The thing about software is that it's...soft. Malleable! You can add neato things to it that make products better. Camera makers usually update a device's firmware with bug fixes and supposed "performance increases." Not so with the upcoming December update to Fujfilm's X-T1 mirrorless camera. It's replete with fancy new abilities.
The X-T1 came out last year, mostly to critical acclaim (despite my own reservations). But as with most new cameras, there was a laundry list of minor quibbles, particularly on the software side. Today, Fuji is answering back with a long list of improvements for making life with the X-T1 easier. Crap, there's a lot:
1. AF (Auto Focus) Area direct selection – Users can select the focus area with the 4-way controller, without pressing the Fn Button.
2. Function replacement for the AE-L/AF-L buttons – The currently locked AE-L/AF-L button function will now be interchangeable, depending on the user's preference.
3. Focus Area size variability during MF (Manual Focus) – Users will be able to change the focus area in Manual mode during One Push AF with the AF-L button.
4. Macro Mode direct selection – Users will be able to directly turn ON or OFF the Macro function in Auto Focus mode to expand the distance measurement range to the short-distance range. This will be possible without accessing the pop-up menu screen.
5. Q Menu customization – The update will render the items and layout of the Q Menu, used for quick access of frequently-used items, changeable to the user's preference.
6. Video frame rate selection – In addition to the existing 60fps and 30fps selections, 50fps and 25fps, as well as a 24fps selection will become available to users. 50fps and 25fps allow video editing in the PAL region, such as Europe and elsewhere, without converting the frame rate. The 24fps will offer movie-like video capture and play back.
7. Video manual shooting – Users will be able to select ISO sensitivity prior to shooting videos, as well as adjusting the aperture and shutter speed during video shooting.
8. Phase Detection AF support for One Push AF – With One Push AF, operated by pressing the AF-L button during manual focusing, the update will enable Phase Detection AF with quicker focusing speeds.
9. Metering area focus area interlocking – The update will enable users to interlock the AF area position with the metering area when spot metering is selected.
10. Expansion of the Program Shift setting area – The update will enable the current Program Shift, in which the low-speed side is 1/4 second, to be shifted to a maximum of 4 seconds.
11. Electronic Shutter – Adds electronic shutter function to original X-T1 Black bodies with a maximum shutter speed of 1/32000 second.
12. New "Classic Chrome" Film Simulation – Film simulation that delivers muted tones and deep color reproduction.
13. Support for INSTAX Share Printer – Photos can be sent directly to the INSTAX Share Printer for instant prints.
14. Lock Function – Users can lock the camera to prevent unexpected dial and button operations.
15. AF+MF Setting – Users can half press the shutter to autofocus, and then make fine adjustments using the manual focus ring.
16. Three Custom White Balance options – Expands number of white balance users can store.
17. Expanded EVF/LCD display types in Manual Exposure Mode – Users can now customize the way the image is displayed on the EVF or LCD.
18. LCD Brightness and EVF/LCD Adjustment Control – Users can customize display brightness based on environment.
19. Flash Compensation in Fn Button Setting – Users can now add Flash Compensation to any of the six custom function buttons.
Whew. It's kind of amazing how many of these are actually quite useful. Electronic shutter mode at 1/32000 max speed?? That's awesome! Full manual video shooting? Yay! You have to hand it to Fujifilm for being proactive in improving their existing cameras, as opposed to making you buy a whole new model for minor improvements. Kudos.
You'll be able to grab the new firmware on December 18th.
**This post was updated to reflect the release date of December 18th. It had previously stated that the firmware was available now.