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Fujifilm Promises Major Firmware Updates also for X-T5 and X-H2: New AF System of X-H2s? (and Where the Catch is)


The Promise

Fujifilm has released a major firmware update for the Fujifilm X-H2s.

From the tests we could see so far, we can now say that the autofocus tracking is about at the same level of the very best (but much more expensive) full frame cameras out there. Not perfect, like nothing, so improve it further, Fuji!

The question I now get TONS of times via email is: will my Fujifilm camera “xy” also get the same firmware of the Fujifilm X-H2s?

So here is what I can say about it.

During the recent new years greetings, right after launching the new X-H2s firmware, Fujifilm also promised major firmware updates will come for other 5th generation cameras, too.

5th generation cameras are all those cameras featuring the new 5th generation processor, which at the moment are:

So, while Fujifilm did not specifically mention the new AF system, it is easy to assume that major firmware coming in 2023 for X-T5 and X-H2 might include also the vastly improved AF algorithm.

But again, that’s not a rumor, but an educated guess based on what managers officially said here.

Where is the Catch?

Given what I said above (or better, what Fujifilm said above), I believe we can be very optimistic about the new AF coming to X-T5 and X-H2. So that’s my reply to all those asking me this question in these days.

And yet, we shoud not rejoce too early.

Because even if Fujifilm was to bring the new AF to the Fujifilm X-T5 and X-H2, both cameras have certain hardware limitations that the X-H2s has not.

X-H2 limitations:

  • more megapixel require more time to read out
  • buffer fills up faster
  • no stacked sensor slows down the readout and processing

X-T5 limitations:

  • more megapixel require more time to read out
  • no stacked sensor slows down the readout and processing
  • smaller buffer
  • no CFexpress Type B slot

Because of these hardware limitations, neither the X-H2 nor the X-T5 will be able to reach the autofocus tracking performance of the X-H2s.

And yet, the X-T5 and X-H2 would both greatly benefit from the new AF algorithm anyway. Subjects will be detected better and from more far away. The X-T5 and X-H2 will lock on faster on the subjects and be stickier overall.

What will set the X-H2s apart is once we start to fire off long and fast bursts, where the X-H2s has all the hardware needed to be able to do that at its best, whereas the X-H2 and X-T5 will both stumble on limitations.

But consider this:

Not everbody shoots at 30/40fps all the time. There are tons of people who don’t shoot at more than 10/15 fps or even just 5fps. And the slower the frame rate is, the closer the performance between the X-H2s, X-H2 and X-T5 will become, as the hardware limitations will matter less the more we slow down the bursts.

Sure, the X-H2s will always have the edge, as it can calculate stuff faster than other X series cameras, but the difference at for example 5fps won’t be as dramatic as it is at 20 fps or more.

And 4th generation models or older?

Well, I assume that Fujifilm is already almost at the limit when it comes to squeeze out the most of that older processor. And yet, there is always something that can be tweaked a bit. So my hope is that also those models will see some firmware love in 2023. But the new autofocus is probably just too much for the older processor. But again, also this is just my speculation, and not a rumor