FUJIFILM XApp Review – Finally A Good Camera Companion App?

FUJIFILM XApp Review - Finally A Good Camera Companion App?

At the end of May 2023, together with the latest X-S20 mirrorless camera (see our review), FUJIFILM released a brand new companion smartphone app called XApp. This new app lets you control some camera functions and transfer media. But it also makes use of some features that make their mirrorless cameras more useful as day-to-day companions. Let’s dive in!

With a lousy 1.3-star rating on the iOS App Store, the old FUJIFILM Camera Remote app had a very bad reputation. The camera’s unreliable connections, outdated user interface, and lack of support for modern functions and formats were clear signs that an update was desperately needed.

And FUJIFILM gave us a worthy one with the brand-new XApp. This app is not an update to the old Camera Remote App, but rather a new listing in the App Store the lets us start with a clean slate.

New user interface

The XApp features a minimalistic design with monochromatic color use. The user interface looks very clean and is easy to understand and use.

XApp on iPhone showing that the FUJIFILM X-S20 is connected
The new user interface is a big upgrade compared to the old Camera Connect App. Image credit: CineD

The main features are laid out clearly as soon as you start the app. You’ll be prompted to grant a bunch of permissions to access your photo library (required for transferring images from your camera to your phone), location (for example for geotagging), and so on.

FUJIFILM XApp interface on an iPhone and on an iPad
The user interface is optimized for smartphones and tablets. Image credit: CineD

The XApp also scales well on larger devices, like iPads and other tablets. Culling through numerous photos and selecting them for import is particularly enjoyable, especially on tablets.

Camera connection

Connecting to a FUJIFILM camera couldn’t be easier. Be sure to update your camera to the latest firmware to make it compatible with the new XApp. Getting the camera ready to connect to a smart device was greatly simplified with the latest firmware updates.

Image transfer

As soon as your phone is connected to your camera, you can select the prominent “Image Acquisition / Photography” button to copy content from your camera to your phone.

You get previews of all the content that is saved on your memory card. You only see thumbnails when transferring photos in the JPEG or HEIF format though, since the App doesn’t support RAW photos or video files. All RAW photos and videos will show a generic thumbnail without a preview and cannot be transferred.

When you want to work with your RAW photos or video files, I would strongly advise using a cable or card reader to transfer the files from the camera to your tablet or computer. Even if it were possible with the XApp, it would take a long time to transfer those large files over WiFi.

Preview and select photos from the memory card on your phone for transferring.
You get image previews of your JPEG and HEIF photos, but no RAW photo or video support. Image credit: CineD

To transfer images, the smartphone needs to connect to the camera via WiFi. The app only asks you to join the camera’s WiFi network and the rest is done for you.

a progress indicator tell you how much time is left to transfer all selected images
The progress screen while transferring images. Image credit: CineD

HEIF support

For image sharing, the JPEG and new HEIF images with the famous Film Simulations are great. You get high-resolution previews of the images on your phone or tablet, and you can also pinch-to-zoom on your device for checking details and focus.

After selecting the images that you’d like to transfer, you can select whether to transfer the full-size photos or resize the images. This option will save space on your phone, but you might also consider using the HEIF format. This gives you the same quality but at lower file sizes compared to JPEGs, and you can use the full-resolution HEIF, which ends up being the same file size as a downscaled JPEG. iOS and macOS have been compatible with HEIF photos since 2017 starting with iOS 11 and macOS High Sierra. You can also work with those files on Windows with the help of extensions.

Remote control

Strangely, Remote Control and Camera Control are two separate features that are found in different locations in the XApp.

The Remote Control feature is a simple virtual shutter button that takes a picture (with a shutter hold option) or starts/stops a video.

the camera remote link leads to the shutter button screen while the Photography button leads to the camera remote interface
Remote Control and Camera Remote are two separate user interfaces. Image credit: CineD

When you want to control the camera settings and see a live preview, you press the prominent “Image Acquisition / Photography” button and then switch to the Camera tab on the top. Inside the Camera Control interface, you can switch between Photo and Video mode for different sets of settings.

adjustment options for Aperture, Exposure Compensation, ISO, Film Simulation and White Balance in Photo mode
Adjustment options for Aperture, Exposure Compensation, ISO, Film Simulation, and White Balance in Photo mode. Image credit: CineD

In Photo mode, you get a preview image with touch-to-focus functionality, which works accurately but is relatively slow to react on your touch input. There is also basic status information visible around the preview image and you can adjust the aperture, exposure compensation, ISO, film simulation, and white balance.

adjustment options for Shutter Speed, Aperture, Film Simulation and White Balance in Videomode
Adjustment options for Shutter Speed, Aperture, Film Simulation, and White Balance in Video mode. Image credit: CineD

In Video mode, you only get the option to adjust shutter speed, aperture, film simulation, and white balance. Strangely, you cannot adjust ISO in video mode. More settings would be nice to have in a future update.

