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Lesson 9 from: Fujifilm X-T20 Fast Start

John Greengo

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Lesson Info

9. Quick Menu

Lesson Info

Quick Menu

All right, let's start on the top working our way left to right. The Custom Settings, what this does is it allows you to change a lot of the look of your image, the contrast, the saturation, whether it's black and white color, if there's a film look to it, things like that. And we have seven different favorite settings and I've used up a lot of mine. I've, you know, set one to a little bit higher contrast, more saturation, another one to lower contrast, lower saturation. And then, I have about three or four of them set to different black and white modes that have different contrast levels or different film simulations. And it really depends on what you do and how many of those things that you use. When you see the word Base, that means you have it on one particular setting, and then you can start making changes to that setting as you go in. For instance, you might set it to Custom Seven, which is set up in a particular black and white mode, but then once you're in that black and white ...

mode, you might start making additional adjustments to it. And then, it will let you know that you've made some changes to it. When you've made changes to something, you're going to notice that there's going to be a red dot... red dot next to them letting you know that you have gone in and you have altered that from your standard settings. The ISO is controlling the sensitivity of the sensor, and so the camera's base range is from 200 to 12,800. The lowest number is always going to be the best quality setting. That's the native sensitivity of the sensor and that's where you want to keep it at to get the best image quality possible. However, some cases, you need faster shutter speeds, so you end up setting higher ISOs. The camera does have a low 100 setting. It's not better than 200, but you can shoot it if you need longer shutter speeds. For instance, it's not as good as 200, because it has a little bit less dynamic range. There will be a number of auto-settings and you can adjust what the maximum ISO sensitivity is with any of those different preset automatic settings. And on the high side, we have ISO of 25,000 and 51,000 that we can go to. And the camera is using software to kind of push the limitations of the sensor up until that range and you're going to get relatively low quality. In fact, let's look at the quality between some of these different settings. So, using my standard little test camera for image quality, ISO testing. ISO 100 is going to have a little less Dynamic Range, kind of hard to see here in this example. 200's going to have your best image quality and you're going to get more and more noise as you go up to the higher settings. Like most cameras, the top two settings here are not very good, so you probably want to try to limit yourself to ISO 6,400 or 12,800 as the top ISO setting. You may want to do a little testing yourself to see what you think is the highest that is kind of your standard for how you want to shoot. And so, as always, you want to keep the ISO as low as possible, unless you have to go higher. You'll also see another ISO setting. Repeat it again once we get into the Menu Settings under the Shooting Setting. This camera has kind of an unusual Dynamic Range option. Fujis have had this for a little while and what this does is it works with JPEG images and it's trying to reduce overblown highlights. And so, let me give you an example. If we shoot this scene at DR100, you'll notice where the highlights are on this histogram. They're very far over to the right-hand side. By putting this camera into the ISO... DR200, excuse me, it's pulled back those highlights and we're getting a little bit better blue in the sky. When we set it to Dynamic Range 400, it's rescuing even more of those highlights right there. Now, the downside to this is that we are shooting at ISO 800 and it will not allow us to shoot at ISO 400 or 100 or 200, because it's kind of playing games. And if you were to shoot JPEG images on your own and just darken them up a little bit, you would have a similar effect. You would actually be able to get more data than this if you are willing to shoot raw images, which a lot of people who shoot Fujis are, because Fuji does have a good raw image in there. And so, this is simply for the JPEG images and people who just don't want to clip those highlights. Next up is our white balance, which is controlling the color of light that we're shooting in and the color that we're going to get in the final images. The camera does not know what color lights we are shooting in, and so it has…it does a much better job when we let the camera know whether we're shooting under daylight or shady conditions or with different types of fluorescent or tungsten lighting. And so, this can be very important in getting the correct color. One of the options is a temperature option. I'm just choosing the Kelvin temperature that you want, so you can manually choose any number you want. There is a custom option where you can photograph a white sheet of paper and the camera will figure out what color the light source is that's illuminating that paper and correct for it. We'll do that example later on in the class when we get to that in the