Fuji has added a new film simulation for their JPEG engine, and it’s an outstanding one. The new Classic Chrome simulation emulates Kodachrome, providing slightly muted colors and rich contrast that simply looks fantastic. Even as one who likes a bit of color pop in my images, I love the look from the Classic Chrome simulation. I’ve actually been using the setting in Lightroom on my X-T1 RAW files since the recent release of Lightroom 5.7. Now with the new firmware, I have to say that the JPEG implementation is fantastic. If you don’t need to shoot RAW, Fuji’s outstanding JPEGs have gained another outstanding option.
Fuji has also created a setting (listed in the Screen Set-Up menu as “Preview Pic Effect”) that when turned off removes the JPEG processing from the EVF and rear screen to provide for better shadow detail when composing. I like it, though I wish that it also allowed for color shooting when using a black and white film simulation. In a similar move, they’ve also expanded ‘preview exposure in manual mode’ to include a white balance setting, allowing for you to set white balance for flash while shooting in a different color light, while still seeing a nice clear color balanced image in the viewfinder.
This is the undocumented feature. There have been rumblings and a confirmation from Rico Pfirstinger (through his ties with Fujifilm Germany) that the autofocus algorithms in the X-T1 have been given the updates that the X100T received. The result is a bit faster and more sure autofocus in dimmer light. It’s not a huge change, but I do feel it’s noticeable. This was a very pleasant surprise.
Spot metering tied to focus point
Another great feature that the X-T1 now has is the ability to tie spot metering to the active focus point. This is an extremely useful feature, especially when shooting in backlit scenarios.
While it’s really hard to complain when an update of this breadth is given to existing users for free, there are a few things that Fuji shooters have desired for a very long time that have still not been addressed. I’m going to talk about three in hopes that the next firmware update finally adds these features.
- Better Bracketing. This has been a complaint since the first firmware on the X-Pro1, and I fail to understand how it hasn’t been addressed. Fuji’s bracketing option is limited to a paltry +/- 1 EV for three shots. That’s it. It’s the worst specced bracketing in the industry, and I can’t see any reason why this couldn’t be implemented in a single day of programming. When competitors like Sony have +/- 3 stops of bracketing for 3 shots (resulting in a 6 stop spread), Olympus has 7 shot bracketing and Fuji’s stuck at a measly 2 stop spread, something’s wrong. PLEASE fix this Fuji, on ALL your X-Series cameras.
- Exposure compensation with Auto ISO in Manual Mode. This is another thing that should be very easy to do. While Fuji has made their Auto ISO implementation relatively robust in the past year, it would be wonderful to have exposure compensation in manual mode. Then you could set your aperture, set your shutter speed, and let the ISO float for exposure, taking into account EC. Sony implements this beautifully (though they lack minimum shutter speed setting…why can’t these manufacturer’s nail it?).
- Please open the extended ISOs to RAW. It’s such an arbitrary decision to limit ISO 100, 12,800 and 25,600 (or 51,200 if you really enjoy noise) to JPEG only. No other manufacturer does this. I understand it’s a software implemented ISO, but this is about convenience. Sure, I can set ISO 6400 and underexpose by one stop for 12,800 and two stops for 25,600 and then bring them up in post, but that’s two added steps to the process for no discernible purpose.
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Fuji has enabled a tremendous amount of new features in the X-T1 (and a fair few in the X-E2 as well). It’s a great gesture of goodwill to their customers. This update enables a host of very useful features and makes the X-T1 an even better camera than it already was. Make sure to read the release notes from Fujifilm to see all the features, including 24p video and manual control of video for those of you who enjoy the filmmaking side of things. Updates like this are what breeds customer loyalty. Other companies should take notice. Thanks Fuji!
6 thoughts on “Fujifilm X-T1 Firmware 3.0”
Thanks for the very helpful post. I find the electronic shutter a tremendous feature, especially when shooting portraits in bright environments at f1.2 with the 56mm.
