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X-T1 owners - You'll love FW4.0
Old 06-19-2015   #1
gavinlg
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X-T1 owners - You'll love FW4.0

Hey all,

Just a note to say I downloaded and installed the leaked FW4.0 for my x-t1 today and tried it out a little with the XF 35mm f1.4 on the body.

I was never one to have any complaints about the x-t1 autofocus before - it's always been more accurate than my 5d/1d bodies and more sure footed, but now with the zone AF it's like having an entire new body. The lens doesn't 'rack' at all, just smoothly locks on almost instantly. Crazy improvement in outright speed. The Zone AF seems to be highly intelligent too.

The firmware should be officially available around the 25th-ish of July so prepare yourselves for a nice little present from Mr Fuji
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Old 06-19-2015   #2
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Gavin..

From the xt10 ads, it looks like Fuji version of the a6000's 3d tracking af. Have u tried some action stuff yet?

Gary
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Old 06-19-2015   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GaryLH View Post
Gavin..

From the xt10 ads, it looks like Fuji version of the a6000's 3d tracking af. Have u tried some action stuff yet?

Gary
Gary,

I briefly tried that auto zone tracking thing on continuous mode and it seems pretty cool, but to be honest I never use continuous focus on any camera so I can't compare it to anything really.
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Old 06-19-2015   #4
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Well can't wait for the 25th to roll around.

Thanks,
Gary
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Old 06-20-2015   #5
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Thank you! Looking forward to this.
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Old 06-20-2015   #6
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do we know what the firmware update for the xe2 will do?
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Old 06-20-2015   #7
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Thanks for sharing this.

I have never regretted switching to the Fujifilm X-Series.

I realize it's fair to be critical and complain that Fujifilm should have done this at the same time the CPUs became more powerful.

Another view is one of the ways Fujifilm is building their brand is by incrementally improving their products at no additional cost for customers.
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Old 06-20-2015   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by willie_901 View Post
Another view is one of the ways Fujifilm is building their brand is by incrementally improving their products at no additional cost for customers.
That's my take
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Old 06-22-2015   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gavinlg View Post
I was never one to have any complaints about the x-t1 autofocus before - it's always been more accurate than my 5d/1d bodies and more sure footed, but now with the zone AF it's like having an entire new body. The lens doesn't 'rack' at all, just smoothly locks on almost instantly. Crazy improvement in outright speed. The Zone AF seems to be highly intelligent too.
I must be on another planet. My 1D/5D Canon bodies AF more reliably than my X-T1, one-shot and even more so in continuous mode. I shoot a lot in dark venues. Conditions where the fuji AF kerfuffles: strong background highlights/specular reflections, lack of moderate-to-strong subject contrast, a whiff of intervening objects between me and the subject, moving or not. Now, I'm not talking about speed only, but also about AF accuracy in low light, cluttered stage conditions. I've learned to deal with some of these trip-ups, but am impatiently waiting for FW 4.0, hopeful that some of them will be addressed.
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Old 06-22-2015   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MCTuomey View Post
I must be on another planet. My 1D/5D Canon bodies AF so much more reliably than my X-T1. I shoot a lot in dark venues. Conditions where the AF kerfuffles: strong background highlights/specular reflections, lack of moderate-to-strong subject contrast, a whiff of intervening objects between me and the subject, moving or not. Now, I'm not talking about speed only, I'm really just talking about AF in low light, cluttered sage conditions. I've learned to deal with some of these trip-ups, but am impatiently waiting for FW 4.0, hopeful that some of them will be addressed.
Honestly, it must be user differences. The problem with DSLR focus, for me, is not the speed or the low light ability (although I'm convinced my x-t1 will focus in lower light), it's the fact that shot wide open with a f1.4 or f1.2 lens probably only maybe 60% of photos are usable due to inaccurate AF. Worse in dim light, still pretty terrible in good light. With the x-t1 it's 95% are exactly where I placed the focus. I'm not a spray and pray type, or a continuous autofocus type. My tips would be increase your focus spot size till its about medium, make sure power save mode is OFF and high performance AF is ON.


FW4.0 is still ruling me. In good light my 35mm behaves almost like a modern USM prime on a high end dslr body - quick and decisive.
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Old 06-22-2015   #11
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Old 06-22-2015   #12
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Guys;

Read something this morning (Fuji Rumors I think) that said the XT1 firmware is delayed, supposed to release 6/29 now.

I have an XE2 so i'm keeping my fingers crossed for an update to that camera as well.

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Old 06-22-2015   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gavinlg View Post
In good light my 35mm behaves almost like a modern USM prime on a high end dslr body - quick and decisive.
Seriously..... No exageration???
Pardon my skepticism please.... The f1.4/35 wins for me as my primary lens but.... I hate it st times for it's clunky focus.
I'm hoping the upcoming 2/35mm will replace the clunky focus of the 1.4/35mm.
If what you say holds true for the mass release of 4.0 , the 1.4/35 gets a new lease.

