Deal: X100S Canada

While it’s unfortunate that Fuji has decided the X100S won’t receive any further firmware updates, it’s still an excellent camera that I keep in my Billingham as part of my daily carry.

For my Canadian readers, Aden camera have a killer deal on the X100S. Just $875. Compared that to a new X100T that goes for $1,499 CDN, the second generation X100 will save you a pretty big chunk of change after tax.

Come to think of it, that works out to just $665 in U.S. funds by today’s exchange rate; better than Amazon’s→ or B&H Photo’s→ prices, so U.S. readers might want to jump on it too. Just remember, you miss out on the warranty with cross-border shopping.

X-T1 Ver.4.00 and the Future of Firmware

Today is the big day. If you’ve got an X-T1, you’re about to get a partially new camera. X-T1 Firmware Ver.400 adds some great new features, and refines others.

There really is only one write-up so far that needs your attention, and that’s Damien Lovegrove’s over at ProPhotoNut. Damien struggled to incorporate Fuji “New Autofocus System” into his own professional workflow, preferring instead to stick with single point AF that he adjusts as needed, however he had more success when it comes to action and fast(er)-moving subjects that can be easily isolated, but there appears to be a speed limit. I also share Damien’s theory of a foreground bias when it comes to Zone/Wide AF areas.

I’ve decided not to compose yet another rundown of what the new firmware update includes since most of that can be found in my X-T10 review. What’s interesting to me is what was excluded, and where I think Fuji should take their firmware in the future.

UI Inconsistency

First and foremost, I don’t want this to come across as looking a gift horse in the mouth.1 I absolutely love what Fujifilm are doing with their firmware upgrades and appreciate it immensely. I wonder, though, if they could do things in a different way that would ultimately be better for Fuji and their customers.

The strangest thing about Firmware Ver.400 for me is that the user interface on the LCD of the X-T1 has not been updated to match not only the X-T10 and X100T, but the UI in the X-T1’s own EVF, which is especially strange since it was the X-T1 that delivered this new UI to begin with. It has resulted in many of the screen items (histogram, exposure compensation, dynamic range, etc.) appearing in different locations on the X-T1 LCD, the X-T1 EVF, and the X100T’s LCD/EVF.2

I have other gripes about the overall consistency of the user experience with these cameras, especially when moving between multiple Fuji cameras, but this UI weirdness exemplifies it perfectly.

One Firmware to Rule Them All

In a recent post, I wrote about how the firmware for each camera is handled by a different team. This, in my opinion as someone who has never actually worked for a camera company before, is the crux of the problem. Imagine if Fuji treated their camera “firmware” as what it actually is, an operating system. In this imaginary world, Fujifilm X-OS, as I’ve dubbed it, would be consistent3 across every camera they make, and available to as many cameras as possible. What I mean by that is the UI can change and evolve across all their cameras, all current cameras would be consistent in their overall user experience, but more processor intensive features like maybe the new AF system would not be available on older cameras that can’t handle them.

Does this approach to operating systems sound familiar? It should, it’s Apple’s. Apple runs a pretty tight ship when it comes to iOS upgrades, and Fuji could do a lot worse than emulate them to the letter when it comes to updating theirs.

This would result in Fujifilm X-OS upgrades to all eligible cameras at the same time, bringing all cameras in line with the same consistent operating system, meaning less of an overall investment in development resources across the various body types so things like no Classic Chrome for the X100S could be avoided, as it would be bundled with the overall OS update.

I’m probably over-simplifying, and could very well be overlooking a ton of logistical nightmares this strategy presents, but it would be awfully nice for Fuji to bring this kind of consistency across the camera line-up, and it seems like it would be worth it in the long run. Maybe the next generation of cameras can usher in a new era of camera OS from Fuji. In the meantime, I’ll be enjoying the awesome update Fuji has given us for the X-T1, and patently awaiting that X100T update.

  1. What a bizarre phrase.
  2. The X100T has its own problems like the histogram being in different places in the OVF vs. the EVF.
  3. At least, as consistent as possible. Concessions would need to be made for cameras with more dials, and those with fewer, but it’s a design problem I’m very confident could be solved.

I’d stick with the X100S if...

Work on my X100T vs. X100S vs. X100 piece is still in progress, but having more time with the X100T has made it apparent that the only reason I’d reach for the X100T isn’t the new OVF. It’s not the bigger LCD. It sure as hell isn’t Classic Chrome. It’s WiFi.

I can’t say I don’t enjoy the other features and improvements made to the X100 line, but for $300-400 or so, I could live without ⅓ stop aperture adjustments, extra exposure compensation, the picture review button being in the wrong place, you get the idea.

