080/240p slow-motion footage and they offer the very latest F-Log 2 profile with up to 14+ stops of dynamic range.
Combined with a compatible HDMI recording device from Atomos or Blackmagic Design, 12-bit RAW video output from the X-S20 and X-T5 can be recorded as Apple ProRes RAW or Blackmagic RAW.
The X-T5 features a digital zoom function that uses the camera's 40.2MP sensor to deliver up to 2x of digital zoom with little to no loss in resolution, when recording video in 4K. The X-S20 does not support this function.
A new Vlog shooting mode has been introduced on the X-S20 for Vlog production. Set the Shooting Mode dial on the top of the XS20 to “Vlog” to quickly change key camera settings with a touch of a button for video self-portraits. It also enables the equally new Product Priority auto-focus mode and Background Defocus option. The X-T5 does not currently support these functions.
Both models have the Long GOP and All Intra compression formats, F-Log profile, digital image stabiliser which works in conjunction with the in-camera and lens-based systems, IS Mode Boost, different Main menu and Quick menu systems for stills and video modes, and 3.5mm MIC and headphone sockets.
The new X-20 has exactly the same hybrid autofocus system with phase detection and and contrast detections points as the more expensive X-T5.
In the Single point AF mode there are up to 425 selectable AF points arranged in a 25x17 grid. Alternatively, the camera can be set to 117 points in a 13x9 grid, and the size of the points can also be varied.
In addition to Single point AF, there’s Zone AF which allows the AF points to be selected in 3x3, 5x5 or 7x7 groups, and Wide/Tracking AF.
Both cameras can automatically detect animals, birds, cars, bikes, planes and trains thanks to the X-Processor 5's AI deep learning capabilities, a feature that no Fujifilm camera other than the XH2S and X-H2 have had before.
Thanks to its 40 megapixel sensor, the XT5 does offer a greater number of PDAF points (3.3 million) than the XS20 (2.16 million).
The XS20 has a new AUTO Subject Detection function which automatically detects and tracks a subject while keeping it in focus when taking stills and recording video.
The X-T5 supports a 15fps continuous shooting speed when using the mechanical shutter.
The XS20 can't match that, offering a still respectable 8fps continuous shooting speed with the mechanical shutter.
If you switch to the electronic shutter, the XT5 can shoot at up to 20fps, with a 1.29x crop applied.
The X-S20 can actually shoot at 30fps when using the electronic shutter, with a 1.25x crop applied.
Note that the 20fps and 10fps rates have no crop applied, so it actually outperforms the X-T5 in this regard.
Body and Design
The design of the body and controls is by far the main difference between the XS20 and the XT5.
The new X-S20 is much smaller and lighter than its big brother, and purposely has a much simpler interface in order to try and make it more appealing to less experienced users.
If you've ever considered a Fujifilm camera but been put of by its plethora of manual controls - something that a lot of people love with a passion - then the new XS20 will certainly be more up your street.
Instead of the ISO dial, Shutter Speed dial and Exposure Compensation dial found on top of the X-T5, there's just a customisable Function dial on the left and shooting mode dial on the right of the top of the XS20.
And the rear of the X-S20 is slightly simpler too, with the X-T5's D-pad completely disappearing in favour of a more touchscreen reliant interface.
This reduction in the complexity of the controls means that the XS20 is much smaller and lighter than the X-T5.
Despite this, the X-S20 still has an appealingly large handgrip that makes the camera secure to hold even one-handed.
It's also very well-built considering that it costs substantially less than the X-T5.
An added bonus for some people is the inclusion of a built-in pop-up flash, something that the more pro-oriented XT5 doesn't have.
The only main concession to the more aggressive price-point from a build quality point of view is the complete lack of any weather-sealing - if this is a must-have feature, then you'll need to step-up to the X-T5.
The XS20 is the latest Fujifilm camera to feature 5-axis in-body image stabilisation (IBIS).
Both the X-S20 and the X-T5 support up to a maximum of 7 stops of compensation, making them the joint-best of any current Fujifilm camera with the X-H2 and X-H2S.
The XT5 has a very good 3.68M-dot OLED electronic viewfinder with 0.80x magnification, 100fps refresh rate and a built-in eye sensor, but the EVF on the XT5 offers slightly higher magnification.
The X-S20 uses a lower-quality 2.36M-dot OLED electronic viewfinder with 0.62x magnification, 100fps refresh rate and a built-in eye sensor.
One of the biggest differences between these two cameras is the action of the 1.84M-dot LCD screen.
Fujifilm uses a 3-way tilting LCD on the new X-T5, rather than the more versatile vari-angle screen on the X-S20, saying that it better matches the more stills-focused nature of the higher-end model.
On the XS20, you can flip out the screen to the side, rotate it forwards for easier operation when pointing the camera at yourself, and fold it flat against the back of the camera to stop it from getting scratched.
Perhaps unsurprisingly given the smaller, more compact size of the X-S20, it only has a single memory card slot, rather than the X-T5's dual card slots.
What's more, on the XS20 the memory card slot is next to the battery in a shared compartment on the bottom of the camera, whereas on the X-T5 the memory cards are housed behind a lockable door on the side of the camera.
So the location of the memory card on the XS20 is much less convenient, especially when the camera is mounted on a tripod, and the single memory card slot is less flexible and offers less peace of mind than the dual slots on the XT5.
Both models use exactly the same NP-W235 battery, with Fujifilm are claiming that the XT5 offers 740 shot battery life in economy mode and the X-S20 up to 800 shots on a single charge.
Both cameras can also be powered and charged via a USB-C connection, which is useful if you're out and about and have a compatible power-bank to plug the camera into.
You can use a USB-Type C cable to connect the X-S20 to a computer to use it as a webcam without having to use any software, unlike the X-T5 which has to use the Fujifilm X Webcam app.
The Fujifilm X-T5 is priced at £1,699 / $1,799 body-only in the UK and USA respectively.
The Fujifilm X-S20 costs £1,249 body only, £1,399 with the XC 15-45mm lens, or £1,599 with the XF 18-55mm lens, so it's substantially less than the X-T5.
The new Fujifilm X-S20 improves on the first-generation X-S10 in a number of significant ways, narrowing the gap to the more expensive X-T5 in the process.
They may look quite different, but at heart the new XS20 and the XT5 are pretty similar in terms of their feature-set, so much so that for a lot of users the XS20 will more than meet their needs.
So what do you think? Would you choose the cheaper X-S20 or the more expensive X-T5? Leave a comment below!