What Ever Happened to the Dedicated Macro Mode on Fujifilm Cameras?

If you’ve been a Fujifilm camera user for many years, then you probably know all about the Macro mode.

With Canon, Nikon, Panasonic, and others launching their own, serious mirrorless camera options we figured that we’d go back into history to when Fujifilm first started their ILC camera system. I tend to use older cameras from both Sony and Fujifilm and by far, Fujifilm has had the most unique changes. One of the biggest things Fujifilm had on their earlier cameras was a dedicated Macro mode. That gave the user closer focusing with all of the system’s lenses. But after a while it disappeared. Why?

We asked Justin Stailey, Senior Manager of Product Development for Electronic Imaging Division (EID), North America, FUJIFILM North America Corp. why this was the case. According to him:

Following the firmware release for X-T1 v4.00, macro mode became automatic in the X series cameras. The firmware update introduced the Auto Macro function, which automatically switches the camera into the Macro mode while maintaining the conventional AF speed.

User can expect improved ease-of-use and faster performance on the newer X series cameras with the Auto Macro function built in.

Understandable–it’s a new system and they were ironing out a number of kinks, yet they had to get to market. but then why was it needed in the first place? I pressed on to find out more.

The reason we added the Macro button to the earlier X series (X100, X100s) is because of the optical finder. When users wanted to focus on a closer object, the Macro mode automatically flipped from the optical viewfinder to the electronic viewfinder, allowing the user to focus on a subject that is within a short distance. This Macro button was necessary because the optical finder didn’t focus on subjects within less than 2.6ft distance.

After listening to customer feedback and understanding how they are using the X-series, we improved the experience for photographers by introducing the auto macro mode which also increased the speed of focus. At Fujifilm we are keen on listening to our customers to deliver the highest quality products to meet the needs of all photographers.

And there you have it, a part of it had to do with the optical viewfinder. Arguably, this helps make Fujifilm’s X Pro series the more unique offerings on the market because users can choose between optical or electronic viewfinders. Having those choices are nice, especially with the X100 series of cameras.