Continuing the blog serialisation of my popular X-Pro Series lust/hate/love story:
Part 52: The X-Pro2 Review: The X-Pro2: My X-Pro2 Settings: Part One
After the last part of the story, where I showed you some photographs; I thought for the next parts I’d share my camera settings.
But not just my personal settings, also my personal thoughts on getting the best out of any camera.
Of course, how we set our cameras up is a personal thing – there’s no right or wrong, but equally one of my favoured settings might be useful for you, and of course – some of you might make some suggestions to me that I find helpful.
Another reason I’m writing this, is that there’s been a few rumblings on the internet lately that the X-Pro2 is “too complicated”
Some of these comments have come from Leica users, and although my experience of shooting a digital Leica M is minimal, it’s certainly true that the Fuji cameras have a lot more items in the menu.
I sympathise with that, I truly do. There’s a lot of settings and features.
As well of course, like any camera, there’s little gotchas and tips to be aware of.
I think the best advice (“advice” noun: information offered with regard to prudent action) I can suggest to any user with any camera, is – don’t sweat the small stuff. You don’t have to know how everything works, just know what you want to use and how that works.
For example, not interested in using Fuji’s ‘Face Detection’ feature? (I’m not!) then turn if off and ignore it.
Interested in using Fuji’s ‘Face Detection’ feature? Then experiment with it, google it and MOST IMPORTANTLY read the manual entry about it.
The manual is usually a good place to start 🙂
Fuji now has online manuals with searchable content
Here’s the link:
Not only is the contents page hyperlinked (so that you can click and get straight to that section) but you can also type a search term into the field at the top and get relevant information. As a test, I just typed “Face” into it and was immediately presented with info on the Face Detection setting.
It’s seems that these days when we have a query or problem with our cameras, our first course of action is to head to a internet forum or You Tube video and find someone complaining about the same annoyance that we’re having.
So my generic advice with any camera would be to make a list of the features that you anticipate REGULARLY using, then go and read the manual about those SPECIFIC features.
If anyone from the Leica M crowd is reading this, and snorting “pah, a Leica is so simple and intuitive that you don’t need the manual” when I have to retort that the circle/dot exposure info in the M display is hardly intuitive is it? (Obviously once you KNOW what it means it’s simple enough, but if you don’t it’s confusing – same as everything else)
So, ALL cameras benefit greatly from understanding how the features work.
The Main Menu: It’s OK, you can come out from behind the couch now, it’s gone 😉
Beyond the manual:
There are also a few relatively inexpensive eBooks that explain all the features, and their application in deep, but simple detail and these can be worth your time and investment too.
Perhaps it’s just me…. But as I’ve never been an early adopter of a new camera, the online info is generally available well before I get my hands on the camera itself, so I’ve generally read the relevant sections of the manual, before I’ve even seen the actual camera.
Nerdy? Possibly! But I’m interested in what I might buy – I want to know if what I’m getting serves my needs, and in my opinion a good way of finding that out is to read about it.
Cameras are not cheap… Buy wrong and you’ll buy twice…. Research twice – buy once, is far easier on the bank balance 🙂
A couple of paragraphs back, I suggested learning only what you need to know, and what you need to know only being what you’re planning too use.
For me… I find the best way to do this is to make a list of what I want to know about, and structure it in order of importance.
For example your list MIGHT look a bit like this
Once you’ve decided on the top level items, you add in info about each item as a sub heading
– Metering Modes
– Aperture Priority
– Shutter Priority
– Manual Exposure
– ISO Control
– Single Point AF
– Multi Point AF
– Wide Tracking AF
– Choosing a AF point
– RAW + Jpeg
– Jpeg settings
The importance you PERSONALLY assign to these (or other) functions can be used as a guide to determine what’s in your Q menu, the order it appears in your Q menu, what’s in your ‘My Menu’ and what functions you assign to your Fn buttons.
I won’t fib… setting up all of your My Menu/Q Menu/Fn Buttons is quite a lot of work. You’ll probably refine it over time.
So, in my opinion; the more mental effort you’ll put into planning it, the less effort you’ll put into physically doing it.
Of course it does HAVE to be said.. on the X-Pro2 all the exposure parameters can de set by external dials. Exposure can be confirmed (more or less) via the view in the EVF.
A RAW only fully manual shooter could pick up the X-Pro2, set up their SD card options, set RAW only and not need the menu again
So these things can be greatly simplified by understanding only what we need, not everything that’s there.
Now that I’ve covered the generics; next time we’ll continue with settings specific to the X-Pro2.
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