A Beginner’s Guide to Fujifilm X Series Camera – Aperture Priority

I used to be a manual shooter back in the DSLR days. It’s easy to change aperture and shutter speed at the same time (front dial and rear dial movement), but in X series camera, shutter dial is located on top of the camera while aperture control is on the lens itself (or on the camera rear dial for XC lenses). This arrangement is more intuitive, but at the same time causing slightly slower operation, at least to me. That’s when I started to embrace the use of aperture priority in my shooting style. This decision didn’t came overnight to me. Initially I’m still shooting with full manual on my first Fujifilm camera, the X-E2. And I find it a little… Slow… Like what I mentioned just now. After shooting with it for some times, I get more confident on the way the camera performs, on how it meters a scene and so on. Hence, I started shooting with aperture priority mode and the result was good. Since then, aperture priority has become my default shooting mode. I will still shoot full manual when I’m doing my landscaping work.
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Most Fujifilm camera doesn’t come with PASM dials, except those entry level mirrorless body or point and shoot. So how do you set your camera to work in aperture priority? For those with PASM dial, turn the dial to “A” and you are good to go. For those without, turn your shutter dial to “A” which means letting the camera to decide the suitable shutter speed automatically and you are all set. Other than letting the shutter speed in auto, I would also let the ISO to go auto as well. I have two Auto ISO presets in my camera, one ranging from 200 to 6400, while the other range from 200 to 3200, depends on what I’m shooting and what’s my need. When I’m shooting portraiture, I end to limit my ISO at 3200 as anything beyond that I find the noise is a little too much. If you are shooting JPEG, the skin will become a little waxed off.
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With both ISO and Shutter speed running in auto, I just need to focus myself to frame my shots, decide the depth of field by adjusting the aperture on the go and shoot. There are moments when I need a faster or slower shutter speed than the suggested value at a given aperture I have set, so I’ll just turn the shutter speed dial to override it while the ISO will automatically compensate for it. Overall, my shooting flow has become more fluid and I can react to changes as quickly as possible. Hope my sharing will help you in setting up your camera to suit for shooting style. For those who shoot in full auto mode, is time to take control over your picture, and I believe aperture priority is the easiest way to start with.

Note: Those who use XF lenses it’s easy to change your aperture setting as there’s an aperture ring on the lens. For XC lenses, aperture can be changed via the rear dial. Something to take note by regular XF lenses user who got stunned by the fact that there’s no aperture ring on the XC lenses.

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