Menu section. But for the most part, I use auto-white balance, because it does a pretty good job. If you shoot a raw image, this whole white balance topic is not a huge critical issue, because with a raw image, you get to adjust that white balance infinitely later on. And so, you have the full range of movements that you can do in color. If you do shoot JPEG, you do need to be a little bit more aware of where your white balance is. And are you getting good colors in your images, appropriate correct color? Because if you're not, you're going to want to make a change in here to get the correct color so that it is best when you get your photos downloaded, because you'll have less room that you can move a JPEG than you can a raw image. All right, let's move down to the next line. First up is noise reduction with high ISOs. And so, here you can… It is by default set at 0. You can reduce the amount of noise reduction or you can increase the amount of noise reduction that is taking place. And what happens is that when you shoot at high ISOs as we saw just a few minutes ago, you get more noise in your photographs. And so, I wanted to test out how much noise reduction we can adjust. And so, I'm shooting at 12,800 in this case. We'll blow up this example and we'll look at what minus four looks like to plus 4. And you'll see that we get less noise at the plus four, but we're also losing a little bit of edge sharpness. And so, you want to be careful about trying to reduce too much noise, because it can soften the sharpness of your photograph. And so, some people prefer to do this in post-production software, so they'll set their camera at minus four, and some people are fine with the standard setting. Once again, this applies to JPEGs and not raw images. Image size, very important for JPEG shooters. What physical size and what aspect ratio are you shooting? So, let's take a closer look. Normally, you're going to want to be in a large image size, and so that's going to get you 24 megapixels if you're choosing the 3x2 aspect ratio. And so, you want to choose the largest size if you're not sure what you're going to do. You'd only want to choose medium and small if you know specifically that you are doing something different with those images. The aspect ratio of the sensor is 3x2, so you probably want to be recording the whole area unless you are specifically shooting for a particular project. You can go into the HD aspect ratio of 16x9 or a 1x1 square aspect ratio, which will lower the number of megapixels you are shooting, because you're shooting less area on the sensor. So, normally, you're going to want to have this in large 3x2. Next up is the image quality, and this is where we get to choose between raw and JPEG, so let's look at some of the options in here. First up is a fine quality JPEG image, which is a little bit larger file size than a normal quality, which is reduced a little bit. They're throwing away a little bit of the color information in the normal one. One of the most popular settings is raw, because that gets you full information off of the sensor. You get the full sensor size, full 24 megapixels. Now, there are two options when it comes to the raws and we'll see this as a little sub-category in the Menu Setting. And that is for uncompressed raw or a lossless compressed, which has a vastly different file size, roughly 50 megabytes versus 25 megabytes, and I do have an example that I want to show to you. And so, I'm going to talk more about this uncompressed and lossless compressed as we go through the class, because I think it's important in the setup of the camera. Now, we also have the option of setting raw and JPEG at the same time. Now normally, I do not recommend shooting raw plus JPEG, because if you have a raw, you can create a JPEG. But with Fujis, a lot of people shoot with raw plus JPEG, partly because the JPEGs are so good and they may want them or they may want to emulate them as a reference point when they're working with their raws. But when the camera plays back images, if you record a JPEG or a raw with a JPEG, you can zoom in and review that image more closely, because it records a larger size thumbnail of that particular image. And so, when I'm shooting with the Fuji, I'm usually shooting in a raw plus a JPEG, either fine or normal. Usually, just the normal, because those are quite good. And then, I end up throwing away the JPEGs later on and just keeping the raws. Next up is film simulation, and we saw this briefly when we were looking at the bracketing mode, but this is where you get to go in and choose for an individual photograph for it to have a slightly different look to it. And this is going to deal with color and contrast and saturation for an individual image. Once again, this is for JPEG only, not for raw images here. Your standard image is what is known as Provia, which is a film that Fuji used to make, and so it's a film simulation. Velvia was a very vivid film. You're going to get a little bit more vivid colors in that. Astia is a soft one. Classic Chrome is going to have a little bit of a reduced contrast and saturation to it. They have a couple of modes that were designed for portrait photographers working in the studio and working outdoors. Black and White Sepia Mode with a little bit of color to it, and then they have several monochrome modes. You can add in blue, red, green filter...excuse me, yellow, red, and