Fujifilm X-T1 firmware 3.00 review

Wohoo, Christmas comes early this year! Fujifilm keeps on giving existing cameras lots of new and exciting functionality through firmware updates. And today they released version 3.00 for the Fujifilm X-T1. I’ve had the new version about a…

…week now (developer version), and have tested enough to say that in many ways you’ll get a brand new camera! Spoiler alert: The new firmware is very good!

But… I meet a lot of people that just don’t bother upgrading their camera firmware. That’s too bad, but I think the reason is that they’re not used to camera manufacturers giving them new functionality like Fujifilm does. So if you’re a Fujifilm owner, check their website for new firmware. And if there is one, the chances are you’ll get a brand new camera after updating. And you want that, don’t you?!

So what do I think is the most exciting and useful things in this update that you can read more about and download by clicking here? I’d like to say everything, but some things have more practical use than others for me, and here’s my 8 favourites:

1) Lock function
Fujifilm now lets you choose from a long list of things that you can lock on the X-T1 when using this function. And this is pure brilliance! I’m used to cameras where I can lock the aperture and shutterspeed dials (so you don’t accidentally change values when working manually), but Fujifilm lets you choose from a total of 36 (!) functions and buttons that you can combine and lock as you wish. Things like aperture, shutter speed, ISO, the exposure control dial, light metering mode, erase, format and the list goes on and on. You can activate and customize to your own likings in blue menu #3.

2) AF+MF focusing
Seamless manual/autofocus is now available. So when you autofocus by half pressing the shutterbutton, you can tweak the focus just by turning the focus ring on the lens. And if you have focus peaking activated, that turns on immediately when you touch the focus ring. Brilliant! You can access this in red menu #5.

3) Exposure preview in the EVF
The advantage with an EVF (Electronic ViewFinder) is that the image you see is a live preview of how the exposure will actually turn out. But if you’re in a studio working with flash as your light source, and you set your exposure manually according to that, you’ll get a dark/black EVF image. Prevously you had to go into the blue menu #1, screen set-up, and set the “Preview exp in manual mode” to “On” in normal situations, and to “Off” when working solely with flash. Now you can program this to a function button, and for me that toggles between these two a lot, it’s a very nice timesaver.

4) Instax Printer Print
Finally the X-T1 can print directly to the Instax Share SP-1 printer! Say no more. You can configure this in blue menu #3.

5) Variable focus area during MF
When focusing manually, you can use the AF-L button to quickly autofocus into the area that was covered by the focus rectangle. Previously you couldn’t change the size of this rectangle, but now you can. A smaller rectangle means a more precise but slower autofocus, while a bigger rectangle means a faster but not so precise autofocus. With less precise, I mean that a big rectangle that covers the whole face won’t necessarily nail focus on a small eyelash if that’s what you want. Then you’ll have to use a smaller rectangle.

6) Direct selection of AF area
With the blue menu #2 under Button/Dial, you can set the four buttons around the MENU/OK button to either work as function buttons, or for moving the focus area around. Cool!

7) Shutter speeds of 1/32.000 second…!
The X-T1 now has the ability to use an electronic shutter all the way down to 1/32.000 second. Exciting news, and this opens up for using large apertures even in daylight without an ND filter. You’ll find this in red menu #5.

8) Classic Chrome film simulation
And last but not least, a new film simulation mode! I’ve really looked forward to this, even though I rarely use JPG files, but rather work on the rawfiles. I’ve tested this a lot already, and I really like the colors and the look of Classic Chrome. So maybe I’ll start using JPG files more from now on. I’ve also got a Classic Chrome ICC profile for the Capture One Pro 8 software. It’s not made by Fujifilm, but it’s said to be really close to the original. Pure fun!

All in all I’d like to shout out a big thank you to Fujifilm this time too! It’s happened before, and I hope it’ll happen again. Many camera manufacturers have a lot to learn from this. Bringing new functionality to existing cameras and customers is probably unheard of for many, but Fujifilm chooses to do so. And the result is that Fujifilm will get more and more happy and lojal customers, since this is a win-win situation for both the customer and the manufacturer. It’s really that simple…

Thanks a lot – and Merry Christmas Fujifilm!

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