X100 User Setup Preferences

Discussion in 'Fuji X100 Forum' started by Streetshooter, May 2, 2011.

  1. Streetshooter

    Streetshooter Administrator Emeritus S.C. Charter Member

    Jul 12, 2010
    Philly, Pa
    Please post on this thread any setup ideas you have with your camera.
    It would be good to also explain how you are working and how you found different things.
    Thanks, Don
     
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  2. soundimageplus

    soundimageplus SC Top Veteran S.C. Charter Member

    578
    Jul 6, 2010
    Firstly, on Rays advice, I have it on quick start, and have turned off the power save, which means either the display or viewfinder is on all the time. Drains the battery, but there's none of the very slow waking from sleep.

    I have Raw + Fine jpg. Velvia film mode. I change the aperture manually on the lens, and select the ISO speed manually also, via the function button. Silent shutter function. AF I have set to centre spot. Metering centre weighted.

    OVF is on permanently, with just the basic setup. No grid lines etc. The rear screen is also on the simple setting with minimum info on the display. This lets me take the picture and check it on the screen. Then put my eye back to the viewfinder and the OVF frame is there again.

    The only time I change from this is if I have to engage macro mode when I have to use the EVF. This is basically the closest I get to how I've always worked with other cameras. I am of course a real expert having used the camera for all of 4 days!!! So perhaps those who have used it longer have more insight.
     
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  3. BBW

    BBW Administrator Emeritus S.C. Charter Member

    Jul 7, 2010
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    Thanks David, your expertise is noted - and really is appreciated very much. I'm sure I'll fool around with a few things as for screen info, but generally I always think I don't want a lot of stuff on there. From the looks of your 4 days, you're doing wonderfully with this camera.
     
  4. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs SC Legend Subscribing Member

    Sep 21, 2010
    Not too far from Philly
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    you should be able to figure it out...
    I think the key things that just plain make the camera work better are the power management settings David talked about above. The camera has a reputation for being slow to start, very slow to wake from sleep, and very slow to write data to the card. So, first, get a good fast card (I read a comparison and the SanDisk Extreme Pro seemed to test the best and its working well for me) and make sure its formatted by the camera. Next, turn off all energy management features, such as an automatic sleep time and the energy saver mode and OVF energy saver mode (I forget what they're called, but easy enough to spot). And turn ON the quick startup mode. Then just leave the camera on while you're shooting and turn it off for breaks of more than a minute or two. When you switch it back on it will start up a LOT faster than if you let it go to sleep and then try to wake it up. The cost for all of this is battery capacity, so carry an extra. Or two.

    Everything else is kind of what suits your taste. I'm finding that leaving the ISO on auto most of the time works really well because its sooooo good through the ISO range, at least up to 3200. If you have dynamic range set to 200% or 400%, the auto ISO will play some tricks on you in terms of using insane low iso settings (like 800 in good light sometimes!). I prefer fewer tricks, so I leave dynamic range set to 100%. In really changing light situations, I'll occasionally turn off auto ISO and assign the fn key to ISO, but I'm not finding the need to do this often personally. If they had the ISO menu set up as one menu with AUTO as one option on the menu, I'd switch back and forth between auto and specific manual settings more often, but as is, I'm generally either gonna leave it in auto for a shoot or leave it in manual the whole time.

    I'm also using the Velvia film mode most of the time, but in some situations its just a little TOO saturated, so I'll put the film types on the fn button and switch as needed. When Apple comes up with RAW support for this camera, I'll see about shooting raw, which I do with all of my other cameras. But these jpegs are so INSANELY good that I may just leave it in jpeg for the most part and actually use the raw button for the occasional challenging shot. if its set for jpeg and you hit the raw button, it seems to shoot raw+jpeg rather than switching from one to the other. Also, write times are a non-issue with jpeg but a much bigger issue with raw and raw+jpeg - another reason to shoot jpeg more and raw less. And there still seems to be PLENTY of information in the jpegs to do B&W conversions with Silver Efex with plenty of latitude.

    The AEL/AFL button settings are pretty standard - on/off toggle or hold for on and then what does it lock - exposure or AF or both...

