EDIT 22/12/2014: This article has been rewritten with much more updated information, tips and explanations including all the new Firmware 3.0 options and can be found here: XT1 Setup guide Ver.3.00
Fuji cameras are an excellent choice for people, street and studio photography. And that goes for the X-T1 as well. Currently there are no long lenses for the X series and Continuous AF with tracking can be found only on the new X-T1, but even with its 8fps shooting ability, the X-T1 is not a sports or wildlife camera (not yet anyway) since Fuji doesn't offer a capable long prime or sports zoom.
EVF SETUP: Here you have the following 5 options: EVF, LCD ONLY, EVF ONLY & EYE SENSOR, and EYE SENSOR. So far, I have found that I am using the EYE SENSOR option the most. To set your selection press the VIEWMODE button on the EVF hump while at the same time looking through the viewfinder.
EVF vs LCD: I have friends who are thinking of investing in the XM-1 which has no EVF and relies only on the rear LCD for all viewing and framing, so I thought it would be a nice place to point out some of the advantages of the viewfinder, in this case the EVF. For starters, by pressing the camera to your face, you not only end up with a more steady platform to shoot from but you are helping to absorb some of the vibrations from the shutter, especially when in the 1/30sec range. So the right holding technique with the camera up against the face helps in low light situations. The second advantage is that it’s much easier to frame and track a subject that’s in motion through the EVF. Plus for older guys like myself, I can adjust the EVF using the diopter dial for a very sharp and clear view. Unfortunately, looking at the LCD requires a long stretch of the arms or wearing glasses (LOL). Finally, let’s not forget the biggest disadvantage of the rear LCD, they are too difficult to view under bright daylight conditions. So the EVF wins hands down!
In the Q Menu you can also have you favorite selections saved to a numbered Custom Setting. In total you can have 7 Custom Settings saved as C1, C2, C3, and so on. You can then recall a certain Custom Setting for certain shooting conditions / subjects. I have 2 set at the moment and can see me using more, if only Fuji would allow for the Custom Settings to be named instead of just numbered. I should also point out here that when you select a Custom Setting, you don’t need to do anything else, it’s selected until you change it. Problem is if you hit the Q button again to check where you’re at; it displays BASE instead of your chosen Custom Setting! I’m pretty sure that in the first firmware update from Fuji, we will see these little things fixed.
- CUSTOM SETTING: BASE (Choose your saved custom setting)
- AF MODE: Area
- DYNAMIC RANGE: DR100 (AUTO under bright daylight)
- WHITE BALANCE: WB Auto
- NOISE REDUCTION: NR-2
- IMAGE SIZE: L3:2
- IMAGE QUALITY: RAW-F
- FILM SIMULATION: STD (PROVIA) (Ns under bright daylight)
- HIGHLIGHT TONE: H Tone 0
- SHADOW TONE: S Tone +1 (0 under bright daylight)
- COLOR: Color 0
- SHARPNESS: Sharp 0
- SELF TIMER: OFF
- FACE DETECTION: OFF (ON when required)
- FLASH MODE: Disabled
- LCD BRIGHTNESS: -2 (After comparing the LCD with my calibrated monitor)
FOCUS AREA: There are 5 sizes available, with 3 being the default – I personally like 2 for its precision in my style of shooting.
RELEASE/FOCUS PRIORITY: I have selected Focus for both modes
INSTANT AF SETTING: This affects the AF mode when pressing the AF-L button in manual focus mode (if you are a DSLR user you wouldn’t understand, it’s a Fuji thing!)
AF MODE: I have this set to AREA because it gives you full control of focusing. Multi is very amateurish like.
FACE DETECTION: I was blown away by the performance of this tool. I honestly thought this would be another gimmick to avoid but when I first tried it, I was hooked. When the light starts to get really low or the subject is less defined, then I will switch face detection off and manually select my AF point. Face detection on the X-T1 is a very powerful tool that actually delivers; it really is a great asset for portrait and people photographers.
PRE-AF: For the time being I will be leaving this switched off. When switched on I don't like feeling and hearing the camera constantly focusing plus if you would like to conserve battery power then its a no brainer.
AF ILLUMINATOR: Personally, and probably more out of habit, I always have this option set to off. I don’t like lights spooking my subjects.
