New: Fujifilm XApp

Fujifilm just released a new App, called XApp, for some Fujifilm X and GFX cameras, which is an alternative to the much maligned Cam Remote App. This new App has been long-rumored and highly-anticipated. It’s available right now in the app store!

Firstly, it’s disappointing that the new app is only for X-Trans IV and V cameras, plus the GFX100S and GFX50S II. If you have any other model, you’re stuck using the old Cam Remote App. I have both newer and older models, and it would be nice if I could use just one app instead of two, so I might just stick with the old Cam Remote App, since recently I’ve been able to get it to work for me most of the time; I’ll have to play with the new XApp more before I decide for certain, but on Day One, that’s the direction I’m leaning.

The new XApp does require your Fujifilm camera to be up-to-date on the firmware. I don’t update the firmware on my cameras each time a new one is released. I look at what’s in the update, see if any of it would seemingly impact me, and if so I’ll update the firmware—usually, I will wait a few days after the initial release. I do all this for three reasons: 1) if it ain’t broke don’t fix it, 2) it can be a hassle sometimes to update the firmware, and 3), on a very rare occasion (but it has happened), the new firmware update will be buggy and cause all sorts of havoc, usually followed by Fujifilm re-releasing the old firmware or releasing a quick update to fix the one they just put out.

I love Fujifilm Kaizen firmware updates, and I think they should recommit to that philosophy, but I don’t make it a habit to always update the firmware; however, because of this, I discovered that none of my current cameras could use the XApp without updating the firmware first. It wasn’t immediately obvious to me that this was a requirement (if I had watched the X Summit first, I suppose I would have known), and there were a few minutes of frustration before I figured it out; hopefully, being aware that your firmware needs to be up-to-date will help you have a smoother process than I did.

I captured this yesterday with my Fujifilm X70, which is not compatible with XApp.

My initial impressions after briefly using XApp are that the UI is definitely improved, connecting the camera to the app is much easier and quicker, and there’s a little more that the app can do compared to the old Cam Remote app. While it’s absolutely better than Cam Remote, it’s still pretty much the same functionality (for example, you still cannot transfer RAW files), so I think it’s important to keep expectations in check.

Interestingly, with XApp you can import global backups of camera settings, and restore those settings later. I haven’t played around with it much yet, but I think you could in theory have several different backups saved with different Film Simulation Recipes in each, and remotely restore whichever ones you need for various situations. Maybe a summer set, a winter set, a travel set, etc.. It would take some work to set up, but it has some interesting potential I think.

The app can also keep track of some data, specifically the number of frames captured, which film simulations (not Recipes, just the film sims) you used, the cameras, the lenses, and videos clips. If you want to dive into how you’re using your cameras slightly deeper, this might be a useful feature.

XApp is definitely an improvement. I’m disappointed that it is only for newer cameras, and you cannot use the app with older models. I’m not certain yet if I’ll keep both apps, and use XApp for my compatible models and Cam Remote for my non-compatible cameras, or if I’ll just stick with Cam Remote, since I can use it with all of my Fujifilm X bodies. I am glad, though, that Fujifilm finally addressed their less-than-stellar Cam Remote app by releasing an alternative. I’m sure many of you will find XApp to be a better experience overall than the old app.

Also announced today by Fujifilm are the X-S20 vlogger/travel camera (as Fujifilm put it) and Fujinon 8mm f/3.5, a tempting lens for architecture, real estate, and landscape photographers needing an ultra-wide option.

This post contains affiliate links, and if you make a purchase using my links I’ll be compensated a small amount for it.

Fujifilm X-S20:  Amazon  B&H  Moment
Fujinon 8mm f/3.5:  Amazon  B&H  Moment

Fujifilm Announced X-H2S + Lenses at X Summit Today

Body Shop – Childress, TX – Fujifilm X-E4 & Fujinon 27mm – “Fujicolor Natura 1600

There was a Fujifilm X Summit today? Guess I missed it.

