What’s Next for the X100T

Ian MacDonald has a(nother) thoughtful piece about the X100T’s future, citing much of what it’s been missing from firmware updates.

One item I’d add to his list is the new autofocus system, which I’ve been told “should come.”. My hope is Fuji has been waiting for the X-Pro2 to come out before they add this, and other features to the X100T, so as not to steal any OVF thunder. Here’s hoping.

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.

The New Autofocus System and the X100T

Fuji’s new Autofocus System is sure to be a big hit with X-T10 owners, and sooner or later, X-T1 owners and even X-E2 users. The next obvious question in my mind is, what about the X100T? What I’ve heard so far is that nothing has been announced or even talked about yet, but it “probably will come.”

The reason comes down to how Fujifilm operates. Each camera moniker (X-E, X-T, X-Pro, X100, etc.) has its own team, so the feature set of the X-T10 and X-T1’s firmware are done by the same team, whereas the X-E2’s firmware update would be implemented by another.

Originally I thought the optical viewfinder might be the reason for the delay, but apparently that’s not the case. There does seem to be some technical limitations to the OVF,1 however multi-point AF, Zone, Tracking/Wide are not among them. If Zone and Tracking/Wide are going to be added to the X100T though, the number of selectable AF areas should also be increased.

Currently, only a 5 × 5 grid is selectable for autofocus in the optical viewfinder as compared to the EVF/LCD, both of which offer a 7 × 7 grid of AF points. In both cases, the central 3 × 3 grid of AF areas are Phase Detect enabled.

Fuji Fujifilm OVF EVF LCD AF points.png

Now, the new autofocus system uses an 11 × 7 grid. Based on what I understand about where the Phase Detect points land relative to the Zones,2 and some guesswork, I’ll assume the new autofocus system would overlay something like this:

My guess as to how the new autofocus grid overlays the 7 × 7 grid of selectable AF points

My guess as to how the new autofocus grid overlays the 7 × 7 grid of selectable AF points

This means that 5 × 5 Zone and Wide/Tracking would behave almost the same when the OVF is selected unless single area selection remains a 5 × 5 grid, and the new autofocus system uses an expanded 11 × 7 grid in the OVF. Either way, it would present a UX nightmare or be even more confusing than having different numbers of AF points available between the EVF and OVF.3 The obvious solution is to expand the number of AF areas in the OVF to the same 7 × 7 grid for consistency.

How the 5 × 5 Zone would overlay the X100T's OVF

How the 5 × 5 Zone would overlay the X100T's OVF

Fuji has to be working out a solution to this though if an X-Pro2 is going to have an optical viewfinder, and arrive with at least as sophisticated an autofocus system as the X-T10 has. OVF users won’t want their preferred method of composition crippled, so hopefully one of those teams gets things figured out soon. I’m missing the new autofocus system on my X100T already.

  1. Face detection isn’t visually represented in anywhere close as user-friendly a way as it is via the EVF, and I suspect Eye Detection would be another challenge due to draw limitations, but I have yet to confirm.
  2. While being briefed on the X-T10, I asked specifically if the 3 × 3 Zone aligns with the 3 × 3 Phase Detect grid and the answer was “sort of.” As can be seen in my assumed grid graphic, there is some overlap.
  3. For an idea of why it’s confusing, select any of the outer most perimiter AF areas while composing via the EVF. Now hit the lever to switch to the OVF, then back again, and note which AF area is now selected. ಠ_ಠ

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.