Fujifilm X-T1: Suggestions for Firmware Improvements

fuji_xt1_img_main01
Image: FUJIFILM Europe GmbH

For many users the Fujifilm X-T1 has already been out there for six weeks now. Since then it has also been receiving an overwhelming round of applause by reviewers. I thought the period of grace and praise might be coming to an end and started creating my wishlist for firmware updates and hardware improvements for the upcoming “X-T2”. The first post will focus on the X-T1’s firmware.

The X-T1 features many firmware tweaks which were asked for by users. This shows Fujifilm’s devotion to please existing customers and gain their loyalty. Compared to the first gen bodies this model is a big leap forward. However, there are still some areas in which even more improvements need to be done.

The suggestions listed below are based on the X-T1 with firmware v1.00 installed, but most of the changes could also be applied to the firmware of previous models.

Various

  • Auto ISO based on focal length and lens type: offer customizable factors for minimum shutter-speed (X * focal length); separate factors for OIS-lenses (default: 0,3x; 35mm equiv.: 0,5x) and non-OIS lenses (default: 0,7x; 35mm equiv.: 1x))
  • Lower values available for NR (-3, -4)
  • Spot- and center-weighted metering to follow selected AF point
  • Separate entries for BKT and Advanced Filters in menu
  • Reorganize menu according to function groups (e.g. Focus, Shooting operation, Playback operation, Exposure, Processing)
  • Allow Playback Mode if camera is turned off or in sleep mode via long press of Play button (cf. X10/X20).

Display options

  • Histogram displaying separate values for RGB
  • Warnings for highlight and shadow clipping (Shooting Mode and Playback Mode)
  • Hide exposure compensation scale if value is set to “0” and camera is not in M Mode
  • Option to hide “Blur” warning
  • Two separate settings for “Image Display”, i.e. settings for instant image review (continuous/time-out/OFF); default: EVF = OFF, LCD = continuous

AF

  • In AF-S mode: fix “refocus bug”: focus should stay locked as long as shutter button is pressed/half-pressed (optional: also for AE values)
  • In AF-S mode: add option for manual override of focus after AF has locked focus, i.e. focus should shift if focus ring on lens is turned (cf. Nikon)
  • In AF-S mode: add option to separate AF from trigger via option to disable AF ON functionality of shutter button
  • Function of AF-L button should be customizable: Focus + AF-L vs. AF-L only
  • In AF mode “Multi”: the AF field which is automatically selected by the camera should have an option for manual override (selected focus field)
  • In AF mode “Multi”: the selection of AF focus frame should be based on closest object instead of a “random” object with the high edge contrast
  • [NEW] In AF mode “Vario”: Face detection as instant-on option (automatically activated when a face is recognized); Focus-Frame selection should be available if no face can be found within the frame. [@ Andy: hope, I got that right?]
  • Focus-Frame selection could additionally be made available via front and rear command dial ([left] <–> [right]; [up] <–> [down]) (would require a button press before, though; should be offered as option only, selectable in the menu)

Deleting pictures

  • When deleting pictures, displayed image(s) should keep their current zoom state (in “Playback Zoom” as well as in “Multi-Frame Playback”)
  • Deletion of the picture should be possible in Shooting Mode (i.e. deletion of the image which is displayed after a shot has been taken)
  • Additional method to delete a single picture: via second press of delete button (cf. Nikon); after deleting a picture via this method, display should return to previous view state (applicable for Shooting Mode AND Playback Mode)
  • Additional method to format SD card: longer press on delete button AND Movie Record button (cf. Nikon)

Buttons with Fn functionality

  • Buttons could have two assignable Fn functions:
    • Short press: primary function (usually the one specified by the label of the button). In case of the 4-directional pad a short press would directly move the AF selector (in AF mode “AREA”).
    • Longer press: secondary function (Fn) (currently a long press on the button brings up the button customization menu; customization of the Fn buttons would be available via menu only.
  • Movie Record button should be programmable to serve as an Fn button (at least for secondary Fn)
  • Allow more options to be assigned to Fn buttons (e.g. flash compensation)