Camera settings Backup/Restore

One convenient feature of the XApp is the Settings Backup/Restore function. If you use multiple camera bodies or rent your camera, you can simply save your camera settings and restore them before you get going again.

All camera backups are shown and can be selected for restoring to the same model
Backup setting from the connected camera and restore from backups. Image credit: CineD

Unfortunately, you can only restore settings to the same camera model (from X-H2 to X-H2 for example). I understand that different camera models have different feature sets, but I wish I could at least transfer the functions to a different model that both cameras support.

Timeline & activity

Something unique about the XApp is the Timeline and Activity features. These features let you see your activity with your FUJIFILM gear.

the timeline displays tiles with images of your cameras, lenses, and photos taken
Timeline view with the camera and lens used, as well as photo occasions. Image credit: CineD

The Timeline shows you a chronological view of all the times you used your camera and lenses. The app also compiles events with all the images taken on a certain day or in a specific location. You can also go into photo events and look at more details like a map with pins where all the images were taken.

looking at timeline details
Looking at the timeline details. Image credit: CineD

The Activity feature is a statistical summary of all the metadata in your images. You get to see the total amount of images you took, total video recording time, and how many images you transferred to your phone.

Your activity records are synchronized from your camera to the XApp.
Synchronizing the activity from your phone to the XApp. Image credit: CineD

There is also a breakdown of the cameras and lenses you used and how many pictures were taken with any film simulation. The same goes for videos (that are stored on your memory card).

breakdown of all cameras, lenses, and more metadata
Breakdown of all the metadata from all the captured images in the Activity tab. Image credit: CineD

You are required to create an account using “Continue with Apple/Google/Facebook” in order to use the Activity feature. Maybe at some point, this will turn into a “social network” of some kind where FUJIFILM users have their own public user profiles where they can choose to share some of this information outside of the XApp.

I don’t see any professional use for these features, but they are a very nice touch for personal enjoyment. These features are definitely geared toward enthusiasts.


Geotagging (adding location information to) photos with the help of the smartphone app finally works (reliably) for the first time with any FUJIFILM app. The camera will show a geolocation icon on the screen, which will blink red if no location has been transmitted lately from the phone. Just open the app on your phone, let it connect for a few seconds and the current location will be captured in the next photo.

the interval for the location data update can be adjusted from 10 sec to 480 sec
Fine adjustment of the location synchronization interval. Image credit: CineD

In my experience, this worked very well and I only had to open the app to force a location update to the camera a few times. Unfortunately, the location data is only saved for JPEG/HEIF photos but not for RAW photos (in a sidecar file.) The location data is recorded to both JPEG/HEIF and RAW photos. Just be aware that more frequent location updates will use more of your phone’s battery but I never had to stop using the app because I felt it was draining my (iPhone 13 mini) battery too quickly. You can customize the location synchronization interval in the app settings.

What’s missing

I would really love to see an Intervalometer option for Timelapses in the XApp. A nice user interface for setting up a Timelapse and executing it from your smartphone would be very convenient.

Also, a way to adjust more settings in photo and video mode would be welcome if you really want to rig the camera in a hard-to-reach space and would like to control the whole camera remotely.

Let me know in the comments what features you would like to see added to the XApp!


For users who want extended functionality for their FUJIFILM camera for everyday use, the XApp is a very welcome introduction and very good at what it does. I really love how closely the HEIF files come to native iPhone photos when it comes to metadata. The imported mirrorless photos are also included in iCloud’s photo memories thanks to geotagging and in-phone face and animal recognition.

Professional users have to rely on third-party solutions like and other Camera-to-Cloud providers to wirelessly and safely transfer RAW photos and high-resolution videos.

I hope that this app will only become even more useful over time if FUJIFILM decides to keep up the Kaizen spirit (continuous improvement of software over time) with the XApp as well.

After an update to version 2.1, you can now transfer RAW images from the X-H2S and GFX100 II (as of April 11th) using the XApp. The update also adds the functionality, to view and transfer images from the GFX100 II while the camera is turned off, which sounds very interesting.

The FUJIFILM XApp is available for iOS (App Store Link) and Android (Google Play Link).

I tested version 1.0.2. of the XApp on an iPhone 12 mini running iOS 16.5.

More information about the FUJIFILM XApp can be found on the FUJIFILM Website.

Do you use a smartphone app as a companion to your camera? If so, do you use it only for fun or also for professional use? What are your experiences with the FUJIFILM Camera Remote or XApp? Let me know what you think in the comments below! I’d love to hear from you!


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