I came to the conclusion early that the X100T isn’t a must-upgrade camera for X100S owners, and I stand by that 100%. If you already have an X100S, and WiFi capability isn’t imperative, I’d say stick with what you have. Additionally, if you don’t already have an X100 camera and WiFi isn’t a feature you’d miss, save yourself a few hundred units of your favourite currency and grab an X100S. It’s still a great camera that captures the same image quality, and at it’s current price, it’s a steal.

Photokina Day 2 – X100T Prelim Review


I wasn’t even certain they had X100T’s on the show floor at first, but I’ve had a good amount of hands-on time with a couple of them, so much so I feel I can draft up the beginnings of an early review, and I had my X100S and X-T1 at the ready for comparison. This is Fuji vs. Fuji after all.

The X100T is all about usability rather than image quality improvements, and from that angle, I’m very excited to have one of these cameras.

Fuji Fujifilm X100T Photokina.jpg

Grips and Handling

I love the new cross-hatched focus ring. It is much more grippy than the slotted grip on the X100(S). Big improvement. It also looks cool, for whatever that’s worth.

The hand grip isn’t more substantial, but it certainly feels that way as the rest of the camera is a little less deep. It’s not a dangle-from-your-fingers sort of grip, but it helps your fingers feel more like they have a place to rest.

The finish is also exactly the same as opposed to the new rubberized grip found on the X-T1, and the new X30. I have to say I’m slightly disappointed by this as I really like the finish on the X30. It’s less slippery and more sure in the hand. Plus consistency in the materials would make sense.

Fuji Fujifilm X100T Photokina.jpg

Buttons, Dials, Switches

The D-pad buttons are a big improvement in tactile feedback and precision. Placement has also improved with one exception. The View Mode button has been placed above the image review button which is always the top left button on the rear of the camera. I know I’m going to be constantly pressing that button to review images, and wondering what’s going on. Beyond that the placement is great, they are super responsive and every intentional press registers immediately. I thought maybe I’d miss the click-wheel. I don’t. The other nice thing is, despite not having as much room on the back, it doesn’t feel anymore cramped, in fact, it feels roomier. The new button arrangement really helps.

The new exposure compensation dial with ±3EV is nice. Still waiting for exposure bracketing to increase from ±1EV though.

The EVF/OVF switch has gone back to the original X100-style lever since it’s is now bidirectional. More on that in a bit.


Ah, nice and large. My X100S’s EVF looks puny by comparison now.


The live parallax refresh works fantastically well. While manually focusing, it moved as quickly as I needed it to. The frame will also dance around the viewfinder window when set to Continuous AF. Not at pro DSLR pace, but it’s definitely quick enough to help track little ones who might be running around.

The OVF/EVF hybrid is nice. I figured at the very least I would want to keep it on for focus confirmation while in AF mode, but in the samples, I can sometimes see what’s actually in front of the viewfinder ghosted behind the inner EVF, especially if your eye isn’t square with the viewfinder. Perhaps this is something that will be improved with firmware as we near the final release, or it could just be something that needs getting used to. It’s an interesting sensation having the EVF overlaid atop the OVF.

Pushing the viewfinder lever one way toggles the hybrid EVF on and off, the other direction switches entirely to EVF mode.


X-T1 owners will be right at home with this EVF. It’s not as large and seems to lack some contrast compared to the X-T1, but it’s pretty big—larger than the X100S—and refreshes just as quickly as the X-T1’s. Then there’s the rotation of the improved UI.


During my testing, it felt an awful lot like the X-T1, which is what we were expecting. I will be interested to see if it is able to match the X-T1’s night-vision-goggle-like autofocus in extremely low light.

We no have confirmation, however, that the AF system is the same as the one found in the X100S, although “algorithms have been changed a little,” and that could certainly account for faster AF speeds if we use the original X100’s firmware 2.0 as reference.

User Interface

Fuji keep refining the UI of their cameras and it keeps getting better. The X100S UI feels older, and it’s evident that some decisions we’re made as a compromise for the lower resolutions displays, both in the EVF, and on the LCD. I really like the “look and feel” of this UI.

Classic Chrome

As mentioned in my X30 review, more quality Film Simulation Modes are always welcome. Zack Arias says he’ll be using Classic Chrome now and nothing else. I’m not willing to go that far, but it will definitely see some use. And it seems we have confirmation that all X100(S) users will soon be able to enjoy Classic Chrome as well.

Conclusion For Now

The X100T is another incremental step, but it’s a large stride in the progress of Fuji’s X100 line. It’s not earth shattering, but the improvements to usability will take the uncanny enjoyment that seems to infect every photographer who uses one, that much higher.

Should you upgrade?