I’m on a long road trip right now, and I was driving when the big announcements were made. That’s not entirely true. I was actually photographing an abandoned car garage in Childress, Texas, at that time. Originally a gas station built in 1940, this building spent its last active days as an auto body shop. I think it’s been abandoned for at least a couple of years. I suppose I could have tuned into the X Summit instead, but this was a better use of my time, as I prefer to invest in experiences over gear.

I’m sure you’ve heard by now, but Fujifilm announced the X-H2S. Everyone already knew this camera was going to be announced, and what exactly it is. Now it is all official. This is the first of two new “flagship” cameras that will come out later this year. If you need the fastest Fujifilm camera or the best video specs, this is the camera to buy. It’s intended to convince those who are unsatisfied with their current brand to consider Fujifilm instead. I’m not personally interested in this camera, and I already gave my opinions on it.

Ballyhoo – Childress, TX – Fujifilm X-E4 & Vivitar 135mm – “Fujicolor Natura 1600”

Apparently Fujifilm will have two different X-Trans V sensors on their future models: the fast 26mp and the high-resolution 40mp options—the 40mp sensor will be the “normal” one. I wish that Fujifilm would focus on other advancements and improvements instead of resolution. And I’m not talking about autofocus speed, either. People complain about autofocus speed, but consider all of the amazing photographs (and movies) that were made well before autofocus even existed, and in its infancy, too. The X-E1’s autofocus is plenty capable, just so long as the photographer is capable. The autofocus on my X-E4 is amazing, yet some people think it’s not all that good. I’ve come to the conclusion that this complaining is just an excuse, and doesn’t have any true merit. Autofocus could improve by 400% and somebody would complain, because autofocus isn’t the real problem. And it’s definitely reached the point of diminishing returns, as it’s already well beyond what most people need for their photography.

Fujifilm announced two new zoom lenses, too: 18-120mm F/4 and 150-600mm f/5.6-f/8. I’m sure plenty will get excited for the 18-120mm for travel and the 150-600mm for wildlife, but I don’t have a desire for either. I suppose zooms just aren’t my thing. Fujifilm did add an 8mm f/3.5 and 30mm f/2.8 Macro to the roadmap, both of which seem like interesting lenses, but no date was given for when they’ll be released. More than anything, I’m excited for an M42-mount Vivitar 135mm f/2.8 that I found at an antique store for $15. It’s been so much fun to use, yet highly challenging. I’d like to see Fujifilm release a prime longer than 90mm (but less than 200mm)—that would be something to get excited for!

Vivitar 135mm – Fujifilm X100V – “Kodak Tri-X 400

I suppose that I should be more excited than I am at this moment. Maybe once my road trip is over and I’m all settled into my new home, I’ll feel a little more positive about these upcoming releases. I think it’s good to have options. This camera will serve many people very well. These two zooms will open up photographic possibilities for hundreds. That’s truly great! They’re just not for me, and that’s ok, because I don’t need new gear right now. What I “need” is to use what I have, which is what I’ve been doing, and the reason why the X Summit came and went and I didn’t notice.

Why even write this article? It’s 10 PM where I’m at right now. I’m spending the night in a cheap hotel. It kind of smells funny. I have to get up early in the morning and drive for a whole bunch of hours. I could be in bed, and maybe I should be. I’m writing this article because I’ve received a dozen or so messages from people wanting to know my opinions on today’s announcements. A lot has been said already by those on the internet, including those who were given a chance to use the preproduction models. I don’t think I have much to add. If something seems interesting to you, and you believe it might help with your photography (or videography), then by all means get your preorders in. But if you are on the fence, spend the money on experiences instead, and use the gear you already own as best as you can. That’s my advice. Now I’m off to bed.

This post contains affiliate links, and if you make a purchase using my links I’ll be compensated a small amount for it.

Preorder the Fujifilm X-H2S at B&H
Preorder the Fujinon 18-120mm at B&H
Proeorder the Fujinon 150-600mm at B&H