This week Fuji will announce the introduction of a major firmware update for its superb Fujifilm XT1 in the form of firmware v4.0
Autofocus Substantially Revamped
v4.0 firmware will bring a major autofocus upgrade, introducing new ‘Zone’ and ‘Wide/Tracking’ modes which use 77 AF points across a wider area. Fuji says this will ‘substantially’ improve the X-T1’s ability to capture moving subjects. The Zone mode offers 3×3, 5×3 or 5×5 focus zones from the 77 AF points now available, and it’s designed to work with the continuous AF mode, where the centre AF point is used to track a moving object.
The Wide/Tracking mode works slightly differently. Here, the camera tracks moving subjects across the full 77-point AF area, not just following horizontal and vertical movement but back and forth movement too.
Fuji says the single-point AF option now divides the focus area into smaller sections to measure the subject distance more accurately. The sensitivity of the camera’s on-sensor phase-detection pixels has been improved too, with a detection range of 0.5EV – previously, it was 2.5EV. This should make the camera much better at focusing in low light or with low-contrast subjects.
Face-detection AF gets a boost too. Face-detection AF modes are all very well, but when you’re working with large apertures and shallow depth of field you need to be more accurate. In any portrait shot, your subject’s eyes are the one thing that needs to be sharp, and that’s what the new Eye Detection AF mode is designed to achieve.
Improved Macro Operation
The Macro mode operation has been improved too. Previously, you had to press the X-T1’s Macro button to shoot close-up subjects with normal AF speed, but the with v4.0 firmware update the camera will switch modes automatically. This leaves you free to re-assign the Macro button to some other function of your choice.
Further updates include a broadening of the shutter speed range available in the T(ime) setting from 30-1/3200sec, the exposure compensation dial will be able to be used for altering exposure in manual mode when auto ISO is active, and the grid display on the rear screen and in the viewfinder will use finer lines so less of the subject is obscured. Fuji has also renamed the ‘Silent Mode’ to ‘Sound and Flash Off’ mode – apparently to ‘avoid confusion’.
And all the above improvements and tweaks won’t cost you a bean. Once again Fuji should be applauded for offering genuinely extensive and useful firmware upgrades which are able to keep their models fresh and competitive, well done Fuji.