X100 users, no question. If you love what the X100 offered, and you passed on the S, the X100T will be a huge upgrade in every respect from image quality, to user experience all round. For X100S users it’s a little bit different. You could probably make a pretty decent return by selling your X100S, and in that respect, the difference could easily be worthwhile.

I’ll of course be doing an extensive head to head with the X100S so I’ll be getting one, but if I didn’t have this site as an excuse, I’d likely follow my own thinking above and sell my X100S to fund an X100T. I almost think of it as an iPhone upgrade. Could I get by without it? Sure. Would I enjoy the day to day use of the camera, making the cost per day well under a couple of dollars over the course of the next year? Absolutely. Looking forward to getting my own.

On Buttons

If the rumours are to be believed, Fuji are doing some interesting differentiating with the button layouts of their cameras. Take the most recent leaked photos of the X100T.1 It appears to have a D-pad that’s very much like the one found on the X-T1, no functions assigned to it via icons. I’ll assume it will be the new and preferable clicky variety. The images of the back of the camera look great to me. Very clean. No more scroll wheel. It will be interesting to know if the toggle has moved to a dial as well.

Now, the just-announced X30 has a D-pad that’s more similar to the X-E2, complete with even more icons delineating their function. Fuji’s consumer-centric cameras tend to all feature this more protruding and icon-laden D-pad whereas cameras like the X-T1, which is decidedly more “professional,” has the customizable and more recessed D-pad.2

It’s interesting to me that the X100 line of cameras is taking on the X-T1 style D-pad and I fully expect the X-Pro1 successor to do the same. This suggests that Fuji slots the X100 into less of a consumer space which coincides with it’s price, and the fact that it’s a fixed focal length. The X30 couldn’t be more targeted at the more casual “consumer” shooter.

If these photos are real, it’s nice to see Fuji bringing consistency to their cameras like this. It makes a lot of sense for them to take no the role as expert with the more consumer-focused cameras and tell the user which buttons do what, but let the more serious shooter make up his or her own mind about how the buttons behave.

  1. I have to say, their poor quality and the fact that the OVF/EVF switch has gone back to how it looked on the X100 (non “S”) makes me question their authenticity a little. EDIT: With the addition of the OVF/EVF hybrid mode, it makes perfect sense for Fuji to go back to the symmetrical viewfinder switch as each direction from middle serves a different purpose.
  2. The X30’s buttons are all fully customizable as well, but Fuji have provided their suggested designation, which is a subtle suggestion that digging into the menus to adjust things is less of a necessity.

“Should I buy an X-T1?”

The age old question. Brand spankin’ new camera comes out with a brand spankier new one rumoured to be on the way. Do you buy the new X-T1 hotness or wait for the next new hotness?

The answer to this sort of question ultimately comes down to what you can afford—no to mention your appetite for the constant torrent of upgrades, which we’ll mostly leave out from this post—but one thing I find slips the minds of a lot of photographers (and their Significant Others) is the real cost of any camera gear.

Your cost - What you sell it for = Actual cost

This brings me to a question I was asked on Twitter shortly after posting my review of the X-T1 that I imagine many Fuji fans are pondering as well:

If I have an X-Pro1, should I (buy the) X-T1 or hold for the X-Pro2?

For me, it’s an easy question to answer, but let’s talk it through for fun. The earliest of X-Pro successor rumours say end of 2014 for an announcement with a ship date in early 2015. That’s a full year away. A year of enjoying the very best Fujifilm has to offer before you decide if the X-Pro-Whatever is actually the camera you want. The X-T1 is a massive upgrade over the X-Pro1 and X-E1, even with the firmware updates Fuji keeps throwing at them.

Of course, there are two ends of the spectrum in how you approach upgrade cycles with a bunch of variances in the middle:

  1. Upgrade early and often: You’ll always have the latest and greatest, which is nice, and the best1 your chosen camera platform(s) has to offer.
  2. Stick with what you know: Upgrade only when you absolutely have to. Your camera will be an extension of your hand and eye, and you will attain omnipresent supergalactic oneness with your photography.

Both are valid. I’m ever trying to find the right balance between the two. I think there’s a special case to be made for at least two Fuji bodies:

  1. The X-Pro1: It has been out an awfully long time, and was their first interchangeable offering. A great deal has changed since it came on the scene and Fujifilm cameras have improved significantly. Conventional wisdom is to skip a generation when upgrading, but I doubt many people who owned Nikon D1’s passed on the D2 line of cameras. Thus, I wouldn’t blame anyone for taking an X-T1 steppingstone along their path to the X-Pro2.
  2. The X100: It, and the X100S share a lot of functionality. Selling an X100 to fund the purchase of an X100S will not leave you fumbling with controls as you struggle with a learning curve. You’ll just have faster focus and better overall image quality. Not to mention a black version for the same price.

