Update July 31, 2016: The original post was an open letter to Fujifilm asking for a more DSLR like behavior of the shutter button. With the X-T2 being just around the corner and seeing vast improvements in the shutter mechanism and the processing power of the new camera this seemed like an overdue step to take. I’ve got a very friendly reply from Fujifilm thanking me for the suggestion. But what is way more important: They actually already incorporated the features I was requesting in the X-T2! However, I had to dig through more than twenty reviews to actually find that out. Many thanks to Rico Pfirstinger and his review at fujirumors.com, as he got me covered. He devotes a whole section of his review to the “DSLR-Style Focus and Exposure Features”, with one sentence of particular importance:

“After taking a shot, releasing the shutter button only halfway back to its half-pressed position (instead of fully letting go) retains focus and exposure of the previous shot for your next shot.”

How great is that!


Original post:

Dear Fujifilm,

I have an important request, and to put the long story short: Please, please, PLEASE add half-press shutter button focus lock to the Fujifilm X cameras.

Long story:

After I fell in love with the X100 and having used it more and more over the years I sold all my Nikon full frame gear to move to a Fujifilm X-T1. I generally love the camera and the lenses are just incredible!
However, compared to the my previous, almost 10 year old Nikon D700 the X-T1 still feels sluggish and slow at times. In my opinion, this has way less to do with the speed of the autofocus, than with the experienced blackout time and shooting interval when in single frame mode. It is great to see how Fujifilm is improving on that end. But there is one issue which is present since the X100 was introduced and has not been addressed until now: The cameras inability to lock focus with a half-pressed shutter button. To my knowledge, every DSLR on the market can do this and I think that this might only require a relatively minor change to the camera’s firmware. I know, there is back-button focussing, but that requires me to change a behavior that I did 100,000 times before. That’s hard!
But what is really annoying is how the lack of this simple feature slows all Fujifilm cameras down – and by a lot!
I’ll give you some examples: Imagine you are on vacation, you are having your beloved Fuji X camera with you to take a shot here and there. Suddenly there is a great photo moment happening: Your child is exited and smiling widely because it has discovered something, your dog is jumping up in the air full of joy, and so on. In those situations your camera is set to AF-S, you are neither using back-focussing nor shooting in continuos mode. But here you want to quickly snap away a few shots. But you can’t (!), because your camera has to refocus every time before it captures the scene. Even though your camera is capable of shooting 8fps, you end up with about 2fps. So you might just not get the image that you wanted of that particular moment. Or, and that might be even more worrying, you end up with the feeling of your camera having let you down.
So, please, please, PLEASE add this piece of code to the firmware of the Fujifilm X cameras to make them feel like a real alternative to fast-paced DSLRs.

Kind regards,
Matthias Wunsch