Why We Think Fujifilm Doesn’t Have Animal Face Detection Yet

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Animal Face Detection has been a huge thing in the photo world. Everyone wants it. In the pandemic, we’ve taken to photographing wildlife and our furry friends as much as possible. But frustratingly, Fujifilm cameras don’t have it. A while ago, Fujifilm said it was available, but just not on the GF and X series cameras. It’s a shame; imagine how many Nat Geo-worthy shots you could’ve made! While it’s available on a point-and-shoot camera, I don’t think it’s the same thing.

The article specifically talks about the Fujifilm F80EXR camera. But here’s the thing, that’s a minimal version of animal detection. It only recognizes certain pet breeds. Here’s some literature on the breeds it recognizes. And if you’re wondering where all these images of birds came from, they’re from our 200mm f2 review.

When Sony started to implement AI into their cameras, it was confusing. But the way it was explained to me, cameras were trained to look at a scene and find something that is a certain shape. However, AI is different. AI, in this case, will reference an entire database of animals. It won’t perform adaptive learning. Now, I can’t confirm whether or not Fujifilm put AI in that camera, but I doubt they would and then not give a feature like that to higher-end cameras. AI makes it even more complicated through 3D mapping. It lets you detect not only a face but eyes. Then it will easily track them through the scene by constantly referencing the database. 

So why doesn’t Fujifilm have this? 

I’m not sure. I wanted to think part of it is a database issue. Maybe they can’t get access to the AI databases they need. It’s not like Fujifilm doesn’t have AI. They surely do. They even have a policy on it for the medical world. 

After some more digging, I found an article by Intel that talks about Fujifilm using AI for animal testing. Here’s a pertinent quote:

“VisualSonics, a subsidiary of FUJIFILM Sonosite, designs and manufactures the world’s highest resolution ultrasound and photoacoustic instruments. Used in many areas of pre-clinical research, VSI products enable researchers to study live animals in real-time, longitudinally, while eliminating safety issues and side effects encountered with other imaging modalities. VSI designs and develops tools for pre-clinical research, whereas Sonosite provides point-of-care ultrasound systems and medical informatics to physicians and clinicians, with the goal of enabling them to improve procedure efficiency, time-to-diagnosis, and patient outcomes. Sonosite and VSI work closely together to enable technologies to migrate from pre-clinical research directly to important patient care solutions. “

So why can’t the Fujifilm XT4 have this feature? Or why not the GFX100s? Well, as Fujifilm has explained to me before, sometimes it’s a storage issue on the camera. The Fujifilm X Pro 1 couldn’t get the Acros feature because of the processor and the onboard storage. The X Pro 3 apparently won’t get the Bleach Bypass filter for the same issue. Yet somehow, Fujifilm still pumps out tons of firmware updates for their cameras. Indeed, you can’t really complain here. You start the camera life cycle with one camera, and by the end of it, you get your value with firmware updates and fixes.

As a member of the press, I have to go along with what Fujifilm says in meetings; I have no choice. But I can and do question it until it’s proven true. That is, after all, my job.

But could Fujifilm really just want you to upgrade your camera for the new Animal Face Detection and AI? It could be possible. Lots of folks have complained and wondered why you can’t deliver new film simulations through firmware. 

The truth is that I don’t know the answer. But it’s fascinating to ponder.

Chris Gampat

Chris Gampat is the Editor in Chief, Founder, and Publisher of the Phoblographer. He also likes pizza.