I love the rendering but ... It comes at a price.
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Old 06-22-2015   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gavinlg View Post
Honestly, it must be user differences .... My tips would be increase your focus spot size till its about medium, make sure power save mode is OFF and high performance AF is ON.
Gavin, all three done, since day 1. Must be user difference, my old 1D III is just a lot better in the tough stuff than the X-T1, even with $300 non-L lenses. Likely my subject matter is part of it. Performers move a lot, even it's just rocking from the waist or neck. Specular highlights or stage lights in the background anywhere in the vicinity of the focus square seem to set the X-T1 on a focus adventure. Same for a monochrom patch of anything. Wheeeeeee, watch it rack in/out, take a breath or two, and then back to shooting.
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Old 06-22-2015   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by f16sunshine View Post
Seriously..... No exageration???
Pardon my skepticism please.... The f1.4/35 wins for me as my primary lens but.... I hate it st times for it's clunky focus.
I'm hoping the upcoming 2/35mm will replace the clunky focus of the 1.4/35mm.
If what you say holds true for the mass release of 4.0 , the 1.4/35 gets a new lease.

I love the rendering but ... It comes at a price.
I think you'll be pretty chuffed with this update then.
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Old 06-23-2015   #16
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I've surfed around looking at some other "pre-reviews" of FW 4.0. They're commenting pretty much exclusively on the effect of the update on the 35/1.4. If the update only improves AF on this lens, and maybe only one or two others, I'll be disappointed. The X-T1's poor focus performance isn't limited to just a few lenses in my experience. Its low light and continuous AF (in)capabilities need help if there's anything to Fuji's ability to compete with dSLRs beyond single shot AF in good light and contrast-y subjects. I'm a big Fuji fan (couple bodies and a range of lenses), really would like to see AF more responsive and decisive at lower EVs. It's really the last piece for me for low light work with Fuji X-series, camera handling and x-trans files being otherwise so good for this purpose.
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Old 06-23-2015   #17
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With the existing firmware, the X-T1 (and X100T I assume) offer satisfactory AF performance... even for action photography. Achieving the highest possible AF performance does require some on-line research and practice. Other mirrorless brands could be easier to use and faster.

All contrast-detection AF (CDAF)systems are potentially more accurate than DSLR phase-dtection systems (PDAF). This is how come DSLRs employ systems for factory/technician and user AF calibration adjustments.

CSAF's reputation is that it is slow and less useful in very low light. These disadvantages are co-dependent as many subjects in low light situations naturally have low contrast. PDAF is better suited for very low light, but it's not immune to problems.

Fujifilm in particular started out using CDAF systems that seemed to be repurposed form their exiting P&S products. The resulting mediocre performance level severely damaged Fujifilm's X-Series brand.

The current CDAF/PDAF hybrid system is a different story. Not only are the newest CPUs able to execute more sophisticated firmware code, but the lens hardware is improved as well. However there is an learning period is required to make the most out of the AF system. One can argue this transition should be easier. One can also argue it's a mistake to assume the current Fujifilm AF system is insufficient based on their initial, older AF technologies.

As far as the 35/1.4 Fujinon lens goes, the lens focuses quicker in CDAF mode on the X-T! than with the X-Pro 1. PDAF is useful as well. So CPU speed and firmware improvements do make a difference for this lens.

Still that lens' AF speed and smoothness is limited by its AF motor design. On the X-T1 it is no worse than some similarly priced Nikon primes I used on the D300/700.

I'm switching to the new 35/2 Fujinon ASAP. My motivation is based on size, but the expected improvement in lens AF technology is another benefit.
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Old 06-23-2015   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by willie_901 View Post
With the existing firmware, the X-T1 (and X100T I assume) offer satisfactory AF performance... even for action photography.
I shot youth sports for years with Canon 1D bodies and several teles (300/2.8, 400/2.8, 200/1.8). I'm an average shooter, admittedly. After a year with the X-T1, my take is that its AF performance for what I've experienced as action photography is not satisfactory if the comparable is mature dSLR performance with good lenses. Sure, one can make anything work, but by any reasonable measure like a reasonable hit rate over many exposures in continuous or predictive AF mode, the X-T1 needs some help when judged from my background. "Satisfactory" performance is going to be different for each shooter, of course. Inexplicable re-racks, failure to grab focus under demanding backlit conditions, locking on peripheral details - none of these is acceptable to me when they occur frequently, and they do with my Fuji gear.

Sorry for the rant-like post. There's a reason we don't see Fuji X-cameras on the sport shooting circuit. I'm done now.
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Old 06-23-2015   #19
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I agree DSLRs are superior for sports photography. I also agree satisfactory is highly subjective.

