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Before deep dive into this article, you should know this. I adore Fujifilm’s cameras. Professionally speaking, I use Sony gear simply because it just does everything I need. They do it at the right price and with the right variety. Canon comes in close. But I wish Fujifilm did even more. We could start with the lack of third party lens support. However, we can go even further into it. And I want to start with the autofocus.
Most of the time, the autofocus in Fujifilm’s cameras are good. But there are surely oddities. With Sony and Canon, it won’t usually think something is a face unless it’s actually a face. But with Fujifilm, I’ve had issues where the X-H1 and X Pro 3 have both thought that something in the trees was a face. And no, no one was hiding in the trees. Then there are issues with autofocus tracking. This is really important in low light when shooting parties or events. And it’s even bigger for us passionate photographers shooting street.
I’ve always been so incredibly frustrated by it all. From my understanding of all the companies who buy Sony sensors, there is a bundle. When you buy a sensor, a processor comes with it. And if this is the case, I wonder if the same processor and sensor are really in all of the Fujifilm cameras. I’ve never totally gotten full clarity on this. If this is true, then why can’t the XS10, X Pro 3, and XT30 have the same autofocus performance as the X-T4? I know Fujifilm has explained the differences and nuances with film simulations. But why not with autofocus speed? More importantly, why not with accuracy? And what about using AI to detect what a face is, animals, etc.?
I’m writing this partially as an incredibly frustrated Fujifilm X Pro 3 owner. How can a company that I’ve been with since the X Pro 1, then got the XH1, then the XT2, X Pro 3, and five lenses, do this? Fujifilm has always been a company that updates the firmware often on their cameras. It essentially gives the cameras a new life. But with later camera generations, I haven’t always felt this is the case. Sure, they add in compatibility, and that’s awesome. However, the tools just end up failing.
With this piece, I’m not asking for more from the company for less. But if someone purchases their most expensive X series camera, it should get all the bells and whistles. Further, I honestly think that it’s time that Fujifilm starts charging more money. On that note, they should provide longer product life cycles and support. Leica does it. And they’ve found a way to make cameras sustainable for them. Do I think a Fujifilm camera should be as pricey as a Leica? Not necessarily, but I’d understand why it could be for the right features. If I kept getting new firmware, more refined autofocus, etc., I’d gladly pay more money for a solid companion camera.
And more importantly, when I’m done with it, I’d be happy to hand that camera down to someone else. If Fujifilm’s cameras have the same processors and sensors, it all makes no sense for the autofocus to be different. At least, that’s how I feel. But then again, I also believe that every single product should be weather-sealed these days, and some of it should even have IP ratings.