I was all set to write a completely different article. I think it had to do with film, maybe. Not anymore. Now I'm frustrated, so I'm going to write about that instead. I love Fujifilm. I love them until I hate them. The problem is, I never really know what sort of day it's going to be until I'm out shooting.
Let me back up. I've been using Fuji X cameras off and on for the past few years, and I can honestly say that when they are working, the system is hands down the most fun digital system I've had the pleasure of using. In manual mode it's intuitive, responsive, the colors deliver, and the lenses are second to none. I get out on the job and I'm blown away every day by the images I'm getting back. And then the next day I want to throw the camera against a tree.
I think we can safely say that the Fuji system is mature. It has had time to work out most of the little quirks that plague any new system. So why can't I tether? Why does the dual card slot mechanism glitch out half the time I'm switching SD cards? Why are the TTL flashes garbage? Did I mention why in the name of the Camera Gods can't I tether?
The name of my camera is the X-Pro 2. It's not the X-Amateur 2. It's not the X-"It's 2004 and nobody tethers" 2. Get with it, Fuji! Just because the camera has a cute little optical viewfinder (that I think I've flicked on and off once) doesn't mean that I shouldn't expect a feature that's been on Canon and Nikon for over a decade. It's tethering. It's not like we're asking you to go full frame. Just make the feature available to those who may want it.
I throw a third-party flash on my little camera because I have to. Because Fuji's top of the line flash has a guide number of — wait for it — 42. A high school basketball score is 42, not a guide number for a professional system. TTL is great, grand, and wonderful, but if I'm shooting a wedding and my flash can barely light a small room, it's useless to me. Wouldn't it make more sense to have a product that pros can use to go along with your Pro camera?
Don't get me wrong here. Fuji has made leaps and bounds in the professional usability of their cameras. Autofocus is competitive, low ISO performance is good, great electronic viewfinders, boosted resolution, dual slots (when they work) are all great. Perhaps that's why it's so mind-bogglingly weird to me that they have crapped the bed so badly in the flash and tethering department.
If the status-quo remains, I'll just go back to Nikon and keep my X-E1 for fun. It's a great little camera with not a Pro in sight. Fuji, it's time to figure out who your cameras are for. Right now, I'm not so sure it's me.