A Beginner’s Guide to Fujifilm X Series Camera – Film Simulations

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I’m not really an expert to discuss film simulation here. Anyway, here are a few links for you to read up and compare the difference between different film simulation:

http://www.fujivsfuji.com/film-simulation-modes-compared/

http://fujifilm-blog.com/tag/film-simulation/

For general shooting I’ll stick to Provia. Occasionally when I do streets or documentary kinda style, I’ll go for Monochrome or Classic Chrome. When shooting portraiture, my preference leans towards Pro Neg Hi or Astia. Well, these are just my “usual” preferences. Of course there are times when I’ll do the unusual such as shooting landscape in Monochrome + Red filter and etc. Velvia is not my preferred film simulation, somehow… Occasionally I’ll use it when I shoot landscape or nature, but most of the time I’ll end up toning down the colour saturation as often I just find them too overwhelming. Again, these are my preferences, do try out all the simulation and see which one works best for you.

If you shoot RAW, you can convert into different film simulation in-camera via the in-camera RAW converter. Otherwise, you can decide later in Photoshop or Lightroom when you import your RAW files (Note that you don’t get to change the film simulation if you import the Jpeg files). If you are shooting JPEG only and you are not sure which film simulation works best, what can be done? There’s this function in Drive Mode called “Film Simulation Bracketing”. Once activated, the same scene will be shot with 3 different film simulations that you have predefined. You can select the one that works for you later on.

Film simulation is one of the reason why I was lured to use Fujifilm camera. Hope you enjoy using it as much as I do. Till then.

Something I like about Fujifilm – Film Simulation

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Pro Negative High
From a long time Canon user, I jumped ship overnight to the Fujifilm camp. What’s the reason you may asked, well, the answer is: many. Today I’ll just talk about one of the reasons why I like to use Fujifilm camera: their superb film simulation software.

In the early days of my photography, I just shoot and share straight out of camera Jpeg. Later on, I started to play with simple (and free) editing software such as photoscape (I still use this software once in awhile) to do some simple editing such as add vignette and put in some filter simulation.
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Classic Chrome
When I got myself the Canon PowerShot G12, I started to shoot only Raw and edit the pictures with Canon supplied DPP software. There’re more adjustments can be made, but the software is pretty limiting in terms of altering the feel of the picture and adding filter presets (maybe I was too noob to fully utilize it back then).

This brings me to the next step of editing… Lightroom. I think this happened around the era when I’m using the Canon PowerShot G1X. So I continue to shoot Raw and edit in Lightroom. The basic presets in Lightroom is pretty… basic, so I ended up spending more time in searching for free presets online, but the result is not very consistent as not all presets are suitable for all situations and file types.

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Monochrome
Editing has slowly become more of a pain when I experimenting Photoshop during my DSLR era. I just cannot understand and making full use of the software, too complicated, haha. However, things get a little different when I started my journey with Fujifilm.

Fujifilm X series camera features a software function called “film simulation”. They are basically various types of “presets” that apply on your picture to replicate the colour and look of film print, namely Provia, Velvia, Astia, Pro Negative, Monochrome, Sepia and Classic Chrome. For people who don’t like to spend too much time in front of computer editing like me, this is like a savior.

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Velvia
Other camera makers do have some sort of “profile” or “preset” built in, usually will be those like vivid, high contrast and so on. Well, they sort of get the job done, but not as elegant as what Fujifilm has achieved. My workflow has changed quite a bit after using Fujifilm camera. I’m shooting Raw+Jpeg now, and whenever I feel that the Jpeg is good enough, I’ll just use it and share it. If not, I’ll try adjusting using VSCO app on my iPhone with the Jpeg files. If I got something else on my mind, then I’ll work on the Raw files later on back home with Lightroom. Basically, my time spent on a computer editing the pictures has greatly reduced. And that simply means I got more time to actually go out and shoot!

I can also shoot in Raw, then do the conversion in camera to my desired film simulation. There’s also an option to shoot “film simulation bracketing”, which simply just took 3 shots of the same scene with 3 different film simulation. I’m looking forward to see what other film simulations will Fujifilm add in to their cameras in the future.