So you have just bought the new X-T20, taken a few pics, played with the menus, but somehow feel lost or not sure how to best utilise some of the options available. Well, you’re in luck, read on and I will take you through each setting and explain what each does, what your choices are, what I personally have and for what reason. Maybe my settings will suit your style of photography maybe not, either way, I'm sure you will find most of the info helpful.
NOTE: This article is an update from 2 years ago
Mirrorless cameras, especially those from Fuji, are changing the way Pro photographers are working! And if you are a DSLR user and think I’m exaggerating, then you are in denial LOL. The biggest and most dramatic advantage of mirrorless cameras, is the EVF. The second biggest advantage comes exclusively from Fujifilm, and that is the in camera RAW converter with its most beautiful film simulations.
NOTE: This article is based on my personal preferences for setting up the X100T with firmware version 1.10. For users of any of the older two cameras, this guide overall should prove helpful.
THE SETUP PROCESS
Before we start, make sure you have a freshly charged battery installed and a hot cup of coffee (or whatever else you prefer) nearby. Also check your firmware version. Press and hold the DISP. BACK button while switching the camera on and the firmware version will be shown on the rear LCD. If outdated, please follow the instructions from the Fujifilm website to update it.
We need to also make sure that were starting from scratch by doing a factory reset. Navigate to the blue SETUP-UP menu and select RESET>SHOOTING MENU RESET> OK and then navigate to RESET>SETUP RESET> OK. Now that the camera has a fully charged battery, been updated and reset, let’s start configuring the camera.
Fujifilm has once again spoiled us with another firmware update that not only tries to improve on the overall shooting experience but finally gives us the chance to use that video button for another function. This article is not a review on the new firmware but a simple setup guide. It should prove a valuable resource for both new and seasoned Fuji X-T1 users as I take you through each setting explaining my personal selections. My settings may or may not suit your style of photography, either way I'm sure some of the following information will be helpful.
NOTE: This is an updated, revised and slightly cut down version of my original Fuji X-T1 Firmware setup article that can be found here.
If you haven't done so already, please read part 1 here before continuing, especially the Disclaimer section. If you haven't dabbled with Linux in the past and know nothing about the Linux Command line then maybe you should do some Googling before continuing with this article ;-)
Firstly I would like to apologies to all my Fuji-loving followers that have been waiting for a Fuji related blog post: Sorry, but this and the next post are about my attempts at migrating from MS Windows to Linux. Part 1 is just a quick reference about my selection of OS and software and in part 2 I have a more detailed guide of my installation process of said software plus more.
SIMPLIFYING MY PHOTOGRAPHY
I have used the KISS principle in my photography before but the last couple of years, I have really outdone myself! As most of you know I recently dumped all my Nikon gear for the mirrorless Fujifilm X-T1 and for those that haven’t read about it look here. I have also changed priorities when shooting, meaning before, with my Nikon DSLR I was shooting only for RAW - now I shoot for the JPEG and use the RAW (in DNG form) more as a backup – this has greatly simplified my workflow. I still use raw images but on a much lesser scale. So in continuing with my process of simplifying things, I have now retired all of my Windows commercial software and now only use Open source software which is free for me to use including the OS.
Accessories made in China
Up until a few years ago anything with a “Made in China” label was considered a big waste of money and in a lot of cases that may still hold true even today. Fortunately, for a lot of photographers, there are a large number of well made accessories to be found with an easy search on e-Bay that in most cases cost a fraction of the original.
AF performance with the new firmware
I honestly didn’t believe I would see any improvement from the new firmware and I really didn’t have the time to do a quick test before / after for a possible blog post due to other commitments, but after a couple of positive calls from X-T1 owners here in Greece I made time and put in the effort to test the new firmware for myself.
Before the XF16-55mm was announced, there was a lot of talk about whether it would be equipped with stabilization or not. Personally I don't mind it not being there. But my blog entry for today is not about Fuji's new lens, but about "Image Stabilization".
NOTE: This article has been updated here
Film sims & tips
I'm mainly a RAW shooter and I'm sure most of you reading this are as well, and even though this blog post is targeted more at JPEG shooters, the rest of us will find this article just as interesting since JPEG is a big part of our shooting as well.
Fuji X, the image making tool!
Fuji X or any other cameras which pill do you prefer? For me the answer is easy! If you’re currently using a Fujifilm X series camera you already know what a remarkable image making tool lies under that sexy cover, but for those who are still living within the matrix of the camera world, they will need to try very hard to pick the X pill!
EDIT 16/01/2015: New or changed content
Did you know that 30,000 RAF files can fill up a 1 TB disk? Those same files can be converted to lossy DNG without any noticeable loss in quality and only take up 1/10 of their original size! With lossy DNG, not only are storage concerns solved, but opening and processing files becomes much faster. I feel everyone should take a serious look into the lossy DNG option!
Photography is usually about deconstruction, about eliminating unwanted and distracting elements and simplifying the composition to just a few key ingredients. So swapping your standard 50mm lens for a longer telephoto may seem like a good idea, but the subject usually dictates the lens needed, so you can’t use a telephoto to shoot a group of people in a crowded room or the great pyramid when standing in front of it.
As a photographer, you can’t easily find relevant info on building a Windows PC for editing. Most sites concentrate on gaming rigs or presume that photo editing doesn’t require much power or graphics! Anyway, if you want to build a PC with true photo editing capabilities (and some video) this article may help.
Like sunsets and lightning, rainbows are another favorite subject that can be used successfully as an impressive backdrop to a less interesting foreground subject. Sure they are pretty nice on their own, but using them as a background to an “anchor point” is a sure way to elevate their WOW factor.
If your mind is ready to explode by all the options offered by the Nikon AF system, then read on as you just might find the following AF technique (which is good for all Nikon's) described in the first section of some interest. Further down, you will find some additional information regarding the finer options (of interest to D300/D3/D700 users) that also trouble a lot of users. I should point out that this is an old and tried technique that the majority of Nikon pros have been using for a number of years. I believe it to be the most important focusing technique that all Nikon users should try at least once. If you manage to learn it and use it, then I am sure you will never look back. (Note: This article was originally written in 2008 for Nikonglass with the D300 in mind, later revised in 2009 to include the D700 - but should be good for most Nikons)
Before proceeding into the depths of camera setup, I need to point out a that my subjects are mostly reportage, portraits and wildlife – different themes requiring different settings. I also have changed my workflow, since I no longer use Nikon Capture NX and now prefer the speed and convenience of Adobe Lightroom. Plus I should mention that I only shoot in RAW mode and never have shot in JPG. All the above greatly influence the way I choose to setup my camera so it’s important that you have this in mind when reading my personal choices below.
For a long time I have been contemplating the rebuild of my old and trusty 500mm lens. Even though its optical performance was great, some of its moving parts were showing their age and using the lens was becoming more tiresome. My main concerns were the sticky focusing ring, the very sticky tripod collar and the worn rear lens mount.
Photographing lightning like the ones in this blog post isn’t that difficult and can make for some impressive images. Basically you pinpoint the part of the sky where lightning is active, you then point the camera in that direction, focus to infinity, select an aperture of f/5.6 or f/8, you open the shutter with a remote shutter release and last you close the shutter after lightning has stricken. In reality, the lightning has just taken a picture of itself; the lightning is the “flash” that is lighting the subject, as you wait in the darkness with the shutter open.
Landscape photography is very challenging and don’t think otherwise, or else you'll be quickly disappointed. For this reason, I have put together a list with the most common "secrets" for better landscapes. Believe it or not, the best landscape photographers in the world go by these "secrets" so why not you? .... enjoy!