Latest Fuji X-Series Firmware Updates Ready for Download

Update: Fujifilm X-Pro1 has just received firmware update v3.01, which fixes movie mode bug present in the v3.00 version.

The amount of post-release support Fujifilm has been providing its X-series users is, quite frankly, staggering. Yet another major firmware update for the X-Pro1 (v3.01) and X-E1 (v2.00) cameras is now available for download. In a nutshell, the firmware further improves autofocus performance for both cameras with most Fujifilm X-mount lenses. In addition to that, a current must-have feature for all mirrorless cameras, focus peaking, has also been added.

Fujifilm X-E1 with 18-55mm lens

1) What We Think

I would have never expected a new compact system camera manufacturer to release perfect products right from the start. Of course, Fujifilm is far from being new to all-things photography. The company is well-known for its analogue cameras, high-end lenses and photographic film of all sizes. But when it came to digital consumer products, the most serious they tried before entering highly competitive and promising mirrorless camera market was digital point-and-shoot cameras. Let’s face it. Cheap point-and-shoot cameras are not something buyers are too picky about. Mirrorless and high-end, large-sensor compact cameras are a whole different story. And here, Fujifilm X-series cameras have been plagued with bugs, glitches and minor niggles likely more so than any other manufacturer. Autofocus speed and accuracy was likely one of the most talked-about shortcomings of X100 and X-Pro1 (click for our in-depth review).

Having said that, what I expected even less is just how persistent Fujifilm is at improving its existing cameras. Update after update, their cameras seem to transform with time into something much more capable and grown up. Even after new models are introduced, you are never left hanging with a product that could have been better had the manufacturer bothered to tweak the software and add much-needed functionality. When the X-E1 came out boasting improved AF algorithms, the X-Pro1 firmware update quickly followed with the same improvements.

Fuji X-Pro1 Top

By doing so Fuji has quickly become a manufacturer that feels involved with its clients more than any other camera maker no matter how well-known or popular. It feels as if they want to do good by their customers, as if you are using gear that real people design and improve, rather than a faceless company. We can’t help but admire such devotion here at Photography Life. On top of that, they also seem to be making all the right choices regarding camera bodies themselves as well as lenses. As a wedding photographer, I find XF lens lineup extremely tempting, especially considering the upcoming XF 10-20mm f/4, 56mm f/1.2 and 23mm f/1.4 lenses. The camera bodies are wonderfully photography-centered, the new sensor technology brings some very welcome freshness and the hybrid viewfinder is a well thought-out dessert. AF will improve and niggles will be taken care off. Like a bottle of good wine, these cameras seem to get better as time passes. The main idea behind the cameras, the core approach to design, the character is, hopefully, here to stay.

This is why we are so thrilled to receive all three Fujifilm X-series mirrorless cameras as well as all available lenses shortly. We will run X-E1, X-M1 and the lenses through our usual review procedures after spending enough time using them in all sorts of situations. X-Pro1 review will also be updated with our experience from using the camera running latest firmware version 3.00. Rest assured, we will spare no critique towards these amazing cameras. Happily, Fujifilm seems to want us to.

2) The Problem

Fuji has found two ways to stand out from the crowd in a very competitive mirrorless camera market. First of all, by releasing good-looking, photography-centered innovative cameras and fast, quality prime lenses. Secondly, by providing all the post-release firmware updates to further improve their products as much as possible. But when you stop to think about it, their continued attempts at improving even older camera models should not be at all surprising. The biggest surprise comes when you realize that it’s not what Fujifilm is doing, but what other manufacturers are not. Even so, such a fact does not undermine Fujifilm’s efforts at all.

3) Latest Firmware Improvements

Here is the list of improvements the latest firmware version brings when compared to previous release (v2.05 for the X-Pro1 and v1.06 for the X-E1):

  1. Improvement of AF speed on most existing XF lenses.
    The updated algorithm will enable AF speed to become faster with the following XF lenses:

  2. “Focus Peak Highlight” function for manual focusing is added.
    The function, which features on FUJIFILM X100S and X20, is added and assists accurate and sensitive manual focusing by enhancing the outline of your subject in high contrast.
  3. Improvement of the method to switch magnification during manual focusing.
    Press the “Command dial” to activate image magnification during manual focusing and then turning the dial in either right or left direction will enable you to alternate the magnification of 3 times and 10 times.
  4. Improvement of focus accuracy in various scenes.
    The focus detection algorithm is improved to provide more accurate focus for low contrast subjects and scenes containing horizontal stripes.

An important note: in order for these improvements to work, you will also need to update firmware for each lens.

4) Download Links for Camera and Lens Firmware Updates

Here are the links to the official Fujifilm website. Firmware download links are at the bottom of each webpage.

