Photographers have long complained about issues with the autofocus on Fujifilm cameras. For that reason, a lot of us really just stick with it in Single autofocus and just shoot. Continuous autofocus and the entire way that tracking is set up are a major issue when it comes to usability. But what’s even more odd is that within the video modes, Fujifilm gives their cameras exactly the type of autofocus that many photographers photographing people want.
For the record, I knew about this feature for a while. It’s not new at all. But it’s a frustrating issue for sure. Set your Fujifilm camera to video mode and then set it to AF-C. After that, you have the option of multi autofocus on Fujifilm cameras. This looks at the scene and figures out what to focus on without any help from the photographer. If you set it to video mode, it will focus on a face and attempt to keep it in focus. Here’s a video I shot years ago with the XH1 attempting to do just this.
A feature like this is exactly what photographers need. Why can I set the autofocus on Fujifilm cameras to the widest zone setting and then have it use the AI scene detection to figure out what I want in focus? So many other camera companies give their cameras this ability. But with Fuji, you can only do it in AF-S and video.
Why? For the record, in our Fujifilm XH2 and XH2s reviews, we found this to be a problem. While Fujifilm has improved the autofocus, it’s still more difficult to use compared to various other camera companies out there. Even Leica, with the SL2s, makes it more responsive and easier to use for professional applications like event photography.
Just imagine how many street photographers and candid photographers would pick up Fujifilm cameras if the autofocus were able to easily find a person’s face in a scene and keep it locked on in focus.
Fujifilm has had more time to perfect it’s human eye AF and here the XH2s did very well. Shooting portraits, the eyes were very sharp at f1.3 on my 50mm lens. The eye AF isn’t quite quick enough when my toddler leaned quickly forward, especially working at a closer range for head-and-shoulders. There may be some occasional misses if the portrait subject throws his or her head back and laughs, for example. But, overall the XH2s has a pretty good hit rate for portraits.A quote from our XH2s review
This, by and large, is a complaint. And if anything, it’s a call to Fujifilm to please implement this feature. Their cameras deliver photos that make us not want to do any editing due to how great they are. If this feature was implemented, it would make shooting events and people so much better and faster.
That’s not to say that AF-C is the end-all-be-all here. In fact, I think that AF-S still has a lot of uses with certain things like product photography and other things like landscapes. But with people and things moving about, it’s so important for autofocus on Fujifilm cameras to be able to capture everything in the frame.
I truly hope that the Fujifilm X Pro 4 can do this if and when it is released. I also hope that Fujifilm does this with the GFX series of cameras to make it easier for us to do our jobs.