And the gods listened...
This is what I wrote back in January when Fujifilm announced the X100S:
"O great, kind and benevolent Gods of Fujifilm
We know phase detection is hardware-related
& perhaps focus peaking is as well (although we secretly wish to be surprised)
But could you please, in your bottomless and most infinite wisdom,
grant us the ability to swap the functions of our X-Pro/X-E1 macro and AF buttons through the all-encompassing magic of firmware?
We humbly await, basking in your eternal light."
Prayer answered. The new firmware versions for both cameras transform the down selector into a second function button, adding Focus Frame Selection as an option. I can tell you right now: it's transformative and became second nature two minutes after I installed the update.
Now, a month from now? Focus. Peaking.
I didn't think this would even be possible without the new contrast/phase detection AF in the X100S. Allow me a moment. I know I'm going to sound biased and perhaps I am but... I can't commend Fuji enough for this ongoing support of past and current cameras, support that clearly goes well beyond maintenance updates. This iteration approach not only allows them to refine features over time, but also to respond to photographer demands based on our every day experience. There are many things I can't talk about or disclose but I do want to say this: there is a genuine conversation between Fujifilm and X Photographers that goes much further than a simple ambassador program; an interest in our opinion, our feedback and our field experience that's clearly being taken into account. This company seems to have made it a point to listen and to break the usual buy our new camera to get our new features model. I for one find this pretty damn refreshing.
Lastly of course I need to at least mention the new baby: the X-M1. Are we its target audience? I know I'm probably not (reading glasses and LCDs aren't best of friends for starters) and I'm guessing most of you probably won't be either. But it's impressive to see the X-Trans sensor and XF lenses in a camera aimed at a much broader audience. It's a pretty bold move. And it comes in brown :)
More on that camera — hopefully — when I return from Cuba.