  • Click here to download v2.00 firmware for the Fujifilm X-E1 compact system camera
  • Click here to download v3.01 firmware for the Fujifilm X-Pro1 compact system camera
  • Click here to download lens firmware

Avatar of Romanas Naryškin About Romanas Naryškin

A student and a wedding photographer with a passion for cinematography and writing. You'll see me buying film even when there's no food in the fridge. Follow me on Google+, Facebook or visit my wedding photography website to see some of my work.

Comments

  1. 1
    ) Stephen McCullough

    “Fujifilm X-series cameras have been plagued with bugs, glitches and minor niggles likely more so than any other manufacturer. Autofocus speed and accuracy was likely one of the most dreaded shortcomings of X100 and X-Pro1″

    That’s a really interesting statement. It would be really interesting for you to back it up a bit. As far as I am aware, bugs and glitches, which most people define as actual faults, have been rare with the Fuji models; your implication is that they have been common across the range. To describe autofocus speed and accuracy as ‘dreaded’ is very misleading too. If it doesn’t work people don’t buy the camera, or return it or sell it on. Do people really ‘dread’ the autofocus? Also, I have rarely read of accuracy issues with the Fuji X models.

    Your opinion is valued by many of your readers. This is the first post which I have found disappointing for the misleading language and tone. By all means find gear not useful to you, or up to your standards, but that does not amount to being ‘plagued’ with bugs or glitches, or a general ‘dread’ of any aspect of performance.

    • Stephen,

      I’m very sorry if you found my article somewhat unfair or offensive. I must assure you, though, that you misunderstood what I was trying to say.

      I’ve read several reports of Fujifim cameras being slow at write speeds and, in the past, they would completely freeze-up while buffer was being emptied (the X100). I would define that as a fault, which has been fixed via firmware update. If you need backing up, here is a quote from our mini review of the X100:

      “The Fuji X100 is one slow camera! On the second day I started shooting in RAW and the write speeds on a 30MB/sec SD card were painfully slow. I used the same card on the Nikon D5100 and the camera had no problems writing to the card – I was getting 4 FPS on it. And the X100 is useless when it is busy writing to the card.”

      Autofocus speed has never been as snappy with X-series as with, say, OM-D. Contrast-based AF is usually very precise, though, but in low or tricky light can and has been somewhat unreliable. Again, a quote from the review:

      “The first frustration was with the X100′s autofocus system. Initially, I noticed that some of the images I took at home were blurry, but since it was my first day, I thought I made some errors while taking pictures. Then the same thing happened at the wedding – many of the images I took were out of focus! And that’s with the camera beeping and letting me know that the image is in focus. It happened once, I recomposed, refocused took another picture. Then it happened again. And again and many many times after that. In many of the shots, it seemed that the camera was back-focusing, even though I was making sure to use areas with high contrast on my subjects.”

      Another quote from our X-Pro1 review running the original firmware:

      “AF is slow and accuracy is terrible in low-light.

      In many cases, the camera takes too long to acquire focus in AF-S (single) mode.

      When re-acquiring focus, the camera will force the lens to start over and hunt for focus, even if the subject/object did not move at all.

      After focus is successfully acquired, firing the shutter while continuing to half-press the shutter causes the camera to reacquire focus again.

      LCD and EVF lock up / freeze between focus lock and exposure. The lag makes it difficult to photograph anything that moves. Surprisingly, this even happens when shooting in manual focus.

      The AF-C (continuous tracking) mode is pretty much useless, since only the center focus point can be used for tracking subjects. AF-C should be no different than AF-S in terms of focus points.”

      In no way did I mean to imply that Fujifilm cameras, as you said, have common faults across the range and are “bad” cameras not up to my standards. They do, however, have more niggles than most popular competitors, such as the mentioned OM-D. That is why I said “likely more so than any other manufacturer”.

      Having said all this, Fujifilm X-series is the most promising compact camera system I’ve come across, and one I am planning to replace my other digital gear with in the future for both personal work and business. So, if anything, I was very positive about their cameras and lenses in spite of all these niggles. I find these cameras to be very useful and very much up to my standards.

      Have a great day!

      • 6
        ) Stephen McCullough

        Hi
        Thanks for your reply. I really appreciate it – I have a clearer picture now of what you were expressing.

        Thanks!

  2. 3
    ) Monti

    Fuji is best cameras ever for everything you want besides DSLR.
    Everyone should own one fuji compact camera.
    Who doesn’t buy one fuji to accompany their Nikon and Canon DSLR just miss half of their photographic experience.

