Fujifilm X-H2s new firmware issues

Fujifim c
Photo by Math / Unsplash

Where to begin... I haven't even used the camera yet, and I've already encountered issues with the firmware. There are some serious problems that need to be resolved. I'm going to give the camera the benefit of the doubt because it has only been out for a few months, and I haven't actually used it. This is the first time I've encountered a bricked device while trying to upgrade to the new firmware, ver. 2.00. I took all the precautions before the firmware upgrade, like having a full battery.

The firmware upgrade happened through the iPhone app. The Bluetooth connection instructions in the app were incorrect, as they tried to direct me to non-existent menu settings to enable Bluetooth in the device. This should have been a big warning sign that the app was untested with the X-H2s, their flagship X camera. Once I found the Bluetooth settings, I turned them on and connected the device to the app. As soon as the connection was made, a prompt appeared on the app to update the firmware on the device. This is where the issues began. In hindsight, I should have known not to flash the firmware over Bluetooth.

The camera downloaded the firmware and then began the process of flashing. As soon as that happened, the iPhone app went haywire and started trying to reconnect with the camera repeatedly, as if it was stuck in a loop. The flashing on the camera started, reached the third bar, and then got stuck. That's when the device became bricked. I waited for a good hour before realizing that it had failed to flash the device. I knew that turning it off could result in a bricked device, but the device was already bricked, and it usually takes only 5 minutes to flash. I didn't have much to lose other than waiting for the battery to drain. However, that could leave me with a truly bricked device with no battery power and no way to charge it other than through the camera.

The safest option was to turn it off, which I tried, but the camera did not respond. The second option was to remove the battery. I took out the battery and plugged it back in, only to discover that the camera worked, but there were no menu items on the screen, and the buttons didn't function. It wasn't fully bricked, but it seemed like the wrong firmware had been loaded onto the device.

Since this was done through the iPhone app, and I was guided through the process, I find it very concerning that the app might have sent the wrong firmware to the camera to flash.

To avoid this problem in the future, Fujifilm needs to include two firmware chips in their flagship devices, like most motherboard manufacturers do: one chip for backup firmware and a second chip for live firmware. There should also be some kind of button to recover the device, like on most modern routers, to revert to the backup firmware if the live firmware fails to flash.

Secondly, they need to extensively test the iPhone app to ensure that their flagship devices actually fully work with the app since the guide to Bluetooth connection was incorrect.

digiDirect, where I bought the camera, was kind enough to exchange it for a new one, but Fujifilm could have taken some very simple and inexpensive precautions to allow their users to recover the device in case the firmware failed to flash.

For now, the new camera is keeping the ver. 1.0 firmware until I feel comfortable upgrading.