X-Pro1: The Q Menu

Control pretty much everything I need from one menu, accessed by one button? You’re joking!
I never joke about my work 007

The Q menu. What a splendid idea (far better than putting an ejector seat in a car – well most of the time)

But like many things on the X-Pro1, it’s sometimes a little misunderstood…

And like a few more things on the X-Pro1, I have my own OPINION on how to get the most benefit from it.

You’ll no doubt be aware that the Q menu isn’t restricted to just Fujifilm’s X-Pro1… I think most (if not all?) Fuji X cameras have a derivative of it.

So whereas this post will be focused on the X-Pro1, there’s no reason that the rationale I present here can’t be used with some other Fujifilm cameras.

The Q menu is accessed by pressing the button marked ‘Q’ on the rear of the camera (funny that), you can see it in the ‘cover image’ of this post, just above the opening paragraph.

On later Fuji cameras the Q menu can be configured; both for content and position of the various items available.

However, on the X-Pro1 the Q menu is fixed.

Let’s take a look at the Q Menu:

As noted above; you access the Q Menu, by pressing the ‘Q’ Button 🙂

Too select and TEMPORARILY (more on that in a moment) adjust items on the Q Menu, then you:

Select the item you wish to adjust using 1. The D Pad
Select the setting you wish to use, using 2. The Scroll Wheel
Once you have finished making your selection, you can press the Q button or the ‘Menu OK’ button to save your selection

The Q Menu on the X-Pro1, has 8 screens; C1 through to C1 and BASE

BASE is NOT a user saveable configuration screen!

This is very important, and a little bit confusing when you first get the camera, so I will repeat it!

BASE is NOT a user saveable configuration screen!

BASE, shows you what you CURRENTLY have the camera set too.

It’s doesn’t matter if you (for example) change the default ISO behaviour in the main menu of the camera, or select a ISO value that you’ve save in the Q Menu C1-7.

The net result is the same – BASE shows you what you CURRENTLY have the camera set too.

It will stay like this without changing, unless YOU make a change any where on the camera, then the BASE menu will display those changes

The DEFAULT menu screen of the Q Menu is BASE.

This makes sense. Why? Because BASE shows you what you CURRENTLY have the camera set too. It’s the first thing that you’ll want to know, no?

When you press the Q Menu:

You will always be greeted with the BASE screen
BASE shows you what you CURRENTLY have the camera set too

(Ok I think you get it now 🙂 )

The Q menu is divided up into a grid of settings 4 x 4 (so that’s 16 things you set there)

Let’s take a look at what they all are!

To change any of these settings, first select them using the D Pad, then select the item you want using the scroll wheel.

Once you have finished making your selection, you can press the Q button or the ‘Menu OK’ button (in the centre of the D Pad) to exit the Q menu and activate your selection(s)

So here’s the shot of the menu

And here’s a grid reference, so that I can make a list!

1. The Q menu in use. C1, C2, C3, etc all the way to C7. Default is BASE.

2. ISO. You can change your ISO here to a specific value or a (pre-defined) Auto-ISO configuration

3. DR Mode. Dynamic Range. You select 100/200/400 or Auto. PERSONALLY, I leave it off, which is DR100

4. White Balance. You can change your WB here to a specific value (eg ‘Sunny’) or a pre-defined Kelvin or Custom setting (as would be obtained using a white balance card)

5. NR, which is short for Noise Reduction. Controls the NR of your Jpegs. 5 settings -2, -1, 0, 1, & 2 (0 is default)

6. Jpeg Image size. Both shape and quality. The native output of the X-Pro1 is 3:2 and I use the L (Large = largest size) setting

7. RAW and Jpeg Quality. Select here to change if you shoot RAW only / Jpeg only or RAW & Jpeg and if you want the highest quality Jpegs. For me, it’s yes to both, at the highest quality.

