Andy Westlake re-assesses Fujifilm’s popular CSC in the light of its latest firmware update
Fujifilm X-T1 Firmware Version 4: Introduction
Fujifilm X-T1 at a glance:
- 16-million-pixel, APS-C X-Trans CMOS II sensor
- ISO 200-6,400
- 8fps continuous shooting
- 2.36M dot OLED EVF
- 3in 1.04-million-dot tilting LCD
- £880 body only
Firmware Version 4.0 new features:
- Zone AF mode
- Wide Tracking AF mode
- Eye detection AF
- Auto macro mode
- Exposure compensation with
- Auto ISO in manual mode
Back in the days of film, when you bought a camera you knew exactly what features you were getting. Digital cameras, in contrast, are miniature computers that take pictures, and this means they can be upgraded via firmware updates. Historically, these were mainly used to fix operational bugs, but in recent years Fujifilm has shaken up the industry with its philosophy of ‘kaizen’, continuously improving its cameras with a slew of new features and refinements. With version 4.0 for its premium mirrorless model, the X-T1, it has completely overhauled the camera’s autofocus system, with a particular emphasis on shooting moving subjects.
As a reminder, the Fujifilm X-T1 was one of the standout cameras of last year. With a compact, rugged SLR-like design, it was roundly admired for its excellent image quality, intuitive operation and superb electronic viewfinder. Among its numerous plaudits were the Enthusiast Compact System Camera of the Year and the Reader Product of the Year at our 2015 AP awards.
As the numbering suggests, Firmware 4.0 isn’t the first update for the X-T1; in fact it’s the fifth. But it’s the second major update, after version 3.0, which brought no fewer than 27 improvements. The cumulative effect is that, on paper at least, the camera has changed significantly from when it was launched 18 months ago. So we thought it would be worth taking another look at what it can now do, compared to when we originally reviewed it back in March last year. So I took it to the Flying Legends air show at the Imperial War Museum, Duxford and put the camera through its paces.
It’s perhaps worth noting that little in version 4.0 is completely novel; we’ve seen most of its new features in other manufacturers’ cameras, in one form or another. However, Fujifilm has shown itself uniquely willing to listen to user feedback and update its cameras accordingly. So anyone who bought an X-T1 shortly after its launch will now find they have a substantially improved camera – but crucially, at no extra cost.