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.
THE SETUP PROCESS
NOTE: In case you haven't done so, please check & update your firmware on all bodies and lenses. On the X-T1 press and hold the DISP. BACK button while switching the camera on. The firmware for your body and lens will be shown on the rear LCD.
SHOOTING MENU (RED)
NOTE: If you want to know how to get a 9 step bracket for HDR read this blog post here.
BKT/Adv.SETTING>Adv. FILTER SELECT> On the top plate of the camera, under the ISO dial you will find the Drive mode selector. One of the options available is “ADV” for advance filters. What effect you get with this selection depends on what you will set it too from here. There are 13 options available so you won’t have any trouble finding something you like or need. Most may seem gimmicky, but for JPEG shooters, they are just another tool, and a good one at that. The MINIATURE setting is quite interesting offering a diorama effect. Other interesting selections are the PARTIAL COLOR where you end up with a monochrome image but retaining one particular color; i.e: red!
NOTE: When bracketing either ISO, Film simulation, or WB, then RAW file recording will be turned off which means all you get are JPEG's. The same happens when an advance filter is selected.
NOTE1: If FOCUS AREA is unavailable, check whether you are currently in FACE DETECTION mode.
NOTE2: When you have an AF point highlighted you can quickly set it to the default size 3 by pressing the Focus Assist button or just spin the thumb-wheel till you get the size you want.
AUTOFOCUS SETTING>RELEASE/FOCUS PRIORITY> Like most cameras you get two options, Release and Focus. In the past, I used to select the Release option because my faith in the tracking of the AF motor was not there and I relied on high frame rates for a chance that one frame may be a keeper. Since switching to Fuji I was hesitant to use Focus for both settings, but my testing has proven otherwise. The AF overall is very precise and I can rely on the FOCUS option blindingly for both Single and Continuous AF.
AUTOFOCUS SETTING>INSTANT AF SETTING> When using AF lenses in Manual focus mode, you can hit the AF-L button to initiate focus and speed up the whole focusing process. I don’t find much use for this since I’m more of an AF guy, so I just leave this on its default setting of AF-S.
AUTOFOCUS SETTING>AF MODE> The updated V:4.30 AF system in the X-T1 adds Zone and Wide/Tracking options to the existing 49 Single Point mode. When combined with the AF-S and AF-C modes, we get a total of six different options for our AF needs.
AUTOFOCUS SETTING>FACE DETECTION> When I first got my hands on the X-T1 (even with its original firmware) I was blown away by the performance of the face detection feature. I honestly thought this would be another gimmick to avoid but when I tried it, I was hooked. When the light starts to get 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. I have this option set to ON for most of my photography but have assigned FACE DETECTION to the front Fn button for quick and easy access.
AUTOFOCUS SETTING>EYE DETECTION AF> I leave this on AUTO
AUTOFOCUS SETTING>PRE-AF> This setting I am definitely leaving switched off. When set to ON, what it does is constantly focus as long as the camera is switched on. This is a feature that maybe a brute street photographer would like where he would have his subject already in focus by the time he lifts the camera to his eye! I don't like feeling and hearing the camera constantly working plus I would rather conserve battery power.
AUTOFOCUS SETTING>AF ILLUMINATOR> I used to shoot a lot of wildlife in the past with my Nikon's, so out of habit, I had this option set to off since I didn’t like spooking my subjects. Now with my Fuji’s I leave this set to ON for those low light situations that may need it.
IMAGE SIZE> L 3:2
IMAGE QUALITY> FINE+RAW
DYNAMIC RANGE> AUTO
FILM SIMULATION> STD Provia is my preference. For a more in depth look at Film sim's and tone options, look at my blog post here.
SELF TIMER> OFF
INTERVAL TIMER SHOOTING> A very powerful and handy tool thats simple to use and setup. In the first row you select the interval between shots in hours, minutes and seconds. In the second row you select the number of frames and then a new window pops up asking for the start time. If you just hit the OK button the time-lapse will start, otherwise you can set the start time for later.