green filters that can be good for a variety of situations, depending on what type of colors you're shooting. The ACROS Mode shoots black and white images with a little bit of a film look to them. It's got a little bit more grain to it and some people really prefer this over the monochrome, depends on what you're looking for. I wanted to do a test between the two different monochrome modes, monochrome versus ACROS. And in this case, I wanted to look at, you know, the contrast, the highlights, and shadows, and what happens when you shoot at different ISOs. And what's happening is the monochrome is going to get more noise as you go up to higher ISOs. That's inevitable. And the ACROS really kind of enhances that, so it's got a bit more bite, little bit more texture to it, and some people like that and some people don't. Good thing is, is that you can choose. And so, that is the film simulation modes. Normally, I'm leaving that in standard, unless I'm trying to do something particularly. I do like shooting with the monochrome modes, because with an electronic viewfinder, you get to see the world in black and white and that makes you compose a little bit differently when you are shooting for black and white. Next up, we have some more color control and image quality control features here, and these are for JPEG images. You can control the highlight tones, whether they are brighter or darker than normal. An example coming up in just a moment. Shadow tones, of course, deals with the shadows. Do you want to make them brighter or do you want to make them darker? And so, between the highlights and shadows, you can really have a lot of control over your subject. So, in this case, we have the shadow tones, minus two to plus four, and you'll notice that the sky...excuse me, the highlight tones. And so when you set the highlight tones to plus four, you're really trying to pull them back. And so, as you can see how far those highlight tones are…actually, excuse me, in minus two, we're pulling the highlight tones back, and in the highlight tones plus four, we're increasing the highlights so that they're even brighter. So if you want more contrast, you would go plus. If you want less contrast, you would go minus. Looking more at the shadow tones, how dark do the shadows get? And when you go to plus four, those shadows get really, really dark. If you want to brighten up the shadows a little bit, you would go to the minus two. And so, you can see what happens with those shadows, where they lie on that histogram. minus two brings them up a little bit. Plus four pushes them down and makes them very, very dark. Next up is your color or saturation. How much intensity to the color do you want? Using my little color checker chart, shot it from minus four to plus four, and depending on how good your monitor is, you'll be able to see less contrast on the left and more contrast on the right. Those yellows are brighter and bolder as you go to the right, controlling that with the color option. Finally, we have a sharpness option, which will go in and just add a little bit of sharpness to your JPEG images and this can give your images just a little bit more clarity. And so, you got to be careful about overdoing it in this case, because there is a way of overdoing it and you end up with these halos and it doesn't look real good. And so, either setting this on zero or plus two might be good for a lot of JPEGs. All right, the thing I got to keep remembering about Fuji, because I shoot with a few different cameras, is that their self-timer is not a part of their drive mode that it is in everyone else's camera. So, they have a separate place that you can turn the self-timer on and off. And one thing to keep notice, if you turn your camera off a lot like I do just to preserve battery power, it does reset the self-timer. And so, if you are using the self-timer on a regular basis, it's probably easier just to leave the camera turned on. All right, one of the more important modes, the AF mode, which is controlling the area where you are focusing. You can choose a single point, a zone, or a wide tracking area. And so, let's take a closer look at what's going on. So first off, in here we have 325 contrast detection focusing points. We have 169 phase detection points. Now, the contrast detection is extremely accurate, because it's using information right off of the sensor. The phase detection is very, very fast. And so, for any sort of action photography, it's going to be best that it's in that phase detection area, because that's going to be able to pick up on moving action more quickly. You're often going to have a little box that's going to show you where you are selected. It'll turn green when it's in focus. If it's having problems, it's going to turn red on you. So, we do have 325 points available when you are using the single point mode, but that's actually a lot of focusing points to be moving from. If you want to go from the left side to the right side, there's a lot of columns that you have to go across, 25. And so, there's a lot of people who use Fuji, who reduce it down to 91 visible points. It's still using all 325, but when the selection process comes up, it's much easier to move that focusing bracket around. So, the different options that we have, single point. When you want to be very precise, you can choose a single box and we have a wide area that we can move that box