ISO AUTO SETTING
DEFAULT SENSITIVITY: 200
MIN. SHUTTER SPEED: 1/100
I prefer Aperture Priority mode for the majority of my work in conjunction with Auto ISO and Auto WB. I usually set the ISO range from base 200 to a maximum of 3200 and my minimum shutter speed at 1/100sec. The shutter speed is something that can change, depending on the shooting conditions (Since acquiring the camera I haven’t had a need to change this, though keep in mind my longest lens for now is the 56mm). For those of you new to the X-T1, to set Aperture Priority mode, just swing the aperture ring to any position other than A (Auto) and make sure the Shutter dial is set to A (Auto). When I’m not using Auto ISO, I’m usually set at 200 ISO. The nice thing about the X-T1 is that I can quickly set any ISO using the dial. I don’t mind the locking feature but for those who do, there is a solution here. Also take note, that Fuji does not give us RAW files when selecting ISO H1, H2 and L(100). ;-(
IMAGE SIZE: L 3:2
IMAGE QUALITY: FINE/RAW
DYNAMIC RANGE: 100% (AUTO under bright daylight)
FILM SIMULATION: STD (PROVIA) / (PRO NEG under bright daylight)
SELF TIMER: OFF
WHITE BALANCE: AUTO
HIGHLIGHT TONE: 0
SHADOW TONE: +1 (0 under strong daylight)
NOISE REDUCTION: -2
LONG EXPOSURE NR: ON
LENS MODULATION OPTIMIZER: ON
MOUNT ADAPTER SETTING: LENS 5 (I have the Samyang fisheye, so I set this to 8MM)
SHOOT WITHOUT LENS: YES (for lens adapters or lenses with no electronic chip)
If you plan on using any kind of adapter for mounting lenses other than Fujinon, then you will need to set this to ON. Even aftermarket lenses such as the 8mm f/2.8 Samyang which is void of any electrical contacts needs this option set to ON as well.
MF ASSIST: PEAK
Like many have noted in the past, Fuji cameras excel at manual focusing. There are 3 options for how the MF Assist option can help. Out of the 3 options the one I like best is Highlight. The STD option is very basic and DSLR like (LOL) and the Split image is very disappointing unless you are shooting flat objects (maybe useful for architectural photographers). The Highlight option in Focus peaking mode is such a great tool (I don’t know if this has been used by other manufacturers – please inform me) and extremely easy and precise. You can also magnify the center portion of the image at 100% for even more precision!
AE/AF LOCK MODE: AE & AF ON WHEN PRESSING
AF-LOCK MODE: AF LOCK ONLY
FLASH MODE: DISABLE
FLASH COMPENSATION: -1STOP
RED EYE REMOVAL: OFF
MOVIE MODE: 1920X1080 60FPS
MIC LEVEL ADJUSTMENT: 3
MIC/REMOTE RELEASE: REMOTE (If using an aftermarket release that uses the MIC port, you'll need to set this to RR)
IS MODE: CONTINUOUS
APERTURE SETTING: AUTO
From what I understand, the above two options are for the cheaper XC range of lenses.
If you select ON then you'll disable the speaker, the flash and the focus illuminator. I personally leave this off .
I like to be able to hear the camera so I set this at the lowest level possible. Some prefer total silence, but I find it difficult to work quickly with no sound.
OPERATION VOL.: 1 (LOWEST)
PLAYBACK VOL.: 4
IMAGE DISP.: OFF
Choices are to show the image for 1.5 sec, 0.5sec or continuously (until the user presses the Menu/OK button or the shutter release). My personal choice is to set this to OFF. I don’t need to inspect every image plus it can become distracting while shooting.
EVF AUTOROTATE DISPLAYS: OFF
For anyone shooting editorial or portraits, this may be a useful option. Personally, I have stopped doing verticals so I will be setting this to OFF. Even if I do shoot a vertical composition, I prefer all the display information to stay in its place.
PREVIEW EXP. MANUAL MODE: ON
I like this feature a lot and have it set to always ON. The EVF shows an approximation of the final image and its a really nice feature. I call this the WYSIWYG viewfinder. Beware though, if you are going to shoot with strobes in Manual mode, you may want to set this Off to prevent a dark viewfinder. Hopefully with their next firmware update Fuji will disable this feature automatically when any kind of flash is detected either on the hotshoe or the sync port.
