Today, 29th June 2015, saw another epic firmware upgrade for the X-T1 being released. Rather than getting buyers to part with more cash to get improved performance in an X-T2 or X-T1s model, Fuji have done the right thing again and given us upgrades to camera performance and function that are far more than incremental. If they are trying to keep customer brand loyalty then they are doing the right thing as far as I am concerned.
Having downloaded the new firmware and played with the changes, I have made some minor tweaks to the camera settings, so for those who have shown an interest in my previous posts on setting up the X cameras, here goes.
All my custom settings have remained the same as they largely deal with jpg image quality settings that are not influenced by the firmware. Just to save back referencing, here they are. Note that I have used all the available film simulations and in most cases have moderated the tone curves from the default settings.
The new focus system has required a change to the function buttons.
By default during the upgrade, AF mode is now allocated to the top function button of the 4-way controller. That suits me fine as I am happy to use that button for such a vital function and being opposite the bottom button, which controls AF point selection, it will be easy to remember. Pushing this button now gives access to the new single, zone and wide tracking AF modes. The macro mode is no longer needed for close focus as the camera just adjusts to close focus without user intervention.
I found that I was not using bracketing on the front function button and it is in any case the top item on the top menu when the menu button is pressed, so it's easy to get to anyway. I have now allocated this button to shutter type, which is useful to have, for example when wanting to use flash and disabling the electronic shutter or when wanting a silent electronic shutter.
My other function buttons are allocated to image quality, AF point selection, Wi-Fi, Video recording and face detection.
I had a slight rethink of my Q menu settings based on what I was and wasn't using and to avoid duplication with function buttons. I made sure that flash and flash compensation were high up the menu for easier access and did likewise with self-timer, white balance and manual focus assistance. Less used stuff like tweaks to noise reduction, image colour and tonality I placed near the bottom. There is now no duplication with function buttons and the things I really need are easier to get to. I kind of ran out of ideas from the available options toward the bottom as I don't really need those things, but I guess its nice to have too much rather than too little space, so I filled it anyway with things I may use.
This is how the Q menu looks with my custom setting 2 activated.
The new focus system looks very promising. I am especially interested in how the face and eye detection works in practice as i am always taking shots of my active 4-year old and constantly jiggling focus points manually is a pain. This feature could really up the performance for wedding shooting too. I like the way the implementation has placed the eye detection setting within the face detection setting, so you do not need 2 buttons to control it. If you enable eye detection within the face detection option in the menu, then eye detection will automatically be activated when you activate face detection.
For a quick try I set zone focus and face/eye detection on the 16mm f.4 lens, at wide open aperture and turned the camera to shoot some clumsy, blindly-aimed self portraits. The camera focused precisely on my eyes in all 4 shots, which was impressive.
Maybe this will be the last significant firmware upgrade in the life of the X-T1....its hard to see what else they could do. What was already a great camera when new has been transformed into a much better one by the sensible inclusion in the design of a large number of customisable hardware buttons and superb firmware upgrades.