6 usage tips for Fujifilm X-E1 by Photo Fella

A FEW OF MY TOP USAGE TIPS

  • You MUST press the shutter halfway down LIGHTLY until the camera beeps and the green rectangle of focus appears BEFORE you continue pressing the shutter all the way down.  Handing the camera to other people will usually result in out of focus shots as they simply press the shutter down hard in one movement and it simply WILL NOT focus that way.  Sorry - it just won't do it.  You must practice this to really master it.
  • Exposure handling - if you press the AE button on the left rear you will be easily able to switch from Multi (default), Spot and Average.  Another blog on this website goes through these modes.  Multi is ok, but I use Spot a lot with telephoto lenses and Average when I have a lot of sky in the shot.  Being able to switch quickly between these modes is good - because Multi doesn't do a great job in getting things right and you will need to switch a fair bit - a quirk but a blessing in some ways because you are firmly in control on this camera.  No scene modes at all!
  •  The LCD screen is not good in sunlight but you can fortunately use the viewfinder
  •  The top right rotating knob on the right controls exposure up and down when in 'P' mode.  It is REALLY easy for this to shift accidentally  and to then find you are under or exposing the shots - and it stays in this wrong mode even when you power off and on.  You must get used to checking it is correct - it shows the under and over on the screen.  
  • Te flash is really quite a good one but I find I rarely use it - you can use it by flicking it up but if the object is backlit it often won't fire and you have to set to forced flash - not usually worth the hassle because you can push up the exposure a bit by turning the top exposure control dial and getting the result you want - particularly if you have a high setting for Dyanamic Contrast.  I give some examples in the blog on the main page on how to use exposure.

Paul

5 Setting up Tips for Fuji X-E1 by Photo Fella

If you have the Fujifilm X-E1 then you have a very capable camera indeed.  It has a couple of shortcoming to be aware of: its focussing speed is limited due to the system that Fuji uses.  You can overcome this by prefocusing manually on an area if you want to catch quick movement (this is called range focusing). It has a fixed LCD which I don't like anywhere near as much as the tiltable X-A1 and X-M1 cameras because it makes it harder to shoot from the hip or overhead.  The LCD viewfinder is excellent but lags a bit compared to real life.  So again for fast images like a bird you need to be aware of this.  Finally the other limitation I find is that the processor is slightly slow compared to the updated processors in subsequent Fuji cameras.  Other than that - it is very fine indeed.

In terms of initial setup here are my suggestions and a little bit on why:

ISO MODE and DYNAMIC CONTRAST

I prefer to have this set to AutoISO with max set to 6400 and min set to 400 with min shutter speed set to 1/500.  I leave the minimum setting at 400 to give some headroom for the dynamic contrast setting. These settings work really well for street shooting where you might be walking in and out of shadows and still want to capture pretty sharp images of people as you walk along.  Rico has a great blog explaining more on using AutoISO here: http://ht.ly/yxleb 

Just as a reminder: the original firmware in the X-E1 does not support AutoISO.  You need to update it via a download here: http://ht.ly/yA4RR After you have downloaded the file, you copy it to your SD card (make sure the SD card is empty and preferably formatted before you copy the file onto it) and then put it in the camera.  Next make sure you have a full battery and hold the Disp Back button down and turn the camera ON.  

Back panel of the X-E1 courtesy of Ken Rockwell.  The DISP BACK button must be held down while you power on to update the firmware once you have put the file onto an empty SD card

Back panel of the X-E1 courtesy of Ken Rockwell.  The DISP BACK button must be held down while you power on to update the firmware once you have put the file onto an empty SD card

You will then be asked if you want to update the firmware.  If you have never updated the software it will also give you options to update the lens firmware (you need to download the separate files for the lenses you own). You can find the files at the Fujifilm support site in the link at: http://ht.ly/yA54x 

Assuming you have setup the AutoISO, I next recommend you set Dynamic Contrast to Auto.  Sometimes this mode doesn't give enough of an ability for the camera to capture all the shadows and detail in the sky (e.g. the sky will appear as a washed out white or too dark) - if this happens try pressing the Q button for quick access to the key settings and then toggle across to Dynamic Contrast and use the back knurled knob to set it to 400%.  Don't forget to set back to Auto after you take the shot to give the camera maximum ability to help you out.

FILM MODE EMULATIONS

On the X-E1 I tend to shoot in RAW+JPG mode.  So the wonderful film simulations that Fujifilm provide don't apply in the camera for me too much because any images shot in RAW can be developed how you like and there are now Fujifilm specific presets from Adobe that Lightroom 5.5 now supports - finally!  But I do tend to use the ASTIA emulation a lot (the 'S' film mode) so that any JPG images of people that I use straight out of the camera are close to how I personally like them.

If you want to know some more on the film modes then have a look at my blog on the X-A1 camera which explains a bit more.

Paul