A Beginner’s Guide to Fujifilm X Series Camera – Display Custom Setting

Source: Fujifilm Official Website
As much as possible I would like to keep my LCD or EVF as clean and empty from any clutter or distraction. However, some information is still essential to be shown in my opinion. To setup your EVF/LCD screen on what information to be shown, go to “Menu”, scroll to “Set-up” and look for “Screen Setup”, then select “Disp. Custom Setting”.

For me, “Histogram” will always be on. It gives me a quick glance on the overall exposure of the scene, whether or not I have clipped the highlight or shadow too much and adjust my settings accordingly. When shooting landscape, histogram will be useful to employ the “expose to the right” method to ensure as much usable data is being captured for post processing later. Talking about shooting landscape, you may want to activate the “Electronic Level” too to ensure your horizon is levelled.

For those who just started shooting, feel free to activate the “Framing Guideline” (such as the rule of third frame line) to assist you in learning how to compose an image using the basic composition rule. Once you get familiar with composition, feel free to turn it off if you find the frame lines distracting.

If you want to do zone focusing or manual focusing with your lens, activate the “MF Distance Indicator” and it will show you that at current Aperture and focusing distance, how large will be the depth of field (or in other words, how much of your picture/subject will be in focus). If you wan to see the same thing when you are using AF, just activate the “AF Distance Indicator”.

These are a few items which I find useful. Feel free to explore and customize your own camera to your shooting style.

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.

A Beginner’s Guide to Fujifilm X Series Camera – Introduction

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I’m planning to write something about the Fujifilm X Series camera. It doesn’t matter whether you are using top of the line X-Pro1 or X-T1, entry level X-M or X-A series, mid range camera such as X-T10 or X-E series, high end compact X100 series, or point and shoot like X10/20/30 or XQ/XF series, I’ll try to have my guide as generic as possible so that it covers most, if not all of the X series camera.This will merely just be my sharing of my standard practice, what works and what’s not for me, and my experience of using the camera as an average hobbyist. I switched to Fujifilm from my previous Canon setup, therefore there’s quite a bit of learning to get a hang over the X camera. For those who just started your journey with an X camera, perhaps the coming articles will be helpful to shorten your learning curve.

Till then. Happy shooting.

Why I sold my X100S and why I might get it back again

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After using my Fujifilm X-E2 for awhile, I find that I’m actually wanting something a little more compact with same image quality for those occasions when I just want to travel light and focus more on shooting. Naturally, I got myself the X100S (this happened in early 2014) as it fits every single requirement that I need.
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For some, they choose to have X100 series camera as their only camera. For me, I can’t live with it and only it just yet, as I still shoot a lot of landscapes and I really need to go wide. So I’ve chosen it to become something like my second camera or second body, complimenting my X-E2 and lenses.
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Initially I shoot a lot with the X100S the moment I bought it. So much until I almost left out my X-E2. Yes, the X100 series camera is a joy to shoot with, really. It still has it’s own shortcomings though. The OVF, though it is good to have, but it’s barely usable. You can’t know for sure how your frame will turn out to be, and you got no idea what is the camera focusing on either. Most of the time, I ended up using the EVF more as it is more accurate and easier to manage.
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Another issue arises when I decided to swap between the X100S and my X-E2 during my shooting. The button layout is different. Yes, and it annoys me when pressing the “down” button on one camera allow AF area adjustment, while I have to press the “up” button on the other to do the same. Really? It seems like the R&D engineer for the two products did not communicate to each other, or they are just testing different layout and see which works. To some, they can live with it, but for me, I get annoyed and once I’m annoyed I can’t love it that much anymore. Yup, I’m just those kind of emotional person.
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After some times, and due to some other reasons that made me decided to streamline my photography gears, I sold off the X100S, and later on my X-E2 and got myself the X-T1 instead. So, does this means goodbye forever to X100 series camera? Well, not really. There’s still that urge deep in my heart to own it back, simply because it is really a great camera for everyday use, street shooting, travel light and the list goes on and on.
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Seriously, what is it not to like about the X100 series camera? Silent leaf shutter, high speed sync flash, rather compact, cool retro look, hybrid OVF/EVF… It’s a very capable camera in a small package. Given that the newly released X100T has very much addressed all the quirks I complained about, even myself was tempted to get one. Anyway, it’s not a “must have” for me at the moment. I’ll stick to my one body setup for now and try to harvest as much as possible from it. Perhaps when the rumored X200 come out I’ll pull the trigger to get one 🙂