Presets/Custom settings

  • Add an additional set for custom settings which are selected independently from each other, i.e.:
    • Ca 1-7: Operational presets, for functions concerning Focus, Exposure and general operational options, e.g. AF Mode, AF Priority, Flash Mode, ISO Auto Setting
    • Cb 1-7: Processing/jpg presets, e.g. Film Simulation, Sharpness, Color
  • Options which are stored in Custom settings should be marked in menu and Q menu
  • Option for renaming/labelling custom settings

Q menu

Currently, most of the settings in the Q menu are applicable to jpg processing only. Suggested changes:

  • Make Q menu customizable, e.g. to include flash exp. compensation
  • Add secondary Q menu:
    • Q1 (primary Q menu screen) (short press on Q menu button), e.g. for main shooting/operational functions.
    • Q2 (secondary Q menu screen) (longer press on Q menu button), e.g. for processing/jpg functions.

Samples for Q menu default settings

Q1 (sample)

Ca (Operation, Focus, Exposure)AF Mode(Macro Mode)PRE AF
BKT (Select)(Face Detection)(Flash Mode)AF Illuminator
(Silent Mode)ISO Auto (Setting)(Flash Compensation)MF Assist
(Self-timer)IS (Mode)Image Disp.LCD (Brightness)
Table: Fujifilm X-T1: Sample for Q menu (Q1)

Q2 (sample)

Cb (Processing)DRNRWB
Img. Size
(e.g. L 3:2)
H ToneColor(Film Simulation)
Img. Quality
(e.g. RAW F)
S Tone(Red Eye
Removal)
Sharp(ness)
Adv. Filter (Select)[TBD][TBD][TBD]
Table: Fujifilm X-T1: Sample for Q menu (Q2)

Buttons, Functions, Q Menu, Custom settings…

The following section is about how all of this fits together.

Functions and allocation to Q menu and/or Fn buttons

CategoryFunctionjpg only?Q menuQ menu set [default]saved in custom preset?Fn
Operation, Focus, ExposureCustom Setting/Preset (operation)noyesQ1[n/a]yes
FocusMacro (close-up) Mode [ON/OFF]noyesQ1Ca [TBD]yes
FocusFace DetectionnoyesQ1Cayes
FocusAF ModenoyesQ1Cayes
FocusAF Prioritiy (Release/Focus)no[TBD][n/a][TBD]
FocusPre-AFnoyesQ1Ca
FocusAF Illuminator (Assist Light)noyesQ1Cayes [for temporary activation!?]
FocusMF AssistnoyesQ1[TBD]
Focus, OperationDepth-of-field Previewnono[n/a][n/a]yes (e.g. secondary function of VIEW MODE button) or Fn1
OperationLCD BrightnessnoyesQ1no
OperationDisp. Custom Settingnono[n/a]Cayes (e.g. secondary function of DISP. BACK button)
OperationImage Disp. (instant image review + time out)noyes[Q1]Ca[TBD]
OperationIS Modenoyes[Q1]no
OperationSelf-TimernoyesQ1no
OperationInterval Timer Shootingnono[n/a]no
OperationWireless Communicationnoyes[n/a][n/a]yes
OperationSilent ModenoyesQ1Cayes
ExposureFlash ModenoyesQ1Ca
ExposureFlash CompensationnoyesQ1no [TBD]yes [also direct access via (Rear) Command Dial]
Exposure, ProcessingISO Auto SettingnoyesQ1Cayes
Exposure, ProcessingBKT Select[no]yesQ1[TBD]yes
Exposure, ProcessingBKT Functions (Full menu[no]no[n/a][TBD]yes
ProcessingImage Size/RationoyesQ2no [TBD]
ProcessingImage QualitynoyesQ2no [TBD]
ProcessingAdvanced FiltersyesyesQ2noyes
ProcessingCustom Setting/Preset (jpg)yesyesQ2[n/a]yes
ProcessingFilm simulationyesyesQ2Cb
ProcessingColoryesyesQ2Cb
ProcessingW(hite) B(alance)[yes]yesQ2[TBD]yes
Exposure, ProcessingD(ynamic) R(ange)yesyesQ2Cb
ProcessingH(ightlight) ToneyesyesQ2Cb
ProcessingS(hadow) ToneyesyesQ2Cb
ProcessingSharp(ness)yesyesQ2Cb
ProcessingN(oise) R(eduction)yesyesQ2Cb
ProcessingRed Eye RemovalyesyesQ2Cb [TBD]
Tabke: Fujifilm X-T1: Suggested functions and allocation to Q menu and/or Fn buttons