In my case the X-T1 with the 56/1.2 lens meets my needs for action photography. I would not use this set up for professional work. It's not the best tool for the job.
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Old 06-23-2015   #20
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The official description of the new X-T1 AF (and other) improvements can be found here.
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Old 06-23-2015   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MCTuomey View Post
I've surfed around looking at some other "pre-reviews" of FW 4.0. They're commenting pretty much exclusively on the effect of the update on the 35/1.4. If the update only improves AF on this lens, and maybe only one or two others, I'll be disappointed. The X-T1's poor focus performance isn't limited to just a few lenses in my experience. Its low light and continuous AF (in)capabilities need help if there's anything to Fuji's ability to compete with dSLRs beyond single shot AF in good light and contrast-y subjects. I'm a big Fuji fan (couple bodies and a range of lenses), really would like to see AF more responsive and decisive at lower EVs. It's really the last piece for me for low light work with Fuji X-series, camera handling and x-trans files being otherwise so good for this purpose.
Over on Fuji rumors or another site I thought I saw a post where they said the 60 macro performed like a different lens.

Gary
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June 29th
Old 06-23-2015   #22
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June 29th

http://fujifilm-x.com/x-t1/en/firmware/#1stPage

This looks like the official announcement w/ the date.

Gary
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Old 06-23-2015   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MCTuomey View Post
After a year with the X-T1, my take is that its AF performance for what I've experienced as action photography is not satisfactory if the comparable is mature dSLR performance with good lenses. ...Inexplicable re-racks, failure to grab focus under demanding backlit conditions, locking on peripheral details - none of these is acceptable to me when they occur frequently, and they do with my Fuji gear.
I'm gonna second this. The X-T1 does okay most of the time under demanding backlit conditions, but has a propensity for totally blowing focus from time to time. When it works, it seems to do so very well...but other times it will simply fail. I still love the cameras, but 1D-level AF is clearly NOT a reason to use an X-T1.

I'd take a 1D MK IV with an X-Trans sensor for 95% of my professional needs in a heartbeat. :P
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Old 06-23-2015   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MCTuomey View Post
I shot youth sports for years with Canon 1D bodies and several teles (300/2.8, 400/2.8, 200/1.8). Sure, one can make anything work, but by any reasonable measure like a reasonable hit rate over many exposures in continuous or predictive AF mode, the X-T1 needs some help when judged from my background.
My experience has always been that continuous focus sucks on every camera. I've never shot anything that requires it though.
Also it kinda goes without saying, but you're making a comparison between bodies that cost $1500 and 6k. Lenses too.

I'll be interested to see what you think of the new firmware comparitively!
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Old 06-23-2015   #25
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I just got an X-T10, and I can confirm that the AF performance is incredibly fast; much better than I ever saw on my (admittedly old) X-Pro1. Night and day.
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Old 06-23-2015   #26
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I'd take a 1D MK IV with an X-Trans sensor for 95% of my professional needs in a heartbeat. :P
+1 oh yeah
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Old 06-23-2015   #27
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The dslr is probably still king when it comes to fast action related photography. The question becomes when will camera xyz be fast enough for what my own needs are. Personally, I am hoping the new 4.0 update is good enough that I am not going to ever think about getting another Nikon dslr ever again. Though I rarely use it, I still keep it around just in case I need it...

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Old 06-24-2015   #28
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Continuous focus works extremely well on Canon and Nikon DSLRs... the one's you see used by pros at sporting events.

Even the ancient D300 with an old, inexpensive, screw-driven 50 mm lens can track subjects in motion and focus in between 1/250 or shorter shutter time bursts. Ages ago I did an amateur gymnastics gig (no flash allowed, so DOF was shallow) and a pros sports photographer showed me how to set up the D300 AF. The AF performance blew me away. The athletes and parents preferred to purchase on-site prints where the gymnast was in the air. With fresh batteries I could get 5 shots during a dismount and everyone was in focus.
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Old 06-24-2015   #29
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Agree, Willie. Canikon really get AF right. I'm hoping that Fuji can take us at least a good part of the way there too.
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Old 06-28-2015   #30
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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W7baCduSPCQ

Thecamerastore guys seem to be as impressed as I am with FW4.0.
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Old 06-28-2015   #31
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Annnnnnd it's here. Enjoy.

http://www.fujifilm.com/support/digi.../download.html
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Some impressions purely on af improvement.
Old 06-29-2015   #32
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Some impressions purely on af improvement.