WHITE BALANCE> If you are an amateur I would suggest you leave this on AUTO. I usually have this on AUTO so my camera is ready to handle any situation as soon as it boots up.
NOTE1: If you are a pro on a working assignment I would recommend you select the right value for the shoot. It’s not important to be exact, but rather consistent. This will help later during both selection and post. During the selection process it will be easier to judge keepers with a common WB and in post it will be easier to change WB in a uniform manner across multiple images.
NOTE2: The CUSTOM setting is useful when in difficult low light situations. Once selected a large rectangle shows up on the screen which you point at a neutral color (white, grey or black) such as a sheet of A4 paper and press the shutter – immediately you will see the WB change to the technically correct value. Of course you can always change the technically correct WB later in post processing if you desire to change the mood of the image.
SHARPNESS> 0 for prime shooters. (Personally I leave this at 0 since shooting primes wide open gives sharp results. My recommendation for those shooting zooms is to try +1)
HIGHLIGHT TONE> -2
SHADOW TONE> 0
NOTE: For a more in depth look at Film sim's and tone options, look at my blog post here.
NOISE REDUCTION> -2 (I highly recommend to all Fuji users to set this to -2, since Fuji's NR can result in unrealistic plastic looking skin).
LONG EXPOSURE NR> OFF (I leave this off and will use it only when I start noticing that its really needed).
LENS MODULATION OPTIMIZER> ON
SELECT CUSTOM SETTINGS> Fuji offers seven custom setting slots for saving different settings for different shooting needs. Shame you can’t name them.
EDIT/SAVE CUSTOM SETTING> Personally I don't use them since they just complicate things instead of simplifying my photography.
MOUNT ADAPTER SETTING> Here you can save all your manual focusing lenses. If you can’t find a corresponding size, just pick one you don’t need and reenter the size you want. In the 50mm slot, LENS 5, I have set 12mm for my Samyang lens.
SHOOT WITHOUT LENS> OFF NOTE: This needs to be set to ON if you want the camera to be able to use lenses without a chip for communication. So if you plan on using any kind of adapter for mounting lenses other than Fujinon, then you will need to set this to ON. I only set this to ON when actually ready to put on a non Fuji lens such as my 12mm Samyang or an aftermarket lens adapter.
MF ASSIST> Fuji cameras are an excellent tool for using any kind of lens manually. There are 3 options for how the MF ASSIST option can help. Out of the 3 options the one I like best is FOCUS PEAK HIGHLIGHT. The STANDARD option is very basic and DSLR like and the Split image is not that easy to use since the split is a bit hard to distinguish unless framing a flat surface - maybe useful for architectural photographers. The FOCUS PEAK HIGHLIGHT option on the other hand is great for anyone wanting to nail focus quickly and with a great deal of precision. I personally select the RED(LOW) option.
AE/AF-LOCK MODE> I personally don’t use these buttons since switching to Fuji so I leave them as is on the PRESSING option. I have so much control with the dials on top of the camera that I don’t need the lock modes, though I’m sure they can be handy to some. You get two choices, AE&AF ON WHEN PRESSING or AE&AF ON/OFF SWITCH. They are pretty much self explanatory, take your pick.
AF-LOCK MODE> Just like above, take your pick, I personally leave this on AF LOCK ONLY.
FLASH MODE> Plenty of choices here. Select between AUTO, FORCED FLASH, SLOW SYNCRO, 2ND CURTAIN, COMMANDER and SUPPRESSED FLASH. My choice is AUTO.
FLASH COMPENSATION> From habit, I will most probably be setting this to -1 stop.
RED EYE REMOVAL> OFF
MOVIE SETUP>MOVIE MODE> 1920X1080 60FPS
MOVIE SETUP>MIC LEVEL ADJUSTMENT> 2
MOVIE SETUP>MIC/REMOTE RELEASE> If using an aftermarket release that uses the MIC port, you'll need to set this to REMOTE.
IS MODE> I have noticed better results in the finished image when selecting SHOOTING ONLY plus I like it better this way since it interferes less with my viewing and I have a feeling it may even conserve some power.
