Fuji X-T1 (fw 4.0) + XC 50-230mm – Settings for Action Photography

Photographers are very different from each other (and therefore some settings work for some, but not others), but if you want to know what I would use to shoot these particular action subjects, here were my settings.

20150821 155614 DSCF5028 XT1 pp+.7 ht+2 st-1 sharp+2_Crop_DCE

Blue Angels

What I would use next time:

  • Provia/Standard
  • Sharpness +2
  • High performance mode
  • Pre-focus off (the nearly constant going in an out of focus is distracting and unpleasant) *Update* Oops! That’s Continuous focus that does this. I meant that after my experience shooting the moon, I didn’t want the camera to pre-focusing far from focus so the camera would not be ready to shoot the jets.
  • Image display (image preview) off – essential for fast shooting. 
  • Zone AF mode
  • Multi metering
  • Single focus (this time) for more FPS (continuous focus is slower)
  • Set aperture and ISO to the lowest you can handle and let the shutter fly
  • Exposure compensation +1/3 to +2/3

20150829 124413 DSCF5345 XT1_Crop blurred_DCE

Kids soccer

What I would use:

  • Provia/Standard
  • Sharpness +2 (Why Sharp+2? Crisp sports shots make the action look more frozen in time)
  • High performance mode
  • Pre-focus off (the nearly constant going in an out of focus is distracting and unpleasant) *Update* Oops! That’s Continuous focus that does this. I meant that after my experience shooting the moon, I didn’t want the camera to pre-focusing far from focus so the camera would not be ready to shoot the players, but I have not found this a major problem with soccer so far.
  • Image display (image preview) off – essential for fast shooting. 
  • Zone AF mode
  • Multi metering
  • Single focus (for faster frame rate than continuous focus)*
    • *I like to shoot the kids when they encounter another player. If you like to capture them running down the field, you will probably prefer continuous focus.
    • *Update* Although Continuous focus is a slower frame rate and has the same failure rate as my Canon 7D, using Continuous focus does increase the chance that IF the camera starts off with bad focus, it has the chance of correcting later in the burst. I’m still on the fence on this — need to shoot both at more soccer games.
  • Continuous high (frame rate)
  • (Face detection off – unless you have one subject, face detection has the chance of choosing the wrong face to get in focus)
  • Be ready to change exposure compensation to +2/3 or so if you include some sky
  • *Update* Although the Fuji lenses are sharp wide open (widest aperture), the soccer players do still get a highlight halo in full sunlight. One stop down on the lens seems to take down the highlight halo.

Fuji X-T1 XC 50-230mm cross country

Cross Country

  • Same as soccer except continuous focus is essential due to the runners always running toward or away from you.
  • If you shoot just JPEGs, a 95mb/sec card might be enough.
  • But if you shoot JPEG+RAW, get the fastest card you can afford since you will probably be shooting constantly for several seconds. Go UHS-II if you can.
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