Well, yesterday, Fujifilm released the new firmware for the X100, version 1.20.
From Fuji’s web site here are the “improvements”:
- 1. Some functions, which can be set to “Fn” button and shown as “Fn BUTTON” in SET-UP menu, can be also set to RAW button. After pressing the command dial to right in the SET-UP menu of “Fn BUTTON”, “Fn” and “RAW” are displayed and each of selectable them,
Also, by holding down RAW button for more than 3 seconds, same type of selection menu for RAW button is displayed, just as short-cut procedure.
- 2. By selecting in “ISO” menu in the shooting menu, either ISO sensitivity value or “ISO AUTO CONTROL” can be selected.
- 3. When AF MODE is set to “AREA” in Single AF (AF-S) mode, active focus point is zoomed in (magnified to approx 5x) by pressing center of the command control.
- 4. When “ND FILTER” is set to “Fn” button or “RAW” button, setting between ON (“ND” is displayed) or OFF (“ND” is NOT displayed) can be changeable by pressing “Fn” button or “RAW” button, which is set for “ND FILTER”.
- 5. When the image is shot with vertical angle of the camera and played back the shot in the LCD, the image is displayed with whole area of LCD even after pressing “playback zoom in” button.
- 6. When the human face is shot, the detected face is displayed during the playing back, and pressing the command dial to down, detected face is magnified during displaying.
- 7. AE control system and AF performance including AF speed has been improved for movie recording mode.
Unfortunately, while it appears that Fujifilm did listen to some user complaints, again, in reality Fuji is taking two steps forward and one step backwards. Here is an explanation.
1. While it appears that Fuji has improved the response of the autofocus mechanism when the camera is set to AF-S mode, a lot of users are complaining about problems with the camera set at MF mode. I still didn’t had time to shoot any tests of my own, but I am sure all those complaining about these issues are NOT crazy.
2. While the ability to have some function assigned to the RAW button, at the rear of the camera was something every X100 user has been asking for, since the day the camera was launched, the implementation leaves a lot to be desired. Say for example you set the RAW button to activate/deactivate the ND filter the camera has. This will be next to useless for one simple reason. The RAW button (and its assigned function) gets locked, when you lock the control wheel at the rear of the camera. The control wheel is used for things like turning on the flash, changing the white balance, entering the lens macro mode, or changing the shooting mode (from pictures to video for example). All these are not changed very often, when you are out shooting pictures. The ND filter though needs to be switched on for one picture and off for the next one. That button shouldn’t get locked, when you lock the control wheel.
3. It is reported by some users that the turns required to manually focus the lens from infinity to its closest focusing distance has been reduced from ten plus, to two. If this is possible, then why not reduce the number of turns to 3/4 of a full turn? I have never seen a lens that needs two full turns to go from infinity to 30 cm. Why not reduce it even further?
Again, Fuji firmware programmers seem to be a totally disorganized team, with no central guidance or with guidance by someone who has never used any camera to take pictures. Who decides how new features are implemented and why? Who gives photographers a very useful feature (for example the ability to activate/deactivate the ND filter at the press of a switch) and then negates it, by allowing that button to be locked when the control wheel is locked? Who authorizes the reduction of turns required to focus the lens from ten to two and doesn’t understand that two full turns are way too much for a 35mm lens?!?!?
Fuji, wake up. You have in your hands a camera that has become a cult object among photographers. It has the capability to become the Leica M3 of the digital era, the revolutionary camera of our times. Assign a photographer as the head of your firmware team, someone who can understand what photographers want and need. Someone who understands how a camera is used by photographers. Fix the bloody camera and I am sure all X100 users will love you. Keep doing the same mistakes and I can see a flood of X100 being sold in Ebay.