The Fujifilm X-T1 – tips on use

I have used Fuji’s X100 / X100s cameras in recent years and in some ways moving to the X-T1 was a natural progression. The interchangeable lens option is what I missed most in the X100.

Fuji also has an excellent range of lenses. This range is expanding quickly with new weather-sealed lenses coming on stream.

My core system for as long as I can remember has been Canon. I still use the 1DX and the 5D3 for bird photography and macro work respectively. Fuji does not yet have a fast long  lens nor a 1:1 macro lens. There is a modest relearning process involved when switching to the Fuji. So tip 1 is the answer to something that baffled me recently.

If you want to use the exposure lock you need to keep the AE-L button depressed. This is dealt with on p.67 of my manual. However with my Canon bodies, if I press the exposure lock it will retain the setting for 4 seconds. You do not have to keep the button pressed down. This confused me for a while as I did not have the manual with me when I was on holiday.

If, like me, you have biggish hands then the rear selector function buttons can be problematic. I sometimes press one by mistake when I am trying to hit the Menu button. I discovered that you can lock the 4 surrounding buttons simply by pressing the Menu button and holding it down for 2 or 3 seconds. No more accidental shifts into macro mode or changing the film simulation selection.

Next, the front command dial. This is very useful when you have your ISO, speed and aperture all set manually. A small half moon will appear at in the bottom left hand corner of your LCD / EVF. This tells you that you can change the shutter speed in the equivalent of 1/3 stop increments. I found this extremely useful when I was shooting sunsets. The key is to make sure the ISO is also set manually. My default ISO is auto with the parameters as min 200, max 3200, min shutter speed 1/100s.

If you want to shoot continuously the drive dial has to be set to CL or CH and the focus mode to C. After setting the AF point I do one more thing. I increase the size of the AF point to help tracking. This is very simple. Tap the focus point selector (which for me is the Fn 1 button on the front of the camera) and then scroll the front command dial. The AF point size will change. On holiday I tried the tracking ability a few times and it had an almost perfect record.

Finally, the one I didn’t want to write: buy several batteries. With the LCD switched off and not even in Eye Sensor mode the battery life is poor. I do chimp a little but a typical user will probably do so and I am disappointed Fuji hasn’t been able to pack longer usage into its batteries. If you are used to shooting with a Canon D series or even an M240 you are going to be very frustrated by the battery life. I carry a minimum of 3 batteries for a full day shoot.

I hope you find these 5 quick tips useful. If you want to see how the X-T1 performed for me on holiday here are some examples.

The Photographer by Mrs. Photographer, June 2014

Photographer taking a break.



24 thoughts on “The Fujifilm X-T1 – tips on use

  1. the tip most useful for me was how the AE-L works. Can’t begin to tell you how many pages devoted to this subject are vague and not to the point. All the tips are good. The battery comment is solved by carrying two spares on my DIY strap, fresh battery is stored terminal side up, dead battery, terminal side down.
    Thank you!

  2. First let me say I’m so far from taking a photo that I’m still doing cave drawings on stone, so all of technical talk is like being a foreign is a country that doesn’t speak English. I’m still.using a Polaroid with over exposed film.ANDREW HELP, no I’m just kidding, no really I’m not you can’t image how many fights with the computer and who won, the one with a brain, the computer. Andrew I just stop by to say thanks for your support.

  3. Mrs. Photographer does nice work. Of course, it helps to love your subject. 🙂

    Nice write up and conversation with Sandra. Both your Fuji and Sandra’s Sony sound excellent but I won’t be replacing anything now except for necessity. And as you said, at some point the images are almost too sharp. I find that my 5DII sometimes produces files that are too sharp and look oversharpened after processing requiring reduction of contrast and reduced opacity of sharpening layers. At some point these cameras are traveling beyond reality. I am afraid to make the trip. 🙂

    • Its the absence of an anti-aliasing filter, Steve, wot does it. I have no idea how it works but it does. So sharp they do indeed need dialling back on the clarity sometimes. Sharpen with care is the watchword.

      • BTW….I forgot to mention that dapper cravat. Quite debonair and charming. I am guessing that Mrs. Ha dresses you. 🙂 🙂 🙂

      • It’s called a krama, Steve. Cambodian. I bought half a dozen for about $15. They keep you warm, cool, dry, whatever. They keep the sun off your head and the dust away from your camera. You can probably roll it up and use it as a pillow or you can wrap it round and shout woo hoo, I’m Laurence of Arabia. It’s quite versatile. But not a cravat. 😁😁😁

      • Yes, I can see that now. 😳
        I just goggled krama but didn’t find much in the way of local availability. It does look useful but I am surprised Shirley lets you out like that….it must draw the attention of the ladies. A striking resemblance to Thomas Edward, indeed. 🙂

      • Surely Walmart or Target must have them Steve. They’re ALDI rage in Phnom Penh. The alternative is to buy a linen from Aigle for about 100x the price.

