Andy Westlake re-assesses Fujifilm’s popular CSC in the light of its latest firmware update
Fujifilm X-T1 Firmware Ver.4: Conclusion
All the hype surrounding Fujifilm’s Firmware 4.0 update for the X-T1 has been to do with its overhauled focus system, and in practice it brings some useful updates that make the camera an even stronger contender in its class. Zone mode is very effective, particularly when using the central phase detection region of the frame, and Wide Tracking can work well with cooperative subjects. But while this counts as a solid advance for Fujifilm, the wider phase detection areas of competitors such as the Sony Alpha 6000 and Samsung NX1 means these cameras still have the overall edge.
However, it’s equally important not to overlook all of the other useful improvements Fujifilm has made to the X-T1 over the past 18 months. Notably, Firmware 3.0 added a silent electronic shutter with speeds up to 1/32,000 sec, along with an array of handling improvements including additional control customisation and a user-configurable Q menu. The net effect has been to take a camera that was very impressive to start with, and improve it substantially.
No other manufacturer has shown quite the same commitment to supporting its cameras, and Fujifilm has to be praised for this. Of course it’s a not purely altruistic – it builds up goodwill and a positive brand image, encouraging photographers to buy into the system. A couple of companies have started to follow Fujifilm’s lead, most notably Samsung with major firmware updates for the NX1, and hopefully we’ll see more of this in future. It can only be good for photographers.