NOTE: This option will be grayed out unless you have a lens attached that actually offers OIS.
WIRELESS COMMUNICATION> Just connect using my How to article here
APERTURE SETTING> This option will be available only if you have an XC series lens mounted or an XF series lens that doesn't offer an aperture ring such as the XF 27mm f/2.8. If no such lens is mounted on the camera, then this option will be grayed out and not available.
AF+MF> If you select this option to YES you will get manual focus override while in AF mode. You half press the shutter to autofocus on your subject and then if you desire so, you can fine tune the focus with the manual focus ring while still having the shutter half depressed. This is a nice touch for those who may be experiencing AF issues, whether in low light or not, otherwise leave it OFF. If you are thinking we already had this, you are not that wrong since the AF-L button in Manual focus mode gave us instant AF when needed. But there is a major difference you need to be aware off. In Manual Focus mode the scene is viewed with the aperture wide-open making FOCUS PEAKING real easy. Instead in AF+MF mode, the scene viewed through the EVF is shown with the selected working aperture engaged which means you will be manually trying to pin point your focus with a smaller aperture – not easy but maybe a great option for landscapers who would like to evaluate DOF.
INTERLOCK SPOT AE & FOCUS AREA> Select ON to have the spot metering sensor tag along the AF area position so whatever you focus on is also your spot metering sample! (as long as Spot is selected as the metering of choice).
SETUP MENU (BLUE)
TIME DIFFERENCE> If you are traveling to another part of the planet, this feature allows you to add the time difference required for your destination of travel.
LANG.> If you don’t select English, the camera may explode LOL
RESET> If you require to ever reset your camera this is the place to do it. Select SHOOTING MENU RESET> OK and then SETUP RESET>OK. Resetting both menus will basically reset all options back to their factory default without affecting Date, Time and Language.
SOUND & FLASH OFF> If you think this is for you then select ON. But double think about what you are disabling with this option. Unfortunately apart from all sounds, this mode will also disable all flash capabilities together with the focus illuminator. I highly recommend you leave this set to OFF unless you really know what you need it for. This was previously labelled the SILENT mode.
SOUND SET-UP>SOUND SETUP>OPERATING VOLUME> & SHUTTER VOLUME> I like to be able to hear what the camera is doing so I set both OPERATION and SHUTTER to the lowest level possible but not OFF. Some prefer total silence, but I find it difficult to work sufficiently with no sound whatsoever.
SOUND SET-UP>SOUND SETUP> SHUTTER SOUND> 2
SOUND SET-UP>PLAYBACK VOL> Level 5
NOTE: After 1 year of use, I have come to the conclusion that my biggest energy saving option is this one. I get well over 500 shots with a fully charged Fujifilm battery. Everyone who has contacted me complaining about low battery performance usually has this option set to display the image just taken.
SCREEN SETUP>EVF AUTOROTATE DISPLAYS> At first I wasn’t to keen on this, maybe because I was still accustomed to my optical viewfinders traditional behavior but now I have this feature turned ON.
SCREEN SETUP>PREVIEW EXP. WB IN MANUAL MODE> I like this feature a lot and have it always selected (EXP/WB). The EVF shows an approximation of the final image and its a really nice feature. 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. This is now easily done since you can program a Fn button for this.
(For more info check out the WYSIWYG section below)
SCREEN SETUP>EVF BRIGHTNESS> 0
SCREEN SETUP>EVF COLOR> 0
SCREEN SETUP>LCD BRIGHTNESS> 0
SCREEN SETUP>LCD COLOR> 0
SCREEN SETUP>PREVIEW PIC EFFECT> ON (For more info check out the WYSIWYG section below)
SCREEN SETUP>FRAMING GUIDELINE> GRID 9
SCREEN SETUP>AUTOROTATE PB> Since I don’t mind twisting the camera to view vertical shots I leave this option to OFF simply because I prefer to utilize the whole screen.