      • Nope. neither chain. I was able to find a couple of charity organizations selling them for ballpark $20USD.
        Interesting….we have a food chain here called ALDI.

  4. … and I forgot to mention very helpful functions like a well working focus peaking (which works brilliant in MF handheld!) or the zebra functionality which is a great help with ND Grads. Exposure lock is locked as long as I want to, I can even dial in exposure compensation and it remains locked with the changed combination. I don’t need to buy fancy 100 Euro remote controls because I can just buy/download a app via in-camera Wi-Fi which gives me even more options than a traditional remote. These are all things that Canon is just not offering or maybe partially in their overpriced bolide 😛

    • What is zebra functionality????? The Fuji can be operated remotely by a smart phone. It’s truly amazing. And it has a built in Intervalometer. Canon is so far behind. But I can’t use my 800mm on a Fuji 😡

      • from the Sony website: “… Zebra Pattern is a camera feature that overlays some stripes into the image that indicates exposure levels. It is a function that aids exposure by showing a striped pattern into the areas that is close to overexposure…”
        So if I have liveview on and push in a ND grad filter for the sky, then the zebra patterns adjusts. So I can see very precisely how far down I have to push the filter. It’s a fantastic help! Anyway, I need ND grad’s much less with the A7r’s brilliant dynamic range. It is amazing, I now expose for the highlights (as opposite with Canon) and I can open up the shadows in LR up to 100% without a single trace of noise in the shadows 😮
        It was a tough learning curve and I hardly dared to open up over 50% but now I’m used to it. All landscape photos of South Africa in my blog have been taken with the A7r btw

      • I never knew a zebra could be so useful – like sophisticated blinkies! I expose for highlights too. The 5D3 never worried me much but I dare to suggest the Sony and the Fuji may be better.

  5. Many of the tips sound familiar to me now that I get more and more used by my A7r (which I love and the 5D III & 6D remain in the bag most of the time). The only difference is that I can use all my Canon mount lenses on the Sony which is a big advantage as I don’t have to invest in a new lens system. AF is working slow but I don’t mind as my Zeiss lenses are all manual anyway. I’m also impressed about Sony’s innovative functions, like you can programme almost all buttons the way you like (and not the Canon MyMenu crap!!) And again like you, one of the reasons to stick with Canon at the moment is wildlife photography, mainly because of the slow AF with the adapter. On the other hand, I don’t like to look at the Canon RAW’s anymore once I got used to the brilliant A7r (and A6000) RAW’s. I’m still testing high ISO capability but it seems that Sony is cheating the same way as Fuji regarding the true ISO speed. Comparing to the 6D, the same ISO brings about one stop less light on the sensor.
    But for me, Canon’s days are counted – no way I would invest into a 3000 Euro body anymore in the future!

    • But you still have the weight of the Canon lenses. The Fuji lenses are awesome but it’s simply personal preference. Some of my Fuji lens are almost too sharp. Most of the Fuji buttons can be programmed. So other than for specialist uses DSLRs are on the way out for me. Fuji will deliver a FF version in Q4 😀

      • It is a question of the system. I don’t want to go back to APS-C and (with Gerd’s retirement approaching) I don’t want to invest into a complete new lens system. It would be mad to sell all the Zeiss and the Canon 300mm / 500mm for a fraction of a price 😮 So the A7r was a logical step. At least I have less weight on camera bodies 🙂

  6. Good info, I am not thinking about going off Canon yet, but it is good to remember that not all systems are the same.
    I think the battery life would really frustrate me, Do you think it is because with the EVF you are using the battery more compared to a mirror system?

    • It may be the EVF, Ben. The M240 has an LCD etc but no EVF – you have to buy it separately. To be honest the only time it is a real hassle is if the camera is on a tripod as you can’t open the battery compartment without removing the tripod plate. That happened to me this morning.

    • Everybody has their own favourite brand. You can see from the comments that Sandra ( a very fine photographer) likes Sony. Others like Olympus. You need to go and handle the cameras to see how they feel and test how easy they are to operate in the hand. Whatever you buy think about the lenses you will use as much as the camera body.

I'd be delighted to hear what you think

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s