A Beginner’s Guide to Fujifilm X Series Camera – User Preset Custom Settings

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There’s this feature in Fujifilm X series camera which I believe is least being used by most. However, I find this feature to be a pretty useful feature which speed up my workflow. It’s called the “Custom Setting”. You can edit the custom setting by heading to menu, then scroll down and look for “edit/save custom setting”. From there you can edit and save your personal preferred setting individually for up to 7 custom settings.

Items that you can predefined in custom settings include:

ISO
Dynamic Range
Film Simulation
White Balance
Color
Sharpness
Highlight Tone
Shadow Tone
Noise Reduction

By now you may realized that these are the parameters that affect the in-camera JPEG processing. Hence, the custom setting is particularly useful for those who shoot JPEG only or RAW + JPEG. I have all 7 custom settings set to different film simulations, and for each film simulation I have a set of adjustment predefined. So when I want to shoot in Astia for example, all I need to do is press the Q button, select the custom setting that stored the film simulation and the adjustment profile, and I’m ready to start shooting. When I want to switch to another simulation, instead of pressing the short cut button on the D-pad, all I need to do is just press the Q and switch the custom settings.

Using the custom setting as a way to change your film simulation gives a few advantages:

  1. It frees up the D-pad, so I can assign direct AF point adjustment function to it
  2. I can ensure consistency on the output of my picture with certain style that I want (such as high contrast fir monochrome image and etc)
  3. Faster workflow for JPEG shooting. Most of the shooting adjustment has already been predefined by you, and if there’s any changes required to be made in the field, it can be done easily and much faster (consider the fact that you may want to change more than one parameter)
  4. Free up spaces in the Q menu. For camera which allows customization of Q menu, having some parameters predefined and stored in the custom setting allows you to remove those parameters from the Q menu and replace with something else. Hence, less hassle to dive into the menu system.
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I hope I had brought my idea across… It’s not an easy topic to explain. Nevertheless, here are the 7 custom settings that I used in my X camera:

Custom 1:

ISO: Auto (200-6400)
Dynamic Range: Auto
Film Simulation: Velvia
White Balance: Auto or 5600K
Color: +1
Sharpness: +1
Highlight Tone: -1
Shadow Tone: -1
Noise Reduction: -1

Custom 2:

ISO: Auto (200-6400)
Dynamic Range: Auto
Film Simulation: Provia (Standard)
White Balance: Auto
Color: +1
Sharpness: +1
Highlight Tone: -1
Shadow Tone: -1
Noise Reduction: -1

Custom 3:

ISO: Auto (200-3200)
Dynamic Range: Auto
Film Simulation: Pro Neg Hi
White Balance: Auto
Color: +1
Sharpness: +1
Highlight Tone: -1
Shadow Tone: -1
Noise Reduction: -1

Custom 4:

ISO: Auto (200-6400)
Dynamic Range: Auto
Film Simulation: Monochrome
White Balance: Auto
Color: 0
Sharpness: +1
Highlight Tone: +2
Shadow Tone: +2
Noise Reduction: -1

Custom 5:

ISO: Auto (200-6400)
Dynamic Range: Auto
Film Simulation: Monochrome + Red Filter
White Balance: Auto
Color: 0
Sharpness: +1
Highlight Tone: +1
Shadow Tone: +2
Noise Reduction: -1

Custom 6:

ISO: Auto (200-3200)
Dynamic Range: Auto
Film Simulation: Astia
White Balance: Auto
Color: +1
Sharpness: +1
Highlight Tone: -1
Shadow Tone: -1
Noise Reduction: -1

Custom 7:

ISO: Auto (200-6400)
Dynamic Range: Auto
Film Simulation: Classic Chrome
White Balance: Auto
Color: +1
Sharpness: +1
Highlight Tone: -1
Shadow Tone: +1
Noise Reduction: -1

As such, I have remove items like colour, sharpness, highlight tone and shadow tone from the Q menu and replaced with other items such as flash control, face detection on/off and etc. you may also realized that for Astia and Pro Neg Hi, my ISO is limited to only 3200, which is the maximum acceptable ISO for shooting portrait in JPEG for me. Of course these are just some of my preference, and feel free to play around with those adjustment and find the best presets that suits your style.

P/S: If you are shooting RAW, this whole thing may not benefit you much at all. But I still find that it’s good to be able to view the picture when I shoot with my personal presets, as this give me an idea on how my picture will turn out in post processing as well.

Credits: This useful technique was first taught by X Photographer, Keith Low during one of his workshop. I have tweaked the settings to my own liking, which is slightly different from his sharing during the workshop.

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