    Yesterday I was out shooting in bright light and wanted to go for some motion blur but at 1/15 shutter speed, there was too much light even at iso 200 and f16, so I used the ND filter a fair amount. So for that session I set the FN button to turn the ND filter on and off.

    So, there are at least 3 things I'm using the FN button for - the camera could really use another user-configurable button or two, which should be fixable in a FW update. Please, please, please!

    I'm shooting with the OVF 90+ percent of the time, but I do occasionally use the little lever in front to switch to the evf in low light (it gains up pretty well) and for subjects in the 3-4 foot or closer range to assure that the focus area is focussing on the spot it says it is (the OVF is a problem at near distances in this regard). I sometimes have the gridlines and level turned on and sometimes don't I'm using 1.5 second auto-review and leave my eye up to the OVF - which is the neatest trick I've ever seen when it automatically switches back and forth. That quick second is enough to see if you really screwed something up badly. I'm using the LCD screen almost never except to review a bunch of shots.

    But really, all of this stuff is user preference EXCEPT the energy saver stuff which slows the camera down to an unacceptable degree. So, when you get your camera, set those things asap and you'll be happy enough to play around to see what else you like and don't like.

    I hope you all get your cams soon so you can get past the little niggles and start having fun. Because after a day or three or getting used to the camera, its a pure joy to shoot with.

    -Ray
     
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  5. soundimageplus

    soundimageplus SC Top Veteran S.C. Charter Member

    578
    Jul 6, 2010
    I'm a died-in-the-wool raw man and always have been, but Ray is absolutely right about the X100 jpgs. They are incredibly good. Somehow Fuji have worked out how to get smooth skies with no luminance noise and yet keep everything else sharp. And I mean sharp. I don't mean some sharpening added because they have loaded on the NR and then need to try and get some detail back, with the resulting nasty processed look that many in-camera jpgs have. I have yet to get a raw file looking as good as the jpgs. I've also found that you can recover a hell of lot of shadow detail from these jpgs without adding lots of noise. I had this problem 2 days ago when I shot only jpgs.(Probably because I pressed the raw button) Initially I was disappointed, but the jpgs are so good that I've converted them to .dng files in Photoshop for storage and they still hold up beautifully.

    This is the only camera that I've ever even considered shooting jpg only on, and I've never encountered another that produced such perfect, (and some of them ARE perfect) jpgs. This is one serious sensor, and also to their credit something that Fuji got seriously right.
     
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  6. BBW

    BBW Administrator Emeritus S.C. Charter Member

    Jul 7, 2010
    betwixt and between
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    Appreciate it, Ray!:thumbup:

    Can you explain this a bit more.
    I'm sure it would be - and will be - clear to me if I had the camera in hand.
     
  7. BBW

    BBW Administrator Emeritus S.C. Charter Member

    Jul 7, 2010
    betwixt and between
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    David, thanks to you, too - sorry we both seem to have posted at the same time!

    I picked up on your blog how impressed you've been with the jpegs and am very glad you've commented here, too. Maybe this will turn out to be the one camera where the old adage "Shoot RAW, you fool!" will not necessarily hold true?!:wink:
     
  8. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs SC Legend Subscribing Member

    Sep 21, 2010
    Not too far from Philly
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    you should be able to figure it out...
    Yeah, it WILL be! In the OVF (and evf and lcd, for that matter) you have options for what you see. You can add gridlines and/or you can add an automatic level (it lets you know when you're holding the camera level). Or you can leave all of that information out and just have a really clean looking finder.

    As for the auto-review, its like any other camera in that you can have the shot you just took flash into view right after you take it. You can set it to NOT come on, to come on for a second and a half, for a few seconds, or for continuous, in which case it stays on until you touch a button (a half press of the shutter will turn it off). I usually have it come on for a second and a half. I suspect when I'm doing pure street shooting I'll probably turn it off altogether so I can do quicker consecutive shots. The really cool trick that the X100 does is the same basic evf/ovf switch that the hybrid viewfinder allows for when shooting (ie, use the little switch on the front to switch modes). But in the case of the review, it happens automatically when you're shooting with the OVF. You're looking through this incredibly clear, vivid, bright OVF, you take the shot, and for a second and a half you're looking at the electronic image through the evf, and then it immediately returns you to the OVF to prepared for the next shot. Its kind of an engineering marvel that, once you've used it, you'll totally take for granted within a few hours and you'll want all cameras to be able to do this. But they can't. Oh well...

