If you’re a Fuji-shooting Mac user, your files may become inaccessible – A fix is on the way

Feb 7, 2022

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

If you’re a Fuji-shooting Mac user, your files may become inaccessible – A fix is on the way

Feb 7, 2022

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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In a notice posted to the Fujifilm X website, the company has announced that they’ve detected an issue with some X series and GFX cameras, including the flagship GFX 100, that may cause your files and memory cards to become inaccessible when used with macOS. Essentially, it boils down to how much you store on your memory card inside the camera.

Essentially, if there are too many files on your memory card, macOS doesn’t like it and can make your files inaccessible as a result. Fujifilm says they are working on a fix, although they haven’t yet announced a date, and offered up some tips to help avoid the issue from coming up until it’s released.

With as large as memory cards have become these days, it’s easy to store way too many files without having to worry about formatting in between sessions – which some photographers do, just in case they still need that extra backup copy before the card becomes full. But this presents a potential problem for Fuji shooting Mac owners. If more than 4,000 files are written in-camera to a single folder on an SD card, when you pop it into your Mac, then some or all the files contained within your card may become inaccessible.

I. Firmware Incompatibility Overview

  1. X Series and GFX System Cameras Affected:
    • The models that do not depend on the firmware version
    GFX100, GFX100S, GFX50S II, X-Pro3, X-T4, X-S10, X-E4, X-T30 II and X100V
    • The models that depend on the firmware version
    GFX50S (Ver.4.00 or later), GFX50R (Ver.2.00 or later) and X-T3 (Ver.3.20 or later)
  2. Memory Cards Affected: SDXC memory card
  3. Computer Operating System Affected: macOS only. The incompatibility does not affect Windows users.
  4. About the incompatibility
    While the current firmware versions allow these X and GFX series cameras to internally write and store 9,999 frames*1 to a single folder, it has been observed that if more than 4,000 files are written in-camera to a single folder on an SDXC card and directly accessed using macOS the firmware incompatibility creates two potential scenarios:
    1. Some files on the memory card may become inaccessible if the card has been connected to the computer through an internal or external memory card reader and directly accessed using macOS.
    2. If the memory card is not ejected correctly from a computer using macOS, there is a likelihood that data may be lost*3 if the same card is directly connected and accessed a second time using macOS. However, risk of data loss in this situation can be prevented by following proper ejection procedures*2 for macOS operating systems. If the proper procedures are followed, no data will be lost. However, files will still remain inaccessible when attempting to directly access the data on the memory card using macOS.

*1 The number of frames, or images, does not correlate to the total number of files because one image can potentially create 3 files if the user is utilizing JPEG, RAW (RAF) and Voice Memo (WAV) in making one image.
*2 For more information related to properly ejecting SD memory cards from macOS, please refer to the official Apple website (as of Feb. 2, 2022). The instructions are as follows:

  • Ejection process below referenced from Apple website
    • To eject an SD card, drag the icon that represents the card to the Trash.
    • After the icon disappears from your desktop, you can remove the card from the slot.
    • Don’t remove a card while your Mac is in sleep mode, as this could lead to data loss.
    • Always wake your computer and eject the SD card before removing it from your Mac.

*3 FUJIFILM is not responsible for any loss of use, images, files, data, or other information in connection with the use of FUJIFILM products caused by the above improper ejection procedures.

It’s important to point out here that Fuji says “4,000 files” and not 4,000 images. Hitting the shutter might not just create one image file. If you’re shooting raw+jpg, you’re definitely creating two and Fuji says that their cameras can produce up to three files per hit of the shutter. If you’re doing this with a big wedding, you can easily pass 4,000 files (~1333 photos) in a single day.

That’s not the only potential issue, though. Fujifilm also says that if the memory card is not correctly ejected using macOS then permanent data loss can occur. Even if the card containing your inaccessible files is ejected properly, though, those files will still be inaccessible. At least on a Mac. According to Fujifilm, the issue doesn’t affect Windows users at all.

Fuji is working on a firmware patch to resolve the issue by limiting the number of files that the cameras can save to a single folder. There’s no word on when this might arrive for affected cameras, but in the meantime, Fuji suggests that you don’t shoot more than 1,000 frames in-camera to any folder and once you hit that 1,000 frame number, make a new folder for your next round of images.

Fujifilm has also provided some other tips to help minimise the chances of file inaccessibility and data loss in their announcement.

[via The Verge]

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John Aldred

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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