SCREEN SETUP>BACKGROUND COLOR> GOLD
SCREEN SETUP>FOCUS CHECK> When set to ON and using Fujinon lenses in manual focus mode, then as soon as you move the focusing ring, the view in the EVF/LCD will be magnified which will make it easier to judge and nail focus. Unfortunately when using non-Fujinon lenses (either Fuji mount or via adapter) the view didn't magnify as expected so I had to remember to press the Focus Assist button to get the same effect manualy. With this option set to OFF you loose the auto magnify function on Fujinon lenses but you gain by using the same Focus Assist button for both Fujinon and non-Fujimon lenses. Personally when I first got the camera I had this set to ON, but I have since changed to the OFF setting since I use a lot of non-Fujinon lenses and prefer to use the same magnification button when manual focusing.
SCREEN SETUP>FOCUS SCALE UNITS> METERS
FRAMING GUIDELINE> OFF
ELECTRONIC LEVEL> OFF
FOCUS FRAME> ON
AF DISTANCE INDICATOR> OFF
MF DISTANCE INDICATOR> OFF
NOTE: When I first got the X-T1 I had this set to ON, mostly from habit of being a DSLR user. But now that I have lived with the X-T1’s WYSIWYG EVF for nearly a year I have come to realize that for my people photography the histogram is now redundant. I now know that a representation of my pixels on a graph is not needed since the WYSIWYG view is more than enough to judge exposure. On the other hand landscapers may find it useful to have it on simply because they often push the boundaries of the cameras dynamic range, so for them, the more precision they can get, the better!
SHOOTING MODE> ON
EXP. COMPENSATION> ON
SCREEN SETUP>DISP. CUSTOM SETTING>SHUTTER TYPE
SCREEN SETUP>DISP. CUSTOM SETTING> FLASH> OFF
SCREEN SETUP>DISP. CUSTOM SETTING>CONTINUOUS MODE
SCREEN SETUP>DISP. CUSTOM SETTING>DUAL IS MODE
SCREEN SETUP>DISP. CUSTOM SETTING> WHITE BALANCE> OFF
SCREEN SETUP>DISP. CUSTOM SETTING> FILM SIMULATION> OFF
SCREEN SETUP>DISP. CUSTOM SETTING> DYNAMIC RANGE> OFF
SCREEN SETUP>DISP. CUSTOM SETTING> FRAMES REMAINING> ON
SCREEN SETUP>DISP. CUSTOM SETTING> IMAGE SIZE/QUALITY> OFF
SCREEN SETUP>DISP. CUSTOM SETTING> MOVIE MODE
SCREEN SETUP>DISP. CUSTOM SETTING> BATTERY LEVEL> ON
SCREEN SETUP>DISP. CUSTOM SETTING> BLUR WARNING
BUTTON/DIAL SETTING>SELECTOR BUTTON SETTING> This is where the magic happens. Select FOCUS AREA and your D-pad buttons are locked for AF point selection.
BUTTON/DIAL SETTING>AE-L/AF-L BUTTON SETTING> This function allows you to switch the positions of the AE-L and AF-L buttons. I leave this At its default
ISO DIAL SETTING> I leave this as is H1:12800, H2:25600. If you are a paparazzi using an X-T1 then this might be of interest to you, though with no long telephoto available I doubt you would be using this camera!
FOCUS RING> CW (Clockwise)
POWER MANAGEMENT>AUTO POWER OFF> 2MIN
POWER MANAGEMENT>HIGH PERFORMANCE> 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 and they seem more than adequate for my usage. The way I have set up the camera and the way I use it with little playback usage, I get about 500 shots per battery.
SENSOR CLEANING>WHEN SWITCHED ON> OFF
SENSOR CLEANING>WHEN SWITCHED OFF> My preference here is to select ON. I have found that this feature helps in a big way to keep the sensor as clean as possible.
SAVE DATA SETUP>FRAME NO> CONTINUOUS
SAVE DATA SETUP>SAVE ORG. IMAGE> OFF
SAVE DATA SETUP>EDIT FILE NAME> Now we have the ability to add a meaningful file name to our images.
