On 8th May, 2018 we released new firmware updates for the FUJIFILM X-T2 which added new features to the system for both stills photographers and keen videographers. We asked X-Photographers Kevin Mullins and Jeff Carter to tell you more about firmware version 4.0 and explain how they’ve been using the new features.
Installing the Firmware
First of all, you will need to install your new firmware from here. Make sure you download the firmware on to a blank, formatted memory card and ensure that you have a fully charged battery in your camera. With the memory card inserted, switch the camera on whilst simultaneously holding down the DISP/BACK button on the back of the camera. The camera will identify that you have an upgrade option and allow you to proceed. Follow the camera instructions to install the update. The update may take a few minutes so make sure you don’t switch the camera off during the process. Once completed, you will be instructed to switch the camera off, then on again and voila, you will have the new features available!
1. Focus Bracketing
[Kevin Mullins] This update will enable you to shoot focus distance bracketing up to 999 frames. When you are shooting, the focal location is shifted with each activation of the shutter by the step of focus shift set from 1 to 10.
This is particularly useful for landscape photography where you want a perfectly sharp image right the way through the frame, or similarly for technical macro photography. Each lens has a “sweet spot” and so it’s often going to yield a better overall image to have a stacked picture shot at that sweet spot, rather than use a wide depth of field (such as F22).
This can yield some really great results but there are a couple of things to note:
- You will definitely need a very stable tripod.
- The camera does not “stack” the images in camera. You will need to do this manually in Photoshop.
2. Enhanced Phase Detection AF
[Jeff Carter] The performance enhancements to the Phase Detection AF were quite noticeable with the AF locking on to a fast moving car quickly, even when the aperture was at f8 or f11 on the XF100-400mmF4.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR. Another improvement I noticed with this firmware update was that the AF reacquired the subject a lot quicker than before, if the focus was lost for some reason. I first noted this AF improvement on the X-H1, and it is a welcome enhancement on the X-T2.
AF-C performance while operating the zoom is now a lot better than before. It is not something I do a lot when working but the ability to trust the camera to keep the focus while zooming out is something that I welcome. This will be extremely useful for other sports I shoot, like international rugby, where things can be a little less predictable. Shooting at a press conference last week, I noticed that the X-T2’s AF coped extremely well in the difficult artificial lighting conditions, locking on to the subject quickly.
[Kevin Mullins] It’s not easy to show a performance increase in a blog post and without the ability to shoot exactly the same image at exactly the same time with two different. However, I can say that in low light shooting, it certainly feels more responsive. I shot some images of my little boy in the living room late at night and, whilst I can’t be sure the previous version of the firmware wouldn’t have got the images, this one certainly did.
I’m sufficiently impressed.
3. Enlarged and customizable indicators or information
[Kevin Mullins] I’m getting on a bit now, and as my daughter keeps telling me, I’m too old to wear Superdry clothes, so this new feature is a welcome addition. With version 4.0, you can now enlarge the indicators in both the EVF and LCD as shown below.
Note that some indicators will not be displayed, but a majority of the key ones are covered.
Nice touch Fujifilm. Thanks!
4. Addition of F-log SD card recording
[Jeff Carter] The ability to now shoot F-Log directly to an SD card, as first seen on the X-H1, is also a very useful feature in the new firmware update. I regularly shoot videos alongside my stills, and this addition allowed me to shoot video and then colour grade with ease in Adobe Premier Pro in post-production, without the need to record the F-Log footage to an external drive.
[Kevin Mullins] The next two features are relevant for those shooting videos on their X-T2. Currently, I shoot all my YouTube videos on the camera and the ability to now record F-Log internally is a massive upgrade for me and many others. F-Log is essentially like RAW, but for video. The files will be bigger, but the detail in the flat footage allows you to have more control over grading the film. Grading is the process of colour correcting.
F-Log is nothing new to the X-T2, however, until this firmware upgrade we have only been able to record F-Log via an HDMI Output to an often-expensive monitor or drive. Now we can record native F-Log footage internally to an SD card, which is ace, quite frankly!
5. Addition of 1080/120P high-speed video mode
[Kevin Mullins] Fujifilm has also added the ability to shoot high-speed video that results in slow motion footage. It’s impossible to show that here again in stills, but I think you can all understand the benefit of very slow motion footage for film makers.
It’s 1080p at 120fps and the results from my testing are great.
Above you can see the moment a balloon filled with water is popped. That’s not my son being ejected from the balloon by the way, he just happened to be on the trampoline at that time 😉.
6. Addition of “Flicker Reduction”
[Jeff Carter] The addition of a Flicker Reduction mode is an extremely useful feature for anyone who shoots indoors with difficult artificial lighting and proved itself to me when shooting in the press conferences at Spa-Francorchamps.
[Kevin Mullins] Wedding photographers will love this. This is specifically for enhancing the quality of indoor photography, such as weddings and sports. The upgrade allows users to reduce flicker in their pictures and the display when shooting under fluorescent lighting and other similar light sources.
7. Addition of “Select Folder” and “Create Folder”
[Kevin Mullins] This is a really handy new feature which will allow you to choose the folder where subsequent pictures will be stored. It’s also going to enable you to enter a five-character folder name to create a new folder in which to store pictures.
[Jeff Carter] Anything that speeds up the post-processing system is very welcome in my world, so this is a very useful feature. For me, creating folders means that images shot on different cards can be found quickly when shooting different sessions or even when I’m shooting at different positions on the track.
[Jeff Carter] X-T2 firmware version 4.0 provides some really useful upgrades for sports photographers and videographers, giving some of the enhancements first seen on the X-H1. The update has made an already excellent camera even better for both the professional and enthusiast photographer.
[Kevin Mullins] Overall, I would consider this a great firmware update and with some very welcome features for both movie makers and stills photographers. A great camera just got better.
More from Kevin Mullins
More from Jeff Carter
More about FUJIFILM X-T2
In its compact, lightweight and robust body, the FUJIFILM X-T2 delivers everything you need. A large, high definition EVF, easy to use dials, high-speed AF, compatibility with an extensive range of high-performance interchangeable lenses, Film Simulation modes that inherit the legacy of Fujifilm colors, unparalleled image quality and outstanding 4K movie recording, made possible by the latest sensor and processing engine, It is the X series perfected.
Find out more here.