EVF/LCD BRIGHTNESS: -2
FRAMING GUIDELINE: GRID 9
AUTOROTATE PB: OFF
I leave this OFF simply because I prefer to view the image I have just taken utilizing the whole screen – I don’t mind twisting the camera to view vertical shots. Plus I pretty much stopped taking vertical shots since ceasing my editorial work.
FOCUS CHECK: ON
I like this feature, as soon as you rotate the focus ring on the lens the image in the viewfinder or on the LCD will zoom in to allow for precise focusing.
FOCUS SCALE UNITS: METERS
DISP. CUSTOM SETTING: I have disabled the following: Electronic level, Flash, White balance, Film simulation, Dynamic range, Image size/quality
FUNCTION (Fn) SETTING
Until something changes with a future firmware update, my AF needs require the following setup: (Fn1: Face Detection, Fn2: AF Mode, Fn3: Focus Area, Fn4: Focus Area, Fn5: Focus Area, Fn6: Focus Area). This allows me to have quick selection of my focus point and when shooting people in the right conditions (eg: good to decent light) I can switch to Face Detection.
- Fn1: Face Detection
- Fn2: WIRELESS COMMUNICATION
- Fn3: Focus Area
- Fn4: Focus Area
- Fn5: Focus Area
- Fn6: Focus Area
ISO DIAL SETTING: H1:12800, H2:25600
FOCUS RING: CW
AUTO POWER OFF: 2MIN
HIGH PERFORMANCE: ON
I have this switched ON so as to assure I get the best performance from the camera. I also have 3 batteries at the moment (you Nikonians can stop laughing now!)
WHEN SWITCHED ON: OFF
WHEN SWITCHED OFF: ON
The obvious choice for everyone here is to select “When switched OFF” I have found in the past with my Nikon cameras that this feature helps in a big way to keep the sensor as clan as possible.
SAVE DATA SETUP
FRAME NO.: CONTINUOUS
SAVE ORG. IMAGE: OFF
COLOR SPACE: sRGB
If you don’t know the answer to this, then set it to sRGB, end of subject. If you insist on wanting to know why has Fuji (and all other manufacturers for that matter) given you the choice, then read on. The Adobe RGB option is for those photographers who want the most out of their files. These photographers all shoot RAW. Fuji’s RAW file is just raw data that can be put into a restricted color space later when exporting from your favorite RAW converter. These photographers usually have everything calibrated from start to finish in a very wide space such as Pro Photo RGB or Adobe RGB. So RAW files don't need tagging, and JPEG's are sRGB, so why have the option for Adobe RGB? Because some people insist on shooting JPEG’s in Adobe RGB, how dumb! Also note that your choice of color space (sRGB or Adobe RGB) will affect the way your images are displayed on the rear LCD and EVF. Don’t think so, try it!
RESIZE IMAGE FOR SMARTPHONE: ON (3MB)
LOCATION INFO: ON
shooting menu 1
There are 5 sizes to select using the rear thumb wheel from largest (size 5) to smallest (size 1). Size 1 is precise focusing and takes slightly longer than size 5 and also increases the chances of hunting. Size 5 is less critical in its judgment, very fast and reduces the chances for hunting. With my limited testing so far, I have decided to set my camera to size 2. Default by the way is size 3 and is usually set if you hit the Focus Assist button instead of turning the thumb wheel. If I see that there is too much delay or hunting, then that means that I will need to increase the size of the Focus Area. In general, I think its safe to assume that size 2 is good for primes or good lighting situations and size 4 preferable for zooms or lower light levels.
NOTE: If Focus Area is unavailable, then maybe you need to deselect Face Detection.
RELEASE/FOCUS PRIORITY/AF-S & AF-C: So far I have seen no need to go with Release. I have both set to Focus and I am very happy with my results so far.
INSTANT AF SETTING: AF-S
AF MODE: AREA
FACE DETECTION: OFF. As you can see, I have disabled Face detection. This is because, you can’t have it turned on all the time, since you are not always shooting faces. So I looked at all the available options and possible setups, and the best I have come up with is to have face detection assigned to the FN1 button on the front of the camera.
AF ILLUMINATOR: ON
setup menu 2
CH & CL AF: Continuous AF on the X-T1 is strange. You half press the shutter release and wait for a clear picture in the viewfinder and all you get is blurriness. The good news, is that as soon as you press the shutter and as long as you have a moving subject, all frames are focused!