around using the control pad on the back of the camera, and we have multiple different size of boxes depending on exactly what size box you want to have. You can choose a zone, which is a group of boxes, which is very good for more erratic movement. Maybe you have a kid playing around and he's running around or you're shooting sports photography, I'd probably want to be using the zone area, one of the options 3, 5, or 7x7. And then finally, we have the wide tracking, which is using the large area. Now remember, it's doing best with focus tracking in the middle of that area, because that's where its phase detection sensors are. Now, how do you make these changes? You're going to press up on the button on the back of the camera. This is your AF mode button and you can change your focusing area by pressing down. And then, you can move your area around by using the tabs. You can also change the size of it by turning the dials on the camera as well, and then you just move it around here. And so, let me give you just a quick little example on my camera. Go ahead and turn this on. And so, if I press down, I can see my bracket turned on and I can choose…right now, I'm in the zone 3, 5, and 7. Press down on the shutter release to get out of that, move up, and now I can select on the single point, the zone, or the wide area. If I choose the wide area, which is just a very simplified area, it's looking at everything in the frame. And if I put something in the foreground, it's going to try to focus on that. I might not be…it's going to try to focus on that, but it's just looking at everything. And so, to be more precise, I like using the single point if I can, and so, here…actually, that's the wrong button. I can change the size of this box by going down and going through these different sizes of pinpoint area to a fairly large area. And which one do I use? It really depends on what I'm doing. Usually, I leave it maybe around that size, so that I can be fairly precise about where I'm focusing at. And then, what I can is actually press down, and then I can just move it around if I want to move it to a different size place. And I can change the size with either the front dial or the back dial on the camera. So, pressing up to change which different grouping, the single point, the smallest, the medium, or the large area. And preferably, I like leaving it in the single point, so that I can be pretty precise about where it... And so, that is accessed either in the Quick Menu or with the buttons on the back of the camera. For the flash mode, we have many different flash modes that we can choose from and let's take a look at a few of these options in here. Auto-flash will fire whenever it needs it and it's kind of dark out. Slow Sync will use a slow shutter speed, available in Program and Aperture Priority. The Commander mode allows you to hook the on-camera flash to multiple other on-cameras. Lots of different options we'll see in the Menu section. You can use a Second Curtain Sync, which synchronizes the flash with the closing shutter curtain for special effects. You can turn off the flash, and then you can force the flash on even when it doesn't think it needs it. And finally, you can use a red-eye reduction removal, and there's actually two different options on here for removal. One is a pre-flash to help avoid red-eye and there's a removal, which will digitally remove it from anything that it thinks has red-eye, which may or may not work in every situation. And so, we'll see this and talk about it more when we get into the red-eye removal section in the Menu. And then finally, we can control the brightness of the LCD on the back of the camera. So under really bright conditions, you may need to bump this up a little bit in brightness or bump it down in brightness if you're working under really dark situations, but normally I would leave it right at zero. All right, so that's your Quick Menu and if you hold down on the Q button for two seconds, it's a secret shortcut to re-program the Menu. And so, if you want to take something out of there, you don't use a bunch of those features, you want to add in other ones, you can do that by pressing in two seconds, following the instructions, and then navigating around, and finding those features, and adding them into it.

Class Materials

Bonus Materials with Purchase

Fuji X-T20 Recommended Settings

Ratings and Reviews

James Beaumont

Excellent class, well structured and easy to follow. Although following this class to get to grips with my Fujifilm X-T30, the functions and menus are near identical, so this class is perfect. As a relative newcomer to photography, the explanations are incredibly helpful and helped me to gain confidence in operating my camera. I am also following John Greengo's Fundamentals class and couldn't recommend him highly enough.

Jenny Mummert

This was just what I needed to become more familiar with my xT30...cousin to xT20. Fast start is right. My mind is spinning with information, but that's OK. Very useful information here and valuable handout. Instructor is so knowledgeable and explains things well. I enjoyed his photography 101 course as well. Would also love to have a fast start guide for the Ricoh III. PRETTY PLEASE.

Paul Reid

Excellent classes. Well structured. Easy to follow. Great explanations and practical tips. I've learned so much about my Fuji X-T20 since watching!

Student Work