I tried, I really did. One more attempt to write something nice about the Fuji X-t1 firmware update. I shot a short bit of video footage, thought it looked better and went out to shoot some more. It was in a gale so the 18-135mm zooms IS worked well and since that is a good lens (joint lens of the year for me) it is sharp, but as you can see the overall quality of the footage is poor. From the strong magenta cast to the auto exposure glitches this is video that other cameras were producing years ago and for almost 2015, it's not very good.
The whole thing is crazy, because Fuji cameras should be taking advantage of lenses like the 18-135mm which are obviously capable of producing detailed crisp footage. And it's this, above all else that I've found most disappointing about the firmware update. Because once I saw the update announced, I assumed (wrongly as it turns out) that Fuji would improve the footage and functionality for video as well. But it seems that they really don't care about this and are much more concerned at tinkering about with irrelevancies.
Some might say, 'Why bother? Just use something else.' and that may well be true. But if we don't complain, don't point out flaws and things that need to be improved, then things don't move on. Unfortunately, in everything I've read about the Kaizen philosophy, there seems to be little consideration for the customer. The primary question manufacturers should ask about their products is 'What do our customers want?' And this seems to be fundamentally lacking here. As it does, unfortunately, with many Japanese camera manufacturers. And indeed with many manufacturers of many products worldwide.
Over and over and over again Fuji owners pleaded with the company and Adobe to sort out the raw processing. I even signed a petition about it. And while there has been some improvement, processing raw files via Adobe Camera Raw still produces unsatisfactory results. So no listening to the customer there. There was even the embarrassing episode when Fuji pleaded with us all to write to Adobe asking them to fix it. Embarrassing because Fuji had admitted that they couldn't provide software that got the best out of the files from their cameras. And if Photo Ninja and Iridient Developer can do it it, why can't Fuji / Silkypix / Adobe (delete whichever applicable) do it? And people wonder why I (and others) find this company frustrating!!
And it's this constant 'fixing' of what doesn't need to be 'fixed' and the stubborn refusal to address real issues that real customers have that means that Fuji are on the verge of losing me as a user and an advocate for their gear. Because it's become apparent to me that they are probably never going to listen and never improve the things that really need improving. The bottom line for me is that despite great design, great retro styling and great lenses, the image quality of the stills (when processed from raw via the native and Adobe software) and video, compared to the alternatives out there, just isn't good enough. And anyone who says it is, needs glasses, has lower standards than I do or works for Fuji.
And this will be my last Fuji related post for a while. Because, despite the (dramatic) surge in page visits, I really need to get back to writing something positive about my photographic experiences. It seems people enjoy reading (and reacting to) the negative stuff, but it's no great fun writing it. I'm putting any decision about whether to keep my Fuji gear or not on hold until at least the new year and I'll be using other gear in the meantime.