8. Is film simulation. So you can select Provia, Velvia, BW, BW/Y etc

9. Highlight Tone, I wrote about what this does here 5 settings -2, -1, 0, 1, & 2 (0 is default)

10. Shadow Tone, I wrote about what this does here 5 settings -2, -1, 0, 1, & 2 (0 is default)

11. Colour. 5 settings -2, -1, 0, 1, & 2 (0 is default) This controls the colour saturation of your Jpegs

12. Sharpness. 5 settings -2, -1, 0, 1, & 2 (0 is default). This controls the Sharpness of your Jpegs.

13. Self Timer. Select from 2 or 10 seconds. Once selected the shutter will fire (2 or 10 secs) after you press the shutter button. Useful for tripod use, when pressing the shutter might cause a little camera shake, or for shots where you want to be in the shot too. (Note: at 2 seconds even Usain Bolt would struggle to get in frame, use 10 secs)

14. AF area. Pick from single point or auto AF area – which is a crazy daft setting where the camera guesses what you want to focus on. Does nothing in manual focus mode.

15. Select from the available flash modes: Auto, Forced, Suppressed (off!), 2nd Curtain Sync, Slow Sync. You will need a flash connected to change these settings.

16. EVF/LCD brightness. 5 settings -2, -1, 0, 1, & 2 (0 is default)

So that’s quite a few gadgets in the Q menu… in fact I think Q would be proud!!

How make and save changes to C1-7 on the Q menu

This can be done by accessing the main menu, camera menu 3, then select Edit/Save Custom Setting.

But you can shortcut to this menu by pressing AND HOLDING for a few seconds the Q button. This brings up the active menu for editing/saving the Q menu features.

ONLY the following things can be edited to a default in the Q menu.

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

With the exception of ISO, you can ONLY set the default values that appear in the Q menu anyway. So for example, many of the items have 5 settings -2, -1, 0, 1, & 2 (0 is default), you can set of any of these as a default, but the other 4 settings are available to you via the Q menu. So if you make (say) NR’s default value -1, then in the Q menu you can change it to -2, 0, 1, & 2, you don’t have to edit the Q menu to make this change.

When you are editing the Q menu, via the Edit/Save Custom Setting, you are setting your personal default values.

Except for ISO, which I’ll come back to later.

Notes on White Balance**

WB has 2 user derived settings. Kelvin (where you pick a desired Kelvin value) and Custom, where you measure the WB your self (using a white balance card)

These 2 values can ONLY be changed in the main camera menu.

But once you have set these values – their corresponding entries in the Q menu will match what you set them too in the main menu.

For example:

But if you set 3200 as a Kelvin value in the main menu, then ‘K’ on the WB section of the Q menu will now be 3200. If you then change the kelvin value to 5500 in the main menu, then ‘K’ on the WB section of the Q menu will now be 5500.

In short, the Q menu mirrors whatever is set in the main menu on these 2 items.

ISO*

This to me, is the most exciting part of the Q menu!

You can configure a different AUTO ISO AND MINIMUM SHUTTER SPEED setting for each C1-7 menu.

I really can’t stress how cool that is (eat your heart out X-Pro2 owners!! 🙂 )

So for example.

You could set your C1-7 something like this:

C1 = Auto ISO 200-6400 Min shutter 1/60 – for general photography of non-moving subjects with wide lenses

C2 = Auto ISO 200-6400 Min shutter 1/100 – for general photography of non-moving subjects with longer lenses

C3 = Auto ISO 200-6400 Min shutter 1/250 – for general photography of moving subjects with wide lenses

C4 = Auto ISO 200-6400 Min shutter 1/500 – for general photography of subjects with tele length lenses

Now I realise that this isn’t quite as good as an auto ISO system that detects lens length and sets the minimum shutter speed accordingly, which technically on APS-C cameras is 1.5x lens length.

But if you set your Q C1-7 menus to be identical except for ISO, then you effectively have 7 variations of the auto ISO!

Want to know how I set my Q menu?

I’ll be divulging all in the next instalment.

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