On May 8th, Fujifilm released their updated firmware for the X-T2 mirrorless camera. This takes the current firmware to version 4.0 and embodies Fujifilm’s Kaizen philosophy by making enormous changes to what the camera is able to do. Let’s take a look at it here.
Fujifilm, unlike many manufacturers, uses the same sensor for almost all of its cameras. With each generation of sensor comes a new processor, and that gets used throughout their lineup. The differences are primarily implemented in software or by physical changes to the body styling. This leaves the buyer with the opportunity to choose based on preference, not on image quality. It also gives Fujifilm the opportunity to bring new features into all their bodies as they develop them.
With each successive firmware version, Fujifilm has improved the feature set and overall performance of the X-T2 dramatically. This round of updates brings many of the features of Fujifilm’s flagship X-H1 to the older body. So many features, in fact, that one is left to wonder if there is any reason to upgrade to the newer body. I know I was quite excited to update my beat-up old X-T2, so let's take a look at how this firmware stacks up.
The Major Updates
Macro photographers are going to love this new feature: automated focus bracketing. It is now possible to shoot up to 999 frames while having the camera move the focus slightly in between shots to enable maximum depth of field. Not being a macro photographer, I don’t have a wonderful frame to show you here, but I this shot of the Fujifilm X-H1 body should suffice.
One of the big differences I noticed when picking up the X-H1 for the first time was how snappy the autofocus was compared to the X-T2. The new firmware brings that same enhancement to the older body, giving the PDAF points sensitivity down to -1EV and improving the camera’s ability to track in AF-C while zooming. What this translates to in practice is an overall faster autofocus system, especially in dim conditions. For wildlife or sports photographers, you will appreciate how well the zoom lenses track while you zoom now.
Internal F-Log Recording
The X-H1 introduced a feature that was long requested for the X-T2, internal F-Log recording. Finally, this feature has also made it into the X-T2. The log footage, coupled with the Eterna LUT (why couldn’t Fuji just include the Eterna film simulation on the X-T2?), allows for footage that looks very much like the native Eterna footage from the X-H1. As you can see below, even with the LUT applied, some contrast and sharpening will need to be applied to get the X-T2 footage to match with the X-H1 footage.
Slow Motion Video Recording
The slow motion video recording from the X-H1 has been passed over directly to the X-T2, so we now have access to up to 120 frames per second saved at either 120P or 23.98P depending on what you choose.
For those who shoot a lot indoors under flickering lights, switching this mode on will make sure you get more even colors and tones across images shot in a sequence.
Differences That Still Remain
For those who often switch between stills and video like myself, the X-H1 still has the upper hand here. The new firmware does not separate video and stills settings into their own menus. This is a small thing that makes working with the X-H1 so much easier.
In addition, the X-T2 still does not allow us to select the bitrate for video recording. Perhaps this will come in a future upgrade, or perhaps this is Fujifilm’s way of differentiating the two cameras.
Of course, even with many of the features carrying over, some will still prefer the X-T2 body for its smaller size and lighter weight, just as some will prefer the X-H1’s greater heft and larger grip. Then, of course, there's the exposure compensation dial that is still present on the X-T2.
The final differentiating feature, especially from a video standpoint, is the in-body stabilization of the X-H1. This makes such a huge difference to video stability and the need not to carry a tripod for simple night shooting.
The Fujifilm X-T2 Firmware 4.00 brings so much of the X-H1 to X-T2 users that if you don’t need the IBIS, or prefer a smaller body, it would now make no sense to upgrade to the X-H1. Once again, there has been a new life breathed into an old product from Fujifilm. If you haven’t already, pick up the new firmware from Fujifilm, and if you’re still interested in an X-H1, you can get one here! The X-T2 is also currently on sale at B&H, so this could be a good time to pick up a bargain.