    -Ray
     
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  9. BBW

    BBW Administrator Emeritus S.C. Charter Member

    Jul 7, 2010
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    Great explanation, thanks Ray.:biggrin: It does sound cool.
     
  10. soundimageplus

    soundimageplus SC Top Veteran S.C. Charter Member

    578
    Jul 6, 2010
    Indeed. I've used some of the Pro Canons and Nikons which claim to (and are reputed) to have great jpgs. As a lot of the press guys use them for speed, its in their interest to make them as good as possible. However try as I might I never could get them looking as good as the raw conversions. Having the opposite problem with the Fuji is both helpful, in terms of saving battery life and speed of processing and disconcerting at the same time. Again its something this camera does that is unexpected, and different.

    I must admit I was a bit skeptical about the "Professional" compact camera image that Fuji promoted so hard particularly on their website, but in some ways they are spot on. I was also thinking when I was using it today, that the menus sort of make sense if you approach them from another direction. There's no point and shoot default fallback on this camera - the one where if things go a bit awry you just hit auto everything and sort it out later. You are almost obliged to set it up before you start shooting. In a way the cameras sitting there waiting to be told what you want it to do and how you want it to work. There has to be a reason for splitting Auto ISO from the ISO selecter. Maybe Fuji think the two things ARE different. The rationale may be that (they think) Auto ISO is for one kind of photographer, whereas ISO selection is used by people who would never want to use Auto. However I think they are wrong with that. I switch between Auto ISO and ISO selection all the time on other cameras depending on what light I'm working with. However its a theory.

    Things like the slow start-up and the battery meter, which someone said goes from full to depleted and shows nothing in between are obviously not professional features, neither is the inability to store lots of the parameters you want in the custom menus. Neither is the camera telling you you're in focus on something close and then happily focusing on something else, without letting you know you need to change to macro mode.(Or does it?)

    But the wonderful sensor, the almost total absence of noise, the OVF and the jpgs are top quality features as is the absence of mountain and someone running pictograms. I wrote on my blog how Fuji have almost produced the great camera that actually fulfilled the hype. They aren't there yet but the more I use it the closer I think they are.
     
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  11. BBW

    BBW Administrator Emeritus S.C. Charter Member

    Jul 7, 2010
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    Well, David, you are certainly fueling my desires - which I am hoping will be met by receiving one of my own in the not too distant future. Being able to read what you, Ray and some of the other fortunate few on here who've already taken delivery and are out using this long awaited camera is a real plus. I also really appreciate reading how thoughts and impressions change as time passes.
     
  12. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs SC Legend Subscribing Member

    Sep 21, 2010
    Not too far from Philly
    Real Name:
    you should be able to figure it out...
    I think there's a method to SOME of their madness (like having the ISO stick for each mode rather than stay with the ISO you're using as you switch between modes - most hate this but some seem to like it and I think either Canon or Nikon does it too). But even IF they assume that one type of photographer uses manual ISO and another type uses AUTO, there's STILL no reason to put them on different menus! And if they really thought that and this camera is intended for the more experienced photographer, why include an auto ISO at all? For aperture, the "auto" option is right there at the end of the aperture range, and for shutter speed its the same way. But not for ISO? Nah - that's just silly.

    Sorry, that was me - should have ID'd myself...

    -Ray
     
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  13. Rich M

    Rich M SC Regular

    162
    May 2, 2011
    Hawaii
    Has anyone figured out the highlight tone.....shadow tone settings? Like what do they do? I am thinking that if one sets the highlight tone to "soft"....it will reduce the clipping....maybe? :confused:

    R
     
  14. BBW

    BBW Administrator Emeritus S.C. Charter Member

    Jul 7, 2010
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    Rich, wish I could help you out but I've never fooled around with in camera settings much before...so I have another question to ask.

    **What I meant to ask about was "Dynamic Range". I'm unclear on this - anyone want to translate for the layperson?


    I'm going to start out with jpeg and RAW and see how it goes...and hope to get some learning done today. Now that I have the camera - and finally updated the firmware last night, I hope to actually take and make some photos.
     