As far as the missing features, I agree with you, especially since some of them should be very easy to implement.
Additionally to the ones you listed, I’d add one that I find even more important: an improved auto ISO implementation where one doesn’t have to select a min. shutter speed, but where the min. shutter speed would be focal dependent along a user selected bias. This is exactly how Pentax (since the K5) and Nikon implement it (Olympus too, but it doesn’t allow you to bias it). As far as I’m concerned they have the best implementation in the industry.
The Fuji implementation works well with primes, but when one uses a zoom, it’s very sub-optimal. When using the 18-55 at the wide end, 1/30 might be sufficient while 1/30 might be too slow at the long end.
There are lots of ways to configure Auto ISO. It seems to me that focal length based is great, provided you can override it with your own speed. Sony and Olympus, as you mention, do focal length based Auto ISO, which is great…but you can’t change the minimum speed. Sometimes I’ll be shooting moving subjects and will want 1/250s or 1/400s minimum, and I can do that with my Fuji cameras, but not with my Sony cameras. I don’t tend to shoot Auto ISO with my E-M5 for some reason…maybe it’s because the IBIS is so good that I get myself close with lower ISO and go from there.
I don’t think Oly offers the best auto ISO implementation, far from it in fact. Pentax and Nikon do have the best ones IMO, by allowing a bias upon the sensitivity of the algorithm. Say you have a 35mm (FF equiv) lens mounted. Most implementations would set a speed of 1/70 (2x focal length). However, Pentax and Nikon allow to bias this toward slower or faster shutter speeds: -2,-1,0,+1,+2 where 0 is the default bias (none) and -2 is “2 steps” slower. However, where ALL manufacturer fail IMO is that they don’t take any kind of stabilization in account. Obviously if the body features IBIS (such as any Oly body) or if a lens as OIS, then the shutter speed could be lowered to maximize IQ. However no manufacturer does this.
Everything I wrote above is obviously for static subjects. When it comes to moving subjects, I agree the Fuji implement works very well.
A last point I would like to mention is “M mode” where one sets both the aperture and the shutter speed while the camera selects ISO. Instead of setting a fixed shutter speed, it would make more sense to set a minimum shutter speed. Yet, no manufacturer allows this: it’s always an exact shutter speed. Only very rarely one wants an exact shutter speed. Most of the time, you want a minimum shutter speed. Consequently, it becomes problematic when there is a lot of light since the camera hits the lowest possible ISO and the image gets over-exposed. On Fuji camera, we can avoid this by working in A mode and selecting a minimum shutter speed (through the menus). It would be more convenient to be able to set it through the T dial directly though. Anyway, these are just my observations. I’m just very surprised by how little thinking the camera manufacturers seem to do in terms of usability of their cameras (the lack of exposure compensation in M mode is the perfect example of this).
Great review! Reading some comments from some forums and reviews from other people, I don’t understand why some people whining about this upgrade, arguing about those features should have been there since the launch day. In my vision it’s simple: choose the tools that best suit your work flow / preferences and forget to tolling other choices.
BTW, in my opinion, your first 2 omissions can be more or less bypassed:
1) Bracketing: shoot 3 times with bracketing set as 1EV with EC set as +3, 0 and -3. So we will have 9 images with 1EV differences between each one. Of course that it is best applied for static subjects;
2) for RAW shooters, forgetting EC dial: set DR=100%, choose the appropriate ISO based on known rule of thumb and adjust the ISO dial based on ETTR technique (with help from display and exposure graph) and tone mapping the darker part of image in post processing because the all Fuji X sensor (Sony) is ISOless.
Great review. Short and sweet and not shy to talk about the negatives.
The way I like it!
Your words on the electronic shutter are very helpful – thanks!
One quick and very n00b question: how do you adjust the electronic shutter once it has been enabled? I feel like the answer must be completely obvious but for some reason I can’t figure it out. Any guidance would be very much appreciated.