A User Review of Fujifilm X30 – Part 5: Final Words

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After all the sharing of my user experience, I think a lot of people will still be throwing the question of “should I buy it?”. Well, it really depends on your requirement.

For Pro shooter who is looking for a second camera, you need to decide whether you want a Pro level compact (like the X100 series & Ricoh GR) with emphasis on image quality, or an all rounder that can get almost everything done. If you just want to get lazy once in awhile, shoot for fun, want something convenient and not too shabby in terms of image quality, then perhaps the X30 is a right camera for you.

For those who are looking for “the one and only” camera, you will need to decide whether do you really need a compact camera in the first place. The X30 is not a compact camera, as I have mentioned earlier. It’s a “compact” camera when compared to those like X-E2 and X-T1, but when compared to true compact like X-Q1 or X-F1, the X30 is just… huge. If “pocketability” is what you need, do consider to take a look at X-Q1 which has a faster lens, same sensor and similar features.

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For those who would buy an interchangeable lens camera with kit lens and stick with only the kit lens for the rest of your life… you should consider this kind of camera too. In many ways, “pro-compact” cameras like the X30, Canon G series and Sony RX100 series are not meant to be pocketable in the very first place. They are aimed at those who want the pro features, minus the hassle of lens changing, plus a slightly smaller package for easier traveling. For beginners in photography who still yet to know what camera/system/lens suits you, this is a good place for you to start with. There’re thousand of reasons for this type of camera to exist, so those who say they can’t figure out why Fujifilm creates a camera that’s not pro nor compact, they just didn’t get it.

So, if you have decided to get a “pro-compact”, what are the choices available in the market? Well, Fujifilm offers the X30, Sony offers the RX100 series, Canon offers the PowerShot G series and their new G7X seems promising, and Panasonic has just introduced the LX100 and joins the crowd. There’re plenty of choices, each with their own strengths and weaknesses, which will be the best of them all? Well, go and try out all of them and pick the one that suits you best. That will be the best camera for you.

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The X30, in many ways is a much complete offering compared to X20. Should existing user upgrade? It’s a tuff call, if those features really matter to you, by all means go and buy one now. But I must say the X30 has evolved to become something more… modern, and it has lose some retro-feeling the X20 carries. This is not something bad, but good for one to take note about.

There are some minor quirks in terms of operation, as what I have shared. It would have been better if the lens can go to 24mm at say f1.8. The missing ND filter is rather unacceptable. Fujifilm still needs to work hard to improve the video output quality. Hopefully all these will be addressed in X40, as the competition for “pro-compact” is getting fierce. For most, the improvements in the X30 (better battery life, wifi, EVF and etc.) will probably outweighs some of the quirks, and one will still be able to enjoy the camera fairly well and starts to fall in love with what it offers. For me, though initially impression with the camera was not that great, but after shooting with it for a few weekends, I started to get to know it more and able to deal with it better. All in all, I would certainly recommend those who are considering this type of camera to take a look at what Fujifilm has to offer with the X30. Till then, enjoy shooting and thanks for reading through my lengthy review 🙂

A User Review of Fujifilm X30 – Part 1: Introduction
A User Review of Fujifilm X30 – Part 2: On the Outside
A User Review of Fujifilm X30 – Part 3: On the Inside
A User Review of Fujifilm X30 – Part 4: Sample Shots
A User Review of Fujifilm X30 – Part 5: Final Words