One of the things I’ve come to appreciate since switching from Canon to Fujifilm is that Fuji are generally much nicer to their existing customers. What’s that? Do they buy us drinks and have pizza sent round? Well, no. Not so far, anyway. But they do something that might just be better. You know how it’s supposed to work with digital cameras (and indeed other technology). You buy a shiny new toy and it’s lovely. You really enjoy using it and then, in the usual way of things, The New Model comes out. It might just be a moderate improvement on what you have, but it’s better, and unless you can persuade yourself that you really must have it, and that you really need to have a second camera body, and that you’ve paid for the last one anyway, you’re stuck with a camera that isn’t quite as lovely as it was before those fiends announced a new model.
Well, Fuji don’t seem to know that it’s supposed to work like that. They have this strange idea that if it’s possible for a feature from a new model to be added to the previous one by a firmware update, then they’ll try to do it. Oh, and try to add some features that customers have been asking for. To their existing cameras. Instead of telling them to just buy the new one. Very strange.
A case in point. Fuji recently launched a new X camera – the X-T1. This isn’t the expected successor to the X-Pro 1, and it’s not a new version of the X-Ex series. No, it’s a different beast altogether. It’s got the sensor from the X-E2 with enhanced processing power, and a much improved electronic viewfinder, which apart from being significantly bigger is also much faster – the lag between what the viewfinder shows and what’s really out there has been reduced to, well, not quite nil, but near enough for all but the most demanding work. The camera also has even more nicely clicky dials for settings than the X-E2 (menus? how last year!), and is styled to look more like a DSLR than the usual X-series imitation rangefinder vibe.
All very nice, and I have to admit to having been tempted. I even went to far as to get quotes for trading in my X-E1 and X-E2, but decided against it. I’ve got to the point with the X-E2 where I’m as comfortable with the controls as I was with the Canon 5D Mk III, and I don’t really want to have to learn some new ones right now, so I’ll be sticking with it. The X-E1, following recent price cuts, now has such a small resale value that my plan of keeping it as a backup is now definite. There will probably be another X-camera in my future, but not just yet.
And it seems my loyalty to my X-E2 has been rewarded. Fuji have released shiny new firmware which adds value to the camera. Now they couldn’t actually enlarge the viewfinder with firmware (though it would be a really good trick if they could), but they have managed to improve its speed – lag is much reduced (noticeable in the delay between pressing the shutter and seeing the live view again having been reduced to the blink of an eye). And the manual focus aid known as peaking has had its most-requested feature added – users can now set a different colour for this, which can make it easier to see, depending on conditions. They’ve also added a few extra options for function button assignment.
Rumour has it that more features will be added in another update to follow at a time known as “when it’s ready”, which is pretty cool.
If you’re a Fujifilm X-E2 user and you haven’t got your update yet, head over to the official site and get it. Make sure you follow the instructions (mainly about using a fully charged battery) to ensure you end up with an updated camera and not an expensive paperweight:
 Or third, or nth
 Or nearly, or near enough…
 Some features are sufficiently dependent on specific hardware that this won’t be an option, of course