Normal heart-beat now, feeling more confident after my total factory-settings restart with the new camera, I suddenly find that I am having loads of fun during my short excursions around the house. It is a mix of looking at the world in a different way and discovering what the my favorite camera features are.

Before I get into discussing the evolution of my FUJI shots, let me make it very clear that being successful with this thing is all, ALL about understanding the settings and not all of them are intuitive. Even more so than with a "normal" DSLR camera that has mirrors in the body so that you can look through the lens via the viewfinder. You don't even have to switch it on to have a look and take a shot. No such luck with FUJI. The EVF and LCD will only display details when the camera is switched on (and the lens cap is off...). Any changes to settings you make will instantly show in your Viewfinder unless you switch the preview functionality off. But... lets not get into that in this post.

If you are like me and new to the FUJI,  take some time and read what I found out, so that you do not have to get stressed-out about it yourself, when you are new to this FUJI. Only when you have a thorough understanding of what the consequences are of changing settings can you aspire to take top shots with this camera with the same speed you have with your old camera.

First: check out your lens features

Depending on the properties of your lens:


1. it has a stabilisation button or not. 
!If it does: use it!
And make sure you do not accidentally switch it off when adjusting other lens settings; soundd logical but believe me, accidentally switching it off while changing the aperture WILL happen to you! Make checking it part of your shooting routine.

2. it has fixed aperture settings or an infinite ring with which to adjust F-stops. Which aperture is active is visible in the Electronic View Finder (EVF) or on your LCD display. The response to a change can be a big sluggish so anticipate that when adjusting.

3. It has no aperture settings ring. Use the back commander wheel on the camera body to change the aperture

4. It has a mode switch to set it to automatic aperture or manual aperture

Camera features:

These can be confusing for folks like myself who are used to a certain vocabulary when talking about settings of your shot. We usually talk about "manual" when we adjust the ISO, shutter speed and F-stop/aperture manually. The camera display will show an "M" to indicate we are on manual settings.

FUJI speaks a different tongue. Below are the combination options. This is assuming you know about the way the photographic principles of Aperture, Shutter Speed and ISO work together to attain a correctly exposed photograph. If not, here is a great book suggestion: "Understanding Exposure" by Bryan Peterson.

FIRST and FOREMOST:
Select the focus mode on camera body - essential to get a crisp, sharp shot!! (Found that out after 1 frustrating day of bad blurry shots)...

Set to either S for single auto-focus or C for continuous auto-focus (for panning of shooting high speed moving objects).
Set to M to allow for manual focussing with your lens (if the lens is equipped to do so).

Full auto = P in viewfinder [program]
Speed Dial: A - Lens:  A  = automatic aperture - ISO Dial: A or:
Speed Dial: A - Lens:   = automatic aperture - ISO Dial: custom value

Both will cause the Viewfinder to show P for [program]
To include flash it needs to be on the hotshoe clicked-up to operate
Use compensation dial on top to compensate exposure 3 stops plus or minus to make image lighter or darker
Move either of commander wheels to change the combo of time and aperture for the same exposure results but with different depth of field and/or ability to capture moving subjects/objects

Aperture priority = A in viewfinder [Aperture]
Speed Dial A - Lens: manual aperture - ISO Dial: A or:
Speed Dial A - Lens: manual aperture - ISO Dial: custom value

Use compensation dial on top to compensate exposure 3 stops plus or minus to make image lighter or darker
Use lens ring to adjust aperture; camera automatically adjust the shutter speed to get a correct exposure

Time priority = S in viewfinder [Time/Shutter Speed-preferred]
Speed Dial: T -  lens:  = automatic aperture - ISO Dial: A or:
Speed Dial: T -  lens:  = automatic aperture - ISO Dial: custom value

Change speed with front commander wheel (back commander wheel does not change anything)
Camera chooses aperture to get a correct exposure at your preferred time
Use compensation dial on top to compensate exposure 3 stops plus or minus to make image lighter or darker

Manual Shutter Speed = M in viewfinder
ISO Dial: A or custom value
Speed Dial: custom value -  lens:  = automatic aperture or:
Speed Dial: custom value -  lens: manual aperture

Change speed when taking the shot with front commander wheel - maximum change is 2 speeds up or down from 
the speed on the dial; note that when changing the value electronically, the dials on top of the camera remain 
unchanged.
Use compensation dial on top to compensate exposure 3 stops plus or minus to make image lighter or darker
Lens:
> when on manual aperture: 
use lens ring to adjust aperture to get a correct exposure at your preferred speed

> when on automatic aperture:
-camera automatically adjust the aperture to get a correct exposure
-use the front commander wheel to overrule the manual settings; camera will choose the best combination 
of aperture and speed to get a correct exposure. Camera reverts from M in viewfinder to S in viewfinder, 
because you are not longer on full manual settings. The camera assumes that you still want to give priority 
to the shutterspeed, so it will stay within a 2 step range of the shutter speed set on the speed dial.


These are the essentials to double-check for good shots. There are 2 more that might get in your way of capturing images the way you want them to be:


-Drive or Shutter type

Most of these are typical for pre-processing in camera of jpg files. The only ones I use often are:

1. Single shot S
2. Continuous low speed CL
3. Continuous high speed CH

Other options (that I hardly ever use except 5. as a nice-to-have-experiment):
4. BCK: Bracketing (camera takes multiple shots with more and less light)
5. Double Exposure: nice gimmick e.g one properly exposed shot of the moon superimposed over a total view of the landscape with the moon
6. ADV: apply filter effects
7. Panoramic: hit or miss in terms of proper seaming of the different shots

-Exposure meter / Light metering type:

>Spot: this is my default
>Multi: use when you want to let the camera meter for a correct exposure on the basis of the entire image
>Average: use when you want consistent exposure (no extreme differences) in your shot or a series of shots. Apparently good for subjects with black or white clothes

Last but not least: programming function buttons on-camera

Depending on how good your fingers are at feeling for the correct function button, you can use the camera menus to attach custom functions to the available buttons.


I have customised 2 of the buttons/dials:

1. Selector wheel arrows next to LCD display:

Quickly change and/or enlarge Focus area
Press down one of the Selector arrows to show where the current focus point is located and how large it is. 
>front commander wheel: change position
>back commander wheel: change size

2. Front button:

Disable Preview Pic Effect in EVF
When working on manual settings the camera is unable to predict what our shot is going to look like and the viewfinder gets too dark to use as a result. I have programmed this front button to switch off the preview function. Very useful when we add flash (on- or off-camera) to the play. The camera is not aware of this and will not interpret our settings correctly.

Where and what you attach to the buttons is totally up to your own preferences...

There is more to know about the Xt1's settings but for that I am going to refer you to the manual. Happy reading!