Autumn in Berlin, Fuji X100

Fuji X100 Firmware Update: Quicker Focusing, Less Quirks.

I love my Fuji X100 for the same reasons that everyone else who loves theirs does. Leica-like, film-lookalike, and Strobist-friendly. I mean, I live in Berlin, where sexiness trumps all, and the camera fits right in. And like everyone, I also have done my fare share of complaining. This camera has change the photography market. Less than three years after it hit the markets, every other manufacturer is running to do something similar, and Fuji has built on its success with the X100s. Most importantly for me, though, is that Fuji is still supporting this camera, quietly releasing a firmware update last week.

Bourbon Barrels aging upstairs at the  Kings County Distillery

Bourbon Barrels aging upstairs at the Kings County Distillery

Since I’ve had the camera for a while now I thought it was time for a brief retrospective. The camera is always in my bag, be it for a shoots or stroll to the supermarket, and it is the one I travel with.

Overgrown windows in Beelitz

Trees coing through the broken windows in Beelitz, Brandenburg

X100 Firmware Update v2.0
The firmware update to version 2.0 does the things we wanted it to, addressing some quirks. The focus is quicker. Way quicker. That was the biggest issue for those of use who bought the camera. We all knew we were getting an excellent built-in prime instead of the ability to interchange lenses which each cost more than this camera. But the focus, frankly, blew. It is way quicker now. I mean, way.

Whole Health Source blogger Stephan Guyenet

Headshots of Whole Health Source blogger Stephan Guyenet on my x100

Common Issues With the Fuji X100
In light of the new firmware, it’s time to review the settings on the camera again. the main issues were always focus, speed, and focusing speed. It holds its own now. Finally.

The way most people have set up the focus on their X100 is to set the AFL/AEL button – where my thumb always lands – to focus. Then you can leave your camera in MF mode and autofocus with the button. Easy peasy.

This workaround gets you everything you need. The focus is the same speed – or quicker in some situations as compared to the straight up AF. And you get MF override. It also allows you to keep shooting in macro mode using the optical view finder (OVF). This is dangerous because the parallax correction is just enormous. But it works.

The Stata Center on MIT's Campus

The (infamous) Gehry designed Stata Center on MIT’s Campus

Startup time on the X100
The new firmware also makes the camera’s startup speed faster. This has been a weirdball from Fuji. The SD card you use – and how it is formatted – have huge effects on the camera. If you let an Apple device write to it, sometimes a hidden file will show up on the card which slows everything down. Somewhat of a fail. The issue has been getting better and better, and with a Lexar 400x card I’m not having troubles. The startup speed is now quicker, 0.2s according to Fuji. Whoopie. 

I use the camera in quick start mode most of the time. It drains juice but gets your shots quicker. If I’m traveling and may not get to recharge so often I won’t do this, but for daily shooting – and press work – I’m way happier with this. Turn off any auto review, and you can shoot at a blazing 1.5ish fps.

The firmware update is absolutely worth the half hour it will take you to fiddle with the settings. Do it, especially if you rely on your X100 for as much as I do – street photography, strobist-style portraits in the sun, press work, even in the studio. Well done, Fuji.

A museum cafe in Vienna

A museum cafe in Vienna, from above

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