  3. 4
    ) David B

    Yep, I’ve enjoyed using my Fujifilm XE1 for a while now and I am enjoying it even more with the new firmware. I tested the 35/1.4 lens in pitch darkness and it was able to AF via AF assist light. With AF assist light and just the light of my computer screen, it autofocused on every object in my office I tried it with. I am very happy about it. I asked Nasim a while ago to retest XPRO1 and to test XE1 but he said he was very busy with all the reviews. I was particularly interested in Nasim’s opinon re: low light, as many state that Fuji XE1 X-trans Sensor provides the lowest noise possible out of any current crop-sensored cameras and some state that it is as good as older full frame cameras such as Canon 5D Mark II. Unfortunately it is impossible to scientifically back up or refute these claims, because DXO LAB has been unable to measure X-trans sensors. They can only do the Bayer type sensors. So DXO has not measured any of X-Trans sensored Fuji cameras and it is not clear whether they will be able to.

    I don’t currently own 5DMark II so I cannot state with certainty that Xtras cropped sensor low noise is on the same level with full frame of the past cameras. But I can certainly say that this is the lowest amount of noise I’ve ever experienced on any cropped camera (included the ones that I owned Nikon D7000, Sony NEX5n and NEX7 that are measured by DXO at the top of the group of cropped-sensored low light leaders). I also agree with dpreview review result that JPEG engine on XE1 is so good and WB is so good that this is the only camera I own where I safely started to shoot JPEG only. I shoot RAW only on every one of my cameras including 5D Mark III and Olympus OM-D. But I now switched to JPEGS only on XE1.

    So since we have and likely won’t have anything from DXO on Fujis, I am eagerly awaiting Nasim’s reviews and conclusions. Is it as good as full frame? or is it just marketing?

    • 11
      ) Carl TightShooster

      From the Noise-Aspect – I would say that the X100s is comparable to my Nikon D700; Never have been seen such noise-perforamcne on an APS-C sensor.
      /K

      • 12
        ) David B

        wow, I sold my D700 a while back, but when I had it I thought the noise performance was so remarkable that I did not even bother looking at what ISO I was shooting most of the time. And that was both in JPEG and/or RAW. To say that X100s is comparable to that…. are you talking in JPEG or you are comparing RAW? Even if you compare RAW at ISO3200 in dpreview tool between D700 and X100s, D700 looks clearly better. If you compare JPEGS, the difference is less pronounced.

        • 13
          ) Carl TightShooster

          Hi David,
          to proof this I may be doing some images – for comparison.
          Jpegs are much cleaner with X100s
          but with LR 5 I think the diff to D700 – they look different
          but comparable in iso performance

          If you compare both
          you may not forget that X100s has slightly more resolution
          /K

  4. 5
    ) steve

    I have owned the X e1 for 4 months. I have the 18-55 and the 55-200 as well as the Zeiss 12mm.
    I love the design of this camera and the manual controls, shutter speed exposure compensation etc… so you don’t to go through 200 sub-menus to change settings. I hope subsequent versions that Fuji does NOT take them away. I’m happy it has a EVF as it helps a lot when shooting in bright light and in manual focus. It takes awesome pictures. Love the balance and size of the camera.
    I’m so impressed that Fuji keeps coming out with firmware improvements. That type of customer support is impressive and really makes me committed to their brand. Their phone support from my experience is outstanding, ( thanks Steve for being so helpful).
    In contrast, Nikon could take a lesson from Fuji. I own several Nikons with a lot of good glass but Nikon’s response to the oil sensor issue was to say the least pathetic.
    When Fuji gets the auto focus speed and accuracy better this camera will be nearly perfect. Im very pleased they are committed to getting it right. Its my favorite camera.
    I’ve loaded all the firmware up grades for the lens and the body and Im hopeful its better. I hope and your assessment comes out soon.

  5. 7
    ) Jy

    A minor point – the statement “But when it came to digital consumer products, the most serious they tried before entering highly competitive and promising mirrorless camera market was digital point-and-shoot cameras.” has discounted the S1 – S5Pro series of DSLRs from Fujifilm which were well regarded by niche wedding and portrait photographers (granted that its based on Nikon’s D100 and D200 series).

  6. 8
    ) Carl TightShooster

    Fuji has build it’s first gen of very high valued innovative mirror less cams; As a Nikon D700 owner I ordered a X100s and I am fascinated with the results – both image quality and handling. Sure the AF is not as good as wiht the DSLR , but the mechansim behind is not the same. It’s not a cam for Action photography.
    Also strange no Reviews of X100s from Dpreview.com with the X-Trans II Sensor alos no review on DXOMark;
    Too good ???

    ;)

    • 9
      ) David B

      Carl the answer to your question is very simple. DXO is unable to test Xtrans sensor and has never been able to. So they have not tested any X-Trans sensor’ed cameras from Fuji X100s to Pro to even X20. They just don’t have the technology, or their technology does not work for Xtrans and can only test regular Bayer type sensor.

      • 10
        ) Carl TightShooster

        David, this makes sense!
        Another Issue I have with X-Trans is the X-Rite Camera Calibration tool for Lightroom;
        Calibration tends to shifts remarkable to violett which seems to be a (mis)scanning issue of the Color Calibratior?
        With my D700 I get very good Fitting colors and Tones.

        /K

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