COLOR SPACE> If you don’t know the answer to this, then set it to sRGB, end of subject. The Adobe RGB option is for those photographers who insist on tagging JPEG files with such a color space.
NOTE1: Fuji’s RAW file is just raw data that can be put into a certain color space later when in your favorite RAW converter.
NOTE2: Your choice of color space (sRGB or Adobe RGB) will affect the way your images are displayed on the rear LCD and EVF. I leave this to sRGB.
CONN SETTING>WIRELESS SETTINGS>GENERAL SETTINGS> RESET WIRELESS SETTING
CONN SETTING>WIRELESS SETTINGS>RESIZE IMAGE FOR SMARTPHONE(3MB)> ON
CONN SETTING>WIRELESS SETTINGS>PC AUTO SAVE SETTINGS>
CONN SETTING>PC AUTO SAVE SETTINGS>SIMPLE SETUP>
CONN SETTING>PC AUTO SAVE SETTINGS>MANUAL SETUP>
CONN SETTING>GEOTAGGING SETUP>GEOTAGGING> ON
CONN SETTING>GEOTAGGING SETUP>LOCATION INFO> ON
CONN SETTING>INSTAX PRINTER CONNECTION SETTING> ON
USB MODE> MTP(PTP), PCSHOOT AUTO, PC SHOOT FIXED
LOCK>FUNCTION SELECTION> Here you can select which functions to lock FOCUS MODE SELECTOR, APERTURE, SHUTTER SPEED, ISO DIAL, EXP. COMP.DIAL, DRIVE DIAL, METERING DIAL, O.I.S.SWITCH, PROGRAM SHIFT, Q BUTTON, VIEW MODE BUTTON, DISP, AE-L, AF-L, FOCUS ASSIST BUTTON, MOVIE RECORD BUTTON, Fn1, Fn2, Fn3, Fn4, Fn5, Fn6, AF MODE, FACE DETECTION, WHITE BALANCE, FILM SIMULATION, OTHER SHOOTING MENU, FORMAT, ERASE, DATE/TIME/TIME DIFF, RESET, SILENT MODE, SOUND SETUP, SCREEN SETUP, COLOR SPACE and finally OTHER SETUP MENU. Wow, what a long list!
NOTE: Be careful if you use this function. I'm already seeing plenty of requests for help from users who found their cameras behaving strangely after the update only to find out that that had locked certain features which obviously would render some dials as non-functioning!
FORMAT> I recommend you format your card in-camera before every shooting session!
- AUTOFOCUS SETTING>FOCUS AREA> Size 2 for primes & precision, Size 4 for zooms & speed
- AUTOFOCUS SETTING>AF MODE> SINGLE POINT
- AUTOFOCUS SETTING>PRE-AF> OFF
- LONG EXPOSURE NR> OFF
- IS MODE> SHOOTING ONLY
- INTERLOCK SPOT AE & FOCUS AREA> ON
- POWER MANAGEMENT>HIGH PERFORMANCE> ON
- SENSOR CLEANING>WHEN SWITCHED OFF> ON
- BUTTON/DIAL SETTING>FUNCTION (Fn) SETTING>Fn1> FACE DETECTION
- BUTTON/DIAL SETTING>FUNCTION (Fn) SETTING>Fn2> PREV.EXP/WB MANUAL
- BUTTON/DIAL SETTING>SELECTOR BUTTON SETTING> FOCUS AREA
OTHER SETUP FEATURES
Here you have the following 4 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. We also get 4 options for the rear LCD: INFO DISPLAY, STANDARD, INFORMATION OFF and CUSTOM. Hit the DISP BACK button to scroll through the different displays and pick your favorite one. I'm finding that I use the INFO DISPLAY the most, next CUSTOM and third STANDARD. The INFORMATION OFF is hardly used. Do note, that the way I have set up the camera, I can quickly switch from selecting AF points with the rear D-pad to Face Detection just by pressing the Fn1 button. Continuous AF on the X-T1 can seem strange at first. When you half press the shutter release and wait for a clear picture in the viewfinder don’t be surprised if you don’t get it! It was worse in firmware version 1.00, the picture in the EVF would stutter. This was baptized aperture dance because it had something to do with the aperture blades. If you become witness to this phenomenon don’t pause, just press the shutter all the way and take the sequence, I’m sure all your shots will be fine. All your Shooting menu decisions, including the color profile you’ll select (sRGB or Adobe RGB) will affect the way your shots are displayed on the rear LCD and EVF.