Prior to fw update 4.0
- 35f1.4 was
-- slower to af lock then my Panasonic lx100.
-- noticeable slower than my Sony A6000
- 60f2.4 was noticeable slower than both lx100 and a6000
- 18to135 I bought w/ my xt1 was
-- about same speed as the lx100, close enough to not worry about it
-- slower than the a6000

After 4.0 in bright sunlight, zone set for rectangular, face detect disabled
- 35f1.4 is
-- only slightly slower than lx100
--- in some situations almost as fast
-- slower than a6000, but not noticeable except under certain situations
- 60f2.4
-- still slower than lx100. Not as bad as before.
- 18-135 is
-- slightly faster than lx100 in center af mode and very fast in zone
-- almost as fast as a6000 in center af mode and equal to a6000 in zone

Other comments
- It is nice not to worry about macro button w/ new full coverage af support.
- locks faster in darker situations and doesn't hunt as much
- to me a6000 is slightly slower to af lock then Nikon d7200 as reference
- lx100 is about same on af as Panasonic gx7. Both gx7 and lx100 very slightly slower than Olympus em5mk1. There are times in certain situations all three are about same af speed.

Probably going to use the 18-135 on the xt1 for awhile to run through the rest of the new features..

Gary
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Must have been some disappointed feedback - some hints
Old 06-30-2015   #33
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Must have been some disappointed feedback - some hints

http://www.fujirumors.com/disappoint...0-here-is-why/

Some good hints from Fuji rumors about how to setup the xt1 for better af performance.

The only one I have never liked is pre-af..it drives me crazy, I always have it disabled. Never liked it. Tried it just for kicks w/ 4.0, still hate it. I normally use medium size for single point, so did not try wider.

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Old 06-30-2015   #34
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So, it lived up to expectations?
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Old 06-30-2015   #35
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Depends..upon expectations
- want Nikon pro dslr speed, nope..
- faster than pre-4.0, very much
- fast as Sony a6000 or Olympus/Panasonic m43
-- depends on the lens and af zone mode,
--- first gen like the 35f1.4.. Not quite
--- my 18-135 is on par w/ the a6000 in zone mode.
- high ISO, dark location shooting much better given I never turn on af assist light

I haven't had opportunity to try wide area tracking and eye af focus yet. Would love to hear how that is going. I think the most inportant advise for optimizing your experience is to make sure u have setup your camera to use the phase detection af cells on the sensor. Make sure to check the info from the fujirumors site post I posted earlier.

Gary
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Old 06-30-2015   #36
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I did some tracking tests with a person walking/running towards me this morning (usually I don't use tracking at all so I'm not great at it in the first place), and managed to get consistently about 5/6 shots perfectly in focus. This was using the 35mm f1.4 at f1.4 on CL mode. Pretty impressive I think...
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Old 07-01-2015   #37
GaryLH
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Thanks, Gavin

Gary
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Old 07-01-2015   #38
MCTuomey
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I uploaded v4 the other day, will be shooting some live acts this weekend where I'll give the updated AF a go. Expectation-wise, I'm not looking for Canikon dSLR AF performance, just improvements to focus tracking and less tendency to fail and re-rack the lens in certain lighting situations.

I'm hopeful based on the comments here.
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Old 07-01-2015   #39
Bob Michaels
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GaryLH View Post
...... I think the most inportant advise for optimizing your experience is to make sure u have setup your camera to use the phase detection af cells on the sensor. Make sure to check the info from the fujirumors site post I posted earlier.
Gary

How about some real simple instructions starting from the beginning for a Luddite? I read and re-read the Fujirumors site instructions but they seemed to assume I already knew something that I do not. I searched all through the setup but could find nothing that seemed to relate to "phase detection AF cells"
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Old 07-01-2015   #40
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Most of but not all of the instructions do relate to the phase detect cells. U are right that there is a lot of assumptions about where they are. Fuji put out a fw 4.0 advance user guide. It is located on the same page as the fw 4.0 info or the next page where the actual instructions are. I'll post the pointer in a later post. Not at a convenient location right now. The instruction in the guide refers to where the phase detect af cells are located if I remember correctly.

Here is an approximate way to figure it out.
- fw 4.0 update setup the up cursor as the af focus mode type
-- single point
-- zone
-- wide af tracking
- the down cursor is used to set the area and/or the spot where the af should be if not centered
- also if u set your LCD display to should info on the back, u will now c that there are two size squares.. The center ones are larger.

These are the phase detect cells. So long as u are using the larger cells in the center u will be using the phase detect cells.

When using their version of 3d tracking, if u have face detect active (by default front fn button where on slr is the button for aperture stop down preview).. Turn it off. When face is active, it seems to disable the phase detect cells from refocusing between shots when shooting in continuous high or low.

Also make sure to turn on high performance mode and use only mechanical shutter.

All the rest of the hints for fw4.0 are something's I think are more dependent on how u use the camera, I think.

Good luck
Gary
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