Hardware buttons and functions

PlacementNo. (in en manual)ButtonFunction (primary)Function (secondary)
Front17Fn1 buttonFnFn
Front20Front command dial (turn)dedicated (up<->down/left<->right)[n/a]
Front20Front command dial (click) ["X-T2" only]Fn [default: Focus-Frame Selection]Fn
Top22Movie-record buttondedicated
[Fn for "X-T2"]
format SD card (cf. Nikon)
Top3Wi-Fi/Fn2 buttondedicated (TBD): Wi-FiFn
Top30VIEW MODE buttondedicatedFn [default: DOF Preview]
Rear27Delete buttondedicateddedicated: format SD card (cf. Nikon)
Rear28Play buttondedicated
Rear31AE-L (exposure lock) buttondedicatedFn
Rear32Rear command dial (turn)dedicated (up<->down/left<->right)[n/a]
Rear32Rear command dial (click) ["X-T2" only]Fn [default: Focus-Frame Selection]Fn
Rear33AF-L (focus lock) buttondedicatedFn
Rear35FOCUS ASSIST buttondedicatedFn
Rear37Q (quick menu) buttondedicated: Q1 (shooting/operation menu)dedicated: Q2 (processing/jpg menu)
Rear38Menu/OK buttondedicatedFn
Rear38(Selector) left/Fnmove cursor/Focus-Frame Selection [left]Fn [default: Macro ON/OFF]
Rear38(Selector) right/Fnmove cursor/ Focus-Frame Selection [right]Fn
Rear38(Selector) up/Fnmove cursor/ Focus-Frame Selection [up]Fn
Rear38(Selector) down/Fnmove cursor/ Focus-Frame Selection [down]Fn
Rear39DISP/BACK buttondedicateddefault: Disp. Custom Settings
Table: Fujifilm X-T1: Suggested hardware buttons and functions

 

My next post will cover suggestions for hardware improvements. Stay tuned!

In the meantime, feel free to contribute any further wishes in the comments section. Happy to hear your thoughts!

5 thoughts on “Fujifilm X-T1: Suggestions for Firmware Improvements

  1. AF: the camera should switch to AF-S in face detection mode if no face can be found within the frame. 🙂 Andy

  2. Hi, I am a Fuji user as well and I appreciated your post. Very detailed with no fanboy useless overthinking.
    I come from Nikon pro bodies and sometimes I miss the rationality and customization options of that world (you referred to nikon more than once). I hope further FW updates will improve that… while adding exposure lock in movie mode.
    Take a look to my pictures and blog on http://www.one125.com , if you want! Comments are always welcome!
    Good luck with your new blog!

    Vincenzo

  3. I would like to be able to have images displayed for the set review time on the rear LCD even when using EVF-only. This is the one thing I miss from my Canon DSLR and fits how I ,ike to take photos: use the view finder to frame and capture, take the camera away from my eye to review quickly but also now able to look around me freely and then back to my eye for the next photo. In this way raising the camera to your eye should cancel image review even if the set review period is not yet finished.

    1. Hi Nathaniel,
      If I understand this correctly, this feature would be included in what I referred to as “separate settings for ‘Image Display'”. Wouldn’t it?
      Cheers, Sebastian

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