SCREEN SETUP>PREVIEW EXP. WB IN MANUAL MODE> OFF
SCREEN SETUP>PREVIEW PIC EFFECT> OFF
With both options turned off you get a low contrast and smooth view of the scene with good shadow detail. The only change you will notice is that of flickering while the EVF/LCD tries to balance the light level as you point the camera from a dark scene to a lighter scene or vice versa. I can’t think of anyone using this, but for Fuji to give us this option, then obviously some group asked for it, maybe manual focus users. Note that in this mode using the exposure compensation dial will affect the image shown in the EVF/LCD.
SCREEN SETUP>PREVIEW EXP. WB IN MANUAL MODE> EXP.WB
SCREEN SETUP>PREVIEW PIC EFFECT>OFF
With exposure and WB turned on and picture effects off, we get to see the effects of any exposure changes plus our choice of WB. What we don’t see are the effects of the Film simulations or other image adjustments that are found in the menu such as shadow and highlight tone etc. Note that the neutral color effect seen is the same for all color film simulations. If you select a BW simulation, you get a neutral monochrome effect for all BW simulations and Sepia gets a neutral effect of its own. Note that in this mode using the exposure compensation dial will affect the light level of the EVF/LCD.
SCREEN SETUP>PREVIEW EXP. WB IN MANUAL MODE> EXP.WB
SCREEN SETUP>PREVIEW PIC EFFECT> ON
With both options active we get to see all changes in the EVF/LCD as they will affect the final outcome. This is the WYSIWYG effect that I prefer and love!
Thanks to its mirrorless design the X-T1 is the quietest pro-level camera I have ever used. But even among mirrorless cameras, its mechanical focal plane shutter is so quiet that it’s nearly silent. If thats not quiet enough for you, you can choose to go completely and totally silent thanks to the full electronic shutter that can work in place of its mechanical counterpart.
For starters ES is not recommended for fast moving subjects due to the rolling shutter phenomenon. So don't use ES mode to freeze fast action. This is because the electronic shutter scans the image horizontally across the sensor in thick strips, which in some cases may even deform your moving subject.
Secondly because of the way the exposure is taken (line by line) like a fast scanning process, most flickering light sources (eg: fluorescent, mercury, sodium etc) may produce unpleasant results with visible and obtrusive banding or even fogging effects. Under a continuous light source such as daylight, the electronic shutter works fine on static or slow moving subjects.
INCOMPATIBLE WITH FLASH
Last but not least, in ES mode you can't use flash. You have to be in Mechanical or Mechanical+Electronic shutter mode for flash to work. This practically means that ES is not a sensible choice for the studio or any assignment that would require flashes, strobes or triggers.
At this point I would like to point out that the electronic shutter is performing just fine especially for the majority of subjects that we may come across. Obviously, if you shoot a spinning fan or get someone to wave his hands fast enough close to the lens, then you may get the rolling shutter effect but otherwise for the majority of everyday subjects we shouldn’t have a problem. I have tried (not too hard ) to get the rolling shutter effect by shooting people walking, moving traffic, fast paced trams, pigeons in flight etc but all my shots so far so no signs of rolling shutter. So this new attribute is a big welcome to my Fuji X-T1.
SO WHY USE ES?
The big reason why so many of us Fuji users were and still are excited about the electronic shutter is that now we are able to use wide open apertures in daylight without the need for an ND filter. The second reason is that an electronic shutter is completely silent - a big plus for many paying assignments in super quiet environments! You have been warned about the drawback of electronic shutters so don’t rush to blame Fuji for a weak product, though I’m predicting that there are going to be many such cases on the forums.