The one upgrade I think some people could have passed on is the X-E1 to X-E2. I imagine those who waited for the X-T1 are feeling pretty good about their decision right now, and they still have a very capable camera that will produce the same image quality2 as the new(er) X-E2. As a matter of fact, all my tripod-based photography is still done with an X-E1 because I haven’t wanted to pay the exorbitant shipping costs to get a Really Right Stuff L-plate. You see? Balance.

Back to the question at hand

Should you buy the X-T1? If you have an X-Pro1 or X-E1, my answer is, if you can afford it, yes. No question. It’s a massive upgrade over what you have and the glowing reviews are well earned.

If you have an X-E2, that all depends on whether or not you need a weather sealed body. If you don’t, the X-E2 will continue to suit your needs very well. Even better pretty soon it would seem. Focus is quicker on the X-T1, but it’s pretty darn swift on the X-E2 as well.

Whether you have an X-E2 or X-T1, if you think the X-Pro2 is what you’re really going to want, sell your current body when it comes out and buy it. Surely the couple hundred dollars you might lose on the sale is worth a year of use. Think of it as an extended rental. The bottom line is, it’s tough to make a bad decision with Fujifilm’s latest body lineup. They’re all going to produce great images. Your choice comes down to performance. And remember:

Your cost - What you sell it for = Actual cost

  1. Save for launch bugs and lemons like the D600. But those are the minority and largely avoidable with how thoroughly reviewed Fujifilm’s gear is before it’s been released.
  2. Particularly those who shoot RAW. JPEG shooters will miss out on the Lens Modulation Optimizer benefits of the X-E2, but in my experience, it hasn’t been anywhere close to a deal breaker. I’m still holding out hope that Fujifilm will open these up to Adobe along with their Film Simulations.

X-E2, firmware updates, and full frame Fuji

This just happened.

Fantastic reporting from DPReview, and well worth the time to read it. Here are a few stand-out items for me:

...we will release new firmware for the X-E2 soon which will improve the refresh rate of the EVF bringing it to the same level as the X-T1 and also add an interval shooting function.

I’m still kind of stunned. I’ll have more to say about this, but it brings a comment I made on Twitter further into light:

Clearly the answer to my question as it relates to EVF performance is “nothin’.” If a firmware update can bring this sort of functionality to the X-E2, I can’t help but wonder if the same is possible with the X100S, as it too sports the EXR Processor II. It’s entirely possible the actual EVF hardware is the limited factor though, rather than the processor.

There was some internal debate about the X100 update, and some people within Fujifilm didn’t think we should upgrade a discontinued model but we decided to do it anyway.

Whoever doesn’t think these updates should happen should kindly be asked to leave the building. As of this moment, Fujifilm’s USP (unique selling proposition for the non-marketing nerds) is their ongoing, unmatched support for their cameras. Some would argue it’s their retro styling, but that hasn’t been the case for years now, and can be very easily copied. Others would say it’s the X-Trans. Well, other cameras are ditching the OLP filter, and great images can can be made with non-X-Trans sensors.

What can’t be easily copied or manufactured is the tough decision and time to invest in updates like these. This isn’t what brought me to Fujifilm, but it’s a huge part of why they are my platform of choice. Yes their optics are great, their colour rendition is (arguably and subjectively) unmatched, but waking up this morning to find a “free” update like this coming my way is what gets me really excited. Not just for me, but for all Fuji shooters.

Our research shows that the attachment rate for a high-end camera like the X-Pro 1 is around 3.8, whereas cameras like the X-A1 it’s more like 1.2. With low-end cameras people often just stick with the kit lens.

This is interesting and no real surprise. It lends further credence to my views on Fujifilm cornering the premium compact market. The differences between Japanese and Western owners is also of interest. It seems as though we—through Fujifilm North America/UK—have a strong voice in the usability changes Fujifilm continue to make. The partnership vs. dictatorship that is all too common with Japanese brands is really great to see.

We also need to refresh our lens lineup.


At the moment we’re focusing on the APS-C format but in the longer term, after we’ve completed our lens lineup… I can’t deny the possibility.

Wait, what? “Refresh”? There’s a lot of mixed messaging going on here as he mentions the need for Fujifilm to slow down and make their line-up less confusing in the preceding sentence. I’m very intrigued to know what this entails. It certainly sounds as though full-frame is in the pipeline, if not already behind a reinfirnced, key-card-access-only steel door in Japan.

The last thing I’ll note is, if you want an X-T1, it sounds like you better get your preorder in posthaste. Demand is twice what Fujifilm were anticipating. Now would also be a good time to get into a new X-E2 with its currently discounted price.