Out of the box, a Fuji X camera is pretty darn good for slow photography, so if you:
- Don’t shoot pictures of people
- Or don’t in low light
- And are happy with the results you are getting
Then stop reading now, but if you DO shoot people and shoot in low light, then please read on.
Out of the box Fuji’s default settings aren’t much different than other cameras. That’s because like any other camera you buy, the manufacturer has chosen default settings that help the camera take the best looking pictures, but not necessarily the best settings for helping you capture those subjects if:
- your subjects move (kids, event, photojournalism, even posed shots, etc)
- or you shoot in low light (pretty much anything indoors, cloudy day sports, etc.)
In other words, everything except your subject may look good, but your subject looks awful (and who wants to scrapbook blurry looking photos)?
To activate that cheetah, you dive deep into the settings.
Why not just manually adjust shutter speed or aperture?
Because only adjusting shutter speed or aperture:
- Limits the camera from being able to select faster shutter speeds when faster shutter speeds are available
- Limits the flexibility of the camera to move from low light to bright light and back (thus making you take more time to adjust settings and not concentrate on photography)
Changing these settings deep in the camera:
- affects how shutter and aperture priority perform
- and makes the camera more flexible
…so you can concentrate on composition and story creation.
Most of these only have to be changed once (or once in a while), and where these settings are in each camera and in each firmware version is slightly different. Please search online for your particular model if you aren’t able to find the settings in your menu.
How to activate that low light powerhouse
- Turn up Max Sensitivity in Settings > ISO (> Auto) to 6400 (3200 in the point and shoot cameras)
- Turn up Min Shutter Speed in Settings > ISO (> Auto) to 1/125. Faster if:
- you have faster moving subjects and a little more light available
- you are shooting a longer lens (to compensate for the increased movement), but Fuji’s image stabilization is pretty darn good, so test how it performs for you to find out what works for you.
Now you have a program mode that:
- In low light, tries to maintain 1/125 until it maxes out aperture and ISO, then reluctantly goes to slower shutter speeds
- In bright light, goes to faster shutter speeds and smaller apertures (no need to adjust shutter speed for most things)
Turn that Fuji into a people/moment catcher
- Turn off Image Display in Settings > Screen Set-up – this removes nearly all the lag after you take a photo so you can immediately see what is happening so you can take the next photo. To review a photo, click the play button.
- Turn on High Performance Mode in Settings > Power Management. This will cost you a little battery power, but the camera will operate a tiny bit faster where it counts.