  15. Streetshooter

    Streetshooter Administrator Emeritus S.C. Charter Member

    Jul 12, 2010
    Philly, Pa
    I'm unclear about Dynamic Range. I have it at 100% now..BB...
    What is it's effect and does it work in Raw only?
     
  16. BBW

    BBW Administrator Emeritus S.C. Charter Member

    Jul 7, 2010
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    Setting the AEL/AFL button for locking exposure

    OK, I set my AFL/AEL button to be what I thought was on for locking exposure...but I never saw any indication as to its being on...and it didn't appear to work. I just went back into "the wrench" menu and now have set it so that the AE-L AE/AF-Lock Mode to "AE & AF On/Off switch" (S) which I think makes it work, as opposed to "AE & AF on when pressing" (P) because now I can see an "EL" lit up on the screen, etc. In addition I set the AE/AF - Lock Button to AE-L. Does this all make sense to those of you who have this camera. I know it's a bunch of acronyms....but I'm trying to be as specific as I can be. Sometimes I don't think I do "camera speak" so well.
     
  17. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs SC Legend Subscribing Member

    Sep 21, 2010
    Not too far from Philly
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    you should be able to figure it out...
    Yeah, if you set it for "on/off" its essentially a lock (until the next time you press it). If you set it for "when pressing" then you get focus and/or exposure lock WHILE you're pressing it, but its gone when you take your finger off. Sounds like you're on top of it.

    -Ray
     
  18. BBW

    BBW Administrator Emeritus S.C. Charter Member

    Jul 7, 2010
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    Well, that's a relief. I didn't get it the first go 'round, Ray - so thanks for corroboration.:thumbup:
     
  19. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs SC Legend Subscribing Member

    Sep 21, 2010
    Not too far from Philly
    Real Name:
    you should be able to figure it out...
    There's been a bit of discussion and confusion about the macro mode and also about using the AEL/AFL button to lock exposure. After playing with it a while, I've taken to using the camera in manual focus mode and setting the AFL/AEL button to "AF lock only". This way, I've separated the focus from the exposure setting (with the exposure set to the half press shutter button position), I've gotten the focus off of the shutter button so I can fire off a few consecutive shots in the same focal plane without the camera having to refocus, AND I've eliminated the need to ever change into macro mode. The camera will focus down to macro levels in manual focus mode using the AEL/AFL button without changing modes. You do have to use the rear screen or the evf to see the object come into focus at very close distances, but it doesn't require using switching to macro mode. So, staying in MF and using the AFL/AEL button to focus eliminates the need to switch to macro mode for close work and allows the most flexibility in focussing - you can use it to AF on every shot, you can use it to AF but not refocus between a set of quick shots in the same basic focal plane, you always have he DOF showing so its a quick and easy way to use the camera for zone focussing when the lighting is right and you have an adequately small aperture. I always like to be able to separate AF from AE and generally have liked being able to get the focus off of the shutter button (I had my EP2 set up in essentially the same way most the time). And you've also got the ability to hit the command control thing to magnify the view and actually use the manual focus ring to fine tune (which I rarely use, but might on close work or in low light).

    This may not be everyone's favorite setup, but I've come to like it a lot. The only downside I've found is that the focus box doesn't turn green to verify focus in this mode, so you have to trust the camera a bit more. This can be a bit of an issue in low light or really close work, but you can always just use the manual focus and the magnifier in those situations to fine tune.

    -Ray
     
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  20. jonoslack

    jonoslack SC Veteran

    203
    May 6, 2011
    This sounds splendid Ray . . . but it's not my cup of tea, because although it's great for some situations it's not so good for others.

    Me - I like the AFL/AEL button to lock exposure only - with the switch option. That way I can take and lock an exposure from a part of the scene I think will do well, then half press the shutter to lock the focus (with the nice green square) then recompose and shoot.

    As for close up . . just flip to manual focus, and the AFL/AEL button changes it's function to focusing (whether it should or not is a moot point, but it does) - so, of course, you can focus close with it by pressing that button.

    For me this presents a better set of compromises.

    all the best
     
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