Can a camera company make an app that doesn’t suck? Fujifilm tries again


After its final try earned 1-star evaluations, Fujfilm’s XApp presents smoother efficiency and options that would deepen the bond between photographers and their digital camera.

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A photo of a Fujifilm camera beside the company’s new XApp mobile app.

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In some unspecified time in the future a number of weeks in the past, I made a decision I couldn’t cope with Fujifilm’s Digital camera Distant app anymore. So I threw within the towel and purchased an SD-to-Lightning adapter, which lets me reliably get photographs from my Fujifilm cameras onto my iPhone with none fuss. But it surely additionally makes me really feel like a rattling caveman. It’s imagined to be higher than this in 2023.

I’ve been utilizing Fujifilm’s mirrorless cameras because the days of the X-T1. However like many others, I’ve had combined experiences with the corporate’s cellular app. Simply have a look at these evaluations on the App Store and Google Play.

In principle, this software program is meant to make syncing photographs between digital camera and smartphone very handy. Typically that truly occurs, and regardless of its rudimentary interface, Fujifilm’s app is usually a useful gizmo in these instances. Opening an app and wirelessly snagging a number of pictures instantly from the digital camera is certainly extra seamless than having to drag the SD card and plopping it right into a dongle. However simply as typically because it fulfills its objective, Digital camera Distant fails to hook up with the digital camera and fails miserably at getting the job finished. This downside isn’t distinctive to Fujifilm; Becca simply lined the lackluster showings from Canon, Nikon, and Sony in the latest Full Frame.

At present, Fujifilm is wiping the slate clear and giving it one other go.

The brand new Fujifilm XApp might be launched on Could twenty fifth for each iOS and Android. Earlier this week, Fujifilm provided press an early glimpse on the software program. Fujifilm’s Justin Stailey emphasised that the corporate’s engineers targeted on stability and establishing a extra strong hyperlink between its cameras and the overhauled companion app. Bluetooth is enjoying a job in that, so XApp is just appropriate with Fujifilm cameras that embody Bluetooth connectivity. These fashions are:

  • X-T5, X-T4, XT-3, X-T30 II, X-T30
  • X-H2S, X-H2
  • X-S20, X-S10
  • X-Pro3
  • X100V
  • X-E4
  • GFX100, GFX100S, GFX50S II, GFX50R

That may sting a bit for house owners of older however not at all historical Fujifilm cameras just like the X-H1, X-Pro2, and X100F. But it surely’s a cutoff that Fujifilm made to make sure extra secure efficiency.

A photo of Fujifilm’s new XApp mobile app.

A photo of Fujifilm’s new XApp mobile app.

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As with the prior Digital camera Distant app, when in wi-fi communication mode, your digital camera nonetheless kinds an ad-hoc Wi-Fi community that your cellphone then joins in order that XApp can retrieve pictures. Stailey stated each a part of this course of has been sped up and made smoother, and a short demo of XApp pairing with the just-announced X-S20 gave me purpose to be considerably optimistic.

Other than the core performance of transferring photographs and movies, XApp helps you to remotely function your digital camera utilizing your cellphone. The earlier software program may do that, however Fujifilm says it has taken new steps to present customers management over virtually each perform with out requiring them to the touch the digital camera.

Fujifilm now gives the choice of backing up and restoring your digital camera’s settings. So if that you must manufacturing unit reset your physique or wish to load your go-to settings onto a secondary digital camera for a shoot, this app can try this; Digital camera Distant couldn’t.

A photo showing the Timeline feature of Fujifilm’s new mobile app.

A photo showing the Timeline feature of Fujifilm’s new mobile app.

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There are two new sections in XApp that had been by no means a part of Digital camera Distant, they usually’re tailor made for Fujifilm’s greatest advocates. For the primary time, you possibly can arrange a person profile in XApp. And while you do, Fujifilm will sync loads of your digital camera’s historical past to the cloud and present you statistics just like the variety of pictures you’ve taken, how a lot video you’ve recorded, and the geolocation (pulled out of your cellphone’s GPS) of your transferred content material.

But it surely goes deeper than that. XApp may present how steadily you’ve snapped pictures with every of Fujifilm’s signature movie simulations. I’m guessing I’ll see loads of Traditional Chrome and Astia in my very own abstract once I begin utilizing the app. It’s going to additionally break down which lenses you’ve used. This knowledge is accessible for each stills and video. Timeline additionally shows snapshots of your transferred media and serves as a scrapbook of kinds.

You don’t have to create an account to make use of Fujifilm XApp. It might probably management your digital camera or pull pictures with out one. However you’ll have to make a profile if you wish to use the Exercise and Timeline tabs and get that deep dive in your digital camera’s historical past. The corporate presents granular management over which actions you enable the app to gather.

I solely noticed a brief demo and haven’t gotten to make use of Fujifilm XApp firsthand but. But when Exercise and Timeline are executed properly, they might make for a enjoyable addition that Fujifilm shooters will geek out on and evaluate with each other.

Throughout Fujifilm’s runthrough, I nonetheless noticed some tough patches in XApp like awkward translations; there’s obtained to be a greater approach of describing the “Picture Acquisition/Images” label within the Join tab. Nonetheless, I’m very desperate to kick the tires on this new app and hit the candy, candy “delete” icon for Digital camera Distant as soon as and for all. Perhaps this may mark Fujifilm turning the web page and we’ll begin seeing a mean overview rating that’s above 1.5 stars.

You possibly can anticipate a wave of firmware updates this week for lots of the above cameras to introduce help for Fujifilm XApp — you recognize, since this software program didn’t exist again once they had been launched. Within the case of the X-T5 and X-H2, these updates will even embody substantial autofocus enhancements that initially got here to the X-H2S through a firmware improve a number of months in the past.


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